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Henry VIII Part VI: Married to Anne Boleyn

The signing of the Submission of the clergy caused Thomas More to resign from his position as Chancellor in 1532. While he stated it was because his health was failing, it was really because he was deeply opposed to the break with Rome.

In early January of 1533, Anne Boleyn delivers news to Henry that sends him in a panic. The urgency to legally remarry becomes more urgent than ever when she tells him that she is pregnant. However, in order for the child to be legitimate, he must divorce Catherine and remarry. He decides that a marriage should take place as soon as possible. Her pregnancy and his intentions needed to be kept secret so that he could pass an act that would take away Rome’s ability to appeal his decision. Towards the end of January, Henry and Anne are married in the King’s private chapel at Whitehall. There are only four or five witnesses present, and they are all sworn to secrecy.

In April of 1533, the Act in Restraint of Appeals is passed, which made all appeals to foreign tribunals in all “spiritual, revenue and testamentary cases” a forbidden act. Matters that dealt with spiritual or secular subjects were to fall on the shoulders of the King. The Pope could no longer intervene in such matters. Thomas Cranmer was given formal authorization to pass judgment on the King’s marriage to Catherine. He used the Act in Restraint of Annates to declare the marriage null and void on the grounds that it went against divine law.  A hearing took place at Lambeth Palace on May 28, 1533, where Cranmer proclaimed that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was legal.

On June 1, 1533, Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey. In September of 1533, Anne and Henry had a daughter together, which they named Elizabeth. When the baby was a daughter and not a son, Henry should obvious disappointment. He not only blamed Anne for not giving him a male heir, but also blamed God. This same year, Henry told his daughter Mary (with Catherine) that she would no longer have the title of ‘princess.’ Her household and servants was disbanded.

Another move in the separation of church and state took place in December of 1533, where an order was issued that placed the Pope’s authority on the same level as any other bishop in England. His title was also changed to the “Bishop of Rome.” The break from Rome was so gradual that the transition did not meet with much opposition. In December of 1533, Anne announced that she was pregnant for the second time.
The Act in Absolute Restraint of Appeals was put into effect that transferred all payments from the pope to the King. Henry was actually declared to be next to Christ in level of importance. It was also deemed that the King would choose all future abbots and bishops by election.