Madge Sheldon

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Madge Sheldon (Mary Shelton) as played by Laura Jane Laughlin

born ca. 1519 - died 1560
Character's backstory: First cousin and maid of honour to Anne Boleyn, it is believed Madge was mistress to King Henry VIII from February to August of 1535.
*In the series, the character of Madge Sheldon is an amalgamation of sisters Mary and Margaret Shelton.

For many years, historians believed it was Margaret (Madge) who had the affair with Henry, when in reality it was her sister Mary. The confusion arose from the label "Marg Shelton", where the 'y' looked like a 'g' - a common confusion in sixteenth-century writing. It is thought she was just a teenager when she caught the eye of the King in February 1535.

Also Shelton was the main editor and a main contributor of the famous Devonshire MS, where members of their circles wrote poems they enjoyed or had composed. Mary's poetry did not impress Anne Boleyn, who chided her for writing "idle poesies" in her prayer book


Position: Lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn

Personality type: Soft-spoken

Signature look: Fair-skinned and pretty

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s): Frivolous
Madge Sheldon portrayed by Laura Jane Laughlin

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Family Members

Father: Sir John Shelton

Mother: Anne Boleyn (1475 – 1555), daughter of William Boleyn and Margaret Butler. This Anne Boleyn was the sister of Thomas Boleyn, father of Queen Anne Boleyn. Therefore, she was an Aunt of Queen Anne Boleyn.

Sister: Margaret Shelton

Cousin: Anne Boleyn
Cousin: George Boleyn
Cousin: Mary Boleyn

Uncle: Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire

King Henry VIII
Francis Weston (historically - rumoured)
Henry Norris (in the series)

Sir Anthony Heveningham of Ketteringham in c. 1546, with whom she had five children, including Sir Arthur Heveningham.

After the death of Sir Anthony Heveningham in 1557, Mary married Philip Appleyard, Esq.

Mary was part of a social group that included the poets Thomas Clere; Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; and Sir Thomas Wyatt, with all of whom she was romantically linked.
Her two closest friends were Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII, and Mary Howard, wife of Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

*the series shows Madge giving testimony against Anne Boleyn and the 5 men who were accused with her. This is a fictionalization and Madge was not one of the ladies-in-waiting who gave evidence.




Madge Sheldon as played by Laura Jane Laughlin

Lady Mary Shelton by Holbein
Thought to be Lady Mary Shelton by Hans Holbein, after her marriage to Lord
Heveningham c.1546
Madge Sheldon as played by Laura Jane Laughlin
Madge Sheldon as played by Laura Jane Laughlin

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Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki
Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki
Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki
Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki
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Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki
Madge Sheldon - The Tudors Wiki