19 July 1543 – The death of Mary Stafford, also known as Mary Boleyn or Mary Carey

Posted By on July 19, 2018

Before I begin this post properly, I just wanted to say a big thank you to those of you who have commented or sent me messages wondering where I am. I really am very grateful for your concern. I’ve been having problems with my vision, meaning that I have to keep resting my eyes. I’m not able to research or write properly at the moment but I’ll get there! These things are sent to try us, or to make us review our work habits!

Anyway, back to history!

On this day in history, 19th July 1543, Mary Stafford (née Boleyn), wife of William Stafford, died. She was in her early 40s.

Mary was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. She was the granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and was also the sister of the late Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. At the time of her death, Mary was married to William Stafford, but had previously been married to William Carey, a member of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber and an Esquire of the Body. She had two children during the course of her first marriage: Catherine, born in around 1524, and Henry, born in 1526. Carey died of sweating sickness in June 1528 and Mary went on to marry Stafford secretly and without her family’s permission in 1534.

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Picture: Portrait of an unknown woman thought by some to be Mary Boleyn, Hever Castle.

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9 July 1540 – Anne of Cleves’ great escape

Posted By on July 9, 2018

On this day in history, 9th July 1540, the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves was declared null and void. They had been married just six months.

The marriage of forty-nine-year-old Henry VIII and twenty-four-year-old Anne of Cleves was found null “by reason of a precontract between lady Anne and the marquis of Lorraine, that it was unwillingly entered into and never consummated”. It was declared that both Henry and Anne were free to marry again if they so wished. Of course, the king had a new bride waiting in the wings, the 17/18-year-old Catherine Howard, and he would marry her on 28th July 1540. Anne, on the other hand, still considered herself married to the king and never remarried. When Catherine Howard fell in 1541 and was executed in 1542, Anne assumed that the king would return to her, but it was not meant to be.

Although we might think that Anne of Cleves was lucky to escape with her head from this marriage, Anne was very unhappy about the annulment.

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