Anne Boleyn’s story is famous, but that of her father, Thomas Boleyn, is less known. Thomas is usually portrayed as a grasping courtier who sacrificed his daughters to the royal bedchamber but there is far more to his story. For over three decades Thomas enjoyed a successful career as one of the Tudor period’s most highly skilled ambassadors, served as one of Cardinal Wolsey’s right-hand men and was respected throughout the courts of Europe. A man of intellect and spirituality, he was also a patron of some of the greatest minds of the age, including the great scholar Desiderius Erasmus.
Dr Lauren Mackay will spend an evening delving into Thomas’ life and career, moving beyond the myths and stereotypes to establish his place in Tudor history.
Dr Lauren Mackay is an historian and author specializing in Early Modern diplomacy, and whose focus of study goes beyond familiar historical figures to the customs and diplomacy of the 16th Century.
Lauren spent over five years researching the life of Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, who for 18 years was the most important source of the Tudor period, resulting in her debut book, Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and his Six Wives through the eyes of the Spanish Ambassador. It is the first and only biography of the ambassador. Her second book, Among The Wolves of Court: the Untold Story of Thomas and George Boleyn, is the first scholarly biography of Thomas and George Boleyn, and is based on her extensive PhD research, lifting the lid on their rise as highly skilled ambassadors and courtiers who negotiated their way through the complex and ruthless game of politics.
St Peter’s Church is celebrating its 900 years in 2020. For those who may not know Sir Thomas’ tomb is seated inside the church so there couldn’t be a better place to host this talk but please do be aware there are no toilets in the church!