1st Wife of King James II: Anne Hyde

Anne Hyde was born on the 12th March 1637, at Cranbourne Lodge, to parents Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon and Frances Aylesbury.

In 1649, the family fled England, after the execution of King Charles I, and settled in the Netherlands.

Anne, became lady-in-waiting to Mary Stuart, Princess of Orange, and attracted the attention of James, the Duke of York.  She fell head over heels in love with James, got pregnant, and James felt it was his duty to marry her, much to the annoyance of his mother; Henrietta Maria.  For she considered her new daughter-in-law, a commoner, and not of Royal blood.

James, the Duke of York and Anne Hyde were married on the 3rd September 1600, in a private ceremony held at Worcester House in London.

Anne bore James two children, who survived infancy: Mary and Anne, who would take their place in later years as; Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.

The marriage would prove, not to be a happy one, for Anne had to share her affections for James, with his many mistresses.

Anne, an Anglican at the time of her marriage, was drawn to Catholicism, as James had, during their time abroad.  So it was not surprising, they eventually converted.

Anne Hyde died on the 31st March 1671, following fifteen months of illness, and died from suspected breast cancer.  She was buried in the vault, of Mary, Queen of Scots, in Henry VII’s Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

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