Anne Boleyn Timeline

A journey through the life of Anne Boleyn


Anne Boleyn
1501 AD
Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn is born

Anne Boleyn was born in c.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 AD

Anne is sent to Burgundy

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

1515 AD

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 AD

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 AD

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 AD

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 AD

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 AD

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 17th 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


The original medieval defensive castle with its gatehouse and walled bailey was built in 1270. In the 15th and 16th centuries the Bolyens added the Tudor dwelling within the walls. The Castle was then owned by a number of families before William Waldorf Astor invested time, money and imagination in restoring the Castle, building the ’Tudor Village’ and creating the gardens and lake.


There have been 37 owners of Hever Castle from 13 different families. This section focuses on 4 of the most prominent families to have dwelled here, including: the de Hevers, the Boleyns (formerly Bullen), the Waldegraves and the Astors. Uncover more about these families and their time at Hever Castle.


The coats of arms in the stained glass in the Long Gallery of the Castle commemorate the different residents of Hever Castle since it was built including: Anne of Cleves, William de Hever, Anne Boleyn and Sir John Fastolf. Learn more about the symbolism behind these designs.

Tours & Trails

Bring 700 years of Hever Castle history to life with one of the following: an audio guide, a private guided tour or purchase a guide book from the Hever Shop when you visit. Enjoyable trails to follow with young visitors to the Castle can also be downloaded.