Friday, May 01, 2009

Question from Monica - Shelton-Skelton link

I've been reading that Mary (Madge) Shelton, Henry VIII's mistress, may have been distantly related to John Skelton. Is there a proven link?


Foose said...

This suggestion appears to be traceable to Francis Blomefield's 1739 History of Norfolk, in which he stated "That [John Skelton's] name was Shelton or Skelton, appears from his Successor's Institution, viz. '1529, 17 July, Thomas Clerk, instituted on the death of John Shelton, last rector.'"

The "Successor" referred to is Skelton's successor as Rector of Diss. I haven't been able to find any solid genealogical information to back up this suggestion, though. Maybe the name was simply written down incorrectly.

Foose said...

I was in a warehouse full of English history books a couple of days ago and they had a number of books on John Skelton. All I was able to find was the statement that "Skelton" is the northern English form of the name, while "Shelton" is the southern variant. Possibly there may be a genealogical connection between the poet and Henry's mistress. However, none of the books appeared to mention Mary Shelton or the Shelton family related to Anne Boleyn, so I think this line of inquiry may have been disproved somewhere.