• Oct 1, 2012

Who's Who: The Major Players in Anne Boleyn

If you feel like you need to brush up on your history books before you come see Anne Boleyn, not to worry, we’ve got you covered. 


ANNE BOLEYN (1501-1536)—Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Educated in Burgundy and France by savvy royals and politicians, she was a key figure 
in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.

KING HENRY VIII (1491-1547)—King of England from 1509 until his death. The boisterous Henry preferred hunts and feasts to politics, but an obsession with securing his power drove him in search of a son, and caused him to break with the Roman Catholic Church and establish the Church of England.

THOMAS CROMWELL (1485-1540)—A chief advisor to Henry VIII. A self-made man who was trained as a merchant and lawyer. Fiercely intelligent, he worked his way up the ladder at Henry’s court, and was prepared to make and break any alliance to do so.

CARDINAL WOLSEY (1473-1530)—English statesman and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Wolsey truly believed he was doing God’s work rooting out Protestantism, but was also a man intent on amassing great wealth and power.

LADY ROCHFORD (1505-1542)—Formerly in service to Queen Catherine, she was chief lady-in-waiting to Anne. She married George Boleyn, Anne’s brother, and was soon embroiled in the court politics and intrigue of the up-and-coming Boleyn family.

JANE SEYMOUR (1508-1537)—Lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine and later Queen Anne. A devout Catholic who was torn between the old Catholic queen and the new Protestant queen, she nevertheless remained loyal to King Henry through the break with Rome--a choice which paid off when he started taking a special interest in Jane’s childbearing attributes

WILLIAM TYNDALE (1494-1536)—English scholar known for his translation of the Bible into English. Tyndale's translation was the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. Under threat of persecution and death, he spent much of his adult life in hiding and exile.

KING JAMES I (1566-1625)—King of England from 1603 until his death. Only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII. One of James's major contributions was the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611).

ROBERT CECIL (1563-1612)—The Earl of Salisbury, an English statesman who served both Queen Elizabeth and King James as Secretary of State. Helped provide a smooth transition between Elizabeth and James's reigns.

GEORGE VILLIERS (1592-1628)—The Duke of Buckingham, one of King James's favorites and his lover. Rose up the ranks quickly as James lavished the young man with titles and promotions, but this earned him few friends.

DEAN ANDREWES (1555-1626)—English bishop and scholar who held high positions in the Church of England. Andrewes was one of the chief translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

DOCTOR REYNOLDS (1547-1607)—English Puritan scholar who suggested the idea of a new translation of the Bible to King James, leading directly to the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

HENRY BARROW (1550-1593)—Barrow was an English Puritan separatist who advocated a complete separation of religion and state. Eventually executed for his views.