29 June 1536 – Thomas Boleyn Loses his Office of Lord Privy Seal

On the 29th June 1536 Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, was stripped of his office of Lord Privy Seal, an office which he’d held since January 1530. It was, of course, the result of the fall of two of his children, George and Queen Anne Boleyn.

On 2nd July 1536, Thomas Cromwell, the brains behind Anne’s downfall, was formally appointed Lord Privy Seal in Wiltshire’s place.

It was not the end, however, for Thomas Boleyn. He was active in squashing the northern rebellion of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and was present at Edward VI’s christening in October 1537. Historian Eric Ives writes of how he he even buttered up Cromwell by lending him his chain and Garter badge on one occasion. By 1538, just two years after Anne’s execution, Thomas Boleyn was properly back at Henry VIII’s court and it was even rumoured, after Elizabeth Boleyn’s death in April 1538, that he was going to marry Henry VIII’s niece, Margaret Douglas. Of course, this never happened and Thomas died in March 1539. Henry VIII ordered masses to be said for his soul, showing that Thomas was truly back in favour with the King at the time of his death.

You can find out more about Thomas in my articles In Defence of Thomas Boleyn, Father of Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas Boleyn, Father of Anne Boleyn.

Also on this day in history…

  • 1509 – Death of Lady Margaret Beaufort, grandmother of Henry VIII and the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty. See 29 June 1509 – Death of Margaret Beaufort
  • 1537 – Death of Henry Algernon Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. He was buried at Hackney parish church and his will appointed the King as supervisor and Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford, and Thomas Cromwell as executors.
  • 1537 – Execution of John Hussey, Baron Hussey and Chief Butler of England, by beheading at Lincoln after he was accused of conspiring with Lord Darcy during the Pilgrimage of Grace.
  • 1540 – Bill of attainder passed against Thomas Cromwell for the crimes of corruption, heresy and treason, stripping him of his honours and condemning him to death.
  • 1541 – Hanging of Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre, at Tyburn. He was hanged after he and his companions murdered a servant of Nicholas Pelham while poaching on Pelham’s estate in April 1541. He was buried in the church of St Selpulchre.
  • 1552 – Birth of Elizabeth Carew (née Spencer), Lady Hunsdon, literary patron, at Althorp, Northamptonshire. Elizabeth was the sixth child of Sir John Spencer of Wormleighton and Althorp, and his wife, Katherine. Elizabeth was married first to Sir George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon and grandson of Mary Boleyn, and then, after his death, to Ralph Eure, third Baron Eure.

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5 thoughts on “29 June 1536 – Thomas Boleyn Loses his Office of Lord Privy Seal”
  1. I think that Alison Weir writes in ‘The Lady in the Tower’, that if Anne’s last pregnancy had gone full term, he would have become grandfather to the future King of England around this time. Instead he had to give up his office.

  2. It just goes to show, when you read what Claire has written above how different people were then compared to now. AlthoughThomas remained in favour, to a lesser degree perhaps, it is impossible to imagine still working for, and being at court in the presence of the man that had two of his children executed…not to mention the animosity that would have been shown to him, no doubt, by those around him, the jibes from past ‘enemies’, how did he bear it….

  3. Wonderul again, Claire! The events on this date have certain things in common with the oldd saying from Sir Walter Scott, “O, what a web we weave…” Henry Percy dying, and whether or not he and Queen Anne were truly by contract to be married not, Bill of attainder passed against Thomas Cromwell in 1540, and Elizabeth Carew (nee Spencer) being married first to Sir George Carey, 2nd Baron Hundson, and grandson of Mary Boleyn, making him the first cousin, once removed, and whose father, Henry Boleyn who dies in 1596, Queen Elizabeth I placed into a high office soon after her accession. These all seem to have something in one way or another to be tied to the Boleyn family.

    Claire, this involved some valuable time on your part, considering how very busy you are, a very nicely detailed report on what elsed in the reign of Henry VIIII on this day! Thank you, WilesWales

    1. I also had another thing not entirely related to this post, but in “…what a web we weave,” and that all somehow fit in directly and indirectly with with the Tudor Dynasty. It seems funny that Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of Henry II of England), Queen Juana (older sister to Katharine of Aragon, and Mary, Queen of Scotts (self-explanatory) were all imprisoned for 19 years each….Hmmmph! Thank you, WilesWales

  4. If he was invited to the Christening of Prince Edward Sir Thomas Boleyn had been pardoned by Henry and not held responsible for the adultery of his son and daughter. Henry must have decided that he was not to blame for that and allowed him to take some limited part in court life even if he did not have any office as such. He was still a peer of the realm and it was his right and his duty to attend the christening of the heir to the throne and to bring an appropriate gift. I do feel for Thomas Boleyn and his wife as they had lost two of their three children in horrific circumstances. Soon after these events Elizabeth was to die his wife and Thomas died in 1541.

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