George Boleyn

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George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford as played by Padraic Delaney
Ambassador, Courtier and Poet

Born c. April 1504 - Executed May 17th, 1536 by order of King Henry VIII
Character's backstory: Attended Oxford University & began his career at Court as a Page and later as a Squire. He was first mentioned in court records when he played a part in the 1514-1515 Christmas revels. George was assigned to the household of Cardinal Wolsey and held a post in the Privy Chamber. He married Jane Parker circa 1524/5 just before the King started to actively court his sister Anne. In December 1529, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to France which it is thought his sister Anne had secured for him as he was so young, although he had clearly demonstrated an ability to undertake the role. The French ambassador, du Bellay, commented that he was considerably younger than many of the other foreign diplomats. On 8th December 1529 he was created Viscount Rochford. In May 1535 he was an envoy to Calais in the negotiations for a marriage between the Princess Elizabeth Tudor & the Duke of Angoulême.

After he was arrested & sent to the Tower, Sir William Kingston reported that he became agitated & said :"When shall I come before the King's Council? I think I shall not come forth till I come to my judgement", and burst into tears. He did however accept his fate with dignity and after he was found guilty, said that after all, all men were sinners and deserving of death, but was concerned about those who owed him money, fearing that they would be ruined.

Gentility: Son of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire & Ormonde and Lady Elizabeth Howard, sister of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

Position: made the King's cupbearer in 1526 and Gentleman of the King's Privy chamber (Esquire of the body) in 1528, Master of the Buckhounds, Knighted in October 1529 and created Viscount Rochford on 8th December 1529. Also performed diplomatic duties in France like his father before him. Appointed to Parliament in February 1533. Took an active role in the Reformation Parliament from 1530 until his death. Appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle in June 1534.

Personality type: Gifted, handsome and a powerful erudite political figure. Bright, witty, intelligent & a very popular member of the Tudor Court. Described by David Starkey as having "some of Anne's talents and all of her pride".
He was very devoted to the new religion and always spoke up for persecuted men, as had his sister Anne. He read the bible and believed everyone should be able to read it in english and make peace with their God.

Signature look: self-assured

Endearing trait(s): very close with his sister Anne.

Annoying trait(s): had a reputation as a womanizer
(as per Cavendish's
"Metrical Visions" )
*The series portrays him as having a homosexual affair with Mark Smeaton. Historian Eric Ives states that there is not one "scintilla" of evidence to support George as being a homosexual. In fact since the Buggery Act (outlawing sod*my) had been enacted in 1533, it is unlikely that Cromwell would not have invoked it as a cause for his arrest as he didn't balk at the incest charge.

Religion : An enthusiastic patron of Reformist philosophers, according to Fish's wife, he suggested to Anne that she show the copy of Fish's A Supplication for the Beggars to the King that she had been sent. In fact Imperial Ambassador Chapuys complained that one could never dine with him without being subjected to some sort of theological debate.

George Boleyn as played by Padraic Delaney
George Boleyn's signature

"Masters all, I am come hither not to preach
a sermon but to die, as the law hath found me,
and to the law I submit me

~ George Boleyn's Last words

" Some say, 'Rochford,

haddest thou been not so proud,
For thy great wit each man would thee bemoan,
Since as it is so, many cry aloud
It is great loss that thou art dead and gone."
~ A verse from Sir Thomas Wyatt's eulogy poem written
after the executions of George & the 4 other men.
Anne Boleyn is not mentioned in the poem.

"Chapuys...states that Anne, ludicrously "was also charged, and her brother likewise, with having laughed at the King and his dress" and making fun of his poetry, "which was objected to them as a great crime" ; in sum,, "she showed in various ways she did not love the King but was tired of him".
~ Alison Weir's Lady in the Tower

- could it be that Henry's feelings were hurt?

“Chaucer by writing purchast fame,
And Gower got a worthy name:
Sweet Surrey suckt Parnassus springs,
And Wiat wrote of wondrous things:
Olde Rochford clambe the statelie throne
Which Muses hold in Helicone
Then thither let good Gascoigne go,
For sure his verse deserveth so.”

~by Richard Smith (1575) who puts George Boleyn in the same company as Geoffrey Chaucer, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Thomas Wyatt as a poet when writing a verse about George Gascoigne's poems.

See also :

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Family members:
Father - Sir Thomas Boleyn
Mother - Lady Elizabeth Howard
Sister - Anne Boleyn
Sister - Mary Boleyn

Marriage : Jane Parker daughter of Sir Henry Parker, Lord Morley (a conservative catholic supporter of Katherine of Aragon and Princess Mary Tudor) and Alice St. John, daughter of Sir John St. John.
Most historians consider it to have been an unhappy marriage, since his wife made a statement to Cromwell stating that Anne had told her the King was impotent. The implication of this comment being used as evidence against George must either have been that George was being accused of spreading the rumour or that it was being used as a motive for Anne'a alleged behaviour. Lady Rochford has also been accused of raising the incest allegation, although there is disagreement between historians as the precise nature of her evidence.
*The series depicts George raping his wife on their wedding night. There is NO known historical record for this and George did not have a reputation for being a violent man. Any animosity which may have existed between them more than likely stemmed from their different religious beliefs or maybe jealousy on Jane's part for George and Anne's close relationship .

Children :
George Boleyn was rumoured to have had one son called George Boleyn, who became Dean of Lichfield in the reign of Elizabeth I. However,
since Mary Boleyn's children inherited what was left of the Boleyn estate and titles. it is highly unlikely and more probable that The Dean of Lichfield was a distant cousin. (Alison Weir is under the impression he maybe his illegitimate son without any proof or source for this conclusion.)

<a class="external" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Check this link - possible son named Thomas?">Check this link - regarding a possible son named George?</a>

Thomas Wyatt
Francis Weston
William Brereton
Henry Norris
Mark Smeaton
Thomas Cranmer
Hugh Latimer

Catholic Faction sympathetic to Katherine of Aragon & Princess Mary.
Seymour Faction interested in supplanting Anne with Jane Seymour.


  • "Trust in God and not in the vanities of the world; for if I had so done I think I would not have found myself here before you condemned to die." (last words)

  • According to De Carles, regarding his wife Jane, he said that "On the basis of only one woman you are willing to believe this great evil of me, and on the basis of her allegations you are deciding my judgment."

  • When asked by Smeaton "do you play?", George's reply "often"


  • George starts getting undressed by a shirtless Smeaton

  • George bursting out into laughter during his wedding when Cranmer began speaking in Latin, his father comes over to bop him upside the head for his insolence (2.06)

  • Arrest, interrogation and execution (2.0

<embed flashvars="transition=Fade&site=" height="400" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" wmode="transparent"/>

Padraic Delaney as George Boleyn

George Boleyn as played by Padraic Delaney
George Boleyn as played by Padraic Delaney
George Boleyn - The Tudors Wiki
King Henry, Sir Thomas Boleyn & his son, George Boleyn
George Boleyn - The Tudors Wiki
George & his sister, Anne Boleyn
George's execution from Anne's window
George Boleyn - Execution

See also :