Anne of Cleves

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Anne of Cleves

(klēvz), 1515–57, fourth queen consort of Henry VIIIHenry VIII,
1491–1547, king of England (1509–47), second son and successor of Henry VII. Early Life

In his youth he was educated in the new learning of the Renaissance and developed great skill in music and sports.
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 of England. The sister of William, duke of Cleves, one of the most powerful of the German Protestant princes, she was considered a desirable match for Henry by those English councilors, most notably Thomas CromwellCromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex,
1485?–1540, English statesman. While a young man he lived abroad as a soldier, accountant, and merchant, and on his return (c.1512) to England he engaged in the wool trade and eventually became a lawyer.
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, who wished to ally England with the Schmalkaldic LeagueSchmalkaldic League
, alliance formed in 1531 at Schmalkalden by Protestant princes and delegates of free cities. It was created in response to the threat (1530) by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to stamp out Lutheranism.
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. The marriage was agreed upon in 1539, and although Henry tried to break the contract after seeing his bride, they were married in Jan., 1540. Henry found Anne dull and unattractive, and the marriage was never consummated. This and the fact that Anne had previously contracted to marry the duke of Lorraine's son were used as grounds for divorce in July, 1540. Anne gave her consent and, by agreement, lived the rest of her life in England.

Anne of Cleves

1515--57, the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England: their marriage (1540) was annulled after six months