Anne Boleyn Timeline

A journey through the life of Anne Boleyn.

Anne Boleyn portrait - Hever Castle

1501 – Anne Boleyn is born

Anne Boleyn is believed to have been born in 1501, probably at Blickling Hall in Norfolk. Her father was Thomas Boleyn, who had been Squire of the Body at the funeral of Henry VII, and was knighted at Henry VIII’s coronation. Anne’s mother Elizabeth Howard, was descended from King Edward I and formed part of Catherine of Aragon’s first household.

The Boleyn family moved to Hever Castle in c.1504 when Thomas Boleyn inherited the Castle from his father William.

1513 – Anne is sent to Burgandy

Anne Boleyn’s father Thomas Boleyn, sent her to Burgundy to the court of Margaret of Austria.

1515 – Anne becomes an attendant to the French Queen

Anne and her older sister Mary Boleyn became the French Queen Claude’s attendants. Thomas Boleyn recalled Mary back to England a few months later and Anne stayed in France for six years.

1522 – Anne joins Catherine of Aragon’s Household

Anne Bolyen returns to England. Mary had been Henry’s mistress for two years.   Anne joins Catherine of Aragon’s household.  Anne, Mary and their brother George take part in the Chateau Vert dance for Henry VIII at York Place. Thomas Boleyn is appointed Treasurer of the Royal Household.

1523 – Anne is banished to Hever Castle

Anne falls in love with Henry Percy a nobleman who served in Cardinal Wolsey’s retinue. The couple become betrothed but the marriage was stopped by Cardinal Wolsey on the orders of King Henry VIII.  Anne is banished to Hever Castle and Henry Percy is sent to London by his father.

1527 – Anne receives love letters from Henry VIII

Henry VIII begins writing love letters to Anne Boleyn.  The letters are lost shortly afterwards.  Perhaps stolen from Anne by Catholic agents linked with Campeggio, Pope Clement VII or Charles V.  The letters resurface in the seventeenth century at the Vatican.

1533 – Anne marries Henry VIII and is crowned Queen

Thomas Cranmer grants the annulment of the marriage between Catharine of Aragon and Henry VIII.  Anne secretly marries Henry VIII and is crowned Queen.  In September she gives birth to Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I)

1536 – Anne is beheaded

In January Catherine of Aragon dies at Kimbolton Castle.

In April Mark Smeton is arrested for committing adultery with Anne Boleyn.  The following month Henry Norris, Francis Weston, William Brereton are arrested and charged with adultery and treason.  Anne’s brother George is accused of incest and treason.

On 17 May Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeton and George Boleyn are beheaded.  Two days later Anne Boleyn is beheaded.  Eleven days later Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour.

The Castle


Uncover the history of the 14th century castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Sir John Fastolf and William Waldorf Astor.


Uncover more about the 12 different families that have owned Hever Castle from 1383 to the present day. See the stained glass created to commemorate them.


Head inside the Castle and discover wood panelled rooms, roaring fireplaces and a vast collection of paintings.


Discover how Hever Castle’s curatorial team work closely with specialists in conservation to preserve items in the Castle and Garden.