Thomas Boleyn’s Life Story:  In the Shadow of the Throne with Dr. Lauren Mackay

Thomas Boleyn’s Life Story: In the Shadow of the Throne with Dr. Lauren Mackay


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

The tragic story of Anne Boleyn has been retold over the centuries, but the story of her father, Thomas Boleyn, is less known. Relegated to the margins, Thomas is often depicted as a ruthless grasping father who sacrificed his daughters to the royal bed-chamber. But history-and historical fiction-has been not been fair to Thomas. The Boleyn narrative spanned almost a century as they rose, generation by generation to accumulate wealth, position, and prestige, and their story does not end on the scaffold.

 Thomas Boleyn was a highly successful ambassador who over the course of three decades served both Henry VII and Henry VIII, as one of Cardinal Wolsey’s most highly skilled ambassadors. Intelligent, educated, and linguistically gifted, he was well respected in England and throughout the royal courts of Europe. Thomas was also a deeply intellectual and spiritual man, and a patron of some of the greatest minds of the age, including the renowned scholar Desiderius Erasmus.

Led by Dr. Lauren Mackay, an Early Modern Historian and Boleyn expert, our conversation will trace the Boleyn story from the cathedral city of Norwich, once Boleyn heartland, to the very center of power, going back to the evidence to provide an insight into Thomas Boleyn– an English ambassador, courtier, and statesman. Designed to inspire curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Thomas Boleyn’s life and career and the gradual rise of his family, moving beyond myths and stereotypes that have tarnished their reputations for centuries.

Eager to learn more about Tudor England with Context? Click here. 

Dr. Lauren Mackay is an Early Modern historian, author, lecturer, and historical consultant. Her books include "Among The Wolves of Court," "The Wolf Hall Companion," and "Inside the Tudor Court." Her fourth book, "Thunder Through the Realms: Five Kingdoms and the shaping of Early Modern Europe" is due out late 2022 with Bloomsbury Publishing. Lauren has appeared as an expert for several historical documentaries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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