Family of Queen Katherine Parr: Sir Thomas Green, Lord of Greens Norton

Sir Thomas Green V (c.1461 – 9 November 1506)[2] was Lord of Greens Norton and Boughton, Northamptonshire, England.[1] He was the son of Sir Thomas Green (IV), Lord of Greens Norton, and Maud Throckmorton. He is best known for being the father of Lady Maud Parr and grandfather to queen consort Katherine Parr.

The Lords of Greens Norton came from Northamptonshire, England. The heirs to each generation were continually named either Thomas or Henry. One of the earliest ancestors recorded is Thomas de Green (b. 1292), son of Sir Thomas de Green, Lord of Boughton. He married to Lucy le Zouche, daughter of Eudo le Zouche. Thus Lord Green would be the fifth heir to be named Thomas. This branch of Lord Nortons were descendants of the Norwich branch of Greens. Thomas’ ancestor, Sir Henry de Green, Lord of Greens Norton and Lord Chief Justice of England, is credited to have bought the village of Greens Norton, a village in Northamptonshire for a price of 20 shillings. Sir Henry married Katherine Drayton (ancestress to the pioneer settler Anne Hutchinson, born Anne Marbury)[3]

Sir Thomas Green (IV) tomb at St. Bartholomew's in Greens Norton with wife Lady Matilda (Throckmorton).

Sir Thomas Green (IV) tomb at St. Bartholomew’s in Greens Norton with wife Lady Matilda (Throckmorton).

He received Boughton, Greens Norton, and large monetary grants through his inheritance upon the death of his father in 1462.

Sir Thomas’ traits were that of any man of the time. He was conservative in religion, quarrelsome, “conniving”, and was one to take the law into his own hands. Sir Thomas was sent to the Tower of London due to trumped up charges of treason and died there in 1506. The last of his line, Thomas left two fatherless daughters.[3]

The White Tower, The Tower of London.

The White Tower, The Tower of London.

Family and issue

Joan Fogge, Lady Green’s tomb in Greens Norton with her husband.

Sir Thomas married Joan “Jane” Fogge (born c. 1466), the daughter of Sir John of Ashford Fogge (c. 1417–1490)[4], and the granddaughter of Sir William before 1489.[2] The Fogge family was a distinguished family of Kent where they were owners of vast estates. Sir John Fogge of Ashford built and endowed the noble church and the College at Ashford, Kent circa 1450. Sir John was a Privy Councillor, Comptroller, and Treasurer of the Household of King Edward IV and Chamberlain jointly with Sir John Scott to Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward V). He was married to Alice, daughter of Sir William Hawte of Hautsbourne and Joan Woodville, aunt to Queen consort of Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville. As Lady Fogge, she would come to court as one of Elizabeth’s closest female family members to become a lady-in-waiting.[7]

Sir Thomas Green and Joan Fogge had two children, both daughters:

The arms of Parr and Green from the Pedigree window of Katherine Parr in the great hall of Hampton Court Palace, London.

The arms of Parr and Green from the Pedigree window of Katherine Parr in the great hall of Hampton Court Palace, London.

  • Maud Green, Lady Parr (6 April 1492 – 1 December 1531)[5], married Sir Thomas Parr, son of William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal and Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh.
  • Anne Green, Lady Vaux of Harrowden (c.1489-before 14 May 1523), who would go on to marry the second husband of the before mentioned, Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh, Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden. Their eldest son, Thomas, would succeed as the 2nd Baron. By her daughter Maud, she was an ancestress to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

This line of Green’s was buried at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Greens Norton, Northamptonshire, England. The family lived at Greens Norton from the fourteenth century up until the death of Sir Thomas in 1506. His estates passed through his daughters marriages in to the Parr and Vaux families. This line of Greens is not for obvious reasons the Greens who immigrated into the United States.

Ancestry

Lord Green descended directly from many noble and royal lines. Interestingly enough, Parr’s maternal line was very involved in the royal courts. Most people, who know nothing of Parr’s ancestry, dismiss Maud [Green] Parr as having no connections and of being of no stature. Her mother’s link to the Woodville family as a cousin and lady-in-waiting no doubt helped her standing at court. And of course, Maud would become a lady to Queen Katherine of Aragon; serving her until her own death in 1531.

Too name a few of the ancestors of Lord Green..

  • Edward I and Eleanor of Castile three times by his daughters Princess Joan of Acre [by her daughters Lady Margaret, Countess of Gloucester and Lady Eleanor, Lady Despenser, wife of Hugh “the Younger”] and Princess Elizabeth of Rhuddlan [by her daughter Lady Eleanor or Alianore, Countess of Ormonde].
  • John I of England [three times via Joan of Wales]
  • Henry II of England [twice illegitimately and legit by Eleanor of England]
  • Henry I [ten times by Robert of Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester, twice by Maud of Normandy, Duchess of Brittany and once by Henry of Narberth]
  • Blanche de Brienne, granddaughter of Berenguela of Leon, Empress of Constantinople, herself the daughter of Alfonso IX, King of Leon and Berengaria of Castile [daughter of Eleanor of England, Queen consort of Castile].
  • Alfred ‘the great’, King of Wessex.[3] 
  • David I of Scotland via Dervorguilla, Lady of Galloway, granddaughter of David of Scotland, 9th Earl of Huntingdon, Lady Margaret of Huntingdon, Duchess of Brittany [three times], and Lady Marjory of Huntingdon, Countess of Angus.
  • Llewelyn, Prince of Wales via his daughters.
  • Louis VI [twice by Isabella of Angouleme, Queen of the English by her second husband Hugh X of Lusignan].

Written by Meg McGath

  1. ^ Browning, Charles Henry. Americans of royal descent: A collection of genealogies of American families whose lineage is traced to the legimate issue of kings. Porter & Costes, 1891. Pg 259.
  2. ^ The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by Gerald Paget, Vol. I, p. 95.
  3. ^ Fraser, Antonia. The Wives of Henry VIII. Vintage Publishing, 30 November 1993. Chapter: Catherine Parr.
  4. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Rosemary Horrox, ‘Fogge, Sir John (b. in or before 1417, d. 1490)’, first published 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, 692 words.
  5. No longer using Alison Weir as a source.
  6. ^ ‘Medbourne’, A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5: Gartree Hundred (1964), pp. 229–248. URL: [1] Date accessed: 17 January 2011.
  7. Barbara Harris. English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers,” Oxford University Press, 2002.
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Family of Queen Katherine: Fogge of Kent

Sir John Fogge is know for being the great-grandfather of Queen Katherine Parr and other prominent Tudor courtiers.

Sir John Fogge (c.1417-1490) was Lord of the manor of Repton. His family was one of the first families in Kent, England. It was this John Fogge of Ashford who built and endowed the noble Church and the College at Ashford, Kent circa 1450, where he is also buried.

There is some uncertainty over the parents of Fogge. The most well-known source, “The Family Chronicle of Richard Fogge” shows John as the son of Sir William Fogge and an un-named daughter of William Wadham (his second wife).[17] “The Antiquary” states that he was the son of Sir William and his first wife, a daughter of Sir William Septvans.[15] However, Rosemary Horrox argues that he was the son of another John [and Jane Cotton]; Sir William’s younger brother.[12] Horrox also states he must have been born about 1417, since he was of legal age in 1438, and came to prominence when he inherited the senior line of the family by February 1447.[12]

John Fogge was for certain the grandson of Sir Thomas Fogge, who died in 1407. Fogge was buried in Canterbury Cathedral. He had been a soldier and courtier under King Richard II and his successor, the Lancastrian usurper, King Henry IV. Fogge’s standing in Kent was owed much to his early career as a Captain of war in France. His military service began in the retinue of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, the King’s lieutenant in Brittany from 1356. Like the Parrs’, he served John, Duke of Lancaster; the third surviving son of Edward III. He was of service to Lancaster in Spain in 1386.[13] It is uncertain for how long Fogge had been a retainer of Lancaster, but on 13 June 1372, the Duke formally retained him for life. Lancaster made mention of Fogge’s good service in the past and indicated by the size of the annuity granted (100 marks) that he ranked him high in his esteem. Under Lancaster, Fogge was Captain of Calais among other high postings.[19]

Thomas Fogge’s eldest son, John, came to the court of the Lancastrian King Henry IV. John served on a number of commissions and was appointed Sheriff of Kent in 1453.  John would continue to hold favor under the new King and gained the esteemed office of Comptroller of the Household in 1460 and keeper of the wardrobe to Henry VI in the last year of his first reign. John was knighted by the King in 1461.

In 1461 and 1463, under the Yorkist King, Edward IV, John Fogge was elected to Parliament as knight of the shire for Kent. Fogge became a Privy Councillor. From 1461-68, he was Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household [later known as Lord Chamberlain under the Tudor monarchs]. Fogge would continue that role for the Prince of Wales (later King Edward V). In 1461, Fogge was granted the office of keeper of the writs of the Court of Common Pleas.[2] He took part in the investigation of the possible treason of Sir Thomas Cooke. In 1467, he was MP for Canterbury and Sheriff of Kent, again, in 1472 and 1479. He represented Kent in parliament in 1478 and 1483.[1] It is thought that Fogge may have accompanied Edward into exile.[16] For Fogge’s continued loyalty to the Crown, he was awarded the Constableship of Rochester Castle, the keeping of Hothfield Manor, and the manors of Towton and Dane, which had formerly belonged to the Lancastrian loyalist, Sir Thomas Brown.[16]

From 1473, he was on the council and one of the tutors of Prince Edward (the future King Edward V).[16] He undertook administration of his property and was made Chamberlain jointly with Sir John Scott.[1] Fogge’s kinsman, Anthony, Earl of Rivers, was appointed the Prince’s Governor.[16] Fogge’s Haute kinsmen also rose in royal favor; Richard Haute had also become one of Prince Edward’s tutors and councilors and by 1483 Haute was controller of this household.[16]

In 1483, he supported Richard Guildford in Kent against Richard III, this rising being in support of Edward V, and becoming part of the unsuccessful Buckingham’s rebellion.[4] This was despite an apparent reconciliation with the king as soon as he came to the throne, after Fogge had taken sanctuary in June 1483 at the time of Richard’s coup in Westminster Abbey.[5][6] The rising was blocked at Gravesend by John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk; and the rebel force retreated.[7] The king acted mercifully once order had been restored;[8] but Fogge later did have lands in Kent confiscated and given to Sir Ralph Ashton.[9]Throughout the many conflicts which arose with the War of the Roses, Sir John was lucky enough to survive, especially when Richard III came to the throne. Sir John was a supporter of Henry Tudor and reportedly had a role in the Battle of Bosworth field. Because of this, Sir John’s lands that were attained during King Richard’s reign were restored as soon as King Henry VII came to power.

There is some confusion as to which wife he married first; they were both named Alice. It is thought that Alice Haute was Fogge’s first wife. His second wife was Alice de Criol or Kyriell, the daughter of the Yorkist Sir Thomas de Kyriell who was killed at the second battle of St. Albans. This marriage brought him Westenhanger Castle.[10]The “History of Ashford” states that Alice de Kyriell was Fogge’s first wife and that Alice Haute was his subsequent marriage. However, it then states that Alice was formerly married to a Woodville; which is not true. She was the daughter of a Woodville.

Fogge’s switch from the Red Rose of Lancaster to the White Rose of York was most likely due to his marriage into either the Woodville or Kyriel family; both families joined the Duke of York [later King Edward IV] in 1460. Fogge, Sir William Haute [father of Alice], and Sir Thomas Kyriel [father of Alice] were part of the first group to join the Yorkist earls when they arrived at Kent in 1460.[16]

Family

Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville by Sophie Carter.

Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville by Sophie Carter.

Fogge’s first wife was Alice Haute or Hawte (born circa 1444),[11] whom he had married c. 1465. She was the daughter of Sir William Haute of Hautsbourne, Kent (c.1390-1462) and Joan Woodville, sister of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers; and as so Alice was first cousin to Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort to Edward IV, and mother to Elizabeth of York.[12][13] When Elizabeth became queen, she brought her favorite female relatives to court.[21] As Lady Alice Fogge, Alice was one of the queen’s five ladies-in-waiting during the 1460s.[21]

Fogge and Alice (Haute) were great-grandparents to the last queen consort of King Henry VIII, Katherine Parr, through their daughter Joan, Lady Greene.[11] Their other children included Sir John Fogge of Repton Manor and Margaret, Lady Stafford (mother of Sir William Stafford, husband to Mary Boleyn).[14][18]

His son Sir Thomas Fogge, Sgt of Calais was the son of his second marriage to Alice Kyriell.[14][15] His daughters Anne and Elisabeth were probably from the second marriage as well.[12]Illegitimate Daughter of Richard III Theory

There is a very slight possibility that Richard III’s mistress (or one of them) and mother to his illegitimate daughter was the sister-in-law to Lady Fogge. Katherine was the wife of James Haute (son of William Haute and Joan Woodville). Little is known about her; however in 1477 Richard in a grant gave to Katherine Haute 100 shillings per annum for life (DL29/637/10360A). There is no apparent reason for Richard to give her an annuity, and her Christian name is of course that of Richard’s illegitimate daughter, an uncommon one in the Yorkist Neville families. All of this may of course be far from the truth, although it is suggestive.[23]

Burial

The tomb of Sir John Fogge and his two wives at Repton Church, Kent, England. An inscription round the margin of the slab, of which only a part remained in the days of Dering, completed the memorial. It seems to have recorded “that Sir John was a special friend of Edward IV., … and departed this world universally esteemed by the common people.”

Fogge died in 1490. The tomb in which he’s buried stands on the North side of the altar between the chancel and Fogge Chapel. The original ornaments have been stripped, but there were originally brass effigies of his two wives, Alice Kyriell and Alice Haute. The mantels of the wives were fastened with a rose. At their feet were crouched dogs with knotted leading strings. On the south side of the tomb had been enriched with Gothic arches where three shields were found; Kryiell, Haute, and Valoignes impaling Fogge. Fogge’s effify was attired in rich armor and decorated with the Yorkist collar of suns and roses with the white lion of Marche. His head reclined on his helmet, adorned with mantlings and crest. At his feat sat an Italian greyhound. On the north side the center ornament was an angel supporting an inscription panel with an endless circle formed of rose sapling sticks firmly bound together perhaps to show the stability of the family unity, the vitality of which is indicated four small sprouts of rose branches with leaves and blossoms. Four large bosses of the united Roses proclaimed a Yorkist’s acquiescence in the peaceable conclusion of the commotion.[22]

Coat of Arms

Fogge of Kent

Fogge of Kent

Their arms, Argent, on a fess, between three annulets, sable, three mullets, pierced of the first, which coat is carved in stone on the porch of Ashford church, on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury, and in several windows of the cathedral there.[20]

Images

  • Drawings by Sir Edward Dering, 17th Century, published in Archaelogica Cantiana, Vol 2, 1859 [out of copyright].

Notes

    1. Charles Ross, Richard III (1981), p.106.
    2. J. R. Lander, Conflict and Stability in Fifteenth-century England (1971), p. 180.
    3. Arelene Okerlund, Elizabeth, England’s Slandered Queen (2006), p. 104.
    4. Paul Murray Kendall, Richard III (1972), p. 261.
    5. Ross, p. 112.
    6. Michael Bennett, The Battle of Bosworth (1987), p. 41 and p. 43.
    7. Kendall p. 271.
    8. Kendall p. 276.
    9. Ross, p. 119.
    10. http://www.fortifiedengland.com/Home/Categories/ViewItem/tabid/61/Default.aspx?IID=3415
    11. The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by Gerald Paget, Vol. I, p. 95.
    12. Rosemary Horrox. “Fogge, Sir John“, on the website of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    13. Peter Fleming. “Haute family“, on the website of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    14. ‘Parishes: Stanford’, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8 (1799), pp. 63-78. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63459&strquery=fogge Date accessed: 05 December 2012.
    15. E.W. Allen. “The Antiquary,” Vol. 3-4, 1873.
    16. Sheila Sweetinburgh. “Later Medieval Kent, 1220-1540,” Boydell & Brewer, Nov 18, 2010. pg 258.
    17. Archaelogica Cantiana, Vol 5, 1863
    18. Douglas Richardson. “Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families,” 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 219-25.
    19. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993.
    20. Edward Hasted. ‘The town and parish of Ashford’, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7 (1798), pp. 526-545.
    21. Barbara J. Harris. “English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550 : Marriage and Family, Property and Careers: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers,” Oxford University Press, Jul 26, 2002. pg 218.
    22. Rev. A. J. Pearman. “History of Ashford,” H. Igglesden, 1868.
    23. Peter Hammond. “His Illegitimate Children,” Dr Rosemary Horrox notes. Richard III Society: Richard III — His Family.

Family of Queen Katherine: Sir Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden

2nd Baron Vaux, sketch by Holbein.

2nd Baron Vaux, sketch by Holbein.

Sir Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden K.B. (25 April 1509[1] – October 1556), an English poet, was the eldest son of Sir Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux and his second wife, Lady Anne [Green] (born circa 1489), daughter of Sir Thomas Green, Lord of Greens Norton, and Joan Fogge [cousin to Edward IV’s consort Elizabeth], daughter of Sir John of Ashford.[2][3] Vaux was educated at Cambridge University.[4]  Vaux’s mother was the maternal aunt of queen consort Katherine Parr, while his wife, Elizabeth Cheney, was a paternal first cousin through her mother, Anne Parr.

Life

Lord Vaux by Holbein

Lord Vaux by Holbein

In 1527, Vaux accompanied Cardinal Wolsey on his embassy to France.

Vaux privately disapproved of Henry VIII’s divorce from his first queen consort, Katherine of Aragon.[5]

It is interesting to note the family circle that he was in. The Parrs and their extended family stuck by the queen and all had an opinion of Henry’s “Great Matter.” Vaux’s aunt, Lady Maud Parr, was a lady-in-waiting and good friend to Queen Katherine of Aragon. Lady Parr was given her own quarters at court to attend the queen and when she gave birth to a baby girl in 1512, it is thought that she named her after the queen who may have been her godmother. Lady Parr stayed with the queen until her household was divided; Parr died in 1531. Lord Vaux’s sister, Katherine, would marry the staunch Catholic Sir George Throckmorton; the outspoken courtier who dared to speak out against the king.

In 1531, Lord Vaux took his seat in the House of Lords. In 1532, he attended Henry VIII to Calais and Boulogne and was made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Anne Boleyn on 1 June 1533. He was Lieutenant Governor of Jersey in 1536. Schism from Rome caused him to sell his offices; his position as Governor was sold to Sir Edward Seymour [later Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset]. He did not attend Parliament between 1534 and 1554.[5] Instead, Vaux retired to his country seat until the accession of Mary I, when he returned to London for her coronation.[5] Vaux was a friend of other court poets such as Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.[5]

Family and issue

Elizabeth_Cheney_Lady_Vaux

Lady Elizabeth Vaux [born Cheney] was cousin to Queen Katherine by her mother, Lady Anne [Parr].

Vaux’s father, Nicholas, had been previously married to Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh, daughter of Henry FitzHugh, 5th Lord FitzHugh of Ravensworth Castle and Lady Alice Neville, as her second husband.[3] By Elizabeth’s first marriage to Lord William Parr, she was the mother of Anne Parr, the mother of Thomas’ wife, Elizabeth Cheney, as well as Sir Thomas Parr, father to Queen Katherine.[3]

From the marriage of Nicholas Vaux and the dowager Lady Parr, the 2nd Lord Vaux had three older paternal half-sisters; Katherine, Lady Throckmorton; Alice, Lady Sapcote; and Anne, Lady Strange.[3] After the death of Elizabeth in about 1507, the 1st Lord Vaux married secondly, in about 1508, to Anne Green, the older sister of Maud Green, Lady Parr who had married Sir Thomas Parr; thus making the 2nd Lord Vaux a first cousin to queen Katherine. At the time of the marriage, Lord Vaux was aged c.47, she was aged c.18.

Sir Thomas had been contracted to marry Elizabeth Cheney, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Cheney of Irtlingburgh and Anne Parr (aunt to Queen Katherine), since 6 May 1511 [he was aged 2].[3] Thomas married Elizabeth between 25 April 1523 and 10 November 1523.[3] They had three children.

  • Hon. William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux of Harrowden (born 1535), married firstly before 1557 to Elizabeth Beaumont, a distant cousin, by whom he had issue. In 1563, Vaux married to his second cousin, once removed, Mary Tresham, great-granddaughter of Sir William Parr, Baron Parr of Horton (uncle to Queen Katherine Parr) and had issue.
William, Lord Vaux of Harrowden (1535-1595), oil on panel 31 x 24½in. (78.8 x 62.2cm.). Inscribed

William, Lord Vaux of Harrowden (1535-1595), oil on panel 31 x 24½in. (78.8 x 62.2cm.). Inscribed “Willm. Lo. Vaux AE. ?de 40. ?ans 1575” 1575; Circle of Cornelius Ketel

  • Hon. Nicholas Vaux
  • Hon. Anne Vaux, married Reginald Bray of Stene, nephew of Edmund Braye, 1st Baron Braye; had issue.

Thomas Vaux died in October 1556.

Descendants

Among the many descendants of Thomas, Lord Vaux and his wife Elizabeth, Lady Vaux are:

  • Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales and thus HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales.
  • Sarah, Duchess of York [by both parents], who was married to Prince Andrew, Duke of York and is mother to TRH Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
  • HRH Princess Alice [Montagu-Douglas-Scott], Duchess of Gloucester, who married HRH Prince Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester [son of King George V and Queen Mary]. They were parents to HRH Prince Richard, 2nd Duke of Gloucester (b.1944).
  • Henry George Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, husband to HRH Princess Mary, Princess Royal [only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary]. They had two sons including the 7th Earl of Harewood.

Art

Sketches of Vaux and his wife by Holbein are at Windsor, and a finished portrait of Lady Vaux is at Hampton Court. Another hangs in Prague. More info: The OTHER Elizabeth Cheney

Elizabeth, Lady Vaux of Harrowden, wife to the 2nd Baron Vaux.

Elizabeth, Lady Vaux of Harrowden, wife to the 2nd Baron Vaux.

Elizabeth, Lady Vaux

Works

Two of his poems were included in the Songes and Sonettes of Surrey (Tottel’s Miscellany, published in 1557 (see 1557 in poetry). They are “The assault of Cupid upon the fort where the lover’s hart lay wounded, and how he was taken,” and the “Dittye … representinge the Image of Deathe,” which the grave-digger in Shakespeare’s Hamlet misquotes.[4]
Thirteen pieces in the Paradise of Dainty Devices, published in 1576 (see 1576 in poetry), are signed by him.[4] These are reprinted in Alexander Grosart’s Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies Library (vol. iv, 1872).

Lord Vaux wrote during Queen Mary’s reign. The following lines by Vaux were first printed in The Paradise of Devices (1576).

OF A CONTENTED MIND
When all is done and said, in the end thus shall you find,
He most of all doth bathe in bliss that hath a quiet mind:
And, clear from worldly cares, to deem can be content
The sweetest time in all his life in thinking to be spent.
The body subject is to fickle Fortune’s power,
And to a million of mishaps is casual every hour:
And Death in time doth change it to a clod of clay:
Whenas the mind, which is divine, runs never to decay.
Companion none is like unto the mind alone; [or none]
For many have been harmed by speech, through thinking, few,
Fear oftentimes restraincth words, but makes not thought cease; [peace]
And he speaks best, that hath the skill when for to hold his
Our wealth leaves us at death; our kinsmen at the grave;
But virtues of the mind unto the heavens with us we have.
Wherefore, for virtue’s sake, I can bo well content,
The sweetest time of all my life to deem in thinking spent.

The introduction of a rhyme at the cesura or pause of the longer line in this measure breaks of its couplets into a four lined stanza. We have example of this by the same poet in what a MS copy describes as, “a dytte or sonet made by Lord Vaux in the time of the noble quene Marye representing the image of Death.” The first, third, and eighth stanzas of this poem, with a line from the last but one transferred to the third, were chosen by Shakespeare for the grave-digger’s song in fifth act of Hamlet; the clown giving, of course, his rudely remembered version of them [see Hamlet, act five].

So Shakespeare’s clown quoted it. This is the poem itself as written in Queen Mary’s reign by Lord Vaux:
THE IMAGE OF DEATH
I loathe that I did love,
In youth that I thought sweet,
As time requires for my behove
Methinks they are not meet.
My lusts they do me leave,
My fancies all arc fled,
And tract of time begins to weave
Grey hairs upon my head.
For Age with stealing steps
Hath clawed me with his crutch,
And lusty Life away she leaps
As there had been none such.
My Muse doth not delight
Me as she did before;
My hand and pen arc not in plight,
As they have been of yore.
For Reason me denies
This youthly idle rhyme;
And day by day to me she cries,
“Leave off these toys in time.”
The wrinkles in my brow,
The furrows in my face,
Say, limping Age will lodge him now.
Where Youth must give him place.
The harbinger of Death,
To mo I see him ride :
The cough, the cold, the gasping breath
Doth bid mo to provide.
A pickaxe and a spade,
And eke a shrouding sheet,
A house of clay for to be made
For such a guest most meet.
Methinks I hear the clerk,
That knolls the careful knell,
And bids mo leave my woeful work,
Ero Nature me compel.
My keepers knit the knot
That Youth did laugh to scorn,
Of me that clean shall be forgot,
As I had not been born.
Thus must I Youth give up,
Whose badge I long did wear;
To them I yield the wanton cup
That better may it bear.
Lo, here the bared skull,
By whose bald sign I know,
That stooping Age away shall pull
Which youthful years did sow.
For Beauty with her band
These crooked cares hath wrought,
And shipped me into the land
From whence I first was brought.
And ye that bide behind,
Have ye none other trust :
As ye of clay were cast by kind,
So shall ye waste to dust.
From: Cassell’s library of English Literature, selected, ed. and arranged by H. Morley
By Cassell, ltd.

References

  1. George Edward Cokayne. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, Vol. XII/2, p. 219-221.
  2. Unknown author, David Faris. Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists, p. 39.
  3. Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, pg 326, 561-562, 566.
  4. Dominic Head. The Cambridge Guide To Literature In English, Cambridge University Press, Jan 26, 2006. pg 1151.
  5. John Saward, John Morrill, Michael Tomko. Firmly I Believe and Truly: The Spiritual Tradition of Catholic England, Oxford University Press, Nov 15, 2011. pg 92.
Researched and written by Meg McGath

© 26 March 2012