The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
The Anne Boleyn Villain Series: Origins
By Bayly Ogden
Common knowledge of Lady Boleyn is that she was the second wife of Henry VIII and that she was executed for adultery and treason. But who was Lady Boleyn really and where did she come from?
The background of Anne Boleyn begins with her origin as a member of a wealthy merchant family. Lady Anne Boleyn was a courtier who belonged to two important houses: Boleyn and Howard. The rise of the Boleyn family began with Geoffrey Boleyn, Lady Anne Boleyn’s great-grandfather, “founder of family fortunes” (Starkey 257) who served as mayor for the capitol city of London from 1457-1458 C.E., receiving the title of customary knighthood. The trend through the Boleyn family was for the men to marry into noble families. For instance, Thomas Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s father, married into the Howard family. The Howard family was a noble family that held the favor of both Tudor kings. Thomas Boleyn married Elizabeth Howard in 1500 C.E. They had three children in the course of their marriage: Mary, Anne, and George (Starkey 257).
The education of Anne and George is well documented, while information on Mary's is lacking. Even Starkey describes her as “a placid and unremarkable girl. But she was a very attractive women and found [men] irresistible too, or at least, her resistance never seems to have lasted long” (Starkey 258). Whereas Mary was pushed aside as another daughter, Anne was favored by her father for her intelligence and ambition, traits both father and daughter shared.
In the spring of 1513 C.E., Anne Boleyn was sent to serve in the household of Archduchess Margret, the daughter of Emperor Maximilian. The household was like an international finishing school, where she received a formal training in French language (Starkey 259). In 1515 C.E., Anne was then placed in the household of the French Queen Claude. In this court, her main training was not in the classic women’s studies of languages but in the art of French socializing. This was due to the fact that Lady Anne and Queen Claude were the same age at thirteen years old. She spent about six years in the French Court where she acquired a French accent (Starkey 262).
Stay tuned for the next installment of "The Anne Boleyn Villain Series," due out March 22, 2012. Read the original post here.