Anne of Cleves

She was born of a German nobleman
destined to become fourth wife
of King Henry V111.

He didn’t like her right at the outset
thought her too unsophisticated but
due to various political alliances he
needed to keep, married her anyway.

Within six months he had
the marriage annulled
said it wasn’t ever consummated
and, because of Anne’s agreement
Henry gave her a generous settlement
including a palace, a castle and some houses
one of which, I visited several times.

She herself never lived there
but it was part of her estate now it’s a
museum filled with authentic Tudor period
artifacts and furnishings.

Anne of Cleves is not the most
well known of Henry’s six wives
but she was perhaps the smartest.

She kept her head
became his friend and
outlived the rest of his wives.


© Daydreameroo *All rights reserved

Lewes is a small town about 20 minutes drive away from Brighton. (being so interested in history, Anne of Cleves Tudor house built in early 1500 always fascinated me as a child growing up)

For more information:  Anne of Cleves  and
Anne of Cleves House Lewes, East Sussex

Shared with dVerse Poets Poetics: His’tory, ‘Her’story & time machines

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

32 thoughts on “Anne of Cleves”

  1. She was one of the lucky ones – was she not the Flanders Mare of Henry’s pithy comment?
    His last wife, Katherine Parr had to live with him until the end, but survived him long enough to marry her early love and bear her first child at 36

  2. There was a TV mini series about ol’ Henry a few years back. It was pretty good. I’ve also read several books–fiction and non-fiction–about him. Anne was definitely one of my favorite characters in the king’s sordid stories. This era was a fascinating one, though I certainly am glad I wasn’t around during it!
    Nice write!

  3. I love the summation you used here. The keeping of her head, so true. You’re right, not one of his wives that is easily known, or taught for that matter. I consider myself pretty well learned in many disciplines, but I learned a lot here. Terrific manner you chose for the tone and style here, weaving in the historical characterization to your personal interaction with the museum. Great job. Thanks

  4. This was informative and clever~ Yes, she found a way around the Lion of a man and was better for it~ I love the history and the charm of this piece! Fun to read 😀

  5. Interesting circumstances for marriage, but yes, she was the most clever of his wives. I love that she settled a score, in a sense. I like the photo with the light and the wood and the fact that this is your local history. 🙂

  6. To keep one’s head, and become his friend is a testament to her foresight and intelligence ~ Thanks for sharing this bit of history ~

  7. Bren, a brilliant woman to have kept her head…literally and figuratively. I had never heard of her, so I was happy for the introduction!

  8. I enjoyed your poem very much and your comment on the plot: how smart she was! I like visiting the houses, too, but I am so glad I didn’t live then when a woman was simply a commodity on the market–or an abused and unpaid laborer, depending on her class.

  9. Given the fate of the others, lot to be said for being smart and plain( Can you say that now in modern times? I’m not eighty yet so have to till be PC!)

  10. She was smart, wasn’t she? What a horrible time to have lived in (my opinion).

  11. Yes, fabulous, I enjoyed this. Her story epitomises the awfulness of Henry VIII and the monarchy.

  12. I’m glad she kept her head … better than nothing … I admire her for that … and am proud of my drop of german blood in me … thanks for thr inspiring story, Bren …. Love, cat.

  13. ha much to be said of keeping ones head…a friend is better than a headless wife anyday…smiles….nice, and here i thought you were going titanic as well…smiles…pretty cool to touch a bit of your local history thta fascinated you growing up….

Comments are closed.