Who was the real Thomas Boleyn and what his role in Tudor history?



  • Thomas Boleyn was born at Hever Castle, Kent, the eldest of ten children of Sir William Boleyn and Lady Margaret Butler
  • Thomas brother John Boleyn is born 1481 – 1484
  • 9TH APRIL King Edward IV of England is dead and now his young son Edward V is King of England.
  • 26TH JUNE King Edward V of England is deposed and his uncle Richard III is now King of England
  • Thomas brother Anthony Boleyn is born 1483 – 30 September 1493
  • 22ND AUGUST Battle Bosworth, Part of the Wars of the Roses. Richard III of England is killed and Henry Tudor becomes King of England as Henry VII.
  • Thomas sister Jane Boleyn is born   ( died after 1521)
  • Thomas sister Alice Boleyn is born (Died 1st November 1538)
  • Thomas sister Margaret Boleyn is born.
  • Thomas father William is High Sheriff of Kent
  • Thomas brother William Boleyn is born. (1491 – 18th December 1571)
  • Thomas brother Sir James Boleyn is born (1493 – 5th December 1561)
  • Thomas youngest brother Sir Edward Boleyn is born
  • It is believed Thomas met his future wife Elizabeth Howard around this period.
  • Thomas married Lady Elizabeth Howard, eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tilney.
  • Mary Boleyn, Thomas daughter is born.
  • Blickling Hall is home to Thomas and his wife Elizabeth 1499-1505
  • Thomas Boleyn the younger is born Thomas son (Believed to have died young)Thomas is buried at Penshurst Church
  • William, Thomas father is High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Anne Boleyn is born, Thomas daughter
  • 14TH NOVEMBER Thomas was present at ’s wedding to Prince Arthur in 1501. at Saint Paul's Cathedral;
  • Thomas sister Anne married Sir John Shelton
  • Henry Boleyn, Thomas son is born ((Believed to have died young)Henry is buried at St Peter’s Church, Hever.
  • 8TH JULY Thomas was part of the party that helped escort Margaret Tudor north for her marriage to James IV of Scotland
  • George Boleyn , Thomas son is born
  • 10TH OCTOBER Thomas 's father William died
  • Thomas inherited Hever castle.He lived there with his wife Lady Elizabeth Howard and their children George, Mary and Anne
  • 21ST APRIL KingHenry VII of England is dead and now his son, Henry VII as King of England.
  • 11TH JUNE King Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon
  • 22ND JUNE Thomas is was created a Knight of the Bath, Henry VIII created 24 Knights of the Bath in a special ceremony at the Tower of London.
  • 24TH JUNE The coronation of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Elizabeth, Thomas wife served as one of the “baronesses” of the Queen’s Chamber at the coronation
  • JULY Thomas was appointed Keeper of the Foreign Exchange in Calais
  • JANUARY Thomas participated in a revel in honour of the Queen and dressed up as one of Robin Hood’s (the King’s) men
  • MAY Thomas is involved in jousting with the King at Greenwich
  • FEBRUARY Thomas was involved in the jousts to celebrate birth of Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall. Henry Duke of Cornwall only lived a few weeks.
  • Thomas is made a Sheriff of Kent
  • Thomas was joint with Henry Wyatt made constable of Norwich Castle,
  • Thomas was appointed as one of the three English envoys to the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) which brought him into contact with the regent Archduchess Margaret of Austria.
  • Thomas daughter Anne Boleyn was invited to join the schoolroom of Margaret of Austria and her four wards.
  • Thomas sent His daughter Mary to join her sister Anne abroad in 1514 after he secured her a place as maid-of-honor to the King's sister, Princess Mary, who was going to Paris to marry King Louis XII of France. Anne Thomas daughter went on to be a maid of honor to Queen Mary, and then to Mary's 15-year-old stepdaughter Queen Claude, with whom she stayed nearly seven years.
  • Thomas son George was introduced to Henry VIII's court at the age of ten when he attended the Christmas festivities
  • Thomas sold New Hall to King Henry VIII for £1,000
  • 21ST FEBRUARY Thomas Boleyn acted as a canopy bearer at the christening of Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.
  • Thomas is again made a Sheriff of Kent
  • Thomas is made: ambassador to France, 1518-21
  • Thomas daughter Mary returns to England and was appointed a maid-of-honor to Catherine of Aragon.
  • Thomas was made The Comptroller of the Household
  • 4TH FEBRUARY Mary Boleyn, Thomas daughter married William Carey. Henry VIII was a guest at the couple's wedding.
  • JUNE The field of Cloth and Gold. Thomas was involved in arrangements for the "The field of Cloth and Gold. meeting between Henry and the new French King Francis I, Thomas was one of forty, of the select members of government, nobility and the Church who were to ride with the King to his first meeting with Francis I. Thomas’s wife, Elizabeth, Thomas wife was appointed to attend Queen Catherine.
  • Thomas daughter Mary became Henry  VIII mistress exact date is unknown.
  • Thomas is made Treasurer of the Household 1521–1525
  • Thomas is Envoy to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
  • JANUARY Thomas daughter Anne had returned to England joining the royal court as one of Queen Catherine.'s maids-of-honour
  • APRIL Thomas and his son George received a joint grant of various manor houses in Kent.
  • Thomas was was invested as a Knight of the Garter
  • Granted the keepership of Thunderley and Westwood Park
  • Granted the stewardship of Swaffham
  • King Henry VIII takes an interest in Thomas other daughter Anne Boleyn
  • Thomas son George married |Jane Parker,and was appointed gentleman of the Privy Chamber,
  • 18TH JUNE Thomas is created Viscount Rochford 1525–1533 and is on ownership of Rochford Hall
  • Henry VIII at this point initially attempts to obtain a papal annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon , Henry also requested a dispensation to marry Anne because the Mary her sister was his former mistress
  • Thomas goes on a Diplomatic missions to France
  • Sweating sickness broke out . Anne Boleyn , Thomas daughter is ill with the sickness but survives,William Carey, Mary Boleyn's husband died.
  • Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, was persuaded to renounce his Ormond title in favour of one of his rival claimants, the 7th Earl's grandson, who was Thomas
  • Thomas is made Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond 1529–1539
  • Thomas is an Envoy to a meeting of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Pope Clement VII, to seek support for the marriage annulment of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. This was followed by another envoy to France.
  • 8TH DECEMBER George, , Thomas son was granted the courtesy title of Viscount Rochford
  • 26TH JANUARY Thomas was made was appointed Lord Privy Seal 1530–1536
  • 11TH FEBRUARY Henry VIII recognised as supreme head of the Church of England
  • SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER Anne, Thomas daughter is given the peerage of the Marquessate of Pembroke The investiture ceremony was performed by Henry VIII himself in Windsor Castle. The ceremony was an elaborate affair, witnessed by the highest ranking peers and clergy in the kingdom, including Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk (Henry's brother-in-law); Edward Lee, Archbishop of York; John Stokesley, Bishop of London; and Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. The French ambassador was also present.
  • 25TH JANUARY Henry VIII married Anne, Thomas daughter
  • 30TH MARCH Thomas Cranmer the Boleyn former family chaplain becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
  • 23RD MAY Henry VIII's marriage with Catherine. of Aragon officially declared annulled. Catherine refuses to accept and continues to believe herself the wife of Henry until her death
  • 28TH MAY Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry and Anne to be good and valid.
  • 1ST JUNE The coronation of Anne Boleyn
  • 11TH JULY Pope Clement VII excommunicates Henry VIII.
  • Thomas sister Anne and Alice are placed in charge of the household of the King's daughter, Princess Mary.
  • 7TH SEPTEMBER Thomas daughter Anne Boleyn gives birth to a girl (The future Elizabeth 1st of England)
  • Alice , Thomas sister was also a senior member of Princess Elizabeth household while she was living at Hatfield Palace in Hertfordshire
  • 15TH JANUARY The English Reformation Parliament passes the Act Respecting the Oath to the Succession recognising the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and their children as the legitimate heirs to the throne
  • Mary , Thomas daughter secretly married William Carey, a man considered of low birth. Due to Mary Choice in marriage she is exiled from court
  • Rochford Hall was given by Thomas to his daughter Mary and her new husband and became their principal residence.
  • 6TH JULY Sir Thomas More is executed for treason on Tower Hill after refusing to agree to Henry VIII's decision to separate the English church from the Roman Catholic church
  • 8TH JANUARY Catherine. of Aragon is dead
  • 9TH JANUARY Henry VIII and Anne wore yellow, the symbol of joy and celebration in England, from head to toe, and celebrated Catherine. death with festivities.In Spain, the home country of Catherine. of Aragon, yellow was the colour of mourning, in addition to black
  • Thomas daughter Anne Boleyn has a miscarriage.
  • 24TH APRIL Thomas is one of two commissions of oyer and terminer were set up to investigate treason .Little did he realise The setting up of this commission was the beginning of the end for his family.
  • 2ND MAY Thomas children, Anne and George were arrested on charges of treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
  • 12TH MAY The four others implicated in the plot,with adultery with A|nne Boleyn the Queen were Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton were tried in court. Only Smeaton confessed
  • 14TH MAY Thomas Cranmer declares Henry marriage to Anne Boleyn to be null and void
  • 15TH MAY The trials of Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth Boleyn ,(aunt through marriage)and Mary Kingston who accompanied Queen Anne to her trial
  • 17TH MAY The execution of George Boleyn along with other George Boleyn and the other four men that had been tried were beheaded on Tower Hill
  • 19TH MAY The execution of Anne Boleyn
  • Thomas is re-made Viscount Rochford 1536–1539
  • 30TH MAY King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, a former lady-in-waiting to both Catherine. of Aragon and Anne Boleyn
  • 29TH JUNE Thomas , was stripped of his office of Lord Privy Seal. Three days later, the office was granted to Thomas Cromwell
  • LATE Thomas helped squash the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace
  • OCTOBER Thomas was present at the baptism of Prince Edward (The future Edward VI)
  • 22ND JANUARY Thomas is re-recognised as the Earl of Ormond
  • 3RD APRIL Thomas wife Elizabeth Howard died.
  • 12TH MARCH Thomas Boleyn died at his home, Hever Castle, aged around sixty-two
Thomas Boleyn was buried St. Peter's Church Hever, Kent United Kingdom


  • Thomas Boleyn was the 1st Earl of Wiltshire, 1st Earl of Ormond,1st Viscount Rochford


  • Thomas was the father of queen consort Anne Boleyn and the future grandfather of Elizabeth 1st of England.


  • Margaret Butler, Thomas mother was born in Ireland in Kilkenny castle and came from the Earls of Ormond. Margaret was the last of the Boleyn to live in Hever Castle Thomas’s mother, Margaret was a descendant of Eleanor de Bohun, Countess of Ormond who was the granddaughter of Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile.


  • James Boleyn, Thomas brother, was the chancellor of the household of his niece, Anne Boleyn when she was the second wife of Henry VIII.


  • Thomas met his wife Elizabeth Howard at court. Elizabeth had been a lady-in-waiting at the royal court; first to Elizabeth of York, and then to Catherine of Aragon


  • Thomas Boleyn was a successful courtier and diplomat and in due time secured places for both Mary and George at the English court and then his daughter Anne,


  • Thomas survived the downfall after his family's fall from grace in the spring of 1536. After Thomas helped with the squash the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, he managed to work his way back to favour in the court. In 1538 after the death of his wife Elizabeth, rumours did fly around the court of a possible marriage between Thomas and  Margaret Douglas the Kings niece. Those rumour in itself gives an impression of how his status must of rose since the Boleyn downfall



  • History in fiction can portray Thomas Boleyn as manipulating and cold in its interpretation in how he escaped the same fate of what happened to his son George and his daughter Anne. Thomas was politically ambitious, intelligent and knew how to manage people. However, he was already successful in the court prior to both his daughter's involvement with the king. One can only guess or assume make our own judgments on what we believe. King Henry VIII paid his chaplain, William Franklyn, Dean of Windsor, “for certain oraisons, suffrages and masses to be said for the soul’s health of th’erle of Wilts, King Henry VIII ”  obviously had some respect for the late Earl, who not only been in his service, but also his father's Henry VII.


All contents © 2018 THE GHOSTS WHO STILL WALK THE EARTH: Tudor Rose


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