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How the mighty had fallen: Jane Boleyn and her role in fall of Anne and George Boleyn

"The Tudors"

On this day in history 13 February 1542 Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, widow of George Boleyn and former sister-in-law of ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn, was executed along fifth wife of Henry VIII, teenage Catherine Howard.

Lady Rochford remains a mysterious and controversial historic figure. Through centuries she was perceived as a wicked wife who provided a false testimony against her husband and his sister. I must admit – Jane Boleyn is one of those historic characters that I feel especially drawn to. In today’s article I will take a closer look at Jane and her involvement in the Boleyn’s downfall.

My article is also a guest post on the blog On the Tudor Trail

 Who Jane Boleyn was?

She was born as Jane Parker, daughter of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley and Alice St John. Jane was related to King Henry VIII and therefore her family was politically active, respected and well-connected at the court. Jane’s date of birth remains unknown although the most probable date seems to be c. 1505.

Although no portrait of Jane survived, she was probably considered attractive in her times – she was chosen to play in prestigious “Château Vert” masque at Court in 1522, where also her future sisters-in-law (Anne and Mary Boleyn) played their parts. Jane played the role of Constancy, Anne Boleyn was Perseverance, Mary Boleyn was Kindness, and the King’s sister Mary Rose Tudor was Beauty.

Jane & the Boleyn family

The date of marriage between Jane Parker and George Boleyn is not recorded; according to Alison Weir they married ‘late in 1524’. They were both about the same age, young and attractive, members of prominent English families.

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