A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: Brooke-Bu

compiled by

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her very out-of-date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)


AGNES BROOKE (d.1602+) (maiden name unknown)
Agnes Brooke and her husband William borrowed £80 from William Gardiner of Bermondsey in 1584. For security they put up the rental of several houses they owned which were worth far more than £80. The mortgage was for the term of fourteen years but Gardiner, knowing that neither William nor Agnes could read, substituted the word fourscore in the written agreement. When they discovered the trick, they complained and when that did no good, they attempted to take the case before the Star Chamber. Gardiner had the financial wherewithal to delay the case until the Brookes dropped it, but they did not give up. They contacted the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Bromley, but he, too was swayed by Gardiner’s wealth and influence. Among other ploys, Gardiner invited Bromley to his house to dine. Gardiner also attempted to trick the Brookes into defaulting on their loan, so that he might claim their property permanently. In the end he was successful, avoiding receipt of the last £5 and then keeping both the rest of the repayment and the property. This same couple brought another lawsuit in 1602, this one against Frances Smith, a widow, and her son, Robert. Frances Smith had lived for nine years in the Brookes' house. Among those deposed were William Gardiner’s stepson, William Wayte and a woman he may have sued in another case in 1602 (see ANNE LEA).






Catherine Brooke was the daughter of George Brooke, 9th baron Cobham

(1497-September 29, 1558) and Anne Bray (c.1500-November 1, 1558). She was still a baby in late 1545 when her mother left her in the care of a wet nurse at Ospring and journeyed to Calais to join her father, living there in the Lord Deputy's house for the next five years. She was still unmarried and living at Cobham Hall in 1559 when she served as chief mourner at the October 4th funeral of her sister-in-law, Dorothy Neville, Lady Cobham. She married John Jerningham of Somerleyton, Suffolk (c.1535-1592). Their children were Elizabeth, Henry (d.yng), Margaret, Catherine, and Frances (d.1613/14). In 1570, Jerningham was found guilty of abetting treasonous riots at Norwich but was pardoned, after which he retired to Somerleyton with his wife. By the early 1590s, he was on recusant lists and fled to the king of Spain. Catherine continued to receive £30/year from Lord Cobham. Before April 30, 1604, she remarried, taking as her second husband a Bellamy who died before February 13, 1613/14, when her daughter Frances Jerningham Bedingfield referred to her as a widow in her will. David McKeen in A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, theorizes that she was the Catherine Bellamy who made her will at Acton on October 26, 1617 and was buried there on October 31, 1617.









Dorothy Brooke "of Bristol" was not one of the daughters of Lord Cobham, although she was a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, which argues for some connection to those at court. She is listed as being in the queen's service in 1565-8. She married Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall, Berkshire (1544-May 30,1616). Most sources say they were childless but one online genealogy gives them a daughter, Muriel (d.1616). Muriel was actually Thomas Parry's sister. From 1601-1605, Parry was the English ambassador in France. In July 1610, he was named as custodian of Lady Arbella Stuart at Lambeth, following her unsanctioned marriage to William Seymour. Parry's house is described by John Norden as "a fair dwelling house, strongly built, of three stories high." It had a garden and was bounded by the Thames. What role Dorothy played in these assignments is unknown, but she outlived her husband by eight years and was buried in Welford Church, Berkshire.   






The daughter of Thomas Brooke, 8th baron Cobham (d.July 19,1529) and Dorothy Heydon (d. before 1518), Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet (1503-October 11, 1542) in 1520 and bore him a son, Sir Thomas the rebel (1521-x1554) and a daughter, Anne. The most recent biography of Wyatt, Graven with Diamonds by Nicola Shulman, says they married at fifteen (1518) and had only one child. Early in the marriage, marital difficulties arose, with Wyatt claiming they were “chiefly” her fault. He repudiated her as an adulteress, although there is no record linking her with any specific man. They separated in 1526. He supported her until around 1537, but then refused to do so any longer and sent her to live with her brother, Lord Cobham. In that same year, Lord Cobham attempted to force Wyatt to continue his financial support. He refused. It wasn't until 1541, when Wyatt was arrested and his properties confiscated, that the Brooke family was able to force a reconciliation as a condition for Wyatt’s pardon. It is unclear, however, whether this provision was ever enforced. Wyatt continued his association with his mistress, Elizabeth Darrell. In early 1542, more than a year before Wyatt’s death, Lady Wyatt's name crops up in Spanish dispatches as one of three ladies in whom Henry VIII was said to be interested as a possible sixth wife. The Spanish Ambassador wrote that the lady for whom the king “showed the greatest regard was a sister of Lord Cobham, whom Wyatt, some time ago, divorced for adultery. She is a pretty young creature, with wit enough to do as badly as the others if she were to try.” This is an odd comment in several ways, not the least of which is that Elizabeth was almost forty years old. What would make more sense, would be to assume that the ambassador was mistaken in his identification. Another Elizabeth Brooke (see next entry), Lord Cobham’s daughter, could easily have been at court on this occasion, since she was definitely there the following year. She would have been nearly sixteen in January of 1542 and in later years was accounted one of the most beautiful women of her time. More important to a king who had just rid himself of a wife (Catherine Howard) who had committed adultery, this second Elizabeth had a spotless reputation. Following Wyatt’s death, Lady Wyatt married Edward Warner of Polstead Hall and Plumstead, Norfolk (1511-1565), Lord Lieutenant of the Tower. Warner was removed from his position on July 28, 1553, after Mary became queen, and was arrested on suspicion of treason the following January at his house in Carter Lane when Thomas Wyatt the younger rebelled against the Crown. Warner was held for nearly a year. Elizabeth’s son was executed. Edward, the son she had with Warner, died young. Two other sons died in infancy. The family fortunes were restored under Elizabeth Tudor and Warner reclaimed to his post at the Tower of London. His wife died there in August 1560 and was buried within its precincts. Portrait: the drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger labeled “Anna Bollein Queen,” his only portrait of a woman in informal dress, may indeed be Anne Boleyn, but a good argument has also been made to identify her as Elizabeth Brooke, Lady Wyatt. Shulman believes she is Elizabeth Darrell, Wyatt’s mistress.

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ELIZABETH BROOKE (June 12, 1526-April 2, 1565)

Elizabeth Brooke was the daughter of George Brooke, 9th baron Cobham (1497-September 29, 1558) and Anne Bray (c.1500-November 1, 1558). She is known to have been at court in 1543 and to have captured the heart of the queen's brother, William Parr, marquis of Northampton (August 14, 1513-October 18, 1571), but it seems reasonable that she might have been there earlier, perhaps in attendance at the banquet held by King Henry for a number of ladies after Catherine Howard was arrested. See the argument in the entry above for that logic. In 1543, Elizabeth's desire to marry Northampton was thwarted by the fact that he already had a wife, one he had repudiated for adultery many years before. While her parents were living in Calais (1545-1550), Elizabeth was at court, at least until 1547, as a maid of honor to Queen Kathryn Parr. According to David McKeen's A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham,her mother received a letter from the Mother of Maids concerning Elizabeth's relationship with William Parr, reassuring her that there were no scandalous goings-on. In 1547, however, Elizabeth and Northampton went through a private form of marriage and began living together, but when this became known they were ordered to separate by the duke of Somerset, Lord Protector for King Edward VI. Elizabeth was sent to live with Katherine Parr, now the wife of Sir Thomas Seymour. She remained in that household until April, 1548, when her marriage to Northampton was declared valid. This was later ratified by an Act of Parliament on March 31, 1552. The Northamptons took up residence in Winchester House in Southwark and Lady Northampton spent much of her time at court. She is said to have inspired the young Sir Thomas Hoby to begin his translation of Castiglione's The Courtier, although she did not travel to France when Hoby went there in Northampton's entourage in 1551. Together with Frances Brandon and Jane Guildford, the duchesses of Suffolk and Northumberland, she was involved in the matchmaking that preceded Northumberland's attempt to place Lady Suffolk's daughter, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne of England instead of Mary Tudor. Some sources even credit her with the suggestion that Lady Jane marry one of Northumberland's sons. Elizabeth may have accompanied Lady Jane to the Tower to await her coronation after the death of King Edward VI. Upon Northumberland's defeat, Northampton was arrested, tried, sentenced to death, and then pardoned at the end of December, but all was not well. Bishop Gardiner, released from the Tower by Mary Tudor and restored to his former post as Lord Chancellor, had ordered Elizabeth out of Winchester House. Northampton had been deprived of his titles, his lands, his Order of the Garter and, by the repeal of the act of 1552 (on October 24, 1553), his second wife. Forced to borrow money on which to live, Elizabeth probably went to live with her mother, Lady Cobham, or her brother, William, in Kent. When Parr was released from the Tower, he stayed at the house of Sir Edward Warner in Carter Lane. Sir Edward was married to Elizabeth's aunt, the former Lady Wyatt. It was her son, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Elizabeth's cousin, who led a rebellion against Queen Mary. Parr was arrested once again, as were three of Elizabeth's brothers (William, George, and Thomas Brooke). Parr was released for the second time on March 24, 1554 and restored in blood on the 5th of May. Although their marriage remained invalid, Elizabeth returned to Parr after his release and in March 1555 they were joint godparents to Elizabeth Cavendish. They existed in considerable poverty for the remainder of Queen Mary's reign. In 1557 they were living in Blackfriars when the French ambassador, the bishop of Acqs, asked Elizabeth to deliver a message to the queen's sister at Hatfield. It was a warning not to flee to France to avoid being forced to marry her to Emmanuel Philibert, duke of Savoy. In the last months of Mary's reign, in what was probably an influenza epidemic, Elizabeth Brooke's mother, father, and maternal grandmother died and Parr was seriously ill. With Mary's death, however, Elizabeth's fortunes took a turn for the better. The new queen made a point of stopping to talk to Northampton as her procession through London passed his window. On January 13, 1559, she restored him as marquis of Northampton. Elizabeth Brooke became one of the queen's closest women friends and her word that the queen was not Robert Dudley's lover was enough for the Spanish ambassador, Don Guzman de Silva. It was also de Silva who recorded that when Lady Northampton fell ill, the queen came from St. James to dine with her and spend the day. In August 1562, Lady Northampton was reportedly near death from jaundice and high fever and given up for lost in mid-September, but by October 12th she had recovered. In 1564, however, she developed breast cancer. She made a trip to Antwerp in April of that year hope of finding a cure, accompanied by her brother William and his pregnant wife, but the effort was futile. She came home in mid-May. In November of that year the Hungarian Michael ab Othen, the personal physician of Maximilian, king of Bohemia, came to England to examine her. He could do nothing, either, nor could a series of quacks, including Guilio Borgherini. In January 1565, the queen's physician, “Dr. Julio,” took over her treatment. Unfortunately, his man, Griffith, made sexual advances toward Elizabeth, who was still, apparently, "one of the most beautiful women of her time," and the queen had both men thrown into the Marshalsea. Dr. John Dee also visited the marchioness. Bills from foreign physicians (some retained at as much as 15s/day) contributed to debts when she died at just under £1,880. When Elizabeth died, the queen paid for her funeral at a cost of nearly £500. Among the items mentioned in Lady Northampton's will were a wagon and the covering and cushions with the rest of the furniture belonging to it. Biography: for more on Elizabeth Brooke, see Susan E. James's Kateryn Parr: The Making of a Queen. Portraits: a medal by Stephen van Herwijck, 1562; Susan James argues that she is the sister included in the 1567 Cobham Family Portrait (see FRANCES NEWTON for more information), painted after her death but based on a portrait from c.1560, but a better case is made for the traditional identification of the second woman as Jane Newton by David McKeen in his biography of William Brooke, Lord Cobham. Elizabeth was apparently painted fairly often and gave copies of her portraits to friends and family, including her brother and her husband's brother-in-law, the earl of Pembroke.

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ELIZABETH BROOKE (January 12, 1561/2-January 1596/7)

Elizabeth Brooke was the daughter of William Brooke, 10th baron Cobham (November 1, 1527-March 6, 1597) and Frances Newton (1539-October 17, 1592). Although she had a twin sister, Frances, only Elizabeth was christened at court, in the Chapel Royal at Windsor. Her godmothers were the queen and her aunt, Elizabeth Brooke Parr, Lady Northampton. According to David McKeen's A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, she was already at court in January 1581/2 when she received a New Year's gift from the queen of 6s. 8d.(she gave the queen a ruff) and was in one of the gentlewomen of the privy chamber by 1586. Other sources say she first went to court in 1588, and that she immediately captured the affection of Robert Cecil, later earl of Salisbury (1563-1612). In fact, Elizabeth and Cecil probably knew each other as children, since their fathers were close friends. Cecil was concerned that she would reject him because of his spinal deformity. In a letter, he wrote: "The object of mine eye yesternight at supper hath taken so deep impression on my heart that every trifling thought increased my affection. I know your inwardness with all parties to be such, as only it lieth in your person to draw from them whether the mislike of my person be such as it may not be qualified by any other circumstance, with, if it be so, as of likehood it is, I will then lay hand on my mouth." Apparently Elizabeth was not repelled by his hump. In April 1589 they were betrothed (McKeen says the contract was signed May 31, 1589). She was to have a dowry of £2000 and her jointure would include an estate at Pymmes, Hertfordshire. The death of Cecil's mother, Mildred, delayed the ceremony, but they were married on August 31, 1589. After that, Elizabeth was often at court. According to All the Queen's Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (1987) by Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, she died there. McKeen supplies the information that she died in childbirth. Her children were Frances (1590-1644), Catherine (d.yng), and William (March 1591-1668), although McKeen gives a birthdate of July 1593 for Frances. Elizabeth’s epitaph remembers her as "silent, true and chaste." Portrait: Elizabeth is included, as a child, in the group portrait of the Cobham Family painted in 1567, although there is some confusion as to which child is which since she and her sister Frances were twins. In 1590, she commissioned a copy of that painting that included another brother not yet born in 1567. According to David McKeen's A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, there is a portrait at Hatfield of a lady dressed in gold and flowery embroidery of the right style for the 1580s that is usually said to be one of William Cecil’s daughters, but he believes, based on the subject’s large nose, characteristic of the Brooke family, and small, wry mouth and receding chin, characteristic of the Newtons, that this is a portrait of Elizabeth Brooke Cecil.

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ELIZABETH BROOKE (1596-October 21, 1622)
Elizabeth Brooke was the daughter of Sir Richard Brooke (d.1632) and Elizabeth Chaderton (d.1602). After her parents separated she was sent to live with her grandfather, William Chaderton, Bishop of Lincoln. From him, she received a classical education. She was said to have had an excellent memory and could repeat more than forty lines in English or Latin after a single perusal. She also wrote poetry, although none has survived. In 1616, she married Torrell Jocelin or Josselyn of Willinggale, Essex (1592/3-1656). She wrote The Mother's Legacie to her unborne Childe, published posthumously in 1624, because she had a premonition she would not survive childbirth. The book was dedicated to her husband and contained instructions for the education of her child. A girl was to be taught only reading, writing, housewifery and good works, having no need for more advanced learning. The child was a daughter, Theodora, born on October 12, 1622. Elizabeth was buried in St. Andrew's Church, Oakington on October 26. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under Jocelin [née Brooke], Elizabeth."




FRANCES BROOKE (July 31, 1549-before 1598)

Frances Brooke was the daughter of William Brooke, 10th baron Cobham (November 1, 1527-March 6, 1597) and his first wife, Dorothy Neville (d. September 22, 1559). He also had a daughter named Frances by his second wife (see next entry). Frances was born at the house of Reginald Peckham in Yaldham, Kent while her father was fighting the French at Boulogne. Peckham was the brother of Sir George Harper's wife and Harper was a neighbor of Lord Cobham in Blackfriars. After her mother died when Frances was ten, she was sent to live with her uncle, Henry Neville, baron Bergavenny, at Birling, Kent and had little contact with her father, who soon remarried. By marriage articles dated June 5, 1566, Frances married Thomas Coppinger of Allhallows and Davington, Kent and Buxhall, Suffolk (1546-March 21, 1579/80), by whom she had five sons, including William (1573-September 8, 1594), Francis (1578-1626+), and Thomas. She was pregnant with the fifth son when her husband wrote his will on March 16, 1580. When she was widowed, her father acquired the wardship of her eldest son and promised to look out for the younger sons. As executor of Coppinger's will, he was also supposed to pay an allowance to Francis and Thomas. In fact, he appears to have neglected the Coppinger estate. Furthermore, he disapproved of Frances's second husband, Edward Beecher or Becher (d.1603+), a London merchant's younger son. He was an esquire of the body to the queen and had lands in Kent. She married him on October 5, 1580 in St. Lawrence Jewry, London. After William Coppinger died, Cobham acquired the wardship of the next brother, Francis. With Beecher, Frances had three more sons, Cary, Francis, and Edward. She was alive as late as February 16, 1592/3 and had died by 1598, although one online genealogy gives her date of death as 1624. 


FRANCES BROOKE (January 12, 1561/2-1615+)

Frances Brooke was the daughter of William Brooke, 10th baron Cobham (November 1, 1527-March 6, 1597) and Frances Newton (1539-October 17, 1592) and the twin of Elizabeth Brooke (d.1597). In October 1579 it was decided that she would marry John Stourton, 9th baron Stourton (1552-October 13, 1588), even though he came from a recusant family and had himself tried to leave England at the age of twenty. The contract was signed on November 5, 1580 and they were married at the Cobham house in Blackfriars. In 1586, Frances was falsely accused of having converted to Catholicism but her accuser later confessed to the lie. They had no children and he was succeeded by his brother. As a widow, Lady Stourton first returned to Cobham Hall and later was at court. There, in 1591, she was courted by Sir Thomas Sherley, in spite of the fact that he was secretly married to one of the queen's maids of honor, Frances Vavasour. From her twin sister Elizabeth's death in early 1597 until late 1604, Frances had charge of her niece, Frances Cecil. They lived for the most part away from London. Frances's second husband was Sir Edward More or Moore of Odiham, Hampshire, Worth, Sussex, and Canon Row, Westminster (1550-1623), a soldier and gentleman pensioner. They married in 1592. At some point before the birth of their daughter, Frances (December 1598-January 5, 1662), More disinherited his children by his first marriage in favor of his illegitimate children by three different women because he did not approve of his eldest son Edward marrying a Dutch woman. Lady Stourton died between 1615 and April 24, 1623, the date her second husband wrote his will, in Odiham, Hampshire. She should not be confused with her half sister, another Frances Brooke, who was her father's daughter by his first wife, Dorothy Neville. That Frances was born in 1549 and married first Thomas Coppinger and second Edmund Beecher. Portrait: with her twin in the Cobham family portrait, 1567.

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MARGARET BROOKE (June 2, 1563-1621)

Margaret Brooke was the youngest daughter of William Brooke, 10th baron Cobham (November 1, 1527-March 6, 1598) and Frances Newton (1539-October 17, 1592). She was born at Hackney. She had a dowry of £1,500 and her father paid other charges for her wedding to Sir Thomas Sondes of Throwley, Kent (d. February 7, 1592/3), a widower. The marriage contract called for his estate to pass to their son if Margaret had one and for a daughter to receive £100/year or a dowry of £2000. If widowed, Margaret was to receive £800 and a jointure worth £333 6s. 8d. At this time, c.1585, there does not seem to have been any indication that Margaret was mentally unstable. The couple were childless until 1591, during which time one of her companions was Jane Sondes, her niece by marriage. Perhaps because of the affairs Jane conducted under his roof, perhaps because Margaret was already showing signs of madness, Sondes decided that Frances, the child Margaret bore in late summer 1592, was not his and took legal action to block her claim to his estate. His death prevented him from succeeding in this and the jointure terms were honored, but Margaret and Frances are not included on the Sondes monuments at Throwley. Margaret and her daughter returned to Cobham Hall where Margaret was looked after by a nurse, Mrs. Hubbard. She was the only sibling in residence after 1596. In 1602, Dr. John Dee performed an exorcism in the hope of curing her madness. This was reported in a letter from John Chamberlain to Dudley Carlton on November 4, 1602. On September 13, 1603, Lord Cobham asked that she and her child be placed in the care of the Lieutenant of the Tower at the Hervey house in the country, but the Privy Council refused and she was sent to live with strangers until her death. Stephen Bowd, in "John Dee and the Seven in Lancashire," says she had a relapse in 1615 and died in 1621 as "the mad Lady Sandes," but he misidentifies her as Mary Hayward. Portrait: Margaret was included in the Cobham family portrait painted in 1567 holding a pet marmoset.

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MARY BROOKE (d.1535+)

Mary Brooke, also called Mary Cobham, is said by some to have been the daughter of Thomas Brooke, 8th baron Cobham (d. July 19, 1529) and his first wife, Dorothy Heydon (d. before 1518), but she is also said to have been the servant and mistress of George Neville, 3rd baron Bervavenny (c.1469-June 13, 1535) during his marriage to his third wife. David McKeen, in A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, argues that she must have been only a distant connection to the Brookes of Cobham Hall and possibly illegitimate. She became Bergavenny's fourth wife sometime before January 24, 1530, when he settled estates on her. She was pregnant when he made his will on June 8, 1535 (proved January 24, 1535/6) and one account says she had a daughter, but nothing more is known about either of them.


PHILIPPA BROOKE (c.1579-c.September 1613)

Philippa Brooke was the daughter of Sir Henry Brooke (February 5, 1537/8-January 13, 1591/2) and Anne Sutton (d. January 9, 1611/12). She was married to Walter Calverley (1570-August 5, 1605), whose wardship and marriage were controlled by Philippa’s relatives, and had by him three sons, William (c.1601-April 23, 1605), Walter (c.1603-April 23, 1605), and Henry (b.1605). The family seat was Calverley Hall in Yorkshire. Calverley was a gambler and a drunkard, deeply in debt by April 23, 1605 when, in a drunken rage (or a fit of insane jealousy over a Vavasour of Weston), he killed his two oldest sons with a knife and then stabbed Philippa. Fortunately her steel corset deflected the blow. Leaving her for dead, he rode toward Norton, where the youngest boy lodged with his wet nurse, intending to kill him, too, but he was pursued and captured when his horse stumbled and threw him. The next day, in his examination before justices of the peace, he claimed that his wife had been unfaithful to him, that the children were not his, and that he had been in danger "sundry times" of being murdered by Philippa. It is obvious he was not believed. He was pressed to death at York Castle for his crimes. The tragedy inspired a ballad, two tracts, and two plays, The Yorkshire Tragedy (1608) and The Miseries of Enforced Marriage (1607). Calverley Hall is supposed to have a blood stain on the floor that cannot be cleaned and Walter is also said to haunt the area, galloping about on a headless horse. Philippa later married Sir Thomas Burton (1580-1655) and had a daughter by him named Anne. Philippa was buried on September 28, 1613 at Stockeston, Leicestershire.




ANNE BROUGHTON (d. May 15, 1562)

Anne Broughton was the daughter of Sir John Broughton of Toddington, Bedfordshire (d. January 24, 1518) and Anne Sapcote (d. March 14, 1559), who was later countess of Bedford. Anne married, as his second wife, Sir Thomas Cheyney of Shurland, Kent (c.1485-December 16, 1558). She had a dowry of £300 and inherited estates in Bedfordshire.They had one son, Henry (May 31, 1540-1587), and were said to have a daughter, but no daughter is mentioned in his will, dated December 6, 1558 and proved April 25, 1559. Sir Thomas died in the Tower of London and was buried on January 3, 1559 in St. Katherine's chapel in the Minster on the Isle of Sheppey. In his will, Sir Thomas left his "well-beloved wife" £500, along with a life interest in the manor of Bilsington, Kent, certain lands in Harty, and a marsh.  




ELIZABETH BROUGHTON (d. November 1536+)

Elizabeth Broughton, whose parentage appears to be unknown, married three times. Her first husband was John Breton (d.c.1522), who was a merchant tailor and was sheriff of London in 1517-18. He left at least two orphans, Eleanor, who married William Wilford by 1530, and Nicholas. In about 1523, Elizabeth married, as his third wife, Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley in Tring, Hertfordshire (c.1482-May 8, 1525). The manor of Quainton was settled on her in jointure in that year. There is a record of a marriage license issued in London for John Drewes of Hackney (d. 1557+) and Dame Elizabeth Verney of St. Giles on July 31, 1527. Although he was from Bristol, in 1527 Drewes was in the retinue of Sir Robert Wingfield of London and Calais. He and Elizabeth had at least one son. In December 1530, still calling herself Dame Elizabeth Verney, since her second husband had been a knight and Drewes was not, and acting as executor of her first husband's estate, Elizabeth sued William Wilford, claiming he had taken £252 15s. 2d. worth of cloth from her shop as his wife Eleanor's portion and another £400 in cloth that belonged to her son, Nicholas Breton. Wilford claimed he would do twice as much with it for Nicholas when he came of age but Elizabeth wanted the £400 in cloth returned to Nicholas and an additional £50 4s.9d. Nicholas was awarded the cloth. After the dissolution of the monasteries, her third husband acquired the priory at Barrow Gurney, Somerset and converted it into "a fair dwelling place."


KATHERINE BROUGHTON (c.1514-April 23, 1535)
Katherine Broughton was the daughter of John Broughton of Toddington, Bedfordshire (d. January 24, 1518) and Anne Sapcote (d. March 14, 1558/9). Her mother was subsequently married to Richard Jerningham and John Russell, 1st earl of Bedford. When Katherine's father died, her wardship was granted to Cardinal Wolsey. Upon the death of her brother, John Broughton, of the sweating sickness in 1528, she inherited half of his estate—£700 in chattels and lands in Bedfordshire. She also had a dowry of £300. Her stepfather, Sir John Russell attempted to buy her wardship, but he was not the only one interested. His competition was Sir John Wallop, and it was to Wallop that the king planned to award her, but in the end, Wolsey kept Katherine's wardship, the king paid Wallop £400 in compensation, and Sir John and Lady Russell were ignored. Her wardship was purchased, on November 20, 1529, by Agnes, dowager duchess of Norfolk and by June 18, 1531, Katherine had married Lord William Howard (1510-January 21, 1573), younger son of the duke of Norfolk and later 1st baron Howard of Effingham. They had one child, a daughter named Agnes. Portrait: brass in St. Mary Lambeth, London.









ANNE BROWNE (d.1510)
Anne Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne (1443-November 19, 1506) and his first wife, Eleanor Oughtred (d. before 1500) and was at court as a maid of honor to Elizabeth of York (where she was paid £5 per annum) shortly before the queen’s death. She had the misfortune to fall in love with Charles Brandon (1485-1545). They both lived in the household of the earl of Essex c.1506. They were betrothed, and lived together as man and wife, but after Anne became pregnant with their first child, Anne (c.1507-January 1558), Brandon abandoned her to marry her stepmother's sister, Margaret Neville, a wealthy widow. When that marriage was declared null and void, on the grounds of Brandon’s precontract with Anne, he returned to her and married her in 1509. Anne died the following year, probably shortly after giving birth to a second daughter, Mary (1510-1541+)


ANNE BROWNE (d.1522+)
There was at least one gentlewoman named Anne Browne at court during the period from 1517 until 1522. Some sources identify the Anne Browne who took part in the revels of 1517-1518 as the daughter of Sir Matthew Browne of Betchworth Castle and Dorking, Surrey (1473-August 6, 1557) and Frideswide Guildford, but since they did not marry until 1506, she could have been no more than ten in 1517 and is therefore an unlikely candidate. That Anne Browne married Thomas Dannett (March 23, 1517-1569) c.1542 and had five sons and three daughters, including a son named Audley (d.c.1591). It is possible that this is the same Anne Browne, single and age 22 in 1538, who was one of the Marchioness of Exeter's gentlewomen when that lady was arrested. She was "good with the needle" and could "play well upon the virginals and lute." Anne and Thomas Dannett settled in Somerset. Dannett was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the Duke of Suffolk's second uprising and upon his release he took his family into exile from 1554-1558. The Anne Browne who was at court in 1517-18 was probably the same one who was at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 and took part in revels in March 1521/2. She has been dentified as the sister of Sir Wiston (or Weston) Browne, and therefore was the daughter of Thomas Browne of Longhouse in Abbess Roding, Essex and Mary Charlton. At the Field of Cloth of Gold, King Francis of France singled out Sir Wiston’s sister (called "my lady Browne" in one account) and danced with her on several occasions during the festivities.


ANNE BROWNE (d.1551+)
This Anne Browne is included because she is so frequently confused with Anne Browne Petre (d. March 10, 1582). They were the daughters of cousins, both named William Browne and each of their fathers served a term as Lord Mayor of London. This Anne's father was the Sir William Browne (d. March 22, 1508) who was Lord Mayor in 1507/8. He was buried in St. Mary Aldermanbury, London. Her siblings were named William (d.1525), Anthony, Katherine, Leonard, and Margaret. In 1513, Anne married Sir Richard Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (d. November 17, 1551), a wool merchant. Their children were Anne (c.1515-1553), Joan (1516-April 1592), William, Sir John (d. December 20, 1571), Elizabeth, George, Thomas (d. August 8, 1580), Ursula, Jerome (1528-1602), and Mary (d. September 27, 1573). The family was Catholic and Fermor was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1540 for visiting his Catholic chaplain in prison. He was soon released on bail, however, and was pardoned in June 1541. By 1550, he had regained most of his lands. His will of July 1, 1551 makes provision for Anne.


ANNE BROWNE (1509-March 10, 1582)

Anne Browne was the daughter of Sir William Browne of Flambard's Hall (1467-1514), Lord Mayor of London in 1513/14, and Alice Kebel (1482-June 8, 1521). Through remarriage, Anne's mother became Lady Mountjoy and was at court. F. G. Emmison (Tudor Food and Pastimes: Life at Ingatestone Hall) is in error when he identifies the occupant of "Mistress Keble's chamber" (1550) as Anne's mother. Not only is the name wrong, but so is the date, since Anne's mother died some twenty years before Anne Married William Petre and moved into Ingatestone Hall. Anne's first husband was John Tyrrell of Heron, Essex (d.1540), to whom she was betrothed in 1513 with the marriage to take place by 1521. As her father's sole heir, Anne had a marriage portion of 400 marks. With Tyrrell, she had one daughter, Catherine (d. before 1569). After his death, she commissioned the chapel at East Horndon, Essex, where he was buried. Her second husband, to whom she was married between May 28, 1541, when his first wife died, and March 1542, was Sir William Petre of Ingatestone Hall, Essex (1505- January 13, 1572). Curiously, the Oxford DNB entry for William Petre calls Anne the daughter of John Tyrrell and the widow of William Browne of Flambard's Hall, but the life dates of both men make this impossible. The confusion may be explained by the fact that William Petre's first wife was Gertrude Tyrrell (d. May 28, 1541), daughter of Sir John Tyrrell of East Horndon and Warley, Essex (d. 1540). My thanks to Adrian Channing for pointing this out to me. All accounts agree that she brought to her second marriage a dowry of £280 a year.  By Petre, Anne had Thomasine (April 7, 1543-1611+), Katherine (b.1545), John (December 20, 1549-October 11, 1613), and Anne (1557-1610). Some genealogies add Edward (d. yng) and William (d. yng). One account gives her a daughter named Griselda, but this was Griselda Barnes, one of her husband's wards. Petre was in royal service to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth. On November 22, 1548, Princess Mary arrived at Ingatestone Hall with a retinue of nearly fifty persons and stayed for two days. A few days later, on her return journey from London to New Hall, Boreham, she stayed with Lady Petre again. In February 1549/50, she paid another visit. In March, Lady Petre was invited to visit Mary at New Hall, a two hour ride from Ingatestone. In 1561, the Petres entertained Queen Elizabeth at Ingatestone and from they were responsible for keeping Lady Catherine Grey under house arrest there. Petre also had a house on the west side of Aldersgate Street in London. Lady Petre had three gentlewomen in 1554—Mary Persay, who taught the Petre daughters to play the virginals in 1559, Mistress Joyce, and Mistress Joan. As a widow, Anne remained at Ingatestone Hall and there sheltered a number of seminary priests. She was on the list of recusants for 1582 but she died on March 10, before any official action was taken against her. She was buried on April 10 at Ingatestone. Portraits: 1567, attributed to Steven van der Meulen; effigy at Ingatestone.

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ELEANOR BROWNE (c.1491-c.1560)

Eleanor Browne was the only child and heiress of Robert Browne (c.1433-c.1509) of West Betchworth, Surrey and Chilham, Luddenham, and Hurst, Kent, and Mary (or Margaret) Mallet. Browne’s will, however (dated December 9, 1509), gives his wife’s name as Anne. Eleanor married first Thomas Fogge of Ashford Kent, sergeant porter of Calais (d. August 16,1512), by whom she had two daughters, Anne and Alice, and second Sir William Kempe (1487-January 28, 1538/9) of Ollantigh in Wye, Kent and Spains Hall in Finchingfield, Essex. Their children were Emeline (d. before 1538), Thomas (1517-March 7, 1591), John, Edward, Anthony (d. October 29,1597), Francis (d.1597+), George (d.1570+), Cecily, Faith, Mary, and Margaret. As Eleanor Kempe, Eleanor served in Katherine Parr's household from 1543-1547 and was one of the longest serving and most loyal of Mary Tudor's ladies. She was part of Mary's household by 1547 and was still there in 1558 when the queen died. From 1547-51, Eleanor was engaged in a lawsuit in Chancery against her cousin, Sir Matthew Browne, over land in Kent. Eleanor's will is dated August 24, 1558 and was proved December 11, 1560. A transcript can be found at www.oxford-shakespeare.com. She was buried in the Chapel of the Savoy. She left money to be distributed to the poor prisoners in London in Newgate, Ludgate, the Marshalsea, the King's Bench, and the Gatehouse of Westminster.



Elizabeth Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne (1443-November 19, 1506) and Lucy Neville (1468-March 1534) and married by 1527, as his second wife, Henry Somerset, 2nd earl of Worcester (1499-November 26, 1549). In her mother’s will, dated 1531, she was left a pair of “bedys of gold with tenne gawdies.” She was at court in the household of Queen Anne Boleyn and seems to have been a friend of Anne's. On April 8, 1536, she borrowed £100 from the queen, a debt that had not yet been repaid when Queen Anne was arrested and sent to the Tower. An unsubstantiated story has Elizabeth taken to task for immorality by her brother, Sir Anthony Browne (1500-1548) and responding that she was "no worse than the queen." One variation on this story identifies Elizabeth as King Henry VIII's former mistress and has her specifying that her brother should talk to Mark Smeaton and one of the queen's gentlewomen called Marguerite for details on the queen's misconduct. Another version has Lady Worcester issuing the reprimand and an unidentified woman comparing herself to the queen. The source appears to be a poem dated June 2, 1536 and written by Lancelot de Carles, a member of the French embassy to England. Gossip prevalent at the time of Queen Anne's arrest did mention Lady Worcester as a source of some of the accusations against her, but specifics are elusive. Similarly, comments Queen Anne made during her imprisonment are open to various interpretations. One remark suggests that Lady Worcester had recently miscarried, but in fact, according to G. W. Bernard’s Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attraction, she gave birth to a daughter, Anne, in the year ending at Michaelmas 1536. If this is the same Anne Somerset whose birth date is usually given as 1538, she went on to marry the earl of Northumberland and help lead a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth in 1569 (see ANNE SOMERSET). If Worcester thought the child might not be his, there is no indication of it in family records. Bernard, whose premise is that Anne Boleyn was guilty of at least some of the charges against her, theorizes that the countess of Worcester and others of Anne’s ladies were aware of her love affairs and only escaped prosecution for their complicity by giving evidence against the queen. As for the loan of £100, Elizabeth wrote to Thomas Cromwell on March 8, 1538, thanking him for his kindness in that matter and asking that he not mention it to her husband, since the earl did not know she had borrowed the money. G. W. Bernard’s book includes the suggestion, originally made by T. B. Pugh, that the father of Elizabeth’s baby was Cromwell himself. Elizabeth’s children, all generally accepted as her husband’s, included William (1527-February 21, 1589), Thomas (d.1586), Charles, Francis (d.1563), Eleanor (d.c.1584), Jane (1535-October 16, 1597), Anne (1538-September 8, 1591), Lucy, and Mary (d.1578+). She died between April 20, 1565, when she made her will, and October 23 of 1565, when it was proved. Portrait: effigy, St. Mary's Church, Chepstow, Monmouthshire.

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JANE BROWNE (1515-1558+)

Jane Browne was the daughter of Sir Matthew Browne of Betchworth Castle, Surrey (1473-August 6, 1557) and Frideswide Guildford. Her first husband was Sir Francis Poynings of Madelay, Staffordshire. By May 1539, as a widow, she had married Sir Edward Bray of Henfield and Selmaston, Sussex and the Vachery, Shere, Surrey (d. December 1, 1558) as his third wife. Bray wrote his will on August 16, 1558, leaving the bulk of his lands to Jane in fee simple for life. She was named co-executor with her brother, George Browne. The will included the proviso that if Bray's son, another Edward, interfered with Jane's inheritance, the property would go to her heirs after her death instead of to him. This did not stop the younger Edward Bray from disputing the terms of the will and the lawsuits continued for some years.      


JOAN BROWNE (d.1589+)
Joan Browne was the wife of William Yeomans, a London cutler, when she took up with Robert Poley or Pooley (c.1555-1602+). When he was in the Marshalsea in 1583/84, she was a frequent visitor, entertained by him at "many fine banquets." Poley had married the previous year and had a daughter, Anne, who had been baptized on August 21, 1583, but he refused to allow his wife to visit, preferring the company of his mistress. When he was released, on May 10, 1584, he gave William Yeomans a silver bowl of double gilt and continued his liaison with Joan. He lodged in the house of her widowed mother, Mrs. Browne. In March 1585, on a Friday in Shrovetide, Mrs. Browne told her neighbor, Agnes Holford, that she had caught Joan sitting on Poley's knees, "a sight that struck her to the heart," and she "prayed God to cut her off very quickly, or else she feared she should be a bawd unto her own daughter." Mrs. Browne got her wish. She died that weekend. On January 7, 1588/9, William Yeomans testified that Robert Poley, after being freed around Michaelmas from yet another imprisonment, this time in the Tower of London, had come to lodge with him, there to "beguile him either of his wyfe or of his lyfe." Poley contrived to have Yeomans imprisoned in the Marshalsea and, Yeomans testified, married Joan secretly, the ceremony performed by a seminary priest in Bow Lane. Bits and pieces surface online about Joan and Poley. They shared lodgings in Shoreditch. It is unclear if this was before they ran off together. She was adept at forgery. No source is given for that. And, since Poley was a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham, she may have been his contact and/or accomplice. She is quoted by Charles Nicholl in The Reckoning as having said that she had "dealt with him in matters of estate [meaning matters of state] as far as my life does extend."




MABEL BROWNE (c.1528-August 25,1610)

Mabel Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne (June 27, 1500-May 5, 1548) and Alys Gage (d. March 31, 1540). Her father's half brother, William FitzWilliam, earl of Southampton, left her an annuity of £100 in his will, dated September 10, 1542. Mabel Browne was probably named after Southampton's wife, Mabel Clifford. She was in Mary Tudor's household before 1552, possibly as a maid of honor. Her marriage to the brother of her stepmother, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, on May 28, 1554 made her countess of Kildare. Gerald Fitzgerald (February 25, 1525-November 16, 1585) had been living in exile following the execution for treason of most of the other Fitzgerald men. He was restored to the title on May 13, 1554. The notes in Mary Anne Everett Green's Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, contain the claim that Mabel met Gerald at a masked ball at court and fell in love with him. After her marriage, Mabel was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber. She was less welcome at court under Elizabeth. Living primarily in Ireland, Mabel had five children: Gerald, Lord Offalay (c.1559-1580), Henry, 12th earl of Kildare (d.1597), William, 13th earl of Kildare (d.1599), Mary, and Elizabeth. By the 1570s, Mabel's recusant leanings were very apparent. She may have had no direct role in treason, but her oldest son's tutor was a suspect and she harbored a number of priests within her household. Her husband was committed to Dublin Castle in December 1580 and later was incarcerated in the Tower of London. He was released in June 1583. According to Vincent P. Carey, author of Surviving the Tudors: The 'Wizard' Earl of Kildare and English Rule in Ireland, 1537-1586, Mabel "maintained a refuge and library for the Jesuit missionary Robert Rochfort. She also kept the priest Nicholas Eustache, a relative of the rebel Baltinglass, as her private chaplain, and hired the suspected Father Compton as a tutor to her younger children." She was innocent of the charge that she intended to have one of her sons taken to Spain to be brought up with the duchess of Feria, but she was a close friend of the duchess (Englishwoman Jane Dormer) from the time they had both been at the court of Mary Tudor. An even more interesting story, but one with even less foundation in fact, attributes the death of the 'Wizard' earl and the 'enchanted sleep' that legend maintains followed it, to an accident while the earl was giving his wife a demonstration of his magical powers. In fact, the earl died in his bed. After his death and the death of her youngest son in 1599, Mabel joined her granddaughter, Lettice Fitzgerald, Lady Digby, in pressuring the new earl for Mabel's jointure rights and the title baroness Offaly for Lettice as heir general.





Margaret or Margery Browne was baptized at St. Olave’s on February 14, 1574 and as a young woman was in service to the Mountjoys of Silver Street until she quit, or was let go, in about 1597. She appears in the casebooks of Simon Forman the astrologer, described as a tall wench with a freckled face. Charles Nicholl, in The Lodger Shakespeare, His Life on Silver Street, suggests that she is identical with the Mary Browne who consulted Forman on December 27, 1597. Mary thought she was pregnant. Margery Browne married Christopher Laughlin of St. Botolph’s, Aldersgate in November 1600.


MARGARET BROWNE (c.1590-July 28, 1641)
Margaret Browne was the daughter of Sir Hugh Browne/Brown/Brawn of Alscot, Gloucestershire and Newington Butts, Surrey (c.1537-1614), a wealthy vintner, and Frances Gurney. Some accounts give her birth date as 1579 and say she was a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth. Some also give her maiden name as Rawdon. Both facts are incorrect. Margaret Browne married Francis Layton/Laton of Rawden, Yorkshire (1577-August 23, 1661), yeoman of the Jewel House under James I, Charles I, and Charles II. They had six sons, including Henry (1622-1705) and Thomas (d.1714) and four daughters, Mary (d.1653), Margaret, Anne (1629-1713), and Martha. Margaret Layton’s chief claim to fame is the ornate, jeweled doublet she owned. Both the doublet and a portrait of Margaret wearing it are still extant. Margaret and her husband were buried in St. Mary’s Church, Newington, near her father's tomb. Portrait: c.1620 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.

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MARY BROWNE (c.1513-1539+)
Mary Browne was the daughter of Sir Matthew Browne of Beckworth Castle, Surrey (1473-August 6, 1557) and Frideswide Guildford. In about 1539, she married Richard Tame or Tamewe. She is my best guess to have been one of Princess Mary's ladies in waiting, appearing on the list of October 1, 1533, shortly before the princess's household was dissolved. In 1536, when Mary was again to have a household of her own, she asked for only three persons by name from her previous households. Mary Browne was one of them, described by the princess as "sometime my maid, whom for her virtue I love and could be glad to have in my company."


MARY BROWNE (c.1527-February 4, 1616/17)

Mary Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne of Cowdray Park, Sussex (June 27, 1500-May 6, 1548) and Alys Gage (d. March 31, 1540). She married Lord John Grey, a younger son of the marquis of Dorset (c.1527-November 19, 1564). He was imprisoned along with his brother, Henry, duke of Suffolk, after Wyatt's Rebellion in 1554, but Mary's family, who supported Queen Mary, contrived his release. Under Queen Elizabeth, in 1559, Grey was granted Pyrgo and the queen visited him there in 1561. In 1563, Lady Catherine Grey was held there in Lord John's custody. Mary's children with John Grey were Henry (1547-July 26, 1614), Frances, Elizabeth, Edward, Thomas, John, Jane (c.1550-c.1619), Anne, and Margaret (1559-August 14, 1604). In 1558, Mary and her husband purchased a capital messuage called the Minories near Aldgate, London, with a stable and three gardens, for £100. They conveyed a fourth part of this in 1562 to George Medley. The rest was sold to William Paulet in March 1561/2 for £1000. In 1569/70, now a widow, Mary and her son Henry purchased land in Rivenhall, Essex. Her second husband was Henry Capel or Capell of Little Hadham, Hertfordshire (1514-June 22, 1588), as his second wife. Her daughter Margaret married his eldest son Arthur. Capell's will mentions a marriage settlement with Lord Montagu by which Mary received Rayne's Hall in Essex and other lands in Bocking, Braintree, Panfield, and Felstead. The queen visited Hadham Hall on progress on September 13, 1578. On Capel's death, Mary inherited, among other things, her coach and the two horses that went with it and half the ready money in the house at Hadham, plus valuable bequests of plate. She moved to her dower house at Rayne, Essex, while Arthur took possession of Hadham Hall. Mary was the defendant in a lawsuit in 1616, during which she declared she was near 100 years old. Her will is dated July 17, 1615 and was proved July 15, 1617.


MARY BROWNE (July 22,1552-April, 1607)

Mary Browne was the daughter of Anthony Browne, viscount Montagu (November 29,1528-October 19,1592) and Jane Radcliffe (1533-July 22,1552). She was brought up at Cowdray by her stepmother, Magdalen Dacre, as a devout Catholic. She married a Catholic neighbor, Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton (April 29,1545-October 9, 1581) on February 19,1566. Two opposing views of Mary’s life and character can be found in biographies of her son, Henry (October 6, 1573-November 10,1634). A. L. Rowse’s Shakespeare’s Southampton finds her sympathetic while G.P.V. Akrigg’s Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton does not. In 1577, Mary’s husband suspected her of adultery with one Donesame and sought to deprive her of her children. After Southampton’s death, her daughter, Mary (1572-1607) was returned to her. In 1592, it was revealed that one of the countess’s gentlemen in waiting, Mr. Harrington, and a priest named Butler, had lived in Southampton House in London, Lady Southampton’s principal residence, in 1584, in the next chamber to her cousin, Robert Gage, one of the conspirators in the Babington Plot. At least in part to obtain protection for herself and her family, the countess remarried on May 2, 1594, choosing as her husband Sir Thomas Heneage (d. October 1595), an influential courtier. Their wedding may have been the occasion for the first performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Upon Heneage's death, Mary inherited Copt Hall, Essex. Her stepdaughter, Elizabeth Heneage, Lady Finch, guaranteed that Mary would have an annual income of £600 if Mary would pay off Heneage’s debts to the Crown, a total of some £13,000. This Mary agreed to and sold one of her own manors to raise the money. In January 1599, she married a third time, to Sir William Hervey (d.1642). When James I became king, Mary was granted a free gift of £600 from the Exchequer and her son, who had been imprisoned for his part in the Essex Rebellion, was released from the Tower of London. A. L. Rowse suggests that her estate included Shakespeare’s sonnets, written to Mary’s son, and that William Hervey was the “Mr. W.H.” who provided them to the printer in 1609. Mary was buried at Titchfield with her first husband. Portrait: Painted at thirteen (1566) by Hans Eworth. This painting is at Welbeck Abbey.

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Isabel Brownsword, probably the daughter of Richard Brownsword (d.1559) and his wife Elizabeth (d.1559+), married Richard Tipping (d.1592), a linen draper of Manchester. In 1561, they occupied a house in Hanging Ditch, close to the church, formerly occupied by Richard Brownsword. Later it became known as "Tipping Gates." Tipping also owned houses and shops in the Shambles. After Tipping's death, Isabel continued her husband's business, trading in yarn and sackcloth. By the time she died, she was extremely wealthy. The inventory taken at her death reveals the value of her personal wealth was at least £1500 and that she had £471 17s. on hand in silver and gold. She also owned books. Her children with Tipping were John (d. before 1592), Samuel, George (d.1629), Anne, Dorothy, and Cecily (d. before 1617).










KATHERINE BRUEN (February 1579-May 31, 1601)
Katherine Bruen was the daughter of John Bruen of Bruen Stapleford, Cheshire (1510-1587) and Dorothy Holford. From the age of eight, she was raised by her older brother, John Bruen (1560-1625), who enforced a strict religious regimen that included prayers seven times a day and attendance at two sermons every Sunday. In about 1599, Katherine married William Brettargh of Brettargh Hall near Liverpool (c.1571-1602+). He was a puritan, almost as strict as her brother. They lived at Little Woolton in Childwall, Lancashire and had one child, Anne, before Katherine contracted an unknown illness and, facing death, lost her faith. Her death inspired an account of her life—actually two sermons that attempted to explain what had happened to her—printed later that same year, and spawned a debate about which religious beliefs led to a more merciful death. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Brettargh [née Bruen], Katherine.” Portraits: portrait; engraving.






MARY BRUGES (c.1588-June 1662)
Mary Bruges was the daughter of Richard Bruges or Bridges of Combe, Gloucestershire and Scampton, Lincolnshire (d.1620). She married Peter Phesant (Pheasant; Fesant) (1584-October 1, 1649), a justice of common pleas, and was the mother of Mary (b. January 7, 1615), Stephen (May 22, 1617-1660), Susan (1619-1638+), Nathaniel (d.1655+), Margaret (c.1623-1645+), and Robert (May 1626-September 11, 1626). In her will, dated August 15, 1635, Margaret Wroth (née Rich) left Mrs. Mary Pheasant a gold ring set with seven diamonds "to wear for her sake" and left Mary's daughter, her goddaughter Margaret, a bracelet of gold with amethyst stones, a bodkin with a diamond button, and a pearl bracelet. Mary was buried June 21, 1662 at Upwood, Huntingdonshire. My thanks to a member of the Bruges family for information included in this entry. Portrait: with one of her daughters, c.1615-20, by Paul van Somer.

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ELIZABETH BRUGGE or BRUGES (d. January 26, 1525)

Elizabeth Brugge or Bruges was the daughter of Thomas Brugge or Bruges of Cobberley (1427-January 30, 1492/3) and Florence Darrell (c.1425-1506). She married first William Cassey of Wightfield, Gloucestershire (d.1509). Some online genealogy websites give Cassey's surname as Carey. By her first husband she had two sons, Leonard (1506-1513) and Robert (d.1547). From the will of her second husband, Walter Rowdon, dated May 9, 1513, it is clear that they resided at Wightfield. Her jointure included the manor of Rowdon and Walter left his wife all such plate, chains, rings and jewels as were his at Wightfield, except a gold ring, which he left to William Hanshaw. He left the rest of his estate to his brother, Richard Rowdon. Elizabeth was buried under the north aisle of St. Mary Church, Deerhurst, Glouchestershire. Portrait: memorial brass.

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Philippa Brulet was the daughter of Gwylliam Brulet, a Frenchman from Normandy who was an embroiderer at the court of Henry VIII. In records his first name is also spelled Guillaume and Gillam and his last name Breyllant, Brellan, and Braibot. He was granted denization in May 1524. At some point before the death of Sir Edward Baynton in 1544, Philippa married his son, Andrew Baynton (c.1516-February 21, 1564). The marriage caused dissention and does not seem to have been a happy one. Baynton brought a successful suit for annulment in 1562 on the grounds that she'd had a pre-contract with someone else. The suit mentions debts to her father. Baynton then remarried. The mother of Anne Baynton (b.1551?) is sometimes said to be Baynton's second wife, Frances Legh, but if the date of her birth is correct, that seems unlikely.




JANE BRUSSELLS (d. November 29, 1585)
Jane Brussells was the daughter of Barbara Hawke, long-time royal attendant. Charlotte Merton, in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, lists her as Jane Hawk-Brussells-Heneage and the dates she gives (specific times when she was known to be at court from documents Merton consulted) run from 1567 to 1597. However, Ms. Merton advises caution in using this list and in this case, there seem to be discrepancies. As I indicate in the entry for Barbara Hawke, Brussells (Bruselles/ Brussels) is Barbara's married name. Jane Brussells is listed as a chamberer to Queen Elizabeth in 1586 and seems to have served in that post throughout her career. At one point, she was put in charge of the royal ruffs and cuffs. In about 1589, Jane Brussells married William Heneage of Hainton, Linconshire (d. March 29, 1610) as his second wife. They had no children. The Heneage tomb shows both wives and states that Jane served Queen Elizabeth for twenty-four years in "her bedchamber and her private chamber." Portrait: effigy on Heneage tomb in Hainton, Lincolnshire.

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ELIZABETH BRUYN (d. March 7, 1493/4)
Elizabeth Bruyn, sometimes called Anne, was born between 1444 and 1450, the daughter of Sir Henry Bruyn/Bruen of South Ockendon, Essex (1420-November 30, 1461) and Elizabeth Darcy (d.c.1471). Her first husband was Thomas Tyrrell (d.1471), by whom she had two sons, William and Hugh. She then married Sir William Brandon (d. August 21, 1485), who died at Bosworth Field. They had at least three children, William (d. yng), Anne (d. by July 1540), and Charles (1484/5-1545) and some genealogies also list Robert, Richard, and Elizabeth. The latter was probably one of Brandon’s two illegitimate daughters. Elizabeth married third William Mallery or Mallory.


ELIZABETH BRYAN (c.1495-1546)

The daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan of Marsworth and Cheddington, Buckinghamshire (c.1464-1517) and Margaret Bourcher (1468-1551/2), Elizabeth and her siblings grew up at court, where her mother was one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting and her father was vice chamberlain of the queen’s household. Elizabeth was married in December 1514 to Nicholas Carew (c.1496-March 3, 1539), a squire of the king’s body. Both before and after her marriage, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret (married to Sir Henry Guildford from 1512) participated in many masques at court. In February 1515, King Henry paid Thomas Jenyns, serjeant skinner, £78 17s. 4d. for "mynkes and martoins" for "Nich. Carewe and his wife." In 1516, Nicholas and his wife were granted lands in Surrey, including Beddington, valued at forty marks a year, in part payment of fifty marks a year "as a marriage portion." On March 27, 1518, "Mr. Carew and his wife returned to the King's Grace" while the court was at Abingdon, according to a letter written to Cardinal Wolsey. The implication is that they had been sent away for some infraction. All was apparently forgiven, as the king visited Beddington for a week in February 1519 and hunted in the adjoining park. In March 1520, the duke of Suffolk and his wife (Mary Tudor, former Queen of France) stayed there with the Carews, their visit extended because the duchess fell ill. Elizabeth's children by Carew were Isabel, Elizabeth, Mary, Francis (1530-May 16, 1611), and Anne (d. November 3, 1587). In January 1537, Princess Mary gave 7s. 6d. to "the nurse of Lady Carew's daughter, who was Mary's goddaughter." Elizabeth is credited with persuading her uncle, John Bourchier, 2nd baron Berners (1467-1533), to translate "The Castell of Love" from Spanish into English. The manor of Bletchingley, Surrey, was granted to Nicholas and Elizabeth Carew in 1522. In 1536, Jane Seymour stayed with them prior to her marriage to Henry VIII. Queen Jane was very fond of Elizabeth Carew and left her several pieces of jewelry when she died. This gift, described as "many beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels," seems to be the source of a totally unfounded story that Elizabeth Bryan, as a young teenager, was Henry VIII's mistress. In a variation of this, Marie Louise Bruce, in her 1972 biography of Anne Boleyn, suggests that Elizabeth was Henry VIII's unnamed mistress of 1533-4. This is highly unlikely. Elizabeth would have been nearly forty by then. There were several rich gifts of clothing in 1516: crimson tinsel for a stomacher; tawny velvet for a gown; two yards of cloth of silver of damask. Her husband also received clothing from the king. After Sir Nicholas was charged with treason and executed in 1539, Elizabeth was evicted from the Carew seat at Beddington and took refuge at Wallington. She wrote to Lord Cromwell from there, asking him to intercede for her with the king. Her mother also wrote to Cromwell, saying that Elizabeth "has not been used to straight living and it would grieve me in my old days to lose her." Elizabeth was allowed to keep Wallington and a few manors in Sussex worth £120. She left a will dated May 21, 1546 and proved July 17, 1546. She was buried in St. Botolph's, Aldgate, London, with her husband. She was buried in St. Botolph’s, Aldgate. Biography: included in Ronald Michell, The Carews of Beddington.







MARGARET BRYAN (d. before 1527)
Margaret Bryan was the daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan of Marsworth and Cheddington, Buckinghamshire (c.1468-1517) and Margaret Bourchier (1468-1551/2). She was at court as a young woman, since both her parents were part of the queen's household. She married Sir Henry Guildford (1489-1532) in May 1512, when the Princess of Castile (Henry VIII's sister, Mary Tudor), made an offering of 6s. 8d. for the occasion. On June 6, Henry VIII granted the newlyweds two manors, Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire, and Byner, Lincolnshire. Both before and after her marriage, she participated in many masques at court and she attended the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520. The Guildfords' primary residence when not at court was Benenden, Kent, but as Keeper of Leeds Castle, Sir Henry also had the use of that establishment. Margaret had no children we know of, but she may be the Lady Guildford who provided a nurse (Cecily Russell of Acton) when Ursula Pole, Lady Stafford, gave birth to her first child and sent a greyhound as a gift to the duke of Buckingham in December 1520.


ELIZABETH BRYCE (d. before 1542)

Elizabeth Bryce was the granddaughter of a London goldsmith, Sir Hugh Bryce (d. September 22, 1496) and his wife, Elizabeth Chester (d.1504). It is not certain when her father, James, died, but Elizabeth was still underage and unmarried in 1498. She married another goldsmith, Robert Amadas (1470-by April 14,1532). They had two daughters, Elizabeth (1508-1529+), who died before her parents, and Thomasine. In 1526, Robert Amadas was appointed Master of the Jewel House to King Henry VIII. Amadas owned a house in Aldersgate and land in Essex. Upon his death, Elizabeth inherited Jenkins, a “mansion house” in Barking, and on August 28, 1532, married Sir Thomas Neville (c.1475-May 29,1542) in the chapel there. He was the younger brother of Baron Bergavenny and a lawyer. He and Elizabeth had no children and she died before him. Here the “facts” become contradictory. According to Carolly Erickson’s biography of Henry VIII’s daughter, Queen Mary, Mrs. Amadas "began, in 1533, to spread ‘ungracious’ statements about the king’s occult destiny.” She said these prophesies had been known to her for some twenty years. She kept a “painted roll of her predictions” which included battles and deaths and conquest by Scotland, as well as Anne Boleyn’s death within six months by being burnt at the stake. The story that Mrs. Amadas claimed, in 1532, that she had once been the king’s mistress, has fairly wide circulation. Since she specified that she met him in Sir William Compton’s house in Thames Street, this must have been before Compton’s death in 1528 . . . if it ever happened. And if, indeed, she called Anne Boleyn a harlot and spoke out against the king setting aside his wife, then it would have been difficult indeed for her to marry Thomas Neville when she did. Wikipedia, never the most reliable of sources, summarizes “what everyone knows” about Elizabeth Amadas, which is that she was arrested for her treasonous statements and that Richard Amadas was ordered to pay several hundred pounds to the crown, although whether to free his wife or because there was plate missing from the Jewel House is not clear. Of course, since Amadas had died early in 1532, either would have been a good trick. In Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir suggests that the king pursued Mrs. Amadas between his involvement with Mary Boleyn and his courtship of Anne Boleyn and that Mrs. Amadas may have spurned his advances. In another of her books, Weir states that Elizabeth was "given to tantrums and strange visions." Both she and G.W. Bernard give sources in the L&P for the affair with the king and the prophesies, but these are dated 1533. Kelly Hart, in The Mistresses of Henry VIII, repeats all the stories about Elizabeth Amadas and adds that Robert Amadas owed the king £1,771 19s.10d. for missing plate. She also says that Elizabeth died within four months of her second marriage but gives no sources for this information. Sharon Jansen, in Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior, has a different take on Mrs. Amadas. Indeed, she doesn't think the self-proclaimed prophet was Elizabeth Bryce at all. Jansen identifies the Mrs. Amadas who compared herself with Catherine of Aragon and Elizabeth Stafford, Duchess of Norfolk as an abused wife as the first wife of John Amadas (by 1489-1554/5), a member of the king's household with properties in Devon, Cornwall, and Kent. He was married by 1519, but his first wife's name is unknown. They had a son and a daughter and possibly other children and she had died by 1542, when he remarried.






Catherine Brydges was the daughter of Sir Giles Brydges or Brugge of Coberley, Gloucestershire (1462-December 1, 1511) and Isabel Baynham (c.1475-1511+). She married c. 1515 Leonard Pole or Poole of Sapperton, Gloucestershire (d. September 30, 1538), gentleman usher of the king’s chamber, by whom she had two sons, John and Sir Giles (d. February 24, 1589). Her second husband, married c. 1539, was Sir David Broke (Brooke/Brook) of Bristol and Week, Somerset (c.1499-1559/60). They had no children. Catherine was one of Mary Tudor’s nurses in 1516, possibly the one paid £20 for a half year's wages in March 1517. She was still with the princess in July 1525 when Mary’s household was moved to the Marches of Wales. She received a diamond ring as a gift from Henry VIII. In 1553, when Mary became queen, Catherine returned to her household, after a long absence, as Catherine Brooke. Her husband was knighted. In 1554, Catherine's husband was granted the manors of Horton, Gloucestershire and Canonbury, Middlesex. Catherine was buried at Islington where, at one time, she had a memorial brass.


CATHERINE BRYDGES (c.1524-April 1566)
Catherine Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (March 9, 1491/2-April 13, 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. December 29, 1559). She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary. In early 1556, she married Edward Sutton, baron Dudley (d. July 9, 1586) and soon after found herself being questioned about her brother-in-law, Sir Henry Dudley, the conspirator. Her husband was imprisoned for debt in June 1558, by which time Catherine had given birth to their only child, Anne (c.1554-November 28, 1605). Lady Dudley was buried on April 25, 1566 in St. Edmund’s Chapel, Dudley.


CATHERINE BRYDGES (1576-January 29, 1656/7)
Catherine Brydges was the daughter of Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547-February 21, 1594) and Frances Clinton (1553-September 12, 1623). She does not seem to have served as a maid of honor, although many other women in her family did. With her sister Elizabeth (1574-October 1617), she was co-heiress to a fortune estimated at £16,500. On February 26, 1608/9, she married Francis Russell, baron Russell of Thornhaugh and later 4th earl of Bedford (1593-May 9, 1641) at St. Mary le Strand. In spite of her late marriage (at about thirty-two), she was the mother of ten children: William, 5th earl and 1st duke (August 1616-September 7, 1700), Francis (d.c.1696), John (d.1681), Edward (d. September 21, 1665), Catherine (d. December 1, 1676), Anne (d. January 27, 1696/7), Margaret (d. November 1676), Diana (1624-January 30, 1695), Elizabeth, and Frances. After the deaths of tow of their daughters, in 1612 and 1616, Lord Russell built a tomb for himself and his wife at Chenies, Buckinghamshire. They lie on a tombchest with effigies of the two girls lying under a pair of arches with a broken pediment. Peter Sherlock's Monuments and Memory in Early Modern England gives the date of Catherine's death as 1653. Portrait: effigy at Chenies.





ELEANOR BRYDGES (c.1546-1570+)
Eleanor Brydges was the daughter of Edmund Brydges, 2nd baron Chandos (d. September 11, 1573) and Dorothy Bray (c.1524-October 31,1605). She went to court with her sister Katherine to be maids of honor to Queen Elizabeth and remained in the Privy Chamber after her marriage to George Gifford or Giffard (b.1552), a courtier, at some point during the 1570s. Gifford was arrested on August 23, 1586 on charges of dealing with Jesuits, but he was released by the end of that year. After that he was much abroad. I have not been able to discover when either Eleanor or her husband died.





Elizabeth Brydges was the daughter of Rowland Brydges (Brugge; Bruges; Bridges) of Clerkenwell, Middlesex and Ley Weobley, Herefordshire (d. before December 22, 1544) and Margaret or Margery Kellom. Rowland was also known as Rowland Gosnell and for a time headed the religious house at Much Wenlock. Elizabeth was her parents' heir and fairly wealthy before her marriages. Her first husband was Valentine Clerke, by whom she had three children: Rowland (b.1532), Anne (b.1534) and Amy (b.c.1540) Widowed by the end of 1540, she took Sir Ralph Fane or Vane of Hadlow (x. February 1552) for her second husband. Elizabeth translated psalms and proverbs and received dedications from poet Robert Crowley and others of the radical protestant persuasion. When her husband was executed, charged with conspiracy to murder the duke of Northumberland, Elizabeth lost their home at Penshurst, Kent and the contents of their house in Westminster. Under Queen Mary, Elizabeth offered aid to co-religionists imprisoned by the queen and as a result was eventually forced to go into hiding. She was concealed near Reading for twenty-one weeks in 1556. She died peacefully in Holborn and was buried at St. Andrews on June 11, 1568. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Fane [Vane; née Brydges], Elizabeth."


ELIZABETH BRYDGES (1574-October 1617)

Elizabeth Brydges was the daughter of Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547-February 21, 1594) and Frances Clinton (1553-September 12, 1623). She was a maid of honor and co-heiress with her sister Catherine (1576-1654) to a fortune reckoned at £16,500, but she apparently had debts. To pay them, she encouraged Charles Lister to court her. Charlotte Merton includes the story in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth: Shortly after her father's death, Elizabeth borrowed £150 from Lister. Their courtship continued until 1598, with numerous gifts and loans, particularly between April 25, 1597, when she agreed to a secret contract of marriage, and August 1598. He redeemed jewelry she had pawned, paid off a £200 bond, paid her physician's bill, and entered into a £1000 bond on her behalf. He was not a wealthy man, but he gave her many presents of jewelry and furnishings and even a ruby and diamond jewel that cost £120. On August 6, 1598, when he redeemed the rest of the diamonds she'd pawned for £1,150, he was obliged to borrow money against his estates. Elizabeth promised to pay him back within six months, but it soon became obvious that she had no intention of doing so. On December 11, 1598, his deposition was taken by the Privy Council, listing the complaints he lodged against her, but no action was taken. It seems doubtful he ever recovered any of the money. Meanwhile, she'd been carrying on with the earl of Essex. Lister died, unmarried, on November 26, 1613. Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth's favorite, is first heard of in connection with Elizabeth Brydges in April 1597, when she and Elizabeth Russell were turned out of the Coffer Chamber for going to watch the earl play at ballon without the queen's permission. The two maids of honor spent three nights at Lady Stafford's house before they were allowed to return to court. After that, Elizabeth Brydges's interest in Essex cooled, but in early 1598, they were said to have resumed the affair. In June 1602, during negotiations over the ownership of Sudeley Castle (Elizabeth's uncle, William, 4th baron Chandos, also claimed the property), Elizabeth's cousin, Grey Brydges, assaulted Elizabeth's representative. In October of that year the proposal was made that Elizabeth marry Grey to settle the matter, but nothing came of the suggestion. Elizabeth Brydges was still at court in 1603 when Queen Elizabeth died and was in the funeral procession. Shortly after James I became king, Elizabeth married Sir John Kennedy, but Grey, now Lord Chandos, disapproved of the match and discovered that Kennedy already had a wife in Scotland. Forced to separate from her husband, Elizabeth lived the rest of her life in relative poverty and obscurity. Portraits: one painted by Hieronomo Custodis in 1585; two others painted in 1595 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.

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Frances Brydges was the daughter of William Brydges, 4th baron Chandos (d.1602) and Mary Hopton (d. October 23,1624). She may have been a maid of honor. By 1603, she had married Sir Thomas Smith (c.1556-November 1609), a courtier who was named Master of Requests in 1608. They had two children, Robert (1605-1606) and Margaret, and houses in Westminster and Parsons Green, Fulham. In 1610, Frances married Thomas Cecil, earl of Exeter (1542-1623) by whom she had a daughter. Queen Anne attended the christening as godmother and named the baby Georgi-Anna (June 1616-1621). Frances entertained lavishly at Wimbledon but she was also involved in a scandal when Exeter’s grandson, Lord Ros (d.1618) was blackmailed by his wife, Anne Lake, and her parents (see MARY RYTHER). The hostilities extended to accusing Frances of an incestuous relationship with Ros and an attempt to poison Lady Ros. In February 1619 the charges and countercharges were finally heard in the Star Chamber with King James presiding. There were over 17,000 pages of evidence. Frances was vindicated. Lady Lake and her husband and Lady Ros were imprisoned in the Tower of London and fined. Following her second husband’s death, Frances returned to Fulham, where she lived until 1632, when she turned the property over to her daughter, Margaret, and Margaret’s husband, Thomas Carey (d.1634). She made her will on January 20, 1663. It was proved July 17. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Cecil [née Brydges; other married name Smith], Frances.” Portraits: painting by Van Dyck, now missing; drawing by Van Dyck; both from the 1630s.


Katherine Brydges was the daughter of Edmund Brydges, 2nd baron Chandos (d. September 11, 1573) and Dorothy Bray (c.1524-October 31,1605). She went to court with her sister Eleanor to be maids of honor to Queen Elizabeth. She was considered the most beautiful of that group and a poem by George Gascoigne (d.1577), “In Prayse of Bridges,” called her the damsel at court who “doth most excell” and praised “her sweet face.” In 1573 she married William Sandys, 3rd baron Sandys of the Vyne (c.1545-September 29, 1623). They had a daughter, Elizabeth (d. between April 5, 1644 and 1649).


MARY BRYDGES (c.1519-November 15, 1606)
Mary Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (March 9, 1491/2-April 13, 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. December 29, 1559). She married George Throckmorton (c.1533-September 1, 1612), brother of Sir Nicholas, by 1558. In 1559, her husband accused her of trying to poison him. Sir Nicholas wrote to Sir William Cecil from France in August of that year to beg him not to be "too pitiful or remiss" in looking into the matter. He reminded Cecil that civil law punished the offense with death and that canon law dissolved the marriage. He wrote of "many devilish devices," but he admitted that he had not seen his brother in person, possibly because George had been in exile during the reign of Mary Tudor. In a second letter, Sir Nicholas worried that the attempted poisoning might have been included in the general pardon issued by Queen Elizabeth at the beginning of her reign. On August 20, 1559, Cecil received a letter of explanation from Mary's mother. It had all been a misunderstanding, Lady Chandos wrote. Mary was "given overmuch" to palmistry, but had nothing to do with poisons. She had tried to give George a love potion, not a poison, seeking his "entire and perfect" love because he had been unfaithful to her. Apparently the letter convinced Cecil, as no action was taken against Mary. This story comes from letters quoted by Dr. A. L. Rowse in his Sir Walter Raleigh: His Family and Private Life. George Throckmorton may have been married first to Mary’s younger sister, Frances Brydges. However, Frances’s life dates are given as c.1536-August 20, 1559, which makes no sense unless Frances was the wife of the letters and conveniently died before Cecil had to act. George Throckmorton had nine children. One birth date given for the eldest, Nicholas, is c.1551. The others are Elizabeth, Sarah, Henry, John, Jane, Michael, George, and Susan or Susanna. The identity of their mother is unclear. Mary is also given two husbands prior to Throckmorton, first Francis Lovell and second Sir George Cornwall. From this second marriage, which took place on May 6, 1543, she had two children, Bridget and Humphrey (c.1550-1633). To add to the confusion, life dates for George Cornwall are usually given as 1509-1562. If that is correct, Mary Brydges could not have married George Throckmorton in 1558. The account of the story in Charlotte Merton's The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth calls the alleged poisoner Frances and says she conferred with wizards early in 1559 and that both Frances and George continued at court as members of the privy chamber after the marriage finally collapsed in the 1560s.


WINIFRED BRYDGES (1510-June 16, 1586)
Winifred Bridges is identified in some genealogies as the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (March 9, 1492-April 13, 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. December 29, 1559), but the Oxford DNB entries for her husband and her daughter identify Winifred’s parents as Sir John Brydges (Bruges; Burges; Brugge; Brugges), draper and Lord Mayor of London in 1520-21, and his wife Agnes Ayloffe. Winifred married Richard Sackville of Ashburnham and Buckhurst, Sussex (d. April 21, 1566), by whom she had Thomas, earl of Dorset (1536-April 19, 1608), two sons who died young, and Anne (d. May 14, 1595). In 1562 and again in 1566, the Sackvilles were given custody of Margaret Douglas, countess of Lennox, when she had offended Queen Elizabeth. Winifred inherited Salisbury Court, between Sackville House (later Buckhurst House) and the Temple in London, as her dower house. From 1568, she let the property to the French ambassador for use as his embassy. Before September 30, 1568, Winifred married John Paulet, 2nd marquess of Winchester (c.1510-November 4, 1576) as his third wife. Many accounts, including my original entry in Wives and Daughters, incorrectly state that she married his father, William Paulet, 1st marquess (1485-March 10, 1572). From her second husband, Winifred inherited the house in Chelsea that once belonged to Sir Thomas More. Upon her death, she left it to her daughter. The 3rd marquess complained that his stepmother had used undue influence on his father when he made his will. Winifred was buried in Westminster Abbey. She left a will dated May 18, 1583 and proved June 20, 1586. Portrait: effigy in Westminster Abbey.













Catherine Bulkeley was the daughter of Rowland Bulkeley of Beaumaris, Wales (c.1461-1537) and Alice Beconsall. Her brother, Sir Richard, was a client of both Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. She was a nun and on April 16, 1535 became the last abbess of Godstow in Oxfordshire. In the 1520 visitation she had been the second most junior nun. She wrote to Lord Cromwell in hopes of saving the abbey from dissolution. On March 7, 1538, she offered him the stewardship of the abbey, which he accepted. She sent his fee, and apples, on October 6. On another occasion she sent him a couple of Banbury cheeses. On November 26, however, Dr. John London was sent to suppress the abbey. She wrote to protest, while still trying to sound submissive. She was granted a pension of £40 for life. Following the abbey’s surrender on November 17, 1539, she conformed to the New Religion and leased the parsonage of Cheadle church in Cheshire from her brother, John, who was (absentee) rector there from 1525-1545. She apparently lived in the rectory until her death. She was buried at Cheadle on February 13, 1560. For more information, see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 67-72.
















ALICE BULSTRODE (d.1518+) (maiden name unknown)
Alice Bulstrode was the widow of William Bulstrode, son of Thomas, when she married John Soper. Records for 1515-1518 include the lawsuit Alice and John Soper, brought against William Ludlow and John Bulstrode (brother of William and his executor) over the legacy William left Alice from the profits of lands entrusted by Philippa, William's aunt and guardian, to Ludlow. John Bulstrode had refused to prove William's will, prompting the lawsuit. As is so often the case, there is no resolution recorded, but the claim apparently involved lands in Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Wiltshire. Which Thomas and Philippa Bulstrode are meant is unclear. William Bulstrode (1440-December 28, 1478) and Jane Franklin had children by those names but that William Bulstrode may also have had a brother and sister named Thomas and Philippa.


Cecily Bulstrode was the daughter of Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley (c.1457-February 8, 1516) and his third wife, Margaret Ashfield. In July 1533, she married Sir Alexander Unton of Wadley, Berkshire (c.1508-December 16, 1547). They had seven sons and two daughters, including Sir Edward (1534-September 16, 1582), Henry, Elizabeth (1538-June 24, 1611), and Thomas (1540-January 1564). At the time of his death, Unton owned estates at Offchurch, Denchworth, Wadley, Shellingford, Sheepbridge in Swallowfield, and East Hanney in Berkshire and Minster Lovell and Aston Rowant in Oxfordshire. Her second husband was Robert Kelway of London and Combe Abbey, Minster Lovel, Oxfordshire (1510-1581), surveyor of wards and liveries to Queen Elizabeth, by whom she had one daughter, Anne (1549-May 25, 1620). Portrait: monumental brass on the tomb of her first husband in the Unton Chapel, Faringdon Church, Berkshire.

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CECILY BULSTRODE (1584-August 4, 1609)
Cecily Bulstrode was the daughter of Edward Bulstrode (November 3, 1550-August 31, 1595) and Cecily Croke (d.1608+). In 1605 she was part of the countess of Bedford’s household and by 1607 had become a gentlewoman of the queen’s bedchamber to Queen Anne. Several poems were apparently written about her, some of them attacking her for promiscuity, and at least one poem was written by Cecily herself in reply. Poems were also written about her death, which occurred at The Park, Twickenham, the countess of Bedford’s house. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Bulstrode, Cecily.”


CECILY BURBAGE (d. before 1575?)

Cecily Burbage was the daughter of Thomas Burbage of Hayes Park Hall, Middlesex (d.1560) and Anne or Agnes Muncaster, daughter of James Muncaster of London (d.1507), a merchant tailor, and his wife Mary (d.1508). She married Thomas Vitry. After she went mad, she was supported financially by her eldest brother, Robert Burbage (d.1575).


ELLEN BURBAGE (d. c. 1575)

Ellen Burbage was the daughter of Thomas Burbage of Hayes Park Hall, Middlesex (d.1560) and Anne or Agnes Muncaster, daughter of James Muncaster of London (d.1507), a merchant tailor, and his wife Mary (d.1508). In 1571, she married Rocco Bonetti (d.1587), an Italian who had come to England in 1569 who would later (in 1576) set himself up in Blackfriars as a fencing master. Bonetti had a somewhat checkered career. Various accounts identify him as a soldier of fortune, a secret emissary from Catherine de Medici, and a spy for England who copied letters between the French ambassadors in London and Edinburgh and passed them on to one of Sir Francis Walsingham's agents. Bonetti left England shortly after his marriage and when he returned in 1575 it was to find that his wife had died and his house and goods had been seized by her eldest brother, Robert Burbage, and one John Vavasour. Upon Burbage's death that same year, his son-in-law, William Goring, laid claim to Bonetti's property. Bonetti later remarried. Whether he got his property back is unclear, but he did have powerful friends who intervened on his behalf on other matters.




ANNE BURES (1526-September 19, 1609)
Anne Bures was the daughter of Sir Henry Bures (Buers/Bury) of Acton Hall, Suffolk (1501-July 1528) and Anne Waldegrave (1506-April 24, 1590). She and two of her sisters were married to the three sons of Sir William Butts, royal physician, Anne to Edmund of Barrow, Suffolk (1523-1550) in 1547, Jane (1522-1594) to William of Thornage, Norfolk (1519-September 3, 1583), and Bridget to Thomas of Great Riburgh, Norfolk. The marriage of Anne and Edmund was the only one to produce an heir, Anne Butts (c.1548-September 19, 1616; married Sir Nicholas Bacon in 1564). Anne spent sixty-one years as a widow. Her brass in the Church of St. Mary at Redgrave, Suffolk is on a slab of black Belgian marble and of unusual size and beauty. Portrait: memorial brass.

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JANE BURES (d. May 1557+)

Jane Bures (sometimes written Birch) was born in Suffolk. By a marriage settlement dated January 1530, she married Roger Stourton of Rushton, Dorset (d. January 31, 1551), a younger son of Edward, 6th baron Stourton. They lived at Rushton. By his will, written on January 28, 1551, Stourton left Jane the manor house at Rushton, another at Up Carne, Dorset, and a flock of 1000 sheep at Up Carne. At the time of his death he also owned a flock of sheep at Langford, Wiltshire and corn and cattle on the Bures manor of Brook Hall, Essex. As executor of the will, Jane, a childless widow, was soon at odds with her late husband's nephew, Charles, 8th baron. In 1553, she complained to the king that she was being persecuted by the 8th baron's servants. Her brother, Robert Bures, supported her claim. At the same time, she had to fight a claim to Rushton made by George and Elizabeth (née Ashley) Percy. The Court of the Star Chamber decided in Jane's favor and she was reinstated at Rushton by the sheriff in May 1557. 


MARGARET BURGES (before 1532-before 1597) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret Burges was the wife of John Burges (Bruges; Brydges), clothier of Kingswood, Wiltshire (d.1597). Her children were John (1546-1607), Richard (d.1620), who settled at Combe, Gloucestershire and Scampton, Lincolnshire, Margaret, and Alice (d.1599). During the reign of Mary Tudor, Margaret and her husband continued to hold protestant views. A good friend and not-to-distant neighbor was the rector of Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, Paul Bush (1489/1490-October 11, 1558), who had been Bishop of Bristol until he was removed for having married during the reign of Edward VI. According to his entry in the Oxford DNB, he lost his post even though his wife Edith (née Ashley) died in October 1553. John Burges was at one point tried for "mocking and disparaging the blessed mass" and Margaret did not hesitate to voice heretical views at dinner with Bush. This prompted Bush to write Exhortation, published in London in 1554. It was a defense of the mass and was dedicated to Margaret.





Elizabeth Burgh was the eldest daughter of Thomas, baron Burgh or Borough of Gainsborough (1558-October 14, 1597) and Frances Vaughan (c.1562-July 1647). In 1599, she married George Brooke (April 17, 1568-December 5, 1603), the youngest son of William, Lord Cobham (d.1597), by whom she had three children—William (1601-September 20, 1643), Frances, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was one of the coheirs of her brother Robert (d.1602). Brooke was a womanizer, even seducing Elizabeth's sister, Frances, and in 1603 was an instigator of the so-called Bye Plot to kidnap King James. He was arrested on July 14, 1603 and put on trial on November 15, 1603. He was executed on Winchester Castle Green. After her husband's death, Elizabeth married, before October 24, 1605, Francis Rede or Reade of Osterley, Middlesex, by whom she had no children. Some unsubstantiated sources online give her another husband, John Byrd or le Bird of Broxton (1570-1630), but genealogies generally identify this Elizabeth Burgh as Burgh alias Copparsmith (1572-1610) and have her married to John Byrd well before George Brooke's death. On various family trees, Elizabeth and John Byrd are given up to six children with varying dates of birth, including Elizabeth (1605-1665) and Thomas (1610-1678).


FRANCES BURGH (d. before November 24, 1618)

Frances Burgh was the daughter of Thomas, baron Burgh or Borough of Gainsborough (1558-October 14, 1597) and Frances Vaughan (c.1562-July 1647). In 1599, her older sister Elizabeth married George Brooke (April 17, 1568-December 5, 1603), the youngest son of William, Lord Cobham (d.1597), a notorious womanizer. According to Gustav Ungerer, “Prostitution in Late Elizabethan England: The Case of Mary Newborough,” in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Vol. 15, edited by John Pitcher, Robert Lindsey, and Susan Cerasano, Brooke seduced Frances, even though she was betrothed to his ward, Francis Coppinger of St. Giles in the Fields, London (c.1579-1626+), and got her with child. Frances was one of the coheirs of her brother Robert (d.1602). She married Coppinger by 1609. Their children were Lettice and Nicholas (d.1686) and others who died young. 



see also BOROUGH











FRANCES BURROUGHS (1576-March 3, 1637)

Frances Burroughs was the daughter of Anthony Burroughs and Maud Vaux (1536- 1581). Her mother came from a recusant family but her father was a conformist and took his little daughter to church every Sunday. According to the family legend, she would immediately fall into a deep sleep and not wake up until she was out of the church once more. At the age of five, after her mother's death, she was adopted by her cousin, Eleanor Vaux Brooksby, a widow with two young children of her own. From an early age, she had to deal with raids on her home and showed extraordinary courage in dealing with the searchers. At eleven, according to the Chronicle of St. Monica's, when armed pursuivants burst in on the family, Frances cried out "Oh! put up your swords or else my mother will die, for she cannot endure to see a naked sword." Then Eleanor, or possibly her sister, Anne Vaux, impersonating Eleanor, pretended to swoon. When Frances was sent to fetch wine to revive her, she was able to make certain that the priests were safely hidden away. On another occasion, a pursuivant held a dagger to her breast and threatened to stab her if she did not tell him where the priests were hidden. She answered that if he did, it would be "the hottest blood that ever thou sheddiset in thy life." Impressed by her courage, the pursuivant tried to buy her for £100. In 1595, after some ten years of wavering about her vocation, Frances left England with the help of Father Henry Garnet and joined the Canonesses Regular of the Lateran at Louvain, entering the convent of St. Monica's where, although she was reportedly sickly all her life, she lived for more than forty years. The writer of the Chronicle criticized Frances for "hasty words" and other "small defects" in her character, including "but a weak voice for the choir."


ALICE BURTON (December 28, 1542-May 21, 1616)
Alice Burton was the daughter of Simon Burton (1508-May 23, 1593), wax chandler and governor of St. Thomas Hospital, London, and his first wife, Elizabeth. She was married three times, first to Richard Waterson, by whom she had a son, Simon (d.1564+), then to Francis Coldock, gentleman (1530/1-January 13, 1603), by whom she had two daughters, Joan and Anne. They were married for forty years. After the death of her father, Alice erected a monument in his memory in St. Andrew Undershaft, showing his two wives, one son, and three daughters. Like her first husband, Coldock was a stationer. His shop was at the sign of the Green Dragon in Paul’s Churchyard. In his will, dated September 3, 1602, he divided his belongings between Alice and their daughter Joan, who was by then married to William Ponsonby, a bookseller. As her third husband, Alice married Isaac Byng, gentleman, another stationer. She was buried in the same vault as her father. Portrait: on her father's brass, St. Andrew Undershaft, London.



ELIZABETH BURTON (d. 1520+) (maiden name unknown)

Elizabeth Burton, wife of John Burton, received a pension of twenty marks (£13 6s. 8d.) from Henry VIII for her service to his mother, Elizabeth of York. She was still collecting it in 1520.






AGNES BUSSY (c.1523-January 8, 1583)

Agnes was the only child of John Bussy or Bushy of Houghham, Lincolnshire (d. January 31,1542) and Anne Borough or Burgh (c.1500-1582). This considerable heiress was betrothed to a son of Sir William Fairfax in 1536, but disputes between the two fathers over the manor of Wigsley in Nottingham and other properties led Bussy to pay Fairfax £450 in 1539 to relinquish his claim to both Agnes and the land. She was then married to Edmund Brudenell of Deene (1521-February 24, 1585). After the death of her second husband, Sir Anthony Neville, on September 3, 1557, Agnes's mother (Anne) lived with the Brudenells. It is unclear whether her son (George) and three daughters by Neville were with her. Deene was visited by Queen Elizabeth on her progress of 1566. Agnes and Edmund quarreled over money, Edmund's unfaithfulness, religion (She was a staunch Protestant; he was sympathetic to Catholic recusants), how long to stay at Deene and how long at Houghham, and (in 1562) over title deeds. As a wife, Agnes had few legal rights. At one point she had to borrow money from her cousin, John Bussy, to pay her dressmaking bill. However, she did apparently have some say in the distribution of Bussy lands after her death and she paid her cousin, Richard Topcliffe (their mothers were sisters and Topcliffe's sister was married to Brudenell's brother) an annuity. Because Agnes was childless, there were several cousins with claims on her estate. Early on, Brudenell conspired with John Bussy to defraud the others by taking Agnes to London while another woman pretended to be her in court and surrendered the Bussy lands. The plan was to split the inheritance but Bussy backed out at the last minute. In the October following the death of Agnes's mother, when Agnes was ailing, Sir Walter Mildmay brokered an agreement for the distribution of the property after Agnes's death. In addition to deciding on her heir, Agnes wished to endow schools. Included was a provision that Brudenell (now Sir Edmund) “banish Kelam’s wife out of his company.” Brudenell, however, had plans of his own. He secretly negotiated a deal with Anthony Mears of Kirton, the principal heir to the seven manors Agnes had brought with her when they married. Two days after Agnes died, Sir Edmund purchased the Bussy inheritance from Mears for an undisclosed amount. This was contested by other Bussy relatives and the lawsuits were still ongoing in 1589, well after Sir Edmund himself had died. At one point he was even accused of giving her “lewd physic” to shorten her life, but there was no basis for this charge. Some three months passed between the date when Sir Edmund was supposed to have poisoned his wife and her death and in the interim she was well enough to have a company of players come to Deene and perform. After Agnes’s death, Sir Edmund remarried, taking as his bride one Audrey Fernley, widow of Anthony Rone of Hounslow, Middlesex. They had one child, a daughter, in 1584. Audrey died soon after she was born. Upon Sir Edmund’s death the following year, the infant inherited an annuity of 100 marks (£55 13s. 4d.) and a marriage portion of £3000. Perhaps this is why the ghost of Agnes Bussy is said to haunt Deene. The story of Dame Agnes is found in Joan Ware’s The Brudenells of Deene and in Mary E. Finch’s The Wealth of Five Northamptonshire Families, 1540-1640. Portrait: memorial brass.



JANE BUSSY (d.1557+)

Jane or Joan Bussy was the daughter of Sir Miles Bussy of Hougham, Lincolnshire (d.before February 12, 1525/6) and Margery Foljambe and the aunt of Agnes Bussy (above). She married Thomas Mears, Meres, or Meers of Kirton (d. before October 1, 1535). They had two sons, Francis (d. June 24, 1557) and Thomas (d. before 1535). Apparently, a man named Milnes was killed in Jane's chamber at court and she was attainted for his "surmised murder," then pardoned by Henry VIII. It was apparently also necessary that her sons' legitimacy be "proven" following the incident. Most sources say that Jane's husband was disinherited by his father, although not why. The family's estates did go to Jane's husband's much younger half brother, Anthony Mears. Some genealogies give Jane a second husband, William Radcliffe. I am hoping to discover more about this "surmised murder." Another mysterious death in a lady's chamber at court has been connected to Dame Katherine Grey (see KATHERINE SCALES).


According to David Loades in Two Tudor Conspiracies, Catherine Butler was probably the daughter of the Sir John Butler whose house in London was a meeting place for malcontents in 1555. The Sir John Butler who was a member of Queen Mary's first parliament was Sir John Butler of Woodhall and Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire (c.1511-February 23, 1576) and his wife and the mother of his six sons and seven daughters (married in 1528) was Griselda Roche (d.1576+), but his entry in the History of Parliament fails to mention this incident. Catherine, however, was questioned on March 20, 1556 concerning her knowledge of what became known as the Dudley Conspiracy. By that date, she had been married to Arthur Throckmorton for some time. They lived in a house in St. Martin's Ongar, London and Arthur's brother John, fourth son of William Throckmorton of Tortworth, Gloucestershire, had lived with them for the past seven years. John had a chamber to himself and it was there that he fomented rebellion. John was convicted of treason on April 21, 1556 and executed at Tyburn on April 28. Catherine, having given her evidence, was apparently released.






ELEANOR BUTLER (1545-1636)
Eleanor Butler was the daughter of Edmund Butler, Lord Dunboyne (d.1567), an Irish peer, and Cecily MacCarthy. Three weeks after Gerald Fitzgerald, earl of Desmond (c.1533-November 11, 1583) buried his first wife in January of 1565, he began his courtship of Eleanor Butler. After their marriage, they were almost immediately embroiled in hostilities with the first countess’s sons by her first marriage (to James Butler, earl of Ormond). Desmond spent the next seven years in English captivity, which Eleanor voluntarily shared. From October 1570 until his release in March 1573, he was in the custody of Sir Warham St. Leger and their son James (June 6, 1570-October 1, 1601) may have been born in St. Leger House, Southwark,
although a story in William McFee's The Life of Sir Martin Frobisher, dated 1571-2, seems more likely in connection with the birth of the son and heir. According to McFee, Desmond was living in London on parole with his pregnant wife and asked Frobisher to smuggle them out so the child would not be born in England. Frobisher, who had lodgings in Lambeth, met the earl at St. Leger House in Southwark. Desmond had also applied at court for a passport for his wife. McFee indicates she was allowed to go home but does not say when. Their other children were Thomas, Catherine, Jane, Ellen, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Ellice. Natalie Mears in "Politics in the Elizabethan Privy Chamber" in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700 edited by James Daybell, credits Eleanor with persuading her husband to agree to English reform in Ireland and resist the rebellion of Fitzmaurice FitzGerald in 1567, and with obtaining the earl's release in 1573. When they returned to Ireland, however, their son James was left behind in England to ensure his father’s good behavior. More than six years passed before he was allowed to visit Ireland. He resided with his mother at Askeaton, Limerick, but only for a month. Then she was obliged to hand him over to the English authorities. He was kept in Ireland, a prisoner, until his father’s death, and then sent back to England and housed in the Tower of London. An account of the involvement of both the earl and countess in Irish rebellions can be found in Richard Berleth’s The Twilight Lords, An Irish Chronicle. It ended with Eleanor, a price on her head, surrendering to the English in 1582. After Desmond’s execution, she was resettled near Dublin with her daughters and still resided there, living in poverty, when her son was allowed to return to Ireland in 1600. He died the following year. Eventually, Eleanor was pardoned and pensioned by Queen Elizabeth. She made several visits to London during the latter part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and the early part of that of King James. Biography: Eleanor, Countess of Desmond by Anne Chambers.











MARGARET BUTLER (1465-1539/40)
Margaret Butler was the younger daughter and coheir of Thomas Butler, 7th earl of Ormond (1424-August 3, 1515) and his first wife, Anne Hankeford (1431-November 13, 1485). I previously had life dates for her of 1458-April 3, 1537, but have altered these and the life dates of some of her children based on the Boleyn genealogy included in Alison Weir's biography of Mary Boleyn. Before November 16, 1469, Margaret married Sir William Boleyn (1447-October 10, 1505) and was the mother of Anne (November 18, 1474 [Weir says 1478]-October 31, 1479), Anne (c.1475-December 1556), Sir Thomas (1477-March 12, 1539), Amata (Amy/Jane) (c.1485-1543), Alice (1487-November 1, 1538), Sir William (1491-1571), Sir James (1493-1561), Sir Edward (1496-1530), Margaret, John, and Anthony. It was through Margaret that her son, Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire, claimed the title earl of Ormond in 1529, taking it away from Margaret's father's cousin, Piers Butler, in exchange for the title earl of Ossory. Margaret was rarely mentioned in her granddaughters' biographies until Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn. Weir supplies the following details: Sir William's will required Thomas Boleyn to pay his mother 200 marks/year. She lived at Blickling at that time, but went with Thomas and his family to Hever Castle in Kent c.1506. When her father died, Margaret inherited thirty-six manors. As a widow, she could have kept control of them herself but instead allowed Thomas to manage her inheritance. By 1519, she was judged to be insane. She remained at Hever Castle, allowed to stay on even it became the property of the Crown, for another twenty years. She died between September 30, 1539 and March 20, 1540. Her heir was her son Thomas's only surviving child, Mary Boleyn.


Margaret Butler was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boteler (1461-1522) and Margaret Delves. Her first husband was Sir Richard Bold of Bold, Lancashire (d. November 16, 1528), by whom she had Matilda (d. November 10, 1568), Sir Richard (d.1558/9), and Dorothy, and possibly Margaret, Elizabeth, and Robert. Her second husband was Thomas Southworth of Salmesbury, Lancashire. Their children were John (d. November 3, 1595) and Margaret. Her daughter Dorothy Bold married Sir John Holcroft the younger of Holcroft. According to Barbara J. Harris in "Sisterhood, Friendship and the Power of English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550" in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700, edited by James Daybell, the senior Sir John Holcroft (c.1485-1560) accused Margaret, in the Duchy Court of Lancashire, of defrauding Dorothy of her dowry. Harris does not give an outcome.


MARGARET BUTLER (c.1500-June 2, 1575)
Margaret Butler was the daughter of Richard Butler of London, probably making her the daughter of Richard Butler of Biddenham, Bedfordshire (c.1475-1515) and his wife, Grace Kirton. She married four times but had no children. She married first Andrew Francis/Fraunces of London (1495-March 1543) in 1520. In 1544, she wed Robert Chertsey/Charlsey (1498-October 1555), an alderman of London. Her third husband, Sir David Broke (Brooke/Brook) of Horton, Gloucestershire (c.1499-1559/60), was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. They married in 1557. According to Broke's will, proved on January 29, 1560, she forsook a "substantial marriage" in order to wed him. In 1561, Margaret became the second wife of Sir Edward North, 1st baron North (c.1496-December 31, 1564). She may have been Lady North in time to serve as her husband's hostess during Queen Elizabeth's stay at the Charterhouse from July 10-13, 1561. When North died, he left Margaret jewels, his leasehold property in London, and £500. From her second husband, Margaret had inherited lands in Chertsey, Surrey and property in St. James Garlickhithe, London. The latter was for her life, provided she paid two poor householders in the parish of St. Laurence Jewry 7d./week. When she died, the property was to pass to the Mercers' Company. In 1566, when Margaret was in her fourth widowhood, members of the Mercers grew, to quote Anne F. Sutton in The Mercery of London, "increasingly concerned about delapidations." They threatened to sue. In February 1568, she agreed to turn the property over to them. She proposed to continue paying the 7d/week but asked for an annuity from the Mercers. Sutton reports that they invited her to their next company dinner but did not agree to the annuity. In 1574, Margaret made a new proposal to the Mercers and after some negotiation it was agreed, in April 1575, that the Mercers would pay her an annuity of £40 for life (with reversion to twenty-one of her kinsfolk for their lives) in return for £500 to be given by her estate to fund university scholarships for poor grammar-school scholars. Another part of the agreement with the Mercers was that Margaret be buried in their chapel. She was buried in the church of St. Laurence Jewry, London.










ELA BUTTRY (d.1546)
Ela Buttry was the prioress of Campsey in 1532. There were many complaints about her stinginess, both from nuns and visitors. Meals were sparing and the food was often unwholesome. As Eileen Power points out in her Medieval English Nunneries, she was even stingy in death. Rather than erect her own monument in St. Stephen's Church, Norwich, she appropriated the brass of a fourteenth century laywoman.









JOAN BYFIELD (d.1485+) (maiden name unknown)
Joan married Robert Byfield (d. March 1482), London ironmonger and merchant of the staple. He was buried on March 27, 1482 and on the 28th his widow "took the mantle and the ring" as a vowess. Her husband left her money and also part of their Water Lane tenement. She was to have the chief chamber, the withdrawing chamber, and the chapel chamber, and have access to the hall, parlor, buttery, kitchen, and cellar, and the right to use the garden both to gather herbs in and "for to walk therein for her consolation and pleasure at all times," so long as she did not remarry. Sometime in the next three years, Joan brought suit in Chancery against her oldest son William, in which she stated that her late husband had been very rich and that William refused to tell her the extent of the estate, making it impossible for her to determine "what she should ask for her third part." One of the witnesses in the case was Joan's younger son, Robert. This story comes from Mary C. Erler, "English Vowed Women at the end of the Middle Ages," Medieval Studies 57 (1995), 155-203.






MARGARET BYRON (c.1592-September 1619)

Margaret Byron was the daughter of John Byron or Biron or Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire and Clayton, Lancashire (1556-March 7,1623), who was knighted on April 11, 1603, and Margaret Fitzwilliam (March 3, 1559-March 7, 1623). According to Touched with Fire by Kay Readfield Jamison, quoting from Violet Walker, The House of Byron, Margaret's mother "went out of her mind and never recovered her reason" after bearing five sons and five daughters. A woman "of rare talent and beauty, skilled in the composition of music and poetry," Wilson reports that even "her ravings were more delightful than other women's most rational conversations." Some years later, both of Margaret Byron's parents were to die on the same day, but in the meantime, by the time she was ten, young Margaret had become a member of the household of Lady Arbella Stuart. She became devoted to her mistress and was a witness to Lady Arbella's marriage to William Seymour on June 22, 1610. Her brother John (c.1588-September 28, 1625) came and fetched her home after Arbella was imprisoned for the crime of marrying without royal permission. A personal note here: in 1612/3, the senior John Byron, in financial difficulties, sold the manor of Gorton, Lancashire to his tenants there. At that time my ancestor, Samuell Gorton, was still living in Gorton, now a part of the city of Manchester. Margaret married Thomas Hutchinson of Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire (September 4,1589-August 18,1643). The marriage license was dated April 11, 1612. They had three sons, John (1615-1664, George, and a third son who died young.  


Margaret Bysley was the daughter of John Bysley and Elizabeth London (d.1577+). The so-called abduction of Margaret Bysley was not, in fact, a kidnapping. It appears that when her father died, his executors, William Bysley and John Rede, together with Sir William Barantyne, removed Margaret from her mother's custody. This was not such an unusual move. Margaret's mother, however, together with her new husband, Henry Planckney (Plankney/Plankeney) (d.1535), who had been mayor of Calais in 1511, sued the "abductors." There is no date for these proceedings and although Margaret seems to have been returned to her mother, the case dragged on until after Margaret had married Christopher Planckney, her stepbrother. Christopher wrote a letter about the matter to Lord Cromwell in which he refers to her as "the petitioner's wife." Margaret's mother, meanwhile, seems to have three children by Planckney, Henry (who was old enough to marry in 1545), Margery (d.1545), and Alice (married before 1551 and made her will in 1577), although the two girls could have been from her first marriage. Elizabeth was living in Calais, near her sister, the widowed Margaret Baynham, in April 1545, when her daughter Margery died very suddenly. Elizabeth had a shop there. She also remarried at about that time. Her marriage license to wed Adam Copcott was recorded on April 23, 1545.

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