Whilst doing a bit of research for another post I found out a little more about Anne of Cleves. Anne is well known to us because of the famous Holbein portrait, she is also remembered because of Henry VIII’s famously negative reaction to her.
A powerful family
Born on the 22nd September 1515, Anne was the second daughter of Johann (or John) III – known as ‘the peaceful’. John ruled the duchy of Juliers-Cleves an independent part of the Holy Roman Empire and a territory he partly inherited and partly acquired through marriage to his wife Maria.
Although she came from a relatively small territory, Anne had an impeccable royal lineage – she was descended from Edward I of England and John II of France.
Annes brothers and sisters.
Anne was the second of four children, her oldest sister Sybille was born in 1512 (top of post on the right) William, born in 1516 who succeded his father as Duke (pictured below) and Amelia (pictured top of post in the middle/rear).
Juliers-Cleves occupied a strategically important area within the empire – it maintained it’s own armed forces and conducted it’s foreign affairs independently -it also had it’s own official state religion. This area now lies partly in the modern German State called North Rhine-Westphalia and partly in the Dutch province of Gelderland.The river Rhine meets the river Lippe within it’s borders – there is an online map of the area here
The next bit is trivial, superficial and trashy!
Look at the pictures above – don’t you think that they are a fine looking bunch of people?History has arguably been a little unkind to Anne – the famous ‘Flanders Mare’ jibe was not in fact uttered by Henry VIII. This was actually made by the historian Bishop Gilbert Burnet writing in the 17th Century.
See our earlier post about Anne of Cleves
Check out this article on the Raucous Royals blog – it does a good job here