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Old February 7th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #1

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Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


I was looking at a website and in one passage it speaks of a book, written in 1585 by Nicholas Sander, which claimed that Anne Boleyn had six fingers. I have never heard of it, has anybody else?
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Old February 7th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #2

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


Yes and have used that little tidbit in lectures. As a counter though, there was a movement afoot by her detractors to make her out as a witch. One of the attributes of witches was extra digits.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #3

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


Here are some other people that had extra digits. The medical name for the condition is polydactyly.

* Hrithik Roshan, a Bollywood actor born with a supernumerary thumb on his right hand.
* Antonio Alfonseca, a Major League Baseball pitcher.
* Hampton Hawes, jazz pianist, was born with six fingers on each hand (surgically removed shortly after birth).
* Little Tich, an English music hall comedian.
* Garfield Sobers, West Indian cricketer, had an extra finger on each hand which he removed himself during childhood "with the aid of catgut and a sharp knife".[9]
* Gemma Arterton, actress.
* Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese daimyo who unified Japan in the Sengoku period.
* Sid Wilson, turntablist of Slipknot. He was born with an extra digit on his hands and feet. They were dead, however, and were removed shortly after birth.
* Blues guitarist Hound Dog Taylor
* Reggae artist Jimmy Cliff, born with ulnar polydactyly on both hands (removed shortly after birth).
* Roman era poet Volcatius Sedigitus.
* Kamani Hubbard, a boy born with a rare case of polydactyly with both 12 fully functioning fingers and 12 toes.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #4

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Yes and have used that little tidbit in lectures. As a counter though, there was a movement afoot by her detractors to make her out as a witch. One of the attributes of witches was extra digits.

I have also heard that about being a witch ...IMHO I don't think there is any actual proof of her actually having a sixth finger...is there any actual documentation that backs this up?
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Old February 10th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #5

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


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Originally Posted by robbielynne View Post
I have also heard that about being a witch ...IMHO I don't think there is any actual proof of her actually having a sixth finger...is there any actual documentation that backs this up?
No sorry I have heard that this was a false rumor spread by her detractors to help prove that she was a witch!
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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #6

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


I did some goggling and found the consensus is that she did not have six digits.
But this thread does raise an interesting question. How do people with six fingers and no middle drive in the city?
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Old February 10th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #7

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


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How do people with six fingers and no middle drive in the city?
Politely.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


Here are some answers on the purported Boleyn's polydactyly from an online forum on the Tudor dynasty: http://tudorhistory.org/queryblog/20...oleyn-and.html.

An extract:
"... Had Anne been afflicted with this deformity, in such a superstitious age, it would have elicited much comment.
There were no contemporary accounts that ever said she had such a deformity.
Before her fall, King henry made rumblings about being seduced into his marriage with her by witchcraft.
Polydactyly was commonly associated with witchcraft, and interestingly, when Anne was brought to trial, witchcraft was NOT one of the charges leveled against her.
You think if she was so afflicted, surely it would have been brought up as proof of her being a witch.
I also cannot see Henry marrying a woman so afflicted. He was anxious to beget a male heir.
Would he have risked everything on a woman with such a deformity, who might pass it on to her offspring?
Henry was very superstitious and worried about Divine judgment, so I just do not think he would have risked dallying with a woman marked with what was believed to be a sign of witchcraft or being in league with the devil ..."

In any case, Tudor Chick's expertise might be quite useful here.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #9

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


It is highly unlikely that she did. Anne had many enemies, both in England and abroad and something like that would have been a prime topic of conversation for all of them. We know many other things about Anne and Henry.

Had something that was so strongly be associated with witchcraft be the case, there would be many earlier mentions.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #10

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Re: Did Anne Boleyn have 6 fingers?


[quote=sylla1;199131]Here are some answers on the purported Boleyn's polydactyly from an online forum on the Tudor dynasty: http://tudorhistory.org/queryblog/20...oleyn-and.html.

An extract:
"... Had Anne been afflicted with this deformity, in such a superstitious age, it would have elicited much comment.
There were no contemporary accounts that ever said she had such a deformity.
Before her fall, King henry made rumblings about being seduced into his marriage with her by witchcraft.
Polydactyly was commonly associated with witchcraft, and interestingly, when Anne was brought to trial, witchcraft was NOT one of the charges leveled against her.
You think if she was so afflicted, surely it would have been brought up as proof of her being a witch.
I also cannot see Henry marrying a woman so afflicted. He was anxious to beget a male heir.
Would he have risked everything on a woman with such a deformity, who might pass it on to her offspring?
Henry was very superstitious and worried about Divine judgment, so I just do not think he would have risked dallying with a woman marked with what was believed to be a sign of witchcraft or being in league with the devil ..."

Couldnt have put it better myself, Henry definatly wouldnt have looked twice at her if she had had an extra finger or nail. In Medieval times everything was considered some sign or judgement from God and any deformaty especially so. Henry himself was repelled by illness or abnormality as is very well documented. So from a personal and relgious standpoint he would'nt have gone there.
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