Tag-Archive for » Mary Boleyn «

Did Henry VIII father Mary Boleyn’s children?

Henry Carey, Mary's first child

I was inspired to write this article after reading another chapter of new book by David Loades, ‘The Boleyns’. In chapter entitled  ‘Mary & the King’s Fancy – in and out of Favour’ professor Loades states that ;

”Mistress Carey’s charms may have faded, or been replaced by those of her sister, but the indications are that Mary was handed over to her husband at some point in the summer of 1525. Her son, Henry Carey, was born on 4 March 1526, and that suggests that she began to sleep with William at some time in June or July of 1525.” / p. 52 /

”From 1526 onwards Mary is overshadowed by her sister Anne, and glimpses of her in the records become few. She must have spent quite a lot of her time on pregnancy leave, because a few months after Henry’s birth, she had conceived again, and bore William’s second child, a daughter Catherine, at some time in 1527.’ / p. 53/

I have to say that I always thought that Catherine Carey was born c. 1524 and thus was Mary Carey’s first child. In her book ‘Mary Boleyn : The True Story of Henry VIII’s Favourite Mistress’ Josephine Wilkinson states that ;

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Mary Boleyn’s portrait…? UPDATE

Copy of 'Mary Boleyn' portrait c. 1630-1670

You probably remember my article about portrait allegedly depicting Mary Boleyn. Historian and author Alison Weir claims that there are 6 versions of this portrait and that it probably depicts a royal sitter because of the ermine fur;

“The fact that there are at least six versions of the ‘Mary’ portrait indicates that there was demand for a portrait of the sitter, and she is wearing ermine, a fur restricted to the upper nobility and royalty.”[1]

I did a research about this and in this article I am going to write more about this portrait. I was looking for information about provenance of the portrait of ‘Mary Boleyn’ and confirmation of Alison Weir’s claim that there were ‘at least 6 versions of this portrait’.

I contacted Anna L. Splender who is a Deputy Head Steward at the Hever Castle. She kindly replied that;

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Mary Boleyn’s portrait?

Mary Boleyn...?

In her latest book ‘Mary Boleyn: The Great and Infamous Whore’ Alison Weir points out that the famous portrait of Mary Boleyn may actually be a portrait of Frances Brandon, mother of Jane Grey. On her website, Alison Weir gives an explanation of this theory :

‘I’ve written a whole appendix on the subject of portraits of Mary Boleyn and William Carey. The fact that there are at least six versions of the ‘Mary’ portrait indicates that there was demand for a portrait of the sitter, and she is wearing ermine, a fur restricted to the upper nobility and royalty. So I suspect, given the proliferation of the image, that the sitter was royal. Anyway, the costume is that of the mid-1530s. There would not have been any demand for Mary at that time, given that she was little known and in disgrace (and probably living abroad) from 1534. The sitter bears no resemblance to portraits of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour or Margaret Douglas. She is too young to be Mary Tudor, who died in 1533. Could this be Frances Brandon? A wedding portrait from 1533? There is a resemblance in the nose to Charles Brandon in his ‘marriage’ portrait (yes, I think it is him, having done some digging last night, although I think it’s later than 1515/16.) Even so, that doesn’t quite explain the demand for pictures of Frances – she wasn’t that well known either! It would help if we could identify any clue or reference in the pendant or brooch, or the flowers, but they are too indistinct.[1]

For a very long I’ve been thinking about Mary Boleyn portrait, and something was not right. I agree with Alison Weir in few points :

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