A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: F

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her very out-of-date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 ©2008-14 Kathy Lynn Emerson (all rights reserved)










MARY FALLOWFIELD (d.1566+) (maiden name unknown)

The wife of Henry Fallowfield of West Ham (c.1512-May 4, 1566) was the cause of scandal in 1555 when she was "enticed from her husbonde" by Francis Baringden, esquire, who was "thought to lourke" with her in Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, or Oxfordshire. The Privy Council put Baringden under bond of fifty marks to "from hensfourth refrayne the companye of the wief of Henry Fallowfelde." Since this errant wife is not given a Christian name, it is possible she is not the same wife, Mary, who is mentioned eleven years later by Fallowfield in his will. He was a ship owner, an exporter of cloth, and an importer of linen and canvas. As his widow, Mary Fallowfield inherited houses and land in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, with reversion to his son Henry. Fallowfield left his ship and the goods in it to Henry and Mary jointly.   





JOANNA FANE or VANE (by 1507-c.1556)

Joanna (Joan/Jane) Fane or Vane was the daughter of John Fane of Hadlow, Kent and Joan Hawte. She was a nun at Dartford Priory, the only house of Dominican nuns in England, and was elected prioress there after the death, in December 1537, of Elizabeth Cressener. The Bishop of Rochester recommended her for the position, writing to Lord Cromwell to say that she was "of good virtue and religion" and that "although there are in the house many elder than she is, yet is there none better learned nor more discreeter woman, she being herself above thirty." On her election as prioress, Joanna sent Lord Cromwell a gift of £100 and granted her illegitimate half brother, Ralph Fane, who was in Cromwell's service from 1531-38, the lease on the manor of Shipborne for ninety-nine years at £5 a year. Ralph was also granted a number of privileges at the priory. In 1535, Cromwell had declared a moratorium on novices under the age of twenty-four taking their final vows, but in a letter written September 9, 1538, Joanna sought an exception for a young woman at Dartford named Bridget Browning. Although the sisters are willing, Joanna writes, "to permit and suffer the said Bridget to depart to her said mother at her free will and liberty," she "hath refused." Dartford had twenty-six nuns when it was dissolved later in 1539. Joanna received a pension of £66 13s. 4d (or 100 marks) until 1556. Mary C. Erler suggests that she may have lived at Hadlow with her brother. For more information see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 79-87.
















Grace Farringdon was the daughter of John Farringdon of Farringdon, Devon and Elizabeth Wilford. Her first husband was Robert Paget (d. January 1541/2), alderman of London and sheriff in 1536. By him she had two children, Anne (d.1607) and James (d. May 7, 1604). In July 1542, she married, as his third wife, Sir William Sharington of Lacock Abbey (c.1495-1553). Sharington had no surviving children. He was sketched by Hans Holbein and it is likely that the sketch identified as Lady Sharington is Grace, although some sources identify her as Anne Paget, her daughter, who married Sir William's brother and heir, Sir Henry Sharington, in 1548. See ANNE PAGET. Portrait: engraving by GS and JG Facius after a picture by Hans Holbein.

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ELIZABETH FARTHING (d. December 1551)
Elizabeth Farthing was married three times, first to a man named Hutton, second to Robert Meredith (d. January 1547), as his second wife, and third, on January 28, 1547/8, as his fourth and final wife, to William Locke or Lok (1480-August 24, 1550), following Alice Spencer (d.1522), Katherine Cook (d. October 14, 1537), and Eleanor, widow of Walter Marsh (d.1546). Locke was a London mercer and gentleman usher of the chamber to Henry VIII who lived in Cheapside at the Sign of the Paddock. Locke's daughter by his first wife was Robert Meredith's first wife. Meredith left a number of gold rings engraved with a death's head as bequests in his will and his widow followed suit when she died. She was buried with Locke and his first wife in the Mercers' Chapel, St. Thomas Acres. It is tempting, based on the name Elizabeth and the dates, to speculate that Elizabeth Farthing's first husband was John Hutton (d. September 5, 1538), governor of the Merchant Adventurer's Company and Henry VIII's ambassador to the court of Mary of Hungary, regent of the Netherlands. John Hutton's wife, who was named Elizabeth, arrived in Calais on August 1, 1537. Hutton met her there and took her with him to Antwerp and Brussels. She stayed abroad with him until his death. It was during this period that Hutton conducted a search for Henry VIII's fourth wife and arranged for Hans Holbein the Younger to paint a portrait of Christina of Milan. In August 1538, Elizabeth Hutton sent a ring as a token to her friend Lady Lisle in Calais. I have been unable to discover what happened to John Hutton's wife after that, so it is certainly possible that she is the Elizabeth Hutton who married Robert Meredith.




MAUD FAWCON (d.1579+)
Maud (Mawde/Matilda) Fawcon was a Marian exile in Geneva in late 1557 or early 1558 when she married Thomas Bentham (1513/14-February 21, 1579), a cleric in the congregation of John Knox. She came from Hadleigh, Essex, but nothing seems to be known of her family. Later in 1558, the Benthams returned to England, now ruled by Queen Elizabeth, and in March 1560, Bentham became bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. His official residence was supposed to be Eccleshall Castle in Staffordshire with a summer residence in the rectory of Hanbury, but there was a challenge to his ownership of both that left him without housing for his family and obliged to raise loans to cover his expenses. Maud and her husband had six children, including Thomas and Benjamin (b.c.1566). Bentham still owed money when he died, forcing his widow to sell his possessions to cover debts of £1100 to the Crown and £250 to the bishopric. Portrait: tomb effigy with her husband and children on the side of his tomb in the parish church of Eccleshall, Staffordshire.

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Anne Feilding or Fielding was the daughter of Basil Feilding of Newnham Paddock, Warwickshire (d. January 1584/5) and Godith Willington (d. September 19, 1580). By 1553, when she married Humphrey Peyto of Chesterton, Warwickshire (c.1542- March 30, 1585), she already had a child, John Feilding. Peyto referred to him in his will as "my sonne and freinde John Fielding alias Peyto." Together Anne and Peyto had six sons and four daughters, including Godlith, Anne, Dorothea, Margery, William (before 1564-c.1609), John, and Richard. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Giles, Chesterton.

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The mysterious "Lady Fellinger" is said by Neville Williams (Henry VIII and his Court) and others to have participated in a Twelfth Night masque at court in January 1515, along with her husband. Williams identifies Fellinger as an Imperial diplomat and there is a "Felynger" mentioned in English dispatches from the Continent in 1516 and 1517 in Brussels. This is possibly the John Felleyer (Seillier), "late provost of Tournay" to whom King Henry gave £20 in April 1516, but I find no record of him in England in 1514/15 and know of no instances where a foreign diplomat's wife was invited to participate in disguisings at the Tudor court. There was, however, a Lady St. Leger at court in 1514. She is listed among the attendees at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 as "Lady Selenger of Kent." (See ANNE KNYVETT) This makes me wonder if "Fellinger" might also be a misreading of St. Leger. In the transcripts of the accounts of the court revels kept for King Henry by Richard Gibson, the only primary source for "Lady Fellinger" as one of the participants, the persons in the mummery at Christmas 1514 are listed as the king, the duke of Suffolk, Sir Nicholas Carew, Sir Henry Guildford, Lady Guildford, Lady Fellinger, Elizabeth Blount, and Carew's young wife. The records are incomplete, but costumes from Yuletide disguising were later given to Lady Courtenay, Lady Margaret Guildford, Lady Fellinger, and Jane Popyncourt. There is no mention of Lady Fellinger's husband in these records.










Agnes Fermor was the eldest of the eight daughters of Sir George Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (1550-1612) and Mary Curzon (d.1628). In 1595, Agnes married Richard Wenman of Thame Park, Oxfordshire and Twyford, Buckinghamshire (1573-1640), who was knighted in June 1596 and by whom she had four sons and five daughters, including Thomas (1596-1665), and Philip (d.1696). She was a recusant and hid the Jesuit priest, John Gerard, in her house. Her correspondence with her cousin, Elizabeth Vaux (née Roper), led to a short confinement at the time of the Gunpowder Plot. Her husband, questioned separately, protested that he had always objected to his wife's friendships. Wenman had felt for some time that Lady Vaux "corrupted his wife in religion." The questioning came about because of a letter Lady Vaux had written to Agnes around Easter 1605, when Agnes was pregnant. As Agnes later recalled, Lady Vaux complained that Wenman had snubbed her in London because "those of her profession were now in disgrace." Then, according to Agnes, she added, "Notwithstanding pray, for Tottenham may turn French, or words to the like effect." The expression was a common one at the time—in one case I know of, a variation of it was used by Elizabeth Cooke, Lady Russell, who was certainly no Papist! It was used to refer to an event that was absurd, or at least highly unlikely to happen. I rely on the account in God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs for the rest of this story. She gives many more details that are not included here, but the key point is that when the letter from Lady Vaux arrived, Agnes's mother-in-law, Lady Tasburgh (Jane West), intercepted and read it. She then showed the letter to her son and claimed the line about Tottenham was treasonous. At first, no one took this interpretation seriously and when, around August of 1605, Lady Vaux and and Agnes (still pregnant) met at the home of Lady Vaux's daughter Mary in Oxfordshire, they still found Lady Tasburgh's behavior annoying but not alarming. By November, however, when the Gunpowder Plot was uncovered, even a careless word could be damning. Even before the conspiracy was known, Lady Vaux asked Agnes's mother, Lady Fermor, her neighbor at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, to retrieve the letter and send it, or a copy, to her. On November 12, 1605, Lady Fermor wrote to Agnes in Oxfordshire to pass on this request. Agnes replied that she had dealt with the letter "as those did letters which were not regarded," which Childs interprets as saying she had either burnt it or lost it. In the end, although Lady Vaux was more closely examined and held longer than Agnes was, neither of them were accused of treason. Agnes translated the thirteenth century History of the World  by Johannes Zonaras (originally in Greek) from the French translation of Jan de Maumont into English. She was buried at Twyford, Buckinghamshire on July 4, 1617. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Wenman [née Fermor], Agnes." Portrait: lady in court dress traditionally identified as Agnes Fermor by an unknown artist, 1611.


fermor,agnes(1611-Gheeraerts) (225x300)








JANE FERMOR (c.1584-1648)

Jane Fermor was the daughter of Sir George Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (1550-1612) and Mary Curzon (d. October 12, 1628). Most accounts have her marrying  John Killigrew of Arwennack, Cornwall (1582-1633) on October 8, 1596 at the age of twelve. The marriage ended in divorce, although details and dates vary. Jane and John appear to have been living apart by 1613, but as is so often the case, dates conflict. We know only that Jane left Arwennack to live in nearby Penryn and that in 1633, when she was able to claim her marriage portion, she presented a loving cup to the mayor of Penryn as a token of thanks to the town for taking her in. This cup can still be seen in Penryn today. The divorce is said to have left Killigrew, who was knighted in 1616, impoverished. He charged Jane with becoming a prostitute after being debauched by the governor of Pendennis Castle. Because the dates are so uncertain, this has led to speculation that she was victimized by either Sir Nicholas Parker (d.1603) or his successor, Sir John Parker (d.1617). Sir Nicholas seems least likely, since he married Avis Milliton, widow of Richard Erisey, on January 26, 1600 and his memorial plaque in St. Budock sings his praises. Sir John never married, but a more likely candidate was first proposed back in 1890 by W. C. Wade in "Some Extinct Cornish Families," in the Annual Reports and Transactions of the Plymouth Institute and Devon and Cornwall Historical Society, Volume 10. Wade proposes Captain John Bonython. In 1626, Sir John Killigrew requested he be removed from his command of Pendennis Castle for unnamed personal offenses against Killigrew. Little else is known of Bonython, other than that he married a sister of Avis Milliton, Elinor Milliton (1545-January 10, 1628), by whom he apparently had ten children, none of whom are mentioned in his will, written on May 21, 1628. Despite the divorce, as a widow Jane inherited a life interest in Arwennack. By 1640, she had married Captain Francis Bluett of Holcombe Rogus and Trevethan, Cornwall (d.1646+), a widower with many children by his first wife. Jane and Bluett were named in a lawsuit in that year, having to do with the manors of Predanneck Wartha and Predanneck Woolas, both formerly belonging to John Killigrew. Jane and her second husband were living in Arwennack House in March 1646 when it was burned by the garrison at Pendennis Castle. Jane had no children by either husband. Some accounts online indiscriminately mix the events of Jane's life with those of her husband's grandmother, Mary Wolverston.


JOAN FERMOR (1516-April 1592)
Joan Fermor was the daughter of Sir Richard Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (1482-November 17, 1551) and Anne Browne (d.1551+). At some point before 1536, she was a maid of honor to Princess Mary. In that year, she married Robert Wilford (d. September 1545), a merchant tailor and London alderman. She had at least one child, a daughter, by her first husband. On December 3, 1545, she married Sir John Mordaunt (1508-1571), son and heir of the 1st baron Mordaunt, as his second wife. At an unspecified date after that, Sir John's son and heir, Lewis Mordaunt, who was only around seven years old when his father remarried, compromised his stepsister, Joan's daughter. Joan insisted that they marry and her husband supported her in this, but Lord Mordaunt, the boy's grandfather, objected. He took Lewis in and disinherited his own son when Sir John threatened to bar Lewis from succeeding to his mother's lands. They were apparently reconciled before Mordaunt died on August 18, 1562. Lewis married someone else the following year. Joan married Sir Thomas Kempe of Ollantigh, Wye, Kent (1517-March 7, 1591) by a settlement dated December 20, 1571, as his third wife. They had no children. They were recusants and in 1578 the couple was noted for not receiving communion. In 1583, he was charged with absenting himself from church. According the his entry in the History of Parliament, Lady Kempe was
"a hindrance to true religion [who] refuseth stubbornly to communicate." In her third widowhood, Joan lived with her stepson, Moyle Kempe, in Cornwall. She left a will proved April 5, 1592.Portrait: effigy on the Mordaunt tomb in All Saints Church, Turvey .

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ANNE FERNLEY, FERNELEY, or FEARNLEY (1521-November 23,1596)

Anne Fernley was the daughter of William Fernley of West Criting or Cressing, Suffolk (1490-1556), a wealthy merchant, and Agnes Daundy (1480?-June 1572). Anne was married first, in 1536, to London mercer William Read (Reade; Rede) of Beccles, Suffolk (1505-1543/4), by whom she had two sons, William (1538-1621) and Thomas, and second, in 1544, to Thomas Gresham (1519-November 21, 1579). She was a milliner and was making caps for Queen Elizabeth as late as 1569. The Greshams had only one child, Richard (March 1547-1564), although Thomas also had a natural daughter who was raised by his wife. At the time of their marriage, they lived in London, first in Milk Street and then in Lombard Street, but in 1551 the family moved to Antwerp, where they lived in the house of Jasper Schetz. Anne did not like living abroad and by 1556 returned to live in England, even though Thomas still spent most of his time abroad and had purchased his own house in Antwerp. He built Gresham House in London in 1559-62. He was knighted in 1559. He left Antwerp for good in March 1567 and in 1568 began building the Royal Exchange, the first "shopping mall" in England. By that time, his health was already failing. He was going blind and a poorly set broken leg caused him a great deal of pain. His relationship with Anne was acrimonious. They quarreled in particular over his tendency, after their son's death, to lavish money on charity. It did not help matters when, in June, 1569, the Greshams were put in charge of the Lady Mary Grey. She was under house arrest for marrying without the queen's permission. Gresham was already asking to be relieved of the responsibility by 1570. One of the excuses he gave was that his wife wished to go to Norfolk to visit her mother, who was ninety and not likely to live much longer. Genealogies, however, tend to give Agnes (or Anne) Daundy's birthdate as 1496, making her closer to seventy than ninety, but that was still a very great age in those days. In spite of Gresham's many pleas, the Lady Mary  remained his guest until May 1572. On January 23, 1571, Queen Elizabeth dined at Gresham House in Bishopsgate Street and toured the Royal Exchange, officially giving it its name. The Lady Mary was confined to her rooms while the queen was in the house. In early September, 1571, after the death of the Lady Mary's husband, she was moved to the Greshams' country house at Osterley in Middlesex. As her keepers, the Greshams went with her. By January, Sir Thomas's letters were begging that the Lady Mary be removed from his keeping for the "quietness" of his wife and in March 1572 he referred  to "my wife's suit for the removing of my Lady Mary Grey." He characterized his wife's plight as "the bondage and heart sorrow she has had for these three years." After the Lady Mary finally left the Greshams, taking with her what Sir Thomas called "all her books and rubbish," they entertained the queen twice more. In August 1573, Queen Elizabeth visited them at Mayfield, Sussex. In May 1578 she was their guest at Osterley Park. The next year, after Gresham died of apoplexy, Anne inherited Gresham House and the rents from the shops in the Royal Exchange, giving her an income of £2,388 10s 6½d per annum. Not satisfied with that, however, she fought the other bequests in her husband's will and kept that income also. In 1595, she appeared in the Court of the Star Chamber to bring charges against a man named Booth for forging deeds to lands that were now hers by inheritance. He was sentenced to be fined, jailed, and lose his ears. After seventeen years as a very wealthy widow, Anne died at Osterley House. Perry Gresham, in The Sign of the Golden Grasshopper, gives this date as December 15, 1596 and says she was buried with her husband and son in St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. After her death, part of Sir Thomas's estate went to found Gresham College. Portrait: by Antonio Mor, c.1560-5 previously identified incorrectly as "Anne Furnely, Lady Roydon," in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam; a similar portrait of an "unknown woman" now in the Art Institute of Chicago was also painted by Antonio Mor c.1560-65, as was a third identified as Mor's wife (with the dog). There is also an engraving of Mor's portrait at Titsey Place, Surrey and a portrait with her first husband and children on a parchment deed in the PRO. They are shown kneeling at the feet of Henry VIII.

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AUDREY FERNLEY (d. September 9, 1584)

Audrey Fernley was the daughter of Thomas Fernley or Ferneley of Creating, Suffolk (1522-1592) and Dorothy Holdich (1534-September 1567). Her first husband was Anthony Rone of Hounslow, Middlesex, auditor to Queen Elizaeth. They had four children, Edward (d.1600+), Jeremy, Humphrey, and Anne. On December 12, 1583, Audrey married Sir Edmund Brudenell of Deane (1521-February 24, 1585) as his second wife. She died in childbirth. Her daughter, also named Audrey (1584-1623), was left an annuity of 100 marks and a marriage portion of £3000. She married Sir Basil Brooke of Madeley, Shropshire (1576-1646) and her badly damaged effigy can still be seen in the church there. Portrait: Brudenell brass with her daughter. Audrey is shown kneeling behind Agnes Bussy, first wife of Sir Edmund Brudenell.





Dorothy Ferrers was the daughter of Sir Humphrey Ferrers of Tamworth, Staffordshire (d.1553) by his first wife, Margaret Pigott. She was married to her stepbrother, Thomas Cokayne (November 27, 1520-November 15, 1592). They had a son, Francis. Portrait: effigy in Ashbourne Church.

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Elizabeth Ferrers was the daughter of Sir Edward Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire (d. August 29, 1535) and Constance Brome (1485-1551). By the time her father made his will, she was married to John Hampden of Great Hampden, Buckinghamshire (d. December 7, 1558). Their children were Elizabeth, Sybil, Griffith (1543-October 27, 1591) and Edith. The wardship of her son was granted to Robert Keilway in June 1559. Her daughter Elizabeth married William Fytton. It was claimed that both Fytton and his mother-in-law (referred to as Isabel Hampden) were corrupted by one Davies. In other words, she was a recusant. In 1584, Paul Wentworh of Burnham, a notable anti-Catholic gentleman, searched her house in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. A list of the contraband seized is still extant. It includes a copy of the letter from the pope encouraging English Catholics to disobey the queen, instructions for the singing of mass, and a book titled Officium Beatae Mariae. It is unclear what happened afterward.


Katherine Ferrers was the daughter of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth Castle, Staffordshire and Maud Stanley. Her first husband was Thomas Cotton of Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire. By 1509, she had married Sir Anthony Babington of Dethick, Derbyshire and Kingston-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire (1475-August 23, 1536). The History of Parliament gives them five sons and three daughters, including John, Catherine, and Elizabeth (d.1543), but other sources call Thomas (d. April 21, 1560), John, and Bernard her stepsons and are unclear about who was the mother of a son named George. Babington made his will on February 18, 1534 and it was proved on September 2, 1536. He divided his lands between his wife and his sons and gave Katherine a life interest in Kingston Manor and all Babington lands in Kingston and Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, plus an annuity of £40. He also left to "my entirely beloved wife, Dame Katherine" all the goods not specifically left to other heirs. She was named as one of his executors. When Katherine made her will on September 24, 1537, it contained a number of bequests to her children and stepchildren and other relatives but also specified that the causeway from Kingston to Kegworth Brigge, "which causeway I have begun to make and as yet is not finished" be completed by her heirs in accordance with the wishes expressed by Sir Anthony in his will. She also asked to be buried in the new chapel of Kingston Church and instructed her son John, as executor, to finish building that chapel and erect therein an alabaster tomb to his parents.




ELEANOR FETTIPLACE (d. July 15, 1565)
Eleanor Fettiplace was the daughter of Richard Fettiplace or Fettyplace of Besellesleigh and East Shelford, Berkshire (c.1456-1511) and Elizabeth Beselles or Bessiles
(c.1475-c.1520). She became a nun at Syon, Isleworth in the early 1520s. Her widowed sister, Dorothy Coddington or Goddrington (d. April 26, 1586), was also a nun there by 1523 and another sister, Susan Kingston, lived at Syon as a vowess. Later two of their nieces, Elizabeth Yate and Susan Purefoy, also joined the sisters at Syon, and their maternal grandmother, Alice Harcourt, was living at Syon as a vowess at the time of her death in 1526. Eleanor's signature is found in four books from Syon, a psalter, a printed devotional book, a printed missal, and a breviary. When the nunnery was dissolved on November 25, 1539, Eleanor went with several other nuns, including her niece, Elizabeth Yate, to her sister Mary at Buckland, Berkshire. Mary was married to James Yate (d.1543). They may have been joined by another Fettiplace sister, Elizabeth, who had been a nun at Amesbury. The nuns stayed together and continued to live at Buckland until about 1556, when seven of them, including Eleanor and Elizabeth, moved to Lyford, home of Thomas Yate, half brother of James. Eleanor and her niece returned briefly to the refounded Syon Abbey in 1557 and went abroad with other former Syon nuns after Elizabeth Tudor became queen and once again dissolved Syon. Eleanor died in Zurich. Biography: Chapter 4 of Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England by Mary Carpenter Erler.










SUSAN FETTIPLACE (d. September 23, 1540)
Susan Fettiplace was the daughter of Richard Fettiplace or Fettyplace of Besellesleigh and East Shelford, Berkshire (c.1456-1511) and Elizabeth Beselles or Bessiles
(c.1475-c.1520). She was married to John Kyngston of Childrey, Berkshire and Thruxton, Hampshire (c.1491-April 15, 1514), but she took a vow of chastity after her husband died and thereafter lived, for the most part, at Syon, Isleworth, where two of her sisters, Eleanor and Dorothy, were nuns. She occupied "Lady Kyngston's chamber" there from 1517-1537 although, as a vowess, she was allowed to leave the nunnery whenever she chose and to keep two servants. According to Mary C. Erler in "English Vowed Women at the end of the Middle Ages," Medieval Studies 57 (1995), her annual charges for board ranged from a high of £33 18s. 3d. to a low of 55 shillings. She is addressed in the prologue to a sermon by Cyprian, translated by her step-brother, Thomas Elyot. She endowed a school in Shalston, Buckinghamshire. She had probably left Syon before the nunnery was surrendered on November 25, 1539. She died in Shalston, at the home of her sister, Anne Purefoy. In her will, she left money for the education of children for twenty years. Portraits: brass with her husband in the parish church in Childrey; brass at Shalston (showing a broad face and a dimpled chin). Biography: Chapter 4 of Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England by Mary Carpenter Erler.








ANNE FIENNES (c.1468-September 10, 1497)
Anne Fiennes was the daughter of Sir John Fiennes of Hurstmonceaux, Sussex (1447-1483) and Alice FitzHugh (c.1448-July 10, 1516). In 1486, she married William "the Wastall" Berkeley, 2nd baron and 1st Marquess Berkeley (1426-1491/2) as his third wife. Her second husband, married in 1493, was Sir Thomas Brandon (1454-January 27, 1510) but she continued to be known as Lady Berkeley. At some point between 1493 and 1497, Anne boarded in the house of John and Mary Redyng. She was there, together with sixteen servants and family, for thirty-two weeks, during which time the Redyng chapel was rebuilt so that Anne could "sit or be at her divine service and mass." It was much later (1529-32) that a lawsuit was filed against the estate of Sir Thomas Brandon by the widowed Mary Redyng, in an attempt to collect monies owed for boarding Lady Berkeley (40s/week) and for rebuilding the chapel. The cost for timber, glassing and workmanship was reckoned at £6 13s. 4d. Anne was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.














Margaret Fiennes was the daughter of Thomas Fiennes, 9th baron Dacre (1516-x. June 29, 1541) and Mary Neville (c.1520-1578+). After her father's execution, the title was in abeyance. Margaret married Sampson Lennard of Chevening and Knole, Kent (c.1544-September 20, 1615) in 1564 and gave birth to seven sons and six daughters, including Henry (1570-1616), Gregory, Ann, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Frances Lennard. Margaret's brother Gregory was restored as 10th  baron Dacre in 1558, but the title lapsed once again upon his death in 1594. Gregory had wanted to leave all the Dacre lands to his sister but his wife objected. By a 1571 settlement, Sampson Lennard received eighteen manors and agreed to pay Lady Dacre or her assigns £2000 upon Dacre's death. Margaret lived at Knole after her marriage but the property was leased and had to be given up in 1603. After that the family lived at Hurstmonceaux in such grand style that other properties had to be sold off between 1599 and 1607 to support it. In 1604, James I created Margaret baroness Dacre in her own right and the title descended to her eldest son, Henry, as 12th baron. Portrait: by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger c. 1595-1600; tomb at Chevening with her husband, three sons, and five daughters.

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MARY FIENNES (d. by 1530)

Mary Fiennes was the daughter of Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre of the South (c.1472-September 9,1534) and Anne Bourchier (d. after September 29, 1530). She accompanied Mary Tudor to France in 1514 and was one of those ladies allowed to remain when most of Mary’s English household was dismissed by the French king. According to Alison Weir’s biography of Mary Boleyn, she then remained for a time in France in the household of Queen Claude. After her return to England, she married Sir Henry Norris (c.1491-x.1536). Their children were Sir William (1523-1591), Edward (1524-1599), Henry (1525-June 1601), and Mary (d.1570).





MARY FILLIS (c.1577-1597+)

Mary Fillis was the daughter of "Fillis of Morisco, a blackamoor" who apparently made his living as both a basket maker and a shovel maker. The term Morisco implies that the family lived among Moors forcibly converted to Christianity in Spain, but by 1583 or 1584, Mary was in England. Prior to 1597, she was the servant of a widow, Mistress Barker, who lived in Mark Lane. In 1597, she was employed by Millicent Porter, a seamster living in the liberty of East Smithfield. After being questioned about her beliefs by the curate of St. Botolph without Aldgate, Christopher Threlkeld, Mary was baptized on June 3, 1597. My thanks to Lena Cowen Orlin for sharing her research. 


KATHERINE FILLOL or FILLIOL (1499-before 1535)

Katherine Fillol was the daughter of Sir William Fillol of Woodlands in Horton and Southcombe in Coombe Keynes, Dorset (1543- July 9, 1527) and Dorothy Ifield. In about 1522, she married Edward Seymour (1502-x.January 22,1552) and had two children, John (1524-December 19,1552) and Edward (1525?-May 6,1593). In a will made in 1519, Katherine’s father named her as his executor. In a second will, however, made in May 1527, he changed the provisions, so that Katherine was to receive nothing but a pension of £40 a year and that only as long as she lived “in some honest house of religion of women.” By that time, she was apparently residing in a convent, having been repudiated by her husband, who claimed that Katherine’s oldest son had been conceived while he was out of the country. The family took care to keep details quiet, but there has been considerable speculation among scholars that Katherine’s lover was her father-in-law, Sir John Seymour. After William Fillol’s death, Edward Seymour and Sir Edward Willoughby, husband of Katherine’s sister Anne, had the will overturned by an act of Parliament (1530). Divorce being almost impossible, Katherine’s estranged husband then had to wait until she died to remarry. Katherine was still living in 1530/1 and seems to have died before 1535. In 1539, Seymour obtained permission from Parliament to alter the normal rules of inheritance and cut both sons from his first marriage out of the succession so that his titles would pass to the eldest son of his second marriage. He does not, however, seem to have cut the boys off completely. Both of them were prisoners in the Tower with him at the time of his execution and the older son died there later that same year.


CATHERINE FINCH (1556-September 13, 1601)
Catherine Finch was the daughter and heiress of William Finch of Lynsted, Kent. In 1582, she married Sir Dru Drury (c.1532-1617). Their children were Elizabeth, Anne, Frances, and Dru (1588-1632). Portrait: effigy in Lynsted Church, Kent.

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ELEANOR FINCH (d. 1568+)

Eleanor Finch, according to the History of Parliament, was the daughter of Sir Richard Finch of the Mote, Maidstone, Kent, which would make her mother Eleanor Walsingham (1521-1559), sister of Sir Francis Walsingham. Most genealogies, however, say she was the daughter of Sir William Finch of Netherfield, Sussex (1476-April 1553) and his second wife, Katherine Gainsford (c.1496-1540+), making Sir Richard her half brother. As Eleanor gave birth to a son in about 1540, the latter assignment seems more likely. Eleanor married first Robert Morton of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire and Holborn, Middlesex (d.1559). They had a son, George (c.1540-c.1613), but the marriage was apparently annulled because Morton took a second wife, Dorothy (d.1565) while Eleanor was still living. Eleanor also remarried, possibly before Morton died but certainly by later in 1559. Her second husband was Thomas Wotton of Broughton Malherbe, Kent (1521-January 11, 1587) as his second wife. The wardship of young George Morton was granted jointly to Eleanor and Dorothy in 1559, after which there were legal proceedings of an unspecified nature. With Wotton, Eleanor had one son, Henry (1568-1639).








Margaret Finch was the daughter of James Finch or Fynche of London. She was married three times. Her first husband was John Dawes (d.1514), a grocer and London Alderman living in Farringdon Without. Her second husband was Oliver Curteis or Curteys. On January 23, 1520/1, she married Richard Grey, 3rd earl of Kent (1481-1524), whose first wife had died on November 19,1516. Margaret had a dowry of 2000 marks, which Kent planned to use to redeem manors he’d sold off in previous years. In partial preparation for her new status as a countess, she purchased twelve ells of Holland cloth, half an ell of popinjay sarcenet, and a frontlet of gold. The cost for all these together was £48 2s. 2d. She appears to have had no children by any of her husbands.






JANE FINEUX (1460-1544)
Jane Fineux was the eldest daughter of Sir John Fineux of Faversham, Herne, and Swingfield, Kent (1441-1527), lord chief justice, and Elizabeth Apuldersfield (1438-1478). She married John Roper of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, and Eltham, Kent (c.1453-April 7, 1524). She brought the lodge at Lynstead to the marriage. Their children were William (1495/6-January 4, 1577/8), Edward (d.1544+), Agnes (d.1544+), Margaret, Anne (d.1544+), John, Eleanor or Ellen (1500-1563), Elizabeth (d.1544+), and Christopher (1508/9-April 1559). Under the terms of Roper's will, Jane inherited the family home in Canterbury for life, after which it would go to her eldest son, William. She was to receive £13 6s.8d. for Christopher's maintenance and education from the family's other residence at Eltham until he was twenty-four. Jane, however, wanted Christopher, the youngest and her favorite, to have the Canterbury house. The issue finally had to be resolved by an act of Parliament in 1529, by which each of the younger sons was to receive lands worth £26 13s.8d./year and Christopher was to inherit the lodge at Lynstead. At Jane's urging, Christopher entered Gray's Inn, where her father had been, rather than follow her husband and William to Lincoln's Inn. She also arranged for Christopher to enter Thomas Cromwell's service. She wrote at least two still extant letters to Lord Cromwell. In one, she complains because his agents let a farm that had been promised to her to someone else. "Although it be no great hinderance unto me," she writes, "yet the rebuke that shall ensue grieveth me more than the loss of £100." She was buried in the chapel of St. Dunstan, Canterbury. Her will was proved July 29, 1544.




JOAN FISH (d.1553+) (maiden name unknown)
Joan Fish was the wife first of Simon Fish or Fishe (d.1530/1), writer, translator, an importer of contraband religious works. Fish was reported to have fled abroad to avoid arrest on charges of heresy, but he may never have left England. In early 1527 he was living near Whitefriars in London and still actively importing Tyndale's New Testaments. In 1528, Anne Boleyn obtained a copy and read it, as did her brother, who urged her to give it to the king. When King Henry had read it, he expressed a desire to speak with Fish and sent his sergeants to Fish's wife to tell her she might send for him to return. She obtained an audience with the king, apparently to reassure herself that there was no danger, and when Henry asked her where he was, she told him he was not far off. The king told her to fetch him and promised he would come to no harm. At that time, Fish and his wife had apparently been forced to live apart for two and a half years to protect Fish's whereabouts. Fish was thereafter safe from persecution, but his wife was not. The Lord Chancellor (Thomas More), it is said, would have called Mrs. Fish to appear before him on charges she would not hear the Gospels in Latin in her house, only in English, but for the fact that in that summer of 1530 there was an outbreak of plague in London and her daughter was ill of it. Fish himself died about six months later. Some accounts say of plague, others say in prison. After his death, Joan married James Baynham or Bainham of Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire (x. May 1, 1532), a lawyer. Baynham, too, was accused of heresy, tortured, and became a Protestant martyr. A search was conducted for his books and because Joan denied that they were in the house, she was sent to the Fleet and all their goods confiscated. Although details thereafter are lacking, we know that she lived to a great age, for she was able to tell her story to John Foxe when he was writing his Book of Martyrs.


Elizabeth Fisher was the sister of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (c.1469-x.1535) but it is uncertain if she was the daughter of Robert Fisher of Beverley, Yorkshire and his wife Agnes or Agnes’s daughter by her second husband, whose last name was White. John Fisher’s full sister Elizabeth is believed to have married a man named Edward White while this Elizabeth was a nun at Dartford. John Fisher wrote two treatises while in the Tower of London awaiting execution. Both were addressed to his sister Elizabeth. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Elizabeth lived on a pension. In 1557, she returned to her vocation when the nunnery at Dartford was reestablished and when it was again dissolved she went into exile in Antwerp and possibly later to Bruges with other members of her order.








ANNE FITTON (October 1574-July 1618)
Anne Fitton was the daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire (1548-March 4,1606) and Alice Holcroft (d. January 4, 1627). On April 30, 1587, when she was thirteen and her bridegroom only sixteen, she married John Newdigate (1571-March 18, 1610). They lived at her father’s expense for the next seven years, Anne with her parents and John at Oxford, at least for part of that time. Around 1595, they set up housekeeping at Arbury, Warwickshire and had a number of children, five of whom survived—Mary (1598-1643), John (1600-1642), Richard (1602-1678), Lettice (1604-1625), and Anne (1607-May 21,1637). In an exception to the usual practice, she nursed her own babies, in spite of the disapproval of her family and friends. Much of Lady Newdigate’s correspondence with the gentry and nobility of her day has survived. Perhaps due to her connections, she was able to persuade Sir Robert Cecil to grant her the guardianship of her son when her husband died. Although she had offers of marriage, Lady Newdigate preferred to handle estate matters herself. She was successful in this, and in arranging good marriages for her children. She was buried July 22, 1618 at Harefield. Portrait: unknown artist, 1598, with one of her children (currently owned by Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI); effigy on tomb, Harefield church. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Newdigate [née Fitton], Anne.”


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MARGARET FITTON (c.1529-August 29, 1612)

Margaret Fitton was the daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire (d. February 17, 1548) and Mary Harbottle (d. December 12, 1556). She married John Englefield of Wootton, Bassett, Wiltshire (d. April 1, 1567), by whom she had one son, Francis (June 30, 1552- October 26, 1631). Margaret made her will on August 10, 1612 and it was proved on February 20, 1613. Among those who received bequests were her servants, Elizabeth Luce and Joan Shirley, and her "ancient good friend" Mrs. Anne Fabyan, widow. The entire will can be found at www.oxford-shakespeare.com. Margaret was buried in St. Mark Church, Englefield, Berkshire. She should not be confused with her niece, the daughter of her brother, another Sir Edward Fitton (1527-1579). That Margaret was betrothed to Randle Mainwaring (d.1612) on September 1, 1568 and married him in 1573. She is buried in St. Lawrence Church, Over Peover, Cheshire and her date of death, as listed at Find-a-Grave, is identical with that of her aunt. 


MARY FITTON (d. July 27, 1591)

Mary Fitton was the daughter of  Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire (d. February 17, 1548) and Mary Harbottle (d. December 12, 1556). She married Sir Richard Leveson of Lilleshall, Shropshire (d.1560), by whom she was the mother of Walter (1551-October 20, 1602), Mary, and Elizabeth. Mary wrote her will on July 27, 1591and it was proved July 29, 1591. Among other bequests, she left her granddaughter-in-law, Margaret (née Howard), wife of Richard Leveson (d. August 2, 1605), "one carpet of needlework wrought with my own hands." There is a certain irony here. Margaret later went mad, her father-in-law, Walter, was accused of trying to kill her, and her husband took up with another Mary Fitton, the great niece of this one. The will of Mary Fitton Leveson can be found at www.oxford-shakespeare.com.


MARY FITTON (1578-1641)
Mary Fitton was the daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire (1548-March 4,1606) and Alice Holcroft (d. January 4, 1627). She was at court as a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth in 1595. By early 1598. Sir William Knollys (1545-1632) fell in love with her, but he could not marry her because his wife was still alive. Mary was absent from court and staying in her father’s London house because of ill heath in January 1600 but was back at court by early summer. On June 16, she took the role of “Affection” in a masque to celebrate the marriage of Anne Russell, another maid of honor, performing with seven other ladies. The story goes that when she asked the queen to be her partner in the dancing afterward, Elizabeth asked her what she portrayed. When Mary answered, “Affection,” the queen responded, “Affection! Affection is false.” But she rose and danced. By that time, Mary was involved in an affair with William Herbert (1580-1630), heir to the earl of Pembroke. She would dress up as a boy to sneak out and meet him. In January 1601, it became obvious that she was pregnant. She was taken into custody and Lady Hawkins sent for to guard her. Her lover, who had by then succeeded to his father’s title, admitted that the child was his but refused to marry her. He had been committed to the Fleet by the beginning of March. Mary gave birth to a son who lived only a short time. Some sources say he was stillborn. Mary, who had been promised marriage, retired to the country that autumn and there took up with Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Leveson (c.1570-August 2,1605). Unfortunately, he was married, although his wife was insane. Mary lived with him at Perton, Staffordshire and there gave birth to two children, Anne (1603-1625+) and William (d. 1608). Leveson’s will was designed to provide for Mary’s daughter, known as Anne Fitton, and resulted in a number of lawsuits with the Leveson family. Mary continued to live at Perton and in 1607 married one of Leveson’s subordinates, William Polewhele (d.1610), captain the Lion’s Whelp, by whom she had a son, William (1606-1654) and a daughter, Frances (1609-1609). She was pregnant with a third child, Mary (1610-1667) when he died. By January 1612, Mary wed John Lougher of Tenby, Pembrokeshire (d. January 8,1636), by whom she had at least three children: Elizabeth (d.1640+), John (d. before 1641), and Lettis (d.1678). Administration of his estate was granted to Mary on May 20, 1636. She was buried beside Lougherin Gawsworth parish church on September 19, 1641. Mary’s scandalous reputation is probably why her name was put forward as a candidate to be Shakespeare’s “dark lady of the sonnets” in 1884, although most of her portraits show Mary with red or brown hair, light eyes, and pale skin. (see also EMILIA BASSANO). A researcher currenty studying Mary Fitton recently wrote to me to say that Mary was indeed the Dark Lady of the sonnets, that she herself wrote the first 126 to her lover, William Herbert, and that Herbert responded with #127-154. Further, in "Urania" by Mary Wroth (the Rival Poet), the character of Antissia represents Mary Fitton. Biographies: Oxford DNB entry under “Fitton [married names Polewhele, Lougher], Mary.” Portraits: c.1595 by George Gower at Arbury Hall, Warwickshire; many others claim to be Mary but are questionable, including one c.1595 by Marcus Gheeraerts which is more likely a sister of Sir Henry Lee.

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HONOR FITZ (d.1576+)
Honor Fitz was the daughter of John Fitz of Fitzford and Tavistock, Devonshire (d. March 9, 1556) and Agnes Grenville and named after her aunt, Honor Grenville. She married William Carnsew of Bokelly in St. Kew, Cornwall (d. February 22,1588) and had by him Richard (d. May 1629), Matthew (d. September 1613), William (d. July 1627), Frances (d. May 1605), and Grace. Carnsew kept a diary in which he recorded his comings and goings and some of his wife’s activities.






Catherine Fitzalan was the daughter of William Fitzalan, 11th earl of Arundel (c.1476-January 23, 1544) and Anne Percy (July 27, 1485-1552). She was betrothed to Henry Grey, who became marquess of Dorset in 1530, but in spite of claims that they married and he later repudiated her, it appears from letters written by his mother in 1531 that the two disliked each other and that Henry rejected the match before they married. Lady Dorset (Margaret Wotton) was obliged to pay Catherine's father 4000 marks, in yearly installments of 300 marks, to break the betrothal. In 1533, Henry wed Frances Brandon, daughter of the duke of Suffolk. Catherine does not seem to have married at all. She wrote two letters to Thomas Cromwell that are extant, written from Donnelly, on July 8, 1537 and October 8, 1537. That she signed herself Catherine Arundel, using the family title rather than her surname, has caused some confusion in her identification, since her brother, Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers, was married to another Catherine—Catherine Grey, Henry’s sister—but that Catherine would have signed herself Catherine Maltravers, since her husband was not yet earl of Arundel. In any case, the text of the first letter refers to Lady Maltravers, making it clear that she was not the author. In the second, Catherine thanks Cromwell for the kind words he spoke when they recently met in person, apparently in her support in a dispute between Catherine and the dowager marchioness of Dorset. It may have been that the dowager was in arrears on her payments.




JANE FITZALAN (1536-July 7, 1578)

Jane Fitzalan was the daughter of Henry Fitzalan, 12th earl of Arundel (April 23,1512-February 24,1580) and Katherine Grey (1512-1542). Joan was given an education equal to any boy’s and was an avid translator of Greek and Latin. In 1550, she married John, Baron Lumley of Lumley Castle, Durham (1534-April 11,1609). In 1553, she rode in the third chariot of state in Queen Mary’s coronation procession. She was chief mourner at her sister’s funeral (see next entry) on September 1, 1557 and was called upon to nurse her father at Nonsuch Palace in Surrey after Arundel’s second wife died on October 30th of that same year. He’d lost his son and heir, Jane’s brother, the year before. Jane was among Queen Elizabeth’s ladies of honor on the 1558/9 list. Joan had two sons and one daughter but they all died young. She died at Arundel Place in London. In 1596, her husband erected a tomb to her at Cheam, Surrey. The Fitzalans were collectors and upon the earl’s death, Lord Lumley inherited the finest library in England. Upon his death, it passed to the Crown and became the core of the present day British Library. Included in it are manuscripts by both Joan and her sister. Joan translated Isocrates’ Archidamus from Greek into Latin and made a prose translation from Greek into English of Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulus. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Lumley [née Fitzalan] Jane.” NOTE: the DNB gives Jane’s birthdate as 1537. Portrait: 1563 by Steven van der Meulen; effigy at Cheam.

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MARY FITZALAN (1540-August 25, 1557)

Mary was the younger daughter of Henry Fitzalan, 12th earl of Arundel (April 23,1512-February 24,1580) and Katherine Grey (1512-1542). Like her sister (above), she was well-educated and several of the translations she made from Greek into Latin have been preserved. In March 1555 she married Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk (March 10,1538-June 2,1572). His biographer, Neville Williams, speculates that Mary remained at Arundel Place for another year, continuing her studies, before the marriage was consummated. Mary had a son, Philip (June 28,1557-November 19,1595) but only survived his birth by eight weeks. She was buried in St. Clement Danes on September 1, 1557. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Howard [née Fitzalan], Mary.” Portraits: 1555 by Hans Eworth (NOTE: recently this identification has been questioned and it is now believed to be an unidentified maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, age 16 in 1565. My personal opinion is that the clothing shown would have been out-of-date by 1565, but I’m not an expert in this field. An almost identical portrait is elsewhere called Mary Queen of Scots by Eworth); portrait at Arundel castle.

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ALICE FITZGERALD (c.1508-c. May 1540)
Alice Fitzgerald was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9the earl of Kildare (1487-September 2, 1534) and Elizabeth Zouche (d. October 6, 1517). In December 1526, Alice accompanied her father to the English court and they later stayed at the duke of Norfolk’s house at Newington. Inquires were being made into his conduct as lord deputy. While in England, Alice married her cousin, James Fleming, 9th Baron Slane (1507/8-before November 4, 1573; alternate dates 1511-1577). She returned to Ireland without her father in August 1528. Later charges of treason against the earl indicated that on July 8, 1528, he sent her home with orders to stir up trouble for the new lord deputy. Apparently she did so, for she had to be pardoned for “treasons and conspiracies with Irish rebels” in June 1529. Her husband was known as “Black James” and was one of the heroes of the battle of Bellahoe (1539). Alice was not the Lady Slane still found in records for July 1561. That was probably Slane’s second wife, Ellis (or Elizabeth) Plunkett, married at some point after 1540 and still alive in 1580 when Queen Elizabeth imprisoned her in the Tower of London for “disobedience.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Fleming, Alice [née Lady Alice Fitzgerald].”




Eleanor Fitzgerald was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th earl of Kildare (1456?-1513) and Alison Eustace or Fitzeustace (d.1495). She married Donough MacCarthy Reagh of Carbery and as his widow, Lady Eleanor MacCarthy, sheltered her nephew, Gerald Fitzgerald, future earl of Kildare, who had escaped from Kilbrittain Castle with the aid of a priest. Five of her brothers and another nephew were executed in England on February 3, 1537. In order to protect young Gerald, who was only twelve years old, Eleanor married Manus O’Donnell (c.1500-February 9, 1564), around June 1538, making that protection an article of their marriage settlement. For a time, O’Donnell led the Geraldine league in defense of Fitzgerald rights in Ireland, but by 1540 he was in secret negotiations with England and Eleanor, fearing betrayal, spirited Gerald away to France. One of the livelier accounts has her telling O’Donnell she’d never have married him if not for her need to protect Gerald and calling him a “clownish curmudgeon.” Manus submitted to the English in 1541. Although one account has O'Donnell, while imprisoned in Lifford Castle from 1548-1554, writing love poetry to his estranged wife, the couple obtained an annulment by mutual consent which allowed O'Donnell to marry Margaret MacDonald, who died in 1544, and one more wife, during Eleanor's lifetime. Meanwhile, Eleanor spent two years (1543-5) trying to get Henry VIII's deputy in Ireland to solicit the king for a pardon. In a letter to the king, written from Malahide, near Dublin, on May 4, 1545, she says she has been granted safe conduct into the English Pale to await the king's decision. The accompanying letter from the Irish privy council explains this was really to get her away from the south of Ireland, where the arrival of French troops was anticipated. It calls Eleanor "a practiser and procurer of discontentions and wars." In spite of this assessment, she received her pardon in August 1545 and on March 7, 1551 she was granted a pension of £30 for life by Edward VI.




ELIZABETH FITZGERALD (1527-March 1589/90)

Elizabeth Fitzgerald was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th earl of Kildare (1487-September 2, 1534) and Elizabeth Grey (c.1497-1548+), an Englishwoman. After her father's death while a prisoner in the Tower of London, Elizabeth was raised at the English court. She and a sister came to England with their mother in 1533. In 1537, the same year her half brother and her five FitzGerald uncles were executed at Tyburn for treason and rebellion, she was sent to Mary Tudor's household at Hunsdon. Shortly after that, when she was ten or eleven, she was the subject of a poem by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey. Surrey's biographer, Jessie Childs (Henry VIII's Last Victim) suggests that Surrey's intent was to improve her chances of making a good marriage by praising not only her noble heritage but her beauty and virtues. In the poem she is called "the Lady Geraldine" and subsequent generations invented all sorts of romantic tales about her. The truth was, she was an impoverished noblewoman dependent upon the Tudors. Other sources date the poem in November 1541 and say Elizabeth was a maid of honor to Catherine Howard at the time, but there is no evidence to support this. She may, however, have been at court while Catherine was queen. In December 1542, she became the second wife of Sir Anthony Browne (June 27, 1500-May 6, 1548), Henry VIII's Master of Horse. Browne was a wealthy and influential man. Later his daughter, Mabel, married Elizabeth's brother, Gerald, 11th earl of Kildare. They had two sons, Edward and Thomas, who died in infancy. After Sir Anthony's death, the widowed Lady Browne was part of the household at Chelsea Manor shared by Katherine Parr, the Queen Dowager, by then married to Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour, and Elizabeth Tudor. Later, when Princess Elizabeth was being questioned about her relationship with the Lord Admiral, her custodian, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, remembered that Lady Browne had gotten along well with the princess and sent for her to spy on the girl. Lady Browne was not successful as a spy, perhaps by intent, and later became a close friend of Elizabeth Tudor's when she became queen. By October 1, 1552, the date of the post-nuptial settlement, Lady Browne had remarried, taking as her second husband Edward Fiennes de Clinton, Lord Clinton (1512-January 16, 1584/5), who had succeeded Seymour as Lord Admiral. In 1553, both of them were involved in the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary Tudor, but Elizabeth was able to regain Queen Mary's trust. She may have been part of Elizabeth Tudor's household at Hatfield in 1557-8. She definitely provided a place, a few days before Mary's death, for the count of Feria to meet with the princess. Lady Clinton was at court as a lady in waiting from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign as an unfeed gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. In 1561, she was among those who tried to warn Lady Catherine Grey to confess her secret marriage to the queen before she found out from someone else. Later that same year, Lady Clinton was in some sort of trouble with the queen herself and accused of "frailty" and "forgetfulness of her duty." It is not clear what occasioned such criticism, but since the charges were made by Archbishop Parker, who also declared she should be "chastised in Bridewell" for her offense, David Starkey concludes that Parker thought she was a strumpet. In 1569, records show that she exercised the Lord Admiral's right to seize a ship that had been illegally taken by Martin Frobisher. Frobisher was arrested for piracy; Lady Clinton kept the ship and its cargo. In 1572, Clinton was created earl of Lincoln, making Elizabeth a countess. She had no children by him. Her stepson, Henry (d. September 28, 1616), known for his “wickedness, misery, craft, repugnance to all humanity, and perfidious mind” was bad-tempered and universally detested, according to his entry in the History of Parliament. His father’s will tried to protect Elizabeth’s widow’s rights by leaving her considerable lands for life and providing that Henry would forfeit his right to them after her death if he molested her in any way, but Henry contested the will anyway, claiming she’d used undue influence and refused him access to his dying father. He failed in this attempt. Elizabeth is buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle with her second husband. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Clinton, Elizabeth Fiennes de." Portrait: by Steven van der Meulen, 1560; a second portrait by an unknown artist, c.1575, is in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. She gave a miniature of herself to Elizabeth Brooke, Marchioness of Northampton which was willed back to her on Lady Northampton's death in 1565.

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This Elizabeth Fitzgerald was a relative of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln, but her parentage is uncertain, as is the name of her husband, or even if she married. Since Garrett was a common substitution for FitzGerald. Elizabeth may well have been the Lady Garrett (Garet/Gard) in the household of Elizabeth Tudor in 1536. Although some sources indicate that “Elizabeth Garret” was still a member of that household in 1546, it seems more likely that she had moved on to the household of Queen Katherine Parr. Katherine’s biographer, Susan James, indicates that Elizabeth Garrett was there from 1543-1547 and that she was a close friend of the queen’s stepdaughter, Margaret Neville, who left her £20 when she died in March 1546.



Elizabeth Fitzgerald was the daughter of Edward Fitzgerald (FitzGarrett/Garrett) of Stanwell, Middlesex (January 17, 1528/9-1590), younger son of the 9th earl of Kildare, and Agnes Legh or Leigh (d.1566+). From 1571, she was one of the maids of the Privy Chamber. She is the Elizabeth Garrett mentioned in the will of the earl of Lincoln (her uncle by marriage) in 1585, identified as one of Queen Elizabeth's "handmaidens." At one point, her father, who was deeply in debt, borrowed £200 from Elizabeth, a debt he was unable to repay.








HONORA FITZGERALD (d. August 1598+)

Honora Fitzgerald was one of the four daughters of James Fitzgerald, 14th earl of Desmond (d. October 14, 1558) and his second wife, Móre O’Carroll (d.1548). Her brother Gerald (d.1583) was the 15th earl and her nephew James (1570-1601) the 16th earl. She married Donal MacCarthy (d. before February 12, 1597), created first earl of Clancare in the Irish peerage in 1565, and had by him a son, Teige (d.before 1588), and a daughter, Ellen (c.1574-1607+). In 1588, when a marriage was proposed between Ellen MacCarthy and an English commoner, Honora threatened to hide her daughter in O'Rourke's country (modern County Leitrim) rather than let the marriage take place. She then arranged for the girl to marry Florence MacCarthy, a kinsman who also had the advantage of being a nobleman and a Catholic. For a short time thereafter, both Ellen and Honora were in the custody of Thomas Norreys, the vice-president of Munster. The earl of Clancare renounced his allegiance to England in 1597 and died soon after. Honora's suit for her widow's third of her husband's lands and rents was granted by Queen Elizabeth of England but the Solicitor of Ireland ruled she should have but a "reasonable portion for her dower, which in effect is a referment to the surveyors, whose going thither is uncertain." On July 29, 1598, she wrote to Sir Robert Cecil to complain of this and to tell him that her want was "such that she and her daughter rest prisoners for her diet." She asked for a special letter on her behalf, so that she could receive the third part without having to file suit.


JOAN FITZGERALD (c.1509-January 2, 1565)
Joan Fitzgerald was the daughter of James Fitzgerald, 10th earl of Desmond (d.1529) and Amy O’Brien (1497-before 1537). She married three times, first, before December 21, 1532, to James Butler, 10th earl of Ormond (c.1496-October 28, 1546). Ormond, nicknamed “the lame,” went to supper at Ely House in Holborn, London on October 17, 1546. Subsequently he, his steward, and sixteen of his servants died, presumably of poison. Joan had seven sons by Ormond: Thomas, 11th earl (1532-November 22,1614), John (d. May 10, 1570), Edward, Sir Edmund (c.1537-1602), James, Piers, and Walter. She wished to marry her cousin, Gerald Fitzgerald (c.1529-1583), heir to the earl of Desmond, although he was twenty years her junior, but since such a marriage would have united the Irish factions she was induced instead to wed Sir Francis Bryan (d. February 2, 1550), an Englishman. Bryan was appointed as Lord Marshall and the couple arrived in Ireland in November 1548. When Bryan lay dying at Clonmel, Joan was out hunting with Cousin Gerald, who succeeded to the title of earl of Desmond in 1554. Their subsequent marriage brought a measure of peace to Ireland and Joan even carried on a friendly correspondence with Queen Elizabeth. Eventually, however, annoyed by the dominant role his wife’s appeared to play in their marriage, Desmond broke his truce with her son. Joan spent nearly two weeks riding back and forth between hostile camps before peace was restored. From 1562-1564, Desmond was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Joan set herself the task of persuading Queen Elizabeth to release him, but by the time she was successful, she was on her deathbed. She was buried in the friary at Askeaton.


Katherine Fitzgerald was the daughter of Sir John Fitzgerald, 2nd lord of Decies in Waterford (d.1524) and Ellen FitzGibbon. In 1529, she married Thomas Fitzgerald, 11th (or 12th) earl of Desmond (1454-1534), her second cousin. They had one child, named Katherine after her mother. Katherine Fitzgerald's claim to fame is as the "old countess of Desmond," and she was reported by both Sir Walter Raleigh and Fynes Moryson as being 140 years old when she died. She was not. She did, however, live to be somewhere between ninety and ninety-five. Thanks to Sir Walter Raleigh, who knew her personally, and Moryson, she became the subject of legend, but all that is really known about her life is that she never remarried and that she lived out her life at Inchiquin Castle in Cork. One story gives her daughter's age in 1604 as ninety, when Lady Desmond traveled to London to present a petition to King James. It is said that this is when her portrait was painted. One story says she died after a fall from a tree she had climbed to gather nuts. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Fitzgerald, Katherine." Portraits: late sixteenth century; likeness painted in the eighteenth century; engraving of 1806 from an earlier portrait.

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Lettice Fitzgerald was the daughter of Edward Fitzgerald (FitzGarrett/Garrett) of Stanwell, Middlesex (January 17, 1528/9-1590), younger son of the 9th earl of Kildare, and Agnes Legh or Leigh (d.1566+). Her first husband was Ambrose Coppinger of Buxhall, Suffolk and Dawley Court, Middlesex (c.1546-1604). They were visited by the queen in1602 and he was knighted in 1603. They had no children. Her second husband, as his second wife, was John Poyntz of Chipping Ongar, Essex and Heneage House, London (1568-January 31, 1618). He had been born John Morice and had changed his surname to that of his wife upon his first marriage. They were married February 27, 1606. They had no children but the will he made before leaving to take the cure at Spa refers to Lettice as his dear and worthy wife and refers to selling her jointure for a great sum of money in order to acquire lands and goods. She was named sole executor.


LETTICE FITZGERALD (c.1580-December 1, 1658)
Lettice Fitzgerald was the only surviving child of Gerald Fitzgerald (c.1559-1580), eldest son of the 11th earl of Kildare, and Catherine Knollys (1559-December 30, 1632), and was named after her aunt, Lettice Knollys, countess of Essex and Leicester. Lettice Garrett (a common substitution for FitzGerald) is listed as one of Queen Elizabeth's maids of honor in 1596. There is some confusion about her because a summary of the 1597 marriage settlement between Robert Digby of Coleshill and Sir Christopher Blount of Drayton Bassett mistakenly calls Lettice Sir Christopher's daughter. She was probably his ward, her father having died. Since Sir Christopher was married to her aunt, Lettice Knollys, and it is likely she was the godmother of her namesake, the younger Lettice might have been referred to as their daughter but she was not, by birth, a Blount. Lettice Knollys and Christopher Blount had no children. In April 1598, Lettice Fitzgerald wed Sir Robert Digby of Coleshill, Warwickshire (1575-May 24, 1618). In the indenture dated April 19, 1598, Lettice is clearly identified as "Lettice Garret, daughter and heiress of the Rt. Hon. Gerald Lord Girralde FitzGerald, deceased." Lettice and Sir Robert had ten children: Robert (c.1599-June 6, 1642), Mabel, Essex (d. May 12, 1683), George, Gerald, John, Simon, Philip, and two more daughters. In 1599, following the death of her uncle, the 13th earl of Kildare, Lettice assumed the title of baroness Offaly and claimed the right to a number of Kildare lands as heiress general. The earldom went to the next male heir and then to his son, who disputed the claim Lettice and her husband made for the Offaly title. Digby's will, dated April 29, 1618, conveyed Coleshill to his widow for life and referred to the dispute over her Irish lands by saying this made it impossible for him to provide for his children. Lettice was therefore to maintain their eldest son and provide annuities for the other sons and marriage portions for their daughteres out of her inheritance and from £1000 held by Digby's brother. It was not until June 26, 1620 that, as a widow, Lettice was confirmed as baroness for life by the king and granted some 30,000 acres at Geashill. Her eldest son was created baron Digby of Geashill. Lettice then took possession of Geashill Castle and from 1633 raised her grandchildren there. The castle was besieged in 1642 but Lettice held out until she was rescued in October of that year, after which she retired to Coleshill. Portrait: at Sherborne Castle. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Digby [née Fitzgerald], Lettice."





MARGARET FITZGERALD (c.1467-August 9, 1542)
Margaret Fitzgerald was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th earl of Kildare (1456?-1513) and Alison Eustace or Fitzeustace (d.November 22,1495). In about 1485, she married Piers Butler, 8th earl of Ormond and 1st earl of Ossory (c.1467-August 26, 1539). The couple were reduced to poverty early in their marriage by the machinations of the 7th earl of Ormond (Piers's cousin) and his agents, but the earl's failure to have a son to succeed him gave Piers the title in 1515. Challenged by Thomas Boleyn, grandson of the 7th earl, he was forced to give the title up in 1529, receiving instead the title earl of Ossory. Upon Boleyn's death, he once again became earl of Ormond. Margaret played an active role in all the legal matters concerning her family and the Ormond estate and was sole executor of her husband’s will. The couple were great builders, adding to their castles of Granagh, Gowran, and Ormond, and founded Kilkenny College in 1536. Margaret in particular was a patron of both schools and craftsmen. In the seventeenth century, the couple was said to have brought civilization to Tipperary and Kilkenny. Their children were: James (c.1496-October 28, 1546), Richard, Thomas, Edmund (d.1551), Margaret (b.c.1491), Catherine (d.March 17, 1552/3), Joan, Eleanor, and Helen or Ellen. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Butler [née Fitzgerald], Margaret.” Portrait: effigy on her tomb in St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.

Mary Fitzgerald was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9the earl of Kildare (1487-September 2, 1534) and Elizabeth Zouche (d. October 6, 1517). Before 1526, she married Brian O’Connor (d.1559+) by whom she had nine sons, including Conn, Rory, Donagh (d.1558), Cormac (d.1573+), Calvagh, and Cathal (1540-1596), and two daughters, one of them named Margaret. Her husband was a rebel, espousing the Geraldine cause. Her father died a prisoner in England and her brother Thomas and five of her uncles were executed in England on February 3, 1537. In 1539, Mary gave shelter to her young half brother, Gerald, later earl of Kildare, before sending him to their aunt, Eleanor Fitzgerald, for safety. Mary's husband was imprisoned in the Marshalsea in London from 1548-1554. Their daughter Margaret went to England and helped negotiate his release. He returned to England, with Gerald Fitzgerald, and at that time Gerald was restored as earl of Kildare. Little is known of Mary’s widowhood, but in 1582 her son Cathal killed a man and was forced to flee Ireland. He went first to Scotland and then to Spain, where he took the name Don Carlos. At some point, Mary joined him there. In November 1596, Cathal attempted to return to Ireland with his mother, wife, and family. He drowned when shipwrecked en route. One presumes that the other members of his family also perished, although the records do not bother to say.


Barbara Fitzherbert was the daughter of John Fitzherbert of Etwell and Ash, Derbyshire (d.c.1502) and Margaret Babington. Early in the first decade of the sixteenth century, she married Sir Thomas Cokayne of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, known as The Magnificent (c.1479-April 1537). Their children were Jane, Francis (d.1538), Anthony, Thomas, Anne, and Elizabeth. Cokayne built Pooley Hall, Polesworth, Warwickshire c.1509. As a widow, Barbara constructed a tomb for her husband in St. Oswald's, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. There is a story in accounts of the Dissolution of the Monasteries that probably relates to Barbara and one of her daughters. What is referred to as an "undignified scene" resulted when "Lady Cockayne's daughter" retrieved her mother's velvet gown from Polesworth Abbey. It had apparently been given to that religious house some years earlier to be made into a vestment and now that all the nunneries were being closed, the daughter wanted it back.


Dorothy FitzHerbert was the daughter of Sir Anthony FitzHerbert (c.1470-1538) and Matilda Cotton. She married first Sir Ralph Longford (d. September 23, 1544), by whom she had Nicholas, Maud (d. June 14, 1596) and Isabel, and second Sir John Port (d. July 6, 1557). Portrait: effigy at Etwall, Derbyshire.

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Dorothy Fitzherbert came from a Berkshire family. She married John Wingfield, who died before 1542, when she was listed as a widow and a member of the household of Anne of Cleves. She was still there in 1557 when Anne made her will, leaving Dorothy £100. John Wingfield may have been the nephew of Sir Robert Wingfield of Calais, mentioned in Wingfield's 1538 will as the son of his brother Lewis.


Edith FitzHerbert was the daughter of Ralph FitzHerbert of Norbury (1428-March 2, 1483/4) and Elizabeth Marshall (1453-1496). She married Thomas Babington (1465-March 13, 1518) and was the mother of nine sons and six daughters, including Catherine (1478-October 12, 1517), Humphrey (d. November 22, 1544), Sir Anthony (d. August 23, 1536), Sir Rowland (d. June 26, 1546), and William (d.1536). Portrait: effigy.

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Mrs. Elizabeth FitzHerbert was a gentlewoman in the household of Elizabeth of York. It has been suggested that she was the eldest daughter of Ralph FitzHerbert of Norbury (1428-March 2, 1483/4) and Elizabeth Marshal (1453-1496) but no Elizabeth is listed among their children in the genealogies I have seen. Since Mrs. meant Mistress and could refer to either a single or a married woman, the one serving Elizabeth of York might have been Elizabeth Marshall, wife of Ralph FitzHerbert (see ELIZABETH MARSHALL). A much younger Elizabeth Fitzherbert (see next entry) is also a possibility. A Mrs. FitzHerbert (no first name) served as head chamberer to Queen Jane Seymour and rode in her funeral cortege in 1537. Two of the sons of Ralph and Elizabeth Marshall were married. One wife was Bennet Bradburn and the other Matilda or Maud Cotton (see her entry).


Elizabeth Fitzherbert was the daughter of John Fitzherbert of Norbury, Derbyshire (d. July 24, 1531) and Bennet Bradburn. Her marriage settlement was dated August 1, 1504 for her marriage to Philip Draycott of Paynsley in Dracott, Staffordshire and Smightfield, Middlesex (d. February 25, 1559), which makes it possible she was the Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzherbert who was a gentlewoman in the household of Elizabeth of York before 1503 (see entry above). Draycott was knighted in 1533 and was often at court. They had six sons and six daughters, including Richard, George, Elizabeth, Susannah, Dorothy, and Barbara. In 1543, when he was a MP, he obtained a private act of Parliament to prevent her from disinheriting their children. At that time they were separated, but they reconciled by the time he made his will on September 6, 1558. Their monument is in the family chapel at Draycott.


Mary Fitzherbert was a member of the household of Mary Tudor in the Marches of Wales in 1525-7. The household accounts for July to December 1526 include quarterly payments of her wages, which amounted to £10 a year. Listed with her are Anne Rede, Mary Victoria (Mary Vittorio), and Mary Danet (Dannett). Possibly they were all maids of honor. On May 28, 1532, Mary Fitzherbert, still in Princess Mary's service, was given a gown of tawny lucca velvet and a kirtle of crimson satin against her marriage, but her husband's name is not given.










Elizabeth FitzLewis was the daughter of Sir John FitzLewis of West Horndon, Dunton Ingrave and Cranham, Essex (d. October 27, 1492) and his second wife, Anne Montague (c. 1384- c. November 29, 1457). By 1457, when she was co-heiress to her mother, Elizabeth was already married to Sir John Wingfield of Lethringham, Suffolk (1428-May 10, 1481). They had sixteen children: John (d.1509), Edward (d.1497+), Henry (c.1460-1500), John, William (d.1491), Thomas (d.1485), Robert (c.1470-1538), Walter (d.1497+), Lewys or Ludovic, Edward (d.1530), Richard (d.1525), Humphrey, Anne or Agnes (d.1498+), Elizabeth the elder (d.1525+), Katherine (d.1525), and Elizabeth the younger. John Wingfield named his wife co-executor of his will. She made her will on July 14, 1497. It was proved December 22, 1500. She was buried in the north part of the chancel of Letheringham Priory beside her husband's tomb. Portrait: memorial with husband and children.


wingfield (300x226)


Frances Fitzlewis was the daughter of Sir Richard Fitzlewis of Ingrave, Essex (c.1446-1528) and Elizabeth Shelton (d.1523). Her godmother was Elizabeth Green or Grene, Abbess of Barking from 1500 to 1528. Frances married first a man named Fyndorne and then Sir William West of Amberden Hall. As Lady West, she sued for the return of jewelry bequeathed to her by her mother but left in the custody of Abbess Green, who had apparently failed to return it.




MARY FITZLEWIS (May 30,1467-1492+)

Mary FitzLewis was the daughter of Sir Henry FitzLewis of Horndon and Bromford in Nevendon, Essex (c.1427-May 1480) and Elizabeth Beaufort (d. by 1472). A post in one online discussion group gives her date of birth as May 30, 1468 and suggests that her mother died at the same time. Through her mother, she was descended from John of Gaunt and she was a cousin of the duke of Buckingham. By October 1480, she had become the second wife of Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales and Earl Rivers (1442-x.June 25, 1483), brother to the queen of England. In his will, her husband left her plate, household goods including a featherbed and a tapestry, and her jointure. After her husband was executed, Richard III ordered tenants of Lady Rivers to pay her their dues, but this was not a mark of any particular favor, merely an effort to enforce her jointure rights. She fared better under Henry VII. She was one of the noblewomen serving Elizabeth of York at the banquet following her coronation on November 25, 1487. At some point after 1485 and before 1488, she married Sir George Neville (d. September 17, 1517+), illegitimate son of Sir Thomas Neville, chief steward of Durham. They had one child, Anne, born in about 1490, who grew up to marry Sir John Markham of Cotham, Nottinghamshire (d.1559) as his first of three wives.







ANNE FITZWILLIAM (c.1504-c.1558?)
Anne Fitzwilliam or Fitzwilliams was the daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northamptonshire and Gains Park, Essex (1460-August 9, 1534) and his first wife, Anne Hawes (d. before August 28, 1516). There is some debate as to whether Anne was first married first Sir John Hawes of London. The Sir John Hawes who died c.1517, mercer and sheriff of London in 1500-1, was her grandfather. He left Anne, who was not yet twenty-one on August 28, 1516 (when Hawes’s will was written), one of his best cups of silver gilt. Anne married Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex (1505-June 11, 1576) in around 1523, shortly before Cooke entered the Inns of Court. She was the mother of all of his children: Mildred (August 24, 1524-April 4, 1589), Anne (c.1528-August 27, 1610), Elizabeth (c.1528-May 1609), Katherine (c.1530-1583), Richard (1531-October 3, 1579), Anthony (b.1535), Edward (d.1576), William (1537-May 4, 1589), and Margaret (1541-December 8, 1558). Very little is known about Anne Fitzwilliam and what is known is often contradictory. The Oxford DNB entries for Sir Anthony and for some of her daughters gives her date of death as 1553, but this is too early. Marjorie Keniston McIntosh, who has written many articles about the Cooke family of Gidea Hall and about the area of Essex where Gidea Hall is located, clearly indicates that she was still alive to be left behind in England when her husband went into voluntary exile on the Continent in 1554. Portrait: effigy on the Cooke monument in Romford, Essex.









Philippa Fitzwilliam was the daughter of Sir William FitzWilliam of Gaynes Park, Essex (1526-June 22, 1599) and Anne Sidney (c.1525-June 11,1602). She married Sir Thomas Coningsby of Hampton Court, Herefordshire (October 9, 1550-May 30, 1625) and was the mother of Sydney(son), Philippa (d. at birth), Katherine (d.1632), Anne, Humphrey (b. November 26, 1585), Thomas (1588-1602), Fitzwilliam (c.1589-August 23, 1666), Ursula (d.1635+), Robert, Elizabeth (d.1665), and Sydney (daughter; twin of Elizabeth) (d. May 4, 1627). She is buried in Hope Church. Portrait: by George Gower, 1578, when she was fourteen.

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see JOYCE NANFAN                 


COLUBRA FLAMBERT (d. April 14, 1574)

Colubra Flambert was the daughter of William Flambert or Lambert of Chartley, Surrey, a sergeant at arms to the king. By 1539, she had married Richard Ward of Hurst and Hinton, Berkshire (d. February 11, 1578), who built Hurst House. They had eight sons and nine daughters including Richard (d.1605), Edward, Alice (d.1558), Joan, Katherine, and Anne. On May 7, 1539, Ward, his wife, and his mother surrendered the manor of Stannards at Chobham, Surrey and other lands to the Crown and in return were granted the manor of Hurst for a rent of £4 10s. Ward was in the royal household as a young man and served as treasurer to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth. Portrait: brass in Hurst Church (missing the head).


Description: flambert,calubra




AGNES FLEMING (c.1535-c.1597)

Agnes Fleming was the daughter of Malcolm, baron Fleming (c.1494-September 10, 1547) and Janet Stewart (d.c.1563), an illegitimate daughter of King James IV. She went to France with the five-year-old Mary Queen of Scots in 1548. In January 1552/3, she married William, 6th baron Livingstone (d.1592). They had five sons and two daughters, including Alexander (1561-1621) and Jane (d.1621). In Scotland they lived a Callenar House near Falkirk. Lord Livingstone escaped to England with Queen Mary in 1568 and soon afterward Agnes joined him there, leaving her children behind in Scotland. In 1572, she was allowed to return to Scotland to visit them but while she was there she was imprisoned on a charge of passing secret messages to Mary's friends. She was held in Dalkeith Castle for two months and then released. Agnes died before October 18, 1597 and was buried in Falkirk. According to most sources, she was murdered, but details are lacking.






Elizabeth Fleming was the daughter of William Fleming of Wath and Croston, Lancashire. She married Thomas Hesketh of Rufford (c.1465-August 14, 1523) in 1471 when they were still children. When she was pregnant she confessed that the child was not his and that she had another husband. They were divorced in 1487, after which she gave birth to an illegitimate child named Edward Fleming. Hesketh remarried in 1492. Elizabeth also remarried, taking as her husband a man named Thurston Hall, who may have been her "other husband," by whom she then had four or five children. What is most remarkable about this story is that, even after such a scandalous divorce, Elizabeth Fleming’s likeness was included in the Hesketh family tree created in 1597. Then again, Thomas Hesketh had only one child by his second wife, Grace Towneley (d. June 29, 1510), a son who died young. His heir was an illegitimate son by Alice Haworth, Sir Robert, and it is this line that is commemorated in the artwork. Thomas Hesketh also had two other illegitimate children, Charles and Helen. Portrait: 1597 family tree.

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Joan Fletcher was a nun at Rosedale Priory, Yorkshire. On August 13, 1524, she was elected prioress of the neighboring priory of Basedale or Baysdale. In 1527, she resigned before she could be removed from that office and ran away from the priory. At some point, she supposedly had a child. When she repented and wished to return to the religious life, she was ordered by Archbishop Lee to do penance at Rosedale, then under the leadership of Mary Marshall as prioress, but by September 1, 1534, she was back at Basedale because she was setting a bad example for the eight nuns at Rosedale. Prioress Elizabeth Raighton was ordered to treat her kindly but not to allow her to go outside the precincts. Joan remained one of the ten nuns at Basedale until the priory was dissolved in 1539. According to Geoffrey Baskerville's English Monks and the Suppression of the Monasteries, Joan received a pension and was still living twenty years later.




According to J. Thomas Kelly’s Thorns on the Tudor Rose, one Ellen Pendleton, alias Flodder, was the leader of a band of outlaws operating in Norfolk, Kent, Lincolnshire, and Leicestershire in the reign of James I. On June 11, 1615, she and some confederates set the town of Wymondham, Norfolk on fire. Three hundred houses were destroyed. A local woman, Margaret Bix, alias Elvyn, under sentence of death, confessed that she knew about the fire and claimed that it was set by Ellen Pendleton by lighting a match and placing it in a stable. Later studies of the “great fire of 1615” indicate that there were actually two separate fires. The usual way of giving names in court documents was to list a woman under her married name. Her maiden name, if it was given at all, was written “alias surname.” Of course the name after the alias could in fact be an assumed name, but since two men named Flodder were arrested with Ellen and Margaret, John (x.December 2,1615) and William, the logical conclusion is that they were her brothers. John Flodder was condemned to die. William Flodder was not. The Flodders were said to be Scots pretending to be Egyptians (Gypsies) and they allegedly promised to take Margaret Bix away with them to Scotland and procure a pardon from the Pope for her part in starting the fire. “Others” were executed with John Flodder, but Ellen’s execution was stayed because she was pregnant. During her imprisonment, she gave false evidence to the King’s Council, which cost her any hope of a pardon.


AURELIA FLORIO (c.1582-July 12, 1641)

Aurelia Florio was the eldest daughter of John Florio (1553-1625), the writer and language teacher, by his first wife, who is generally believed to have been named Aline and to have been the sister of poet Samuel Daniel. In c. 1603, she married James Molins (c.1580-December 3, 1638), a barber surgeon who was appointed surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital on January 11, 1605 at £30/year and was licensed to administer internal remedies in 1627. They had eight sons and seven daughters, most of them baptized at St. Andrew's, Holborn, of whom seven sons and three daughters lived to adulthood, including Lucy, James, Edward (1610?-1663), Charles, John, William (1617-1691), Mathias, Vera Aurora, and Aurelia. Aurelia herself was a midwife. On August 22, 1624, she was granted her own armorial bearings. She is the only one of her father's children mentioned in his will, dated July 20, 1625, in which he states that she exaggerated his debt to her. Florio died of the plague, probably in October of that year. He had remarried on September 9, 1617 to Rose Spicer (d.c.1626), who was executrix of the will. In 1634, Aurelia was one of ten midwives who, along with Molins and five other surgeons, examined alleged witches in Lancashire. The report they signed on July 2nd indicates they found no evidence against the accused women. Her husband died at their house in Stoke Newington, Middlesex. He made his will five days before his death, leaving the house and garden in Shoe Lane where they had lived in London, together with other properties, to his wife. She was living in Aldersgate Street with her son William when she died. She made her will on February 7, 1641. She was buried with her husband in St. Andrew's, Holborn. Biography: Oxford DNB entry in the entry for her husband.


MARGARET and PHILIPPA FLOWER (x. March 11, 1618/19)
Margaret and Philippa Flower were the daughters of Joan Flower. All three were employed by Francis Manners, 6th earl of Rutland (1578-December 17, 1632) and his second wife, Cecily Tufton (d.1653). The earl and countess had two sons, both of whom died young, but the heir, Henry, Lord Ros, appears to have been helped to his death by the vengeful nature of the Flower family. According to the tract published after the trial (The Wonderful Discoverie of the Witchcrafts of Margaret and Philip Flower, 1619), Joan was a "monstrous malicious woman." When the three of them were dismissed from service at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, home of the earl, or possibly while they were still employed there, they hexed their former employers. They "brought from the castle the right-hand glove of the Lord Henry Rosse [sic]" and Joan "rubbed it on the back of her spirit Rutterkin; and then put it into hot boiling water. Afterward she pricked it often and buried it in the yard, wishing the Lord Rosse might never thrive." The cat, Rutterkin, often leapt onto Joan's shoulder and sucked her neck. Some years apparently went by before, at Christmas 1618, the earl and countess finally became suspicious enough to order the three women arrested. By then their son had died and other members of the family had been seriously ill. Joan claimed she was innocent but appears to have had a stroke or heart attack and died before she could be examined. Her daughters acknowledged hexing Lord Ros and his parents, admitted to having familiars, and confessed to having visions. The same tract also contains confessions by Anne Baker of Bottesford, Joan Willimot of Goodby, and Ellen Greene of Strathorne, who are pictured on the cover. Their connection to the Flower women is not very clear. They lived in the same county and admitted to having familiar spirits, but do not seem to have had a hand in the death of Lord Ros. Margaret and Philippa, also called the Witches of Belvoir and the Bottesford Witches, were sentenced to death by the Chief Justice of Common Pleas, Sir Henry Hobbert, and executed at Lincoln.


ROSE FLOWER (d.1578+)

Rose Flower was a prostitute in London from 1574-1578. Her first bawd was Elizabeth Barnewell. Later she married one Prise (or Price?) and lived with him in Shoreditch, where she ran a bawdy house and also worked in other brothels. Thomas Nashe said of her that she was "one of the finest women in London for experimentation."



see JANE SONDES                                                                             


ALICE FOGGE (c.1508-c.1583)
Alice Fogge was the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Fogge of Ash, Kent (d. August 16, 1512), porter of Calais, and Eleanor Browne (c.1491-1560+). In A General History of the Kemp and Kempe Families of Great Britain and Her Colonies it is stated that Alice was only twelve when she was betrothed to the son of Sir William Scott, who paid £200 for the grant of her custody until she was fourteen and could give her consent. Alice married twice, first to Edward Scott of the Moat, Sussex (c.1478-November 1535) and second, by 1543, to Sir Robert Oxenbridge of Winchelsea and Brede, Sussex (1509-November 17, 1574). They had at least three children, Robert (d.1574+), Catherine (d.1574+) and another daughter, and possibly as many as fourteen children, since there are fourteen figures on the Oxenbridge tomb. She inherited Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire from her second husband and was one of the executors of his will. In a letter to Lord Burghley dated August 6, 1582, when she was dying, she asked that her eldest son, William Scott, be released from prison. He was being held in the White Lion “for his conscience.” Her other children by Edward Scott were Thomas, Jane, and Anne. Portrait: effigy in St. Andrew's Church, Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire.

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Margaret Foliot was the daughter of Nicholas Foliot or Folyotte of Pirton, Worcestershire and Elizabeth Washbourne. She married Sir Walter Stonor (1477-October 8, 1550) and was the mother of John (1499-1512) and Elizabeth (d.1560). She has been identified by Alison Weir and others as the Mistress Stonor who was assigned to wait upon Queen Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London in 1536 and as the most likely candidate to be "Mother Stonor," who was "mother" or mistress of the maids of honor to Henry VIII's next four queens. Those who held this post over the years are often difficult to identify, as most are referred to only by their married surnames. A Mrs. Marshall is listed in January 1534 as "mistress of the maidens" serving Queen Anne Boleyn. Kat Astley (see KATHERINE CHAMPERNOWNE) is said to have been the first Mother of Maids under Queen Elizabeth, but Charlotte Merton (The Women sho served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth) lists a Mrs. Morrison in 1558/9. Mrs. Aglionby (see ELIZABETH AGLIONBY) was apparently the mother of maids from 1562/3 until about 1588/9, when a Mrs. Jones is listed in the position (see MRS. JONES). She was succeeded by Elizabeth Wingfield (see ELIZABETH LECHE). Another unidentified gentlewoman, Mrs. Hyde (see LUCY HYDE), was mother of maids at the end of Elizabeth's reign. As for "Mrs. Stonor," I have a small quibble with Margaret Foliot. She'd have been Lady Stonor, not Mistress Stonor. An alternative candidate is her sister-in-law, Isabel Agard. She was the wife of John Stonor (1480-1550). They had two children, Francis (1520-1564) and Henry.


BENNET FOLJAMBE (1499-1546+)
Bennet (also called Benedicta) Foljambe was the daughter of Sir Godfrey Foljambe of Southwell Dale, Derbyshire (March 27, 1472-December 20, 1541) and Katherine Leake (c.1475-May 24, 1529). She was named for her paternal grandmother, Bennet or Benedicta Vernon. On August 15, 1522, she married Sir John Dunham of Kirtlington, Nottinghamshire (d.1535). Although one online source gives Dunham's date of death as 9 September 30 Henry VIII (1538), on 20 November 28 Henry VIII (1536), her jointure for her second marriage, as his second wife, to William Newenham of Everdon, Northamptonshire (d. June 8, 1546), was established as the manor of Newbold, Derbyshire. Kirtlington Manor formed part of her dower lands. She appears to have had no children by Dunham but at least two daughters by Newenham. As a result of Dunham's will, and she and her second husband were involved in litigation with the husband of her stepdaughter Frances, John Hasilwood, over property rights in Ringesdon, Lincolnshire. There was also a dispute with one Edith Marmion over property in Rippingale, Lincolnshire. Newenham made his will on June 1, 1544, before leaving on the French campaign. In it he made provision for his younger children and Bennet's life interest, but his principal heir was an older son, Thomas.


















Elizabeth Fortescue was the daughter of Sir Adrian Fortescue of Stonor Park, Oxfordshire (c.1481-x. July 9, 1539) and Anne Rede (c.1510-January 5, 1585). She was married by 1560 to Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-April 12, 1587), Lord Chancellor of England from April 1579, and was the mother of Sir Henry (d. May 15, 1615), three other sons, Elizabeth (c.1566-before July 1,1601), Anne, Muriel (1560-1630), and Joan (b.1562). The Bromley children were tutored by William Hergest, who dedicated his The Right Rule of Christian Chastity (1580) to his charges. It was in the Lord Chancellor’s garden, with Lady Bromley present, that an ambassador sent by the tsar of Russia was allowed a look at Lady Mary Hastings in May 1583. Lady Mary had been proposed as a possible bride for Ivan the Terrible. Accounts vary as to whether this garden was at York House, Westminster or at the Bromleys’ country house. Since this was at Holt, Worcestershire, York House seems more likely. Elizabeth was buried on June 2, 1602 in St. Margaret’s, Westminster.


Katherine Fortescue was the daughter of John Fortescue of London. Around 1603, she married Francis Bedingfield of Redlingfield, Suffolk (c.1574-June 14, 1644), and together they had the distinction of producing eleven daughters, all of whom eventually became nuns. So did Mary Bedingfield, daughter of John, one of their three sons. The daughters were: Helena (abbess of the Austin nuns at Bruges); Margaret (abbess of the Poor Clares at Rhoan); Philippa (known as Dame Thecla, a Benedictine nun at Ghent); Elizabeth (1610-1683), who married Sir Alexander Hamilton (c.1613-before 1669) and joined the Austin nuns at Bruges as a widow (her daughter was also a nun there); Winifred (a nun in Bavaria), Catherine (superior of the Carmelites at Antwerp); Frances (a nun in Rome); Grace (a nun in Louvain); Magdalen (a Carmelite nun); Anne (d. November 17, 1697), abbess of the Poor Clares at Gravelines; and Mary (a nun a Liege). In 1635, the family lands in Suffolk were seized for recusancy.


MARGARET FORTESCUE (c.1502-c.1548)

Margaret Fortescue was the daughter of Sir Adrian Fortescue of Stonor and Shirburn, Oxfordshire and St. Clement Danes, London (c.1481-x.July 9, 1539) and his first wife, Anne Stonor (c.1484-June 14, 1518). In about 1520, she married Sir Thomas Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk (1501-March 3, 1550/1), created 1st baron Wentworth in 1529. Their children were Thomas (1525-January 13, 1584), Henry, Richard, Philip (d.1583), John (d.1562/3), Edward, James (d.1563), Roger, Anne (c.1520-August 28, 1575), Cecily (d. August 22, 1573), Mary, Elizabeth (d.c.1570), Margaret (d.1587/8), Margery, Jane (c.1539-April 16, 1614), Katherine, and Dorothy (1543-January 3, 1601). In 1540, she was heiress to her younger sister, Frances, wife of Thomas FitzGerald, earl of Kildare. She died between April 1546 and May 12, 1551 and probably predeceased her husband.






Elizabeth Forth was the daughter of a clothier, William Forth of Hadleigh, Suffolk (d.1504) and his wife Margaret. She married Thomas Baldry (d. August 6, 1534), the younger of two brothers with the same name. Her father left them 100 marks in his will. They lived mostly in London, where he was Lord Mayor in 1523-4 and where he was assessed at a worth of £1000. Their children were Richard, George (d. February 14, 1539), Thomas, Alice, and Bridget. Elizabeth was her husband's executor




DOROTHY FOSSER (d.c.1556/7)
Dorothy Fosser or Foster came from Haverhill, Suffolk. She was the goddaughter of Dorothy Neville, countess of Oxford and had served as both the countess’s maid and as a lady in waiting to Katherine de Vere, the countess’s daughter. John de Vere, 16th earl of Oxford (1512-August 3, 1562), was a notorious womanizer. Dorothy became romantically involved with the earl and after his wife’s death in about January 1548, their relationship came to the attention of the duke of Somerset, Lord Protector for Edward VI. A June 27, 1548 letter from Sir Thomas Darcy to (probably) William Cecil, the Duke of Somerset’s secretary, indicates that Oxford had already been questioned about his courtship of this “gentlewoman with whom he is in love” and that the banns for their marriage had been called two out of the required three times, but not before witnesses. Somerset apparently favored a marriage between Oxford and one of Lord Wentworth’s daughters, since Wentworth and Somerset were kinsmen. Darcy further reported that “Mrs. Dorothy” had left Castle Hedingham and was living in Sir Edward Green’s house, Stampford Hall. Less than a week later, however, Dorothy was at Haverhill, expecting to marry the earl in her parish church. Instead, on Thursday, August 2, Oxford married another gentlewoman, Margery Golding, in the Goldings’ house in Belchamp St. Paul. Had Somerset remained Lord Protector, Oxford might have faced serious penalties for this irregular marriage. He did pay Dorothy £10 per annum for breach of contract. She later married one of Oxford’s clerks, John Anson (c.1525-1585+). In 1556/7, they were living in Felsted, Essex. After her father’s death, Katherine de Vere tried to have his marriage to Margery Golding declared bigamous on the grounds that Oxford had been betrothed to Dorothy. The suit was unsuccessful.







Not a great deal is known about Dorothy Fountain. She has been identified by Susan James in Catherine Parr as nurse first to Margaret Neville, daughter of Lord Latimer and the queen’s stepdaughter, and later as nurse to Edward Herbert, Anne Parr’s son, when he lived at Chelsea Manor in 1547. From 1543 until Margaret Neville’s death in 1546, Dorothy was at court as Margaret’s servant. In 1547, she was listed as one of the queen’s chamberers. She married William Savage, another of the queen's household, at around that time but they both disappear from the records after the death of the queen dowager in 1548.






Katherine Fowler married, on February 13, 1602 in the church of St. Lawrence, Jewry, London, George Wilkins (d.1618), victualler and playwright. Their daughter Mary was baptized in St. Giles, Cripplegate on December 13, 1607 and was buried there on September 11, 1609. A son, Thomas, was baptized on February 11, 1610 (the Oxford DNB says 1605). From 1610-1618 there are frequent mentions of Wilkins in court records. The conclusion of Charles Nicoll in The Lodger Shakespeare, His Life on Silver Street is that Wilkins was a violent man who appears to have used the tavern he owned as a bawdy house. On August 23, 1615, Katherine sued a neighbor, Joyce Patrick, for slander because Joyce had called her a bawd and referred to her as “Mistress Sweetmeat.” Although one of Katherine’s witnesses maintained that she was innocent of the slander, another

witness claimed to have bought the services of a prostitute in the Wilkins house.





SYBIL FOWLER (1428-1511)
Sybil Fowler was the daughter of Sir William Fowler of Foxley, Buckinghamshire (1400-July 2, 1452) and Cecily Englefield. Her first husband was Robert Breknoke of Waterstock, Oxfordshire (1422-1458), to whom she was married in 1449. In 1459, she married Sir Thomas Danvers (1422-September 10, 1502) as his second wife. She finished the work her husband had begun on the chancel of the church at Waterstoke, Oxfordshire and built their tombs in it.













ELIZABETH FRANCIS (1538-x.1579) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Francis, wife of Christopher Francis, was charged at the Chelmsford summer assizes of 1566 with bewitching the infant child of William Auger. She was from Hatfield Peverell and to try to save herself she made a confession which was promptly put into a chapbook and became a bestseller. She said she had learned the art of witchcraft from her grandmother, Mother Eve, at the age of twelve and had been given a cat named Sathan to help her seduce one Andrew Byles. When he refused to marry her, she caused his death. Then Sathan found her another lover, her husband, and they had a daughter, but when the child was eighteen months old, Elizabeth ordered Sathan to kill her. Elizabeth also confessed to ordering Sathan to make Christopher lame. Then, after she’d had the cat for fifteen or sixteen years, Elizabeth grew tired of Sathan and gave him to a neighbor, Agnes Waterhouse, who was also charged with witchcraft in 1566. Elizabeth claimed she was innocent of the specific charge against her. She was sentenced to a year in jail. For bewitching Mary Cocke, she was sentenced to another year and four appearances in the pillory. She was indicted again in 1571 and in 1579 she went on trial for bewitching Anne Poole, who had died on November 1, 1578. This time Elizabeth was found guilty and hanged. It has been suggested that Agnes Waterhouse and Elizabeth Francis were sisters and also that the Agnes Francis indicted for witchcraft in 1572 might have been Elizabeth's daughter. Agnes Francis died in prison. Portrait: woodcut from chapbook.

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ANNE FRANK (d. September 29, 1590)

Anne Frank, alias Leke, was the nurse employed to look after the children of Dr. John Dee in his household at Mortlake. His diary entries in 1590 record his attempts to cure of her of what he diagnosed as possession by a wicked spirit but which was undoubtedly some form of mental illness. He performed an exorcism in July. Two days later she suffered "a great affliction of the mind" but was showing signs of recovery the next day. Dee anointed her breast with holy oil on August 26 and repeated this ritual on August 30. On September 8, shortly after sunset, Anne tried to drown herself by jumping into a well. Dee managed to pull her out, saving her life. Most likely fearing a repetition of this incident, he appointed one of his maids to be her "keeper," but this precaution proved insufficient. On September 29, at about four in the afternoon, Anne slipped out of her bedchamber, went downstairs to the hall in an adjoining house Dee was renting and, hiding herself behind a door, slit her own throat. The maid assigned as her keeper searched three or four other places before she heard Anne "rattle in her own blood" and found the body.




MARGERY FREEMAN (February 1559-1582+)
Margery Freeman was the daughter of Richard Freeman of Oxford. She was not yet twelve on April 30, 1570 when her parents married her to John Hoare or Hoer, a servant to a canon at Christ Church, Oxford. She ran away from him repeatedly, faking her own death twice. During some of that time she lived with a man named Jones, and Hoare married another woman. By 1577, Margery was in the service of Henry Hungate, a mercer, and his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of another wealthy mercer, Humphrey Baskerville. On August 26, 1577, she married Robert Whitehand (d.1580), a wealthy upholsterer. They had been assured that the marriage to Hoare was no longer valid, but he continued to make a nuisance of himself and at one point Whitehand even agreed to pay Hoare an annuity of £10 just to get rid of him. Margery, meanwhile appears to have tired of her new husband and taken a lover, John Shawe. He later claimed that Margery told him she wished to be rid of Whitehand, and that on a night when they were all to sup together, she warned him not to eat the white herring and poisoned that dish. Whitehand died two days later and his widow, once the estate was settled, received a share worth £1400. Plans were under way for Margery and Shawe to wed when she abruptly eloped, in December 1580, with another man—Robert Hungate, brother of Henry. Shawe and Hoare joined forces after that, bringing nuisance lawsuits and making a variety of claims they could not prove. When Shawe died in 1582, Hoare claimed that he was murdered by Richard and Thomas Freeman, Margery's brothers. She was charged as an accessory and arrested but apparently never tried. For additional details on the charges and countercharges, see John Bellamy's Strange, Unnatural Deaths: Murder in Tudor England, Appendix.




ANNE FRERE (d.1565+)
Anne Frere was the eldest daughter of Edward Frere (Freurs/Fryer) of Oxford (d. January 12, 1565), a brewer and M.P., and Anne Bustard (d.1544). Her father's will, written June 10, 1563 and proved June 29, 1565, left Anne the brewery he had inherited from his father and the adjacent tenement. Her sister, Elizabeth Lovelace, was left twelve silver spoons. Their brother William was executor. By that time, Anne was married to Henry Bailey or Bayley, a doctor of physic. In 1552, he had bought the site of Austin Friars in Oxford. This had become the property of William Frere by 1588, when he sold it to the city. It later became Wadham College.




MARY FRITH (1584-1659)

Known as “Moll Cutpurse,” Mary Frith was a master criminal. Possibly the daughter of a shoemaker, her activities as a robber, forger, and gang leader made her wealthy enough to have a fine house in Fleet Street. She was celebrated in song and story. She was found not guilty of burglary charges in 1610 but punished for dressing in male attire in 1612. She was required to do penance at Paul’s Cross and spent time in Newgate Prison afterward. She married Lewknor Markham on March 23, 1614 but continued to be known as Mary Frith. Biographies: There is a lengthy account of her life and crimes in Alan Hayes’s Untam'd Desire: Sex in Elizabethan England; Oxford DNB entry under "Frith [married name Markham], Mary." Portraits: a woodcut included in some 1639 editions of Nathan Field’s Amends for Ladies.

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JANE FROMOND (1555-March 23, 1605)
Jane Fromond (Fromonds/Fromoundes) was the daughter of Bathrolomew Fromond of Cheam, Surrey (d.July 14, 1579), a recusant. His will, dated August 3, 1577, left marriage portions of £100 to his other daughters, but nothing to Jane, a sign of his disapproval of her intention to marry Dr. John Dee (July 13, 1527-1608). Jane was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine Carey, Lady Howard of Effingham, by 1575. She married on February 5, 1577/8. They had eight children: Arthur (July 13, 1579-1651), Katherine (1581-1608+), Rowland (b.1583), Michael (February 22, 1585-July 13, 1594), Theodore (February 28, 1588-1602), Madimia (February 25, 1590-1605), Frances (b. January 1, 1591/2), and Margaret (August 14,1595-1603). Some of the children had influential godparents, including Edward Dyer for Arthur, Frances Sidney, countess of Sussex, Blanche Parry, and Ursula, Lady Walsingham and Sir George Carey (Madimia). On September 1, 1580, Queen Elizabeth visited the Dees at Mortlake. On June 10, 1581, for Katherine’s christening, her sponsors were Katherine Blount, Lady Croft, Mary Shelton, Lady Scudamore, and John Pakington. In 1583, the family traveled to the Continent, leaving Mortlake on September 21st. The party consisted of Dee and Jane and their three children, Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley (1555-1595) and his wife Jane and her two children, and a number of servants. They went first to Holland and later to Poland and Bohemia and settled for a time in Tribona. On January 18, 1587, Kelley returned from a visit to Prague with a jewel-encrusted gold necklace valued at 300 ducats and presented it to Jane. Later that year, the spirit Kelley raised (an "angel" named Madimi) informed him that he and Dee should share their wives. Dee objected at first, but eventually came to the conclusion that the spirit must be obeyed. It has been speculated that he feared to lose the services of Kelley as his seer. Dee's biographer, Benjamin Woolley, indicates that Jane was the object of Kelley's "obsessive interest" from the first time Kelley met her. Whatever the motivations behind it, a covenant was drawn up between the two couples and on May 21 was consummated. Dee's diary confirms this fact, and also that Jane was not happy with this arrangement. Forty weeks later, she gave birth to Theodore Trebonianus Dee. By the time the Dees returned to England on November 23, 1589, Dee and Kelley had quarreled and parted ways. Back at Mortlake, the family almost immediately encountered difficulties. Dee was reputed to be a sorcerer, which did not make him popular with his neighbors. Even so, on June 7, 1590,John Scudamore and his wife, Mary Shelton, and the queen’s dwarf, Mrs. Tomasin, visited Mortlake and stayed overnight. The next day, Jane returned with them to visit the court at Oatlands. Finances were in a desperate state by November 1592, when Dee went with his wife and all seven of their children to Isleworth to petition Queen Elizabeth for assistance. Later that month, Jane intercepted the queen while she was walking from her private gardens at Somerset House to hand her a petition. Apparently this ploy was successful, for the queen instructed Lady Howard to send a letter to Mrs. Dee and enclose 100 marks. In 1595, Dee was appointed warden of the collegiate church of Manchester. The family took up residence there in February 1596, but again encountered hostility. In November 1604, Dee was back in Mortlake, but Jane remained in Manchester. She died there of the plague. Benjamin Woolley, in The Queen’s Conjurer, characterizes her, from Dee’s writings, as "impatient, testy, fretting, and angry" and as a stern mother. She was a spirited woman to whom Dee was devoted and what little evidence there is suggests that she was fond of him. For another account of the Dees, see Glyn Parry, The Arch Conjuror of England (2011). 


Katherine Fromond was the daughter of Bartholomew Fromond
(Fromonds/Fromoundes) of Cheam, Surrey (d.July 14, 1579). Her sister Jane was married to Dr. John Dee. Katherine (sometimes called Elizabeth) married Edward Bromfield and had a daughter, Anne (1574-April 16, 1638). According to The Chronicle of St. Monica's, at some point before 1594, Katherine was made Mother of Maids at Elizabeth's court, even though her late husband had been a Catholic. Further, she had her daughter there with her for four years, during which time young Anne enjoyed all the pleasures of court life. Suddenly, however, Anne became convinced that she had a calling to become a nun. Her mother gave her a book of Catholic prayers and eventually Anne was formally converted by John Gerrard and left England to become a nun at Louvain in 1599. Her mother, according to this story, stayed on as Mother of Maids until the end of Elizabeth's reign. There are several problems with this story, not the least of which is that there is no record of a Katherine Bromfield as Mother of Maids, while there are records of other women holding that post during this period.




THOMASIN FRY (c.1537-1562+)
Thomasin Fry was the daughter of William Fry of Spettisbury, Dorset. In 1555, her uncle, Thomas Fry, feared for her safety and asked Thomas Keynell of Hinton St. Mary and Spettisbury (by 1536-1576+) to kidnap her and take her to Sir John Rogers's house. Keynell was Rogers's servant. Together with John Buller, Rogers's son-in-law, Keynell did as Fry asked. Thomasin remained there for a week, after which Keynell was indicted for kidnapping and sued in Star Chamber. He was questioned on October 28, 1555 and depositions supported his story. By July 1562, Thomasin had married him.




FAITH FULFORD (d. before 1604)
Faith Fulford was probably the daughter of Sir John Fulford of Fulford, Devonshire (1524/5-August 23, 1580) and Anne Denys (d. before 1570). She married John Davys (1550-December 29,1605), a navigator and explorer, at Stoke Gabriel near Dartmouth on September 29, 1582. They had five children: Gilbert (b.1583), Elizabeth (d.yng.), Arthur (b.1586), John (1587-1587), and Philip. During one of her husband’s long absences at sea, Faith took a lover by the name of Milborne, a counterfeiter. When Davys returned to England in June 1593, Milborne made false charges against him that led to his arrest. Davys was free by the following March. Unfortunately, details of what happened next are lacking. Since Davys was planning to remarry in 1604, however, Faith must have died at some point before that. Divorce would have been possible but unlikely, and usually did not permit remarriage.


Fuller is probably the maiden name of Barbara Rice, wife of William Rice of Herefordshire (d. July 29, 1588) by 1553. They had no children, or at least none that survived and little is known about them prior to the access of Queen Mary. Rice was made a gentleman of the privy chamber and Barbara served as a chamberer from 1553-1557. On November 7, 1553, the queen granted them, jointly, for good service, the manors of Backnoe in Thurleight, Bedfordshire and Medmenham, Buckinghamshire. Later they were granted manors in Kent and Somersetshire. Rice withdrew from court after Elizabeth Tudor took the throne. In 1561, he was imprisoned in the Tower for hearing mass. He made his will on July 22, 1588 at Chipping Wycombe, naming Barbara one of his executors. He had already settled the manor of Medmenham on his nephew, another William Rice.


JANE FULLER (d.1570+) (maiden name unknown)

Gustav Ungerer,  in "Prostitution in Late Elizabethan England: The Case of Mary Newborough," in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Vol. 15, edited by John Pitcher, Robert Lindsey, and Susan Cerasano, says that Jane Fuller had two illegitimate children by Sir Edward Baynton's brother. After her marriage she became one of the most prominent London bawds of the 1570s. Paul Griffiths, Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640 (1966) puts her at the White Lion in East Smithfield as the goodwife who kept the door.









MARY FYNCH (d. September 13, 1603)
Mary Fynch was the daughter of George Fynch or Finch of Norton in Sheldwich, Kent. She married Sir Michael Sondes of Throwley, Kent (d. November 10, 1617) and had six sons and six daughters including Anne, Jane (b.1574), Sir Richard (1571-1632), Paulina, and Martha. Portrait: effigy at Throwley, Kent.

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