Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford 1505 – 1542

Jane Boleyn Lady Rochford

Father – Henry Parker 10th Baron Morley
Mother – Alice St John
Spouse – George Boleyn
Children – None

1505 (around)
Jane Boleyn was born Jane Parker to Henry Parker and Alice St John in Norfolk, England.
1509 (21st April)
King Henry VII died. He was succeeded by his son, King Henry VIII.
1520 (around)
Jane became a member of Catherine of Aragon’s household.
1520 (June)
Field of the Cloth of Gold
Jane went to France with the court for this summit meeting between King Henry VIII and Francis I of France.
1522 (February)
Anne Boleyn, was given a place in Catherine of Aragon’s household.
1522 (after February)
Jane Parker, Mary and Anne Boleyn all took part in a masquerade entitled ‘Chateau Vert’.
1525 (during)
Jane married George Boleyn, brother of Anne and Mary Boleyn, son of Thomas Boleyn. King Henry VIII had given them Grimston Manor in Norfolk as a wedding present.
1526 (January)
George Boleyn was appointed Royal Cupbearer.
1527 (late Spring)
King Henry VIII had become infatuated with Anne Boleyn. She had accepted Henry’s proposal to marry as soon as he was divorced from Catherine of Aragon.
1528 (mid June)
George Boleyn caught sweating sickness while he was with the court at Waltham Abbey but he recovered from the disease.
1528 (late)
George Boleyn was made Esquire of the Body and Master of the King’s Buckhounds.
1528 (15th November)
Jane’s husband became Keeper of the Palace of Beaulieu and this became their main residence.
1529 (December)
George Boleyn’s father, Thomas Boleyn was created Earl of Wiltshire. George became Viscount Rochford and Jane became Viscountess Rochford. Jane was generally referred to as Lady Rochford.
1532 (Autumn)
Anne Boleyn had finally surrendered to Henry and they began living openly as man and wife. Anne had her own court which included George and Jane Boleyn, Sir Francis Bryan, Francis Weston, William Brereton, Sir Thomas Wyatt and other members of the Boleyn family. Mark Smeaton frequently joined these gatherings to play and sing.
1533 (25th January)
King Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn, who was pregnant, in the King’s chapel at Whitehall. The ceremony was performed by Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains.
1533 (late January)
Jane Boleyn became Lady of the Queen’s bedchamber.
1533 (5th February)
Jane’s husband, George Boleyn, became a Member of Parliament.
1533 (1st June)
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen consort of England in St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster.
1533 (7th September)
A daughter Elizabeth was born to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was named after Henry’s mother, Elizabeth of York.
1533 (10th September)
George Boleyn carried the canopy when Princess Elizabeth, was christened and confirmed by the Bishop of London in the church of Franciscan Friars at Greenwich.
1534 (June)
George Boleyn was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle.
1534 (October)
King Henry VIII had begun a new affair which angered Anne Boleyn. She and Jane conspired to have the young lady removed but Henry found out and Jane was sent away from court for a few months.
1534 (November)
Treasons Act
This act made it a treasonable offence to deny any of the King’s titles. It stated that any malicious wish, will or desire to deprive the King or Queen of title or name of their royal estates was to be deemed treason. Slanderous publication of writing or words uttered describing the King as heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper would also be deemed treason.
1536 (7th January)
Catherine of Aragon died. It was commonly believed that Anne Boleyn had slowly poisoned her to death. Nowadays it is believed that she died from cancer.
1536 (29th January)
Anne Boleyn miscarried of a son four months into her pregnancy. The child was badly deformed and Henry saw this as clear evidence of God’s displeasure with the marriage.
1536 (February)
Henry VIII believed that the miscarriage of a son was God’s way of declaring that his marriage to Anne Boleyn was unlawful either because of her earlier pre-contract to James Butler or because of Henry’s affair with Anne’s sister, Mary Boleyn. He decided that he needed to find a way out of his marriage to Anne.
1536 (Spring)
Thomas Cromwell began collecting evidence against Anne. During the course of his investigations he heard that some members of Anne’s court were admitted to her chamber at late hours. Those named were George Boleyn, Henry Norris, Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton. Cromwell used this information to construct a case that Anne had committed adultery with all five men and that they had plotted to murder the King. The information was passed to Henry.
1536 (24th April)
Henry VIII signed a document authorising commissioners to enquire into any kind of treason committed by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (29th April)
Cromwell presented Henry with a list of charges against Anne Boleyn. Henry was furious and ordered the arrest of all those concerned including the Queen.
1536 (30th April)
Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to Cromwell’s house for questioning. After being tortured he admitted committing adultery with the Queen.
1536 (May)
Jane Boleyn and other members of Anne Boleyn’s household were questioned by Thomas Cromwell. Historians are divided about the role of Jane Boleyn in the downfall of George Boleyn and the Boleyn family. Some historians believe she sought revenge on George for his affairs and their unhappy marriage while others believe that she has been used as a scapegoat for the fall of the Boleyn family.
1536 (2nd May)
George Boleyn and Henry Norris were taken to the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn was also arrested and taken by barge to the Tower.
1536 (4th May)
Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and taken to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason.
1536 (5th May)
Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested on suspicion of committing adultery with the Queen. However they were later released. Cromwell reasoned that if two men were allowed to go free then the others accused would seem more guilty.
1536 (10th May)
Anne was indicted before a grand jury for treason. She was charged with having committed adultery with Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and incest with her brother George. It was alleged that George was the father of the deformed baby. She was also charged with plotting to murder the King and making fun of him in public.
1536 (12th May)
The trial of Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, Francis Weston and William Brereton, took place. The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial which found all men guilty. They were sentenced to death.
1536 (15th May)
Anne was tried by 26 peers of the realm including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, who presided over the trial. Although Anne argued her innocence she was found guilty and sentenced to die by burning or beheading whichever the King chose. George was tried after his sister and was also found guilty. He made a request to the judges that they would ask the King to make sure that his debts were paid.
1536 (17th May)
George Boleyn, Henry Norris, Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton were executed by beheading on Tower Hill.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn, was executed by beheading on Tower Green at the Tower of London.
1536 (30th May)
Henry VIII married Jane Seymour.
1536 (June)
Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, became a Lady of the Bedchamber to Jane Seymour.
1537 (12th October)
A son, Edward, was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
1537 (24th October)
Jane Seymour died from puerperal fever. Jane Boleyn was one of the chief mourners at her funeral.
1540 (6th January)
Henry VIII reluctantly married Anne of Cleves at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich. The ceremony was conducted by Thomas Cranmer. The marriage had been arranged as part of a Protestant alliance with the Duchy of Cleves. Henry had detested Anne on sight but had been unable to get out of the marriage.
1540 (January)
Jane Boleyn was appointed a Lady of the Queen’s Bedchamber.
1540 (Spring)
Kathryn Howard, one of Anne of Cleves’ ladies in waiting, had caught the eye of King Henry VIII. The Howard family, who were Catholics, hoped that if Kathryn could win the King’s heart he may return to Catholicism. On the advice of her family she encouraged Henry and he soon fell in love with her.
1540 (9th July)
The marriage of Anne of Cleves and King Henry VIII was annulled on the grounds of her pre-contract with Francis, Duke of Lorraine and non-consummation. Anne, who had not contested the annulment, was to be known as the King’s sister. She was given precedence over all ladies of the court save the Queen and the King’s daughters and she was given a very generous divorce settlement of property with an income of £3000 per year including Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle.
1540 (28th July)
King Henry VIII married Kathryn Howard at Oatlands Palace, Surrey. The service was conducted by Bishop Bonner.
1540 (late July)
Jane Boleyn retained her position as Lady of the Queen’s Bedchamber.
1541 (Spring)
Kathryn spent much of her time in the company of people her own age. It began to be rumoured that she was committing adultery with a number of young men including Thomas Culpeper.
1541 (July)
King Henry VIII and Kathryn Howard went on a progress of the north of England. Throughout the time that they were away, Jane helped Kathryn to secretly meet Thomas Culpeper.
1541 (1st November)
John Lascelles, a reformist who did not want Catholicism restored and brother of Mary Hall who had been a chambermaid to the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, told Thomas Cranmer about Kathryn’s past.
1541 (2nd November)
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer gave Henry a letter explaining what he had learned about Kathryn. Henry did not believe the accusations and ordered a secret enquiry to prove the stories false.
1541 (early November)
Thomas Cranmer interviewed Lascelles and his sister who confirmed that Kathryn had had intimate relations before her marriage. Francis Dereham and Henry Manox were both questioned. Dereham admitted having relations with Kathryn before she was Queen but stated that he had not had relations with her after she became Queen. Dereham revealed that Thomas Culpeper was involved with the Queen. After being questioned, Culpeper confessed to adultery.
1541 (early November)
When Henry learned what Dereham had revealed and that Culpeper had confessed to adultery he was distraught. He ordered that Kathryn be confined to her quarters at Hampton Court.
1541 (early November)
Jane Boleyn was interviewed by Cranmer regarding Kathryn’s relationship with Culpeper. It is likely that she maintained she acted as directed by the Queen. However, other parties implicated her in arranging meetings between the Queen and Culpeper.
1541 (7th November)
Kathryn was interviewed by Cranmer and the Duke of Norfolk. She initially claimed she was innocent but then decided to tell the truth. This would have sealed Jane Boleyn’s guilt.
1541 (12th November)
Kathryn was arrested on charge of treason for having committed adultery.
1541 (14th November)
Kathryn and Jane Boleyn were moved to Syon House.
1541 (22nd November)
Kathryn’s status as queen was removed.
1541 (1st December)
Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper were tried for treason at Guildhall. Dereham for having led the Queen into a base life and Culpeper for adultery with the Queen. Culpeper pleaded guilty but Dereham protested his innocence. Both men were found guilty and were sentenced to death.
1541 (10th December)
Thomas Culpeper was executed by beheading and Francis Dereham was hung drawn and quartered.
1542 (21st January)
A Bill of Attainder against Kathryn Howard and Jane Boleyn was brought before parliament.
1542 (10th February)
Kathryn Howard and Jane Boleyn were taken to the Tower of London to await execution.
1542 (13th February)
Kathryn Howard was beheaded on Tower Green. Her body was buried at the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
1542 (13th February)
Jane Boleyn was beheaded on Tower Green. Her body was buried at the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.

 

Published Mar 31, 2020 @ 1:45 pm – Updated – May 5, 2020 @ 1:38 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford 1505 – 1542. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/jane-boleyn-lady-rochford-1505-1542. Last accessed [date]