Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Question from Haven leigh - Thomas Boleyn defending his children

I have a question on anne boleyln's father- Did he try to defend his children at all? Did his wife? Also, what happened to them?


Elizabeth M. said...

Far from defending them, Boleyn never spoke a word in defense of them, in fact he participated in the trials of the men accused with Anne, Norris, Brereton, and Smeaton. he was excused by Henry of having to condemn his own children. However, several accounts say he actually witnessed the executions of Anne and George. His wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, is not recorded as having visited her children in the Tower or speaking up for them, either. Lady Elizabeth died in 1538.
Thomas, though he was in disgrace with the King for a time after the deaths of Anne and George--he had to give up his position as Lord Privy Seal. He was nonetheless back in favor by late 1537, for he played a role in the christening of Prince Edward. He died in 1539.
Mary Boleyn, their sister, having been basically disowned by her family after her marriage to William Stafford, is also not recorded as either visiting her siblings in the Tower or coming to their defense. She died in relative obscurity in 1543.
You could say Thomas Boleyn was extremely ambitious. He had no scruples about his older daughter Mary sleeping with the King, and benefited from her relationship with him, as he also did when Anne was the object of the King's desire. He rose up the ranks of courtiers, was ennobled, and made Lord Privy Seal, and received lands worth thousands of pounds. When his children were caught up in the maelstrom which destroyed them, he was happy to disassociate himself from them and their supposed crimes, and then worm his way back into favor only a little over a year after their deaths.
Both he and his wife died comfortably in their beds, as they say, and were buried with fitting memorials to their station in life, she in the Howard aisle at Lambeth Church and he at Hever Church, while their children, Anne and George, were butchered by an act of judicial murder and buried in unmarked graves in the Chapel of Saint Pater-ad-Vincula at the Tower of London.
The whereabouts of the grave of Mary Boleyn has remained a mystery.

Luv said...

I always thought it was awful that Thomas Boleyn never said anything in defense of his children.I heard that Thomas Boleyn was more worry about losing his property,and titles than losing his children. However, I found it weired that Elizabeth Boleyn never said anything in defense of her children. Than it occurred me, that in all the books I have read, I have not ran across a exact quote from Elizabeth Boleyn herself. Have there been a exact quote from Elizabeth Boleyn in regards to Anne and Henry's relationship?,or any of her children?

Elizabeth M. said...

If she ever did, it was not recorded by any contemporary sources.