September 1, 1532, Lady Anne Boleyn is made Marquess of Pembroke in her own right.
Henry VIII’s relationship with Anne Boleyn helped to solidify an alliance with France. Anne and Henry planned a meeting with the French king, Francis I, at Calais in winter 1532, in which Henry hoped to enlist the Francis’s support for his intended marriage. In order to make it proper that Anne be welcomed at the French court on this visit, Henry endowed Anne with an appropriate rank. She was created Marquess of Pembroke, and became the most prestigious non-royal woman in the English realm. The Pembroke title was significant for the Tudor family because Henry’s great-uncle, Jasper Tudor, had held the title of Earl of Pembroke; and Henry performed the investiture himself.
The investiture was also significant in not only what it endowed upon Anne, but why.
As Marquess of Pembroke, Anne was given a male style and was the only woman in English history to be given a male title. She was also given extensive lands which would bring her thousands of pounds per year, making her also the richest common lady in the realm. But it was the wording of the letters patent which made this investiture so interesting…
The title was not only given to Anne in her own right, but it would pass then to the heirs of her body. They purposely left out word “legitimate” when referring to her heirs. Henry VIII was quite obviously hedging his bets where his divorce from Katherine of Aragon was concerned! He was making sure that any children he got on Anne would inherit and be members of the peerage.
It is unclear (to me) as to whether Anne’s title and lands were absorbed by the crown upon her marriage or forfeited to the crown upon her execution for treason.