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Women in History: May 2nd



1536 – Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and Queen of England is arrested and taken to the Tower. Her charges were adultery, incest, treason, and witchcraft.

1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes from her imprisonment in Loch Leven Castle.

1816 – Princess Charlotte of Wales married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. Their marriage was said to have been a deeply romantic but ultimately tragic one.

Born on this day in…

Chegada_à_Madre_de_Deus_das_Relíquias_de_Santa_Auta1458 – Eleanor of Viseu (d. 1525) was a Portuguese Infanta and Queen Consort of Portugal, wife to John II of Portugal (the one whom they called “the Perfect Prince”). Both Eleanor and John married when she was 12 and he was 15. When John’s father, King Alfonso V of Portugal died, John and Eleanor ascended to the throne. John and Eleanor would produce two children, infantes Alfonso and John, who both predeceased their parents. Without an heir, the Portuguese throne passed to her brother, Manuel, who became Manuel I. As Dowager Queen, she kept her own court at the Palace of Xabregas, gave generously to charity, founded Hospital Real de Todos os Santos (“All Saints Hospital”) in Lisbon, and she took to dressed like a nun. She died on 17 November 1525.

Died on this day in…

1819 – Mary Moser (b. 1744) was an English painter who was one of the most celebrated female artists in the 18th century. She was a co-foundress of the Royal Academy in 1768, alongside Angelica Kauffman, a Swiss Neoclassical painter. As a founding member of the Royal Academy, she and Ms. Kauffman were excluded from the painting The Academicians of the Royal Academy due to the fact that a nude male stood in the center of the room. It was considered unseemly for women to be depicted in a painting with a nude man, so two portraits of Ms. Moser and Ms. Kauffman were hung up beside The Academicians of the Royal Academy. During her time, she was known for her floral work and at one point she even had Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of England as her wealth patroness. When she married Captain Hugh Lloyd on 23 October 1793, she retired from her work with Queen Charlotte and showed off her paintings at the Royal Academy under her married name. She was involved in scandal when she had a full-blown affair with Richard Cosway, an English portrait painter who later recorded her sexual prowess in his notebooks. Ms. Mouser later died on 2 May 1819 and was buried alongside her husband at Kensington Cemetery.


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