Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire

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Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, Earl of Ormond, Viscount Rochford, KG[2] (c. 1477 – 12 March 1539) was an English diplomat and politician in the Tudor era. He was born at the family home, Hever Castle, Kent, which had been purchased by his grandfather Geoffrey Boleyn, who was a wealthy mercer. He was buried at St. Peter's parish church in the village of Hever. His parents were Sir William Boleyn (1451 – 10 October 1505) and Lady Margaret Butler (1454–1539). He was the father of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England. As such, he was the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I.


Marriage and issue

Sometime before 1499, Boleyn married Lady Elizabeth Howard, eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tilney. They had five known children, only three of whom survived childhood:

  • Mary Boleyn (c.1499 – 19 July 1543); Lady Mary Carey (1520–1528); Lady Stafford (1534–1543)
  • Anne Boleyn (c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536); later Queen Consort of England
  • George Boleyn (c. 1504 – 17 May 1536); later Viscount Rochford by courtesy
  • Thomas Boleyn (thought to have died young)
  • Henry Boleyn (thought to have died young)

Diplomatic career

Through his ability and the connections of his extended family, he became one of King Henry VIII's leading diplomats. Known appointments and missions included:

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