FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
ANNE OF CLE YES,
fantfy ûmn nf lîiutj till (iigjttjr.
Henry the Eighth's haste to procure a fourth wife—Difficulties in finding one—He. chooses Anne of Cleves—Her birth—Family—Lack of beauty and accomplishments —Flattering portrait—Journey to England—Henry visits her incognito at Rochester—Is disappointed with her person and manners—Endeavours to break the match—Her public entry into Greenwich—Marriage to Henry the Eighth—Nuptial pageants and jousts—Return of the German escort—Anne conducted by water
^ LTJIOUGH our historians, almost with. out exception, have pronounced J aneSeymour Henry the Eighth's best beloved consort, a month had not elapsed after the death of that unfortunate Queen, when the selfish despot resolved to again enter the wedded state. He first made proposals for an alliance with the Duchess-Dowager of Milan,* niece to the Emperor, but meeting with difficulties, his friendship for Francis the first induced him to resolve ou choosing a lady of the royal blood of France. Accordingly, he demanded the Duchess-Dowager of Longueville, daughter of the Duke of Guise, a Prince of the house of Lorraine. This lady, Francis assured him, was already betrothed to the King of Scotland ; but
* The Duchess, it is reported, said she had but one head, but if she had had two, one should have been at Henry the Eighth's service,—A tolerable proof of the very unfavourable opinion which the Princesses of the foreign courts entertained of the English Blue Beard's conjugal virtues.
1 as he had set his heart upon the match, Ì he disdained to take a refusal ; in fact, ! the information he had received of the J Duchess' beauty and accomplishments I had greatly prepossessed him in her fa-I your. I From the account of Mcautys, an I agent he had privately dispatched to
obtain intelligence of her person and her
accomplishments, he became enamoured
with her gentleness, her mental acquire
ments, and, above all, with the size of
her person, which, although large, was
feminine, and finely proportioned. The
pleasure of mortifying his nephew, whom
he detested, further incited him to pro
secute the match ; and he insisted that
Francis should give him the preference
to the King of Scots, But Francis, de
sirous as he was not to break alliance
with England, would not give offence to
his friend and ally; and to prevent
further solicitation, he immediately sent
the Duchess to Scotland. At tbe same
time, to avoid a breach with Henry,
Francis made him an offer of Mary of
Bourbon, daughter of the Duke of Ven
dôme, but Henry deemed it beneath