The Personal Diary of Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII of England

Autumn winds 90
Portrait of King Henry VIII of England



1 The Personal Diary of Queen Anne of Cleves, 4th Wife of King Henry VIII of England By Dr. Pelham K. Mead III and George Schandel Translated from Dutch into English by Ken of Bellmore 2 Index to Diary Entries in chronological order (each year separated) Entry 1-The Early Years (born September 22, 1515 Entry 2- Spring 1539-The court painter-Hans Holbein arrives in Cleves Entry 3- August 1539- Hans Holbein returns to England Entry 4- October 6, 1539- Marriage Treaty signed and my departure to England Entry 5-December 11, 1539-My arrival in Calais Entry 6- December 11-26, 1539- Bad weather Entry 7- December 27, 1539- The crossing-Landing at Deal, England Entry 8- December 27-January 1, 1540-Traveling from Castle to Castle Entry 9- January 1, 1540-The Stranger (His Majesty) Entry 10- January 6, 1540-The Marriage Entry 11-January 27, 1540- His Majesty dismisses most of my staff and sends them back to Germany Entry 12- Feb 3, 1540- Feast in honor of my departing staff by his Majesty Entry 13- January 1540-March- The Invisible King-Sent to Dartford Castle Entry 14-Easter 1540-Spending Mass with his Majesty Entry 15- March 1540- His Majesty gives Kathryn Howard a present of land Entry 16 May Day- April 30-May 7,1540-Celebrating with his Majesty-Jousts- Open House at Durham Palace. Entry 17- June 20, 1540- Complaints to Ambassador Harst about rumors of Katherine Howard and his Majesty. Entry 18- June 22, and 24,1540- Bad Times, and St. John the Baptist holiday. Entry 19-July 6, 1540 Moving from Durham Castle to Richmond castle per order of the Kings council. Entry 20- July 9, 1540 Parliament declares marriage null and void, Annulment. 3 Entry 21- July 1540- My remorse and shock of not being the Queen Entry 22-July 10, 1540 My Letter to his Majesty Entry 23-July 1540 Lord Cromwell is executed, and his Majesty marries Kathryn Howard the same day Entry 24-August 1540- The King’s Sister and his Majesty’s generosity settlement. Entry 25-August 1540- A visit from his Majesty Entry 26- The Book of Hours given to his Majesty (printed in 1533,Germany) Entry 27-September-November 1540 at Hever Castle Entry 28-Christmas 1540 with Mary I, Kathryn Howard, and his Majesty Entry 29-January 1541-Kathryn Howard arrrested Entry 30-Spring of 1541 Entry 31-Summer of 1541 Entry 32-November 1541-Sickness and Pregnancy gossip Entry 33-Christmas 1541-Exchange of presents-sent Henry pieces of crimson and Henry sent pots and flagons Entry 34-January-February 1542- Kathryn Howard beheaded Entry 35-March 1542-The aftermath Entry 36- Spring 1542-His Majesty becomes ill Entry 37-1542-His Majesty marries Katherine Parr Entry 38-Christmas 1543- His Majesty invites all three children to spend Christmas with him. Entry 39- Jan 1547- Death of His Majesty King Henry VIII Entry 40- January 28, 1547-Prince Edward VI becomes King Entry 41- January 1547-Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, becomes the Lord Protector Entry 42- 1547- Richmond Castle and Bletchingley confiscated from me 4 Entry 43- 1549- Riots and rebellions-Scotland and France. Entry 44- 1549- John Dudley 1st Earl of Warwick and then Duke of Northumberland 1551 replaces the Duke of Somerset Entry 45- 1549-The dark years-The King’s Step-Aunt.-salaries for staff delayed Entry 46- February 1553- King Edward VI becomes ill and names Lady Jane Grey as his heir. Entry 47- July 6, 1553-King Edward VI dies at age 15. Entry 48- July 10, 1552 Lady Grey taken to the Tower of London for her protection Entry 49- July 14, 1553- Duke of Northumberland leaves London with 3,000 troops to Cambridge. Reaches Cambridge July 15, 1553. Entry 50- July 15, 1553- Mary I -rallies her forces at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk with 20,000 troops Entry 51-July 19, 1553- The Privy Council realize they made a mistake in appointing Lady Jane Grey, led by the earl of Arundel and the Earl of Pembroke, proclaim Mary I as Queen. Entry 52- July 24, 1553- Lord Arundel arrests the Duke of Northumberland for treason Entry 53-August 22, 1553- Duke of Northumberland beheaded Entry 54- July 10, 1553 Lady Grey, Lord Guildford Dudley, and others arrested Entry 55- September 30, 1553-Mary I becomes Queen of England, Coronation Entry 56- Oct. 1-1553- Mary I- Coronation feast Entry 57- Fall of 1553 Mary I -restores my finances Entry 58- February 12, 1554- Lady Jane Grey beheaded in the tower of London Entry 59- 1554 Elizabeth I, and myself Entry 60- 1554 Troubling times for Mary I- Wyatt rebellion Entry 61-March 18,1554-Princess Elizabeth imprisoned in the Tower of London for eight weeks. Entry 62- Princess Elizabeth transferred from the Tower of London to Woodstock. Entry 63- July 25, 1554- Queen Mary I marries Philip of Spain Entry 64- August 1554- Queen Mary I announces she is pregnant, phantom pregnancy. Entry 65- Queen Mary I returns England to Roman Catholicism and burns 300 5 Protestants at the stake. Entry 66- October 16, 1555-Protestants Latimer and Ridley are burned at the stake. Entry 61-June-July 1557 – My Long Illness, and my final days at Chelsea Old Manor where Catherine Parr had lived Entry 62-July 1557 My Last will and testament Entry 63- July 16, 1557- My last breath 6 Entry 1- My Youth-September 22, 1515-1539 Dear diary, Now that I am twelve years of age I have decided to record the events of my life. I was born a German princess on September 22, 1515 in Dusseldorf Germany. I was the second child born to Duke John III Of the Dutchy of Cleve’s. My mutter or mother was Mary of Julich. I am told my parents were disappointed that they did not have a son. It was no matter since a year later my brother William was born, and then after him my youngest sister Amelia was born. Cleve’s was a wonderful place to grow up. It was situated on the Rhine River, and it bordered Hapsburg, Netherlands. Nearby was the village of Cleves. It was a small village with many common folk. We were brought up as strict Catholics by my mother, however my father was a Lutherans. His view of religion was to love God, and hate the Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope. Father did not agree with mother in being Catholic. He was more interested in reform and breaking away from the Pope and Rome in 7 promoting Lutheranism. Mother on the other hand was a devote Catholic, and she tried to bring us up in the Catholic tradition, but father would not allow it. Mutter (mother) used to take us to the Rhine River often to see the boats. I loved watching the fisherman on the Rhine when I was young. Life was simple in those days. Mutter (Mother) was always spending time with us. She trained my sisters and I how to be good wives for our future husbands, by making us skilled in stitching. Meine My Mutter (Mother) would spend hours with me since I was clumsy with the use of the needle. Father sent William my brother away early for formal training. We all missed William when he left, most of all mother missed her son dearly. My sisters, and I only received domestic training as was proper in Cleves at the time. It was a German tradition to prepare women to serve their husbands. Mother was a strict Catholic, and she brought us up to fear the lord, but father always had the final word, and we were considered Lutherans according to him. My Uncle, who was a Lutheran, influenced my brother William in his religious beliefs. Father believed in the reformation, and the teachings of the great scholar Erasmus, but mother had the upper hand in what religion we children 8 would learn when father was not around. We seldom saw father except on holidays. He was always busy with the Duties of Duke of Cleves and the court. Music in the court of Cleve’s was frowned upon as I was growing up. It was believed to be a frivolous waste of time. Later some of the more strict Protestants associated music with the devil. I would have liked to have learned how to play a flute, if I had only been given the opportunity. Sybilla, my older sister and I were very close and often played together pretending to be Princesses. Amelia, my other sister, was a little young for us so we did not share as much with her. I was mother’s favorite; at least that is what she told me. We spent many happy hours together over the years of my youth. 9 Swan Castle, Cleve, Germany, 1515 The castle of Cleve’s (Swan Castle) was a great old castle that stood across the Rhine from a village that was often governed by the French King. My room very large and was next to Sybille’s room. Amelia’s room was down the hallway from our rooms. I could see the Rhine River from my bedroom, and the mountains beyond. Growing up was blissful, and before I knew it at age 12, (1527), father was arranging for my marriage to Francis the 10-year-old son of the Duke of Lorraine. Fortunately, this proposed marriage was cancelled. I had no desire to leave my family, and marry someone I did not know. Mother said that it was my duty to marry to form allegiances with other Princes. I guess romance was never to 10 be considered in a marriage? I am a simple German princess with simple ideas about marriage. Living a comfortable lifestyle was most important. No princess wanted a poor marriage, especially me. We never enjoyed playing cards as they did in the England or the French courts. My mother taught me being a good wife was skill enough for any noble woman. At Swan castle in Cleves everything was provided for me making life easy for me. I wasn’t lazy; rather my mother and father spoiled me. I had dozens of servants waiting on me everyday Sibylle of Cleves by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526. 11 Entry 2- Sept. 1527 Dear diary, On a cold day in September of the year 1527, I am 14 years of age. My father to John Frederick the eldest son of the powerful Duke of Saxony betrothed my dear elder sister Sybilla. I told Sybilla that I did not want her to go but she had to obey father. I was told that this was an important alliance for our family. Poor Sybilla she had never known a boy or had any opportunity to be familiar with any boys. It was such a sad day for me for my older sister and best friend was leaving perhaps to never return. Saxony was very strongly Lutheran Dutchy, and would make a strong ally, mother told me. Today Sybilla left our castle. A beautifully gilded coach was sent to pick her up along with additional coaches for her maids, and personal assistants. We all cried together at the gate as she got into the coach. Mother bid her well, and asked that she write to tell us how she was doing. She waved at us from the window of the coach, and before we knew it she was off in the distance headed for her new 12 life. That was the last time I saw Sybilla for many years. Things were very quiet in the castle after Sybilla left. Mother spent all her time with Amelia and I. We took long walks to the Rheine River, and spent many happy hours talking about the imaginary Princes that we would one day marry. Mother had a wonderful imagination. We spent many hours reading the Bible, and discussing what the passages meant. Chapel was every morning early before breakfast. We attended Chapel before Sybilla left this morning. Tonight we would celebrate compline in the evening. Mutter (Mother) loved to sing at chapel, and I tried to copy her but God did not give me a strong singing voice. Soon we heard from Sybilla that her marriage had gone according to plan. She met her future husband, and he was a handsome, and proper man, a perfect Prince. We all longed to see Sybilla again, but that was not to be. She was far away now in another Kingdom serving her husband in Saxony. 13 William, my brother, was away being educated away from home, and we never got to see him except on holidays. Mother was very sad, and she confided in me that she really did not want Sybilla to leave our family, but it was what father wanted and therefore, it had been done. We prayed at Mass for Sybilla and William for God to watch over them. 14 Entry Three- The year 1539 Dear Diary, I have not written since Sybilla left Swan Castle. Today is April 3 of the year 1539. News came that King Henry VIII of England by way of an envoy to inquire about my hand in marriage and my younger sister Amelia. He was a young man whose name I do not remember but he had long blond hair and related to one of the Nobles in King Henry’s Court. When he arrived he asked for an audience with my brother William the Duke of Cleves. After talking with this envoy for a while, William summoned Amelia and myself to hear the envoys description of King Henry VIII. He described King Henry VIII as a tall man, over six feet tall, with curly red hair. He said that the King was handsome, strong with light skin, but with a ruddy complexion. He went on to describe how exciting it was to be a part of the King’s court where he, the envoy, had been many times himself. This helped Amelia and I who had no picture of the King and had to imagine what he looked like in my mind. It was exciting to know that a King was interested in one of us for his bride. I was to be 24 come next September and not getting any younger. When my father had passed away, my brother William became Duke of Cleves. He 15 was now responsible for my betrothal and a proposed treaty with the King of England to support England in case the French tried to invade England. William also had to promise a dowry with his limited funds to King Henry VIII for him to accept me, as was the custom. I heard William talking about how he needed an alliance against the Holy Roman Empire and France. A treaty and marriage with England would create an ally with King Henry VIII that would protect my brother and his land holdings in Cleves and surrounding communities. Several months after the envoy’s visit on a sunny day in August of 1539, I was in the garden with mother tending to the flowers that were blooming. One of our house servants came running into the garden looking for my brother William the Duke of Cleves. The servant said that some envoys from King Henry VIII of England had arrived at the front gate. The King’s envoys Nicholas Wotton and Robert Barnes came to Cleves to assured William, Amelia and I, that the King was a kind and generous man, and that our marriage would be something made in heaven. They portrayed King Henry VIII as a just man who was a bit of a romantic that only wanted to have more than one male heir. I must admit I was intrigued at the image of the King they portrayed. William was not so impressed. All he wanted was a treaty to protect his lands. 16 Recently a painter from the royal court of King Henry VIII named Hans Holbien (the Younger) arrived to paint a picture of Amelia and myself. The portraits of my sister Amelia and myself he would show to the King so that he could decide whom he wished to marry. It was difficult sitting still for such a long time for Hans. We talked about his wife, and his life at the English court. He was a very engaging speaker. I wore one of my best German princess dresses with jewelry for the painting. Amelia also wore one of her best dresses for her painting. I hoped that the King would find our portraits acceptable and the long process of negotiations would come to an end. I was told that Edward his young son by his third wife Jane Seymour was his only heir, and Queen Jane had died in childbirth leaving a saddened King without a Queen. Perhaps this would be my imaginary Prince from a foreign land? I also heard rumors that his second wife, Ann was beheaded, and he divorced his first wife, and disowned her daughter Mary. It seemed the King had problems with his wives and I am fearful of his reputation. I had nightmares last night of having my head cut off because I did something to anger the King. I could not sleep and sat up in my bed most of the night. 17 After many negotiations my brother William decided to allow me to marry King Henry VIII, and to provide the King with a small dowry in accepting me as his fourth wife. Plans were made around November of 1539 to have me and my entourages accompany me to England to be married to King Henry VIII. My brother William did not have any funds for my dowry, so King Henry VIII agreed to accept me as his bride, without a dowry, in last minute negotiations. I had heard from my brother William that travel by the north sea was too dangerous and that he requested that King Henry ask Mary of Hungry for safe passage for myself and my retinue. King Henry VIII received permission from Mary of Hungry in place of Charles I of the Holy Roman Empire for my safe passage through the Lowlands to Calais, an English controlled port on the English Channel. My preparations were going slowly with mother and Amelia helping me with my many different dresses. We left in my chariot on a cloudy cold day in November 1539, with my retinue of 263 people. We traveled slowly each day over the bumpy frozen roads. Mistress Gilmyn traveled with me on the long journey, and we talked all the way to keep busy. I was wrapped warmly in furs to withstand the winter cold. Lady Keteler, and twelve other of my ladies followed us in 18 separate carriages. Personally I was very excited to be treated like a true German Princess. It was the most attention I had since my first communion. We traveled only five miles each day on cold and icy roads. Finally, we arrived at Antwerp on December 3, 1539. We settled in for the night after a wonderful reception and a most inviting banquet in my honor. I was very excited about all the fanfare. It was the first time I drank wine other than communion. Mistress Gilmyn talked about our fantasy princes and what life might be like in mysterious England during dinner. We left Antwerp the next day traveling until we arrived at Bruges on Dec. 7th. Next, we traveled to Dambrugh, Newport, and then Dunkirk. I was beginning to feel sick from bouncing around in the carriage. Finally we reached Gravelines on Dec. 10th, just a few miles outside Calais. The winter scenery was beautiful at this time of the year with frozen fields, grape orchards, and many cattle roaming around barren fields. A reception committee from Calais met us that day on a Friday. The nobles Lord Lisle Lord deputy of Calais, and Gregory Cromwell along with other nobles were 19 happy to meet us outside of Calais. The Nobles from England had been waiting for our arrival for several days. Later, as we approached Calais, the Earl of Southhampton, High Admiral of England, along with thirteen other nobles met us. The very generous Mayor of Calais presented me with one hundred marks in gold as a gift when we arrived in the town of Calais. The following day the High Admiral showed me the many ships from England in the harbor. They were all decorated with purple cloth to celebrate the occasion. I was surprised to see so many ships. It was the first time I had ever seen the ocean. The ocean stretched as far as I could see to the horizon. I could smell the salt in the air from the ocean. It was a wondrous smell. The sea gulls flew in circles above her screeching their loud cries. It was a wonderful scene that day that will always be etched in my mind. A cannon salute was given in my honor with loud booming sounds heard around the harbor. My ears were ringing from the loud sound of the cannons. Truly England had a most impressive fleet of ships. Afterward, we returned to another banquet and a display of jousting. I retired to my bed very tired that evening, but excited at the entire fan fare. I longed to see the handsome King. I had some difficulty speaking English with the Nobles, but they 20 were most patient with me even though none of them could speak German or high Dutch as some referred to my language. I had to do a lot of gestures with my hands because I did could not speak English. My mother had trained me as best she could in simple English expressions like “Good Day,” and “I am glad to meet you.” It was not enough to understand the English who spoke their language so fast that I could not understand what they were saying. On a misty morning of the day Dec. 13, 1539, we were supposed to sail to England but the thick fog and rain made that impossible. Having heard that the King likes to play card games I begged the Earl of Southhampton if he would show me a card game. My interpreter helped me in speaking English to the Earl. He was most obliging and took time to sit down and showed me how to play cards. He taught me the game of “cent,” which was very popular at the time in England. Each player receives 12 cards from a 32-card pack ranking 1 through 8 in each suit. They discard some of their cards and draw new cards from the deck of eight. The purpose of this is to improve the hand, so that it will produce and score for certain card combinations and subsequently win a majority of twelve tricks played at no trump. The Earl was most patient showing me and explaining English words like “trump” I learned how points are scored throughout until 100 is reached. 21 We played all day while the rain continued, until I was able to successfully win some points. I was grateful for the Earl for showing me this wonderful card game. I invited him and some of the Noble men to dinner with me that night. He was a little shy at first as my interpreter explained this was not the normal protocol for a Queen to be inviting men to dinner. I dismissed that stupidity and insisted they come for dinner so that I can learn more about English customs. I spent fifteen days at Calais waiting for the weather to improve. Finally, on the morning of December 27th, the weather cleared and we set sail for England. This was the first time I had ever stepped foot aboard a ship. It was wonderful and scary at the same time. The admiral welcomed me aboard his ship. The sails puffed up quickly, and we were crossing the English Channel with ease. Fifty ships made sail that day bring all of my German ladies, lords, and servants, as well as my clothing. After fifteen minutes the French coast faded into the mist, and we were finally on our way. A few hours later we landed at a city called Deal in Kent England around five o’clock in the afternoon. Sir Thomas Cheyne met me, and my ladies, and took us to rest at the newly built Deal castle. I was able to refresh myself, and my ladies, 22 and change clothes to meet the King’s nobles. The Duke of Suffolk and his young beautiful wife Catherine Willoughby came to meet us soon after. The Bishop of Chichester also came to welcome us. We were then escorted to Dover castle a short distance down the English coast. It was late at night around 11:00 pm that we arrived at Dover castle. I was exhausted and my ladies and I went to our apartments and retired for the evening. I dreamt all night of the rocking of the ship on the ocean and all the fanfare I had experienced in the last few weeks. The rain continued again but Sir Thomas and the Duke of Suffolk thought it wise to press on despite the bad weather so that we would not be forced to stay at less convenient places. The wagons bumped and spun through the mud and rocks and the journey was most unpleasant, but my ladies and I were in good spirits. My retinue of 263 nobles, ladies and servants continued on the muddy road for miles. Our next stop was to be at another English city called Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Thomas Cranmer was to meet us when we arrived at Canterbury. The Archbishop looked much like a Catholic Bishop with his red robes with gold sewn designs on the collar and sleeves. He looked very distinguishing when I first met him. 23 We entered the town and proceeded to the St. Augustine’s Abbey just outside the city walls. I was here we were to stay for the night. I was pleasantly surprised to see about 40 English gentlewomen in velvet bonnets awaiting me at the Abbey. I was introduced to all the English ladies whom King Henry had appointed to be my staff in England. My own ladies had to share some apartments since so many staff of mine was in attendance. We had a feast that night and I forgot all about the terrible rain we experienced all daylong. I got to meet the Archbishop and other bishops as well as English Nobles and their ladies. It was all a wonderful experience at the feast. Everyone was joyful and made my ladies and me feel very welcome. The English made excellent beer and I took a liking to at the banquet. I began to wonder when I would meet the King and what he would look like? The next day we were off to Sittingbourne on December 30 where we rested for a night. We proceeded on to Rochester the next day where I was greeted by the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Dacre of the South, Lord Mountjoy and a large gathering of English Knights, esquires, and Barons of the exchequer all wearing velvet coats and gold chains. They were dressed most admirably. We were then escorted to the 24 palace where we would stay for the night. I spoke with my ladies often how my first meeting with the King would be. I longed to see him soon after this terribly long journey in dark and rainy weather. I hope it does not rain all the time in England as it has over the past few weeks. Time will tell I imagine? 25 Entry 4- December 1539 Diary, I am truly tired from traveling so much over such a long journey. It was New Years Eve, and my journey from Cleves to meet my Betrothed King Henry VIII was almost over. Soon I would meet my Handsome King. I had been traveling for almost a month now over the Lowlands in Germany to Calis, and then onto Dover, England. It was a cold winter crossing over the English Channel to England. I had never seen England before, and the White Cliffs of Dover were beautiful with a castle perched on the upper slope as we approached the shores of England. (Insert the date and landing at Deal here…….) On New Years Eve the Duke of Norfolk and other nobleman escorted me to the Abbey at Rochester. I was tired so I withdrew to my quarters. I had not had an opportunity to bath yet, and I was exhausted. 26 Outside in the courtyard below my window they were bull baiting. I longed to see my handsome betrothed King Henry whom I had never seen before. Later that day when I was looking out my window, a fat old English man with a hood over his head rudely burst into my room. He had a marbled colored coat and hood on, and I paid him no mind. Perhaps he had come to clean the room? He could have been the cleaning fritz for I did not know. As the stranger entered my room he said something in English that I could not understand without my interpreter who had already retired. Several English nobles also hood entered my apartment. Before I knew it the ruffian charged across the room and embraced me and kissed me upon the lips. I was most frightened by the rude stranger. I wanted to shout for help. Fear crept up my spine, and I felt helpless and alone. Did he not know that I was a German princess of Nobel birth? How dare he attempt to attack me and remove my modesty? I pushed the obese old man away. It was then I noticed that he had red hair and was balding. I was confused and repulsed by this ugly fat man. I screamed for help but none of the English gentlemen came to my aid. Jesus protect me from this assault I cried in German. (Jesus hilf mir). Surely, I would 27 become pregnant, and never be a virgin again. I had never known a man before in my entire life. My mother kept me away from German boys for my own protection she told me. The stranger tried to show me a gift after I screamed, and pushed him away. I could not understand what he was saying. I asked him who he was and why he saw fit to take liberties with me. He could not speak German, and mumbled something in French that I could not understand. I begged him to leave or I would summon the Duke of Norfolk to protect me. The stranger looked shocked after I pushed him away. He was a tall old obese man with pale white skin as if he never went out in the sun. I was trembling from fright and crying from the old man’s assault on me. Finally he withdrew from my room, bowing for some reason as he left. As I was recovering from the frightful attack the old man returned to my chambers yet again. I begged him to leave. He did not understand. This time he was wearing the purple robes of nobility. The other men that came with him all bowed as he entered my apartment. Could this old man be of royalty I asked myself? I understood the one phrase in English, “I am King Henry,” he said. Shocked, and in disbelief, I suddenly I realized this fat old balding man was my 28 betrothed Henry the King of England. I was embarrassed and shocked at the same time. He was nothing as my mother told me he would be. He was old, grossly obese, balding, and not at all handsome or athletic. I asked him in my poor English, “are ye the King.” “Yes,” He replied. “Forgive me your highness,” I said. He did not seem to understand when I spoke in German. I tried again in English, “Forgive me your highness.” I dropped to my knees. He took my hand and bid me rise. The nobles left and did not return. Afterward we sat on the edge of my bed, and tried to talk to one another. It was a most difficult task, even though I had some lessons in learning English. I could not understand the King because he spoke so fast. He sat very close to me, and I was very nervous and afraid. I feared I would pee myself. He put his arm around me next, and I was sure he was going to try and have his way with me. I could not breathe. The king was very nervous also and breathing heavily down my neck. What was he trying to do I asked myself? Bitte, please heir Henry I begged him to stop. He paid me no mind. He said something in English, which I did not understand and slipped his, hand down the front of my 29 dress. He struggled to feel my breasts under my corset. He was breathing even more heavily now as he ravaged me. I was shocked that he would treat a princess this way. I asked him to stop in German “bitte,” I said in English, “please stop your highness.” He ignored me. He pinched my small breasts. He was hurting me and I cried out, bitte (please). Before I knew it he was pulling down his britches and exposing his einr Deutschland wurst. The smell from his crotch made me sick. It was like the smell of dead fish. I almost fainted from the odor. There in front of my face was the King’s sausage surrounded by red crotch hair resembling a red bush. It was smaller than imagined. He grabbed my head and pushed my face toward his sausage. For a moment I felt a twinge, but it passed as I tried to fight him off, I could not let this fat man take my virginity before our marriage. He was a barbarian and he smelled. I had not bathed or changed my clothes in days and I imagine I did not smell good to him. As the King attempted to bury his head in my dress the smell of my sweat and two days wearing the same garment assailed his nose and he turned away in disgust. I 30 was saved from the fat man. Next he backed away from me, and I think he cursed me in English? He pulled up his britches and left the room. I was exhausted and frightened from fighting the balding old obese King. I know he was upset with me, but I am a German Princess of High breeding, not a common whore or mistress. Later there was a knock at the door and I thought he was coming back for more carnal pleasures. “Your majesty it is I, Lord Anthony Brown with some presents from the King. I will leave the furs at the door so as not to disturb you. Then there was silence, and they were all gone. I could not sleep all night thinking how grossly obese the King was, and how he treated me like a common whore. I was very disappointed that the handsome King I had envisioned did not exist. What I saw was not a slim young man but an old obese man with balding red hair. I realized that my life was going to prove difficult if he wanted to always feel my breasts, and force me to suck his thing all the time. Having never laid with a man before made this experience all the more fearful. I prayed to 31 Jesus to help me. The next day our next stop was at Blackheath where many beautiful tents were set up to receive us. Many English Nobleman, and women came out to greet me speaking in the English language. It seemed no one knew any German words at all? My Interpreter was very helpful understanding what they said. Soon I would meet my future husband and King again, but in more favorable circumstances. I struggled to understand this strange language called English, but I had to have my Interpreter to tell me what everyone was saying. At last the King had arrived on his horse and I mounted a horse to show him I was a woman who could ride a horse. We met just outside Blackheath in a meadow. He embraced me and greeted me speaking his native language of English. I had practiced my English response for when I 32 met the King. “O what a sight was this to se so goodly a prince and so noble a King to ride with so fayre a lady of so goodly a stature, and so womanly a Countenance,” I said in the best English I could. Drums and trumpets sounded as we rode into the town. As we both dismounted our horses together the King kissed me on the cheek, and led me into the great hall. There he took me to my apartments where I would stay and refresh myself. He bid me “goodbye,” in English as he left the apartments. For a moment things seemed to be going well. A day later the King’s council summoned me to swear that I was free from any precontract such as my betrothal to Francis of Lorraine when I was just 11 years of age. Somehow the council was confused as to whether the contract to marry was still in force. I was confused as to why at this late date they were bringing up an old subject about a betrothal that never came about? As I explained to the council with my interpreter that the original betrothal was cancelled, and the documents no longer existed and were destroyed. They 33 seemed disappointed for some reason as I read the expression of doubt on their faces. Later that day the King summoned me to attend mass with him. He was again Polite, but distant. I wanted to ask him why the council was concerned about a cancelled betrothal, when I was but 11 years of age which my father stopped. I did not get the opportunity to speak personally with the King, even though he was right next to me in the mass. I felt confused all that day. “Had I not pleased his majesty,” I kept asking myself, over and over. On the next day my ambassadors informed me that the King had signed three documents granting me lands as part of my dowry. I learned that the King had appointed the people for my personal household that day also. Sadly, many of my retinue were instructed by the King to return to Cleves. The King had appointed English people for my personal household and ladies in Waiting. 34 The Earl of Rutland was to be my chamberlain. Other gentlemen of the courts were appointed as my chancellor, master of horse, personal secretary and receiver general. I asked my ambassadors to invite these gentlemen to my apartments so that I may come to know them. The were all very courteous and honored to serve the Queen of England. One of my ladies appointed by the King was his niece Lady Margaret Douglas, and his daughter-in-law the Duchess of Richmond. The Duchess of Suffolk whom I had met before was also appointed as one of my ladies. Also included was the Countess of Suffolk, and Lady Rochford, (sister in-law of Anne Boleyn). Mistress Gilmyn and Annie Bassett (daughter of the Lady Lisle) were also appointed to wait upon me. I received all of these ladies kindly and through my interpreter, I explained I 35 would try hard to speak in English so that they could understand me. I was very upset at my retinue being forced to return to Cleves and I did not understand why the King did not ask me before commanding that I receive a new household staff. Two days later in the evening of January the King informed me that the marriage was to take place the following day on January 6th. My ambassadors had informed me that they had heard rumors that the King’s council were investigating my marriage contract for some unknown reason. Could it be that the King was unhappy with me? I did not know. Jesus be with me in these troubled times. 36 Entry 3-The Marriage On January 6, 1540 I was married to King Henry VIII King of England at age 24. I knew something was wrong right from the beginning. He was courteous to me in public, but in private he ignored me. Somehow we had gotten off to a bad start after he tried to rape me in Greenwich. It was a surprise that did not work for either of us. His aloofness was difficult for me to deal with. I did not know how to communicate with him. I wore my best dress of gold for the wedding that day. Henry had given me a crown of gold to wear, and I wore it proudly. The Earl of Essex was to come to my apartments and lead my ladies and me to the church. The Earl was late, and the King getting impatient sent Lord Cromwell instead. Just as Lord Cromwell arrived at my apartments, the Earl of Essex finally appeared, and he escorted my ladies and me to the King’s chapel. It was cloudy outside, and the time was around 8:00 in the morning when we arrived at the chapel. I did not sleep all night worrying about the wedding and my inability to communicate with the King. 37 As the wedding ceremony began I kept quiet so as not to make a mistake in speaking English. Finally, the King put a ring on my left hand engraved with the words, “God send me well to keep.” It was a beautiful gold marriage ring, and it made me proud to be the Queen of England, despite some of the King’s rumored misgivings. After the ceremony we walked hand in hand to the King’s closet and heard Mass there. Afterward we dined together in all royal splendors. I could scarcely eat because I was so nervous and upset over the King’s personal treatment of me. Soon after the feast, I retired to my apartments afterward to rest, and dress for evening activities. I was told the King would celebrate Compline with me in the chapel in the evening, so I prepared all day for this event. My ladies helped me dress in a more English style that was less fancier than the German style I was used to. That evening the King escorted me to the chapel, and we celebrated Compline together singing wonderful English, songs that I mumbled through. Finally we retired to the Kings quarters, and were ceremonially put to bed by my ladies and gentlemen of the court. Standing around the King’s bed were 38 all the King’s noblemen, ladies and knights. It was a large crowd all crammed into the King’s quarters. They were all there to witness the King consummating his marriage to the Queen. They remained for about an half hour and then after hearing fake moans and groans from the King, they were satisfied and they all retired from the King’s chambers. When everyone had left, and we were alone, the King removed his cloak, and helped me remove mine. He kissed me on the cheek, and then sat on the bed. I nervously removed my outer garments, and corset that was choking me to death. The King asked me to lie back on the bed as he disrobed in front of me. His fat sagging belly stuck out like a mountain of lard. His sausage was so small, I could hardly see it. I tried to look the other way, as he stood naked in front of me. “How would we consummate this first night of marriage,” I thought to myself? This was soon to be revealed as he took my hand, and placed it on his small sausage. Squeezing my hand over his sausage he gestured for me to slide my hand up and down his sausage. I was very nervous and his sausage smelled like a week old dead fish. Holding my breath I held his sausage and 39 pulled it up and down. No erection occurred after pulling on his sausage for many minutes. What had my life come to be for me pulling the penis of a fat obese King of forty-eight years of age? I pretended to be back in Cleves and happily playing with a toy. The King began moaning and I took that to be a good sign. I spread my legs so that he would penetrate me, but instead, he moaned, rolled over and went to sleep. I was left with a snoring obese king in the bed who was unable to keep his sausage hard enough to penetrate me. I felt guilty that I did not do more to arouse him. Sex seemed so difficult, when before I had always dreamed it would be so beautiful. So went the first night with my lord the King. His majesty did not come to my chambers the next night, however on the 3rd night he came again to spend the night with me to pretend to consummate the marriage. He tried his best, but he was truly Impotent, and embarrassed to admit it to me. Once again he wanted me to pull on his sausage that I did to please him. His sausage was small and shriveled, and covered with red hair. I stroked his sausage many time to get it to become hard, but it never did. His majesty ran his hands 40 over my breasts, and began panting hard. I thought he might have an attack or something while we were making love. He sucked on my breast, but still his sausage would not become hard. Finally, he rolled over “Good night my lady,” and pretended to be asleep. Feeling that the lovemaking was over I washed my face and hands in a bowl to remove the smell of his majesty’s private parts. I realized then that having a child with the King was going to be impossible because he was impotent. Perhaps I could speak with Lord Cromwell about the problem? The King would not want anyone to know about his personal problems in the bed with his Queen? Lord Cromwell seemed to be avoiding me for some reason. I will try to speak with him at the earliest opportunity. In honor of our marriage a joust was to be held at Greenwich later that week. I decided to wear a dress more suitable to the English women’s dresses to please the King. My ladies had told me that the German style of clothing was not followed in England. The jousting was a wonderful event with many 41 English nobles, and their ladies in attendance. The English enjoyed celebrations, I could tell. I enjoyed myself sitting next to the King during the jousts. Finally I began to feel like a Queen. Lord Cromwell kept avoiding me at the jousts. 42 Entry 4- Solitude Dear diary, After four weeks at Greenwhich my retinue and I were moved to Westminister on February 4, 1540. We traveled by boat down the river to Westminister. His majesty traveled in a separate barge as well as the Mayor of London. The sky was overcast and foggy, but the day brightened as the hours went by. We had a grand procession with flags flying from the barges and trumpets sounding. After our journey down the river that day in early February, I did not see his majesty until Easter in later March 1540. I spoke with my ambassadors and they heard through the court gossip that the King was not happy with me as his wife, and that he married me only to prevent war with the French. I was truly sad, and beside myself for I wanted to be the Queen. After reflection I decided that perhaps it was for the 43 best for me not to have to bed an obese King every night. As At Easter time the King invited me to view another jouste. The King was in a good mood, but it was all for show. We never talked personally that day. Lord Cromwell continued to avoid me at the jouste. The Easter Jouste would be the last time I would see his majesty until summer. I did not know it at the time but he and his council were plotting how the King could get out of our marriage and not start a war with my brother William, the Duke of Cleves. The King was sending me away from the court as he did his previous wives when they displeased him. What was to become of my life? I keep busy keeping my staff in order and learning English from my ladies in waiting. My ambassadors warned me that, “what the King wanted the King got,” and perhaps it would be wise to let him out of the marriage rather than drag things out like Katherine of Aragon, his first wife did. He sent her away, reduced her staff and cut her allowance leaving her in poverty. I did not want that to happen to me. I received several letters from my brother William, Duke of Cleves, inquiring as to my health and situation. I could not be honest with him, nor could I return to Cleves in disgrace. 44 Later in June I and my household were moved to Richmond Castle. His majesty stated this was necessary to avoid the plague in London that was spreading. Rumors were spreading everywhere that the Catholic Nobles wanted Lord Cromwell out of the picture and were plotting with the King to have him removed for forcing my marriage on the King. I was shocked when I hear these stories. In addition my maid of honor, Katherine Howard was reported being seen in court several times with the King. She had told me she was going to visit her family and asked for me to give her leave. I had no idea that she was sneaking back to the King’s court instead to flirt with the King. She was only fifteen years of age and had no idea what a dangerous game she was playing. My ambassador revealed to me that her Uncle and other relatives were using her to get to the King and have both On July 28, 1540, I heard that Lord Cromwell who had been in the tower of London was taken and beheaded. I felt sad for his lordship. I remember well our first meeting in Cleves several years ago and how he inquired from the King as to my availability for marriage. 45 In June of 1540, I received word from the King’s council that the King intended to annul our marriage on the grounds that there was a previous betrothal and that the marriage was never consummated. I signed the letter allowing the King’s council to proceed with the annulment even though I did not feel it was fair. My body shook with nerves and I almost fainted after receiving the news about what the King intended to do. After I recovered from the shock that King had annulled our marriage, I decided that to keep my head and remain on the King’s best side. I met with my ambassador Carl Harst and we discussed all the possibilities of how to react to the King. We both agreed that the King did not take “No,” for an answer and it would be in my best interests to comply and move on with my life. We drafted a letter together that said I would comply : “Pleaseth your most excellent majesty to understand that, whereas, at sundry times heretofore, I have been informed and perceived by certain lords and others your grace’s council, of the doubts and questions which have been moved and found in our marriage; and how hath petition 46 thereupon been made to your highness by your nobles and commons, that the same might be examined and determined by the holy clergy of this realm; to testify to your highness by my writing, that which I have before promised by my word and will, that is to say, that the matter should be examined and determined by the said clergy; it may please your majesty to know that, though this case must needs be most hard and sorrowful unto me, for the great love which I bear to your most noble person, yet, having more regard to God and his truth than to any worldly affection, as it beseemed me, at the beginning, to submit me to such examination and determination of the said clergy, whom I have and do accept for judges competent in that behalf. So now being ascertained how the same clergy hath therein given their judgment and sentence, I acknowledge myself hereby to accept and approve the same, wholly and entirely putting myself, for my state and condition, to your highness’ goodness and pleasure; most humbly beseeching your majesty that, though it be determined that the pretended matrimony between us is void and of none effect, whereby I neither can nor will repute myself for your grace’s wife, considering this sentence (whereunto I stand) and your majesty’s clean and pure living with me, yet it will please you to take me for one of your humble servants, and so determine of me, as I may sometimes have the fruition of your most noble presence; which as I shall esteem for a great benefit, so, my lords and others of your majesty’s council, now being with me, have put me in comfort thereof; and that your highness will take me for your sister; for the which I most humbly thank you accordingly. Thus, most gracious prince, I beseech our Lord God to send your majesty long life and good health, to God’s glory, your own honor, and the wealth of this noble realm. From Richmond, the 11th 33 day of July, the 32nd year of your majesty’s most noble reign. Your majesty’s most humble sister and servant, Anne the daughter of Cleves.” His majesty responded to my accepting the annulment without argument with an offer of 4,000 ducats a month allowance, so long I remain unmarried, and stay in England. In addition, he granted me a manor house 47 in Lewes, Sussex; Richmond Castle, and Bletchingley Castle. I informed the King via my ambassador that I had graciously accepted his offer and I had only one request that Henry’s youngest daughter Elizabeth be allowed to visit me occasionally. The King granted this request and our annulment was finalized. I was to be a rich woman after all and that was something I could live with. The King’s council was further concerned that the annulment might create ill will between England and my brother William the Duke of Cleves and therefore requested that I write William a letter and explain everything as being satisfactory. The letter read as follows: My dear and well-beloved brother. After my most hearty commendations. Where by your letters of the 13th of this month, which I have seen written to the King’s Majesty of England, my most dear and King brother, I do perceive that you take the matter, latterly moved and determined between him and me, somewhat to heart. Forasmuch as I had rather you knew the truth by mine advertisement, than, for want thereof, you should be deceived by vain reports. I though meet to write these present letters unto you, by the which it shall lease you to understand that, being substantially advertised how the nobles and commons of this Realm desired the King’s highness to commit the examination of the matter of the marriage between his Majesty and me, to the examination and determination of the whole Clergy of this Realm, 48 I did then willingly consent thereunto. And since the determination made, have also, upon intimation of their proceedings, allowed, approved, and agreed unto the same, wherein I had more respect (as beseemed me) to trust than to any worldly affection, that might move me to the contrary. And di the rather condescend thereunto, for that my body remaineth in the integrity which I brought into this realm. And being the matter thus finished, to advertise you how I am used. Surely the king’s highness, whom I cannot now justly have, nor will repute, as my husband, hath nevertheless taken and adopted me for his sister, and, as a most king, loving, and friend brother useth me, with as much or more humanity and liberality, as you, I myself, or any of our kin or allies, could well wish or desire Your Sister Anne,” Later during the month of July 21, 1540 his majesty made a surprise visit to my castle for dinner. We talked and enjoyed one another’s company. He was a different man completely. It was during dinner that he confided in me that he had married my Maid of Honor Catherine Howard. I was shocked and not pleased that my Maid of Honor was sneaking around behind my back with his majesty. My suspicions I had all along that my Maid of Honor Catherine Howard involved with King became true. On July 18, 1540 the same day as his Lord Cromwell was beheaded for displeasing the King, his majesty married Lady Catherine Howard at 49 Oatlands Castle. I was not pleased with this news but I could see how her beauty and young age was what the King really wanted. It was a shock I would not soon forget. Later that same month the King’s Commissioners arrived at Richmond Castle to discharge my officers and staff that had served me as Queen of England. I was given a new staff of servants and attendants. They all arrived on the same day and there was much confusion as my Officers and staff moved out and the new staff moved into Richmond Castle. I was in tears and beside myself as my loyal Officers and staff had to leave me. I knew very little about the new staff that I was given and by what criteria the King had used to assign them to me. I was not happy with all of my staff initially. Some of my staff I found to be unfriendly toward me as the adopted sister of the King. In August 1540 one of my servants Wymond Carew had written to the Kings council to complain. 50 Mr. Carew pleaded for the same salary as Mr. Horssey and his wife were allowed. Mr. Carew felt him and his wife deserved the same pay as Mr. Horssey and his wife. Mr. Carew never took this plea to Anne and chose instead to take his complaint straight to the King’s council. From that day forward I viewed Mr. Carew as a spy for the King and ignored him as much as possible. He angered me terribly but I could not dismiss him because the King appointed him. 51 ENTRY 4- Young Elizabeth and I My entries have been few and apart but it has been stressful times for me. I have summarized with this entry #4 what has happened to me. The next few months of the fall of 1540 went favorably at Richmond castle. The castle was close enough for me to attend court when requested to do so and was large enough for any royalty. Elizabeth came to visit with me on many occasions and we spent many enjoyable hours together at Richmond castle. It was my observation that Lady Elizabeth was not being properly being taken care of, and I tried to do what I could for her. Lady Elizabeth was a very bright 7-year-old child, and the way her father the King treated her by making her a bastard and beheading her mother had left its scar on her personality and life. We talked for many hours about King Henry and how he mistreated woman. I spoke from personal experience to help Elizabeth relate to what was politically going on in England. She understood more than many in the King’s court gave her 52 credit despite her young age. Elizabeth and her stepsister Mary were not very close mostly because Elizabeth was brought up a protestant and Mary was a devote Catholic. Being brought up under a Lutheran father and a Catholic mother I understood the problem between the sisters very well. Elizabeth and her stepbrother Edward were close in age and of the same religion that developed a small bond between them. I taught Elizabeth German and she taught me how to speak English better. Elizabeth had been taught Latin, Greek, Spanish, and French and was much better versed in languages than I was. She enjoyed using different language expressions in my company and we would laugh together as I tried to figure out what she was saying. Over the many months our friendship grew and I became both a mentor and “mother figure,” to Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s governess was a woman called Katherine Champernowne. Katherine was very well educated and enjoyed teaching Elizabeth everything she knew. Both Katherine and I enjoyed a special relationship in Elizabeth’s life. I saw Elizabeth as a needy 53 and brilliant child who needed the love of a parent or adult. Katherine Champernowne and I tried our best to fill that role. Over time Katherine married Elizabeth’s cousin John Asteley that made her a distant relative as well as duchess to Elizabeth. The disgrace and beheading of Elizabeth’s mother was one nightmare that always haunted Elizabeth and on several occasions we spoke about those nightmares. I tried to calm her fears but to no avail. Elizabeth also had a friend in her household that was a Welsh woman called Blanch Parry. Blanch remained a close friend as Elizabeth grew up. Elizabeth’s tutor, Roger Ascham, that Elizabeth was one of his brightest students, told me. Elizabeth could read and write in several languages and also play a musical instrument. The English seemed to be very fond of playing musical instruments. I had no interest in musical instruments, but patiently listened to Elizabeth when she played. 54 Since it was painfully obvious I was not to have children of my own I adopted Elizabeth in my mind as my child, and tried to protect her in every way I could. She was a child that needed a caring parent, and I hope that I could fill that role. She had been abandoned as I had been by the King and we shared that personal pain. On January 3, 1541, I was invited to Hampton Court to celebrate the New Year. Upon my arrival I presented his majesty with two fine horses decked out in mauve velvet. He was most pleased with this present. Upon coming to Hampton court I waited patiently for Queen Catherine Howard to receive me. When the Queen finally entered I threw myself to the ground at her feet to show as much reverence as possible. I believe Queen Catherine was embarrassed, and she begged me to get up. I remained on the floor out of respect. Finally, his majesty entered the room and made a low bow to me our of respect. I was most pleased. 55 He embraced me and kissed me as if we had been friends all our lives. We soon sat down to dinner afterward, and I put on my best graces for all those in attendance. After studying English all fall back at Richmond, I had an opportunity to practice my new language. Everyone seemed amazed that I could speak English much better than I did earlier in 1540. After dinner his majesty retired to his apartments not feeling well. Queen Catherine, and I amused ourselves all evening by dancing and talking. We had a wonderful time. Catherine was so pleased that she gave me a ring, and two small dogs that his majesty had given her. Henry later gave me a present of $1,000 ducats for annual rent received. I stayed for two lovely nights at Hampton court and then returned to Richmond castle 56 Entry 5- The Book I never wrote In January 1542, someone on the Continent wrote a novel using my name as the author. The name of the novel was “The Remonstrance of Anne of Cleves.” When King Henry heard of the novel, I understand that he was most upset. Many untruths were presented in this novel as if I had written them. I was very worried that this would shed a bad light on our improved relationship. Fortunately, Henry and his council did not believe I wrote the novel, and no ill fortunate became of it for me. I understand the King asked his ambassador to France, Sir Paget to get a copy of the novel for him. The King’s French ambassador complained to King Francis. The ambassador complained that the book was not written by me and was slanderous in nature and demanded to know who wrote the book. Fortunately King Francis agreed to suppress the printing of the book in cooperation with Henry King of England. It appears that a gentleman by the name of John of Luxembourg, a younger son of the Count of Brienne had written the book. I had never heard of the man before and King Henry was to 57 find that true also. The novel was stopped before it could be mass printed and the problem was taken care of thanks to King Henry. We had a good relationship in those days and it continued. In the month of March 1542, I fell ill with fever at Richmond. His majesty was kind enough to send servants to inquire as to my health and to provide his own personal doctors at my service. Fortunately, with the doctors aid I recovered by the end of March and the illness went just as quickly as it first appeared. 58 Entry 5 – My Days at Richmond Castle as the “beloved sister of the King.” Again I have failed to do a day to day account but much is to be mentioned in this my fifth entry. All was quiet the spring of 1541 with Catherine Howard as the new Queen of England. I retired to my castle at Richmond to keep my staff in order, and to renovate some of the castle that needed mending. By the summer of 1541, rumors began to circulate around the court that there were some problems about the Queen regarding her behavior before she had become the Queen. I heard through the court gossip, and my ambassadors that a Lady Rochford alluded to some romance of Catherine with a Thomas Culpepper. The Lord Cranmer and the King’s council were investigating stories of improprieties on behalf of Catherine Howard. I secretly hoped that the Queen would be rejected, and King Henry would recall me to be Queen. I kept these desires to myself, not daring to share these with my ladies or staff. 59 One day in the fall of 1541 I was surprised by a visit by one or the Kings couriers requesting that one of my attendants Lady Wingfield appear before the King’s council. I had no idea what this was all about but I feared for my Lady Wingfield. Another of my ladies Jane Rattsay was also summoned. I was angry beyond imagination. Once again, the King’s council was keeping check on me. Rumor was that there was a story going around the court that I was pregnant with the King’s child. How absurd I said to myself? Even Henry knows we have never been together sexually ever. I was beside myself with anger. As it turned out in a few days the King’s council learned the gossip was folly. I receive no apologies for their intrusive behavior and my ladies were just as shocked to be questioned as to my pregnancy which did not exist. I do not know where or how these ridiculous stories ever get started in the court but I am not happy that suspicion fell on me immediately. 60 I heard of Catherine’s disgrace by November 1541, and although I knew she could be killed for treason, I had no pity for her. She was my maid of Honor who betrayed me with the King behind my back, and as the King was annulling my marriage he was carrying on with my Lady Katherine Howard. I heard that the Queen was expelled to Syon Abbey over Christmas by the King. I stayed at Richmond that Christmas with no invitation by the King to celebrate the holidays. Eventually Catherine Howard was taken to the Tower of London on February 10, 1542 and imprisoned. On Feb. 13, 1542 she was beheaded at Tower Green witnessed by the King’s council. Perhaps now there was a chance I would become Queen at last? Dare I hope for the end? I do not know all the details of what stories and witness befell Catherine since I seldom attended court unless invited to do so by his majesty. I heard from my ambassadors that my Brother William, the Duke of Cleves 61 declared war on his neighbors in mid 1542, creating a big stir in the English court. It was obvious to me now that I could never return home with a war going on. Through my ambassadors, and with letters from my brother William I learned that he had some initial success attacking Mary of Hungry while the Emperor Charles V was away in Spain. Later however, the tide turned against him, and when Charles V returned with overwhelming forces. William lost at the battle of Heneberge. Charles had returned from Spain, and surprised my brother William. By August of 1543 Charles V had invaded Juliers and under siege it fell in a few days. Most all of my family lands were lost. In June of 1543, I invited Lady Mary to Richmond to spend some time with me. She was just a year younger than me, and I was more of a friend than a step-mother. I was hoping Mary’s visit would cheer me up. We rode horses and enjoyed ourselves everyday with long talks and quiet time in chapel. Mary was a devout Catholic and that did not bother me since my mother was a 62 devout Catholic. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed daily prayer in the Catholic tradition at Richmond Castle with Mary. We were like sisters in many ways and shared our relationship to the King whom rejected us. We formed a bond of friendship that would last a lifetime. Mary enjoyed herself so much that she gave some of my servants money for being so kind to her. She love it at Richmond Castle and asked to return on other occasions to kindle our friendship. Mary seemed to have no real friends at the court or with anyone influential and I was the link to the court and the King that she so often dreamed of having. I gave Mary a present of Spanish silk before she left, and she was most grateful, hugging me before she left. A month later I learned that Mary and Elizabeth were invited to a wedding for which I was not invited. The King had married yet again July 12, 1543. A woman by the name of Catherine Parr a widower was 63 to become Henry’s 6th wife. I was beside myself with anger. I thought with our great relationship that Henry, and I would one day come together as King and Queen. Reality was setting in that I would always be the King’s beloved sister and nothing more. Not being invited to the wedding was even more painful time for me. Two weeks after the marriage King Henry came to Richmond castle to visit me with his new bride. I was shocked to see his new bride. I was able to deal with Catherine Howard as Queen, for she betrayed me, and carried on with the King behind my back. But marrying this 36 year old widow who had never had any children seem an action of desperation. Why had Henry not taken me back as his Queen? After this final insult I wished I could return to my home in Cleves but that was no longer possible with William being defeated by Charles V. Most of our lands were lost to Charles V and William was at the mercy of the Emperor. 64 More bad news came that August of 1543, when I learned my mother Maria of Juliers had died. I could not return to Cleves for the funeral since I was bound by the King’s agreement with me not to leave England or forfeit my castles and monthly allowance. It was a painful decision but I decided to stay in England rather than forfeit my riches. Later in September 1543, I learned my brother William, the Duke of Cleves, surrendered to Charles V on Sept. 7, 1543 at Venio. At Venio, Charles required William to divorce his French bride and marry the Emperor’s daughter Maria of Austria. Charles took William’s remaining army and marched against the French that stood up against him. I was frightened for my brother and exchanged many letters through my ambassadors. The home I remembered in my childhood no longer existed and now I could never return to my homeland. I was beside myself during August and September of that year. 65 One day a courier arrived from Albert Duke of Prussia a kinsman of mine with a white osprey. It was a wonderful and thoughtful gift from Albert. I sent him a written reply immediately, and thanked him for the kind gift. I found much joy in hunting with my nobles using our white osprey. I believe Albert had heard of my mother’s death and wanted to console me in some way. The white osprey was a perfect gift in lifting my spirits. The fall of 1545 went by quickly at Richmond, and eventually I settled down with my emotions and tried to make the best of the situation. By March 1546, I was back at the court with regular visits. I put the Queens death and my brother’s defeat behind me, and lived as the rich woman I was, “beloved sister of the King.” Henry was very kind to me that spring and by June 1546 I was in regular attendance at the court. It was beginning to feel like family. Henry often spoke with me because he 66 could not trust his council or advisors on personal matters of state. He was glad to have my opinion and with my much improved English we had become very good friends. I respected him as the King he was and in the wisdom he showed in ruling England. That August of 1546 I was in attendance by the King’s grace at a reception for the Admiral of France’s reception in London. Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth and I and the King’s niece Margaret Douglas all took part in the ceremonies. It was a wonderful affair hosted by the King and we all enjoyed ourselves. It was then that I noticed that his majesty did not look well and he limped terribly. It would be the last time I would see his majesty alive. Sadly, on Jan. 28, 1547 his majesty the King passed away. 67 Entry 8- Bad times during the Reign of Young King Arthur When the 9 year old young King Edward VI came to power upon his father’s death many things began to change for me. A member of my own household Sir Thomas Cawarden had petitioned the King for Blechingleigh Castle upon my demise. He was promoted to Master of Revels with Edward VI, and was able to see and meet with the young king on a regular basis. Eventually, the young King permitted the council to agree on giving Sir Thomas Cawarden Blechingleigh Castle as befits his rank in the court of Edward VI. I was most upset when I learned that I must give up Blechingleigh Castle to Sir Thomas but it was the ruling of the council. I appealed to them through my ambassadors to reconsider my financial position, and the promises King VIII made to me. I was very angry with Sir Thomas and took it upon myself to visit him regularily, and have him host us at Blechingleigh, and his London residence in Blackfriars. I did not offer to gave any payment to Sir Thomas knowing full well he could not afford hosting my retinue for dinner and lodging. I tired 68 very hard to make Sir Thomas’ life miserable by cooking up many different dinners for my staff and I costing him many ducats. It was all a game of making him miserable. Soon after I was forced to surrender Blechingleigh Castle the King’s council saw fit to seize Richmond castle my main home. I appealed, but to no avail. Finally by May 1548, I was forced to leave Richmond, which had been promised To me by King Henry VIII for life. By 1552 more pressure was brought to bear on me to relinquish my lands, and manor at Bisham in exchange for a fair value of the property paid to me, and a smaller home at Westropp in Suffolk. Once again my staff and I had to move. I wrote to Lady Mary in January of 1553 as to my sad disposition of my lands and manors at the hands of Edward VI. Edward Seymour was the Lord Protector that had the young King’s ear, and I believe the real reason why my lands were confiscated. Now he sees himself as the Duke of Somerset and a noble title indeed? I heard that the rest of the King’s council was not happy with the Lord Protector, and in October 1549 he was 69 arrested and forced to surrender the Protectorship of the young King. The Duke of Somerset was allowed to return to the council the following year after John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland became the King’s Protector. My finances were in terrible disarray, and without the income from my other manors and properties I was unable to pay my staff or keep the style of living I was used to as a respected member of the royal household. I asked my brother William to petition Edward VI for me to return my funds, so that I might survive financially. By August of 1552, I was again forced to petition the council for funds. The response to my request was unfavorable. I received a letter from my sister Sybylla to ask the King to request of the Emperor the release of John Frederick from captivity. Surprisingly, on July 23, the council wrote to inform me that John Frederick had been released. My financial troubles continued until on July 6, 1553, when the 15 year old King of England, Edward VI died. Rumors spread throughout the land that he was gradually poisoned. There was no evidence to prove it however. 70 The death of the young king was kept secret by the Duke of Northumberland while he prepared for the accession of his own daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey. I had nothing to do with this strange transition for in my heart I knew the throne belonged to Lady Mary. On July 19, 1553, news of the proclamation of Mary as queen traveled throughout the land. I was thrilled and delighted for Mary, for she had earned the right to be Queen. Mary had promised me that if she ever became Queen she would restore all my divorce rights and estates that Edward VI had taken away. On September 28, 1553 Mary took her barge and sailed down the Thames river to the Tower of London. I and many other ladies were in attendance on another barge celebrating Mary as the Queen of England. It was a sunny day and all of my ladies were dressed in the finest of dresses in honor of the new Queen. Mary wore a beautiful dress of blue velvet trimmed with ermine. She look gorgeous and truly noble that day. Her chariot was draped in fine tissue and drawn by six horses decorated in red velvet. It was a triumphed day 71 indeed for the Queen. The Earl of Oxford had the honor of bearing the sword of state. I was thrilled to be part of the procession with Mary that day. I faced backward in the chariot as Mary sat facing forward. I could see the entire procession as it made it’s way through the city. It was a marvelous day and I was so thrilled that Mary finally became Queen after so many terrible years of rejection. The next morning Oct. 1, 1553 was the Coronation of Queen Mary at Westminister Abbey. It was a beautiful procession of nobility and ladies of all rank. Lady Elizabeth, and I attended the coronation banquet that evening and sat at the same table as Mary the Queen. It was a wonderful feeling to be recognized again, and to have a positive connection to the Crown. The candlelight banquet was most festive and the beer and food was the best I had in many years. Soon after the Coronation banquet Elizabeth and I left with the Queen on her barge. The first thing the Queen did in her official capacity was the restoration of the 72 traditional Catholic religion to England. The high altar was once again set up at St. Paul’s Cathedral and crucifixes and other catholic features were replaced in all the churches in London. Queen Mary restored all of my properties that Edward VI had taken away and my $4,000 ducats a month allowance. I was most grateful for her kindness. Mary wanted me to become a Catholic, and I had no problem with that, and supported Mary in everyway, I could with her return to Catholicism in England. 54 When I returned to Richmond, Edward VI had done a lot of major repairs and renovations I could not afford when I was living there. It was an even more beautiful castle than before with all the improvements. Sir Thomas was removed and my vengeance was sweet. The Queen consulted me as to what Gentlemen I felt she should marry. It was in my best interest to proclaim Archduke Ferdinand the eldest son of Charles V’s brothers. My brother William was related to Ferdinand by marriage and this would aid my family well. Secretly, however, the Queen made up her mind that Phillip of Spain, the Emperor’s son would make an ideal candidate to marry. Phillip was much younger than Mary in 73 his late twenties. I was very disappointed in Mary’s choice, but Mary had made up her mind, and there was no changing it. As quickly as November 1553, Phillip accepted Mary’s proposal of marriage. All did not bode well across the country when many Noblemen learned of the Spanish wedding. I stayed close to court in the fall of 1553 to help Queen Mary I in any way I could. I tried to stay out of the politics that were brewing across the land. On Jan 25, 1554 uprising occurred with Sir Thomas Wyatt riding into Maidstone market, and issuing a proclamation that he and other nobleman in England were going to rebel against Queen Mary and Philip of Spain. I was afraid for Mary’s life. The rebels had already marched on Rochester, and then on to Dartford. The Queen wisely sent troops to meet Sir Wyatt and offer to negotiate. He refused her offer. I advised Mary to take drastic steps to summon popular support of her throne. She decided to give a moving speech at Guildhall and rallying the people to her claim to the throne. It was a most successful speech 74 and I was in tears hearing how well she spoke. Later Sir Wyatt approached the Southwark, and found the gates of the London Bridge locked and guarded against his approach. He waited two days, and then marched his troops to Kingston where he crossed the river without any problems. As he approached Hyde Park everyone began to panic. The royal troops came to the rescue and defeated Sir Wyatt and captured him and set him in the Tower of London. During the rebellion I moved from Richmond castle to Hever castle, where I thought it more safer to stay during the rebellion. Hever castle was better fortified than Richmond Castle and safer in case of an assault. My Ambassador told me that Sir Wyatt was tortured in the Tower of London and implicated me, to my surprise, and many other nobles. Lady Elizabeth was also implicated in a grand plot. Now I feared what the Queen Mary might do. I had no involvement with this rebellion, but for some reason my name was mentioned by Sir Wyatt under duress of torture. Many people thought that because I might have been protestant 75 For Queen Mary the relationship to me was damaged beyond repair and I could not prove my innocence. I felt at great despair that just the mention of my name would involve Elizabeth and I in a great conspiracy against the Queen of England. Queen Mary never trusted me again. Queen Mary would be married on July 20, 1554 and I was not invited for obvious reasons. I wrote Mary a letter to congratulate her. “After my humble commendations unto your majesty, with thanks for your loving favor showed to me in my last suit, and praying of your highness your loving continuance, it may please your highness to understand that I am informed of your grace’s return to London again: and being desirous to do my duty to see your majesty and the king, if it may so stand with your majesty and his. Wishing you both much joy and felicity, with increase of children to God’s glory, and to the preservation of your prosperous estates long to continue with honour in all godly virtue. From my poor house at Hever, the 4th of August. Your highness’ to command, Anne the Daughter of Cleves.” 76 From that point on I was never again in favor of Mary Queen of England. It was low times for me and great depression. To add to my depression, I received word from my ambassador that my sister Sibylla, and her husband John Fredricks had died. I cried for many nights at the thought that I had lost my older sister and her husband. Things seem to be very bleak for me. I began to look back over my life and the last twenty years in England as a Sister of the King of England. I had hoped to live peacefully at my household but Mary would always interfere in my life. She dismissed a young man in my service whom I cared for greatly. His name was Florence De Diaceto from Cleves. He had served me from the first days when I came to England. There was some dispute of monies owed him for the 15 years in my service and Queen Mary’s council refused to pay him what he was due. He was sent to Denmark by orders of Edward VI, and upon his return to England, when Mary became Queen, his timing was bad as the rebellion had broken out and the Queen’s council had no time for dealing with his demand for payments for services. I learned that he was in personal danger and suggested he flee to Paris where the 77 English would not pursue him. I was very angry at this intrusion into my life by the council but there was little I could do financial despair was again upon me by 1547 Jasper Brockehouse was appointed to help me take care of my financial affairs. It cost around $1,000 ducats a month to support my lifestyle and staff of loyal servants and I was behind in many payments. 78 Entry 10- My final days 1557 There were many disputes among my servants, and four of the men and women were removed by the Queens council. I was again on financial hardship times with a reduced staff and a reduced monthly income. The council was forever trying to take away my manor houses and I have to fight them constantly. By April 1557, I was very sick and I knew it. My time on earth was indeed going to be short. I regretted that Queen Mary and I no longer could share our friendship because she still believed, despite proof of evidence, that I was in some way associated with Sir Thomas Wyatt who led the rebellion. I regret that turn of events to my dying day. I have Mary to thank for restoring my original divorce settlement and trying in the beginning of her rein to make it right. 79 I was glad when I heard that Philip of Spain convinced Mary to let her sister Elizabeth be allowed succession to the throne if she could not bear any children. Philip liked Elizabeth, and felt that she was treated poorly by her father and since Mary could not yet produce an heir, Elizabeth had the right to be the next Queen. If only I could live to see the day Elizabeth became Queen. We were as mother and daughter to one another having spent so many wonderful days at my castle Richmond. Perhaps I had made some impression on both Mary and Elizabeth, and hopefully it was a positive one. Entry 11- My last Will and Testament 80 Appendix Anne of Cleves’s English Household Great Ladies of the Household of Anne of Cleves, “beloved sister of the King of England, King Henry VIII *Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex *Frances Brandon, Marchioness of Dorset *Lady Margaret Douglas *Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley *Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond *Eleanor Paston, Countess of Rutland Privy Chamber: *Jane Guildford, Lady Dudley *Susanna Hornebolt, Mrs. Gilman *Isabel Legh, Lady Baynton *Jane Parker, Lady Rochford *Catherine St. John, Lady Edgecumbe Gentlewomen in Attendance: *Jane Ashley, Lady Mewtas 81 *Jane Cheney, Lady Wriothesley *Jane Guildford, Lady Dudley *Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell *Catherine Skipwith, Lady Heneage Maids of Honor (6) *Anne Bassett-daughter of the Lady of Isle *Dorothy Bray *Catherine Carey *Catherine Howard- age 15 at the time *Mary Norris *Ursula Stourton Mistress of the Queen’s Maids: Mother Lowe *Margaret (or Anne) Foliot, Mrs. Stonor Anne of Cleves’s Household after 1540 1542 *Catherine Bassett [mistakenly called Elizabeth Bassett in some sources] Frances Lilgrave, widow Jane Ratsey Mrs. Sympson *Dorothy [Fitzherbert] Wingfield, widow mentioned in Anne of Cleves’s will, 1557 Susan Boughton 82 Mary Brudenell Katherine Chayre/Chare and Anne, her daughter *Dorothy Curzon Anne Egerton Elizabeth Eliott, laundress *Elizabeth Guildford *Mary Hall Anne Haymond Mother Lovell Dorothy Potter Magdalen *Maud Curzon, wife of Nicholas] Tatton Elya Turpen, former laundress Eleanor Vaughan Anne, her daughter Jane Whittington

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