Kathy Lynn Emerson
to update and correct
her very out-of-date
Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth-Century England (1984)
NOTE: this document exists only in electronic format
and is ©2008-15 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)
ELIZABETH BOARD (d.1589+)
Elizabeth Board was the daughter of George Board of Cuckfield, Sussex. She married William Walsh of Abberley, Worcestershire (c.1561-1622), who was knighted in 1603. They had no children. It is possible she is the Elizabeth, Lady Walshe in the portrait, dated 1589 and presently owned by the York Museums Trust. See Elizabeth Stonor (d.1560) for more information.
JOAN BOCHER (x. May 2,
Joan Bocher’s parentage is unknown and her surname is also uncertain, since she was also known as Joan Knell, and Joan of Kent. She was imprisoned in Canterbury before coming to London. She was probably married to a German tradesman living in London named Thombe. In the early 1540s, Joan appeared at the royal court, distributing copies of Tyndale’s New Testament. In 1543, she was arrested and charged with heresy, but because she had committed her offenses before February 1539, she could invoke King Henry’s pardon to Anabaptists and Sacramentaries. In 1548, after Edward VI became king, Joan was tried a second time. In April 1549 she was brought before Archbishop Cranmer’s special commission to deal with heretics, as was Thombe. He recanted, but Joan refused and forced Cranmer to excommunicate her. She was imprisoned for more than a year while attempts were made to show her the error of her ways, but in the end she was burnt as a heretic at Smithfield. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Bocher, Joan.”
MARIE BOCHETEL (d. December 1586)
Marie Bochetel was the daughter of Jacques Bochetel, Seigneur de Brouilliamenon and Marie de Morogues. Her family, in royal service, was wealthy. She was raised a devout Catholic. According the John Bossy in Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair, "she made her own financial and sometimes political arrangements." On June 26, 1575, she married Michel de Castelnau, Sieur de la Mauvissière (c.1520-1592), the French ambassador to England and a man at least thirty years her senior. In his Under the Molehill: An Elizabethan Spy Story, Bossy gives Jean de Morvillier, bishop of Orleans (d.1577), a principal royal councillor, credit for arranging the marriage. Marie was in England with her husband for the next six years, during which time she bore him four children: Edouard-Robert, Jacques, Katherine-Marie, and Elisabeth. In 1581, she returned to France with her children. The two boys remained there when she returned to England, probably in August 1583. She sent her daughter Elisabeth to board with a Catholic family near Richmond, but Katherine-Marie, aged about five in 1583, remained in London with her parents. The French embassy was Salisbury Court, located between Fleet Street and the Thames. During her second sojourn in England, Marie was almost constantly pregnant, suffering at least one miscarriage and giving birth, in June 1585 to a daughter who lived only a short time. Bossy recounts difficulties with the neighbors. One disputed ownership of the stables. Another was engaged in a rebuilding project in August of 1584 during which workers "smashed Castelnau's drains, covered his windows with filth and took away his light." Complaints led to fights. A boy lost an eye. Ruffians chased the ambassador's secretary and his daughter's tutor through the house, "smashing up the parlour and terrifying Madame, who was in bed." A complaint to Sir Francis Walsingham brokered a compromise. His daughter Frances, Lady Sidney, was one of Marie's friends, to whom she paid visits at Barn Elms. Marie traveled into the countryside mounted on an ass loaned to her by the Walsinghams. Although neither she nor her husband spoke English, Marie also had friends among the English Catholics. The family returned to France in September 1585 and Marie died in childbirth in December of the following year. She made her will on November 19, 1586.
CECILIA or CECILY BODENHAM (d.1545)
Cecilia or Cecily Bodenham was the daughter of Roger Bodenham of Rotherwas, Herefordshire (d.1514) and Joane Bromwich. She became a nun at Kingston St. Michael in Wiltshire. In 1511, a curate of Castle Combe robbed the priory and kidnapped the prioress, Cecily Bodenham. Apparently, he returned her. In 1534, she borrowed money to secure her election as abbess of Wilton, where the post had been vacant for more than a year. She paid £100 to Lord Cromwell to secure her election and took over in May. During her tenure, she leased Fuggleston Manor, held by the abbey, to Henry Bodenham, doubtless a relative, but when she surrendered the abbey on March 25, 1539, she claimed to be “without father, brother, or any assured friend” and was granted a house at Fovant, together with orchards, gardens, and meadows, as well as an annuity of £100. She lived there with ten of the thirty-three nuns who had been at Wilton before the dissolution. Her will is dated 1543. She was nearly sixty years old when she died. Biography: Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle, "Portrait of a Young Woman,"Ricardian Register (Spring 2003). Portrait: according to Hatle, the portrait of a woman of the Bodenham family in the Minneapolis Institute of Art is Cecily Bodenham, but in his A Queen of New Invention: Portraits of Lady Jane Grey Dudley, J. Stephen Edwards, following the 1915 identification made by M. H. Dodd in Notes and Queries, refutes this and further argues that the portrait, dated c.1550-1555, is unlikely to be any lady of the Bodenham family.
see ALICE GALE
see ANN CARY
DENISE or DIONYSE BODLEY (d. December 2, 1560)
Denise or Dionyse Bodley was the daughter of Thomas Bodley of Exeter and London (1460-1492), a tailor (in some records he’s identified as a grocer), and Joan Leche (d.1530). She was raised by her mother's second husband, Thomas Bradbury (1450-January 1510), a mercer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1509. In his will, proved February 27, 1509/10, Bradbury left a life interest in the manor of Westcot or Westcourt in Gillingham, Kent to his widow, after which it was to go to Denise. Denise married another mercer, Nicholas Leveson of London and Prestwood, Staffordshire (d. August 20, 1539). As her mother's only surviving child, Denise received two more manors upon that lady's death, Black Notley and Staunton, both acquired by Lady Bradbury during her second widowhood. Denise and Nicholas had eighteen children, eight sons and ten daughters, including Jane or Joan (d. before 1560), Grisel (d. before 1560), Mary (d.1581+), Alice (1523-April 8, 1561), John (d.1551/2), Thomas (1532-April 21, 1576), Nicholas (d. 1568), William (d.1593), and Denise. In his will, dated November 7, 1536 and proved October 13, 1539, Leveson left his wife his dwelling house and garden in Lyme Street in the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, London, land in Gillingham and Halling, Kent, a house, tenements, and cattle in Essex, and the plate and furnishings of the London house. As a widow, Denise took over her husband's business, took apprentices of her own, and exported wool as a merchant of the staple. She was the largest mercer-shipper of wool in the first year of Edward VI's reign, shipping over 105 sacks. She received a license to ship wool to Bruges in 1558-9, after the loss of Calais. When she died, she left £10 to the Mercers for a "breakfast or other banquet to be held within a month of her death. Her will, written March 13, 1559 and August 1, 1560 and proved December 20, 1560, can be found at www.oxford-shakespeare.com. Portrait: effigy in small brass in St. Andrew Undershaft, London, with her husband and eighteen children.
JOAN or JOHANNA BODLEY (d. 1584)
Joan or Johanna Bodley was the daughter of James Bodley of Saffron Walden, Essex (d.1514), a mercer, and Joan Strachey. She married Guy Crafford of St. Helen without Bishopsgate, London and Rayneham, Essex (d.1533) by whom she had several children including Arthur (d. May 1, 1600). Anne F. Sutton, in her biography of Lady Joan Bradbury, Joan's grandmother in Medieval London Widows 1300-1500, gives a family tree that does not list Arthur but does give Mary, three unnamed daughters, John, Nicholas, and Edward. Crafford was a lawyer. On October 3, 1539, Guy and Johanna were granted two messuages in St. Helens by Henry VIII in exchange for £54 and a yearly rent of 6s. 8d. In 1561, Joan was left £20 and "a ring of gold of the value of 30s" in the will of Denise Leveson (née Bodley), her aunt. The will of Joan, widow of Guy Crafford, was proved in 1584.
see JOAN HONE; JOAN LECHE
see ELIZABETH JENOUR
see ANNE LEGH
see MARGARET BUTLER or BOTELER
ALICE BOLEYN (1487-November 1, 1538)
Alice Boleyn was the daughter of Sir William Boleyn (1447-October 10, 1505) and Margaret Butler (1465-1539/40), daughter of the earl of Ormond, and married Sir Robert Clere of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk (c.1453-August 10, 1529), as his second wife, in 1506, by whom she had three sons, Sir John (c.1511-1557), Richard (d. before 1538), and Sir Thomas (d. April 14, 1545). In 1520 she was at the Field of Cloth of Gold. Around 1528, Thomas Cromwell defended her in an action for debt. On her husband's death, most of the estate went to his first wife's son but Alice received nearly twenty manors, most on the east coast of Norfolk, for life. His will, dated August 1, 1529, was proved July 4, 1531. In 1533, Princess Elizabeth was given a household at Hatfield with her half sister Mary as a lady in waiting. Lady Clere, who was Anne Boleyn's aunt, was made governess to the Lady Mary, as the king's out-of-favor elder daughter was then known. She is reputed to have befriended Mary. Her sister, Anne, Lady Shelton, was in charge of the joint household. Alice made her will on October 28, 1538. It was proved January 23, 1538/9. She was buried in the church of St. Margaret, Ormesby.
AMATA BOLEYN (c.1485-1543+)
Amata or Amy Boleyn, sometimes called Jane, was the daughter of Sir William Boleyn (1447-October 10, 1505) and Margaret Butler (1465-1539/40), daughter of the earl of Ormond, and married Sir Philip Calthorpe of Ewerton, Suffolk (1480-April 7,1549) on November 4, 1518. They had one daughter, Elizabeth (1521-May 26,1578). In mid-October 1521, when Mary Tudor was five years old, Lady Calthorpe replaced Lady Bryan as her governess and Sir Philip was put in charge of the household at joint wages of £40 per annum. In 1525, when Mary set up her household at Ludlow as Princess of Wales, Calthorpe was her vice-chamberlain and his wife was one of her gentlewomen. She sent Mary a New Year’s gift in 1542/3.
see ANNE TEMPEST
ANNE BOLEYN (c.1436-1510)
Anne (sometimes called Elizabeth) Boleyn was the daughter of Geoffrey Boleyn (1406?-1463), Lord Mayor of London, and Anne Hoo (d.1484). In c.1461, she married Sir Henry Heydon of Baconthorpe and Heydon, Norfolk (1442-1503). Their children were Bridget, Dorothy, John (1472-August 16, 1550), Anne or Amy (1469-1509), Elizabeth (d. by 1499), and William (d. by 1510). In his will, Sir Henry divided most of his goods between his widow and his heir. He left his wife any of his English books that she wanted. In her will, Anne left her plate, jewels, and most of her household goods to her two remaining daughters, Bridget, who was married to William Paston, and Dorothy, who was the first wife of Thomas Brooke, Lord Cobham, and to their husbands and children.
ANNE BOLEYN (c.1475-December 1556)
Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir William Boleyn (1447-October 10, 1505) and Margaret Butler (1465-1539/40), daughter of the earl of Ormond. Wikipedia gives her life dates as November 28, 1475-January 6, 1555/6. She married Sir John Shelton of Shelton, Norfolk (c.1472-December 21, 1539) and was the mother of Sir John (1503-November 15,1558), Sir Ralph (d. September 26,1561), Anne (d. December 1563), Gabrielle, a nun at Barking (d. October 1558), Elizabeth (d.1561+), Margaret (d. before September 11,1583), Thomas, Mary (1512?-January 1571), Emma (d.1556+), and Amy (d. November 1579). In 1533, she was put in charge of both King Henry VIII's daughters, the baby Elizabeth and Mary, now declared illegitimate. She was specifically instructed by her niece, Queen Anne Boleyn, to teach the Lady Mary Tudor her place. In February of 1534, she was reprimanded for showing too much sympathy for her charge. According to Eustache Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador, she said that "even if the princess were only the bastard of a poor gentleman, she deserved honor and good treatment for her goodness and virtues." On the other hand, Lady Shelton was said to have boxed Mary’s ears and on one occasion in March of 1534, when Mary refused to climb into a litter with Lady Shelton because that would have meant following behind Elizabeth, a matter of precedence, Lady Shelton ordered one of gentlemen of the household to pick Mary up and force her into the litter. In September of 1534, when Mary was ill, Lady Shelton sent for an apothecary. Unfortunately, the pills he provided made matters worse and for some time afterward, Lady Shelton feared she would be accused of trying to poison her charge. In February 1535, Chapuys reported that she had been reduced to tears by the possibility that something might happen to Mary and she would be blamed for not being vigilant enough. In January 1536, Lady Shelton was the one who told Mary that her mother, Catherine of Aragon, was dead. Some sources say she showed little sympathy in doing so. After Catherine's death, Queen Anne sent orders to Lady Shelton that she should no longer try to pressure Mary into submitting to the king. Some sources paint Lady Shelton as Mary's tormentor, who changed her attitude only after she was told by Dr. Butts that there were rumors in London that she was poisoning Mary. It has also been said that after she learned from her daughter, Margaret (Madge) Shelton, who was a maid of honor to Queen Anne and possibly King Henry's mistress, that the queen was losing her influence with the king, Lady Shelton began to accept bribes from Chapuys to let his servants in to visit Mary. After Jane Seymour became queen, Lady Shelton retired, but one of her sons joined Mary’s household and was still in Mary’s service when Mary succeeded her brother Edward to the throne in 1553, a small indication that Lady Shelton was not entirely a villain. Some sources give Lady Shelton a second husband, Sir Thomas Calthorpe (1507-1559). Lady Shelton's will, dated December 19,1556, was proved on January 8, 1557. Portrait: stained glass window, St. Mary's Church, Shelton, Norfolk; in 1528, Anne and her husband had their portraits painted by Hans Holbein the Younger.
ANNE BOLEYN (c.1501-x.May 19,1536)
This second Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, later earl of Wiltshire (1477-1539) and Elizabeth Howard (1476-April 3, 1538). She was a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon when she caught King Henry VIII’s eye and married the king in 1533 after he divorced his first wife. She had one child, Elizabeth Tudor, and several miscarriages. Charged with adultery and incest, she was executed so that King Henry could take a third wife, Jane Seymour. Many aspects of Anne Boleyn’s life, starting with the date of her birth, are subject to debate. Biographies: Mary Louise Bruce’s Anne Boleyn, E. W. Ives’s The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Retha Warnicke’s The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn, G. W. Bernard's Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attraction, and Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower. Portraits: There are a number of portraits said to be of Anne Boleyn, including one showing her as the queen on a playing card.
see ELIZABETH HOWARD; ELIZABETH WOOD
see JANE PARKER
see MARGARET BUTLER
MARY BOLEYN (c.1498-July 1543)
Mary Boleyn was Queen Anne Boleyn's sister, the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire (1477-March 12, 1539) and Elizabeth Howard (1476-April 3, 1538). Because of her father's career as an ambassador to foreign courts, Mary accompanied Mary Tudor to France in 1513 and was allowed to remain when most of the entourage was sent home by King Louis XII. When Mary Tudor, widowed, returned to England, Mary Boleyn is said to have entered the service of the new queen, Claude, but Alison Weir's 2011 biography disputes this. Mary was allegedly one of the many mistresses of King Francis I. She married William Carey (c.1496-1528) on February 4, 1520. There is considerable debate over almost all the dates in her life, starting with the birth order of the Boleyn siblings. One source gives her birth date as c.1499 while another has her marrying Carey at age 12. The date of her wedding is confirmed by an entry in the King's Book of Payments in 1520 for "The King's offering on Saturday (4th Feb) at the marriage of Mr. Care and Mary Bullayne, 6s. 8d." There were two Carey children, Henry and Catherine. The birth dates and the paternity of both are at the center of more controversy. There is no doubt that Mary Boleyn was the mistress of Henry VIII, but exactly when and whether she bore him one or more children is not clear. Dates for Catherine's birth range from 1522 to 1529. The reasoning in a recent article, backed up by the records kept by Catherine's husband, seems most logical to me. See Sally Varlow's "Sir Francis Knollys's Latin dictionary: new evidence for Katherine Carey," in Historical Research 80 (209) pp. 315-323. Varlow argues for a birthdate between March 1523 and April 1525. This would make Catherine the older child and the most likely to be the king's. Dates for Henry Carey's birth range from 1524 to 1526 with March 4, 1526 as the leading contender. On June 22,1528, William Carey died of the sweating sickness. Mary may or may not have been pregnant. If she was, the child did not long survive. Carey's death left Mary in debt and she was reduced to sell her her jewels, but by then her sister Anne had caught the king's interest. She secured for Mary an annuity of £100 and took the wardship of young Henry Carey for herself. When Thomas Boleyn was created earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde on December 9, 1529, Mary became Lady Mary Rochford and dropped her husband's surname. She took a place at her sister's court in mid-1531. She remained with Anne until 1534 when, after six years as a widow, she secretly married Sir William Stafford (1512?-May 1556). When Queen Anne realized Mary was pregnant, she banished her from court. Alison Weir believes that Mary and Stafford may have lived in Calais from 1534-1539. They may have had two children, Edward (1535-1545) and Anne. When Henry VIII decided to divorce Anne Boleyn, he unearthed his prior relationship with Mary as grounds for a nullity. Mary escaped the worst of the family disgrace by continuing to live quietly. She died in July 1543 but some sources give the day of her death as the 19th while others give the 30th. Biographies: I highly recommend Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings; Mary Boleyn, by Josephine Wilkinson (2009), adds little that is new and spends a great deal of space on general history of the period; Oxford DNB entry under "Stafford [née Boleyn; other married name Carey], Mary." NOTE: two novels with radically different interpretations of her life are Karen Harper's Passion's Reign (reissued as The Last Boleyn) and Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. Two films have been based on the latter but both book and films ignore Mary's time at the French court and contain a number of mistakes, such as confusing the duke of Northumberland (John Dudley of Lady Jane Grey fame) with the earl of Northumberland (Henry Percy, Anne Boleyn's alleged lover). Portrait: there is no authenticated portrait but six versions exist of one in the school of Hans Holbein that is called Mary Boleyn, including copies at Hever Castle and Holyroodhouse; a miniature is also unconfirmed.
ISABEL BOLLE (d. February 16, 1491)
Isabel Bolle was the sister of Henry Bolle of Ipswich (d.1479), for whom she served as executor. She married William Stile (Stiles/Style) of Ipswich (d. June 11, 1474), a mercer, by whom she had eight children including John (d.1505), Joan, Agnes, Amy and William (d.1500). In her husband Portrait: brass in St. Nicholas, Ipswich. In her husband's will, dated April 28, 1463 and proved July 21, 1475, she was his principal heir. His children, William, John, and Amy, if the were "obedient and loving" toward their mother, were to inherit after her death. The inheritance included Sprott's Place. Isabel was fined in 1481 for infringing the assizes of ale. She made her own will in 1487.
see LUCY WATTS
see MARY WITHAM
see JANE RICHARDS
THOMASINE BONAVENTURE (1450-1512)
Thomasine Bonaventure was the daughter of John Bonaventure of Week St. Mary, near Bude, Cornwall, and his wife Jane. Not a great deal is known about her family, except that they were gentry and she had a brother Richard who was a priest. There are several versions of how she came to move to London and marry a series of wealthy merchants. The most prevalent is that a London man, traveling in Cornwall, came upon a shepherdess tending her flock and was so impressed by her that he took her home with him to care for his wife. The Week St. Mary website identifies this man as Richard Brimsby and goes on to say that he married Thomasine after his wife died, then died himself, three years later, of the plague. According to the website, she then married Henry Gall of St. Lawrence, Milk Street, a merchant adventurer, who died five years after their marriage. More scholarly accounts agree that Thomasine moved to London as a young woman (around 1460) but give the name Richard Nordon as her benefactor/employer and Henry Galle (d. 1466), a merchant tailor, as her first husband. Some suggest that she was an upper servant in Galle's household and married him after his wife died. She was certainly married to Galle, for at his death she received a jointure of half his property and also £100 worth of cloth from his shop, the terms of his apprentices, and £100 in cash. She also appears to have taken over the business for a time before marrying another merchant tailor, Thomas Barnaby (d.1467). Around 1469, she wed her third husband, John Percyvale (c.1430-May 1503),who was also a tailor. Percyvale was Lord Mayor of London in 1498. After his death, Thomasine took over his business and continued the training of his apprentices. By this time she was so wealthy that she attracted the attention of the king, Henry VII and ended up having to pay a fine of £1000 in order to receive his pardon for trumped up charges against her. She may have returned to Week St. Mary in her last years to engage in charitable works. She certainly spent a good deal of her money there, for she repaired highways, built a bridge at Week Ford, endowed maidens, built and endowed a chantry and a college, and endowed a free school in her will. She also left food and other provisions to prisoners in London and Cornwall. The Week St. Mary website quotes letters she supposedly wrote home, including one to her mother, though this seems at odds with the shepherdess story. And while the website agrees that her will was made in 1512, it claims she did not die until 1539 at the advanced age of eighty-nine. She had no children. Biographies: Matthew Davies’s “Dame Thomasine Percyvale, ‘The Maid of Week’ (d.1512),” in Medieval London Widows, 1300-1500 (edited by Caroline M. Barron and Anne F. Sutton); Oxford DNB entry under "Percyvale [née Bonaventure], Thomasine."
ANNE BOND (c.1510-August 26, 1569)
Anne Bond was the daughter of William Bond, clerk of the green cloth to Henry VIII. This is not the William Bond who died in 1576 and is buried in St. Helen's Bishopsgate, although he also had a daughter named Anne (d.1615). Our Anne Bond married William Thynne (d. August 10, 1546) as his second wife. He was master of the household for Henry VIII and also edited Chaucer's works. They had a house in Erith, Kent. His will was dated November 16, 1540 and was proved September 7, 1546. He named Anne his executor and chief legatee. He was buried in All Hallows, Barking. They had four children, Francis (c.1545-1608), Anne (later married to Richard Mawdley of Nunney, Somerset), Elizabeth, and another daughter. Francis was raised primarily by his cousin, John Thynne, at Longleat. Anne, meanwhile, went on to marry twice more, first to Sir Edward Broughton and then to Hugh Cartwright of West Malling, Kent (d.1572), a nephew of Archbishop Cranmer (although the History of Parliament entry for Cartwright lists only one wife, Jane Newton). Anne was not buried with William Thynne even though her monumental brass is there. She did not leave a will. On June 5, 1572, letters of administration were granted to Elizabeth Pygott (née Thynne), to administer her mother’s goods. These letters were revoked and new ones granted to Francis Thynne on January 24, 1573/4, when he was attempting to get money from the estate.
see MARGARET ALDY
see WINIFRED LEIGH
see ELLEN BURBAGE
see ANNE WILLOUGHBY
see CATHERINE MARNEY
DOROTHY BONHAM (d.March 15,1641)
Three things connected with Dorothy Bonham have survived the centuries—her portraits at Ightham Mote in Kent, a reputation for fine needlework, and a ghost story. Her memorial in the village church in Ightham refers to her as "Dorcas," the needlewoman in Acts IX,39, and identifies her as a woman “whose art disclosed that Plot,” meaning that she depicted events surrounding the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in her embroidery. In 1872, however, when there was an unexplained draft in the tower at Ingtham Mote and workmen brought in to remedy the problem discovered a small, sealed-up space containing a woman’s skeleton seated on a chair, a misinterpretation of those words soon had people identifying her as the skeleton. She was said to have sent an anonymous letter to her cousin, Lord Mounteagle, warning him not to attend Parliament on the 5th of November, 1605. The letter was intercepted and the plot thwarted and when Dorothy’s role in betraying the conspiracy was revealed, she was seized and walled up in the tower at Ingtham Mote. It never happened. Dorothy was the daughter of Charles Bonham of Mallyng, Kent. She married Sir William Selby (c.1556-1638). They did not even live at Ightham Mote until after 1612, when he inherited it from his uncle. The rumor that Dorothy Bonham haunts Ightham Mote, however, persists to this day. Portraits: There are two portraits of Dorothy in the Great Hall at Ightham Mote, one as a young woman and one in middle age. She is also represented by a sculpture on her monument in Ightham Church.
CECILY BONVILLE (1460-May 12, 1529)
Cecily Bonville was the daughter of William Bonville, Lord Harington (c.1442-December 30, 1466) and Katherine Neville (c.1535-November 22, 1503). She married her first husband, Thomas Grey, marquis of Dorset (1451-1501), on July 18, 1474. She had fourteen children by Grey—Edward (d. by March 1517), Thomas, 2nd marquis (1477-1530), Leonard (1479-July 28, 1541), Dorothy (c.1480-1553), Mary (1493-February 22, 1538), Eleanor (d. by 1507), Elizabeth (c.1497-1548+), Cecily (c.1497-April 28, 1554), John (d.1523), Margaret (d.1523+), George (d.1523+), Richard, Bridget (d.yng), and Anthony (d.yng). Her second husband was a man nineteen years her junior, Henry Stafford, earl of Wiltshire (1479-March 6, 1523). This second marriage, which took place on November 22, 1503, required a papal dispensation and the king’s license, costing £1000 according to one source and £2000 according to another. Cecily granted her new husband a life estate in properties worth £1000 a year and promised to leave him the rest of her inheritance should her son and heir, Thomas Grey, marquis of Dorset, die before her. In spite of her generosity, Stafford was heavily in debt by the time he died and, in 1524, Cecily disposed of her remaining property. She gave £1000 to each of her four surviving daughters, small annuities to her younger sons, and kept 300 marks as an annuity for herself. The rest was used to repay her second husband's debts. In her will, written on May 6, 1527 and proved November 5, 1530, she asked to be buried with her first husband in the chapel within the church of the college of Astley in Warwickshire and provided for the building of “a goodly tomb." She left "my beloved Lord Richard" the manor of Multon, Lincolnshire. Lord [John?] Grey received Yoke, Pokington, Torrells, and Littleston, Somerset for life and Lord Leonard Grey received Says-Bonville and Pixton, Somerset and Marston, Sussex for life. Portrait: effigy in St. Mary's Church, Ashley, Warwickshire.
ELIZABETH BONVILLE (c.1474-1539+)
Elizabeth Bonville was the daughter of Sir John Bonville of Halnaker, Sussex (1413-1494) and Catherine Wingfield (d.1497). She married Thomas West, 10th baron de la Warr (c.1479-September 25, 1554) before August 24, 1494. In 1538, her husband was under house arrest for involvement with the treason of Lord Montague and the Marquis of Exeter but he was pardoned. In November 1539, both he and his wife wrote to Lord Cromwell about Halnaker Hall, where they were then living. The king apparently wanted Halnaker and although they were willing to exchange properties with him, Elizabeth wrote to ask for "some reasonable leisure to depart from thence, considering that all our corn and cattle, and other provision, is here upon Halfnakyd [Halnaker] and Boxgrave [Boxgrove], and in no other place, and we can make no shift now for no money till summer." Eventually a trade was made for the lands of Wherwell, a suppressed nunnery in Hampshire. The de la Warrs moved to Offington, in Broadwater, where, according to Mary Anne Everett Green in Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, Lord de la Warr kept the best and most hospitable house in Sussex. They had no children and the title was in abeyance between 1554 and 1570.
see JUDITH AUSTIN
see ALICE NOSWORTHY
see ISABEL GIL de AVILES
see AGNES TYRWHITT
see ALICE LONDON
ANNE BOROUGH or
see ANNE COBHAM
see ELIZABETH OWEN
see FRANCES VAUGHAN
see KATHERINE PARR; KATHERINE NEVILLE
MARY BOROUGH (d.1585+)
Mary Borough was the daughter of William Borough or Burgh, 4th baron Borough of Gainsborough (c.1521-September 10, 1584) and Catherine Fiennes de Clinton (c.1538-August 14, 1621). She was a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth before her 1577 marriage, as his second wife, to Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris, Anglesey and Lewisham, Kent (d. June 28, 1621). He was knighted on the eve of their marriage. "Lord Borough's daughter" appears on one list of maids of honor, but for 1599, which makes me wonder if that date was a mistake for 1577. Mary's children were Catherine (1583-1629+), Penelope, Elizabeth, Margaret, Richard, Thomas and another daughter. At one point her husband's lands in Cheshire, Caernarvonshire, and Anglesey brought him an income of £4300 a year.
MARGARET BOSTOCK (d.1599+)
Margaret Bostock was the daughter of Roger Bostock of Newington, Surrey and Felice Heaton. She was married a number of times, but not as many as some genealogies claim. Her first husband was Richard Blount of Williton, Somerset and Coleman Street, London (d. November 16, 1575). They had one daughter, Elizabeth, and apparently a son who died young. Elizabeth was left a dowry of £1600. Blount's will left Margaret their dwelling house in Coleman Street and named her executor. Some online accounts have Margaret marrying Nicholas Saunders next and then, third, John Leigh. This is a case of mistaken identity. John Leigh of Coldrey, Hampshire (1534-January 19,1576) married Margaret Saunders, daughter of Thomas Saunders. In fact, Margaret Bostock Blount had not yet married Nicholas Saunders when Leigh died. Her second husband, to whom she was married in 1576, was Jasper Fisher of London (d. February 28, 1579), the king's goldsmith and one of the six clerks of Chancery. He willed a life interest in his house in Bishopsgate and property in Warwickshire to Margaret and left instructions that both were to be sold after her death. He also instructed that Margaret's children were to be paid the sums left to them by their father. Elizabeth Blount was to receive £1200 and Blount's son £400. There were no children of Margaret's marriage to Fisher. The house in Bishopsgate was called Fisher's Folly and later belonged to Sir William Cornwallis. From 1579 to 1588 it was leased to the earl of Oxford. Shortly after Fisher died, William Bradley renewed a lease for ten years from the widow at £12/year. This was the Bishop in Gray's Inn Lane, an inn. Nicholas Saunders of Ewell, Surrey (c.1530-December 17, 1587), a lawyer and owner of Bataille Manor, married Margaret in 1582 as his second wife. They had no children. He made his will in 1587 and it was proved on January 18, 1588. In it he tells his sons to look after his widow. In 1588, Margaret was sued by Humphrey Harding and his wife. In 1599, Margaret transferred Oldbury Manor to Saunders's eldest son, Nicholas Saunders the Younger (d. February 9, 1649), who married her daughter, Elizabeth Blount. Some genealogies try to give Margaret one more husband, Sir Thomas Stanley, but the only record of a marriage between Thomas Stanley and Margaret Bostock dates from two centuries earlier. The wills of Richard Blount and Jasper Fisher are available at Oxford-Shakespeare.com
see MARGARET BELKNAP
see also BUTLER
ISABELLA BOTT (d.
Isabella Bott was the daughter of William Bott, a lawyer of Snitterfield, Warwickshire. He did not have a good reputation. In April 1563, he nogotiated a match between Isabella and one John Harper of Henley-in-Arden, who was not only still a minor, but was also “a plain and simple-minded man” who was deeply in debt. It was agreed that should Isabella die without issue, the lands entailed on Harper would pass to Bott. Isabella died soon after the marriage, probably in the house called New Place in Stratford that later belonged to William Shakespere, and was buried on May 7, 1563. According to testimony later given before the Star Chamber by a shoemaker named Roland Whelen, Isabella was murdered. Whelen said that he “did see the wife of the said Bott in the presence of the same Bott deliver to the said Harper’s wife in a spoon the said poison of ratsbane to drink, which poison she did drink in this deponent’s presence.” Whelen apparently was employed by Bott to run errands. One was to take Isabella’s mother to Thorne, near Lichfield. It was Bott’s other wife who administered the poison to the girl. By 1571, when Whelen made his statement, she was dead and Bott had married a third woman, Elizabeth Heton. In spite of Whelen’s eye-witness report, Bott was never prosecuted for murder.
ELIZABETH BOUGHTON (c.1567-before December 1642)
Elizabeth Boughton was the daughter of Edward Boughton of Causton, Warwickshire (c.1545-September 12, 1589) and Susanna or Susan Brocket (d.1589+). She married first Sir Richard Wortley (1565-July 25, 1603). Their children were Frances (c.1592-1652), Edward, Mary (d.1663), Elizabeth (c.1596-1642), Anne, and Eleanor (d.1667). Her second husband was William Cavendish, earl of Devonshire (December 27, 1552-March 3, 1626, as his second wife. Some genealogies say she was the mother of John Cavendish (b.c.1626). Portrait: by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.
see JANE CONINGSBY
see MARGARET CAVE
MARY BOUGHTON (d.1600+)
Mary Boughton was the daughter of Edward Boughton of Causton, Warwickshire (c.1545-September 12, 1589) and Susanna or Susan Brocket (d.1589+). In c.1591, she married Richard Fowler of Tilsworth, Bedfordshire (d.1600+). The marriage was not a happy one and at some point before 1599, Mary took up with Captain William Eynes/Heines (d.1602). She was apparently abetted in this extramarital affair by her eldest brother, Henry Boughton (c.1567-1602). In August 1599, Mary, Eynes, and one Leonard Gascoigne, entered into a conspiracy to frame Fowler for treason. A forged letter implicated Fowler in a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth. He was arrested and tried before the Star Chamber in April 1600, but the truth of the matter soon came out and Fowler was set free. On June 12, 1600 the court heard evidence against Mary, Eynes, Gascoigne, and Henry Boughton. The transcript is online at http://www.bedfordshire.gov.uk and includes the information that "the said Marie since her said marriage hath carried herself somewhat lightly and wantonly in frequenting the company of the said Eynes in unfit and immodest sort to the great and manifest offense of her said husband, seeking by very indirect means and practices with the said Eynes and by the privity and consent of the said Henry Boughton, her brother, to separate herself from her said husband's society and company to prevent the purport of the sentence and act made in the ecclesiastical court for the reconciliation of the said Richard Fowler and his said wife; upon which ground of light behavior appearing to this honourable court by the confessions of the defendants themselves, and as also by divers letters written betwixt the said Marie and the said Eynes and by divers other circumstances of their demeanours and carriages of themselves, the court was absolutely resolved that the said Eynes for his ungodly and unlawful liking towards the said Marie did very falsely and lewdly conspire and practice the making and publishing of the said false and forged letter wherein the said Eynes combined to himself and the said Gascoigne, being of his acquaintance and both soldiers, with the privity and consent of the said Marie Fowler to put in execution the same conspiracy upon some pretense or hope of reward to be given to the same Gascoigne." All four were committed to the Fleet. After "some reasonable time of imprisonment," Mary was to be committed to Bridewell. Eynes and Gascoigne were sentenced to be pilloried and pay fines. Henry Boughton was exonerated of any part in the conspiracy against Fowler, but for helping his sister live apart from her husband in defiance of the ruling of the ecclesiastical court, he was sent to the Fleet and fined £100 and required to find £500 in sureties. A letter from John Chamberlain to Mr. Carleton dated June 13, 1600 states that "Faire Mrs. Fowler" was to be carted to Bridewell and there whipped. The entry in the History of Parliament for Edward Boughton states that his daughter Mary was taken to Bridewell where she was "well whipped" and that afterward she was in "perpetual imprisonment." One online source identifies this Mary with the Mary Boughton who married Sir John Crosbie of Tullyglass, County Down, Ireland (d. January 14, 1639) on July 23, 1638. This leaves rather a long gap in her life if it is the same woman. Henry Boughton was killed in a knife fight at a game of bowls. Eynes was hanged, according to a letter written by John Chamberlain on April 26, 1602, for killing a fellow prisoner in the Fleet.
see ANNE WOODVILLE
ANNE BOURCHIER (1470-September 29, 1530+)
Anne Bourchier was the daughter of Humphrey Bourchier (d. 1471) and Elizabeth Tylney (d. April 4, 1497). In 1492, she married Thomas Fiennes, 8th baron Dacre of the South (c.1472-September 9, 1534). They had three children, Mary (d. by 1530), Thomas (1495-October 26, 1528), and John (b.1497). Lady Dacre is mentioned in several poems by John Skelton and was one of the noblewomen described, along with the Countess of Surrey, in his A Goodly Garland or Chaplet of Laurel (1523), which was probably written in 1495 Lady Dacre was a lady of the bedchamber to Catherine of Aragon. She died at the Dacre family seat, Herstmonceaux Castle, Sussex.
ANNE BOURCHIER (1517-January 28, 1571)
The daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd earl of Essex (1471-March 30,1540) and Mary Say (1479-June 5,1535+), Anne Bourchier was married on February 9, 1527, when she was barely ten, to fifteen-year-old William Parr (August 14, 1513-October 28, 1571). Twelve years passed before the couple lived together as husband and wife. They were totally unsuited to each other. She was poorly educated and most comfortable living in the country. Her first recorded appearance at court was at a banquet on November 22, 1539. Her husband, in contrast, was a career courtier, and engaged in at least one tempestuous affair, with maid of honor Dorothy Bray, c. 1541. That same year, Anne surprised everyone by running off with John Lyngfield, alias Huntley or Hunt, prior of St. James, Tandridge, Surrey. Parr secured a legal separation on grounds of her adultery and secured a bill in Parliament on March 13, 1543 to bar any child Anne bore from succeeding to her inheritance. Some records give Anne a son by Lyngfield and a daughter (Marie, who married one Thomas York) by an unknown father, while others say she and Lyngfield/Huntley had several children of whom only Mary lived to marry. The History of Parliament entry for Henry Bourchier (d.1598) identifies him as the illegitimate son of Anne Bourchier and states that he had a sister. He married but apparently had no children. The tale that Parr tried to convince King Henry to execute Anne for adultery and that she was saved by Parr's sister, who was about to marry the king, is highly unlikely to have happened. Adultery was not normally punished by death. Even when a queen was judged to have committed adultery, the actual crime was treason. It is unclear what happened to John Lyngfield, but Anne apparently spent the next few years in impoverished exile at Little Wakering, a manor in Essex. On March 31, 1552, a bill passed in Parliament declaring the marriage of Anne and Parr null and void. By that time, Parr was marquis of Northampton and “married” to Elizabeth Brooke and Edward VI was on the throne. This bill was reversed on October 24, 1553, when Mary Tudor became queen. At that time, Parr was in prison for treason, having conspired to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary. Two months earlier, Anne had gone to court to lobby for Parr's release and pardon, which would enable him (them) to keep their estates. That same December, Anne was granted an annuity of £100. Parr was released but left in poverty. Anne appears to have remained at court until at least December 1556, when "Anne, Viscountess Bourchier, Lady Lovayne" was granted an additional annuity of £450. After Queen Elizabeth succeeded her sister, Anne retired quietly to Benington, Hertfordshire and there lived out the rest of her life. Sir Robert Rochester and Sir Edward Waldegrave held Bennington Park as feoffees to her use, but after Rochester's death in 1557, Waldegrave transferred it to Sir John Butler who had, in December 1553, been granted the mastership of the hunt, with herbage and pannage, in Bennington Park during the lifetime of William Parr. "Lady Bourchier" then sued Waldegrave (d.1561) and Butler in chancery. When she won, Butler petitioned for revival of the case and meanwhile continued to treat the park as his own. Charlotte Merton, in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, speculates that the Mrs. Nott who waited on the queen in 1577-8 may be the "Katherine Parr," Anne's daughter, who was married to John Nott. She does not give a source for this information, or for the name Hawkins as Katherine's possible father.
ELIZABETH BOURCHIER (1474-1557)
Elizabeth Bourchier was the daughter of Fulke Bourchier, 2nd baron Fitzwarine (October 25, 1445-September 18, 1479) and Elizabeth Dynham (1449-October 19, 1516). She may have had two early marriages, once to Henry Beaumont and a second to a man named Verney, by whom she had a daughter, Katherine Verney. In 1509, she married Sir Edward Stanhope of Sudbury and Rampton, Nottinghamshire (1472-June 6, 1511), by whom she had one daughter, Ann (c.1510-April 16, 1587), later to be famous as duchess of Somerset, wife of the Lord Protector. Elizabeth Bourchier may have been the Mrs. Stanhope in the household of Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, in 1509. Her aunt, Edith Dynham, Mrs. Fowler, was also part of that household. In 1512, Elizabeth married Sir Richard Page of Beechwood, Hertfordshire (1474-1548) They had a daughter, Elizabeth (1516-April 1573). Page has an entry in the Oxford DNB, partly because he found himself under arrest later in the reign of Henry VIII. In 1552-3, when her daughter by Stanhope was in the Tower of London, Elizabeth was allowed to visit her and appears to have spent time there as she is included with the duchess's two gentlewomen and one man in the "daily diets." I am indebted to the research of novelist Susan Higginbotham for this part of Lady Page's story.
ELIZABETH BOURCHIER (1598-November 1665)
Elizabeth Bourchier was the eldest of twelve children of Sir James Bourchier (c.1574-1635) and Frances Crane. Her father was a furrier with no known connection to the noble Bourchier family. On August 22, 1620, Elizabeth married Oliver Cromwell (1599-September 3, 1658), at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. She had a dowry of £1500 and received the parsonage house in Hartford, Huntingdonshire as her jointure. Their children were all born before the Civil War. They were Robert (1621-1639), Oliver (1623-1642), Richard (1626-1712), Bridget (1624-1662), Henry (1628-1674), Elizabeth (1629-1658), James (1632-1632), Mary (1637-1713), and Frances (1638-1720). They lived in the country until 1646, when they moved to London. She was there to greet her husband when he arrived as a victorious general on May 31, 1650. After Cromwell was made Lord Protector, Elizabeth resided in apartments in Whitehall and at Hampton Court. Following his death, she was to live at St. James and have a payment of £20,000 and an annuity of £20,000. However, the restoration of the monarchy put an end to that plan. After leaving London in April 1660, she was allowed to live quietly with her daughter Elizabeth's widower, John Claypole, at Northborough, Northamptonshire. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Cromwell [née Bourchier], Elizabeth."
see ELIZABETH DYNHAM; ELIZABETH WENTWORTH
JOAN or JANE BOURCHIER (d. February 17, 1561/2)
Joan or Jane Bourchier was the daughter of John Bourchier, 2nd baron Berners (1467-March 16, 1533) and Catherine Howard (1486-March 12, 1536). Her parents were divorced before 1505 and both apparently remarried, but the offspring of these second unions were not considered to be legitimate. Joan accompanied her father to France in 1514 for the wedding of Princess Mary Tudor to King Louis and stayed on as one of the few English attendants allowed the new queen. Joan married Edmund Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk (1490- May 1, 1539/40), but not, as is often found in genealogies, c.1508. The marriage could not have taken place until after Joan's return to England in 1515. By Knyvett, she was the mother of John (1517/18-c.1560), Anne (d. November 12, 1595), Elizabeth, Thomas, Edmund (c.1525-November 1567), Alice (d.1560+), Christopher (d.1560+), Christian (d.1560+), Catherine (d.1596), and possibly a second Anne (c.1529-1561+), Rose (d. before March 27, 1588) and William (1535-1612). As her father had no legitimate male heir, Joan is sometimes styled baroness Berners. In 1533, Sir Edmund and his wife appointed the priest at Ashwellthorpe. In 1544, by then a widow, Joan acted on her own to appoint his successor. Her will exists and is dated April 8, 1560. It was proved March 9, 1561/2. She commissioned an elaborate tomb at Ashwellthorpe. The epitaph reads as follows:
Jane Knyvett resteth here the only heir by
Of the Lord Berners, that Sir John Bourcher hight.
Twenty Years and three a widow’s life she led,
Always keeping house where rich and poor were fed.
Gentle, just, quiet, void of debate and strife,
Ever doing good: Lo, thus she led her life,
Even to the grave, where earth on earth doeth lie;
On whose soul God grant of his abundant mercy.
MARGARET BOURCHIER (1468-1551/2)
The daughter of Humphrey Bourchier (d. 1471) and Elizabeth Tylney (d. April 4,1497), Margaret was brought up with her half brothers and half sisters, including Elizabeth Howard (Anne Boleyn’s mother). Margaret married Sir Thomas Bryan (c.1464-1517) of Ashridge, Hertfordshire. She was a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon from 1509 to 1516 while her husband was vice chamberlain of the queen’s household. In October 1510, her wages are recorded as 100s. for a half year. She apparently brought their daughters Margaret (d. by 1527) and Elizabeth Bryan (c.1495-1546) and her son Francis (1490-1550) with her to court. She also had charge of the upbringing of Lettice Penyston. After the birth of Mary Tudor, Margaret was put in charge of the nursery at Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire and at Hanworth. She remained with the princess for five years and when she left was given an annuity of £50 for life. In 1533 she was called back to care for Elizabeth Tudor at Hatfield and in 1537, after the birth of Prince Edward, was put in charge of a combined household at Havering-atte-Bower. Her reports to Thomas Cromwell are still extant. In her personal life, there is some confusion. Apparently she was married three times in all. The other two husbands were David Zouche, Soche, or Souch (b. 1471) and John Sands or Sandys. It is not clear, however, in what order she married them. She had children only by Sir Thomas Bryan.
see MARGARET DONNINGTON
see MARY SAY
see THOMASIN MILDMAY
see ELIZABETH HORNE
ANNE BOWER (d.1584+)
Anne, Anis, or Agnes Bower was the daughter of Richard Bower (d.1561), master of the choristers of the Chapel Royal. She married Richard Farrant (c.1528-November 30,1580) before her father’s death. Farrant was a composer and choirmaster, moving from the Chapel Royal in 1564 to the choir of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. By 1576, he was renting space in the former Blackfriars Priory to produce plays with children’s companies. When he died, he left his widow their house in Greenwich, numerous debts, and the lease to the Blackfriars’ Playhouse. She had ten children to support. She sublet the playhouse to William Hunnis, but he was tardy in paying his rent and the choristers left Blackfriars in 1582. Anne Farrant was forced to borrow money from her Blackfriars neighbor, William Brooke, Lord Cobham, and from Henry Seckford. It is unclear whether or not this Anne was the Anne, widow of Richard Farrant, who was granted property in Wootton, Oxfordshire, Islington, and Yorkshire in 1583, but by Michaelmas term 1583 she had two lawsuits pending in the Court of Common Pleas, one against William Hunnis and a second against John Newman over payment of a £100 bond. She was countersued in the Court of Requests and on January 20, 1584 she was accused, among other things, of having “a covetous and greedy mind.” She answered on January 27 and they replied on May 27, but there is no decision extant in the case. The Blackfriars Playhouse, meanwhile, was closed down by the landlord in 1584.
see ELIZABETH ASKE
see ISABEL WRAY
see JANE ROKEWOOD
MARGERY BOWES (1506-1567+)
Margery Bowes was the daughter of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam (1494-1517) and Elizabeth Clifford. She married Sir Ralph Eure or Evers (September 24, 1508-March 5, 1544/5). Her children were William, 2nd baron Eure (February 27, 1529/30-February 13, 1593/4), Ralph (1534-April 22, 1587), Thomas, Henry, Frances (c.1530-1575+), Anne, another Anne, Muriel, and Margaret. In July 1537, Sir Ralph was accused of writing a letter to Sir John Bulmer (dated March) that implicated Eure in Bulmer’s treason. Eure was taken to London to be questioned. He was released, primarily because he could prove that he was illiterate, but while he was still in London, in late August, Lady Eure made the mistake of saying, in the hearing of a Mrs. Wright, that she had "twenty of the best in Yorkshire" willing to "rise and fetch him out" if her husband were in danger, "or else to die therefore." In September, Lady Eure and two servants broke into the house of Edmund Wright to "threaten and revile" his wife and her servants, one supposes to prevent Mrs. Wright from revealing these words, which amounted to treason. They were removed by the local justice of the peace. Wright then wrote to Lord Cromwell to complain while Lady Eure joined her husband at Pickering. There were, however, no charges filed against Lady Eure and no one ever found out who wrote the letter to Bulmer that started all the trouble.
MARGERY BOWES (1533-December 1560)
Margery Bowes was the daughter of Richard Bowes (1488-November 10, 1558) and Elizabeth Aske (1505-1568). She married preacher John Knox (1505-November 24, 1571) in July 1553 and had by him two children, Nathaniel (May 1557-May 1580) and Eleazer (November 1558-May 22, 1591). With her mother, she went into exile with Knox, first on the continent and then to Scotland.
AGNES BOWKER (c.1541-1569+)
Agnes Bowker was the daughter of Henry Bowker of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, who may have been a butcher. Agnes went into service. In 1566, she saw Queen Elizabeth on the queen’s summer progress. That summer she also claimed to have been seduced by the Market Harborough schoolmaster, Hugh Brady. During 1568, according to her later account, she had sexual relations with another servant, Randal Dowley, and with the devil, who apparently appeared to her as a cat, a dog, and a bear. While pregnant, she twice attempted suicide, once by hanging and once by drowning, but neither attempt succeeded. On January 16, 1569, she gave birth . . . to a cat. This strange occurrence prompted an investigation. No satisfactory explanation has ever been given, either for such a phenomenon occurring or to explain why the good women of Market Harborough and Agnes herself would attempt such a hoax. Nothing is known of Agnes’s fate after 1569. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Bowker, Agnes."
see ELIZABETH DRAPER; ELIZABETH VAUX
ELIZABETH BOWYER (June 10, 1553-1590+)
Elizabeth Bowyer was the daughter of John Bowyer of Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset and Lincoln's Inn (d. October 10, 1570) and his second wife, Elizabeth Draper of Camberwell (d. April 27, 1605). On May 25, 1573, she married John Byne or Bynd of Wakerhurst (1537-July 22, 1600). Their children were William, John (1576-January 28, 1640), Elizabeth, Edmund, James, and Katherine. The family lived at Rowdell. Portrait: tomb effigy, St. Mary's Church, Washington, Sussex.
see ELIZABETH BACON
see CECILY STRANGEWAYS
see WINIFRED KNIGHTLEY
ALICE BRADBRIDGE (September 7, 1523-1604)
Alice Bradbridge was one of fourteen children of William Bradgbridge (d.1546) and his wife Alice. In about 1546, she married Francis Barnham (c.1515-1576). She had a marriage portion of £10. They had four sons, Martin (March 26, 1548-1610), Steven (July 21, 1549-1608), Anthony (b.1558; d.yng.) and Benedict (1559-1598). Her husband was a London draper and alderman. Alice was a silkwoman, running that business in her own right by the early 1560s. They lived in St. Clement's Lane, Eastcheap. Francis was granted a coat of arms in 1561. Francis and Alice were charged with usury in 1574, but were not prosecuted. As a widow, Alice was courted by Sir Thomas Ramsey (Lord Mayor of London in 1577) but she found his conditions for their marriage (involving her jointure properties) objectionable and refused the suit. She was buried on May 14, 1604. Biography: Lena Cowen Orlin’s Locating Privacy in Tudor London; Oxford DNB entry under "Barnham [née Bradbridge], Alice. " The History of Parliament entry for her son Benedict says she was the widow of "one Marney" when she married Barnham. Portrait: formerly called “Lady Ingram and Her Two Boys Martin and Steven” c.1557.
see JOAN LECHE
see MARY SLANEY
BRIDGET BRADSHAW (1535-July 1580)
Bridget Bradshaw was the daughter and eventual coheiress of Henry Bradshaw of Halton, Buckinghamshire (d. July 27, 1553), chief baron of the Exchequer under Henry VIII and Attorney General under Edward VI, and Joan Hurste (d. February 27, 1598/9). On May 30, 1554, she married Henry White of South Warnborough, Hampshire and London (1531/2-February 7, 1570), by whom she had three daughters. In 1571, she married Thomas Fermor (1526-August 8, 1580), whose first wife, Frances Horde, had died in July 1570. Four children are shown on their tomb, including Anne, Mary, and Richard. Bridget died less than six months after her husband. Portrait: tomb effigy at Somerton, Oxfordshire. This, however, was not done from life. Instructions given for the erection of the tomb, dated September 20, 1581, are to create "a decent and p'fect picture or portraiture of a faire gentlewoman with a Frenchehood, edge and abilliment, with all other apparell furniture jewells ornamentes and things in all respects usuall, decent, and seemly, for a gentlewoman."
see JOAN HURSTE
see ELIZABETH KENNETT
JOAN BRAHAM (d. November 18, 1519) (maiden name
Joan married John Braham of Wetheringsett, Suffolk. After his death, she became a vowess. Her daughter, Margaret Braham, was the second wife of Sir Thomas Blennerhassett of Frenze, Norfolk (1461-June 27, 1531), which explains why Joan has been immortalized in a brass there, in the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, but nothing else appears to be known about her.
see HELEN NICOLSON
ALICE BRANDON (1556-before 1608)
Alice Brandon was the daughter of Robert Brandon (d. 1591), the queen’s jeweler, and Katherine Barber and is sometimes said to be either the niece or the granddaughter of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. On July 15,1576 she married Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1618) and is the subject of one of his most appealing miniatures. Shortly after their marriage, they traveled to France in the entourage of Sir Amyas Paulet, the English ambassador. Hilliard, probably on Queen Elizabeth's orders, entered the service of François, duc d’Alençon. Although her husband may have returned at a later date, Alice was back in London by May 1578, when their first child, Daniel, was baptised. By 1579, the Hilliards lived in a house in Gutter Lane, off Cheapside in London, where Hilliard also had his studio. There they raised Elizabeth (b.1579), Francis (b.1580), Laurence (1582-1648), Lettice (b.1583), Penelope (b.1586), and Robert (b.1588). Hilliard does not seem to have been reliable in money matters. When Alice’s father died, he made no mention of his son-in-law or grandchildren in his will, instead stipulating that the allowance he left to Alice be administered by the Goldsmith’s Company. Although there was an Alice Hillyard buried at St. Margaret's Westminster on May 16, 1611, this was probably not Alice Brandon. Hilliard is known to have had a second wife and records show a Nicholas Hilliard marrying Susan Gysard at St. Mary at Hill on August 3,1608, placing Alice's death before that date. Portrait: miniature painted in 1578 in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
see ANNE BROWNE; ANNE FIENNES
ANNE BRANDON (d. by July 1540)
Anne Brandon was the daughter of Sir William Brandon (d. August 21, 1485) and Elizabeth Bruyn (d. March 7, 1493/4). Her father died at the battle of Bosworth, leaving several small children. Anne married first Sir John Shilston of Wood, Devon and Southwark (d. 1529/30), the keeper of Dartington Manor in Devon. He made his will December 11, 1529 and had died by January 23, 1530. He made his wife sole executor and left her four houses and 250 acres of land in Devon and at least ten tin mines. Other bequests went to his great niece Elizabeth (£90 and a gold chain worth £80) and Jane, his ward, who was living with "my sister Coffin." As her second husband, with a marriage license dated January 28, 1531, Anne wed Sir Gawain Carew of Exeter (c.1503-1585). Anne's brother, Charles Brandon, who moved up through the peerage to eventually be created duke of Suffolk, helped the careers of both her husbands. She had no children and died sometime before Carew married his second wife, Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, in July 1540.
ANNE BRANDON (c.1507-January 1557/8)
Anne Brandon led a controversial life. At the time she was most likely born, her father, Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (1485-August 22,1545), had abandoned her mother, Anne Browne (d. 1510), to whom he had been betrothed, in order to marry Margaret Neville, a wealthy widow. When that marriage was later declared null and void, Brandon returned to Anne Browne and married her in 1509. In 1514, Brandon secured a place for Anne, aged about seven, at the court of Margaret of Savoy. She remained there for nearly two years. While she was abroad, her father married Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister. When Anne returned to England, she lived with them at Westhorpe Hall. To ensure the legitimacy of Brandon’s children by Mary Tudor, a papal bull was secured from Pope Clement VII to confirm that the divorce from Margaret Neville was valid. This also settled the question of Anne's legitimacy. In 1531, Anne married Edward Grey, baron Grey of Powys (1503- July 12,1551). It was not a happy marriage and by 1537 Anne had left her husband for a lover, Randall Haworth (Hayward/Hanworth), and Grey had taken a mistress, Jane Orwell, daughter of Sir Lewis Orwell, by whom he had a son, Edward. In that year, her father attempted to force Lord Powys to support Anne. With Lord Cromwell’s help, he succeeded in obtaining an annuity of £100 for her, but in 1540, Powys petitioned the Privy Council to punish Anne for adultery and also claimed that she was conspiring with Haworth to murder him. No official action seems to have been taken against her, and she remained with her lover, which may be why she was left out of her father’s will. At some point between 1545 and 1551, Anne entered into a "corrupt understanding" with John Beaumont, a judge in Chancery, whereby she obtained lands with forged documents (supposedly generated by her late father) and then sold those lands to Beaumont. This defrauded her half sister Frances's husband, Henry Grey, marquis of Dorset. The scheme came to light in 1552 and Beaumont was arrested, but Anne does not seem to have been punished. By then, Lord Powys was dead. She married Haworth by January 1552/3. She wrote her will on October 29, 1551, although it was not proved until February 9, 1557/8. From 1556, she and her second husband brought suit in Chancery against her half sister Frances and Frances’s second husband, Adrian Stokes, over property in Warwickshire. She was buried on January 13, 1557/8 in St. Margaret's, Westminster.
see CATHERINE WILLOUGHBY
ELEANOR BRANDON (1519-September 27, 1547)
Eleanor Brandon was the youngest daughter of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (1485-August 22,1545) and Mary Tudor (March 18,1495-June 25,1533). She married Henry Clifford, 2nd earl of Cumberland (1517-January 2,1570) in 1537, by whom she had a daughter, Margaret (1540-September 29,1596) and two sons, Henry and Charles, who died young. The story of Eleanor Clifford’s abduction during the Pilgrimage of Grace is fiction. She was not yet married at that time. She did not live long enough to become involved in the quarrel over the succession, but she passed her dangerous inheritance of royal blood on to her daughter. She died at Brougham Castle, Westmorland and was buried at Skipton, Yorkshire. Portrait: sketch by Holbein?; a sketch and portrait by Hans Eworth c.1560, identified by some as Eleanor because of the coat of arms, is not her. The arms were added much later. It is not Eleanor's daughter Margaret, either. The sitter is probably Margaret Wentworth (see her entry).
see ELIZABETH BRUYN; ELIZABETH DYNHAM
FRANCES BRANDON (July 16, 1517-November 20,1559)
The daughter of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (1485-August 22,1545) and Mary Tudor (March 18,1495-June 25,1533), Frances Brandon was one of Henry VIII’s nieces and therefore in line for the throne. She married Henry Grey, marquess of Dorset (January 12,1517-February 23,1554), in 1533 and had a girl and a boy who died young and then three daughters, Lady Jane (1537-February 12,1554), Lady Catherine (August 1540-January 27,1568) and Lady Mary (1545-April 20,1578) (see separate entries for each) and was a prominent figure at court during the reigns of Henry VIII and his children. After the deaths of her father and half brothers, her husband was granted the Suffolk title, making Frances duchess of Suffolk and creating occasional confusion with her stepmother, Catherine Willoughby. According to Leanda De Lisle's biography of Frances's daughters, The Sisters Who Would Be Queen, Frances has been the victim of bad press over the last few centuries. She has long been said to have been an active participant in the plot to marry her oldest daughter to one of the duke of Northumberland’s sons and put the young couple on the throne in place of Mary Tudor, even beating the Lady Jane to convince her to agree. Her true role may never be known, but when Mary Tudor took the throne, Frances was not imprisoned. Even after the execution of her husband for his role in Wyatt’s Rebellion, she continued to play a ceremonial role at court and her two remaining daughters were also at court. She remarried on March 9,1554, taking as her second husband her master of horse, Adrian Stokes (March 4, 1519-November 30,1586). They are said to have had three children who died young and one genealogy site gives the details as Elizabeth Stokes (November 20, 1554-November 20, 1554), a second Elizabeth Stokes (July 16,1555-February 7, 1556) and a son who died young. Frances retired from public life after her marriage. She had suffered from poor health since at least the summer of 1552. She was at Sheen in October of 1559 when the earl of Hertford approached her for permission to marry her daughter, Catherine. Frances gave it, but she did not live to see the disastrous result. When she died, her two daughters and several close friends were with her. Her will was dated November 7, 1559 and some sources give the 21st as the date of her death. The queen paid for her funeral. Biography: Oxford DNB under "Grey [other married name Stokes], Frances." Portraits: The drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger labeled “The Lady Marchioness of Dorset” is not Frances Brandon, but rather Margaret Wotton, her mother-in-law. What was once thought to be a double portrait of Frances with her second husband by Hans Eworth, painted in 1559, is now known to be a portrait of Mary Neville, Lady Dacre and her son, Gregory Fiennes. The portrait below is in the Royal Collection and is believed by Mary S. Lovell (Bess of Hardwick) to be Frances Brandon. Leanda De Lisle states that no portrait of Frances survives and that the effigy on her tomb in Westminster Abbey is the only likeness of her.
LUCY BRANDON (1577-April 18, 1652)
Lucy Brandon was the daughter of Robert Brandon (d.1591), goldsmith and queen’s jeweler and the much younger sister (or half sister) of Alice Brandon (above). She married Sir Richard Reynell (c.1558-1634) in 1600, the same year he bought Forde House in Wolborough, Devon. They had one daughter, Jane. Forde House was visited by King Charles I in 1625. Biography: Life and Death of the Religious and Virtuous Lady by Edward Reynell (1654). Portrait: by the circle of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger; marble effigy in Wolborough Church.
see MARGARET NEVILLE
MARY BRANDON (c.1466-1535)
Mary Brandon was the daughter of Sir William Brandon (d.1491) and Elizabeth Wingfield (d.1497). She married John Redyng who, according to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk by S. J. Gunn, was treasurer of the household to Prince Henry while his wife served as a "gentlewoman to the prince" in the early 1500s. When Mary was granted an annuity of £50, on July 16, 1515, however, it was for her service to Elizabeth of York and to Mary Tudor, Queen of France. In 1509, at the time of the funeral of Henry VII, Mrs. Redyng was listed among those who received manteletts and kercheffes and at that time appears to be in the household of the Princess of Castile (Mary). However, she is also listed in the King's Book of Payments in September 1509 with a half year's wages (due at Michaelmas) of £10 and again in November 1515, for a year’s wages (£20) as "gentlewoman with the queen." John Redyng had died by 1529 when Mary again appears in the public records, this time in connection with a lawsuit filed against the estate of the late Sir Thomas Brandon. The papers relating to the case date from 1529-32. Mary was suing for monies owed her late husband, John Redyng. No specific dates are given, but apparently the Redyngs boarded Brandon's wife, Lady Berkeley, together with sixteen servants and family, for thirty-two weeks, for which they were supposed to be paid 40s/week. Since Lady Berkeley (Anne Fiennes) had died in 1497, this was a very old debt. The Redyngs also boarded Brandon's ward, Lord Say, and his servant, for three years, and were owed 5s./ week for that. In addition, Mary wished to be paid for the cost of rebuilding the chapel at Redyng's house "for the said Lady Barkeley [sic] to sit or be at her divine service and mass." The cost for timber, glassing and workmanship came to £6 13s. 4d. It is not clear if Mrs. Redyng ever received her money. Her will, dated November 19,1531 and proved February27, 1534/5, indicates that she had no surviving children. She left bequests to a great niece, Margaret Brograve. Margaret's father, Robert Brograve, was Mary's executor.
MARY BRANDON (1510-1541+)
Mary Brandon was the younger daughter of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (1485-August 22,1545) by Anne Browne (d. 1510). She married Thomas Stanley, 2nd baron Mounteagle (May 25,1507-August 15,1560), possibly in 1524, when her father made a gift of jewelry to them both. It included an egg of diamonds with ninety great pearls, a lace of twenty-three rubies, a partlet with seventeen diamonds and two rubies, another partlet of nineteen score pearls, and a chain that was at that time in the keeping of the countess of Worcester. The total value of the gift was reckoned at £523. Douglas Richardson, in Magna Carta Ancestry, suggests a later date, between June 2, 1527 and 1529. With Mounteagle, Mary was the mother of William, 3rd baron (1527-November 10,1581), Elizabeth, Margaret, Anne, and George. Richardson lists the sons as William, Francis, and Charles. In the 1530s, Mary was almost constantly at court. In 1538, Mounteagle complained of misbehavior on his wife’s part to Thomas Cromwell but nothing seems to have come of the allegations. Mary was a favorite lady in waiting to Jane Seymour. She died before 1544.Portraits: the drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger labeled “The Lady Montegle.”
ANNE BRAY (c.1500-November 1, 1558)
Anne Bray was the daughter of Edmund Bray, 1st baron Bray (1484-October 18, 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480-October 24, 1558). Around 1517, well before her father was created a baron in 1529, she married George Brooke (1497-September 29, 1558), who would become 9th baron Cobham in 1529. Their fourteen children included Dorothy (1518-), Elizabeth (June 12, 1526-April 2, 1565), William, 10th Baron Cobham (November 1, 1527-March 6, 1597), Henry (b.1529), Anne (March 1531-1532), George (January 27, 1533-c.1570), Thomas (1533-1578), John (1535-1594), Edward (b.1536), Henry (February 5, 1537/8-January 13, 1592), Edmund (b.1540), Mary (1542-by March 31, 1551), Catherine (1544-1617), another Thomas, and Edward (c.1550-1587). Barbara Harris in her work on aristocratic women names Anne, Lady Cobham as one of Anne Boleyn's first accusers but M. St. Clare Byrne argues that Lady Lisle's man in London, John Husee, would not have referred to a noblewoman as "Nan Cobham" and therefore he must have meant some other person, probably someone lower on the social ladder. Lady Cobham was in Anne Boleyn's coronation procession and was one of Queen Jane Seymour's ladies. According to David McKeen's A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, Lady Cobham was at Cobham Hall in July 1545 but shortly afterward joined her husband in Calais. They lived in the Lord Deputy's residence there for the next five years. In 1554, when her husband and sons were imprisoned in the Tower of London after Wyatt's rebellion, Lady Cobham was given permission to visit them there. Lady Cobham's will indicates that she owned a pair of forks for eating fruit and sweetmeats (a rarity in 1558). she left money to her son George's wife (Christina Duke) to pay for nursing their baby, born at Cobham on June 15, 1558, and left the baby, Elizabeth, a pomander enclosed in gold and a little maudlin cup of silver gilt. She left nothing to her other daughter-in-law, Dorothy Neville, wife of her son William. Portraits: there is an effigy on her tomb in St. Mary Magdalen Church, Cobham, dated 1561. The Latin inscription put there by her oldest son, William, translates, in part, as follows: "Here Anna lies, a lady chaste and fair, Blest with her children's love and husband's care. . . .'Twas in the last sad year of Mary's reign That first the husband, then the wife, was ta'en."
see ANNE TALBOT
see CATHERINE CHETWODE
DOROTHY BRAY (c.1524-October 31, 1605)
Dorothy Bray was either the youngest daughter or the fifth of six daughters of Edmund, 1st baron Bray (1484-October 18,1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480-October 24,1558). She was at court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves in 1540 and then served Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr. She embarked upon a brief, passionate love affair with William Parr, brother of the future queen c.1541, but it was well over by 1543, when his interest had shifted to Dorothy’s niece, her sister Anne’s daughter Elizabeth Brooke. Dorothy married Edmund Brydges, 2nd baron Chandos (d. September 11, 1573) and their children were Eleanor (b.c.1546), Giles (1547-1594), Mary, Katherine (1554-1596), and William (d. 1602). Dorothy was at court as Lady Brydges during Mary Tudor's reign. In 1574, Elizabeth Tudor visited Lady Chandos at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire. In 1588 she was living in Essex House in London and had 220 books in her bedchamber there. Dorothy’s second husband was a younger man, Sir William Knollys (1545-1632). Alison Weir's genealogy in Mary Boleyn says they had issue. She gives Dorothy's date of birth as 1530, which is too late, given her presence at court in 1541. Dorothy was known among courtiers as “old lady Chandos” and at the time her husband fell in love with one of the queen's maids of honor, Mary Fitton, Dorothy was living with him in a house adjoining the royal tilt yard (according to Violet Wilson's Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber). Dorothy's daughters, Eleanor and Katherine, and her granddaughters, Frances and Elizabeth Brydges, were also maids of honor. Portraits: The “Duchess of Chandos” attributed to John Bettes the Younger, 1577, in the Paul Mellon Collection is now thought to be Frances Clinton; effigy with her second husband in the church at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire.
ELIZABETH BRAY (c.1513-1573)
Elizabeth Bray was the daughter of Edmund, 1st baron Bray (1484-October 18, 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480-October 24, 1558). She was married four times, first to Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley in Tring, Hertfordshire (c.1509-1546). They had twelve children, including Edward (1528-December 13, 1558), Edmund (d.1599/1600), John, Urian (d.1608), Jane, Francis (1534-1559/60), Richard, Ralph, and Anne. Her second husband was Richard Catesby of Ashby St. Ledgers, Northamptonshire and Lapworth, Warwickshire (d. March 8, 1553), by whom she had a daughter, Anne. She was his third wife, married in 1548. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William Astell of Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The History of Parliament entry for Catesby misidentifies Elizabeth Astell as the widow of Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley in Tring, Hertfordshire (d.1525), father of Elizabeth Bray's husband. The widow of the elder Ralph Verney was Elizabeth Broughton (see her entry). Elizabeth Bray's third husband was William Clarke or Clarck of Dunton, Berkshire (1513-1572). She married him in 1554. In 1573, less than a year before her death. she married Henry Phillips. Portrait: memorial brass with her first husband and their children, St. John the Baptist, Aldbury, Hertfordshire.
see ELIZABETH LOVELL
FRANCES BRAY (d. May 27, 1592)
Frances Bray was the daughter of Edmund, 1st baron Bray (1484-October 18, 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1486-October 24, 1558). She married Thomas Lyfield (d. January 26, 1596), by whom she had one child, Jane (1549-January 23, 1611). Frances was one of the coheirs of her brother John, 2nd baron Bray (d.1557) but was not confirmed in her inheritance until 1561. At that time she received Stoke d'Abernon, which became the family seat, Claygate, Chadsworth, Hedley, Mickelham, and other properties in Surrey and lands in Bedfordshire.
see JANE BROWNE; JANE HALLIGHWELL
see KATHERINE HUSSEY
MARGERY BRAY (d. March 1539)
Margery Bray was the daughter of Sir John Bray, older half brother of Sir Reginald Bray. Her mother’s name is not known. In around 1494, she married William Sandys (c.1470-December 4, 1540), later created Lord Sandys of the Vyne. Their children were Thomas (October 26, 1496-1560), John, Reginald, Mary, Elizabeth, Alice, and Margaret. In 1510, the estate of Sir Reginald Bray was divided between Margery and the eldest son of his full brother, also named John Bray. This amounted to a considerable fortune and included Chelsea Manor in Middlesex, which Sir William, in 1536, traded with the king for the dissolved Augustinian priory of Mottisfont, Hampshire. Sir William and Lady Sandys entertained King Henry VIII at The Vyne on at least two occasions, in July 1510 and again from October 15-19, 1535. In between, the old manor house was replaced by a mansion. According to Maurice Howard in The Vyne: A Tudor House Revealed, Margery was the sometime guest of William More, prior of Worcester, who sent her a gift of sweet wine in 1523. She went him an amber rosary in 1530. In October 1535, More was under house arrest in Gloucester at the same time the king and queen were staying at The Vyne. A few days later, Margery wrote to Lord Cromwell on More’s behalf, promising Cromwell that More would pay him as much as those who wanted to replace him as prior.
see MARY COTTON
ELLEN or HELEN BRAYNE
Ellen Brayne was the daughter of Thomas Brayne (d.1562) and Alice Barlow (d.1566). Her father was a tailor and also a member of the Girdler’s Company. On April 23, 1559, at St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, Ellen married James Burbage (c.1535-December 1596). Shortly before their marriage, he had left a career as a joiner to become a player. In 1567, Ellen’s brother John (c.1541-July 1586), a grocer, constructed the first purpose-built professional playhouse in England since Roman times, the Red Lion, east of London’s Aldgate. Little is known of this venture, but certainly it indicates a family interest in plays and players. By 1572, James Burbage was the leader of Leicester’s Men. On April 13, 1576, he obtained a twenty-one year lease on a property in the Northern Liberty of Shoreditch, paying a £20 deposit and £14 per annum, and there built the Theatre, with Ellen’s brother as his partner in the venture. The lease ran until March 25, 1597 with a provision for up to ten more years if they spent £200 on the old buildings on the property in the first ten years. John Brayne had married in 1565 and had four children (Robert, Roger, Rebecca, and John), but they had all died by 1576. The agreement was verbal, with Burbage promising to add Brayne’s name to the lease and Brayne indicating that the Burbage children would be his heirs. When expenses skyrocketed, Burbage had to borrow money and mortgage the lease. The entire Burbage family and Brayne and his wife all had to help in the construction of the building. Brayne even sold his house and business in Bucklersbury and moved to Shoreditch. In January 1580, with Burbage’s help. Brayne acquired a twenty-four year lease on The George inn in Whitechapel. He did not run it as an inn, but rather moved into the building with his wife. Again without a written contract, Brayne took an old friend, Robert Miles or Myles, a goldsmith, as a partner and Miles also moved into The George. Meanwhile, in 1583, Leicester’s Men disbanded and Burbage joined Lord Hunsdon’s company, better known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. All this while, Ellen's family had been growing. The Burbage children were Cuthbert (June 1565-1636), Richard (July 1568-March 13,1619), Ellen (June 1574-December 1596), Alice (b. March 1576), Anne (b.1577), and Joan (d.1582). Ellen’s brother, however, appears to have been a quarrelsome sort. He fell out with James Burbage and also with Robert Miles. After a particularly violent quarrel with Miles, John Brayne suddenly died. His widow, Margaret (née Stowers) (d. April 1593), who had worked temporarily as a gatherer (collecting money from spectators) at the Theatre in the mid 1580s, accused Miles of murdering her husband. Since Brayne had died bankrupt, Margaret also sued Miles for a share of The George. And she gave birth to another child, Katherine Brayne (1586-July 1593). Not long after Miles evicted Margaret from The George, however, she moved back in. In 1588 they joined forces to sue James Burbage for half the Theatre or the £600 Brayne had been owed. The Burbages countersued, claiming Miles was an adulterer and a “murdering knave” and Margaret a “murdering ho.” On June 7, 1589, the Theatre was reclaimed from creditors by means of assigning the lease to James’s oldest son, Cuthbert. Margaret Brayne was supposed to have a share in the settlement, but this promise was not honored. On November 16, 1590, still in the midst of lawsuits over ownership of the theatre, Margaret attempted to install her own gatherer on the premises. James and Cuthbert were charged with contempt of court for trying to block her efforts and according to later testimony from Margaret Brayne’s supporters, Ellen Burbage and her second son, Richard, physically attacked Margaret Brayne and her “agent,” Robert Miles. With Richard Burbage, already well known as an actor, wielding a broomstick, the Burbages drove Margaret and her men out of the theatre yard. Ellen, obviously, played an active role in her husband’s enterprises. Although Margaret Brayne died of the plague in 1593, she made Miles her heir and he continued the lawsuit until 1595 and began another in 1597 that was later dropped. In 1596, meanwhile, the Burbage family moved from Shoreditch to Blackfriars, hoping to build an indoor theater there. They knew by then that their lease on the land on which the Theatre was built would not be renewed. They spent £1000 for the Blackfriars property and renovations on an existing theater there (formerly used by children’s companies) and lived in the building during construction, but in November the neighbors got up a petition to prevent them from opening. This blow was quickly followed by two more. Their daughter Ellen died in early December and James Burbage himself died later the same month. His wealth was valued at only £37, but he had already deeded his personal property to Cuthbert and the Blackfriars property to Richard. As a temporary measure the Burbages rented the Curtain in Shoreditch for performances. Then, rather than let James Burbage’s Theatre be taken over and run by outsiders, Ellen and her sons brought a dozen workmen to the site on the night of December 28, 1598, dismantled the structure, and ferried the parts across the Thames to be reassembled in Southwark and open in the autumn of 1599 as the Globe. Ellen lived for another fourteen years, long enough to savor the successes of her two famous sons.
see SYBIL FOWLER
see DOROTHY STOURTON
see DOROTHY EGERTON
see ELEANOR DUTTON
see ELIZABETH SOMERSET
WERBURGA or WARBURGA
Werburga or Warburga Brereton was the daughter of John Brereton of Brereton and Malpas, Cheshire and Katherine Berkeley (c.1453-January 25, 1494). In 1507, she married Sir Francis Cheyney of Shurland, whose lifedates are sometimes given as 1480-1515, but he must have been dead before May 10, 1512 because on that date she and her second husband, Sir William Compton (1482-June 30, 1528) received the grant of the manors of Denford in Kintbury, Berkshire and Elcome and Ufcote, Wiltshire. Sir Francis Cheyne/Cheyney/Cheny appears in the early records of the reign of Henry VIII as a knight of the body. In December 1511, he is listed as the leader of a company of soldiers. Compton used his wife's fortune to rebuild Compton Wynyates. As Lady Compton, she was at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520. Various records indicate three children by Compton, but there is some confusion over names and gender. A daughter named Margaret died in infancy on June 15, 1517, but it is a daughter named Catherine who is said to have died before her proposed marriage to John St. Leger, with a dowry of £2,346, could take place. There was a son, Peter (c.1522-January 30, 1544). Werburga was still living, and pregnant with him, when Compton made his will in 1522. He never made a later one, even though he is known to have remarried before his death in the epidemic of sweating sickness of 1528. Werburga probably died before 1527, when Court of Arches records indicate that Compton was required to take the sacrament to prove he had not committed adultery with Anne Stafford, Lady Hastings, during the lifetime of his wife. Evidence of a second son rests on the stained glass window at Compton Wynyates, which shows Sir William and Werburga at prayer with two sons kneeling behind him and one daughter kneeling behind her. The original, however, was destroyed during the Civil War, and this is a replica. Portrait: effigy at Compton Wynyates. This was also destroyed during the Civil War. Afterward it was fished out of the moat. The head, shoulders, and praying hands are missing. Sir William's effigy is missing his hands and lower legs.
see ELIZABETH BACON; ELIZABETH BROUGTON
REBECCA BRETT (d. 1609) (maiden name unknown)
The Rebecca Brett buried in St. Martin-in-the-Fields on September 9, 1609 may have been the mother of poet and playwright Ben Jonson (1572-1637). Her first husband, whose surname was Jonson or Johnson, lost "all his estate under Queen Mary," was imprisoned, and on his release "turned minister." He died a month before the birth of his son. Her second husband was a bricklayer, Robert Brett (d. August 29, 1609). The family, which grew to include John (1582-1618) and Robert (1584-1618), lived in Hartshorn (or Christopher) Lane near Charing Cross in Westminster. Her son may have been apprenticed to Brett, and did assist with some building work at Lincoln's Inn in 1588, but he did not become a bricklayer. In his conversations with William Drummond in 1618, Ben Jonson claimed that in1605, when he was in prison and his mother feared he might be executed, she prepared a poisoned draught for him and planned to drink of it first herself.
see KATHERINE BRUEN
see ANNE WELLES
MARGARET BREWES (d.1495+)
Margaret Brewes was the daughter of Thomas Brewes (Brewse/Brews) of Little Wenham, Suffolk (d. June 17, 1481) and Elizabeth Debenham (d.1503). After July 10, 1479, she married Sir Philip Tylney (Tilney) of Shelley, Suffolk (d. January 8, 1532/3), as his first wife. Their children were Thomas and Philip (d.1541). Tylney was a cousin Elizabeth Tylney, countess of Surrey, and the brother of Surrey's second wife, Agnes Tylney. According to Alison Weir's biography of Mary Boleyn, Margaret was one of the ladies attending the countess at Sheriff Hutton in 1495 when John Skelton wrote his poem, "A Goodly Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell." in their honor.
see JANE SCROPE
ALICE BRICE (d.c.1499) (maiden name unknown)
Alice was married three times, first to Roger Steynour (d. by 1445), then to John Crichefeld (d.1454), a skinner, by whom she had two children, John (d.1487), a goldsmith, and Alice (1446-1499+), a nun at Halliwell from 1462, and third to Henry Brice (d.1467), London sheriff, by whom she had Joan and Henry. He left her £1000 in his will. After his death she lived as a vowess for over thirty years. This did not stop her, however, from bringing suit in chancery between 1475 and 1485 over the £21 owed her for the purchase of some broadcloth. In his will, her son John left her most of his estate and made her his executor. She wrote her own will in 1499, leaving Halliwell nunnery a silver and parcel gilt basin valued at £5. Her daughter Alice was given the use of the basin and an outright gift of some plate belonging to her mother that was already in her keeping . . . so long as she remained in the nunnery. If she left, the plate would go to Alice Crichefeld’s half sister Joan, who was by then married to wealthy grocer Henry Kebell (1452-April 1517). Joan was also to inherit lands and tenements in the parish of St. Nicholas Acon, for which she was to pay her sister a yearly rent of 53s. 4d. while Alice remained at the nunnery. Should she leave, her income would be cut in half.
see also BRYDGES
see MARGARET BROGRAVE
MRS. BRIDGES (d.1598+) (given and maiden names unknown)
According to the entry for Charles Lister of New Lodge, Windsor, Berkshire (1534-November 26, 1613) in the History of Parliament, when Lister was over sixty years old he entered into a contract of marriage with a Mrs. Bridges, a widow who lived in Lambeth Marsh. Upon signing the marriage contract, he gave her £190 and then sent her a purse containing another £50 in gold. Other gifts were three more payments of money, totaling another £40, a pearl chain, and a diamond already belonging to her that he redeemed. It had a value of £60. Additional loans and redemptions followed, and more gifts—a silver basin and ewer, a jewel worth £120, taffeta, lawn, linen, and a set of tapestries for her chamber. The entry summarizes, from the affidavit Lister swore to on December 11, 1598, that he "further contributed another 2,000 marks for the redemption of more diamonds. In sum he parted with £1,150 and another £1,000 pledged, all upon her faithful promise of marriage." The affidavit further states that if Mrs. Bridges denies his allegations, "all these things shall be recovered of her and be disposed of according to my will." Documentation after 1598 is lacking, but it does not appear that Mrs. Bridges married him. His will, dated October 23, 1613, does not mention a wife or family.
MARY OR MARIA
see MARY OR MARIA WHITE
see ALICE SQUIRE
ALICE BRIGANDINE (x. March 14,1551)
Alice Brigandine was the daughter of John Brigandine or Bryganten of Southampton and Alice Squire or Squyer (d.1560). She was brought up by her stepfather, Edward, baron North, at Kirtling and there met and married Thomas Arden or Ardern of Faversham, Kent (c.1508-February 14,1551). Arden had a daughter, Margaret (b.1538), but she seems to have been the child of a previous wife. Well before the end of 1550, Alice had a lover named Thomas Mosby. Probably because she wanted to marry him, she plotted to murder her husband. She tried and failed to kill him with poison, then asked a neighbor, John Grene, to hire an assassin who would do the deed for £10. Grene hired one “Black Will,” but Will’s first attempt also failed. More conspirators, George Shakebag and Arden’s servant, Michael Saunderson, were brought into the plot, the latter with the promise of marriage to one of Mosby’s kinswomen. More attempts were made and failed. Mosby even challenged Arden to a duel, but Arden refused to fight. Alice, Mosby, Grene, Saunderson, Shakebag, Will, and Alice’s maid, Elizabeth Stafford, met at the house of Mosby’s sister, Cecily Ponder or Pounder, to devise a new plan and finally, on Sunday, February 14, 1551, they killed Arden in his own parlor. With company due to arrive for supper, Alice quickly cleaned up the blood and temporarily hid the body in the cellar. Over supper, she and Cecily Ponder professed amazement that Arden had not yet returned home. Arden’s daughter entertained the company by playing on the virginals. Then, after the guests left, with the help of Arden’s daughter, Elizabeth Stafford, and Cecily Ponder, Alice dragged the corpse out of the house and put it in her neighbor’s field, hoping that the authorities would conclude that Arden had been murdered by robbers. Unfortunately, it had started to snow, and footprints led the authorities straight back to Alice. She was tried, convicted, and burnt to death in Canterbury. Mosby and his sister were hanged. Michael Saunderson was hanged in chains. The maid was burnt for killing her master. Grene and Mosby were not captured at once, but were eventually taken and executed. The custody of Arden’s daughter, Margaret, was given to Sir Thomas Cheyne. Raphael Holinshed included an account of the crime in his Chronicles in 1577 and in 1592 it was the basis for a play, The Tragedie of Arden of Feversham and Blackwill. More recent accounts are Patricia Hyde's Thomas Arden in Faversham: the man behind the myth and Chapter Four of John Bellamy’s Strange, Inhuman Deaths: Murder in Tudor England; a concise account of the crime is in the Oxford DNB entry under "Arden, Thomas."
see MARGARET WARNER
MARGERY BRINKLOW (d.1557) (maiden name unknown)
Margery was the wife of a mercer, a merchant adventurer, a wealthy merchant, and a knight who was governor of Guernsey. Her first husband was Henry Brinklow of Kintbury, Berkshire (d.c. January 20, 1545/6), who wrote radical Protestant pamphlets under the pseudonym Roderyck Mors and claimed he’d formerly been a grey friar. Whether this was true or not is unclear. He and Margery had one child, John (by 1543-1546+). Brinklow made Margery his executor and residual legatee when he made his will on June 20, 1545. In it he calls himself citizen and mercer of London and specifies that Margery must not wear any "worldly, fantastical, dissembling black gown" in mourning for him. He mentions his son John by name and makes provision should Margery again be with child at the time of his death. Because he also made bequests of £10 each, upon their marriage, to three young women not related to him—Rose Hasarde, Joyce Copleston, and Alice Chaperleyn—Anne F. Sutton, in The Mercery of London, suggests that Margery was a silkwoman and these three were her apprentices. Sutton further speculates that Margery was the "Mistress Margery" owed £68 for "fronts with laid work" at the time Queen Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536. Although Brinklow was wealthy enough to leave additional bequests to his siblings and £30 to the poor, the Oxford DNB entry for Margery's second husband, Stephen Vaughan (d. December 25, 1549), calls her an "impoverished widow." The DNB also gives an account of Vaughan’s search a wife in 1544-46. He was a royal financial agent in the Netherlands when his first wife died. His three young children in London needed a mother, but Vaughan could not return to England long enough to find a wife on his own. He asked for help from friends and in one letter described what he was looking for—a "trusty and womanly matron." He began his long-distance courtship of Margery almost as soon as she was widowed. Because the king would not allow him to return home, they met in Calais for the ceremony and were married, by a license dated April 27, 1546, in the private chapel of the Deputy of Calais, George Brooke, Lord Cobham. Then Vaughan returned to his duties in the Netherlands until the end of the year and Margery went back to London to prove her first husband's will (on November 24, 1546) and take charge of raising her stepchildren in the Protestant faith (see ANNE VAUGHAN). There is no further mention in records of Margery's son, John Brinklow, or of her career as a silkwoman. It was Vaughan's first wife (see MARGERY GWYNNETH) who was royal silkwoman to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr. When Vaughan died after only three years of marriage, he left his widow rents worth £26 6s 8d and their house at St. Mary Spital for nine years. They had no children together. It was not long before Margery married again, this time to George Rolle of Stevenstone, Devon and London (d. November 22, 1552), a wealthy merchant. One source gives them three daughters, Jacquet (d.1609), Elizabeth, and Mary. The History of Parliament gives all of Rolle's six sons and five daughters to his second wife. Margery was named executor of his will, made on November 11, 1552. She obtained a limited probate of his will on February 9, 1553 and a probate caetorum on a separate, slightly different version of the will in June 1553. In 1554, Margery married for the fourth time, becoming the third of four wives of Sir Leonard Chamberlayne or Chamberlain of Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire (d. August 20, 1561), who had been appointed Governor of Guernsey in September 1553. According to the Oxford DNB entry on Sir Leonard, the early days of this marriage were occupied with lawsuits against the executors of Stephen Vaughan's will. In April 1555, Chamberlain finally took up his duties on Guernsey. Although Margery was a staunch supporter of the New Religion during her first two marriages, she apparently had no difficulty accepting that Sir Leonard advocated the return of Catholicism to England. Margery died in 1557 and was buried on the 5th of May in that year.
see MARGARET HURLESTON
ELEANOR BRITTON (d. 1595+)
Eleanor Britton was a servant of in the household of George Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury. She came there from Norfolk in 1579 and by 1586 was housekeeper at Hardwick Hall and Shrewsbury’s mistress. Some accounts say she was a widow, which would mean her maiden name is unknown. Shrewsbury was at odds with his wife, Bess of Hardwick, who lived seven miles away at Wingfield. They reconciled for a brief time early in 1587, but a few months later the earl was living openly with Eleanor at Hanworth or Handsworth Manor. Eleanor is said to have the earl completely enthralled. She was with him when he died at Sheffield on November 18, 1590 and she and her nephew, Thomas, left immediately afterward, taking with them everything they could find of value. When Shrewsbury’s son and heir arrived, he discovered thousands of pounds worth of property missing. Gilbert raided Eleanor Britton’s house and confiscated everything he could get his hands on. Then he sued, accusing her of embezzlement during the last year of his father’s life. Eleanor countersued, demanding the return of the confiscated goods. The matter was still ongoing five years later.
DOROTHY BROADBELT (1548-1589+)
Dorothy Broadbelt was one of two names Elizabeth Tudor herself suggested to replace Elizabeth Sandes when Mistress Sandes was removed from her service at Woodstock in June, 1554. Dorothy had probably been in the princess’s service before that date. A “Jane Bradbelt” is listed as a chamberer in the princess’s household in 1536. Just as Bradbelt is probably a mistake for Broadbelt, so Jane may be a mistake for Dorothy. In his biography of Elizabeth Tudor, David Starkey refers to one of Elizabeth’s ladies in 1554 as “the long-serving Dorothy Bradbelt.” Dorothy is listed among the queen's ladies in 1562-68, 1570, 1575, and 1585-89 and, according to Charlotte Merton in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Dorothy was a chamberer for her entire career; but she also refers to Elizabeth (sic) Bradbelt Abington as the queen's dresser in 1575. In the early 1560s, she was responsible for the care of the queen's parrot. In August and September 1562 she was briefly confined to her chamber or, alternatively, placed in the custody of Sir William Cecil, for writing to the Swedish Chancellor, Nicolas Guildenstern, in support of a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and King Eric. In spite of that, she was one of the earl of Leicester's chief contacts at court from 1566-1588. She married John Abingdon (Abington/Habingdon) in 1567. He was a clerk of the kitchen. They had children. On June 29,1560, Dorothy was granted a forty-one year lease on certain properties. She surrendered it in 1570 in exchange for another forty-one year lease, this one on land in Northamptonshire and the rectory of Utterby, Lincolnshire.
ALICE BROCK (May 9, 1560-c.1615)
Alice Brock was the daughter of Sigismund Brock of Essex and Anne Jerningham (1540-c.1598). She married Thomas Blague (d.1611), later Dean of Rochester, when she was fifteen. They had six children—John, Thomas, Cornwallis, Edmund, Nicholas, and Frances (1586-1604). Alice was a client of Simon Forman the astrologer and as such details of her person and her love affairs have been preserved. He wrote of her that she “was of long visage, wide mouth, reddish hair, of good and comely stature; but would never garter her hose, and go much slipshod . . . She kept company with base fellows . . . and yet would seem as holy as a horse.” In 1600, she was hoping to become the mistress of Henry, 5th Lord Windsor. After Blague’s death, Alice married Walter Meysey, who was thereafter arrested for Blague’s debts and separated from his wife to avoid being held responsible for them. Biography: A. L. Rowse, Sex and Society in Shakespeare’s Age, Chapter VII.
see JOAN COLTE
see ANNE GIRLINGTON
MARGARET BROGRAVE (d.1546+)
Margaret Brograve was the daughter of Robert Brograve of Beckenaham, Kent (d. 1546) and Catherine Leventhorpe (d.1546+). She is mentioned, as Margaret Brograve, in the will of Mary Brandon Reading (her maternal grandmother's sister), dated November 19, 1531 and proved February 27, 1534/5 and also in the will of Margaret Leventhorpe Yaxley, her aunt, written on October 24, 1540 and proved December 4, 1540. In the latter will the bequest to Margaret included her choice of a satin or a damask gown, as well as sheets, blankets, and tablecloths. At some point after that and before her father made his will on August 26, 1546, Margaret married Robert Bridges. This has caused some confusion, since a Margaret Brigges is a beneficiary in the will of Robert Yaxley, Margaret Yaxley's husband, but since Margaret Yaxey's will includes bequests to both Margaret Brograve and Margaret Briggs, I feel safe in identifying Margaret Brigges as Margaret Vernando, wife of John Bridges.
see also BROOKE
see ANNE WARING
see DOROTHY GATACRE
ELIZABETH BROKE (d. May 12, 1502)
Elizabeth Broke was elected abbess of Romsey Abbey in 1471. She alleged that she came from a noble race of barons, but whether this was the family of Brooke of Cobham or Willoughby de Broke is unclear. She was in trouble with her superiors as early as 1478. It was probably at that time that she was absolved of adultery with one John Placy. She resigned as abbess, but was immediately reelected. In 1492, she confessed to being in debt for £80 to her steward at Romsey, Master Terbock or Terbocke. He persuaded her to let his friend, John White, enter the nunnery freely. According the depositions given by some of Romsey's forty nuns, White had continual access to the abbess. Their complaints were recorded, as were Elizabeth's about them. She said she suspected that they were slipping into town and that she feared they were frequenting taverns. In 1501, she was again accused of being under the influence of a man, this time the chaplain of the infirmary, Master Bryce. One of the complaints against her this time was that she'd allowed the roofs at Romsey to become defective in order to squander funds on Bryce.
THOMAS BROKE'S WIFE (d.1540+)
Neither the given name nor the maiden name of this woman has been preserved by history. She is first mentioned in a letter to Lady Lisle in Calais from Thomas Broke (c.1513-1555+). On December 18, 1534, he writes from London: "My bedfellow hath been iij times at Mr. Judd's, and cannot chance to find him within." Why she was seeking Mr. Judd becomes clear in a letter to Lady Lisle from her man of business in London, John Husee, on December 29, 1534. Husee writes: "I spake with your gossip Broke's wife, who shewed me that she could buy you no riband at Mr. Judd's at the price your ladyship would have it at. So she took me viiij, and I bought the same half lb. of riband which is xiiij pieces, and a remnant of white." A letter from Broke to Lord Lisle on December 30, 1534 then refers to Lisle's "great goodnesses many ways shewed unto me and to my poor wife." Entries for Thomas Broke in the Oxford DNB and the History of Parliament are a bit contradictory, but he appears to have been a gentleman usher of the king's chamber in the early 1530s and then obtained a position and lands in Calais, where he was chief clerk of the exchequer and a customs officer. By 1539, the couple had at least two children, Arthur (probably) and Thomas, and Broke was an alderman. The DNB says Thomas Cromwell was Broke's patron and that Broke was a advocate of the New Religion. When he was elected to the House of Commons in April 1539, he made the mistake of speaking out against the Six Articles Bill and then remained in London in June to support imprisoned members of the Calais garrison who had been accused of the sacramentarian heresy (denying the presence of Christ in the eucharist). He ended up in the Fleet himself. Through Cromwell's good graces, he received a royal pardon on August 4 and returned to Calais, but in March 1540, he was reported for eating meat in Lent and was also accused of fraud during his term as deputy customer of the Lantern Gate. By one account, he was being held in Calais in the mayor's gaol when a letter from his wife to Cromwell resulted in his being transferred to the Fleet in London in July 1540. The DNB says he and twelve others were committed to the Tower of London as a result of the findings of commissioners empowered to investigate heresy in Calais. Also in 1540, probably at the time her husband was arrested, "the wife of Thomas Broke" was "handled roughly" by Sir Edward Ryngeley, who in 1539 had become comptroller of Calais and was much reviled for his treatment of the sacramentaries living there. Mrs. Broke reportedly told Ryngeley that "the King's slaughterhouse found wrong when you were made a gentleman." After 1540, there is no further mention of her. Her husband remained a prisoner for "some years." By September 1543 he was free and had been appointed paymaster of the king’s works at Dover harbor. He appears to have divided his time between Kent and Calais and also to have visited various protestant communities in Europe. He was in Italy in 1549 with his two sons. He wrote and translated several religious works. In 1552, he was once again a prisoner in the Fleet, probably for religious reasons. After 1555, he joins his wife in disappearing from history.
ALICE BROME (d.1591)
Alice Brome was the daughter of Sir John Brome of Holton, Oxfordshire (d.1558) and Margaret Rowse. She married Arthur Babham of Babham End, Cookham, Berkshire (c.1520-April 6, 1561). Their children were John, Elizabeth, Colubree, Ursula, Eleanor, and Christopher (c.1560-1612+). When her husband died, she commissioned a monument that contained an inscription listing his children and stating that she "hathe erecte this work in costly stone For her swete Arthur Babham's sake though he be dead and gone Farewell Renowned true Esquire My husband and my Frende I hope in Heaven to meet with you when all things here have ende." Her second husband was Edmund More of Cookham, Berkshire. Portrait: effigy in Holy Trinity Church, Cookham, Berkshire (shown with three of her daughters).
CONSTANCE BROME (d. July 15, 1520)
Although the surname of Constance or Constancia Brome is usually given as Browne, her family used the spelling Brome. She was the daughter of William Brome of Holton, Oxfordshire (d.1461) and Agnes Baldington (c.1428-1474). She became a Bridgettine nun at Syon in Isleworth and was prioress from 1518 until her death in 1520.
JOCOSA or JOYCE BROME (d. June 21, 1528)
Jocosa Brome was the daughter of John Brome of Baddesley Clinton (1415-November 9, 1466; alternate date November 5, 1468) and Beatrice Shirley (1417-July 10, 1483). She became a nun and was prioress of Wroxall when she retired, due to old age, in September 1525. In retirement, she had her own chamber, furnished with her own possessions, and a pension of £3 a year for life, paid in quarterly installments. She was succeeded as prioress by Alice Little (d.1553+).
MAGDALEN BROME (d. c.1596)
Magdalen Brome was the daughter of Sir John Brome of Holton, Oxfordshire (1482-1558) and Margaret Rowse (1496-1525). By 1539, she married John Denton (d. July 10, 1576). They had six sons and four daughters, including John (d. before 1576), Edward, and William. In 1564, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire was granted to Denton and his wife, giving her ownership in survivorship. In her will, Magdalen left £20 for a tomb or monument of marble to be erected in Ambrosden Church.
ALICE BROMFIELD (d. March 27,1610)
Alice Bromfield was the daughter of Thomas Bromfield of London. She married first Henry Leake (d.1563), a wealthy Southwark brewer, then William Cockes (d.1569), a London haberdasher, and finally Sir John Spencer (d. March 3, 1610), a wealthy merchant and Master of the Clothworkers’ Company, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1594-5. They lived at Crosby Place in Bishopsgate, London and Canonbury in Islington, where the queen was a guest in 1581. Their daughter, Elizabeth (d.1632) was reputed to have a dowry of £40,000 and her marriage to William, Lord Compton caused an estrangement with her parents in 1599. They were reconciled by the time Elizabeth gave birth to her second child. By the time Spencer died, his estate was valued at between £300,000 and £800,000. Alice died just five days after he was buried. She was buried on April 7, 1610. Portrait: tomb in St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, London
see KATHERINE FROMOND
ELIZABETH BROMLEY (1566-before July 7,1601)
Elizabeth Bromley was the daughter of Thomas Bromley (1530-April 12, 1587, Lord Chancellor of England from 1579, and Elizabeth Fortescue (d. June 1602). The Bromley children were tutored by William Hergest, who dedicated his The Right Rule of Christian Chastity (1580) to his charges. Elizabeth was the first wife of Oliver Cromwell of Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire (April 25, 1563-August 28, 1655), by whom she had eight children: Henry (August 26, 1586-July 18, 1657), Thomas (1588-1635), Elizabeth (d.1666), John (May 14, 1589-1646), Jane (1593-c.1644), Catherine (1594-1614), Joan (1596-1637), and William (d. February 25, 1655). In mid-March 1590, Elizabeth and her stepmother-in-law, Lady Cromwell (née Susan Weeks), then staying at Ramsey Abbey, paid a visit to Robert and Elizabeth Throckmorton in Warboys, Cambridgeshire (now Huntingdonshire), about four and a half miles distant. The Throckmorton daughters had fallen into fits and had alleged that Alice Samuel, an old woman who lived nearby, was causing them. During the visit, Susan Cromwell plucked up a pair of scissors, cut off a lock of Mrs. Samuel's hair, and gave it to Mrs. Throckmorton to burn—a folk remedy believed to weaken a witch's power. Mrs. Samuel protested that she had never done Lady Cromwell any harm . . . "as yet." According to one account, that very night Lady Cromwell had nightmares about Alice Samuel. A cat appeared and threatened to pluck all the flesh from her body. Elizabeth Cromwell, her mother-in-law's bedmate, woke Susan from this nightmare, but the damage had been done. Eight months after Susan died in July 1592, Alice Samuel was accused of murder by witchcraft. She was executed in April, 1593. Portrait: found at Find-a-Grave, but the clothing is not typical for pre-1601, which makes me question the identification. Her date of death there is given as 1603, but her widower married his second wife on July 7, 1601. Elizabeth was buried in All Saints, Huntingdon.
see ELIZABETH FORTESCUE; ELIZABETH VERNEY
see ISABEL LISTER
JOAN BROMLEY (1562-1586+)
Joan Bromley was the daughter of Lord Chancellor Thomas Bromley (1530-April 12, 1587) and Elizabeth Fortesque (d. June 1602). She was courted by Sir Edward Greville of Milcote, an unscrupulous gentleman who nonetheless apparently possessed a great deal of charm. After their 1583 marriage, Greville spent his wife’s fortune, leaving her with little more than the clothes on her back. They had several daughters but their names do not seem to have been recorded.
see JOAN WAVERTON
MARGARET BROMLEY (1521-August 10,1598)
Margaret Bromley was the daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Bromley of Eyton-upon-Severn, Wroxeter, and Shrewsbury, Shropshire (d. May 15, 1555), chief justice of the king’s bench, and Isabel Lister (d.1555+). In 1545, she married Richard Newport of High Ercoll, Shropshire (c.1518-September 12,1570). Her dowry included land in five western counties. They had four sons and four daughters, including Francis (d. March 15,1622/3), Andrew (1563-1611), Elizabeth, Isabel (d.1611), Mary, and Magdalen (1558-June 1627). In 1571, Margaret and her cousin, George Bromley, were granted joint guardianship of her eldest surviving son, Francis. Portraits: two effigies in Wroxeter, one on her father's tomb and one with her husband.
see MARTHA WOODVILLE
see MARY LYGON
MURIEL BROMLEY (1560-1630)
Muriel Bromley was the daughter of Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-April 12, 1587) and Elizabeth Fortescue (d.June 1602). She was married to John Lyttleton or Littleton of Frankley (c.1563-July 1601), a Papist and conspirator in Essex’s Rebellion who died in prison. He had been condemned to death and his estates forfeited but Muriel “begged the estate” of King James and managed to pay fines totally £25,000. This took her thirty years, during which time she raised her children, Thomas (1596-February 22, 1651) and Anne (d. February 6, 1624) at Hagley, Worcestershire.
text ©2008-15 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)