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her very out-of-date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 ©2008-13 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)
see ELIZABETH PHILLIPS
see JUDITH SHAKESPEARE
see ALICE SUTTON
RADCLIFFE (1576-October 1661)
Ann Radcliffe was the daughter of Anthony Radcliffe of London (d.1603) and Elizabeth Bright. She married Thomas Moulson (c.1568-1638) on December 15, 1600. They owned and operated an inn in London. They had two children but both died young. After her husband’s death, Ann Moulson managed her own business for the next twenty-three years. In addition to the inn, she loaned money and invested in import ventures. She was also active in the puritan cause, contributing toward hiring a puritan lecturer in her parish and giving generously to other charities, including a gift of £100 to the fledgling Harvard College in New England. Because of that, it was Ann Radcliffe who was honored by the name Radcliffe College in 1894. She bequeathed nearly £12,000 in her will. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Moulson [née Radcliffe], Ann.”
see ANNE BENOLT; ANNE CALTHORPE; ANNE HASTINGS
(c.1533-June 7, 1561)
Anne Radcliffe was the daughter of Robert Radcliffe, 1st earl of Sussex (1483-1542) and his second wife, Margaret Stanley (c.1505-January 1533/4+), who married Radcliffe before September 1, 1532. On April 10, 1547, Anne married Thomas Wharton (1520-June 14, 1572), later 2nd baron Wharton, although he did not succeed his father until after Anne's death. Their children were Philip (June 23, 1555-March 26, 1625), Anne (b.1557), Thomas, and Mary (b. 1559). Anne was part of the household of Princess (later Queen) Mary before 1552. She is mentioned as such in the 1551 will of one of her fellow gentlewomen, Margaret Pennington Cooke, and also features in an oft-repeated but possibly apocryphal story about Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane is supposed to have been visiting Princess Mary at Beaulieu when, upon seeing Anne genuflect in the chapel, she made several rude remarks about Catholic practices. This "Lady Anne Wharton" is said to have been a favorite of Mary's, but she is often misidentified as Anne Talbot, second wife of Anne Radcliffe’s father-in-law. This is impossible because Anne Talbot was Lady Bray during Queen Mary’s reign and did not marry Thomas Wharton's father until November 1561. That was not only after the death of Queen Mary, but also after the death of Anne Radcliffe. Anne Radcliffe, Lady Wharton was also at court in 1558/9.
see BRIDGET MORRISON
see CATHERINE MARNEY
ELEANOR RADCLIFFE (d. July 27, 1518)
Eleanor Radcliffe was the daughter of Geoffrey Radcliffe of Farmesdon (d.1505) and Anne Wyndham. She had married Sir Thomas Lovell of Elsinge Manor in Enfield, Middlesex (1453-May 25, 1524) by 1512, as his second wife. They had no children. The Lady Lovell at court during the reign of Henry VII was Lovell’s first wife, Isabel Ros (1451-1508/9), but Eleanor Radcliffe may have been one of Elizabeth of York’s attendants before her marriage. There was also a “Mrs. Ratcliff” in the household of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, in 1509. The Lady Lovell in Catherine of Aragon’s household would have been Eleanor. Henry VIII visited Elsinge more often than any other courtier’s house during the first part of his reign. There was a special suite of six rooms kept for his use. Queen Margaret of Scotland stayed there in early May 1516, on her way to visit her brother at the English court. Foreign dignitaries and, in August 1520, French hostages, were also housed there.
see ELIZABETH HOWARD; ELIZABETH STAFFORD
Frances Radcliffe was the daughter of Henry Radcliffe, 2nd earl of Sussex (c.1506-February 17, 1557) and his second wife, Anne Calthorpe (1509-between August 22, 1579 and March 28, 1582). When Frances was two years old, her father attempted to have her declared illegitimate, having thrown her mother out of his house some years earlier, but he was not successful. Although Francis’s father may have been Sir Edmund Knyvett (1509-1551), with whom her mother was accused of having a bigamous marriage, Sussex eventually accepted her as his daughter and left her an income of £20/year and a dowry of £600. Under Queen Elizabeth, Frances came to court as a maid of honor. She was there in January 1562 when Shane O'Neill (c.1530-June 2, 1561), son of the first Earl of Tyrone, came to England to negotiate with the queen for his father's title. O'Neill was a violent man who had killed members of his own family in his quest for power. He had also been married twice (one wife he divorced and the other was dead) and kept his former father-in-law's current wife as his mistress. Still, during his time in England, he reportedly asked Queen Elizabeth for a "proper English wife." According to Violet Wilson's Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber, he specifically wanted to marry Frances but his suit was refused. Wilson goes on to say that at a later date, when Frances visited her half brother in Ireland, O'Neill renewed his courtship and was again turned down. It seems unlikely matters progressed very far, if at all. In 1561, Frances's brother, Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd earl of Sussex, had tried to assassinate O'Neill using poison. They were not on friendly terms. In any case, in 1563, O'Neill married his mistress. In July 1566, Frances married Thomas Mildmay of Moulsham (d.1608) and was the mother of Thomas Mildmay, Baron Fitzwalter (d. 1625) and Henry (c.1585-1654). She is said to have had a long association with comedian Richard Tarleton, who praised her learned piety in a dedication.
see FRANCES MEAUTAS; FRANCES SIDNEY
see HONORA POUND
see ISABEL HERVEY
see KATHERINE MALLORY
Katherine Radcliffe was the daughter of Sir Roger Radcliffe of Tunstall (c.1525-1588) and Dorothy Bigod (c.1529-1552). She was raised at Mulgrave Castle, Yorkshire but in about 1565 moved to Ugthorpe Manor, where she was a practicing Catholic for many years before being prosecuted for her religion. Her first conviction came in 1590. In 1591, Mulgrave Castle was taken by the Crown. In 1592, Katherine was imprisoned in Rotherham Castle and possibly sent to Hull, but she was later released because she was sent back to prison the following year. In 1599, she was a prisoner in York Castle.
see MARGARET WHETEHILL
MARGARET RADCLIFFE (January 1573-November 10, 1599)
Margaret Radcliffe was the daughter of Sir John Radcliffe of Ordsall (1536-1590) and Anne Ashawe. She came to court as a maid of honor in the 1590s and there was courted by Lord Cobham’s son, Henry Brooke. Brooke also paid court to Frances Howard, countess of Kildare, and Elizabeth Russell, another maid of honor. When news came in August 1599 that Margaret’s twin brother, Alexander, had been killed in battle in Ireland, Margaret was inconsolable. She returned to Ordsall, where she pined away, refusing to eat. Advised of her maid of honor’s condition, Queen Elizabeth ordered Margaret back to court, which was then at Richmond, but her decline continued and it was there that she died. The queen ordered an autopsy (an unusual step in those days). According to a letter written by Philip Gaudy, Margaret’s body proved “all well and sound, saving certain strings striped all over her heart.” She was buried in St. Margaret’s, Westminster. There was a magnificent monument, which no longer exists. Ben Jonson composed the epitaph—not one of his better efforts—which includes the line “rare as wonder was her wit and like nectar ever flowing.” Portrait: called “a lady in court dress” and still extant at Ordsall, this may or may not be Margaret, but the clothing is correct for the 1590s.
Mary Radcliffe was the daughter of John Radcliffe, 1st baron Fitzwalter (d. November 24, 1496) and Margaret Whetehill (1446-1518+). Before February 12, 1493, she married Sir Edward Darrell of Littlecote (d. March 9, 1528/9), as his second wife. His children all seem to have been the offspring of his first wife. In June 1509, the king sent a messenger to "Mary, Lady Darell," probably to call her into service at court. If her date of death is correct, Mary was not the Lady Darrell at court in January 1518.
MARY RADCLIFFE (1550-July 1618)
Mary Radcliffe was the daughter of Sir Humphrey Radcliffe of Elstow (c.1509-August 13,1566) and Isabella Hervey or Harvey (d.May 8,1594). She was given to the queen as a New Year’s gift in 1561 and actually came to court as a maid of honor in 1564 at the age of fourteen. She spent the rest of the reign at court, earning a stipend of £40 a year as a gentlewoman of the privy chamber (1570) and later (1580) as a lady of the bedchamber and keeper of the queen's jewels. Tracy Borman, in Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen, states that Mary was "something of a beauty" and names one John Farnham as one of her admirers. The description of her as "comely" by Farnham, however, does not really imply physical attractiveness, and her portrait (below) gives a rather different impression. Whatever her appearance, she never married, and she outlived the queen. One account says she was 73 at the time of her death, which would give a birth date of 1545. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Radcliffe, Mary"; a brief account of her life is also given in Eunice H. Turner’s “Queen Elizabeth and her Friends” in History Today, September 1965. Portrait: contrary to the report above, this is one of the plainest likenesses of a maid of honor of the era!
see MARY ARUNDELL
see DOROTHY WROUGHTON
see ELIZABETH THROCKMORTON
see KATHERINE CHAMPERNOWNE
RENÉE RALLAY (d.1587+)
Renée Rallay was the daughter of one Madam Rallay, chamberwoman to Mary Queen of Scots in 1555. Madam Rallay returned to France c.1567/8 but on December 13, 1574 Mary wrote a letter asking for Madam Rallay and her daughter to come to her in England to help her "invent and work" designs for her needlework. There was some suspicion that this was a plot to communicate with her allies, since the emblems used in needlework often had hidden meanings, but by February 1577, Mary got her wish. Renée is referred to as both Mademoiselle de Rallay and Mademoiselle de Beauregard in records of the household, which may indicate that she had married a man named Beauregard. Or not. Mary mentions that she has "lost" Ralley in a letter written on September 6, 1585, but it is unclear whether she meant Madam Rallay had died or simply that she had returned to France. Renée, however, was still in England. She was listed as a genlewoman of the chamber in July 1586 and bore Mary's train at her trial in 1587. After Mary was executed her 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. Renée appears to have returned to France.
see MARGARET HARLESTONE
see MARY DALE
AGNES RANDALL (1521-April 22, 1605)
Agnes was from Coventry and was in service with Sir Thomas Lucy at Charlecote, Warwickshire when she married his son’s tutor, John Foxe (1516-April 18,1587) on February 3, 1547. It has been said that Agnes’s father helped him attend Oxford. Shortly after the marriage, Foxe became the tutor of the duchess of Richmond’s wards, the children of the executed earl of Surrey. In 1554, however, with the accession of the Catholic queen, Mary Tudor, he was forced to flee into exile because of his religious beliefs. Agnes was pregnant at the time but she left the country with him and their daughter was born in Flanders. Foxe gained fame with the publication of his Acts and Monuments, better known as the Book of Martyrs. Other children were Samuel (1560-1630), Rafe, Mary, Thomas (1564-1625), and Simon (1568-1642). Biography: John Foxe by Warren W. Wooden.
see ELIZABETH MORE
JOAN RASTELL (1504-1574)
Joan Rastell was the daughter of John Rastell of London (d.1536) and Elizabeth More (September 12, 1482-1538), sister of Sir Thomas More. Around 1523, when he was a virginals player at court, she married John Heywood, later of London, North Mimms, Hertfordshire, and Hinxhill, Kent (1496/7-1578). At that time, he was paid £26 13s. 4d. a year and was already writing plays. They lived in St. Bride’s parish. They had two sons, Ellis (1530-1578) and Jasper (1535-1598), both of whom joined the Jesuit order, and three daughters, including Elizabeth (d.1631), who was the mother of poet John Donne. In July 1564, Joan and her husband went abroad to settle at Malines, where she died.
see WINIFRED CLEMENT
ANNE RAWLEY (d.1560+)
Anne Rawley was the daughter of John Rawley of Billesby, Northamptionshire. She married William Owen (c.1535-1560+) and may have been the Mrs. Owen living in a part of the house called Cumnor Place in 1560, although some sources say he married Ursula Fettiplace, daughter of Alexander Fettiplace of Swinbrook (1503-September 12, 1564) and Anne Dale, in 1558. Cumnor Place belonged to William Owen and was leased to Anthony Forster (c.1510-1572), one of Robert Dudley's servants. It appears to have been a large establishment with room for separate quarters for three ladies in addition to Forster and his wife and children. One "apartment" was occupied by Mrs. Owen, identified in some accounts as William Owen's stepmother, Mary, the second wife and widow of George Owen (c.1499-October 18, 1558), the royal physician. The Oxford DNB entry for "Owen, George," however, identifies the occupants of Cumnor Place in 1560 as William Owen and his wife, Anne Rawley. Another tenant was Amye Robsart, Lady Dudley. She fell to her death down a flight of stairs, sparking centuries of controversy over whether or not she was murdered. See the entry under AMYE ROBSART for more details.
see ELEANOR HERBERT
(1513-February 20, 1587/8)
Anne Rawson was the daughter of Nicholas Rawson of Aveley, Essex and Gressenhall, Norfolk (1475-1529) and Beatrice Cooke (1478-January 14, 1554). In 1532, she married Sir Michael Stanhope of Shelford and Elvaston, Nottinghamshire (1502-x. February 26, 1552) and was the mother of Sir Thomas (1532-August 3, 1596), Jane (1536-January 3, 1618), Sir Edward (1538-1603), Sir John (1545-March 9, 1621), another Edward (February 26, 1547-March 16, 1608), Sir Michael (1548-1625), Eleanor, Juliana, and three others (Margaret, Edward, and William), who died young. She was allowed to remain in her home, Shelford Priory, Nottinghamshire, after her husband’s attainder and her household there had a reputation for piety and hospitality. Her mother lived with her there until her death. There is a monument to Lady Stanhope in St. Peter and St. Paul, Shelford.
see ELIZABETH LAW
see MARY BEAUMONT
see ANNE PERCY
see ANNE FERNLEY
Bridget Read, sometimes called Katherine Read, was the daughter of Sir Robert Read of Horstal, Kent (d. January 8, 1518/19) and Margaret Alphew/Alphege. Around 1510, she married Sir Thomas Willoughby of Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Kent (d. September 28, 1545). Their children were Henry, Robert, Christopher (1513-January 11, 1586), Mary, and Elizabeth (c.1516-April 10, 1580). She constructed a monument to herself and her late husband.
see GERTRUDE PASTON
see ALICE BENTLEY
see ANNE CURSONNE; ANNE DONNE
ANNE REDE (c.1510-January 5, 1585)
Anne Rede was the daughter of Sir William Rede, Read, or Reade of Boarstall, Buckinghamshire (1470-1527) and Anne Warham. The list of ladies attending on Princess Mary in December 1526 includes the name Anne Rede. It was there she met her first husband, Sir Giles Greville or Grevill of Wick, Worcestershire (d. April 1, 1528), controller of the household. Two letters are extant that refer to the courtship, the first from Margaret, countess of Salisbury, governess of the Princess Mary, to Lady Rede. Written from Worcester on August 20, 1526, it refers to the interest the comptroller has in her daughter and does not sound entirely approving of the romance. The second letter is from Lady Rede to Mr. Henry Golde, chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. Written from Knole on April 8, 1527, it announces that "the matter betwixt Sir Giles Bryvel (sic) and my daughter is driven almost into conclusion." Barbara J. Harris, in "Women and Politics in Early Tudor England," reveals that Sir Giles grew so frustrated with Lady Rede's demands concerning her daughter's jointure that he threatened to break off negotiations. In about 1530, Anne married Sir Adrian Fortescue (c.1481-x. July 9,1539). He was engaged in a long-running dispute over land with the family of his first wife, Anne Stonor (c.1484-June 14, 1518). On one occasion, according to later testimony before the Star Chamber, a party led by Sir Walter Stonor attacked Stonor Manor and dragged Anne Rede, who was pregnant, out of her chamber. Anne and Fortescue also contested the inheritance of one of Sir Giles Greville's manors by his daughter by an earlier marriage and her second husband. Fortescue, in 1532, joined the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, an order that was abolished by Parliament in 1534/5. In August 1534, for refusing to take the Oath of Succession, he was imprisoned in the Marshalsea. The family was based at Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire when, in February 1539, for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, Sir Adrian was arrested again and this time charged with "sedition and refusing allegiance" and beheaded. He was beatified in 1895. By Fortescue, Anne was the mother of Sir John (1533-December 23, 1607), Thomas (May 13, 1534-1611), Sir Anthony (c.1535-c.1611), Elizabeth (d.1602), and Mary. Her third husband, married in about 1540, was Sir Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall and Welford, Berkshire (c.1505-December 15, 1560). According to The History of Parliament, the marriage was troubled early on. In August 1540, the Bishop of London set up a commission to investigate Parry's complaint that his wife had left him. They were reconciled and eventually had two sons and three daughters: Thomas (1544-1616), Edward, Anne, Frances, and Muriel (d.1616). In October 1542, Anne was granted 1,500 sheep in Gloucestershire and other goods confiscated from her second husband. Thomas Parry had entered the service of Princess Elizabeth by 1548, when he was her cofferer. He was arrested in 1549 because of his knowledge of the activities of Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour but later released. The Parrys lived at Wallingford, Berkshire and at Welford Park, Berkshire. Anne was in the household of Elizabeth Tudor before she became queen, but on September 30, 1553, she was in attendance on Queen Mary. Mary granted her Pannington, Gotherington, Tredington, Washbourne, and Hamstead in Gloucestershire. Under Queen Elizabeth, Anne Parry was a lady of the privy chamber. When she retired from the court in 1566, she received an annuity and more land in Gloucestershire. Portrait: alabaster effigy on her tomb in Welford, Berkshire, erected by her son Thomas.
Agnes Redman was the daughter of William Redman of St. Swithin's, London. By a marriage license dated January 28, 1579/80, Agnes married attorney Richard Kitchen of Clifford's Inn (c.1559-1604). Agnes inherited goods from her father in a will, dated January 16, 1586/7 and when her husband died she was left a house in Skipton in Craven in the West Riding of Yorkshire, with the reversion to Abel Kitchen of Bristol, and all his goods and chattels. She was also named executrix. They had no children. It was a different Agnes Kitchen, widow of Gabriel Kitchen of Skipton (d.1591) who died in 1613/14 at the age of about 102. That Agnes Kitchen was the mother of Gabriel (d.1603), Elizabeth, Christopher, Abel, and Thomas (d. before 1591).
see ELIZABETH PICKERING
see MARY BRANDON
(maiden name unknown)
Joan married William Regent, a merchant who was mayor of Bristol in 1495. They had one daughter, Agnes (d.1524), who became a nun at Syon, where she was a boarder as early as 1504/5. After her husband died, Joan appears to have become a vowess. She was probably living at St. Mark's hospital, Bristol at the time of her death. Notes in her hand appear in the margin of a copy of Vitas Patrum, at the opening of Jerome's life of Paula, a noble Roman widow. The signature of her daughter is also found in that book. In her will, Joan left plate and linen to Agnes.
JANE REHORA (d.1601+)
Jane Rehora was a maidservant to Frances Walsingham,
countess of Essex. She married another Essex servant, John Daniels or Daniel,
in 1599. Shortly before their marriage, just after the earl was taken into
custody, the countess gave Jane a casket of letters to hide for her. Daniels
found the casket under his bed and took some of the letters to have copies
made. In January 1600, when the countess reclaimed the casket, she realized that
something was wrong. At first Daniels denied all knowledge of the letters, and
chastised the countess for putting his wife in danger for hiding them. Lady
Essex claimed the letters were only affectionate messages from her husband and
that her only concern was that Essex might be angry with her for letting their
contents be divulged, but it seems likely they contained hints of something
more dangerous, given that she was so desperate to get them back. Daniels next
suggested that Jane's maid, who had recently been dismissed, must have stolen
the missing letters. He offered to get them back for the countess and in March
informed her that she would have to pay him £3000 for them. Lady Essex sold her
jewels to raise part of the money and gave it to Daniels, but he did not return
her letters. When Jane tried to persuade her husband to relinquish them,
Daniels informed her that it was only his love for her that kept him from
turning them over to the authorities. The letters from Essex do not appear to
have survived, but court records and letters between Jane Daniels and her
husband are quoted by Violet Wilson in Society Women of Shakespeare's Time.
She gives The Egerton Papers and State
Trials (edited by Jardine) as her sources. Wilson
quotes one letter from Daniels, written from Richmond in reply to a letter from
Jane, I am glad that the Countess of Essex made you acquainted where her letters are, which I was loath to have done. But now I think good to let you know that my decayed estate is more than I was willing you should be a partaker of; and although I meant to have delivered the Countess' letters to her Majesty, yet if I can recover myself by them that have wrought my decay, I will for your sake, forbear my purpose; hoping the Countess will deal well with me, and recompense all my losses sustained by her and her Lord, then I will willingly satisfy her request in that behalf; otherwise I will deliver her letters to the Queen, as I was before determined, and so do bid you heartily farewell.
In June 1601, Daniels attempted to sell the letters to the government and was immediately arrested. Tried for extortion, he was condemned to life in prison and sent to the Fleet and fined £3000. He was also sentenced "to be set upon the pillory, with his ears thereunto nayled, with a paper on his head inscribed: For Forgery, Corrupte Cosenage, and other leude practises." He was released at the accesion of James I in 1603.
see JEANNE LULLIER
see ANNE WOTTON
see ELIZABETH HOLLAND
Elizabeth Reresby was the daughter of Lionel Reresby of Thribergh, Yorkshire and Anne Swift. She was the second wife of Francis Copledike of Harrington, Lincolnshire (d. December 29, 1599). Her two children, John and Anne, died young. She was a patroness of the rectories of Harrington and Aswarby. Portrait: effigy in Harrington, Lincolnshire.
see ALICE WILKES
see AGNES WALTER
Isabel Reynard was the daughter and coheir of John Reynard. She married Thomas Gilbert (d.1529) and was the mother of Otho or Otes Gilbert (d.1547), another son, and a daughter named Joan (d.1539+). Through her marriage to Thomas Gilbert, she was the aunt of Honor Grenville, Lady Bassett and in 1526 loaned that lady some money. Apparently, it was slowly being repaid over the course of the next eleven years, during which time Honor remarried and became Lady Lisle, but in 1537, payments stopped. Two letters from Isabel to Honor are included in The Lisle Letters, both of them appeals for Lady Lisle to instruct her bailiff to pay Isabel the money she was owed. The situation was somewhat desperate. In the first, written from Tresorrow, Cornwall on August 1, 1539, Isabel writes: "pleaseth it you to remember me your poor woman in this my great need with the residue of the money which remaineth in your ladyship’s hands to me due. It is now ij years since I had any of your good ladyship, and since that time it hath cost me above iij hundred marks for the marriage of my daughter, what for her marriage money, the dinner, her apparel and her going up and down to London, and yet remaineth a hundred marks to pay, and the day of payment is expired, and he sayeth if I pay him not of half before Michaelmas and the whole residue before Christmas he will sue me to the extremity, which undoubtedly I cannot do unless my creditors help me." Apparently, in trying to raise the money, she had incurred other debts, for later in the same letter she writes "I am for a small debt sued to the outlawry." In the second letter, written on October 10, 1539 from Greenway, Churston Ferrers, Devonshire, she writes: "I am troubled and vexed in the law for my late debts, and . . . shall be outlawed before Christmas, if I end not with him, and also pay his costs." She does not give a name to this "he" but he is clearly a different creditor than her son-in-law's father, Humphrey Prideaux. Of him, she writes: "Master Prideaux will or hath begun an action against me for the hundred marks unpaid." She continues: "I have foreborne your good ladyship as long as my power would stretch. It is ij years sithen I had any penny of your ladyship . . . if that your good ladyship help me not I am liken to fall in the danger of the law, and also in slander that I cannot pay my debts, which will grieve me and those that be my loving friends." As, unfortunately, is so often the case, we do not know how Isabel's troubles were resolved.
see FRANCES AYLWORTH
REYNOLD (d.1528) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret was the wife of John Reynold (d.1492), a wealthy mercer. When he died, she received a third of his estate, £1000, and their six children each received 250 marks. She also had the responsibility of carrying out her husband's charitable bequests. Their children were Richard (d.1543), Ralph, Ellen, Jane, Margaret, and Mary. Anne F. Sutton in The Mercery of London speculates that Margaret was a silkwoman, since she appears to have had apprentices of her own and left her "frames" to her servant, Ellen, in her will (proved November 27, 1528). Sutton believes her daughter-in-law, Blanche, married to Richard Reynold, may also have been a silkwoman.
see BLANCHE STANNEY
see MARY VERNEY
RHYS or RICE (d.
August 19, 1574)
Agnes Rhys was the daughter of Sir Rhys ap Griffith of Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire (c.1505-x.January 4,1531) and Katherine Howard (1508-1554). She was raised in the household of her grandmother, Agnes, dowager duchess of Norfolk, along with her two sisters. She became the mistress of William Stourton, 7th baron Stourton (1484-September 16, 1548) and lived with him after his separation from his wife, Elizabeth Dudley. In a chancery case in 1553, Agnes claimed they had been married in January 1547 in the chapel at Stourton House, but if so, it was a bigamous marriage since Lady Stourton was still living at the time of her husband's death. Agnes traveled with Stourton and persuaded him to give her mother a house at Stourton Caundle. They had a daughter, Mary. Stourton left Agnes most of his goods and chattels, as well as a sum of money owed to him at the time of his death. Agnes then removed jewels, plate, and cash from his house in Lambeth, Surrey and took up residence in Stourton House, refusing to be evicted by Stourton's heir, Charles. According to John Bellamy's Strange, Inhuman Deaths: Murder in Tudor England, Agnes "locked the gates and placed servants to guard them with bows, guns, and other weapons. She kept charge of the gates herself and allowed into the manor house only the sheriff, his servants, and her ally, [William] Hartgill." Further, she took possession of some of the livestock at Stourton, in spite of the objections of Charles's wife. It was 1550 before Charles could remove her from Stourton House. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to get her to return the jewels and plate. The estate was finally settled in 1557, after Charles was executed for murder. Meanwhile, around 1553, Agnes married Sir Edward Baynton (c.1520-1593), by whom she had thirteen children, including William (d.1564), Henry (1571-1616), Anne (d.1587), Margaret (d. yng), and Elizabeth (d.1593+). In 1564, Agnes's only son to that point, William Baynton, while still an infant, was allegedly murdered by witchcraft. There were charges and counter charges made but the gist of the story is that Dorothy Mantill or Mantell, wife of Sir Edward's brother Henry (b.c.1520), enticed one Agnes Mills or Mylles to bewitch the child, thinking that by his death her husband would inherit. Agnes Mills was hanged for the crime, but in spite of proceedings in Chancery the following year, Dorothy does not seem to have been prosecuted. Dorothy and Henry Baynton already had three sons—Henry (b.1553), Edward (b.1555), and Roger (b.1557)—and two daughters. Confusing the issue was the testimony of one Jane Marshe, who first supported the accusation against Dorothy and then, fearing she would never be let out of prison if she did not change her story, accused Edward and Agnes of bribing her to accuse Dorothy. Jane's fate, too, is unknown. One further bit of confusion is caused by the fact that Sir Edward Baynton had two brothers named Henry. The younger, actually his half brother, was born c. 1536 and married Anne Cavendish. He was not implicated in the murder of young William. Portrait: memorial brass at Bromham, Wiltshire, which she shares with her husband and his second wife, Anne Packington (d.1578).
see BARBARA FULLER
ap RICE or RHYS (d.1558+) (maiden name unknown)
Beatrice was the wife of David ap Rice/Rhys (d.1540+), a groom or yeoman of the chamber in Princess Mary’s household prior to 1525. Beatrice became Mary’s laundress in 1519 and was still with her when her household was dissolved in October 1533. She also held this post when Mary was queen.
see ANNE WENTWORTH
see ELIZABETH JENKS
see KATHERINE KNYVETT
see PENELOPE DEVEREUX
(maiden name unknown)
Isabel "Richard" is the name usually given to the first wife of explorer/pirate Martin Frobisher (c.1535-November 22, 1594), but there is a great deal of misinformation about her on the web, not only in her name but in her life dates. Her maiden name is unknown. She was married first to Thomas Rigatt (Riggat/Rickard) of Snaith, Yorkshire and London, by whom she had at least three children. She was left comfortably well off by her first husband and continued to live in Blackfriars, where she had been, by her own account, since 1554, as "maid, widow and wife." Although most sources, including the Oxford DNB, give the date and place of her marriage to Martin Frobisher as September 30, 1559 in Snaith, her own account makes the date 1569 in Walbrook, London. This makes more sense, as Frobisher was on a voyage to Barbery in 1559. In 1565-6, he was in prison for piracy and he was again arrested in July or August 1569 and held in the Fleet and then the Marshalsea until March 1570. Hardly a propitious start to a marriage! The sites that have Isabel dead and Frobisher married to his second wife by 1564 are in error. He did not remarry until 1590 or 91. By the mid-1570s, he had gone through Isabel's inheritance and abandoned her and her children. She was reduced to living "in a poor room within another at Hampstead near unto London." and was "ready to starve." This information comes from two petitions for redress, one undated and sent to Sir Francis Walsingham and the other dated 1574 but unsigned. Both warn of conspiracies and other illegal dealings Frobisher was involved in and may be found in their entirety at oxford-shakespeare.com. Isabel does not appear to have received any help. She died in a poorhouse. Although one source says she and Frobisher had three children, it is more likely that these were her children from her first marriage.
Isabella Richardson’s parentage is unknown. She married Gerard Corby or Corbie of Durham (1558-September 18,1637) in about 1585. In 1598, they left England for Ireland, where they were in the service of the countess of Kildare. Their son Ralph (March 25,1598-1644) was born in Maynooth, Kildare. Their other children were Ambrose (December 25,1604-1649), Robert, Richard, Mary and Catherine. The family returned to England in 1603, but the situation of Catholics there was no better and they soon left again, this time for Belgium. This family’s devotion to their faith cannot be questioned. All four sons studied for the priesthood and three became Jesuit priests (the other died), as did Gerard, in 1628, and both daughters became Benedictine nuns, as did Isabella, as Sister Benedicta Corby, in 1633. She died in Ghent.
see CECILY MACWILLIAMS
see ANNE or AGNES BLOUNT
see ELIZABETH GEDNEY
see DIONYSIA LILY
see THOMASIN DERHAM
see ANNE STANLEY
see ELIZABETH PARKER
see HELEN TOWNELEY
GRISEL RIVETT or REVET
see GRISEL PAGET
see MARGERY PIGOTT
see ALICE WILKES
ROBINSON (d. June
12, 1594) (maiden name unknown)
The murder of Bridget Robinson is one of the most disturbing on record. She was poisoned during a conjugal visit to her imprisoned husband by the insertion of broken glass and poison into her private parts. Thomas Robinson of Rye, a sailor, first obtained a paper filled with poison mixed with glass from a certain Humphrey, who lodged in the court house and who "told him to poison his wife." Robinson "conveyed it into his wife's body on Sunday, May 26 but because the poison had no immediate effect he then persuaded Richard Sadler, his sister Jane's husband, to buy a pennyworth of ratsbane (arsenic) for him, giving him 4d. to pay for it. He claimed he would use the poison to open a lock, so at the least Sadler must have thought he was planning a jail break. Sadler bought the poison from Goodwife Fysher and brought it to Robinson on June 7. The next day, he went back and took away the poison and said later that he could not tell if any had been removed. On June 11, Robinson again had intercourse with his wife during a conjugal visit to his prison cell. He later claimed he did not administer any of the poison Sadler had procured for him. The coroner held an inquest on June 13 and on that same day an inventory was taken of Robinson’s goods. In the hall were a cupboard, a table, and a form with two trestles. There were two bedsteads in the chamber, together with a mat, a featherbed, a bolster, a coverlet, a quilt, and three chests. The total value of the property was 35s. 4d. The coroner, Robert Brett, was also mayor or Rye that year. As was his right, he no doubt laid claim to all Robinson's property. The grand jury indicted Robinson on June 17. The record there differs slightly from the report of the coroner's inquest, stating that after her May 26 visit, Bridget "immediately fell ill and languished at Rye until 12 June when she died." Robinson pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. He was buried on June 19 under the gallows where this sentence was carried out. A later pamphlet about the case confuses several of the details, calling the murderer Henry Robson and dating the crime in 1597 or 1598. According to this version, Robson was imprisoned for debt. A fellow prisoner named Glasier (possibly Humphrey Glasier?), after his release, purchased ratsbane from a mercer in Rye and passed it to Robson along with instructions on how to use it. These were very specific. He should mix the ratsbane with "glass small beaten and wrapt in the skinne of a shoulder of mutton to the quantity of a haslenut or lesse" and then, when his wife came "to lie with him he should convey it into her privy parts." More details from the pamphlet can be found in Strange Inhuman Deaths by John Bellamy. The actual account from the inquest and indictment are in R. F. Hunnisett, ed., Sussex Coroner's Inquests 1558-1603.
AMYE ROBSART (June 7,1532-September 8,1560)
Amy Robsart was the daughter of Sir John Robsart of Syderstone, Norfolk (d. June 8, 1554) and Elizabeth Scott (1504-June 1557). On June 4, 1550, at Sheen, Amye was married to Lord Robert Dudley (June 24,1532-September 4,1588), a younger son of the duke of Northumberland, at a ceremony attended by both Elizabeth Tudor and King Edward VI. When Lord Robert was arrested in 1553, following his father's attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary Tudor, Amye visited him in the Tower of London. He is said by some to have been released in October 1554 and by others not until January 1555, the same month he was pardoned. The whereabouts of the young couple is uncertain for most of the reign of Queen Mary. In 1557, Robert was restored in blood, granted his goods and the manor of Hemsby, and allowed to inherit the Robsart estate. Unfortunately, Syderstone Manor was uninhabitable. From at least mid-1557 until mid-1559, Amye resided primarily in Throcking, Hertfordshire, about ten miles northwest of Bishop's Stortford, the guest of one of two men named William Hyde. This William Hyde (d.1580), who named a daughter Dudley, is not the same man as William Hyde of Denchworth in Berkshire, a house quite near to Cumnor Place. During this period Robert Dudley was most often in London, where he stayed in Christchurch, a house near Aldgate. They visited each other but did not live together for more than brief periods. In August 1557, Robert Dudley was with King Philip's army in France. He did visit her for a few days at Throcking in the spring of 1559, followed by her visit to him in London for about a month. By September 1559, Amye had moved to Sir Richard Verney's house, Compton Verney, in Warwickshire, and in December she was at Cumnor Place, Berkshire, which was to be her last home. Cumnor Place belonged to William Owen and was leased to Anthony Forster (c.1510-1572), one of Robert Dudley's servants. It appears to have been a large establishment with room for separate quarters for three ladies in addition to Forster and his wife and children. One "apartment" was occupied by Mrs. Owen, identified in some accounts as William Owen's mother, the widow of George Owen (c.1499-October 18,1558), a royal physician. This would be Mary Long (see her entry). The DNB entry for "Owen, George," however, identifies the occupant of Cumnor Place in 1560 as William Owen's wife. This was Anne Rawley, daughter of John Rawley of Billesby, Northamptonshire (or possibly Ursula Fettiplace, said by other sources to have married William Owen in 1558). The other gentlewoman resident, besides Lady Dudley, was a widow, Mrs.Odingsells. She was probably Edith Williams (c.1535-July 1599), daughter of Reginald Williams of Burghfield, Berkshire and Elizabeth Fox, niece of John, 1st baron Williams, and wife of Edmund Odingsells. Edith was the sister of Anne, wife of Anthony Forster, so this makes sense. She had a young son, also named Edmund (the Forsters had five children, John, Cynthia, Penelope, Robert, and Henry, at least some of whom must have been born before 1560). It isn't clear when Edith's husband died (see EDITH WILLIAMS for more details of her life).To return to Amye Robsart, in 1559, her husband was made Lieutenant of Windsor Castle, which is about thirty miles from Cumnor Place, but there does not seem to be any documentation of visits to Amye while she lived there. Dr. Simon Adams's research in Dudley records, which has disproved many of the earlier "facts" about Robert and Amye, is ongoing, with a biography of Robert Dudley forthcoming. What is probable, is that Amye had heard rumors by 1560 that her husband and Queen Elizabeth were lovers. She is said to have discovered a lump in her breast at about that same time. Some argue that Amye's death from a fall down a flight of stairs on September 8, 1560 was a suicide. Others argue for murder. A third school favors the actual verdict of accidental death. Robert Dudley’s enemies were unwilling to believe that he had nothing to do with his wife’s death. Ironically, had she died of her cancer, Dudley might have married the queen, but even the slightest suspicion that he’d murdered her meant he would never become the royal consort. The few details that are certain are that Amye sent all of her servants and the other residents of the house to the fair at Abingdon that day. Mrs. Odingsells refused to go, apparently because it was a Sunday, and Mrs. Owen also remained behind. Only Mrs. Owen dined with Amye and, one assumes, returned to her own quarters afterward. Amye's body was discovered by returning servants. She was given a grand funeral which, as was the custom, her husband did not attend. The chief mourner was Mrs. Forster's first cousin, Lady Norris (Marjorie Williams). Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Dudley [née Robsart], Amy." Portraits: the first one below is said to be Amye Robsart but the hairstyle and clothing are much later than 1560. The second, also identified as Lady Jane Grey and as Queen Elizabeth, and probably painted by Lavina Teerlinck, has been very tentatively suggested as Amye Robsart by Eric Ives in Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery).
see ELIZABETH SCOTT
see MARGARET HOPTON
see ELIZABETH COMPTON
see ____ BIGGS
see CATHERINE WESTON
see ELEANOR POOLE
Elizabeth Rogers was the daughter of Sir Edward Rogers of Cannington, Somersetshire (c.1500-May 3, 1568) and Mary Lisle. By a marriage settlement dated November 6, 1559, she married Thomas Throckmorton of Tortworth, Gloucestershire as his second wife. According to the History of Parliament entry for Thomas's father, Thomas the younger had a "stormy private life" because both his wife and his daughter were "addicted to Popery." The entry is unclear as to which wife is meant, but given that his first wife (Ellen Berkeley, mother of his two sons and one daughter) died no later than a year into the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, it seems logical that this refers to his second wife. If so, it is somewhat remarkable because Sir Edward Rogers was a Marian exile, which usually indicates strong evangelical leanings. Elizabeth and Thomas had no children.
FRANCES ROGERS (d.1611)
Frances Rogers was one of the twenty children of Sir John Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset (1498- July 22, 1565) and Katherine Weston (1501-1580). Her claim to fame lies in having five husbands. The first was John Willoughby of Silton, Dorset. On online genealogy says they married c. 1548 and had two children, William and Francis, but others say she wasn’t born until 1546. This later date seems more likely, as it was after May 1571 before she married her second husband, John Hyett of Wimborne Minster, Dorset (d. by 1574). Her third husband was Matthew Ewens of Middle Temple, London (c.1548-May 23, 1598). They may have had a daughter. She was sole executor of his will. Her fourth husband was F. Kellaway of Rockborue (Rockborne?) and her fifth was Sir Thomas Smyth of Gloucester.
Honora Rogers was the daughter of Sir Richard Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset (d.1605) and Cecilia Luttrell (d.1566). She and her brother, Andrew, spent the summer of 1581 at Hanworth with Edward and Thomas Seymour. Edward (September 21, 1561-July 21, 1612), who was Lord Beauchamp and heir to the earl of Hertford, courted Honora and by the end of the summer had given her a ring. According to the account in Charlotte Merton's The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Beauchamp called Honora his wife and "knew her in the orchard." When the elderly Anne Stanhope, duchess of Somerset, in whose care they were, was ill, Honora "stole the keys from under the chambermaid's bedhead and stole sweetmeats." The young people were nominally supervised by "two old hags," Elizabeth Moninges and her sister, Tomasine Audley. Hertford, who took a dislike to Honora (he called her "Onus Blous" in his letters), discounted the "marriage" of the young people and they were kept apart for the next four years. Mary Seymour, Lady Rogers, one of Hertford's sisters and Honora's aunt by marriage, argued in their favor and, eventually, they were allowed to be together. Their children were Edward (1587-1618), William (d.1660), Francis (d.1664), Honora (d.1620), Anne, and Mary.
see JANE WINTER
see MARY SEYMOUR
MARY ROGERS (c.1565-1634)
Mary Rogers was the daughter of Sir George Rogers of Carrington, Somersetshire (1540-1587) and Jane or Joan Winter (c.1545-1598). She married Sir John Harington of Kelston (1561-November 20, 1612) and had at least nine children by him: Frances (b.c.1584), Henry (b.1589), George (b.1591), Helena (b.1591), James (b.1592), Edward (b.1593), Mary (b.1600), Hannah (b.c.1601), and Robert (b.1602). When Mary’s mother died, Mary and her husband attempted to disinherit her brother, Edward. Harrington was called before the Star Chamber in January 1603 over the matter but by December he was back in favor at court. See JANE WINTER for more details. Portraits: portrait by an unknown artist, c.1585-90; double portrait with her husband, c.1590-95 by Hieronimo Custodis; portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 1592.
MARIA de ROJAS (c.1488-1531+)
The daughter of Francesco de Rojas, count de Salinas, Maria was a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon, accompanying her to England from Spain. After the death of Prince Arthur, she slept in her mistress’s bed. She was courted by the earl of Derby's grandson, but their marriage plans were thwarted by Catherine's duenna, Doña Elvira Manuel, who wanted Maria to marry her own son, Inigo Manrique. Maria returned to Spain c. 1504 and there married Don Alvaro de Mendoza-y-Guzman. She had at least one child, a son named Luis. In 1531, she was believed to be living close to Najera, or near Vitoria. She was being sought to give a deposition concerning the consummation of the marriage between Catherine and Prince Arthur.
see ANNE ELLERKER
see ALICE LONDON
see MARGERY BRINKLOW
MARY ROLLESLEY (d.1538+)
Mary Rollesley was one of the twelve children of John Rollesley (Rowsley) of Rollesley, Derbyshire (d. June 3, 1513) and Elizabeth Cheyney, whose will is dated August 23, 1513. By the time her parents died, she was a nun at St. Helen's Bishopsgate, a priory in London. Her mother left Mary £5 and left another £5 to the prioress and convent. Elizabeth Rollesley also left 40s to St. Botolph's Without Aldgate "for tithes of her beerhouse named the Swan, negligently forgotten." Mary advanced to become sub-prioress and then was elected prioress on August 22, 1529. She was acting prioress prior to that, since on the previous December 21st a lease was granted by Dame Mary Rowlisley (sic), prioress of St. Helen's. During the dissolution of the monasteries, Dame Mary surrendered the priory on November 25, 1538. She received a pension of £30.
August 2, 1556)
Elizabeth Rolleston was the daughter of Thomas Rolleston or Rowlston of Swarkestone, Derbyshire and Katherine Fitzwilliam. Her first husband was William Whitlok or Whitelocke, merchant tailor of London (d. August 1520). They had two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, both of whom died before 1554. Whitlok wrote his will on August 2, 1520 at Barowe and named his wife executrix, although one source says he died in Flanders. It was proved August 30, 1520. Elizabeth's second husband was another merchant tailor, Thomas Lee of London (d. August 1527). They had a son, Thomas (d.1572) and a daughter, Anne (d.1561). He wrote his will on August 24, 1527 and it was proved August 27, 1527. Once again Elizabeth was named executrix. After a number of charitable bequests, Lee left the bulk of his estate to her and specified that the lease of his dwelling house in Watling Street go first to her, then to his son, his daughter, and Elizabeth's children by her first husband, in that order. Her third husband was Robert Wade of London (d. June 1529). They did not have children, but she acquired a stepson, Guy Wade (d.1557), and a stepdaughter, Maryan. She was named executrix of Wade's will. Her fourth husband was John Onley of London and Catesby, Northamptonshire (d. November 22, 1537). She was his second wife and he had two surviving teenaged sons, Edward (1522-1582) and Thomas (1523-1589), and a daughter, Mary, by his first marriage. Onley was assessed at £1000 in 1536, and was therefore a wealthy man. He made Elizabeth his executrix in his will of November 12, 1537, but before it was proved, she fraudulently obtained £5 in expenses from the court of augmentations, where her husband had been a solicitor. Apparently, he had already collected this sum and, as the History of Parliament puts it, "the truth came out." The stepchildren were raised in the household of their uncle, George Cotton. Elizabeth wrote her own will in 1554. It was proved August 11, 1556. Although she expressed a preference to be buried in the parish church of St. John Zachary's, within the city of London, she was interred in St. Mary the Virgin, Cropredy. She left bequests to her surviving children, her grandchildren, and her stepchildren. To her son, Thomas Lee, she left the lease of the house in which she’d been living, in Wood Street in London. Considerable space is also given to the disposition of her manor of Severn Stoke in Worcestershire, which she had purchased from Henry, earl of Cumberland.
see REBECCA TAYLOR
JOAN ROMONDBYE (d.1505)
Jane or Joan Romondbye was the daughter of William Romondbye of Romondbye, Yorkshire. She married first Richard Pigot (d. 1484). After his death she married, as his second wife, Richard Hastings, (1433-September 1503), younger brother of William, Lord Hastings. In both his own will and Jane's, he is styled Lord Willoughby, although there is some question about whether or not he was granted this title. In Jane's will, dated March 19, 1504/5, she arranged for masses to be said for the souls of her children, indicating that she had more than one child. None survived her. North Country Wills creates some confusion over her identity by identifying her as Joan Welles, first wife of Sir Richard Hastings. Joan Welles died in 1475.
ANNE ROOS (d.1618+)
Anne Roos was the daughter of Peter Roos of Laxton, Nottinghamshire (d. November 15, 1605) and Agnes Harvey. Her stepmother was Bridget Roos (d.1621?), daughter of Robert Roos of Ingmanthorpe (d.1583), who remarried after Anne’s father’s death, taking as her second husband Stephen Clarke. Her father also had a mistress. Anne had two half brothers, Gilbert (1592-1610) and Peter. On May 29, 1592, Anne married Griffin Markham (c.1564-c.1644). Anne’s husband was apparently banished from court around 1593 but in 1594 he was knighted by the earl of Essex after the siege of Rouen. He was involved in both the Bye Plot and the Main Plot and was sentenced to death in 1603. In 1605 he was given a stay of execution and exiled instead. The Markhams were recusants and friends with Father Gerard, but Anne was so desperate to obtain a pardon for her husband that she entered into communication with Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, intending to betray Father Gerard’s whereabouts to him, as well as the location of other recusants, such as Anne Vaux. Several of the letters they exchanged are reprinted in Godfrey Anstruther’s Vaux of Harrowden. Anne failed in her efforts and her husband remained in exile until his death. According to some accounts, he was acting all that while as a spy for Salisbury. According to others, he was only suspected of being a spy because of his wife’s activities. Anne, meanwhile, remained in England. All of her husband’s properties had been forfeited at the time of his attainder. She lived for a time at Laxton in the Rectory House. In 1618, she resurfaces in the records, charged with committing bigamy with one of her servants. She was obliged to do penance in a white sheet at Paul’s Cross in London. She was also fined £1000. It is unclear how she was expected to lay hands on that kind of money and there is no further record of her that I have been able to find.
MARY ROOS (d.1540+)
Mary Roos, Ros, or de Roos was the daughter of Richard Roos (1429-1492), brother of Thomas, 10th baron Ros of Hamlake. She married first Hugh Denys/Denis/Dennis/Dennys (d. October 9, 1511), groom of the stole to Henry VII. Mary was in the household of Elizabeth of York and, later, Catherine of Aragon. In 1494, Elizabeth of York and her mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond, presented Mary with a copy of Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection and Mixed Life, inscribing it to "Mastres Rosse." Mary had an annuity of forty marks in 1496 that was later increased to £53 6s. 8d. by Henry VIII. This was still being paid in 1540. Mary’s second husband was Sir Giles Capel/Capell (1455-1556).
or MAUD ROOS (d.1511/12) (maiden name unknown)
Matilda or Maud, Lady Roos is of unknown parentage. She married three times, first to Richard Harbord or Horbard, by whom she had Anne, Matilda, and Thomas, then to Richard Gorges (d. 20th Edward IV—1480), by whom she had Marmaduke (d. June 20, 1509), and third to Sir Henry Roos (c.1435-c.1504). There were no children from either of Sir Henry's marriages. In his 1504 will, Sir Henry left his wife a considerable inheritance, including West Grinstead, Sussex, with the reversion to her granddaughters, Elizabeth and Matilda Gorges. Several online sources erroneously call Matilda/Maud the daughter of John Harbon and give the date of Gorges's death as 1491. At sometime between the date her husband died (or, more probably her son Marmaduke's death) and her own death, Lady Roos was sued by her granddaughters for "detention of deeds relating to the manor of Horsington and lands in South Cheriton whereof the complainants are seized of one-third, and to a messuage and land in West Grinstead whereof they have the reversion after the defendant's death; and dilapidation of the premises in West Grinstead."
see CATHERINE SEBORNE
ELLEN, or HELEN ROPER (1500-May 1563)
Eleanor Roper was the daughter of John Roper (c.1453-March 29, 1524), attorney general to Henry VIII, and Jane Fineux (1475-April 7, 1544). She married three times, first in c.1520 to John Morton of Bencham, Surrey (1498-August 21, 1521), second, as his second wife, to William Digby (d. by 1529), and third, as his third wife, to Sir Edward Montagu (d. February 10, 1556/7). Her only child by Morton, Mary (February 15, 1522-1568) was born posthumously. She had five sons and six daughters by Montagu, including Edward (1532-1602) and Eleanor. Some sources say she also had five children by Digby, including William, Lebbaeus, Margery, and Isabella.
Elizabeth Roper was the daughter of John Roper of Lynsted, Kent (c.1534-August 30,1618) and Elizabeth Parke (1544-September 15,1567). She married George Vaux of Harrowden (c.1564-July 13, 1595) at Harrowden on July 25, 1585. It was a love match, and led to George being disinherited. The new heir was George’s younger brother, Ambrose, and Elizabeth, according to Godfrey Anstruther’s Vaux of Harrowden “completely bewitched Ambrose, who would do anything she demanded.” Early in 1590, a reconciliation was achieved between George and his father and Ambrose surrendered his right to the forfeiture. Elizabeth and George had six children: Mary (c.1587-before 1624), Edward (1591-1661), Henry (d. September 29, 1662), William, Joyce (d.1667), and Catherine (d. July 10,1649). The Vauxs were noted recusants, as was Elizabeth’s sister, Lady Lovell. Elizabeth was strong-willed and by 1594 completely dominated her in-laws, even moving them from Harrowden to a smaller house at Irthlingborough. Most of what we know of her comes from Thomas Tresham, brother of her mother-in-law, and is extremely biased, but was certainly possessed of a forceful character. She was also, apparently, completely devoted to her husband. Ralph Houlbrooke, in The English Family 1450-1700, reports that she was "completely overwrought" when he died, barely leaving her room for the next year and that she was unable to force herself to enter the wing of the house where he had died for more than four years after that. That did not stop her, when her mother-in-law died, from sending three servants to her house to evict her caretaker and take over the premises. Elizabeth and Tresham entered into legal wrangles over the estate, but in 1598 she was able to purchase the wardship of her son, the new Lord Vaux. Shortly after this, Elizabeth founded what was essentially a Jesuit college at Harrowden—a place to educate Catholic boys before they were old enough to be smuggled out of England to attend Douai. In 1605, Elizabeth was questioned over a letter she had written that made it seem as if she had ties to the Gunpowder Plot. Godfrey Anstruther’s Vaux of Harrowden devotes several chapters to Elizabeth’s activities in the early 1600s. She was never tried, either for treason or for harboring priests, and was eventually allowed to return to Harrowden, where the next few years were quiet. In 1611, however, there was a raid on Harrowden Hall and Elizabeth was taken to London to the Gatehouse Prision in Westminster. In November she was in the Fleet. She was tried on February 19, 1612 and sentenced to imprisonment and forfeiture of all lands, tenements, goods, and chattels. This time she was held in Newgate. In July 1613, she was paroled for eight months to recover her health. There is no record that she went back to prison. In 1616, she left Harrowden for good, moving to Boughton, near Northampton. Then, in 1618, she was ordered to appear before the Privy Council but she was still living at Boughton in 1625. The last mention of Elizabeth, Lady Vaux is in the will of Mary, Lady Fermor, dated August 13, 1525, in which she is bequeathed two long silver boxes with elephant heads engraved on them, used to keep medicines in. Her burial place is unknown. Portrait: effigy on her parent's tomb in Lynsted Church, Kent (with her sister Jane).
see ELIZABETH PARKE
see JANE FINEUX
see MARGARET MORE
MARY ROPER (d. March 20, 1572)
Mary Roper was the daughter of William Roper (1495-1578) and Margaret More (1505-1544) and the granddaughter of Sir Thomas More. As such, she was given a fine education, did many translations, and was an ardent Catholic. She married twice, first to Stephen Clarke (d.1554) and second, around June 1556, to James Bassett (1527-November 21,1558). She bore Bassett two sons, Philip (b.1557) and Charles (b.1559). Mary was at court under Queen Mary as a gentlewoman of the privy chamber. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Bassett [née Roper], Mary”
MARY ROPER (c.1564-November 12,1628)
Mary Roper was the daughter of John Roper of Lynsted, Kent (c.1534-August 30,1618) and Elizabeth Parke (1544-September 15,1567). Although she seems to have been christened Jane, she was known as Mary. She married sir Robert Lovell of Martin Abbey, Surrey (d. by 1606), by whom she had at least two children, Christina (1597-1639) and another born in 1601. Lady Lovell was a well-known recusant. She was present at a raid in London on July 21, 1599. In 1606, she traveled to Spa in the Spanish Netherlands, a notorious haunt of English Catholics in exile. In 1608-9, she was living in the English Benedictine convent in Brussels but left there with the intention of founding a Benedictine convent in Louvain. This apparently did not happen. In late 1611, when her sister was arrested in England, she was living in Brussels and went to Archduke Albert to beg him to intercede with King James. He did, but it had no effect. In 1616, Mary was attempting to found a Carmelite convent in Liège. In 1619, her donation of £1600 finally led to the foundation of a Carmelite convent in Antwerp. For the next few years she was involved in frequent disputes over the way the convent was being run, but she also provided further funding and even went to England to solicit more donations. By 1625, she was seeking to found a Bernardine cloister at Bruges, but her plans were still incomplete when she died. Her daughter, Christina, was a Benedictine nun at Brussels. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Lovel, Mary [née Jane Roper].”
WILBRANDIS ROSENBLATT (1504-1564)
Wilbrandis Rosenblatt was born in Bad Säckingen and raised in Basel. Her first husband was Ludwig Keller (d.1526), a reformer also known as Cellarius. In early 1528, she remarried, taking as her second husband Johannes Hussgen of Basel (1482-November 24, 1531), better known as Johannes Oecolampadius. They had three children, Eusebius, Irene, and Aletheia. Her third husband was Wulfgang Fabricius Capito (d.1541), dean of the collegiate chapter of the church of St. Thomas in Strasbourg. They had one daughter, Agnes. The plague came to Strasbourg in 1541, taking not only Capito but also the wife and all but one of the children of theologian Martin Bucer (November 11, 1491-February 28, 1551). On her deathbed, Elizabeth Palass, alias Silbereisen, Mrs. Bucer, a former nun who had borne her husband thirteen children, heard that Capito had died and suggested that her husband marry the widow. Bucer did so in 1542. Wilbrandis had already had a total of eight children by her three previous husbands and now bore Bucer three more. In 1549, the family traveled to England, where Bucer was to become regius professor of divinity at Cambridge. He took up his duties there in January 1550, but he was in poor health, possibly suffering from tuberculosis, and died a little more than a year later. During her time in England, Matthew Parker was master of Corpus Christi College and Wilbrandis met his wife, Margaret (see MARGARET HARLESTONE). As a widow, Wilbrandis returned to Basel and died there of the plague. Portrait: unknown artist or date.
JOAN ROSSITER (c.1494-July 20, 1558)
Joan Rossiter (Rosseter/Rowcetter/Roucestre) was the daughter and heir of Richard Rossiter of Shaftesbury, Dorset (d. September 3, 1529) and Elizabeth Perye. In 1514, she married William Hartgill, later of Kilmington, Wiltshire (c.1491-January 12, 1557), steward to the 7th baron Stourton. Their children were John (d. January 12, 1557), Thomas, and Edward. William Hartgill was said to have killed a man in his youth and there were suspicions that he was not entirely honest in his dealings with the Stourtons. At the least, he was probably a poacher. But either at the request of Lord Stourton, or as a friend of Lady Stourton, Joan and William were housing the baroness in their home at the time of Stourton's death in September 1548. If they were not already feuding, William's championship of both Lady Stourton and Lord Stourton's mistress, Agnes Rhys, supporting the terms of the late baron's will, would have provoked the new Lord Stourton's fury. The next nine years were filled with incidents. On Whit Sunday 1549, Stourton attacked Kilmington. The Hartgill house was adjacent to the church and the family took refuge in the church tower. While Joan's son John rode to London to report the matter to the Privy Council, they were besieged. Stourton killed a valuable gelding belonging to William Hartgill, but he allowed Joan to return home unmolested. Stourton was arrested shortly thereafter and imprisoned in the Fleet, but not for long. A much worse outbreak of violence came in January 1557, when Stourton and his men invaded Kilmington. Charles Stourton struck Joan with his sword and his men took her husband and son prisoner. Joan and John's wife, Dorothy (daughter of Richard Harvey) sent word to the Privy Council, but by the time the authorities arrived, the two men had been murdered. It took some time for their bodies to be found where they had been buried in a dungeon, but eventually the murderers were brought to justice. Lord Stourton was executed. According to John Bellamy's Strange, Inhuman Deaths: Murder in Tudor England, in April 1557, Sir James Fitzjames, suspected of being one of Stourton's confederates, was ordered to pay £25 each to Joan and Dorothy Hartgill. The History of Parliament says the widows were also granted the wardship of Cuthbert Hartgill, John's son, but Bellamy indicates that they were only granted his custody while the Crown kept control of his lands. They were granted an annuity of five marks. William Hartgill's will, proved on November 13, 1557, left Joan "all her lands in Shaftesbury, Barow [South Barrow, Somerset] and Bristol" for life, the house in Kilmington during her widowhood, if she chose to live there, and £100 out of the debts owed to William by Charles Stourton. Unfortunately, Joan only survived her husband by seven months.
Elizabeth Rotherfield was the daughter and heir of William Rotherfield of Rotherfield, Hampshire (d.1489). She married Richard Norton of East Tisted, Hampshire (d.1556) in about 1495 and was the mother of his son and heir, John Norton (d.1564) and at least one other son. Portrait: effigy in St. James’s church, East Tisted, Hampshire.
see ELIZABETH BRUGGE
see MARGARET COOKE
see ANNE FURNELY
ELIZABETH ROYDON (1523-August 19, 1595)
Elizabeth Roydon was the daughter of Thomas Roydon of Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent (c.1482-August 10, 1557) and Margaret Whetenhall (1484-1576). She was married three times. Her first husband was William Twysden of Wye and Chelmington, Kent (1514-November 19, 1549), by whom she had at least four children, Bennet (1539-1541), Catherine (b. 1541 d. yng), Roger (1542-1603) and Margaret (1545-1608). On September 30, 1550, she married Cuthbert Vaughan of Great Chart, Kent (1519-July 23, 1563), and may have been the mother of Jane Vaughan (d.1610), although most genealogies say they had no issue. In 1558, Vaughan was involved in a land dispute with Elizabeth’s stepson, Thomas Twysden. Vaughan died of the plague while serving in the English garrison at Newhaven. Elizabeth was, according to the Oxford DNB entry for "Vaughan, Cuthbert," a "noted puritan patron." Her third husband, married on May 25, 1564, was Thomas Golding of Belchamp St. Paul, Essex (d.1571), brother of the dowager countess of Oxford. In 1565, Elizabeth was coheiress to her nephew, Thomas Roydon, and inherited Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent. She was also the residual legatee in her mother's 1576 will. Elizabeth was buried in East Peckham church in Kent on November 15, 1595. Her will can be found at Oxford-Shakespeare.com. It was written October 4, 1591. Portrait: 1563 by Hans Eworth.
see MARGARET WHETENHALL
MARY ROYDON (before 1543-1566+)
Mary Roydon was the daughter of Sir Christopher Roydon of Roydon Hall, Ramsey, Essex (d.1543/4) and his wife, Katherine, who married second Richard Sandes or Sondes. Mary (sometimes called Margaret), became the ward of the 16th earl of Oxford. According to a story told after the death of John Lucas of Colchester, Essex (d. September 13, 1556), Lucas was "a great gamester" and won Mary's wardship at dice. She is mentioned in his will and later married Lucas's youngest son, another John Lucas. Their children were Roydon, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Edward, John, Edmund, and Christopher. They lived at Roydon Hall.
Amy Royse had a brother named Robert and she styled herself a gentlewoman in her will, but nothing else is known of her family. In around 1546, she married Thomas Cooper (c.1517-April 29, 1594), headmaster at Magdalen College School, Oxford. If the ribald verses directed at her are to be believed, she had affairs with at least two men during the early days of their marriage, but Cooper refused to divorce her. She also reportedly threw an early draft of his dictionary, the Thesaurus, which was published in 1565, into the fire. In 1556, Cooper left the university to practice as a doctor. He was reappointed in 1559, after Elizabeth Tudor became queen. By 1560, he had been ordained, and he was made bishop of Lincoln in 1571. The family, which consisted of at least one daughter, Elizabeth, lived at Buckden. In 1584, Cooper became bishop of Winchester. At his death, Amy lost her home, but she seems to have coped with the changes. According to Mary Prior in "Reviled and crucified marriages: the position of Tudor bishops' wives," in Women in English Society 1500-1800 (edited by Mary Prior), she leased the parsonage of Buckden and ran a working farm during her widowhood.
see CHRISTINE BALDRY
ANN RUSSELL (December 1548-February 9, 1603/4)
The eldest daughter of Francis Russell, 2nd earl of Bedford (1527-July 28,1585) and Margaret St. John (c.1524-August 27, 1562), Ann went to court as a maid of honor after her mother’s death. Poet Pietro Bozzari wrote of her that she had "a form like Helen's, by delight attended." On November 11, 1565, she married Ambrose Dudley, earl of Warwick (1531-February 21, 1590) but remained at court as a lady of the privy chamber. She became extremely influential, and was once said to have refused a bribe of £100 to advance a suit in chancery because the sum was too small. In addition to her lodgings at court, Ann kept a house in what had once been the garden of the priory of the Austin Friars in Broad Street, London. She was also lady of the manor of Rowington, Warwickshire and it was to her that William Shakespeare had to apply for the copyhold on his cottage and grounds in Stratford-upon-Avon. Ann was a patron of the arts. She had no children of her own, but she was guardian to her nephew, the 3rd earl of Bedford, and took an interest in the upbringing of three of her nieces, Anne and Elizabeth Russell and Ann Clifford. Ann Russell was with Queen Elizabeth when the queen died. In the new reign, she returend to Northall but made frequent visits to friends and family. She was at Chenies in Buckinghamshire when she died. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Dudley [née Russell], Anne." Portraits: There are several portaits of Ann Russell, countess of Warwick, including the one (c.1565) below; effigy at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, erected 1619.
see ANNE SAPCOTE
ANNE RUSSELL (c.1578-April 1, 1639)
Anne Russell was the younger daughter of Lord John Russell (d.1584) and Elizabeth Cooke (c.1528-May 1609). She went to court as a maid of honor in 1594. On June 16, 1600, she married Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert (later earl of Worcester) (1577-December 18,1646). Her nine sons and four daughters included Edward, 2nd marquis of Worcester (1601-April 3,1667), John (d.1630), Thomas (d.1676+), and Elizabeth (d.c.1684). Biography: Roy Strong’s The Cult of Elizabeth gives a detailed account of Anne’s wedding and the painting attributed to Robert Peake called “Queen Elizabeth going in Procession to Blackfriars in 1600.” Portraits: There were at least two portraits done of Anne Russell, one as a child and one c.1600, plus her likeness in the wedding portrait. She also appears in effigy on her mother’s tomb in Bisham Church.
see BRIDGET HUSSEY
see CATHERINE BRYDGES
see CHRISTIAN COKE
see ELIZABETH COOKE; ELIZABETH LONG; ELIZABETH SHELDON
ELIZABETH RUSSELL (October 1575-July 1600)
Elizabeth Russell was the elder daughter of Lord John Russell (d.1584) and Elizabeth Cooke (c.1528-May 1609). She is said to have been born within the precincts of Westminster Abbey, where the Dean had given her mother permission to take refuge from an outbreak of the plague. Queen Elizabeth was her godmother. At nineteen, she went to court as a maid of honor. She and her sister Anne (above) sold their inheritance, Russell House in St. Martin-in-the-fields, provoking a quarrel with their mother. Elizabeth further irritated Lady Russell by being thrown out of the Coffer Chamber in April 1597, in company with Elizabeth Brydges, for going unchaperoned to watch the earl of Essex and other gentlemen play at ballon. One rumor makes Elizabeth Russell the earl’s mistress. She certainly had admirers, Lord Cobham and Lord Admiral Charles Howard (later earl of Nottingham) among them. Although the Lord Admiral was already married, Lady Russell urged her daughter to use her influence with him. Lady Russell wanted him to grant her the lease to Donnington. At one point in the 1590s, negotiations were ongoing for Elizabeth Russell’s marriage to the earl of Worcester’s heir, but that young man died and the next brother in line was betrothed to Elizabeth’s younger sister, Anne. Elizabeth danced at their wedding. Then, within a fortnight, she fell ill and died. There are various stories about her death. One says she died of consumption. Another blames her death on a prick from a needle and asserts that it was her punishment for working on a Sunday. However she died, she was buried in Westminster Abbey, where she is the subject of a most unusual sculpture. She is shown asleep sitting up, one foot resting on a skull.
(maiden name unknown)
Jane was the wife of William Russell, by whom she had several children, possibly including the Mary Russell in the household of Queen Mary from 1554-7. Jane herself served Mary before she was queen, since she is listed among the "fellows in service" with Margaret Pennington, Lady Cooke, from 1552. She is listed as a chamberer in 1553 and as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber from 1554-7. She was granted five leases of land by the queen. In the winter of 1557/8, Jane was invited to live in the London house of Henry Fisher, a wealthy skinner and one of the founders of the Russia Company, and his wife, Elizabeth, "for the great friendship she showed to the same Fisher in such suits as he had" to Queen Mary. According to the entry for Fisher in The History of Parliament, the Fishers nursed Jane during her last illness, for which expenses Fisher later sued in the court of requests. Jane had a son to whom Frances Baynton repaid a loan in her will in 1583.
JANE SYBILLA RUSSELL
see JANE SYBILLA MORISON
see LUCY HARINGTON
MARGARET RUSSELL (before 1505-1568)
Margaret Russell was abbess of Tarrant in Dorset and related to the earl of Bedford, although I have not been able to sort out the exact relationship. She became a Cistercian nun and was elected abbess after the death of the previous abbess, Edith Coker, in 1535. The abbey was surrendered on March 13, 1539. Margaret received a pension of only £40 but seems to have had the means to live well. In her will, proved in July 1568, her bequests include “my best gown of silk chamlet, my kirtle of satin, my scarlet petticoat, my best bonnet of velvet,” and money, jewels, and plate. She was buried in Bere Regis Church.
MARGARET RUSSELL (July 7, 1560-May 24, 1616)
Margaret Russell was the daughter of Francis Russell, 2nd earl of Bedford (1527-July 28, 1562) and Margaret St. John (d. August 27, 1562). Following her mother’s death, she was placed in the household of an aunt, Alice Elmers or Elmes, at Lilford, Northamptonshire. It was not until she was seven that she joined her father and his second wife, Bridget Hussey (d. January 12, 1602). On June 24, 1577, more “on the ground of common good than any particular liking,” she married George Clifford, earl of Cumberland (1558-October 30, 1605). In 1591, she left him, taking with her their daughter, Anne (1590-1676), and went to live with her sister, Ann, the recently widowed countess of Warwick, in Austin Friars. She had borne two sons, Francis (1584-1589) and Robert (1585-1591), but both had died. When her daughter was old enough, Margaret hired Samuel Daniel as her tutor. She was a patron of the arts, receiving a number of dedications, and was a subscriber to the Virginia Company. After Cumberland’s death, Margaret had difficulty with his brothers over her inheritance. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under Clifford [née Russell], Margaret." NOTE: the DNB lists biographies of Margaret's daughter and husband. Portraits: Portraits of Margaret Russell are in the Bodleian Library, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She is also shown in the Clifford family portrait commissioned by her daughter many years after Margaret’s death and in an effigy on her monument in Appleby Church, Cumberland. The portrait below was painted c. 1585. The artist is unknown.
see MARGARET ST. JOHN
see ISABEL STANLEY
see JANE PEYTON
see ELIZABETH GEDNEY
RYTHER (d.1540) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret, wife of Nicholas Ryther of Castle Hedingham, Essex (d. before 1537), was from Wakefield, Yorkshire. She was a waiting gentlewoman to Elizabeth de Vere (née Scrope) countess of Oxford. According to the countess's 1537 will, in which she left Margaret 100 marks in ready money, two salts of silver gilt, two featherbeds with sheets, bolsters, pillows, and other household items. She received these bequests "for true and faithful service that she of long continuance hath done to me." Margaret was also one of the will's executors. Margaret's husband had been in the household of the 13th earl of Oxford and their son John Ryther (d.October 11, 1552) was comptroller of the countess's household in 1537. Later he entered royal service. An Elizabeth Ryther, the countess's goddaughter, is also mentioned in the will and is likely Margaret's daughter or granddaughter. Margaret made her own will on March 22, 1539/40 and it was proved July 21, 1542. She made bequests to several relatives of the late countess, giving them such items as rings, beads, spoons, bonnets gowns, and sheets. She also left a bequest to her maid, Agnes, and to the churches in Wakefield, Yorkshire and in Castle Hedingham and Earls Colne, Essex.
MARY RYTHER or RYDER (1575-1643)
Mary Ryther or Ryder was the daughter of Sir William Ryther, Lord Mayor of London in 1600-1601 (c.1544-September 1611) and Elizabeth Stone (d.1611). She was raised in wealth and luxury. On June 29, 1591, she married Sir Thomas Lake of Canons or Cannons, Middlesex (October 1561-September 17, 1630), an up and coming administrator and politician who had been appointed a clerk of the signet in 1589. Their children were Thomas (c.1595-1653), Arthur (c.1598-1633), Anne (November 1599-1630), Elizabeth, Mary, and Bridget. In 1611, Mary and her surviving sibling, Susanna (1577-1640) were her father’s coheirs, but they disputed the terms of the will. Anne already had something of a reputation for temper and arrogance by this point. The Lakes’ London house was next door to that of the Venetian ambassador and the family made a practice of attending Catholic services in the embassy chapel. In spite of his religion, in January 1616, Lake was appointed secretary of state to James I. On February 12, 1616, Mary’s daughter Anne married William Cecil, baron Ros (May 1590-June 27, 1618), another secret Catholic. Soon after, Lake arranged Cecil’s appointment as ambassador to Spain, but before he could leave England, there was serious trouble in the marriage and Mary, not surprisingly, took her daughter’s part. What happened next filled 17,000 pages of legal paperwork for a case before the Star Chamber and enlivened numerous letters and diary entries. Amid the charges and countercharges, there is little doubt that Mary and her daughter resorted to both forgery and slander, not to mention extortion, in an attempt to wrest the manor of Walthamstow, Essex and other financial and property considerations from Lord Ros as a result of Anne’s dislike of the marriage. Lord Ros went to Spain in November 1616 with the matter still unresolved, mostly because his grandfather, the earl of Exeter, had a claim on Walthamstow and refused to turn it over. Ros returned to England in the spring of 1617 with nothing settled. In late May, he attempted to take Anne from her parents’ house, where she had been living, and the resulting altercation ended up in the street outside, creating even more scandal. In August, Ros secretly left the country for Rome, but by then the earl of Exeter was directly involved and determined to protect his absent grandson’s interests. In retaliation, late in 1617, Mary and Anne launched a vicious attack on the character of Exeter’s young second wife (see FRANCES BRYDGES), claiming she’d had an adulterous affair with her step-grandson and had tried to poison Anne. Exeter made countercharges against the two women and the matter came before the privy council. In February 1618, when Anne refused to answer questions, she was confined in the bishop of London’s house until she changed her mind. She was released on March 5th. Although Lord Ros died in Naples in the interim, a trial before the Star Chamber had become inevitable. Mary, Lake, Anne, and Anne’s two brothers were accused of slandering the earl and his wife, suborning witnesses, and forging documents. Anne was popularly believed to be guilty of everything from incest with one of her brothers to attempted murder. King James himself presided over the trial in February 1619 and meted out the punishments he thought fit. He declared that Mary was to blame for the conspiracy and had convinced her daughter and husband to go along with her evil plans. Mary, Lake, and Anne were sent to the Tower and fined. Mary and Anne together were fined £15,000. Anne’s portion of the fine was 10,000 marks. The two women were universally condemned by the general public and were regarded as great villains, but Lake was also punished. He was stripped of his position as secretary of state and fined £5000. In May 1619, Anne confessed to her crimes and supplied the Crown with further evidence against her family, claiming that her brother Arthur had composed the slanders against Lady Exeter and that her own maid, Hobbie, had copied them, creating the forgeries. By June 3, both of Mary’s sons were in prison, too. Anne was released from the Tower in early July. She remained in confinement, but was allowed to choose where she was held and she was apparently freed sometime during the following year. She remarried, c.1621, taking as her second husband a second son, George Rodney, and living quietly with him in Somerset. Mary and her husband remained in the Tower, both initially refusing to make public confessions, but Lake soon relented and by July he was out of the Tower and in the custody of his brother, the bishop of Bath and Wells. Later he retired to Canons, where he remained until his death. Mary, never one to be forced into doing anything she did not want to do, remained in the Tower until December 14, 1620. She did not formally confess in the Star Chamber until May 1621. Mary was buried February 27, 1642/3 at Whitchurch. Biography: entries for her father, husband, and daughter in the Oxford DNB.
text ©2008-13 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)