Originally Posted by Cat Jones
A more detailed version of the 'myth' is that he wrote it for Anne Boleyn, before she became his second wife, she had (or was said to have - no cite but I was taught this in school) six fingers on one of her hands - understandably, in an age when physical abnormalities were often associated with witchcraft or evil doing, she was sensitive about this and had her dressmakers design wide sleeves which hung down to obscure the hands - hence Greensleeves
refers to her
The six-fngers myth came into play after Anne was long dead. The sone of Thomas Wyatt, one of the men who courted her, wrote that she had a small nub of fless on the side of her finger with a bit of nail on it. However, he never met Anne.
During her lifetime, even heravowed enemies
at court did not write about any deformities.(They called her the "Goggle-Eyed Whore".) A lady in waiting who had met her in the French court claimed she had a "wen" on the side of her neck and a sixth finger, but no one who was around her at Henry's court said anything of the kind. And they would have-- Anne was a woman with a lot of enemies.
In court, it would have been impossible to hide a deformity. Ladies in waiting bathed, groomed and dressed Anne from the skin out. Bribery of ladies in waiting was extremely common, and not all of Anne's ladies were her friends. There's no way she could have kept a deformity a secret. All of the court would have known, and they would have mocked her for it.
Secondly, Henry was a very superstitious and paranoid man. Desperate for a son, he would not have wanted to marry a woman who had deformities, which were considered a sign of association with the Devil. Up until the last year or so of his seven-year-long divorce, he was still pretending Anne was just an innocent maiden in the court, not his intended bride. He would have had a much harder sell if it were known his beloved was marked by Satan.