Ladies-in-Waiting: Joan, Lady Denny

Joan Lady Denny
Joan Champernoune [Champernon], daughter of Sir Philip Champernoune [Champernon] of Modbury, Devon, and wife of Sir Anthony Denny (d.1549) | V&A Collections
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.[1]

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.”[1]

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/-“.[1]

In 1539, Anthony and Joan were part of the welcoming party that met Anne of Cleves.[1]

In 1542, Denny was appointed Keeper of the royal Mansion of Hatfield.[1]

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.

Links

Sources

  1. Carlile, James William. Archaeological Studies on the Two Manors of Ponsbourne & Newgate Street in the Parish of Bishop’s Hatfield, Co. Herts, Simson and Company, 1906. Google eBook
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Author: tudorqueen6

Meg McGath is the author behind the articles on tudorqueen6; she has been studying the history and genealogy of the Parr family since 2007. Now, a decade later, she is still writing about her favorite Tudor queen, Kateryn Parr. Meg studied Women's Studies with an emphasis on English Women's History at the University of Maryland. One of her goals is to end the myth that Kateryn Parr was nothing more than a nursemaid to the aging King Henry VIII. "It simply isn't true, she did so much more for the Royal Family and her country," says Meg. And, of course, to educate Tudor enthusiasts on the prestigious lineage and connections of the Parr family. "Kateryn was related to everyone at court by blood or marriage. She was a descendant of the Beaufort line of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, and Katherine Swynford. She shared this line with two of her husbands, Lord Latimer and the King," Meg states. A book is always her end game with Parr, but Meg has yet to put all the information together and send it to a publisher. "I've been told by many, including Professors, that I am a good writer..." says Meg. "The book, would focus on the generations before the Queen and how the Parr family became courtiers and relatives of The Crown." Meg has also done extensive research on the massive jewels and tiara collection of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty's collection was built starting with Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenberg, wife of King George III, and grandmother of Queen Victoria. Meg is now putting together a separate blog that coincides with her Tudor Wiki contributions which started in 2007.

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