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Hyde, Anne

Hyde, Anne (1637–71). Though she did not survive to become queen herself, two of Anne Hyde's daughters, Mary (b. 1662) and Anne (b. 1665), became queen. The daughter of Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, staunch royalist and lord chancellor to Charles II, Anne met James, duke of York, while she was maid of honour to Mary, princess royal and princess of Orange. Marriage did not take place until September 1660, when Anne was eight months pregnant with a son, who died an infant. After considerable hesitation, not least by her father who feared that his daughter's marriage to the heir presumptive would make him unpopular, the couple were accepted at court. Though Pepys thought the new duchess very plain and she rapidly grew fat, it was said from over-eating, by 1668 he remarked that ‘the duke of York, in all things but in his codpiece, is led by the nose by his wife’. She converted to catholicism in 1670 though this did not become public until her death from cancer in March 1671. A patron of the arts and with some talent for sketching, she was repeatedly painted by Lely.

Sue Minna Cannon

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