Burial: Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, England
Spouse: Jane Parker, Viscountess Rochford c.1505-1542
Parents: Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire c.1477-1539 & Elizabeth Howard c.1480-1538
Siblings: Mary Stafford c.1499-1543 / Thomas Boleyn c.1500 / Anne Boleyn c.1501-1536 / Henry Boleyn c.1502
Noble Connections: As the brother of Anne Boleyn, George was brother-in-law to Henry VIII and uncle to Elizabeth I. His father-in-law was Lord Morley, and his sister, Mary, was also a mistress to Henry VIII. His uncle on his mother’s side was Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
Controversy: There has been plenty of controversy raised over George Boleyn, but the most controversial is the idea that he had sex with his sister, Anne, and committed incest. Anne and George were both convicted of incest and were executed as a result. There have also been rumours, fuelled largely by TV show ‘The Tudors’, that George was in fact homosexual, but there is no evidence.
Birth: 7th December 1545 at Temple Newsam, Yorkshire, England
Death: 10th February 1567 at Kirk O’Field, Edinburgh, Scotland
Burial: 14th February 1567 at Holyrood Abbey, Scotland
Spouse: Mary Queen of Scots 1542-1587, married 1565
Children: James VI of Scotland 1566-1625
Parents: Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox 1516-1571 & Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox 1515-1578
Siblings: Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox 1557-1576
Noble Connections: Through his mother, Margaret Douglas, Henry Stuart is the grandson of Margaret Tudor and thus the great-grandson of Henry VII of England. His maternal relations aside from the Tudors are the Earls of Angus. His paternal relations are the Earls of Lennox and Atholl.
Controversy: The main controversy over the life of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, is how he died. His body and that of his valet were found in Kirk O’Field, where they had been staying. There was the sound of an explosion early in the morning, later attributed to barrels of gunpowder left in the room underneath Darnley’s. The pair were found in the orchard having fled the scene and Darnley appeared to have been smothered.
Children: Catherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham 1547-1602 /George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon 1547-1603 / John Carey, 3rd Baron Hunsdon ?-1617 / Henry Carey / Thomas Carey / William Carey / Thomas Carey / Edmund Carey c.1558-1637 / Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth 1560-1639 / Margaret Hoby c.1567-1605 / Philadelphia Scrope, Baroness Scrope of Bolton c.1552-1627
Parents: Mary Boleyn c.1499-1543 & William Carey c.1500-1528
Siblings: Catherine Knollys c.1524-1569
Noble Connections: Henry’s mother, Mary Boleyn, was the mistress of Henry VIII. His aunt, Anne Boleyn, became the second wife of Henry VIII, and his cousin, Elizabeth I became queen. His grandfather was Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond and his great-uncle was Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.
Controversy: It has been suggested that Henry Carey and his sister, Catherine, were actually the children of Henry VIII by his mistress, Mary Boleyn. This has never been proven and Henry never acknowledged either of them. It is now generally accepted that Henry was likely the son of William Carey, while Catherine is the one of the siblings more likely to have been the king’s, but we’ll probably never know. For a breakdown of the arguments see my previous blog post here.
Works of Fiction:
P.F. Chisholm – ‘A Famine of Horses’ (2016)
Portrayals on Screen:
Kelly Hart – ‘The Mistresses of Henry VIII’ (2009)
Philippa Jones – ‘The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards’ (2009)
Amy Licence – ‘The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII’ (2014)
Alison Weir – ‘Mary Boleyn: The Great and Infamous Whore’ (2011)
Josephine Wilkinson – ‘Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII’s Favourite Mistress’ (2010)
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. He was executed on Tower Hill just days before Henry VIII’s death in 1547 for treason. Surrey was one of the founders of English poetry who, along with Thomas Wyatt, introduced the sonnet into English. He had been raised with Henry VIII’s bastard son by Bessie Blount, Henry Fitzroy, and his sister, Mary, would marry Henry Fitzroy.
Name: Henry Howard
Title/s: Earl of Surrey / Knight of the Garter
Birth: 1517 (exact date unknown) at Hunsdon, Hertfordshire (England)
Death: 19 January 1547 (beheaded on Tower Hill, London for treason)
Burial: Church of St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham, Suffolk (England)
Spouse: Frances de Vere, Countess of Surrey c.1516-1577
Children: Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk c.1535-1572 / Jane Neville, Countess of Westmorland c.1537-1593 / Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton c.1540-1614 / Margaret Scrope, Baroness Scrope of Bolton c.1542-1592 / Catherine Berkeley, Baroness Berkeley 1539-1596
Parents: Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk 1473-1554 & Elizabeth Stafford, Duchess of Norfolk c.1494-1558
Siblings: Catherine Stanley, Countess of Derby ?-1530 / Mary Fitzroy, Duchess of Richmond 1519-1557 / Thomas Howard, 1st Viscount Bindon c.1520-c.1582
Noble Connections: Henry Howard was the eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk and would have been the 4th Duke of Norfolk, but he died before his father. His mother was descended from the Dukes of Buckingham, so he could trace his ancestry to both Edward III and Edward I. His sister, Mary, married the bastard son of Henry VIII, Henry Fitzroy. His cousins, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, were both married to Henry VIII.
Controversy: Henry Howard was executed for treason just days before Henry VIII’s death. His father only escaped the axeman because of Henry VIII’s death.
Works of Fiction:
Darcey Bonnette, Secrets of the Tudor Court (2011)
Portrayals on Screen:
David O’Hara, The Tudors, 2010, 9 episodes
Edmond Bapst, Two Gentleman Poets at the Court of Henry VIII: George Boleyn and Henry Howard (2013)
Jessie Childs, Henry VIII’s Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (2006)
Robert Hutchinson, House of Treason: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty (2011)
Robert Hutchinson, The Last Days of Henry VIII (2005)
Margaret Douglas was the mother-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots, the mother of Henry, Lord Darnley. She was also the granddaughter of Henry VII, niece to Henry VIII. She was in trouble with Henry VIII twice due to her love affairs with two different members of the Howard family. She was sent to the Tower before being married to the Earl of Lennox to seal a Scottish alliance. Margaret had also been a part of Cardinal Wolsey’s household and that of Princess Mary.
Name: Margaret Douglas / Margaret Stewart
Title/s: Countess of Lennox
Birth: 7 October 1515 at Harbottle Castle, Northumberland, England
Death: 7 March 1578 in Hackney, London, England
Burial: Westminster Abbey, London, England
Spouse: Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox 1516-1571
Children: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley 1545-1567 / Charles Stuart 1st Earl of Lennox 1557-1576
Parents: Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus 1489-1557 & Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland 1489-1541
Siblings: James V 1512-1542 (half-brother)
Noble Connections: Margaret was the niece of Henry VIII through his mother, Margaret Tudor. This meant that she was also the granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was also the mother-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots, as her son, Lord Darnley, married her as her second husband. Margaret had a prominent position at the English court so would have been acquainted with much of the English nobility.