Lawrence Washington of Sulgrave Manor

I found that the ancestor of US President George Washington, Lawrence Washington (c.1500-1584), father to Robert (c.1554-1619), on 26 July 1529, was a bailiff at Warton (in the Barony of Kendal) to Sir William Parr, Baron Parr of Horton, uncle to Queen Catherine. Lawrence was the son of John and Margaret Washington. By his mother, he was a nephew of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave, son of Robert of Warton Hall. His cousin, Lady Katherine Spencer, married into the Spencer family and is an ancestor to the current Prince of Wales and his brother, Harry, Duke of Sussex.

By 1529/30, Washington married the wealthy widow, Elizabeth Gough (unknown maiden name).

By 1529, the future queen Katherine Parr had just married her first husband, Sir Edward Borough (or Burgh). Borough was the eldest son and heir of Sir Thomas, 1st (or 3rd) Baron Borough of Gainsborough and Agnes Tyrwhitt, kin to Elizabeth Tyrwhitt who was related to Parr by marriage and close to Parr during her tenure as queen and dowager queen. Elizabeth was responsible for writing an account of the last few days of the dowager queen. Upon Edward Borough’s death in 1533, his brother, William, became heir to his father. William, the future 2nd (or 4th) Baron, had married Katherine Clinton, daughter of Mistress Bessie Blount, so there is no doubt that the future Queen was associated with the future Lady Borough. Katherine Parr’s mother, Maud, would have known Bessie Blount from the early years of the reign of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Both were ladies to Queen Katherine. The families were also already connected through Bessie’s son by the king, Henry Firzroy. William Parr, later Baron Parr of Horton was the head of the household for the young boy. His nephew, also named William, was brought up alongside Fitzroy, the Earl of Surrey, and even Edward Seymour who was master of the horse. Lady Borough’s father, the Earl of Lincoln, remarried in 1552 to Parr’s cousin and lady in waiting, Elizabeth FitzGerald (1527-1590). Entries on Ancestry try to tie President Washington to Bessie through her granddaughter, Elizabeth Borough, but she is recorded as marrying a common man with the surname, Rider.

It is suggested that Lord Parr convinced Lawrence Washington to move from Wharton to Northampton where he was to become a wealthy wool merchant. At the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII, Washington profited by buying the properties he held as tenant of St.Andrew’s Priory, Northampton. In 1532 and 1545, Washington became Mayor of Northampton. In 1538 (some sources state c.1543), he remarried to another wealthy widow, Amy Tomson, daughter of Robert Pargitar. The estate of Sulgrave was brought to the marriage and was held by the family for a small fee. He eventually bought Sulgrave in 1539 from the crown and started the building of the Manor which was completed by 1560.

The Washingtons. Volume 3, Royal Descents of the Presidential Branch · Volume 3 By Justin Glenn · 2014

Sulgrave Manor: An Illustrated Survey of the Northamptonshire Home of George Washington’s Ancestors. By Gerald Michel Veit · 1953