Summer Snippets 4: “Too Ugly To Be Queen? We’ll Give You Hockley And Paglesham”

Anne of Cleves was Henry the Eighth’s fourth wife. But he divorced her pretty quickly after only 9 months .

Henry apparently claimed that he had found his bride so unattractive that he could not bear to sleep with her! (Henry didn’t meet her until 6 days before they got married, and by then it was too late to back out of it)

Paglesham

A year after their divorce Anne was given Hockley, Paglesham and some marshes in Canewdon “in consideration of her willingness to remain in England and that she accepts the laws of the realm and is content to renounce her marriage with the king”.

Anne of Cleves

Or is this “Ugly Queen” story just a myth? She looks reasonably nice in this portrait. Was it maybe that Anne found Henry so obese and unappealing that she wouldn’t share a bed with him?