Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Boleyn to Delaware


So what is the connection between Anne Boleyn and the American state of Delaware?

Thomas Boleyn (1477-1539) and Elizabeth Howard (1480-1538) married before 1499 and had three children together; Anne, Mary and George Boleyn.
George Boleyn (1504-36) married Mary Parker (1505-42) in 1525 but their marriage was childless.
Anne Boleyn (1501-36) had only one child with her husband Henry VIII who she married in 1533, Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603), who herself remained unmarried and childless until her death.
It was their daughter Mary Boleyn (1499-1543) who had children with both of her husbands; Catherine (1524-69) and Henry (1526-96) by her first husband William Carey (1500-28) whom she married in 1520, and Anne and Edward (1535-45) by her second husband William Stafford (d.1556) who she married in 1534. There are speculations that either or both of the Carey children were actually fathered by King Henry VIII.
Mary Boleyn
William Carey
Catherine Carey married Sir Francis Knollys (1514-96) in April 1540 and they had fourteen children together; Lettice, Henry, Elizabeth, William, Edward, Robert, Richard, Thomas, Francis, Anne, Catherine, Cecily, unnamed daughter and unnamed child who died young.

Catherine Carey
Francis Knollys
Their third daughter Anne Knollys (1555-1608) married in November 1571 to Thomas West, Baron De La Warr (1556-1602) and they had thirteen children together; Walsingham, Elizabeth, Robert, Margarey, Thomas, Lettice, Anne, Penelope, Catherine, Francis, Helena, John and Nathaniel.  

Anne Knollys
Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr
Of their thirteen children, their sons Francis and John were both Governors of Virginia and their son Nathaniel also went to Virginia; the family had close ties to the English royal court and also to the increasing English presence in America. Thomas and Anne's son Thomas was the oldest son still alive after his fathers death, and so he inherited the baronetcy.

Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr

Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577-1618) was educated at Oxford and later served in the army under the Earl of Essex, who knighted him in Dublin in 1599. He was implicated in Essex's rebellion in 1601 and imprisoned, Essex personally asked for West's fathers pardon for endangering his son. Upon his father's death in 1602 he became the next Baron De La Warr and became a member of the Privy Council of Elizabeth I, and later a privy councillor to James I. In 1596 he married Cecily Shirley by whom he had one son Henry, and established his Shirley plantation on the James River, which he named after his wife. In 1609 he became a member of the superior council of Virginia in England.
On the 28th February 1610 Thomas West was appointed governor of the Virginia colony for life. In June, Thomas West took a party of 150 men made up of emigrants and workmen, and sailed to Jamestown in Virginia in order to try to quell the fighting and uprisings from the colony, he arrived just in time to stop the abandonment by the temporary governor Gates. Upon his arrival he sent his boat back to collect the departing English settlers and had them returned to Jamestown. West then ordered the town to be cleaned and the frail houses rehabilitated. The four acre settlement was re-secured for the inhabitants, and then West moved to make peace with the local Native American Indians, driving the tribe back. West then had two forts erected on the Hampton river, named Charles and Henry for protection for the settlement. In 1618 on a sea crossing from England to Virginia, Thomas West died. 
The river and bay were renamed Delaware in honour of Thomas West, and this is where the name of the state originated.

When Thomas Boleyn married his eldest daughter Mary to William Carey in 1520 it is doubtful that he could have imagined an American state would one day be named after one of his descendants. 

No comments:

Post a Comment