The Boleyns at Blickling
Sir John Falstaff died at Caister Castle in 1459, having sold Blickling to his neighbour and protégé, Geoffrey Boleyn.
Geoffrey’s grandson, Sir Thomas Boleyn, was among Blickling’s most important and significant owners. He made a place for himself at Henry VIII’s court by capitalising on the King’s ardent interest in his daughters, first Mary and then her younger sister Anne.
Honours were heaped upon him in the 1520s: first Treasurer of the Household, then Knight of the Garter, Viscount Rochford, and finally, in 1529, the Earldom of Wiltshire.
In 1533 Anne Boleyn became Queen, only to be executed with her brother three years later. She is traditionally said to have been born at Blickling and this tradition was one of the most important elements of the house’s pedigree as far as the Hobarts were concerned.
After Sir Thomas’s death in 1539, the property passed through his brother’s hand into the possession of his relatives, the Cleres.
Sir Edward Clere, who had dissipated his family’s impressive wealth, died a bankrupt in 1605 and eleven years later his widow sold Blickling to Sir Henry Hobart.