Joan Denny, Lady Denny (d.10 September 1553) was the daughter of Sir Philip and Katherine Carew, daughter of Sir Edmund Carew, Lord Carew. The Carews were close to the Parr family since the early reign of King Henry VIII and Queen Katherine probably remembered that when she picked Lady Denny to be in her household.
Joan was described by a writer as “a lady of great beauty and parts, a favourer of the Reformed religion when the times were most dangerous.”
Joan came to court and joined the household of Katherine of Aragon as a maid-of-honor. Joan was sponsored by her uncle, Sir Gawin Carew. This same Gawin may have been the husband of another lady in Katherine of Aragon’s household, the former Mary Wotton, widow of Sir Henry Guildford. It was also in the household of Katherine of Aragon that Joan met Lady Maud Parr, mother of the future queen. Joan would go on to serve Lady Parr’s daughter, Katherine.
Joan was married to Anthony Denny, privy councillor and royal favourite of Henry VIII, in 1538. A grant had been made that year, in February, to Sir Anthony of the site of the former priory of St. Mary’s, near Hertford. He was also granted the manors of Hertford Priory. Their marriage took place between February and June of that year as Privy Purse expenses included “item, given to Mistress Denny’s servant for bringing sturgeons 2/-“.
In 1539, Anthony and Joan were part of the welcoming party that met Anne of Cleves.
In 1542, Denny was appointed Keeper of the royal Mansion of Hatfield.
Joan Denny held a position at court in the household of Queen Katherine Parr. Joan was a Protestant and is said to have protected persecuted reformers in Devon. In 1546, she was one of the women who was implicated in the persecutions at court by the Catholic faction. Most of the ladies of Queen Katherine Parr were interrogated and mistreated by those wanting to get rid of the queen due to her religious beliefs and practices. The Queen was never tried, but an arrest warrant was drawn up. Luckily for Katherine, she talked her way out of it. Henry accepted Katherine’s pleas and the two made up.
After the death of King Henry, Joan retired from court service. She would, however, have a special guest join her and her husband early on in the reign of King Edward VI. Princess Elizabeth was sent away from the Dowager Queen Katherine’s household after she was caught in an embrace between her and Admiral Seymour by the Queen. She joined the household of Sir Anthony and Joan Denny for some time.
Mary Arundell, Countess of Arundel (died 20 October 1557) was the only child of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornwall, and his second wife, Katherine Grenville , a daughter of Sir Thomas Grenville.
On 20 November 1530, Mary’s half-brother, Sir Thomas Arundell of Wardour, married to Margaret Howard. Margaret was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Jocasa Culpepper, and thus a sister to Queen Katherine Howard. Queen Katherine was the 5th wife of King Henry VIII. Katherine was executed for treason in 1542. She was succeeded by Queen Katherine Parr, who Mary Arundell would serve.
Mary firstly married to Sir Robert Ratcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex as his third wife in 1536/37. Ratcliffe had previously been married to Lady Elizabeth Stafford and Lady Margaret Stanley. Lady Elizabeth Stafford was the daughter of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and a niece of the late Queen Elizabeth Woodville, consort to King Edward IV. Margaret Stanley was the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Derby and Anne Hastings.
The Earl of Sussex was born in 1483. He was the son of John Radcliffe, 9th Baron FitzWalter and his wife, Margaret. He was appointed as a Knight, Order of the Bath in 1509. He was then appointed as a Knight, Order of the Garter in 1524. He became a Privy Councillor in about 1525/26. On 8 December 1529, he was created Earl of Sussex. He held the office of Chamberlain to the Exchequer between 1532 and 1542 and held the office of Great Chamberlain between 1540 and 1542. The Earl and Mary Arundell had two sons together. One who died in infancy and Sir John Radcliffe (1539-68). The Earl died on 27 November 1542.
The Earl of Sussex is featured in the fictional depiction of the State Opening of Parliament in the Reign of King Henry VIII in the files at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
On 28 October 1545, the widowed Mary remarried to Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel. The Earl was the son of William, 18th Earl of Arundel and Lady Anne Percy. By his father, Henry was cousin to Queen Katherine Parr. By his mother, Henry was also cousin to Queen Katherine and to Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, brother-in-law to Queen Katherine Parr. Queen Katherine was known to favor kin over others when it came to picking ladies that suited her household.
Henry FitzAlan was born circa 1517. His story starts when he joined the household of King Henry VIII. He would then accompany the King to Calais in 1532. In 1533, he would be summoned to Parliament as Lord Maltravers. By 1540, he was made Deputy of Calais. He was appointed Knight, Order of the Garter on 18 May 1544. He would go on to serve the King in the War against France in 1545 as Lord Marshal. He would besiege and take Bolougne. On his return to England, he was made Lord Chamberlain. He held that position from July 1546 to January 1550. In July 1546, he was also made a Privy Councillor. He was part of the twelve Councillors nominated to assist as an executor in the will of King Henry, but held little power under the new rule of Somerset. He would then act as High Constable at the Coronation of Edward VI. The two had no issue. The Earl died on 24 February 1580.
Mary Arundell died on 20 October 1557 at Arundel House, The Strand, London, England. She was buried on 28 October 1557 at St. Clement Danes Church, The Strand, London, England. At some point her body was buried at Arundel Castle. In 1847, a lead coffin, said to carry her remains was found there and is now buried beneath the floor of the FitzAlan Chapel there.
The Holbein drawing of ‘Lady Ratclif’ has been proposed as being that of Mary Arundell. The truth in the matter is that the sitter could have been a number of Lady Ratcliffes as Sir Robert Ratcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex had three wives. However, Mary would have been known as Lady Sussex as the wife of the Earl of Sussex.
Art historian K. T. Parker tentatively favored his son Henry’s wife Lady Elizabeth Howard (d. c. 1536), daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and his second wife, Agnes Tilney, as the most plausible sitter, since Holbein drew other members of the Howard family. (K. T. Parker, The Drawings of Hans Holbein at Windsor Castle, Oxford: Phaidon, 1945, OCLC 822974, p. 41.)
Cokayne, G.E.; 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 I, pg 252.
Pine, L. G.. The New Extinct Peerage 1884-1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms. London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1972. pg 9.
Joseph Sympson. Two scenes depicting the State Opening of Parliament in the Reign of Henry VIII (fictional), 18th Century. NPG Online.
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 I, page 250.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). “Arundel, Earls of“. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 706–709.
Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox (8 October 1515 – 7 March 1578), was the daughter of the Scottish queen dowager Margaret [Tudor] and her second husband Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. She was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine Parr and was present at the wedding of her uncle, King Henry VIII to the new Queen in 1543. Katherine and Margaret had known each other since they came to court in the 1520s.
Lady Margaret was born at Harbottle Castle in Northumberland County, England on 8 October 1515. Her mother, the Dowager Queen of Scotland, Margaret Tudor, had been forced to flee Scotland as her life was in danger. Margaret was received at Harbottle by Lord Dacre. Not one Scot was allowed to enter the fortress and for forty-eight hours Margaret was in agony. When she finally gave birth; it was a girl. According to Agnes Strickland, Margaret was not allowed a female attendance and was alone with her baby. Queen Margaret was ill for many days after giving birth. She was so ill that letters from her brother, Henry, and his queen, Katherine, were not read for days. At the time of Margaret’s birth, there was strife between England and Scotland. Harbottle was not a safe place for both her mother and herself. To make matters worse, there was barely anything for the baby or the mother. There was no doctor, wet-nurse, clothing, cradle, etc. Margaret was born into a dire situation in which she and her mother were basically left for life and death.
A christening was allowed to take place, but not to the extent that the baby was due. Christenings at this time were seen as significant due to the mortality rate of babies. People believed that if a baby were to die before being christened they would not go to heaven. It was extremely important that a baby be christened as soon as possible. But like other “royal” babies, Margaret was not completely alone in her understated christening. Plenty of other royal babies had, had rushed and informal christenings. During this time period, a lot of women were moved around quite frequently or had to give birth under dire circumstances. One example includes that of Margaret Douglas’s great-grandfather, Edward of York (later Edward IV), who was christened quickly without pomp and circumstance after his mother gave birth.
Margaret’s early life was somewhat turbulent. Her father was facing difficulties in Scotland. Therefore, her mother and father sought refuge in England. It was Sir Thomas Parr [father of Queen Katherine Parr] who, among others, was entrusted in bringing Queen Margaret south in the April of 1516. King Henry sent all kinds of goods to his sister to ease her travel. Why he didn’t send anything earlier is questionable unless there are records to prove that he did. Even Katherine of Aragon sent gifts. Katherine sent her favorite white palfrey [horse] and softest pillion [saddle] under the charge of her chamberlain, Thomas Parr. As the Queen rode through the countryside, Sir Thomas Parr rode before her, taking charge of the procession. But how different was this ride for the Dowager Queen this time around? She was used to being celebrated with pomp and circumstance. Instead, in these counties that she traveled through, she was under careful watch by the noblemen and sheriffs. It was not a pleasant trip for mother and baby.
At York, Sir Thomas Parr presented the Queen to the mayor of the city who knelt and humbly welcomed the Queen to his city. The Queen and her child advanced to the quarters that had been drawn up for her at St. Mary’s Abbey. The next day, the Queen rode behind Sir Thomas Parr, and all the lords, knights, esquires, and gentry while her ladies rode behind her. Again, Parr presented the Queen to the Lord Mayor who spoke of blessings towards her and safekeeping in her journey onward. The Queen thanked him. They road on to other cities where she was greeted until they reached the home of the favored courtier, Sir William Compton. It was there that Queen Margaret met up with her brother, King Henry. The two had not seen each other in thirteen years. The King escorted his sister and the revenue to London. In London, dressed in royal attire, the Queen passed in procession along Cheapside, preceded by Parr and the lords and ladies. She made her way to Baynard’s Castle where she would have had many memories.
Not much is known of Margaret Douglas’s childhood. She was most likely brought up like a Princess. She probably learned the finer things in life. What we do know about her childhood is that is was riddled with her parents failing marriage. The Dowager Queen Margaret tried for a divorce but to no avail. The two were at constant war with each other it would seem.
Eventually, Lady Margaret ended up at the court of her uncle, King Henry VIII. An enormous amount of clothing was ordered for the Lady Margaret as befitting of her status as the 3rd in line to the throne. Margaret was situated in the household of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon’s daughter, Princess Mary. Margaret would have grown close to her cousin and the two shared the same religion together: Catholicism. While Margaret was in the household of Princess Mary, she would have met another relation and another Princess of royal blood: Lady Margaret of Clarence (Lady Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury). Lady Margaret was the niece of King Edward IV and Richard III. She had been a cousin to Elizabeth of York, mother of King Henry VIII.
When the divorce came for King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, Lady Margaret suddenly found herself above the status of their child and one time heiress, now Lady Mary Tudor. In 1534, she was supposedly made to wait upon the new Queen, Anne Boleyn. The troubles it must have caused Margaret inside were not evident. In Tudor society, it was a constant struggle just to survive. A woman’s survival was that much more of a struggle as women did not have much say in their own lives. For Margaret, she must have just done what she thought was her duty and served the new Queen without question. Margaret’s position was above most women as a royal heiress to the crown, so this made her chief lady at court under Anne Boleyn. She would stay at this high status serving Henry’s successive queens.
Lady Margaret’s continued to be treated well under her uncle at court and had her own retinue. Her station in life was secure despite her own cousin’s fate which was that of an illegitimate daughter. The Act of Succession of 1534 saw Margaret as third in line to the throne behind her own mother.
By 1535, a romance had developed between Lord Thomas Howard and Lady Margaret. Lord Thomas was a younger son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his second wife, Agnes Tilney. The two became secretly engaged. In 1536, the King learned of the engagement after he had remarried to Jane Seymour. The King was furious. As the King had declared his own daughters illegitimate, Margaret was the highest in line and seen as a hot commodity. The King saw the engagement as a threat and a personal insult to him. He had treated Margaret as the Princess she was. He saw it as if she was now throwing it back in his face by becoming engaged to a lowly man like Lord Howard. Henry, no doubt, wanted to use Margaret to attract some sort of secure match between allies. She was to be cared for, but only as King Henry saw fit. This was common for Kings, but even so for Henry. He would never find respectable husbands for his two daughters.
Lord Howard was thrown into the Tower and eventually so was Margaret. People were dismayed by the sudden disappearance of the Lady Margaret. Chapuys wrote about her disappearance, saying,
“the Princess [sic], however, since the discovery, has entirely disappeared from court, and no one knows whether she is in The Tower, or some other prison.”
And eventually, it would be reported that Margaret was, indeed, in The Tower. This move plunged her into deep despair. Her stay in The Tower wasn’t as uncomfortable as Lord Howard, though. It would seem that Margaret had a more pleasant stay and was afforded lodgings that befitted a highly born woman as she. She was either kept in the same place that Anne Boleyn had been held before her execution or she was kept in the Bell Tower where her cousin, Lady Katherine Grey, would later be held. Royalty seemed to get better lodgings, even if they were in prison.
The outcome of the whole situation would not be one that would favor the two as Lord Howard would die while imprisoned. Lady Margaret would never see him again.
After a year at Syon Abbey, Margaret returned to court. Things had rapidly changed. Queen Jane had died shortly after delivering her uncle a son, but Margaret still remained an heiress to the throne. Marriages were discussed once again between nations for Henry and Margaret and her cousins. However, those marriages fell through. Henry was then led to marry a Princess of Cleves, Anne. Margaret, Lady Mary Fitzroy, and Lady Frances Brandon were charged with meeting the new bride to be when she made her voyage to England. Margaret became, again, the First Lady to the new Queen of England.
When Henry left Anne of Cleves for Katherine Howard, Margaret found herself at the top position, again. However, this time, Margaret would be serving a queen who was younger than she. However, this is when we find Margaret getting herself into trouble once again with the Howard family. Margaret met the brother of Queen Katherine, Charles, and yet again flirted with disaster. Margaret was to be warned about her choices and angering the King. Yet again, she had to learn her lesson.
When the King married his final wife, Katherine Parr, Margaret was present at the marriage, which took place at Hampton Court. Parr is known for reconciling the two daughters of the King to him. What is not known, is that Parr also reconciled Margaret to her uncle. The King was angered by Margaret’s impropriety, but something about Parr must have made him see Margaret differently. Parr had a way with words that would help her escape later on and it was probably something she said that made the King reconcile with Margaret the way he did.
Margaret joined her royal cousins and the Queen for Christmas in December of 1543.
On the occasion of the visit of the Duke of Najera on 17 February 1544, the Queen was called to entertain as the King was indisposed. The Queen was sumptuously clothed and adorned by jewels. The Lady Mary was there to entertain as well as Lady Margaret.
And on 6 July 1544, Margaret would finally marry to Matthew Stuart at St. James’s Palace. King Henry attended the wedding with Queen Katherine [Parr].
As soon as the wedding was over, it would seem that Henry made a decision to invade France. And just like that, Matthew was called away to serve the King.
Margaret would stay at court while Queen Katherine was made Regent of the Realm. Margaret is said to have been as tall as the Queen, who was thought to be almost six feet tall. Perhaps it was then that Margaret picked up some traits from the Queen Regent and learned how to negotiate and master situations. We would see these skills used later on in Margaret’s life when her son would marry Mary, Queen of Scots.
Queen Katherine was widowed on 28 January 1547. It would seem that Lady Margaret would stop serving the Queen at this time period as nothing is mentioned about Margaret joining the household at Chelsea or Sudeley Castle.
In June 1548, during the war of the Rough Wooing, Margaret’s father, the Earl of Angus, wrote to her with the news that her half-brother, George Douglas, and others of the family had been captured at Dalkeith Palace. Her father hoped that she and her husband could arrange that they were well treated as prisoners. The Earl of Lennox forwarded the letter to the Duke of Somerset, writing that his father-in-law would have done better to ask others for help. Margaret wrote to her father from Wressle Castle in March 1549, complaining that he had avoided meeting her husband. She asked him to seek an honourable peace through the acknowledgement of her marriage, “what a memorial it should be to you!”
During the reign of Queen Mary I of England, Lady Margaret had rooms in Westminster Palace. In November 1553, the Queen told the ambassador, Simon Renard, that Margaret was best suited to succeed her to the throne. Margaret was the chief mourner at Queen Mary’s funeral in December 1558. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Margaret moved to Yorkshire, where her home at Temple Newsam became a centre for Roman Catholic intrigue.
Margaret succeeded in marrying her elder son, Lord Darnley, to his first cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, thus uniting their claims to the English throne. Queen Elizabeth I disapproved of this marriage and had Lady Margaret sent to the Tower of London in 1566, but after the murder of Margaret’s son Darnley in 1567, she was released. Margaret denounced her daughter-in-law, but was eventually later reconciled with her. Her husband assumed the government of Scotland as regent, but was assassinated in 1571. In 1574, she again aroused Queen Elizabeth’s anger by marrying her younger son Charles to Elizabeth Cavendish, the stepdaughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury. She was again sent to the Tower, unlike the Countess of Shrewsbury, but was pardoned after her son Charles’ death in 1576.
Lady Margaret’s diplomacy largely contributed to the future succession of her grandson, James VI of Scotland, to the English throne.
Tomb of Lady Margaret, Countess of Lennox
Margaret was buried in Henry VII’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey. This Chapel includes her grandparents, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, as well as her great-grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. Margaret’s daughter-in-law, Mary, Queen of Scots would later be buried to the east of Margaret.
Margaret was buried at the expense of Queen Elizabeth I, in the same grave as her son, Charles, 1st Earl of Lennox. The fine monument and effigy has been said to be erected by her grandson, King James I of England, but the monument was commissioned in 1578 by Margaret’s servant and executor, Thomas Fowler. The effigy is made of alabaster. She wears a French cap and ruff with a fur-lined cloak, over a dress of blue and gold. On top of her French cap rests a gold crown asserting her royal blood. On either side rests weepers of her four sons and four daughters. One of her sons, Lord Darnley, has a crown atop his head to assert his position as King of Scotland as the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. The inscription panel reads:
HEER LYETH THE NOBLE LADY MARGARET, COUNTESSE OF LEVENOX, DAUGHTER AND SOLE HEIRE OF ARCHIBALD EARLE OF ANGUISE [Angus], BY MARGARET Q. OF SCOTTES HIS WIFE THAT WAS ELDEST DAUGHTER TO KING HENRY THE 7, WHOE BARE UNTO MATHEW EARLE OF LEVENOX HER HUSBAND 4 SONNES AND 4 DAUGHTERS. THIS LADY HAD TO HER GREAT GRANDFATHER K.EDWARD THE 4, TO HER GRANDFATHER K.HENRY THE 7, TO HER UNCLE K.HENRY THE 8, TO HER COUSIN GERMANE K.EDWARD THE 6, TO HER BROTHER K.JAMES OF SCOTLAND THE V, TO HER SONNE KING HENRY THE FIRST [ie.Lord Darnley], TO HER GRANDCHILD K.JAMES THE 6. HAVINGE TO HER GREATE GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER 2 QUEENES BOTH NAMED ELIZABETH, TO HER MOTHER MARGARET Q. OF SCOTTS, TO HER AUNT MARYE THE FRENCHE Q, TO HER COUSYNS GERMANES MARY AND ELIZABETH QUEENES OF ENGLAND, TO HER NEECE AND DAUGHTER IN LAW MARY Q.OF SCOTTS. HENRY SECOND SONNE TO THIS LADY WAS K. OF SCOTTS AND FATHER TO JAMES THE 6 NOW KING. THIS HENRY WAS MURTHERED AT THE AGE OF 21 YEARES. CHARLES HER YOUNGEST SONNE WAS EARLE OF LEVENOX FATHER TO THE LADIE ARBELL. HE DYED AT THE AGE OF 21 YEARES AND IS HERE INTOMBED.
Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald, Countess of Lincoln (1527 – March 1590) was the daughter of Gerald “Gearóid Óg” FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, Lord Deputy of Ireland, and his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Grey. By her mother, she was a great-granddaughter of Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville and Lady Katherine Neville; sister of “Warwick, the Kingmaker”.
Her father was a prisoner in The Tower of London. In 1533, as a young girl, she came to England with her mother. In 1537, her half-brother and five uncles were executed at Tyburn for their part in the uprising and rebellion against King Henry VIII. At the time, Elizabeth was sent to the household of Lady Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, at Hunsdon. Her younger brothers were sent to be raised alongside Prince Edward; heir to the throne.
When Elizabeth was eleven or twelve, the Earl of Surrey (Henry Howard) decided to write a poem about her–probably to improve her chances at marrying. Truth being that Elizabeth was an impoverished, Irish born gentlewoman who depended upon the welfare of The Tudors to improve her lot in life. The poem that is believed to be written about “Fair Geraldine” reads:
“From Tuscane came my lady’s worthy race ;
Fair Florence was sometime her ancient seat.
The western isle whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber’s cliffs, did give her lively heat.
Foster’d she was with milk of Irish breast :
Her sire an Earl, her dame of Prince’s blood.
From tender years, in Britain doth she rest,
With Kinges child ; where she tasteth costly food.
Hunsdon did first present her to mine eyen :
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight.
Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine ;
And Windsor, alas ! doth chase me from her sight.
Her beauty of kind ; her virtues from above ;
Happy is he that may obtain her love!.“
In 1543, Elizabeth married Sir Anthony Browne of Cowdray Park, son of Sir Anthony and Lady Lucy Neville, daughter of Sir John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu; brother to “Warwick, the Kingmaker”. As such, the two were cousins. This marriage also made Elizabeth aunt to another lady-in-waiting of Queen Katherine Parr, Lucy, Lady Latimer. Elizabeth was Browne’s second wife. With this marriage, Elizabeth took on the raising of stepchildren. Her stepdaughter, Mabel Browne, would marry Elizabeth’s brother, Gerald, 11th Earl of Kildare and become Countess of Kildare. His other daughter, Lucy, would marry a grandson of Sir Thomas More, Thomas Roper.
Anthony Browne’s mother had been previously married to Sir Thomas FitzWilliam and was thus a half brother to Sir William FitzWilliam, later Earl of Southampton. FitzWilliam had been an executor of Lady Maud Parr’s will. The FitzWilliam family was kin to the Parr family.
Browne’s career at court started around 1518. His career somewhat resembled that of his half-brother, William FitzWilliam. However, since the age of ten, William had been brought up in the household of Henry VIII. Browne probably owed his career at court to his mother who had been a niece of “Warwick, the Kingmaker”. Browne became friends with people such as Sir Thomas Boleyn. He had probably been previously acquainted with Sir Thomas Parr, who’s mother was also a niece of Warwick. Sadly, Parr died in 1517 cancelling any chances of becoming a greater Tudor statesman. Browne went to France where he spent time with Boleyn. By 1519, he was recalled to England. In his youth he took to jousting and was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold where he distinguished himself as a fine jouster. He became Ambassador to France in 1527 and as he spent more time at the court, his antipathy grew towards the French. He took part in the suppression of the Northern Rebellion. In 1538, Lady Margaret of Clarence, Countess of Salisbury was imprisoned at Cowdray until September 1539. Margaret was the last Plantagenet from the House of York. She had been the niece of Edward IV and Richard III, and cousin to Browne, by his mother, as Margaret descended from Warwick. Browne was then part of the commission that questioned Queen Catherine Howard after her supposed infidelities had been made known to the King. Browne even had hand written evidence given to him by one of the Queen’s ladies. He examined the Duchess of Norfolk on Catherine’s previous relations and was part of the commission that tried Dereham and Culpepper at Guildhall. By 1542, he had been appointed Captain of the gentlemen pensioners. In 1543, Browne was an attendant at the wedding of Henry VIII to his sixth and final wife, the Dowager Lady Latimer (Katherine Parr). In 1544, he served under Norfolk in the French War. In the defensive wars of 1545 and 1546, he was securing coastal defenses and advising the Earl of Hertford’s on troops and other such things. In 1547, Browne took part in the trial of the Earl of Surrey and questioned the Duke of Norfolk; of which he had been well acquainted.
Upon the death of Sir Anthony on 28 April 1548, Elizabeth joined the household of the Dowager Queen Katherine (Parr) at Chelsea. At this point, Katherine had married Lord Seymour and the two were living together. It is said, at this point, that Elizabeth renewed her friendship with Lady Elizabeth Tudor, who was also living with the Queen. However, Elizabeth Tudor would later be sent away from the household after the Queen would discover what her husband’s real intentions for Elizabeth were. So it’s not known how much time the two actually spent together.
In 1552, Elizabeth married to Edward Clinton, 9th Baron Clinton who was later created Earl of Lincoln. Elizabeth was the third wife of Lord Clinton. By his previous wives he had, had children and once again, Elizabeth would take on the role of stepmother. One stepdaughter was Katherine Clinton, who married William Burgh, who became the 2nd Baron Burgh. William was the younger brother to Queen Katherine Parr’s first husband, Sir Edward Burgh. Another stepdaughter, Frances, would marry to Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos of Sudeley Castle; where Queen Katherine Parr is buried.
Edward Clinton was the son of Thomas, 8th Baron Clinton and Jane Poynings. His stepfather was Sir Robert Wingfield, who was a nephew of Elizabeth Wingfield, grandmother of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. He married firstly to Elizabeth Blount, the mistress of King Henry VIII and mother to Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond in 1534. As such, there was a connection to the Parr family as Elizabeth Blount had been a lady to Queen Katherine of Aragon with Lady Maud Parr and Parr’s son, William, grew up in the household of Fitzroy. The two families were no doubt close to each other. After the death of Elizabeth, Clinton married secondly to Ursula Stourton, a niece of John Dudley, later Duke of Northumberland. By Ursula, Clinton had further issue, including his male heir.
Clinton became the 9th Lord Clinton upon his father’s death. He appears in history when King Henry VIII took on Boulogne, France in 1532. Lord Clinton took part in the suppression of the Northern Rebellion in 1536. Certain land holdings of the Abbeys were leased to Clinton, but later give to the King’s brother-in-law, the Duke of Suffolk. When the Duke of Richmond died in 1536, Clinton took on the role of Admiral of England. At that time, his wife, Elizabeth Blount, returned to court as a lady to Anne of Cleves. She would die shortly after. His next wife, Ursula, would take Elizabeth’s place at court as the new Lady Clinton. Clinton would serve in the Royal Navy from 1544-1547. He was knighted in 1544 by Edward, Earl of Hertford. Like Elizabeth FitzGerald’s former husband, Clinton also served Henry VIII in the siege of Boulougne in 1544 while Queen Katherine Parr was Regent of England. Clinton was appointed Governor of Bolougne in 1547 and defended the city against French attacks from 1549-50.
Later on in life, Elizabeth and her husband were involved in the plot to raise Lady Jane Grey to Queen, but like other nobility–they distanced themselves enough to prove to be loyal to Queen Mary. The pardon probably came from Clinton’s willingness to suppress the Wyatt Rebellion. Elizabeth may have also been remembered from her days in Mary’s household and was thus excused from her part in the charade. Others were not so fortunate. For example — Sir William Parr, Marquess of Northampton (brother to the late Queen) was not excused and was sent to The Tower. Anne Parr’s husband, however, who had married his daughter to Lady Jane’s sister, immediately annulled the union and they gained favor with Queen Mary again.
When Queen Mary died, her half sister, Elizabeth, became Queen. Elizabeth took on Elizabeth, Lady Clinton, as a lady-in-waiting and the two became good friends. However, Elizabeth got into some sort of trouble with the Queen and was accused of “frailty” and “forgetfulness of her duty”. The charges against Elizabeth were made by Archbishop Parker who also declared that she should be “chastised in Bridewell”. Historian, David Starkey, concludes that Parker thought Elizabeth was a strumpet.
Under the rule of Elizabeth, Lord Clinton continued his role as Lord High Admiral from 1559-1585. In 1569, Elizabeth used her husband’s position as Lord Admiral to seize a ship that had been stolen. The man involved was arrested and Elizabeth kept the ship and cargo. In 1572, Lord Clinton stifled the Rising of the North brought about by the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland. For his service, Lord Clinton was created Earl of Lincoln.
Clinton died in 1585. In his will, he left the bulk of his estates to his wife for life.
Elizabeth, Countess of Lincoln died in 1590. She was buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, UK, with her second husband, the Earl of Lincoln.
Lady Lucy Somerset, Baroness Latimer (c.1524 – 23 February 1583) was an English noblewoman and the daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester and his second wife, Elizabeth Browne.
By her mother, Lucy descended from the brother of “Warwick, the Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick), John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu. The Marquess was also brother to Lady Alice FitHugh (born Neville); great-grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr. Warwick and Montagu were casualties of the War of the Roses. Montagu’s surviving children included Lucy’s grandmother, also named Lucy. Lucy married Sir Anthony Browne and they were parents to Lady Elizabeth Somerset, who became Countess of Worcester upon her marriage to Sir Henry Somerset, Earl of Worcester. Lady Worcester’s sister, Anne, married to Charles Brandon, later Duke of Suffolk, in 1508. As such, the Countess was aunt to Ladies Anne and Mary Brandon. Lady Worcester became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. However, Lady Worcester was an informant against the Queen when she was tried in 1536. Queen Anne was tragically sentenced to death and was executed shortly after.
Lucy Somerset may have served as a Maid of Honour to Queen consort Catherine Howard. Queen Catherine was the other ill fated wife of King Henry VIII. After Catherine was found to have had liaisons with other men before and possibly during her marriage to the King, she was also beheaded like her cousin, Queen Anne. Interesting fact: The holder of Catherine’s jewels after her execution would become the next sister-in-law to King Henry–Lady Herbert, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine Howard.
Lady Lucy married in 1545 to John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer, the stepson of King Henry’s sixth consort, Katherine Parr. As a teenager, John had proved to be a confident sulking, lying, and over-sensitive boy. His father, the 3rd Baron, did not name him as heir to his properties and made sure that his son could not meddle with his inheritance or the Baron’s legacy. In the 3rd Latimer’s will, Katherine Parr was named guardian of his daughter and was put in charge of his affairs which were to be given over to his daughter at the age of her majority. Despite the turbulance of the 4th Baron’s youth, Katherine Parr kept her stepchildren close, especially the Baron’s sister, Margaret. As Queen, Katherine made the new Lady Latimer a lady-in-waiting. Parr and the new Lady Latimer also happened to be cousins as their great-grandparents were siblings.
Unfortunately, the 4th Baron became an emotionally unstable man later in life. The imbalance must have made it difficult for Lady Latimer. In the summer of 1553, John was sent to Fleet Prison on charges of violence done to a servant. He was arrested for attempted rape and assault in 1557 and in 1563, he killed a man. Of the situation in 1553, Thomas Edwards wrote to the Earl of Rutland describing the violence which had taken place with the servant quoting “too great a villainy for a noble man, my thought.”
The couple had four daughters who all married quite well.
Hon. Elizabeth Neville (c. 1545 – 1630), married firstly Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey, and secondly Sir Edmund Carey, a cousin to Queen Elizabeth I. Her children include Sir Charles Danvers, who was executed for his part in the Essex Rebellion in 1601. Elizabeth’s descendants by John Danvers included the Dukes of Leeds [extinct in 1964]; the Earls of Lichfield; and the Earls of Leicester of Holkham from which Sarah, Duchess of York (mother of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York) descends.
Hon. Katherine Neville (1546 – 28 October 1596), married firstly Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, and secondly Francis Fitton of Binfield. Lord and Lady Northumberland were parents to Sir Henry, 9th Earl of Northumberland. Her descendants include Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales; HM Queen Elizabeth II by her mother; Sarah, Duchess of York; and others. Katherine was buried in the Chapel of St. Nicholas in Westminster Abbey, within the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland.
Hon. Dorothy Neville (1547 – 23 March 1609), married Sir Thomas Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s counselor, later Earl of Exeter. Cecil was the half-brother of the Earl of Salisbury. Her descendants also include Lady Diana Spencer, the late Princess of Wales (mother of the future King William and the Duke of Sussex).
Hon. Lucy Neville (c. 1549 – April 1608), married Sir William Cornwallis of Brome Hall. Their daughters made advantageous marriages to nobility such as the marriage of their daughter Anne to the 7th Earl of Argyll by whom she had issue. Another daughter, Elizabeth, became Viscountess Lumley as the wife of Sir Richard, 1st Viscount Lumley.
Lord Latimer died in 1577. He was buried in St. Michael’s Church, Well, North Yorkshire which adjoined Neville’s home, Snape Castle. The church had a long standing history with the Neville family going back to John, Lucy, and Queen Katherine Parr’s ancestor, Sir Ralph Neville, the 1st Earl of Westmorland. Westmorland who married Lady Joan Beaufort; the only daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by his mistress, later wife, Katherine Roet Swynford. Ralph Neville was responsible for the building of the present church c. 1330. The 4th Lord Latimer’s mural monument lies in Nevilles’ Chapel within Well’s Church. Latimer’s daughter, Dorothy, Countess of Exeter inherited Snape Castle and is also buried there with her husband Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter. According to a card placed upon the tomb of the 4th Baron, the four coat of arms on his tomb represent that of his four daughters and their husband.
The Latimers died without sons and their four daughters became joint heiresses. The barony became abeyant until 1913, when its abeyance was terminated in favour of the 4th Baron Latimer’s descendant Francis Money-Coutts, who became the 5th Baron Latymer.
Lady Latimer died on 23 February 1583. She was buried away from her husband in Hackney Parish Church in London. Her grand tomb has her effigy surrounded by her four daughter’s coats of arms. Her tomb is one of only a few in England which feature such noble bearings; the other being the tomb of George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland at Skipton which is surrounded by no fewer than seventeen richly adorned shields which include that of Brandon, Dacre, de Clare, St. John, and more. The Earl himself was a descendant of Queen Katherine Parr’s great-aunt, Mabel Parr, Lady Dacre. Lady Latimer’s tomb not only includes the arms many of those on Clifford’s tomb as Neville, Beauchamp, Dacre, Berkeley, and Percy but also those of de Vere Earl of Oxford, Walcot, and Cecil. Lord Latimer’s arms (the Neville) are at one end of the tomb. The statues of the four daughters were two on each side of the monument; at the side of each the shield of the husband impaling the Neville arms. These arms are thus repeated five times. At the other end are Lady Latimer’s arms: the lions and fleur de lis that is France and England, quarterly, the arms of Beaufort, as she descended from the eldest legitimated son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset as well as his sister, Lady Joan, Countess of Westmorland.
In Robinson’s History of Hackney we find:
“The effigy of Lady Latimer was exquisitely sculptured and was fixed on the top of the table monument She appears to be dressed in a scarlet robe with a coronet on her head and the other part of the dress was richly gilt This effigy was probably intended for a portrait of her.”
Her epitaph reads:
Such as she, is such surely shall yee bee; Such as shee was, such if yee bee, be glad: Faire in her youth though fatt in age she grew; Virtuous in bothe whose glosse did never fade. Though long alone she ledd a widowe’s life, Yet never ladye live da truer wife. From Wales she sprang, a Branch of Worcester’s race, Grafte in a stock of Brownes her mother’s side: In Court she helde a maide of honor’s place, Whilst youth in her, and she in Court did byde. To John, Lord Latimer, then became she wife; Four daughters had they breathing yet in life. Earl of Northumberland tooke the first to wife; The nexte the heire of Baron Burleigh chose: Cornwallis happ the third for terme of life: And Sir John Danvers pluckt the youngest Rose. Their father’s heirs, them mothers all she sawe: Pray for, or praise her: make your list the Lawe, Made by Sir William Cornwallis, Knight, this Ladye’s Sonne in Lawe.
Anne Russell (née Sapcote), Countess of Bedford (died 1559) was the daughter and heiress of Sir Guy Sapcote and Margaret Wolston. 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 WilliamHoward, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, son of ThomasHoward, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and AgnesTilney. 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. 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.
JohnRussell, 1st Earl of Bedford (1485-14 March 1555) was the son of JamesRussell and AliceWyse. He married Anne in 1526. 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,
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Carole Levin, Anna Riehl Bertolet, Jo Eldridge Carney. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen: Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650. Taylor & Francis, Nov 3, 2016. Google eBook
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”.
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. 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,
“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.”
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,
“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.”
The reply evidentely satisfied Elizabeth as she decided to spend Christmas at Stonor after all.
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.
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.
Barbara J. Harris. English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers, 2002. Google eBook