Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Question from Bron - Jane Boleyn's position in 1538

Clarification sought re Jane Boleyn/Rochford nee Parker's situation in 1538.

Two questions, please:
Who was Sir James Boleyn?
And what does 'a recovery' in the context/s below mean? 'Appointment by Sir James Boleyn of John Gelley and William Kelsall of Aylesbury [co. Buckingham] to enter into the Manors of Aylesbury and Berton [Bierton, co. Buckingham] to make Jane, Lady Rocheford, tenant, that a recovery might be had against her.

We know that Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn died in early 1538 ... or am I confused about the dating system which was in place at the time?

1538 Anne Boleyn’s father Thomas Boleyn dies 12 March 1538, aged 61, at Hever, Kent and is buried there.
1538 Anne Boleyn’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Howard, dies 3 April and is buried 7 April.

Why then is there a 'Bargain and sale' in October, 1538? See below:

705:349/12946/498729 12 October, 30 Hen. VIII 1538:documents @ Worcestershire Record Office

Bargain and sale from the Rt. Hon. Thomas [Boleyn], Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, Dame Margaret Boleyn, widow, his mother, and Lady Jane Rocheford, late the wife of Sir George Boleyn, knt., late Lord Rocheford, to Sir John Baldwyn, knt., Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and William Baldwyn, esq., his son, of the Manors of Aylesbury and B[i]erton, co. Buckingham, with lands, tenements and appurtenances in Aylesbury and B[i]erton. With covenants for a recovery in consideration of the said bargain and sale to the use of the said Lady Jane of the Manor of Swavesey, co. Cambridge.

And a little later,705:349/12946/499476, 9 November, 30 Hen. VIII 1538:

Appointment by Sir James Boleyn of John Gelley and William Kelsall of Aylesbury [co. Buckingham] to enter into the Manors of Aylesbury and Berton [Bierton, co. Buckingham] to make Jane, Lady Rocheford, tenant, that a recovery might be had against her.


Foose said...

I think it's 1539 for Thomas Boleyn's death. It's listed as such in Letters & Papers, his servant writing "My good lord and master is dead." The date is 13 March 1539.

James Boleyn was his younger brother.

Tudorrose said...

James Boleyn was brother to Anne Boleyn's father Thomas Boleyn.James was also a courtier during the reign of king Henry VIII.James Boleyn was also chancellor in Anne Boleyn's household.James was Thomas's younger brother.Also James Boleyn married a woman called Elizabeth Wood who would be one of the ladies to testify against Anne at her trial.
Lady Jane Parker/Boleyn was a lady inwaiting to all of Henry's queens bar Queen Catherine Parr.This is an interesting point that you make because Jane during the year 1538 wouldnt have had any queen to wait upon because from 1537/1540 Henry was without a queen.There isn't much if any information that I know of as to what she did during theese three years while there was no queen on the throne.I suppose Jane waited on the king.
It was Elizabeth Howard/Boleyn who died in 1538 and Thomas Boleyn who died in 1539.

Lara said...

This comment is from PhD Historian, but he accidentally sent it without signing in, so I'm posting it for him:

I agree with Foose on the date issue. The New Year began on March 25 in the Tudor era, based on the Roman Catholic observance of the Feast of the Annunciation as the beginning of the liturgical year. Thus the year for dates between January 1 and March 25 must be adjusted to modern chronology terms. 12 March 1538 in Tudor terms equals 12 March 1539 in modern terms.

Regarding the meaning of "recovery," it is easier for me to "translate" the documents. In the first example, the property at Swavesey in Cambridgeshire is being restored to Jane, Lady Rochford in exchange for her releasing her rights to the manors of Aylesbury and Bierton. If I were to speculate based on the limited evidence available, I'd guess that George and Jane Boleyn lost the Swavesey property when George was attainted of treason, and Swavesey was probably transferred (sold) by the Crown to the Baldwyns. But now in buying Aylesbury and Bierton from the Boleyns, the Baldwyns have agreed, as part of the purchase price for Aylesbury and Bierton, to return Swavesey to Jane Boleyn's "use" (but not her ownership), i.e., she has "recovered" the income from the manor but does not actually own it. She appears to have a strong legal interest, probably partial ownership, in Aylesbury and Bierton, and the buyers and sellers are hoping she will release that interest in exchange for control over another property.

In the second example, it appears that Jane Boleyn did not take the bait and still has at least partial ownership of Aylesbury and Bierton, and James Boleyn is attempting to take them from her (recover them "against" or from her) using agents to act for him. James Boleyn has appointed Gelley and Kelsall to the "use" of the manors, but not to ownership of them. That is, Gelley and Kelsall can enjoy the income from the properties if they are successful in suing Jane Boleyn and in seizing them from her (the lawsuit was probably based on some technical issue such as a poorly written will or deed). Gelley and Kelsall would have to spend the money to sue Jane and seize the property, hoping to recover their costs by draining the income from the manors once they win ... and gambling that James Boleyn does not cancel their "use" of the manors too soon after they win. If they fail in the suit against Jane, Gelley and Kelsall bear the costs of the lawsuit and thus loose money themselves, while James Boleyn loses nothing and is free to try another strategy to seize the manors from Jane. Gelley and Kelsall are essentially willing puppets in a real estate gamble.

Such was the convoluted world of Tudor-era property management......

Palfrey said...

Thank you so much! It's like having one's own personal university depratment! I am very appreciative.