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The Mary Boleyn?
September 5, 2011
6:38 pm
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Mya Elise
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Does anyone know any information on the ship King Henry supposedly named after Mary Boleyn at the time of their affair? Phillipa Gregory has mentioned the ship twice and although i never believe anything that woman says, does any one know the truth behind this?

Thnks.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

September 5, 2011
7:30 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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There were two boats Henry bought from Thomas Boleyn, and it was HE (Thomas Boleyn) who named them after his daughters. They were The Mary Boleyn and The Anne Boleyn. They weren’t full-sized ships, though, and I don’t know what happened to them. Sorry.

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September 6, 2011
4:24 am
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Bill1978
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Thanks for that explanation on the boats. I will admit I was puzzled when reading TOBG about Henry being so brazen about his affair with Mary by building and naming a boat in his honour. And through my limited research I couldn't find anything about the Mary Boleyn boat. You have cleared up a minor puzzle in my Tudor life.

September 6, 2011
1:31 pm
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Mya Elise
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Great! another very false thing from PG. I honestly thought that the boat part was true.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

September 7, 2011
10:34 am
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Neil Kemp
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Impish_Impulse said:

There were two boats Henry bought from Thomas Boleyn, and it was HE (Thomas Boleyn) who named them after his daughters. They were The Mary Boleyn and The Anne Boleyn. They weren't full-sized ships, though, and I don't know what happened to them. Sorry.

Impish, like you I only know Henry bought both The Mary Boleyn and The Anne Boleyn from Thomas Boleyn in 1523. I have no idea as to what service they saw whilst under Henry's ownership, or what became of them. It would be interesting to know what use was made of them if anybody out there knows more than we do.

October 9, 2011
2:25 am
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Louise
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Although Henry bought The Mary Boleyn from Thomas Boleyn in 1523, The Anne Boleyn isn't mentioned in the State Papers until 1526. It looks as if it was bought around late December 1526, although I may be wrong. There is certainly a reference to a payment being made to Thomas Boleyn in the December of that year for the ship. 

Wages for the crew of The Mary Boleyn were still being paid in 1530 and as late as August 1545, so Henry still owned it then, although after that I lose track of both ships and I can find no further reference for The Anne Boleyn at all.   

October 9, 2011
3:40 am
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Neil Kemp
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Thanks, Louise. That's a lot more information than I could find. Reference The Anne Boleyn, I would imagine that if it remained in Henry's ownership beyond 1536 it would probably have been re-named. I couldn't see Henry keeping a ship of that name given the fact that everything else involving AB had effectively been purged from Henry's sight and mind.

October 9, 2011
3:47 am
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Louise
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Neil Kemp said:

Thanks, Louise. That’s a lot more information than I could find. Reference The Anne Boleyn, I would imagine that if it remained in Henry’s ownership beyond 1536 it would probably have been re-named. I couldn’t see Henry keeping a ship of that name given the fact that everything else involving AB had effectively been purged from Henry’s sight and mind.

I agree. If it had been sold then there would be a record of monies being paid for it. There may be, but I can't find anything.

A change of name is far more likely, although again you would think that there would also be a record of the change of name, but then again, maybe not!

The dificulty is that some of Letters and Papers aren't indexed, which means looking for mention of a ship among all the thousands of documents is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

October 9, 2011
9:48 am
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Sharon
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Neil Kemp said:

Thanks, Louise. That's a lot more information than I could find. Reference The Anne Boleyn, I would imagine that if it remained in Henry's ownership beyond 1536 it would probably have been re-named. I couldn't see Henry keeping a ship of that name given the fact that everything else involving AB had effectively been purged from Henry's sight and mind.

With my cynical view of Henry….maybe he sank it!  Wink   I’m surprised there were records as late as 1545 of the Mary Boleyn being around. 

October 10, 2011
3:14 am
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Neil Kemp
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Sharon, I think a cynical viewpoint is always the best option with Henry.Wink Perhaps a ship called Jane Seymour appeared around June, 1536. Although I couldn't think JS would be too pleased to get something second hand named after her, let alone the AB connection. All in all, I think Henry could well have sunk The Anne Boleyn, after all it would have been in character with his mood and actions at that time.

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