Anne of Bohemia (1366-1394)
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Anne of Bohemia (1366-1394)

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Good Queen Anne.
As she was referred to by the common people.

Additional Information on
Anne of Bohemia (1366-1394)

Anne was the daughter of the powerful King Wenceslas of Bohemia. Her marriage to Richard II was negotiated with difficulty, though mainly because the Bohemians demanded 10,000 marks and the travel costs of her retinue to England. Richard gave in because of the importance of continental trade to England and they married at Canterbury in 1382 both aged 15, the year after the Peasants Revolt. Anne was then crowned in Westminster Abbey. Her great personal charm won her acclaim from the populace - they called her 'Good Queen Anne', especially after her intercession on behalf of the peasants resulted in a general amnesty.

However both she and her husband, Richard, who absolutely adored her, had a taste for extravagance and they began married life in incredible luxury in the Palace of Sheen spending in one year £18,000 on food and drink, £15,000 on clothes and £9,000 on personal attendants. The average annual wage in England then was about £5. This idyll was shattered in 1388 by the barons who accused and condemned as traitors four of their favourites and in spite of Anne's pleading - she spent three hours on her knees begging for the life of Burley (who had arranged their marriage), the accused were executed soon afterwards.

The following year Richard got his revenge by demanding the Great Seal of England at the Council of Regents as he was now 22 years of age and able to control his own affairs. Anne continued to intervene to curb Richard's excesses as in 1393 when he threatened dire punishment on the City of London who had (wisely) refused to lend him more money. Then suddenly, in 1394 she took ill and died two days later at the age of 28. The Earl of Arundel, after arriving rudely late for the splendid funeral service at Westminster Abbey, then insulted the king by asking leave to depart early "because of matters of importance". The king was furious and struck him down in the Abbey with one blow and sent him to the Tower, blood streaming from his head. The part of the Abbey where this happened had to be cleansed and purified before the service could continue.

Unfortunately, Anne had never even become pregnant in their twelve years of marriage and without her beneficial influence Richard's character defects came to the fore and were to lose him the crown and his life. Advanced Category Search

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