A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: Cl-Cy

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her very out-of-date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 ©2008-16 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)












AMY CLARKE (d.1575+)
Amy Clarke was the daughter of Valentine Clarke or Clerke (d.c.1540) and Elizabeth Brydges (c.1510-1568). She married first Edmund Horne of Sarsdon, Oxfordshire (c.1490-1553), a gentleman pensioner, and second Sir James Mervyn or Marvyn of Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire (1529-May 1, 1611). She had one daughter by each husband, Elizabeth Horne (c.1549-1599) and Lucy Mervyn (c.1565-1609/10). Amy Clarke Mervyn or Marvin is found on lists of ladies at court in 1558/9 and 1567/8. She used her influence there when her daughter Elizabeth sought to divorce her husband in the late 1570s (see ELIZABETH HORNE).












CLAUDE OF FRANCE (October 14, 1499-July 20, 1524)

Claude de France was the daughter of King Louis XII (1462-January 1, 1515) and Anne of Brittany (1477-January 11, 1514). Under the laws of the time, she could inherit her mother’s duchy but not her father’s kingdom. She was married to the nearest male heir, who became Francis I (1494-1547) upon Louis’s death and fulfilled her duty by bearing eight children: Louise (1515-1517), Charlotte (1516-1524), Francois, duke of Brittany (1517-1536), Henri II (1519-1559), Madeleine, queen of Scotland (1520-1537), Charles (1522-1545), and Marguerite, duchess of Savoy (1523-1574). Religious, moral, small in stature and suffering from scoliosis that caused her to have a hunched back, Claude kept very much in the background of her husband’s glamorous and loose-living court, but her household was the training ground for two girls who were to have an impact on English history—Mary and Anne Boleyn. There is some debate about when Sir Thomas Boleyn’s daughters went to France and if they arrived together. One or both may first have gone to the court of Archduchess Margaret. One or both may have arrived in France in the retinue of Mary Tudor when she married Claude’s father. Mary, probably the elder, is generally accepted to have become one of King Francis’s mistresses before returning to England, marrying, and beginning an affair with Henry VIII. Anne’s time in France passed quietly and chastely but when she returned to England, she too caught King Henry’s eye. King Francis’s second wife was Eleanor of Austria (aka Leonor of Castile) (November 15, 1498-February 25, 1558), eldest child of Archduke Philip of Austria and Juana of Castile, widow of Manuel of Portugal (d. December 13,1521), who married Francis on July 4, 1530.

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ALICE CLAVER (d.1489) (maiden name unknown)
Alice Claver was a silkwoman, the second wife of Richard Claver (d. November 1456), a merchant and adventurer. She supplied silk to Edward IV and Richard III and red ribbons for the coronation of Henry VII. They had one son, who predeceased his mother. Claver leased a house in Catte Street from the Mercers from 1450 and Alice renewed the lease for another thirty-two years after his death at a rent of £8 a year. If had formerly belonged to mercer John Abbott, whose wife was also a silkwoman, and Alice may have been one of her apprentices. Her own apprentice, Katherine Champion, was Alice's heir. She went on to marry Thomas Miles, another mercer. Miles held the lease on the Catte Street house in 1501. Other silkwomen in Alice Claver's circle were Alice Boothe, who married William Pratte, and Anne Hagour, who married William Banknot. Biography: Anne F. Sutton, "Alice Claver, Silkwoman (d.1489)" in Medieval London Widows 1300-1500, edited by Caroline M. Barron and Anne F. Sutton.



Dorothy Clayton was a prostitute who was arrested for wearing men's clothing in public in London. The formal charge against her in the Aldermen's Court was that "contrary to all honesty and womanhood" she went "about the City appareled in man's attire." Further, she "abused her body with sundry persons and lived an incontinent life." The judgment against her, dated July 3, 1575, ordered that she was "to stand on the pillory for two hours in men's apparell" on Friday, after which she was to be imprisoned in Bridewell "until further order."


Margaret Cleefe married Richard Barnes in St. Margaret's, Westminster on November 22, 1551. According to the research done by Bernard Capp in "Long Meg of Westminster: A Mystery Solved," Notes & Queries 45, 302-4 (1998), this same Margaret Barnes was probably the Westminster prostitute known as "Long Meg." Most of the Long Meg stories and jests, which were published over a forty year period, are pure fiction, including the anonymous biography The Life of Long Meg of Westminster (c.1590). This fictional character "a gyant-woman" or Amazon from Lancashire, comes to London during the reign of Henry VIII, disguises herself as a man to go with the army to Boulogne in 1544, and later marries a soldier with whom she sets up a lodging house in Islington that is really a brothel. The real Margaret Barnes ran an alehouse as a front for a brothel. In May 1561, however, she voluntarily appeared before the Bridewell Governors to dispute charges that she was a bawd. The records identify her as "Margaret Barnes otherwise called Long Meg" and make it clear that her protestations of innocence were not believed. In other cases, a woman named Elizabeth Lethermore was convicted of "fornication with one George Ratcliffe of Cheapside at Long Meg's house" and on May 19, 1561, Ellen Colyer testified that Meg ran "a very vile house" and gave details of her experiences there. By 1562, Meg had left Westminster for Redriff (Rotherhide), but she once again came to the attention of the autorities when a young man named Zachary Marshall, the son of the matron of Bridewell, fell in love with one of her girls, a whore named Ellen Remnaunt, and proposed to marry her. Only the previous August, Ellen had given birth to a stillborn child and with the help of its father, Christopher Langthorne, Doctor of Physick, had burned the body to conceal it. Nothing further is known of the real Long Meg, but her legend lives on.





DOROTHY CLEMENT (c.1532-1578+ )

Dorothy Clement was the daughter of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6, 1570). She went into exile with her family, probably in 1549, living first in Bruges, then Mechelin, and finally Louvain, where they had settled by 1551. Dorothy and her sisters were educated at the Flemish Augustinian Cloister of St. Ursula in Louvain. Dorothy became a nun in the Order of Poor Clares, where she was probably the only Englishwoman in a Flemish community. In 1578, when Louvain was was suffering a family, Dorothy joined her younger sister Margaret at St. Ursula's. For more information, see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 117-120.



Margaret Clement was the daughter of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6,1570). She went into exile in Flanders with her family at a young age and she and her sisters were educated at the Flemish Augustinian Cloister of St. Ursula in Louvain. She became a nun there in 1557. In 1569 she was elected prioress, a post she held for the next thirty-eight years. The fact that she was English attracted many English Catholic girls to St. Ursula’s during those years. After she retired, the English sisters formed their own house, St. Monica’s, in Louvain. Margaret Clement was the subject of a biography written by Elizabeth Shirley, The Life of Our Most Reverend Mother Margrit Clement (1626), in which Shirley described her as “a firebrand to enkindle in me the love of God.” For more on the convent under Margaret Clement’s management, see Nicholas Patrick Wiseman, ed., The Dublin Review (1872) in Google Books. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Clement, Margaret” (with portrait). See also Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558,





WINIFRED CLEMENT (1527-July 1553)
Winifred Clement was the eldest of five daughters of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6, 1570). In 1544, she married William Rastell (1508-1565). He was a wealthy older man, first a printer, then a lawyer, with a house, Skales Inn, and two messuages in Maiden Lane and seven other messuages in other parts of London. These properties and all his goods were seized when Rastell fled London on December 21, 1549 for religious reasons. He took his entire household to Louvain. Winifred died there of a fever and was buried in the church of St. Pierre.








Elizabeth Clere was one of the four daughters of Sir Robert Clere (d. August 10, 1529) and his first wife Anne Hopton (d. January 23, 1505/6). She married Sir Robert Peyton of Isleham, Cambridgeshire (1467-March 18, 1517/18), by whom she had six children, including Robert (1498-1550), John (d. 1560), Edward , Elizabeth, and Margaret (d.1549). The family lived at Isleham, Suffolk. Peyton made his will on March 18, 1518 and it was proved on April 28, 1518. His widow was named as co-executor along with Dr. William Butts of Cambridge. Elizabeth contributed £140 to the Loan of 1522. At some point between 1518 and 1529, Elizabeth and her sister-in-law Jane Peyton Langley Ringeley, were sued in Chancery over the manors of Knowlton, Shrynklyng, Thornton (in Eastry) Northcourt, Tykenherst, Sandown, Bardon, Leghes, Wanston, Savernhall, Oldbury and Shortley in Coventry. One online record has Elizabeth marrying John Bedingfield as her second husband while other sources call him her first husband. Most give a marriage date of c.1515, which is impossible given the six children she bore Peyton. If she married Bedingfield at all, it is more likely she did so after she was widowed. Following the custom of the time, since this John Bedingfield does not appear to have been knighted, she would have continued to call herself Lady Peyton. The will of her stepmother, Alice Boleyn Clere, dated October 28, 1538 and proved January 23, 1539, leaves a bequest to Lady Peyton of "my beads of anettes (?) with paternosters of gold." This is probably Elizabeth, although by that time there was a second Lady Peyton, her daughter-in-law, Frances Haselden (d. 1581), who had married the younger Robert Peyton in 1516. The memorial in Isleham shows Robert, Elizabeth, and six children, but no date of death has been inscribed for Elizabeth. This has led to numerous incorrect guesses. Douglas Richardson, in Magna Carta Ancestry, states that her will was proved on April 6, 1546, indicating a date of death earlier that year.  













MARY CLERKE (d.1622+)
Mary Clerke or Clerk was the daughter of Robert Clerke of Grafton, Northamptonshire and his wife Alice. She had a brother named Lewis Clerke. She was a waiting gentlewoman to Elizabeth Stafford, Lady Stafford when she married Sir Clement Edmonds or Edmondes (1567/8-October 18, 1622) on February 15, 1598. Edmonds was the translater of Caesar's Commentaries and clerk to the Privy Council under James I. They had a house in St. Martin-in-the-Fields. They had a son, Charles (1603-1652) and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. Portrait: c. 1605-10, formerly identified as Queen Elizabeth I by Zuccaro; also formerly identified as Elizabeth of Bohemia.

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ANNE CLIFFORD (January 30, 1590-March 22, 1676)

Anne Clifford is more of the Stuart era than the Tudor, but her diary records her impressions, at thirteen, of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession. She was the daughter of George Clifford, 3rd earl of Cumberland (1558-1605) and Margaret Russell (1560-1616). Her tutor, Samuel Daniel, dedicated poems to her and she inspired many others in the course of a long life. Anne married first Richard Sackville, Lord Buckhurst and earl of Dorset (1589-1624), by whom she had three sons who died young and daughters Margaret and Isabella. Her second husband was Philip Herbert, earl of Montgomery and Pembroke (1584-1650). Biography: Richard T. Spence, Lady Anne Clifford; Oxford DNB entry under “Clifford, Anne.” Portraits: there are many, but the detail below, from a group portrait, shows her at fifteen.

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Catherine Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st earl of Cumberland (1493-1542) and Margaret Percy (d.1540). In about 1530, she married John, 8th baron Scrope of Bolton (c.1510-June 22, 1549). With Scrope, Catherine was the mother of Margaret (b.c.1531), Henry, 9th baron (c.1534-June 12, 1592), John (d. May 10, 1592), George, Edward (c.1540-1580), Elizabeth (1542-November 6, 1620), Thomas, Eleanor, Catherine, Bridget, and Joan (b.1549). Her second husband was Sir Richard Cholmley of Cholmondeley of Roxby, Thornton-on-the-Hill, and Whitby, Yorkshire (1516-May 17, 1583), by whom she had Sir Henry (1556-1616). The History of Parliament entry for Henry says he was their only son, but other sources list John, as well as daughters Catherine, Margaret, and Ursula (d.1580+) and, according to Roland Connelly's The Women of the Catholic Resistance in England 1540-1690, she also had another son, Roger Cholmley, who was disinherited by his father. Connelly does not say why. Lady Scrope was a leading recusant in the north. During her son Henry's early years he lived with her at Roxby. From 1578-1598, she lived at Abbey House, Whitby, said to be a way station for missionary priests. According to the History of Parliament entry for her second husband, he was consistently unfaithful to her. Portrait: a portrait of a lady thought to be Catherine Clifford, Lady Scrope, was offered at auction in 2010.

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Elizabeth Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st earl of Cumberland (1493-1542) and Margaret Percy (d.1540). Her father made his will in 1540, when three of his four daughters were already married. He stipulated that if Elizabeth wed an earl or the son and heir of an earl, her dowry would be £1000, but if she wed a baron or the son of a baron, she would only get 1000 marks, and if she stooped so low as to marry a mere knight, her portion would be only 800 marks. At some point after this, Elizabeth married Sir Christopher Metcalfe of Nappa (August 1, 1513-May 9, 1574), although online genealogies persist in saying that she married him in 1533 at the age of nineteen. They had four sons and two daughters including James (d.1579/80).








MABEL CLIFFORD (c.1492-August 1551)
Mabel Clifford was the daughter of Henry, 10th baron Clifford (c.1454-1523) and Anne St. John (c.1456-c.1506). In November 1513, she married William Fitzwilliam (c.1490-October 15, 1542), a gentleman usher who was later (1537) created earl of Southampton. The king attended the wedding and gave the bride a manor in Staffordshire and an annuity of £100. She was at court as a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon and rode in the first chariot in Queen Jane’s funeral procession. She was named an executor of her husband's will in 1542 and specifically charged with continuing the annuity of £100 to his niece, Mabel Browne. He left each of his wife's gentlewomen £6 13s. 4d. "over and besides" two year's wages. Portrait: unknown artist and date.

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MARGARET CLIFFORD (1540-September 29,1596)

Margaret Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd earl of Cumberland (1517-January 2,1570) and Eleanor Brandon (1517-November 1547) and as the great-granddaughter of Henry VII was next in line to inherit the throne of England after the three Grey sisters under the terms of Henry VIII’s will. The duke of Northumberland proposed to marry her to either his son, Guildford, or his brother, Sir Andrew Dudley, but Cumberland refused the match and took no part in the attempt to make Lady Jane Grey queen. Margaret married Henry Stanley, Lord Strange (September 1531-September 25,1593) at Westminster on February 7,1555. Queen Mary gave her the confiscated Dudley jewels and robes as a wedding gift. By 1557, Margaret was openly asserting that Lady Jane’s treason had excluded her sisters, Catherine and Mary Grey, from the succession, thus making Margaret Queen Mary’s heiress presumptive. She excluded Elizabeth Tudor because Elizabeth was not a Catholic. Lady Strange was, but that did little to increase support for her claim. The “poor esteem” in which Lord and Lady Strange were held kept Philip II from backing them. Early in Elizabeth Tudor’s reign, the poet John Harington chose Margaret as his ideal of a royal lady. Robert Greene dedicated The Mirror of Modesty to her, and Thomas Lupton’s dedication to A Thousand Notable Things and Sundry Sortes called her “the affable Lady Margaret,” but she was not generally regarded as a likeable woman. She was a spendthrift. In 1558, she was reduced to borrowing £300 from Mrs. Calfhell, her lady-in-waiting. Margaret quarreled with her father-in-law, the earl of Derby, over money matters. In 1565, Margaret was at court as the queen’s trainbearer and she was a lady of the Privy Chamber from 1568-1570. By 1566, the family finances were stretched by the weddings of two of Lord Strange's sisters. Each received a dowry of £1500. At about the same time, Margaret's husband was forced to sell land to pay her creditors. She owed another £1500. Eventually the couple separated, the final rift coming when he broke up the household at Gaddesden. Margaret also claimed that he'd offered one of her ladies £200 to spy on her. Lord Strange consoled himself with a mistress, Jane Halsall, by whom he eventually had four acknowledged children. Lady Strange developed a dangerous interest in alchemy, to which she had been introduced by her father. From 1572, Margaret was countess of Derby. A note here: Lady Margaret Clifford should not be confused with the other Lady Margaret, Margaret Douglas, who was also a cousin to the queen. Margaret Clifford was never in the Tower for treason. She did, however, consult with wizards "with a vain credulity, and out of I know not what ambitious hope,” according to William Camden, and lost the queen’s favor. In 1578 she was accused of employing a "magician," actually a well-known physician named Dr. Randall, to cast spells to discover how long Queen Elizabeth would live. According to one source, Randall was hanged and Margaret was banished from court and spent the rest of her life, eighteen years, in the custody of a series of keepers, although she was allowed to live in her own house at Isleworth. According to a book on the Stanley family, her debts continued to mount. In 1579, the Privy Council ordered the Lord Mayor of London to pressure her creditors to stop hounding her. In May 1580, Margaret's husband petitioned to be allowed to sell lands to pay debts. In June 1581, the Privy Council appointed a commission to find ways to reduce the Derbys' debts. In December 1581, the Privy Council was after the earl to pay Margaret her pension. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth finally approved the sale of Derby lands. Margaret proceeded to sell off land in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Staffordshire valued at £88 8s.4d/year. With a twenty year purchase, that meant she probably received £1,768 6s.10d. In 1584-93, her husband and sons borrowed at least £8,732 13s.4d. against Derby holdings and sold other land for £3800. Not only had Margaret's debts mounted, but the earl had incurred other debts in the course of undertaking diplomatic missions for the Crown. Before their separation, Margaret gave Lord Strange four sons, Edward and Francis, who died young, Ferdinando, 5th earl of Derby (1559-April 16,1594), and William, 6th earl (1561-September 29,1642). Portrait: one attributed to Hans Eworth c.1560 was long said to be Lady Strange but is more likely to be Margaret Wentworth (see her entry).









ELIZABETH CLIFTON (c.1562-c.1598+)

Elizabeth Clifton was the daughter of Sir John Clifton of Barrington, Somerset (c.1542-c.1593) and Anne Stanley (1543-1591). She married Amias Bampfield of Poltimore and South Molton, Devon (c.1560-February 1626), by whom she had six sons and two daughters, including Jane (1586-before 1615), John (1588-1625+), James (d.1625+) and Dorothy (d.1615). The Bampfields were one of the wealthiest families in Devon in the sixteenth century. On September 22, 1602, when John Bampfield married Elizabeth Drake and Jane Bampfield married Francis Drake, each father settled £660 on his new daughter-in-law.







ANNE CLINTON (c.1546-1585)
Anne Clinton was the daughter of Edward, 9th baron Clinton and earl of Lincoln (1512-January 16, 1585) and his second wife, Ursula Stourton (1518-September 4, 1551). In about 1563, she married William Ayscough or Askew of Stallingborogh, Yorkshire (1542-1585). He was the nephew of Anne Askew the martyr. Some accounts say they had no children. Others give them sons William (b.1580) and John (b.1583). One genealogy, inexplicably, gives Anne's surname as Standingstone. At Yuletide in 1580, "the ladye Anne Askewe" presented Queen Elizabeth with "an ancker of goulde enamyled, with a small pearle pendante." Portrait: 1560, labeled Anne Ayscough
and officially "unknown lady," National Trust, Tatton Park, Cheshire).





Elizabeth Clinton was the daughter of Henry Clinton (1540-September 29, 1616), who succeeded his father as the earl of Lincoln in 1585. There is some confusion about the identity of Elizabeth's mother. The History of Parliament entry for Clinton gives his first wife two sons and his second wife, Elizabeth Morison (1545-1611), two sons and a daughter. Some online genealogies therefore give Elizabeth a date of birth as 1589, but this seems unlikely given the date of her marriage, c.1597, to Sir Arthur Gorges of Chelsea, Middlesex (1557-October 10, 1625). If she was the daughter of Clinton's first wife, Catherine Hastings (August 11, 1542-1580+), a possible birthdate is c.1574.  Or she may have been Clinton's illegitimate daughter. Whoever her mother was, her marriage displeased both her father and Queen Elizabeth and as a result Gorges was imprisoned in the Fleet. They seem to have had a successful marriage after his release, producing either six sons and five daughters (according to the History of Parliament) or nine sons and three daughters. The latter list, from the online Tudor Place, which is not known for accuracy, includes: William (May 31, 1599-October 10, 1600), Timoleon (August 25, 1600-April 15, 1629), Arthur (1601-October 1, 1661), Dudley (c.1602-1667), Elizabeth (1604-May 5, 1675), Ferdinando, Egremont, Carew (c.1613-1667), Frances, Sarah, Henry, and Robert. The History of Parliament entry for Henry Clinton says Gorges claimed that Elizabeth died as a result of her father's odious behavior toward her, but this is actually a reference to Gorges's first wife (see DOUGLAS HOWARD) and her father, Viscount Bindon.  





FRANCES CLINTON (1553-September 12, 1623)
Frances Clinton was the daughter of Edward, 9th baron Clinton and earl of Lincoln (1512-January 16, 1585) and his second wife, Ursula Stourton (1518-September 4, 1551). She married Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547-February 21, 1594). They were the parents of two daughers, Elizabeth (1574-October 1617) and Catherine (1576-1654), and two sons, John and Charles, who died young. According to Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith's unpublished PhD dissertation, All the Queen's Women: the changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, Frances and her husband separated during the 1590s. She died at Woburn Abbey, home of her daughter Catherine. Portrait: 1579 by John Bettes the Younger, formerly thought to be Dorothy Bray, in the Paul Mellon Collection; 1589 by Hieronimo Custodis. When her son-in-law, the 4th earl of Bedford, died in 1639, he left instructions to erect a tomb for Frances at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, within three years, and allocated £40 for the project. It shows her reclining on one elbow and reading a book.


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ANNE CLITHEROW (1574-August 3, 1622)
Anne Clitherow was the daughter of John Clitherow and Margaret Middleton (1552/3-x. March 25, 1586). At about the time of Anne’s birth, her mother converted to Catholicism. When Margaret Clitherow was arrested on March 10, 1586 (her fourth arrest), Anne and her three siblings were taken from their home and held separately. After Margaret’s execution, they were returned to their father. He later remarried. Anne ran away from home in about 1589. On July 12, 1593, she was in Lancaster Gaol. Following her release, she went into exile on the Continent and in around 1597 entered St. Ursula’s in Louvain to become a nun.











Dorothy Clopton was the daughter of John Clopton of Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk (d.1494) and Alice Darcy. She married Thomas Curson of Billingford, Norfolk (d.1511/12). Their son was John Curson (c.1483-c.1547) of Beckhall/Beek Hall and Belaugh, Norfolk. Dorothy is memorialized in a stained glass window at Long Melford.

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JOYCE CLOPTON (1562-1637)
Joyce Clopton was the daughter of William Clopton of Clopton, Warwickshire (1537-April 18, 1592), sometime owner of New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Anne Griffith. On May 31, 1580, she married George Carew, later baron Clopton and earl of Totnes (May 29, 1555-March 27, 1629). They had one son, Peter, who died before his parents and (possibly) a daughter, Anne. As Lady Carew, Joyce accompanied her husband to Ireland, from 1574, where he eventually served as Lord President of Munster. She was also a lady in waiting to both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne. She was buried in the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford. Portrait: 1616, attributed to the school of Marcus Gheerearts the younger, currently owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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MARY CLOPTON (d.1584/5)

Mary Clopton was the eldest daughter of Richard Clopton of Fore Hall and Groton and Long Melford, Suffolk and his first wife, Mary or Margaret Bozun. She inherited lands in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She married Sir William Cordell of Long Melford (1522-May 17, 1581), a lawyer. As master of rolls, Cordell and his wife lived at Rolls House, Chancery Lane, London. All four of their children, two sons and two daughters, died young. The Cordells entertained Queen Elizabeth at Melford Hall in 1578. In 1580, Cordell bought the manor of Fakeham, Suffolk, sold after his death for £4000. His will, dated April 18, 1581, left Mary £200 in plate and household stuff, together with her jewels and apparel, but he named his sister, Jane Alington, and a friend, George Carey, as executors. Mary made her will February 2, 1584 and it was proved October 13, 1585. Her youngest half sister, also named Mary, who married Edward King of Lincolnshire, clerk to Sir William Cordell, was Mary's executrix. Portrait: date unknown.

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ANNE COBHAM (1467-June 26, 1526)
Anne Cobham was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cobham of Sterborough (d. April 26, 1471) and Anne Stafford (1446-April 14, 1472), daughter of the 1st duke of Buckingham. As a very young child, Anne became de jure baroness Cobham and was married to Edward Blount, 2nd baron Mountjoy (1464-December 1, 1475). In 1477, she married Edward Borough, 2nd baron Borough (or Burgh) of Gainsborough (c.1461-August 20, 1529). He was judged "a lunatic with lucid intervals" by 1510. They had two sons, Thomas, 3rd baron (1483-February 28, 1549/1550) and Henry.





NAN COBHAM (d. 1536+)
According to a letter from John Husee, viscount Lisle's man of business in London, dated 24 May 1536, "the first accusers" against Queen Anne Boleyn were "the Lady Worcester, and Nan Cobham and one maid more." Lady Worcester was Elizabeth Browne, wife of the earl of Worcester, but "Nan Cobham" is more difficult to identify. As M. St. Clare Byrne points out in The Lisle Letters, it seems unlikely that Husee would refer to Anne Brooke (née Bray), Lady Cobham so familiarly. So who is the "Mrs. Cobham" among the queen's gentlewomen who received a New Year's gift from the king in 1534? Is she the same "Anne Cobham" who was one of Katherine Parr's gentlewomen in 1547? Or was that Anne Bray? There was an Anne Cobham, widow (not Anne Bray) who, in 1540, was granted some of the lands formerly belonging to Syon Abbey. There was also a Cobham family in Dingley, Hampshire. An Anne Cobham from there married John Norwich (c.1497-before 1553) around 1518. And yet another Anne Cobham (1467-June 26, 1526) was the wife of Edward, 2nd Lord Borough. Just to complicate matters, members of the Brooke family sometimes used Cobham as a surname. The practice was not unique. It is also found in the Fiennes/Clinton, West/de la Warr, and Sutton/Dudley families. Retha Warnicke, in The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn, suggests that Nan Cobham may have been the queen's midwife. In the January 1534 list of Anne's ladies, Mrs. Cobham is listed eighth after the "mistress of the maidens" and the seven names before hers are those of maidens, not married women, but that may or may not be significant.


MARY COCKER (d.1587+) (maiden name unknown)
Mary Cocker was the wife of a Hertfordshire laborer. In 1587, "a bright thing of long proportion without shape, clothed as it were in white silk . . . passed by her bedside where she lay." This happened several times, until she worked up enough courage to challenge it. According to the state papers, she demanded: "In the name of God, what art thou and why troublest thou me?" The "vision or ghost" then ordered Mary to go to Queen Elizabeth and tell her that she must not receive anything "of any stranger, for there is a jewel in making for her . . . which if she receive, will be her destruction." As incentive, the apparition added that if Mary did not do this, she would "die the cruelest death that ever died any." Since we have a record of this remarkable conversation, it is apparent that Mary did tell her story to someone in authority. Whether the warning was ever passed on to the queen herself is unknown. If would have been difficult to monitor all the gifts of jewelry she received as gifts.









Elizabeth Codingham was the daughter and coheir of Henry Codingham or Coddenham of London. Her first husband, married October 3, 1587 in Burham, Buckinghamshire, was William Paulet of Ewalden, Somerset and Winchester. They had two daughters, one of whom, Elizabeth (c.1588-1655), married Oliver St. John, future earl of Bolingbroke. Paulet he died before 1590. Her second husband was Richard Fiennes of Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire (1555-February 1613), by whom she had no children. Broughton Castle was used in 1590 and 1592 to confine recusants "of quality and calling" and Elizabeth was a Catholic sympathizer. In 1592, the couple agreed to "live divided by consent" and that while his income would be used to pay his debts and improve his estates, her portion of £400/year she could spend on herself and her two daughters by her first marriage. In a letter Fiennes wrote to Lord Burghley, he reckoned his own income at £1,200/year. Unfortunately, he owed £3,900.  Apparently the couple remained on friendly terms. When Fiennes, who was created Baron Saye and Sele in 1603, made his will on July 17, 1612, he left Elizabeth all the goods in his house at St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, London. He was still in debt to the tune of £1,500.

















ANNE COKE (1585-1671/2)
Anne Coke was the daughter of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) and Bridget Paston (1565-1598). She grew up in Elsing, Norfolk. She had a dowry of £3000 and on September 13, 1601 married Ralph Sadlier (1579-1661). The couple lived at Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire but the marriage was childless and unhappy. Anne remained close to her father, however, and visited him when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1622. She was an avid letter writer, often debating matters of religion (she was Anglican), and donated her letters, notebooks, coins, and several illuminated manuscripts to the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Sadlier [née Coke], Anne.”




CHRISTIAN COKE (d. July 1566+)
Christian Coke was the daughter of Humphrey Coke of London. By March 1521, she married John Russell of Westminster (d. July 1, 1566), master carpenter of the King’s Works. They had two sons and two daughters. In his will, written December 19, 1564, Russell left his wife an inn called the Christopher, which had been her father’s, an adjacent tenement, another tenement in Little Sanctuary, and the remaining years on his leases, which included the rectory of St. Margaret's, Westminster. She proved the will in July 1566.







ANNYS COKERELL (d.1542+) (maiden name unknown)
Annys (or Agnes) Cokerell (or Cockerell) appears in the correspondence preserved as The Lisle Letters (edited by M. St. Clare Byrne) in 1537. She was a midwife, married to Edmund Cockerell, a gunner and a smith who hoped for a post in Calais. Sir Thomas Palmer (d.1543/4) wrote to Lord Lisle on September 3, 1537: "My lord, Cokerell's wife hath been with me, and would gladly see my lady. She thinketh she can do my lady much good. If she could so do, it were well done she might come over." Annys herself then wrote to Lady Lisle: "To my right honourable lady, I recommend me unto your good ladyship, daily praying to Jesu for your prosperity and health and your heart’s desire, to the pleasure of God. My Lady Wyllyame, my Lord Admiral’s wife, my Lady Pawlete, with many other worshipful women hath wished me many times with your ladyship, and so have I myself, that I might have been with your ladyship one or ij hours. I do not doubt but I could have caused your ladyship to have been in much quietness ere this time, as it is not unknown I have done many in such case. My heart and prayer is with your ladyship and my body at your commandment. Mine own good lady, pardon me of my rude writing, and accept my poor heart toward your ladyship, and for the love of God and in the way of charity to be good to my poor husband. Wrytyn by yowre owne to her lytyll powere, Annys Cokerell, dwellyng in lytyll Allhellowes. Madame I sent youre ladyshype a boxe of manays Cryste by thys brynger." This last was a cordial for those who were ill. In November 1537, Annys wrote again to Lady Lisle: "Right honorable and my special good Lady. In my most humble manner I recommend me unto your good ladyship glad to hear of health and welfare which Jhesu preserve & etc. Good lady the cause of my writing unto your ladyship at this time is that it might please you to speak to my good lord your husband for my poor husband to be good lord to him for he is a nagyd [aged] man And hath lost much time which God knoweth he hath little need of it for it is showed me by worshipful folks that there be so many formal grants before that it is but folly to tarry there for him. Wherefore I do intend to make a new suit to get him some living elsewhere. And for your good will I do thank your ladyship and shall be your daily Bedewoman for now he doth tarry there to his great cost and charge this half years' day to our great cost. Mine own good lady I beseech you to pardon me at this time of my Rude writing. No more to your ladyship at this time but Almighty Jesu have you in his blessed keeping. By your Bedwoman Angnes Cocked mydwyff dwelling in lytyll allholoys in temys street." The interpretation Byrne gives is that Cokerell had been in Calais for six months, lobbying to fill the position of gunner. It seems that he was unsucessful and returned to London and that his wife never came to Calais. However, in 1541 and 1542, when Sir Thomas Palmer was a prisoner in the Tower of London and his house and belongings in Calais were confiscated, he apparently left some of his clothing in the keeping of Annys Cokerell. Records remain of depositions taken in Calais as to the value of gowns Annys then gave to Elizabeth Dewe. Dewe pawned them for £16. Annys may be the "Agnes Cokered" who received the bequest of a saddle and "all things belonging to a horse for a woman, paying the executor 6s. 8d" in the will of Cecily Clowgh (see CECILY CHEWNE) in January 1543.


DOROTHY COLBY (1565-April 5, 1621)
Dorothy Colby was the daughter of Thomas Colby of Sherfield-upon-Ludden, Hampshire (c.1530-March 5, 1588), a “puritan west country lawyer (History of Parliament) and Elizabeth Gilbert. She was named her father's heir at the inquisition post mortem held on December 11, 1588.  She married her first husband, John Tamworth of Leake, Lancashire (1562-February 17, 1594), in 1583. He was a squire of the body to Queen Elizabeth. Less than two years after she was widowed, Dorothy Tamworth received a visit from a steward in the employ of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1546/7-November 16, 1596). Willoughby was newly a widower and was in the midst of a quarrel with his son-in-law and heir, who was refusing to help Willoughby settle his debts. The steward was under orders to find Willoughby a new wife. According to the Oxford DNB entry on Willoughby, the steward chose Dorothy, "an astute widow," and Willoughby married her immediately. They remained in London, and he lavished jewels and plate on her, but a mere fifteen months later, after a short illness, Willoughby died. His death was so sudden and his burial so rapid in St. Giles Cripplegate, that his family suspected he'd been poisoned. Dorothy was left pregnant. According to the entry for Michael Moleyns (d. May 14, 1615) in the History of Parliament, Moleyns, who was left in charge of Willoughby's estates, may have been the second husband of Dorothy's mother. He was accused of conspiring to pass off the son of a countrywoman as Willoughby's posthumous heir. Had Dorothy given birth to a son, he would have inherited the entire Willoughby estate. The child, however, was a daughter, Frances, born on May 3, 1597. Years of litigation with the children of her husband's first wife followed, but Dorothy had a powerful ally. In October 1597, she married for the third time, taking as her husband Philip, 3rd baron Wharton (June 23, 1555-March 26, 1625). He settled £1000 a year on her, £310 of which she immediately gave to Lord Chancellor Bacon to decide in her favor in a suit respecting her second husband's estate. Ultimately, however, this third marriage proved unhappy. In 1602, she was writing letters complaining of Lord Wharton's ill-treatment. Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, in her unpublished PhD dissertation, All the Queen's Women: the changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, says Dorothy separted from both Tamworth and Wharton in the 1590s.












Johanna Cole married Humphrey (aka Ambrose) Smith (d.1585), by whom she had at least two children, Dorothy (1564-1639) and William. Ambrose Smith supplied Queen Elizabeth with velvet, silk, and camlet in 1577-8 and this has led some to speculate that Johanna was the Mrs. Smith who was a royal silkwoman (see ALICE MOUNTAGUE). Ambrose held the lease on The Key in Cheapside from 1572 and Anne F. Sutton, in The Mercery of London, suggests that this was the site of his retail shop. His widow continued to live there until her death.


Margaret Cole of Lympne, near Hythe, is one of the subjects of an essay by Catherine Richardson ("A Very Fit Hat") in Everyday Objects, edited by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson. She was the subject of two breach of promise cases in late 1560. The one Richardson details involved her implied promise to marry one Henry Lyon of Challock. When they attended the St. George's Day fair at Wye in 1559, accompanied by Margaret's mother, Joanna, and her second husband, Valentyne Nott, they shopped for wedding clothes. Depositions were taken from various vendors and interested parties, including a woman from Elmstead with the remarkable name of Celestiana Dorman.


THOMASINE COLE (c.1519-December 1586)

Thomasine Cole was the daughter of Thomas Cole of Slade, Devon (1489-January 31, 1541) and his wife Joan. She married Roger Grenville of Stowe (d. July 19, 1545) and was the mother of Charles (1542-1544), John (d. yng), and Richard (June 5, 1541-September 2, 1591). Roger was Captain of the Mary Rose and went down with her in the Solent. After her first husband died, Thomasine married Thomas Arundell of Leigh (1514-March 3, 1574), a younger son of John Arundell of Trerice. In 1547, her former father-in-law, Sir Richard Grenville (d.1550), sold them "the barton of Clifton in Landulph parish, with 100 acres of land and a fishery next the seashore there." A. L. Rowse, in Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge, suggests that it is likely young Richard spent his childhood with his mother and stepfather at Clifton. By Arundell, Thomasine was the mother of Alexander (b.1549), John, Robert (d.1600), Thomas, Digory, Mary, Jane, Katherine, and Elizabeth. She was buried in Poughill. 







MARY COLLES (d. ???) (maiden name unknown)

I do not yet know who this woman is, other than that she was the wife of William Colles or Coles (d.1615) of Leigh, Worcestershire, and appears in effigy, kneeling, on the tomb of her father-in-law, Edmund Colles (1530-1606) in St. Eadburga, Leigh. The tomb is somewhat unusual in that it does not include either of Edmund's wives or his other children. Only William, William's wife, and their five sons and seven daughters appear. Mary, also somewhat unusually, is holding a book. Despite being a recusant, Edmund Colles served as a Justice of the Peace, Member of Parliament, and Sheriff. He had a grandson, also named Edmund, who was recorded as a recusant in 1609 and was probably one of William and Mary's sons.







Elizabeth Collins was a chamberer to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She received several gifts of clothing from the queen. On October 18, 1511 she received a gown of damask furred with miniver pure and edged with lettice. On November 18, 1514, she received eleven yards of russet damask with edge, cuffs, and collar furred with mink and lined with calabre. Later she received a special grant of clothing toward her marriage: eleven yards of russet satin, black satin for a kirtle, and crimson velvet, mink, and calabre for the kirtle's hem.




ADRIAN COLMAN (d. 1596+) (maiden name unknown)

Adrian Colman was the wife of Nicholas Colman of Norwich (d.1586+), a surgeon. He appears to be the Nicholas Colman who had ballads printed for him in London in 1586. In 1596, now a widow, Adrian was granted a license to practice surgery in Norwich, although there were restrictions on her practice. According to a study done by Margaret Pelling and Charles Webster, ten women were licensed practitioners of various sorts of medicine in Norwich between 1570 and 1590, so Adrian was not unique. 





ANNE COLTE (d.1535+)
Anne Colte became abbess of Wherwell in 1529, succeeding Avelene Cowdrey. In April 1534, she was asked to resign in return for a pension and the right to stay at Wherwell or move to any other religious house. Anne's reply was that she would not resign until she had spoken to the king himself. The cause of her removal seems to have been political, but when she refused to cooperate, other charges were brought, linking her with John Stokesley, Bishop of London (1475-1539), who had himself been charged with adultery in 1507 but exonerated. Anne appeared before the Privy Council several times and in June 1534 a commission was appointed to look into the charges against her. The commission does not seem to have found any proof of scandal but, in September 1535, when she was offered a pension of £20 by Lord Cromwell's agents, Anne did resign in favor of Morphita Kingsmill, Cromwell's choice for the post of abbess.


JANE COLTE (d.1605+)

Jane Colte was the daughter of Henry Colte of Cavendish, Suffolk (d.1577) and Elizabeth Coningsby. Her aunt, also named Jane Colte, was the first wife of Sir Thomas More. She was brought up at Colt's Hall near Sudbury. She married John le Hunte or Hunt (c.1537-May 16, 1605) and was the mother of George (d. January 18, 1650), Elizabeth (b.1566), another daughter, and four sons who died young. Much of her husband's estate was left to his widow. Portrait: memorial brass at Little Bradley, Suffolk.



JOAN COLTE (c.1545-February 21, 1606)
Joan, also known as Agnes, Colte was the daughter of John Colte of Little Munden, Hertfordshire. She married a man named Brockhurst and after his death, on February 7, 1563, wed Richard Whitelocke or Whitlock (1533-1570), a London merchant. By Whitelocke she had several sons, including Edmund (February 10, 1564/5-1608), Richard (December 28, 1565-1624), John, and twins James (November 28, 1570-1632) and William, born posthumously. To provide for them, she married a third time, but her third husband, John Price, was a spendthrift. Only Joan’s constant struggle to do the best for her children resulted in their success. She placed James in the Merchant Taylor’s School when he was only five and he became a judge and a renowned scholar.





Margaret (or Margharita) Compagni was the illegitimate daughter of Bartholomeo Compagni (April 23, 1503-April 27, 1561), a "Florentine Merchant Stranger" who arrived in London prior to December 1532 and received letters of denization on March 25, 1535. He had a house in Broad Street, London in the parish of St. Christopher-in-the-Stocks and a license to export broadcloth and import silk, wine, and other luxury goods. Margaret is mentioned in his will, made March 6, 1561 and proved June 15, 1561, by which time she had remarried after being widowed. Her first husband was Lazarus Allen, illegitimate son of Sir John Allen, twice Lord Mayor of London. They do not appear to have had any children. On February 11, 1558, Margaret married Giovanni Battista (John Baptist) Castiglione (c.1515- February 12, 1597/8) in St. Christopher-in-the-Stocks, London. He had been Italian tutor to Princess Elizabeth and when she became queen later in 1558 he was appointed as one of her grooms of the privy chamber. According to Alan Haynes in “Italian Immigrants in England 1550-1603” (History Today, 1977), Margaret was “mother” to the queen’s maids of honor, but he does not give a source for this information.The queen granted him a number of valuable leases in Kent, Somerset, and Berkshire and he received Benham Valence and Speen, Berkshire in 1565. By then, Margaret's father's widow and his two legitimate children had moved back to Florence. In May 1583, Margaret and her second husband had to go to court over an annuity of £20 from Sir John Allen's estate. This was challenged by another of Sir John's illegitimate sons, Sir Christopher Allen. In her second widowhood, Margaret continued to live near Benham Valence and in her will, dated June 22, 1621, she identifies herself as being "of Speen." The will was proved November 2, 1622. She made her grandson, Peyton Castilion (son of her third son, Peter) her executor, apparently having become estranged from her eldest son Francis, who also used the surname Castilion. Margaret’s children were: Francis (May 1561-1638), Katherine (January 1563-April 1581), Valentine (February 1565-1640/1), Elizabeth (March 1566-d.yng); Elizabeth (b. March 1567), Anne (b. May 1568), Peter (November 1569-1600), Walter Baptiste (December 1573-January 18, 1659), Barbara (September 1574-August 24, 1641), Selina (b. January 1576), and Henry Baptiste (b. January 1580).





ELIZABETH COMPTON (1489-June 3, 1536)

Elizabeth Compton was the daughter of Edmund Compton (1440-1493) and Joan Aylworth. She was married twice, first to Sir Walter Rodney, by whom she had a son, John (1506-December 25, 1549) and second, usually dated c.1528, to Sir John Chaworth (c.1498-September 3, 1558). Elizabeth appears to be the only sister of Sir William Compton the courtier, which presents a small mystery. Court records make note of the marriage of a sister of William Compton in July 1511. Either the date of her second marriage is wrong, or there was another sister. Chaworth had no children by Elizabeth. A plaque in St. Andrew's Church, Backwell, Somerset gives her date of death and identifies her as the original founder of the chapel in which she is buried.


















Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter of Sir Humphrey Coningsby (1458-June 2, 1534), a judge, and his first wife, Isabel Fereby (d.c.1490). Her first husband, to whom she was married c. 1504, was Sir Richard Berkeley of Stoke Gifford, Gloucestershire (1470-1514), by whom she had Sir John (d. June 28, 1545), Sir Maurice (c.1514-August 11, 1581), Mary, Anne, and Dorothy. After his death, she married Sir John FitzJames of Redlynch, Somerset (c. 1479-c.1542), as his second wife. They had no children. In addition to Redlynch, FitzJames, who was Chief Justice of the King's Bench, owned at least one house in Glastonbury. At her husband's request, Elizabeth deposited plate with the abbot of Glastonbury as a guarantee for a cash advance of £20 for use in London. FitzJames made his will on October 23, 1538, stating in it that he was "weake and feble in bodye with age," and a new chief justice was appointed in January 1539, but the will was not proved until May 12, 1542, making it uncertain exactly when he died. In her own will, Elizabeth made little reference to the FitzJames family, making her bequests to her Berkeley kin and asking to be buried at Bruton, Somerset, seat of her son Maurice.


Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter and coheir of Christopher Coningsby of Wallington, Norfolk (1517-September 10, 1547) and Anne Woodhouse (1520-1563). He was killed at Musselburgh. On June 2, 1563, Elizabeth married Francis Gawdy of Shouldham, Norfolk (1528-December 15, 1605), a judge. They had one child, Elizabeth (1569-1591). Gawdy appears to have been a greedy and difficult man. He cheated his wife out of her interest in Eston Hall, Wallington and also acquired other Coningsby houses, Wallington Hall and Fincham Hall, then depopulated the area around Wallington and converted what had been a church into either a kennel or a hay store. According to the English antiquary, Sir Henry Spelman (c.1562-1641), "having this manor in right of his wife, he induced her to acknowledge the fine thereof, upon which she became a distracted woman and continued so until the day of her death and was to him for many years a perpetual affliction."



Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter of Humphrey Coningsby of Hampton Court, Herefordshire (1516-April 4, 1559) and Anne Englefield. She married Gilbert Lyttleton of Frankley, Worcestershire and Prestwood, Staffordshire (c.1540-June 1, 1599). They had three sons, John (1561-1601), Gilbert, and Humphrey, and one daughter, Anne (1569-February 3, 1655/6). In about 1590, probably after the death of her father-in-law, who left John an inheritance, Elizabeth filed a petition claiming that Gilbert had not supported her or her sons for the last nine years. He ignored the summons of the Privy Council and swore he'd give away all he had rather than support them. In early 1596, John Lyttleton made another plea to his father for his mother's support. When Gilbert again refused, Elizabeth, her younger sons, and most of their cousins of their own generation forced their way into the house at Prestwood and locked Gilbert in his room. The Privy Council ordered the Staffordshire justices to step in and they forced Gilbert to sign a deed leaving all his land to John and making provision for the rest of the family. However, once Gilbert was free again, he saw to it that his younger sons and nephews were indicted and outlawed. In a case before the Star Chamber, John Lyttleton was also outlawed and the deed Gilbert had signed was nullified.




JANE CONINGSBY (c.1548-November 16, 1614)
Jane Coningsby was the daughter of Humphrey Coningsby (March 1, 1515/16-April 4, 1559) and Anne Englefield. She married William Boughton and had two children, Ann (d.1658) and Edward (1572-August 9, 1625). Portrait: date unknown.

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ANNE CONSTABLE (c.1545-1589)
Anne Constable was the daughter of Robert Constable of Easington in Holderness, Yorkshire and Joan Frothingham. She married John Launder (Lounde/Lander) of Naburn, Escrick,Yorkshire (d.1590). They lived at St. Martin’s, Coney Street in York, where he was a lawyer. Anne was known for the richness of her dress. She had seven children, although I have not been able to find their names. Anne was a friend of Margaret Clitherow, the martyr and was arrested in 1576 and sent to the Kidcote prison on Ouse Bridge. She was denied a lawyer to defend herself, on grounds she was a Catholic, and when her husband and barrister Leonard Babthorpe tried to dispute this, they were both arrested themselves. Launder was sent to London to the Tower. In 1579, Anne was imprisoned in York Castle and then also sent to London, but she was kept apart from her husband.




Catherine Constable was the eldest daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire (c.1551-December 15, 1607) and Margaret Dormer (1553-April 26, 1637). The Constables were frequent visitors to Gilling Castle, Yorkshire, home of the Fairfax family, and in 1594, she married Thomas Fairfax (1574-December 23, 1636), who was created Viscount Fairfax in 1629. Their houses at Walton and at Gilling Castle were used to harbor priests and Lady Fairfax’s name occurs at least ten times in the records of recusants from 1600-1623. Her first conviction for sheltering recusants came in 1599. She was never, apparently, fined, nor was she penalized for employing Catholic maids or sending at least two of her sons to Catholic colleges abroad, probably because her husband conformed and had powerful friends. Their children were: Thomas (c.1599-September 24, 1641), Henry, William, Mary, Catherine, and six others, three sons and three daughters.







DOROTHY CONSTABLE (1580-March 26,1632)
Dorothy Constable was the daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire (d. December 15, 1607) and Margaret Dormer (1553-April 26, 1637). On March 10, 1597, Dorothy married Roger Lawson of Byker, Northumberland (1570/1-1613/14) and had at least fourteen children, including Ralph (d.1612), Dorothy (1600-1628), Henry (c.1601-1636), George, Margaret, John, Mary, Roger, Thomas, Edmund (d. 1642/3), James, Catherine (d.1637), Anne, and Elizabeth. Both Dorothy’s mother and Roger’s (Elizabeth Burgh) were recusants who spent time in prison for their faith. When Dorothy arrived at Brough Hall after her marriage, where she and her husband were to live with his parents until 1605, one of her first acts was to arrange for regular visits from one of the Jesuit priests secretly working in Yorkshire. She was something of a missionary, convincing her in-laws to return to the Catholic faith and seeking converts in the neighborhood, as well. In other houses, at Heaton Hall, Northumberland and St. Anthony’s, she supported a succession of Jesuit chaplains and continued her proselytizing. She was somewhat remarkable in that she was never prosecuted for recusancy. She died of consumption. Three of her daughters embraced the religious life, Dorothy as a canoness at Louvain and Margaret and Mary as Benedictine nuns at Ghent. Biography: William Palmes, Life of Mrs. Dorothy Lawson of St. Antony’s near Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Northumberland was written in the early seventeenth century by her former chaplain; Oxford DNB entry under “Lawson [née Constable], Dorothy.”


Eleanor Constable was the daughter of Marmaduke Constable of Flamborough, Yorkshire (1455-November 29, 1518) and Joyce Stafford. She married first John Ingleby (sometimes called William) of Ripley, Yorkshire (1477-August 27, 1502), by whom she had Ranulph, John, and Sir William (1494-July 12, 1528). In 1504/5 she married Sir Thomas Berkeley of Thornbury, Gloucestershire and Hovingham, Yorkshire (1472-January 22, 1532/3), who later succeeded his brother as Baron Berkeley. Their children were Thomas (1505-1534), Muriel, Maurice, and Joan. In 1520, Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, brought suit against Sir Thomas Berkeley and his wife for abducting a ward. Eleanor was buried at St. Augustine’s, Bristol.










JOAN CONY (x.1589)
Joan Cony or Cunny of Stisted, Essex, was tried for witchcraft at the summer assizes at Chelmsford in 1589. Within two hours of being sentenced on July 5, she was hanged, together with Joan Prentis and Joan Upney. Although the charge was witchcraft, the real issue seems to have been that Joan was "living very lewdly, having two lewd daughters," each of whom had a bastard son. These boys, younger than twelve, were the chief witnesses against their mothers and grandmother. Joan confessed from the scaffold that the charges against her were true, that she’d stopped at the house of Henry Finch to demand a drink on her way to market and, being refused by Finch's wife, who was busy with her brewing, caused her to be "taken in her head, and the next day in her side, and so continued in most horrible pain for the space of a week, and then died." This story is told in the pamphlet "The apprehension and confession of three notorious witches arraigned and by justice condemned and executed at Chelmsford in the County of Essex," which features a woodcut of the three hanged witches on the front. The two daughters, Avice and Margaret, were also tried. Avis, like her mother, was found guilty of causing death by witchcraft and sentenced to death, but she was able to "plead her belly" because she was pregnant. When this was verified by a jury of matrons (including, ironically, Joan Robinson, who had been implicated in the St. Osyth witch trial in 1582), her execution was delayed until after she had given birth. She was hanged in 1590. Her sister Margaret was found guilty of two counts of bewitchment and sentenced to one year in prison and six appearances in the stocks. Portrait: Joan Cony is one of the three hanged witches in the woodcut from the pamphlet.

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Anne Conyers was the eldest of the three daughters of John, 3rd baron Conyers (1524-June 1557) and Maud Clifford (c.1523-June 1557+), younger sister of the 2nd earl of Cumberland. After her father died, Queen Mary summoned Anne to court. When she did not come at once, the queen sent a letter rebuking her for her hesitance to leave her mother and sisters. Shortly thereafter, Anne became a maid of honor, probably replacing Magdalen Dacre. She married Anthony Kempe of Slindon, Sussex (d. October 29, 1597) at some point during the next ten years. Although she had a son by Kempe, all the sons and daughters mentioned in Kempe's will except Mary, wife of Humphrey Walrond, were under age and unmarried in 1597 and were the children of his second marriage, made on November 19, 1569 to Margery Gage. The Conyers title went to the son of Anne's sister, Elizabeth.







ANNE COOKE (c.1528-August 27, 1610)

Born between 1528 and 1533, Anne Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Anne Cooke is sometimes said to have helped her father in the task of educating Prince Edward, but at the time (1544) that Cooke took up the task, the prince’s household was exclusively male. Anne became the second wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510-1579) in 1553. According to Robert Tittler's Nicholas Bacon: The Making of a Tudor Statesman, Anne and Nicholas Bacon visited Mary Tudor at Kenninghall in July 1553 and Anne stayed with the royal retinue as a gentlewoman of the bedchamber at least until William Cecil (her brother-in-law) met them near London. It is said that it was Anne Bacon’s presence at court that kept Cecil out of prison. Anne may have continued as one of Queen Mary’s ladies, in spite of the fact that her father was in exile for his religious beliefs for most of Mary’s reign. Her younger sister, Margaret, was later one of Mary's maids of honor. If Anne did continue to serve at court, her service must have been sporadic since she bore six children between 1554 and 1561: Mary (b.1554), Susan (b.1555), Edmund, Anne, Anthony (1558-1601) and Francis (1561-1626). Only Anthony and Francis survived early childhood. Anne educated them herself until they entered Cambridge in 1573. She had by then a reputation as a translator of religious works and some of these were published. In a letter dated December 29, 1558, the Spanish ambassador to England referred to Anne as a "tiresome blue-stocking" (a learned lady). As Anne grew older, she became obsessed with religion and was one of the wealthy widows who formed the backbone of English Puritanism. Throughout the latter part of her life she provided a haven at Gorhambury for radical preachers. In the last few years, fanaticism seems to have turned to insanity. Biographies: Chapter Two in Pearl Hogrefe’s Women of Action in Tudor England; see also biographies of her son, Francis Bacon and Golden Lads by Daphne du Maurier; Oxford DNB entry under "Bacon [née Cooke], Anne." Portraits: terra cotta bust (c.1570); portrait by George Gower (1580) at Gorhambury; miniature by Isaac Oliver c.1600; effigy with three of her sisters on the Cooke monument in Romford Church.

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ELIZABETH COOKE (c.1540-May 1609)

Elizabeth Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Her date of birth has in the past been most frequently given as c.1528, but Patricia Phillippy cites a letter of 1608 in which Elizabeth states she is sixty-eight years old, placing her date of birth c. 1540. Given the dates of her children’s births, this makes sense. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Elizabeth had a reputation for learning so great that in later years scholars came to consult her. She also composed epitaphs in several languages to the people had been dear to her. Elizabeth lived with her sister, Mildred Cecil, from 1550-1558. During part of that period her father was in exile for his religious beliefs. On Monday, June 27, 1558 she married Thomas Hoby (1530-July 13,1566). Together they rebuilt Bisham Abbey. Elizabeth had three children, Edward (March 20, 1560-March 1, 1617), Elizabeth (May 27, 1562-February 1571), and Anne (November 16, 1564-February 1571) before Hoby was knighted in 1566 and sent to France as English ambassador. Lady Hoby accompanied him there in April of that year, although she was already pregnant with their fourth child. She had made a number of influential friends at the French court by the time Hoby died of the plague on June 13th. Queen Elizabeth wrote to the widow that she would “hereafter make a more assured account of your virtues and gifts” and some years later (1589) appointed her Keeper of the Queen’s Castle of Donnington and Bailiff of the Honor, Lordship, and Manor of Donnington. In the interim, Lady Hoby gave birth to her fourth child, named Thomas Posthumous Hoby (1566-1640) and erected a chapel at Bisham in which she built a monument to her husband and his brother, Sir Philip Hoby. In 1569, Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, Sir William Cecil, proposed to marry her to the imprisoned duke of Norfolk but the idea came to nothing. On December 23,1574 she married Lord John Russell (1550-July 23, 1584), heir to the earl of Bedford. Their first child, Elizabeth, was christened in Westminster Abbey the following October. Their son, Francis, died young in 1580, and their only other child was a daughter, Anne (d.1639). Thus, when Lord John died before his father, Elizabeth’s chance to one day be the wife or the mother of an earl passed her by. The story that the ghost of one of Lady Hoby's children haunts Bisham Abbey because she went off to court and left him locked in his room to starve is pure fiction. As Lady Russell, Elizabeth was an avid letter writer and a contentious neighbor. She was involved in disputes over her rights at Donnington, the building of an indoor playhouse in the Blackfriars district of London, where she had a home, and the marriages of her children. There were lawsuits over land claims and debts, and on one occasion (May 14, 1606) she spoke for more than half an hour in the Star Chamber. In 1605, she published a translation she had made from the French to avoid an incorrect edition coming out after her death. A Way of Reconciliation of a Good and Learned Man contained a preface in which she refers to her daughter Anne's religious education. The book was dedicated to her and presented as a New Year's gift. She also designed and oversaw construction of her own monument in Bisham Church. She was buried there on June 2, 1609. She left a will proved June 23, 1609. Biographies: partial accounts of Elizabeth Cooke’s life, none of them recent, can be found in A. L. Rowse’s The English Past, Roy Strong’s The Cult of Elizabeth, and Violet Wilson’s Society Women of Shakespeare’s Time; Oxford DNB entry under Russell [née Cooke], Elizabeth"; most recent, with her complete writings, Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell: The Writings of an English Sappho, edited by Patricia Phillippy and Shakespeare and the Countess by Chris Laoutaris, which contains many details not found in earlier accounts. Portraits: effigy in Bisham Church and on the Cooke monument in Romford; portrait at Bisham Abbey.

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JOAN COOKE (d.1545) (maiden name unknown)
Joan married John Cooke (d.1528), a brewer and mercer who was mayor of Gloucester in 1501, 1507, 1512, and 1518. His will, dated May 18, 1528 and proved October 19, 1528, left Joan his extensive property and wealth on the condition that she not remarry. After his death she became a vowess. In accordance with his wishes, she endowed the Crypt School, adjacent to St. Mary de Crypt church in Southgate Street. Building was completed in 1539. In her later years, Joan apparently became so stout that she could no longer ride. In her will, proved on February 25, 1545/6, she left numerous bequests, including one to the prisoners in Gloucester Castle and another for improvement of the highways around Gloucester. She was buried next to her husband in St. Mary de Crypt. Portraits: modern copy of a brass taken from a rubbing of the original, now lost, in St. Mary de Crypt; possible double portrait with her husband, dated from before 1528. Biography: http://www.livinggloucester.co.uk.

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KATHERINE COOKE (d. December 27, 1583)

Katherine Cooke was probably the youngest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?) and was probably born between 1542 and.1547. The DNB entry gives the date of her birth as c.1542. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Katherine was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. She may have accompanied her father into exile during the reign of Mary Tudor. On November 4, 1565 she married Henry Killigrew (c.1528-1603) in the church of St. Peter le Poor, London. In the spring of 1566, he was sent to Scotland by Queen Elizabeth. Their life together included many such separations. Many of their letters survive, including one in which Katherine asks her sister Mildred, wife of Sir William Cecil, to prevent Killigrew from being sent abroad again. It is written in verse. She also corresponded with Edward Dering, the Puritan divine. Killigrew impoverished himself in royal service, but in 1573 he was granted the manor of Lanrake, Cornwall and from 1575 until Katherine’s death was in England. They had four daughters, Anne (d. 1632), Elizabeth (d. 1626), Mary (d. before 1592), and Dorothy (d. 1643) and lived primarily at Killigrew’s estate at Hendon and his house in St. Paul’s Churchyard in London. Katherine was ill of the plague at Hendon in 1575 but it was childbirth that killed her. A stillborn son was born December 21, 1583 and she died six days later. Three prominent Puritans, Andrew Melville, William Charke, and Robert Formanus, wrote verses to go on her monument in the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in London. Her sister Elizabeth and William Camden also wrote epitaphs. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Killigrew [née Cooke], Katherine." Portraits: effigy on the Cooke monument in Romford Church.

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MARGARET COOKE (d. August 1558)

Margaret Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Estimates of her date of birth range from 1533 to 1540. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Margaret is the only one of the five sisters whose writings have not survived her and the only one who is not shown on the Cooke tomb in Romford Church in Essex. She married on the same day as her sister, Elizabeth, Monday, June 27, 1558, at a time when their father was still in exile in Frankfurt. Her husband, Sir Ralph Rowlett, is variously described as a London goldsmith and as a rich merchant of Gorhambury’s heir. One source gives his father as the Sir Ralph Rowlett, one of the masters of the mint to Henry VIII. Sadly, Margaret, and died within a few weeks of the ceremony. She was buried on August 3, 1558 at St. Mary Staining, London. The diary of Henry Machyn supports that of Sir Thomas Hoby in saying that, in spite of her family’s Protestant leanings, Margaret was one of Queen Mary’s maids of honor before her marriage. As such, and assuming David Loades is correct in attributing the "praise of eight of the queen's ladies" to Mary's court rather than Elizabeth's, Margaret seems likely to have been the "Cooke" lauded as "comely" by anonymous poet "R.E." See Mildred Cooke's entry for an alternate interpretation. Portrait: on Cooke tomb in Romford, Essex.



MILDRED COOKE (August 25, 1526-April 4, 1589)

Mildred Cooke was the eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Pauline Croft says she was born in London. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Mildred was ranked with Lady Jane Grey for her erudition, known to speak Greek fluently, and had some fame as a translator. At some point, she was a member of the household of Anne Stanhope, duchess of Somerset and this may be how she met William Cecil, who was secretary to the duke. A contemporary poem, Richard Edwards's "Praze of Eight Ladyes of Queene Elizabeth's Court," apparently refers to Mildred with the lines, "Cooke is comely, and thereto In bookes setts all her care; In learning with the Roman Dames Of right she may compare." However, by the time Elizabeth became queen, Mildred had been the second wife of William Cecil, later Lord Burghley (September 18,1520-August 4,1598) since December 1545 and it seems unlikely she'd have been referred to by her maiden name. See Margaret Cooke's entry for an alternate theory. Mildred was, however, briefly at Elizabeth's court as a lady of honor in the privy chamber at the beginning of the reign. Mildred had six children, three of whom died young. Those who lived to adulthood were Anne (December 5, 1556-June 5, 1588), Robert (1563-1612), and Elizabeth (July 1564-1583). She had charge of their education as well as that of the various wards her husband was responsible for, including the earl of Essex and the earl of Oxford. In a letter of 1567, the Spanish Ambassador called Mildred a much more "furious" heretic than her husband. Biographies: "Mildred, Lady Burghley: The Matriarch," by Pauline Croft in Patronage, Culture and Power: The Early Cecils 1558-1612 (2002), edited by Pauline Croft, is the most detailed account of her life; Chapter One in Pearl Hogrefe’s Women of Action in Tudor England , is somewhat outdated; Oxford DNB entry under "Cecil [née Cooke], Mildred." NOTE: the DNB also gives the date of her birth as 1526. Portraits: two portraits at Hatfield by the Master of Mildred Cooke, one of which shows her during a pregnancy, probably that of 1563 (both portraits have more recently been attributed to Hans Eworth):effigy on her tomb in Westminster Abbey, which she shares with her daughter, Ann; effigy on her parents' tomb in Romford, Essex.

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JOANNA COOPER (1563-1602)

Joanna (or Jane) Cooper came from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, a place that, according to Richard Deacon's biography of John Dee, was notorious for witchcraft in the sixteenth century. She is said to have taken an aristocratic lover and had two children by him, Elizabeth Jane (November 2, 1582-November 23, 1612) and Francis Weston (1580-1600). John Weston died in May 1582 and by April 1583, Joanna had married Edward Kelley, who worked as an assistant to Dr. John Dee. In September 1583, the Dees and the Kelleys left England for Poland and Bohemia. Some accounts say Joanna took her children with her. Others indicate that she at first left them behind in England, with her mother, and later sent for them to join her in Prague. The party went first to Holland and later to Poland and Bohemia. In August 1584, they were staying in a house on St. Stephen's Street in Krakow but in 1586, forced to leave Bohemia, they spent four months traveling in two coaches in search of a new home. They found it in the town of Třeboň. On January 18, 1587, Kelley returned from a visit to Prague with a jewel-encrusted gold necklace valued at 300 ducats and presented it to Jane Dee. Later that year, the spirit Kelley raised (an "angel" named Madimi) informed him that he and Dee should share their wives. Dee objected at first, but eventually came to the conclusion that the spirit must be obeyed. It has been speculated that he feared to lose the services of Kelley as his seer. Dee's biographer, Benjamin Woolley, indicates that Jane Dee was the object of Kelley's "obsessive interest" from the first time Kelley met her. Whatever the motivation behind it, a covenant was drawn up between the two couples and on May 21 was consummated. Dee's diary confirms this fact, and also that his wife was not happy with this arrangement. Forty weeks later, she gave birth to Theodore Trebonianus Dee. By the time the Dees returned to England on November 23, 1589, Dee and Kelley had quarreled. Kelley and Joanna remained in Prague. For a time, Kelley was high in favor with Emperor Rudolph II, but he was imprisoned in 1591 for killing a man. He was released in the autumn of 1593 but was again imprisoned in November 1596 and appears to have died c.1598. According to one rumor, Joanna smuggled opium into his prison cell for him and he used it to drug his guards. He then tried to escape by climbing from his cell window using knotted sheets but fell and broke his legs. Another version of the tale has him faking his own death and traveling to Russia to practice alchemy. Dead or not, Joanna and her children were left on their own. It was Elizabeth Jane Weston (see her entry) who found a way to support the rest of her family.


ANNE COPE (c.1501-February 5, 1588)

Anne Cope was the daughter of Edward Cope of Deanshanger and Helmdon, Northamptonshire (1466-May 1, 1510) and Mary Woodhull. Some sources list her father as John Cope, but he was her grandfather. She was nine when her father died and in the custody of Thomas Lovett of Astwell, Northamptonshire, who had married her to his son, William (1499-1519) before November 1513. They had no children. Her second husband, married c.1520, was John Heneage of Benniworth, Lincolnshire (c.1485-July 21,1557). They had five children: Sir George (d. October 16, 1595), William (d. March 29, 1610), John (d. August 1584), Katherine, and Mary. In 1540, John and Anne Heneage surrendered her inheritance, Deanshanger, to the Crown in exchange for the messuage called Bevis Marks in London. Portrait: effigy in St. Mary's Church, Hainton, Lincolnshire.









MARGARET COPLEDIKE (before 1525-1540+?)
The list of maids of honor serving Queen Catherine Howard in 1540-1 includes a "Mrs. Cowpledike" and she has long been a challenge to me to identify. "Mrs." of course was the abbreviation for Mistress and could denote either a single or a married woman. As a maid of honor, she would be unmarried. There were Copledikes in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk at this time, but some influence at court would have been necessary to place one of their daughters. There seems to me to be only one young lady of the right age and connections. She is Margaret Copledike, daughter of Leonard Copledike of Horham, Suffolk (d. before 1525) and his second wife, Thomasine Gavell (c.1507-1557), daughter of Thomas Gavell of Kirby-Cane, Norfolk. Thomasine Gavell remarried c.1525. Her second husband was Edward Calthorpe (c.1503-November 5, 1558), a cousin of the Calthorpes who intermarried with the Boleyns. Granted this connection is slight, but it is the only one I have found to date. About Margaret herself there is even less information, other than that she was still living in 1526, when her grandmother and godmother, Margaret Ashby, who appears to have been the widow of both John Etton of Firsby, Lincolnshire (d. May 8, 1503) and Sir John Copledike of Frampton and Harrington, Lincolnshire, wrote her will (October 12, 1526; proved May 18, 1528). Margaret's grandmother entrusted her care to her uncle until she was twenty, married, or became a nun and to support her in the interim had purchased land. Margaret also inherited £20, furniture, and household goods, including a featherbed and hangings, a wainscot chair, and a long settle. Genealogical records for the Copledikes (also spelled Copyldyk, Copledyke, Copuldyk, Cubbledick, Coveduck, and Copydyk) are somewhat confusing and there are entirely too many Margarets, both wives and daughters, but this is my best guess at present as to the identity of the maid of honor. Please note that I have not yet seen a copy of the 1526 will and have taken the details from an essay by Barbara J. Harris in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1550, edited by James Daybell.


BRIDGET COPLEY (c.1534-1583+)
Bridget Copley was the daughter of Sir Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey (c.1473-1549) and Elizabeth Shelley (1510-December 24,1560). According to the granddaughters of her brother, Thomas Copley (1532-1584), she was "a very learned lady and Latin instructress to Queen Elizabeth." This seems unlikely, especially since she was a) younger than Elizabeth and b) from a Catholic family. By December 1555 she had married Richard Southwell, alias Darcy, of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk (d.1600), illegitimate son of Sir Richard Southwell of London and Wood Rising, Norfolk by Mary, daughter of Thomas Darcy of Danbury, Essex (later his second wife). Bridget and Richard had three sons, Richard, Thomas, and Robert the Jesuit (1561-x. February 22, 1595), and four daughters, Mary (d.1622), Anne, Catherine (1566-1618) and (possibly) Frances (d.1643). Southwell's entry in the History of Parliament says that Bridget died in 1583 or later, and implies that her death may have occurred not long before Southwell remarried, in "indecent haste," around October 1589. This same source calls Bridget "the bookish servant of Princess Elizabeth" and also says that she remained in the service of Elizabeth after her marriage, right up until her own death in the 1580s. Neither Bridget Copley nor Bridget Southwell, however, appears on any of the lists I have seen of Elizabeth's ladies, either as princess or as queen. Whatever the truth of her service at court, after her brother fled abroad in 1569, Bridget and her husband made their home at Gatton until Sir William Cecil ordered them off the property. Afterward Southwell continued to manage affairs for his exiled brother-in-law.




ELEANOR COPLEY (c.1476-1536)
Eleanor Copley was the daughter of Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey, Roughey, Sussex, and London (1429-c.1490) and Anne Hoo (d.1510). She married, as his third wife, Thomas West, 4th or 7th baron West and 8th or 9th baron de la Warr (1448-October 11, 1525). Their children were Owen (1501-1551), Barbara (1502-1549), George (1510-1538), Anne, Mary, Katherine, and Leonard (1515-June 17, 1578). She was named sole executrix of her husband’s will, proved on February 25, 1525/6. Her own will, dated May 10, 1536 and proved November 14, 1536, asks that she be buried with him in his tomb in the chancel of the parish church of Broadwater in Sussex.





MARGARET COPLEY (1539-1576+)

Margaret Copley was the daughter of  Sir Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey and Roughey, Sussex (c.1470-September 10, 1549) and Elizabeth Shelley (1510- December 24, 1560) and the sister of Sir Thomas Copley (1532-1584). On May 28, 1559, she married John Gage of Firle, Sussex (d. October 10, 1598). Most accounts say they had no children. One says they had a daughter who married Henry Guildford before 1596. There is also confusion over whether she was his first or second wife. From March 1573 until early 1576, with the queen's permission, they lived in Antwerp with her brother. Gage was executor of Copley's will and adopted his daughter, the second Margaret Copley (see below), who eventually married his nephew, John Gage of Halling, Surrey. John Gage of Firle was a recusant who was frequently imprisoned from 1580 on. Another John Gage, son of Thomas Gage and Elizabeth Guildford, who was created a baronet in 1622, succeeded to Firle. Portrait: memorial brass at Firle.


copley,margaret (300x219) 



Margaret Copley was the daughter of Sir Thomas Copley (February 24, 1532-September 25, 1584) and Catherine Luttrell (1537-1608). She lived abroad with her parents until her father died, after which she was adopted by John Gage of Firle, one of the executors of his will and her uncle by marriage. She married another John Gage, of Halling (1563-1591+), son of her guardian's brother Robert (d. October 20, 1587) and Elizabeth Wilford (d. c. 1590). He was a prisoner in the Clink on September 14, 1586 for recusancy but did not stay in prison long. In 1589, he was put in the charge of Richard Fynes at Banbury Casttle or at Fynes’s house at Broughton. He was released on June 7, 1590 but was in the Tower on January 10, 1591 for harboring a priest. According to the Chronicle of St Monica's, Margaret was also arrested at this time, along with Anne Line, and she and her husband were on their way to be executed when they were reprieved. She had two sisters who were canonesses at St. Monica’s. Of her children with Gage besides Henry (August 29, 1597-January 1, 1645), one became a Jesuit, one (George; d. 1649+) became a secular priest, and one was an apostate. Many online sites confuse her with her aunt. I believe these two entries are correct, based on an article on the Gage family in Notes & Queries 10th series, VIII (September 29, 1907), which disputes information in the DNB and the History of Parliament.














MARY CORBET (1542-1606)
Mary Corbet was the daughter of John Corbet of Sprowston, Norfolk (c.1503-December 28, 1559) and Jane Barney or Berney (c.1507-1574). She married Roger Wodehouse or Woodhouse of Kimberley Tower, Norfolk (1541-April 4, 1588). Their eldest son, Philip (1562-October 30, 1623) was named after his godfather, close family friend Philip Howard, earl of Surrey. They also had a daughter, Catherine (b.1566) and possibly another son, Matthew. Kimberley Tower boasted more than twenty rooms for living and sleeping. Mary’s bedchamber was decorated in red and blue. On August 22, 1578, Queen Elizabeth stayed there during her annual progress and on August 27, knighted Roger Wodehouse.






JANE CORDELL (1536-January 4, 1603/4)
Jane (sometimes called Joan) Cordell was the daughter of John Cordell of Long Melford, Suffolk (1504-January 1564) and Emma Webb. She married Richard Alington or Allington of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire (d. November 23, 1561), Master of Rolls and member of Lincoln's Inn. They had three daughters, Mary (February 5, 1557-May 1636), Anne (February 26, 1559-November 1594), and Cordell (July 4, 1562-1585). She was executor of her husband's will, dated April 4, 1561 with a codicil added June 12, 1561. It was proved February 3, 1561/2. His monument in the Rolls Chapel, Chancery Lane, London, shows husband and wife facing each other, kneeling in prayer with their three daughters on another panel. It was obviously built some time after his death, since his youngest daughter was not yet born when he died. Jane was left with sufficient wealth to also build a new house for herself. Stow's Survey of London (1603) describes Gray's Inn Lane as "furnished with fair buildings . . . leading to the fields towards Highgate and Hanstead. On the high street have ye many fair houses built . . . up almost to St. Giles in the fields; amongst which buildings, for the most part being very new, one passeth the rest in largeness of rooms, lately built by a widow, sometime wife to Richard Alington, esquire." Jane wrote her will on July 15, 1602 and it was proved January 7, 1603/4. Portrait: effigy on monument in Rolls Chapel.

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Eleanor Cornwall was the daughter of Sir Edward or Edmund Cornwall. She married first Sir Hugh Mortimer of Kyre (1413-1460), by whom she had Elizabeth and John, and second Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire (c.1427-July 29, 1509), by whom she was reputedly the mother of twenty children. Before she died, she is said to have had "seventeen score and odd" people descended from her body. Included among them was King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. In 1454, Sir Richard was in charge of the household and Eleanor was "lady governess" to the earl of March (the future King Edward IV) and his brother the earl of Rutland at Ludlow Castle in Wales. The Croft children included Alice, Anne, Jane, Edward (d.1547), and Robert. Portrait: tomb effigy in the chapel at Croft Castle.

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ANNE CORNWALLIS (d. January 12, 1634/5)
Anne Cornwallis was the fourth daughter of Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, Suffolk (c.1551-November 13, 1611) and Lucy Neville (d. April 30, 1608). As her entry in the Oxford DNB explains, for many years she was mistakenly identified as "an authoress of some note." At most, she owned a book of poetry. On November 30, 1609, she married Archibald Campbell, 7th earl of Argyll (1575/6-1638). They had three sons and five daughters, including James (d.1646). Anne, a devout Roman Catholic, managed to convert her new husband to her faith, after which the family moved to the Spanish Netherlands. Four of their daughters became nuns. In 1627, they returned to England, where Anne died. She was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Her principal heir was her daughter Mary (b.1622). Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Cornwallis, Anne."





ELIZABETH CORNWALLIS (1547-August 12,1628)
Elizabeth Cornwallis was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis of Brome Hall, Norfolk (c.1519-December 24, 1604) and Anne Jerningham (June 28, 1516-before May 28, 1581). Her mother was a lady of the privy chamber to Queen Mary and her father had been in the service of the duke of Norfolk before he, too, joined the royal household. Elizabeth entered the service of the duchess of Norfolk (Margaret Audley) before her marriage in 1561. Her husband was Sir Thomas Kytson or Kitson of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk (October 9, 1540-January 28, 1603). They also had a London house in Austin Friars. In 1571, Elizabeth Codington (see ELIZABETH JENOUR) left Elizabeth Kytson "one hundred hops of my own growing" in her will. In 1578, Queen Elizabeth stayed three nights at Hengrave Hall (August 27-29). Thomas Kytson had been knighted by the queen earlier that month at Bury St. Edmunds. Hengrave was a large, luxurious house where each family member had a pair of rooms and there was a bathing chamber near those occupied by Lady Kytson. There was also a music room. In 1602, Hengrave had more than forty instruments and over fifty music books. Robert Johnson, a musician, was part of the household in the 1570s and from the mid-1590s until Elizabeth died, the madrigal singer and composer, John Wilbye (1574-1638) was part of the household. Her daughter Mary (1566-June 28, 1644) took over as his patron after her death. Elizabeth's elder daughter, Margaret (1563-1582), had predeceased her, as had a son, John, who died as an infant. In 1581, Elizabeth persuaded friends from court to intercede on behalf of her father, who was imprisoned for recusancy. She may be the Madam Kitson who visited Simon Forman the astrologer twice in January 1598. In 1599, she was facing a charge of recusancy herself and again called upon influential friends who were able to keep her from being presented at the Bury St. Edmunds petty sessions. As a widow, Elizabeth spent part of her time at Hengrave Hall and the rest at a new house her husband had built in Clerkenwell. Portraits: by George Gower, 1573; miniature.

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FRANCES CORNWALLIS (c.1575-September 1625)
Frances Cornwallis was the eldest daughter of Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, Suffolk (c.1551-1611) and Lucy Neville (d. April 30, 1608) and coheir to her mother. In 1588, her father bought a house from the earl of Oxford called Fisher's Folly, opposite St. Botolph without Bishopsgate in London, and moved his household there. One of the household from the time he was ten or twelve years old was Thomas Swift (c.1567-1594+), a Norwich-born musician who in 1588 was about twenty-one, eight years Frances's senior. A newer addition to the household was one Thomas Watson (c.1556-September 1592), Swift's brother-in-law, employed as a tutor for Frances's brother but secretly sent by Sir Francis Walsingham to spy on Cornwallis, a known recusant, for the state. Cornwallis was also a miser. In about 1589, Swift and Watson concocted a scheme to extort money from him. It began by lending Frances, with whom Swift fancied himself in love, the sum of ten gold angels. She was given a document to sign promising repayment with interest on her wedding day. It had been drawn up by Hugh Swift (d.1592), Thomas's brother, and contained fine print that Frances was unaware of. What she in fact signed in the parlor of the Bishopsgate house one morning before lessons began was a promise to marry Thomas Swift. Two other members of the household, Robert Hales and John Campe, witnessed her signature. Hales signed his name and Campe made his mark. At some point, Frances found out what she had signed and wrote a letter to Watson asking him to get the "cozening paper" away from Swift. This letter, signed by Frances, may be the same one referred to by Swift as being brought to him by Mary Mosste, servant to Lucy Cornwallis. In December 1592, Frances was betrothed to Sir Edmund Withipole (d. November 6, 1619). Shortly thereafter, Swift claimed that she was already contracted to him and demanded money to rescind his claim. Frances may have been at court at the time. Her brother seems to have acted as a go-between. He knew about the blackmail a full year before his father was informed but in 1593, Sir William Cornwallis accused Swift of libel, ignoring his demands for an annuity of £30 (he'd been paid £12/year as a musician) and other cash payments. The case went to the Star Chamber. Swift was arrested and imprisoned in the Marshalsea. When questioned, on June 3, 1594, he admitted that Frances had never read the document she signed. He was sentenced to be whipped and to lose an ear, but he bribed "Lady Skidmore" of the Privy Chamber [Mary Shelton Scudamore?] and she secured a pardon for him. One account says he loaned her £500 back in 1589 and bribed her. Cornwallis complained about the pardon to Sir Robert Cecil in a letter of December 1594, but by that point there was nothing to be done. Frances, however, had now had her good name restored and married Withipole in 1595. They had one son, William (d. August 11, 1645).







Mary Cornwallis was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis of Brome Hall (c.1519-December 24,1604) and Anne Jerningham (June 28, 1516-before May 28, 1581). On December 15,1578, she secretly married William Bourchier, earl of Bath (1557-July 12,1623) though the connivance of her brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Kytson, who was the young earl's uncle. The marriage was later repudiated, according to some sources because the earl's mother (Frances Kytson, by then remarried to William Barnaby) would not consent to the match. A trial over the matter was instituted in May 1590 and the marriage was annulled on April 28, 1581. In 1582, the earl married Elizabeth Russell (d. March 24,1605), daughter of the earl of Bedford. Mary, however, did not accept this turn of events. She continued to style herself countess of Bath for the rest of her life and to stir up controversy over the matter. It was still a hot button issue in 1600, when poet Francis Davison, who had a connection to the Russell family, published his "Answer to Mrs. Mary Cornwallis." Included in Davison's account of the affair were charges that Mary had "lived an incontinent and lewd life" and had borne a child to her lover, one Francis Southwell, before she seduced William Bourchier into agreeing to marry her. How much truth there is in any of this is difficult to say. On the other side of the argument, Sir Thomas Kyston left his sister-in-law £300 in his will in June 1601 and included in it a statement of his belief that she was the rightful countess of Bath. Portrait: by George Gower c.1580-85.

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ELINOR CORRIATT (c.1542-January 30, 1621/2)

According to the Visitation of Wilsthire, Elinor Corriatt was the daughter of John Corriatt (Corriott/Coryat) of New Sarum (Salisbury), Wiltshire (d.1558), who was mayor of that city in 1554, and his wife Anne (d.1587+). According to her memorial in Salisbury Cathedral, she was cousin-german to Lady Walsingham (Ursula St. Barbe), which suggests that her mother was a St. Barbe. Her first husband, married after 1558, was Hugh Powell of Sherborne House, Cathedral Close, Salisbury and Great Durnford, Wiltshire and Talyllyn, Breconshire (d.1587). He left her the yearly rent from the parsonage of Fisherton Anger and the furnishings in Sherborne House. In 1596, she married Thomas Sadler (d.1623+). William St. Barbe left "cousin Sadler" some of his books in 1619. Both husbands held the post of principal registrar for the diocese. Portrait: effigy in Salisbury Cathedral, where she requested to be buried under her own pew.


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AGNES COTELL (x. February 20, 1523) (maiden name unknown)

Agnes was married one John Cotell or Coteel, who may have been the steward of Farleigh Castle, one of the properties belonging to Sir Edward Hungerford (d. January 24, 1522) of Heytesbury, Wiltshire. The Cotells were in residence there, with servants, when Agnes decided she would rather be married to Hungerford, who was a wealthy widower with a teenaged son. She incited her two servants, William Mathewe and William Ignes, to strangle Cotell on July 26, 1518, and some accounts say they afterward burned his body in the castle's oven. Sometime between Cotell's death and the end of that year, Agnes married Sir Edward. Although there was speculation about Cotell's death early on, it was only following Hungerford's death that Agnes was arraigned for murder. She had been named Hungerford's sole executrix and sole heir, even though his son was still alive, but her newfound wealth did her no good. Indicted on August 25, 1522, Agnes and her two accomplices were tried on November 27. Agnes was convicted in January of inciting and abetting murder. She was hanged at Tyburn and all her goods and property were forfeit to the crown. They were subsequently returned to Hungerford's son. Agnes was buried at Grey Friars in London. There was an inventory of her possessions taken in 1523. In it were recorded a number of expensive items of clothing, including sleeves of crimson tinsel, sleeves of cloth of gold, sleeves of green tinsel, and sleeves of yellow satin. She also owned a casket containing silk, Venice gold, and Damask gold metal thread. The complete inventory can be found in J. E. Jackson's "Inventory of the goods of dame Agnes Hungerford, attainted of murder 14 Hen VIII," Archaeologia 38.2 (1860), pp. 369-71. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Hungerford [other married name Cotell], Agnes."


ELEANOR COTGREAVE (1545/6-1617/18)
Eleanor Cotgreave (Cotgrave/Cotgreve/Cotgrene) was the youngest of seven children of John Cotgreave (d.1547), a Chester draper, and Alice Fletcher (c.1500-July 1563). Her first husband was Sir Richard Pexhall or Pexall of Beurepaire, Hampshire, Swakeleys, Middlesex, and Steventon Manor, Fleet Street, London (d.1571). She was his second wife, marrying him after the September 1558 death of his first wife, Eleanor Paulet. In a will made October 9, 1571 and proved November 8, 1571, Pexhall left Beaurepaire and most of the rest of his property and fortune to Eleanor for thirteen years, including the title of Master of the Buckhounds which he had inherited through his mother. She was also named trustee for his grandson Pexall Brocas. In addition, the will stated that anyone who challenged these provisions would be disinherited, but this did not prevent litigation. Eventually, the terms were adjusted so that a third of the estate was divided among Pexhall's four daughters by his first wife. Eleanor erected an alabaster and marble monument to his memory in the Chapel of St. Edmund at Westminster Abbey. Her second husband was Sir John Savage of Rocksavage in Clifton, Cheshire (c.1523-January 1597). She was his second wife. His first wife, Lady Elizabeth Manners, had died in August 1570. At his death, Savage made Eleanor sole executor. She married twice more, first to Sir Richard Remington (d.1610) and then to Sir George Douglas (d.1612+). In 1602, her first husband's grandson brought suit against her because she still held Beaurepaire, but he was not able to claim the estate until after her death.
In the meantime, Sir Edward Savage, her stepson, who had married Eleanor's niece, Polyxena Grice, entertained the queen at Beaurepaire in 1601. She was buried in the Church of the Holy Ghost at Basingstoke. Portrait: "Madame Savage" 1579 has been variously attributed to Federigo Zuccaro, Hans Eworth, and Robert Peake the Elder. For further discussion and to see this portrait go to HansEworth.com in the "Findings" section.




ANNE COTTON (d. before 1549)
Anne Cotton was the daughter of William Cotton of Oxen Hoath Manor, West Peckham, Kent and Margaret Culpeper (b.c.1481). She married Thomas Gargrave of North Elmsall and Kinsley, Yorkshire (1494/5-1579), steward of Lord Darcy of Templehurst's household. The History of Parliament suggests that she was the "Mistress Anne" who attended the second Lady Darcy, Edith Sandys, in 1521. Anne and her husband had two sons, Cotton (c.1540-1588) and John (d.yng). Gargrave remarried c.1549.


BRIDGET COTTON (c.1515-1577+)
Bridget Cotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Cotton of Lanwood/Landwade, Cambridgeshire (1485-July18, 1519) and Dorothy Clere and the half sister of Sir John Cotton (1512/13-April 21, 1593). In May 1544, she married Sir John Huddleston of Sawston, Cambridgeshire (1517-November 4, 1557). Their children were Edmund (d.1608), another son, and Alice (c.1538-September 1, 1602). Princess Mary stopped at Sawston in July 1553. Although the house was later set on fire by the duke of Northumberland during his attempt to prevent Mary from claiming the throne, it was not totally destroyed. Huddleston named Bridget executor of his will, written September 17, 1557. In 1577, she was listed as a recusant. Portrait: there is one at Sawston.









MARY COTTON (1541-November 16, 1580)
Mary Cotton was the daughter of Sir George Cotton of Combermere, Cheshire (1505-March 25, 1545) and Mary Onley. Her first husband, to whom she was married in December 1561, was Edward Stanley, 3rd earl of Derby (May 10, 1509-October 24, 1572). She was his fourth wife. They had no children and the marriage proved disastrous. A dispute developed over the marriage settlement and her cousin, Thomas Onley (1523-89) traveled north to bring her home. Mary spent the next twelve years being supported by Thomas's older brother, Edward Onley (1522-82). He later claimed to have incurred debts of £3000 on her behalf. In 1574, thanks to mediation by the earl of Leicester, an agreement was reached between Mary and her stepson, the new earl, but further litigation ensued and continued for another fifteen years. At first, she refused to come to terms with the earl until he agreed to grant a forty-year lease on the manors of Brackley and Holborn to Onley, but later she changed her mind and the matter was still unsettled when Onley died. By then, Mary had wed Henry Grey, 6th earl of Kent (1541-January 31, 1614/15). She had no children by him, either. In about 1605, he constructed a mausoleum at Flitton, Bedfordshire. The effigy of Mary Cotton is one of the most impressive there. Portrait: effigy in Grey mausoleum, Flitton.

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MARY COTTON (d. February 20, 1604)

Mary's surname may or may not be Cotton. She was the fourth wife of Sir Edward Bray of Shere, Surrey (c.1519-May 1581). The History of Parliament entry for him names his third wife Magdalene Cotton (d.1563) and tentatively identifies her father as Sir Thomas Cotton of Oxenhoath, Kent, while listing Mary only by her first name. The Oxford DNB entry for Mary's second husband, Sir Edmund Tilney (1535/6-August 20, 1610), however, says Mary was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cotton, although it does not specify which Sir Thomas. There were several. Sir Thomas Cotton (1517-1591) married Anne Eyre in about 1535 but is said to have had no children. Thomas Cotton of Conington, Huntingdonshire (1514/15-1574), who married Lucy Harvey by 1544, is said to have had four sons but no daughters. Mary was definitely not the daughter of Sir George Cotton and Mary Onley. That Mary has her own entry here. Whatever her parentage, Mary was Lady Bray by 1569, when her husband was being sued in the Court of Requests. When he was ordered to pay his creditor, he at first agreed. Then his wife convinced him to change his mind and refuse. As a result, he was arrested. It was not the first time. He had previously been in the Fleet in November 1564 and had been released on bond. Bray was in financial difficulty again in 1573 and, according to the History of Parliament, was "hopelessly in debt" by November 1577 when he appeared in the Court of the Queen's Bench. In spite of his money problems, there were lands in Surrey left for Mary to inherit for life when he died. He named her one of his executors, along with his son-in-law, George Chowne. Although the DNB and other sources say Mary died childless, the History of Parliament makes her the mother of all three Bray daughters, including Chowne's wife, Mary Bray. On May 4, 1583, Mary married Sir Edward Tilney of London, who had become master of revels in 1579. Tilney had to go to court to claim Mary's inheritance, but he was successful and the income from that property was sufficient to buy a house in Leatherhead, Surrey. They entertained Queen Elizabeth there in August 1593. They were also joint patrons of the rectory at Alford, Surrey. Upon Mary's death the Bray inheritance went to her first husband's grandson.        


MATILDA COTTON (1488-1551)
Matilda (or Maud) Cotton was the daughter of Richard Cotton of Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire (c.1457-1497) and Joan or Jane Brereton (c.1454-April 30, 1517). In 1509, she married Anthony FitzHerbert (1470-May 26, 1538), an eminent judge. Their children were Sir Thomas (1517-October 2, 1591), Elizabeth, Dorothy (d.1557), Catherine, John (d. November 8, 1590) and William (c.1520-c.1559). She is one possible candidate to have been the Mrs. FitzHerbert who was head chamberer to Queen Jane Seymour and rode in her funeral cortege in 1537. Another possibility is her daughter-in-law, Anne Eyre, who married son Thomas in 1535. Anne was the daughter of Sir Arthur Eyre of Padley Hall. Derbyshire (d.1560) and Margaret Plumpton. Anne and Thomas had no children. Portrait: memorial brass.

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Marie (or Michelle) Courcelles was the daughter of Nicholas Leclerc, seigneur de Courcelles and the sister of Claude de Courcelles, secretary to the French ambassador to England from 1575-1585. Marie went from France to Scotland in the household of  Mary Queen of Scots, receiving sixty livres a year plus her bedding and clothing, and remained in her service until 1567. She was left behind at Lochleven. In 1573, her name appears on a list of Mary's servants and pensioners, receiving 200 livres a year. She was with Mary at Sheffield during the Scots queen's imprisonment in England but returned to France in the company of Mary Seton in September 1583. She may have gone with her to the convent at Rheims. On November 1, 1583, Marie's brother returned to England with a box of presents for Queen Mary from Mary Seton. On November 15, he took the box to Thomas Baldwin, London agent for the earl of Shrewsbury, who ran a carrier service to Sheffield and Worksop. He also bribed Baldwin to carry a packet of letters to the imprisoned queen. By December 14, there were rumors of a warrant to seize Baldwin and confiscate the letters. No more is heard of Marie Courcelles.







Joan Courtenay, the daughter of Sir John Courtenay of Exeter (not to be confused with the Courtenays who were earls of Exeter) was the wife of Sir John Lisle or Lisley (d.1523). They had no children and all that remains of them is their tomb in Thruxton Church on the Isle of Wight in Hampshire. This Joan Courtenay should also not be confused with another Joan Courtenay (b.c.1489), the daughter of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham (c.1451-before June 10, 1512) and Cecily Cheney (c.1455-1511+). She gained notoriety as an adulteress since she was married to Sir William Beaumont while having an affair with one Henry (or John) Bodrugan or Bodrigan of Cornwall. She married Bodrugan shortly after Beaumont’s death. They had a son, John Bodrugan and she may have had children by Beaumont as well. To add to the confusion, there are records in online genealogies of at least two other women named Joan Courtenay who married men named William Beaumont during the period from 1450-1507. Portrait: effigy at Thruxton.

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MARGARET COURTENAY (c.1499-April 14, 1526)
Margaret Courtenay was the daughter of William Courtenay, 10th earl of Devon (c.1475-June 9, 1511) and Katherine Plantagenet (August 14, 1479-November 15, 1527). Her aunt was Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII. Her father was imprisoned for treason c.1503. He was released and restored to his title when Henry VIII became king. In 1512, her mother was granted all the estates of the earldom of Devon for her lifetime, so it is safe to suppose that Margaret was raised in considerable luxury even during the time her father was in the Tower of London. In June 1520, she married Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert (1499-November 26, 1549), heir to the 1st earl of Worcester. She was probably the Lady Margaret, wife to Lord Herbert, who was at Richmond later that summer with Princess Mary while most of the court was in France at the Field of Cloth of Gold. There is some debate over which of the Somerset children were born to Margaret and which to her successor, Elizabeth Browne. Since dates are always questionable, she may have been the mother of Eleanor (1522?-c.1584), Lucy (1524-February 23, 1582/3), William, 3rd earl (1527-February 21, 1589), and possibly Thomas, Charles, and Francis.




Elizabeth Cowdray was the daughter of Peter Cowdray of Herriard, Hampshire (d. April 10, 1528). Cowdray and his wife both died, probably in the epidemic known as the sweat, when Elizabeth and her two sisters were still children. Joan (1518-October 15, 1562), Elizabeth, and Margery Cowdray inherited numerous Hampshire properties, including Herriard and Padworth Manor in Berkshire. In 1538, Elizabeth married Richard Paulet of Basing (1493-c.1551), younger brother of the 1st marquess of Winchester. Paulet acquired Elizabeth's sisters' shares of Herriard and sold Padworth Manor to Joan, who by then was married to Peter Kidwelly of Faccombe. Elizabeth's children by Paulet were John and Mary. At some point before March 1554, she married William Windsor, 2nd Baron Windsor (1499-August 20, 1558), by whom she had Elizabeth (d.1575) and Philip (c.1555-c.1561). In May 1560, thanks to the persuasions of Sir John Throckmorton, she married George Puttenham (1529-October 1590), a lawyer, writer, and literary critic almost ten years her junior. Remarriage cost her part of her inheritance from Lord Windsor, but she was still very wealthy. At first they lived at Herriard and in Trinity Lane, London, but Puttenham was repeatedly unfaithful to her and physically abused her and they were estranged as early as 1563. Within six years of the marriage, Elizabeth sued him for divorce. There was one reconciliation, but his treatment of her did not improve. In 1575, she rescued a young woman Puttenham had been keeping against her will for three years (see ELIZABETH JOHNSON). Initially, Puttenham was to pay his estranged wife £100 a year in quarterly payments. During the same period, he was involved in several legal disputes, primarily over land, and in June 1570 was in the Fleet on charges he’d slandered the queen. He was released but in 1575 was in the Wood Street compter because he had not made any payments to Elizabeth since 1572. He had also fraudulently transferred the manor of Herriard to Sir John Throckmorton, his brother-in-law. The court of arches ordered Puttenham to pay Elizabeth £3 a week and he was excommunicated for his failure to support her. When the divorce became final on June 9, 1578, Elizabeth renewed her appeals for money owed her. Puttenham was in and out of various prisons over this matter and others but on July 13, 1579 he agreed to provide Elizabeth with six servants, a coach, and an annuity of £20. Once again he defaulted. This battle continued for another eight years and Puttenham was again excommunicated and was imprisoned at least twice more over the matter before Elizabeth's death. Puttenham and Elizabeth had a daughter, Anne, who married William Windsor's son Andrew.


ANNE COWPER (d.1540+) (maiden name unknown)
Anne Cowper was the king’s silk woman in 1539-40.



Cristabel Cowper may have been the sister of Edward Kirkby, alias Cowper, abbot of Rievaulx in 1530. In his 1551 will he left a legacy to his sister Cristabel. Cristabel was prioress of Marrick Priory, a small nunnery near Richmond in North Yorkshire, by 1529. In 1536, she managed to save the priory from suppression, but was forced to surrender it to the Crown on September 15, 1539. At that time there were twelve nuns in residence. Cristabel received a pension of £5/annum and it was paid through the first half of 1562. In 1555, she appears to have been sharing a house with Anne Ledeman, formerly a nun at Marrick. I am not sure why Cristabel was singled out for this distinction, but she has an entry in the Oxford DNB under "Cowper, Cristabel."


AGNES COWTIE (d.1583+)
Agnes Cowtie was born in Scotland. She married George Black of Dundee and they were both wealthy merchants. Agnes owned the Grace of God, a merchant ship trading with the Netherlands in 1582. In July of that year, the ship was attacked by English pirates led by Captain Clinton Atkinson and one Purser, whose real name was William Walton. In the battle, Agnes's two sons were killed. When the ship surrendered, the crewmen were tortured and maimed. The ship itself was taken to Studland Bay, a notorious pirate stronghold in England and disposed of, eventually ending up in Spanish hands. Chapter Three of She Captains by Joan Druett recounts how Mistress Cowrie fought for and finally obtained restitution. She appealed to everyone from Sir Francis Walsingham to King James VI of Scotland himself. In the end, the two pirate captains were captured, tried, and executed (on August 30, 1583) and Mistress Cowrie received compensation for both the loss of her ship and her maimed crewmen.













AGNES CRANE (1548-1619)
Agnes Crane was the daughter of Robert Crane of Chilton, Suffolk (1508-September 12, 1591) and Bridget Jermyn (1512-1561). She had four husbands, first John Smith or Smythe of Halesworth, Suffolk (1536-1561), then, in 1562, Francis Clopton of Long Melford, Suffolk (1539-April 5, 1578), by whom she had no issue, and third, by a license dated October 4, 1578, Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk (1518/19-December 10, 1579). She was his third wife. They had one daughter, Agnes (1579-February 1621). Her fourth husband, as his second wife, was Edward Clere of Ormsby, Norfolk (June 15, 1536-June 8, 1606), by whom she had a son, Robert (1582-June 21, 1615). They married September 7, 1580. By his first wife,
Frances Fulmerson (d.1579/80), he had three sons and three daughters. They made their home at Blickling. In 1583, they sued William Heydon and his wife Anne and Miles Corbett in Chancery over some of the legacies left by Agnes's third husband. In his will, dated April 4, 1605 and proved August 2, 1606, Clere left Agnes the manors of Weybourne and Thurston, Norfolk, and also all his jewels, gold, silver, plate, apparel, household stuff and implements of household in Blickling Hall. He expressed a wish that their son settle with Agnes there.


Bridget Crane was the daughter of Robert Crane of Chilton, Suffolk (1510-September 12, 1591) and Bridget Jermyn. She married first Francis Clopton (c.1502-1558/9) and then Christopher Jenney of Theberton (d.1609/10). Portrait: if this is Bridget, her choice of dress is unusual, since it more closely resembles a nun’s habit than the garb of a wife.

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MARTHA CRANFIELD (1578-October 28, 1613)
Martha Cranfield was the daughter of Thomas Cranfield (d.1595) a mercer and Eastland Company merchant, and Martha Randall (d.1609). In about 1603, she married Sir John Suckling of Barsham (1569-March 27, 1627). Among their six children were Martha (1605-1642+) and Sir John the poet (1609-May 7, 1642). The verses on her tomb read: "Mirror of time bright starre of Pietie/A peerless Peece, moulded by chastitie/Rarest of witts, cannot give thee thy due/Thou wert so good, so chaste, so true/Heaven hath thy soule, ye world thy living fame/A tomb in Norwich London gave thy name." Portrait: alabaster effigy on tomb in St. Andrew's Church, Norwich.

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Alice Cranmer was the daughter of Thomas Cranmer of Sutton, Nottinghamshire (d.1501) and Agnes Hatfield and the sister of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (1489-1556). In 1525, she was a nun at the Cistercian nunnery at Stixwould, Lincolnshire, which was dissolved in 1536. She may have been there in 1519 when the prioress was accused of spending the night outside of the priory with secular friends. To remedy that, she was given permission to keep a private house within the cloister to entertain them. At that time the nuns' accommodations were reorganized. Some boarded with the prioress and others with the sub-prioress. Alice was later elected prioress at Minster in Sheppey, a Benedictine house in Kent, succeeding Mildred Wigmore. In 1556, when her brother was imprisoned by Queen Mary, his sister is said to have pleaded with the queen for his release, but this may not have been Alice. Agnes Cranmer is another possibility. Once source says she was the widow of a man named Blackman before becoming the fourth wife of Edmund Rede (1470-1568). The History of Parliament gives Agnes Edmund Cartwright of Ossington, Nottingham as a husband. They had a son, Hugh Cartwright (d.1572).







ANNE CRESACRE (1511-December 2, 1577)
Anne Cresacre was the only child of Edward Cresacre of Barnborough, Yorkshire (1485-1512) and Jane Bassett. She was the ward of Sir Thomas More and brought up with his children, one of whom, John (1510-1547), she married in 1529. Their children included Thomas (August 8, 1531-August 19, 1606), Augustine (b. August 5, 1533; d.yng), Edward (1535-May 1620), Jerome (d.1537), another Thomas (June 2, 1538-before 1606), Bartholomew (d.yng), Anne (b.1542), and Francis (d.yng). On December 26, 1553, Anne and her son Thomas were granted the reversion of the manor of Gobions in South Mimms, Hertfordshire by Queen Mary. Anne married second George West of Aughton (1511-June1572). Her daughter later married his son, John West. Anne held lands in Yorkshire until West died. Portraits: Holbein sketch; included in More family portraits.

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ELIZABETH CRESSENER (c.1456-December 1537)

Elizabeth Cressener was probably the daughter of Alexander Cressener (d. 1497/8) and Cecily Radcliffe. She was Prioress of the Dominican Priory of Dartford for fifty years. Her letters to Lord Cromwell, written in 1535 and 1536 are still extant, as are financial records of the house, the seventh richest nunnery in England at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. On June 8, 1516, she was granted an annuity of £16 out of customs of London in lieu of the four tuns of wine that had gone to Dartford Priory since the reign of Edward III. In about 1520, Elizabeth Cressener was authorized to take in widows of good repute as permanent guests at Dartford and to receive young ladies and give them “a suitable training.” The priory had not yet been surrendered when Elizabeth Cressener died and Joan Fane was elected to replace her. For more on Dartford Priory, see Paul Lee, Nunneries, Learning, and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society: The Dominican Priory at Dartford. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Cressener, Elizabeth.”



Elizabeth Cressener was the daughter of Thomas Cressener and Eleanor Woodhouse (d.1540) of Elsyng and Kymmerley, Norfolk and probably the niece of Prioress Elizabeth Cressner (d.1537). She was sub prioress of the Dominican Priory of Dartford in the late 1530s. When the priory was dissolved in 1539, she received a pension of 106s. 8d. Of twenty-six sisters who received pensions, twenty were still alive and in receipt of their pensions in 1556. Under Queen Mary, seven of the Dartford nuns, with the second Elizabeth Cressener as prioress, established the conventual observance at King’s Langley. The Dominican sisters at Dartford had previously been “subject in spirituals” to the Friars Preacher of King’s Langley. In 1557, Dartford Priory was restored to them and they removed there on September 8, 1558. Only two months later, however, Queen Mary died. In 1559, the nuns were given a choice of taking the oath of supremacy or leaving within twenty-four hours. Two priests, the prioress, four choir-nuns, four lay sisters, and a young girl not yet professed joined with the nuns of Syon House and left England for Antwerp. There they lived on alms until 1566. In January 1573(5?), the sisters of Engelendael, near Bruges, were ordered to take the three surviving nuns from England into their monastery. Elizabeth Cressener was mentioned in several wills. Sir John Rudstone of London left her a habit in 1530. Her mother left her a black satin gown, a flat piece of silver, a hoop of gold, and £10 in 1540. In 1551, Anne Reddeman of Sutton at Home made Elizabeth her executrix. The 1552 will of Robert Stroudel, vicar of Sutton at Hone, left her household stuff and a debt she owed him. In 1553, William Sedley of Southfleet left bequests to three former Dartford nuns, his sister Dorothy, Mary Bentham, and Elizabeth. At one point Elizabeth had a pension of £6 13s. 4d. and another grant was made to her on May 7, 1560, by which time she was already in Zeeland. For more Elizabeth Cressener and on Dartford Priory, see Paul Lee, Nunneries, Learning, and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society: The Dominican Priory at Dartford.




MARY CRESSWELL (1586-February 6, 1622)
Mary Cresswell was the daughter of Thomas Cresswell. Both parents died when she was an infant and Mary was raised by an elderly Catholic lady who died when she was fourteen. At that point, Mary joined the household of her kinsman, Sir Christopher Blount (c.1556-x. March 18,1601/2) and his wife, Lettice Knollys, countess of Essex and Leicester. She remained part of the household at Drayton Basset Staffordshire after his death and planned to go abroad and become a nun. Lady Leicester objected and with the help of her chaplain, John Wilson, converted Mary to protestantism. She embraced the new religion with considerable fervor, even keeping a catalogue of her sins. Lady Leicester provided Mary with a marriage portion when she wed another member of the household, Humphrey Gunter, son of Geoffrey Gunter of Melton, Wiltshire and Alys (or Agnes) Yale. Mary insisted upon giving part of her marriage portion to the heir of the elderly lady she’d lived with earlier in life, since one of her sins had been to steal money from her at the instigation of the old woman’s servants. No one seems to have recorded the elderly lady’s name or Mary's exact connection to Sir Christopher Blount. With Gunter, Mary had one son and they continued to reside at Drayton Basset until 1621. Mary’s claim to fame is her funeral sermon and the short biography published with it as Pilgrim’s Profession in 1622. It was dedicated to the countess of Leicester and Essex and was reprinted three times by 1633. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Gunter [née Cresswell], Mary.” Portrait: memorial brass, St. Mary’s, Reading.





LETTICE CRESSY (1580-1629+)

Lettice Cressy was the daughter and heir of James Cressy of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamsire and Jane West (1558-1621) and is said to have had a fortune of £10,000. Her mother, a Catholic, took as her third husband, Thomas Tasburgh of Hawridge, Buckinghamshire (c.1554-c.1602), hoping that his radical protestant leanings would protect her and her daughter. Together with his brother, Tasburgh arranged for Lettice to marry his nephew and heir, John Tasburgh (c.1576-April 24,1629). He settled the reversion of Hawridge on them and later filed suit in Chancery against his brother for his failure to honor his part of the agreement, a settlement of £120 per annum on the young couple. They had numerous children. One list gives Dorothy (b.1605/6), Charles (1608-1657), Cressy (b.1609), Peregrine (b.1614), John (b.1617), Francis, Thomas, Jane, Penelope, Cherleine, Elizabeth (d.1640), Lettice (b.1612), and Mary, but records exist of an Agnes who became a nun with the help of her maternal grandmother. This was probably the same daughter John Tasburgh threatened, saying he would "cut her tongue out of her head if she spoke one more word in defense of her religion." In 1616, Tasburgh built a new house at Flixton Abbey, Suffolk. He made his will on September 9, 1626 and it was proved February 10, 1630. Lettice survived him. Portrait: painted c. 1615/16, it has been suggested that the children are Penelope, Jane, and Dorothy in the back row and Charles, Lettice, and Cressy in the front.




MARGERY CROCKER (1526-1594+)

Margery Crocker was the daughter of John Crocker or Croker of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (d. March 6, 1568/9) and his first wife, Isabel Skinner (1505-1530). Before 1545 she married Edward Hawten of Swalcliffe, Epwell, and Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (August 7, 1537-1594). Their children were John, Gerard, George, Anthony, Isabel, and Margaret (November 29, 1561-1638). Before 1547, on the strength of information given to him by his servant, Margery Collyn, Hawten sued his wife in the Court of the Star Chamber, claiming that she had committed adultery with Richard Crofts, who had gone to Hawten's house in Ley, Oxfordshire, and seduced her. The charges were apparently unfounded, since the couple reconciled and lived together for the remainder of Hawten's life. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow on October 14, 1594.


ANNE CROFT (d.1508?)
Anne Croft was the daughter of Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire (c.1427-July 29, 1509) and Eleanor Cornwall (1431-1520). In about 1480, she married Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire (1456-1524), by whom she had twenty children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. They included Anne, Eleanor, John (d. February 14, 1531), Margaret, Walter (d. October 3, 1561), Arthur, Joyce, Robert (d.1580), Joanna, Edward (d. September 1, 1559), Ursula, Elinor, Elizabeth, Catherine (d. July 10, 1549), William (d.1539), Thomas, and Agnes. Anne’s granddaughter was Bessie Blount, and her great grandson Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of King Henry VIII. In online genealogies life dates for Anne vary widely, from c.1466-1508 to 1458-September 27, 1549.









ELIZABETH CROFTS or CROFT (c.1535-1554+)
Elizabeth Crofts is included here mostly because she rates an entry in the Oxford DNB under “Crofts, Elizabeth.” She was famous for one thing only—she spent several days in mid-March of 1554 hidden in the false exterior wall of a house in Aldersgate Street, London, pretending to be a spirit and spouting anti-Catholic sentiments. The ruse was discovered, of course, and Elizabeth was thrown in jail, but she seems to have been regarded as either a dupe or a madwoman and was not executed. In fact, no one knows what happened to her. She was said to be a servant, but the name of her master does not seem to have been recorded, let alone any hint of her parentage or family connections. Sir James Croft (c.1518-September 4, 1590) might have had a daughter about the right age by his first wife, Alice Warnecombe (d.1573), but it seems unlikely that a gentlewoman would have been used in this enterprise.










ANNE CROMER (c.1479-1520+)

Anne Cromer was a gentlewoman in the household of Elizabeth of York and in 1499 was named mistress of the nursery, taking over from Elizabeth Denton. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York) identifies Anne Cromer as either the wife or the daughter of William Cromer (or Crowmer), a gentleman usher. Anne Cromer was paid 40s in May 1502 as a reward "at her departing from court" and received her regular salary at Christmas 1503. For the post of mistress of the nursery, a married woman would most likely have been chosen, but the wife of the William Cromer who died in 1539 (the only William Cromer anywhere close to the right age—son of James and grandson of William, who died in 1450), was Alice, not Anne (Alice Hawte, daughter of William Hawte or Haute and Joan Horne). Their daughters were Jane, Cecily, Katherine, and Elizabeth. They also had a son named James (d. before 1549). All four daughters married, which further argues against identifying this William as the William at court, since Nicolas states that William Cromer the gentleman usher had a daughter who was a nun in the Minories and was probably the father of Bridget Cromer, another member of the household of Queen Elizabeth of York. Alison Weir, in Elizabeth of York, suggests her father was Sir James Crowmer and says she married William Whettenhall, sheriff of Kent, 1489. In 1503, she received an annuity of £10. Weir further identifies Bridget Cromer, a nun at the Minories, Aldgate, as the daughter of William Crowmer, gentleman usher. Bridget was given money by Elizabeth of York.




MARY CROMPTON (c.1581-1649)

Mary Crompton was the daughter of Thomas Crompton of Bennington, Hertfordshire, Hounslow, Middlesex, and Faringdon, London (1562-October 1601) and Mary Hodgson (d.1601+). She married William Gee of London (d.1612), a lawyer, as his second wife, on July 3, 1601 at St. Botolph, Aldersgate. Her father made his will on October 24, 1601, leaving £1000 to his eldest daughter and 1000 marks each to her six younger sisters and naming Gee as overseer. He purchased Bishop Burton and Cherry Burton from her family in 1603 and built Low Hall at Bishop Burton. Their children included John (1603-1627), William (1605-1657), Thomas (d.1645), Timothy (d. before 1628), Jane and Hanna. When her husband died, she bought the wardship of her eldest son for £750. Mary was buried September 6, 1649 in York Minster where a monument was erected to William Gee and his two wives. As Dame Mary Gee, she left a will, dated July 16, 1628, in which she left, among other bequests, her coach and horses to her daughter Hanna, a ruby ring to her daughter Jane, and 13s. 4d. to each of her maids. The will was probated February 6, 1655. Portrait: effigy in York Minster.


















CATHERINE CROMWELL (c.1557-March 24, 1620)
Catherine Cromwell was the daughter of Henry Cromwell, 3rd baron Cromwell of Oakham (d. November 20, 1592) and Mary Paulet (d. October 10, 1592). She married Lionel Tollemache (d.1611+) on February 10, 1581. She had four children, Lionel (d. September 6, 1640), Anne, Mary, and Catherine. Portrait: by Robert Peake the elder, c.1592.

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Joan Cromwell was the wife of William Judde, with whom she is shown in a double portrait dated 1560. Although it appears to be a memorial portrait, with parents mourning a deceased adult son, the inscriptions hint instead at a wedding portrait. They read: "We beholde ower ende," "The worde of God hathe knit us twain and death shall us divide agayne," and "Live to Die; Die to Live Etarnally." William Judde was the half brother of Sir Andrew Judde. I have not yet identified the parents of Joan Cromwell. Portrait: 1560.

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JOAN CROMWELL (c.1558-1641)
Joan Cromwell was the daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (c. 1524-January 6, 1603/4) and Joan Warren (c.1540-August 22, 1585). Sir Henry was born Henry Williams but his father later took his mother’s maiden name, Cromwell, in order to inherit. In 1579, Joan married Sir Francis Barrington of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex (c.1560-July 3, 1628). They were adherents of predestinarian Calvinism and gave financial support to a large number of ministers, preachers, and authors. Lady Barrington not only raised her own children but also brought up several female relatives and arranged marriages for them. One suitor she rejected for a niece was Roger Williams, who went on to found Providence, Rhode Island. Aside from a period in 1626-7, when Sir Francis was imprisoned in the Marshalsea for refusing to pay a forced loan and Joan stayed with him, she made her home at the Priory, Hatfield. Her four sons and five daughters included Thomas (c.1585-September 1644), Robert, Francis, Mary (d. c. 1666), John (d. c. 1631), Elizabeth, Winifred, Ruth, and Joan. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Barrington [née Williams or Cromwell], Joan.”





MARY CROMWELL (c.1576-1617)
Mary Cromwell was the tenth child and fourth daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (c.1537-January 6, 1603/4) and his first wife, Joan Warren (c.1540-August 22, 1584) and the aunt of Oliver Cromwell. On February 19, 1599, she married Sir William Dunch of Little Wittenham, Berkshire (d.1612). Their children were Edmund (1602-1678), Mary, William, Anne, Henry, Catherine, and Walter. The Wittenham Clumps—rounded hills near the Dunch family seat—go by the alternate name of "Mother Dunch's Buttocks." This name is "associated" with Mary. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Peter's Church, Little Wittenham.

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Margaret Cropwell was the daughter of Julian Cropwell, buried at St. Botolph's without Bishopsgate in February 1595/6 and probably the widow of Robert Cropwell, who was buried there on January 11, 1579/80. Margaret married John Allyn (d.1596), an innholder in the same parish and the brother of Edward Allyn the actor. In 1585, Allyn bought four messuages in Bishopsgate Street adjoining Fisher's Folly from his mother and stepfather. On July 18, 1592, he leased two messuages in St. Botoph's from his mother-in-law for nine years. He had moved from that parish to St. Andrew's, Holborn, where he died, at some point before May 4, 1596. On July 2, 1596, Margaret was back in St. Botolph's.










JOYCE CULPEPPER (c.1480-1527+)
Joyce Culpepper, sometimes called Jocosa or Jocasta, was the daughter of Sir Richard Culpepper or Culpeper of Oxenhoath, West Peckham, Kent (d. October 4, 1484) and his second wife, Isabel Worsley (d. April 18, 1527). At the age of twelve, Joyce married Ralph Legh of Stockwell in Lambeth, Surrey (c.1470-November 6, 1509), by whom she had John, Ralph (d. before 1563), Isabel (d. February 16, 1573), Joyce, and Margaret. She inherited property form her grandfather, Sir John Culpepper, and her father and was coheiress in 1492 to her brother, Thomas Culpepper. In c.1514, she married Lord Edmund Howard (c.1479-March 19, 1539), by whom she became the mother of Catherine Howard (1521-x. February 13, 1542), Henry VIII’s fifth queen. Their other children were another Margaret (c.1514-October 10, 1572), Charles, Henry, George (d.1580) and Mary. In 1527, Lord Edmund sent his wife to plead with Cardinal Wolsey that Edmund not be imprisoned for debt. That same year, they came into an inheritance from her mother, Isabel Worsley Culpepper Leigh. See her entry for more details.


JANE CURE (d.1608+)

Jane Cure was the daughter of Thomas Cure of Southwark (d. May 24, 1588), saddler to Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, and Agnes or Anne Bennet (d.1590+). Cure moved to St. Saviour's Parish in Southwark in 1570. In 1579, he purchased Waverley House from Viscount Montague. He also held other Southwark properties: The Red Lion, The Cross Keys, The Estridge Feather, the King's Head, among others, and in 1580 he purchased the manor of Paris Garden for his son Thomas. By 1588, Jane had married Hugh Browker (d.1608), Prothonotary in Common Pleas, who owned land in Whitechapel. They had four sons and four daughters including eldest son Thomas. In 1602, he and his son leased Paris Garden, which had formerly belonged to Thomas Cure. Browker made his will on December 31, 1607 and it was proved five weeks later. He made Jane executor and left most of his property to her for the term of fourteen years, after which it was to revert to Thomas.   


ELIZABETH CURLE (c.1560-May 29, 1620)

Elizabeth Curle was the sister of Gilbert Curle, secretary to Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment in England. Elizabeth was also a member of that household and was with Mary on the scaffold at her execution. Mary left her 2000 francs. After the execution, Mary's ladies were held at Fotheringay until July 30, when they were taken to Peterborough Cathedral for Mary's funeral. It was September before they were finally released and allowed to leave England. Elizabeth went with her brother and sister-in-law and their children to the Continent, settling first at Douai (some accounts say Paris) and later to Antwerp. It was at this time that she commissioned a memorial portrait of Mary in which she and Jane Kennedy appear as small background figures. The figures on the monument to Elizabeth and her sister-in-law, Barbara Mowbray, in St. Andrew's Church, Antwerp, represent their patron saints, not the ladies themselves.






Ursula Curson was the daughter of Sir John Curson or Curzon of Beckhall/Beek Hall and Belaugh, Norfolk (c.1483-c.1547). She married Sir John Hynde of Madingley, Cambridgeshire (c.1480-October 17, 1550), a lawyer and judge. According to the Oxford DNB entry on Hynde, she was his second wife and his first wife, Elizabeth (or Eleanor) Heydon, died in around 1530. The DNB then states that Hynde had four daughters and two sons, but is not clear about who their mother was. The History of Parliament gives them to Ursula. These children were Catherine, Sybil, Sir Francis (c.1530-March 21, 1595/6), Mary, Anne, and Thomas. In 1543, Hynde began construction on Madingley Hall, about three miles from Cambridge, but he died in London and was buried in St. Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street. According to the diary of Henry Machyn, Ursula provided money for meat, drink, and gowns for the poor of Cambridge. She was apparently left well off, for as a widow she once spent £386 on a piece of property. She seems to have been a sharp businesswoman. In her will, she bequeathed property to one of her daughters' husbands on the condition that he include a certain manor in that daughter's jointure. Although some sources say that Madingley Hall was completed in 1547, others say it was incomplete when Hynde died and that his son, Sir Francis, continued the building, using wood from the church of St. Ethelreda in Hilston in the construction and selling the lead, bells, and other valuable materials from the demolished church to pay for the work. It is this action which is said to have sent Ursula into a decline that led to her death and to her reappearance as a ghost to walk the grounds, wringing her hands, and to make an annual appearance between the hall and the church every Christmas Eve. Portrait: carving in a bay window at Madingley Hall.


Anne Cursonne or Curzon was the daughter of Robert Curzon of Brightwell, Suffolk. She married three times, first in about 1494, to William Freville or Frevyll of Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire; then to William Rede of Boston, Leicestershire (d. by 1507); and finally, on January 21, 1510, to Paul Withypole/Withypool of Walthamshow, Essex (d. June 3, 1547), a London Merchant Taylor. Withypole is best known as the donor of the Withypool Triptych (1514) painted by Antonio da Solano, in which he is pictured with the Virgin and Child and St. Joseph. He was a protégé of Cardinal Wolsey and regularly loaned money to King Henry VIII. Anne had a son named Thomas by William Rede and four children, Elizabeth (1510-October 29, 1537), Edmund (d.1582), and two other sons, by Withypole. She owned several books of hours, both manuscript and printed, two of which are extant. The printed Book of Hours also contains entries she made during her lifetime, some about family events and some about current events, such as the landing of Henry VII at Milford Haven in 1484 and the death of the Earl of Lincoln. According to Eamon Duffy in Marking the Hours: English People & Their Prayers, 1240-1570, an entry on her marriage to Rede is "a good deal warmer than that recording her subsequent marriage to Withypole."




Elizabeth Curwen was the daughter of Sir Thomas Curwen and Anne Huddleston. She married Sir William Musgrave (c.1497-October 18, 1544). They had two sons, Richard (1524-1555) and John. Although most genealogies say she had died before 1536, she seems to have been the Lady Musgrave who wrote to Lord Cromwell in 1537, just after the Pilgrimage of Grace, to solicit his favor for her husband. She asked that Musgrave be relieved from further service in the north.










Dorothy Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall, Staffordshire (c.1490-1540/1) and Elizabeth Lygon. By 1557, she was a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Anne of Cleves, as was her married sister Maud (or Magdalen) Totton. Dorothy apparently found great favor with her mistress. When Anne died, she left Dorothy £100 toward her marriage and also singled her out in the bequest she made to her stepdaughter, Elizabeth Tudor. She asked that the princess take her "poor maid," Dorothy Curzon, into her service. There is no indication, however, that Elizabeth did so, and Dorothy is not listed in the royal household after Elizabeth became queen. Dorothy later married a man named John Mynne, but it is not clear which John Mynne he was.


JOYCE or JOCOSA CURZON (x. December 10, 1557)

Joyce Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall Staffordshire (c.1490-1540/41) and Anne Aston. She married Sir George Appleby (1513-September 10,1547) of Appleby, Leicestershire, by whom she had two sons, George (d.1561+) and Richard, and then Thomas Lewis (d.1558) of Mancetter, Warwickshire. In about 1555, she left the Catholic church to become an evangelical, along with many others in the neighborhood. She was arrested in 1556, found guilty of heresy, and burned at the stake in Lichfield. Her story is told in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Lewis [née Curzon], Joyce.”


MARY CURZON (d. October 12, 1628)

Mary Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Addington and Waterperry (d. c.1563) and Agnes Hussey (d. October 20, 1588). She married Sir George Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (1550-1612) on September 12, 1570. According to Magna Britannia by Samuel Lysons (1806), Westoning, Bedfordshire, which was surrendered to the Crown in 1542, was given by Queen Mary to her goddaughter, Mary Curzon. This source also states, however, that Mary Curzon was one of Queen Mary's maids of honor. Mary Curzon could not have been born much before 1553, since her mother was still married to her first husband, Roger More of Bichester, until his death in 1551. The queen died in 1558. Mary and George Fermor had seven sons and eight daughters including Edward, Agnes (c.1575-1617), Robert (c.1578-1626), Sir Hatton (c.1584-October 28, 1640), George, Richard, Devereux, William, Elizabeth, Jane (c.1584-1648), Catherine, Mary, and three girls who died unmarried. Fermor made a will dated 1611 in which he mentions five sons and one daughter. Mary's will was dated August 13, 1625 and proved February 10, 1628. Portrait: part of a set with that of her husband.




MARY CURZON (1586- May 1645)
Mary Curzon was the daughter of Sir George Curzon (d. November 17, 1622) and Mary Leveson. She married Edward Sackville (1591-1652), later 4th earl of Dorset. Mary was a cousin of Admiral Sir Richard Leveson (d.1605), who had an estate of over 30,000 acres in Staffordshire and Shropshire. His heir appeared to be Richard Leveson (1598-1662), son of another of Sir Richard’s cousins, Sir John Leveson (1555-1615), but Sir John had made powerful political enemies. According the Oxford DNB entry on Sir John Leveson, Thomas Sackville, later created earl of Dorset, conspired against Sir John by, among other things, supporting a forged will that named Mary Curzon as Sir Richard’s heir. That she was married to Sackville’s grandson doubtless aroused suspicion and in the end the forgery was exposed. Although Mary and Edward Sackville were already married by then, in 1613 he supposedly fought a duel over Venetia Stanley and killed his opponent, Lord Bruce of Kinloss. After that he traveled on the Continent for a time. After his return, he and Mary had three children, Richard (September 16, 1622-August 27, 1677), Mary (d.1632) and Edward (d.1646). When Charles I became king, Mary was appointed governess to his children, a post she held until shortly before her death. Portrait: attributed to William Hamilton.


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MAUD CURZON (d.1572+)
Maud Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall, Derbyshire (c.1490-1540/1) and his second wife, Elizabeth Lygon. Her first husband was Nicholas Tatton of Chester (d. October 24, 1551). She next married her cousin, William Horton of Catton, Derbyshire (son of Anne Curzon and John Horton), by whom she may have had a son, Christopher. Maud, also called Magdalen, is mentioned in the will of Anne of Cleves and was in Anne's funeral procession in 1557.





AUDREY CUTTS (c.1542-December 2, 1594)
Audrey Cutts was the daughter of Peter Cutts. Her first husband was Ralph Latham of North Kendall, Essex. After December 14, 1568, she married Gabriel Poyntz of North Ockendon, Essex (1538-February 8, 1607/8). They had two children, Thomas (d. December 17, 1597) and Catherine. Portrait: effigy in alabaster on tomb in St. Mary Magdalene, North Ockendon.

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