Monday, January 23, 2012

This Day in History January 25, 1533

You are probably quite familiar with the two people who figure in today's featurette.  King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were married on this date in 1533.  You might know that this was his second marriage.  His first was to Catherine of Aragon, and when she was unable to provide an heir, the king decided to do something about it.

He worked hard to divorce Catherine (didn't work too well), and so he worked to dissolve the marriage.  He started going around with Anne Boleyn, and she was found to be pregnant in 1532.  The king had to act fast so that the heir would be legitimate, and so they married in secret (even though he was still technically married).  Thankfully, his marriage to Catherine was soon considered invalid.

Anne Boleyn was the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and you might remember that eventually this second wife of his was beheaded in 1536 for adultery.  I actually got to see the exact spot where she was beheaded.  Her one request was that the king find someone who could cleanly do the task with a sharp ax.  You see, sometimes when  head was chopped off, the person's head was not cleanly chopped off, and you can imagine the pain (I am honestly not making it up!  I visited the Tower of London more than once, and I have never forgotten that story!).

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