Ladies-in-Waiting: Anne Russell, Countess of Bedford

Anne Sapcote, Countess of Bedford
Anne Russell (née Sapcote), Countess of Bedford by George Perfect Harding pencil, 1802-1853 6 5/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (168 mm x 137 mm) Purchased, 1929 Reference Collection NPG D5636 Anne Russell (née Sapcote), Countess of Bedford (died 1559), Former wife of John Broughton and of Sir Richard Jerningham, and later wife of 1st Earl of Bedford; daughter of Sir Guy Sapcote. [National Portrait Gallery, London]
Anne Russell (née Sapcote), Countess of Bedford (died 1559) was the daughter and heiress of Sir Guy Sapcote and Margaret Wolston.[1] By her son by the Earl of Bedford, Anne is the ancestress of the current Dukes of Bedford. The current heir to the Dukedom is Henry Robin Charles Russell, Marquess of Tavistock (b. 2005). Anne is also an ancestor to other Dukedoms which include the Dukes of Beaufort and Manchester.

Anne’s first husband was John Broughton. The couple had three children, Katherine, John, and Anne. Anne’s daughter, Katherine later married to William Howard1st Baron Howard of Effingham, son of Thomas Howard2nd Duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tilney.[1] Another daughter, named Anne became the wife of Sir Thomas Cheney of the Isle of Sheppey.[BHO] Sadly, the elder John died in June 1519.

Anne married secondly to Sir Richard Jerningham. The two had no issue.[1] Jerningham was a diplomat and gentleman of the privy chamber for Henry VIII. However, Anne was widowed again by 1525.

As a twice widowed woman at court, Anne was involved in court politics, was intelligent, was mature, and was wealthy. One would say she sounded much like Katherine Parr did after her second husband, Lord Latimer, died in 1543. All of these characteristics made Anne a perfect match even if she had three children from her first marriage.[2]

John Russell
A portrait of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, after Hans Holbein the Younger

garter plate john russell 1st earl of bedford 1539
Garter stall-plate of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford (c. 1485 – 14 March 1554/1555), KG, nominated to the Order in 1539. The arms are blazoned: quarterly of four: 1st grand quarter: quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, a lion rampant gules on a chief sable three escallops of the first (Russell); 2nd & 3rd: Azure, a tower argent (de la Tour); 2nd grand quarter: Gules, three herrings hauriant argent (Herringham); 3rd: Sable, a griffin segreant between three crosses crosslet fitchy argent (Froxmere); 4th: Sable, three chevronnels ermine in dexter chief a crescent or for difference. Crest: A goat statant argentarmed and unguled or; Supporters: Dexter: A goat argent, Sinister: A lion rampant gules (Debrett’s Peerage, 1968, p.131), with supporters on exchanged sides) Motto: Plus que Jamais (“More than Never”). Inscription: “Of the very noble and powerful Lord John, Earl of Bedford, Baron Russell, Knight of the Very Noble Order of the Garter and Keeper of the Privy Seal, was installed at Windsor the 18th day of May the year of King Henry VIII of his reign the 31st, the year 1539”). [Wikipedia]
John Russell1st Earl of Bedford (1485-14 March 1555) was the son of James Russell and Alice Wyse. He married Anne in 1526.[1] At the time of their marriage, Russell was a newly made man of the privy chamber to Henry VIII. Russell would go on to serve as Lord High Admiral and Lord Privy Seal.

Russell’s career spanned over the reigns of King Henry VII to Queen Mary I. In 1506, he was in service to the future Queen Mary’s grandparents, Queen Isabel I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, when they were shipwrecked at Weymouth. He escorted the couple to London and was praised by the royal couple to King Henry upon his manners. He became a gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry VII in 1507.

In the reign of Henry VIII, Russell was used for diplomatic purposes and was knighted in 1522 after he lost an eye fighting in Brittany.

In 1528, Anne lost her only son by her first marriage, John. She was overcome with grief. As noted by Sir Thomas Heneage,[2]

“My lady Russell takes the death of her son so sore that Russell fears, if she should not obtain your favour [Cardinal Thomas Wolsey] for the wardship of the younger sister, it will be her utter undoing.”[2]

Sadly, the power struggle between Anne Boleyn and Wolsey would keep Lady Russell from obtaining the wardship of her daughter, which she so desperately hoped for.[2]

Anne helped her husband on many occasions. She is known to have appealed to Lord Cromwell about debts that had not been repaid to her husband. She sent gifts to the King and when John was sick, she sent a letter to Cromwell to send a doctor. In an effort to secure the wardship of Anne’s daughter, John also wrote in 1528, but failed to obtain it. He did however secure the wardship of other family members. He also secured the property rights as the Sapcote’s heiress.[2]

However, in 1535, Anne lost yet another child. This time it was Katherine who had become Baroness as the wife to Baron Effingham.

Sir John Russell survived the fall of Anne Boleyn and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1536. In 1539, he became a Knight of the Garter. He was also granted some of the estates of the attained Duke of Buckingham who had been executed for treason. He became Comptroller of the Household from 1537-1539.

Russell continued to rise among his peers and was granted the title Earl of Bedford on 19 January 1550 by the boy King, Edward VI.

Francis Russell 2nd Earl of Bedford
Portrait of Lord Francis Russell. Black and coloured chalks, pen and Indian ink on pink-primed paper, 24.2 × 18.1 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle. The drawing is heavily rubbed and disfigured, and the penwork is not original. Francis Russell (1527–1585) was the son of John Russell, Ist Earl of Bedford, whose portrait Holbein also drew. He succeeded to the earldom in 1555. Reference K. T. Parker, The Drawings of Hans Holbein at Windsor Castle, Oxford: Phaidon, 1945, OCLC 822974, p. 55.

The couple had one son and heir, Francis (1527-28 July 1585). Francis eventually became the 2nd Earl of Bedford upon the death of his father. Like his father, Francis was very active at court. He rose to prominence under Queen Elizabeth I. He was made privy councillor and was an Ambassador. His tasks included that of representing Her Majesty at the christening of Prince James Stuart (the son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley). He was a guest of honor at the subsequent banquet and masque held in the Prince’s honor. Francis married to Margaret St. John, the great-great-granddaughter of Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso. The couple had four sons and three daughters. He married secondly to Bridget Hussey, daughter of John Hussey, 1st Lord and Lady Anne Grey, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Kent and Lady Katherine Herbert. Francis had no issue by his second wife. His issue by his first wife included Lady Elizabeth who married the Earl of Bath and had issue, Lady Anne who married the Earl of Warwick, Lady Margaret who married the Earl of Cumberland and had issue, and Lord William Russell who became the father to the 4th Earl of Bedford. Lord William Russell was the grandfather of William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford.[1]

Anne died in 1559. Her and her husband were buried in the Bedford Chapel in Chenies, Buckinghamshire. A description of the monument erected is below.

In the chancel is the oldest completed monument in the Chapel, early 16th c. most probably of Italian workmanship. Executed in red-veined alabaster, probably from Derbyshire, entirely uncoloured. The sides of the tomb chest are panelled, ornamented with pilasters, arabesques in relief and inlaid with Venetian Renaissance motifs of lozenges and roundels of clouded black marble and polished flint. Carved shields with achievement of arms are in each panel and at ends – eight in number. Recumbent effigies of the Earl and Countess, hands joined and raised in the attitude of prayer – the Earl’s figure clad in plate armour with the collar and mantle of the Garter, coronet and cross hilted sword. The head is on a helmet with goat couchant crest, mantling arranged to cover the hollow end and the feet on a lion. The face is modelled from a portrait of the Earl, by Holbein, in Woburn Abbey and indicates the droop of the eyelid over the eye which was damaged by an arrow at the siege of Morlaix in 1523. [Heraldry of the Bedford Chapel Chenies]

Links

Sources

  1. G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 9, 73-76.
  2. Carole Levin, Anna Riehl Bertolet, Jo Eldridge Carney. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern EnglishwomenExemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650. Taylor & Francis, Nov 3, 2016. Google eBook
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Ladies-in-Waiting: Elizabeth Stonor

Elizabeth Stonor, Lady Hoby
Portrait of Lady Hoby, inscribed “The Lady Hobbei”. Black and coloured chalks, pen and Indian ink on pink-primed paper, 27.8 × 20.3 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle. The drawing has been so rubbed and reinforced by later hands that it is disfigured, obliterating Holbein’s original work. If the inscription—added later and not necessarily reliable—is correct, the sitter is most likely Elizabeth Hoby, wife of the diplomat Sir Philip Hoby (1505–1558), whose portrait Holbein also drew. Reference K. T. Parker, The Drawings of Hans Holbein at Windsor Castle, Oxford: Phaidon, 1945, OCLC 822974, p. 50.

Elizabeth Stonor, Lady Hoby, daughter of Walter Stonor of Hawton, Nottinghamshire and Fenny Compton.

While most wives in the Tudor period cannot be documented, Elizabeth seems to have kept up correspondences with her father and they are well documented for two decades. Elizabeth’s first husband, Sir William Compton died in 1528. Unfortunately for her, the jointure she was promised had not been established by the time of his death. Her second husband, Sir Walter Walshe, sued Compton’s estate in Chancery. The matter was not settled and Walshe was dead by 1538. As a widow, Elizabeth returned home and her father took up the cause instead. Letters were sent to Cromwell to discuss the matter. Stonor sent the fee for the first year, reminding him to be her “good lord” and protect her from “great wrongs”.[1]

In 1540, Elizabeth married to Sir Philip Hoby,  the son of William Hoby of Leominster by his first wife, Catherine Forster. After their marriage, the two rented their chief residence, Wreysbury, from Elizabeth’s father.[1] Philip was a diplomat under King Henry VIII. He was also a huge supporter of the Protestant Reformation. Hoby was sent to places like Spain and Portugal. In 1538, he was tasked with getting a portrait done of Christina, Duchess of Milan by Holbein. Hoby and Holbein then went to France to paint Princess Margaret of France and Mary de Bourbon. Throughout the reign of Henry VIII, Hoby continued to advance and was eventually knighted after the siege of Boulogne. The couple had no children.

In respect to letters, after she married Hoby, Elizabeth was reluctant to spend time with her father despite his support during her first two marriages. One topic that comes up is one of religion. Sir Walter told his daughter’s servant, Richard Scudamore,[1]

“that he [Stonor] knew very well how to order himself and that my lady was much given to the Scriptures and that she always was arguing and contending with him in the same, and which thing he could in no wise bear and specially at her hands.”[1]

Another difficulty between Elizabeth and her father rose with his apparent new love, a “mistress Margaret”, who Elizabeth feared he would marry. Eventually, after much discussion between Scudumore and Stonor, Stonor replied with,[1]

“if it please my lady to come unto him to make merry and not meddle with him or any of his household she would be as welcome as ever she was.”[1]

The reply evidentely satisfied Elizabeth as she decided to spend Christmas at Stonor after all.[1]

When Tudor women married again, they used their subsequent husbands to safeguard their children’s inheritance. In some cases this worked and in others it did not. Luckily for Elizabeth, Sir Philip Hoby seems to have delivered in this area. Elizabeth asked Hoby to safeguard her inheritance for her daughters she had, had by her second husband, Walsh. Hoby delivered and made funds available for Elizabeth when she needed them.[1]

The couple were attendants upon Henry VIII’s sixth queen. Lady Hoby was a lady to Her Majesty and was part of her inner circle of ladies who read scriptures and continued to push the reformation of the Church. Lord Hoby was a part of the queen’s council from 1543, onward. He also was a steward, later on, to Baron Seymour of Sudeley.

By chance, the couple swapped the Abbey of Bisham with the former queen, Anne of Cleves. There was some delay as Anne was not satisfied with giving up the site as requested by Edward VI. In the church of All Saints is a window dedicated to the Hobys. The lights also feature the arms of several of the Hobys, including Sir Philip and Elizabeth. The Abbey at one time belonged to the Earls of Salisbury. It belonged to the last Plantagenet and York Princess, Margaret of Clarence–or–better known as “Lady Salisbury”. The Countess of Salisbury lost her head and her possessions when her cousin, Henry VIII decided to kill her. Lady Salisbury was a cousin to Queen Katherine Parr’s paternal grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Parr/Vaux.

Lady Hoby was lucky enough to be sketched by Hans Holbein. However, due to later rubbing and re-enforcing, the portrait is not in good quality. The description of the sitter was most likely added later and may not be reliable as most Tudor portraits were labeled after the period they were created. If the inscription is correct, the sitter is most likely Elizabeth Stonor.

Sources

  1. Barbara J. Harris. English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers, 2002. Google eBook

Ladies-in-Waiting: Anne, Lady Walsingham

Anne Jerningham (d.1559), daughter of Sir Edward Jerningham (died 6 January 1515) of Somerleyton, Suffolk, by Margaret Bedingfield (died 24 March 1504), daughter of Sir Edmund (1443-1496) and Alice Shelton (d. about 1478). Sir Edmund fought under the 13th Earl of Oxford at the Battle of Stoke on 15 July 1487. In that year he also entertained King Henry VII at Oxburgh. Edmund was married twice. Anne was one of the eight children born to Sir Edward Jerningham and Margaret. After the death of her mother, Anne’s father married to Mary Scrope by which she had five more siblings.[3]

In March 1516, Henry Brandon was born to the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. He was christened with the pomp befitting of a nephew of King Henry VIII. As Lady Grey, Anne was responsible for carrying the infant into the hall. Anne was accompanied by Sir Humphrey Banaster, who bore the train, Lord Thomas Dacre, Chamberlain of the Duchess, her husband Lord Edward Grey, and a group of about 40 ladies. Anne’s prominence at the christening is attributed to her closeness to the Duchess, the Dowager French Queen. Anne accompanied the Princess to meet her bridegroom, Louis XII of France. Anne attended the wedding and was one of the English ladies who was allowed to stay on at court in France. When Louis died, Anne was kept on as a lady when the Queen married the Duke of Suffolk. Anne appeared at the Field of the Cloth of Gold.[1]

Anne is noted in the Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII as being paid 100s for her half year’s wages.[3]

In 1517, Lord Edward Grey died leaving Anne a widow. Edward had been the eldest son and heir of the 1st Marquess of Dorset and a grandson of King Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Upon Edward’s death, Anne’s stepmother tried to quickly set her up with John, Lord Berkeley, a ward of the Duke of Suffolk. Outraged by this setup, the Duke wrote Thomas Wolsey on 17 March 1517, saying: “I had liever have spent a thousand pounds than any such pageants should have been done within the queen’s household and mine.”[1] However, this marriage may have taken place or she was later married to a man of the Berkeley family as in her will she names sons with the surname Berkeley.[2]

Anne’s second husband was Henry Barley of Albury (1487-12 November 1529). Barley was the son of William and Elizabeth Darcy, daughter of Sir Robert Darcy. Barley had been previously married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Northwood. Barley’s father, William, was attained for treason for supporting Perkin Warbeck in 1495, but was pardoned three years later. The Barleys’ are noted for a Star Chamber case in which a rector accused them of malicious persecution and destruction of church property. The Barleys’ sued for slander. In the end, the Barleys’ admitted to some of the behaviors, but they alleged that the rector had used Albury to pass through and have an illicit affair with the wife of a parishioner. It turns out the husband may have made payments to hush up the affair. Whatever the story was, the truth was never uncovered. The whole case showed the Barleys’ anti-clericalism.  The Barleys’ owned a considerable amount of land in Essex. Barley was considered to be one of the wealthiest men in Hertfordshire. Barley was at Parliament in 1529, which probably pleased the King. Sadly, eight days later Barley was dead.[4]

When Barley died in 1529, Anne married Sir Robert Drury two years later. Drury was linked to the Duke of Suffolk. When he died in 1535, Drury willed Anne and his sons various household items, plate, and livestock.[1] Drury had been Speaker of the House of Commons.

At the time of her marriage to Sir Edmund Walsingham, Anne was the widow of three husbands. When Walsingham died in 1550, Anne was willed 40 pounds, jewelry, plate, and property.[1]

Anne died in 1559. She was buried beside her first husband, Lord Edward Grey at St. Clement Danes in London.[1]

Sources

  1. Carole LevinAnna Riehl BertoletJo Eldridge Carney. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern EnglishwomenExemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650. 2016. Google eBook
  2. Oxford-Shakespeare.com Will of Lady Anne Grey
  3. Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIIIPreserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum and Elsewhere in England, Volume 2, Part 2. Google eBook
  4. History of Parliament: 1509-1558.

 

Ladies-in-Waiting: Jane, Countess of Southampton

 

Jane Cheney Southampton
Effigy of Jane, Countess of Southampton at Titchfield, Hampshire, England where she is buried with her husband.[Tudor Effigies]
Jane Cheney, Countess of Southampton (d.15 September 1574) was the daughter and heiress of William Cheney of Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, by Emma Walwyn, daughter of Thomas Walwyn.[1]

There is some obscurity about the identity of Southampton’s wife. He was married before 1533 to Jane, niece of Stephen Gardiner [q. v.], bishop of Winchester, and sister of the unfortunate Germain Gardiner, the bishop’s private secretary, who was executed for denying the royal supremacy in 1543 (Letters and Papers, xii. i. 1209, ii. 47, 546, 634, 825). In all the pedigrees, however, his wife is styled ‘Jane daughter of William Cheney or Cheyne of Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire,’ and there is no trace of his having had two wives. The inference is that the Countess of Southampton’s mother married first a brother of Bishop Gardiner, and secondly William Cheney, being mother of Germain Gardiner by her first husband, and of the Countess of Southampton by her second.[DNB]

Jane married to Thomas Wriothesley (21 December 1505-30 July 1550), the son of York Herald, William Wriothesley and Agnes Drayton, daughter and heiress of James Drayton of London.[1] Thomas Wriothesley was held in high favor with King Henry VIII. However, he would become one of the members of the Catholic faction that tried to arrest Queen Katherine Parr. As Jane was a member of Parr’s household, one wonders what she would have thought when her own husband was reprimanded for trying to serve an arrest warrant to the Queen while she was sitting in the garden enjoying an afternoon with the King. Wriothesley was not met with a warm reception and was yelled at by the King for such behavior after the two had been reconciled on the matter at hand.

Coat of Arms Thomas Wriothesley 1st earl of Southampton
Quartered arms of Sir Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, KG. [Wikipedia]
The couple had several children; three sons and five daughters.[1] Sadly, the first two sons died and only the third survived; Henry. Henry was christened on 24 April 1545 at St. Andrews in Holborn. One of his godfather’s was the King, who was represented by Sir William Parr, 1st Earl of Essex (brother of the current Queen, Katherine Parr).  His other godfather was the Duke of Suffolk and his godmother was the Lady Mary. Jane brought up her children in the Catholic faith and that may have hindered them.[3]

The eight thousand acre, Beaulieu Abbey, was acquired by the Wriothesley family in 1538. Another monastic estate granted to the family was Titchfield in Hampshire where the principal family home was located.

Jane was fashionable and had the luxury of jewels due to her husband’s status. In her will is described a fine jewel, ‘a brooch of gold set with an agate and four little rubies [and] there is a picture of a face upon the agate.’ Cameos were popular, especially for queen’s like Katherine Parr who can be seen wearing a girdle of them in her large portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.[2]

Jane outlived her husband who died on 30 July 1550. Her son, who was still a minor at the time of his father’s death, became the ward of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, husband of Lady Anne Herbert (sister of the late Queen Katherine Parr). As a widow, Jane inherited manors in Hampshire like Titchfield and Southampton House in Holborn.

In her will of 1574, Jane left to her daughter Katherine one book, ‘my best book of gold set with four diamonds on one side, and a ruby in the middle, weighing about nine ounces and a half, and the Queen’s Majesty handwriting in the same book.’ A second book, ‘a book of gold enamelled with a black knot with two scallop shells, weighing about four ounces and a half’ went to her daughter Mabel. These books could be attached to a girdle like jewelry. Jane had used them to collect signatures, inscriptions and short versus from friends. The books were religious in nature. And to her son, Henry, Jane left ‘a square tablett of golde wherein is the picture of my lorde his father’s face in in, weighinge about two ounces and a half.'[2]

Titchfield Abbey
After the Dissolution, Titchfield Abbey was converted into a mansion, known as Place House, seen here as it looked in 1733. [Wikipedia]
Jane died on 15 September 1574 and she was buried in Titchfield, Hampshire where her effigy can be seen.

Links

Sources

  1. Cokayne, G. E. (1953). The Complete Peerage edited by Geoffrey H. White. XII (Part I)
  2. Susan James. The Feminine Dynamic in English Art, 1485-1603 Women as Consumers, Patrons and Painters. Google eBook.
  3. Akrigg, G.P.V. (1968). Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Ladies-in-Waiting: Dorothy Bray, Lady Chandos

Dorothy Bray, Lady Chandos of Sudeley (c.1524-31 October 1605) was the daughter of Edmund, 1st Baron Bray (1484-18 October 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480-24 October 1558). She was at court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

She embarked upon a brief tryst with Sir William Parr, brother of the future queen c.1541, which was over by 1543. Parr’s wife, Anne Bourchier, heiress to the Earl of Essex, had already left their marriage and embarked with her lover and had children by him, so Parr was left behind. Parr’s interest was then diverted to Dorothy’s niece, Elisabeth Brooke.

Dorothy married Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos (d.11 September 1573) and their children were Eleanor (b.c.1546), Giles (1547-1594), Mary, Katherine (1554-1596), and William (d. 1602). Dorothy was at court as Lady Brydges during Mary Tudor’s reign.

In 1574, Queen Elizabeth visited Lady Chandos at Sudeley Castle. In 1588, she was living in Essex House in London and had 220 books in her bedchamber there.

Dorothy’s second husband was a younger man, Sir William Knollys (1545-1632).

Dorothy was known among courtiers as “old lady Chandos”. Unfortunately, her husband fell in love with one of the queen’s maids of honor, Mary Fitton. During that time, Dorothy was living with him in a house adjoining the royal tilt yard (Violet Wilson. Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber).

Dorothy’s daughters, Eleanor and Katherine, and eventually her granddaughters, Frances and Elizabeth Brydges, would also become maids of honor.

Portraits: The “Duchess of Chandos” attributed to John Bettes the Younger, 1578, could be Dorothy Bray, although the sitter looks very young for someone who would be around fifty-four years old at the time. Dorothy’s effigy appears with her second husband in the church at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire.

Sources

Ladies-in-Waiting: Mary Wotton, Lady Carew

Mary (née Wotton), Lady Guildford
Mary (née Wotton), Lady Guildford by Hans Holbein

Mary Wotton (1499-17 September 1558) was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent (1465-1524) and the heiress, Anne Belknap. By her sister, Mary was the great-aunt of Lady Jane Grey.

The Wotton family were merchants from London. The Wottons seemed to have suffered as a result of the War of the Roses, but seemed to survive and come out on top afterwards like the Howards, Carews, etc. At one time, Sir Robert was Controller of the Royal Household. He also received the Order of the Garter. Mary’s brother, Nicholas, was a diplomat and Ambassador to France to Queen Mary. Her nephew, Sir Henry, was also a diplomat and a poet. Her sister became Marchioness of Dorset and eventually Duchess of Suffolk.[4]

Wotton may have been the Mistress Wotton who was a chamberer to Mary Tudor, queen of France, in 1513.

She married first, as his second wife, Sir Henry Guildford (1489-1532) and was his executrix. Guildford was long associated with Sir Nicholas Carew so that may explain how the eventually widowed Lady Guildford married secondly to a Carew.

Mary, as Lady Guildford is listed as being one of the ladies who performed in a masque at the elaborate banquet that took place after the signing of the Treaty of Universal Peace with the French Ambassadors. The entertainment was lead by the King himself and his sister, the French Queen. At that time, Mary, Lady Guildford, was listed as part of the household of Queen Katherine of Aragon. Other ladies listed are Lady Carew, Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount, and Lady St. Leger. Wotton appeared quite frequently at court and probably lived there.[1]

According to Susan James, Lady Carew (previously Lady Guildford) was a veteran at court who had known Katherine’s mother, Lady Maud Parr.[2] The family connections were strong as the Parrs were already connected to the Guildford family. Lord Guildford was the son of Joan Vaux, sister of Sir Nicholas Vaux. After the death of Lord Parr in 1483, the widowed Elizabeth, Lady Parr, remarried to Sir Nicholas Vaux. Vaux became stepfather to the future Queen Katherine’s father, Sir Thomas. As for the Carews, Sir Thomas and Maud were friends with them while they were at court during the reign of Queen Katherine of Aragon. Several of the Carew family members would be placed within the household of Queen Katherine Parr including Wymond Carew who became the Queen’s treasurer.[2]

Apparently, along with her mother-in-law, Lady Jane Guildford, and her sister, the Marchioness of Dorset, she was one of the most prominent women at court in the 1530s.[1]

After Guildford died, she continually wrote to King Henry to receive some sort of help, referring to herself as a “poor widow”. She received a release from all her obligations to the king on March 25, 1533 but was still deeply in debt in 1535 when she wrote to Lord Cromwell on the subject.[1]

Her second husband, married in July 1540, was Sir Gawin Carew of Exeter and Wood, Devon (c.1503-1583). Mary was the second of his three wives. Gawin was the fourth and youngest son of Sir Edmund Carew. He was a Protestant and was devoted to the cause. When Anne of Cleves arrived, he was tasked with receiving her. We find that Sir Gawin was a Navy man and was in command of the ship Matthew Gonson during 1545. The ship was 500 tons and contained 300 men.[4]

As Lady Carew, she lived at Wood Barton, but was obviously frequently at court as she went on to attend Queen Katherine Parr and was part of her inner circle. Perhaps Mary was even given apartments again.

The appearance of Mary is not described anywhere, but from the complaints of King Henry we can tell that Queen Katherine’s ladies were not much to look at. Perhaps their daily clothing did not help enhance their beauty; if they were beautiful. It was probably to the Queen’s credit that she kept her ladies in subdued colors and didn’t flaunt them like other consorts did. Queen Katherine had seen what happened to Henry’s other wives and probably didn’t want a repeat of what happened before she became Queen.[2]

Along with Lady Herbert, Lady Lane, and Lady Tyrwhitt, Lady Carew was tasked with assisting the Queen on her first Maundy Thursday activities (1544), where the Queen performed her duty of washing the feet of poor women.[2]

When Katherine published her book, Psalms or Prayers, Mary and the inner circle of the Queen were included as recipients of the book.[3]

Lady Carew died on 17 September 1558. She is buried in the Church of Kentisbeare in the Whiting Chapel. Her effigy is not present, but can be seen on the monument of her husband, Sir Gawen Carew in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene in Exeter Cathedral.[4]

For more on her tomb and memorial, see here (Memorials of the West).

Portraits

Sources

  1. Barbara Harris. English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers. Google ebook.
  2. Susan James. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love.
  3. Mike Pincombe, Cathy Shrank. The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature: 1485-1603. Google eBook
  4. Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association. Google eBook

Family of Queen Katherine: The White Princess

 

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It took me until the season finale to get to writing about the relations in the series. I won’t deny, I was thinking of not even watching. After The White Queen, I was repulsed. Ok, so there are NO other shows that feature this time period–with such depth. Surprisingly, I fell in love with this series. Why? Actors were better and the clothing of Queen Elizabeth was gorgeous! Big thank you to the costume designers and hair dressers! BRAVO!

So, why am I doing an article on Katherine Parr in relation to those historical figures featured in The White Princess? Because the Parr family was there at court. They were ALWAYS there. Why are they not featured? I honestly have no idea. It’s a pity that these shows don’t weave in connections to the future Queens of England. We know that the Boleyn, Seymour, and Howards were present. The Howards are the easiest to track. The Boleyn family starts to come around with the Howards eventually. And the Seymours? They are also around, somewhere.

The Parr family, however, were courtiers to the Crown since the 1300s.

In the reign of Henry Tudor, the Parrs’ were quite close to the crown on both the side of Henry AND Elizabeth. Sir William Parr had died shortly after the coronation of King Richard III and Queen Anne. His widow, Lady Elizabeth (born FitzHugh), had been a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne as Duchess and Queen. She was part of the coronation and witnessed her niece and cousin being crowned. After the death of her first husband, Lord Parr, Elizabeth would marry again to a very close ally of the Lancastrians/King Henry. His name was Sir Nicholas Vaux. He was the son of Lancastrian sympathizers. His mother was a lady to Queen Margaret of Anjou and was with her in exile. Lady Margaret Beaufort was close to Parr’s step-father, Sir Nicholas Vaux, who had been educated in her household. Parr is also believed to have spent some time in her household and may have been educated there as well. That wouldn’t be completely absurd seeing how close Margaret was to the Vaux family.

Katherine’s father, Sir Thomas Parr, was a close friend of King Henry VIII. Sir Thomas was present at court and was in the circle of Henry VIII which included Sir Thomas Boleyn. Both were knighted in 1509 at Henry’s coronation; Parr was also made a Knight of the Garter and appointed Sheriff of Northamptonshire on that occasion. Parr became Master of the Wards and Comptroller of the household of Henry VIII. Parr’s brother, William [later Baron Parr of Horton], was also a part of the King’s circle. They kept company with the Staffords and their cousins, the Nevilles. They were also friend’s with the Carews and Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of Queen Anne Boleyn. In 1515, Parr was entrusted with escorting Queen Margaret of Scotland [the king’s elder sister] from Newcastle back to London.

As for Elizabeth of York’s connection to Katherine Parr, we have it on both sides. One comes from her father’s royal blood and the other comes from a Woodville connection that connects her mother to one of Elizabeth Woodville’s relatives. Lady Parr’s grandmother, Lady Alice Fogge (Haute) was a lady to Queen Elizabeth Woodville. When Elizabeth became queen to Edward IV, she brought her favorite female relatives to court to serve her. Lady Fogge, was one of five ladies-in-waiting to her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, in the 1460s.

More Info On Queen Katherine’s Ancestry: Here