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Henry the VIII is a notorious and well known historical figure, alongside his wife Anne Boleyn who married Henry in 1533 after Henry has his marriage annulled to his faithful wife of 20 years Catherine to marry Anne. Anne Boleyn was later famously imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed on the 19th May 1536.
In the day of the Royal Court such as Henry, the VIII’s they were known for their often incestuous affairs and marriages. Anne’s younger sister, Mary was well known for her beauty but lacked the wit, grace and poise of Anne. None-the-less she caught the attention of Henry the VIII. Historian’s dispute what year Mary was born but what we can gather is she lived in her forties. (1)
Mary was married before Anne at the age of 12 years to a man twice her age. Even in the sixteenth century, this was considered young to marry. The marriage was most likely not consummated until a few years after the nuptials wed. (2)
Again facts range from historian to historian about Mary’s affair with Henry the VIII. In 1523 Henry names his new ship Mary Boleyn. It is believed that in 1525 she had a brief relationship with the King and that the affair was well known in diplomatic circles. On the 4th of March, Mary gave birth to a son called Henry who was assumed to the be King’s son.(3)
Mary was also rumoured to have been a mistress of Henry VIII’s rival, King Francis I of France, for some period between 1515 and 1519. (4)
Mary Boleyn was married twice: in 1520 to William Carey, who died of sweating sickness and again, secretly, in 1534, to William Stafford, a soldier who she loved. Unfortunately, despite being personally happy, the marriage was considered beneath her station and angered both King Henry VIII and her sister, Queen Anne, and resulted in Mary’s banishment from the royal court. (5)
“She died seven years later, having spent the remainder of her life in obscurity”. (6)
(1) (2) Hanson, Marilee. “Mary Boleyn: Biography, Portrait, Facts & Information” https://englishhistory.net/tudor/citizens/mary-boleyn/ (accessed: 12 April 2018)
Kantor, H. Jonathan, “Top 10 Prominent Prostitutes in History”https://listverse.com/2016/07/15/top-10-prominent-prostitutes-in-history/ (accessed: 12 April 2018)
(3) Plowden, Alison. “The Other Boleyn Girl”. https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/boleyn_mary_01.shtml (accessed 12 April 2018)
Simkin, John. “Spartacus Educational” https://spartacus-educational.com/Mary_Boleyn.htm (accesed: 12 April 2018)
(4) (5) (6) Wikipedia contributors, “Mary Boleyn,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mary_Boleyn&oldid=834264454 (accessed April 12, 2018).