Was George Boleyn Forced To Marry Jane Parker?

We take a look at the evidence to see if there’s any truth to the claim that George Boleyn was forced to marry Jane Parker.

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Few aspects of George Boleyn’s life are as controversial as his marriage to Jane Parker. For centuries, historians have debated whether or not Boleyn was forced into the union by his father, Thomas Boleyn.

There is no definitive answer to this question, as there is no concrete evidence either way. However, there are a few key pieces of information that can help us to form a conclusion.

First, we know that Jane Parker was not an advantageous match for George Boleyn. She was not particularly wealthy or well-connected, and her family was not as prestigious as the Boleyns. This would suggest that Thomas Boleyn did not choose Jane Parker for his son out of any sense of advancement or ambition.

Second, we know that Thomas Boleyn was not a particularly affectionate father. He was known to be cold and calculating, and he did not hesitate to use his children in order to further his own career. This would suggest that he was more likely to have forced George into the marriage, rather than allowing him to marry someone he loved.

Third, we know that Thomas Boleyn did not always act in George’s best interests. He is known to have arranged several advantageous marriages for his daughters, but he did not do the same for George. This would suggest that Thomas may have been more concerned with his own interests than with those of his son.

Taking all of this information into account, it seems more likely than not that Thomas Boleyn did force George into marrying Jane Parker. However, without any concrete evidence, we cannot be certain.

The Background

George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, was born c. 1500, the second son of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. George’s siblings were Mary (born c. 1499), Anne (c. 1507) and Thomas (c. 1515). George was educated at St Paul’s School in London and later at Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1522, Boleyn accompanied Henry VIII’s sister Mary to France for her marriage to King Louis XII. He then served as a member of the English embassy to the Holy Roman Emperor in Madrid (1523-4). On his return to England, Boleyn married Jane Parker, the daughter of Sir Henry Parker and his wife Alice Spencer. The couple had two children: Anne, born c. 1528; and George, born c. 1533.

It has been suggested that Boleyn was forced into this marriage by his father in order to advance the family’s ambitions, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

The Marriage

On the surface, it appears that George Boleyn was forced to marry Jane Parker. George was the second son of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. Sir Thomas was a diplomat and had extensive connections at court. He was also very ambitious for his children.

George’s older sister, Anne, was already married to William Carey, a gentleman of the king’s privy chamber. Anne’s marriage had been arranged by their father in order to advance the family’s prospects. James Butler, Anne’s husband, was also from a prominent family and had good connections at court.

George himself was sent to study at Limoges in 1523. While he was there, his father arranged for him to marry Elizabeth Browne, the daughter of Anthony Browne and Alice Fitzwarin. The Browne family were wealthy merchants and had good connections with the king.

However, the marriage did not take place. It is not known why it was called off, but it is possible that Sir Thomas decided that his son should aim higher than the daughter of a mere merchant. Whatever the reason, George returned to England unmarried.

Sir Thomas then arranged for George to marry Jane Parker, the daughter of Henry Parker and Alice Fitzwarin (who were possibly related). Jane’s father was a knight and her mother came from a wealthy family. The Parker family also had good connections at court.

So it appears that George Boleyn was forced into marrying Jane Parker by his ambitious father in order to further the family’s prospects.

The Aftermath

There is no direct evidence that George was forced to marry Jane, and the idea that he was has been largely discredited by historians. However, there are a few possible theories as to why he may have married her:

-To keep her quiet: If Jane knew about George’s affair with Anne, she could have used it to blackmail him. By marrying her, George would have won her silence.

-For political reasons: Some have speculated that George’s marriage to Jane was part of a larger political scheme. By aligning himself with the Parker family, George could have gained favor with the king.

-For love: It’s also possible that George genuinely cared for Jane and wanted to marry her.

George Boleyn’s Trial

George Boleyn’s trial is one of the most controversial topics in Tudor history. Many people believe that George was forced to marry Jane Parker, and that this was one of the main reasons he was convicted and executed. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.

Jane Parker’s Trial

There is no record of when George and Jane were married, but it was almost certainly sometime between late 1524 and early 1525. Parker was from a good family and her father, Henry, had served as High Sheriff of Rutland. Jane herself was not without suitors; at the time of her marriage to Boleyn, she was betrothed to William Doreward. Doreward was the eldest son of Sir Robert Doreward, a wealthy landowner from Yorkshire.

Jane’s Trials:
On May 17, 1536, Jane was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of adultery and treason. She was tried on May 19 and found guilty. She was beheaded three days later, on May 22.

The Executions

George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston and Sir Thomas Wyatt were all found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Jane Parker was not executed but was sent to live in a convent.

The Legacy

George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford was an English courtier, nobleman, and court poet. He is best known for being the brother of Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England. George Boleyn was born on October 15th, 1500 at Blickling Hall in Norfolk, England. He was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. Thomas and Elizabeth were wealthy landowners with properties in Norfolk and Wiltshire. George had two younger sisters: Mary and Anne. In 1516, at the age of sixteen, George Boleyn began his studies at St. John’s College in Cambridge. He completed his studies in 1519 and then traveled to the Continent with his father and sister Anne..


After analyzing the available evidence, it seems clear that George Boleyn was not forced to marry Jane Parker. While it is possible that his father might have preferred a more advantageous match for his son, there is no evidence that George himself was unhappy with the match. In fact, the evidence suggests that he and Jane were quite happy together, and that their marriage was a love match.

Further Reading

There is much debate over whether or not George Boleyn was forced to marry Jane Parker. Some say that he was coerced into the marriage by his father, Thomas Boleyn, while others claim that he chose to marry her of his own free will. There is no clear answer, but there are some interesting theories out there.

One theory is that Thomas Boleyn forced his son to marry Jane in order to keep her close so he could keep an eye on her. Another theory is that George Boleyn was in love with Jane and wanted to marry her, but his father didn’t approve because she wasn’t high-born enough. However, it’s also possible that George and Jane eloped without their families’ permission.

Whatever the truth may be, it’s clear that George and Jane had a tumultuous relationship. She is said to have been jealous of his affair with Anne Boleyn, and he is rumored to have had an affair with her sister, Mary Parker. Their marriage ended in tragedy when George was executed for treason in 1536.

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