Sunday, January 2, 8507

Anne Boleyn (c. 1507-1535)- O Death

Anne Boleyn (c. 1507-1536) - O Death Rock Me Asleep (1536)

Anne Boleyn (1501/1507–19 May 1536) was the second of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England, and so was Queen of England from 1533 until shortly before her death. She was also the mother of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right.
Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key player in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. The daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Boleyn (born Lady Elizabeth Howard), Anne was of more noble birth than either Jane Seymour or Catherine Parr, two of Henry VIII's later wives. She was educated in Europe, largely as a maid-of-honour to Queen Claude of France. She returned to England in 1522.

Around 1525 or 1526, Henry VIII became enamoured of Anne and began his pursuit of her. Anne resisted the King's attempts to seduce her and refused to become his mistress, as her sister, Mary Boleyn, had done. It soon became the one absorbing object of the King's desires to secure an annulment from his wife, Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne. When it became clear that Pope Clement VII was unlikely to give Henry an annulment, the breaking of the power of the Roman Catholic Church in England began.

Cardinal Wolsey was dismissed from public office, allegedly at Anne Boleyn's instigation, and later the Boleyn family's chaplain, Thomas Cranmer, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. The wedding between Henry and Anne finally took place on 25 January 1533. On 23 May 1533, Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine null and void. Five days later, Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry and Anne to be good and valid. Soon after, the Pope launched sentences of excommunication against Henry and the Archbishop. As a result of this marriage, the Church of England broke with Rome and was brought under the King's control.

Anne was crowned Queen Consort of England on 1 June 1533. Later that year, on 7 September, Anne gave birth to a baby girl, who later reigned as Queen Elizabeth I of England. Anne failed to quickly produce a surviving male heir; the only male baby she had was a miscarriage. Two and a half years after their wedding, a plot was led by Sir Thomas Cromwell to replace her.

Although the evidence against her was unconvincing, Anne was beheaded on charges of adultery, incest, and high treason in 1536. Following the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth as Queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe. Over the centuries, Anne has inspired or been mentioned in numerous artistic and cultural works. As a result, she has remained strong in the popular memory and Anne has been called "the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had."

There have been several lyric tropes of O Death, including a haunting one by Aesma Daeva (the Zoroastrianism demon of wrath), a symphonic metal band (formed c. 1998) from Minneapolis, MN.

[8510 Borgeois / 8507 Anne Boleyn / 8505 Tallis]