Mary Boleyn’s Carey Children—Offspring of King Henry VIII? |

Mary Boleyn’s Carey Children—Offspring of King Henry VIII?

Henry VIII

Circumstantial evidence indicates a high probability that Henry VIII fathered two children by Mary Boleyn, meaning that he has many descendants in both England and America.

By Anthony Hoskins*
Reprinted with permission of the author from Genealogists’ Magazine, Vol. 25 (March 1997), No. 9
Do not post or publish without written permission
Posted 25 June 2007; Revised 28 June 2007 | Return to Features

Picture credit: Shutterstock

 “Moreover, Mr. Skydmore dyd show to me yongge Master Care, saying that he was our suffren Lord the Kynge’s son by our suffren Lady the Qwyen’s syster, whom the Qwyen’s grace might not suffer to be yn the Cowrte.” —John Hale, vicar of Isleworth to the Council, 20 April 15351

At Queen Elizabeth I‘s death in 1603, the legitimate descendants of Henry VIII were extinct. The king’s only acknowledged illegitimate child, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond (born 1519) had died 22 July 1536, also without heirs. Although various persons have been suggested as bastards of the king, among them is only one for whom significant, contemporary documentation exists: Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (1526-96), son of Mary (Boleyn) Carey, one-time mistress of the king, wife of William Carey (gentleman of the privy chamber and esquire of the body to the king) and sister of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second queen. Although rumors regarding Henry Carey’s royal paternity have long circulated, this article quotes for the first time a contemporary statement of 1535 that Henry Carey was King Henry VIII’s son.2

That King Henry VIII had an affair with Mary (Boleyn) Carey is indisputable fact.3 In this article, I will establish the chronology of this affair and present evidence that not just Henry Carey, but also his sister Catherine Carey, were born to Mary Boleyn during her affair with the king. The circumstantial case presented for the Careys being children of Henry VIII is founded on consideration of the following:

  1. Royal grants from Henry VIII to William Carey delineate the period of the king’s affair with Mary (Boleyn) Carey: from at least February 1522 to May 1526.4
  2. Catherine Carey, Mary (Boleyn) Carey’s daughter, was born in about 1524, not (as has been thought) in about 1530.
  3. Henry Carey was called “the Kynge’s son” in a contemporary (1535) source.
  4. Evidence of the non-sexual marriage of William and Mary (Boleyn) Carey.
  5. The “paternal” interest shown by Henry VIII in Catherine and Henry Carey as well as the extraordinary favor shown them by Elizabeth I.
  6. The significance of the name “Hunsdon” as used by Henry Carey.
  7. Reasons the Careys’ royal paternity would never have been acknowledged.


Thomas Boleyn

Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, K. G., was born in 1477, first son and heir of Sir William Boleyn, K. B., of Blickling, Norfolk and his wife Lady Margaret Butler. He died 12 March 1538/9, aged 61, at Hever, Kent and was buried there. He was married in about 1500 to Lady Elizabeth Howard, born perhaps about 1475—76, first daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk by his first wife Elizabeth Tylney. She died 3, and was buried 7, April 1538.5 “His acquisitions of numerous stewardships and keeperships and gradually of high honors marks the progress of the favour which his daughters Mary and Anne, in turn, found in the King’s eyes. Appointed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 23 April 1523, on 18 June 1525, at Bridewell, he was created Viscount Rochford. He was created Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond on 8 December 1529.” With the disgrace and execution of his daughter, Queen Anne, his favour with the king ceased.6

Thomas and Elizabeth, Earl and Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond had issue as follows:

  1. George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, date of birth not discovered.7
  2. Lady Mary Boleyn.
  3. Anne Boleyn, Marchioness of Pembroke.


Lady Mary Boleyn

Lady Mary Boleyn (sometimes known as Lady Mary Rochford). Although her age and seniority are controversial, I subscribe to the view that she was the elder daughter and that she was probably born about 1500-04.8 Lady Mary was married (first) on 4 February 1519/20 to William Carey, born about 1496, died 22 June 1528.9 It is now established that if was Anne Boleyn, and not her sister Mary, who lived at the Flemish and French courts as a child. Mary (Boleyn) Carey probably first met King Francis I of France at the “Field of Cloth of Gold” in June 1520 where, as the newly married “Mistress Carey,” she attended Queen Katherine. It was either from this occasion or from a later meeting in 1532 (when Mary, as a widow and the cast-off mistress of Henry VIII, visited France with the English court) that Francis I (as restated by Ridolfo Pio) said that he had known her “as a great whore and more notorious than all others.”10 Lady Mary (Boleyn) Carey was married (second) by 1534 to (later: Sir) William Stafford, born by 1512, died 5 May 1556 at Geneva, Switzerland. Lady Mary died 19 July 1543.11

It is clear from an examination of the chronology and pattern of royal grants to the Careys that the beginning of Mary’s affair with the king can be dated from at least early in the year 1522.12 It should be noted that on 23 September 1523 (probably near in time to the birth of her daughter Catherine Carey), there was a king’s ship named the Mary Boleyn.13 It appears King Henry VIII’s affair with Elizabeth Blount had begun at least as early as 1518, although he continued trying to beget children by the queen until 1524.14 The affair with the unmarried Elizabeth Blount resulted in the birth of the king’s only acknowledged illegitimate child, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond (born 1519) and had probably ended by or about 1522 when Elizabeth Blount was married.

Mary Boleyn’s affair with the King probably commenced at about the same time: 1522. “The spate of royal grants to her [Mary Boleyn’s] husband [William Carey] in 1522, 1523, 1524 and 1525 is also suggestive.”15 “[T]he first manors and estates, as opposed to minor keeperships and stewardships, that Mary&39;s husband possessed were granted to him by the crown in June 1524 and February 1526.”16 It should be especially noted that the February 1526 grant occurred on the 20th, just twelve days before the recorded birth of Henry Carey on 4 March 1525/6. Significantly, this royal grant included the borough of Buckingham which was granted to William Carey “in tail male.” It is impossible not to be struck by the coincidence of this entailment to a male “heir,” just twelve days before the date of record on which William Carey’s wife gave birth to a male child said to be the king’s son.17

On 12 May 1526, two months after Henry Carey’s birth, the king made his last grant to William Carey: he was made keeper of the manor, garden, and tower of Pleasance at East Greenwich. The grant of the tower of Pleasance in Greenwich park to William Carey is surely significant: Pultenham reported that “[t]he King [Henry VIII] . . . in his barge, [went] from Westminster to Greenwich to visit a fair lady whom the king loved, who was lodged in the tower of the park . . .” It is an inescapable observation that this tower must have been Mary (Boleyn) Carey’s lodging during the time she was the king’s mistress. This was the last grant made to William Carey and must signal the end of the king’s affair with Mary (Boleyn) Carey. Was the earlier major grant in June 1524 coincident with the birth of Catherine Carey, now though to have been born in about 1524?18 Because of these very significant grants to William Carey concentrated in 1524 and 1526, it very much appears that at these times he was being particularly rewarded for his compliant role as nominal father to the king’s bastards.

Mary’s affair with the king was over by the spring of 1526 and, although her husband William Carey lived for another two years, it is significant to note that William and Mary Carey had no children born during this time. In fact, at William Carey’s death in June 1528, Henry VIII speculated about the possibility of Mary Carey’s carrying another man’s child.19

Mary’s fertility during her affair with the king in the early and mid-1520s ceased with the end of her royal affair, only to resume when she became pregnant by William Stafford in 1534; that is, during her marriage to William Carey the period of her fertility was defined by (and coincident with) her affair with the king. Besides the ineluctable conclusion that the Careys must have been the king’s children, this suggests that the marriage of William and Mary Carey might have been largely (if not entirely) non-sexual. Certainly, Henry VIII would not have countenanced sharing the sexual favours of his mistress, even with her husband. He was far too possessive to have allowed this. It is been pointed out that he required chastity from his sexual partners.20

On 20 April 1535, John Hale, vicar of Isleworth, stated to the Council that he had seen the nine year old Henry Carey, identified as the king’s son. On 4 May 1535, just two weeks later, John Hale was executed at Tyburn “for denying the King’s supremacy.’21

It is the premise of this article that sufficient circumstantial evidence exists to indicate that MARY BOLEYN (while married to William Carey) had issue by KING HENRY VIII:22

  • Catherine Carey, born about 1524, possibly about June of that year.23
  • Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon, born 4 March 1525/6.24

Lady Mary (Boleyn) Carey Stafford had issue by William Stafford:

  • [A son] Stafford, born 1534/5, dead by 1543.25


Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, Marchioness of Pembroke, born 1507. She was created Marchioness of Pembroke on 1 September 1532 and was married about 25 January 1532/3 at Whitehall to King Henry VIII. The king was born 28 June 1491 at Greenwich and died 28 January 1546/7.26

Long frustrated in her hopes of providing the king a male heir, in the summer of 1534 Queen Anne was at last again pregnant, but soon miscarried. At about the time of this miscarriage, a scandal emerged that must have underscored Queen Anne’s failure to produce an heir. Her sister, the widowed Lady Mary Carey, was found to be pregnant by William Stafford. An incensed Queen Anne sent her sister from court. Lady Mary’s son, the nine year old Henry Carey, must have been sent away at the same time. “The Queen’s grace might not suffer [him] to be in the court.”27 Besides the embarrassment her sister’s situation caused the queen at this time, Lady Mary’s son, young Henry Carey, must have been a living reproach to Anne’s failure as well as a testimonial of her sister’s success. When Henry VIII was contemplating marriage to Anne Boleyn, he acquired a dispensation to do so based on his earlier intimacy with her sister Mary Carey. There is evidence that the king was embarrassed by the “peculiarly disgraceful” immorality of the situation.28 Even had there not been abundant and powerful over-arching reasons for silence on this issue, the king’s hyper-sensitivity to criticism and ridicule alone would have steeled him in his determination not to acknowledge any of his offspring by Mary Boleyn.

Queen Anne was beheaded on Tower Green at the Tower of London on 19 May 1536.29

King Henry VIII and Queen Anne had issue:

Elizabeth I, Queen of England


Catherine Carey

Catherine Carey, born about 1524 (possibly about June, because of grants at this time to William and Mary Carey.)30 Until Retha M. Warnicke’s recent works on Anne Boleyn and her family, statements made about Catherine Carey have seemed to rely on the Dictionary of National Biography article on Sir Francis Knollys for her birth date of about 1529—30 (supposedly 39 at her death in January 1569). However, Catherine Carey’s legal father, William Carey, died 22 June 1528 and, furthermore, Catherine Carey in about November 1539, aged about fifteen, was appointed maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII. Catherine Carey was married by April/May 1540 and gave birth to her first child in about 1540—41. These facts indicate that Catherine Carey could not have been born in about 1529—30 as has long been believed; she must rather have been born in about 1524. Therefore, Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys was about 44 at her death on 15 January 1568/9 and was about two years older than her brother Henry, born 4 March 1525/6. Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys was born in the midst of her mother’s affair with Henry VIII.31

That Henry VIII sought to provide for Catherine Carey is clear. Again, in about November 1539, at about the age of 15 (and despite the Boleyns’ fall from favour in 1536), Catherine Carey was appointed a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves. This fact is quite striking since in 1539 there would have been no known reason for the preferment of this insignificant niece of the fallen Queen Anne Boleyn. In fact, “[a] close study of the State Papers and other records reveals the fact that the family of the Boleyns (or Bullens) suffered constant persecution and spoliation at the hands of Henry VIII, and afterwards of Elizabeth.”32 By April/May 1540, she was married to (later: Sir) Francis Knollys, born by 1512, died 19 July 1596.33 With his marriage to Catherine Carey in 1540, Francis Knollys was created Gentleman Pensioner, his first royal appointment. Also upon their marriage, there was “[a]ssurance of the manor of Rotherfield Grey, Oxon, to Fras. Knolles, Esq., and Katharine his wife” by Act of Parliament in April/May 1540.34

This Act having failed to resolve the disputed possession of Rotherfield Grey, the king on 23 November 1545 tried to secure the reversion to the property to Francis and Catherine (Carey) Knollys by another Act of Parliament, followed on 31 December 1545 by a document calling for yet another bill in Parliament to assure the manor to Francis and Catherine Knollys. This document was sealed with the king’s secret stamp. All these Acts of Parliament and other documents invariably refer to Francis Knollys and his wife Catherine.35

Her first child, Lettice Knollys, was born in about 1540-41 and her eldest son Henry Knollys was born about 1542.36 Catherine, Lady Knollys died 15 January 1568/9 at Hampton Court Palace and was given what can only be described as a “royal”: funeral by the bereaved Queen Elizabeth I. The opulent funeral accorded Lady Knollys by the queen (who paid &pound640 for it, under the Privy Seal) was overseen by the Earl Marshal the Duke of Norfolk and the Lord Treasurer the Earl of Leicester, Lady Knollys’s funeral documents at Westminster Abbey were found with those of King Henry III, King Henry VI, Queen Mary II, King William III, Prince George of Denmark, Queen Anne, and Queen Caroline. The only non-royal person in this group was Lady Knollys. Catherine (Carey) Knollys was buried in April 1569 in St. Edmund’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey at the queen’s expense.37

Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine (Carey), Lady Knollys had issue:38

  1. Lettice Knollys, born 1540/1, died 25 December 1634, married 1560-65 to Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. She married (2nd) Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.39
  2. Henry Knollys, eldest son, born about 1542, died in 1582. He was elected M. P. for Reading in 1563 and was married in 1565 to Margaret Cave (died 1606).40
  3. William Knollys, 1st Earl of Branbury, second son, born about 1545, died 26 May 1632. He married (1st) after March 1573 the (much older) Hon. Dorothy Bray (born in 1530, died 31 October 1605), no children. He married (2nd) in 1605 Lady Elizabeth Howard. He was created Baron Knollys (1603), Viscount Wallingford (1616), and Earl of Banbury (1626).41
  4. Edward Knollys, third son, born about 1546, died 1575.42
  5. Sir Robert Knollys, K. B., fourth son, born about 1547, died 1619.43
  6. Richard Knollys, fifth son, born about 1548, died in 1596.44
  7. Sir Frances Knollys, sixth son, born about 1550, died in 1648.45
  8. Sir Thomas Knollys, died after August 1596.46
  9. Anne Knollys, born perhaps about 1553, living 30 August 1608, married 19 November 1571 to Thomas West, 2nd Lord De La Warr. The fourth son of Anne Knollys, Lady De La Warr was the Hon. John West (1590-1659) who in about 1618 came to Virginia where he served as Governor and founded a family. Another of Lady De La Warr&339;s children, her daughter the Hon. Penelope West (the wife of Herbert Pelham), was the mother of Herbert Pelham, first Treasurer of Harvard, who came to Massachusetts and left descendants.47
  10. Elizabeth Knollys, married in 1578 to Sir Thomas Leighton, born about 1535, died in about 1611.
  11. Catherine Knollys, was married (1st) in October 1578 to Gerald Fitzgerald, Lord Offaly. She married (2nd) Sir Philip Boteler. She was buried 20 December 1632.48


Henry Carey

Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon. William Carey’s inquisition post mortem stated that on 22 June 1528 Henry Carey was aged two years, 15 weeks and 5 days, making Henry Carey’s birth date 4 March 1525/6.49

In April 1535 (during the period of his mother’s disgrace), the nine year old Henry Carey was apparently living at Syon, Isleworth, Middlesex when he was referred to as the king’s son.50 At the time of his marriage in May 1545, the nineteen-year old Henry Carey was in King Henry VIII’s household.51 As with his sister Catherine Carey’s appointment late in 1539 as maid of honour to Anne of Cleves, his own presence at court in 1545 is, on the surface, inexplicable, since he and his sister were the nearest of kin (with the obvious exception of Princess Elizabeth) of the disgraced and executed Queen Anne Boleyn.52 Catherine and Henry Carey’s obvious favour with King Henry VIII, despite the taint of their Boleyn blood, lends further support to their being secret children of the king. Since Henry Carey was later created Baron Hunsdon of Hunsdon, “a title probably deriving from his childhood connexion with the royal residence there,” it is not too much to suggest that the Carey children might have been raised at Hunsdon Hall, especially since “the King made choice of this seat for the breeding and education of his children.”53

“On the accession of Elizabeth, his 1st cousin (and probably, in fact, half-sister), to the throne . . . [he] was cr. Baron Hunsdon of Hunsdon, co. Herts., . . .”54 That he was not created “Baron Carey” as would be expected (there was no other Lord Carey) was very unusual, if not unique and is, given other evidence, highly suggestive.55 When Queen Elizabeth I thought herself on her deathbed 17/18 October 1562, she especially commended Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon to the care of her Council. He married (Lic. Fac. 21May 1545) Ann Morgan.56

Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon died 23 July 1596 at Somerset House, London, and was buried 12 August 1596 in St. John the Baptist’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey, at the queen’s expense.57 Although Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon was well known to be poor, his was the loftiest tomb in Westminster Abbey, perhaps in the whole of England.58 The heading of his tomb’s inscription reads “Sepulturae Familiae de Hunsdon, Consecratum.”59 That this should read “Hunsdon” rather than “Carey” is striking and seems to provide evidence that Lord Hunsdon was here stating, once and for all (and in the only way possible), just who is really was. As with his sister’s funeral, the grandeur of his obsequies (paid for by the queen) and of his tomb were extraordinary.

Henry and Ann, Lord and Lady Hunsdon had issue:60

  1. George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon. He was born in 1547 and died 8 September 1603. In October 1568, he was suggested as a possible husband for Mary, Queen of Scots, when her marriage to an English nobleman was under consideration.61
  2. John Carey, 3rd Lord Hunsdon.
  3. Hon. Henry Carey.62
  4. Hon. Thomas Carey (the elder).
  5. Hon. Thomas Carey (the younger).
  6. Hon. William Carey.
  7. Hon. Sir Edmund Carey.
  8. Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth.
  9. Hon. [son] Carey.63
  10. Hon. Catherine Carey, married Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham.
  11. Hon. Philadelphia Carey, married shortly before 1584 to Thomas, 10th Lord Scrope. Lady Scrope was a lady-in-waiting as the time of the queen’s death in 1603.64
  12. Hon. Margaret Carey, married Sir Edward Hoby.


Queen Elizabeth

Elizabeth I, Queen of England, born 7 September 1533 at Greenwich, died 24 March 1602/3. She was devoted to her cousins (and surely secret half-siblings) Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys and Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon and favoured them throughout their lives, even paying for their funerals, burials, and monuments in Westminster Abbey.65 When Queen Elizabeth I had thought herself on her deathbed in October 1562, she especially commended Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon to the care of her Council.66 That Queen Elizabeth I should have favoured Catherine and Henry Carey, her first cousins is, admittedly, not surprising. However, the extraordinary favour and partiality shown them, at the same time observing that they were neither enriched nor loaded with powerful offices, is both remarkable and telling. Although during their lives Catherine and Henry were at the centre of Elizabeth I’s inner circle, the queen clearly did not desire to reward them too munificently. She consistently refused Lord Hunsdon’s wish to be created an earl. Although the queen’s reticence to exalt Henry Carey must be noted, proof abounds of her very real and deep affection for the Careys. The extraordinary grandeur of their funerals and monuments in Westminster Abbey affords evidence of their peculiar and powerful favour with the queen. Queen Elizabeth died unmarried and childless.



While circumstantial evidence makes a powerful case for the Careys’ royal paternity, reasons for silence on this subject abound. It is clear that Henry VIII could and did keep the existence of an illegitimate child a secret until acknowledgment might suit him. Although Henry Fitzroy was born in 1519, there is no record of his existence until the king ennobled him in 1525, at a time when the king had despaired of begetting an heir by Queen Katherine.67 Henry VIII’s motive for acknowledging Fitzroy was clearly inheritance. As long as the king remained without a legitimate male heir at a time of great anxiety over the succession, he was clearly intending Fitzroy be considered a sort of contingency heir to the throne.68 For this role, Fitzroy had the advantage over the Careys of being born to an unmarried woman. The Careys were of course unfit for this role, being born during Mary Boleyn’s marriage to William Carey, the king’s servant. The facts of the doubly adulterous births of Henry VIII’s children by Mary Boleyn, had they been acknowledged, would surely later have had manifold catastrophic effects.

The justification for Henry VIII’s divorce was entirely the “first degree affinity” of Henry VIII to Katherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow. He had severed the English church’s ties with Rome (he maintained) so that, by divorce, he could right the incestuous wrong he had committed: “And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing.’69 How hypocritical (not to mention depraved and ridiculous) would he have appeared had the extenuating details of his supposedly canonically sanctioned and justified marriage to Anne Boleyn been acknowledged? Most important of all: Henry VIII’s legitimacy as King and Defender of the Faith would have been at least seriously compromised, very possibly destroyed.

For Queen Elizabeth I, the truth about her half-siblings/first cousins the Careys would have been, at the very least, a major domestic and European embarrassment and almost certainly a serious impediment to the full establishment and maintenance of her legitimacy, compromising her claim to the throne. Not only would acknowledgment of the Careys never have occurred, the very utterance of the Carey’s royal paternity would have been absolutely proscribed.70

It may well be asked just why would the king have acknowledged the Careys, anyway? Even if secrecy regarding their paternity were not crucial, what end would have been served by their acknowledgment? Even without the extraordinary and unique circumstances rendering the Carey’s acknowledgment most unlikely (if not impossible), under normal circumstances Henry VIII would have been unlikely to acknowledge illegitimate children born to a married woman.71

Finally, if as is probable, the Careys were Henry VIII’s children, certain interesting genealogical observations can be made. Rather than his issue becoming extinct with the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, King Henry VIII has instead a numerous posterity in both England and America.72 Also, and most significant of all, H. M. the Queen (through her mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) descends from Catherine Carey, Lady Knolly’s daughter Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Leicester.73 For the 350 years separating the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, there had not been a single English monarch descended directly from Henry VIII. It is fascinating to observe that Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II are uniquely allied, not only by their names, but also by their descents from Henry VIII.

The genealogical ramifications of Catherine and Henry Carey’s royal paternity are very great, but the historical significance may well be profound.74 Although proof at this stage is not conclusive, the circumstantial evidence indicates a high degree of probability that Henry VIII was the father of Catherine and Henry Carey.75


*After returning to graduate school at the University of Chicago, Anthony Hoskins acquired an M.A. in library science and history and was Genealogical Reference Librarian and Instructor for eleven years at Chicago’s famed Newberry Library. Spending four years in South Florida libraries, he came to California in 2001 for his current positions: head of the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library (a branch of the Sonoma County Library) and also Sonoma County Archivist. Following publication of Anthony Hoskins’s Mary Boleyn article in London in 1997, he and his work were featured in an article in the London Daily Telegraph, and he was also interviewed on BBC.

  1. Brewer, J. S., et al., Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII (hereafter: LP), Vol. VIII, 567.
  2. Cockayne, G. E., Complete Peerage [hereafter: CP], Vol. X, p. 830, Vol. VI, pp. 627-8; LP VIII, 567. “Other possible illegitimate issue include Sir John Perrot; Ethelreda, wife of John Harrington; Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (his mother Mary Boleyn, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn, became Henry’s mistress about 1520); and Sir Thomas Stucley.” [Paget, Gerald, The Lineage and Ancestry of H. R. H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales [hereafter: Paget], (2 vols.), (Edinburgh and London, 1977), Vol. I, p. 33.] All references to Henry’s supposed son Sir John Perrot seem to have emanated from Sir John’s grandson-in-law, Sir Robert Naunton (1563-1635), who can obviously be considered neither an impartial nor a contemporary source. [Naunton, Sir Robert, “Fragmenta Regalia,” from The Phenix (Vol. I, VII) Morphew, J., pp. 203-4 (1707)]; Dictionary of National Biography [hereafter: DNB], (New York, 1909), Vol. XV, p. 912, Vol. XIV, pp. 126-9.]
  3. Scarisbrick, J. J., Henry VIII [hereafter: Scarisbrick], (1968), p. 148; Friedmann, Paul, Anne Boleyn: A Chapter of English History [hereafter: Friedmann], (1884), App. B.
  4. LP III, 2074 (5), 2297 (12), 2993, 2994; IV, 464 (15) (18), 1264, 202 (2), 2218 (12); Robinson, C. J., The Herald and Genealogist [hereafter: Her. & Gen.], Vol. IV, pp. 129-30 (1880).
  5. CP X, 137-140, IX, 614.
  6. CP X, 138-9, 140, n. “b.”
  7. CP X, 140.
  8. LP V, 686; Warnicke, Retha M., The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII [hereafter: Warnicke], (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 34-5; Gairdner, James, “Mary and Anne Boleyn,” English Historical Review, Vol. VIII, pp. 53-60 (1893) and Gairdner, James, “The Age of Anne Boleyn,” English Historical Review, Vol. IX, p. 104 (1895); Brewer, J. S., The Reign of Henry VIII from His Accession to the Death of Wolsey, (2 vols., 1884), Vol. II, p. 165.
  9. Warnicke, 34-5; LP III, p. 1539; Her. & Gen. IV, 129; letter from Retha M. Warnicke to Anthony Hoskins, 5 March 1995.
  10. Warnicke, 45-6; Scarisbrick, 160-2; LP III, p. 1539, V, 1484; CP Vol. VI, 627-8, n. “e” (“Per una grandissima ribalda et infame sopre tutte”).
  11. Warnicke, 136, 237; Bindoff, S. T., The House of Commons, 1509—1558 (3 vols., 1982) [hereafter: Bindoff], Vol. III, pp. 364-5; Her. & Gen. IV, 130; Round, J. Horace, The Early Life of Anne Boleyn, (1886), p. 38.
  12. Warnicke, 38, 46.
  13. LP III, 2074 (5), 2297 (12), 2993, 2994, IV, 464 (15), (18), 1264, 2002 (20), 2218 (12); Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130; LP III (II), 3358.
  14. LP IV, ccxxi, n. 2.
  15. Ives, E. W., Anne Boleyn, (Oxford 1986), p. 20.
  16. Warnicke, 46.
  17. LP IV 2002 (20); Bindoff I, 582; Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130; CP VI, 627. However, one wonders if Henry Carey’s recorded birth date of 4 March 1526/7 (mentioned in William Carey’s inquisition post mortem) was not rather the date of his baptism since only twelve days earlier Henry VIII made a grant to William Carey “in tail male” and Henry Carey was actually born on or just before 20 February 1526/7, the day the king granted to William Carey the borough of Buckingham in tail male. It is of interest to discover if precedents exist illustrative of baptismal dates being represented as birth dates during the first quarter of the sixteenth century.
  18. Estrange, A. G., The Palace and the Hospital or, Chronicles of Greenwich, (2 vols., 1886), Vol. I, p. 192; LP IV, 2218 (12), 464 (18); Warnicke, 35, 237-8.
  19. Byrne, M. St. Clare, The Letters of Henry VIII, Newcastle upon Tyne (1936), p. 71; Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130; Warnicke, 82.
  20. Flugel, J. C., “On the Character and Married Life of Henry VIII,” Psychoanalysis and History, ed., Bruce Mazlish (rev. ed.), (New York, 1971), p. 146.
  21. LP VIII, 567; Aungier, George James, The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery, the Parish of Isleworth, and the Chapelry of Hounslow, (1840), p. 142.
  22. Reilly, E. G. S., Historical Anecdotes of the Families of the Boleyns, Carreys, Mordaunts . . . [hereafter: Reilly], (Newry, 1839), pp. 21-2; Bindoff I, 582; LP VIII, 567.
  23. Warnicke, 35, 237; LP VIII, 567.
  24. Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130; CP VI, 627. See note 17.
  25. Friedmann II, 13; Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130.
  26. Warnicke, 265; Scarisbrick 3, 496.
  27. Friedmann II, 12-13; LP VIII, 567.
  28. Warnicke, 35, 46, 237; LP IV 464 (15)(18).
  29. CP X, 403-4.
  30. Warnicke, 35, 46, 237; LP IV 464 (15)(18).
  31. LP XIV (II), 572 (4); Warnicke, 237; DNB XI, 278.
  32. LP XIV (II), 572 (4); DNB, II, p. 782.
  33. LP XIV (II), 572 (4); Warnicke, 237-8; Hasler, P. W., The House of Commons, 1558-1603 [hereafter: Hasler], (3 vols., 1981), Vol. II, 414.
  34. Hasler II, 409; LP XV, 498 (iii C.67 [o.n.53]).
  35. LP XV, 498 (ii C.67 [o.n.53], XX 1067 (37).
  36. Warnicke, 237-8; 265; Hasler II, 415.
  37. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Rt. Hon. The Marquis of Salisbury preserved at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire [hereafter: Hatfield MSS.], (1883), Part I, p. 415; Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourth Report of the Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts [hereafter: Fourth Report], Part I, Report and Appendix, (1874), part I (appendix), p. 179; DNB XI, 278.
  38. DNB XI, 278.
  39. Warnicke, 265, n. 13; CP V, 140-1.
  40. Hasler II, 415-6.
  41. Hasler II, 417; CP I, 400-1, III, 126, II, 287-8; LP XIV, 572 (4).
  42. Hasler II, 408.
  43. Hasler II, 416-7.
  44. Hasler II, 416.
  45. Hasler II, 408.
  46. Howard, Joseph Jackson, ed., Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, Volume III (1880), pp. 201-2.
  47. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700, Weiss, Frederick Lewis, 7th ed., Sheppard, Walter Lee Jr. (Baltimore, Md., 1992), pp. 4 and 1; CP IV, 160; Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, revised & ed. By Meyer, Virginia M. and Dorman, John Frederick; Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5, Richmond, Va. (1987), pp. 655-61.
  48. CP VII, 239.
  49. Her. & Gen. IV, 129-130; CP VI, 627. Although see note 17.
  50. DNB XI, 279; LP VIII, 567.
  51. Bindoff I, 582.
  52. LP XIV, 572 (4).
  53. Bindoff, I, 583; Clutterbuck, Robert, The History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford, (3 vols., 1827), Vol. III, pp. 179-80.
  54. CP VI, 628.
  55. CP VI, 628, n. “b.”
  56. Calendar of Letters and State Papers relating to English Affairs, preserved principally in the Archives of Simancas [Spain] [hereafter: Cal St Pap Eliz I- Spain I], Vols. 1-4 (Elizabeth I), 1558—1603, (1892—9) (Kraus Reprint, Vaduz, 1971), Vol. I, 190 (p. 263); CP VI, 628-9.
  57. CP VI, 629; DNB III, 978; Pratt, Helen Marshall, Westminster Abbey, Its Architecture, History and Monuments [hereafter: Pratt], New York, (2 vols., 1914), Vol. II, pp. 629-30.
  58. Cal St Pap Eliz-I-Spain, III, 301; Hasler II, 414; Pratt II, 629-30; Stanley, Arthur Penryhn, D. D., Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey [hereafter: Stanley] (3 vols, 1887) Vol. II, p. 20.
  59. Crull, Jodocus, The Antiquities of St. Peter’s, or the Abbey-Church of Westminster, 3rd. ed. E. Bell (1722), p. 162; Stanley II, 22.
  60. Reilly, 21-4; DNB III, 979.
  61. Hasler I, 54708; DNB XI, 277. That young George Carey should have been even tentatively proposed as a husband for Mary, Queen of Scots is most remarkable. His extraordinary candidacy can only have been due to his being the eldest son of a man widely regarded to be the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.
  62. Bindoff I, 582.
  63. Bindoff I, 582.
  64. Hasler I, 551; CP XI, 50.
  65. DNB III, 978; Hatfield MSS, I, 415; Fourth Report I, 179.
  66. Cal St Pap Eliz I-Spain I, 190.
  67. LP IV, ccxxi. N. 2; CP X, 829.
  68. Miller, Helen, Henry VIII and the English Nobility, (Oxford, 1986), pp. 20-1.
  69. Leviticus XX, 21.
  70. Note the fate of John Hale. Two weeks after stating Henry Carey’s royal paternity in April 1535, Hale was executed at Tyburn (see Note 20).
  71. Letter from Retha M. Warnicke to Anthony Hoskins, 19 January 1994.
  72. For American descendants, see Note 47. English descendants include Sabine Baring-Gould, William Cowper, Charles Darwin, Lady Antonia Fraser; Admiral the Viscount Nelson, Daisy, Princess of Pless, J. Horace Round, Vita Sackville-West, Algernon Sidney, Lady Anne Somerset, Algernon Swinburne, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and P. G. Wodehouse.
  73. Paget II, 1-4, 6, 9, 15, 25, 40, 60, 90-1, 129. Her Majesty’s ancestress Charlotte Boyle, Baroness Clifford (1731-54), wife of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, was descended three times from Lettice Knollys.
  74. Advances in genetic identification through comparison of DNA raise the tantalizing prospect of one day scientifically proving a case of paternity such as that of Henry VIII and the Careys. To the best of my knowledge, the tombs of Henry VIII at Windsor and Catherine, Lady Knollys and Henry, Lord Hunsdon at Westminster Abbey are intact.
  75. Letter from Retha M. Warnicke to Anthony Hoskins, 3 June 1994. I would like to thank Dr. Warnicke most particularly for her suggestions and encouragement with this project. It was she who opened my eyes to the reality of Catherine Carey’s approximate birth year. I would also like to thank Dr. George W. Bernard of the University of Southampton and Lady Anne Somerset, for their interest and support. Special thanks to Irina Nelidow for her encouragement and editorial suggestions.

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