Elizabeth Boleyn (Wood) (deceased) MP

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Nicknames: "woods/de/"
Death: (Date and location unknown)
Managed by: Sierra Maciorowski
Last Updated:
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About Elizabeth Boleyn (Wood)


Elizabeth Boleyn, Lady Boleyn was a lady-in-waiting at the court of Henry VIII of England. Through her marriage to Sir James Boleyn, she was the aunt of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. The two were not close, and Lady Boleyn acted as her niece's gaoler when Queen Anne was arrested on charges of adultery, incest and conspiracy to kill the king.

Lady Boleyn was one of the many relatives who benefitted from the success of her brother-in-law, Thomas Boleyn, who was a successful ambassador and rose, around the time his daughter Mary was having an affair with the King, to the title Viscount Rochford. After Henry fell in love with Thomas' other daughter, Anne, Thomas Boleyn was given the earldoms of Wiltshire and Ormonde.

Despite this, there seems to have been long-running animosity between Lady Boleyn and her niece. In 1536, five women were appointed to serve Anne in the Tower of London, reporting back to William Kingston, Lieutenant of the Tower, and through him to Thomas Cromwell, all that the Queen said. These women included Anne Shelton, the sister of Thomas Boleyn. Lady Shelton had been entrusted with the care of Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth, but perhaps fell out with Anne during Henry VIII's affair with Anne's first cousin and Lady Shelton's daughter, Mary Shelton. The other women to attend Anne were Lady Kingston, wife of the Lieutenant of the Tower, Margaret Coffin, the wife of Anne's Master of the Horse and Mrs. Stoner, wife of the King's sergeant-at arms.

Kingston described the five as honest and good women but Anne said that it was a great unkindness in the King to set such about me as I have never loved.

It was Lady Boleyn and Lady Kingston who accompanied Queen Anne to her trial on 15 May 1536.