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Maria of Jülich-Berg (3 August 1491 – 29 August 1543) was born in Jülich, the daughter of Wilhelm IV, Duke of Jülich-Berg and Sibylle of Brandenburg.[1]

Maria of Jülich-Berg
Wappen Juelich-Berg-Ravensberg.svg
Arms of Jülich-Berg-Ravensburg
Born(1491-08-03)3 August 1491
Died29 August 1543(1543-08-29) (aged 52)
Noble familyJülich-Heimbach
Spouse(s)John III, Duke of Cleves
FatherWilliam IV, Duke of Jülich-Berg
MotherSibylle of Brandenburg

Maria came from the line of German princesses that stretched back to Sybille of Brandenberg, Sophia of Saxony, and Adelaide of Teck.

Maria became heiress to her father's estates of Jülich, Berg and Ravensberg after his death in 1511. In her marriage to John III, Duke of Cleves in 1509, Maria's estates and titles were eventually merged with the Duchy of Cleves. John, who inherited the Duchy of Cleves-Mark in 1521, then became the first ruler of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, which would exist until 1666.[1][clarification needed]

She married John III, Duke of Cleves in 1509, by whom she had three daughters and a son. Sybille (1512–1554), William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (Wilhelm) (1516–1592), Amalia (1517–1586), and Anne (1515–1557) who was Queen consort of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540 to King Henry VIII.[1]

Maria was a strict, traditional Catholic and not a proponent of educating princesses and noble women, which by this point was the norm for the English nobility and gentry. In The Wives of Henry VIII, Antonia Fraser suggests that, following their marriage, one reason Henry VIII disliked her daughter Anne so much was that, unlike his first two wives and many of the court ladies around him, Anne did not possess educational and musical accomplishments and was ill-equipped to function in the contentious English court.[2] Duchess Maria herself appears not to have favored sending her daughter to England. She wrote in a later correspondence she loved her daughter so much that she was 'loath to suffer her to depart her'.[2]



  1. ^ a b c Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 154.
  2. ^ a b Antonia Fraser, The Wives of Henry VIII (Vintage Books, 1993), Chapter: Anne of Cleves