Anne Shelton (courtier)
|Anne Shelton (née Boleyn)|
|Spouse||Sir John Shelton|
|Father||Sir William Boleyn|
|Mother||Lady Margaret Butler|
28 November 1475|
|Died||8 January 1556(aged 80)|
Anne Shelton née Boleyn (28 November 1475 – 8 January 1556) was the elder sister of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and an aunt of his daughter, Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII.
Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling, Norfolk, the daughter of Sir William Boleyn and Lady Margaret Butler, daughter of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, and Joan de Beauchamp. She married Sir John Shelton before 1503.
In 1533, Lady Shelton and her sister, Lady Alice Clere, were placed in charge of the household of the King's daughter, Mary. There is some evidence that Lady Shelton was harsh towards the young Mary, often taunting her with Elizabeth's higher status, but it is widely believed that she never resorted to actually hitting the young girl to chastise her. She received letters from Queen Anne criticising Mary. By July 1536 Sir John Shelton was comptroller of the household established for Mary and Queen Anne Boleyn's daughter, Princess Elizabeth.
In the same year five women were appointed to serve Queen Anne while she was imprisoned in the Tower and to report to Sir William Kingston, the Lieutenant of the Tower, and through him to the King's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, all that the Queen said. These women included Lady Shelton, who had perhaps fallen out with Queen Anne during Henry VIII's affair with Anne's first cousin, Lady Shelton's daughter, Madge Shelton. The other women to attend Anne were Sir William Kingston's wife, Lady Mary Kingston; Lady Elizabeth Boleyn, Queen Anne's aunt by marriage; Lady Margaret Coffin, the wife of Queen Anne's Master of the Horse; and Elizabeth Stoner, wife of the King's Serjeant-at-Arms. Sir William Kingston described the five as "honest and good women", but Queen Anne said that it was "a great unkindness in the King to set such about me as I have never loved". When in 1536 the Queen was arrested and taken to the Tower, Lady Shelton was dismissed from her service. Four days later Anne Boleyn was executed. Historians have debated as to whether Lady Shelton and Mrs Coffin were still in her service; and whether she was one of the 'four young ladies' said to attend and escort Anne to the scaffold.
When Princess Elizabeth was so persecuted during her sister Queen Mary's reign, she fled to Sir John and Lady Shelton for protection. She was later secreted in the tower of Shelton's church when Sir John's mansion was not sufficient protection. When Elizabeth was crowned, she summoned the Shelton family to court, where they lived during her reign.
Lady Shelton was widowed 21 December 1539, and her husband was buried in the chancel of Shelton church. He was said to have been "a man of great possessions", which he sought to pass on to his heirs contrary to the Statute of Uses. When the stratagem came to light after Shelton's death, the lawyers involved were punished, and an Act of Parliament was passed annulling such "crafty conveyances".
Anne Shelton died 8 January 1556, at Norwich.  It is unknown whether she was buried at Shelton church or Currow Abbey, but St. Mary's Church in Shelton has a stained glass window of her. Her will was proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 1st June 1556.
Lady Shelton had three sons and seven daughters. A daughter named as 'Madge' Shelton is said to have been a mistress of Henry VIII; it is not known if Madge refers to Margaret or Mary Shelton.
|Margaret Shelton||unknown||bef.11 Sep 1583||married Thomas Wodehouse (or Woodhouse)|
|John Shelton||1500||November 1558||22nd Lord of Shelton, married Margaret Parker, daughter of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley and older sister to Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford|
|Mary Shelton||unknown||8 Jan 1570/1||firstly married Sir Anthony Heveningham; secondly married Philip Appleyard|
|Ralph Shelton||unknown||26 Sep 1561||married Amy Wodehouse or Woodhouse (sister of Thomas, who married Margaret Shelton)|
|Thomas Shelton||unknown||aft 1579||married Anne Appleyard|
|Anne Shelton||c.1505||1563||firstly married Edmund Knyvet; secondly married Christopher Coote, Esq.|
|Gabriella Shelton||unknown||Oct 1558||died without issue|
|Elizabeth Shelton||unknown||aft 1561||died without issue|
|Amy Shelton||unknown||November 1579||died without issue|
|Emma Shelton||unknown||aft.1556||died without issue.|
- Richardson 2004, p. 179
- Weir 1991, p. 260; Richardson 2004, p. 35
- Weir 1991, p. 271
- Letters and Papers of the Regn of Henry VIII, vol. X, no. 199
- Block 2006.
- p.275, Joanna Denny, Anne Boleyn
- George Cavendish, Wolsey, pp. 451-460
- Erikson, Anne Boleyn; Triumphs of English; Weir, The Lady, pp.138-9, 222
- Weir, p.262
- Bindoff 1982, p. 312; Block 2006
- Anne Shelton at the Wayback Machine (archived 24 June 2016)
- Lady Anne Boleyn Shelton: Find A Grave at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 June 2016)
- G.E.Cokayne, The Complete Peerage
- Secondary sources
- Bindoff, S.T. (1982). The House of Commons 1509-1558. III. London: Secker & Warburg.
- Block, Joseph S. (2006). Shelton family (per. 1504–1558), gentry. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Erickson, Carolly (1978). Anne Boleyn. London.
- Hughes, Jonathan (2007). Boleyn, Thomas, earl of Wiltshire and earl of Ormond (1476/7–1539), courtier and nobleman. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Ives, E.W. (2004). Anne (Anne Boleyn) (c.1500–1536), queen of England, second consort of Henry VIII. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Richardson, Douglas (2004). Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company Inc. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Shelton, Z.F. (1962). The Sheltons. Montgomery, Alabama.
- Weir, Alison (1991). The Six Wives of Henry VIII. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.
- Weir, Alison (2009). The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. London.
- Marie Axton and James P Catley, ed. (2000). Triumphs of English: henry Parker, Lord Morley, Translator to the Tudor Court; New Essays in Interpretation. The British Library.