George Boleyn - Historical Profile
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George Boleyn by <a class="external" href="http://marksatchwill.deviantart.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Mark Satchwill">Mark Satchwill</a>
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There are no known historical portraits of George
- this is a modern imaginative interpretation.
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Headsman's block and Axe at the Tower of London
| George Boleyn’s signature. It was written inside the book ‘Les Lamentations de Matheolus’ and ‘Le Livre de Leesce’ by Jean Lefevre. George Boleyn wrote inside:|
‘Thys boke ys myne, George Boleyn 1526’.
It appears that the book was passed around the Boleyn circle. George seems to have passed it on to Mark Smeaton who added ‘A moi M. Marc S’ at the end of one page. Then the poet Thomas Wyatt owned it and he scribbled down proverbs in Latin, French, Spanish and Italian on the back flyleaves.George was deeply interested in religious texts and when abroad for various diplomatic reasons he purchased books for his sister Anne. Anne amassed a great number of religious books and greatly enhanced the royal library. The fact that both George and Smeaton had access to this book was used by historian Retha Warnicke as the sole piece of evidence to suggest the two men were involved in a homosexual relationship, whilst ignoring the fact that Wyatt had also endorsed the book. This seems to be a case of making the evidence fit the theory rather than the other way around.
by George Cavendish
excerpt on George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
NB. Cavendish’s terminology such as ‘bestial’ and ‘unlawful lechery’ are used frequently in his work
to suggest any behaviour he considers inappropriate, such as adultery. These cannot be taken to mean buggery, because that was not Cavendish’s sixteenth century intention for these words.
He even talks of Henry’s unlawful lechery later and presumably he wasn’t
suggesting Henry indulged in same sex relationships
Dame Eloquence also taught me the arte
In meter and verse to pleasaunt dities.
It hath not been knowen nor seldome seen,
That any of my yeres byfore this day
Into the privy councell preferred hath been:
My soverayn lord in his chamber did me assay,
Or yere thryes nine my life had past away;
A rare thing suer seldom or never hard,
So yong a man so highly to be preferrd.
In this my welthe I had God clean forgot,
And my senusall apetyte I did always ensewe,
Esteming in my slef the thyng that I bad not,
Sufficient grace this chaunce for to eschewe,
The contrary, I perceyve, causithe me now to rewe;
My folly was such that vertue I set asyde,
And forsoke God that should have been my gyde.
My life not chaste, my lyvyng bestyall;
I forced wydowes, maydens I did deflower.
All was oon to me, I spared none at all,
My appetite was all women to devoure,
My study was both day and hower,
My onleafull lechery how I might it fulfill,
Sparyng no woman to have on hyr my will.
Let myne estatte, therefore, a myrror to you be,
And in your mynd my dolors comprehend
For myne offences how God hath made dissend.
Se how fortune can alter and change her tyde,
That to me but late could be so good and favorable,
Ane at this present to frowne and set me thus aside,
Which thoughte hyr whele to stand both firme and stable,
Now I found hyr very froward and mutable;
Where she was frendly now she is at discord,
As by experience of me Viscount Rocheford.
For where God list to punysh a man of right,
By mortal sword, farewell all resistence;
When grace faylyth, honor hath no force or myght,
Of nobilitie also it defacyth the high preeminence,
And changythe their power to feeble impotence;
Than tornyth fortune hyr whele most spedely
Example take of me for my lewde avoultrie.
All noblemen, therefore, with stedfast hart entyer,
Lyft up your corages, and think this is no fable;
Though yet sit high, conceive yt in your chere,
That no worldly prynce in yerthe is perdurable;
And since that ye be of nature reasonable,
Remember in your welthe, as thyng most necessary,
That all standythe on fortune when she listeth to vary.