The Tudor Society

Josh Widdicombe, the Boleyns and Edward I

It was lovely to see my dear friend and co-author, Dr Owen Emmerson (Hever's historian and assistant curator) and historians such as Anna Whitelock, Tracy Borman, Elizabeth Goldring and Nicola Tallis, featured in last night's "Who Do You Think You Are?", along with my happy place (Hever Castle), and other wonderful places such as Greys Court and Hampton Court Palace.

In the programme, which aired in the UK on BBC One, comedian Josh Widdicombe was having his family tree examined and he had an incredibly interesting one.

If you haven't watched it yet, and plan to, then don't read on! Although you can tell from the title and the photo that the Boleyns are involved!

Spoiler alert...

Josh found out first that he was related to the Barings of Barings Bank, and then he was told that he was descended from Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland. Holland served as Groom of the Stool to King Charles I and unfortunately ended his life on the scaffold due to being a Royalist in the Second English Civil War. That was interesting enough, but then Josh found out that he was descended from Lettice Devereux (née Knollys) who, of course, was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine Carey. Catherine, in turn, was the daughter of William Carey and Mary Boleyn, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn. Josh was amazed that he was descended from the Boleyns and, of course, related to Queen Elizabeth I.

Owen then revealed to Josh that he was descended from King Edward I. What a lineage!

You can catch up on the episode if you have access to BBC iPlayer at

Cheeky book plug alert...

If you want to learn more about the Boleyn family and Hever Castle, why not get hold of a copy of The Boleyns of Hever Castle by Owen Emmerson and Claire Ridgway (yes, me!). I hear it's quite good!

You can find out more at and it's available as a paperback and kindle e-book. Owen has also signed some copies for the Hever Castle online shop - see

If you want to know more about the Boleyn family tree then here are some articles for you from The Anne Boleyn Files website:

Photo nicked from Owen - thanks Owen!

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. M

    I love it, Claire! Wonderful book. Michelle t

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Josh Widdicombe, the Boleyns and Edward I