Sometime around 4th May 1536, two days after his arrest, George Boleyn’s wife, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, sent him a message of comfort by Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London.
There is no record of what she wrote but Kingston reported that Jane had promised to “humbly [make] suit unto the king’s highness” for her husband and that George replied that he wanted to “give her thanks”.1 There is no record of Jane petitioning Thomas Cromwell or Henry VIII but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t – various documents were damaged or destroyed in the Ashburnam House fire of 1731. Sir Francis Weston’s family fought for his release and the French ambassadors Jean, Sieur de Dinteville, and Antoine de Castelnau, Bishop of Tarbes, had interceded on his behalf, yet he was not pardoned so it is unlikely that Jane’s pleas to Cromwell or the King would have been any more effective.
By the way, there is no evidence that Jane betrayed her husband and sister-in-law – see Jane Boleyn: History’s Scapegoat – and it is likely that she was terrified for her husband.
Notes and Sources
- Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10 – January-June 1536, 798.