James Boleyn was born about 1480, the 2nd son of Sir William Boleyn of Blickling, Norfolk, and Margaret, the 2nd daughter of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond.
James was a beneficiary of the will of his father, Sir William Boleyn, the will made on 08 Oct 1505 and proved on 27 Nov 1505. As the will referred to James' brother, William, as being under the age of 21 at the time the will was made, but did not make a similar statement for James, it is presumed that James was born before 1485.
He was knighted in 1520 and succeeded to the entailed lands of his elder brother Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire, in 1539.
He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Awodde or Wood of East Barsham, Norfolk. "Sir James Boleyn, Knt. of Blickling and Salle, married Elizabeth Wood of East-Marsham; he died without issue, and was buried with great pomp at Blickling, in December 1561".
In his will made on 20 Aug 1561 and proved on 21 Nov 1561 he was recorded as "Sir James Bowleyne of Blicklyn in the Countie of Norfolke Knight". If he were to die within 20 miles of Blickling, Norfolk, then his will was that "my boddie shalbe buried in the Channcell of the pish [parish] church of Blyklyng on the north syde thereof nere the Estende".
He made an interesting bequest to Queen Elizabeth as follows:
"To my most gracius soveraigne Ladie the Quenes most exellent matie my bason and ewer all gilte and my written booke of the revelacons of Sainte Bridgect most humblie beseching her highnes to reede and well to ponder the same humbly herewith beseching her said hignes to give unto my nece Elizabeth Shelton having at this daie nothing certaine wherewith to comforte or releve her self the fower hundred pounds oeing to me by her grace for and in consideracon of the annuytie with the acreage due unto me oute of the mannor of Hethendon in the Countie of Kente the paimente whereof it hath pleased her gracius goodnes to grannte and promis unto me (which sommes I doe for very charitie grannte and give as before unto my said nece, right humblie beseching her good grace to extend her mercie and goodnes unto that poore gentlewoman now utterlie destitute and unprovided of frendeshipp, or place certaine whereunto to resorte for cumforte."
He noted his nephew Sir John Clere.
He stated that his nephew Edware Clere esq owed him £400, part of the debt of Edward's father he having purchased the Manor of Blickling from Sir James Boleyn.
He made bequests including to:
his niece Elizabeth Shelton;
his niece Elizabeth Payne and her husband Thomas Payne gentleman;
his niece Mary Brampton; and
his nephew and servant John Wodhom gentleman.
His Executors were his cousin and friend Sir Richard Southwell, knight, his neighbour John Callarde esq., and his nephew Thomas Payne, gentleman.
Verbatim from the Calendar of Ormond Deeds:
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