Thomas Boleyn KG
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Thomas Boleyn KG (1477 - 1539)

Sir Thomas "1st Earl of Wiltshire" Boleyn KG
Born in Blickling, Norfolk, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married before 1499 in Blickling, Norfolk, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hever Castle, Kent, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Aug 2008 | Last significant change: 20 Sep 2021
04:07: Laura DeSpain edited the Biography for Thomas Boleyn KG (1477-1539). (Minor corrections. Formatting. ) [Thank Laura for this]
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Contents

Biography

Thomas Boleyn was born about 1476/7 at Blickling Hall in Norfolk. He was the first son of Sir William Boleyn and Margaret Butler, the daughter of Sir Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormonde, Baron Rochford. Thomas grew up at Blickling Hall in Norfolk. His grandfather Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London, had purchased the familys' main homes, Hever Castle in Kent and Blickling Hall in Norfolk. [1][2]

Blickling Hall

Thomas Married Elizabeth Howard, the daughter of Sir Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tilney. At the time of their marriage, his income was only about £50 a year. This was a very meager income to support a family with. He and his family lived in one of the estates owned by the Boleyn family, Blickling Hall. They had seven children, only three of them survived Mary, Anne, and George. Mary first married Sir William Carey, and second Sir William Stafford. Anne, married King Henry VIII, and George married Lady Jane Parker. Anne became the consort queen, and George became Lord Rochford.[2][3]

Thomas being the oldest son, was his father Sir William's heir. His father died in 1505, and Thomas inherited the Manors of Blickling, Calthorpe, Wykmere (Wickmere), and Mulbarton. The manors were all located in Norfolk.[4][5][6][7][8][9]


Rising in Society

Thomas served the Court in many important capacities over the years. His position in the court began about 1509 when he became an Esquire of the Body to King Henry VII. This meant daily contact with the King, a position that would bring great honor and trust. He had influence and the ability to voice persuasive opinions to the King. He was in his element at court, his time away from home would leave his wife Elizabeth to rear their three children.[10][11]

His desire to rise in status had begun during the reign of King Henry VII. Upon the King's death in 1509, Thomas worked efficiently to make himself invaluable to the new King, Henry VIII. His great desire to rise above his own station came at a price to his family and others who could further his plans and fancies. He spent several years as the English Ambassador in France. This brought him into contact with French rulers. His career brought his family into regular contact with the nobles and members of parliament of both England and France. His wife and children served the royals in their own positions over the years. [2][10][12]

When King Henry VIII became enamored with his youngest daughter, Anne his position at court strengthened. The King wanted Anne and would do anything to impress her. Thomas' further, rise in status had only just begun. Thomas claimed the right to the title of the Earl of Ormand through his mother. Sir Pierce Butler claimed the right to the title too. The King took the title from Sir Butler and bestowed it upon Thomas along with the title the Earl of Wiltshire. Thomas and the Boleyn family along with the Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk encouraged King Henry VIII's belief that Cardinal Wolsey was not doing all that he could to successfully fulfill the King's desire. The King was determined to have his marriage to Catherine annulled so that he could marry Thomas' daughter Anne. Several charges were brought against the Cardinal. In 1529, their efforts were successful and the Cardinal was charged and removed from his position.[1][10][11][13][14][15]


Nobility & Honors

1497, he accompanied his father, Sir William in arms against the Cornish rebels at Blackheath.[1]
1501, he was present at the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon.[1]
1503, he escorted Queen Margaret to Scotland.[1]
1509, he was a squire for the body at the funeral of King Henry VII.[1][16]
1509, Knight of the body of King Henry VIII.[1][16]
1509, Keeper of the Exchange at Calais and of the Foreign Exchange.[1][16]
1510/1, he was a bearer at the funeral of Prince Henry.[1]
1511/2, Joint constable of Norwich Castle.[1][16]
1511/2, and 1517/8, Sheriff of Kent.[1][16]
1512-1513, An Ambassador to the Emporer Maximilian in the Low Countries.[1]
1513, he helped complete a treaty with the Pope and Margaret of Savoy at Malines for the Holy League against France.[1]
1515/6 Bearer of the canopy at the christening of Princess Mary.[1]
1517, he was Carver to Queen Margaret of Scotland.[1]
1518, he was a signatory at the Treaty of Universal Peace and the treaty of marriage between Princess Mary and the Dauphin.[1]
1518, PC, Privy Council.[1]
1518/9 Ambassador of France.[1]
1520, appointed to be present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and the meeting with the Emporer.[1]
1520, Comptroller of the household.[1]
1521, part of the envoy from Wolsey to the Emporer during the Cardinals 'mission of mediation'.[1]
1522-25, Treasurer.[1]
1522, he was present at Windsor during the signing of the Treaty of the Emporer.[1]
1522-23, he was an Ambassador in Spain.[1]
1523, he became a Knight of the Garter (KG).[1][17]
1525, he was titled, Viscount Rochford.[1]
1527, he was one of the joint commissioners receiving the oath of King Francis I of France, to the treaty of alliance.[1]
1529, he was, created Earl of Wiltshire in England and Earl of Ormand in Ireland.[1][17]
1529/30-1536, he was Keeper of the Privy Seal.[1][18]
1530, he was Ambassador to the Pope, the Emporer, and the King of France, in support of the divorce of Queen Catherine.[1]
1533, Commissioner to create a closer unity with Francis I.[1]
1533, he was present at the baptism of his granddaughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I.[1]
1534/5, A commissioner involved in the confiscation of the lands.[1]


When the King publicly declared his marriage to Thomas' daughter Anne in May of 1533, he accompanied her in the barge up the Thames. He was one of her escorts from Greenwich to London. In September of 1533, his granddaughter Princess Elizabeth was born. Her christening was a gallant affair. The Duchess of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard carried the Princess in a mantle of purple velvet. Thomas along with the Countess of Kent and the Earl of Derby held the long train.[19][20]


Fall from Grace

In 1536 the lives of Thomas and his family began to change quickly. His daughter had been unable to produce a male heir for the King. The King's eyes once again turned to another, one that may give him the male heir that he so desired. Two of Thomas' children, both his daughter, the consort Queen Anne and his son, George, Lord Rochford were arrested for high treason. Thomas was named to the commission of oyer and terminer to try several others who were accused and charged with being involved. His children were both found guilty on 15 May 1536 and ordered to be executed.[2][21][22]

About a month later, Thomas became the first noble to lose the office of Lord Privy Seal. With the exception of Kent, he was removed as a commission of the peace in all counties including his native Norfolk. He was forced to provide annuities from estates that the crown had previously given to him. He did attend Prince Edward's baptism on 15 October 1537. This was an act of duty as he retained the title the Earl of Wiltshire, and was not meant as an act to show that his family had been forgiven. He no longer held the favor of the King.[1][2][18]


Hever Castle

In 1538, he lost his wife Elizabeth. His fall from grace and with no hope of having a male heir left him a broken man. Thomas the Earl of Wiltshire died at Hever Castle on 12 March 1539 and was buried in St Peter's Church in Hever, Kent.[1][2]


Research Notes

  • In 1752 the calendar in England changed from old style to new style. Previous to 1752 the new year began on March 25th in 1752 it was changed and began January 1st. Dates prior to 1752 occurring between January 1st and March 24th will be recorded as dual years to reflect the change.
  • There has been some confusion about whether Thomas owned and lived at Blickling after his fathers' death. Some believe that his uncle Sir James Boleyn owned it.[23] James did possess Blickling at the time of his death in 1561.[24] Thomas, had died prior to 1561 so it was assumed that Thomas never received it. Thomas did inherit Blickling from his father, Sir William Boleyn.[4][5] When Sir Thomas died he had no living male heir. Queen Elizabeth I the granddaughter of Sir Thomas, bestowed upon her uncle Sir James Boleyn, the manors of Blickling, Carbrook, West-Lexham, Calthorp Stukey, Filby, and Posswick.[3][6]
  • Rochford Hall in Essex was one of the properties Thomas had received through his mother, Margaret Butler. In 1529, the King gave Sir Thomas the titles the Earl of Wiltshire and Ormand. The courtesy title Lord Rochford was given to his son George.[1] Thomas' daughter Mary married 2nd Sir William Stafford and was banished. They lived a life of obscurity at Rochford Hall.[25]


Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 'Cokayne, George E.(1825-1911): The Complete Peerage Of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain And The United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, Or Dormant, Vol. 10'. 2020. Familysearch.Org.Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, Vol 10, pps 137-140
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jonathan Hughes, 2004. Boleyn, Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond (1476/7–1539). Published 23 September 2007. ODNB, oxforddnb.com. (subscription required to view)
  3. 3.0 3.1 THE CAREY ESTATE. Reference: BCM/H. Held by: Berkeley Castle Muniments. National Archives, discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nicolas, Nicholas Harris. Testamenta Vetusta: Being Illustrations from Wills, of Manners, Customs Etc. as Well as of the Descents and Possessions of Many Distinguished Families from Henry II. to Queen Elizabeth. United Kingdom: Nichols, 1826. Sir William Boleyn Knight Will clip, Pg 465. google.com/books/edition.
  5. 5.0 5.1 William Boleyn, 1505. 'Will of Sir William Boleyn of Blikling, Norfolk'. 27 November 1505. PROB 11/14/790. The National Archives Kew. (Copy in the possession of DeSpain-617). discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Blickling," in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London: W Miller, 1807), 381-409. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol6/pp381-409.
  7. Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Calthorp," in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London: W Miller, 1807), 513-521. British History Online, accessed July 18, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol6/pp513-521.
  8. Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of South Erpingham: Wickmere," in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6, (London: W Miller, 1807), 456-463. British History Online, accessed July 18, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol6/pp456-463.
  9. Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Humble-Yard: Mulbarton," in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 5, (London: W Miller, 1806), 75-83. British History Online, accessed July 12, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol5/pp75-83.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Weir, Alison. 'Mary Boleyn: Mistress of Kings'. Canada: McClelland & Stewart, 2011. google.com/books/edition.
  11. 11.0 11.1 E. W. Ives. 'The life and death of Anne Boleyn'. Blackwell Publishing, 2004. archive.org
  12. "Preface, Section 1," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 3, 1519-1523, ed. J S Brewer (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1867), i-li. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol3/i-li.
  13. "Introduction, Section 10," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530, ed. J S Brewer (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1875), cdlxxxviii-dxl. British History Online, accessed July 27, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol4/cdlxxxviii-dxl.
  14. E. W. Ives. Anne Boleyn (c. 1500–1536). Published by Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/557. Accessed 30 Jan 2021
  15. "Henry VIII: October 1529, 17-31," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530, ed. J S Brewer (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1875), 2675-2688. British History Online, accessed July 29, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol4/pp2675-2688.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Alison Weir. 'Henry VIII'. Published by Ballantine Books, 2001. Internet Archives. archive.org.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Shaw, William Arthur, 1865-1943; Burtchaell, George Dames, 1853-1921. 'The Knights of England', Pg 21. Published by London Sherratt and Hughes, 1906. archive.org.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Henry VIII: June 1536, 16-30," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10, January-June 1536, ed. James Gairdner (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1887), 504-530. British History Online, accessed July 30, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol10/pp504-530.
  19. Edward Walford. "Greenwich," in Old and New London: Volume 6, (London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1878), 164-176. British History Online, accessed July 28, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol6/pp164-176.
  20. "Henry VIII: September 1533, 1-10," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 6, 1533, ed. James Gairdner (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1882), 449-466. British History Online, accessed July 28, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol6/pp449-466.
  21. "Henry VIII: May 1536, 1-10," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10, January-June 1536, ed. James Gairdner (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1887), 329-349. British History Online, accessed July 29, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol10/pp329-349.
  22. "Henry VIII: May 1536, 11-15," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10, January-June 1536, ed. James Gairdner (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1887), 349-371. British History Online, accessed July 29, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol10/pp349-371.
  23. "Introduction, Section 5," in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530, ed. J S Brewer (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1875), ccxxv-cclxxxv. British History Online, accessed July 18, 2021, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol4/ccxxv-cclxxxv.
  24. James Boleyn, 1561. 'Will of Sir James Bowleyne or Boleyn of Blickling, Norfolk'. 21 November 1561. PROB 11/44/387. The National Archives, Kew. (Copy in the possession of DeSpain-617). discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  25. Jonathan Hughes. "Stafford (née Boleyn; other married name Carey), Mary, (c. 1499–1543)". Printed by Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Published 23 September 2004. oxforddnb.com. Accessed 16 Jan 2021.
  • Richardson, Douglas. 'Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families,' 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013. See also WikiTree's source page for 'Royal Ancestry.' Vol II, pg 56.
  • 'Richardson, Douglas. 'Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families,' 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013. See also WikiTree's source page for 'Royal Ancestry.' Vol III, pg 339.

See Also

  • 'Find a Grave, database and images': accessed 29 December 2020), memorial page for Sir Thomas Boleyn (c.1477–12 Mar 1539), Find A Grave: Memorial #12262, citing St Peter Churchyard, Hever, Sevenoaks District, Kent, England; Maintained by Find A Grave.
  • Weis, Frederick Lewis, 'Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists who Came to America Before 1700', 7th ed., Baltimore MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. Access online (search only) at GoogleBooks, Line 120, p.107.


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Comments: 6

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Hi Trusted List members, I will soon begin working on this profile on behalf of the England Projects Managed Profiles team. I will be adding sources, editing, and expanding the biography. If you have any sources or, information please let me know.

Laura

posted by Laura DeSpain
Unfortunate news. The Holbein-the-Younger portrait here is not of Thomas Boleyn but rather of his distant cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond. Both men descended from the 3rd Earl of Ormond -- and in the 1520s James Butler was engaged to Thomas' daughter Anne Boleyn prior to her marriage to Henry VIII.

Here's the portrait identified on the website of the Royal Collection Trust:

I've just removed it to avoid confusion. In the meantime we'll have to settle for Nick Dunning from "The Tudors" until something else comes along ...

posted by Z Fanning
edited by Z Fanning
There is no mention of Rochford Hall in his biography. Wikipedia [1]

JGW JG Weston

posted by JG Weston
Hello, JG, this biography has not been completed at this time. Your interest and the information are appreciated and it will be worked into the biography.

Laura

England Project Managed Profiles

posted by Laura DeSpain
edited by Laura DeSpain
Styles and honours

Sir Thomas Boleyn KG KB (1523–1525) The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Rochford KG (1525–1527) The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Wiltshire and of Ormond KG KB (8 December 1529[19]–1539)

Note: on 22 February 1538, the earldom of Ormond was restored to Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond.

posted by John Akard III
Richardson, Douglas: Plantagenet Ancestry, 2nd edn. (2011), 3 vols, Volume 1, page 459, BUTLER 15.
posted by [Living Horace]