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Famous Like Me > Writer > H > Elizabeth Jane Howard

Profile of Elizabeth Jane Howard on Famous Like Me

Name: Elizabeth Jane Howard  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 26th March 1923
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Elizabeth Howard (c. 1480 - c. 1538) was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and was a lady-in-waiting to the both the Queens, Elizabeth of York and Catherine of Aragon.

Marriage and Children

Elizabeth Howard was married to Thomas Boleyn c. 1499/1500, and with him had three surviving children:

  • Mary Boleyn (c. 1501 - 1543)
  • George Boleyn (c. 1503 - 1536)
  • Anne Boleyn (c. 1507 - 1536)

Relationship with Mary Boleyn

After Mary Boleyn returned home from the French court in disgrace during 1519 as a result of her sexual escapades, Elizabeth Howard never forgave her daughter for the resulting slur of their family's reputation. This view is shared by the historian M.L. Bruce quotes that both Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard developed feelings of dislike towards their daughter.

This relationship was were later strained further by Mary Boleyn's romantic faux-pas, as she became first the mistress of Henry VIII and was then banished in 1533 for eloping with a commoner.

Relationship with Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn had a seemingly close relationship with her mother and during c. 1526 - c. 1527, when Henry VIII fell in love with Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Howard acted as the couple's chaperone and often accompanied her daughter to court whenever Anne Boleyn attempted to avoid sexual contact with Henry VIII. It was also Elizabeth Howard who travelled with her daughter to view York Place, after the fall of Cardinal, Thomas Wolsey.

It was even rumoured that Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth Howard's grandaughter, was named after Elizabeth Howard. However, it seems more likely the Elizabeth I was named after Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII's own mother, although it is not possible to rule out the possibilities that the child was named after both her grandmothers.

The fall of the Boleyn Family

Elizabeth Howard remained part of Anne Boleyn's household after her marriage to Henry VIII. She was therefore close at hand to watch, during 1533, when both her daughter, Anne Boleyn, and her son, George Boleyn, were beheaded in the Tower of London.

Mistress of Henry VIII?

It has been rumoured that Elizabeth Howard was a mistress of Henry VIII of England. However, this fact was always denied by Henry and the attempts of recent historians to prove this rumour have failed. It seems more likely that the rumour started as a result of Elizabeth Howard being confused with Elizabeth Blount, who was a mistress of Henry VIII, or as an attempt to discredit the unpopular Boleyn family after 1527.


Following the annihilation of the family's ambitions after the death of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Howard retired to the country. She died about two years after the deaths of George and Anne Boelyn in c. 1538.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Elizabeth Jane Howard