I have just returned from visiting Hever Castle in England where Anne and Mary Bullen (Boleyn) were born or at least raised in early life, daughters of Thomas Bullen. Anne born c 1501, became 2nd wife of Henry VIII. According to the information at the castle and also in many other sources of information, the name was Bullen, but Anne was sent away at an early age to be educated and spent many years in the court of France, before appearing at the English court in 1522. Her Father spent time in the English court, and was sent by the King to France in an appointed position. Anne brought with her the dress and customs of France, and reportedly changed the surname to the French spelling. The Boleyn spelling has frequently been applied to others in her family, but the information at the castle it is quite clear that prior to her time at the English Court the name was Bullen, or other similar variation. There is a web address www.hevercastle.co.uk, including pictures of Anne and Mary Boleyn that are also at the castle. The book "Anne Boleyn" by Ives, confirms the name as Bullen and variations before Anne. For those interested in Mary, there is a book "The Other Boleyn Sister" that is very interesting. Although fiction, the author is a Boleyn researcher and bases the novel on nonfiction works and life in the 16th century. So far I have found the information in it to correspond with several other references.
I am interested in whether Mary's daughter Catherine Carey is the daughter of William Carey her first husband, or Henry the VIII while she was married to William Carey. Mary was at court as well as William Carey in service to the Queen and King. While married (?) Mary was reported mistress of Henry VIII before he decided to wed Anne who refused to be his mistress. It has been suggested one of Mary's children was actually Henry's. Mary's daughter Catherine was apparently born first. The son born soon thereafter was named Henry and given by the king to the custody of Anne Boelyn when she was Queen. Henry (Carey)- if I have understood this correctly - is buried at the same cathedral as Elizabeth I, with a very fancy and ornate tribute. He was apparently an advisor to Elizabeth I, daughter of Anne. Does anyone know where Mary Catherine, daughter of Mary, sister of Anne Boleyn is buried? Since men were traditionally given more rights and recognition than women, it could be that if Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII, she was not claimed since she was a girl. In the Boelyn family forum reference can be found to family history of Henry possibly being the father of Mary. What is presented in the book "The Other Boleyn Sister" is that both Catherine and Henry were Henry VIII's. The father of Anne and Mary Bullen (Boleyn), Thomas Boleyn, and one son that died an infant, are buried in the Boleyn family chapel of St. Peter's church that is on the former grounds of Hever castle, in Hever, Kent Co., England. This is just south of London, and is a wonderful place to visit if anyone ever has the interest and chance.