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Mary Boleyn: Mistress of Francis I?


Tudor history researcher Claire Ridgway, creator of, has just published a new theory regarding Mary Boleyn and her alleged affair with the French King Francis I. Following on from biographies and books which have challenged the theory that Mary Boleyn was promiscuous and deserving of her nickname “the great and infamous whore”, Ms Ridgway ponders whether Mary Boleyn even slept with Francis I in the first place.

“The evidence for Mary Boleyn’s sexual relationship with Francis I rests on a letter written by a papal ambassador and a book by a Catholic recusant. Both these men were clearly biased against the Boleyns and their other words have been dismissed by historians as untrue. The Catholic, Nicholas Sander, was not even referring to Mary Boleyn, he was writing of her sister, Anne Boleyn!” said Ms Ridgway in an interview, “ I just don’t understand why these two pieces of evidence are being taken seriously and why we are content to label Mary as a whore but fight against the myths regarding Anne Boleyn.”

Ms Ridgway, who is currently writing a book on the Boleyn family, has written an article examining the evidence for Mary Boleyn’s alleged relationship with Francis I. Visit for more information.


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