Hever Castle first came into Boleyn ownership when it was bought by Geoffrey Boleyn in 1462. Geoffrey had made a successful career as Master of the Mercer’s Company and became Lord Mayor of London in c.1457. His son by his second wife was William Boleyn who inherited the Castle on the death of his father in 1463. William became a Baron of the Exchequer and the Duke of Norfolk’s deputy. He married Lady Margaret Butler, daughter and co-heiress of the Earl of Ormonde. Their son, Thomas, became Anne Boleyn’s father.
Thomas Boleyn married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk and had three surviving children: Mary, Anne (second wife of Henry VIII) and George. Upon Anne’s return from France in 1522 she joined Catherine of Aragon’s household but continued to visit Hever Castle regularly. In fact, seven of Henry VIII’s love letters were sent to Anne while she was residing at Hever in 1528. After Anne’s execution in 1536, her father Thomas continued to live at Hever until his death in 1539, leaving his elderly mother Margaret. It appears that Thomas Boleyn’s brother, James, then inherited the Castle and sold it for £200 to the crown by indenture on 31st December 1540.