Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Fourth Wife

Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves to form a new alliance after relations between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire deteriorated. They divorced six months later. Anne was born on 22 September 1515 in Düsseldorf, Cleves. She was the second of four children born to John III ‘the Pacific’, Duke of Cleves, and Maria…

Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s Third Queen

Henry VIII declared Jane Seymour was the most beloved of all his wives—she provided the desired heir. Jane’s quiet dignity hid a strong will and determination to succeed. Her father, Sir John Seymour, was knighted at the Battle of Blackheath in 1497 by Henry VII. He enjoyed royal favour during the next reign. Her mother,…

Margaret Tudor: James IV of Scotland’s Queen

Margaret Tudor led a very turbulent life, causing scandal. She married three times, and, like her brother Henry VIII, had trouble obtaining divorces. She “had the faults of the Tudors without their brains”! Margaret was born on 28 November 1489—“a sturdy, healthy child”—the eldest daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was a…

Mary Boleyn: A Short Biography

Mary Boleyn’s life is retold—somewhat inaccurately—in both the novel and the movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. She had numerous affairs including two kings. Not much is known about Mary’s early life. She was born c 1499 at Hever Castle, Kent—the home of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard. She was the eldest of three…

The Overbury Murder: Lust, adultery, corruption and witchcraft at James I’s Court

Sir Thomas Overbury's murder caused a major scandal during James I's reign. It damaged the monarchy and James' court was condemned as evil and corrupt. Robert Carr became the King’s favourite after he broke his leg in a jousting tournament on 24 March 1607. James fancied young handsome men. He rose rapidly—knighted later that year…

Australia’s Role in the Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII Gave up Throne for Mrs Simpson

The Australian Government also insisted Edward VIII abdicated rather than marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII became King of Great Britain on 20 January 1936 when his father George V died. He was determined to marry his mistress, Mrs Wallis Simpson, and told Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on 16 November. Baldwin was horrified. Mrs…