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How did Thomas Boleyn live after the death of Anne since the King took away his titles and purse? He lived 3 more years after Anne but how did he survive? Where did he live, with his daughter Mary and did he see her again?

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Thomas Boleyn did fall from favour in 1536 but he was soon back in favour. He was active in squashing the rebellion of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, he was present at Edward VI’s christening in October 1537, and Eric Ives talks of how he buttered up Cromwell by lending him his chain and Garter badge. By 1538, Thomas Boleyn was back properly at court and it was even rumoured that he would marry Margaret Douglas, Henry VIII’s niece!
Thomas Boleyn died in March 1539 and was buried at St Peter's Church at Hever. Henry VIII ordered masses to be said for Thomas’s soul, clear evidence that Thomas was back in favour then.
Josephine Wilkinson writes of how Thomas Boleyn made steps to reconcile with Mary by allowing her and her husband to live in Rochford Hall in Essex. On his death in 1539 Thomas left Rochford Hall and his lands in Essex to Mary and Mary lived in Rochford until her death in 1543. Mary’s mother, Elizabeth Boleyn, died in 1538 and her father died in 1539.

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7 Responses to “How did Thomas Boleyn live after the death of Anne since the King took away his titles and purse? He lived 3 more years after Anne but how did he survive? Where did he live, with his daughter Mary and did he see her again?”

  1. Joan says:

    I recently visited St Peter’s church and the place of Sir Thomas Boleyn’s tomb, but was puzzled at the tomb’s condition. It looked as if it had been exposed to the elements for some time so eroded were the carvings on the sides, and yet the brass on the top is in good condition.
    A lady who was about to lock the church, (and probably found us rather irritating), said that ‘the Victorians’ must have reinstated the tomb. Is this so, I wonder?


    Claire Reply:

    I’ve checked Mill Stephenson’s “A List of Monumental Brasses in the British Isles” 1926 (based on 19th century records) and it does not say “restored” or “partly restored” and neither does the 1888 “Kentish Brasses” by W D Belcher, which just says:-
    ” Sir Thomas Bullen, Earl of Wiltshire – 1538. A very fine
    Effigy, habited in the mantle collar and hood of the Knights
    of the Garter ; the order of the Garter being buckled round
    the left knee. The head rests on the tilting-helm with
    flowing contoise, the feet on a griffin.”

    The St Peter’s Church Guide also makes no mention of the tomb being reinstated or restored so I just don’t know.


  2. Nothing Thomas Boleyn did to try to reconcile his actions with the King or anyone else, could possibly make up for turning his back on his daughter and his son. What a vile creature!!! All boils down to the same bottom line…wealth and power.


  3. Jo Fleming says:

    I think the queston shoud be ‘How did Thomas Boleyn live with himself after Anne and George’s deaths?’ Let’s not forget that all three of his children fell victim to this revolting man’s greed.


  4. jim says:

    On “The Tudors” Thomas Boleyn is never heard from after Anne’s death. Is this inaccurate?


    Claire Reply:

    No, it’s not accurate. Here’s an excerpt from my book “The Anne Boleyn Collection II”:
    “Thomas lost George and Anne to the executioner in May 1536 and although he survived physically, he fell from grace and was stripped of his office of Lord Privy Seal on 29th June 1536. He was also removed from the commission of the peace in Norfolk, although he was kept on the Kent one. However, Thomas was the ultimate survivor and after helping squash the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace in late 1536 he managed to climb his way back into the King’s favour and was present at Prince Edward’s baptism in October 1537. Eric Ives describes how he diligently went to Order of the Garter functions, even lending Thomas Cromwell, his chain and best Garter badge at one point, and how he was back at court by January 1538. In July 1538, three months after Elizabeth Boleyn’s death, Henry Maunke wrote to Lady Lisle saying that he had “Heard say that my lord of Wolshyre will marry lady Margaret Dowglas”. Obviously, the marriage never took place, but Thomas Boleyn must have been high in favour for it to be rumoured that he was going to marry the King’s niece.”


  5. Mary says:

    I have to agree after Anne & George’s death how could he possibly have lived with himself he obviously was not a great father and really only cares about gaining fortune from his daughter which is horrible


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