16 APRIL 1614: THE DEATH of Jane, Lady Cheyne

16 APRIL 1614: THE DEATH of Jane Wentworth, Lady Cheyne of Toddington. She was one of seventeen children, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead and Margaret Fortescue, a distant cousin of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire (father of Queen Anne) and Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal (father of Queen Katherine). By her father, Lady Cheyne was a cousin to the Seymours, whose mother was Margery Wentworth (aunt to Jane’s father).

Portrait of a Lady of the Wentworth Family (Probably Jane Cheyne)
Hans Eworth
Netherlandish, active England 1545–73/74
Inscribed: AETATIS 24 / 1563 / HE (on tablet at upper right), coat of arms of the Wentworth (upper left)
Art Institute Chicago

She was married to Sir Henry Cheyne (Cheyney or Cheney) of Shurland who was created Baron Cheney of Toddington by Queen Elizabeth. He was “the extravagant Lord Cheney” who tore down his ancestral home, Peivre, and built a mansion. Henry was born on 31 May 1540 to Sir Thomas Cheyne of Blackfriars and Shurland and his second wife, Anne Broughton. Lord Cheyne’s father fought in France in 1544 while Queen Katherine Parr was Regent of the realm. After the death of Henry VIII, Thomas was the one who made arrangements for the coronation of Edward VI, son and heir of King Henry VIII and his third queen, Jane Seymour. Ironically, he ended up being part of the proceedings against Lord Seymour of Sudeley, uncle to Edward VI and the fourth husband of the late dowager queen, Katherine Parr. Thomas’ wife, Anne Broughton, was the daughter of Sir John of Toddington and the future Lady Anne (Sapcote) Russell, Countess of Bedford who had served as a lady to the late queen Katherine. She brought Toddington to the Cheyne family.

Queen Elizabeth was received at Toddington twice.

Lady Cheney is recorded in a lawsuit against Robert Pearce to recover the deeds and for an adjunction. The lawsuit seems to pertain to Toddington Manor, lands in the parish of Chalegrave and the manor of Chalgrave, late the estate of her husband, Lord Cheyne.

Lord Cheyne died on 3 September 1587. His remains were buried in Toddington Church where there are three mutilated tombs to the Cheyne family. Lady Cheyne erected a tomb for him. The effigy is in highly decorated armor. The head is on a cushion and on a mat rolled up, continued the whole length.

Through Lady Cheyne, Toddington passed to her great nephew, Thomas Wentworth, 4th Baron of Nettlested

Upon her death, Lady Cheyne was also buried in the Church. The effigy is still there, but is much worn away; the head which rested on a pillow is badly damaged. In pointed frontlet, veil, and wimple, and mantle faced with ermine. The arms of Wentworth and twenty-three quarterings are present. The head of the tomb is preserved and is inscribed:

“Here lyth Da Jane late wife of Sr Henrie Cheyne, Knight Ld Cheyne of Todington and eldest daughter of Sr Thomas Wentworth, Knight, Lo. Wentworth and Lord Chamberlaine to king Edward the sixt, who deceased the 16 daie of April A D 1614”

“Here lies my bodie in corrvptions bed, my sovle by faith and hope to heaven is led. Imprisoned by life, death set me free, then welcome death, step to æternity”


CHEYNEY (CHEYNE), Henry (1540-87), of Toddington, Beds. and Shurland, Kent.

CHEYNE, Sir Thomas (1482/87-1558), of the Blackfriars, London and Shurland, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

Three Branches of the Family of Wentworth I. Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk. II. Wentworth of Gosfield, Essex. III. Wentworth of Lillingstone Lovell, Oxfordshire By William Loftie Rutton · 1891.

The Topographer and Genealogist, Volume 1, 1846

The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom: Eardley of Spalding to Goojerat. 6. Gordon to Hustpierpoint By George Edward Cokayne, Vicary Gibbs, Herbert Arthur Doubleday, Duncan Warrand, Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis Baron Howard de Walden, Geoffrey Henllan White · 1926

Calendars of the Proceedings in Chancery, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth To which are Prefixed Examples of Earlier Proceedings in that Court, Namely, from the Reign of Richard the Second to that of Queen Elizabeth, Inclusive · Volume 1 By Great Britain. Court of Chancery · 1827

The Reliquary & Illustrated Archæologist, Volume 6, 1900

The Strife of the Roses and Days of the Tudors in the West By William Henry Hamilton Rogers · 1890

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.



  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.