Henry VIII was as famous for his private life as his politics.

Next month sees the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre will be marking the monarch’s Wiltshire connections.

His favourite wife, Jane Seymour, was born and bred here and the county’s archive houses several documents relating to their marriage.

Henry’s reign saw the dissolution of the monasteries, the establishment of the Church of England and his marriage to six wives. Generations of school children have learnt the rhyme “Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived,” to help them remember the fate of each, but they may not be aware that his third bride, Jane Seymour came from Savernake.

She was the daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wolfhall in Great Bedwyn and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. Henry became engaged to Jane, who was already his mistress, on 20 May 1536, the day after Anne Boleyn was executed. The couple married at Wolfhall ten days later.

Henry gave his new queen a large number of estates and manors by way of a settlement. The title deeds to these properties are held at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham, on loan from the Duke of Somerset.

Archivists at the centre will be highlighting local links with the Tudor royals in a special blog to coincide with the anniversary on 21 April.

Members of the public can make an appointment to view the documents whenever they like. Each deed has a portrait of Henry and they are lavishly decorated. Archivist Steve Hobbs from the History Centre said: “Something like this is of great local interest because the Seymours were the county’s most important family at that time.

"They relate to the king and queen so they’re of international significance too. People from all over the world get in touch with us.”

Jane died in 1537, giving birth to Henry’s only son, who became King Edward VI. He was crowned at the age of nine and died when he was just 15.

After the queen’s death, the court went into an extended period of mourning. Henry was buried next to her in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in 1547.

To view the Henry VIII blog on the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre website via the link on the right