Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Question from Diane - Jane Parker and Matthew Parker

George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, married Jane Parker. Was she related to the Matthew Parker who was Anne Boleyn's chaplain and Queen Elizabeth's first Archbishop of Canterbury?


Anonymous said...

Born in Norwich in the County of Norfolk in 1504, Matthew Parker came of a well-to-do family, but little is known of his origins and early life. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he could have been related to Sir William Parker of Norfolk who married Alice Lovell and became the father of Henry Parker, tenth Lord Morley; again, not a great deal is known of the origins of this William Parker.

Henry Parker was present at the Field of Cloth of Gold and was a well-known scholar at the Tudor Court. His daughter, Jane Parker, married George Boleyn, who came from Blickling, also in Norfolk, and she later became Viscountess Rochford.

Lady Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, then went on to be lady-in-waiting to Henry’s next three wives but astonishingly aided and abetted Kathryn Howard in her forbidden meetings with Master Thomas Culpepper. Imprisoned in the Tower, Jane Rochford was not tortured but lost her sanity. Henry VIII was so bitter against her that he had a special law introduced to allow the execution of an insane person and she was beheaded in the Tower grounds just after Queen Kathryn.

I live near some of the places Kathryn Howard stayed with Henry VIII when they came up to York and the young queen was not as circumspect in her behaviour as she might have been. In view of what had already happened to her husband and her sister-in-law, I have never understood why Jane Rochford encouraged Kathryn in her folly.


Anonymous said...

It seems unlikely that they were related.

The sources I have been able to consult reveal that Jane Parker Boleyn was the daughter of Henry Parker, 1st Baron Morley, of Great Hallingbury, Essex.

Matthew Parker was the son of William Parker, a well-to-do worsted weaver with property in Norwich, then England's second largest city. Norwich is, of course, in Norfolk, well north of Essex.

Parker was and is a common name in England. Given the physical distance between the two Parker families in question and the socio-economic backgrounds of each, I doubt that they were related, except perhaps very distantly. And I can find no direct evidence that they were, in fact, related.

Anonymous said...

Further to my earlier posting: the Morley ancestors of Jane Parker can be traced back as far as the twelfth century in Norfolk and for nearly five hundred years the main centres of their activities were the areas around Swanton Morley and Hingham, not far from Norwich. The most famous member of the family is Thomas Morley, 4th Lord Morley, who was Lieutenant to Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal.

The male line died out in 1442 with Robert 6th Lord Morley whose daughter, Eleanor, married William Lovell who (erroneously, as he was never summoned to Parliament) styled himself 7th Lord Morley. His son, Henry Lovell, styled himself 8th and was succeeded by his daughter Alice, whose husband, William Parker, called himself 9th Lord Morley. This level of the peerage and an automatic summons to the House of Lords was not hereditary at this stage and it is surprising that they got away with it for so long.

It appears to be at about this time that the family chose to spend more time on their Essex estates (they had ancient Morley lands in several far-flung locations including where I now live in Lincolnshire), but even so, Norfolk was still one of their main spheres of influence.

When William Parker was knighted in July 1482 by the future Richard III, whose standard bearer he became, he was described as "William Parker of London". His son Henry Parker, Jane Parker’s father, was properly summoned to Parliament and today is styled either as 10th Lord Morley (as recorded in Complete Peerage) or as1st Lord Morley in a new creation.

It is an interesting question as to whether Matthew Parker was distantly related to this old Morley/Parker family of Norfolk, but I am inclined to agree with PhD that it seems unlikely.


Unknown said...

It's interesting that Parkers have held the title of Lord Morley during the tudor period dying out after Henry Parker but then in the 1800's John Parker, from Devon is given the name Lord Morely. Yet certainly not related. Is that a coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Joanna Denny states in her unpopular bio of Anne, pg. 270, that Matthew Parker and Jane Rochford were related.

Great Migration 1630 said...

Writing from the States from the Parker family, emigrated already in 1630. Lady Jane Boleyn,nee Parker, the Viscountess Rochford is our 1st cousin 14x removed by virtue of her aunt, Lady Alice Parker, who is my 13th great grandmother. Her father, Sir William Parker, Standard Bearer,is a common 14th great grandfather for my generation and Lady Diana. To this day we wonder about Archbishop Matthew Parker. Jane's father, Henry, 10th Lord Morley,was raised by Henry VIII's grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. In any case, there were close Parker-Tudor ties which lends credence to Matthew's having some kinship with Lady Jane. Interesting to note, the following website states that the Parker (Morley) family has ties to Matthew. For your review I submit:

Great Migration 1630 said...

A question about ERASMUS. His parents were not married, and his father, Gerard, later became a Catholic priest. His mother was Margarethe ROGERS. After they died of the plague, he received a wonderful education. How could an orphan in those days have received such preparation.
He was born in Rotterdam, of course, but the name ROGERS is worthy of note. Could Margarethe be related to the later Mary Rogers, the Lady Harrington, and her relative John "the Martyr" Rogers?