Anne of Bohemia

Last updated

Anne of Bohemia
AnnaofLuxembourg.jpg
Queen consort of England
Tenure20 January 1382 – 7 June 1394
Coronation 22 January 1382
Born11 May 1366
Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia
Died7 June 1394 (aged 28)
Sheen Palace
Burial3 August 1394
Spouse
(m. 1382)
House Luxembourg
Father Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Elizabeth of Pomerania

Anne of Bohemia (11 May 1366 – 7 June 1394), also known as Anne of Luxembourg, was Queen of England as the first wife of King Richard II. A member of the House of Luxembourg, she was the eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, and Elizabeth of Pomerania. [1] Her death at the age of 28 was believed to have been caused by plague.

Contents

Early life

Anne had four brothers, including the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, and one younger sister, Margaret of Bohemia, Burgravine of Nuremberg. She also had five half-siblings from her father's previous marriages, including Margaret of Bohemia, Queen of Hungary. She was brought up mainly at Prague Castle, and spent much of her early life in the care of her brother, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia. [2] On her journey through Flanders on the way to her new life in England, she came under the protection of her uncle, Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg. [3]

Queen of England

Crown of Princess Blanche, perhaps made for Anne Schatzkammer Residenz Muenchen crown of an english queen 1370.jpg
Crown of Princess Blanche, perhaps made for Anne

Richard II married Anne of Bohemia (1382) as a result of the Western Schism (1378-1417) in the Papacy that had resulted in two rival popes. According to Eduard Perroy, Pope Urban VI sanctioned the marriage between Richard and Anne in an attempt to create an alliance on his behalf, particularly so that he might be stronger against the French and their preferred pope, Clement.[ citation needed ] Anne's father was the most powerful monarch in Europe at the time, ruling over about half of Europe's population and territory. [4]

The marriage was contracted against the wishes of many members of his nobility and members of parliament, and occurred primarily at the instigation of Richard's advisor Michael de la Pole. Richard had been offered Caterina Visconti, one of the daughters of Bernabò Visconti, the Lord of Milan, who would have brought a great deal of money with her as a dowry. But instead, Anne was chosen. She brought with her no dowry, and in return for her hand in marriage, Richard gave 20,000 florins (around £4,000,000 in today's value) in payments to her brother King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia, who had written to Richard to stress their joint duty to reunite Christendom. [2] There were few diplomatic benefits – although English merchants were now allowed to trade freely within both the Bohemian lands and the lands of the Holy Roman Empire, this was not much when compared to the usual diplomatic benefits from marriages made as a result of the war with France.

Negotiations could not be completed until 1380 because Richard's negotiating team were held for ransom while returning from Prague. The marriage treaty was signed in May 1381. [2]

Anne and Richard's coronation in the Liber Regalis Richard2 Anna.jpg
Anne and Richard's coronation in the Liber Regalis

On her arrival in England in December 1381, having been delayed by storms, [2] Anne was severely criticised by contemporary chroniclers, probably as a result of the financial arrangements of the marriage, although it was quite typical for queens to be viewed in critical terms. The Westminster Chronicler called her "a tiny scrap of humanity", [5] and Thomas Walsingham related a disastrous omen upon her arrival; her ships smashed to pieces as soon as she had disembarked. [6] Nevertheless, Anne and King Richard II were married in Westminster Abbey on 20 January 1382. Still, the reception from Londoners was hostile at times. [2] Tournaments were held for several days after the ceremony in celebration. They then made a tour of the realm, staying at many major abbeys along the way. In 1383, Anne visited the city of Norwich, where at the Great Hospital a ceiling comprising 252 black eagles was made in her honour. [7] Anne and Richard were only 15 years old when they first met and married. Yet these "two wispy teenagers" soon fell into a loving relationship and "over the years the king proved truly devoted to his new wife". [8]

Anne's wedding to Richard II was the fifth royal wedding in Westminster Abbey and was not followed by any other royal wedding in Westminster Abbey for another 537 years. [9]

14th century Queen of Richard II - Anne of Bohemia - illustration by Percy Anderson for Costume Fanciful, Historical and Theatrical, 1906 Anne of Bohemia, Queen of Richard II, 14th century.jpg
14th century Queen of Richard II – Anne of Bohemia – illustration by Percy Anderson for Costume Fanciful, Historical and Theatrical, 1906

The court of Charles IV, Anne's father, based in Prague, was a centre of the International Gothic style, then at its height, and her arrival seems to have coincided with, and probably caused, new influences on English art. The Crown of Princess Blanche, now in Munich, may have been made for Anne, either in Prague or Paris. [10]

They were married for 12 years, but had no children. Anne's death from plague in 1394 at Sheen Manor was a devastating blow to Richard. He was so grief-stricken that he demolished Sheen Manor, where she had died. [11] Historians have speculated that her counsel had a moderating effect on Richard during her lifetime. [12] This is supported by his unwise conduct in the years after Anne's death that lost him his throne. [13]

Richard married his second wife, the six-year-old Isabella of Valois, on 31 October 1396.

Estimation

Although Anne was originally disliked by the chroniclers, there is some evidence that she became more popular in time. She was a very kind person and popular with the people of England; for example, she was well known for her tireless attempts to "intercede" on behalf of the people, procuring pardons for participants in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, and numerous other pardons for wrongdoers. In 1389, for example, she sought a pardon for a man who had been indicted for the murder of William de Cantilupe 14 years previously. [14]

She also made several high-profile intercessions in front of the king. Anne saved the life of John Northampton, a former mayor of London, in 1384; her humble begging convinced Richard II to merely commit the offender to lifelong imprisonment. [15] Anne's most famous act of intercession was on behalf of the citizens of London in the ceremonial reconciliation of Richard and London in 1392. The queen's role has been memorialized in Richard Maidstone's Reconciliation of Richard II with the City of London. [16]

Anne also interceded on behalf of Simon de Burley, Richard II's former tutor during his minority, in the 1388 Merciless Parliament. Despite her pleas to the Lords Appellant, Burley was executed. [17]

On the other hand, she never fulfilled many traditional duties of queens. In particular, she did not bear children, despite twelve years of marriage, and this is perhaps emphasised in her epitaph, whereby she is mentioned as having been kind to "pregnant women". The Evesham chronicler said, "this queen, although she did not bear children, was still held to have contributed to the glory and wealth of the realm, as far as she was able. Noble and common people suffered greatly at her death". [18] Nevertheless, her popular legacy as "Good Queen Anne" suggests that this lack of children was unimportant to many contemporaries.

Legacy

Anne's funeral Anna pohreb.jpg
Anne's funeral
The wood funeral effigy used at her funeral at Westminster Abbey Funeral effigy of Anne of Bohemia.jpg
The wood funeral effigy used at her funeral at Westminster Abbey

Anne is buried in Westminster Abbey beside her husband. In 1395, Richard sealed contracts for a monument for himself and for Anne. This was an innovation, the first time a double tomb was ordered for an English royal burial. Contracts for the base of Purbeck marble were sealed with two London masons, Henry Yevele and Stephen Lote, and for the two life size effigies with Nicholas Broker and Godfrey Prest, both coppersmiths of London. Designs, now lost, were supplied to both sets of craftsmen. The coppersmiths' contract stipulated that the effigies were to be made of gilded copper and latten and to lie under canopies. They were to be crowned, their right hands were to be joined, and they were to hold sceptres in their left hands. [19] Their joint tomb is now damaged, and the hands of the effigies are chipped off. The inscription on her tomb describes her as "beauteous in body and her face was gentle and pretty." When her tomb was opened in 1871, it was discovered that many of her bones had been stolen via a hole in the side of the casket. [20]

Anne of Bohemia is known to have made the sidesaddle more popular to ladies of the Middle Ages. [21] She also influenced the design of carts in England when she arrived in a carriage, presumably from Kocs, Hungary, to meet her future husband Richard (the name of Kocs is considered to have given rise to the English word coach ). She also made the horned, Bohemian-style headdress the fashion for Englishwomen in the late 14th century.

Literature

Theatre

She is one of the main characters in the play Richard of Bordeaux (1932) written by Gordon Daviot. The play tells the story of Richard II of England in a romantic fashion, emphasizing the relationship between Richard and Anne of Bohemia. The play was a major hit in 1933, ran for over a year in the West End, playing a significant role in turning its director and leading man John Gielgud into a major star.

Anne also appears in Two Planks and a Passion (1983) by Anthony Minghella, in which she accompanies her husband and their close friend Robert de Vere in attending the York Corpus Christi mystery plays.

Film

Arms

Coat of arms of Anne of Bohemia
Arms of Anne of Bohemia.svg
Notes
Anne's arms were those of her father, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, impaled with the royal coat of arms of the England.
Escutcheon
Quarterly 1st and 4th or, an eagle displayed sable, armed and langed gules; 2nd and 3rd gules, a lion rampant, queue fourchee, argent, crowned or. She impaled these arms with the shield of Richard II, upon which the arms of the Confessor were marshalled per pale with France and England; consequently the complete shield would be "per pale of three". [22]

Ancestry

Related Research Articles

Richard II of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Richard II, also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1376, leaving Richard as heir apparent to his grandfather, King Edward III. Upon the death of Edward III, the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne.

Henry IV of England 15th-century King of England

Henry IV was King of England from 1399 to 1413. He asserted the claim of his grandfather King Edward III, a maternal grandson of Philip IV of France, to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the first English ruler since the Norman Conquest over three hundred years prior whose mother tongue was English rather than French. He was known as Henry Bolingbroke before ascending to the throne.

Catherine of Valois 15th-century French princess and queen of England

Catherine of Valois was the queen consort of England from 1420 until 1422. A daughter of Charles VI of France, she married Henry V of England, and gave birth to his heir Henry VI of England. Catherine's marriage was part of a plan to eventually place Henry V on the throne of France, and perhaps end what is now known as the Hundred Years' War, but although her son Henry VI was later crowned in Paris this ultimately failed.

Elizabeth Woodville 15th-century Queen consort of England

Elizabeth Woodville was Queen of England as the wife of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483.

Elizabeth of York Queen consort of England

Elizabeth of York was Queen of England from her marriage to King Henry VII on 18 January 1486 until her death. Elizabeth married Henry after his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which marked the end of the Wars of the Roses. Together, they had seven children.

Anne Neville English queen

Anne Neville was an English queen, the younger of the two daughters and co-heiresses of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. She became Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and then Queen of England as the wife of King Richard III.

Henry the Young King Second of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine

Henry the Young King was the eldest surviving son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Beginning in 1170, he was titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou and Maine. Henry the Young King was the only English king since the Norman Conquest to be crowned during his father's reign, but was frustrated by his father's refusal to grant him meaningful autonomous power. He died aged 28, six years before his father, leaving his brother Richard to become the next king.

Berengaria of Navarre 12th and 13th-century wife and queen of King Richard I of England

Berengaria of Navarre was queen of England as the wife of Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life.

Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou Duke of the Normans

Geoffrey V, called the Handsome, the Fair or Plantagenet, was the count of Anjou, Touraine and Maine by inheritance from 1129, and also the duke of Normandy by conquest from 1144. His marriage to Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I of England, led to the centuries-long reign of the Plantagenet dynasty in England. The name "Plantagenet" was taken from Geoffrey's epithet. Geoffrey's ancestral domain of Anjou gave rise to the name Angevin, and what became known as the Angevin Empire in the 12th century.

Joan of Kent 14th-century English noblewoman

Joan, Countess of Kent, known to history as The Fair Maid of Kent, was the mother of King Richard II of England, her son by her third husband, Edward the Black Prince, son and heir apparent of King Edward III. Although the French chronicler Jean Froissart called her "the most beautiful woman in all the realm of England, and the most loving", the appellation "Fair Maid of Kent" does not appear to be contemporary. Joan inherited the titles 4th Countess of Kent and 5th Baroness Wake of Liddell after the death of her brother John, 3rd Earl of Kent, in 1352. Joan was made a Lady of the Garter in 1378.

Richard of Cornwall 13th-century English King of the Romans and Earl of Cornwall

Richard, second son of John, King of England, was the nominal Count of Poitou (1225–1243), Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans. He was one of the wealthiest men in Europe and joined the Barons' Crusade, where he achieved success as a negotiator for the release of prisoners and assisted with the building of the citadel in Ascalon.

Wilton Diptych Painting by an unknown artist

The Wilton Diptych is a small portable diptych of two hinged panels, painted on both sides, now in the National Gallery, London. It is an extremely rare survival of a late Medieval religious panel painting from England.

Eleanor of Castile 13th-century Spanish princess and queen of England

Eleanor of Castile was Queen of England as the first wife of Edward I, who she married as part of a political deal to affirm English sovereignty over Gascony.

Joan of England, Queen of Sicily 12th-century queen consort of Sicily

Joan of England was a queen consort of Sicily and countess consort of Toulouse. She was the seventh child of Henry II, King of England, and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine. From her birth, she was destined to make a political and royal marriage. She married William II of Sicily and later Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, two very important and powerful figures in the political landscape of Medieval Europe.

Margaret of England 13th-century English princess and Queen of Scotland

Margaret of England was Queen of Scots by marriage to King Alexander III.

Cecily of York Viscountess Welles

Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles was an English princess, the third daughter of Edward IV, King of England, and his queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. She was First Lady of the Bedchamber to her sister, Queen Elizabeth of York, in the years 1485–1487.

Joan of England, Queen of Scotland 13th-century English princess and Queen of Scotland

Joan of England, was Queen consort of Scotland from 1221 until her death. She was the third child of John, King of England and Isabella of Angoulême.

Elizabeth of Pomerania 14th century Holy Roman Empress

Elizabeth of Pomerania was the fourth and final wife of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Her parents were Bogislaw V, Duke of Pomerania, and Elisabeth of Poland. Her maternal grandparents were Casimir III, King of Poland, and Aldona of Lithuania.

Events from the 1410s in England.

Agnes de Launcekrona was Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen consort Anne of Bohemia. She became the second wife of Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, a favourite of King Richard II of England.

References

  1. Strickland, Agnes, Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest, (Lea & Strickland, 1841), 303, 308.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Hilton, Lisa (2008). Queens Consort:England's Medieval Queens. London: Phoenix. pp. 319–338. ISBN   9780753826119.
  3. Agnes Strickland (1841). Berengaria of Navarre. Anne of Bohemia. Lea & Blanchard. pp.  306.
  4. Westminster Abbey
  5. Westminster Chronicle 1381–1394, edited by L.C. Hector and B.F. Harvey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 25.
  6. Thomas Walsingham, The St Albans Chronicle: The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, Vol I: 1376–1394, ed. and trans. by John Taylor, Wendy R. Childs, and Leslie Watkiss (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), 572–575.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link). and Carole Rawcliffe, Medicine for the Soul: The Life, Death and Resurrection of an English Medieval Hospital St. Giles’s, Norwich, c.1249–1550 (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1999), 118 and notes to plate 7
  8. Jones, Dan, The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens who made England, (Viking Press: New York, 2012), 456.
  9. "HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton to Wed at Abbey Archived 26 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine ".
  10. Cherry, John, in: Jonathan Alexander & Paul Binski (eds), Age of Chivalry, Art in Plantagenet England, 1200–1400, Catalogue number 16, Royal Academy/Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1987
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Costain, Thomas (1962). The Last Plantagenets. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. pp. 148, 149, 153. ISBN   978-1568493732.
  13. Strickland, 323–324.
  14. Pedersen, F. J. G. (2016b). "Murder, Mayhem and a Very Small Penis". American Historical Association. AHA. p. 6.
  15. Westminster Chronicle 1381–1394, edited by L.C. Hector and B.F. Harvey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 93.
  16. Richard Maidstone (2003). David R. Carlson (ed.). Concordia (The Reconciliation of Richard II with London). Translated by A.G. Rigg. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications via TEAMS Middle English Texts Series.
  17. Some chronicles record that Anne knelt before the earl of Arundel, while others indicate Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester. For Arundel, see: Chronique de la traïson et mort de Richart Deux roy D'Engleterre, ed. by Benjamin William (London : Aux dépens de la Société, 1846), 133; The Kirkstall Abbey Chronicles, ed. by John Taylor (Leeds: The Thoresby Society, 1952), 71; An English Chronicle, 1377–1461: edited from Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales MS 21068 and Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Lyell 34, ed. by William Marx (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2003), 11. For Gloucester, see: Eulogium Historiarum (continuation), ed. by Frank Scott Haydon, Vol. III (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863), 372; An English chronicle, 1377–1461, 16–7 suggests Anne knelt to both men.
  18. Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi II, ed. by G.B. Stow (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977), 134.
  19. "Anne of Bohemia and her contribution to Richard II's treasure".
  20. Richard II and Anne of Bohemia Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Westminster-Abbey.org. Accessed 11 March 2008.
  21. Strickland, Agnes (1841). Berengaria of Navarre. Anne of Bohemia. Lea & Blanchard. p.  309. anne bohemia sidesaddle.
  22. Boutell, Charles (1863), A Manual of Heraldry, Historical and Popular, London: Winsor & Newton, p. 276
English royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Philippa of Hainault
Queen consort of England
Lady of Ireland

20 January 1382 – 7 June 1394
Vacant
Title next held by
Isabella of Valois