Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Boleyn Family

The Boleyn family was the most prominent family at court until 1536 where Anne and George Boleyn were executed. Until then, the Boleyns had been the leading fraction in court and supported many politicians and priests such as Thomas Cranmer.

Originally, the Boleyn family was from Norfolk and rose quickly through the hierarchy of the Tudor society. Anne, Mary and George Boleyn was descendants of a London Mayor, a knight and two aristocratic ladies. They were related to the Howard family and one of their ancestors counted Edward I of England - Anne Boleyn was of a higher noble state than Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
Geoffrey Boleyn rose from being a wool merchant to the Lord Mayor of London and would eventually become wealthy enough to purchase Hever Castle. Thomas Boleyn elevated his status by marrying Elizabeth Howard who were above his station.

Of the Boleyns who were painted or drawn there are (from the left):
Sir Thomas Boleyn (died of unknown causes), George Boleyn (beheaded), Anne Boleyn (beheaded), Mary Boleyn (died of old age) and Elizabeth I (died of old age).

 Besides these five prominent members of the Boleyn family, it is also worth mentioning:

Elizabeth Howard - mother of George, Mary and Anne
Geoffrey Boleyn - elevated from merchant to Lord Mayor and bought Hever Castle
William Boleyn - father of Thomas Boleyn

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