Anna of Saxony

Anna Of Saxony

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Anna of Saxony

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Anna of Saxony (23 December 1544 - 18 December 1577) was the only child and heiress of Maurice, Elector of Saxony, and Agnes, eldest daughter of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. She was the second wife of William the Silent.

Anna was born and died in Dresden. She was reputedly unattractive and lame, but her wealth drew many suitors; before the proposal of Orange in 1560, there were negotiations with the Swedish royal house. She accepted the suit of William I of Orange, and they were married on 25 August 1561.

Anna and William produced five children:
  1. Anna (1562)
  2. Anna (1563–1588)
  3. Maurits August Philip (1564–1566)
  4. Maurits (1567–1625)
  5. Emilia (1569–1629)


The marriage was unhappy: Anna suspected William was unfaithful, felt neglected by him and was displeased that he denied her access to her money. In 1567, William placed her in Dillenburg under supervision of his family. She left Dillenburg for Cologne in 1568 and, with her family's consent, applied for access to the estates granted to her as dower lands, which was now under occupation by the Habsburg forces.

She entered in to a relationship with her lawyer, Jan Rubens, in 1570. News of this indiscretion reached her husband, and Rubens was arrested and forced to confess the relationship. Later, Rubens was released and returned to his wife, by whom he was father of Peter Paul Rubens. Anna initially claimed that the confession of Rubens had been extracted by means of torture and demanded that her case be brought before...
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