In 16th century England, or Tudor court to be exact, there are both male and female names that we hear over and over.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have a guest writer contribute to our page with Tudor Marys and Katherines. Next to those two there should also be Elizabeths, Anne’s and Margarets as well. But today we are looking at the male version of those names. While the name Henry was very popular there was a fan request to look at all the Tudor Thomases. We already did a Part One and you can find it here.
While I know I’m not the first to participate in this subject I’m always willing to accommodate my followers requests.
Since there are so many Tudor Thomases I’ve had to break it down into a couple posts. Hopefully I am able to provide you with information in this post that I have not before. Enjoy!
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, but best known as the father of Anne, George and Mary Boleyn.
Boleyn was born circa 1477 to Sir William Boleyn and Lady Margaret Butler, wealthy Norfolk gentry. His paternal grandfather was a former lord mayor of London and his maternal grandfather was a leading Anglo-Irish aristocrat by the name of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond.
Thomas Boleyn married Elizabeth Howard sometime in the 1490s – Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey and sister of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.
Boleyn escorted Henry VII’s daughter, Margaret Tudor to Scotland for her marriage to King James IV and in 1509 was knighted and named esquire of the body to King Henry VIII.
In 1521, Thomas Boleyn was appointed treasurer of the royal household and in 1523 was elected knight of the Garter. Then in 1525, he was raised to the peerage of Viscount Rochford which some believe coincided with Henry VIII’s affair with Mary Boleyn.
In 1529, when Boleyn’s daughter Anne was in the cross-hairs of Henry VIII he was created Earl of Wiltshire. He reached his pinnacle in 1530 when he was named Lord Privy Seal.
After the birth of his granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, Thomas Boleyn spent most of his time at court.
Boleyn lost his the earldom of Ormond and the office of Lord Privy Seal after the execution of his children. There is no evidence that Thomas Boleyn tried to communicate with his daughter Anne while she was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Thomas Boleyn died on the 12th of March 1539, almost three years after the execution of two of his children.
As the brother of Queen consort, Jane Seymour, Thomas Seymour had an amazing life and career ahead of him. Unfortunately he allowed greed, ambition and his emotions to end his life prematurely.
Born about 1508, Seymour was one of ten children of John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. His most notable siblings were his sister Jane and brother, Edward who would later become Lord Protector of the Realm for Edward VI.
Thomas Seymour had a way with women – his charisma so great and his looks so good that even Katherine Parr couldn’t help but fall for him. He was described as “…fierce in courage, courtly in fashion, in personage stately, in voice magnificent.” Yet with all those wonderful attributes he did not marry until he was nearly forty years old.
It was after the death of Katherine Parr that things began to unfold for Thomas Seymour. His persistent wooing of Princess Elizabeth along with his constant influence over King Edward VI led him to his arrest and placement in the Tower.
Born circa 1505, little is known about Tallis’ early years. He is best known as a leading musician and composer at the court of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
By the year 1544, Thomas Tallis was working at the Chapel Royal as a singer, composer and organist – he remained in that position until his death in 1585. During his tenure he performed at daily liturgical services and special occasions such as royal coronations and weddings.
Tallis died in November 1585 and was buried in the parish church at St. Alfrege, Greenwich.
John Strype, an English clergyman, historian and biographer a brass plate with an engraving on it in 1720 – it read:
Entered here doth ly a worthy wyght,
Who for long tyme in musick bore the bell:
His name to shew, was THOMAS TALLYS hyght,
In honest virtuous lyff he dyd excell.
He serv’d long tyme in chappel with grete prayse
Fower sovereygnes reygnes (a thing not often seen);
I meane Kyng Henry and Prynce Edward’s dayes,
Quene Mary, and Elizabeth oure Quene.
He mary’d was, though children he had none,
And lyv’d in love full thre and thirty yeres
Wyth loyal spowse, whose name yclypt was JONE,
Who here entomb’d him company now beares.
As he dyd lyve, so also did he dy,
In myld and quyet sort (O happy man!)
To God ful oft for mercy did he cry,
Wherefore he lyves, let deth do what he can.
*There is no contemporary portrait of Thomas Tallis
Born in November of 1567 in Lowestoft, England, Thomas Nashe was the second son of a minister, William Nashe and his wife, Margaret.
Nashe is best known as a controversial and satirical writer. Many of his pamphlets were implicated in what is now known as the Harvey-Nashe controversy.
In the early 1590s, Nashe produced an erotic poem called, The Choice of Valentines. This poem begins with a sonnet to “Lord S”. It has been suggested that The Choice of Valentines was written possibly for the private circle of Lord Strange). To check it out for yourself, click here.
“Most of the details of his life and death are unknown or mysterious at best, but from his extant texts and what little is known of his life, he appears to have been a remarkable and audacious character.”
The details surrounding Nashe’s death are uncertain. He died in 1601, aged 34, and various causes ranging from the plague to food poisoning to a stroke have been suggested. – Luminarium