Anne Hyde
(1638-1671)

woman

Died aged c. 33

Anne Hyde (12 March 1637 – 31 March 1671) was Duchess of York and of Albany as the first wife of the future King James II of England. Originally an Anglican, she converted to Catholicism soon after her marriage to James. This took place in 1660 after she became pregnant by him, but he is said to have promised to marry her the year before. The two first met in the Netherlands while Anne was living in the household of James' sister Mary. James and Anne had eight children, but six died in early childhood. The two who survived to adulthood were Lady Mary, who succeeded her father after his deposition during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Lady Anne, who succeeded her brother-in-law and became the first monarch of Great Britain. Born the daughter of a commoner – Edward Hyde (later created Earl of Clarendon), Anne is best known for her marriage to James, which caused much gossip. Two months after the marriage, Anne gave birth to the couple's first child, who had obviously been conceived out of wedlock. Until near the end of Anne's life, some observers disapproved of James' decision to marry Anne; but not King Charles II, James' brother, who wanted the marriage to take place. Another cause of disapproval was the public affection James showed towards Anne, such as kissing and leaning against each other, which was considered improper behaviour from man to wife during the seventeenth century. James was a known philanderer who kept many mistresses, for which Anne often reproached him, once even complaining to the king, who sent one of James' mistresses to the countryside where she remained until her death. Nonetheless, James fathered many illegitimate children. Years after Anne had herself converted, James avowed his Catholicism, which was a contributing factor to the Glorious Revolution. This was through Anne’s influence; she had been exposed to Catholicism during visits to the Netherlands and France, and was strongly attracted thereto. She suffered from advanced breast cancer and died shortly after giving birth to her last child.

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Nick Harrison on Flickr

On part of this site in 1640 was built Worcester House where lived Edward second Marquess of Worcester. At midnight on the 3rd. September, 1660, Anne Hyde daughter of the Earl of Clarendon was secretly married here to the Duke of York (afterwards James II) whose two daughters, Mary and Anne, became Queens of England.

Savoy Court, London, United Kingdom where they secretly married