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Ives argues that the style of the letter and its mature handwriting prove that Anne must have been about thirteen at the time of its composition, while Warnicke argues that the numerous misspellings and grammar errors show that the letter was written by a child.In Ives' view, this would also be around the minimum age that a girl could be a maid of honour, as Anne was to the regent, There are two independent contemporary sources for the 1507 date.It soon became the one absorbing object of Henry's desires to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he would be free to marry Anne.When it became clear that Pope Clement VII would not annul the marriage, the breaking of the Catholic Church's power in England began.The key piece of surviving written evidence is a letter Anne wrote sometime in 1514.She wrote it in French to her father, who was still living in England while Anne was completing her education at Mechelen, in the Burgundian Netherlands, now Belgium.
Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken off, and instead she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.
A lack of parish records from the period has made it impossible to establish Anne's date of birth.
Contemporary evidence is contradictory, with several dates having been put forward by various historians.
The academic debate about Anne's birth date focuses on two key dates: 15.
Eric Ives, a British historian and legal expert, advocates the 1501 date, while Retha Warnicke, an American scholar who has also written a biography of Anne, prefers 1507.