Mary BOLEYN

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EnglishBorn Mary BOLEYN

Sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn

Born on 1499 in Blickling Hall, Norfolk, England , United Kingdom

Died on July 19, 1543 in Essex, England

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Mary was probably born at Blickling Hall, the family seat in Norfolk, and grew up at Hever Castle, Kent. She was the eldest daughter of a rich diplomat and courtier, Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, by his marriage to Lady Elizabeth Howard, the eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.



There is no evidence of Mary's exact date of birth, but it occurred sometime between 1499 and 1508. Most historians suggest that she was the eldest of the three surviving Boleyn children. Evidence suggests that the Boleyn family treated Mary as the eldest child; in 1597, her grandson Lord Hunsdon claimed the Earldom of Ormond on the grounds that he was the Boleyns’ legitimate heir. Many ancient peerages can descend through female heirs, in the absence of an immediate male heir. If Anne had been the elder sister, the better claim to the title would have belonged to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. However, it appears that Queen Elizabeth offered Mary's son, Henry, the earldom as he was dying, although he declined it. If Mary had been the eldest Boleyn sister, Henry would have inherited the title upon his grandfather's death without a new grant from the queen. There is more evidence to suggest that Mary was older than Anne. She was married first, on 4 February 1520; an elder daughter was traditionally married before her younger sister. In 1532, when Anne was created Marchioness of Pembroke, she was referred to as "one of the daughters of Thomas Boleyn". Were she the eldest, that status would probably have been mentioned. Most historians now accept Mary as the eldest child, placing her birth some time in 1499.

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