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December 27, 1539 – Anne of Cleves Arrives at Kent

December 27, 1539 - Anne of Cleves arrives in England, is met at Deal Castle. Read about it on
Deal Castle, Unsigned 1539 Draft (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Such a promising day for Anne of Cleves: it was the day she landed at Kent and was met by Sir Thomas Cheyne and conveyed to Deal Castle, the most elaborate of the King’s coastal fortresses. There she was visited by the Duke of Suffolk and his wife, Catherine Willoughby, the Bishop of Chichester, and several other knights and ladies. The plan was to gradually move on to Greenwich , to arrive on January 3rd for the formal reception where she would finally meet her fiance.

It was a good plan, but unfortunately the King would change it. He got a romantic notion of surprising her, even disguising himself like he used to do in his youth with Catherine of Aragon….and so he came to meet her at Rochester on New Year’s Day.  That didn’t go well, which was the beginning of the end.

[An interesting, quick tidbit: Sir Thomas Cheyne, the man who met Anne of Cleves, was one of the men who had to tell her of the King’s decision to part with her. The History of Parliament describes him as “an astute soldier, diplomat and royal servant…[with an]…” urge to please those in authority.” No kidding.]


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December 27, 1539 - Anne of Cleves Arrives at Kent
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