The Faces of Thomas Boleyn and Mary Boleyn?

Posted By on October 28, 2011

I’ve just been contacted by Roland Hui, author of “A Reassessment of Queen Anne Boleyn’s Portraiture”, which is rather a coincidence as I actually mentioned him in my webinar last night in reference to his thoughts on the Hornebolte (or Horenbout) miniature which some people believe to be Anne Boleyn and others believe to be Mary Boleyn.

Hui has written a new article about the miniatures of Lucas Hornebolte proposing that Hornebolte actually painted Thomas Boleyn and Mary Boleyn – see “Two New Faces: the Hornebolte Portraits of Mary and Thomas Boleyn?”

Hui argues that a miniature once thought to have been of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, may well be of Thomas Boleyn. The age of the sitter certainly fits with the date of the portrait (c.1525) and Boleyn was an important courtier, being elevated to the title of Viscount Rochford at this time. Hui also argues that it may have been Boleyn, and not William Carey, Mary’s husband, who was Hornebolte’s patron.

It really is a very interesting article, so please do take the time to read it.

4 thoughts on “The Faces of Thomas Boleyn and Mary Boleyn?”

  1. Sheena says:

    This is in fact a really interesting article, well thought out and with plenty of evidence (and proper citing of sources) to back up his theories. The minatures, when placed next to the face of portraits of Anne, has enough similarities (shape of the nose, shape of the mouth) where you could see a resemblence and see them potentially being related. Great article!

  2. Shoshana says:

    Be sure to read the notes as they are equally as interesting! Great article, thanks for posting, Claire.

    Give your daughter birthday greetings from all your fans!

  3. Chelsea says:

    HI Claire I just have a quick question about Mary Boleyn’s affair since I am reading that part of the article 🙂 Its actually been something ive wondered for awhile….would Mary share both the bed of her husband AND the King at the same time? I just feel once the king set his interests in Mary she would maybe have been forbidden to have sexual relations with her husband due to protocal or….the idea that if she were to give birth to a son then they would want to know it was solely the king’s. Like in the case of Bessie Blount. I understand any child born as the product of the affair could not receive the status that Bessie’s son did and would have to have the last name Carey instead of Fitzroy……I just don’t see Henry as being ok with actually “sharing” a woman with another man at the same time. I’ve always just gone with the thought that both of Mary’s children were the king’s.

  4. Anne Barnhill says:

    Chelsea, that is an excellent question–I don’t know the answer but, given human nature, I cannot imagine her husband just leaving her alone–after all, she wasn’t likely to tell the king and neither was he…so who knows? This is really fascinating–oh, makes me wish they had cameras back then so we could really see what these fascinating people looked like!

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