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her very out-of-date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 ©2008-14 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)
see ELIZABETH ROLLESTON
see ANNE SAUNDERS
see DOROTHY PETRE
FLORENCE WADHAM (c.1530-c.1596)
Florence Wadham was the daughter of Sir John Wadham of Branscombe, Devon and Merrifield, Somersetshire (1505-February 9, 1577/8) and Joan Tregarthen (d.1581). In 1556, she married John Wyndham (c.1506-August 25, 1572). In 1557, she fell ill and died. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. She was duly buried in the Wyndham family vault in St. Decumin’s Church in Watchet, Somerset. That night, so the story goes, a sexton bent on stealing her jewelry, opened her coffin and tried to remove her rings. This brought her back to consciousness and sent the sexton screaming from the crypt. Her family, however, welcomed her back and the following year she gave birth to a son, John (1558-1645). Florence remarried after Wyndham’s death, taking as her second husband John Faringdon. Portrait: 1572 brass in St. Decumin's Church.
JANE WADHAM (1517+- 1551+)
Jane Wadham was the daughter of Sir Nicholas Wadham, of Merrifield, Somerset, Governor of the Isle of Wight (by 1472-March 5, 1542) and his second of four wives, Margaret Seymour (c.1478-before June 1517), making her the cousin of Queen Jane Seymour. She was a nun at Romsey Abbey in Hampshire, under Abbess Elizabeth Ryprose, at the time it was dissolved on July 11, 1538, as was her half sister, Katherine (b.1511), who was subprioress. Jane was sexton, but she had no real vocation. Because ex-religious were required to remain chaste, a ruling retained until 1549 and revived from 1553-1558, Jane had to obtain a "capacity" to return to the world. She claimed that "malevolent persons" had ignored her objections to becoming a nun and that prior to taking her vows, she had gone through a private form of marriage, per verba de praesenti, with John Foster or Forster (1505/6-June 8, 1576). These same "malevolent persons" also forced Foster to become a priest, to invalidate the marriage. John Foster's father was steward at Romsey and John is variously called steward and chaplain there. According to his entry in The History of Parliament, he was a priest by December 1536. Geoffrey Baskerville's English Monks and the Suppression of the Monasteries states that Jane married Foster after the surrender of Romsey in 1539, in the expectation that clerical marriage would be legalized. This was actually their second marriage. In June 1539, Foster had to sue for a pardon for his hasty marriage and it was issued on the condition that he renounce his wife. Jane and John, however, continued to live together as man and wife and had three children, Edward, Andrew, and Jane. By June 1541, concerns about the validity of their marriage caused Foster to separate from Jane. They petitioned the king to legalize their union. A special commission of two bishops was formed. Records are scarce, but it seems that this first effort failed because Jane was again asking that a commission look into the validity of her marriage in April 1544. Foster, meanwhile was the incumbent at Baddesley by 1543. One account has Jane living there with him. The History of Parliament states that, by 1544, Foster had given up the ministry to study law. In 1549, priests were allowed to marry. In 1551, Jane inherited a "modest patrimony in the West Country" upon the death of her brother, Nicholas. In 1553, Foster bought the manor of North Baddesley, Hampshire but he was deprived of the property and others under Queen Mary. He later regained possession and was living there at the time of his death. Baskerville cites a reference to Jane Foster, gentlewoman, in May 1558, but this could be either Jane or her daughter.
JOAN WADHAM (1533-June 14, 1603)
Joan Wadham was the daughter of John Wadham of Branscombe, Devon and Merrifield, Somerset (1505-February 9, 1577/8) and Joan Tregarthen (1498-September 1581). She married Giles Strangeways of Melbury Sampford, Dorset (1528-April 11, 1562) in November 1546. He was knighted in 1549. She had at least four sons and two daughters by Strangeways, all of whom were under the age of twenty-one when he died. They were Elizabeth (d.1589), John (1548-1593), Anne, George, Nicholas, and Edward. His will named her executrix but did not make it easy to carry out her duties. Not only did she have to sell all her household goods to pay debts of over £3000, but he inserted a provision that if she remarried she had to give bond of £2000 to carry out her duties as his executrix. He also left 1000 marks to their daughter Anne on her marriage and 600 marks to a younger son. His effigy in armor is in Melbury Sampford church. In about 1563, Joan did remarry, taking as her second husband John Young of Bristol (d. September 5, 1589). They had one son and one daughter. Young built Great House on the site of a Carmelite friary and received the queen there in 1574, probably at the same time he was knighted. In 1592, again a widow, Joan was involved in a lawsuit over who owned a flock of swans in Dorset. All wild swans were royal property, but at the dissolution of the abbeys, Henry VIII had granted both the estate and the right to the swans the abbot had previously held to Giles Strangeways. In 1592, Dame Joan Young and Thomas Saunger received a writ from the Exchequer ordering the Sheriff of Dorset to round up 400 loose swans from the rivers of the county. The question of whether Strangeways could grant the swans or they belonged to the queen was heard in Trinity Term, 34 Elizabeth. The swans were declared to be wild animals that cannot be given by transfer or taken by prescription. Joan outlived both the Strangeways son and heir, John (d.1593), and his son and heir, another Giles (d.1596). The younger Giles Strangeways had married Frances Newton, daughter of Henry Newton (d.1599), who had been named executor of the will of John Strangeways. In 1598, Lady Young wrote to the Lord Treasurer to complain that her great-grandchildren, the offspring of a daughter of John Strangeways, were being "detained from their whole portion" by Newton.
see MARGARET SEYMOUR
see JOAN THORNBURY
see ELIZABETH HAMPSON
Avis Waldegrave, sometimes called Alice, was the daughter of Sir William Waldegrave of Smallbridge Hall, Suffolk (d. August 17, 1613) and Elizabeth Mildmay (d.1581). She married Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex (1559-1604) and was the mother of Edward (March 3, 1579-July 20, 1625), Anne (c.1581-April 18, 1592), Hercules Francis (c.1585-November 1661), Elizabeth (b. July 1, 1589), William (July 9, 1590-July 9, 1650), Penelope (January 28, 1591-March 26, 1650), and Alice (July 8, 1595-May 14, 1596). She and her husband lived at Bedfords while her mother-in-law, Anne Caunton, remained at the family seat, Gidea Hall. According to Marjorie K. McIntosh’s articles on the Cooke family, Avis was aggressive, articulate, and clever when it came to both business and politics. This did not prevent the family’s descent into financial difficulties, however. In 1612, she was obliged to allow her son Edward to sell off some of the lands she held for life.
Bridget Waldegrave was the daughter of Sir William Waldegrave of Bures (1464-1527) and Margery Wentworth (d.1540). Her first husband was William Findern/Fyndhorne of Little Horkesley, Essex (d.1523). After his death she married John, 2nd baron Marney (1493-April 27, 1525) and became the stepmother of his two daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth. She had no children of her own. When her mother died, she left her samplers, damask and Venetian gold cloth, unwrought silk, and weaving goods to her daughters, "that their young folks may therewith be well occupied." Bridget continued the tradition in her will, leaving samplers, unworked silk and gold, weaving stools, and everything else belonging to her "silk works" to two nieces, who were also her goddaughters (one was Bridget Spring, daughter of Sir John Spring), to "well occupy themselves." This tidbit comes from English Aristocratic Women 1450-1550 by Barbara J. Harris. In her “Sisterhood, Friendship and the Power of English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550" in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700, edited by James Daybell, she reports that Bridget named her sister, Dame Dorothy Spring (1500-1564), as her co-executor and left her a gold ring with a sapphire. In "The Fabric of Piety: Aristocratic Women and Care of the Dead, 1450-1550" in The Journal of British Studies 48 (April 2008), Harris again quotes Bridget, this time in connection with the wishes she expressed in her will with regard to her burial. She ordered that a brass depicting one husband on each side of her "shew the time of my decease and of what stock I came of and to what men of worship I was married unto."
see FRANCES NEVILLE
see GRISEL PAGET
see JOAN BULMER
(d. December 19, 1599)
Mary Waldegrave was the daughter of William Waldegrave of Smallbridge Hall, Suffolk (d. August 17, 1613) and Elizabeth Mildmay (d.1581). She married Sir Thomas Clopton of Kentwell Hall, Suffolk (d.1597) on September 13, 1590. Their children were Elizabeth (b.1591), William (February 27, 1592-1618), Mary (b.1594), and Walter (1596-1627). Possible portrait: the painting identified as "Lady Clopton of Kentwell Hall" has been credited variously to Robert Peake the Elder (c.1600) and to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (c.1595). If the 1595-1600 dating is correct, then Mary is the only Clopton of Kentwell wife who could be the subject of this portrait.
ELIZABETH WALDEN (1491-July 1567)
Elizabeth Walden was the daughter of Richard Walden of Erith, Kent (1465-June 1539) and his second wife, Margery Wogan or Hogan. In about 1512, Elizabeth married, as his second wife, George Talbot, 4th earl of Shrewsbury (1468-July 26, 1538). They had two children, John (b.1514) and Anne (March 18, 1523-July 18, 1588). When the earl died he made provision for a marble tomb at Sheffield with three images, "the third to be of my wife that now is on my left hand with her mantel and arms." His will, made on August 21, 1537 and proved January 13, 1538/9, is a very long document making bequests to his children and others and disposing of property. His "right entirely beloved dame Elizabeth my wife" was left various items of plate and furniture, property, and the wardship of Peter Compton, who was already married to their daughter Anne. Elizabeth was to have the governance of both Peter and Anne, as well as custody of the manors that made up his inheritance. Shrewsbury also specified that Elizabeth should have "all jewels, rings, chains, brooches, girdles, stones, and apparel which she now hath as they were entered in a book by particular parcels, also four caskets covered with iron with all jewels in the same, and all money contained in the same caskets." He also left Elizabeth's waiting gentlewoman, Elizabeth Powell, "three score angel nobles for her diligent service unto me." Elizabeth, although represented in effigy at Sheffield, was buried with her family in Erith, Kent. Portrait: effigy; drawing of same.
see ELIZABETH HARLESTONE
see ELEANOR YOULE
ELIZABETH WALSH or WALSHE
see ELIZABETH BOARD
see ELIZABETH STONOR
see ANNE BARNE; ANNE JERNINGHAM
CHRISTIANA WALSINGHAM (d.1572+)
Christian Walsingham was the fourth daughter of William Walsingham of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent (c.1488-1534) and Joyce Denny (July 29, 1485-April 1559) and the sister of Sir Francis Walsingham. Her first husband was John Tamworth of Sandon, Essex, Sutton, Lincolnshire, and St. Botolph, Bishopsgate (c.1524-April 1569), a groom of the chamber. On February 10, 1561, Tamworth settled lands in Lyllstone in Marylebone, Middlesex and Waltham Holy Cross and Holyfield, Essex on Christian as dower. The marriage took place in 1562. They had one daughter. Tamworth made his will in March 1569 and died between April 18 and April 27 of that year. the will was proved on March 2, 1570. He provided for the maintenance of his widow but did not name her one of his executors. By 1572, she had married William Doddington (Dodington) of Aldersgate, London and Fulham, Middlesex (d. April 10, 1600). He bought Breamore, Hampshire in 1579, although he continued to spend most of his time in London. From 1594, he was engaged in a suit in the Star Chamber over his lands in Hampshire and a Chancery case of copyhold at Breamore. At one point, probably early in 1600 he was in prison for a short time but was released thanks to the influence of Anne Russell, newly Lady Herbert of Chepstow, who used "his wife's long service" as sufficient reason to free him. This implies that Christian was part of the household of Queen Elizabeth but does not make clear when or whether she was still living in 1600. On the day before Doddington was to appear before the Star Chamber again, he threw himself over the battlement of St. Sepulchre's church and broke his neck. A broadside was printed about his suicide.
ETHELRED or AUDREY WALSINGHAM
see ETHELRED or AUDREY SHELTON
FRANCES WALSINGHAM (October 1567-February 17,1633)
Frances Walsingham was the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham (c.1532-April 6, 1590) and Ursula St. Barbe (c.1550-June 1, 1602). Her father was English ambassador to France in 1572, and had his family with him, when the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Huguenots took place. Frances met her future husband, Sir Philip Sidney (November 30, 1554-October 17, 1586) when he took shelter with the Walsinghams in Paris. In 1581, one John Wickerson was said to have a contract of matrimony with "Mrs. Frances," but he spent the next two years in the Marshalsea and on Friday, September 21, 1583, she married Sidney. They lived with her parents at Barn Elms, Surrey, six miles from London, where their daughter, Elizabeth (November 1585-1614) was born. Frances arrived in Flushing in the latter part of June 1586, to join her husband. She was pregnant when Sidney died of a gunshot wound sustained in the Battle of Zuthpen on September 22, 1586. In Utrecht afterward, she was "most earnest to be gone out of this country." She returned to England soon after. Frances was very ill, but her father wrote on December 24, 1586 that he was "in good hope of the recovery of both my daughter and her child." This child, Frances, died young. Walsingham left his daughter an annuity of £100 and had already deeded one of £200 to her. Sidney had entrusted his wife's care to his friend Robert Devereux, earl of Essex (November 19, 1566-February 25, 1601). Essex married her in the spring of 1590, shortly after her father's death. Their children were Robert (1591-September 14, 1646), Walter and Henry, who died young, Frances (1599-1674), and Dorothy (1600-1636). Frances was born just after Essex was imprisoned for his unauthorized return from Ireland. As soon as she was able to rise from childbed, Lady Essex went to court, dressed in widow's weeds, and attempted to see the queen. She had already been forbidden to come to the court for marrying Essex and was denied access to the queen. Later, however, she was permitted to nurse Essex when he fell ill at York House. During this period, Lady Essex had other troubles, as well. She was being blackmailed over some letters that a servant had stolen. Shortly before Essex had been taken into custody, Frances had given her maidservant, Jane van Kethulle, recently married to another Essex servant, John Daniell, a casket of letters to hide for her. Daniels found the casket under his bed and had copies made of some of the letters. In January, 1600, when the countess reclaimed them, she realized that some were missing. Confronted, Daniell denied all knowledge of them and berated both Frances and Jane for endangering him by hiding them in his house. Daniell then suggested that his wife's maidservant, who had recently been dismissed, might have stolen them, and offered to try to get them back. In March, he told the countess he could restore her letters . . . for £3000. The countess sold her jewels to raise part of that sum and turned the money over to Daniels, but she did not get all of her letters back. In June, after Daniell attempted to sell the letters to the government, he was arrested and charged with extortion. He was condemned to life in prison and fined £3000. The money does not seem to have been returned to Frances, for after Essex was released, the family was deeply in debt. The queen's refusal to renew certain leases, his main source of income, drove him to desperate measures. Frances was at Essex House during his abortive rebellion in February of 1601 but it was her sister-in-law, Penelope, Lady Rich, who was egging Essex on. After the earl was executed, Frances lived with her mother until that lady's death. Early in the reign of James I, she married a third time, taking as her husband Richard Burke, 4th earl of Clanrickard (d.1635). They had one son, Ulick (1604-1657) and a daughter, Honora. Portraits: The only verified portrait of Frances was painted c. 1590 and is attributed to William Seger, but Sir Roy Strong belives Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger's woman in Persian dress (c.1600) may be Frances.
see JOYCE DENNY
KATHERINE WALSINGHAM (January 8, 1559-1585)
Katherine Walsingham was the daughter of Sir Thomas Walsingham of Scadbury, Kent (d.1584) and Dorothy Guildford. In about 1576, as his second of three wives, she married Thomas Gresley of Drakelowe, Derbyshire (November 3, 1552-September 5, 1610). They had five sons and three daughters: William, Katherine, Henry, George (1580-February 5, 1651), John, Dorothy (August 28, 1584-April 1635), and Walsingham. The Gresley jewel, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum and containing portrait miniatures of Thomas and Katherine Gresley, probably painted by Nicholas Hilliard, is said to have been a wedding gift to them from Queen Elizabeth. The exterior is decorated on one side with rubies, emeralds, and pearls and on the other with an onyx cameo of a black woman. In a portrait of Katherine painted in 1585, she is shown wearing the jewel. Sir Thomas Gresley (he was not knighted until 1603) left all his goods, plate, and jewelry to his daughter Dorothy, who married Alexander Barlow. He also named her his executor, even though his third wife, Mary Southwell, was still living.
see URSULA ST.BARBE
AGNES WALTER (d.1560)
Agnes Walter (also called Anne) was the daughter of Thomas Walter, a leading townsman of Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. She married John Revell (1510-1548), a Haverfordwest merchant who had his main residence at Forest. Their children were Elizabeth, Thomas (1540-1607), John, and William. Although some sources give Revell's date of death as April 23, 1547, he is elsewhere said to have left a will dated October 15, 1548. Once source says that Agnes was to be granted Thomas's wardship in 1548,but the process was never completed. Another says she was granted wardship of her late husband's heir on June 18, 1548 (before his death, if we accept the October 15th date). She remarried in 1549, taking as her second husband Thomas Phaer (Phayer/Fayre (c.1510-1560), a gentleman who published writings about law and medicine, translated Virgil's Aeneid into English in 1555-8, and wrote poetry. Thomas Revell's wardship was granted to Phaer and Agnes jointly in June 1556. They also appeared in Chancery during the reign of Edward VI, charging Richard Howell, who had married one of Agnes's first husband's daughters, of embezzlement. Phaer made his will on August 12, 1560. He had an older daughter, Eleanor, by a first marriage, and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, by Agnes. He left Agnes the forty-year lease on an estate in the forest of Cilgerran. After his death, Agnes married William Jenkins.
see MARGARET HURLESTON
ANNE WARBURTON (May 1, 1527-January 9, 1574)
Anne Warburton was the daughter of Sir Peter (or Piers) Warburton of Arley, Cheshire (d. June 5, 1551/2) and Elizabeth Winnington (1501-1558). As a child, on January 19, 1539/40, she married Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire (1527-1579), at the same time her sister Jane married Sir William Brereton. They were the parents of another Sir Edward Fitton (d. March 4, 1606). From June 1569, the couple lived in Ireland, where Sir Edward had a series of appointments. Anne died there and was buried on January 18, 1574 in St. Patrick Cathedral, Dublin. Portrait: memorial in Dublin.
see ANNE VAVASOUR
see ANNE GATENBY; ANNE SYMONDS
ALICE WARD (d.1558)
Alice Ward was the daughter of Richard Ward of Hurst, Berkshire (d. February 11, 1578) and Colubra Flambert (d. April 14, 1574). She married Thomas Harrison of Finchampstead (1530-1602) and died in childbirth with their first child, Richard Harrison, in 1558. Portrait: memorial brass in Hurst Church.
see COLUBRA FLAMBERT
MARGARET WARD (x. August 30, 1588)
Margaret Ward was born in Congleton, Cheshire. For providing Father Richard Watson with a rope and a ladder so that he could escape from Bridewell Prison, she was arrested, tortured for several days, and finally hanged at Tyburn, thus becoming a Catholic martyr. She was canonized on October 25, 1970. Very little is known about her background. She was said to be a gentlewoman. While in London, she was in the service of a lady named Whitall or Whittle. She shares a feast day with Anne Heigham and Margaret Middleton. Biography: video available from marysdowryproductions.org. Portraits: statue in St. Ethelreda’s Church, Holborn, London; window in church in Shrewsbury; all likenesses made after her death.
see MARGARET PYNSON
MARY WARD (January 23,1585-January 20, 1645)
Mary Ward was the daughter of Marmaduke Ward of Mulwith Manor, Yorkshire (c.1552-1601+) and Ursula Wright. From 1590-1594, she lived with her grandmother. Ursula Rudman Wright (d.1594) at Ploughlands in Holderness. This grandmother had spent fourteen years in prison as a recusant. In 1597-1600, Mary was with her kinswoman, Katherine Ingleby Ardington (d.1600+) at Harwell Hall. Katherine had been in prison with Mary's grandmother. By 1600, Mary was living in another Catholic household with her cousins the Babthorpes at Osgodby, Yorkshire. Although she attracted many suitors, Mary chose the religious life and became a nun at St. Omer. In 1609, with a vision for a new religious community, she was living in a house on the Strand in London and, with other like-minded English ladies, and ministering to persecuted Catholic women. What became the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary made Mary Ward a controversial figure at the time and she continued to be so until the twentieth century. Her order was devoted to the education of women. Biography: Margaret Mary Littlehales, Mary Ward: Pilgrim and Mystic (2002); Oxford DNB entry under “Ward, Mary.” Portraits: numerous, including the one below, 1621, by an unknown artist.
AGNES or ANNE WARHAM (d. March 24, 1559)
Agnes (or Anne) Warham was the daughter of Hugh Warham of Haling in Croydon, Surrey, and Malshanger, Hampshire (d.c.1538) and Marian Colle or Collis, and the niece and heir of William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury. She married Sir Anthony St. Leger of Ulcome and Leeds Castle, Kent (c.1496-March 16, 1559). Their children were William (d.1582?), Warham (c.1525-c.1597), Nicholas (d.c.1589), Robert, Anthony, Jane, and Anne. Agnes died eight days after her husband but was buried at Ulcombe the day before his elaborate funeral. It is possible that Agnes Warham and not Anne Knyvett was the Lady Selenger/Fellinger who participated in a masque at the court of Henry VIII.
see ANNE ST. LEGER
ANNE WARING (1518-before 1544)
Anne Waring was the daughter of Nicholas Waring of Shrewsbury. Her first husband was Nicholas Hurleston (d.1531), clerk of the green cloth. They had two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth. He made his will November 27, 1531, leaving each of them £40. Anne was one of his executors and she was granted administration of the will on June 28, 1535 but renounced it six months later. Her second husband was Sir Robert Broke (d. September 1558), lawyer, writer, and politician, by whom she had at least three children, including John (d.1598). Portrait: effigy in All Saints Church, Claverley, Shropshire.
(d.1565+) (maiden name unknown)
Katherine Warneford, widow of Thomas Warneford of Sevenhampton, Berkshire, was the third wife of Christopher Ashton (d.1561+), widower of Lady Catherine Gordon. They married around 1540. In 1556, when Ashton became involved in a plot to overthrow Queen Mary, his goods were confiscated. They were given to one Walter Loveden, who had initially been in on the plot with Ashton but who was pardoned on February 10, 1557, probably for turning state’s evidence. In 1565, by which time Katherine was married to her third husband, Robert Temple, she brought a bill of complaint against Loveden in an attempt to recover some of the Ashton property.
see ELIZABETH BROOKE
MARGARET WARNER (d.1559)
Margaret Warner was the daughter of Richard Warner or Wariner, who appears to held the post of exchequer teller until 1544 when the reversion of that office was granted to his son-in-law, Nicholas Brigham (d. December 1558). Margaret's mother was Warner's wife, Margaret (d.1557+), who remarried after 1544, taking as her second husband Hugh Mynors (1511-1557). By Brigham, Margaret had one child, Rachel (d.1557). In 1556, Margaret may have been romantically involved with William Hunnis (d.1597), a musician in the Chapel Royal. The Oxford DNB entry on Hunnis calls him one of Brigham's friends. In early February 1556, Hunnis was recruited by the members of the so-called Dudley Conspiracy in the hope that he would use his connection to the Brighams to help them rob the exchequer. How much Margaret knew of this plans is impossible to say. Hunnis was arrested on March 18, 1556 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He confessed and was indicted on April 29, 1556 but was not executed. In May 1558, Brigham received an annuity of £50. In August of that year, it was extended to Margaret in survivorship. By the end of the year, he was dead. As for William Hunnis, if he had not been released before then, he was certainly freed when Elizabeth Tudor took the throne. He married Margaret at Thaxted, Essex on April 25, 1559, but she did not live long afterward. Her will, naming him as her executor, was proved on October 12, 1559.
see ELIZABETH HAYWARD
see JOAN TRELAKE
(d. April 1565)
Isabel Warsop (called Isabella Worpfall in the Oxford DNB entry for her husband) married first a knight named Taverson, by whom she had at least two daughters. He left her a wealthy widow and at some point after the death of his first wife on December 28, 1522 and before November 16, 1537, she married Sir Richard Gresham (c.1485-February 21, 1549), who was Lord Mayor of London in 1537-8. Although some sources say she was not the mother of any of the Gresham children, the Oxford DNB records that in October 1532, when one of her daughters died of an unspecified illness, Isabella and her son by Gresham were also extremely ill. On January 21, 1543, the Gresham house in Milk Street was targeted by the earl of Surrey and his minions during a five-hour rampage through London. They broke windows in the house by firing stonebows (crossbows that fired only stones) at them. Gresham, as a moneylender and land grabber was much disliked, but the real reason fro the attack may have been religious. At the time of his death, Gresham owned Inwood Hall, Norfolk, Ringshall, Suffolk, Orembery, Yorkshire, and the house in Milk Street in London and one in Bethnal Green, together valued at £800 per annum. He died at the house in Bethnal Green and was buried in St. Laurence Jewry, London. His will, made February 20, 1549, left one third of his estate to his widow. According to Anne F. Sutton, The Mercery of London, on May 10, 1550, Isabel purchased a mansion in Lad Lane (Milk Street) from the Mercers, together with five other tenements. Its value as a rental was £13 10s/year. In 1551, she began to make gifts to the Mercers' Company and continued to do so until her death. These included her mansion and the tenements that went with it, which were given in spite of opposition from her stepson, Sir Thomas Gresham.
MARGARET WARTON (d. 1507) (maiden name unknown)
According to a letter written in 1507 by Geoffrey Blythe, Master of King's Hall, Cambridge, Margaret Warton, widow of Richard Clerk, a baker of Coventry, and wife of Peres Warton, "youman of the crovne" [yeoman of the Crown?], left lands near Coventry at Allesley, Bedworth, and Stivichall (Stichall) "to my lady the King's mother" for the use of the College (Christ's College). The supposition is that Margaret was at one time part of Lady Margaret Beaufort's household. The will also contained another bequest, this one to the city of Coventry, specifying that "ten pots, ten basons, ten lavers, ten coverletts, and ten sheets be put in the Alderman's hands of every ward in the city, other wils in the most honest place near the gates, where the said Aldermen will assign them to be kept and spent, with the intent that poor folk may be relieved therewith at weddings, christenings and burials, as often as they have need of them."
Eleanor Washbourne was the daughter of Norman Washbourne of Wichenford, Worcester (d.1479) and Elizabeth Kniveton (c.1425-1454). By a license dated November 27, 1467, she married Sir Richard Scrope (d.1485), a younger son of Lord Scrope of Bolton, in 1467. Their children were Stephen, Anne, Elizabeth (d. June 26, 1537), Eleanor, Margaret (d.1515), Mary (d. August 15, 1548), Katherine, Dorothy, and Jane (d.1521+). In 1488-9, Eleanor sued Sir William Gascoigne in the Court of the Star Chamber over the manor of Bentley, Yorkshire. Her second husband was Sir John Wyndham of Felbrigg, Norfolk, who was beheaded on May 6, 1502. They had one child, a daughter named Frances (d.1505+). In accordance with her first husband's will, the manor of Bentley was to be sold for the benefit of their daughters. Sir John Wyndham bought the estate and two other Scrope manors for £1000 and bequeathed that amount to Katherine, Mary, and Jane Scrope for their marriages. Eleanor's will was written on December 11, 1505 at Carowe. She asked to be buried in the Austin Friars at Norwich beside the high altar. She left her best feather bed and other furniture to her daughter Elizabeth, and a black velvet gown furred with marten to her daughter Eleanor, who had married Wyndham's son, Thomas. To her unmarried daughters from her first marriage—Anne, Mary, and Jane—she left "all the residue of my array and household stuff not before bequeathed." The will was proved in January 1506.
Joyce Washbourne was the daughter of Norman Washbourne of Wichenford, Worcester (d.1479) and Elizabeth Kniveton or Kynaston (c.1425-1454). She married first, as his second wife, Sir Robert Percy of Scotton, Yorkshire (d.1485) and then John Holmes of Aldborough, Yorkshire (d.1504). Joyce made her will on August 3, 1519 and it was proved May 8, 1520, leaving bequests to her daughter, Mary More, and her "sons" Robert, Francis, and John, although the wording of the will is confusing and Robert and John may refer to her godsons, Robert Garthome and John Thorpp. "To Elizabeth Dobson if she be with me at my departing," she left "a featherbed with a bolster, a pair of blankets, a pair of sheets . . . two pair of linen sheets . . . a pair of harden sheets . . . with a coverlet." She also made arrangements for perpetual prayers to be said for herself, her two husbands, her parents, her sister Eleanor, and "Dame Anne the Countess of Shrewsbury." The latter would be Anne Hastings, who died c.1512 and suggests that Joyce might have been in her service at one time.
JOAN WASTE (1534-x.August 1, 1556)
Joan Waste was the daughter of William Waste, a Derby barber and ropemaker, and his wife Joan. She had a twin brother, Roger. Joan was born blind. She was raised as a member of the Church of England and trained as a ropemaker. When Queen Mary came to the throne in 1553, adhering to the Protestant faith became heresy. Joan was examined before Ralph Baines, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and found guilty of objecting to having services read in Latin, of buying a New Testament and asking friends to read to her from it, and denying the doctrine of transubstantiation. After she was sentenced, she was taken to All Saint's Church in Derby and denounced there by Anthony Draycott, who preached a sermon in which he equated her physical blindness with blindness in spiritual matters. She was then executed by being hung over a fire with a rope. When the rope burned through, she fell into the fire. Included by Foxe in his Book of Martyrs, Joan has a memorial in Birchover church. Biography: Blind Faith by Pat Cunningham (80pp.).
AGNES WATERHOUSE (1503-x.1566) (maiden name unknown)
Agnes Waterhouse of Hatfield Peverell, Essex, was accused of witchcraft in 1566, along with her daughter, Joan (1548-1566+), and Elizabeth Francis. It has been suggested that Elizabeth was Agnes's sister and that both were the granddaughters of "Mother Eve." Agnes was said to have bewitched one William Fynne, who had died on November 1, 1565. In a confession, she claimed she had been a witch for fifteen years and admitted to killing livestock, bewitching her husband, and trying to kill another man. She said she had tried to use Mrs. Francis's familiar, a cat named Sathan, to help her, but that Sathan had turned himself into a toad. She denied she had ever succeeded in killing anyone by witchcraft, but she was found guilty of Fynne's death at the Chelmsford Assizes and hanged. Portrait: a drawing of "Mother Waterhouse" is included in a chapbook describing the trial.
MARY WATERS or
ATWATER (1527-May 11, 1620)
Mary Waters was the daughter of Robert Waters of Lenham, Kent (c.1500-1565) and Katherine Bright of Royton. She married Robert Honywood or Honeywood of Charing, Kent in February 1543. They had sixteen children—Robert, Katherine, Priscilla, Anthony, Thomas, Mary, Anne, Grace, Arthur, Walter, Elizabeth, Susan, Bennett, Dorothy, Isaack, and Joyce. During the reign of Queen Mary, she visited prisons to give comfort to the heretics held there. She attended at least one execution by burning. From the age of forty, Mary supposedly suffered from consumption but since she lived to be ninety-three, this seems to have been an inaccurate diagnosis. In 1591, having believed herself to be possessed by a devil for more than a dozen years, she was exorcised by one William Hacket, later revealed to be a charlatan. In 1605 her son Robert bought Marks Hall, where Mary spent the rest of her life. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Honeywood [née Waters], Mary.” Portraits: 1597; 1605; line engraving.
see ALICE BURTON
see ANNE GRIMSBY
LUCY WATTS (d. March 1560/1)
Lucy Watts was the daughter of London grocer John Watts or Wattes and his wife Alice Gate (d.1532+). She appears to have had three husbands. Certainly, her first husband, married in 1521, was John Petyt/Petit/Pettyt/Petty (d. August 1532), warden of the Grocer's Company, a wealthy man who was proprietor of several wharfs and landing stages near London Bridge. She became his second wife in 1521. He was a Lutheran suspected of financing William Tyndale's translation of the New Testament, a forbidden book in England at that time. His house at London Quay was searched for banned books and he was taken to the Tower of London, where he "caught his death" and died. The account of his activities and death given to John Foxe by John Louthe in 1579 claimed Lucy as his source but contains many discrepancies and was likely exaggerated for propaganda purposes. Petyt's will, which was made August 22, 1531 and proved on January 24, 1532/3 made Lucy his executor and mentions young children but does not give their names. The History of Parliament, which values his estate at £160, says they had at least one son and two daughters. Petyt left Lucy the leases of his house and quay in London, but they had run out. She appealed for assistance to Thomas Cromwell, who wrote a letter dated October 9, 1532, asking that the leases be renewed for the widow at the old rent. When she remarried, however, she was evicted. Petyt had also left her lands in Shoreditche and Walthamstowe, but the Shoreditch lands had come to him through Lucy and her mother disputed their ownership. Lucy's second husband was John Parnell, a London draper. Together they entered into the legal battles connected to her late husband's estate. Parnell waged a long and costly lawsuit against Sir Thomas More which he eventually lost. He also tried and failed to charge More with corruption. He did, however, eventually triumph over More, in that he served on the jury that convicted More of treason in 1535. With no mention of Parnell, numerous online genealogies state that Lucy, widow of John Petyt, married, as his second wife, William Bolles (1495-March 2, 1582) of Wortham, Suffolk. Some date the marriage c.1537, others c.1540. If the earlier date is correct, then Lucy was probably the mother of all four of Bolles's children, William, Boneventine, Mary, and Benjamin (1542-November 22, 1582). According to one account, Lucy was buried at Worksop, Nottinghamshire on March 16, 1560/61. Another says the date of her death, as given on her monument, is November 28, 1558.
JOAN WAVERTON (1533-November 19, 1606)
Joan Waverton was the daughter of John Waverton (Wannerton/Waterton) of Worfield, Shropshire. She married George Bromley of Hodnet, Shropshire (c.1526-March 2, 1589), bringing Hallon in Worfield, Shropshire as her dowry. Bromley served as Chief Justice of Chester in 1581 and on the Council in the Marches of Wales. Their children included Mary, Francis (d.1591), Edward, George, John, Margaret, and Susan. Part of the inscription on her tomb, erected in 1622 by her son Edward, reads "The vertuous matron, Dame Jane, wife to Sir George Bromley, Knight, Daughter and sole heire of John Wannerton of Hallon, Gent. . . . They had between them Tenne children, sixe sonnes; 4 daughters." Portrait: effigy in St. Peter's Church, Worfield.
KATHERINE WAY (d.1596+) (maiden name unknown)
Katherine Way was the wife of Thomas Way of St. George's parish, Southwark, Surrey (d.1596), a vintner and keeper of Marshalsea Prison from 1559 until his death. They had at least one son, who was infirm and in the care of cousins at the time Way made his will on May 25, 1596 (proved June 15, 1596). Katherine was named executrix and inherited the Southwark tavern known as the Queen's Arms, which was probably located at Marshalsea Gate, where the later inn by that name stood in the 1700s. As a prison keeper's wife, Katherine may have assisted in his duties, especially if there were female prisoners. Or she may have been left in charge of the tavern. She may well have done both.
see FRANCES LUCE
see ELIZABETH NORRIS
see MARTHA SHAKLETON
Agnes Webbe's parents are unknown, but she was the sister of Alexander Webbe, who married her stepdaughter, Margaret Arden. Agnes was also the stepmother of Mary Arden, William Shakespeare's mother. There is considerable confusion online about her. One source makes her Robert Arden's mother rather than his second wife. Some older sources call Mary Arden's mother Mary Webbe. One even says that this Mary Webbe was the daughter of Sir Henry Webbe and sister of Abigail Webbe. Better and more recent authorities (Kate Pogue's Shakespeare's Family for one) state that the identity of Mary's mother is unknown. Whoever she was, she married Robert Arden of Wilmcote, Warwickshire (d.1556) and had eight daughters by him: Agnes, Joyce, Alice, Joan, Margaret, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Mary (the youngest). Meanwhile, Agnes Webbe was married to John Hill of Bearly (d.1546), a farmer, by whom she had Mary (1543-c.1616), John, Eleanor (d. before 1579), and Thomas (d. before 1579). Agnes had a license dated April 21, 1548 to marry Robert Arden. The marriage did not go smoothly. Agnes did not get along well with her stepdaughters, particularly Alice, and when he made his will, Arden left his widow £6 8s. 4d. in cash on the condition that she "suffer my daughter Alice quietly to enjoy half my copyhold in Wilmcote during the time of her widowhood, and if she will not suffer my daughter Alice quietly to occupy half with her then I will that my wife shall have but £3 6s. 4d. and her jointure in Snitterfield." She remained at Wilmcote. Agnes's will is dated 1579. She was buried in Aston Cantlow on December 29, 1580.
KATHERINE WEBBE (d.1565+)
Katherine Webbe was the daughter of John Webbe of Dedham, Essex, who wrote his will on April 27, 1523. By 1526 she had married Anthony Hussey of London (c. 1496- June 1, 1560). She brought lands at Abbots Hall, Dedham and Stanford-le-Hope, Essex to the marriage. Their children were Lawrence, Ursula (c.1528-1586), William (c.1531-November 1559), Anthony, and Gilbert. By 1548, when his goods were assessed at £234, Hussey had a large house in Paternoster Row in London. In his will, dated January 12, 1558, he left this house, the goods in it, and £200 to Katherine. His son Lawrence received his books, £100 in plate and £100. He had been Governor of the Russia Company since about 1557 and also left his "adventure in Russhaw" jointly to Katherine and Lawrence. This was a double share in the company. Katherine requested that the company buy back her share and on March 7, 1565, the general court of the Russia Company voted to pay her £128. This was duly paid to her on January 1, 1566. According to T. S. Willan in The Early History of the Russia Company, this was probably the par value of the amount invested by Hussey up until the time of his death (an initial £25 and then "calls" for further investment to keep the company solvent). Katherine probably wished to sell the share back to avoid further calls, although it was not the normal practice to allow shareholders to do so. Additional calls from the time Hussey died through November 15, 1564, had she paid them, would have cost Katherine an additional £72.
see KATHERINE TOURNEY
SUSAN WEEKS (d. 1592)
Susan Weeks was the second wife of Sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (1537-January 7, 1603/4), marrying him at some point after October 12, 1584. She acquired several stepchildren, but had no children of her own. In mid-March 1590, Lady Cromwell, then staying at her house at Ramsey Abbey, paid a visit to Robert and Elizabeth Throckmorton in Warboys, Cambridgeshire (now Huntingdonshire), about four and a half miles distant. She was accompanied by her stepson Oliver's wife, Elizabeth (née Bromley). The Throckmorton daughters had fallen into fits and had alleged that Alice Samuel, an old woman who lived nearby, was causing them. Lady Cromwell took an interest in the case, both because she was friends with the Throckmortons and because John Samuel, Alice's husband, was one of Sir Henry Cromwell's tenants. She took Mrs. Samuel aside and berated her for what she had done. The quarrel escalated until Lady Cromwell plucked up a pair of scissors, cut off a lock of Mrs. Samuel's hair, and gave it to Mrs. Throckmorton to burn—a folk remedy believed to weaken a witch's power. Mrs. Samuel protested that she had never done Lady Cromwell any harm . . . "as yet." According to one account, that very night Lady Cromwell had nightmares about Alice Samuel. A cat appeared and threatened to pluck all the flesh from her body. Elizabeth Cromwell, her mother-in-law's bedmate, woke her from the nightmare, but the damage had been done. Soon after, Lady Cromwell and fell ill, suffering some of the same symptoms as the Throckmorton girls. She did not die, however, until July of 1592. She was buried in All Saints, Huntingdon, on July 12 1592. In March 1593, Alice Samuel was accused of bewitching her to death. Along with her husband, John, and her daughter, Agnes, she was tried on April 4, 1593 for the murder by witchcraft of Lady Cromwell. They were hanged the next day. Sir Henry Cromwell confiscated the Samuels' property and used it to pay for an annual sermon against witchcraft to be preached in Huntingdon in perpetuity. It was discontinued in 1812. For more details about the Warboys Witches, see The Witches of Warboys by Philip C. Almond.
see MARY SLANEY
ANNE WELLES (x. June 28, 1592)
According to John Bellamy's Strange, Unnatural Deaths: Murder in Tudor England, Anne Welles was a young woman of London who was courted by rival goldsmiths, John Brewen and John Parker. When Brewen realized he was unlikely to be successful in his suit, he asked Anne to return the gifts he had given her. When she refused, he had her arrested. Parker, meanwhile, had gotten Anne with child and refused to marry her. She offered to marry Brewen if he would withdraw the charges against her and they were duly wed. This apparently revived Parker's interest and he persuaded her that he would marry her if she killed her husband. Her first attempt to poison him was made after they’d been married only three days. After their wedding night, she vowed not to live with him until he got another house. She returned at night to her own lodgings and even continued to go by her maiden name. In spite of this, Brewen ate poisoned sugar sops she gave him and apparently did not make the connection between eating them and falling violently ill. Randall Martin, in Women, Murder and Equity in Early Modern England, identifies sugar sops as pancakes. When Brewen died, it was attributed to natural causes and the child she later bore was assumed to be Brewen's. For the next two years, she had a sexual relationship with Parker, but he refused to marry her. When she again became pregnant, they were overheard arguing and eventually the truth came out about her husband's murder. After Anne's second child was born, she was tried and convicted of Brewen's murder and sentenced to be burned at Smithfield, after watching Parker's execution by hanging. An account of the crime was written by Thomas Kyd the playwright. For more details from that source, see Bellamy's book, pp. 53-55. Portrait: title page of "The trueth of the most wicked and secret murthering of John Brewen, Goldsmith of London, committed by his owne wife . . . " (actually a woodcut recycled from John Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
see CECILY PLANTAGENET
see JOAN HILL
AGATHA WELLESBORNE (c.1505-June 13,1595)
Agatha Wellesborne was the daughter of Humphrey Wellesborne of Bisham, Berkshire. She married William Barlow (c.1500-August 13,1568), who at that time was probably already Bishop of St. David’s in Wales. Later he was Bishop of Bath and Wells. The story that Agatha was a nun before the Dissolution of the Monasteries, or even a "runaway abbess of Norfolk," have no basis in fact. At that time, however, it was illegal for clergy to marry. In 1554, Barlow fled to the Continent and Agatha followed him into exile for the duration of the reign of Mary Tudor. They were in Embden, then Wesel, and in 1556 Barlow was serving as chaplain to Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk, in exile at Weinheim Castle. Under Elizabeth Tudor, Barlow was made Bishop of Chichester. Their son, William (c.1549-May 25,1625) became Archdeacon of Salisbury and their five daughters all married bishops. Margaret Barlow (c.1533-1601) married William Overton (1525-1609), Bishop of Coventry. Anne Barlow (d.1597) married first Augustin Bradbridge (d.1567), prebendary of Salisbury, and after his death wed Herbert Westphaling, Bishop of Herford (1532-1602). Elizabeth Barlow (1538-1575) married William Day, Bishop of Winchester (1520-September 20, 1596) in 1562. Frances Barlow (c.1551-May 8, 1629) married first Matthew Parker (1551-1574), son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and then Tobie Mathew, Bishop of York (1546-1628). Anthonine Barlow (c.1552-1598) married William Wickham, Bishop of Lincoln and later Bishop of Winchester (1539-1595). There were also sons John (d.1634) and Arthur, Hugh, Marmaduke, Thomas, and Thomas, all of whom died young. Agatha lived the last part of her life with her eldest son at Easton, Hampshire, where she is buried. Her daughter Frances erected a monument to her there.
see ALICE MORIN
KATHERINE WELLS (d.1525+)
Katherine Wells was prioress at Littlemore in Oxfordshire by 1507. It was a small priory with only five nuns in 1517. Around 1509, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. The father was Richard Hewes, chaplain of Littlemore. He was a priest in Kent who visited the convent two or three times a year. Katherine kept her daughter with her and sold priory property to provide a dowry for the child. She also gave priory plate to Hewes. A visitation to the priory on June 17, 1517 resulted in charges that she had a child of seven or eight and that she would not give Hewes up because she loved him. Hewes was due to return in his role as chaplain around the first of August. Another complaint against her was that she was excessive in her punishments, putting nuns in the stocks if they criticized her. One of her nuns, Julian Wynter, apparently took her prioress as a role model. She had engaged in a love affair with a married man, John Wikisley of Oxford, and had given birth c. 1516 to his illegitimate child. When Katherine was examined by the bishop, she at first she denied the charges against her. Then she confessed to having given birth to a daughter but said the child had died four years earlier. Remarkably, although Katherine was deposed as prioress, she was allowed to continue to perform the functions of the office. One of the first things she did was put one of the nuns, Anne Willye, in the stocks for a month. And she continued her affair with Hewes. When the bishop visited on September 2, 1518, he found matters at Littlemore worse than before. When Elizabeth Wynter offended Katherine by playing games with some boys in the cloister, Katherine beat her and put her in the stocks. The other nuns rescued her, burnt the stocks, and broke a window to escape the priory and go stay at the house of one Inglyshe for two or three weeks. In 1524, Cardinal Wolsey recommended that the priory be dissolved and this was done in February 1525. As prioress, Katherine Wells received a pension of £6 13s.4d.
see LETTICE NEEDHAM
see AGNES FERMOR
see JANE WEST
see JANE RICHARDS
see ANNE ATKINSON; ANNE HOPTON
ANNE WENTWORTH (c.1526-January 1580/1)
Anne Wentworth was the daughter and heir of Sir John Wentworth of Gosfield, Essex (d.1567) and Anne Bettenham, her siblings having all died by about 1554. She married Sir Hugh Rich (d. November 1, 1554) and then, in mid-April 1555, Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers (1538-June 30, 1556). He was sent on a mission to the King of Bohemia shortly after their marriage and died in Brussels. Anne's third husband was William Deane. In 1579, Lady Maltravers entertained Queen Elizabeth at Gosfield. She was buried there on January 20, 1580/1, next to her first husband.
ANNE or JANE WENTWORTH (c.1503-c.1572)
Anne Wentworth was the daughter of Sir Roger Wentworth of Gosfield, Essex. Around 1515, when she was twelve, she fell ill and began to have visions, much in the manner of Elizabeth Barton (the Nun of Kent) but in her case the visions were believed to be the work of Satan. Then one of her visions convinced her that she must go on a pilgrimage to the Virgin at Our Lady of Ipswich. She did so, and went through various torments there, but these torments supposedly drove out the devils that had possessed her and she was left with the gift of prophesy. Although her father objected, she wished to become a nun and entered the Franciscan convent of Bruisyard in Suffolk. After the dissolution of the monasteries, she lived in Framlingham. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Wentworth, Jane."
BARBARA WENTWORTH (c.1526-1558+)
Barbara Wentworth was the daughter of Roger Wentworth of Hamthwaite, Adwick-le-Street (d.1551). In 1531, when she was four or five years old, she was betrothed to eight-year-old Anthony Norman of Arksey. When Barbara reached the age of consent, she rejected the match and in May 1549, she pursued a claim for a formal annulment. In January 1550, she married Robert Holgate, archbishop of York (1481/2-November 15, 1555). The legality of this marriage was almost immediately challenged by Anthony Norman, with the result that the Holgates were summoned to appear before the Privy Council in November 1551. The marriage was apparently accepted, and they had a son, Robert, but in October 1553, Holgate was arrested for being a married priest and on March 16, 1554, he was deprived of his see. He recanted and repudiated his wife and was released in January 1555. In his Apology, he claimed he’d been forced into marrying Barbara because of pressure from the duke of Somerset and the earl of Warwick (later duke of Northumberland) and that marrying her was an error in judgment. 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), in spite of her repudiation, Barbara Holgate was still in possession of Scrooby in 1558, holding it in survivorship after Holgate died.
see CECILY UNTON
DOROTHY WENTWORTH (1510-1552)
Dorothy Wentworth was the daughter of Richard Wentworth (d. October 17, 1528) and Anne Tyrrell (c.1479-1529+) and the sister of the first baron Wentworth. She married Sir Leonard Tollemache of Helmingham, Suffolk, by whom she had Lionel (1545-1575), Mary (d.1606), and Cecily. In some accounts she is incorrectly identified as the subject of a portrait painted in 1567 by the Master of the Countess of Warwick. Her age makes it impossible for her to have been the sitter, who is identified as being forty-three. This also makes the subject too old to be Dorothy’s daughter-in-law, Susan Jermyn (d.1597). Queen Elizabeth visited Dorothy at Helmingham on her 1561 progress.
DOROTHY WENTWORTH (1543-January 3, 1601)
Dorothy Wentworth was the daughter of Thomas, 1st baron Wentworth (1501-March 3,1551) and Margaret Fortescue (c.1502-c.1548). She married three times. Her first husband was Paul Withypole (Wythypole; Wythipool) of Ipswich and Rendlesham, Suffolk. In April 1591 (Oxford DNB says 1590), in Whitwood, Yorkshire, she married Sir Martin Frobisher (c.1535-November 1594) as his second wife. Later she married Sir John Savile of Methley (1545-February 2, 1607) as his third of four wives. By her first husband, she had children Paul, Edmond, Elizabeth, and Mary. Portrait: Dorothy may be the subject of the painting c.1567 sometimes called Dorothy Wentworth, Mrs. Tollemache (her aunt), assuming the inscription as to age was added later and is inaccurate.
ELIZABETH WENTWORTH (c.1470-c.1542)
Elizabeth Wentworth was the daughter of Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead (c.1494-October 17, 1528) and Anne Saye (d.c.1494). She married first, in 1499, Roger Darcy of Danbury, Essex (1478-September 30, 1508), squire of the body to Henry VII, by whom she had Thomas (1506-June 28, 1558), Elizabeth, Thomasine, Eleanor, and Margaret. On August 1, 1509, the king granted her a license to remarry and she took as her second husband Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg, Norfolk (d.1522). They had a son, Thomas (d. March 1554). In his will, written on October 22, 1521 and proved March 4, 1523, Wyndham left his stepdaughters, Margaret and Elizabeth £200 each as a marriage portion. To his wife, he left his manors of Bentley and Hamethwayte in Yorkshire, Melton Constable, Aylmerton, and Runton in Norfolk, and the manor-place of Felbrigg for life. She also received household goods and plate and various rents. If she remarried, some of these bequests reverted to his eldest son by his first wife. In fact, Elizabeth did remarry, becoming the third wife of John Bourchier, earl of Bath (July 20, 1470-April 30, 1539).
ELIZABETH WENTWORTH (d.1629)
Elizabeth Wentworth was the daughter of Thomas Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire (d. February 14, 1586/7) and Margaret Gascoigne (c.1536-c.1592). On September 9, 1577, she married Thomas Danby (d.1581), by whom she had one son, Christopher (1582-1624), heir to his grandfather, Sir Thomas Danby (d.1590), an estate worth £1500/year, excluding the jointure lands granted to Elizabeth. His wardship went first to Thomas Cecil, eldest son of Lord Burghley, but was later granted to Elizabeth. The Danbys were distantly related to the Cecils. According to the entry on the Danby family in the Oxford DNB, Elizabeth was a recusant and she and her young son moved about a good deal to avoid trouble with the authorities. In the latter part of her life she was heavily fined for harboring recusants.
see ELIZABETH CECIL; ELIZABETH NEVILLE
JANE WENTWORTH (c.1539-April 16, 1614)
Jane Wentworth was the daughter of Thomas Wentworth, 1st baron Wentworth (1501-March 3, 1551) and Margaret Fortescue (c.1502-c.1548). In about 1565, she married Henry Cheney of Shurland Kent and Toddington, Bedfordshire (May 31, 1540-September 3, 1587), who was created Baron Cheney of Toddington in 1572. They had one daughter who predeceased her parents. Henry Cheke dedicated his Freewyl to Lady Cheney and she employed the madrigalisst Henry Lichfield at her home from c.1586-1614. He dedicated "The firste set of madrigals in 5 parts" to her in 1613. One one occasion (undated), she hosted an entertainment attended by the earl and countess of Kent and Sir John and Lady Crofts. The Cheneys entertained Queen Elizabeth at Toddington in 1576. Jane was also a patron of puritan preachers. She erected a momument to her husband at Toddington. Portraits: c.1563 by Hans Eworth (tentatively identified as Jane); effigy at Toddington, Bedfordshire.
see JANE APPLETON; JANE JOSSELYN
MARGARET WENTWORTH (d.1587/8)
Margaret Wentworth was the daughter of Thomas, 1st baron Wentworth (1501-March 3, 1550/1551) and Margaret Fortescue (c.1502-c.1548). By a settlement dated April 19, 1557 she married, as his second wife, John, baron Williams of Thame (1500-November 15, 1559). She acquired Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire in the marriage settlement. They had one daughter. Margaret was at court as a lady of the privy chamber early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Lord Williams left his widow several manors and his house at Elsingspital, together with cups given him by the queen, the duchess of Norfolk, and the second earl of Bedford. Less than a year after the death of her first husband, on October 10, 1560, she married William Drury (October 2, 1527-October 13, 1579), by whom she had Jane, Anne, and Elizabeth. He was knighted in 1570 and died of illness while serving as Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1580, she married James Croft (d. September 4, 1624), third son of Sir James Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire, who had been on Sir William's staff in Ireland. They settled at Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire, near Bicester, which had come to Margaret through her first marriage, in the summer of 1580. They had no children. Portrait: Dr. Roy Strong has suggested that the portrait by Hans Eworth, long believed to be Margaret Clifford, countess of Derby, is really Margaret Wentworth. Given its similarities to the probable portrait of her sister Jane, this is a reasonable assumption.The coat of arms was added much later and isn't right for either Margaret.
see MARGARET FORTESCUE
MARGERY WENTWORTH (c.1478-October 18, 1550)
Margery Wentworth was the daughter of Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk (d.1499) and Anne Say or Saye (d.c.1494). Margery was sent to join the household of her mother’s half sister, Elizabeth Tylney, countess of Surrey, at Sheriff Hutton Castle, Yorkshire, and was there at the time poet John Skelton was writing his poem the Garland of Laurel in praise of the countess and her ladies. The work included a shorter piece titled “To Mistress Margery Wentworth.” One of the lines is “Benign, courteous, and meek, With words well devised; In you, who list to seek, Be virtues well comprised.” On October 22, 1494 Margery married Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall, Wiltshire (c.1474-December 21,1536). Their children were: John (d. 1510), Edward (1502-x.January 22,1552), Henry (d.1578), Thomas (1507-x.March 10,1549), Jane (c.1508-October 24,1537), Elizabeth (1511-June 1563), Dorothy, Margery (d.c.1528), and Anthony (d.c.1528). Although Lady Seymour may have been at court from time to time when Catherine of Aragon was queen, she did not spend time there when her daughter Jane was Queen of England or when her son Edward was duke of Somerset and Lord Protector for her grandson, King Edward VI. She made her home at Wulfhall, even after it passed into the possession of her eldest surviving son on the death of Sir John. It was a small establishment, the usual staff consisting of forty-four menservants and seven servant women, two of the latter nurses for Edward Seymour’s children. When King Henry VIII visited Wulfhall for four days in August 1539, Margery and her grandchildren moved into nearby Tottenham Lodge to make room for the royal party. The king arrived with a retinue of 200 and on the Sunday of the visit the Seymours had to feed some 400 persons. In September 1548, when her daughter-in-law, Katherine Parr, died in childbirth, some sources report that Margery temporarily joined the household of her son Thomas at Sudeley Castle to care for the newborn Mary Seymour. Others accounts have Thomas bringing the child to his brother’s house in London. In letters written at this time to Lady Jane Grey’s parents, in the hope of having Lady Jane returned to his guardianship, Thomas Seymour assured them that he would keep his late wife’s household intact and that his mother take charge of it and treat young Lady Jane as if she were her own daughter. Lady Jane thereafter went to live at Seymour Place, Thomas Seymour’s London house, and one must suppose that Lady Seymour was there also. Only six months later, however, Thomas was executed for treason and his baby daughter was sent to live with Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk. It is difficult to imagine Margery Seymour’s feelings at that time, especially when it was her older son, Edward, who had sent Thomas to his death. Margery did not live long enough to see Edward executed in his turn, but by the time she died, she must have known that he had many enemies. When he attempted to give her a state funeral, claiming it was her right as the king’s grandmother, the Privy Council refused permission, some say simply to spite the much despised Lord Protector. She left a will proved December 11, 1550.
MARY WENTWORTH (d.1572+)
Mary Wentworth was one of the seventeen children of Thomas, 1st baron Wentworth (1501-March 3, 1551) and Margaret Fortescue (c.1502-c.1548). In 1551 in St. Margaret's Westminster, she married William Cavendish of Grimston Hall, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk (c.1530-April 16,1572), not to be confused with the William Cavendish who married Elizabeth Hardwick. His will, made April 15, 1572, left all his movable property to his wife. To his mother (Beatrice Golde), he left an annuity of £110 and a weekly supply of ducks, mallards, and conies. William and Mary had three or four sons, including the youngest, Thomas (September 1560-c.1592), who was the only one living in 1572 and who died at sea, and four daughters, including Mary, the eldest, Anne ( July 1562-1596+), and Elizabeth (b. July 1567). The will of Thomas Cavendish, an explorer who never married, was not proved until February 14, 1596. As the only family member mentioned in it was his sister Anne, who was to have the residue of his property, it is reasonable to assume that his mother had died at some point before he left on his last voyage.
see ANNE CRESACRE; ANNE KNOLLYS
CECILY or CECILIA
see CECILY or CECILIA SHERLEY
see ELEANOR COPLEY
see ELIZABETH BONVILLE
see FRANCES FITZLEWIS
JANE WEST (1558-1621)
Jane West was the daughter of William West, created Baron de la Warr in 1570 (1519-December 30, 1595) and Elizabeth Strange (1534-1561+). According to the story reported in The Chronicle of St. Monica's, Jane fell in love with one of her father's gentlemen, James Cressy. Finding this an unsuitable match, de la Warr sent the young man away and married his daughter to Sir Thomas Wenman of Thame Park and Twyford, Buckinghamshire (c.1550-July 22, 1577) on June 1, 1572. Jane bore her husband two sons, Richard (1573-1640) and Ferdinando (d.1610). After his death, she took matters into her own hands and married Cressy, by whom she had one child, a daughter named Lettice, whose inheritance was estimated at £10,000. Following Cressy's death, Jane married again, on January 16, 1588, Sir Thomas Tasburgh of Hawridge, Buckinghamshire (1554-January 1603). One later account suggests he hounded her into the marriage, using her religion against her. She was Catholic. He convinced her she would only be safe married to a protestant—him. Jane brought to this marriage the manor of Twyford and part of the manor of Eton Hastings from her first marriage and Wilton manor in Beaconsfield from her second marriage. They lived at Wilton. Sir Thomas had no children, but he arranged the marriage of his nephew and heir, John Tasburgh of Flixton, Norfolk, to Jane's daughter, Lettice. The young couple were wed in around 1595. Tasburgh made his will August 20, 1601 and it was proved January 29, 1603. Following Tasburgh's death, Jane married a fourth time, choosing as her husband Sir Ralph Sheldon of Beoley, Worcestershire (d.1613). Sheldon was a manufacturer of tapestry maps. Although Jane was brought up in the Church of England, her second husband apparently converted her to Catholicism and their daughter was raised in that faith. For the story of her peripheral involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, see the entry for Agnes Fermor. A portrait exists of Lettice, Lady Tasburgh, with six of her children, four girls and two boys, painted around 1605. When the oldest girl, Agnes, wished to become a nun, it was her grandmother, Jane West, who helped her travel abroad and join St. Monica's at the age of twenty-five. Portrait: c.1593 (also shown below is the portrait of Lettice and her children.)
MARY WEST (d.1580+)
Mary West was the daughter and coheiress of Sir Owen West of Wherwell, Hampshire (1501-July 18, 1551) and Mary Guildford (1505-1565). At some point after 1551, she was the sole heiress of her sister, Anne. By 1559, she married Adrian Poynings of Dorset (c.1515-February 15, 1570/1), by whom she had one son who died before his father and three daughters, Elizabeth (d. September 26, 1574), Mary (d. October 29, 1591) and Anne (d. November 19, 1590). Poynings tried and failed to claim the de la Warr barony in the right of his wife after the death of her uncle, Thomas West, 9th baron de la Warr. On February 22, 1570/1, Mary was granted the administration of Poynings' estate. In about 1573, she married Sir Richard Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset (c.1527-1605) as his second wife. At about the same time, his eldest son Andrew married her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Poynings. The marriage in 1580 of her youngest daughter to Sir George More led to an action in Chancery against Mary and her second husband brought by her middle daughter and her husband, Sir Edward More.
see ANNE PICKERING; ANNE SANDYS
ANNE WESTON (d. June 26, 1519)
Anne Weston was the daughter of Sir Edmund Weston of Boston, Lincolnshire and Catherine Camell. She was a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon. In October 1511, when she married Ralph Verney of Pendley (c.1482-May 8, 1525), also a member of the queen's household, Queen Catherine gave her a dowry of 200 marks. The Weston children were Anne, Catherine (1516-July 22, 1553), Francis, Eleanor, Edward or Edmund, and possibly another son. Anne and her husband were buried in Albury, Hertfordshire.
CATHERINE WESTON (1514-1570)
Catherine Weston was the daughter of Sir Richard Weston of Sutton Place, Surrey (c.1465-August 7, 1541) and Anne Sandys (d.1542+). Her marriage license to wed John Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset (1510-July 1565) is dated January 27, 1523. They had twenty children, including Richard (c.1527-1605), Thomas, George (c.1531-1617), Andrew, Nicholas, Matthew (c.1537-before 1613), Henry, William, Frances (c.1545-1605), Strangeways, and Francis. Eleven of the sons and two of the daughters died young. Aside from all that childbearing, Catherine had a difficult life. Her only brother, Francis Weston, was one of the gentlemen executed on charges he had been intimate with Queen Anne Boleyn. Her husband had escalating financial problems and in 1556 was imprisoned in the Fleet, probably for debt. He was buried at Blandford Forum, Dorset where, later, a monument was erected to him, his wife, and their children. Catherine survived him by fourteen years.
see DOROTHY ARUNDELL
see ELIZABETH LOVETT
ELIZABETH JANE WESTON (November 2,1582-November 23,1612)
Elizabeth Jane Weston was the daughter of Joanna or Jane Cooper of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (1563-1602) and John Weston (d. May 1582). By April 1583, Joanna was married to Edward Kelley, who worked as an assistant to Dr. John Dee. It has been said that he was paid to marry her to legitimize her children by an aristocratic lover, Elizabeth Jane and her brother John Francis (1580-1600), but there is no proof of this. Kelley and his new wife went abroad with Dee, his wife, and their children. Joanna's children at first remained with their grandmother but later joined their mother and stepfather in Prague. When the Dees returned to England, the Kelleys remained behind. Kelley was, for a time, high in the favor of Emperor Rudolph II, but he was imprisoned in 1591 for killing a man and is believed to have died around 1597. From that point onward, especially after the death of her brother three years later, Elizabeth Jane and her mother were in dire financial straits. She wrote letters appealing to members of the court for aid and also began to write poems in Latin. Poemata was published in 1602. She had been well educated and spoke German, Greek, Latin, Italian, and all the Czech languages and was welcomed into literary circles as the "new Sappho." In April 1603, she married Johannes Leo, a lawyer and courtier. They had four sons, all of whom died young, and three daughters. Known professionally as “Westonia” and famous as “an English maiden,” she described herself in 1610 as “Elizabeth Jane, wife of Johannes Leo, Agent in the Imperial Court and Englishwoman of the Weston family.” She died in childbirth (the Oxford DNB says of consumption) and was buried in the Church of St. Thomas in Prague. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Weston, Elizabeth Jane." Portraits: J. Balzer engraving from an edition of her poems (1677); drawing in Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany.
see ISABEL PATE
Cecily Whaplett of the parish of St. Katherine Colman in London made her will on October 8, 1542 an inventory of her movable goods was taken "5th All Souls next." What is interesting about this will is that the four witnesses were all women: Helene Hutchyns, Barbara Harman, Elyzabeth Wynter, and Jane Hyckes. Is it possible they were former nuns living together? Cecily left everything to Gabryell Newman except "my best payre of sylver hokes," which went to Margerye Newman. Cecily did not own much. The total value of her possessions was 52s. 6d. and the word "olde" appears in almost every entry—two featherbeds with bolsters, two blankets, two pillows, two coverlets, two pairs of sheets, and a cloth gown with buckram lining. Her dishes were pewter and she had a skillet and kettle of latten. The entire inventory can be found at http://www.british-history.ac.uk in London Consistory Court Wills 1492-1547.
AGNES WHARTON (d.1566+)
Agnes Wharton was the daughter of Thomas, 1st baron Wharton (d. August 23, 1568) and Eleanor Stapleton. She was betrothed to Henry Curwen but married Richard Musgrave of Hartley, Westmorland and Edenhall, Cambridgeshire (August 1524-September 1555). Her father was briefly his guardian in 1544-5 and they were probably married during that period. They had two children, Thomas (June 1546-March 3, 1565/6) and Eleanor (d. July 24, 1623). Agnes was granted the wardship of her son on May 1, 1556. In 1566, after he died, his great uncle, Simon Musgrave, claimed that Agnes had been married to Curwen and that her children with Richard Musgrave were therefore illegitimate, making him (Simon) the Musgrave heir. The archbishop of Canterbury set up a commission to investigate. They ruled in favor of Agnes and her daughter.
see ANNE RADCLIFFE; ANNE TALBOT
see DOROTHY COLBY
Anne Wheathill (also spelled Whethill, Whetehill, and Whettles) was a gentlewoman, probably unmarried, who published a collection of forty-nine prayers titled A Handfull of Holesome (though Homelie) Hearbs in 1584. The Oxford DNB entry under "Wheathill, Anne" adds no further biographical information.
see ELIZABETH MUSTON
Margaret Whetehill was the daughter of Richard Whetehill (1410-1484/5) of Earl's Barton and Sywell, Northamptonshire, London, and Calais, where he served as mayor, and his wife Joan. In 1464, in Calais, she married Thomas Walden of London, Walden, Essex, and Deptford and Erith, Kent (1439-June 1474), by whom she had three children, Sir Richard (1465-June 1539), John, and Jane. Like her father, her husband as a merchant of the staple of Calais. Her second husband was John Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter (January 1, 1452-November 24, 1496), to whom she was married before July 6, 1475. Their children were Robert, 1st earl of Sussex (1483-1542), Mary (d. by 1512), Bridget, Ursula, Jane (a nun) and Anne. Even though her husband was beheaded for treason in the Perkin Warbeck conspiracy, Margaret was a lady in waiting to Elizabeth of York until 1503 and may have been the Lady Fitzwalter who was among Catherine of Aragon’s ladies at the funeral of King Henry VII in 1509, although from July 1505 there was a second Lady Fitzwalter, her daughter-in-law, Lady Elizabeth Stafford. John Radcliffe's attainder was reversed in 1504 and the manors of Southmere, Docking, Billingford, and East Rushton, Norfolk were settled on his widow for life. In 1517, she was admitted to the fraternity of St. Nicholas in London. The last mention of Margaret in official records is in the marriage settlement of her daughter Anne to Sir Walter Hubert (or Hobart), dated July 6, 1518.
Rose Whetehill was the daughter of Adrian Whetehill of Calais (1415-1503/4) and Margaret Worsley (d. December 13, 1505). Rose was one of the four mistress attributed to Sir Edward Poynings of Westenhanger, Kent (1459-October 22, 1521). How many of his seven illegitimate children were born to Rose is unclear, but she is generally accepted as the mother of Rose Poynings (b. Calais 1505) and Adrian Poynings (d. February 23, 1571). According to the History of Parliament, Adrian was born in Ghent while his father was in the Netherlands as English ambassador to the Emperor. If this is the case, Rose must have traveled with him on at least one of his diplomatic missions abroad. Dates vary, however, for Adrian's birth. One genealogy (which says Sir Edward and Rose were married) gives 1508. The Oxford DNB gives c.1512, and the History of Parliament opts for c.1515. Sir Edward wrote his will on July 27, 1521 and it was proved December 19, 1521. In it he left Rose an annuity of 40 marks. Rose may also have been the mother of Thomas Poynings (c.1512-August 17, 1545), created Baron Poynings on January 30, 1545. Jane (Joan/Mary) Poynings, who married Lord Clinton, appears to have been considerably older than these three children, with a birth date generally given as c.1482, and is therefore unlikely to have been Rose's child.
MARGARET WHETENHALL (1484-1576)
Margaret Whetenhall was the daughter of William Whetenhall or Whettenhall of Hextall's Court, East Peckham, Kent and Wallbury, Hassingbroke, and Fanges, Essex (November 8, 1467-1539) and Anne Cromer or Crowmer (d.1520+). In August 1511, she married Thomas Roydon of Roydon Hall in East Peckham and Ringes, Kent (c.1482-August 10, 1557). Their children were George (d.1541), William (d.c.1548), John, Margaret (c.1511-c.1590), Anne (d.c.1564), Elizabeth (1523-August 19, 1595), Mary (c.1525-1591+), Alice (c.1527-c.1566), and Katherine. In 1521 William Whetenhall gave the couple the manor called Gore, in Tunstall, Kent. In 1552, Roydon purchased the manor of of the Rectory of Hadlow, Kent from Elizabeth Lady Fane. Margaret was buried at East Peckham, Kent on June 23, 1576. She left a will dated January 19, 1575/6, which was proved August 2, 1576.
ALICE WHITAKER (c.1542-x. August 20, 1612)
Alice Whitaker was the daughter of Giles Whitaker of Huncoat, Lancashire. In c.1560/61 she married Richard Nutter of Roughlee (d.1584). They had five children, Miles (1565-1633), John, James, Richard, and Elizabeth. As a widow, Alice lived at Crow Trees. In 1612, Alice was accused of helping kill a neighbor, Henry Minton, by witchcraft. She refused to speak in her own defense. It has been suggested that she kept silent to protect Catholic friends. Another possibility is that she was suffering from age-related dementia and had little idea what was going on.
see BRIDGET BRADSHAW
see CATHERINE SODAY
ELIZABETH WHITE (1565+)
Elizabeth White was the daughter of Henry White of London and Christchurch, Hampshire (d.1535) and Audrey Fenrother. Her family was Catholic. By 1553, she had married Sir John Godsalve of London and Norwich (c.1505-November 20, 1556) as his second wife. She is not the wife whose portrait was painted by Hans Holbein. Godsalve, held the posts of clerk of the signet and comptroller of the Tower mint, among others. In his will, he named Elizabeth one of his executors. After his death, she married Henry Fane of Hadlow, Kent (d. June 11, 1580), by whom she had one son, also named Henry (1560-October 14, 1596). Her brother Robert White (1518/19-1565) left her a ring and a gelding in his will. John Strype in Ecclesiastical Memorials reports that "one Mistress Godsalve" was kept by Bishop Steven Gardiner (d.1555) but no evidence has been found for this claim, nor is it clear which Mistress Godsalve he meant.
FRANCES WHITE (d.1569)
Frances White was the daughter of Sir Thomas White of South Warnborough, Hampshire (d. November 2, 1566), Master of Requests to Queen Mary, and Agnes White (daughter of Robert White of Farnham, Surrey). She married Francis Yate of Lyford Grange, Berkshire (1548-1588) but she was not the Mrs. Yate at Lyford Grange when Edmund Campion was arrested there. See JANE TICHBORNE for details.
see JOAN TRELAKE
MARGARET WHITE (d.1602+) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret White was the widow of Henry White, clothmaker. On October 27, 1602, after being brought to Bridewell for having a child out of wedlock (she named Henry Noone of the Star and Cock in Fenchurch Street as the father), she filed a complaint that she had been raped by Christopher Beeston, a player who was one of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, on midsummer's night 1602 at Goodwife Winter's house in Star Alley without Bishopsgate. Beeston, who had been married in September 1602, appeared in court on November 5, 1602 to deny the charge. He was back in court on November 13, but if he was imprisoned or otherwise punished there is no record of it, or of what happened to Margaret.
see MARGARET HOWARD
MARY or MARIA WHITE (c.1500-c.1587)
Mary White was the daughter of William White of Reading, Berkshire (c.1460-1523), a clothier, and Mary Kibblewhite of Fawley, Berkshire (d.1523). Her brother, Thomas (1492-1567), was Lord Mayor of London in 1553 and founder of St. John’s College, Oxford. Mary wed twice, first to John Bridgman or Bridgeman (c.1465-c.1557), by whom she had two daughters, Katherine (b.c.1530) and Anne (b.c.1531), and two sons, William and Edward, and then to William Matthew or Mathew (d.1565), a mercer who moved from Abingdon to Oxford in 1558, apparently at about the time he married Mrs. Bridgman. He was mayor of Oxford when he died. As his widow, Mary Mercer took over her late husband’s business. She set a record among women who took apprentices by having twelve of them during her widowhood. Portrait: painted while she was still Mrs. Bridgman.
see MARY PLOWDEN
SUSAN WHITE (before 1510-1566)
Susan White was the daughter of Richard White of Hutton Hall, Essex and Maud Tyrell. As early as 1525, Susan may have been in the service of Mary Tudor, remaining with Mary until she was dismissed in late 1533. By 1534, she had married Thomas Tonge, Clarencieux King-at-arms (d.March 1536) and she is better known to history as Susan or Susanna Clarence, Clarencius, or Clarencieux. In June 1536, when Mary’s household was reorganized, Susan was one of the three women Mary asked for by name. In 1544, Susan received an annuity of £13 and the grant of Chevenhall. In 1553, she was given the manor of Thundersley in Essex by Edward VI. When Mary became queen, Susan was named Mistress of Robes, a new position that combined the duties of Yeoman of the Wardrobe and Groom of the Stole. This title is questioned by Charlotte Merton in her The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. She argues that there was no such official position until the reign of James I. In 1554, Susan was granted Chingford Earls and Chingford St. Pauls. In 1555, she was the only one present when the recently imprisoned Elizabeth Tudor met with her half sister the queen. A story told in Linda Porter's First Queen of England paints Susan as somewhat conniving and greedy. She persuaded the Venetian ambassador, Michieli, to make a gift to Queen Mary of his coach and horses, after which Mary turned around and presented them to Susan. She received many gifts from Queen Mary, both grants of land in Essex and the wardships of William Latham of Essex and Robert Stapleton of Yorkshire. She is recorded as having spent 16s. at the sale of Archbishop Cranmer's possessions in 1553, for an old Turkish "foot carpet" and a carpet for a sideboard. Susan was with Mary when the queen died on November 17, 1558 and the dying Mary gave her further gifts to insure her future. Susan transferred her English properties to her brother, Richard, before leaving the country in August,1559 in the household of Jane Dormer, countess of Feria, where she appears to have remained until her death, although the History of Parliament entry for her nephew says she went overseas "for a short while." That source also names four Essex manors granted to her in 1558 with reversion to her heirs as Rivenhall, Runwell, Chingford Paul, and Chingford Comitis. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Tonge [née White], Susan;" Jennifer Ann Rowley-Williams, chapter in Image and Reality: the Lives of Aristocratic Women in Early Tudor England (unpublished PhD dissertation, 1998).
see MARGERY FREEMAN
ISABEL WHITEHEAD (before 1515-March 18, 1588)
Isabel Whitehead was a nun at Arthington Priory, Yorkshire at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The prioress, Elizabeth Hall, age 45, surrendered the priory on November 26, 1540. She received a pension of £35 but the eight nuns in her charge received considerably less. They ranged in age from 25 to 72. Dame Isabel is likely to have been one of the younger nuns, since she lived another forty-eight years. Isabel lived for a time with Lady Middleton of Stockeld, probably the third wife and widow of William Middleton (d.1552). After Lady Middleton’s death, Isabel “wandered up and down doing charitable work” until she went to live with Katherine Ingleby (d.1600+), wife (or more probably widow) of Sir William Ardington of Ardington Hall. By this time Dame Isabel was quite elderly (even seventy-two would have been considered ancient in the sixteenth century) and in poor health. At Michaelmas 1586, the Ardington house was searched for Catholics. Mrs. Ardington and her daughter, Jane (or Anne) (1556-1606), the wife of Sir Ralph Grey, were taken into custody and the searchers badgered Dame Isabel, who lay sick in her bed, threatening her with swords and saying that they would kill her if she did not tell them were David Ingleby (Mrs. Ardington’s brother) and a Mr. Winsour were. Winsour was Edward Windsor, son of the 3rd Lord Windsor, who was David Ingleby's co-conspirator in the Babington Plot. The searchers finally arrested Dame Isabel and took her off to prison in York Castle. She died there the following March and was buried “under the castle walls.” As for Mrs. Ardington, she was at large and entertaining another houseguest during the years 1597-1600, when she was living at Harwell Hall. This was her kinswoman Mary Ward, granddaughter of one Ursula Wright (born Ursula Rudson) (d.1594). Ursula had spent fourteen years imprisoned for her religious beliefs, at least part of that time in company with Katherine Ardington.
see JOAN COLTE
(d. August 27, 1547) (maiden name unknown)
The inquisition post mortem of Anne Whithers was conducted on September 3, 1547. She had died at "Hadley Staunford," Middlesex but she owned a brewhouse called the Wrastelars in "Aldricheagate street in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldrichegate, London," along with the adjoining messuage and "all the tubs and other necessaries for brewing." Other properties in her possession were five tenements with a garden adjoining on the south side of the brewhouse and a tenement called "Flees" with an adjoining garden on the north side. Anne made her will on August 27, 1547 and left the five tenements to five poor women to dwell in without paying any rent. The only requirement was that they pray for the souls of Anne, her parents, her late husband, and her children. These women were also to be paid 6d. every Sunday. Anne's principal heir was her son William, "aged thirteen and more" on September 3, 1547 and therefore born c.1534.
see ELIZABETH ROLLESTON
ELIZABETH WHITMORE (1580-August 17, 1624)
Elizabeth Whitmore was the third daughter of Sir William Whitmore (1543-August 8, 1593), haberdasher and alderman of London and Anne Bond (1543-October 8, 1615). In about 1597, she married Sir William Craven (c.1545-July 18, 1618), Lord Mayor of London in 1610/11. He was a merchant and money lender whose personal fortune was reckoned at £125,000. From 1588, he leased a mansion house in Watling Street, in the parish of St. Antholin, from the Mercers and continued to conduct most of his business there until his death. In 1607, however, the family moved to Leadenhall Street into the former Zouche's Inn, after it had been remodeled by Sir Robert Lee. Among other amenities, this house had sixty-two rooms, external yards, a flower garden, and a summer pleasure house. Craven was buried August 11, 1618 in St. Andrew Undershaft. The couple had four sons and three daughters, including William (1608-April 19, 1697), John (1610-1648), Thomas (1617-1637), Elizabeth (d. October 8, 1662), and Mary (d. October 18, 1634). In 1620, Elizabeth and her son William purchased Stokesay Castle in Shropshire and other properties for £13,500. In one of his letters, John Chamberlain called her "the richest widow that ever died of a London lady." She left properties worth £8000 per annum to her son William and properties worth £5000 per annum to her son John.
see BLANCHE MILBORNE
ELINOR WHITNEY (c.1550-March 1596)
Elinor Whitney was the daughter of James Whitney of Clifford (c.1500-1564) and his first wife, Sybil Parry. She married Richard Bull on October 14, 1571 at St. Mary-le-Bow, London. Bull was sub-bailiff at Sayes Court, the manor house of Deptford, Kent, a village less than a mile from Greenwich Palace, and owned his own house with a garden. In 1589, Elinor inherited £100 from her “cousin” Blanche Parry, the queen’s lady in waiting. [NOTE: Blanche’s biographer says Elinor was the granddaughter of James and Sybil, not the daughter, but does not say who her parents were.] Richard Bull died in April of 1590, whereupon his widow seems to have begun to take in lodgers. Contrary to some reports, she did not run a tavern on Deptford Strand. It was at her house that, on May 30, 1593, Christopher Marlowe met three other men and was killed in a quarrel over a reckoning. One of the four men, probably Ingram Frizer, was Elinor’s lodger. Elinor was mentioned in trial records, but not involved in the crime. She had no children. She was buried at St. Nicholas, Deptford, with her husband.
ISABELLA WHITNEY (c.1540-1580+)
Isabella Whitney was the daughter of Geoffrey Whitney of Coole Pilate, Cheshire (c.1520-1587). Her brother, a second Geoffrey (c.1548-c.1601), was an emblem book writer. Isabella's original poetic works were “The Copie of a letter, lately written in Meeter by a yonge gentilwoman to her inconstant louer by Is. W.” (1567) and “A Sweet Nosgay, or pleasant Posye containing a hundred and ten Phylosophicall Flowers” (1573). The first, perhaps autobiographical, or perhaps not, purports to be a copy of a letter written to her betrothed upon learning that he was secretly planning to marry someone else. According to some genealogies, Isabella married a man named Eldershae and had two children. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Whitney, Isabella."
ANNE WHITTLE (c.1535-x. August 20, 1612)
Anne Whittle, known as "Old Chattox," was one of the Pendle Witches. According to the account in John A. Clayton’s The Lancashire Witch Conspiracy, her parents were probably Christopher Whittiles (d.1567+) and Jeneta Whyttle (c.1576). Or else she took her name from the area she came from—Whitelea. She seems to have had three daughters by a man named Ellis Brown (d.1576)—Agnes or Anne, Jeneta, and Elizabeth. Anne Whittle is said to have become a witch around 1565. Her eldest daughter, Anne, married Thomas Redferne. She was also accused of being a witch, a charge Anne Whittle vehemently denied in court. It is possible that Anne Redferne was the victim of a vindictive young man whose demand for sexual favors she’d turned down.
(d. June 1, 1552)
Anne Whorwood was the daughter of William Whorwood (d. May 28, 1545), attorney general of England, and his first wife, Cassandra Grey (d. before 1537). She became the first wife of Lord Ambrose Dudley (1531-February 21, 1590). Very little is known about her, but her unexpected death at Otford, Kent was described in considerable detail in a letter from her father-in-law, John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, to Sir William Cecil. Some sources, especially older ones, say this death and description were of Northumberland’s own daughter, Temperance, who died at age seven, but that is not the case. Anne had been ill, seemed to be recovering, and suddenly took a turn for the worse. Curiously, one source says she left behind a daughter, Margaret, by a first husband whose surname was Whorwood and that the child became Northumberland’s ward, but the entry for William Whorwood in The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1509-1558, makes it clear that Ambrose's wife, Anne Whorwood, was Whorwood's eldest daughter. The Margaret in question was Anne's younger half sister, daughter of Whorwood's second wife, Margaret Brooke (d.1589).
text ©2008-14 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)