16th July 1557 – Anne of Cleves Dies

On the 16th July 1557, Anne of Cleves died at Chelsea Old Manor. She was the last of Henry VIII’s wives to die, outliving the King by ten years and even living to see Mary I’s coronation.

When Anne’s health began to fail, Mary allowed her to live at Chelsea Old Manor, where Henry’s last wife, Catherine Parr, had lived after her remarriage. She had been ill for a few months but became bedridden and started drafting her will. In it, she mentions her brother, sister, and sister-in-law, as well as Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth), the Duchess of Suffolk and the Countess of Arundel. She left some money to her servants and asked Mary and Elizabeth to employ them in their households.

Anne died on the 16th July, eight weeks before her forty-second birthday. She was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 3rd August. She is the only wife of Henry VIII to be buried there and her tomb was inscribed:

‘Anne of Cleves Queen of England. Born 1515. Died 1557’.

However, this was not added until the late 1970s and Anne lost the title of queen when her marriage to Henry VIII was annulled.

Sources

Anne of Cleves Wikipedia Page

Westminster Abbey Website

anneofcleves2

Inscription on Anne of Cleves tomb. Taken from English Historical Fiction Authors website (here).

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