1491 (3rd August)
Maria of Julich-Berg was born to Wilhelm IV, Duke of Julich-Berg and Sibylle of Brandenburg in Julich, Germany.
Maria married John, son of John II Duke of Cleves.
1511 (6th September)
Maria’s father, Wiliam IV Duke of Julich-Berg died. As his only child she became heiress to Julich, Berg and Ravensberg.
1512 (17th January)
A daughter, Sybille, was born to Maria and John Duke of Cleves in Dusseldorf, Cleves, Germany.
1515 (22nd September)
A daughter, Anne
, was born to Maria and John Duke of Cleves in Dusseldorf, Cleves, Germany.
1516 (28th July)
A son, William, was born to Maria and John Duke of Cleves in Dusseldorf, Cleves, Germany.
1517 (17th October)
A daughter, Amelia, was born to Maria and John Duke of Cleves in Dusseldorf, Cleves, Germany.
1521 (15th March)
Maria of Julich-Berg’s husband, John, became Duke of Cleves after his father died. He amalgamated Cleves and his wife’s territories of Julich, Berg and Ravensberg and was styled regent of the United Duchies of Julich-Cleves-Berg.
Maria’s daughter, Sybille, married John Frederick, Elector of Saxony, head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany.
Maria’s daughter, Anne was betrothed to Francis, son of the Duke of Lorraine.
Maria of Julich-Berg’s husband, John III Duke of Cleves, became Lord of Ravensberg.
Anne’s betrothal to Frances, son of the Duke of Lorraine was cancelled.
1537 (24th October)
A Protestant deputation from Germany was in England and during talks the English statesman, Cromwell, realised that it would be good for the country to make an alliance with a Protestant country. The ambassadors mentioned that the Duke of Cleves
had two daughters of marriageable age.
1539 (6th February)
Maria’s husband, John Duke of Cleves, died. Her son, William succeeded his father as Duke of Cleves.
Having seen the portraits painted by Hans Holbein
, King Henry VIII of England decided that he would marry Anne of Cleves. Letters indicate that Maria was very sad to see her daughter go to England.
1539 (27th December)
Maria’s daughter, Anne reached England. She stayed overnight at Dover Castle before travelling on to Rochester.
1540 (1st January)
Eager to see his bride, Henry rode to Rochester. However, after seeing Anne Henry told Thomas Cromwell
that he felt no attraction to his new bride. He did not like the fact that she was tall and had strong features nor did he like her German accent.
1540 (2nd January)
Although Henry urged Cromwell to find a loophole in the marriage contract that would allow him to avoid marrying Anne, he could not afford to lose the Cleves alliance.
1540 (9th July)
Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII was annulled on the grounds of her pre-contract with Francis, Duke of Lorraine and non-consummation. Anne, who had not contested the annulment, was to be known as the King’s sister. She was given precedence over all ladies of the court save the Queen and the King’s daughters and she was given a very generous divorce settlement of property with an income of £3000 per year including Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle.
After the execution of Kathryn Howard
, Maria and her son, William, hoped that Henry VIII would take Anne back as wife but Henry refused to consider this.
1543 (29th August)
Maria of Julich-Berg, died in Dusseldorf, Cleves, Germany.