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Biography for
William Stafford (Character)
from The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

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William Stafford could boast Royal descent, but as the younger son of a midland family whose fortunes had been depleted during the previous century he had little hope of advancement before his marriage to Mary Boleyn, an ex-mistress of Henry VIII. He attended the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn as a servitor and this may have been the occasion of his meeting with her sister whom he could have known, however, through his Kentish relatives. Their marriage displeased the King and Queen, as well as Cromwell, and Mary Boleyn told the minister that love had triumphed over reason and that although she 'might have had a greater man of birth and higher' she was content to lead 'a poor honest life' with her youthful husband. It was perhaps the Queen's coolness towards the pair which protected them when disaster struck her and her brother Lord Rochford: in the event they were gainers, for between 1539 and 1542 Mary Stafford was to inherit in succession her father's lands, those held in jointure by Rochford's widow and those of her grandmother the Countess of Ormond. Although the bulk of this property was to pass to the children of her first marriage, she was able to give her husband several manors in Essex, including Rochford which they later made their home. In 1541 Stafford acquired the manor of Hendon in Kent from the crown but several months later he exchanged it for more valuable property in Yorkshire and London. After Mary's death he inherited the manor of Abinger, Surrey, which he later sold to Edward Elrington and his cousin Thomas.

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Page last updated by JeSuisLaMarmotte, 8 years ago
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