A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: Wi-Z

compiled by

Kathy Lynn Emerson

to update and correct

her very out-of-date

Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth-Century England (1984)

NOTE: this document exists only in electronic format

and is ©2008-16 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)





AGNES WIDMERPOLE (d. before 1553)
Agnes Widmerpole was the first wife of Sir John Godsalve (c.1505-November 20, 1556) and the mother of his sons William (c.1530-1561) and Thomas (d.1587). In 1536, Agnes and John had their portraits painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. Although little is known about Agnes, this likeness survives. Godsalve's second wife, to whom he was married by 1553, was Elizabeth White.

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ANNE WIGMORE (d. April 9, 1631) (maiden name unknown)

Anne was left a wealthy widow by the death of her first husband, Sir Richard Wigmore of St. Margaret's, Westminster (d. May 1621). His will was probated June 25, 1621. On May 8, 1623 marriage intentions were recorded between Stephen Pole of Stepney and Lady Anne Wigmore of Westminster. This was Sir Stephen Powle or Powell (c.1553-May 26, 1630) and she was his third wife. They lived in King Street. Shortly before Powle's death, Dame Anne Wigmore filed a petition dated March 2, 1630 to address the abuses in the postal system by incorporating carriers, footposts, hackney coachmen, badgers, kidders, laders, polterers, maltsters, and drovers. Their membership would be signified by wearing silver badges, the payments for which would go to her, as the originator of the scheme, for three years. Neither Powle nor his wife survived that long. They were both buried in St. Margaret's, Westminster. 






Winefrid Wigmore was the daughter of Sir William Wigmore of Lucton, Herefordshire, and Anne Throckmorton. She was one of five women who joined Mary Ward in founding what was to become the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an order dedicated to the education of women. When the institute spread into Flanders and Italy, Winefrid was appointed superior in Naples in 1624. After Mary Ward’s death in 1645, Winefrid and Mary Poyntz wrote her first biography and chose the subjects for a series of fifty oil paintings to depict her life. Biography: M. Philip, Companions of Mary Ward (1939); Oxford DNB entry under “Wigmore, Winefrid.” Portraits: one from the early 1600s.


DOROTHY WILBRAHAM (1572-January 29, 1635/6)

Dorothy Wilbraham was the daughter of Thomas Wilbraham of Woodhey, Cheshire (1554-July 12, 1610) and Frances Cholmondeley, although some genealogies do not have them married until January 25, 1587. She married Sir John Done of Utkinton and Flaxyards, Cheshire (1575-April 13, 1629) in about 1598. Their children were John (d. October 2, 1620), Ralph (b. January 29, 1601), Jane (d.1662), Frances (1603-1629), Mary (July 12, 1604-July 6, 1690), Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Margaret. They were not the parents of the John Doane, deacon, of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Portrait: by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.







Joan Wilcock came from Rotheram, Yorkshire. She married Thomas Locke or Lok (d. 1507) and was the mother of William (c.1486-August 24, 1550), John (d. 1519), and Thomas (d.1552+). As a silkwoman, she supplied goods to the great wardrobe for Lady Catherine Gordon and to Queen Elizabeth of York in 1502-3. According to Maria Hayward in Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII, she was Elizabeth of York's preferred supplier of headwear, providing a bonnet on May 25, 1502 and frontlets, bonnets and other items in January 1503. On January 31, 1503, she was paid £20 on a bill that totaled £60 6s 5d.


JANE WILD (December 25, 1509- October 10, 1580)

Jane (or Johanna) Wild was the daughter and heiress of William Wild or Wilde of Milton-next-Gravesend, Kent. In 1524, she married Rowland Dee, a London mercer living in Tower ward who held the position of a gentleman sewer at the court of Henry VIII. Jane gave birth to a daughter in 1525. The couple had four sons but only one, John (July 13, 1527-1608/9), survived childhood. He went on to become one of the most famous men in England. Rowland Dee had died by 1555 and his widow settled at Mortlake, Surrey, where she owned an "ancient messuage of outhouses, orchard and garden." She lived there for the rest of her life. She made over the deed to her son shortly before she died.


AGNES WILFORD (1570-c.1647)

Agnes Wilford was the daughter of Thomas Wilford (d.1612) and Mary Browne and was born at Ridley Hall in Terling, Essex. She married John Throckmorton (d.1604) in 1589 and of their four sons and five daughters, Margaret (1591-1633+), Robert, Eleanor, Winifred, Ambrose, Thomas, and George were still living at the time their father died. Agnes insisted upon participating in the marriage arrangements for her children and her correspondence with her father-in-law and with her eldest son is still extant. Her father-in-law left her £150 in his will, to supplement her jointure. She held Moor Hall, Spernall, and Samborne in Warwickshire as her jointure and settled at Moor Hall in her widowhood, turning it into a safe house for priests. Biography: "Agnes Throckmorton: A Jacobean Recusant Widow" by Jan Broadway (in Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation, edited by Peter Marshall and Geoffrey Scott).

CECILY WILFORD (1536-February 5, 1610/11)
Cecily Wilford was the daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford or Wilsford of Hartridge in Cranbrooke, Kent and his second wife, Rose Whetenhall. On February 19, 1558/9, shortly after his return from exile on the Continent, she married Edwin Sandys (1519-August 8, 1588), who became Bishop of Worcester on December 21, 1559, Bishop of London on July 13, 1570, and Archbishop of York in 1575. Sandys is credited with coining the name "Bloody Mary" for Mary Tudor. His first wife and son died in exile. His children with Cecily were Sir Samuel (December 28, 1560-August 18, 1623), Sir Edwin (December 9, 1561-October 1629), Miles (1563-1644), William (d.yng), Margaret, Thomas, Anne, Henry, Hester, and George (March 2, 1577/8-March 1644). Sir John Bourne, an outspoken critic of "priests’ whores," was still sufficiently impressed by Cecily to describe her as "faier, well nurtured, sober and demure." During her long widowhood, Cecily lived at Edwins Hall, Woodham Ferrers, Essex, where she shared her house with her son, Miles, and was looked after by a granddaughter, Bridget. In her will, dated January 17, 1610/11 and proved February 12, 1610/11, she left a Geneva Bible to each of her daughters and set aside £200 for her funeral and a monument in which she appears in widow’s weeds in a bower of roses. In part the inscription reads that she "lived a pure maid twenty-four years; a chaste and loving wife twenty-nine years; a true widow twenty-two years to her last" and died on February 5, 1610 "at the rising of the sun." Portrait: with her husband, c. 1571; effigy in Woodham Ferrers, Essex; effigy on her husband's tomb in Southwell Minster.

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PHILIPPA WILFORD (1524-June 15, 1578)

Philippa Wilford was the daughter of John Wilford of London. Her first husband was Sir John Hampden of Great Hampden, Buckinghamshire, Theydon Mount, Essex and other places (d. December 20, 1553). They had no children. On July 21, 1554, between two and three in the afternoon, Philippa was betrothed to Sir Thomas Smith (1513-August 12, 1577). They were married two days later, between nine and ten in the morning. Smith had been deprived of his offices when Queen Mary succeeded her brother to the throne. With this, his second marriage, he quit his new house at Ankerwyke and moved into the one that was part of Philippa's jointure, Hill Hall in Theydon Mount. In 1557, he began to rebuild this house. He and Philippa had no children, but he did have an illegitimate son (1547-73). When Queen Elizabeth succeeded Queen Mary, Smith returned to public life. He was in France as ambassador from September 1562 until 1566, returned in April 1567, and was sent back again in 1571-2. It was usual for ambassadors to France to take their wives with them. During his last years, spent at Hill Hall, Smith was in ill health, probably suffering from cancer of the throat. He made his will on February 18, 1577. Among other bequests, he left his library (350 books) to Queens' College. His principal heir was his nephew, William Smith (c.1550-1626), but he did not immediately enter into this estates. According to his entry in the History of Parliament, Philippa held some in jointure and "was concerned with getting as much from the estate as possible." William later accused the executors of his uncle's will of failing to finish the house at Theydon, which Sir Thomas had begun, and of disposing of the furniture after Philippa's death. Philippa made her will on May 21, 1578 and it was proved July 13, 1579.


Alice Wilkes or Welkes was a servant in the household of Agnes Tylney, duchess of Norfolk, at Horsham, Sussex and Lambeth at the same time as Catherine Howard and was aware of that young woman’s sexual hijinks. Alice's future husband, Anthony Restwold of the Vache, Buckinghamshire (d. by 1566) was also part of that household, but it is unclear exactly when they married. Later she would testify that she was "a married woman and wist what matrimony meant and what belonged to that puffing and blowing" she heard behind the bed curtains when Francis Dereham, a gentleman pensioner in the service of the duke of Norfolk (stepson of the dowager duchess) was with Catherine. After Catherine married King Henry VIII, Alice came to court. Some accounts say she was there as a chamberer, but unlike most of those young women, Alice has the word "gentlewoman" added after her name in some records. In the abstracts of confessions of witnesses against the queen reprinted at British History Online is the following: "Alice Restwold, lately called Alice Welkes:—The Queen at her last being at Cheyneys, the lord Admiral's house, sent for her, by Dereham and by Kath. Tilney, and at her coming, kissed and welcomed her and ordered her to lie with her chamberers; and afterwards sent her, by Lady Rochford, upper and nether habiliments of goldsmith's work for the French hood and a tablet of gold." The testimony of Mary Lascelles (née Hall), who was in the household of the duchess of Norfolk but did not become one of Catherine’s attendants at court, also helped convict Alice. Mary confessed that "Alice Welkes" told her about Catherine's "doings" with Dereham while they were both in service to the duchess. In another hand is written "Alice Wilkes, alias Restwold." Mary went on to say that she did not know where Welkes dwelt but that Lord William (Howard) "put her in service." In other words, it was the dowager duchess's son who recommended Alice as a servant for his mother. Alice was questioned on November 5, 1541. Anthony Restwold, meanwhile, had entered the service of Lord Maltravers, who in 1541 was deputy governor of Calais. On November 27, 1541, the Privy Council asked Maltravers to excuse the continued absence of his servant, who was being detained in London while his wife was being examined. Alice pleaded guilty to the charge of misprision of treason for having concealed facts concerning the queen's behavior and was sentenced on December 22, 1541 to be kept in perpetual imprisonment and forfeit all her goods and chattels, lands and tenements. Under the law, a wife actually owned nothing. It all belonged to her husband. One must therefore suppose that Alice lost only her freedom. In February 1542, her conviction and sentence were confirmed by Parliament but she was pardoned a few weeks later. After that, nothing more is known of her and the only record of her husband is in 1554 and 1555 when he served as a member of Parliament. He had died by January 1560.


ALICE WILKES (1547-October 26,1613)

Alice Wilkes was the daughter of Thomas Wilkes, an Islington innkeeper, and his first wife. She married three times. Her first husband, to whom she was married in 1570, was Henry Robinson (1543-1585), a brewer, by whom she had six sons (John, William, Henry, John, Thomas, and Henry) and five daughters (Margaret, Susan, Anne, Anne, and Alice). She was pregnant with her eleventh child, Henry, when her husband died. She quickly married William Elkin (d.1593), a mercer, by whom she had a daughter, Ursula (c.1587-1622+). During this marriage, Alice’s eldest daughter, Margaret, then twelve years old, was abducted by one John Skinner, who hoped to marry her. Legal action followed but before anything was resolved, Skinner vanished. Margaret was promptly married off to someone else. Alice’s third husband was Thomas Owen (d. December 21,1598), a judge. They were married c. 1595 and his son Roger (1573-May 29,1617) was married to her daughter Ursula. Dame Alice Owen’s fame, however, is due to her actions during her third widowhood. On June 5, 1608, she purchased eleven acres in Islington, including the spot where she had nearly been killed by an arrow as a child, and there erected a school for thirty boys, a hospital for ten widows, a free chapel, and almshouses. She also left bequests to Christ’s Hospital and to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. She was buried at St. Mary, Islington. Portraits: a small figure from the almshouses; 1840 copy of a 1610 portrait (original destroyed in World War II); 1897 statue based on fragments from Alice’s tomb (original effigy lost when the church was rebuilt in 1751). Biographies: Clive Rose’s Alice Owen: The Life, Marriages and Times of A Tudor Lady.

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AGNES WILKINSON (d. 1599+) (maiden name unknown)

Agnes was the wife of Michael Wilkinson. She lived in Love Lane, London. In November and December 1597, she housed a woman named Barbara Allen at the request of Sir William Brooke (1525-December 10, 97). Barbara was supposed to be available for his use only. Brooke paid Mrs. Wilkinson 5s/week in board and the 30s. he paid Barbara on each visit was split between the two women. But Barbara also serviced other clients. Agnes supplied Barbara with clothing suitable for a gentlewoman and on December 8, 1597 escorted her to Sir William's residence. In 1598, a woman named Helen Cootes was briefly placed with Agnes by George Eden, a notorious pimp. Early that same year, she took in a girl named Alice Partridge, who had been dismissed from her position as a maidservant. When Agnes was examined at Bridewell in March 1598 she revealed that Alice’s first customer had been George Brooke, brother of Sir William, and that she had taken the girl to him in his office in Whitehall. Agnes, Barbara Allen, Alice Partridge, and two housemaids were rounded up at the same time and questioned. Alice Partridge's deposition included an account of Agnes's quarrel, at court, with George Brooke's pimp, Allen (not to be confused with Barbara Allen), over her commission. The confrontation ended with Allen drawing his dagger and then pushing Agnes into the Thames. Michael Wilkinson had to rescue his wife from the river before she drowned. Mrs. Wilkinson was still in business the following year, when Elizabeth Reignoldes briefly worked in her house. On April 11, 1599, she hosted a gathering in honor of her sister, Jane, a prostitute who had recently given birth to a child. She invited three other bawds and three other prostitutes. For more details on these individuals see Gustav Ungerer, "Prostitution in Late Elizabethan England: The Case of Mary Newborough," in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Vol. 15, edited by John Pitcher, Robert Lindsey, and Susan Cerasano.




ANNE WILLIAMS (c.1533-1572+)
Anne Williams was the daughter of Reginald Williams of Burghfield, Berkshire and Elizabeth Fox and the niece of John Williams, first baron Williams of Thame. She married Anthony Forster of Shropshire (c.1510-November 7, 1572). Their children included John, Cynthia, Penelope, Robert, and Henry. Forster was indicted in 1556 for his part in the Dudley conspiracy but survived that debacle to acquire land in Berkshire and Warwickshire. He rented property in Cripplegate, London and in about 1558 leased Cumnor Place near Abingdon, Berkshire and moved his family there. This was a large house in which more than one separate household could coexist. By 1558, Forster was in the service of Sir Robert Dudley (later earl of Leicester). Lady Dudley was in residence at Cumnor Place on September 8, 1560 when she fell down a flight of stairs to her death. In spite of rumors of foul play, the death was ruled an accident, due in part to the fact that Forster had a reputation for honesty. In 1561, Forster bought Cumnor Place. In his will, he left this house to the earl of Leicester in return for a sum of £1200, £500 of which was to go to his widow. He also left bequests to four musicians who were apparently household servants. Portrait: brass in Cumnor church.

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EDITH WILLIAMS (c.1535-July 1599)
Edith Williams was the daughter of Reginald Williams of Burghfield, Berkshire and Elizabeth Fox and the niece of John, 1st baron Williams. She married Edmund Odingsells of Warwickshire and had a son, also named Edmund. It isn't clear when Edith's first husband died, but she was a widow in 1560 when she was one of the tenants at Cumnor Place, Berkshire, which was owned by William Owen and leased to Anthony Forster, husband of Edith's sister Anne. Forster was one of Sir Robert Dudley's retainers and Dudley's wife, Amye, also lived at Cumnor Place (see AMYE ROBSART). On September 8, 1560, Amye Dudley died in a fall down a flight of stairs. The circumstances of her death were suspicious. Earlier that day, a Sunday, she had sent her servants to the fair at Abingdon and tried to get all the other residents of Cumnor Place to leave, too. Mrs. Odingsells refused, as did Mrs. Owen (see ANNE RAWLEY), another resident of the house, but neither of them witnessed Amye's death. On June 13, 1567, Edith married, as her second husband, Nicholas, known as Deodatus, Staverton of Eversley Manor, Hampshire (c.1526-June 1590), by whom she had a son named Deodatus. This husband's will is dated April 8, 1590. Edith was buried in the Williams family vault in Burghfield Church but her memorial brass is in Cumnor Church.

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Frances Williams was the older sister of Sarah Williams (below) and probably the "Fid" (called Friswood by Jessie Childs in God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England and elsehwhere) employed in Sir George Peckham's household in the early1580s. Like her sister, she was exorcised, but she did not gain similar notoriety. While she was a prisoner in the Marshalsea for recusancy, she married a fellow prisoner, William Harrington (x. February 18, 1594). When she became pregnant, their priest, Father Blackman, told her to say that the father had gone overseas. At that point, Frances went to the Privy Council and testified concerning her knowledge of a spy named Stoughton and gave information as to the whereabouts of another Williams sister, Alice. Frances and her husband were then released and went to live with Frances's father, but soon after that William Harrington was rearrested, this time on the charge of being a priest himself. While in prison awaiting trial, Harrington denied that he and Frances had ever been married. Official biographies of Harrington indicate he was in a seminary in Rheims in 1581, then with the Jesuits at Tournai (1582-4). He returned to England without joining that order for health reasons but went back to Rheims in February 1591 and was ordained. He was back in England in midsummer 1592 and was arrested in May 1593. After his execution, Frances married Ralph Dallidown. She had received threats from several priests—Sherwood, Gerard, Blackman and Greene—and then the servant of a Master Roper, who was living at Southampton House, threatened to shoot her for betraying her sister's whereabouts. When Dallidown killed Roper's man, the death was ruled manslaughter rather than murder. In April 1602, Frances informed on her sister Sarah, who then gave a deposition detailing what had happened to her during her exorcisms.




JOANE WILLIAMS (c.1543-1633)
Joane Williams was the daughter of Thomas Williams of Stowford, Devon (1513/14-July 1, 1566) and Emmeline Crewes (Crwys/Crues). She married twice, first to Philip Cole of Slade, Devon (February 11, 1538/9-January 30, 1595/6) and second to Richard Connock of Lyllesdon, Somerset. She had at least three children, Richard Cole (1567-April 19, 1614) and two daughters. Her husband’s first wife was probably the mother of his daughter Elizabeth. Joane asked to be buried with her first husband in Cornwood, Devon. The figure behind her is believed to be her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Champernowne (c.1521-c.1574), wife of William Cole (d. April 23, 1547) and remarried to a man named Pollard. Like Joane, Elizabeth asked to be buried with her first husband. Portrait: effigy.

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Marjorie Williams was the younger daughter and coheir of John Williams, 1st baron Williams of Thame (1500-October 14,1559) and Elizabeth Bledlow (c.1504-October 25, 1556). She was betrothed to Henry Norris or Norreys, later of Rycote (1525-June 27,1601) by December of 1542 and had married him by August 26, 1544. Their children were William (d.December 1579), John (1547-September 1597), Edward (d.1603), Henry (1554-1599), Thomas (1556-1599), Katherine (d. 1601/2), and Maximilian (d. 1593). She's said to have first met the future Queen Elizabeth when Elizabeth was lodged at Rycote, Oxfordshire on her way to Woodstock during the reign of Mary Tudor. The two women became close friends, although Marjorie never held an official position at court. Elizabeth called Marjorie her "crow" because of her dark coloring. Henry Norris was knighted in 1566 and sent to France as ambassador. Although some sources say his wife remained at Rycote, the Oxford DNB says he lived with his family outside Paris from January 1567 to March 1571. He requested his wife and sons be allowed to return in early 1569, but he was not relieved of his post until December 1570. Norris was created Baron Norris in 1571. All of the Norris sons were soldiers and five of them died in foreign posts. The queen visited Rycote in 1566 and again in 1592. Portraits: life-sized effigy in St. Andrew’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey.




Sarah (or Sara) Williams was the daughter of protestant parents. At age fifteen, she went to work in the household of Sir George Peckham of Denham, Buckinghamshire where her sister, "Fid," was already in service. Peckham was secretly a Catholic and a priest in his household, Robert Dibdale decided that Sarah was possessed and must be exorcised. This was apparently successful and she was transferred to the household of Mary Tresham, Lady Vaux, at Hackney to serve as her maid. According to Jessie Childs in God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England, she behaved normally until New Year's Day 1586 when a visiting priest decided she had been repossessed. Several accounts of her treatment are extant, giving details of her ordeal, including a deposition she gave on April 24, 1602. At various times, she was forced to drink "holy" potions and inhale brimstone fumes to induce "visions." Essentially she was abused and exploited by a series of priests. Later she claimed that Dibdale had promised to send her abroad so that she could become a nun. The Catholic community was divided over the exorcisms of Sarah and others but it also seems to have become a spectator sport. Sarah was prevented from returning to her parents or attending church for over four years. Shortly after Dibdale was executed at Tyburn on October 8, 1586, she was arrested for recusancy in Oxford and held for fourteen weeks. She was questioned about the exorcisms in the early 1590s but did not denounce those who had exploited her until 1602. By that time she had married a man named Cheney and had five children. Her ordeal was described in Samuel Harsnet's A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603). Biography: Kathleen R. Sands's Demon Possession in Elizabethan England, Chapter Seven ("Sarah Williams").


MARY WILLINGTON (d. January 25, 1553/4)

Mary Willington was the daughter of William Willington of Barcheston, Warwickshire (d. 1555) and Anne Littleton, who lived to be a "very aged widow." Mary was the first wife of William Sheldon of Beoley, Worcestershire (c.1500-December 24, 1570). Their children were Anne (c.1528-October 25,1619), Ralph, (1537-March 1613), Frances (d.1542), William (b.1543), Philippa, Goditha, and Catherine. Portrait: effigy on tomb at Beoley erected by her son Ralph.




ANNE WILLISTON (November 1, 1548- October 29, 1566)
Anne Williston was the daughter of Richard Williston of Sugwas, Herefordshire (d.1574) and Anne Elton. She was the first wife of Alexander Denton (1542-1576) and died in childbirth at the age of eighteen. Her monument in Hereford Cathedral shows her with her baby and her husband, although he also has another monument, with his second wife, Mary Martyn, in Hillesden, Buckinghamshire.

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ANNE WILLOUGHBY (c.1516-December 24, 1582)
Anne Willoughby was the daughter of Robert, 2nd baron Willoughby de Broke (1472-November 10, 1521) and Dorothy Grey (c.1480-1553). She married Charles Blount, later 5th baron Mountjoy (June 28, 1516-October 10, 1544), the son of her mother's second husband, by whom she had James, 6th baron (c.1533-1581), John, Francis (1538-1593+), William (c.1539-1574), and a daughter. Her second husband was Richard Broke of Westbury (d. by January 5, 1549), by whom she also had children. By 1551, she had married John Bonham of Hazelbury, Wiltshire (d. January 10, 1555), by whom she had a son, John (b.1552), and a daughter, Mary. She brought her third husband property in Dorset and the manor of Brook near Westbury. She received a grant of 20 marks, shared with her son James Blount, and the wardship of her son, John Bonham. Her third husband's brother, Edward Bonham, claimed that his brother had left a will, but Anne denied this, and in August 1556, she was granted administration of his goods.


BRIDGET WILLOUGHBY (1566-July 16, 1629)
Bridget Willoughby was the daughter of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1546/7-November 16, 1596) and Elizabeth Littleton (1546-June 4, 1595). Her parents were living apart by 1579 and after her only brother died in 1580, her father arranged her marriage to a cousin, Percival Willoughby of Bore Place, Kent (c.1560-August 22, 1643). The wedding took place in 1583. Her dowry was 2000 marks, plus six manors, and as the eldest of six surviving daughters, Bridget stood to inherit the bulk of the estate. She and Percival had four children, Theodosia (c.1583-November 7, 1630), Bridget, Francis, and Thomas. In 1594, Sir Francis was heavily in debt and in return for paying his creditors £3000, Percival received the Willoughby ironworks. The following year, however, Sir Francis made further demands, including £25,000 in dowries for Bridget's sisters and an annuity of £1100. A short time later, Bridget's mother died and when Percival balked at meeting his father-in-law's demands, Sir Francis found himself a new wife and planned to disinherit all his daughters by siring a son. When he died, his bride was pregnant, but the child was a girl. Even so, litigation tied up the estate for years and greatly reduced its value. Portrait: artist and date unknown.

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CATHERINE WILLOUGHBY (March 22, 1520-September 19,1580)

Catherine Willoughby was the daughter of William Willoughby, 10th baron Willoughby d’Eresby (d.1526) and Maria de Salinas (c.1490-October 19,1539). After her father’s death she became the ward of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (1485-August 22,1545) and was raised with his children. She was to have married his son, Henry, earl of Lincoln (March 11,1516-1534), but after the death of Brandon’s wife in 1533, he married Catherine himself, on September 7, 1534. She was 14. He was 49. She had two sons by Brandon, Henry (September 18,1535-July 14,1551) and Charles (March 10,1538-July 15,1551) and during the last part of the reign of Henry VIII was much at court. She was inclined toward religious views that would later be called Puritan and tended to be outspoken. In spite of that, there were rumors in 1546 that King Henry was tired of his sixth wife and meant to divorce her and marry the widowed duchess of Suffolk. In 1548, when the Queen Dowager died after giving birth to a baby girl, the child was placed in Catherine’s care. Catherine lost both of her sons to an epidemic of “the sweat” in 1551, when they died within hours of each other. In 1553, Catherine took as her second husband the man who had been her first husband’s steward (some sources say gentleman usher). Richard Bertie (December 25,1517-April 9,1582) shared Catherine’s religious views. In 1554, their daughter Susan (d.1596+) was born. By that time Mary Tudor was queen and had restored Catholicism to England. Richard Bertie went into exile first and on New Year’s Day 1555, Catherine and Susan followed him. A son named Peregrine (October 12,1555-June 25,1601) was born during their travels abroad. They ended up in Poland, where King Sigismund offered them the governorship of Lithuania. They remained there until after Mary Tudor’s death, returning to England in the late spring of 1559. Under Elizabeth Tudor, the Berties were not significant figures at court, but Catherine was entrusted with the keeping of Lady Mary Grey for a time after that young lady’s elopement. Mary was in her step-grandmother's household from August 7, 1567 until June 1569. Catherine spent most of her time after her return to England at Grimsthorpe in Lincolnshire but she also had a house in the Minories in London. Biographies: Lady Cecilie Goff’s A Woman of the Tudor Age, Evelyn Read’s My Lady Suffolk, and Melissa Franklin Harkrider's Women, Reform and Community in Early Modern England: Katherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk, and Lincolnshire's Godly Aristocracy 1519-1580; Oxford DNB entry under "Bertie [née Willoughby; other married name Brandon], Katherine." Portraits: a sketch by Holbein; a miniature after Holbein; a full length portrait c.1548; tomb in Spilsby Church.

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Elizabeth Willoughby was the daughter of Robert Willoughby (d. August 23, 1502) and Blanche Champernowne. Her first husband was Robert Dynham (c.1436-January 28, 1500/1). She married him in 1488. After his death, she became the first wife of William Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers (1483-January 23, 1544) and was the Lady Maltravers to whom King Henry VIII sent a messenger in June 1509, probably to summon her to court and into the service of Catherine of Aragon.


ELIZABETH WILLOUGHBY (d. November 1552+) (maiden name unknown)
In 1549, Sir Thomas Speke of White Lackington, Somersetshire and London (March 25, 1507/8-July 12, 1551) married, as his second wife, the widow of one William Willoughby. I have not been able to identify either William or his widow, Elizabeth. According to the History of Parliament entry for Speke, the primary source for this entry, Speke and Elizabeth had one daughter (he already had a son and a daughter by his first wife). The day before he died, in an epidemic of the sweating sickness, at his house in Chancery Lane, Speke wrote a will in which he left his wife £240 in "old gold," half of his household stuff, and the manor of Dawlish for life. He left 500 marks to each of his daughters and named his wife and his son George (1528-1584) as joint executors. The will was proved on July 18, 1551 by George. Now here’s the curious thing. At some point between the death of Sir Thomas and November 14, 1552, someone, probably George, apparently accused Elizabeth with having committed adultery during her marriage. One wonders where this idea came from. The diary of Henry Machyn of London mentions the death of Sir Thomas Speke without any comment about infidelity. But just a month earlier, in June 1551, Sir John Luttrell had also died of the sweat and Machyn does mention that he was trying to divorce his wife for adultery at the time. George Speke may already have been married to Elizabeth Luttrell, who was not John's daughter but was certainly of the same family. It is likely Speke knew of the case. I am admittedly speculating here, but the circumstances do seem suspicious. To continue, Speke's will was pronounced valid on November 14, 1552 except for the bequests to the widow. These were nullified by her adultery. The two daughters of Sir Thomas Speke were Margaret (married Edmund Annesley) and Elizabeth (married John Phelips of Corfe Mullen, Dorset, although one online genealogy has her married to Thomas Phelipps of Montacue who died in 1588). It is uncertain which daughter was the younger.


ELIZABETH WILLOUGHBY (April 28, 1510-November 15, 1562)
Elizabeth Willoughby was one of the three daughters of Edward Willoughby (c.1486-1517) and Margaret Neville (March 9, 1494/5-October 23, 1532) and de jure suo jure baroness Willoughby de Broke. Her guardian, Sir Edward Greville of Milcote, Warwickshire, planned to marry her to his eldest son, John. Instead, at her request, she had by April 1526 wed his second son, Fulke Greville of Beauchamp's Court, Alcester, Warwickshire (1491-November 10, 1559). They had seven sons and eight daughters, including Fulke (1536-November 15, 1606), William, Mary, Robert (d.1612/13), Helen or Eleanor (c.1539-1580+), Sir Edward, Catherine (d.1611), and Blanche. In 1526, she inherited a third part of four manors in Somerset, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. On the death of her sister Anne in 1528, her share increased to half and she acquired the remaining portion by 1543, after the death of her sister Blanche, childless wife of Sir Francis Dawtrey. There were numerous disputes over the Willoughby inheritance. Although Greville died in debt, his daughters had dowries of 400 marks to which their mother added £500. The value of the estate when she died was over £370.








JANE WILLOUGHBY (c.1525-1571+)
Jane Willoughby was the daughter of Sir Edward Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1467-1541) and Anne Fillol. She married Richard Topcliffe of Somersby, Lincolnshire (November 14, 1531-1604), later to become notorious for the use of torture in interrogating recusants and Catholic priests. They had four sons and two daughters, including John (d. yng), Charles, Susannah, and Margaret (or Frances) (d.1613/14). According to All the Queen's Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (1987) by Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, Jane separated from her husband at some point during the 1570s, which would be before he made a career out of interrogating those who did not conform to the Church of England. The History of Parliament places Topcliffe in a house in Westminster in 1571 and states that at some point (no dates given), his personal life was "clouded" by his "alleged failure to pay his wife adequate maintenance." She was not mentioned in his will and probably predeceased him.





In fact, this gentlewoman does not appear to have been "Lady Willoughby," but rather a young woman with the surname Willoughby who was married to Sir Anthony Knyvett (d. March 1, 1554), hereditary bailiff of Tonbridge, Kent. The confusion comes because David Loades, in Two Tudor Conspiracies, lists a Lady Willoughby, widow of Sir Anthony Knevett, as being fined £111 8s. 8d. for her part in the so-called Dudley conspiracy of 1555. The same chart says she only paid £20 of that sum. She is not mentioned anywhere else in this book. Sir Anthony Knyvett, not to be confused with the Sir Anthony Knyvett who died in 1549, was one of the conspirators in the Wyatt Rebellion and was a prisoner in the Tower of London on February 9, 1554. The only other record of Lady Knyvett is in 1552, when William Knyvett, probably Sir Anthony's brother, who was also involved in Wyatt's Rebellion, filed a lawsuit against "A. Knyvett and wife" in Chiddingstone, Kent.




Margaret Willoughby was the daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1445-May 11, 1529) and his second wife, Margaret Markham (d. before 1500). She married Sir John Zouche of Codnor (c.1440-1513+) as his second wife and was the mother of George (c.1496-1557), Richard, William, Henry, Elizabeth, and Mary. She made her will on November 21, 1530 and it was proved on March 9, 1530/1. She made several interesting bequests. To her son George, she left "that part of a bed that he claimed for an heyr lome." He also got her wedding ring and a dagger with stones. His wife received crimson laces. Elizabeth Curson, who was probably her waiting gentlewoman, was left the "fedder bed that she lyeth in, a blanket, a pare of mydlyng sheittes, a bolster, and a coverlett." Her daughters were to have a velvet gown. Mary was to choose whether she wanted the gown or the fur that trimmed it and Elizabeth was to have whatever Mary left. She was generous to servants. One got a "bay nagg" and another "a yong colte," while Margaret Lane and Margaret Danport each received a calf.



Margaret Willoughby was the daughter of Henry Willoughby of Wollaton, near Nottingham (1510-August 27, 1549), and Anne Grey (1514-January 1548). Upon the death of her father, Margaret and her younger brother Francis (1546-1596) were sent to live in the household of her mother’s half brother, George Medley, at Tilty in Essex and in the Minories, London. A 1553 entry in Margaret's account book, in her own hand, records the purchase of a pair of virginals (26s. 8d.) and payments in May and July to two different music teachers. After Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1554, the house in the Minories was searched and Medley was briefly in prison. Margaret’s uncle, Henry Grey, duke of Suffolk, and her cousin, Lady Jane Grey, were executed at that time. Margaret seems to have joined the household of the widowed duchess of Suffolk (Frances Brandon) and been with her at the court of Queen Mary, although she was only eleven at the time. The duchess was at court from July 1554 until May 1555. At Christmas 1555, still a very young girl to be a maid of honor, Margaret joined the household of Elizabeth Tudor at Hatfield. It was while she was there that John Harington wrote his poem in praise of six of Elizabeth's gentlewomen. He calls Margaret "worthye willobe" and comments upon her "pearcing eye." It is not clear if she stayed on after Elizabeth's household was reorganized by order of Queen Mary in June 1556. At fifteen or sixteen, in 1559 or 1560, Margaret married Matthew Arundell of Wardour (c.1535-December 24, 1598). Their children were Thomas (1560-November 7, 1639), Catherine, and William (d. February 16,1592). On July 16,1565, Margaret supped with her cousin, the Lady Mary Grey, and two other gentlewomen. At nine that evening, Mary married Thomas Keyes without the queen’s permission. Margaret knew about the wedding but remained outside the chamber where it was performed so that she could say she had not actually witnessed the exchange of vows. She resumed her friendship with her cousin after the Lady Mary was released from captivity and was mentioned in Mary’s will in 1578.


MARGARET WILLOUGHBY (c.1570-August 17, 1597)

Margaret Willoughby was the third daughter of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1546/7-November 16, 1596) and Elizabeth Littleton (1546-June 4, 1594). Negotiations for her marriage to a childhood friend, Griffin Markham were broken off in favor of a more ambitious match with Robert Spencer of Wormleighton, Warwickshire and (later) Althorp, Northamptonshire (1570-October 25, 1627. He was heir to one of the greatest fortunes in England. They were married on February 15, 1587/8. Her dowry was £4000. It was a happy marriage that produced four sons and three daughters: Mary (August 1588-1658), Elizabeth (November 1589-1618), John (December 1590-1610), William (January 1592-1636), Richard (October 1593-1661), Edward (March 1594-1655/6), and Margaret (August 14, 1597-December 6, 1613). Margaret died three days after the birth of her last child. She was buried on October 19, 1597 in the Spencer chapel in the church of St. Mary in Great Brington, Northamptonshire. At the time of her death, her husband was attempting to secure a larger share of her inheritance from her father, who had died the previous year. He kept trying until 1608 but only succeeded in recovering one sixth of the manor of Lambley. Portrait: effigy at Great Brington, 1599 (monument by Garrett Hollemans). 


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Sanchia (Sence/Sarah) Willoughby was the daughter of Sir Robert Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (c.1452-1474) and Margaret Griffith. Her first husband was John Strelley of Strelley, Notthinghamshire (1448-January 22, 1501/2). They were married in 1477 and their children were John (d. before October 31, 1538), George, Margaret, Isabel, Elizabeth, and Anne (1495-October 12, 1554). Her second husband (marriage settlement dated October 24, 1517) was Sir John Digby of South Luffenham, Rutland (1464-May 1533). They had no children. According to Barbara J. Harris in English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550, John Strelley made his widow responsible for the dowries of his daughters. Around 1533, Anne Strelley, by then married to Sir John Markham, brought suit in Chancery, contending that Lady Digby had brought "a great substance" of the Strelley estate to her second marriage, including deeds to land and livestock that were supposed to have been her dowry, and that Digby had appropriated this inheritance. Sanchia supposedly died feeling "great remorse" and "with sore lamentation" but Digby still refused to yield either dowry or livestock to Anne. He died soon after his wife, obliging the Markhams to sue two of his sons, who were executors of his will. Simon Digby subsequently claimed that his stepsister (Anne Markham) had received both livestock and dowry years earlier and that, moreover, their mother, on her deathbed, had given her further gifts, a chain and jewels worth far more than the goods and money the Markhams were demanding. In the end, it took an Act of Parliament to settle the matter. The Strelley lands were divided among John Strelley's daughters. Sanchia was buried at Strelley.









Bridget Wiltshire was the daughter and heir of Sir John Wiltshire of Stone Castle, Kent (c.1434-December 1526), comptroller of Calais under Henry VII, and his wife Margaret. The date of her birth is listed in some accounts as 1477, but this seems too early in light of some of the birthdates of her children, which go as late as 1532. She married first Sir Richard Wingfield of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire (1469-July 22,1525) as his second wife. He was Lord Deputy of Calais and later ambassador to Spain and died in Toledo. Their children were: Cecily (d.1525), Elizabeth (d.1522), Charles (1513-May 24, 1540), Thomas, Maria (c.1516-1557), Jacques (c.1519-1587+), Lawrence, Jane (b.c.1525), Mary, Margaret, and Catherine. As Lady Wingfield, she was at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 and was invited to court by Anne Boleyn in 1530 when Anne was still only Lady Anne Rochford. The text of a letter Anne wrote to her at this time is still extant. Some accounts say Lady Wingfield was at court in 1532 and that she served as Mother of Maids while Anne Boleyn was queen. By 1529, she had remarried. Her second husband was Sir Nicholas Hervey or Harvey of Ickworth, Suffolk (c.1490-August 5, 1532), gentleman of the Privy Chamber and ambassador to Ghent, who was out of England from the end of June 1530 until March 1531. Bridget may have continued to call herself Lady Wingfield but she had five children by Hervey: Henry (b.1526), George (1527-1599), another George (1532-1605), Mabel, and another daughter. She inherited Backenho from Hervey and in 1534 passed it on to her third husband, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt of Mortlake, Surrey and Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire (d. May 10, 1572). She was his first wife and they had no children. According to Retha Warnicke, Anne Boleyn and the king visited Lady Wingfield's house en route to Calais in 1532, before they were married. In 1536, her name came up (as Lady Wingfield) when Anne Boleyn was charged with adultery. It was said that Bridget had made a deathbed confession concerning the queen’s misconduct. Exactly what she’s supposed to have confessed is unknown, although Warnicke concludes that the confession accused Anne of sexual misconduct before her marriage to the king. The date of Lady Wingfield's death is unknown, but she was still alive in January 1534.


ALICE WIMBILL (d.1506) (maiden name unknown)

Alice, whose parentage is unknown, was first married to a man named Edgore, by whom she had children. Her second husband was Robert Wimbill or Wymbytt of Ipswich (d.1479). After his death, she was left a wealthy widow and made a third marriage to a mercer who had just returned to Suffolk from London, Thomas Baldry (d.1525), the elder of two brothers with the same name. She was buried in St. Mary-le-Tower. Portrait: brass in St. Nicholas, Ipswich with Wimbill and Baldry.




ELEANOR WINDSOR (c.1479-March 25, 1531)
Eleanor Windsor was the daughter of Andrew, 1st baron Windsor of Bradenham, Buckinghamshire (1467-March 30, 1543) and Elizabeth Blount (d. before 1543). She married first Sir Ralph Scrope, baron Scrope of Upsall (d. September 17, 1515). They had no children and he was succeeded by his brother. Eleanor was left with a considerable jointure that included the manors of Upsall, Stillton, Kylvyngton, Thorneborught, and Driffelde in Yorkshire, Carelton Scrope in Lincolnshire, Whaghton in Northumberland, Muscham in Nottinghamshire, Harborrow and Bowden in Leicestershire, Neyland in Sussex, Fyvefeld in Esses, and Powlles Cray and Dirwolle in Kent. The spellings are from his will. He also named Eleanor his executor. Her second husband was Sir Edward Neville (1471-x1538). Their children were Edward (d. February 10, 1589), Frances (d.1588), Catherine, and Sir Henry (1520-January 13, 1593)







MARGARET WINDSOR (c.1478-1543+)
Margaret Windsor was the daughter of Thomas Windsor of Stanwell, Middlesex (d. September 29, 1485) and Elizabeth Andrews and the goddaughter of Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby. She was living at Syon Abbey by 1505 and by March 1507 had become a Bridgettine. She was prioress at Syon from 1513 until 1539. When the abbey was dissolved, Margaret received a pension of 150 marks (the abbess, Agnes Jordan, received £200) and some of the nuns afterward lived with her. In his March 26, 1543 will (proved July 31), her brother Andrew, Lord Windsor, left Margaret an annuity of £80 6s. 8d. from the manor of Cranford, Middlesex to pray for his soul and the souls of his father and mother.












Elizabeth Wingfield was the daughter of Roger Wingfield of Norfolk and Elizabeth Golding. Her first husband was Thomas Pole (d.c.1526). Some sources call him the son of Henry Pole, first baron Montagu, but this does not appear to be accurate. It is possible that during this marriage Elizabeth was the Elizabeth Pole in the household of Mary Tudor in Wales. In 1526, she married a gentleman of Welsh extraction, Richard Mansell/Maunsell (d. November 1543). Their children were Richard (d. November 1559), John (d.1543), Ophelia, and Elizabeth (d.1542). She was buried in St. Giles in the Fields, London.















Elizabeth Winnington was the daughter of Robert Winnington of Winnington, Cheshire (d.c.1428). Older sources give her mother's name as Katherine Holland and list one Margaret Norwood as the second wife of John Delves, father of Richard (1409-1445), to whom Elizabeth was married in 1428 at the age of three. However, Elizabeth Norton, in her recent biography of Bessie Blount (Elizabeth Winnington's great-great-granddaughter) states that Margaret Norwood was Elizabeth's mother and that she married four husbands, including both Winnington and Delves.The marriage between Elizabeth Winnington and Richard Delves was annulled when Elizabeth was twelve and she later married Sir Humphrey Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire (1423-1478). Their children were Thomas (d.1524), John, Edward, Charles, Walter, Isabella, Anne, Maria, Ellena, and Joan. Elizabeth was named co-executor of her husband's will. In 1488, she had to sue her eldest son, Thomas, in order to receive sufficient dower from his lands to live on. The bad feeling between them seems to have continued until her death. Perhaps from necessity, she misappropriated £100 left in her keeping for one of her granddaughters' inheritances, lending it out and using some gold plate for security. After her death, her executors had to go to law in an attempt to regain the plate. Elizabeth's will makes no mention of her eldest son. Her bequests included bowls, cups, beds, and furnishings. Portrait: effigy on tomb.


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JANE WINTER (c.1545-January 19, 1598)
Jane (or Joan) Winter was, according to the History of Parliament entry for her husband, the daughter of Sir Thomas Winter of Clapton. The Memoranda, historical and genealogical, relating to the parish of Kelston by Francis John Poynston says her parents were Edward Winter and Eleanor Sydenham. On March 16, 1550/51 she married Sir George Rogers of Cannington, Somersetshire (c.1528-September 10, 1582), bringing with her lands in Cornwall. They had three children, Mary (1569-1634), Edward (d.1627), and William. Rogers made his will in June 1582. His daughter was to have £1000 for her dowry. His wife was named executor and was to have a life interest in the house at Cannington unless she remarried. Any property unbequeathed was divided between Jane and her eldest son Edward. Even before Jane died, there was bad feeling between Edward and his brother-in-law, John Harington, who had married Mary Rogers. In 1594, Harington sought redress against Edward for calling Mary names. In her will, dated October 17, 1597 (alternate date, probably when it was proved, of September 24, 1598) Jane made Mary her sole executor and divided the estate between her grandsons. This, however was not the end of the feud. It continued until January 1603 when the case came before the Star Chamber. Just to confuse matters, one source gives the date Jane died as January 19, 44 Elizabeth (1602), but this is in error because she was buried at Kelston on January 22, 1598. The complaint in Star Chamber was made by Harington but it was Edward who claimed that Harington had consulted Jane's physicians shortly before her death and, upon being told that she would be dead within ten days, removed plate worth £5000 from Cannington and destroyed title deeds to property bequeathed in Jane's will. Edward also alleged that, just before she died, Jane accused Harington of stealing from her and altering her will. Harington defended himself, insisting he had been following Jane's orders and acting on behalf of his wife as executor. After the two men came to blows at Cannington, the matter went to arbitration and, one hopes, was eventually resolved.


SARA WINTER (d. 1597+) (maiden name unknown)

Sara Winter was the wife of Robert Winter of Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, where they were tenants of Edward Griffin, lord of the manor of Great Appleby. Her story is told in considerable detail, with original illustrations, at www.applebymagna.org.uk. The essence of the tale is that Sara was no better than she should be. On several occasions she was seen in the company of a neighbor, sheep farmer John Petcher (d.1621), a widower. Petcher was hauled before the so-called bawdy court in Leicester on October 28, 1597, accused of luring Sara to the market towns of Ashby, Atherstone, and Leicester by "enticements of the flesh" and committing adultery with her. According to testimony, Sara was staying with Nicholas Taylor and his wife in the days leading up to the fair at Atherstone and went with them to an alehouse there where Petcher joined them. One Edward Taylor claimed to have caught Sara and Petcher having sexual relations in a room in that alehouse, and to have refused the offer of sixpence by Petcher to keep silent about it. The testimony that has survived suggests that the court had their doubts, and countercharges against Edward include the charge that Robert Winter was behind a suggestion Nicholas Taylor made to Sara that she start a suit against her husband on the grounds that he had refused to cohabit with her, apparently a ploy to get Petcher to pay court costs. Another charge was that Robert Winter paid Edward Taylor to lie about what he saw. Edward was said to be a cozener and defrauder of men, a thief, and an extortionist. He had spent time in Leicester gaol, as had his wife, Helen (for stealing a pair of shoes). Witnesses were still being examined in March and April of 1598, but eventually Petcher was acquitted. Sara simply disappears from history.     



Dorothy Wintour or Winter was the daughter of George Wintour of Huddington, Worcestershire (d.1596) and his second wife, Elizabeth Bourne. Her half brothers Robert (x.January 30, 1606) and Thomas (c.1571-1606) and her full brother John (x. April 7, 1606) were all conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. Dorothy married John Grant of Norbrook, Warwickshire (c.1570-x. January 30,1606) as his second wife. They had at least one son, Wintour Grant (d.1623+). There are not many mentions of Dorothy, but in January 1605, in a letter to Grant from Thomas Wintour asking him to meet with him and Robert Catesby at Chastelton, Wintour adds, "I could wish Doll here, but our life is monastical, without women." Chastelton was also the place where the Gunpowder Plot was being devised. Grant was an obvious person to recruit, as he had supported the Essex rebellion in 1601. In September of  1605, while planning was still underway, a group of English Catholics making a pilgrimage to St. Winifred's well in Wales stayed at Norbrook both going and coming home. After the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, Grant and other wanted men came to Norbrook, on November 6, 1605, to collected muskets and ammunition stored there. Upon reaching Holbeche House, they attempted to dry out the gunpowder, which had been soaked by a hard rain. In the fire that followed, Grant was left blind and with a disfigured face. In the attack on the house by the sheriff of Worcestershire on November 8, he was also wounded. He was tried for treason and executed on the same day as his brother-in-law, Robert Wintour. His estate was forfeit but his son Wintour was able to reclaim it in 1623.


ANNE WINWOOD (c.1505-1571)
The names of Anne Winwood's parents are not known, but she had at least two brothers, Lewis, who was secretary to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, and Thomas, a London stockfishmonger. Anne married Rowland Shakerley (Sharkerley/Sharkeley/Shackerley) (d. March 1564/5), a mercer. Their children were Anne, Elizabeth, Katherine (d.1595+), Ralph (1532-before 1564), Alice (b.1538), Mary (1540-1605), and John (1541-before 1564), and one online genealogy also lists a Christine. As Mistress Shakerley, Anne was a silkwoman. She replaced Margery Vaughan as royal silkwoman in 1544. Also in that year, Shakerley purchased the manor of Aynho, Northamptonshire for £1060. This became the family seat. Anne was buried there on April 16, 1571.




ANNE WISEMAN (d. December 3, 1593)
Anne Wiseman was the daughter of John Wiseman of Felsted and Bradox/Braddocks, Essex (d. January 5, 1568), a wealthy recusant landowner, and Joan Lucas (or Lege) of London. She married first, in 1557, William Fitch of Little Canfield, Essex (c.1496-December 20, 1578), as his second wife. He bought Great Canfield Park from the Wisemans. Anne and William had four sons, including Thomas (1560-November 29, 1588), William (1563-1608), and Francis (1563-October 12, 1608). On May 28, 1579, in London, she married Ralph Pudsey or Pudsaye of Gray's Inn. Anne has the distinction of having two separate brasses in the same church in Little Canfield, Essex.

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MARY WITHAM (1579-May 5, 1662)
Mary Witham was the daughter of William Witham of Ledston or Ledstone Hall, Yorkshire (1546-1593), a gentleman supposedly bewitched to death by one Mary Panell (x.1604), and Eleanor Neale (d.1619). Mary married first Thomas Jobson of Cudworth, Yorkshire (d. November 21, 1606), by whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Thomas (1606-1653). Her second husband was Thomas Bolles of Heath Hall (December 22, 1576-March 19, 1633/4), by whom she had two daughters, Anne and Mary. Mary Witham was apparently created Baronetess of Nova Scotia in her own right by Charles I on October 12, 1634. This was the first time a woman had been granted a baronetcy. No one seems to know why she was so honored. One online genealogy calls her "eccentric but charitable." In her will, written on May 4, 1662, she left various bequests to the parish of Royston. She was buried in Ledsham Church. Entering the area of legend, Mary Bolles is frequently listed as one of Yorkshire’s ghosts. She is said to have left instructions in her will that the room in which she died at Heath Hall be permanently sealed after her death. According to the story, some fifty years later, when it was opened, her ghost was released to haunt the hall. Stone effigies were laid on her tomb in an effort to quiet her spirit, but to no avail. She was seen as late as 1943, by soldiers garrisoned in the house. Heath Hall is now a ruin but what is said to be the door to Mary’s chamber is housed in the Wakefield Museum. Portrait: tomb effigy in Ledsham Church.


MARGERY WITHERICK (d.1538+) (maiden name unknown)
Margery and Philip Witherick (x. March 26, 1538) came to the village of Bildeston, Suffolk from Hadleigh, some five miles southeast of there, in about 1528. By 1537, they were comfortably well off, kept livestock, and were involved in the clothmaking trade, as were most inhabitants of Bildeston. They had two children, Martin, age eleven, and Mate (Matty?), age six. In August of that year a tailor named Ambrose Letyce boarded with them. On December 18, he left the house, saying he was going to work for a carpenter named Elmen for a few hours and would return by noon. Then he disappeared. Philip was suspected of having something to do with his disappearance. Just before Christmas, Margery asked an itinerant cooper, John Thompson, to search for Letyce. On January 8 or 9, the manorial bailiff of Bildeston came to the house when Margery was alone and put pressure on her to give evidence against her husband, promising her that if Philip were convicted, all of her goods, which would be confiscated if he were convicted, would be returned. She refused, and continued to refuse when he sent messengers to her on each of the next two nights. Having failed with Margery, the bailiff approached her children. Young Martin became a key witness and on March 6, Philip was taken away by the bailiff. Margery consulted the local justice of the peace and was advised to go to Philip's uncle, John Witherick, abbot of St. Osyth, for assistance. Margery did so, and stayed there a week. During that time, all of Margery's goods were seized and young Martin was taken away. He told several different stories about seeing his father kill Ambrose Letyce, none of them very believable, but then bones were found in the ashes in the kitchen of the Witherick house and these were taken as proof that Witherick had tried to destroy Letyce's body. Margery still refused to say anything against her husband, even after she was imprisoned in the local constable's house for several days. She became ill while she was a prisoner and was given last rites. On March 25, with Philip, she was taken before the Bury St. Edmunds assizes. Threatened with being charged as an accessory, forced to listen to her son's revised story of seeing a murder, she finally gave in and agreed that her son was telling the truth. She did not have to testify to this in court, but rather was taken back to Bildeston. She was probably turned out of her house once Philip was convicted. Two weeks later, John Thompson brought word that he had found Ambrose Letyce, alive and well and living in Essex. An investigation was launched, revealing that young Martin had been coached as to what to say he saw. It also came out that John Thompson had known Margery twelve years earlier in Hadleigh. Thompson and Margery were both in London in April to appear before the justices investigating the entire matter and dined together but there is no indication that there was anything more to their relationship. For more details and speculation about motives, see Chapter 3 of John Bellamy's Strange, Unnatural Deaths: Murder in Tudor England.









ELIZABETH WITHYPOLL (1510-October 29, 1537)
Elizabeth Withypoll (Wythypole; Wythipool) was the daughter of Paul Withypoll (c.1547), a wealthy merchant and alderman of London and Anne Cursonne or Curzon. She was given an education unusual for a woman of her class and was able to read and write in Latin, Spanish, and Italian as well as English and was also proficient in accounting and arithmetic. She is credited with writing an essay titled "Curious Calligraphy" at the age of fifteen and, according to her memorial, wrote three different hands, could do accounts and algorithms, played viol, lute, and virginals, and created pictures "with pen, frame, or stoole." In 1534, she married Emmanuel Lucar (d. March 28, 1574), a member of the Merchant Taylor's Company of London, by whom she had four children. She was buried in the Church of St.Lawrence Poultney, where her husband erected a monument to her on which were inscribed words of praise for her scholarly and other accomplishments.




BLANCH WITTINGTON (1525-March 31, 1594)

Blanch Wittington was the daughter and coheiress of Thomas Wittington/Whittington of Pawntley, Gloucestershire (c.1488-1547) and Margaret Needham. She held fractions of many pieces of lands, including one sixth of one fifth out of one half of one half of the manor of Lanivet. She married John St. Aubyn of Clowance (1519-August 17, 1590), who was sheriff of Cornwall in 1576. Their children were Mary, Grace, Thomas (before 1543-March 27, 1626), Agnes, Avis (b.1551) and Margaret. She corresponded with William Carnsew, as recorded in his diary for 1576.


ELEANOR WODEHOUSE or WOODHOUSE (d.1615+) (maiden name unknown)
Eleanor Wodehouse or Woodhouse was the second (or possibly third) wife of Francis Wodehouse of Breccles Hall, Norfolk (d.1605). They had at least one child, a son named John (d.1615+). On August 26, 1578, the queen dined at Breccles Hall, but the family was not in residence. In 1583, Eleanor Wodehouse and Alice Gray of Carbroke were sentenced to a month in prison as recusants by the Norwich assizes. Francis was imprisoned for four years in 1597 and fined £20 a month, a ruinous rate that forced him to sell Breccles Hall in 1599. Eleanor was excommunicated in 1602. After Breccles Hall was sold, she resided in nearby Caston, where Francis was buried on March 21, 1604/5.









Margaret Wogon was the daughter of Morris Wogon of Bloxham, Oxfordshire. By 1559, she was married to Anthony Butler of London, Rycote, Oxfordshire, and Coates, Lincolnshire (d.1570). His London house was in the parish of St. Alphage within Cripplegate. He made his will on August 18, 1570, setting aside £200 in case Margaret was again with child. She inherited life interest in the manors of Barnet, Hertfordshire and North Reston, Lincolnshire, along with jewels, plate, and £100, and was named one of the executors. A codicil dated August 23, 1570 rescinded this responsibility and provided that she would forfeit the rest of her inheritance if she contested this decision. He did not give a reason for this change or the need for a threat to back it up. The will was proved October 31, 1570. At that time, none of their children—Charles (1560-1602), Anthony (1562-1609), William (1564-1590), John, Henry (1570-1601), and Catherine (1572-1635)—were of age to inherit. Butler's monument was erected in the church at Coates. Margaret later married Charles Dymoke of Howell, Lincolnshire (d.1611). Portrait: effigy in Coates, Lincolnshire.

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ELIZABETH WOLSTON (d. August 18, 1548)
Elizabeth Wolston (Wolstan/Welstone) was the daughter of Sir Guy Wolston (d.1501+) and Margaret Tamworth (d.1476). She married first John Stile or Style of St. Nicholas Parish, Ipswich (d.1505), a London merchant, by whom she had at least seven children including Florence, Bridget (d. by 1542), Humphrey, John, and Margaret. Elizabeth's second husband was Sir James Yarford (Yarforth/Yerforth) of Kidwelly, South Wales (d. June 1527), a merchant adventurer and stapler and the first Welsh Lord Mayor of London (1519-20). He named his wife executrix of his will and left all of his city lands to her. All except the house in Sithes Lane were to go to the Mercers's Company after her death. Anne F. Sutton reports, in The Mercery of London, that dishes were customarily sent to Elizabeth from the Mercers' annual election banquet in the hope of further generous bequests in her will. Elizabeth named her daughter Florence as her executrix.


ELIZABETH WOLVENDON (d.1515+) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Wolvendon was the wife of Reginald Wolvendon. She was one of Mary Tudor's ladies and also served Catherine of Aragon. In February 1515, she was granted an annuity of £10.


MARY WOLVERSTON (d. before 1617)

Mary Wolverston was the daughter of Philip Wolverston of Wolverstone Hall, Suffolk, a "gentleman pirate." She married first Thomas Knyvett (d.c.1553), by whom she had a son, Henry, and then Sir John Killigrew of Arwennack, Cornwall (d. March 5, 1584). Her children by Killigrew were John (c.1554-August 12, 1605), Thomas (b.c.1556), Simon (b.c.1558), Mary (b.c.1560), and Katherine (c.1562-1598). Lady Killigrew was said to keep open house for the more respectable pirates at Arwennack House. On January 1, 1582/3, the Marie of San Sebastian was forced to drop anchor in Falmouth harbor. At midnight on January 7, as part of a plan conceived by Lady Killigrew, a band of local sailors and fishermen boarded the vessel, murdered the crew, and sailed the ship to Ireland to be plundered. Two Killigrew servants, Kendal and Hawkins, brought bolts of Holland cloth and six leather chairs to Arwennack House—the share allotted to Lady Killigrew and others in the household. None of the women actually went on the raid, but they did receive stolen goods. Mary's son, Henry Knyvett, played an active role. The History of Parliament entry states that Lady Killigrew presented several lengths of cloth to her servants and that a daughter of the house ("young Mistress Killigrew") paid a debt with twenty yards of the material and A. L. Rowse, in Sir Richard Grenville and the Revenge, adds a Mistress Wolverston, who received a bolt of Holland cloth and two leather chairs, along with other details not included in the account in Sabine Baring Gould’s Cornish Characters and Strange Events (available in Kindle format), which provides most of the information given here and corrects other accounts that incorrectly identify Old Lady Killigrew as Elizabeth Trewenard, Mary's mother-in-law, and the ship as Dutch and/or carrying gold doubloons. Given that Mistress (abbreviated Mrs.) could mean either a married or unmarried woman, Mistress Killigrew could be Mary's daughter or her daughter-in-law, Dorothy Monk. Mistress Wolverston could be Mary's mother, about whom nothing is know, although Rowse identifies her, somewhat confusingly, as Sir John Killigrew's daughter. With Killigrew serving on the Commission for Piracy in Cornwall, nothing was done at first when the Spanish merchants who owned the ship complained. Later, when they took their case to London, an investigation was ordered that ended with the execution of Kendal and Hawkins for murder and the charges that Mary was behind the plot and buried the leather in a cask in her garden. A royal pardon saved her from punishment. Some accounts say this was due to the favor of Sir John Arundell of Tolverne and his son-in-law Sir Nicholas Hals of Pengersick. Others credit the influence of her brother-in-law, Sir Henry Killigrew, who was prominent at court. Still others say her son paid substantial bribes to secure her release from prison. Although Mary was referred to as "that old Jezebel" by Hawkins and Kendal after their arrest, her age is unknown, as is the date of her death. At around the same time as her the ongoing investigation, Mary's husband died without a will and £10,000 in debt. Portrait: Mary's grandson, yet another John Killigrew, erected a monument to Sir John Killigrew and his wife in the church of St. Budock in 1617. Portrait: effigy




ANNE WOOD (d.1512)
Anne, also called Helen, Wood was the daughter of John Wood of East Barsham, Norfolk (d.c.1496). She married Thomas Astley of Melton Constable, Norfolk (1469-October 19,1543) as his second wife in about 1505 and was the mother of his son John (c.1507-August 1,1596) and probably of Ann, Elizabeth, and Margaret Astley, who had been born by 1510. The surname is often given as Ashley and Wood is frequently spelled Wode, which is one reason Anne's identity is so often confused. Even the Oxford DNB entry for her son does not connect her to the Anne Wode whose memorial brass survives in Blickling, Norfolk. According to the story preserved in Blickling, Anne died there during a visit her sister, Elizabeth, in 1512, along with twin babies who are pictured with their mother on her memorial brass. Anne appears to have given birth in Blickling and died soon after. Many records of John Astley/Ashley state that he was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth and some further say that his mother and Anne Boleyn's mother were sisters. Anne Wood's sister was Elizabeth, Lady Boleyn, but she was Elizabeth Wood, married to Sir James Boleyn, not Elizabeth Howard, wife of Sir Thomas Boleyn. In the usage of the times, John Astley would indeed have been considered the queen's cousin, but it was because his mother's sister married the brother of Anne Boleyn's father, not anything closer. Portrait: memorial brass in St. Andrew, Blickling

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Elizabeth Wood was the daughter of John Wood or Awodde of East Barsham, Norfolk (d.c.1496). By 1518, when she was one of her brother Roger's co-heiresses, she was married to Sir James Boleyn of Blickling Hall and Salle, Norfolk (1493?-1561). They were probably already married by 1512, when her sister Anne died during a visit to Elizabeth in Blickling. (see entry under ANNE WOOD). Sir James Boleyn is said to have had no issue, which may mean that they had no children or that their children all died young. Elizabeth was probably the Lady Boleyn who was a lady in waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn and attended her in the Tower in 1536, charged to spy on her niece and report to the authorities anything the imprisoned queen said. In 1553, Sir James made provision for the settlement of his lands after his death and that of his wife, so she was still living then, but she seems to have predeceased him. He was buried at Blickling on November 21, 1561.


ELIZABETH WOOD (x. July 26, 1537) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Wood was the wife of Robert Wood of Aylsham, Norfolk. In May 1537, she was overheard to say, among other things, that "we had never good world since this king reigned." One of her listeners, John Dix, reported her to the constables, who referred the matter to the magistrates (Sir James Boleyn and Sir John Heydon) and within two weeks the "lewd and ungracious" Elizabeth Wood was in prison. She was convicted in the King's Bench on July 26 and immediately executed.


MARGARET WOOD (d.September 18, 1567)

Margaret Wood was the daughter of Oliver Wood of Collingtree, Northamptonshire (d.1521/2) and Joanna Cantelupe. Her first husband was Sir Walter Mantell of Horton Priory, Kent (d.1529), by whom she had Anne, Eleanor, John (1515-x.June 28, 1541), Walter (1517-x.May 1, 1554), Margaret (d. July 24, 1541), Mary, Thomas (July 25,1528-May 1588), Dorothy, and possibly Agnes. Mantell's will was dated August 31, 1523 and proved August 4, 1529. Her second husband was Sir William Hawte or Haute of Bishopsbourne, Kent (d.1539), whose daughter Jane married Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger. In about 1540, she married Sir James Hales of the Dungeon, Canterbury, Kent (c.1495-August 14, 1554), a judge. Her son Walter married his daughter Jane (or Mary) Hales. Margaret was known for her "good housekeeping." As Lady Hales, she brought up her grandson Barnaby Googe (1540-1594) after his mother died and her grandson, Matthew Mantell (d.1589), after his father was executed for treason. Her eldest son, John, was executed for murdering a park keeper. Her third husband was imprisoned for a decision at the assizes concerning religion. He recanted, but then tried to kill himself by slitting his veins with a penknife. After he had recovered, he was released by royal command in April 1554 but later committed suicide by drowning himself while staying with his nephew at Thanington, Kent. Since suicide was a felony, his goods, chattels, and leases were forfeit to the Crown, including those he had acquired through his marriage to Margaret. She retained lands that had been settled on her and estates inherited from her father, which she held in her own right. In 1558, she brought suit against Cyriac Petit to recover an indenture of lease of Graveney Marsh. This lease had been made to her husband and herself in 1551, to commence in 1560. According to the entry on Hales in the Oxford DNB, Margaret began a second lawsuit in 1560, claiming that the lease was hers by survivorship. The case was decided in 1562 in favor of Petit, who held the title from King Edward. Hales vs. Petit became notorious because it debated the question of whether the felony of suicide occurred during the lifetime of the deceased or after his death. The case was included in Les commentaries, ou, Les reportes de Edmund Plowden (1571) and is generally believed to have inspired part of the gravedigger scene in Hamlet. Margaret made her will in 1567. She is buried in the south or Woods chancel of St. Mildred's Church in Canterbury, where there is a monument but no effigy. There is an Inquisition Post mortem dated March 18, 1568 which gives her date of death as September 18, 1567, but the History of Parliament entry for her grandson, Matthew Mantell, says she died in 1573 and the Oxford DNB says it was 1577. The will of her stepson, Humphrey Hales, dated August 28, 1568, indicates that she was still living on that date. I have no explanation for this discrepancy. 


ELIZABETH WOODFORD (c.1498-October 25,1573)

Elizabeth Woodford was the daughter of Sir Robert Woodford of Ashby Folvile, Leicestershire and Brightwell, Buckinghamshire (October 9, 1460-1498+) and Alice Gate. She should not be confused with the Elizabeth Woodford (d. March 1523), who was a nun at Syon. That Elizabeth was a senior member of the order there in 1518. This Elizabeth did not become a nun until 1519, when she entered Burnham Abbey in Buckinghamshire. She was turned out when the abbey was surrendered on September 19, 1539. Initially, she returned to Brightwell Hall to live with her brother, Thomas, but soon left there for Marshfoot, Essex, where she joined the household of Dr. John Clement and was put in charge of the education of the Clement daughters. She accompanied the family to Flanders when they went into exile in 1549 and once in Louvain she entered St. Ursula’s Augustinian cloister, the first Englishwoman to join the canonesses there. The Clement girls continued their education at St. Ursula’s and the youngest, Margaret Clement, was elected prioress there in 1569. She is said to have credited Elizabeth Woodford with being her inspiration for entering the religious life. For more information, see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 169-174,



MARGARET WOODFORD (1479/80-1507)
Margaret Woodford was the daughter of William Woodford of Ashby Folville, Lincolnshire (d. July 28, 1487) and Anne Norwich. When her father died, she inherited the manors of Brentingby, Wyfordby, Freeby, and Garthorpe. She was also the principal heir of her grandfather, Sir Ralph Woodford (1430-March 4, 1498). Her first husband was John Turville. He died soon after their marriage and Margaret was married to his brother, William Turville. This marriage, however, was found to be irregular by no less a person that John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Once it was annulled, Margaret was married, in about 1495, to Thomas Morton (d. December 15, 1516), a widower with a son who also happened to be a nephew of the archbishop. The manor of Bensham (also called Whitechapel) in Croydon, Surrey was settled on them and the marriage brought them into contact with the circle of Sir Thomas More. Most sources say Margaret and Thomas Morton were the parents of only one son, John (1498-August 21, 1521) but one online genealogy lists several other children: Thomas, William, Robert (d.1575), Cecilia, Agnes, and Helen. Thanks to my correspondent, Stav Nisser for directing me to Margaret. We are still trying to identify the Margaret Morton who was part of the household of Agnes Tylney, Duchess of Norfolk and was later at court with Queen Catherine Howard.




ANNE WOODHOUSE (1520-1563)

Anne Woodhouse (or Wodehouse) was the daughter of Sir Roger Woodhouse of Kimberley, Norfolk (1490-1560) and Elizabeth Radcliffe (c.1489-by 1564). In about 1541, she married Christopher Coningsby of Wallington, Norfolk (1517-September 10, 1547), who was killed in battle at Musselburgh. They had three daughters, Elizabeth (1542-1569+), Ann, and Amy. In July 1548, Anne was granted their wardship. By December 1550, she had married Sir Thomas Ragland of Carnllwyd, Glamorganshire, Roughton Holme, Norfolk, and Walworth, Surrey (d.1582). They had more than one child, but their names and fates are unknown. In about 1560, Caius College brought suit in Chancery against Sir Thomas and Anne for detention of evidence relating to one of its landed endowments. When Anne made her will in December 1562, she left a ring with an emerald to her husband but inserted the provision "that Sir Thomas Ragland shall not by any ways or means take any benefit or advantage of this will." She apparently did not trust him to manage the inheritance left to her daughters. This will was proved February 18, 1563.


ANNE WOODHOUSE (1541-c.1594)
Anne Woodhouse was the daughter of Sir William Woodhouse (1498-November 22, 1563) and Anne Repps (1513-January 1552). In 1560, she married Sir William Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Nofolk (October 30, 1540-March 19, 1593), by whom she had three sons, Christopher (1561-1623), William, and John. Portrait: effigy in Baconsthorpe.

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ANNE WOODHOUSE (c.1567-1637)

Anne Woodhouse was the daughter of Sir Henry Woodhouse of Waxham, Norfolk (c.1545-September 18, 1624) and Ann Bacon (c.1546-January 15, 1580). Her first husband was Henry Hogan of East Bradenham, Norfolk (d.1592), by whom she had a son, Robert (d.1612). Her second husband was William Hungate of East Badenham, Norfolk (d.1606), by whom she had a son Henry (c.1598-by1645). Hungate left his property to his widow. In 1612, she persuaded her dying son by her first marriage to sign over his estates to her and her heirs. The Hogans claimed this was by fraudulent means but Anne added another manor and over 1600 acres to her holdings in East Badenham. In 1615, she married again, this time to Sir Julius Caesar (1558-August 18, 1636). In 1619, she settled the reversion of the lands his father had left her on her son Henry Hungate, but he squandered the estate and by the time she made her will in March 1637, she feared there would be nothing left for her grandsons to inherit. She attempted to dictate the sale of her personal effects to redeem the mortgages her son had taken out but the solution was unworkable and the matter ended up in court.


ELIZABETH WOODHOUSE (1553-December 24, 1590)

Elizabeth Woodhouse was the daughter of Sir William Woodhouse of Hickling, Norfolk (1517-November 22, 1564) and Elizabeth Calthorpe (1521-May 26, 1578), a first cousin to Queen Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth's first husband was Miles Hobart or Hubbert of Plumstead, Norfolk (1547-July 17, 1589), to whom she was married in St. Martin at Palace, Norwich on January 12, 1573. They had three sons, Henry (1575-before 1590), Thomas (1579-May 31, 1623), and Drew or Andrew (1583-1590+). In February 1589/90, Elizabeth married Stephen Powle or Powell (c.1553-May 26, 1630). Their twin sons, Thomas and Stephen, were born on December 15,1590 and Elizabeth died nine days later. Thomas died in early February and Stephen in mid-November 1591. Elizabeth was buried in the Church of St. Margaret at Barking, Essex where her husband placed an alabaster tablet with a black marble panel inscribed in Latin. This tells us that she was zealous in religion (a Calvinist) and discreet in conversation. Powle also wrote two poems commemorating her life, which were preserved in his Commonplace Book and included in Virginia F. Stern's Sir Stephen Powle of Court and Country: Memorabilia of a Government Agent for Queen Elizabeth I, Chancery Official, and English Country Gentleman (1992). 




AGNES WOODHULL (January 18, 1541/2-March 20, 1575/6)

Agnes Woodhull was the daughter and heiress of Anthony Woodhull of Wahull/Odell, Bedfordshire and Warkworth, Middleton, Overthorp, and Pateshull, Northamptonshire, as well as other properties (1518-February 4, 1542) and Anne Smith (1522-1549+) and the niece of Mary Woodhull (below). She was born at Warkworth and was only seventeen days old when her father died. Her wardship, with a yearly rent of £20 for her expenses, was purchased by Sir Anthony Browne. He sold it to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, in 1544. He left it in his will (1545) to his son, another Charles Brandon. Upon the younger Brandon's death in 1551, Agnes's custody passed to his mother, Catherine Willoughby Brandon, dowager duchess of Suffolk, who in turn made a gift of it to her sons' former governess, Margaret Blackborne. Agnes does not appear to have gone into exile during the reign of Mary Tudor, although Catherine Willoughby, her second husband, their children, and Margaret Blackborne did. The History of Parliament entry for Agnes's first husband creates some confusion on this issue by stating that her wardship was purchased by Sir Anthony Wingfield for £400 and that it was Frances Brandon Grey, duchess of Suffolk, who had custody of the girl when, at some point before January 1555/6, when she was still only fourteen, she eloped with Richard Chetwode of Worleston, Cheshire, Chetwode, Buckinghamshire, and Warkworth, Northamptonshire (1528-January 1559/60), who had been a gentleman of the privy chamber to King Edward VI. Chetwode appears to have spent some time in the Tower of London, possibly for his unauthorized marriage. He was a prisoner there in July 1556 and again in February 1557. He spent the rest of his life fighting challenges to the legality of the union. When Charles Tyrrell brought suit to have the marriage annulled, Cardinal Pole declared it invalid. Chetwode appealed to Rome and the case was still pending when Queen Mary died but the annullment was rescinded in 1559. The couple had a son, Richard, (1560-May 21, 1635). Chetwode's will was dated January 6, 1559/60 and was proved October 26, 1560. In it he asked three influential courtiers, Sir Robert Dudley, Sir William Cecil, and Sir Thomas Parry, to befriend his widow, especially against the "troubles which have been procured by Charles Tyrrell, whom God forgive, against my precious jewel my wife and me." Agnes and Chetwode's brother John were executors. He was buried in St. Dunstan's, London, on January 12, 1559/60. In 1561, Agnes remarried, taking as her second husband Sir George Calverley (Calveley/Claveley) of Lea, Chesthire (c.1532-August 5, 1585). She was his second wife. They had two sons, George and Hugh, who died before their mother. Calverley owned the manors of Lea, Mottram, St. Andrew, Handley, and Buckley in Cheshire and property in that county at Whorepoole, Egerton, Horton and Scalford, as well as land in Saxby, Lincolnshire and Grimstone, Flintshire and a salt pan in Droitwich, which would have left Agnes a very wealthy widow had he died first. Calverley had a sister, Eleanor (1547-1571) who married John Dutton (1542-1607/8) in 1560 and had twelve children by him. Dutton accused Calverley of assaulting him. Calverley brought countercharges in the Star Chamber, claiming that Dutton had conspired to kill him and his sister Eleanor so that he, Dutton, could marry Agnes. To accomplish this, Calverley said, Dutton had hired "a notable conjurer" to help him. The point became moot when Agnes died at Hockiffe, Bedfordshire, a property she had brought to her second marriage.


MARY WOODHULL (c.1528-1558+)
Mary Woodhull (often written Odell) was the daughter of Nicholas Woodhull, Woodall, Wodill,Wodil, Woodhall, or Wodhull of Woodhull, Bedfordshire and Thenford Manor, Northamptonshire (c.1495-May 1531) and Elizabeth (or Alice) Parr (c.1499-before 1531). Her grandfather was Lord Parr of Horton, making her a cousin to Queen Katherine Parr, Horton’s niece. She came to court as a chamberer in 1543 when she was about fifteen and had been promoted to gentlewoman of the queen’s chamber at a salary of five shillings by 1547. Although Susan James (Catherine Parr) states that Mary Woodhull had previously served Katherine’s mother, Maud Parr, this is not possible given the date of Maud’s death (1531) and Mary’s probable date of birth. It is Elizabeth Odell who is left £40 in Maud's will. Mary remained with the queen dowager, sometimes sharing her bed for warmth, until Katherine’s death in 1548. In June 1550, Mary married David Seymour (d.1557/8), a distant relation of Lord Protector Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, who had also been in Queen Katherine’s household. They had three children, William, Edward, and Anne. They lived in Fenchurch Street in London.





MARY WOODS (d. 1613+)
Mary Woods of Stratton Strawless, near Norwich, and London, aka "Cunning Mary," was skilled at palmistry and came to the attention of the authorities in connection with the Overbury case. She reisted arrest when she was accused of stealing a jewel in February 1613. According to the State Papers, she insisted she had received a goblet and a diamond from a Mrs. Clare (described in 1615 as "a fair gentle-maid that hath a fine boy of her own") and a ring from Lady Essex (Frances Howard). This ring seems to be the jewel she was accused of stealing. At some point she appears to have threatened to accuse Frances of trying to buy poison. Charges against Mary Woods accuse her of deluding women and of threatening to accuse of them trying to poison their husbands if they prosecuted her. But in the case of Lady Essex, one has to wonder. Did she promise Mary Woods £1000 if she would procure some poison to kill the earl of Essex? She certainly wanted to rid herself of him and after the death of Simon Forman, she did seek other help. Mary claimed she repeatedly refused this request and left London but she did give a powder to Lady Essex to wear around her neck when she wished to conceive. Dr. Suckling's wife also visited her in 1613 to find out when her husband would die and allegedly offered Mary money if she would poison him. What happened to Mary after 1613, according to Beatrice White in Cast of Ravens, is unknown.


AGNES WOODVILLE (c.1463-between 1506 and September 22, 1508)
Agnes Woodville was probably the illegitimate daughter of Sir Richard Woodville of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, later Earl Rivers (x. August 12, 1469) and therefore the half sister of Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. In about 1480, she married William Dormer of West Wycombe (d.1506). Their children were Sir Robert (1485-July 12, 1552), Agnes, Joan, Margery, and Bridget.


ANNE WOODVILLE (d. July 30, 1489)
Anne Woodville was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, later Earl Rivers (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472) and the sister of Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. She attended her sister at her coronation on May 26, 1465. She married William, viscount Bourchier (d.1480) in 1466. Their children were Isabel (d.1501), Henry (d. March 13, 1539/40), and Cecily (d.1493). Anne was a lady in waiting to her sister. Although some accounts say that Anne married Sir Edward Wingfield, her second husband, wed on June 26, 1480, was George Grey, later earl of Kent (1452-December 1503), by whom she had a son, Richard (1481-1524). She was present at the marriage of her niece, Elizabeth of York, to Henry VII on January 18, 1486. Anne was buried at Warden Abbey in Bedfordshire.


ELEANOR or JOAN WOODVILLE (c.1452-before 1492)
Eleanor (also called Joan) Woodville was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, later Earl Rivers (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472) and the sister of Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. In February 1466, she married Sir Anthony Grey, 4th baron Grey of Ruthin (c.1446-1480). They had no children and she never remarried after his death. One online source gives her date of death as 1512, but since she is not named as surviving her brother Richard
in his inquisition post mortem, she had probably died before August 14, 1492. She was still alive on September 24, 1485, when Edward Woodville, another brother, named her as one of his heirs.


ELIZABETH WOODVILLE (c.1437-June 8, 1492)
Elizabeth Woodville was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472). In about 1456, she married Sir John Grey (c.1432-1461), heir to Lord Ferrers of Groby. They had two sons, Thomas, later marquess of Dorset (1451-1501) and Richard. In attempting to claim her jointure rights, Elizabeth had an audience with the king, Edward IV (1442-April 9, 1483). A short time later, sometime in 1464, they married in secret at her father's house of Grafton, Northamtonshire. Edward revealed the marriage in September, when he was being pressured to marry a foreign princess. Elizabeth's coronation took place on May 26, 1465. She bore the king ten children, Elizabeth (February 11, 1465/6-February 11, 1503), Mary (1467-1482), Cecily (March 20, 1469-August 24, 1507), Edward (1471-1483?), Margaret (1472-1472), Richard (d.1483?), Anne (November 2, 1474-November 12, 1511), George (d. before 1479), Katherine (1479-November 15, 1527), and Bridget (1480-1517). After her husband died, Elizabeth fled into sanctuary with her daughters and younger son. After Richard III usurped the throne from her eldest son, she conspired with Margaret Beaufort to replace him with Henry Tudor, Margaret's son and marry Henry to her eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York. She was godmother to Arthur Tudor, first child of Henry and Elizabeth. In 1487, it was suggested that she marry the widowed James III of Scotland but instead she retired to Bermondsey Abbey on a pension of 400 marks (£266 13s. 4d.), increased to £400 in 1490. She died at Bermondsey and was buried beside her husband the king in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Portraits: several illuminations, stained glass windows, and oil paintings. Biographies: D. MacGibbon, Elizabeth Woodville (1938); David Baldwin, Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower (2002); Oxford DNB entry under "Elizabeth [née Elizabeth Woodville]."

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KATHERINE WOODVILLE (1457/8-May 18, 1497)
Katherine Woodville was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472) and the sister of Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Although it was once commonly believed that she was born in 1442, making her nearly twenty-four in 1465, when Edward IV married her to ten-year-old Henry Stafford, 2nd duke of Buckingham (1455-1483), more recent research indicates that she was a child of around eight at that time. They had five children: Edward (February 3, 1478-May 17, 1521), Henry (1479-March 6, 1523), Elizabeth (d. May 1532), Anne (c.1483-1544+), and Humphrey (d.yng.). Buckingham initially allied himself with Richard III after Edward IV’s death, but switched allegiance to Henry Tudor, duke of Richmond in 1483 and was executed by Richard for treason. In October of that year, he had taken the precaution of sending his wife and sons to Weobley, Hertfordshire, home of Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers. Their daughters were left behind at Brecon Castle. Katherine and her younger son remained at Weobley after Buckingham’s death, but her oldest son, Edward (1478-1521), was spirited away for safety when King Richard put a price of £1000 on his head. £500 was offered for the capture of young Henry. Searching for her sons, the king’s men found Katherine and Henry at Weobley and took them to London as prisoners. In December, she was allowed to bring her daughters and servants from in Wales to London. A few months later, she was granted an annuity of 200 marks. During the first months of Henry VII’s reign, before November 7, 1485, she married the king’s uncle, Jasper Tudor, duke of Bedford (c.1431-December 21, 1495). On her marriage, she received her dower and a jointure of 1000 marks, giving her annual revenue of about £2500. In early 1496, she took a third husband, Sir Richard Wingfield of Kimbolton Castle (c.1469-July 22, 1525). As she married without a license from the king, she was fined £2000, but the payment was demanded from her son rather than from her new husband. She had no children by Tudor or Wingfield. Biography: included in her husband’s Oxford DNB entry.


MARGARET WOODVILLE (d. before March 6, 1490/1)
Margaret Woodville was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, later Earl Rivers (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472) and the sister of Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. She was a member of the queen's household from 1464 and in that same year was married to Thomas FitzAlan, Lord Maultravers (c.1450-October 25, 1524), who was earl of Arundel from 1487. The king provided her dowry. Their children were William (c.1476-January 23, 1544), Margaert (d.1524+), Edward, and Joan (d. before 1505). Lady Maultravers attended the coronation of Elizabeth Woodville in May 1465, accompanied the king's sister as far as Stratford Langhorne Abbey in June 1468 on her journey to Burgundy, and attended the christening of Princess Bridget in 1480, carrying the child in the procession. She was also present at the marriage of her niece, Elizabeth of York, to Henry VII in January 1486. Margaret was buried at Arundell.


MARGARET WOODVILLE (c.1455-before 1520)
Margaret Woodville was the illegitimate daughter and only child of Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales and Earl Rivers (1442-June 25, 1483) by Gwenllian Stradling. On September 12, 1479, her father settled 800 marks on her, 200 to be paid on sealing the deed, plus lands worth 100 marks a year. She is not mentioned in his will. She married Sir Robert Poyntz of Iron Acton, Gloucestershire (1450-November 4, 1520) and was the mother of Sir Anthony (1480-1533), Margaret (c.1489-before 1558), John (c.1487-1544), Sir Francis (c.1490-1528), Elizabeth, Edward, Nicholas (c.1493-1512), Humphrey, Katherine, and Anne (c.1479-1547+).


MARTHA WOODVILLE (c.1450-c.1500)
Martha Woodville was not the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, later Earl Rivers (x. August 12, 1469) and Jacquetta de St. Pol (1415-May 20, 1472). Her name only begins to appear on lists of their children in 1623. It is possible she was Woodville's illegitimate daughter, which would have made her the half sister of Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Whoever she was, in about 1463, Martha married Sir John Bromley of Bartomley and Hextall, Shropshire (d.1488). By his first wife, he had at least one daughter, Isabel, and he is said to have had three daughters in all. Martha was still living in 1500 but had died before 1509.







JOAN WOODWARD (1571-June 28,1623)
Joan Woodward was the daughter of Henry Woodward (d. December 1578), a dyer, and his wife Agnes (d. April 1617). On February 14, 1579, Agnes married one of her husband’s apprentices, Philip Henslowe (d. January 6,1616), a man some twenty years her junior. Henslowe used his profits as a dyer to purchase the Little Rose in St. Saviour’s parish, Southwark, and opened it as the Rose Playhouse in 1587. On October 22, 1592, Joan married Edward Alleyn (September 1,1566-November 25,1626), a player. In 1593, she was carted through Southwark as a bawd, accused of living on the proceeds of prostitution. According to some sources, both Henslowe and Allyn were brothel-keepers as well as theatrical entrepreneurs. Henslowe kept a diary and other details about the Rose are also available. Joan had no children that we know of. Letters between Joan and her husband are extant, although Joan had to have someone, often her stepfather, write hers for her. One of the letters from Allyn addresses her as "my good sweetheart and loving mouse." Portrait: date unknown.

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ANNE WORSLEY (1588-December 23, 1644)

Anne Worsley was the daughter of John Worsley of the Isle of Wight and Eleanor Hervey. The family had been forced into exile in Brabant and were in Louvain in 1601. Of her siblings, one brother became a Jesuit, another a secular priest, and her sister Elizabeth (1601-1642) was prioress of the convent at Alost. Anne was sponsored by the Infanta Isabella to join the Carmelite order on June 7, 1610 at Mons. In 1612, the prioress, Anne, and two other nuns established the Spanish Carmel in Antwerp. Four years later she went to a new Carmelite foundation at Mechelen, and in 1619 transferred to an English Carmel in Antwerp. Five weeks later, she was elected prioress. She wrote her life story. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Worsley, Anne." Portraits: three likenesses were painted after her death.




ISABEL WORSLEY (d. April 18, 1527)

Isabel Worsley was the daughter of  Otwell Worsley of Stamworth (d.1470) and Rose Trevor. Her first husband was Richard Culpepper or Culpeper of Oxenhoath, West Peckham, Kent (d. October 4, 1484) as his second wife. Their children were Joyce (c. 1480-1527+), Thomas (1484-October 7, 1492) and Margaret. Her second husband was Sir John Leigh of Stockwell, Surrey (d. August 17, 1523), by whom she had two children, John and Joyce, both of whom died before their father. Ralph Leigh (or Legh), John’s brother, married Isabel’s daughter, Joyce Culpepper when Joyce was only twelve. He died in 1509, after which Joyce married Lord Edmund Howard and became the mother of a future queen of England. Isabel made her will on April 6, 1527 and added a codicil on April 11, 1527. The will was proved May 25, 1527. Her principal heirs were Joyce and Edmund Howard. At first she left instructions that they were to use the residue of her estate to redeem the properties Joyce had inherited from her grandfather, Sir John Culpepper. These were mortgaged to Thomas Kellesett, a London tailor. To make certain they used the money for this purpose, she required sureties and the original will stated that if they did not comply, the bequest would be void. In the codicil, however, she revoked this condition and ordered her executors to pay Kellesett £60. If Kellesett did not allow them to redeem the mortgage, the money would go to Joyce and Edmund. Joyce also received a chain of gold with a cross, Isabel's "last wedding ring, a ring with the diamond enamelled," a black velvet gown lined with crimson velvet, a camlet gown furred with martens, a gilt salt without a cover, and other items, including livestock. Isabel left her servant, Margaret Metcalfe, bedding and other household items on the condition that she remain in service to Joyce Howard "for reasonable wages till she come to her marriage." To "every wife in Stockwell" she left "one ell of linen cloth, price 12d, or else 12d in money." Each of her grandchildren, Charles, Henry, George, Margaret and Katherine Howard, was to receive 20s. Lord Edmund Howard was to receive £10 sterling "to have my soul in his remembrance and to pray for me." The entire will is at www.oxford-shakespeare.com. Isabel was buried in St. Nicholas, Lambeth.







ANNE WOTTON (1536-June 1588)
Anne Wotton (Wooten/Wootton) was the only daughter and heir of John Wotton of North Tudenham, Norfolk (d. November 14, 1545) and Elizabeth Bardwell and the granddaughter of the John Wotton/Wooten who married Mary Neville, Lady Dacre as her second husband sometime after 1541. Her wardship was held in 1545 by John Millicent, who sold it to Sir Anthony Rouse. In 1547, Rouse sold it to William Woodhouse. Anne married first, in 1554, Sir Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham (1535-1556). Her second husband, married in 1557, was Henry Reppes or Repps of Mendham, Suffolk (1509-February 10, 1558). Both marriages were childless. Her third husband, to whom she was married on September 25, 1558, was Bassingborne Gawdy of West Haling, Norfolk (1534-January 20, 1589/90). Their children were Bassingborne (May 19, 1560-May 3, 1606) and Philip (July 13, 1562-May 27, 1617). Portraits: Hans Eworth, who painted two portraits of Lady Neville, is also said to have painted portraits of Anne and her third husband (now lost) in 1557, although that date was before their marriage. It has also been suggested that Anne Wotton is the subject of the portrait called "Lady Anne Penruddocke" which is also marked 1557 and gives the age of the sitter as 20 (see ANNE GOODIER).







Margaret Wotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent (1465-1524), and Anne Belknap
(d. before 1524). She was probably the Margaret Wootton in Elizabeth of York's household c.1503, when she was paid £2 for six months of service as a part-time gentlewoman of honor. Her aunt, Margaret Belknap, was also part of that household. She married first, in 1505, William Medley of Whetnesse and Tachbrooke Mallory, Warwickshire (1481-February 1509), by whom she had a son, George (d.1562), and second, in 1509, Thomas Grey, 2nd marquis of Dorset (June 22, 1477-October 10, 1530), by whom she had Elizabeth (b.1510), Katherine (1512-1542), Anne (1514-January 1548), Henry, 3rd marquis (January 12, 1517-x. February 23, 1554), John (1523-November 19, 1569), Thomas (1526-x.1554), and a son and daughter who died young. Thomas Grey's body was found intact when his coffin in the collegiate church at Astley, Warwickshire was opened in 1608. He was five foot eight inches tall and had smooth yellow hair. As marchioness of Dorset, Margaret accompanied Mary Tudor to France in 1514 and was one of Elizabeth Tudor's godmothers. When her second husband died, King Henry granted her custody of all of his lands during the minority of her son. This son, Henry had been betrothed to Lady Catherine Fitzalan, daughter of the earl of Arundel, but the two disliked each other and Henry rejected the match. To free him from this obligation, Margaret was obliged by the betrothal contract to pay 4000 marks to Arundel, which she did in yearly installments of 300 marks. On November 19, 1531, she wrote to Thomas Cromwell from Tiltey, Essex, where she lived in lodgings her late husband had paid to have built in the Cistercian monastery there, sending her son, George Medley, with the letter and a £40 gift for Cromwell. In the letter, she requested that Cromwell negotiate with Arundel to reduce the amount she owed him by 1000 marks. Her argument was that the contract of marriage between Arundel’s heir and her daughter, Katherine Grey, had only required a penalty of 3000 marks. Perhaps because he incurred this huge debt, Margaret did not get on well with her eldest son. A number of other letters to Cromwell exist, some of them included in Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies. In a letter dated February 8, 1535 from Tiltey, she sent him £10 and a cup because she had heard that he had heard a "sinister report" about her, one alleging that she had "hindered or impaired" the monastery at Tiltey. She and her husband had certainly meddled there. In 1530, at the request of the Marquess of Dorset, the abbot had been pensioned off and replaced. Tilty was not a wealthy monastery. There were only five monks in residence besides the abbot. On October 6, 1535, Margaret was granted a lease for sixty years on the grange, manor, and demesne lands at Tilty. After the abbey was dissolved, on February 26, 1536, this had to be confirmed by the state, which was accomplished on November 4, 1538. In the meantime, Margaret continued to live there much of the time. She was staying at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s palace of Croydon, however, in October 1537, when Prince Edward was born. Because there were reports of plague in the village of Croydon, Margaret was banned from his christening, even though she was to have been one of his godparents. A letter she wrote to the king from Croydon, expressing her regret, is still extant. Yet another letter to Lord Cromwell dates from January 26, 1538, when she was staying at Ightham Mote in Kent (she had also visited there in February 1534), in which she asked Cromwell to take her son Thomas into his household. Portraits: a sketch by Holbein at Windsor; portrait by Holbein; miniature.

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MARY WOTTON (1499-1543+)

Mary Wotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent (1465-1524) and Anne Belknap (d. before 1524). She may have been the Mistress Wotton who was a chamberer to Mary Tudor, queen of France, in 1513. She married first, as his second wife, Sir Henry Guildford (1489-1532) and was his executrix. She received a release from all her obligations to the king on March 25, 1533 but was still deeply in debt in 1535 when she wrote to Lord Cromwell on the subject. Her second husband, married in July 1540, was Sir Gavin (Gawen/Gawain) Carew of Exeter and Wood, Devon (c.1503-1583), as the second of his three wives. She was at court in 1543 as one of Queen Kathryn Parr's ladies. Carew had remarried by December 1565. Portraits: a sketch by Holbein in Basle; portrait by Holbein (1527) in the St. Louis Art Museum; Holbein's sketch of two women at the Tudor court, c.1527, now in the British Museum, may be another preliminary study for this portrait.

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FRANCES WRAY (1568-August 15, 1634)

Frances Wray was the daughter of Sir Christopher Wray of Glentworth, Lincolnshire (1524-May 7, 1592) and Anne Girlington (d.1593) and younger sister of Isabel Wray (below). Together the two sisters financed the education at Cambridge of puritan preacher Richard Bernard (1568-1641), who dedicated his Christian Advertisements to Frances and her first husband. Frances married George St. Poll of Melwood and Snarford, Lincolnshire (1562-October 28, 1613) when she was fifteen. He was knighted in 1593. They had one child, a daughter named Mattathia who died before the age of two, probably in 1597. St. Poll wrote his will on October 18, 1612 and it was proved June 2, 1614. Frances was the sole executrix and inherited an income of £1700 a year. On December 14, 1616, Frances married Robert Rich, 3rd Lord Rich (December 15, 1559-1619), as his second wife. He had divorced his first wife, Penelope Devereux (d.1607), in 1605. Rich became earl of Warwick in 1618, making Frances a countess. Portraits: effigy with Sir George St. Poll in St. Lawrence Church, Snarford; memorial showing her with her second husband, also in Snarford; effigy on the tomb of her parents in Glentworth.






ISABEL WRAY (January 27, 1560-February 12, 1622/3)

Isabel Wray was the daughter of Sir Christopher Wray of Glentworth, Lincolnshire (1524-May 7, 1592) and Anne Girlington (d.1593). Isabel, her sister Frances (d.1634), and their brother William (c.1555-August 13, 1617), were all supporters of radical protestants. Isabel and Frances financed the education of puritan minister Richard Bernard (1568-1641), sending him to Christ's College. Isabel's first husband was Godfrey Foljambe of Aldwarke, Yorkshire (November 21, 1558-June 14, 1595). During their marriage she had a suspected demoniac named Katherine Wright brought to their house at Walton, near Chesterfield, while various ministers attempted to cure her of possession. John Darrell, later shown to be a charlatan, was given credit for accomplishing this. By 1599, Isabel married Sir William Bowes of Streatlam and Barnard Castle, Durham (d. October 30, 1611). Bowes yielded to Isabel in matters of religion, although most men looked down on a woman's ability to understand theology. In 1606, she hosted a conference of leading puritans at her house in Coventry. She supported many ministers who lost their livings for non-conformity. Thomas Helwys, a Baptist, dedicated his Declaration of the Faith to her in 1611. On May 7, 1617, at Walton, Derbyshire, Isabel married a third time, becoming the second of the four wives of John Darcy, baron Darcy of Aston (1579-July 5, 1635). She acquired three stepchildren but does not seem to have had any children of her own. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Darcy [née Wray; other married names Foljambe, Bowes], Isabel;" C. M. Newman, "An Honorable and Elect Lady: The Faith of Isabel, Lady Bowes" in D. Wood, ed., Life and Thought in the Northern Churches c1100-c.1700, Studies in Church History, Subsidia 12 (Woodbridge, 1999) Portrait: effigy on her parents' tomb (her sister Frances behind her).







JANE WREY (d. 1580+)

Jane Wrey was the daughter of John Wrey of Trebeigh, Cornwall and North Russell, Devon (d.1597) and Blanche Killigrew (d. December 14, 1595). In 1565, she was being courted by Peter Coryton (d. August 13, 1603), son and heir of Richard Coryton of Coryton, Lifton Hundred, Devon and West Newton Ferrers, St. Mellion, Cornwall, who threatened to disinherit his son if he married Jane. Two days before Richard planned to leave for London to consult his lawyer, two of his servants, Bartlet and Basely, murdered him by cutting his throat. After their arrest, they claimed Peter, who had been at court at the time the crime was committed, had hired them to kill his father. Later, Bartlet, while he lay dying in Newgate Prison, confessed to making a false accusation. After Basely was executed in Launceston, Peter married Jane. Many years later, in a dispute over property, the charge against Peter was raised again and the claim was made that Edmond Wrey, to aid his sister and her future husband, was at the execution to prevent Basely from speaking out against Peter. Money was said to have been promised to the dependents of both murderers if their allegations against Peter were withdrawn. Jane and Peter had a number of children. Various online lists include William (1580-1651), Jane, Grace, Elizabeth, Peter, Catherine, Diana, and Maria.   


ALICE WRIGHT (1536-1597)
Alice Wright was the daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Wright, known as Mother Red Cap. She gave Alice a dog named Minny. Alice married a man named Goodridge and had a daughter of her own. On April 18, 1596, she was accused by a fourteen-year-old boy, Thomas Darling, of bewitching him and causing him to have fits. Alice, known as the Witch of Stapenhill, was tortured in order to get her to confess that she’d used Minny the dog to help her bewitch the boy. Her husband and daughter were also implicated. Alice was sentenced to twelve months in prison in Derby and died during her imprisonment. Thomas Darling, known as the Burton Boy, was exorcised by John Darrell. Later he confessed that he had faked his fits. Portrait: 1597 woodcut in Lambeth Palace Library.







KATHERINE WRIOTHESLEY (c.1541-August 1626)

Katherine Wriothesley was the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley, earl of Southampton and Lord Chancellor of England (December 21, 1505-July 30, 1550) and Jane Cheney (1510-September 15, 1574). On July 4, 1545, when she was still a small child, her father negotiated a marriage contract with Matthew Arundell but the contract was not upheld. Around 1567, she married Thomas Cornwallis of East Horsley, Surrey (1530-May 13, 1597). They had two sons, Robert, who died in France as a young man and Henry who died as a child. Portrait: effigy at St. Martin's, Horsley.







MARY WRIOTHESLEY (1572-June 1607)
Mary Wriothesley was the daughter of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd earl of Southampton (April 1545-October 4,1581) and Mary Browne (July 22,1553-November 4,1607). Her father specified that she was to be brought up by his sister, Katherine Cornwallis of East Horsley, Surrey, or by her great aunt, Mistress Lawrence. Immediately after Southampton’s death, however, Mary’s mother wrote to Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, for assistance in reclaiming her daughter. Mary was returned to her mother on November 28, 1581, two days before her father was buried. Mary was raised as a Catholic and married Thomas Arundell of Wardour (c.1586-November 7,1639), from another recusant family, in 1585. Their children were Anne, Catherine, Thomas (c.1586-May 14,1643), William (d.1653), and (possibly) Elizabeth. Arundell fought in Emperor Rudolph’s war with the Turks and returned to England in February 1596 to face Queen Elizabeth’s wrath because he’d accepted a foreign title. He was not permitted to live with his wife, even though she was ailing.


DOROTHY WROTH (c.1515-1588/9)
Dorothy Wroth was the daughter of Robert Wroth of Durants, Enfield, Middlesex (1488/9-1535) and Jane Hawte (c.1486-1538+). Under the terms of his will, she married his ward, Edward Lewknor of Kingston-by-Sea (Buci/Bowsey), Sussex (1516/17-September 6, 1556). They had three sons and six daughters, including Edward (1542-September 19, 1605), Thomas, Stephen, William, Leverest (Lucrece?), Anne, Mary, Dorothy, and Elizabeth. On June 6, 1556, Lewknor was arrested and taken to the Tower of London on charges of treason in connection with the Dudley Conspiracy. It didn’t help that Dorothy's brother, Thomas Wroth, was a Protestant exile. Lewknor was tried on June 15 and sentenced to death but his execution was deferred. While he was in the Tower, Dorothy and one of their daughters were allowed to lodge with him "for his better comfort" but he died while still a prisoner. Queen Mary restored the Sussex manors of Hamsey and Kingston Bowsey in Kingston-by-Sea to Dorothy. Edward Lewknor, the heir, was restored in blood in March 1559. Dorothy wrote her will in 1587. It was proved August 26, 1589.









Dorothy Wroughton was the daughter of Sir William Wroughton of Broad Hinton, Wiltshire (1509/10-September 4, 1559) and Eleanor Lewknor (1510=1590). Her father left her £200 in his will, made September 10, 1558. In 1566, she married Sir John Thynne of Longleat (1512/13-May 21, 1580) as his second, or perhaps third, wife. He was a widower in January of that year, when he was suggested as a husband for Lady St. Loe (Bess of Hardwick). Queen Elizabeth visited them at Longleat en route to Bristol in 1575. Dorothy had five sons by Thynne: Egremont, Henry, Charles, Edward, and William. John Thynne's will contained obscure conditions. Dorothy was left livestock and plate, but no house. As a widow, Dorothy was at odds with her eldest stepson, the second John Thynne. According to Raleigh Trevelyan's biography of Sir Walter Raleigh, Dorothy so terrified John's young wife, Joan Hayward, that Joan once fled Longleat in the middle of the night. Dorothy's second husband, married within a year or two of 1580, was Carew Raleigh (c.1550-1625/6), older brother of Sir Walter. He had been her first husband’s gentleman of the horse and later operated as a privateer. His greatest prize was in January 1593, whe he was awarded £900 as his share of the Madre de Dios. The Raleighs settled at Downton, Wiltshire around 1598. Their children were Gilbert, Walter (1586-1646), George, and a daughter.


DOROTHY WROUGHTON (1576-July 1634)
Dorothy Wroughton was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Wroughton of Broad Hinton, Wiltshire (1547-1597) and Anne Barwick or Berwick (d.1597+). She married Sir Henry Unton or Umpton of Faringdon, Berkshire (1557-March 23, 1595/6) in 1580. The Untons had no children but were apparently devoted. After Sir Henry’s death, Dorothy went into deep mourning. She commissioned a memorial portrait of his life, which includes scenes of the masque celebrating their wedding, a banquet table over which she presides, and his tomb with her kneeling figure above his effigy. She also raised a tomb at Faringdon to Sir Henry and herself. She inherited Faringdon and Wadley, Berkshire and made Wadley her principal residence, although initially she retired to her family's home at Broad Hinton to mourn. The estate was encumbered by debts said to equal £23,000. Since there was no will, Unton's sisters fought over their inheritance in court and the matter was not settled until the next year. In her father’s May 1597 will, he refers to her as “my sweet and well-beloved daughter, the Lady Unton.” In March 1598, before Dorothy would agree to marry her second husband, Sir George Shirley of Staunton Harold, Lincolnshire (1559-April 27, 1622), she had a number of demands, including reserving a living to herself, without his control; a jointure of £1000 a year; £500 in land to go to her son if there should be one; £500 a year out of his living should they fall out to live apart from him; and, most remarkably, should she find fault with her husband’s “unsufficiency,” the right to choose another bedfellow! They were married at the end of 1598 and separated after only two years. Dorothy lived primarily at Faringdon and Astwell and she entertained King James at Wadley in September 1603. After Shirley’s death it was rumored that she might marry diplomat Sir Thomas Edmondes (1563-Septembe 20,1639), who had been secretary to her first husband during his embassy to France in 1591-2, but Edmondes married someone else in 1626. Dorothy was also rumored to be his mistress. This seems unlikely, although he was a beneficiary in Dorothy's will. After his wife's death in 1629, Edmondes lived primarily in Essex. Portrait: memorial portrait; effigy in Unton Chapel, Faringdon, Berkshire.

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MARGARET WYATT (c.1506-1561)

Margaret Wyatt was the daughter of Sir Henry Wyatt of Allington, Kent (1460-November 10,1537) and Anne Skinner. Before 1530, she married Sir Anthony Lee of Burston and Quarendon, Buckinghamshire (c.1509-1550). Their children were Sir Henry (1530-February 12,1611), Cromwell (d. 1601), Robert (c.1538-June 1598), and Katherine. Margaret was one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies and said to be her close friend. She accompanied Queen Anne to the scaffold and helped bury her. One source gives Margaret's life dates as c.1490-March 10, 1537 and has her married first to Thomas (or John) Rogers in 1505 and giving birth to Rogers's children John, William, Edward, Eleanor, and Joan. I believe this marriage belongs to Margaret's sister Mary (sometimes called Anne). Alternate birth dates given for Margaret range as late as 1514. Portrait: by Hans Holbein, 1540, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York; effigy on her tomb at Quarendon.

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Elizabeth Wykes was the daughter of Henry Wykes of Putney, Surrey, a shearman who later became a gentleman usher to Henry VII. She married first Thomas Williams, a yeoman of the guard, and second, in about 1513, Thomas Cromwell (c.1485-June 28, 1540), who at that time was a merchant and a lawyer. They lived in Austin Friars, London. She was the mother of Anne and Grace, who died young, and Gregory, Lord Cromwell (c.1514-July 4, 1551). Before her death, in Stepney, her husband had attracted the attention of Cardinal Wolsey and was rapidly making a name for himself in court circles. After her death, her mother, by then Mrs. Pryor, lived in Cromwell's house with her second husband for several more years.













MARGARET WYNDHAM (1499-July 7, 1580)
Margaret Wyndham was the daughter of Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg, Norfolk (d. December 22, 1521) and Eleanor Scrope (1472-1508). She married Andrew Luttrell of Dunster Castle and East Quantockshed, Somerset (1493-May 4, 1538) with a marriage portion of 700 marks (£466 13s. 4d.). Their children were John (1519-July 10, 1551), Thomas (1521-February 1571), Nicholas (1523-May 1592), Cecily (1526-March 20, 1566), Elizabeth (1529-1561), Andrew, Margaret, and Honor. Her entry at thepeerage.com gives her a second husband, Sir Erasmus Paston (d.1540), and a son, Sir William Paston (1528-1610), and says she died in 1562, but it was Margaret's sister Mary (d.1596) who married Paston. In the will Sir Andrew made on April 13, 1538 (proved July 13, 1538), Margaret was to be his executor unless she remarried. He left Thomas Cromwell a silver cup in the hope he would be a “good lord to my wife and children.” Margaret had as jointure Carhampton, Quantoxhead, Rodhuish, Eveton, Vexford, and the priory of Dunster. When her grandson, George Luttrell (September 1560-1629) was betrothed at fifteen to his guardian’s daughter, Margaret called the girl “a slut and [of] no good qualities” and threatened to prevent George from succeeding to Dunster priory. The young couple married within two months of Margaret’s death. Margaret's will, dated March 9, 1580, was proved October 26, 1583. She left her daughter, Margaret Edgecumbe, her best and largest carpet and bedding to her daughter-in-law, Mary Luttrell (née Griffith). Portrait: 1562, unknown artist (at Dunster Castle, Somerset).

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JANE WYNDHAM (1541-November 22, 1608)
Jane Wyndham was the daughter of Sir Edward Wyndham. Her first husband was John Pope of Oxford. Her second husband was Humphrey Coningsby. She had no children. Portrait: memorial brass erected by her cousin, Sir John Wyndham, in St. Margaret, Felbrigg, Norfolk in 1612.

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DOROTHY WYNTER (1512-c.1553)
Dorothy Wynter was the natural daughter of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1471-1530) by his mistress, Joan Larke (d.1529+). Born at Michaelmas, 1512, she was adopted by one John Clansey or Clasey and entered the nunnery at Shaftesbury, Dorset as a young girl. She was one of the fifty-five nuns pensioned off, under the name Dorothy Clansey, when Shaftesbury was dissolved in 1539.


Juliana Wynter, Joan Wynter, and Elizabeth Wynter were all nuns at Littlemore Priory in Oxfordshire prior to the Visitation of 1517, when it was revealed that Juliana had been sneaking into nearby Oxford to meet a married lover, John Wikisley and had given birth to his child c.1516. Together with Joan, Elizabeth, and Anna Willye, Juliana had also fled from Littlemore and stayed away two or three weeks in protest over the actions of the prioress, Katherine Wells, who was notorious for her harsh punishments of the nuns in her charge. The only other nun at Littlemore c. 1517 was Juliana Bechampe (Beauchamp?). The Wynter/Winter family was prominent in neighboring Worcestershire and the three Wynter nuns were undoubtedly related to the Wynters of Wyche and Huddington Court. Littlemore Priory was dissolved in February 1525.







ANNE YARDE or YERDE (d.1507)
Anne Yarde or Yerde was the daughter of Thomas Yarde or Yerde of Denton Court, Kent and Joan Scot of Scot's Hall (d.1492+). Anne's mother's second husband was Henry Grey of Ketteringham (d.1492). He left that property to his widow, with reversion to her daughter. Anne was also the heiress of Sir William Appleyard, who seems to have been the father of Grey's first wife, Emma. By 1478, Anne had married Thomas Heveningham (d. January 31, 1499/1500), by whom she had ten children, including Sir John, Robert, Audrey, and Anne. Portrait: memorial brass.

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Welthian (Walthera/Weltian/Walthean) Yarde was born in Devonshire. Her first husband, married around 1493, was Walter Yorke, mayor of Exeter, by whom she had a son, Roger (c.1494-February 2, 1535). Her second husband was named Thomas Drelne. After his death, around January 1508, she married Sir Hugh Luttrell of East Quantockshead, Somerset (d. February 1521). Following his death, she claimed the manor of East Quantockshead as part of her jointure but this was contested by her stepson, Sir Andrew Luttrell. Her bill of complaint against him claimed that he had seized all her goods and chattels. Further, on June 7, 1521, a brawl took place in Quantock Park in which a man was killed. The feud seems to have been settled with a marriage, that of Roger Yorke to Hugh Luttrell's daughter Eleanor.




Elizabeth Yate was the daughter of James Yate of Buckland, Berkshire (d.1544+) and Mary Fettiplace. She was a nun at Syon until Syon was dissolved in 1539, at which point Elizabeth returned to Buckland to live, bringing several of the other nuns with her. By 1556, Elizabeth and six other former nuns were living at Lyford Grange, the home of her kinsman, Thomas Yate, and his wife Anne (or Agnes). As a widow, Anne Yate (d.1580) joined the Brigittine order herself. After Queen Elizabeth restored the New Religion to England in 1558, Syon Abbey was refounded in Mechlin. The nuns emigrated to Belgium, but Elizabeth Yate and seven others, including Catherine Kingsmill, Juliana Harman, Joan Lowe, and Elizabeth Sanders, eventually returned to Lyford Grange. On July 17, 1581, the Jesuit priest Edmund Campion was arrested at Lyford Grange, along with several other men. Some accounts say two nuns, Catherine Kingsmill and Juliana Harman, had been arrested and taken away the previous day. Other accounts indicate that none of the women were charged.










GRISEL YELVERTON (c.1567-August 4, 1635)
Grisel Yelverton was the daughter of William Yelverton of Rougham, Norfolk (d. August 19, 1586) and Jane Cocket. Her first husband was Thomas LeStrange of Hunstanton, who, according to Augustus Jessopp in One Generation of a Norfolk House, died at eighteen on February 1, 1582. According to a document dated 15 August 27 Elizabeth (1585), she received the manors of East Lexham and West Lexham, Durham, for life in arbitration per articles of agreement dated 19 March 25 Elizabeth (1583). In 1586, she married Philip Wodehouse or Woodhouse of Kimberley, Norfolk (1562-October 30, 1623). Their children were Sir Thomas (d.1658), Roger (d.1634), Philip, Elizabeth, John, a second John, Margaret, and Miles (d.1604). In about 1588, when Grisel was near death after childbirth, her husband, who "dearly loved his wife," was persuaded to allow her to receive extreme unction from a Catholic priest. Her immediate recovery led Philip Wodehouse, temporarily, to convert to Catholicism, but he later "fell back into heresy" and persuaded Grisel to conform also. In 1601, Charles Yelverton wrote that his aunt, Jane Lumner, was still a devout Catholic but that his father's other sister, wife of Sir Philip Wodehouse, "on account of the madness of her husband, which very frequently broke out against her, has lately fallen from the Church."


Jane Yelverton was the daughter of William Yelverton of Rougham, Norfolk (d. August 19, 1586) and Jane Cocket. On July 5, 1569 a license was issued for her marriage to Edward Lumner of Mannington, Norfolk (April 10, 1555-1588). In her petition to the court of Chancery in 1597 she refers to herself as "being very well descended, and having also received a good portion in marriage." They had two daughters, Mary (b. February 2, 1579) and Elizabeth (b. December 21, 1582, apparently in Guernsey), but when Lumner died, in debt, he had already spent Jane's dowry. She was obliged to make her home with her widowed brother, Edward, serving as his housekeeper. At that time, she did not sympathize with what Augustus Jessopp in One Generation of a Norfolk House calls "his enthusiasm for the Roman doctrine and ritual." In his notes, however, Jessopp calls her "an obstinate Recusant" and states that her name is found in the lists of recusants for some twenty years, until 1615. During that time she changed her residence several times, sinking deeper and deeper into poverty, in large part because of the fines she was obliged to pay. In 1615, she was living with her two daughters at Haynford. One online genealogy gives her another husband named John Dodge but provides no further details.


MARGERY YELVERTON                           







ANNE YORKE (d.1600+)

Anne Yorke was the daughter of Sir John Yorke of Gouthwaite, Yorkshire (d.1569) and Anne Smyth (d. August 1575). From 1546, the family home was a house in St. Stephen Walbrook, London. The marriage intentions for Anne's wedding to William Hilton of Hilton Castle, Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland (d. September 1600) are dated February 21, 1557/8. He was knighted in 1570. Their children were Thomas (d.1598), Syrack (bp. November 25, 1576), Richard (bp. April 13,1578), Henry, Anne, Catherine, and Nathaniel. In the wills left by both her mother and father, Anne is referred to as "my daughter Hilton." Her father left her an agate set in gold with four diamonds on the sides of it. Her mother left her a velvet gown and a cloak. In 1593, when the activities of priests in the northeast of England were being investigated, Lord Burghley made mention in a letter to "that infamous strumpet the lady Hilton." The History of Parliament states that this is probably a reference to Anne, although there is a slight possibility it refers to her daughter-in-law, Anne Bowes, wife of her eldest son Thomas.




PHILIPPA YORKE (1524-November 1597)
Philippa Yorke was the daughter of Richard Yorke, according the the History of Parliament entry for her second husband. Elsewhere, however, her parents are given as Roger Yorke of Willington, Somerset (1490-February 2, 1535) and Eleanor Luttrell (1495-1530). Her first husband, married in 1543, was Richard Parker of North Molton, Devonshire (1520-1547). By a marriage settlement dated February 10, 1549, she married Roger Prideaux of Soldon, Devonshire and London (1523-January 8, 1582). Their children were Nicholas (1549-January 25, 1628), Elizabeth (b.1552), Edmund (1555-February 28, 1623), and another daughter, Wilmot (1559-April 1622). Prideaux dowered Philippa with two manors in Cornwall. In his will, dated May 13, 1579, he specified that his wife was to have the use of the property and house at Soldon for life with the reversion to Nicholas. He added a codicil on January 2, 1582 and the will was probated on January 8, 1582. At that time, his lands were valued at £88/annum. When there was a dispute over the title to some of the lands left to her, Philippa was assisted in petitioning for redress, as late as 1589, by Humphrey Specote of Thornbury, Devon, a fellow MP with her late husband.





Eleanor Youle was one of three daughters of Robert Youle of Worcester (c.1497-1561), a clothier, and his first wife Eleanor. The three shared an inheritance of £800 and various properties in Worcester and Worcestershire. Eleanor married John Walsgrove alias Fleet (d.1567), a Worcester merchant. According to the entry for her son Thomas (d.c.1613) in the History of Parliament, he had pasture land on lease but his mother disputed his title, preventing him from claiming it until after her death.











DOROTHY ZOUCHE (1538-1572)
Dorothy Zouche was the illegitimate daughter of Richard, 9th baron Zouche (c.1510-July 22, 1552). In 1560, she married Arthur, 14th baron Grey de Wilton (1536-October 14, 1593) and was the mother of Elizabeth Grey (b.1561). She entertained Queen Elizabeth at Whadden, her husband’s country house, in 1568.


ELIZABETH ZOUCHE (c.1480-1551+)
Elizabeth Zouche was the daughter of John Zouche of Codnor (c.1440-1513+) and Eleanor St. John. She was abbess of Shaftesbury in Dorset, the richest nunnery in England, from February 1528/9 until 1539. Shaftesbury was the last abbey to surrender, on March 23, 1539/40. Elizabeth did, however, come away with one of the largest pensions, a yearly stipend of £133 6s. 8d. The prioress received £20, the subprioress £7, and the sisters varying amounts between 56s. 8d. and £6 13s. 4d. Elizabeth had made a valiant effort to save her house, even going so far as to offer a bribe of 500 marks to the king and £100 to Thomas Cromwell. Legend has it that she hid the abbey’s treasures in a secret underground vault that has never been found. She was still living in 1551, when John Zouche (c.1515-1585) was granted a life annuity of 200 marks to take effect from the date of her death. He surrendered this grant in 1555 in return for a life annuity of £100, which may mean that Elizabeth was still alive then, too.


ELIZABETH ZOUCHE (February 1579-April 1617)
Elizabeth Zouche was the co-heiress of Edward, 11th baron Zouche of Harringworth (June 6, 1556-August 18, 1625) and Eleanor Zouche of Codnor (d. before 1611). On December 27, 1597, Elizabeth married Sir William Tate of De la Pré Abbey, Northamptonshire (1558-October 1617). They had two children, Elizabeth (b.c.1599) and Zouche (c.1606-1650). Portrait: possibly Elizabeth Zouche (definitely not Queen Elizabeth).

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MARY ZOUCHE (c.1512-1542+)

Mary Zouche was the daughter of John Zouche, 8th baron Zouche of Harringworth (c.1486-August 10, 1550) and his first wife, Dorothy Capell. In about 1527, she wrote to her cousin, Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (Mary's grandmother was Margaret Arundell, Sir John's aunt), asking to be taken into royal service because her new stepmother (Susan Welby) was cruel to her. The letter was probably written before 1529. It is dated only "at Notwell, the 8th day of October." She was at court as a maid of honor, possibly first to Catherine of Aragon, but certainly to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. She is the "Mrs. Souche" who was given jeweled borders by Queen Jane and attended Jane's funeral in 1537. In 1537, she was granted an annuity of £10 for her services to the late queen that was to continue until she married. She was still receiving it in 1542. A number of accounts say Mary never wed, but the will of Robert Burbage of Hayes Park Hall, Middlesex (d. 1575), identifies his late wife as "the eldest daughter of John Zouche, knight, Lord Zouche, Saint Maur and Cantelupe." It would appear that they married shortly after the 1542 payment of her annuity, when Mary was about thirty years old. They had one daughter, Anne Burbage, who married William Goring of Barton, Sussex (d.1601) in 1563. It is not clear when Anne was born or when Mary died, but in his will, dated July 1, 1575 and proved October 15, 1575, Burbage instructed that his tomb include her arms. He also left a bequest of ten pounds to one Marie Pigott, for her faithful service to his wife "when she was alive and to him since her mistress's death." Portrait: Although the "M" in "M. Souch" could be an abbreviation for "Mistress" rather than "Mary," or indicate that the likeness is of Margaret Cheney, second wife of Richard, 9th baron Zouche, it is far more likely that Mary Zouche is the subject of the Holbein sketch at Windsor.

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