Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire

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Thomas Boleyn

Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and 1st Earl of Ormonde (about 1477 - 12 March 1538/9), was a Tudor diplomat and politician and the father of Anne Boleyn, the second Queen of King Henry VIII. was born and buried at the family home, Hever Castle.

Contents

Family


He was born to William Boleyn (c. 1451 - October 10, 1505) and Margaret Butler (1465 - 1540). His paternal grandfather Geoffrey Boleyn (d. 1471) had served as Lord Mayor of London in 1457. His paternal grandmother Anne Hoo (c. 1425 - 1484) was herself daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Hoo and Hastings and Elizabeth Wychingham. His maternal grandfather was Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormonde (c. 1424 - August 3, 1515). His maternal grandmother Anne Hankford was herself granddaughter to John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury.

Boleyn married Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. They had at least five children:

Career

Through the connections of his extended family, he became one of King Henry VIII's leading diplomats. Known missions were:

In between, he sacrificed the members of his family to win favours from King Henry VIII: He garnered honours by letting the King dally with his elder daughter Mary, then marry his younger daughter Anne. It's possible his wife had an affair with the King, though he denied it.

Boleyn was created Viscount Rochford in the Peerage of England in 1525, and Earl of Wiltshire in the Peerage of England and Earl of Ormonde in the Peerage of Ireland on 8 December 1529, probably due to Anne's relationship with the King.

Thomas acquiesced in the judicial murder of Anne and her brother Lord Rochford when the king discarded Anne in favor of Jane Seymour. The kindest assessment of him is that he was very much a product of the times.


Preceded by:
Cuthbert Tunstall
Lord Privy Seal
1530–1536
Succeeded by:
Thomas Cromwell

Template:End box

Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl of Wiltshire Succeeded by:
Extinct
Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl of Ormonde Succeeded by:
Title extinct

External Links

See also

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