Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today in History, The Execution of George Boleyn

Today George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford was executed on Tower hill on May 17th 1536. He was brought to trail with four other men for having cardinal knowledge of the Queen of England. It just happened that the queen was his sister Anne Boleyn. During the hearing his own wife testified against him that conniving Jane Parker. George was found guilty of incest by the court judges, his own father insanely being one of them. Everyone had turned their back on him and Anne. No one dared speak out for fear of the kings wrath.

Poor George entangled in a web of deceit, known as the modern day rat race but, in the court of Henry VIII it was a deadly game to play with very high stakes, your head. The higher they are raised, the harder they fall, this applies to George. He was a scape goat for king Henry, someone to blame for Queen Anne's terrible miscarriages & wild antics. George was a avid politician and henchman for Henry during his campaign urged by Anne, to the dissolution of the catholic monasteries. It was also rumored that he was gay, and one of the other men executed, a musician named Mark Smeaton was his lover. Mark is also accused of being the later Queen Elizabeth's father. A vicious slander on Anne set in place by the supporters of the catholic faith. He met a terrible end, & when I watched him executed on Tudors on showtime, I cried for him and mark.

My favorite book that has more of my view of George is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Also with her follow up book The Boleyn Inheritance you can follow the demise of Georges wife Jane Parker other wise known as Jane Viscount Rochford. Jane played a key role in George's down fall and later in Queen Catherine Howard's death, one of their cousins who went on to marry King Henry. But that is a whole different story for another time. I wish it were different but there is no existing or surviving portrait of George Boleyn.


  1. I absolutely loved both these books and I ove The Tudors. I felt so sorry for George and what he went through. Do you really think that Mark Smeaton could have been Elizabeth's father? Great post!

  2. The Philippa Gregory books are great, I really enjoyed them, particularly The Boleyn Inheritance. It may have been rumoured that Smeaton was Elizabeth's father, but historians now agree that Anne Boleyn was innocent of all charges and that Cromwell, Chapuys and the Catholic faction thought up these allegations and framed her. All five men who were executed were innocent, so Henry VIII had a lot of blood on his hands! It's a sad story.

  3. My favourite was The Queen's Fool, then The Other Boleyn Girl and Boleyn Inheritance. It was a very sad time in history but makes for great reading.

  4. It's such a sad story that continues to intrigue us to this day.

  5. I'd also recommend Philippa Gregory's Wideacre Trilogy. Although it's not set in Tudor times, all three books are brilliant.

    Yes, an incredibly sad time in history. I thought a lot about Anne yesterday on the anniversary of her execution.

  6. I really admire their strength & courage, it keeps things in perspective for me. Wideacre is on my list.


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