Lady Margaret Butler

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For other people of the same name, see Margaret Butler.
Margaret Butler
Lady Boleyn
Spouse(s) Sir William Boleyn

Issue

Anne Boleyn, Lady Shelton
Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire
John Boleyn
Anthony Boleyn
Jane Boleyn
Alice Boleyn
Margaret Boleyn
William Boleyn
James Boleyn
Edward Boleyn
Noble family Butler
Father Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond
Mother Anne Hankford
Born c.1454 or 1465
Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Died 1539
England
Arms of Butler, Earl of Ormond: Gules, three covered cups or[1]

Lady Margaret Butler (c. 1454 or 1465[2] – 1539) was an Irish noblewoman, the daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond. She married Sir William Boleyn and through her eldest son Sir Thomas Boleyn, was the paternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England.

Family and marriage[edit]

She was born at Kilkenny Castle in County Kilkenny, Ireland, the daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond and Anne Hankford. Her paternal grandparents were James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond and Joan de Beauchamp. Her maternal grandparents were Sir Richard II Hankford (c.1397-1431) and Anne de Montagu.

She had one younger sister, Anne who married Sir James de St. Leger, by whom she had issue. Anne and Margaret claimed to be co-heiresses of their father and the Earldom of Ormond, but their cousin, Piers Butler, who had physical control of the Irish estates and the backing of the Irish Council, claimed to be the heir through the direct male line. In 1520, the King granted her a pardon for the alienation of Fritwell Manor, Oxfordshire.[3] The issue wasn't resolved until 1528, by which time Margaret's position was good, with the influence of her granddaughter, then betrothed to Henry VIII, and Margaret's son, Thomas Boleyn's, status as King's adviser.[4]

In 1465 Margaret married Sir William Boleyn, and in total they had ten children. Her son, the ambitious courtier Sir Thomas Boleyn, became the first Earl of Wiltshire and by his marriage to Elizabeth Howard, the Duke of Norfolk's daughter, was the father of Anne Boleyn, Queen consort of England. Thus, Margaret was great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Margaret's role in the rise and fall of the Boleyn clan is unknown, although there has been much speculation and theorizing.[citation needed]

She was the last of the Boleyns to live in Hever Castle as it was given to Anne of Cleves in 1540 sometime after her death. Margaret's lands were claimed by her only surviving grandchild, Mary Boleyn. and her husband William Stafford.[5]

Issue[edit]

Name Birth Death Notes
Anne 18 November 1475 6 January 1555 married John Shelton; had issue
Thomas, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde c. 1477 12 March 1539 married Lady Elizabeth Howard; had issue, including Queen Anne Boleyn
John 1481 1484  
Anthony 1483 30 September 1493  
Jane c. 1485 unknown married Sir Philip Calthorpe
Alice c. 1487 1538 married Robert Clere
Margaret c. 1489 unknown married John Sackville, Esq.
William c. 1491 18 December 1571  
James c. 1493 5 December 1561 married Elizabeth Wood
Edward c. 1496 unknown married Anne Tempest

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Margaret Butler as Grandmother Boleyn appears in the 2002 Philippa Gregory novel The Other Boleyn Girl. She is portrayed as a critical and insubordinate woman who is shrewd and uncaring toward her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She does seem to inquire about life in the English court. Margaret lived in the Boleyn estate in Hever Castle, and plays a supporting role in the novel.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.864
  2. ^ http://www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/cgi-bin/gedlkup/n=royal?royal08935
  3. ^ p.38, The Boleyns, David Loades
  4. ^ p.31, The Boleyns, David Loades
  5. ^ p.57, The Boleyns, David Loades