Henry VIII could have ended his marriage to fourth spouse Anne of Cleves as a result of she had already conceived a child with one other man, a historic novelist has claimed.
Alison Weir, 67, who has written a number of bestselling historic novels in addition to historic accounts of Henry’s six wives, made the declare in her newest guide; ‘Anne of Kleve’.
Henry married Anne – who turned Queen of England by way of the wedding – in January 1540, however the union was declared unconsumated and annulled simply seven months later.
Henry had initially agreed to marry Anne after commissioning a portrait of her, which was painted by Hans Holbein.
However he then argued he was so disgusted by Anne’s actual bodily look that he couldn’t perform his marital obligations by consumating the wedding.
Anne had beforehand been set to marry the Duke of Lorraine’s son, however the marriage was cancelled in 1535 after being declared unofficial.
Nevertheless, Henry received out of his personal union by claiming Anne was nonetheless betrothed to the Duke’s son, as a result of there was no doc current which declared it dissolved.
However Weir claims in her most up-to-date novel that Henry could have found Anne was not a virgin however stored it beneath wraps in order to not trigger a scandal, the Telegraph reported.
She argued depictions and descriptions of Anne from the time recommend Anne was very lovely, due to this fact giving Henry no foundation to his claims of her ugliness.
Mrs Weir, talking on the Hay Competition, mentioned: ‘Was some scandal locked away in Anna’s previous? It’s inconclusive, and speculative however I believe you may discover it convincing.’
In her guide, Weir says Henry instructed courtiers on the morning after his and Anne’s wedding ceremony evening that he didn’t imagine Anne was a virgin.
He instructed Thomas Cromwell, who as Lord Privy Seal was one in every of his closest advisers, that: ‘I favored her earlier than not nicely, however now I like her a lot much less, for I’ve felt her stomach and her breasts and as I can decide, she must be no maid.’
Weir mentioned that Henry’s ‘huge expertise’ of girls – he had beforehand been married to Catherine of Arragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour – meant he should have been capable of inform whether or not or not a girl had given beginning already.
‘Had been Anna’s unfastened breasts and stomach indicative of her being pregnant?,’ Weir mentioned.
She added: ‘Free flesh may be the consequence of shedding pounds and its widespread for a bride to shed some pounds earlier than her wedding ceremony.
‘However the different tokens Henry mentions, which included stretch marks, may argue towards a extra harmless clarification.’
As an alternative, Weir’s guide lays out the speculation that Anne could have already been ‘seduced’ by a cousin whereas dwelling within the court docket of her brother, William V, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg, a state of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany.
She might also have adopted within the footsteps of grandfather, William of Cleves, who had 63 youngsters outdoors of his marriage and was generally known as the ‘babymaker’.
Moderately than inserting emphasis on non-consumation – which might have resulted in a bodily examination of Anne – throughout his annulment makes an attempt, Henry as a substitute had targeted on her being contracted to the Duke of Lorraine’s son already.
Weir says this may increasingly have been to keep away from a earlier being pregnant being revealed within the examination, as a result of accusing of her of already having had intercourse would rupture relations with the duchy of Cleves.
Alongside Weir’s claims, Henry’s 17th Century biographer, Lord Herbert, mentioned there have been ‘secret causes’ as to why the King had ended his marriage to Anne.
Lord Herbert is thought to have had entry to sources which have since been misplaced.
Weir advised on the Hay Competition that these secret causes could have been associated to Henry’s doubts about Anne’s virginity.
Following their separation, Anne was known as ‘the King’s Beloved Sister’ and obtained each Richmond Palace and Hever Fortress as a part of her settlement.
Henry and Anne turned pals and she or he was invited to his court docket regularly by means of gratitude of her not contesting the annulment.