Anne Boleyn is known to have been one of at least five siblings and whilst her elder brother and sister, George and Mary, grew into adulthood, it has always been assumed that her two other brothers, Thomas and Henry, died as children. Now, however, the historian Alison Weir is arguing in her new biography Mary Boleyn that, in fact, Thomas lived into early adulthood and died in 1520 - by which point his eldest sister, Mary, was already married, George was at court and Anne was completing her education in France. Weir's conclusions is based on the fact that the brass cross added to young Thomas's grave in Saint John the Baptist Church in Penshurst was not added until 1520, thus suggesting that Thomas in fact lived until either his late teens or early twenties before dying.
However, Claire Ridgway at The Anne Boleyn Files has been hunting down the mystery of "the lost Boleyns" and isn't convinced. Instead, she argues that the traditional version of events which claims that only Mary, George and Anne lived to maturity is correct. You can click here to access Claire's full investigation into the mystery of the missing Boleyns, but her thought-provoking conclusion is that all the evidence which suggests young Thomas lived until 1520 is based on evidence that has either been misinterpreted or non-existent. Like a lot of Tudor history, unfortunately.