Read This First:
My name is Kathy Lynn Emerson. A Who’s Who of Tudor Women began as a project to update and correct my very out-of-date collective biography, Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth Century England, published by a small scholarly press in 1984. That accomplished, I have continued to add entries and plan to go on doing so. I am not affiliated with any institution of higher learning, nor do I have a doctorate. If such things matter to you, you may call me an “independent scholar.” I earned my bachelor’s degree from Bates College and my M.A. (in English) from Old Dominion University. I make my living as a novelist and writer of popular nonfiction (click here if you want to know about that) but I do have scholarly credentials. I have had articles published in Renaissance Papers, First Person Female American (American Notes and Queries Supplement), and Notes on Teaching English and have read papers at the Southeastern Renaissance Conference and the Medieval Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
These pages are not meant to be scholarly or all-inclusive. They are set up to help identify women who lived during the Tudor era (1485-1603). The information in them has been accumulated primarily from a footnote here and a paragraph there in the histories and biographies dealing with better known people and events. No complete bibliography is possible, nor was it possible to give a specific source for every single detail in every single entry. Some details had multiple sources. Some came from undocumented sources. Some I found forty years ago and neglected to make a note of my source. That said, if you go to the end of this page, you will find a bibliography of the sources which provide information (still, for the most part, in small snippets), on a great number of Tudor women.
I write the entries in A Who's Who of Tudor Women myself and make additions and corrections as needed. I don't mind sharing this information. In fact, I'm happy to have it reach the widest audience possible. But I would appreciate being identified as the author of individual mini-biographies appearing on other websites, preferably with a link to this webpage, when my words appear in substantially the same form as they do here. All material included in this Who's Who is ©2008-14 by Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved).
The women included in A Who's Who of Tudor Women lived at least part of their lives between 1485 and 1603. Each must have done something during her lifetime that I find interesting. In some cases, that something was simply having her portrait painted or an effigy made in her likeness, or holding a post in a royal household. Just making multiple marriages and having children usually isn't enough on its own to qualify a woman for inclusion here.
Entries are arranged alphabetically by the maiden name of the subject or by married surname if the birth name is unknown. Each entry is cross referenced by married surname(s). To find a subject by her husband's title, consult the list of Titles Used in Tudor Times. I add new entries and make additions and corrections to existing ones regularly, so please visit often to see what's new. To reach the section you are looking for, click on the appropriate letter of the alphabet.
(sources used in creating a dozen or more individual entries)
Arnold, Janet, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd (1988)
Bellamy, John, Strange, Inhuman Deaths: Murder in Tudor England (2005)
Bindoff, S. T., ed., The History of Parliament The House of Commons 1509-1558 (1982) (3 vols.)
Bynre, M. St. Clare, ed. The Lisle Letters (1981) (6 vols)
Jessie Childs, God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England (2014)
Ford, David, Berkshire History
Goldsmith, Joan Barbara Greenbaum, All the Queen's Women: The changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (unpublished PhD dissertation, 1987)
Green, Nina, transcripts of wills and other documents at Oxford-Shakespeare.com
Harris, Barbara J. English Aristocratic Women 1450-1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers (2002) (and also numerous articles written by Harris and published in a variety of scholarly journals)
Hasler, P. W., ed., The History of Parliament The House of Commons 1558-1603 (1981) (3 vols.)
Hayward, Maria, Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII (2007)
McKeen, David, A Memory of Honour, the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham (1986) (2 vols.)
Merton, Charlotte Isabelle, The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth: Ladies, Gentlewomen and Maids of the Privy Chamber, 1553-1603 (unpublished PhD dissertation, 1991)
Richardson, Douglas, Magna Carta Ancestry (2011)
Sutton, Anne F., The Mercery of London (2005)
to send email to Kathy Lynn Emerson click on my
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a genealogist. I will not do your research for you. All the information I currently possess about the women who have entries in the Who’s Who is already contained in those entries. If you have a question about my sources, I will try to answer it but I may not know where the information came from originally (much of it was, literally, from a sentence here and a footnote there in multiple volumes of history and biography). If you have something to add, or a correction to make (with citations, please!) I am happy to hear from you. If your email bounces or if you have not received a reply within a day or two, please resend it. Most of the time email works well, but sometimes the cyberspace gremlins gobble up messages. Unless I am out of town at a conference or convention, you should hear from me within a day or two. If you don't, reread the first four sentences of this paragraph again. If you don’t find a reason there for my silence, and my email address isn’t blocked on your end, and my reply isn’t in your spam filter, then please try again. Thanks.