Henry VIII secretly marries Anne Boleyn

(143 words)

Historical Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : .

Henry VIII had been married to Catherine of Aragon since 1509, soon after his accession to the throne. However, although she had six pregnancies, they produced only one surviving child, a daughter Mary. By 1525, Henry was pursuing a new mistress, Anne Boleyn, and aimed to make her his wife in the hope that she would give him a male heir. He sought an annulment of his marriage to Catherine on the grounds that since she had previously been the wife of his elder brother Arthur, their own marriage was never legitimate in the first place. Catherine, however, insisted her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated. Since she was aunt to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who was currently holding the Pope prisoner in Rome, the Pope refused to …

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