01 February 2011

Lady Rochford: How to destroy a queen

Jane Parker, future wife of George Boleyn, Anne's brother,  played the role of Constancy in a court pageant on Shrove Tuesday, March 1522.  Anne played the role of Perseverance, and her sister Mary, Kindness.  Anne couldn't have known what a role the woman playing Constancy would have in her  own life, some years later.

George Boleyn and Jane Parker did not have a happy marriage, that much is certain.  The reasons behind their martial strife have been much speculated on; whatever the causes were, Jane and George were not well-suited. The persistent idea that George was homosexual is unfounded. In fact, George seems to have been quite a lady's man.

Not surprisingly, Jane didn't care for Anne, and the feeling was mutual.  Still, no one could have guessed that Jane would have a direct hand in pulverizing Anne when she made a disgusting accusation against her own husband, George, and his sister. If Jane had found her husband annoying, she had hatched a perfect plan to rid herself of him, and destroy him. George responded to his cruel wife's claims by telling the judges:  "On the evidence of only one woman are willing to believe this great evil of me, and on the basis of her allegations you are deciding my judgement."

Though there was no love lost between Jane and George, what compelled her to so utterly destroy her husband and sister-in-law is unclear.  It has been thought that her family's history with the Princess Mary might have been a factor.  And quite possibly, Jane's actions may have been fueled by nothing other than one of man's ugliest emotions: Jealousy.


Theresa Bruno said...

I wonder if there are any books written about Lady Rochford and her "motivations." Something wasn't right in her head, that's for sure.

CR Wall said...

Theresa, there is a very interesting book about Lady Rochford. There is not a lot of information about her out there, and this book digs deep: JANE BOLEYN: THE TRUE STORY OF THE INFAMOUS LADY ROCHFORD. It is written by Julia Fox.

Lady Rochford was an incredibly cruel and spiteful woman. Ironically, her turn to face the ax would come later.