Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Henry’s marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.
It has long been suggested that she was born with six fingers on her right hand, a rumour which has now become something of legend, but is it true?
Nicholas Sander, a Catholic recusant born in 1530, was committed to deposing Elizabeth I and re-establishing Catholicism in England. In his writings in 1585, he was the first to mention that Anne had six fingers on her right hand. Since physical deformities were generally interpreted as a sign of evil, it is unlikely that Anne Boleyn would have gained Henry’s romantic attention had she had any. Upon exhumation of Anne’s body in 1876, no abnormalities were discovered. Her frame was described as delicate, approximately 5’3″ tall, with finely formed, tapering fingers. (image edited by Deskarati)