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An Inventory of Boleyn Grants – Spring 1536

Posted By on March 3, 2014

Thomas Boleyn's memorial brass

Thomas Boleyn’s memorial brass

In Letters and Papers for 3rd March 1536 is the following record:

“List of grants by the King to Thos. Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire, and Geo. Boleyn, lord Rochford, from 29 April 14 Hen. VIII. to 3 March 27 Hen. VIII.”

As Julia Fox says, in her book on Jane Boleyn, this inventory “suggests that George’s father had every reason to feel threatened” when his children fell in May 1536.

It is not known exactly when the inventory was taken, but I suspect that it was shortly after 3rd March because that is the date it went up to. On 3rd March, Thomas Boleyn’s lease of the Crown honour of Rayleigh in Essex was extended for a term of thirty years, and George was brought in as joint tenant with a 20 per cent rebate on the £100 rent, so the Boleyns had not lost favour at this point but was something brewing?

Notes and Sources

  • LP x. 409, 597
  • Fox, Julia (2007), Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford, p184

3 thoughts on “An Inventory of Boleyn Grants – Spring 1536”

  1. marsha says:

    Hi Claire,

    Just wondering if you can tell me what the number refers to after the date of the letters and papers? It says 29 April 14 Hen. viii. What does the 14 stand for?

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Marsha,
      Instead of putting the year, things are always dated according to the year of the monarch’s reign, so “29 April 14 Hen. VIII. to 3 March 27 Hen. VIII” means “29 April 1523 to 3 March 1536”.

  2. BanditQueen says:

    The inventory could mean a couple of things perhaps: either the King was taking stock of their assets as he was thinking of some action now or in the future, or he was assessing the estates for an exchange. Royal estates and grants were exchanged at the will of the King and subject to change. Another possibility was a regular listing that may have gone on from time to time for taxation purposes or other government purposes, or something may have been in the King’s mind, in case he did need to move against them. What if the King saw the family as a threat or imagined a threat as Henry had a brainstorm at this time?

    What is interesting also is that a few weeks later, honours meant for the Boleyns went to other members of the inner court; and so did estates meant for them. The ground under their feet was shifting; they may not as yet be falling from grace and favour, but the air was definately moving in another direction.

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