Sunday, April 12, 2009

Question from Haven - Children of George and Jane Boleyn

Did Jane Boleyn have any children with George? I'm reading The Boleyn Inheritance and it says Jane has a son. And I know that it's only fiction, but in The Other Boleyn Girl, I don't recall George saying anything about Jane being pregnant.


Elizabeth M. said...

As far as anyone knows, George and Jane Boleyn had no children. There was a George Boleyn, Dean of Lichfield, in Elizabeth's time, who for a while was thought to have been their son, but it is now more accepted he may have been a cousin of some sort.
Also, there is no evidence George Boleyn was homosexual, which has been put forth in dramas like The Tudors.

Luv said...

George Boleyn and Jane Boleyn had been together 10 years, and they did not have one single child. There was no report of miscarriage, or of Jane ever being pregnant. Maybe Jane couldn't have kids...than again , Maybe George couldn't have kids. George Boleyn was known to have been a ladies man (supposedly) yet there has been no report of him having any kids inside, or outside of his marriage to Jane. There is no report of any bastard running around. For a while it was believe that the Dean of Lichfield was George's bastard son, but if he was it was never acknowledge by George , or the Boleyn family.

Jenna said...

If I remember correctly there was more than one reference to George Boleyn being homosexual. I think that it was a play or a movie about Anne Boleyn. So why does this keep coming up if there is no historical fact?

Lucretia said...

If George and Jane Boleyn had had a son, would he have inherited George's estate and titles, or would they have remained confiscated by the crown?

Anonymous said...

George's estates were not confiscated by the crown: Lady Rochford kept them, perhaps as a reward for conspiring to bring down Queen Anne Boleyn.

As for the "why do people keep saying it if it isn't true" question, please ask yourself how many other idiotic things people say (and believe). Does that make Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, etc. all "true" simply because people repeat them? They exist on about the same level of evidence as George's homosexuality. It's a sensational idea that is enjoying a vogue, like the syphilis theory once did, but there's no basis in fact for either.

Unknown said...

The idea that George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford had a son is supported by the tombstone found near Clonony Castle, of two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth Bullyn. He is named specifically as their great-grandfather.

My 10x great-grandmother Anna Bullein (Spouse of Sir Robert Newcomen) is thought by some to be the sister (I think more likely cousin) to the sisters above.

More info' on Anna Bullein is at:

Jeff Angus said...

To strengthen the case that there may well have been Boleyn progeny living in Ireland, I recently discovered the following reference, speaking of Jane Molyneux nee Usher (1582–1674):

"...she was a very religious and devout woman, and had been singularly careful in the education of her children, for which purpose she was so happy as to have Mrs. Mary Bullen, (who was also related to Henry the eighth's Queen, as she happened afterwards to be Lady Paisley,) for some time in her house, at Newland [Lonford, Ireland] for instructing her young children and daughters ..."

So, it seems Mrs Bullen (Bullen, Bullein etc being legitimate variances of Boleyn) was married to a Mr Bullen and either she herself, or more likely her husband, were related to Queen Anne Boleyn. Now Jane Molyneux's nephew was married to the afore-mentioned Anna Bullein (1606–1650), who was reputedly born in Longford, Ireland. The relationship of nephew to Jane Usher was because she was wife to Daniel Molyneux, whose sister Catherine Molyneux (1570–1621) married Sir Robert Newcomen, 1st Baronet of Mosstown (1570–1629). His son was husband to Sir Robert Newcomen, 4th Baronet (1596–1667), whose wife was Anna Bullein.

I estimate, based on the ages of some of the Molyneux children that may have been ‘instructed’, Mrs Mary Bullen would have stayed with the Molyneux's in Newlands, Longford for a period in and around the 1620 - 1630's. Since Anna Bullein was also born in Longford and married there in 1626, it is quite possible that Mary and Anna knew each other through Mary’s host’s family connections, or perhaps were related. It is even possible that Mary was an Aunt or even a mother to Anna.

Anna Bullein is also thought to have been closely related (possibly sisters, but more likely first cousins) to the Clonony Castle Boleyn girls, whose grave stone clearly links (if taken to be true) them to George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, brother to Queen Anne Boleyn.

Over the last couple of years, I have searched for other possible Boleyn relations who may have fathered the forebears of these Irish women, but I can find none that have born sons whose descendants lived in Ireland, that are near enough to warrant the many references of Anna Bullein as “near relation, blood relative, great-grand neice etc” to Queen Anne and other mention of similar relationship statements to Queen Elizabeth I. Whilst I remain open, George Boleyn is the most likely candidate as their ancestor.

So, now we see four linked individuals with claims to descent from the Queen Boleyn’s family, living in Ireland and considering the link (gifted by Henry VIII) from Clonony Castle directly to Thomas Boleyn, the Queen’s father, I no longer think the possibility of George fathering a child should be dismissed lightly.

Anonymous said...

There is a a brief reference in Alison Weir's "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" regarding George Boleyn having a son who was named after him, and who became Dean of Litchfield. That's all I ever read about it, but it piqued my curiosity.

Andrea Turman said...

My Rochford family lineage through my grandmother Irene Bernadette Rochford Hendrickson has always been intriguing to me. We have always heard that one of our ancestors was Anne Boleyn's brother, Lord Rochford (George Boleyn 2nd Viscount Rochford). It was never questioned in our family. Perhaps via an illegitimate path, one might assume? Or not? Ambassador Lord Rochford spent a great deal of time in France on behalf of King Henry VIII.

My great great aunt, Rose Rochford and her husband Molten Kleckner were photographers who documented life on the American Plains in the late 19th century and were inducted into the Osborne (Kansas) County Hall of Fame in 1996 ( ).

A hand-written inscription in our Rochford Family Recipe Book reads:

From the Osborne, Kansas, newspaper during World War I:
"...The mother's* ancestors were among the refugees in the flight of the aristocracy from France during the Wars and were shipwrecked off Ireland and settled there, founding the Rochford family of Meath County, Ireland. She, with her parents, came to Quebec, Canada, after the War of 1812. The family came to Minnesota during the Civil War and changed the spelling of their name in getting citizenship papers.
*Mother refers to Jessie Vague's mother who is a sister of Grandfather (John Henry) Rochford's father."

Might Lord Rochford have had a child in France? Just a thought.

Unknown said...

There seems to be DNA evidence out there to suggest that George Boleyn did have a bastard son who was George Boleyn dean of Lichfield . My Bollen s hailed from cattistock Dorset . If you google William of cattistock Bollen you will find someone's evidence . I have DNA links to several . One being Anna throckmorton Boleyn. These trees point back to George Boleyn viscount Rockford but probably not Jane Parker . He was a notorious womaniser. There is even a Boleyn pedigree out there citing George dean of Lichfield as a bastard son.

Jeff Angus said...

I was intrigued by Deborah Varney's post above which stated that 'Anna Thockmorton Bollen' could be a descendant of George Boleyn Viscount Rochford and wondered if small trace segments of atDNA may have been passed down to some of his descendants, one of which may be my father through his ancestor Anna Bullein (proported great-grand-neice of Queen Elizabeth I) and wife of Robert Newcomen 4th Baronet. In addition to this, I have found a number of other ancestral paths back to Boleyn ancestors in my father's tree, which I hoped would strengthen or lengthen the DNA segments he may have received.

I found by searching Gedmatch for all GEDCOM (family tree files) that there were about eighty showing 'Anna Thockmorton Bollen' and another ten or so showing 'Anna Throgmorton Bollen' as ancestor of people who had tested their atDNA. I eliminated any instances where someone had submitted multiple DNA kits (as this might unduly bias results) and then performed a multiple kit analysis on the remaining nearly 40 kits.

While the majority did match my father's kit with segments over 3cM's, just a dozen matched with segments over 5cM's and although that dozen did show on a generations matrix to match between 6.2 and 7.7 generations back, the 2D chromosome visualisation did not show any one particular multiple re-occurring segment as one would expect if a common ancestor was indicated.

Although this was an inconclusive result for my father, one must consider that a common ancestor between his nearest Boleyn ancestor 'Anna Bullein' and that of 'Anna Throckmorton Bollen' would be a few more generations again, pushing the chances of finding a common ancestor beyond the normal atDNA limit of 5 - 7 generations, despite some strengthening through multiple ancestral paths.

Nevertheless, I posted my methodology here in hopes that the descendants of 'Anna Throgmorton Bollen' may use it to yield improved results among themselves and perhaps identify a common segment indicating their shared common ancestry. I hold out some hope that perhaps too, as more people are tested, a common 'Boleyn' segment may yet emerge.

Lastly, I should mention that there is a 'Boleyn' Y-DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA, so if there are Boleyn (or variant) surnamed male descendants out there with family stories of descent from Queen Anne's brother, George Boleyn (there seem to be quite a few), I would strongly encourage them to get Y-DNA tested and join the project.

M Bullen said...

I am Michael Bullen. My grandfather left Norfolk around a hundred years ago and never went back, he descended from the Hingham line.

A number of my cousins and I have had dna tests, we have between us multiple dna matches to Mary Throckmorton Bollen (George II's desendant) and to William of Cattistock's desendants.

We also have single matches to the Litchfield and Buren families. I am trying to get other cousins to have their dna tested.

All of this seems to lead back to George Boleyn II being our direct ancestor. His link to George Rochford may never be entirely certain, but I would note the following;

He was at Elizabeth's court. She obtained positions for him and he called her cousin. If he had no reason to do that I think he would swiftly have been disabused of the notion.

His executor was Lord Hunsdon, Mary's son, whom he called kinsman.

There is also correspondence (you will find it on-line) between him and others concerning Lady Mary Scudamore, whom he called cousin. She was the granddaughter of Jane Parker's parents.

The only possible way in which all these people could be cousins would be if he were the son of George and Jane Boleyn.

He is in Cambridge University's records as the son of Viscount Rochford, among other evidence.

As to why his early years were obscure, perhaps having his mother, father, aunt and cousin (Catherine Howard) executed led him to keep a low profile until Henry VIII was out of the way.

Unknown said...

Particularly to Michael Bullen as we share the same line via cattistock/ Throckmorton etc. I note that the Boleyn family held multiple property in and around Norfolk . Like you I am fairly convinced of our descent . There does not seem to be another close enough Boleyn cousin as several had no surviving heirs etc. My dream is that they will DNA test the dean of Lichfield s remains and those of the Clonony castle Boleyns.

M Bullen said...

Deborah, a number of cousins and I have had our dna tested. Between us we have multiple dna matches going back as far as George Boleyn (b 1536) and beyond, to Bullens/Bollens/Bullings/Boleyns etc and to the families of those who married them. We have dna matches to Careys (Mary Boleyn) and the Butler and Cheney families (grandmothers to Anne, George and Mary Boleyn) among others, all traced back.
Some distant blood relatives whose trees I looked at but who haven't traced back as far as they might seem in blissful ignorance of illustrious names in their ancestry. But, when you go that far back we all have thousands of lines to investigate and it really helps to have a specific name to follow.
The dna links, added to the documentary evidence, imho leaves little doubt as to the parentage of George Boleyn.

Anonymous said...

George Bolyne dean of Litchfield is my 13Th great-grandfather.