As King Henry VIII's 2nd marriage partner, Anne Boleyn ruled as Queen of England from 1533 till 1536. Her marriage and execution by beheading for treason and other criminal offenses made her an essential player in the political and religious chaos that identified the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, first Earl of Wiltshire, and his marriage partner, Girl Elizabeth Howard. She got her education in Holland and France, mainly as a housemaid of honor to Queen Claude of France. Anne went to England in early 1522, meaning to wed her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; nevertheless, the marriage failed, and she found work as a housemaid of honor to Henry VIII's partner, Catherine of Aragon.
Anne was secretly betrothed to Henry Percy, child of Henry Percy, fifth Earl of Northumberland, in early 1523, but their engagement was aborted when the Earl refused to support them. In January 1524, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey opposed the match, and Anne was returned to Hever Castle. Henry VIII started his courtship of Anne in the month of February or March 1526. She withstood his efforts to charm her, declining to follow in her sister Mary's steps and become his girlfriend. Henry quickly focused his exertions on having his marriage to Catherine annulled so that he may wed Anne. Wolsey could not encourage Pope Clement VII to annul Henry's marriage, and Anne played a part in his failure and death in the year 1529-- 30. When it ended up being apparent that Clement wouldn't cancel the marriage, Henry and his therapists, and that includes Thomas Cromwell, started the process of deteriorating the Catholic Church in England by shutting abbeys and nunneries. Henry made Anne the Marquess of Pembroke in the year 1532.
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