A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: B-Bl

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her very out-of-date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)








Elizabeth Babington was the eldest daughter of Anthony Babington of Dethick, Derbyshire (d.August 23, 1536) and his second wife, Catherine Ferrers (d.1537). On November 26, 1532, she married Sir George Pierrepont of Whaley, Derbyshire and Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire (July 16, 1510-March 21, 1564). She was his first wife. One online genealogy says she had a daughter named Annora who married John Rossel of Ratcliffe while another calls her the mother of Lady Brett. The History of Parliament simply says they had one daughter. Portrait: brass in West Malling.

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Jane Babington was the daughter of Nicholas Babington of St. Mary Ottery, Devonshire, and Joane Whiting. She married William Winslade of Tregarrick, Cornwall (c.1515-1590+), a recusant who fled abroad in about 1581 and died in Lisbon. During litigation in 1582, concerning whether or not her husband, and thus her son, inherited property from William's mother, the accusation was made that Jane had been "a nun professed" before her marriage. This accusation was made in the hope that it would make her son Tristram (c.1550-1605) illegitimate. In actual fact, marriage to a former nun was legal under English civil law and would not affect matters of inheritance. They also had a daughter, Mary. Some accounts make William and Tristram the same person.




MADELEINE or MAUD BABINGTON (1569-March 19, 1608/9)
Madeleine Babington, sometimes called Maud and in one case, Mary, was the daughter of Sir Henry Babington of Dethick, Derbyshire (1530-1571) and Mary Darcy, although some genealogies give her mother as Babington's first wife, Frances Markham. Mary Darcy was the daughter of Sir George Darcy, Lord Darcy of Aston, who held lands in Meath, Ireland (d.1558) and Dorothy Melton. Mary married Henry Foljambe after Babington's death. Young Madeleine lived with her brother, Francis Babington (1559-c.1622), in Nottinghamshire both before and after his marriage (license dated July 13, 1588) to Juliana Rowe, the daughter of William Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1592. On an occasion when her brother was absent from home and Madeleine was up late reading in her chamber, she noticed unusual activity in the house. Suspicious, she investigated and caught Juliana "in naked bedd" with James Skelton, a member of the household. Juliana begged Madeleine not to tell Francis what she had seen and Madeleine agreed, but later she did write to her brother and reveal the whole sordid story. The matter ended up in court in 1591. At that point, Madeleine, who had married Christopher Plunkett (c.1574-December 15, 1603) in the interim, gave a deposition "in—unusually—careful chronological order, in which every event is linked to the next with none of the discontinuities of time and place that characterize so many depositions, and into which she introduces delays that shift the focus on to her own emotional reactions and her reflections on the discovery." Further details from this deposition can be found in Laura Gowing's Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London. According to Gowing, Francis and Juliana remained together. As for Madeleine, her husband was heir to the Irish barony of Dunsany, to which he succeeded in 1601. She had at least two children, Patrick (c.1594-1668) and a daughter who was still living in 1603. As the dowager Lady Dunsany, Madeleine remained in Ireland and it was there that she was murdered, although I have yet to find any information on why or how. A hired servant girl named Honora ny Caffry was accused of the crime and burned to death. Shortly thereafter, the real killer, a man, confessed to the murder at his own execution for another crime. So far I have not turned up his name or further details.




Elizabeth Babthorpe was the daughter and heir of William Babthorpe of Ellistown, Leicestershire. Her first husband was Thomas Essex  of Waltham Green, Middlesex (d. November 10, 1500), by whom she had a son, William Essex (c.1470-August 13, 1548). She brought an inheritance in five counties to her second marriage, although it was entailed on her son. Her second husband was  Ralph Swillington (d.1525). Swillington moved to Coventry in 1515, when he took the post as city recorder. In 1524, in the year before his death, he was also Attorney General for King Henry VIII. He made his will July 11, 1525 and it was proved February 14, 1526. He named is wife as executor. In 1544, Elizabeth, was living in the mansion house in Stivichall, an outlying part of Coventry about a mile and a half south of the city center. When she died, she left £140 for the support of the poor and to repair the roads running between Coventry, Stivichall, and Warwick. A tomb with three effigies, erected during her lifetime in St. Michael's Church in Coventry, confirms that Elizabeth was married to both Essex and Swillington. However, Peter Sherlock, in Monuments and Memory in Early Modern England, identifies the widow as Elizabeth Nethermyl. There are other Nethermyl monuments in the church, in particular the tomb of Julian Nethermyl (d.1539), his wife Johanna and their five sons and five daughters in the Drapers' Chapel. Julian was a former Lord Mayor of Coventry. Richard Nethermyl was vicar of St. Michael's in 1535. Sherlock does not specify how Elizabeth might have been related to either of these men and I believe he is in error, as The House of Commons 1509-1558 entries for both William Essex and Swillington identify the widow as a Babthrope by birth.


ISABEL BABTHORPE (September 14, 1479-June 30, 1552)
Isabel Babthorpe was the daughter of Robert Babthorpe (d. before May 1496) and Katherine Hagthorpe. Her marriage contract with William Plumpton of Plumpton, Yorkshire (1485-July 11, 1547), was signed on May 11, 1496. She brought Sacombe, Hertfordshire and Waterton, Lincolnshire to the marriage. They were the parents of Robert (January 17, 1515/16-1546) and Dennis (October 9, 1519-June 4, 1596). Several letters written to Isabel are preserved in the Plumpton Correspondence and her will and that of her husband also exist. Isabel was left no specific legacy but was named executor, along with her surviving son, Dennis. In her own will, made on June 10, 1552 and proved on August 25, she left bequests to her late son Robert's daughters, Anne, Mary, and Isabel, to their mother, Anne Norton (who had remarried and was now Anne Moreton), to her niece, Anne Plumpton, and to her kinswoman, Edith Swale. As was usual in wills of the time, there were conditions on some of the bequests. Edith was to receive £3 6s. 8d., "to be paid of my goods at such time as she shall go and keep house with her husband." Her granddaughters were obliged to "order themselves honestly and after the good advice of such friends as I shall charge to appoint for their good direction and order."



Margaret Babthorpe was the daughter of Sir William Babthorpe of Babthorpe, Yorkshire (1528-1581) and Barbara Constable (d. by 1558) and married Sir Henry Cholmondeley or Cholmley of Whitby, Yorkshire (1556-1616). The story goes that she was an ardent recusant, imprisoned for her faith for over a year but, after 1603, both she and her husband converted to Protestantism and embraced their new faith with as much zeal as they had previously shown for Catholicism. By Cholmondeley her three sons and nine daughters included Richard (1580-1632), Mary (m. Henry Fairfax) and Margaret (m. Timothy Comyn). She is said by some sources to have taken a second husband, Thomas Meynell of Hawnby. For more information on the Babthorpe family, see the entry under Grace Birnand.


ANNE BACON (1572-June 5, 1624)
Anne Bacon was the eldest daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave (1540-1624) and Anne Butts (d.1616) and was brought up as a Puritan. She married Robert Drury (1575-April 2, 1615) on January 30, 1592. His father had died £6000 in debt. Anne’s father took over management of the estate and Drury spent much of this time away from England as a soldier. Anne and Robert Drury had two daughters, Dorothy (d.yng) and Elizabeth (c.1596-December 1610). Drury House was a meeting places for conspirators in the Essex rebellion of 1601, but Drury himself was cleared of charges of treason. Lady Drury remodeled Hawstead Place. In 1610, the Drurys and their daughter Elizabeth journeyed to Spa and then to Paris, returning to London in December, just before Elizabeth’s death. After her husband’s death, Anne was left very wealthy. She chose not to remarry, bur rather supervised her estate and invested in additional property. Biography: Oxford DNB entry—included in “Drury family (per. 1485-1624).”


ANNE BACON (1573-November 1622)
Anne Bacon was the daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Stiffkey, Norfolk (1546-November 1622) and Anne Gresham (1549-1594). Raised as a puritan, Anne was sent at the age of eighteen to a puritan boarding school in Dickleborough, Norfolk and she remained there until she married John Townshend of Raynham, Norfolk (1567/8-August 2, 1590) in December 1593. Some sources incorrectly say Sir Ralph but give the same life dates. Anne's husband had an "aggressive and violent" nature, made worse by the fact that the young couple were obliged to live on the charity of their parents. John's mother, Jane (née Stanhope) (1536-1618) held a life interest in the Townshend estates, even after her remarriage in 1598 to Henry, Lord Berkeley. The death of Anne's mother and the possibility that her father would remarry and sire a son meant she might no longer inherit her father's properties at Stiffkey, Langham, and Morston. This did not happen, but John died in debt, having sold off most of his land to his mother. Lady Berkeley also obtained the wardship of the heir, Anne's oldest son, Roger (November 1595-January 1, 1637). Her other children were Anne and Stanhope (c.1597-c.1620). In around 1605, Anne was being courted by Sir George Southcote (d. c.1638) but did not marry him. She was one of a number of puritan women who supported radical clergymen. The Bacon-Townshend Collection of letters written between 1550 and 1640 is at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Anne was buried on the same day as her father was buried at Stiffkey, Norfolk. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Townshend [née Bacon], Anne.”







Elizabeth Bacon was the daughter of John Bacon of Hessett, Suffolk and London. She married William Breton of St. Giles without Cripplegate, London (d. January 12, 1558/9) in about 1545 and was the mother of Richard, Nicholas (1545-1626), Thamar, Anne, and Mary. Breton left his wife a considerable inheritance, including a house on Red Cross Street, on the condition that she not remarry. She seems, however, to have married not once but twice more, the first time by April 1558, within a few months of Breton's death. This husband was Edward Boyes of Nonington, Kent, but there is some doubt as to the legality of the marriage. A 1566 court document refers to is as "a pretended marriage." On November 23, 1561, while Boyes was still living, Elizabeth married George Gascoigne (1525-October 7, 1577), a debt-ridden poet, at Christ Church, Greyfriars. They seem to have lived in the house on Red Cross Street until 1563. In September 1562, Machyn's diary reports a great fray in Red Cross Street between Boyes and Gascoigne and their men "for they did marry one woman, and divers were hurt. " In 1563, Gascoigne leased a manor in Willington, Bedfordshire, where they remained until 1565. Several lawsuits stemmed from Elizabeth’s marriages and her inheritance from her first husband. In 1568, Elizabeth and Gascoigne were investigated for misuse of her Breton children's inheritance, but apparently no wrongdoing could be proven. In February 1569, Queen Elizabeth removed the case from the court of wards and Gascoigne was granted the wardship of Elizabeth's eldest son. Elizabeth had one son by Gascoigne, William (d.c.1585). The Oxford DNB says Elizabeth survived her husband by about eight years, basing this on the fact that her eldest son, Richard Breton, received letters of administration in 1585. Other sources give her date of death as 1569, but this cannot be correct because she and Gascoigne, living at Walthamstow, were listed as not attending church on Jun 19 and September 2, 1572 and July 11, 1575. In November 1577, a month after Gascoigne died, Elizabeth was listed as a recusant.


Elizabeth Bacon was the eldest daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Suffolk (1509-October 11, 1579) and Jane Fernley (d.1552). She married three times, first to Sir Robert D'Oyley of Greenlands, Buckinghamshire (c.1539-1577), then in May 1578 to Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear, Berkshire (1520-January 13, 1593) as his third wife, and third to William Periam (c.1534-October 9, 1604), as his third wife. She gave birth to three sons, all of whom died young. David C. Price in Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance identifies her third husband as Sir Francis Periam (d.1621) and suggests she is the "Lady Periam" to whom Thomas Morley dedicated "The firste booke of canzonets" (1595). She is also famous in musical circles as the Lady Neville of “My Lady Neville’s Book,” a manuscript containing forty-two keyboard compositions by William Byrd. It was presented to her in 1591, probably because she was a skilled performer on the virginals and admired the collection, obliging the copyist (John Baldwin) to present it to her as a gift. Later the manuscript was given to Queen Elizabeth, according to a note made in 1668, “by Lord Edward Abergavenny, called the Deaf.” This was probably Edward Neville, 6th baron (c.1550-December 1, 1622). He was Sir Henry Neville’s nephew. Other possibilities suggested as “Lady Neville” have been the 6th baron’s stepmother, Grisold Hughes, which does not make sense (see her entry), and his wife, Rachel Lennard (c.1556-1616), but the heraldic designs on the flyleaf argue for Sir Henry Neville’s wife as the correct choice.


ELIZABETH BACON (d. c.1604?)

Elizabeth Bacon was the youngest daughter (and the second to be named Elizabeth) of Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave Suffolk and Gorhambury, Hertfordshire (1510-1579), Lord Keeper, and his first wife, Jane Ferneley (d. 1552). She is incorrectly called Jane and the daughter of Bacon's second wife in some genealogies, but the second Lady Bacon's daughters died young. See the entry above for Bacon's eldest daughter named Elizabeth Bacon. This second Elizabeth was tutored in mathematics by Thomas Blundeville. The exercises he prepared for her later became the basis of his bestselling book The Exercises (1594). In 1570, Elizabeth  married Francis Wyndham of Norwich and Beeston, Norfolk (d. June 18, 1592). Letters written by her father concerning this marriage are extant, along with several documents relating to the payment of dowries. On November 9, 1569, Sir Nicholas wrote from court to his son Nicholas concerning the matter. On May 27, 1571, a payment of £400 was apparently made, the last in the 1300 marks for Wyndham's marriage to Sir Nicholas's youngest daughter Elizabeth. A similar document, dated May 9, 1571, concerns the payment of 1000 marks for the marriage of Sir Nicholas's eldest daughter Elizabeth on her marriage to Robert D’Oyly of Greneland, Buckinghamshire. During his marriage to Elizabeth, Wyndham acquired property at Stiffkey, Ashwood, Pentney, and West Bilney, as well as a large dwelling house called the Committee House, near St. Giles Gate, Norwich. They had no children. He left Elizabeth all his Norfolk property, including the site of the dissolved monastery at Pentney. The Norwich house was to be sold to pay his debts. When the will was proved on July 8, 1592, the executors disputed a nuncupative codicil leaving additional property to the widow. The codicil was declared valid in November 1594. A monument to Wyndham, with his effigy in his robes as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was erected in St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich. In about 1593, Elizabeth married Robert Mansell (or Mansfield) of Penrice, Glamorganshire (c.1569-1656). They settled at Pentney, about eight miles from King's Lynn and also leased a house in Chapel Fields, Norwich. He was a naval commander and often absent from home. He was knighted on the Cadiz voyage in 1596 and served as treasurer of the navy from 1604-1618. Elizabeth had no children from this marriage, either. His entry in the History of Parliament indicates that it was after her death that he returned to Wales and became a knight of the shire but exactly when this was is not clear. He first represented a Welsh county in Parliament in 1604. Elizabeth died at some point before her husband made a second marriage on March 11, 1617 to Elizabeth Roper (d.1658).


Elizabeth Bacon was the second daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Stiffkey, Norfolk (1546-November 1622) and Anne Gresham (1549-1594). Elizabeth married Thomas Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk (1560-1605) in 1592. Their marriage settlement led to a case in Chancery years later when Elizabeth's father claimed that she should have received leases worth £300 from the estate of Sir Thomas Parry, Thomas's maternal grandfather. The judges decided that Thomas's father would have to make up the jointure out of his own lands. The unpublished dissertation, All the Queen's Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (1987) by Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, lists Anne Bacon Knyvett as being at court in 1602-3 and says she was Anne Cooke Bacon's niece. This may have been Elizabeth. It was certainly not Anne (see her entry), but both were step-granddaughters of Anne Cooke Bacon, not her nieces. Elizabeth's children by Thomas Knyvett were Thomas (1596-June 30,1658), Nathaniel, Edmund, John, Ralph, Elizabeth, and Muriel.





The daughter of John Bacon of Cambridgeshire, Margaret was in the household of Princess Mary Tudor in the 1530s. She had been married since about 1505 to Sir William Butts (c.1485-November 22,1545), one of the royal physicians. They had at least three children, Sir William (c.1506-1583), Thomas, and Edmund. Margaret survived her husband. Portraits: drawing and portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger in which the sitter is said to be age fifty-seven.

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DOROTHY BADBY (d.April 16, 1594)

Dorothy Badby was the daughter of William Badby of Essex and was a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon before she married Sir George Blage or Blagge (1512-June 17,1551) of Stanmore, Middlesex and Dartford, Kent in 1530. After his death, she married Richard Goodrich (Goderick/Goodrick) of Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire and London (d. May 1562), a lawyer and M.P., but there was a scandal involved with this match. In order to remarry in 1552, Goodrich divorced an earlier wife, Mary, daughter of John Blagge of London. After Mary Tudor took the throne and restored Catholicism to England in 1553, Mary Blagge Goodrich sued in the ecclesiastical courts for restitution of her conjugal rights and in chancery for the return of her dowry. Queen Mary's death and the subsequent change in religion restored the status of Dorothy's marriage to Goodrich. Goodrich's will, made on November 14, 1556, left Dorothy a mansion and two houses in Whitefriars next to Fleet Street, London. Dorothy then married Sir Ambrose Jermyn (1503-1577). She had three children by Blagge, Judith (1541-1614), Hester, and Henry (1549-1596), and two by Goodrich, Richard and Elizabeth, although the History of Parliament gives the latter two to Mary Blagge. Judith, Henry, and Richard married children of Sir Ambrose Jermyn by his first wife. In 1580, Sir Robert Jermyn, Judith’s husband, settled Little Horningsheath, Suffolk on Dorothy. It went to her son Henry on her death. The family had strong Puritan leanings.





ANNE BAGOT (May 11, 1555-August 30, 1619)
Anne Bagot was the daughter of Richard Bagot of Blithfield (December 8, 1529-February 2, 1596/7) and Mary Saunders (c.1533-1608?). On July 30, 1577, she married Richard Broughton (1524-1606), barrister and Welsh judge. Although she appears to have used an amanuensis to write letters for her, Anne carried on an extensive correspondence, especially with her father and her brother, Walter Bagot (October 26, 1557-March 2, 1622/3). Many of these letters are extant.






ANNE BAKER (1583-1615+)

Anne Baker was the only daughter of John Baker (c.1560-c1590) and Dorothy Munnings or Monnings (c.1560-1600) of Kent. Anne (also called Jane and Joan) married Simon Forman (1552-September 8, 1611), physician and astrologer, on July 23, 1599. They had two children, Dorothy (b.1605) and Clement (1606-1628+). After Forman's death, Anne was obliged to testify at the trial of Anne Norton and give up her husband's notes on his clients. She seems to be identical to the Jane Baker who, on July 6, 1612, married Raphael Neale of Wollaston, Northamptonshire (1584-December 10, 1643) and had a son, James, born in London in 1615. For more details see A. L. Rowse, Sex and Society in Shakespeare’s Age and Judith Cook, Dr. Simon Forman and the entry for Simon Forman in the Oxford DNB..





CECILY BAKER (d. October 1, 1615)

Cecily Baker was the daughter of Sir John Baker of London and Sissinghurst, Kent (c.1489-December 23,1558) and Elizabeth Digneley (d. 1550). In 1554, she married Thomas Sackville of Buckhurst, Sussex and London (1535/6-April 19,1608), who was created baron Buckhurst on June 8, 1567 and earl of Dorset in 1604. They had four sons and three daughters, including Robert (1561-February 27, 1609), Henry, William (1568-1591), Thomas (May 25, 1571-August 28, 1646), Anne, Jane, and Mary. Sackville left large bequests to Cecily as "a true token and testimony of my unspeakable love, affection, estimation, and reverence, long since fixed and settled in my heart and soul towards her."


CHRYSOGNA BAKER (1571-August 8, 1616)

Chrysogna (or Chrysogona) Baker was the daughter of Sir Richard Baker of Sissinghurst, Kent (1546-May 27, 1594) and his second wife, Mary Giffard (1551-May 1609). The queen visited Sissinghurst when Chrysogna was two, in 1573. She had a dowry of £2,200 when she married Henry Lennard of Chevening, Kent and Hurstmonceaux Castle, Sussex (April 4, 1569-August 8, 1616) in 1589. He was knighted in 1596 and in 1612 succeeded his mother to become the 12th baron Dacre. Their children were daughters Pembroke (d.1643), Philadelphia, Barbara, and Margaret and sons Richard (April 1596-August 18, 1630), Fynes, and Edward. Portrait: at age six in 1579 (at The Vyne).


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ELIZABETH BAKER (d. November 17, 1583)
Elizabeth Baker was the eldest daughter of Sir John Baker of Sissinghurst, Kent (c.1489-December 23, 1558), attorney general, chancellor of the exchequer, and speaker of the house of commons, and Elizabeth Digneley (1502-before 1558). She was the first wife of Thomas Scott of Scot's Hall, Smeeth, Kent (d.1594) and probably the one who is credited with managing and preserving Romney Marsh. Their children were Thomas, John, Edward, Richard, Reginald, Charles, Robert, Elizabeth, Emelina, Anna, Mary, and six more who are unnamed. Scott was famous for entertaining. Elizabeth was buried in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Brabourne, Kent.


ELIZABETH BAKER (d. January 1606)

Elizabeth Baker was the daughter of John Baker of Cambridge (d.1579+) and Katherine Tylney. Her parents married at some point after 1542. Before her marriage, Katherine Tylney was implicated in Queen Catherine Howard's disgrace. Elizabeth's father was the half brother of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and her first husband, Robert Norgate of Aylsham, Norfolk (d. November 2, 1587), had been appointed as one of Parker's chaplains by January 1573,when Parker presented him with the rectory of Latchingdon, Essex. It is not clear when Elizabeth and Robert married, but they had three sons including Edward (1581-1650). Norgate was master of Corpus Christi College at Cambridge from August 1573 until his death. During that time he mismanaged both his own and the college's finances. At the time he died, he owed about £600 and had assets valued at £86. 6s. 8d. Of this amount, £4. 12s. 8d. was set aside for his wife to provide "a bed for her and her children." In 1588, Elizabeth married Nicholas Felton of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (August 3, 1563-October 5, 1626), lecturer in Greek at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He raised her sons and they had three, possibly four more sons together, including John (1592-1592), Nicholas (d.1626+), and Robert (d.1626+). Felton was a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth and King James and was at work on translations for the King James Bible when Elizabeth died. She was buried on January 9, 1606 in St. Antholin's, Budge Row, London, where her husband was rector from April 1592 until he became bishop of Bristol in 1617. He was later bishop of Ely.  











CHRISTINE BALDRY (d.1537+) (maiden name unknown)
Christine was the second wife of Thomas Baldry of Ipswich, Suffolk (by 1481-1524/5), a prosperous merchant whose property was valued at 1000 marks in 1524. His will, made on July 18, 1520, was proved May 27, 1525. He left his wife 100 marks in money, 100 marks in plate, 100 marks in good debts, and an annuity of £40. She also received a house and lands and her own plate and jewels "rather better than worse than it was when she and I married." Christine then married Thomas Rush of Sudbourne, Suffolk (by 1487-1537), a widower. He was also very wealthy, his estate being valued at £1050 at his death. Records show that Christine claimed a flock of 500 sheep and a herd of 20 cows, valued together at £48. They remained at Snape, a manor Rush had leased since 1530.





Alice Baldwin was the daughter of Sir John Baldwin of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (1468/9-October 24, 1545) and Agnes Dormer (d. before 1518). She became a nun and was elected the last abbess at the Augustinian house at Burnham, Buckinghamshire in 1536. It was dissolved on September 19, 1539, at which time Alice and nine nuns were in residence. Her father's will, dated October 11, 1545, made her his executor and left her a one third share for life of all he had. The other two thirds went to Alice's two nephews. She made her will on March 2, 1546 and specified that a marble tomb to her parents be erected in Aylesbury church. 






ELIZABETH BALL (1585-September 28, 1659)
Elizabeth Ball was the youngest of several children of Nicholas Ball (d. March 1586), merchant of Totnes, Devon, and Ann Cary (1564-1611). Her mother's second husband was Thomas Bodley (March 2, 1545-January 29, 1613), to whom she was married on July 19, 1586. Bodley was English resident in the Hague from 1588-97. Elizabeth's mother was with him during that time. Elizabeth's whereabouts are not known, nor are the fates of her siblings. In July 1603, Elizabeth married Sir Ralph Winwood of Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire (1562/3-October 28, 1617) and went with him to the Hague, where he now had Bodley's former post. They spent most of their time in Holland until after 1613. Their children were Richard (d.1688), Anne (d.1642). Frederick, Henry, and one other daughter. In London, the Winwood home was Mordant House in the parish of St. Bartholomew the Less, Smithfield. Elizabeth's stepfather, Sir Thomas Bodley, died while staying with them there. Sir Ralph's last years were marred by the scandal surrounding the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury in 1612 (see FRANCES HOWARD) and he was blamed, after his death, for encouraging Sir Walter Raleigh to take up piracy after his release from the Tower. For details of Winwood's career, see his entry in the Oxford DNB. His widow outlived him by more than forty years. In 1630, she purchased a grant in fee of Ditton Park. Two years later, her eldest son purchased the manor outright.


EMMA BALL (d.1592+)
That Emma Ball was a prostitute and probably the sister of a cutpurse known as "Cutting" Ball seems to be established. Her connection to two famous men, however, is open to interpretation. An Em Ball had a house in Holywell Street in Shoreditch and may have shared it with comedian Richard Tarleton (1530-September 3, 1588) at the end of his life. Others sources say he simply took refuge with her when he fell ill. Either way, he died there and she is described as "a woman of very bad reputation" in 1588. Tarleton had married Thomasyn Dunn in Chelmsford on February 11, 1577 and they had a son, Philip (b.1582). Thomasyn was buried in St. Martin’s, Ludgate on December 23, 1585. Emma Ball is probably the same woman of ill repute who later lived with playwright and prose writer Robert Greene (1558-September 3, 1592). If not Emma, then this was a close relative. Stories about Greene’s debauchery may have been exaggerated after his death by fellow writer Gabriel Harvey. Harvey is the source of the story that Greene and Emma had a son named Infortunatus. A Fortunatus Greene was buried in St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch on August 12, 1593. It is probable that Harvey used the name as a tasteless jest. Greene had a wife, Dorothy (Doll), who also survived him.


MARY BALLS (1575-1631)

Mary Balls was the daughter of William Balls of Hadleigh, Suffolk. Her fame comes from her marriage to Theodore Paleologus (c.1560-1636), who claimed descent from the emperors of Byzantium, the last of whom was deposed in 1453. In 1597 he was hired to assassinate an Italian living in England. He failed to do so and stayed on, eventually ending up in the service of the 2nd earl of Lincoln. A recent biography of Paleologus, An Elizabethan Assassin by John Hall, debunks long-held beliefs that Paleologus married a Byzantine lady, a story that dates from the 1860s; that he married Mary in 1591 or in 1617; and that Mary was a member of the gentry. William Balls appears to have been of the merchant class. It is not clear how Mary met her future husband, but she was only some six weeks short of giving birth when they married in the church of St. Mary in Cottingham, East Yorkshire on May 1, 1600. Their first child, a son named Theodore, was baptized on June 12 and died on September 1, 1600. After that, Paleologus appears to have been absent, possibly abroad, possibly to avoid being questioned regarding charges that the earl of Lincoln intended to have Paleologus assassinate his countess (see ELIZABETH MORISON). Paleologus had returned to England by late 1605 and the couple had a second child, Dorothy (1606-1681), who was baptized at Tattershall, Lincolnshire on August 18, 1606. Their other children to survive to adulthood were Theodore (1609-1644), John (bp. July 11, 1611), Mary (d.1674), and Ferdinand (1619-1670). Ferdinand was born in Plymouth, Devon, where the family lived throughout the 1620s. Mary was buried in St. Andrew's, Plymouth on November 24, 1631. It was after that date that her husband moved to Cornwall, where he is buried. In 1820, Mary was immortalized by Nathan Drake in "Mary of Hadleigh," a ballad with thirty-one verses that present a highhly fictionalized account of her romance with Paleologus.



I include Dorothy Bampfield here mostly because I love the representation of her on her tomb. She was the daughter of Sir Amias Bampfield of Poltimore and South (or North—sources vary) Molton, Devonshire (c.1560-1626) and Elizabeth Clifford and married Edward Hancock of Combe Martin and Exeter, Devon (c.1560-July 1603), who committed suicide after the fall of Sir Walter Raleigh, in whose service he had been since c.1590. On November 4, 1603, Dorothy was granted administration of the estate. Her second husband was Sir John Dodderidge/Doddridge/Dodderridge of Barnstaple, Devon (1555-1628), judge in the Court of the King's Bench and it is as Lady Dodderidge that she is immortalized in the Lady Dodderidge Chapel in Exeter Cathedral. Her children were William Hancock (d.1625) and a son by Dodderidge who died before 1628.

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KATHERINE BANKS (d. March 3, 1633)
Katherine Banks was the daughter of Thomas Banks (c.1538-c.1598), a London barber-surgeon, and his wife Joan. She married first Bartholomew Soame (d.1596), a girdler of the parish of St. Mary Colechurch and second, in 1599, Thomas Barnardiston of Kedington, Suffolk (d. July 29, 1610). With her husband and stepchildren, Katherine lived at Witham Place, Essex. In 1612, Katherine remarried, this time to lawyer William Towse (c.1551-1634), but since her second husband had been knighted, Katherine continued to be known as Lady Barnardiston. She apparently had no children of her own from any of her marriages and devoted herself to the promotion of puritanism, assisting clergymen of that persuasion. She wrote her will on February 25 and it was proved on March 19, 1633. Portraits: effigy in St. Peter and Paul, Kedington; portrait painted after the monument. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Barnardiston [née Banks], Katherine.”

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THOMASIN BARDFIELD (d. January 13, 1568/9)
Thomasin Bardfield (Bardfeld/Bradfield) was the daughter of Thomas Bardfield of Shenfield, Essex. After the death of the last male heir of her uncle, John Bardfield (d.1497) in about 1514, she and her sister Margaret inherited his estate, including Margaretting, Essex. By then Thomasin was married to William Daniell of London. After his death, she married John Kekewich of Catchfrench (or Hatchfrench), Cornwall (d. October 31, 1541). They lived primarily in Essex but also had a town house in the parish of St. Mary le Strand, London, by 1539. They had three children, George (1530-1582) and two daughter daughters who were both of marriageable age c.1542 when Thomasin took a third husband, Oliver Hyde of Banbury Court, Abingdon, Berkshire (c.1518-February 9, 1566), a man considerably her junior. One of her daughters then married Hyde's younger brother, John Hyde. Thomasin brought a fortune to her third marriage, which Hyde used to buy the manor of Maiden Erlegh near Sonning, Berkshire in 1545 and the manor of Fulbrook near Burford, Oxfordshire in 1548. His entry in the History of Parliament describes Thomasin as "a woman of strong character, well able to defend her property in and out of the law courts." With her third husband, Thomasin is commemorated on a memorial tablet in St. Helen's parish church in Abingdon.







ALICE BARKER (c.1525-1604)
Alice Barker was the daughter of John Barker, alias Coverdale, of Wolverton, Shropshire and Elizabeth Hill and the niece of Sir Rowland Hill of Longborough, Gloucestershire (d.1561), Lord Mayor of London in 1549. Most of Sir Rowland's estate was entailed on Alice at her marriage to Sir Thomas Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (1504-November 17, 1571), a stapler and mercer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1558-9, in 1553, to be inherited by her eldest son. The Oxford DNB entry for Leigh calls her Alice Coverdale. The Leighs had nine children: Rowland (d.1603) Isabel, Sir Thomas (d. February 1, 1625), Alice (d.1613), Sir William, Mary, Catherine, Richard (d.1570), and (possibly) Winifred (d.1621). The earl of Leicester stayed at Stoneleigh in August 1565. Leigh wrote his will on December 20, 1570. His widow remained at Stoneleigh, where she died a few months after her eldest son (see his entry in the History of Parliament). According to Anne F. Sutton, The Mercery of London, Appendix 2, Alice established almshouses at Stoneleigh in 1576.




ANNE BARKER (d. September 21, 1585)
Anne Barker was the only child of William Barker of Sonning, Berkshire and Chiswick, Middlesex (d. September 18, 1549), steward to the bishop of Salisbury, and Anne Throckmorton (d.1551+). The family lived at Holme Park in Sonning, a property owned by the bishop. In records at Sonning, Anne's first husband is identified as one "Bridon of Ipswich," but it seems likely that this was actually William Brydges (Bridges/Bruggs), younger brother of Sir John Brydges (1492-1557), who was created Lord Chandos in 1554. In a letter from T. Cantuarien to Thomas Cromwell, dated March 14, 1538, there is an account of how this Anne's marriage to William came about. It appears that she was betrothed to one Simon Cornethwaite but chose to elope with Brydges instead. Here is what Cantuarien writes:
Symone Cornethwaite, dwelling with Lord Russell, did sue a cause of matrimony in the [court of] Arches against one Anne Barker, daughter of William Barker of Cheswicke, and brought the mother, and divers other witnesses, with the confession of the maid, to justify his intent; and then the maid was sequestered, lest any violence should be used toward her, unto the house of master Vaghan [Vaughan?] in Chepe side; and in very deed at the special request of my lord of Sussex, I heard the matter myself one day at Lambeth, and thought it necessary that this maid should continue still in the sequestration till the matter were tried. And this suit, depending, one William Bridges, brother to Sir John Bridges, took out the maid from sequestration and married her before day without any banns asked or any license or dispensation obtained, and in the time forbidden within three days afore Christmas last, and hath ever since lien by her, and keeps her in a secret corner in master Ambrose Barker's house; and she is declared accurst for violating of the sequestration, and is so denounced at Paul's Cross and at diverse other places, and so hath continued forty days, and this notwithstanding, he keeps her still, more like a rebellion than an obedient subject to the laws and good order of this realm; and swears great oaths that he will keep her in spite of any man. Now my desire is, for the zeal I do know that you bear unto justice and the evitation (sic) of notorious sin, it may please you to send for the said William Bridges by privy seal or otherwise, commanding him to bring the woman with him: and then you to sequester her to some honest indifferent house, till the matter be tried whose wife she is; and otherwise to correct him for his misdemeanor in this behalf, as shall be thought good to your lordship. In which doing, I doubt not but you shall please God highly.
Apparently the marriage was allowed to stand because it is as "my daughter Ann Bruggs" that she is mentioned in the will her father wrote on August 18, 1549 (proved June 4, 1551). He left all his plate to Anne and her mother. Anne is also mentioned in the wills of two of her uncles, Anthony Barker, vicar of Sonning (written August 4, 1551; proved June 20, 1553) and John Barker (written August 25, 1551; proved May 11, 1552). Anthony calls her "my cosyn Anne Bridges" but since he then mentions "my cosyn Anne Barker my brother John's daughter" we may safely assume he used the word "cosyn" to mean niece. John Barker left a bequest to "sister Ann Barker, late wife of brother William and to my cosyn Bridge her daughter." As her second husband, Anne married William Staverton of Wokingham, Berkshire c. 1555. They had four sons: Francis, William, George, and John. She was buried in St. Michael's, Sonning where her effigy in brass is set into a slab of blue marble. It is inscribed "A friend to the widow, fatherless, sick and poor."

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ELIZABETH BARKER (d. January 12, 1594)
Elizabeth Barker was the daugher of Nicholas Barker of Sonning, Berkshire, Saffron Walden, Essex, and London, an armorer. In 1547, she married Leonard Barker (d.1551), a mercer. She had two children by Barker, Leonard and Thomas (d.1555). Barker left an estate valued at over £1000 and she received "a convenient sum of money" when he died—the third she was entitled to as his widow, half of what remained of another third after his debts were paid, and the lease of their dwelling-house in Ironmonger Lane and other London properties. By her remarriage on October 6, 1552 to John Isham (1525-March 17, 1595/6), a mercer and Merchant Adventurer, she forfeited three tenements in the parish of St. Michael, Bassishaw, a tenement in White Hart Street, and the lease of a tenement in Ironmonger Lane to her sons, but all her sons' property, in turn, would be managed by her new husband for many years afterward. In 1560, Isham bought Lamport, Northamptonshire, which was to become the family's country seat. Elizabeth bore her second husband eight children, Thomas (September 11, 1555-December 3, 1605), Anne (1558-1584), Elizabeth (1560-1584), Henry (1561-1628), and Richard (1565-1618), and Christopher, Euseby, and Robert, who died young.


KATHERINE BARKER (1553-January 17, 1630)
Katherine Barker was the second daughter of William Barker of Sonning, Berkshire (c.1540-1575) and Anne Stoughton (d.1575+). Her first husband was William Yonge of Basildon, Berkshire (d.1584). They had a son, William (d.1618). She then married her cousin, Sir Christopher Lidcott or Litcott (d.1599). In 1605, she surrendered the manor of Basildon to her son, to be settled on herself. In 1615, she made a further settlement of it on her daughter-in-law Anne (née Paulet). In 1622, she gave a rent charge of £5/year to the poor of Basildon. Her second widowhood lasted more than thirty years. She was buried in Sonning Church. The text beneath her effigy identifies her as formerly being of St. Sepulchre's parish, London. Portrait: effigy

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ANNE BARLEE (d.1558)

This entry is taken from W. H. Challen's "Lady Anne Grey" in the January 1963 Notes and Queries, in which he sorts out the marriages of Anne Jerningham and Anne Barlee, both of whom were entitled to use the name Lady Anne Grey. Anne Barlee (Barley, Barlow, Barlie, Barliegh) was the daughter of William Barlee of Albury, Herfordshire (c.1451-1521) and Elizabeth Darcy. She was married three times and in each case was her husband’s second wife. Her first husband was Sir Robert Sheffield of Butterwick, Lincolnshire (d. 1519). Her second was Sir John Grey, son of the 1st Marquis of Dorset. His date of death is unknown, but he is mentioned in his mother’s will in 1528 and so was apparently still alive then. Her third husband, married before 1530, was Sir Richard Clement of Ightham Mote, Kent (d.1538). In spite of her clear identification in the will of the second Marquis of Dorset, which calls her “my sister Lady Anne Grey, wife to my brother John Lord Grey and now wife to Richard Clemente,” she is called the daughter of the first Marquis of Dorset in Collins’s Peerage and this mistake has been repeated in many places since. Clement’s will was proved December 2, 1538. Anne Barlee’s will is dated October 1, 1557 and was proved May 7, 1558. She asked to be buried at Albury with a tomb of marble or white alabaster.






Dorothy Barley was the daughter of William Barlee (Barley, Barlow, Barlie, Barliegh) of Albury, Hertfordshire (c.1451-1521) and Elizabeth Darcy. She became a nun and eventually was elected abbess of Barking in Essex. In his will, her brother Henry (1487-1529) left her a doublet and 40 s. She used her influence to make the surrender of the nunnery as painless as possible. She was a personal friend of Sir William Petre, who received the deed of surrender. She had been godmother to his daughter in 1535 and his sister-in-law was one of her nuns. Dorothy’s pension was a generous one of £133 13s. 4d., one of the two largest awarded to the head of a nunnery.


Elizabeth Barley was the daughter of William Barley of Aspenden, Hertfordshire. She became the third wife of Sir Ralph Jocelyn of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (d. October 25, 1478), a draper who was Lord Mayor of London in 1464-5 and again in 1476-7. In 1450, he bought Aspenden Hall. After his death, Elizabeth was left a wealthy widow and had many suitors. She chose to marry Sir Robert Clifford of Brakenborough (c.1448-1508), third son of Thomas, 8th baron Clifford. He was a supporter of Perkin Warbeck. In her second widowhood, Elizabeth erected the South Porch of the church at Aspenden, Hertfordshire and carved the arms of her two husbands on it. Portrait: with both husbands and two sons and two daughters by Clifford on a brass in Aspenden; with both husbands in a stained glass window in Long Melford, Suffolk.

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Elizabeth Barley was the daughter of Henry Barley of Albury (1487-November 12, 1529). Her mother was either Elizabeth Northwood (d. before 1517) or Anne Jerningham (d. April 1559). She married Edward Leventhorpe of Shingey Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (1514-1551). They were the parents of a second Edward (c.1535-October 8, 1566), who in his will left instructions for a marble slab to be put over his father's grave. This was not engraved until the end of the century and the epitaph was composed by their grandson. There is some evidence to suggest that Elizabeth and Edward were divorced by 1543. Accounts for that year include expenses toward that end. However, at that time there was no true divorce under English law. Essentially a couple could legally separate but neither could remarry while the other lived. It is also possible that it was someone else in the family who was attempting to secure a divorce. After her first husband's death, Elizabeth married Edward Brocket (d.1584).

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FRANCES BARLOW (c.1551-May 8, 1629)

One of five sisters all married to bishops, Frances Barlow was the daughter of William Barlow (c.1500-August 13,1568), Bishop of Chichester, and Agatha Wellesbourne (c.1505-June 13, 1595). She married first Matthew Parker (September 1,1551-December 1574), son of Archbishop Parker. She is listed as being part of the Parker household in Lambeth in 1566. After his death she went to live with her sister, Elizabeth Barlow Day at Eton and there gave birth to a son, Matthew (July 1575-1576). In early 1577, Frances wed Tobie Matthew (1544-March 29,1628), chaplain to the queen and later Archbishop of York, by whom she had three sons and two daughters. Those who survived infancy were Tobie (October 1577-1655), John (b.1580), and Samuel (d.1601). When Archbishop Matthew died, she donated his library of over 3000 books, said to be the largest private library in England, to the Cathedral at York. Their eldest son, Sir Tobie, fell out with his parents in 1604 when he announced that he intended to go to Rome. Fearing he would be seduced by Catholicism, Frances offered to settle her fortune on him if he would change his mind. He refused, and her worst fear came to pass. Although the younger Tobie Matthew was reconciled with his father in 1623, Frances never forgave him for becoming a Roman Catholic. After her death, Sir Tobie wrote that “she went out of the world calling for her silkes and toyes and trinketts, more like an ignorant childe or foure yeares than like a talking scripturist of almost fourscore.” Fuller’s Church History, however, memorializes her as a “prudent and provident matron.” Frances also fell out with her son John and, having already established a reputation in Durham for the education of young girls, she took over the upbringing of his two daughters, Frances and Dorcas. Her cash bequests in her will exceeded £2500. Biography: Peter Sherlock, "Monuments, Reputation and Clerical Marriage in Reformation England: Bishop Barlow's Daughters," Gender and History, Vol. 16, No. 1 (April 2004), pp. 57-83; Oxford DNB entry under "Matthew [née Barlow; other married name Parker], Frances." Portrait: effigy on monument, York Minster.


MARGARET BARLOW (1515-January 19, 1559)

Margaret Barlow was the daughter of Ellis Barlow of Barlow, Chorlton, Lancashire and Anne Reddish. In 1547, she married Edward Stanley, 3rd earl of Derby (May 10, 1509-October 24, 1572) as his third of four wives. According to the History of Parliament entry for her stepson, Sir Thomas Stanley, she was a devout Catholic who referred to him as "the good Stanley" for his adherence to that faith. I have not been able to confirm this and question whether it was Margaret or her successor who made this remark. When Sir Thomas took a stand in 1571, his father was married to but separated from his fourth wife, Mary Cotton (see her entry). Margaret was buried on February 24, 1559 at Ormskirk.















ANNE BARNE (d.1564)

Anne Barne was the daughter of Sir George Barne (d. February 18, 1558), a haberdasher who was Lord Mayor of London in 1552-3, and Alice Brooke (1504-June 2, 1559). Her father was a founding member of the Muscovy (Russia) Company and active in promoting voyages of exploration. Anne married Alexander Carleill (d.1561), another founding member of the Muscovy Company and Master of the Vintner's company in 1561, by whom she had Christopher (d.1560), Elizabeth, Anne, Alice (c.1535-1602) and a second Christopher (c.1551-November 11,1593).  Carleill left the Sign of the Saracen's Head in Bagshot and a house in the parish of St. Michael's in London to Anne, with reversion to their son. In 1562 (Rachel Lloyd in Elizabethan Adventurer, A Life of Captain Christopher Carleill, says 1564), Anne married Francis Walsingham. The couple leased the manor of Parkerbury, near St. Albans in Hertfordshire, where Walsingham served as a justice of the peace. They had no children. Anne made her will in July 1564 and died within four months. She left her husband £100 and the custory of her son Christopher, asking that he be "virtuously brought up in learning and knowledge." She left bequests of clothing to each of her sisters-in-law: a damask gown and a kirtle of satin to Christiana Walsingham, a pair of sables to Elizabeth Walsingham, and a purse of purple silk and gold to Mary Walsingham. Other bequests included a feather bed with bolster, blankets, a needlework valence, and curtains of red and green sarsenet, a diamond, a "book of gold" with a chain, and sums to purchase remembrance rings. 



Elizabeth Barne was the daughter of George Barne (d. February 18, 1558), a member of the Muscovy Company who was Lord Mayor of London in 1552-3, and Alice Brooke (1504-June 2, 1559). In 1540, she married John Rivers of Fishall (c.1500-1583/4), a grocer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1573-4. They lived at Chafford House, near Penshurst, Kent and had a house in Tonbridge. Their children were George, John, Henry, Richard, William, Edward, Alice, Elizabeth, and Dorothy (or Dorcas). Since Rivers's will mentions Elizabeth, she appears to have survived him. Portrait: effigy on monument in St. Mary's Church, Hadlow, Kent.


barne,elizabeth-1 (174x300)


Elizabeth Barnefelde was the second wife of Sir Thomas Frowyck of Finchley, Middlesex (1462-October 17, 1506), chief justice of common pleas. Sir Thomas was executor of the estate of his brother, Sir Henry Frowyck, in 1505. Sir Henry left Elizabeth 100s. "to be a good lady and aunt" to his two sons and three daughters. In 1506, Sir Thomas assigned the boys' wardships to his wife. Together with Thomas Jakes (c.1466-1514), a justice of the peace for Middlesex, Elizabeth was executor of Sir Thomas's estate. Elizabeth then married Jakes, who wrote his will on January 20, 1512. It was proved July 18, 1514 and once again Elizabeth was named executor. Somewhere along the line there were difficulties over the guardianship of Sir Henry Frowyck's two sons, Thomas and Henry. Elizabeth and her successive husbands apparently arranged marriages for them without going through the proper channels. On August 16, 1515, Elizabeth Jakes, alias Frowyck, was granted a pardon by the king for the abduction, as it was called, of Sir Henry's sons, and granted a release from all fines for their marriage. Elizabeth's will was made on December 1, 1515 and proved February 4, 1515/16. She had no children of her own and left the bulk of her estate to her stepdaughter, Frideswide Frowyck (c.1498-c.1528/9), daughter of Frowyck's first wife, Joan Bardvil (c.1468-before 1500). Frideswide was already married to Sir Thomas Cheyne of Shurland. Also provided for in Elizabeth's will is Sir Henry Frowyck's daughter, Elizabeth, who was married to John Spelman. Lady Frowyck was godmother to one of the Spelman daughters (they had seven daughters and thirteen sons). In particular, she left Elizabeth Frowyck Spelman the bed she slept in, clothes, and a gold chain and willed £20, a silver and gilt cup with a cover, two tablecloths, and a ring to her goddaughter. Other smaller bequests went to her sister-in-law, Dame Isabel Haute/Hawte and Isabel's daughter, another Elizabeth.




GRISELDA BARNES (1559-November 1, 1589)

Griselda Barnes (Barne/Barneis/Berners) was the daughter of William Barnes of Fryerning and Thoby, Essex (by 1533-July 14, 1559) and Elizabeth Eden. Her parents married in 1556. Her father's will, dated July 7, 1559, entrusted the care of his sister, Elizabeth, to his neighbor, Lady Petre of Ingatestone Hall (see ANNE BROWNE) and Sir William Petre subsequently acquired the wardships of both Griselda and her brother Thomas (d.February 1561). She was treated as if she were their daughter and one account even lists a Griselda as one of their children. She married Thomas Baker (1540-1625), a younger son of Richard Baker of Sissinghurst, Kent. They had a son, Richard, born in 1578 and aged eleven when his mother died. The Bakers were Catholics and probably built the two hiding places at Fryerning Hall. In about 1588, Griselda brought suit against Mary Berners/Barnes (née Gedge) over Mary's dower lands, including Thoby and Fryerning. Griselda's Inquisition Post Mortem indicates that at the time of her death she held twenty messuages, four mills, five tofts, twenty cottages, 150 acres of arable land, 300 acres of meadow, and 500 acres of pasture.






MARY BARNES (d. May 13, 1605)
Mary Barnes was the daughter of William Barnes of London and the sister and coheir of John Barnes, potter of the town and castle of Guisnes. In January 1547/8, she married William Dunch (c.1508-May 11, 1597). He bought Little Wittenham manor, four miles from Wallingford, and other properties in Berkshire in 1552. They had two sons, Edmund (c.1551-November 12, 1623) and Walter (c.1552-June 4, 1594). In his will, dated July 12, 1596 and proved three weeks after his death, William left £40 to buy plate and a diamond ring for the queen. Portrait: memorial brass in Little Wittenham Church.

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JOYCE BARRETT (1516-1580)

Joyce Barrett was the daughter of John Barrett (or Belhus) of Aveley, Essex. By 1543, she married Sir James Wilford of Hartridge and Cranbrooke, Kent (d.1550). They had one son, Thomas, and two daughters. Wilford was wounded and taken prisoner in 1549 during military action in Scotland. When he made his will, weak, feeble, and sick in body, on November 18, 1550, they were living in the Crutched Friars, London, at a house belonging to Sir Thomas Wyatt. Joyce was one of the executors of the will. By 1552, she married Thomas Stanley of Standon, Hertfordshire, Dalegarth, Cumberland, and London (c.1512-1571), a goldsmith and assay master of the Tower Mint.On July 1, 1553, he obtained the wardship of her son, Thomas Wilford. Together they had one daughter, Mary (d.1611+). Portrait: at 50 in 1566, artist unknown.











There is an intriguing mention in Remembrancia AD 1579-1664 (1878), edited by W. H. Overall and H. C. Overall, of one Agnes Bartlett and her father. Fourteen butcher stalls were bequeathed to them but not transferred. Two ladies in waiting to Queen Elizabeth took up the cause in 1595, complaining to the Lord Mayor


ELIZABETH BARTON (c.1506-x.April 20,1534)

Elizabeth Barton, known as the Nun of Kent, was born at Adlington and was a servant to one Thomas Cobb, a steward employed by William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury. She fell ill in 1525 and when she recovered she believed she could talk to angels. A monk, Edward Bocking, was sent to investigate. Either he believed her trances to be genuine, or he saw an opportunity to exploit the situation. He arranged for Elizabeth to be admitted to the convent of St. Sepulcher at Canterbury as a postulant in 1526. She took her final vows the following year. At St. Sepulcher both her fame and the wealth of the convent increased. When Henry VIII began to contemplate divorcing Catherine of Aragon, Bocking used Elizabeth to stir up trouble. Granted an audience with the king, she warned him against putting his wife aside. When he did not heed her advice, she began to say, in public, that if the king married Anne Boleyn, he would die within a month. She was arrested in July 1533 on a charge of treason and taken to the Tower of London. All copies of an account of her early life and of writings about her by her admirers, as well as 700 copies of a newly printed volume of her prophecies called The Nun's Book, were seized and destroyed. Under the questioning of Thomas Cranmer, Elizabeth broke down, no longer sure of the validity of her visions. On November 23, 1533, she made a public confession at Paul's Cross. Denounced as a harlot as well as a fraud, she was attainted for high treason and executed at Tyburn. Biography: Alan Neame, The Holy Maid of Kent; Oxford DNB entry under "Barton, Elizabeth."


ELIZABETH BARTON (d.1543) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Barton, widow, made her will on September 30, 1543. It was proved October 10. At the time of her death, she was resident in the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch and was a servant to "the right honorable Ladye Semer." This was Mary, widow of Sir Thomas Semer or Seymour (see MARY SEYMOUR), a mercer who had been Lord Mayor of London in 1526/7. Elizabeth was married at least twice. Her surviving children were William, Thomas, and Philip Starlyng and George and Anne Barton. Anne was a servant of Joan Spicer and Joan was to have charge of her inheritance until Anne was old enough to inherit and also to control what Elizabeth left to George Barton "until suche tyme as he do come home." She does not say where he is, but one presumes he has gone abroad. To her "suster Fysher" she left a pair of black beads and clothing. She also left bequests to Goodwife Byfyld, Margaret Edwardes, and Elizabeth White and notes that Lady Askew (see ELIZABETH HUTTON) owes her £20, which is quite a significant sum considering that the inventory of her goods and chattels, made on October 8, 1543, only totals £14 6s. 2d. The most expensive item was a "a gowne of browne blew lyned wythe russelles worsted" worth 20s. She also had £9 in "redye monye," and owned a total of
three gowns, two kirtles, two petticoats, three white caps, two partlets, nine rails, nine kerchers, and six smocks, a considerable wardrobe for someone in service, which means she may have been a waiting gentlewoman rather than a simple maidservant.


ELIZABETH BARWICK (c.1530-June 3,1569)
Elizabeth Barwick was the daughter of William Barwick and Elizabeth or Edith Cornwallis. On February 9, 1551, she married Robert Suckling (1520-October 1590), a mercer who was Lord Mayor of Norwich in 1572. She was the mother of four sons and five daughters, including Edmund, Dean of Norwich, Sir John Suckling (1569-March 27, 1627), and Maud (c.1566-May 10, 1633). Portrait: alabaster effigy on tomb in St. Andrew's Church, Norwich, erected by her son, Sir John, in the early 17th century.

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Margaret Basforth of Thornsby was a nun before the monasteries were dissolved. Afterward, she married Roger Newstead. When Mary Tudor became queen, however, and ex-religious were forbidden to marry, the two were forced to separate. Margaret was ordered never to speak to him again except in the company of others. After Queen Mary's death, Margaret returned to her husband.










EMILIA BASSANO (1569-1645)

The argument that Emilia Bassano is the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets was first advanced by Dr. A. L. Rowse in several of his books (Shakespeare the Man, 1973; Sex and Society in Shakespeare's Age, 1974; Shakespeare the Elizabethan, 1977). Other scholars, notably Susanne Woods in Lanyer: A Renaissance Woman Poet, disagree with Rowse's theory. Personally, I think Rowse's reasoning makes sense, so I include his conclusions in what follows. Emilia Bassano was the illegitimate daughter of Baptista Bassano (d. April 10, 1576), a court musician, and Margaret Johnson (d. 1587). She entered the service of Susan Bertie, countess of Kent, and it is possible that is how she met Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (1524-1596). She became his mistress. Her son, Henry (1592-1633), probably Hunsdon's child, was born after she married Alphonso Lanier (1573-1613), another musician, at St. Botolph Aldgate on October 10, 1592. Rowse dates Emilia's involvement with Shakespeare, and with the earl of Southampton, just after this. Rowse maintains that this same Emilia, from 1597 until 1600, also had a sexual relationship with Simon Forman the astrologer. Forman's records tell us that Emilia had several miscarriages and parish records reveal a daughter, Odillia (1598-99). Sometime in the early 1600s, Emilia spent time at Cookham, home of Margaret Russell, countess of Cumberland. Whether she was there as a servant or a guest is unclear. In 1609, Shakespeare's sonnets were published for the first time. By then, Emilia had apparently developed Puritan leanings. In 1611 there appeared in print a feminist, religious poem consisting of 230 eight-line stanzas, prefaced by eleven metrical addresses to various great ladies, titled Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. The author was identified as the wife of Alphonso Lanier. The text of this poem can be found online. Emilia was buried on April 3, 1645 in St. James, Clerkenwell. Biography: an article in Margaret Hannay, ed., Silent but for the Word and two essays in David Lasocki and Roger Prior, The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England 1551-1665; Oxford DNB entry under Lanier [née Bassano], Emilia." Portraits: two copies of a portrait miniature by Nicholas Hilliard in 1593, formerly identified as "Mrs. Holland," may portray Emilia Bassano.

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ANNE BASSETT (c.1521-before June 7,1557)

Anne Bassett was the third daughter of Sir John Bassett (1462-January 21,1528) and his second wife, Honor Grenville (c.1494-April 1566). Her stepfather, Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, was Lord Deputy of Calais and Anne was sent to a French family to be educated. In 1537 she obtained a post at court as one of Queen Jane Seymour’s six maids of honor, having been told in 1536 that, at fifteen, she was too young for the post. At the queen’s death, she was placed in the household of her cousin, Mary Arundell, countess of Sussex, to await the king’s next marriage. Later she resided with Peter Mewtas and his wife (Jane Asteley) and then with a distant cousin, Anthony Denny, and his wife (Joan Champernowne). The king took a particular interest in her, at one point giving her a gift of a horse and saddle. Upon his marriage to Anne of Cleves, Anne Bassett resumed her position as a maid of honor and she also held this post under Catherine Howard. After that queen’s disgrace, Anne was particularly provided for because at the time her stepfather, mother, and two sisters were being held in connection with a treasonous plot to turn Calais over to England’s enemies. This does not seem to have affected the king’s feelings for Anne. At a banquet held a short time later, she was one of three ladies to whom he paid particular attention and there was speculation that Anne Bassett might be wife number six. When King Henry chose Katherine Parr instead, Anne resumed her role as maid of honor. She left court during the reign of Edward VI with an annuity of forty marks for her service to Katherine Parr but returned as a lady of the privy chamber in 1553 when Mary Tudor took the throne. On June 11, 1554, Anne married Walter Hungerford of Farleigh (c.1526-1596) in the queen’s chapel at Richmond. The queen granted Anne a number of Hungerford properties lost when Walter's father was attainted in 1540. Walter was knighted later that year. They had two sons who died young. Biography: Anne’s story is told and some of her correspondence reprinted in M. St. Clare Byrne’s The Lisle Letters.


CATHERINE BASSETT (c.1517-1558+)

The second daughter of Sir John Bassett (1462-January 21,1528) and his second wife, Honor Grenville (c.1494-April 1566), Catherine was in competition with her younger sister, Anne Bassett, for one opening among Jane Seymour’s maids of honor. When Anne was chosen instead, Catherine joined the household of Eleanor Paston, countess of Rutland. There was some talk of placing her with Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk or Ann Stanhope, countess of Hertford, but Catherine apparently preferred Lady Rutland. Efforts continued to be made to win a position for her as a maid of honor but it was not until Anne of Cleves was no longer queen that Catherine was placed in her household. It was there, in 1541, that she got into trouble for wondering aloud how many wives the king would have. On December 8, 1547 she married Henry Ashley of Hever, Kent and Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset (c.1519-December 27, 1588). They had two sons, including Henry (1548-1605+), and probably a daughter, Margaret. After that, nothing is heard of Catherine Bassett. She was still alive in 1558 and had died before 1588, but exactly when or where is unknown. Biography: More details are given in M. St. Clare Byrne’s The Lisle Letters.


ELIZABETH BASSETT (1599-April 17, 1643)
Elizabeth Bassett was the daughter of William Bassett of Blore, Staffordshire (August 18, 1551-December 9, 1601) and Judith Austin or Ostern. Upon her father's death she became a ward of the Crown. Her wardship was sold to Henry, Lord Cobham, who in turn sold it to Sir Walter Raleigh. At age four, Elizabeth was betrothed to Walter Raleigh, age ten. At the same time, an agreement was reached to return her custody to her mother until she was sixteen years old. This cost her mother an annual payment of £40 until she was ten and after that 100 marks per annum. In 1603, however, both Cobham and Raleigh were attainted for treason and the wardship reverted to the Crown. In 1605, her mother was still trying unsuccessfully to acquire it for herself. Elizabeth married Henry Howard (c.1589-October 10, 1616), third son of the earl of Suffolk, in 1614. They had three children, James (October-December 1614) and another son who died young and a daughter, Catherine, born after her father died "suddenly at table" at Blore Hall in Staffordshire. A monument in the Bassett Chapel in St. Bartholomew's Church in Blore was commissioned by Jane Austin Bassett and contains alabaster effigies of William and Jane, Elizabeth and Henry, and Elizabeth's daughter. Her sons are represented by two caskets.In October 1618, Elizabeth remarried, taking as her second husband Sir William Cavendish (1593-1676), who was created earl of Newcastle in 1628. They had ten children. They entertained both King James and King Charles and their houses at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire and Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire were famous as gathering places for writers, artists, and musicians. Portraits: by William Larkin, c.1614-1618; by Daniel Mytens, 1624; effigy at Blore.








JANE BASSETT (c.1485-1537+)
Jane Bassett was one of the four daughters of Sir John Bassett of Umberleigh, Devonshire (1462-January 31, 1528) by his first wife, Elizabeth Dennis (d. before 1515) and probably the eldest. In spite of the claim in Mary Anne Everett Green's Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, Jane was not betrothed, on December 11, 1504, to Henry, son and heir of Giles Daubeney, later earl of Bridgewater, nor were extensive lands settled upon her. Her sisters, Anne and Thomasine, were sent to live in the Daubeney household and the plan was for one of them to eventually marry Henry Daubeney, who at that time was ten years old. Daubeney's death four years later was probably the reason why no marriage ever took place. As for Jane, still unmarried in 1529, when her stepmother, Honor Grenville, remarried, she went with Honor, now Lady Lisle, to Soberton, Hampshire. Jane had a marriage portion of 100 marks but does not seem to have sought a husband. When the Lisles moved to Calais, she remained behind at Soberton for a time, then requested permission to live with her sister, Thomasine, at Umberleigh, Devonshire, a manor that had been settled on Honor for life. She removed there in July, 1533. Both Jane and Thomasine had an income of £6. 13s. 4d. provided by their father's will, and numerous family connections in the area. From Umberleigh, Jane paid visits to her two sisters, Anne Courtenay at Upcot and Margery Marres at Week St. Mary in Cornwall. Six of Jane’s letters to her stepmother, written in 1534 and 1535, are extant, as are letters from the local vicar, Sir John Bonde, complaining of her behavior. Jane's letters were probably all written by clerks, but they still provide a clear picture of Jane Bassett as, in the words of M. St. Clare Byrne in The Lisle Letters, "a shrewd, managing, somewhat fussy, domineering, and crotchety woman . . . mildly eccentric . . . and entirely preoccupied with those of her stepmother's affairs in which she had a chance to interfere and to criticize others for neglecting them." In early 1536, Jane's sister Thomasine left Umberleigh. She died at Dowland eighteen months later. Jane remained at Umberleigh, and probably died there, but there is no record of her death.






Margaret Bassett, daughter of Ralph Bassett of Blore, Staffordshire and Eleanor Egerton, first married, in about 1498, an important Leicestershire sergeant-at-law named Thomas Kebell (c.1439-June 26,1500), as his third wife. The match was arranged by her grandmother, Joan Biron, after the death of William Bassett, Ralph Bassett’s father, in November, 1497. After Kebell’s death, because the widow was a wealthy heiress, she was abducted from Blore Hall on the first of February 1502 by a band a men brandishing swords. There were, by various accounts, either a hundred or a hundred and twenty in the band and it was led by Roger Vernon, son of Sir Henry Vernon of Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. Roger wanted to marry Margaret, even though she was already planning to wed Ralph Egerton of Ridley (c.1468-March 9, 1528). Blore Hall was the home of Margaret’s uncle, William Bassett, and Egerton and his father, Hugh Egerton (c. 1425-1505) were present, possibly to celebrate the betrothal. There was an additional connection. Margaret’s mother, Eleanor, was Ralph Egerton’s half sister. After the abduction, Vernon and Margaret were hastily married in Derby, much against the bride’s will, and afterward she was sent to Vernon’s uncles at Netherseal in Leicestershire and then into the Welsh Marches, where Sir Richard de la Bere kept her confined at his manor house in Clehonger. Margaret’s mother, Eleanor, accompanied by Eleanor's father and brother, set off in pursuit of the abductors. They were outnumbered and unable to rescue Margaret, but Margaret later managed to escape on her own and reach safety in London. The case ended up before the court of the Star Chamber, where changes and counter-charges kept the litigation active for the next seven years. Vernon was fined, but in December 1509, all those involved in the abduction were pardoned by the king. Margaret did eventually marry Ralph Egerton, who was knighted in 1515. Margaret had three children (Richard, Ralph, and Elizabeth) by Egerton. Until her death, she collected a jointure of £40 per annum from her first marriage.





MARY BASSETT (c.1522-May 1598)

Mary Bassett was the youngest daughter of Sir John Bassett (1462-January 21, 1528) and his second wife, Honor Grenville (c.1494-April 1566). Mary was educated in France in the household of Anne Rouand, Mme. de Bours of Abbeville and Bours from August 1534 until March 1538, when she returned to Calais suffering from a chronic fever. A number of letters from and about her are extant. In one, written from Abbeville on March 14, 1536 to her older sister Philippa, she writes: "I enjoy myself so much here in this country, that I should be very well satisfied, if I could only see my lady my mother very often, to return no more to England. I send you a green velvet purse, and a little pot to my sister Frances [her stepsister, Frances Plantagenet], and a gospel to my sister Catherine, and a parroquet to my lord my father [her stepfather, Lord Lisle] because he is very fond of birds." Then she adds: "I owe a pair of shoes to the maid who attends my wants, which I lost playing against her." During her time in a French household, Mary was taken to the French court by Jeanne de Saveuzes, Mme. de Riou, sister-in-law of Mme. de Bours, and presented to Queen Claude. This was in 1537, shortly after the death of Nicholas de Montmorency, Seigneur de Bours. His son and heir was Gabriel de Montmorency, the young man with whom Mary fell in love and to whom she secretly became betrothed. Mary was regarded as the prettiest of the sisters. An attempt was made in 1538 to find her a position in the household of Elizabeth Tudor but this came to nothing. When her stepfather, Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, Lord Deputy of Calais, was arrested in 1540 on suspicion of treason, all the family papers were seized by English officials. Mary attempted to destroy her love letters by throwing them down the jakes but this only made her look more suspicious. It was, in fact, a crime to contract a marriage to a foreigner without permission. Mary's mother was confined to the house of Francis Hall in Calais but it is unclear where, or for how long, Mary and her oldest sister, Philippa (c.1516-1582) were held. She is next heard of on June 8, 1557, when she married John Wollacombe of Overcombe, Devon. They had five sons and two daughters: Honor (1558-1559), John (b.1559), Thomas (b.1561), Priamus (b.1563), Honor (b.1566), William (b.1570) and Henry (b.1571). Mary was buried on May 21, 1598 at Roborough, near Plymouth. Biography: More details are given in M. St. Clare Byrne’s The Lisle Letters.



The ecclesiastical records of Stondon, Essex, report the case of Sarah Bastwick who, "whilst she was in service with her father about Allhallowtide last in a merriment came on horseback in a cloak disguised and demanded of him if he had any good ale." This was apparently a case of a woman wearing male attire, something frowned upon by both the church and society at large. Sarah was forbidden to receive communion until she sought her father's forgiveness for her actions.


SARAH BAVAND (c.1574-before 1642)
Sarah Bavand was the daughter of Richard Bavand (d.1603), ironmonger and mayor of Chester in 1581 and 1582 and Jane Bannvile or Bamvill. She married Thomas Jones (c.1568-1642), a draper and the wealthiest man in Shrewsbury. His worth in the period from 1623-1638 has been estimated at between £30,000 and £40,000. In 1615, Thomas and Sarah had their portraits painted. It has been suggested that this was a wedding portrait but as she was forty-one at the time, this seems unlikely. Nor is she wearing some kind of mayoress's costume. Her husband was mayor of Shrewsbury, but not until 1638. More likely, she is simply wearing clothing that reflects their great wealth. They had no children.

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AGNES BAXTER (d.1593/4)

Agnes (or Anne) Baxter was the daughter of one Edmund Baxter. She married Henry Prannell (c.1531-October 22, 1589), a vintner and London alderman. They had one son, Henry, and two daughters, Joan and Mary. The family appears to have been both prominent and wealthy. The elder Henry Prannell purchased the manor of Newsells from the earl of Oxford while the younger Henry Prannell, early in 1592, married a daughter of Thomas Howard, Viscount Bindon. Agnes made her will March 13, 1593 and it was proved February 9, 1594. In it, she left numerous charitable bequests. Among the provisions made for her family, she left her daughter-in-law, Frances Prannell (née Howard) her damask gown and her velvet kirtle. Agnes had recently paid £800 for the lease of the manor of Leuesbarne, Hertfordshire and stated that she had assigned that lease to her daughter Joan, wife of Robert Brooke. Similarly, she conveyed the tavern called the Cardinal’s Hat in Lombard Street, valued at £200, to her other daughter, Mary Clerke. The entire will can be found at www.oxford-shakespeare.com. Agnes was buried in the south side of the chancel of the church of St. Michael le Querne in London but the monument erected there to her and her husband was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.






FRANCES BAYNHAM (d. December 1583)
Frances Baynham was the daughter of Sir George Baynham of Clearwell, Gloucestershire (c.1505-1546) and Bridget Kingston (d.c.1527). She has been identified as one of Mary Tudor’s ladies in 1536, although she would have been very young at that date. She also married young, wedding Sir Henry Jerningham (1509/10-September 7, 1572) between 1536 and 1543, after which she continued to serve Mary as Frances Jerningham, both before and after Mary became queen in 1553. This makes it questionable whether she was the
"Baynam" referred to in a poem by R. E. if it was written c. 1553, about Mary's ladies. The line reads: "Baynam is as beautiful as nature can devise." It was her grandfather, Sir William Kingston, who arranged the match. Jerningham was his new wife's son by her first marriage. Their children were Henry (d. July 15, 1619), Philip (d. yng), William (d. before 1582), Mary (c.1542-before 1582), Jemina (Jeronima/Hieronima) (c.1550-February 4,1627), and possibly Francis (d. yng). Frances, though her mother, was heir to Sir Anthony Kingston when he died in 1556. In her husband's will, made August 15, 1572 and proved May 27, 1572, Frances received a life interest in his London property. She was named executor. In 1577, Lady Jerningham's name appeared on a list of Norfolk recusants drawn up by the bishop. She kept a priest, Mr. Dereham, who had once been her son's schoolmaster and was later called her surveyor. During Queen Elizabeth's progress of 1578, the queen hunted in Lady Jerningham's 1,000 acre deer park at Cossey/Cotesby/Costessey, near King's Lynn in Norfolk in East Anglia, and had dinner at Lady Jerningham's manor house, which had been a gift to her late husband from Queen Mary. Later that summer, Jemina's husband, Charles Waldegrave, was summoned for recusancy but did not appear. Although Lady Jerningham's religious sentiments were apparently well known, she was neither prosecuted nor persecuted for her faith. In 1561, she was present at mass in the household of Sir Edward Waldegrave (Charles's father) in Borley, Essex. Sir Edward and his wife were sent to the Tower but Frances apparently was not arrested. In addition to keeping a priest, Lady Jerningham also kept a fool named Joane, for whom she made provision in her will. This will was made on August 20, 1583 and proved February 15, 1584. Another provision was that her son Henry should build a tomb for his paternal grandmother, Mary Scrope at Leyton, Essex. She left a ring with a ruby and twelve trencher plates of silver to her surviving daughter with the comment that they had been given to the same Mary Scrope Jerningham Kingston by Queen Catherine of Aragon. Her daughter was also to receive a pomander of gold enameled with roses and pomegranates, a saddle, and a grey nag. To her waiting gentlewoman, Anne Rokewood, Frances left a featherbed and bolster, £5, and an annuity of four marks to be added to the annuity of £4 Sir Henry had left Anne in his will. Frances's will can be found in its entirety at oxford-shakespeare.com. Frances was buried at Cossey December 23, 1583.




LUCE BAYNHAM (1560?-1610?) (maiden name unknown)

By 1576, a woman called Black Luce was running a bawdy house in St. John Street, Clerkenwell and was married to a man named Baynham (Baynam/Baynams/Bayntham), possibly Henry Baynham. Whether she was actually a black woman, simply dark skinned, or only black-hearted, is unknown, but her nickname led Leslie Hotson (Mr. W.H.) to suggest she might be the dark lady who inspired Shakespeare to write his sonnets. Gustav Ungerer, in his "Prostitution in Late Elizabethan England: The Case of Mary Newborough," and Duncan Salkeld in Shakespeare among the Courtesans reveal more about Black Luce, including her identity as Luce Baynham, and while not completely discounting her connection to the players, disprove the idea that she was once a gentlewoman at the court of Queen Elizabeth (see LUCY MORGAN). Shortly before January 2, 1576/7, her house was raided at midnight and the occupants forced to flee to another establishment in Westminster, where a Mrs. Stallis operated as a bawd. Luce occasionally entered into a partnership with Gilbert and Margaret East, who ran a brothel in Turnmill Street by 1576. Luce was a well-established underworld figure by 1595, when she entertained students from Gray's Inn with her choir of "black nuns." She is mentioned in records of the Queen's Bench in 1596, but seems to have managed to avoided prosecution until, on January 15, 1600 she was committed to Bridewell for being a "notorious and lewd woman." She was released on January 31st and was still in business in September 1601. Just after Christmas 1604, she was living in the Boar's Head tenements on Bankside, apparently with Gilbert East, and paying an annual rent of twenty shillings. In the seventeenth century the career of Black Luce was celebrated more than once in print and one satirical epitaph, "On Luce Morgan," reports that she became a Roman Catholic and that she died diseased. 











MARY BAYNTON (1515-1533+)

Mary Baynton was the daughter of Thomas Baynton of Bridlington, Yorkshire. In the latter part of 1533, she was found wandering into houses in Boston, telling people she was Princess Mary. She claimed that her father, Henry VIII, had turned her out, forcing her to beg for alms in order to survive. The three gentlemen who examined her concluded that she was not part of any conspiracy and she was probably returned to her father, although there is no extant record of what happened to her after she was questioned.




MARY BEATON (c.1543-1597)
Mary Beaton was the daughter of Robert Beaton, 3rd Laird of Creich (1520-c.1567) and Jeanne de la Reinville, a French lady in waiting to Marie of Guise. As a young girl she was chosen as a maid of honor for the five-year-old Queen of Scots when she was sent to France in 1548. They were known as the Queen's Maries, but this may be as much because they were her maids, from the Icelandic word "maer," as because they all had the same first name. Mary Beaton was said to be the most beautiful of them all by the English ambassador to Scotland, Thomas Randolph, in 1564. In April 1566, Mary married Sir Alexander Ogilvy of Boyne (c.1530-before 1606), a match arranged by the queen. They had two sons, James (1568-1619) and Andrew (d.1620). She was not one of the attendants with the Queen of Scots in England, nor were two of the other Maries, Mary Fleming and Mary Livingstone. She is included here primarily because she is said to be the subject of a painting from the school of Antonio Mor, dated in the 1560s, but this identification is tentative at best. And because she has been suggested as the forger of the Casket Letters, a claim that is also questionable. She disappears from the public record after 1568.

MARGARET BEAUFORT(May 31, 1443-June 29,1509)

Margaret Beaufort was the daughter of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (1403-1444) and Margaret Beauchamp and married Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond (1430-1456) in 1455. She gave birth to the future Henry VII when she was fourteen. He was her only child, although she married twice more, to Henry Stafford (d. 1471) and then to Thomas Stanley, earl of Derby (1435-1504). Margaret was separated from her son when he was still quite young but she played an active role in asserting his claim to the throne. She is the one who negotiated with Elizabeth Woodville to secure the hand of Elizabeth of York in marriage, contingent upon Henry's invasion of England and defeat of Richard III, who had usurped the throne from Elizabeth's brothers. Once Henry Tudor was on the throne, Margaret remained influential. She was responsible for drawing up the rules by which the nursery was governed, and she was widely known as a patron of the arts. She herself translated The Mirror of Gold of the Sinful Soul, published in 1507, and commissioned many other translations. She founded two colleges, Christ's and St. John's and may also have served on the Council of the North. Her primary residence when not at court was at Collyweston. Biographies: Of Virtue Rare: Margaret Beaufort, Matriarch of the House of Tudor by Linda Simon; The King's Mother Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby by Michael K. Jones and Malcolm G. Underwood; Oxford DNB entry under "Beautort, Margaret." Portraits: several portraits by unknown artists exist, as well as an effigy on her tomb in Westminster Abbey.

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MARY BEAUMONT(1569-April 19,1632)

Mary Beaumont was created countess of Buckingham in her own right on July 1, 1618. Her father, Anthony Beaumont of Glenfield, Leicestershire, was not even a knight. Her mother was Anne (DNB says Elizabeth) Armstrong of Corby, Lincolnshire. As a young woman, Mary was a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Lady Beaumont of Cole Orton, but by her first marriage, to Sir George Villiers, of Brooksby, Leicestershire (d.January 1606), she had four successful children: John, Viscount Purbeck (c.1591-1657); George, duke of Buckingham (1592-1628), the king's favorite; Christopher, earl of Anglesey (1593-1630), and Susan, countess of Denbigh (c.1591-1655). Mary lived at Goadby with her children after Villiers's death but married twice more, first on June 19, 1606 to eighty-year-old Sir William Rayner (Raynor/Reyner) of Orton Longueville, Huntingdonshire (d.November 1606), and second to Sir Thomas Compton (d.April 1626). The last marriage was unhappy, as Sir Thomas was impoverished and rarely sober. The countess was buried in Westminster Abbey. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Villiers [née Beaumont], Mary." Portraits: miniature; portrait, possibly by Daniel Mytens; engraving; effigy.

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ALICE BELKNAP (c.1475-1537)
Alice Belknap was the daughter of Henry Belknap of Crofton, Kent and Knell, Beckley, Sussex (d.1488) and Margaret Knollys and the sister of Sir Edward Belknap (July 30, 1473-1521). She married William Shelley of London, Michelgrove, Sussex, and Mapledurham, Hampshire (1476-1549). The date of their marriage settlement is July 10, 1511, but they appear to have married before that date. Some sources say as early as 1500. They had seven sons and seven daughters including John (d. 1550), Thomas, Edward (d. September 10, 1547), Richard (1513/14-1589), Elizabeth (d. December 25, 1560), James, Margaret, and Catherine. In London they lived in the parish of St. Sepulcre and Shelley was assessed at 300 marks in goods in the subsidy of 1523. His lands were valued at £140 a year. Alice had a servant named Jane Smith (d.1529) to whom she gave the manuscript known as the "Belknap Hours." Jane married John Onley of Catesby Northamptonshire (d. November 22, 1537), who may have been brought up in the Belknap household and whose entry at the Inner Temple was sponsored by William Shelley. Portrait: tomb effigy with husband and fourteen children in St. Mary the Virgin, Clapham, Sussex.

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Elizabeth Belknap was the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Belknap of Knoll, Warwickshire (July 30, 1473-1521). She married first William (or Walter) Scott of Stapleford Tawney, Essex (d.1551). Her second husband was Thomas Bishop or Bishopp of Henfield, Sussex (d. January 6,1560), a lawyer, by whom she had one son, Thomas (1553-1626). Before 1549, Bishop had acted as feoffee to Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a recusant. By the will Bishop made on December 16, 1558, proved October 24, 1560, Elizabeth received 400 marks in cash, the plate which she had brought to the marriage, and a life interest in Henfield parsonage and park. She was one of his executors.


MARGARET BELKNAP (d. August 18, 1513)

Margaret Belknap was one of the six daughters of Henry Belknap of Crofton, Kent and Beccles, Suffolk (c.1419-July 3, 1488) and Margaret Knollys (1432-October 7, 1488). In 1502, she was a gentlewomen attending Queen Elizabeth of York. She married John Boteler of Woodhall Watton, Hertfordshire (d. May 11, 1514). They had no children.


MARY BELKNAP (1472-c.1558)
Mary Belknap was the daughter of Sir Henry Belknap of Beccles, Suffolk (c.1419-July 3, 1488) and Margaret Knollys (1432-October 7, 1488). In about 1502, she married Gerard Danet (Dannet/Dannatt/Dannett) of Danet’s Hall, Bromkinsthorpe, Leicestershire (c.1466-May 3, 1520) as his second wife. He may already have had a daughter, Elizabeth, and with Mary had eleven more children, including Alice, John (1503-1542/3), Thomas (March 23, 1517-c.1569), Elizabeth (d.1564), Jane, Mary (d. before 1562), and four who died young. Mary Belknap was the sister and coheir of her brother Sir Edward Belknap of Knoll, Warwickshire (July 30, 1473-1521), along with her sisters Alice (wife of William Shelley), Anne (wife of Sir Robert Wotton), and Elizabeth (wife of Philip Cooke). As a widow, she bought and sold land. She made her will on November 3, 1556 and it was proved December 15, 1558. She died possessed of land in Kent, Bedfordshire, Warwickshire, Surrey, and Leicestershire. Portrait: memorial brass, Tilty, Essex.

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ANNE BELLAMY (1563-1593+)

Anne Bellamy was a member of a notoriously recusant family living in Middlesex. She was the daughter of Richard and Catherine Bellamy of Uxenden Hall near Harrow-on-the-Hill. There is some confusion between generations, since both her mother and her grandmother were named Catherine. As near as I can make out, her grandmother, Catherine Page Bellamy, was arrested in 1583 and died in prison in 1586. Three of this Catherine’s sons (Anne’s uncles) also died in prison: Jerome, executed in 1586; Bartholomew; and Robert (b. 1541), who was in prison in 1586 but still alive in 1593. Anne’s father, although indicted in 1583, was not held. Her mother, the second Catherine, was apparently indicted for being a recusant in 1587 but does not seem to have been jailed at that time. Anne herself was arrested and charged with being a recusant on January 26,1592, when she was twenty-nine. While a prisoner, she is said to have abandoned her virtue to the royal torturer, Richard Topcliffe. Other accounts say he raped her. Whatever happened, in May she provided evidence against the priest, Richard Southwell, that led to Southwell’s capture and eventual execution and the arrest of the rest of Anne’s family—her father, mother, two sisters, and two brothers. Bellamy and his wife were held at the Gatehouse, Anne’s sisters Audrey Wilford (b. 1573), a widow, and Mary (b. 1564/5), in the Clink, and her brothers Faith (b. 1566) and Thomas (b. 1572), both of whom had also been indicted in 1587, in St. Catherine’s. Anne was married in July to Nicholas Jones, underkeeper of the Gatehouse at Westminster, sometimes said to be Topcliffe’s servant. She gave birth to a child that Christmas, reportedly at Topcliffe’s house in Lincolnshire. Meanwhile, Anne’s father had refused to give her a marriage portion. By one account, he spent the next ten years in prison, but other sources place him in exile in Belgium in 1594, where he eventually died. Anne’s mother and two brothers conformed sometime in 1594 and were released but her sisters refused to give up their religion. Anne’s mother was still alive, widowed, in 1609, but no other details on the fates of individual members of the Bellamy family seem to have survived.



Elizabeth Bellingham was the daughter and coheir of Robert Bellingham of Burnehead Hall, Burneside, Westmorland and Anne Pickering. Around 1529, she married Cuthbert Hutton of Hutton John, Cumberland (c.1504-September 10, 1553). Their children were Thomas (d.1615+), John, Katherine, Anne, and Mary. Elizabeth Bellingham is said to have known Kathryn Parr when they were children in Westmorland. She came to court when Kathryn married Henry VIII to be one of her waiting gentlewomen. Alison Weir says she was Kathryn's Mother of Maids, but I have not seen this elsewhere. One very garbled account in a book published in 1882 completely mixes up the generations, but it appears that Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, Mary, was born at court and her godmother was Princess Mary, Kathryn Parr’s stepdaughter, later Queen Mary. When Elizabeth left court, she returned to Hutton John where she and her husband laid out gardens in the style of those at Hampton Court. The History of Parliament entry for Cuthbert reports that Elizabeth acquired the wardship of her son John in 1553, after her husband died, but other sources give his date of death as 1566.










The eldest of five daughters of Simon Bening or Benninck of Bruges (c.1483-1553/4), an illuminator, and Katlijne Scroo (d. before 1544), Lavina  was born in Bruges. Another spelling of her name is Lievine Binnick. Between 1540 and 1542, she married George Teerlinc, Teerlinck, or Terling (d.1577/8) and as Lavina Teerlinc became well known as a limner and miniature painter. She and her husband arrived in England in early 1545 and she was sworn into the queen's Privy Chamber. The following year, her husband became one of the king's Gentlemen Pensioners and Lavina became one of the king's artists at £40 per annum. She also received £20 a year from the queen's privy purse. In 1549, the Teerlincs were living in Bride's Lane, London with several Flemish servants. Under Mary Tudor, Lavina was to continue to receive the £40 annuity as a “paintrix” but this salary was not paid. Lavina continued to be a court painter under Elizabeth Tudor and in 1562 presented the queen with “the Queen’s personne and other personages, in a box finely painted” as a New Year’s gift. The Teerlincs had a son, Marcus (c.1548-1576) and all three became English subjects on March 25, 1566. At about that time they built a house in Stepney that cost £500. They may also have had a second chld. Lavina was buried in St. Dunstan's, Stepney on June 25, 1576. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Teerlinc [née Bening or Benninck] Levina"; Chapter Seven of Susan E. James's The Feminine Dynamic in English Art 1485-1603; "Levina Teerlinc, Tudor Court Painter," by Ilya Sandra Perlingieri (Antiques Journal, November 2010, pp.33-37).


The portrait called "Eleanor Benlowes," dated 1565 and containing the information that the sitter was twenty years old, is sometimes said to be Eleanor Palmer, second wife of William Benlowes or Bendlows of Brent Hall, Finchingfield, Essex (1516-November 19, 1584). However, Eleanor Palmer, apparently the youngest daughter of Sir Edward Palmer of Angmering, Sussex (c.1490-1517) and Alice Clement, was born c.1504 and was therefore much too old to have been the sitter. Eleanor Palmer was the widow of John Berners of Finchingfield, Sussex when she married Benlowes, having married Berners sometime after the death of his first wife (Elizabeth Wiseman) on January 23, 1523. Eleanor and William Benlowes are known to have had one son, William Benlowes (d.1613) and one daughter. It seems likely that the Eleanor Benlowes of the painting was either that daughter or their daughter-in-law. Portrait: attributed to Steven van der Meulen, 1565.

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ANNE BENNETT (d.1609+)

Anne Bennett was the daughter of Richard Bennett of Weeks Green and Rye, Sussex (d. before 1604), a butcher, and his wife Anne (c.1550-1609+), a healer. Anne was also trained as a healer. On December 7, 1603, she married George Taylor or Tayler, a gentleman from Kent, although they appear to have continued to live in her mother's house. In about 1604, Roger Swapper, a sawyer, and his wife Susan rented part of the house belonging to Anne's mother. At Lent 1607, they were both ill. Susan later claimed that, during her illness, she was visited by four spirits who told her to go to "young Anne Bennett" for help. Modern scholars theorize that factionalism in Rye was behind the incriminating story Susan told to the authorities when she was charged with "counseling with wicked spirits," a felony under the law passed in 1604. Susan was first questioned by the mayor of Rye, Thomas Higgons, on September 26, 1607. By that time, Anne had given birth to a son and a daughter and both had died. According to Susan, she and Anne Taylor followed the spirits' instructions to dig in her garden—to plant sage in one version and to find treasure in another. Then, at Whitsun, Susan dug for treasure in the field at Weeks Green on property formerly owned by Anne's father. She found no treasure, but she said she’d met the queen of the fairies there. She also, on December 3, 1607, claimed that Anne had foretold the death of Thomas Hamon or Hammond, the previous mayor of Rye. In the December sessions of 1607, both women were charged following two testimonials by unknown parties. The charge against Anne was aiding and abetting Susan. Susan was found guilty of consulting spirits and sentenced to be hanged. Rather than appear in court, Anne fled to her in-laws in Kent and remained there for some six months. During that time, new charges were made. It seems that Thomas Hamon's death, supposedly foretold by Anne, had been suspicious. He’d been taken violently ill on July 13, 1607 and died on the 27th of that month. By the time Anne returned to Rye, Hamon's widow had accused her of procuring his death by diabolical means and of appearing at their door disguised as a beggar, at which time she’d been given one of Hamon's old shirt sleeves. Other charges against her were that she’d bewitched Robert Burdett, a barber and Rye's town gunner, causing him to be killed by an exploding cannon, that she’d poisoned a servant girl with deadly medicine, and that she’d murdered her own children. Anne was a prisoner by July 22, 1608 when her husband petitioned Henry Howard, earl of Northampton to intervene in the case, calling the charges against her the "unjust accusations of a lewd woman." Taylor also argued that Anne should be released because she was pregnant. A letter from the mayor to Northampton informed the earl that Anne had confessed that she and Susan Swapper had conversed with spirits. It also complained that Taylor had previously promised she would appear in court when called but that she had fled the county. There is mention of  "outrageous behavior" toward her maidservant, but no details of this incident are given. Taylor bound himself in the sum of £100 for his wife's appearance at the next sessions of the peace and Anne was tried in the summer of 1609, at which time she was acquitted of all charges. Susan, still in prison at that time, was later released under the general pardon of 1611. As for the woman who accused Anne of murdering her husband, see the entry under Martha Tharpe.    


ELIZABETH BENNETT (x. 1582) (maiden name unknown)

In 1582, Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett, wife of a husbandman, John Bennett of St. Osyth, Essex, employed as a spinner by a local clothmaker, was accused of killing three people by witchcraft. She confessed to having two familiar spirits, Black Suckin and Red Liard and was executed by hanging.





MARION BENNETT (d. April 8, 1549) (maiden name unknown)
The inquisition post mortem for Marion Bennett, widow, was taken on June 28, 1549. Her first husband was Thomas Stoketon. On October 13, 1526, she married again, this time to John Bennet or Bennett of St. Sepulchre's, London. Marion was listed as being of St. Giles without Cripplegate, a suburb of London, and until shortly before her death she owned two messuages in Grub Street in that parish. On January 4, 1549, she gave one of them to Marion Rolf or Roulf, wife of Jasper Roulf of London, yeoman, and to Marion's children Thomas, George, and Isabella Roulf. This second Marion, who was aged thirty-three or more in June 1549, was the daughter of Thomas Stoketon's sister. It appears that Marion Bennett had no surviving children from either of her marriages.


ANNE BENOLT (d. December 10, 1585)
Anne Benolt was the daughter of Thomas Benolt, Clarenceux King of Arms (d. May 8, 1534) and his second wife, Mary Fermor. Her father had houses in Bishopsgate and Chiswick, Middlesex and a manor in Gillingham, Kent. Anne is said to have been the wife of Mr. Fuller, a judge, before she married Sir John Radcliffe (December 31, 1539- November 9, 1568), a younger son of Robert, 1st earl of Sussex. She was buried December 18, 1585 in St. Olave, Hart Street, London. Portrait: effigy in St. Olave, Hart Street, London.

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ALICE BENTLEY (d. September 1558)
Alice Bentley married first Richard Mody of London (d. January/February 1550) and second, as his second wife, John Rede of Westminster (d. September 27, 1557). Her second husband was keeper of the wardrobe at York Place (Whitehall). In his will, dated September 16, 1557, he left Alice his capital messuage near Charing Cross. It had formerly been the hospital of Our Lady of Rounceval. He specified that his three sons by his first marriage inherit tenements when they reached the age of twenty-one and that until then Alice, as one of the executors, spend the rent on their education. In 1558, she was sued for her failure to pay the first installment. Already "an aged woman," she claimed her days were "like to be shortened" by this harassment but the case went against her and she was ordered to fulfill the terms of the will. She also lost a second suit over her inheritance and did, in fact, die that same year.




JANE BERINGTON (c.1556-January 12, 1647)

Jane Berington was the daughter of Thomas Berington/Burington of Streatley, Berkshire and Joan Wire. In 1583, when she married John Eyston of Hendred House, East Hendred, Berkshire (1532-March 3, 1590), he settled the Abbey Manor in East Hendred on her. She was his third wife but the only one to give him children. They were: William (1585- 1649), John (c.1587-1664), Thomas (1588-1689), Robert (b. 1589; a priest), and Margaret (1586-1641). Jane remarried in 1591, taking as her second husband John Arderne or Arden of Tackley and Kirtlington, Oxfordshire. Portrait: memorial brass in East Hendred (also including her daughter, Margaret, who married Francis Perkins of Ufton).


berington,jane (224x300)  eyston,margaret (143x300)







Catherine Berkeley was the daughter of Sir William Berkeley of Stoke Gifford (1433-1501) and Anne Stafford (c.1447-1508+). She married Maurice Berkeley, Baron Berkeley (1467-September 12, 1523). The marriage contract is dated January 28, 1484/5. They had no children. By 1514, Berkeley and Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, were feuding, although the cause of the rift is uncertain. At one point the burgesses of Tetbury, Berkeley's men, refused Buckingham lodging in that town when he was en route from London to Thornbury Castle. Buckingham is recorded as calling Lady Berkeley "false chorle and wiche."







ELIZABETH BERKELEY (1534-September 1, 1582)
Elizabeth Berkeley was the daughter of Thomas, 6th baron Berkeley (1505-September 22, 1534) and Anne Savage (1506-October 1564). In around 1559, she married Thomas Butler, 10th earl of Ormond and 3rd earl of Ossory (1532-November 22, 1614), who had been raised at the English court as one of Prince Edward's schoolmates and returned to England when Elizabeth became queen. Elizabeth Berkeley was described as "the fairest that lived in the court," but apparently the marriage was a troubled one. The earl accused his wife of writing love letters to three men—Morgan, Moore, and Mansfield—and they were living apart by the spring of 1564. In early 1565, Ormond obtained an Irish divorce, but the English Privy Council intervened, heard his wife's appeal, and arranged a settlement in 1569 by which she remained his wife and was granted an allowance of £90/year for life. In the interim, Ormond was at the English court and high in favor with the queen. His countess was in Bristol when she died and was buried in Westminster Abbey. They had no children.


FRANCES BERKELEY (c.1566-1595)
Frances Berkeley was the daughter of Henry, baron Berkeley (November 26, 1534-November 26, 1613) and Catherine Howard (1539-April 7, 1596). A marriage was proposed for her with one of the sons of Sir Henry Sidney, but her mother refused to allow the match because he was a nephew of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester and there was enmity between Leicester and Lady Berkeley's brother, the 4th duke of Norfolk. In 1587, Frances married Sir George Shirley of Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire (1559-1622). They had four sons and a daughter, including George (d.yng), Henry (1588-1633), Sir Thomas (1590-1654), and John (d.yng). After Frances died in childbirth, George commissioned a grandiose tomb for her which was completed in 1598. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Mary and St. Hardulph, Breedon-on-the-Hill.

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JOANNA BERKELEY (1555/6-1616)

Joanna (or Joan) Berkeley was one of the three daughters of Sir John Berkeley of Southover, Hampshire and Beverstone Castle, Gloucestershire (1531-October 18, 1582) and Frances Poyntz (d. 1576).  On the death of her mother, her uncle, Sir Nicholas Poyntz, wrote that her father "hath not the grace to show himself a natural father." Joanna became a nun in 1581. She was at St. Peter's abbey in Rheims when Lady Mary Percy asked to her become the first abbess of a new Benedictine house in Brussels. She was installed on November 21, 1599 and under her administration the abbey grew in both size and influence, attracting English Catholic girls forbidden to practice their religion in their homeland. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Berkeley, Joanne.”





LORA BERKELEY (c.1466-October 31, 1501)

Lora Berkeley was the daughter of Edward Berkeley of Beverstone Castle, Gloucestershire and Ibsey, Hampshire (c.1428-March 1506) and Christian Holt (c.1433-1468). She married John Blount, 3rd baron Mountjoy (1450-October 12,1485), by whom she had William (1479-November 8, 1534), Rowland or Roger (d.1509), Constantia or Constance, Sir John, and Lora (1475-February 6, 1479/80). In 1485 she married Sir Thomas Montgomery of Faulkborne, Essex (1460-January 2, 1494/5). They had no issue. By November 1496, Lora wed Thomas Butler, 7th earl of Ormond (1424-August 3, 1515). They had a daughter, Elizabeth. Lora was buried with her second husband in New Abbey, London.





MARY BERKELEY (c.1511-1586)

Mary Berkeley was the daughter of James Berkeley of Thornbury, Gloucestershire and Hilton, Cambridgeshire (c.1466-c.1515) and Susan Fitzalan (d.c.1521). Around 1526, Mary wed Thomas Perrott of Islington, Middlesex and Haroldstone, St. Issells, Pembrokeshire (1504/5-September 19,1531). The marriage was arranged by Mary's uncle (Maurice, Lord Berkeley). Both Mary and Thomas were his wards and lived at Berkeley Castle before their marriage. The sum of 500 marks was settled on the couple. Mary had three children, Jane, Elizabeth, and John Perrott (November 1528-September 1592). The latter apparently bore a resemblance to Henry VIII, which led to speculation that he was the king's illegitimate son. Philippa Jones, in The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards claims that Mary was one of Catherine of Aragon's ladies and states that her son was definitely Henry VIII’s bastard. The History of Parliament goes so far as to state that John Perrott's mother was Henry VIII's mistress, but offers no details or evidence. The story of a relationship between Mary and the king, however, appears to have been invented by Sir Robert Naunton, husband of John Perrott's granddaughter, although Alison Weir (Mary Boleyn) says John himself made the claim in an attempt to save himself from execution. However, Weir also points out that nine months before John's birth, King Henry was already involved with Anne Boleyn and that, further, the king never traveled as far as Haroldstone St. Issells. Mary, as far as anyone can prove, was never at court. Mary married twice more. In about 1532, she wed Sir Thomas Jones of Llanegwad and Abermarlais, Carmarthenshire (c.1492-1559), by whom she had five more children—Sir Henry (d.1586), Richard (d.1577+), Catherine, James, and another daughter. Jones purchased John Perrott's wardship in 1533 and settled at Haroldston. Mary and Jones made over a number of properties to her son John Perrott c. 1551 to help him pay off debts of over £7000.Weir gives Mary a third marriage but does not identify this husband.





ELIZABETH BERNYE (1560-c.1603)

Elizabeth Bernye was the daughter of Martin Bernye of North Erpingham, Norfolk (d.1595+) and Margaret Flynte (d.1595+). She married Christopher Grimston or Grymeston of Smeeton, Yorkshire (b.c.1563/4) and they had nine children, only one of whom, Bernye, survived. For his benefit, Elizabeth wrote a guidebook published after her death as Miscelanea: Meditations: Memoratives. It was a collection of brief essays on religious topics, together with poems and moral maxims. One of the latter is “A fair woman is a paradise to the eye, a purgatory to the purse, and a hell to the soul.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Grymeston [Grimston; née Bernye], Elizabeth."





see MARY de VERE


SUSAN BERTIE (1554-1611+)

Susan Bertie was the daughter of Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk (March 22, 1521-September 19, 1580) by her second husband, Richard Bertie (December 25, 1517-April 9, 1582). She spent her early years in exile in Poland with her brother Peregrine and her parents. The family returned to England in 1559. Susan was educated at Grimsthorpe with her brother and ten children of honor (nine boys and one other girl). In 1570, Susan married Reginald Grey of Wrest, Bedfordshire (d. March 17,1573), who was restored as earl of Kent through her mother’s influence in 1572. After his death, Susan obtained administration of his estate (he left no will) but was soon involved in litigation with the new earl, her brother-in-law. She spent several years at the court of Queen Elizabeth. As countess of Kent she was a patron of the arts (see the entry for Emilia Bassano). On September 30, 1581, at Stenigot, Lincolnshire, she married John Wingfield (d. June 21, 1596). Their marriage annoyed the queen. In March 1583, she still had not forgiven them for marrying without her permission. Susan brought Withcall, Lincolnshire to the marriage along with the use of property in the Barbican in London and dower rights worth up to £160/year. She and her new husband sold the dower rights to Henry Grey, the new earl of Kent, in November 1585 for £600. Wingfield was a soldier and Susan accompanied him to the Low Countries, giving birth to their son Peregrine there on July 15, 1586. Wingfield served as deputy governor in the Netherlands and in July 1588, based in Geertuidenberg, was made governor. When the city surrendered to the duke of Parma on April 17, 1589, he was allowed to leave with his family, but they were then imprisoned at Breda by the Spanish and there was a price on their heads by the opposing side as traitors for letting the city fall into enemy hands. Susan's son was held separately at Dordrecht as security for the family's debts. Wingfield was still being held prisoner in October and the date of his release is unknown. Susan and Peregrine may have been freed earlier. A second son, Robert, was born in July 1591 but died on August 18, 1592. Wingfield died at the battle of Cadiz, serving under the earl of Essex. He did not leave a will, either, but he did leave behind over £900 in debts. Susan renounced administration of the estate and revealed that the family had been living on credit for the last seven years. Her only income was £70 a year and at the time Wingfield died she had no money at all. They queen sent her £40 but that did not go far. She begged for an annuity and on July 9, 1597 was granted one of £100/year for her life and that of her son. Her brother, Peregrine Bertie, gave Susan a life estate in Willoughby Rents in his London mansion in the Barbican and in his will, dated August 1599 and proved September 12, 1601, left her son an annuity of £20. She was still living in 1611. Portrait: by the Master of the Countess of Warwick in 1567 when she was thirteen.


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DOROTHY BERWICK (c.1509-1541+)
Dorothy Berwick was the only child of Alfred Berwick of Horsham, Sussex (d.1541+) and Agnes Bradbridge. By 1514, her father was in the service of the 2nd duke of Norfolk and at some point after that, (as Dorothy Baskerville?) that Dorothy entered the household of the duchess, Agnes Tylney. It was there that she was enlisted by the young Catherine Howard to carry messages to and from Henry Manox, who was employed by the duchess as a music teacher. According to the History of Parliament entry for her father, after Queen Catherine Howard was accused of having taken lovers before she married the king, Dorothy gave evidence that there had been a betrothal between Catherine and Manox at Horsham.




ELIZABETH BESELLES (c.1475-c.1520)

Elizabeth Beselles was the only child and heir of William Beselles or Besseles of Besselsleigh, West Hall, Carewell, and Longworth, Berkshire and Grafton and Radcot, Oxfordshire (d. May 1515) and Alice Harcourt (d.1526). She married first Richard Fettiplace of East Shefford, Berkshire (c.1456-1511), by whom she had John, Edward, Anthony, John, Thomas, Susan (d. September 23, 1540), Jane, Anne, Dorothy, Mary, Eleanor (d. July 15, 1565), and Elizabeth. Before 1515, the widow married Sir Richard Elyot or Eliot of Salisbury, Wiltshire (d.1522), Justice of Common Pleas. In 1515, Elizabeth inherited the manors of Besselsleigh, West Hall, Carwell, and Longworth. In 1518, together with her husband and her daughter, Dorothy Codrynton, she sued Christopher Codrynton in Chancery over his refusal to settle certain lands on Dorothy when she married his son John. Elizabeth died before October 9, 1520, when Elyot wrote a will in which he requested burial with her in the Cathedral church of Salisbury.


MAUD BEVIL (d.1550)

Maud (or Matilda) Bevil was the younger daughter and coheir of John Bevil of Gwarnock, Cornwall. She married Sir Richard Grenville of Stowe, Cornwall (c.1494-March 15, 1550). Her sister Mary married John Arundell of Trerice as his first wife. Maud's children were Roger (d. July 19, 1545), Margaret, John, Mary, and Jane. From October 1535 until October 1540, Sir Richard was marshal of Calais, where his uncle by marriage was governor. During most of that time Maud lived there with him. She is mentioned from time to time in The Lisle Letters, when various correspondents ask to be remembered to her. During a visit by Soeur Anthoinette de Saveuses to Lady Lisle, Maud apparently suggested that if the Frenchwoman sent her some coifs, she could resell them. In her letter to Lady Lisle on February 7, 1539, Soeur Anthoinette suggests that Maud might reimburse Lady Lisle for coifs Lady Lisle paid for but did not find up to her standards. Linen and fine thread were very dear at this time, and the suggested payment for future piecework by a skilled seamstress was five and half sous the piece for coifs for women and seven sous the piece for coifs for men. There is one letter from Maud to Lady Lisle, dated August 31, 1538 and written from Stowe. In a letter to his wife on November 15, 1538, Lord Lisle asks to be remembered to "my nephew Graynfylde and his wife," indicating that Maud had returned to Calais. In 1549, during the Cornish uprising over the introduction of the new Prayer Book, Sir Richard and his wife and followers took shelter in Trematon Castle. The rebels besieged and then seized the castle. According to Richard Carew's Survey of Cornwall, "The seely gentlewomen, without regard to sex or shame, were stripped from their apparel to their very smocks, and some of their fingers broken, to pluck away their rings, and Sir Richard himself made an exchange from Trematon Castle to that of Launceston, with the gaol to boot." Both Richard and Maud remained in gaol until August and both died the following spring. His will, made on March 8, 1550 and proved on November 8, 1550, left most of his property to Maud during the minority of their grandson, Richard (June 5, 1541-September 2, 1591), who at that time was only eight years old. Maud was to have Buckland and the right to cut down as much timber as she pleased to build the "mansion place" there. She was also to have Stowe until Richard came of age. The estate was valued at £237/year. Maud at once preferred a suit to the Court of Wards for the wardship of her grandson, as was customary. Before any action could be taken, Maud also died, only five weeks after her husband. Sir Richard was buried at Kilkhampton on March 24, 1550. Maud was buried there on April 25, 1550.  





Bridget Bickerdike was the sister of Robert Bickerdike the martyr (x. August 1586) and was born at Low Hall, Farnham, Yorkshire. She married Thomas Maskew (d.1594), an apothecary in York, by whom she had at least one child. She was in and out of prison for her faith several times and in 1596 was condemned to death but reprieved. She remained in prison until after Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603.


_____ BIGGS (d.1559+) (Christian and maiden names unknown)

The wife of John Biggs was, for a time, the proprietor of the George Inn in Stepney. Her first husband, Biggs, rented the inn and the ground adjoining it, with the Mill House, from one John Field in 1559 for twenty-one years at the rent of £7/year. When he died, his wife inherited the lease on the property, which had a frontage of 107½ feet. Her second husband was Reinold Rogers. He let the lease expire in 1580 because the property was badly in need of repair. It went next to John Brayne, theatrical entrepreneur. 


Elizabeth Birch was the daughter of Edward Birch of Sandon, Bedfordshire. In around 1550, she married Thomas Jenison or Jenyson (c.1525-November 17, 1587), by whom she had five sons and one daughter, including William (d.1634), John (d.1634+), and Elizabeth (d.1605+). They were living in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London on February 10, 1551 when Jenison was named auditor-general of Ireland for life and the family moved to Dublin. He was removed for misappropriation of Crown funds two years later, although he received a royal pardon in October 1553. From 1560-66 the family was in Berwick, but returned to Dublin when Jenison was restored to his old post in 1566. In 1579, Jenison purchased Walworth Castle, Durham as a family seat. Although Elizabeth's husband was still auditor-general at the time of his death, he was once again suspected of misappropriating funds and was about to be replaced when he died. By then he held property in Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, and Caernarvonshire and had houses in Dublin, Berwick, and London. He had disowned their eldest son, William, for marrying into a recusant Irish family, and the bulk of his estate when to the second son, John, and to his widow. In 1601, Elizabeth founded a grammar school in Heighington, Durham. On May 14, 1603, during his journey south from Scotland, James I stayed at Walworth Castle. Elizabeth left an estate worth £954 10s. 1d. In specific provisions in her will she left her son William, who had already been disowned, £20 and six cushions. Her Book of Martyrs was left jointly to her daughter, Elizabeth Freville, and her two sons.


GRACE BIRNAND (1563-1635)

Grace Birnand was the only child of William Birnand or Byrnand of Knaresborough, recorder of York, and Grace Ingleby (d.1563). She was raised by her maternal grandmother at Ripley Castle as a staunch Catholic. She married Ralph Babthorpe (1561-1617), brother of Margaret Babthorpe, in 1578. In 1592, a new campaign was begun against recusant wives of gentlemen who had conformed. On April 13 of that year, Grace was arrested. She appeared in court, together with Lady Constable (Margaret Dormer), Mrs. Metham, Mrs. Ingleby of Ripley, Mrs. Lawson of Brough (Dorothy Constable), and Mrs. Hungate. All had previously been placed with Protestant families in an attempt to convert them, but this ploy had failed. Now they were remanded to Sheriff Hutton Castle, a prison. In 1593, the authorities received a petition from several husbands, including Ralph Babthorpe, on behalf of their imprisoned wives, who had been held for the last eighteen months. At first there was resistance to releasing the women, but the first of them (Mrs. Metham) was freed that November and the others followed in 1594. Grace was the last to be released because she was their leader and because she had her daughter with her in prison and had refused to allow the child to attend protestant services. As a result of the persecution suffered by her family for their religious beliefs, Grace and her husband finally left England for the Continent in 1613. He died in Louvain. After she was widowed, Grace and her granddaughter, Grace Constable, entered the Augustinian convent in Louvain. She took the veil in 1623. Grace's children were Sir William (1580-1635; also forced into exile on the continent), Robert (a Benedictine monk), Ralph and Thomas (Jesuit priests), Katherine, Elizabeth, and Barbara (a nun in the Institute of the Blessed Virgin.) Portrait: the illustration below comes from an early seventeenth century biography of Mary Ward, who received her early religious training in the Babthorpe household.

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MARGARET BLACKBORNE or BLAKBORN (d.1562+) (maiden name unknown)

Margaret Blackborne was a gentlewoman in the service of Marie de Salinas, Lady Willoughby d'Eresby in the 1520s. She had charge of the Willoughby children, two sons who died young and a daughter, Catherine, who married Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. The will of William, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby (1526) calls her "Margaret Blackbourne, bringer up of my children" and leaves her 53s 4d/year, taken out of his lands at Elmham called Saunders, for life. By 1548, Margaret was governess to Catherine Willoughby's younger son, Charles Brandon (1538-1551). In the 1540s, along with the duchess, she embraced the New Religion. In 1553, the duchess of Suffolk granted her the wardship of one Agnes Woodall or Woodhull, which Lady Suffolk had herself held until then. In 1555, Margaret accompanied the duchess and her second husband, Richard Bertie, into exile and, as a result, lost her property in England. They resided in Wesel, then relocated to Weinheim Castle in April 1556. When the Berties returned to England in 1559, Margaret once again served as governess, this time to the Bertie children, Susan and Peregrine. One of her sons, Anthony, was one of the ten children of honor being educated with them in 1562. Although Blackborne seems to be Margaret's married name and records indicate that she had more than one son, I have as yet found no information on either her husband or her parentage.


Elizabeth Southern or Southerns was known as "Old Demdike." She was one of twenty persons accused of being witches who were scheduled for trial on August 17-19, 1612. She had confessed to becoming a witch about 1560, when she met her familiar, Tib, at a stone pit in Goldshaw. Mrs. Ann Whittle (Old Chattox) was said to have joined her in practicing witchcraft in 1565. Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth Device, and her grandchildren, James and Alison Device, were also charged with witchcraft. Evidence in the case went back to the 1590s. Old Demdike died in prison before the trail and therefore was not one of those hanged on August 20. A chapbook and a play immortalized the case. In 2007, John A. Clayton, in The Lancashire Witch Conspiracy, published his speculations about the identity of Elizabeth Southern. He makes a strong case for her being the daughter of William Blackburn (d.1578) and his wife Elizabeth (d.1551) of Billington, Lancashire and also reveals that an Elizabeth Blackburn was baptized on April 18, 1541. Elizabeth Blackburn married Thomas Ingham (d.1573) on June 15, 1563 in Whalley parish and they had a daughter, Elizabeth Ingham (b.c.1567) who married John Device (d.1600) in 1590. Elizabeth and John Device had five children: William (c.1633+), James (c.1590-1612), Alison (c.1593-1612), Henry (c.1595-1599), and Jennet (c.1600-1636?). Elizabeth Southern was also the mother of Christopher Holgate (c.1560-1611+).













One of the countless women who made a career of marriage and of arranging marriages between their children and stepchildren, Mary Blakeney was one of the few such mothers to be taken to a court of law over the matter at a later date. The daughter of John Blakeney of Sparham, Norfolk, she wed three times, first to Geoffrey Turville of New Park Hall, by whom she had a daughter, second to William St. Barbe of Broadlands, Hampshire (d.1588), by whom she had a daughter, Ursula (1587-1670), and third, c.1589, to Sir Edward Verney (1535-January 11,1600) of Penley, Hertfordshire and Claydon, Buckinghamshire. She had a son by Verney, Sir Edmund (April 7,1596-October 23,1642), but Verney's heir was an older boy, Sir Francis (1584-September 6,1615). Mary persuaded her husband to divide some property settled on Francis by his uncle with young Edmund and married Francis to her daughter in 1599. As soon as he came of age, however, Sir Francis petitioned the House of Commons to overturn these arrangements. He lost the case, but rather than let his stepmother's plan succeed, he sold his estates in 1607 and by 1608 had left England. He never returned to his homeland or to the wife forced upon him.





ELIZABETH BLEDLOW (d. October 25, 1556)
Elizabeth Bledlow’s birthdate is given by many genealogies as c.1490 and by the Oxford DNB entry for her second husband as c.1504. She was the daughter of Thomas Bledlow of Bledlow, Hampshire and Elizabeth Starkey. Her inheritance included Sheddon or Sharing Hall and Manytree. Her first husband was Andrew Edmonds of Cressing Temple, Essex (c.1484-June 23, 1523). Her children by Edmonds were Christopher (1521-1569), Frances, and Elizabeth. She then married John Williams, 1st baron Williams of Thame (1500-October 14, 1559). Their children were Sir Henry (1516-1551), Francis (d.1551), Isabella (d.1587), and Margery (d. December 1599). Elizabeth was buried in Rycote Chapel but her effigy is on her husband’s tomb in Thame Church. Portrait: marble and alabaster effigy, Thame Church.

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ANNE BLENNERHASSETT (1478-March 6, 1565+)
Anne Blennerhassett was the daughter of John Blennerhassett of Frenze, Norfolk (d. November 1510) and his second wife, Jane Tyndall (d. October 6, 1521). She married Sir Henry Grey (1474-September 24, 1562) and may have been the Lady Grey at Richmond with Princess Mary in 1520 when most of the court was in France at the Field of Cloth of Gold. The other possibilities are Margaret Sutton (1485-1525), widow of Lord Grey of Powis, or the wife of one of the brothers of the 2nd Marquis of Dorset (but not the wife of Lord John Grey, since she is listed as being at the Field of Cloth of Gold). Richard Grey, 3rd earl of Kent, was Anne's husband's half brother. He had no other heir, but he disregarded their father's wishes and disposed of his estate before his own death which, according to some sources, took place on May 3, 1523. G. W. Bernard, however, in his article in The Historical Journal Vol. 25 #3 (September 1982), pp. 671-685, "The Fortunes of the Greys, Earls of Kent, in the Early Sixteenth Century," states that Richard died between March 31 and April 4 in 1524. Sir Henry Grey had difficulty claiming either the estate or the title. In spite of this, it appears that Anne must have been the Countess of Kent who was one of six peers and peeresses to carry Princess Elizabeth's train when the princess was christened on September 10, 1533. The other possibility is that this was Margaret Finch, widow of the 3rd earl. According to the Bernard article, Sir Henry spent his life living "as a minor Midlands gentleman." In his efforts to obtain his contested title, he described himself as a "poor younger brother" and his wife as "a poor gentlewoman" and referred to his "great charge of children." The heir, Sir Henry (1520-1545) had three sons, each of whom was successively earl of Kent after the title was officially restored to the family in 1572. In an attempt to help her husband, Anne also petitioned both the king and Thomas Cromwell but by 1541, after Cromwell's fall from power, there had still been no progress in establishing Sir George's right to the title.


JANE BLENNERHASSETT (c.1473-April 27, 1550)
Jane Blennerhassett was the daughter of John Blennerhassett of Frenze, Norfolk (d. November 1510) and Jane Tyndall (d. October 6, 1521). She married Sir Philip Calthorpe of Barnham Thorpe, Norfolk (c.1464-1535) as his second wife. Their children were Thomas (1507-1559), Anne (1509-between August 22, 1579 and March 28, 1582), Catherine, and Henry (1505-1532). Her last years were made difficult by the scandal involving her daughter Anne (see ANNE CALTHORPE). Jane's epitaph reads as follows:

Here lieth hid und this stone
The wife of Sir Philippe Calthorpe, Knight,
And clepyd Dame Jane, the daughter of one
John Blenerhasset, dsquier he hight,
She loved God’s word, and lived likewise,
She gave to the poor, and prayed for the rich,
She ruled her house in measure and size,
She spent as it came and gathered not much,
The day of April twenty and seven,
God did her call from hence on to heavan. Anno 1550.




AGNES BLEWITT (1509-1578)
Agnes Blewitt (Bluwett/Bewitt/Beaupine) of Holcombe Regis, Devon (or possibly Scotland). One source states that Agnes was the daughter of one Thomas Bewpine and had a first husband named John Blewitt but most say only that she married William Edwards of North Petherton, Somerset (c.1500-c.1547) by whom she had two sons, William and Henry. Another son, Richard Edwards/Edwardes (March 1525-1566/7), is said in a 1992 history of the Edwards family to have been the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. There is no contemporary evidence for this, but several versions of the story appear online and in the less reliable books on King Henry’s mistresses and bastards. In one account, Agnes becomes the king’s mistress while at court and then cohabits with him at the royal hunting lodge of Huntworth, near North Petherton. As Alison Weir points out in her biography of Mary Boleyn, King Henry is not known to have traveled to that part of England prior to 1535. There is also nothing to indicate that Agnes was ever at court, before or after her marriage to William Edwards. Another account gives the date of Richard’s birth as October of either 1523 of 1525. One genealogy says he was born in Cardiff, Wales. Some accounts say he was raised in Scotland by his mother’s family. One indicates that Agnes was granted land in Scotland by King Henry. Since the king of England owned no land in Scotland before James I took the throne and united the two kingdoms, this seems extremely unlikely. The claim that the king paid for Richard’s education is the most often repeated. The most preposterous story is that Richard Edwardes was murdered by Lord Hunsdon, the son of Mary Boleyn and therefore another possible royal bastard. There is no documentation for any of these claims, nor do I find any indication that, because of her relationship with the king, Agnes was allowed to use the Tudor rose as a personal device. The life dates for Agnes come, again unsubstantiated, from one online genealogy.  








ANNE or AGNES BLOUNT (c.1504-1580+)
Anne (sometimes called Agnes) Blount was the daughter of Sir John Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire (1484-February 14, 1531) and Katherine Peshall (1483-February 1, 1540/1). She married Richard Lacon of Willey, Shropshire (d.1542), her father's protégé and a prosperous local landowner. Elizabeth Norton, in her biography of Anne's sister, Bessie Blount, speculates that before Bessie went to court as a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon, she may, as the eldest daughter, have been the one originally intended to marry Lacon. By Lacon, Anne had Rowland (1537-1608), William (c.1540-before 1609), Edward (1541-d.yng), Elizabeth, Eleanor, Olivia, Albora, and Catherine. Anne's second husband, to whom she was married by 1554, was Thomas Ridley of Caughley, Shropshire (d.1580), by whom she had two children. Only one, Cecily (d.1595), lived to adulthood. Ridley was buried on September 1, 1580 at Stottesdon. Anne was one of the executors of his will. Portrait: effigy on her parents' tomb at Kinlet, Shroprshire.

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ANNE BLOUNT (d. April 24, 1594)
Anne Blount was one of the four daughters of Walter Blount of Blount (or Blunt) Hall in Staffordshire (d.1543+) and Margaret (or Mary) Sutton. Anne was left a bequest of 100 marks by her brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Pope, in 1559. According to the will of Richard Blount of Williton, Somersetshire and Coleman Street, London (d. November 16, 1575) at oxford-shakespeare.com written on December 24, 1575, Anne Blount, his cousin, was living in his house in London. He left her a pair of gold bracelets. "Anne Blunt of St. James Clerkenwell" made her will on April 23, 1594. It was proved May 13, 1594. In it she names her sister, Lady Sydenham (Mary Blount), to whom she left £20 and a "jewel with two agates and set about with pearl," the children of another sister, Ellyn (d.1577+), and her brother Walter. She was buried in Clerkenwell, where her date of death is, unaccountably, recorded as April 24, 1503. For the entire will, see oxford-shakespeare.com.


BARBARA BLOUNT (c.1538-February 28, 1563/4)
Barbara Blount was the daughter of Sir Richard Blount of Mapledurham, Oxfordshire and Dedisham, Sussex (d. August 11, 1564) and Elizabeth Lister (1520-1572). In about 1551, she married Sir Francis Shirley of West Grinstead, Sussex (d. March 20, 1578), by whom she had Thomas (1555-1606), Richard (d. yng), Francis (d.1559), William (d.1568), Richard (d.1614), Elizabeth (c.1555-1624+), and Philippa (d.1591). In 1557, when her husband was in the Fleet for debt, his mother died at West Grinstead. Shirley ordered Barbara to take their servants and enter the house there and hold it. She did so, and sold some of the plate to maintain her household. Her brother-in-law, William Shirley, who had been made administrator of his father's will and of his mother's estate, later sued Francis for theft and violence. Barbara was buried at West Grinstead.


CATHERINE BLOUNT (c.1518-February 25, 1558/9)
Catherine Blount was the daughter of William Blount, 4th baron Mountjoy (1479-November 8, 1534) and Alice Kebel (1482-June 8, 1521). Catherine married Sir John Champernowne of Modbury Devon (c.1541/2), by whom she had a son, Henry (1538-1570). By 1547, she became the first wife of Sir Maurice Berkeley of Bruton (1508-August 11, 1581). By her second husband she was the mother of Henry (c. 1547-1601), Edward (d.1596), Francis (d. December 20, 1615), Gertrude (d.1581+), Elizabeth (d.1581+), Margaret (d.1581+), Anne (d.1581+), and possibly Frances. Champernowne's entry in the History of Parliament gives her date of death as March 1560. Berkeley's entry confuses her with Katherine Champernowne Astley, Princess Elizabeth's governess. Portrait: effigy on Berkeley tomb in Bruton.


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CATHERINE BLOUNT (April 11, 1563-1620+)

Catherine Blount was the daughter of Sir Michael Blount of Mapledurham, Oxfordshire (d. November 11, 1609) and Mary Moore (d. December 23, 1592). Her father was Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London from 1590-95 but lost that post for saying he would support the earl of Hertford as successor to the queen and was held there for a time as a prisoner himself. He had a claim to the Mountjoy barony in 1606 but did not pursue it. Catherine married John Croke of Holborn, London and Studley, Oxfordshire (1553-January 20, 1619/20). According to his entry in the History of Parliament, they had five sons. Croke was knighted in 1603. After 1611, they made their home at Chilton, Buckinghamshire. After the death of her first husband, Catherine married William Dormer (d.1624), vicar of Olney. Portrait: double portrait with her first husband (note: some online sources create confusion by identifying her as "his wife, Katherine Dormer."










ELIZABETH BLOUNT (c.1500-1540)

Better known as Bess or Bessie Blount, she was the daughter of Sir John Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire (1484-February 14, 1531), and Katherine Peshall (1483-February 1, 1540/1). Most sources agree that she was at court as a “damsel of the most serene queen” Catherine of Aragon by 1513, and probably first arrived at court in March of 1512 when she was at least twelve years old and probably closer to fourteen. Twelve was the minimum age, at that time, that a girl could be accepted for a court position. It was sixteen under Jane Seymour. It is possible that Elizabeth's father brought her with him to court when she was younger still. He was an esquire of the body to Henry VII and became one of the King's Spears under Henry VIII in 1509. Bessie was a blonde with blue eyes and fair skin, fitting the Tudor ideal of beauty. On May 8, 1513, she was paid 100s, recorded in the King's Book of Payments, half the annual amount paid to a maid of honor to the queen. From Michaelmas 1513, she received full wages of 200s per annum. Just when she became Henry VIII’s mistress is uncertain. Some sources suggest that Bessie was replaced in a masque at Yuletide 1514 because the queen knew of the affair. Others believe that Bessie's intimacy with the king did not begin much before July 1515, when her father was granted a two-year advance on his wages as a Spear. Dr. Beverly A.Murphy's theory in her biography of Henry Fitzroy is that Henry did not become involved with Bess Blount until around April 1518 and that the affair lasted only until November. After Henry Fitzroy (June 18,1519-July 22,1536), was conceived, Bessie was lodged in a manor house belonging to the Priory of St. Lawrence at Blackmore, near Chelmsford, Essex to await the birth. At some point after her son was born, she was married to Gilbert Tailbois or Talboys (d.1530). A daughter, Elizabeth Talboys (d.1563), was born c.1520. Two years later, an Act of Parliament granted Bess her father-in-law’s lands for life (he had been declared insane). In June 1529, even though his father was still living, Bess's husband was called to take his place in Parliament as Baron Tailbois of Kyme. They had two sons, George, 2nd baron (1523-September 1540) and Robert, 3rd baron (1524-March 12,1541). During Bess’s widowhood, Lord Leonard Grey proposed marriage but she chose Edward Fiennes de Clinton (1512-January 16,1583) as her second husband, marrying him c.1534. They had three daughters, Bridget, Catherine (d.1621), and Margaret. The date of Bess's death is unknown, but occurred between February 5, 1539, when she received a grant in relation to Tattershall Castle, and June 1541, when Clinton received a grant with his second wife, Ursula. A Lady Clinton was appointed to wait upon Anne of Cleves in late 1539 and early 1540. This may have been Bess, or her mother-in-law, or even Clinton's second wife, Ursula Stourton. Nor is Bess's burial place known. Her most recent biographer, Elizabeth Norton, suggests that she died giving birth to her daughter Margaret. Biography: Elizabeth Norton, Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII (2012); W. S. Childe-Pemberton, Elizabeth Blount and Henry VIII (1913); Oxford DNB entry under "Blount [married names Tailboys, Fiennes de Clinton], Elizabeth;" "Elizabeth Blount of Kinlet" by M Morton Bradley is a 26 page, privately printed pamphlet. It contains no information not found elsewhere. Portraits: effigy on the side of her parents' tomb in Kinlet Church; funeral brass from St. Mary and All Saints Church, South Kyme, Lincolnshire.

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ELIZABETH BLOUNT (d. August 11, 1587)

Elizabeth Blount was the daughter of Sir Richard Blount of Mapledurham, Oxfordshire (d. August 11, 1564) and Elizabeth Lister (d. 1582). She married Nicholas St. John of Lydiard House and Purley Manor, Wiltshire (d. November 8, 1589). Their children were John (d. September 20, 1594), Richard, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Oliver (1562-December 1630), and Catherine. Her son John erected a memorial to his mother in 1592. Portrait: effigy in St. Mary, Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire.




ELIZABETH BLOUNT (d. October 27, 1593)
Elizabeth Blount was the daughter of Sir Walter Blount of Blount's Hall, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire (d.1543+) and Margaret (or Mary) Sutton. She married three times. Her first husband was Sir Anthony Beresford or Basford of Bentley, Derbyshire, by whom she had a son, John Beresford. On January 1, 1541, she became the third wife of Sir Thomas Pope of Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire (c.1507-January 29, 1558/9). According to Pope's entry in the Oxford DNB, Elizabeth was "ambitious and intelligent." In 1546, they were living in Bermondsey. In 1547, they moved to Clerkenwell. From 1556-1558, Sir Thomas was the guardian of Elizabeth Tudor, Queen Mary’s sister and heir, at Hatfield. At first, he entertained the princess with masques, pageants, and plays, but the queen put a stop to these amusements, calling them “follies.” By 1555, Sir Thomas had begun planning what was to become Trinity College, Oxford and after his death Elizabeth continued to be influential during the foundation’s early years. Shortly after Pope's death, Elizabeth was courted by Francis Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury. He visited her at Tittenhanger in 1559 but in December she sent back the ring he had given her. He agreed he would no longer court her, but when he was ill in April 1560, she wrote to him and the negotiations for marriage resumed. She demanded her own way concerning furniture, household stuff, and jewelry and her late husband's debts complicated matters. In the end, there was no wedding. Shrewsbury died on September 25, 1560. As her third husband, Elizabeth married Sir Hugh Paulet of Hinton St. George, Somerset (1500-December 6, 1573). The marriage settlement is dated November 12, 1560. She was his second wife.
After Paulet died, Elizabeth openly practiced her religion and was presented as a recusant and accused of harboring Jesuits in her house in Clerkenwell. Richard Blount, overseer of Paulet's will and, apparently, Elizabeth's nephew, held various chests and goods for her, probably to protect them from being seized by the government. In his will in 1575, which named her as one of the overseers, he gave instructions for their return and also left her a cross of gold with four diamonds and a portique of gold. Portraits: alabaster effigy on tomb in Trinity College Chapel; portrait at Trinity painted c.1612.


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ELLYN BLOUNT (d.1577+)
Ellen Blount (sometimes spelled Blunt) was the daughter of Sir Walter Blount of Blount's Hall, Staffordshire (d.1543+) and Margaret (or Mary) Sutton. She was a maid of honor to Princess Mary before February 22, 1545/6, when she married her first husband, William Goodwin of Bermondsey, Surrey (d. November 30, 1554), auditor to the queen. They had four children, Thomas (b. 1546), Elizabeth (bp. September 4, 1550), Walter (bp. August 6, 1552) and Pope (d. 1594+). This last child was named after her brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Pope. Ellen's second husband was John Felton (d.1570). There are two records of this marriage, one on June 22, 1557 in Pentlow, Essex and the other on July 30, 1557 in St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, where the family occupied the former Bermondsey Abbey. Three daughters in succession, in 1560, 1564, and 1565, were baptized Frances Felton in St. Mary Magdalen. Ellyn had at least two other children, an older daughter, Johanne (d.1594+) and a son, Thomas (c.1567-1588). In 1568, Felton is mentioned in records in connection with the sale of £265 worth of ingots for an alchemical fraud. He appears to have been quite wealthy, but he was also a radical in religion. On May 25, 1570, he nailed a copy of the papal bull excommunicating Queen Elizabeth to the door of St. Paul's. He was arrested, charged with heresy and treason, and executed in St. Paul's Churchyard on August 8, 1570, thus becoming a Roman Catholic martyr. Joan's daughter Frances, in 1627, claimed that after Felton's death her mother found favor with Queen Elizabeth, having been her childhood playmate, and was granted permission to keep a priest in the house. This seems unlikely. Joan's third husband was John Strangman, another recusant. She brought £50 per annum, a relatively small sum, to the marriage. Her son Thomas, who later became a Franciscan friar, served as a page to a Catholic gentlewoman, Elizabeth, Lady Lovell, when he was a boy (see ELIZABETH PARIS). This same Lady Lovell helped arrange his release when he was imprisoned for his faith in the late 1580s. He was executed on August 28, 1588, following in his father's footsteps to become a Catholic martyr. It is likely that his mother had died before then, although he still had several maternal aunts and a maternal uncle living. She was definitely deceased by April 23, 1594, when her sister Anne made her will.


GERTRUDE BLOUNT (d. September 25, 1558)

Gertrude Blount was the daughter of William Blount, 4th baron Mountjoy (1479-November 8, 1534) and Elizabeth Say (1477-July 1506). On October 25, 1519, Gertrude married Henry Courtenay (1496-December 9, 1538), who was created marquis of Exeter in 1525. King Henry provided jousts at Greenwich to celebrate the wedding at a cost of £200 4s. 9d. Gertrude had two sons, Henry (d.yng) and Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon (1526-September 18, 1556). She spent most of her life on the brink of being charged with treason because of her husband’s claim to the throne and her own devout Catholicism. She has been described as both a “pathetic, ailing, devout, rather silly woman, with the credulous faith of the women of her kind” who “sought consolation in the compromising visions and prophesies of the ridiculous Nun of Kent” (A. L. Rowse) and as an “energetic, high-spirited woman” who was the first to speak openly to Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador, of rebellion (Garrett Mattingly). In 1532, she was forbidden to visit King Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary Tudor, for fear she would encourage Mary’s defiance of her father.After she was named in the indictment against Elizabeth Barton (the Nun of Kent), Gertrude admitted she had gone to see her once, in disguise, and had later received her in her home at Horsley. Gertrude wrote an abject letter of apology to the king and was pardoned. In 1535, Gertrude was visiting Chapuys in disguise and had promised him the support of her Blount connections in any attempt to make Mary queen. In 1537, at the same time she was carrying Prince Edward to his christening, she was also establishing contact with her husband’s cousin, Cardinal Pole. In the fall of 1538, her plotting came to light. Gertrude, her husband and son, and the entire Pole family save for the Cardinal, who was not in England, were arrested in November. The inventory taken in November 1558 lists five gentlewomen in the household: Constance Bownetayne (50; unmarried), Margaret Brewne (56; unmarried), Joan Grasgon (Spaniard; 30; unmarried; good needlewoman and honest), Joan Cotton (23; unmarried), and Anne Browne (22; unmarried; plays virginals and lute). Elizabeth Darrell (see her entry) was also part of that household. So was a fool named William Tremayle. Incriminating letters were found in a coffer belonging to Gertrude. Exeter was executed. Gertrude and her son were attainted in July 1539, but eventually she was pardoned. She was released in 1540. Her son remained in the Tower until Mary Tudor became queen in 1553. Under Mary, Gertrude was a lady of the bedchamber and was granted all of her husband’s impounded goods as well as several estates. Her son, who was created earl of Devon, was considered for a time to be a candidate to marry the queen. When Mary expressed a preference for Philip of Spain, Devon aligned himself with the rebels of 1554 and was returned to the Tower for a time before being transferred to Framlingham Castle and then released. When he went abroad, his mother temporarily gave up her post at court, but she had returned by August 5, 1555, when her son wrote to her to ask her help in defending him from rumors that he was again involved in treason. He died in Padua in 1556. Gertrude did not survive the reign of Queen Mary, dying just two months before her former mistress. A monument in Gertrude’s memory was erected in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Courtenay [née Blount], Gertrude."






KATHERINE BLOUNT (c.1565-1629)

Katherine Blount was the daughter of Edward Blount. At some point after August 1573, she married, as his second wife, Sir James Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire (c.1518-September 4, 1590), comptroller of the royal household. He had three sons and four daughters by his first wife but none by Katherine. Although Croft was granted lands in Hereford and Kent, by 1583 he was pleading poverty. On June 10, 1581, Katherine served as one of the godmothers to Katherine, daughter of Dr. John Dee. Croft was buried in Westminster Abbey.











MARGARET BLOUNT (October 3, 1474-June 1509)
Margaret Blount was the daughter of Simon Blount of Mangotsfield and Bitton, Gloucestershire (1452-1477) and Eleanor Daubeney. By August 1492, she married Sir John Hussey of Sleaford, Lincolnshire (1465/6-June 29, 1537), later created Baron Hussey. Their children were Sir William (c.1493-January 19, 1556/7) and Gilbert, and possibly one other son. See also ANNE GREY (1493-1543).





SARAH BLOUNT (1580-December 3, 1655)
Sarah Blount was the daughter and heir of William Blount, Esquire, not to be confused with William Blount, 7th Lord Mountjoy (1561-1655). She married first, as his third wife, Sir Thomas Smythe of Westenhanger or Ostenhanger Castle, Kent (c.1558-September 4, 1625). They had four children, Sir John, Margaret, and two sons who died before 1625, when Smythe died of the plague. Sarah's second husband, to whom she was married early in 1626, was Robert Sidney, earl of Leicester (November 19, 1563-July 13, 1626). She was his second wife and her son, John Smythe, later married one of his daughters. Portrait: painted in 1599 when she was nineteen.


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SYBIL BLYCKE or BLIKE (1554-February 1575/6)
Sybil Blycke or Blike was the daughter and heir of Gabriell Blycke of Twyning, Gloucestershire and Massington, Herefordshire (c.1520-c.1592) and Margaret Morton (c.1592+). In 1572, she married Francis Clare of Ludlow. She died a fortnight after giving birth to a stillborn daughter. Portrait: mother and daughter are shown in effigy on their tomb in Twyning, erected by Francis Clare in 1577.

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ANNE BLYTH (d.1615)
Anne Blyth was the daughter of Dr. John Blyth or Blythe, first regius professor of physic at Cambridge, and Alice Cheke. She married Peter Osborne of Tyld Hall, Lachingdon and South Fambridge, Essex and Chicksands, Bedfordshire (1521-June 7, 1592). They lived in Ivy Lane, London, where Sir John Cheke (June 16, 1514-September 13, 1557), tutor and close friend of King Edward VI and also Anne's uncle, lived with them after his release from prison in 1557. When Mary Tudor became queen in 1554, Cheke had fled the country, leaving his family behind. In the spring of 1556, Cheke journeyed to Brussels at the invitation of Sir John Mason. On May 15, he was kidnapped and sent back to England to stand trial for heresy. He was in the Tower on June 1. It was after his release that he moved in with the Osbornes and he died at their house. The widow left her sons—Henry (c.1548-1586), John (1549-1580), and Edward (1550-1563)—with Osborne to be raised. They became part of a family that was already large and growing larger. Anne and Peter Osborne had twenty-two children, eleven sons and eleven daughters, including John (1552-1628), Thomas, Christopher, Magdalen, and Katherine (d. February 11, 1615). A close friend of Sir John Cheke, John Harington, the gentleman Cheke asked to look after his wife while he was abroad, wrote one of his poems as an acrostic to a lady named Osborn. Harington's biographer, Ruth Hughey, suggests that this was Anne Blyth. It reads:

Of hew right faire, a face both good and sweete
Sober of cheare, joyned with singuler grace
Bewtie and vertue, heare in tryumphe meete
Of force so even, as neither geveth place
Rudelesse her maners and wemlesse her wayes
Nedelesse and thancklesse, not cawselesse I praise





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