Jane BoleynThis is a featured page

Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford (nee Parker) as played by Joanne King

born c. 1505 - executed February 13, 1542 by order of King Henry VIII

Character's backstory: Henry VIII's grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort had brokered the marriage between Jane's parents and helped pay the christening expenses for Jane and her siblings. She came from a wealthy, politically active, upper class family and probably was in court before her 15th birthday in the household of Queen Katherine of Aragon. She is recorded as taking part in the Masquerade in 1522 when the King may have first "noticed" Anne Boleyn. She married George Boleyn circa 1524/5 just before the King started to actively court his sister Anne. As the Boleyn family's influence increased, the couple were given Grimston (in Norfolk) and Beaulieu Palace as their chief residence, which George and Jane decorated with a lavish chapel, a tennis court, a bathroom with hot-and-cold running water, imported carpets, mahogany furniture and their own large collection of silverware. Their marital bed was draped in cloth of gold with a white satin canopy, linen quilts and a yellow counterpane. [source: Marie Bruce]. Jane plotted with her sister-in-law Anne Boleyn to banish one of the King's young unnamed mistresses from Court in 1534. When the King discovered her involvement, Lady Rochford was herself exiled for a few months.

When Cromwell orchestrated the "coup" against Anne Boleyn and the Boleyn faction, she was interrogated and implicated her husband as having an incestuous affair with his sister.
However, Sir John Spelman, who sat on the bench throughout the trial , did not touch on Jane at all. Instead, he wrote that the incriminating evidence against Anne came from a Lady Wingfield's posthumous testimony through a relative. Cromwell, (who had all the "information" he needed to condemn Anne directly from Smeaton's confession), simply made general remarks on the disgust at Anne's conduct felt by the Ladies of the Bedchamber. She is said to have appealed for her husband while in the Tower. After her husband's execution, she was away from court for a time but thanks to Thomas Cromwell, she was awarded an annual pension and allowed to return to court as lady in waiting to Jane Seymour. After Jane's death she was sent to Anne of Cleves household and in July 1540 she aided the King's divorce from Anne of Cleves by stating that the Queen had confided in her that their marriage had never been consummated. This allowed the king to annul the marriage with Anne of Cleves and marry his teenage mistress, Katherine Howard. She then joined Katherine Howard's privy chamber. Under interrogation for her role in aiding and abetting Katherine Howard's affairs, she had a nervous breakdown and was pronounced insane. As it was illegal to execute the insane, King Henry changed the law and she was beheaded directly after the Queen was executed and buried alongside her ill fated husband & sister-in-law.

Gentility: daughter of Baron Lord Morley, Viscountess of Rochford by marriage

Position: Viscountess Rochford (wife of George Boleyn), Lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Howard

Personality type: an ambitious social climber, disatisified & resentful of her sister in law.
Signature look:

Endearing trait(s): Jane was very supportive of Anne during her reign, even helping Anne to do away with one of Henry's mistresses. Jane also wrote and begged for her husband during his imprisonment.

Annoying trait(s): Jane is infamously remembered in history as the lying wife who brought about the downfall of Anne Boleyn and her brother George, and for contributing to that of Katherine Howard. She has been described as a lying, jealous, conniving, self-preserving woman.

Scandals: Although Jane did not give testimony against her husband and sister-in-law during their trials, she did give statements to Thomas Cromwell which he used to accuse them of both adultery and incest. Her reasons for doing this will never be known but it has been suggested it was either because of jealousy of her husband’s extramarital affairs, self-promotion, religious grievances or animosity to Anne due to something which broke up their friendship.
Additionally, Jane also aided Katherine Howard in secretly meeting Thomas Culpepper. For her participation in the treasonous act, she was beheaded.


Julia Fox [see Tudor Historians] says in her recent biography of "Jane Boleyn: the Infamous Lady Rochford" about Jane's part in George Boleyn and Anne Boleyn's demises :

"Jane Rochford found herself dragged into a maelstrom of intrigue, innuendo and speculation. For when Cromwell sent for Jane, he already had much of what he needed, not only to bring down Anne and her circle, but to make possible the king's marriage to Jane Seymour... The questions to Jane [Rochford] would have come thick and fast... Faced with such relentless, incessant questions, which she had no choice but to answer, Jane would have searched her memory for every tiny incident that occurred to her... [But] Jane had not been quick to tell tales, but she had buckled under the pressure of relentless questioning... And it was her weakness under interrogation that gave her future detractors - happy to find a scapegoat to exonerate the king from the heinous charge of callously killing his Innocent wife - the ammunition to maintain that it was her evidence that had fooled Henry and destroyed Anne and George..."








Joanne King as Jane Boleyn
Jane Boleyn's signature
Jane Boleyn's signature, signed 'Jane Rochford'

"" I will never confess it,
to be torn with wild horses"

~ Katherine Howard said this is what Jane said ( from LP)

There is a fable that in her final speech on the scaffold in 1542 she said:

"I die today for the witness I bore against my husband and Queen Anne. The things I testified to then were not true."

However , in actuality the French ambassador Marillac merely stated that Jane gave a 'long discourse' and a merchant named Otwell Johnson said that she apologised for her 'many sins,' but neither man's accounts supports the later legend that she spoke at length about her late husband or sister-in-law.



"The evidence against Lord Rochford [George Boleyn] was said to have been laid solely by his wife of 12 years, Jane Parker; she was described by Henry VIII's 16th century biographer, Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, as the 'particular instrument' in the ruin of her husband and his sister. Cherbury based his account on the lost journal of Anthony Anthony, a witness at the trials of George and Anne Boleyn....

George Cavendish who knew Jane personally but had no love for the Boleyns and wrote with the benefit of hindsight, had no great opinion of her character. She was reared, he asserted, speaking as Jane:

Withouten bridle of honest measure
Following my lust and filthy pleasure,
Without respect of any wifely truth,
Dreadless of God, from grace also exempt,
Viciously consuming the time of this my youth.


We know that Lady Rochford had a talent for intrigue, for she was complicit in Katherine Howard's adulterous affairs in 1541, acting as facilitator and lookout. She was not new to the game." ~ Alison Weir's Lady in the Tower



"Lady Rochford's motives are hard to understand. She was the widow of George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, and as such, had seen her husband and her sister-in-law, Queen Anne , destroyed by charges of adultery and incest. Those charges were a fabrication. But now she was encouraging her new mistress, Queen Katherine, to act out such follies indeed. Had Lady Rochford's been a life starved of affection? Was she living out in Katherine the romantic fantasies she had never known? We can only guess. But her indulgence proved fatal to her mistress, to herself and to Katherine's lover." ~ David Starkey Six Wives



LINKS:



CHARACTER CONNECTIONS


Family members:
Father: Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley
Mother: Alice St. John (Eldest daughter of Sir John St. John; Sir John's grandfather Oliver was the 1st husband to Margaret Beauchamp, mother of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII)
Husband: George Boleyn, Lord Rochford
Brother: Sir Henry Parker
Sister: Margaret Parker, Lady Sheldon
Sister: Elizabeth Parker
Brother: Francis Parker
Sisters-in-law: Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn
Father-in-law: Thomas Boleyn
Cousin: Margaret Sheldon

Marriage:
George Boleyn

Her sister married her husband's cousin - see below.
Children:
Rumours that George Boleyn, Dean of Lichfield in Elizabethan times may have been their son but it is thought he was perhaps a cousin.


Friends: Anne Boleyn and Jane were friends until something happened in 1535
The Catholic Faction


Enemies:
The Reformer Faction & Thomas Cranmer
Jane Boleyn - The Tudors Wiki

UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES


  • Jane, "Do you love me, George?" George, "I married you, didn't I?"
  • Jane to George: "it is not that you left my bed for another woman...but for another man!"
  • " It's a sin against god! It's a sin against nature!"
  • Jane to Queen Jane: "These Rebels are nothing but villians"
  • "The King Spoils you", Katherine "But am I not worth it?"

DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES

  • When Anne Boleyn tells Jane that the King cannot satisfy a woman because he "neither has the skill nor the virility"Jane
  • Jane complies with Cromwell in implicating her husband and sister-in-law with a charge of incest, Episode 2.9
  • Jane's and George's wedding night
  • Jane telling Jane Seymour about Henry's affair
  • Jane telling Culpepper she could organize an affair between the Queen and himself
  • Jane's mental breakdown in the Tower

PHOTOS




Jane Boleyn as played by Joanne King
Season 4
Jane Boleyn as played by Joanne King
Season 4
Jane Boleyn/Rochford played by Joanne King in Season 3
Season 3
Jane Boleyn/Rochford played by Joanne King in Season 3
Season 3
Jane Boleyn/Rochford played by Joanne King in Season 3
Season 3


Jane Boleyn as played by Joanne King
Season 2
Jane reveals what Thomas Cromwell
wants under interrogation

Jane Parker/Grace Newport
There is no known contemporary portrait of Jane Boleyn.
This drawing was once incorrectly identified as Jane Boleyn. As wife of George Boleyn, her title would have either been Viscountess Rochford or Lady Boleyn.
It is now believed to depict her sister-in-law, Grace, Lady Parker (c.1515–c.1549), the daughter of Sir John Newport and wife of Jane's brother, Sir Henry Parker.
She married Henry Parker in 1523 when aged eigh
t.
Henry Parker, father of Jane Boleyn
Henry Parker, B. Morley (Jane's father) Sketch by Albert Durer in 1523, while in Germany as one of the Ambassadors sent by the King to oresent the Order of the Garter to Archduke Ferdinand, the Emperor`s brother.




VIDEOS


Season 2
Source: Youtube JuzTudor70AD









GoldenAged.ER
GoldenAged.ER
Latest page update: made by GoldenAged.ER , Jan 26 2012, 1:25 PM EST (about this update About This Update GoldenAged.ER further explanation on supposed portrait now thought to be Grace Newport. - GoldenAged.ER

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Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
MsSquirrly Advice for Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford 7 Jul 6 2011, 3:34 AM EDT by freya9
Thread started: Jul 3 2011, 7:58 AM EDT  Watch
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to Jane Boleyn, or what would you like to say to her?

EDIT: Oops should have read Jane...sorry folks
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AnneBerlyneMaKenzie Hair 15 Dec 31 2010, 7:43 AM EST by I'mTheCheesecakeHere
Thread started: May 13 2010, 1:41 PM EDT  Watch
Why is Jane's hair dark in this season then the past 3 seasons? I know she dyed but still..
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karenofbethany To The Tower Born (page: 1 2) 26 Jun 30 2010, 2:13 PM EDT by likesthesilence
Thread started: Jan 19 2009, 2:20 AM EST  Watch
Apparently Jane Rochford loved intrigue, but what was her rationale (in your opinion) for being a beard for Katherine and Culpepper? In The Tudors, Henry becomes very angry when it's suggested Anne previously had a lover...and we know he was head over heels with Katheine Howard. Was Jane afraid that he would not believe her if she leaked the secret? Or do you think she just enjoyed being part of the lovers' trysts?
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