February 4, 1521 – Mary Boleyn Marries William Carey

Janet Wertman

Mary Boleyn

On this day in 1521, Mary Boleyn married William Carey, a courtier and favorite of Henry VIII. Carey was both a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and Esquire of the Body to the King.

Mary had what can best be described as a checkered past. She received a similar education to her sister Anne Boleyn, though arguably it “took” better with Anne. Mary did secure a place in 1514 as maid-of-honor to the King’s sister, Mary Tudor, who was to marry King Louis XII of France. She remained there even after her mistress left (Louis died within months), winning a place in the court of King Francis I and his wife Queen Claude. While there, she gained a terrible reputation. History accuses her of taking many lovers, some say Francis himself (who is said to have referred to her as his “English mare” and  “a great ribald, infamous above all”). Nevertheless…

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