Anne Berkeley, Baroness Berkeley
Anne Berkeley (née Savage), Baroness Berkeley (born c.1496, died before 1546) was a lady-in-waiting and companion of Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England. She was one of the witnesses at the secret wedding ceremony of the King and Anne Boleyn which occurred on 25 January 1533.
Anne was born in England sometime around 1496, although the exact date is not known. She was the only daughter of John Savage, Sheriff of Worcester, and his wife Anne Bostock. She had seven brothers, including Sir John Savage of Clifton.
Marriage and children
Anne married in April 1533, as his second wife, Thomas Berkeley, 6th Baron Berkeley (died 19 September 1534), son of Thomas Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley and Eleanor Constable. His first wife was Mary Hastings who died in early 1533 without having produced children.
Thomas and Anne together had two children:
- Elizabeth Berkeley (January 1534- 1 September 1582), married in 1559 as his first wife, Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, Lord Treasurer of Ireland and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The marriage was childless and they separated in 1564.
- Henry Berkeley, 7th Baron Berkeley (26 November 1534- 26 November 1613), married firstly in September 1554 at Kenninghall, Norfolk, Catherine Howard, youngest daughter of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Lady Frances de Vere. The marriage produced issue. He married secondly on 9 March 1597, Jane Stanhope.
Anne seems to have been a friend and close attendant of Anne Boleyn from before Anne's marriage to Henry VIII. Only four, or possibly five, witnesses attended the King's second wedding, and these included Anne. This was on 25 January 1533, and was conducted in secrecy as Anne Boleyn was pregnant and Henry had not yet annulled his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Anne was said to have borne the train of Anne Boleyn at the wedding.
Anne had been at court for several years and was a dependent of her brother John's widow, Elizabeth Savage, daughter of Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester and a second cousin of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth's second husband, William Brereton. Brereton was then a groom of the Privy Chamber and one of the other guests at the secret royal wedding, along with Thomas Heneage and Henry Norris. Both Norris and Brereton would later be executed for alleged adultery with Anne Boleyn.
With the fall of their allies, the Savages could have seen a decline in their fortunes, but it seems that they, and the newly widowed Elizabeth Savage, kept the friendship of Thomas Cromwell and therefore many of Brereton's estates were returned to his wife. Anne was described as being of middling stature, with a comely, brown complexion, and much tender-hearted with her children.
Thomas Berkeley, Anne's husband, was one of several Boleyn allies who was created a Knight of the Bath at Anne Boleyn's coronation. Anne's husband Thomas died on 19 September 1534, when Anne was almost seven months pregnant with their son and heir, Henry. Her royal mistress and companion, Anne Boleyn was executed less than two years later. Anne Savage died on an unknown date before 1546.
In a letter to Cromwell dated 1 May 1535, Anne, then Dowager Baroness Berkeley: Complains of the delay of the master of the King's wards in sending out the writs concerning the office to be found after the decease of her husband. It is great loss to her, for she can get nothing from her jointure. Asks him to move the King in this behalf. Acknowledges that the fee of Silebe is unpaid, but very need causes her to be slack.
- The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Alison Weir, p. 241; Anne Boleyn, E.W. Ives, p.211; Anne Boleyn, Joanna Denny, p.186; Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII, v. no.327; The triumphant reigne of King Henry the VIII, Edward Hall, ii. p.222
- Jane Boleyn:The Infamous Lady Rochford, Julia Fox, p.215-216
- Anne Boleyn, E.W. Ives, p.219
- L&P, vol 8, no. 642, From: 'Henry VIII: May 1535, 1-10', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8: January–July 1535 (1885), pp. 242-262