4 May 1536 – Jane Boleyn’s promise to George Boleyn

Tower of LondonSometime 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

  1. Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10 – January-June 1536, 798.

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10 thoughts on “4 May 1536 – Jane Boleyn’s promise to George Boleyn”
  1. If Jane had betrayed him, it seems unlikely that she would have written to him and even more unlikely that he would have replied. Court gossip being as it was, I am sure he would have had an idea of how his wife was thinking and would have had his suspicions. As against that, of course she may have been trying to cover her tracks and allay those suspicions – we will never know.

  2. Considering her role in Catherine Howards affair, it is totally believable that she betrayed her husband. Its possible that IF she sent a message to her husband with an offer of help, she was only doing so to cover her betrayal at that time. An added cruelty to lull him into a false sense of security. If George sent her his thanks, then he obviously had no knowledge at that time of her betrayal. And only learned of this at his trial. I get the impression that Jane was not well liked and/or possibly ignored by most people. Which may explain why she was jealous and wanted attention any way she can get it. Perhaps she deserves the awful reputation she has had over the centuries. unless more information is found to cast her in a better light, her reputation will remain as it is. Awful. lol

    1. Your opinion might be interesting if it were worth anyone’s time, but seeing how biased and one-sided your opinion is, all your comment really is is laughable.

      Jane’s role in Katherine Howard’s life is unrelated to Anne’s trial, and it should be remembered that there is no evidence to prove Katherine had an affair. The council at the time failed to find anything to prove that Katherine was guilty of adultery, and the charges ultimately were for intent, and for Katherine being “damaged goods” – the Act of Attainder 1541 by which Katherine was convicted made it treason to withhold your sexual history from the monarch should you marry them. It has nothing to do with Katherine having an affair and it has nothing to do with Jane Parker. So you can’t use the argument that Jane was involved in Katherine’s downfall to back up your claims because the argument is unfounded.

      So you still have no proof that she betrayed George, or Anne. Nothing exists to solidly prove she was guilty of testifying against Anne and George. The only contemporary evidence from Jane’s own lifetime that mentions her by name in relation to George being convicted is this report of her letter of support to George. All other claims that she was involved originated long after her death, in the Elizabethan era.

      In short, stop embarrassing yourself, Melissa.

    2. I thought that what you wrote was very clever. Not least because it reflects my own opinion. Even if it did not, it does not give anyone the right to speak to you like the other poster did. Don’t let people like that get to you and stifle your opinions, though it is hard. You are worth ten thousand of them.

        1. If jane boleyn why did tomas wyatt write she is a wicked wife to seek his own blood??? Just a question no get panties in a bunch lol

        2. He didn’t, that was his grandson, George Wyatt, and that was a lot later. He also contradicts himself in his work, as Julia Fox points out, by saying that George was “condemned only upon some point of a statute of words then in force”. He was writing after Jane had been maligned for her part in Catherine Howard’s fall, and as Fox also points out, his knowledge of the trials of 1536 “is patently hazy”.

  3. Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford possibly gave her sister in law gossip that her husband did not treat her right, Anne, possibly fed up with the king at this time and his affairs, made a complaint about his performance in the bedroom. Tittle tattle is not evidence, even though it was used against George to frame him by the court. George Boleyn was given a piece of paper that made the accusations of Elizabeth not being the King’s child and Henry being impotent. He was told not to read it, knowing full well he would do this and claim the words as his own, which George did much to the amusement to the 2000 people in the court. He was careful to point out that the words were not his and rumour not his. The only person who could have confided the information to George was his wife, in confidence, but it was most likely Anne who gave the information to Jane. The rumours about spreading lies about the parentage of Elizabeth was most likely added by Cromwell to try a frame up. George Boleyn or anyone else doing such a thing was doing treason, George was too intelligent to spread such a rumour.

    The list of woman questioned and perhaps giving evidence against Anne is shady and few names are mentioned. Jane is not among them. The main person said to be a witness against the Queen is Lady Worcester. A gossip, possible adulteress herself, and a liar, her own reputation is suspect. Her gossiping about the Queen may be the sources of these foul charges being brought in the first place. Anne was a flirtatious person, played the courtly game, but this was dangerous when a queen had enemies and Anne had several. Cromwell had a knack of manipulating and turning what people said and did against them, he would threaten and bully, was as clever as a bag of snakes, he would have used fear tactics, the women could have said anything just to get away from him.

    If Jane was questioned, we have no evidence that she was, we don’t have any evidence that she accused Anne or George of anything. She may have moaned about the fact he liked other woman, but said nothing to incriminate him or of interest. We know nothing about this, it is all speculation, it makes good fiction. The only evidence from the court is the list of detailed charges, plus a few reports following, which are more of a legal report and summary than a transcript. Jane’s role, if it existed, is a complete mystery.

  4. Shae, have you forgotten the letter that Katherine Howard wrote to Thomas Culpeper? It proves that there was something happening between the two so please leave Melissa alone as there is no need to verbally attack her just because she has an opinion. You may be an insecure, friendless woman but that is not Melissa’s fault.

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