On this day in 1536, King Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn‘s head chopped off — after less than three years of marriage. She was a vile woman — convicted of adultery, incest, witchcraft… Wait, witchcraft?! Oh, that’s right: she didn’t do any of these things. It was just that Henry wanted to marry Jane Seymour. Boleyn had given birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I. And then she had three spontaneous abortions — all male. And Henry really wanted an male heir. So: off with her head!
What makes the whole thing worse is that Henry’s difficulties getting healthy children born were almost certainly his own fault. It’s either that, or he just had incredibly bad luck. I’ll go with “almost certainly.”
It is hard to see any king, but most especially Henry, as anything but a psychopath. Certainly, he didn’t seem to think that women had a purpose other than to pop babies out for him. But the idea that you would put someone to death just so you can move on to the next baby incubator is truly outrageous. I understand that there was politics going on behind the scenes. But he could have just annulled the marriage like he did with Queen Catherine. He was a monster.
On the plus side, Anne Boleyn: you never had to see him again!