Anne Boleyn's Influence In Britain

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Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII, and had probably the most influence on Britain as a whole of all Henry VIII 's wives. Historians such as Lacey Baldwin Smith, a senior Lecturer of 16th Century British History at Princeton University recognise Anne 's role in the reformation in Britain and acknowledge that Henry VIII 's love of Anne was the reason for him applying to the Pope to have his previous marriage to Catherine annulled.1 Having been rejected Henry VIII decided to break away from the Catholic Church from which Britain became largely Protestant. Anne Boleyn is recognised as having been a very complex figure but it is over her death that is cause for debate. Many historians such as Retha M. Warnicke, a Professor of History…show more content…
For example another close friend of Boleyn, the poet, Thomas Wyatt, who had also been falsely imprisoned having been accused of adultery with the Queen, claimed that "These bloody days have my heart broken"4. It is unclear whether the word "bloody" in this instance refers to the anger of the poet or his disapproval of how the crown are dealt with what King Henry VIII saw as a betrayal against him. Other historians including John Foxe, a martyrologist in sixteenth century Britain and personal friend to both Anne and King Henry VIII, wait to see the legacy left by Boleyn and the early post Henry VIII-era, before claiming that "the long reign of Elizabeth is God 's way of proving that Anne was innocent"5, referring to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Boleyn who had ascended to the throne following the deaths of her half siblings, to whom Henry VIII and subsequently Edward VI had bequeathed to on their deaths. Where as the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cromwell, who position was unsafe at the time of Anne 's arrest, encouraged King Henry VIII to "hate her beyond all…show more content…
The great English playwright William Shakespeare, who wrote many plays on different British monarchs, portrays Anne as a two-faced individual. One of Anne 's first parts to play in the play Henry VIII, which was first enacted in 1623, nearly a century after the death of Boleyn. One could argue that Shakespeare took a view of Anne both as heroin and villain in order to make money from the audience because had he taken one view over the other in relation to the fall of Anne Boleyn that those of the opposite view would not have attended the
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