From: St Thomas' Hospital

to: Westminster Abbey

DISTANCE: 0.6 miles


Henry's 4th wife, Anne of Cleves is buried at Westminster Abbey

Henry viii's london

directions - leg 5

Turn back the way you came and turn left after the hospital ramp. Veer left at the roundabout up onto Westminster Bridge Road.


Run over the bridge and turn left after Big Ben onto Parliament Square. Turn right to stay on Parliament Square and then veer right onto Broad Sanctuary. Turn right and stop at Westminster Abbey.


5th STOP - WHAt's the story?

Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves was buried here.
With Jane dead, Cromwell was enlisted to find another Queen.


Henry did now have one heir, but given the harshness of the times, that wasn’t enough to secure his realm. Anne of Cleves and her sister Amalia were both up for consideration – their father was the Duke of Cleves and was a suitable ally for England. 

Henry needed to know which of the sisters was the most suitable candidate, so he sent the artist Hans Holbein the Younger to paint their portraits. In those days it was custom to flatter women considerably in their portraits – Henry ordered that Holbein do no such thing. You can view the portrait in the V&A Museum.

Henry chose Anne and a marriage treaty was signed on the 4th October 1539. However, when he met her he was disappointed: she wasn’t as attractive as she was in her portrait. In spite of his attempts to wriggle out of it, Henry married Anne on the 6th January 1540. 

anne of cleves 1515-1557

Their marriage was never consummated. By July Anne had left court, been paid a large fee and their marriage was annulled. Cromwell, who had set up the marriage was arrested and executed for treason.

Anne couldn’t go back to Germany – the failed marriage too embarrassing. Instead she was given a number of residences and was referred to as “the King’s Beloved Sister.” She died in Chelsea Old Manor in 1557 – the last of Henry’s wives to die.



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