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The Tudor Society

Expert Talk – Thomas and George Boleyn – Lauren Mackay

Our expert speaker for the month is Lauren Mackay who is speaking about Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, and George Boleyn, Anne's brother. Lauren's talk covers the lives, careers and downfall of both men - it's a great talk and we learned lots!

There are 6 comments Go To Comment

  1. l /

    I love this new perspective of both Thomas and George Boelyn! Can’t wait to receive your book! I have it on pre-order <3

  2. R /

    I found the mission to the Netherlands very interesting. Fox and his party obviously saw something in Thomas Boleyn to invest him with the powers of special envoy and recommended him to Henry and it was his taking the initiative, breaking with protocol which made this embassy move along. The Archduchess was left to entertain and negotiate while the Emperor paraded around and delayed, negotiating with France at the same time. I love the deceit of all parties trying to play for the upper hand in a dangerous game and Henry was holding out with his promise of military and financial aid. The entire embassy took just over a year, far longer than expected, but Thomas and the others were successful.

    However, the year was a personally profitable one for Thomas Boleyn as it allowed him time to build up a rapport with Marguarite and to become her friend. During the course of this time, Thomas spoke to her about his promising and bright young daughter, Anne. He impressed her with his proud tales of his daughter and by the end, according to his letters, he had obtained a place for her at the most glittering Court in Europe. It would not have been possible otherwise because she was a Knights Daughter, because a special envoy was normally a member of the aristocracy, if I understand your talk correctly, but Thomas was an extraordinary man and held in high esteem by King Henry. However, the time was spent talking and gambling and being entertained and he would have spoken of the charms and virtues of Anne and her potential. Marguarite was charmed and Anne gained a place in her household. I feel her place owes much to her father’s success as an envoy and his ability to charm and to use his skills in order to be successful, here, at home and later in France.

  3. R /

    The link with Erasmus is wholly unexpected. As you say it marks Thomas Boleyn out as a man of intellectual man, again unexpected. He was well educated, yes, we all know this, but his link to Erasmus takes his scholarship up to another level. Beautiful. Cheers.

  4. L /

    Your talk was a revelation on the two Boleyn men whose true colors have been greatly muted. The usual places assigned were props to the story of the tragic Anne. It is obvious that Thomas was a skilled and greatly valued courtier long before Anne and Mary aroused the interest of the King. George was obviously a skilled courtier on the rise before his life was sacrificed. The double tragedy of losing both your young, talented children to cruel whims of Henry’s favor, is heartbreaking.

  5. M /

    Thank you! I learned a lot and was able to let go of perceptions, and, fiction, and I appreciate that.

    1. < /

      Hi Michelle,
      Lauren’s talk is excellent, isn’t it? I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Expert Talk – Thomas and George Boleyn – Lauren Mackay