ELIZABETH CABOT (c.1510-1560+?)
Elizabeth Cabot was the daughter of Sebastian Cabot (c.1481/2-1557), the explorer, and his English first wife, Joanna. For this entry I rely primarily on information from Merchant Adventurers: The Voyage of Discovery that transformed Tudor England by James Evans (2013) even though, on several points, it contradicts the speculations of David Loades in his entry for Sebastian Cabot in the Oxford DNB. Elizabeth Cabot was born in England before 1512, the year her father accepted employment in Spain and requested leave to return to England to arrange for the removal of his household to Seville. David B. Quinn, in Sebastian Cabot and Bristol Exploration(1968), states that Sebastian Cabot had married Joanna, a Londoner, c.1509, at which time he was working as a mapmaker. In 1517, by a will written on May 7, 1516 and proved January 31, 1516/17, Elizabeth inherited a small legacy from her godfather, Reverend William Mychell of London. In Spain, Cabot remarried, taking as his second wife Catalina de Medrano (d. September 1547). Cabot’s unnamed daughter died in the summer of 1533, but this was not Elizabeth. By the time her father returned to England in 1548, Elizabeth was married to Henry Ostrich or Ostrigge (d.1551), a member of an English merchant family living in Seville. Ostrich was the one who claimed the £100 authorized by the Privy Council as payment for transporting Cabot to London. The DNB has Elizabeth returning with her father, possibly as a widow, but it seems more likely that both Elizabeth and her husband accompanied Cabot home. At the time Ostrich died, he was actively involved in mounting an expedition to open trade between England and Morocco (Barbary). According to Kenneth R. Andrews in Trade, Plunder, and Settlement (1984), Ostrich died in London of the sweating sickness shortly before the voyage began. It is uncertain when Elizabeth Cabot died, or whether she was the Elizabeth Cabot who married Robert Saddler in 1560 in St. Bartholomew by the Royal Exchange, London. There are numerous Gabbottis and Gabots in those records.

Francisca or Francesca de Cáceres or Carceres was one of the Spanish ladies who came to England with Catherine of Aragon when she married Prince Arthur in 1501. Francisca shared Catherine’s poverty during the years after Arthur’s death and was one of those who wanted her mistress to return to Spain. Discouraged by the princess’s stubborn refusal to consider leaving England, Francisca intrigued with the Spanish Ambassador, Gutierre Gomez de Fuensalida, in 1508 and early 1509, visiting him in his lodgings at the house of the elderly Genoese banker, Francesco Grimaldi. Fuensalida and Grimaldi had brought the second half of Catherine of Aragon’s dowry to England in February of 1508. Grimaldi was the London representative of the banking house to which the crown of Aragon owed a great deal of money. Convinced that it was Catherine’s confessor, Fray Diego, whose influence prevented the princess from agreeing to return to Spain, Francisca encouraged Fuensalida to have him removed. This attempt backfired when Catherine learned of Francisca’s meddling. She scolded her for her disloyalty and ordered her never to see Fuensalida or Grimaldi again. According to Catherine’s biographer, Garrett Mattingly, who describes Francisca as “the gayest, most vivacious and spirited of her maids,” Francisca “fled by night to the home of her elderly lover and was married to him before Catherine discovered her whereabouts.” In a letter to her father, Ferdinand of Spain, Catherine claimed Francisca had been Fuensalida’s mistress and that he married her off to his landlord as a cover for their affair. Two months after Francisca married Grimaldi, King Henry VII died and Catherine married Henry VIII and became queen of England. Had Francisca waited, she might have married an English nobleman rather than an Italian commoner. On the other hand, Grimaldi was wealthy. When Don Luis de Caroz replaced Fuensalida as Spanish Ambassador in 1510, Francisca was one of those who supplied him with court gossip, even though she was no longer at court. She was probably the one responsible for the story, in May 1510, that Henry VIII was involved with the duke of Buckingham’s sister, Anne Stafford. In 1513, Francisca asked Catherine for a reference. Perhaps, by then, her elderly husband had died. Catherine replied that she could not recommend her to a foreign princess because “she is so perilous a woman that it shall be dangerous.” By one account, Catherine then enlisted the aid of Thomas Wolsey to send Francisca back to Spain, but other sources say that Francisca secured a place with King Henry’s younger sister, Mary Tudor, and Mattingly says that she wanted to return to Catherine and that, although “she later enlisted no less an advocate than Margaret of Austria, Catherine’s former sister-in-law, in her cause, Catherine never took her back.”




ELIZABETH CALDWELL (x. June 18, 1603) (maiden name unknown)

Elizabeth was the wife of Thomas Caldwell of Chester. After she became the mistress of a neighbor, Jeffery Bownd, in 1602, she was made privy to his plan to murder her husband. He coerced a widow, Isabel Hall, who was in his debt, to mix ratsbane into oat cakes to be fed to Caldwell. Caldwell survived, but a neighbor’s child, a cat, and two dogs did not. Elizabeth confessed and repented. Because she was pregnant, her trial was delayed until after Bownd had been pressed to death and Elizabeth had given birth to a son. During that time, she wrote a letter blaming her husband for leaving her vulnerable to seduction while he traveled abroad. From the scaffold, she argued that she should be pardoned and led the crowd of witnesses in a hymn before she was hanged. Gilbert Dugdale wrote a pamphlet about the case, A True Discourse of the Practices of Elizabeth Caldwell (1604), that painted her as a godly woman who did not deserve her fate. Biography: entry in Carole Levin, et al, editors, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen.


ANNE CALTHORPE (1509-between August 22, 1579 and March 28, 1582)
Anne Calthorpe was the daughter of Sir Philip Calthorpe of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk (c.1464-1535)  and Jane Blennerhassett (c.1473-April 27, 1550). At some point before November 21, 1538, she married Henry Radcliffe, 2nd earl of Sussex (c.1506-February 17, 1557), as his second wife. Their children were Egremont (d.1578), Maud (d. yng), and Frances (1552-1602) Radcliffe, but the marriage was stormy. Anne was at court when Katherine Parr was queen and shared her evangelical beliefs. Along with other ladies at court, she was implicated in the heresy of Anne Askew. In 1549 she was examined by a commission “for errors in scripture.” She separated from her husband between May 1547 and June 1549. Barbara J. Harris, in a footnote to her essay “Aristocratic Women in Early Tudor England,” says that he threw her out of the house after Thomas Wriothesley, earl of Southampton, accused her of adultery. Anne was said to have entered into a “bigamous marriage” with Sir Edmund Knyvett (1508-1551). According to a rather rambling letter from Anne to her mother, dated September 13, 1549 at Newington, “a place of vile sort for all godly and worldly respects,” and included by Mary Anne Everett Green in Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, the charges against her were all lies. She specifically says she did not “seek, or intend to seek, Sir Edmund Knyvett for my husband.” From her account, she had 30s a week from Sussex during the time of the lawsuit until she appealed. Thereafter she got nothing. He evicted her without “money, men, women, meat, nor more than two gowns of velvet uncomely for my misery to be worn.” At times she refers to the “suit” and at others “the bill made by the earl of Southampton.” Although she blames everything on Southampton, she gives no reason for his enmity. She claims he tricked her into signing a false confession by persuading her she would not be charged if she did so. She says that this confession contained “shameful lies” and that she signed “in my extreme weakness of wit and body.” Now she has realized that the bill has no force in law, since “confession is no just or able cause of divorce, as, if it were, I have confessed none in the bill, nor anything dishonest, save that opinion of matrimony, and Mr. Knyvett’s coming thither three times, which lies I am so able to disprove, that . . . I may now fearfully deny it truly, the which bill being avoided, they have nothing to charge me with.” She asks her mother to convey this letter—her “declaration and bill of complaint”—to King Edward, or more likely, to the Lord Protector. Her mother, who had apparently believed the lies, was not able to do much for Anne, even if she found the letter convincing. She died some seven months later. In 1551, the will of Sir Charles Brandon (illegitimate son of the duke of Suffolk) left £200 “To my lady of Sussex, late the wife of the Earl of Sussex.” In September of 1552, Anne was arrested for dabbling in treasonous prophecies (sorcery) and spent five and a half months in the Tower of London. The Privy Council imprisoned two men, Hartlepoole and Clarke, for “lewd prophesies and other slanderous matters” touching the king and the council. Hartlepoole’s wife and the countess of Sussex were jailed as “a lesson to beware of sorcery.” According to a letter from the duke of Northumberland, cited by David Starkey in Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne, Anne also treasonously claimed that one of Edward IV’s sons was still alive. Within eighteen months of Mary Tudor’s accession to the throne, Anne fled abroad, probably to avoid persecution for her religious beliefs. Meanwhile, in November 1553, a bill was introduced in Parliament against “the adulterous living of the late countess of Sussex.” It did not pass. In 1554, Sussex attempted to bastardize her children with a bill in Parliament but this also failed. In November 1555, an act was passed barring the countess from enjoying her dower and jointure rights, but this was because she’d left the country without permission, not because she’d been found guilty of adultery. To reclaim them, she would have to “repair into the realm, within a time limited, and make her purgation before the bishop of her diocese.” Sussex’s attempt to bastardize the children through an act of Parliament was apparently abandoned, but he may have continued ecclesiastical proceedings. He refers to Anne in his will as his “divorced wife.” According to Sussex, she was “unnatural and unkind.” Anne returned to England at some point before December 1556 when, motivated by a desire to help Princess Elizabeth escape a forced marriage to the Catholic duke of Savoy, she twice met with the French Ambassador in England, in disguise, to broach the subject of spiriting the princess away to France. When he discouraged the idea, Anne went to France in person to study the situation, taking with her three of her ladies and three servants. When she returned to England in April 1557, after her estranged husband’s death, she was imprisoned in the Fleet and questioned about her activities. In 1558, another bill in Parliament settled the matter of her jointure. Susan Doran, in “The Finances of an Elizabethan Nobleman and Royal Servant: a Case Study of Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex” in Historical Research, Vol 61, Issue 146 (October 1988), states that Anne had been deprived of her jointure by a 1555 act of Parliament but that on the death of the second earl, she took possession of the Lincolnshire estates and Shimpling in Suffolk, considering them rightfully hers. This prompted a lawsuit. In May 1560, the third earl paid Anne an annual rent of £162 2s. 5d. In 1574, this was changed, at her request, to a lump sum of £600. Before 1559 (Doran says by 1557), Anne married Andrew Wyse (d. by January 26, 1568), a former royal official in Ireland. In 1559, he was in prison. A number of genealogies online list Wyse as the second husband of Anne’s daughter, Frances, but the dates make this impossible. Furthermore, the Patent Rolls of Chancery in Ireland clearly state that Wyse was married to Anne, dowager countess of Sussex. They had two children, Elizabeth (baptized January 2, 1559 in London), who married Alexander Fitton on October 31, 1578, and Anthony. Andrew Wyse returned to Ireland with his family in 1564. I have not been able to discover Anne’s whereabouts after the death of her second husband, but she apparently survived him by more than a decade.

Elizabeth Calthorpe was the daughter of Sir Philip Calthorpe of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk (c.1464-1535) and his first wife, Mary Saye (1464-1501). Her first husband was Sir Robert Southwell (d. March 31, 1514). She was his second wife. They were married c.1511 and had no children. In 1515, she became the second of three wives of Thomas Brooke, 8th baron Cobham (d. July 19, 1529). Her name is sometimes mistakenly given as Dorothy Southwell. A lawsuit in 1516 in the court of Common Pleas, identifies Lady Cobham as the widow of Sir Robert Southwell. She and her husband were at that time acting as co-executors of the Southwell estate. Elizabeth had no children from her second marriage and died before 1518.

ELIZABETH CALTHORPE (1521-May 26, 1578)
Elizabeth Calthorpe was the daughter and heir of Sir Philip Calthorpe of Erwarton, Suffolk (1480-April 17, 1549) and Amata Boleyn (c.1485-1543+). In 1548, she married Sir Henry Parker of Morley, Norfolk (c.1513-January 6, 1552). They had a son, Philip (d.1604), who inherited the manor of Erwarton from her. The manor of Hingham, Norfolk was settled upon her as her jointure. On November 16, 1552, by a settlement dated November 11, 1552, she married Sir William Woodhouse of Waxham, Suffolk and Hickling, Norfolk (1517-November 22, 1564). They had two sons and two daughters, including Thomas, William, and Elizabeth (1553-December 24, 1590). Woodhouse had settled most of his estate on Elizabeth before he made his will and in it left her all his lands not otherwise disposed of and made her his executrix. Her third husband, married in 1564, was Dru Drury (1531-1617), younger son of a Buckinghamshire family. He acquired Riddlesworth and Lynstead, Norfolk through Elizabeth. They had no children. Elizabeth was buried in a magnificent chest tomb in the north chancel aisle of St. Martin at Palace Church, Norwich. Unfortunately, it does not feature an effigy or portrait brass.


MARGERY CALTHORPE (c.1462-1529+)
Margery Calthorpe was the daughter of Sir John Calthorpe of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk (c.1431-1469+) and Elizabeth Wentworth. By 1500, she was abbess of Brosyard in Suffolk, a nunnery of minoresses of the Order of St. Clare. She wrote to Thomas Cromwell in May 1529 concerning an annuity “which this thirty-four years wrongfully hath been withholden from me.” She offers him twenty nobles if he will obtain the amount in arrears, as well as the current payments. She describes herself as being “in that poverty I am not able to wage any law with him, or give any money to the maintenance of my quarrel.” She asks him to take the matter to Cardinal Wolsey, if he thinks that best. She does not say who owes her the annuity, although it seems most likely that it was her brother, Sir Philip Calthorpe (c.1464-1535)

AGNES CALVERLEY (c.1474-c.1550)
Agnes Calverley was the daughter of Sir William Calverley of Calverley, Yorkshire (d. September 15, 1506) and Alice Savile (d.1522). Both of their wills can be found online. In about 1517, she married Sir John Vavasour of Weston, Yorkshire (c.1473-c.1549/50) as his second wife. Sir John wrote his will on December 1, 1549 and in it left all goods not bequeathed to others to his wife, Agnes, and named her as executor. The only children he mentions by name are Thomas and Anne. On January 16, 1549/50, now a widow, Agnes made her will. In it she mentions five daughters, Frances Fawkes, Dorothy Kygheley, Elizabeth Johnson, Isabel Vavasour, and Anne Vavasour, but it is impossible to tell which are daughters and which stepdaughters. Among other bequests, she also left “myne owne nag” to her curate. Various genealogical sources online give incorrect information and confuse generations.







Margaret Campion was the daughter of Thomas Campion, a London merchant tailor, and Sainte Rede. She married William Blackwell, Clerk of London from c.1539 to c.1570. Their children were Edward, Mary, Thomas, William, George, Richard, Anne, Margaret, and one other daughter who married a man named Draper. They lived in the parish of St. Andrew’s in the ward of Castle Baynard in a house Blackwell bought from the bishop of Ely. He wrote his will on June 7, 1567 and it was proved October 17, 1570. He left his wife ironworks in Sussex, her manor of Campions in Epping, Essex, and the London house and made her his executor. In 1584, the same year she was presented as a recusant, Margaret entertained the countess of Northumberland at the house in London. She made her will on May 14, 1585 and it was proved July 4, 1586. She left the house to her daughter Anne, wife of George Bacon, for a term of three years, after which it was to be sold and the profits divided with Anne’s brother William. To her daughter Mary, who was having marital difficulties, she left an annuity to be paid only “during the time of any breach between her and her husband, William Walpole.”


Isotta de Cononici married her first husband, Thomas Erastus (1524-December 31,1583), the Swiss Protestant theologian, on March 25, 1546. She was from Bologna and a Protestant, but nothing seems to be known of her family except that her mother and younger sister Lavinia soon joined the newlywed couple in Heidelberg. They had no children of their own, but Erastus provided for Lavinia when she married Johann Jakob Grynaeres between 1552 and 1555. Giacomo Castelvetro (1546-March 21, 1616) met Isotta in Basel, where he regularly attended the annual book fair. Although she was much older than he, they seem to have formed a successful partnership. His biography in Wikipedia says they married in 1587. He was first in England in 1574 and returned there in 1580. By 1592, he and Isotta settled in Scotland and he was appointed Italian tutor to James VI and Anne of Denmark. He returned to Venice after Isotta died, but was back in England by 1613.

ELIZABETH CAPEL (c.1485-December 25, 1558)
Elizabeth Capel was the daughter of William Capel or Capell (1458-September 6, 1515), a draper who was Lord Mayor of London in 1503-4, and Margaret Arundell (1462-1522). In 1505 she married William Paulet of  Basing (1485-March 10, 1572), who was created Marquess of Winchester in 1551. Their children were John, 2nd marquess (1517-November 4, 1576), Thomas, Chediok, Giles, Alice, Margaret, Margery, and Eleanor (d. September 26, 1558). In October 1535, Henry VIII visited them at Basing House. In 1538, Elizabeth was paid 10s. for attending Princess Mary. On July 30, 1550, she was questioned about having consulted with fortune tellers and confessed she’d asked to be told about her husband, the earls of Bedford and Warwick, and others. She was not prosecuted. As marchioness of Winchester, Elizabeth attended Princess Mary when she rode through London in January 1553. On September 30, the day before Mary’s coronation, she rode with the queen from the Tower to Westminster. She was train bearer for the queen at her wedding to Philip of Spain on July 25, 1554 in Winchester Cathedral. On August 4, 1557, she was chief mourner at the funeral of Anne of Cleves. Elizabeth was buried at Basing on February 7, 1559.







ANNE CAREW (1493-1565+)
Anne Carew was the daughter of Sir Edmund Carew of Mohuns Ottery, Devonshire (1465-1513) and Katherine Huddesfield (d.1499) and the sister of Sir Gawain. It is possible that she was the Anne Carew at court in 1517-8, participating in the revels there, but other sources report that she and her sister Isabel were nuns. Since girls usually entered a nunnery before reaching the age of twenty-four, it seems unlikely she did both. Another possible identification for the reveler is Anne Carew (d.1544+), but she was already married to Nicholas Leigh by 1514.

ANNE CAREW (d.1544+)
Anne Carew was the daughter of Sir Richard Carew of Beddington, Surrey (d. May 18, 1520) and Malyn Oxenbridge (1475-October 1544) and the sister of Sir Nicholas Carew (x.1539). Although one source identifies her as the Anne Carew who was at court and participating in revels in 1517-1518, the History of Parliament entry for her husband has her married by 1514. It is possible the chronicler simply recorded her by her maiden name, but her husband was also at court, serving as a sewer of the chamber. He was Nicholas Leigh or Lee of Addington, Surrey (1494/5-July 30, 1581), who built Addington Place in the 1540s. In 1515, she was named with him in a special livery of his lands. Their children were John, Malyn, Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, and three other daughters. Portrait: stone effigy in St. Mary’s, Addington.

ANNE CAREW (1520-November 3, 1587)
Anne Carew was the daughter of Sir Nicholas Carew of Beddington, Surrey (1490-x. March 3, 1539) and Elizabeth Bryan (c.1495-1546). Impoverished by her father’s execution for treason she married Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (1515-1571) during the reign of Edward VI. As Lady Throckmorton, Anne was with Lady Jane Grey during her nine-day reign and was chosen by Queen Jane as her proxy to stand as godmother at a christening on July 19, 1553. Anne duly left the Tower for the church and after young Guildford Underhill was christened, she had dinner at her own house. By the time she returned to the Tower, Mary Tudor had been declared queen and even Jane Grey’s parents had fled. Anne tried to do likewise but was prevented. She was held along with Jane, Guildford Dudley, and the duchess of Northumberland. She was later freed, but in February of 1554, her husband was involved in Wyatt’s Rebellion and was imprisoned in the Tower. At that time, Anne was pregnant with their first child. Through a series of lucky circumstances, Throckmorton was acquitted in April. They lived quietly for the remainder of Queen Mary’s reign. Under Elizabeth Tudor, Throckmorton was ambassador to France from 1559-1562, but Anne did not live there with him. When she was ill of an ague in October-December 1559, he returned to England to visit her. In May 1561, she joined him in France, leaving her children in the care of Francis Goldsmith, but she hated it there and refused to learn the language. In March of the following year, she returned to England, pregnant with her son Nicholas. His godfathers were Robert Dudley and Henry Sidney. In 1562, Anne was instrumental in having her husband replaced as ambassador by Sir Thomas Smith. Their house in London was next to St. Katherine Cree and they used Beddington, Anne’s brother’s house in Surrey, as their country estate. In 1569, Throckmorton was again briefly imprisoned, this time on suspicion of supporting the Northern Rebellion. His death two years later was sudden and occurred while he was eating a salad at the earl of Leicester’s house. His lands were left to Anne for life, along with the care of their eldest son, William (1554-1623), who seems to have been incompetent to inherit. Their other children were Arthur (1558-1626), Robert (b.1559), Thomas (d.1590), Henry (d.yng.), Nicholas (June 1562-1643), and Elizabeth (April 16, 1565-1647), none of whom were of age when Throckmorton died. Six months later, Anne married Adrian Stokes (March 4, 1519-November 2, 1585), widower of Frances Brandon, duchess of Suffolk. They settled at Beaumanor in Leicestershire. In early 1579 and again in May 1583, Anne was in London and at court to pave the way for her daughter to join the queen’s household. On November 8, 1584, Bess Throckmorton was sworn in as a maid of honor at Hampton Court. Anne was left well provided for by her second husband’s death, inheriting the manor of Langacre, Devon, goods and furniture from his London house, the lease of his house in Leicester and the goods there, and other goods, including plate and portraits, but she was in failing health by the autumn of 1587. She was buried alongside her first husband in St. Katherine Cree Church in London. Portrait: at 53 by Hieronimo Custodis (at Coughton Court, Warwickshire).









see also CARY


CATHERINE CAREY (1523/4-January 15, 1569)
Catherine Carey was the daughter of Mary Boleyn (c.1498-1543) and William Carey (c.1495-June 23,1528). She was likely Mary’s oldest child, which has led to speculation that her real father was King Henry VIII. If she was his daughter, he never acknowledged his paternity. Alison Weir, in her biography of Mary Boleyn, puts Catherine’s likely date of birth at March or April 1524 and is among those who believe she was the king’s daughter. Weir also speculates that Catherine was part of Elizabeth Tudor’s household from 1533-1539. Catherine was a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves in January of 1540. She married Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) on April 26 of that same year. Their sixteen children included Henry (1541-1582/3), Mary (b.1542), Lettice (1543-December 25,1634), William (1545-1632), Edward (1546-1580), Maud (b.1548), Elizabeth (b.1549), Robert (1550-1625), Richard (1552-1596), Francis (1553-1646), Anne (1555-August 30, 1608), Thomas (b.1558), Catherine (1559-December 30, 1632), and Dudley (1562-1562). Catherine accompanied her husband to the Continent in September 1553. They returned to England, then left again with at least five of their children. They were in exile in Basel in June 1557 and later settled in Frankfurt. Catherine was back in England by January 14, 1559. She and her “sister” (probably Anne Morgan, her brother Henry’s wife), became ladies of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth. Catherine’s children were also at court. In 1560, she and her son Robert were granted Taunton Manor for life. One of her duties was to care for the queen’s parrot. She died at Hampton Court and the queen paid for her funeral, which cost £640 2s.11d. She was buried in Westminster Abbey. The monument to Catherine Carey in St. Edmund’s Chapel is inscribed with the following information: “The Right Honorable Lady Katherin Knollys Cheeffe Lady of the Quenes Maties [Majesty’s] Beddechamber and wiffe to Sr. Frances Knollys Knight Tresorer of her Highnes Howsholde. Departed this lyefe the 15. of January 1568. At Hampton Courte. And was honorably buried in the flouer of this chappell. This Lady Knollys and the Lord Hundesdon her brother were the childeren of William Caree Esquyer, and of the Lady Mary his wiffe one of the doughters and heires to Thomas Bulleyne Erle of Wylshier [Wiltshire] and Ormond. Which Lady Mary was sister to Anne Quene of England wiffe to Kinge Henry the Eyght father and mother to Elizabeth Quene of England.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Knollys [née Carey], Katherine.” Portraits: portrait in the Pembroke collection, 1561; by Steven van der Meulen, early 1562 when she was 38 and pregnant with her last child, Dudley; monument to Catherine and her husband in the church of Rothersfield Greys. Mary Boleyn’s other biographer, Josephine Wilkinson, also identifies a portrait similar to those elsewhere identified as Lady Catherine Grey and her son as Catherine Carey and her child, but this is unlikely.

CATHERINE CAREY (c.1546-February 24, 1603)
Catherine Carey was the daughter of Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon (March 4, 1525/6-July 23, 1596) and Anne Morgan (1529-January 19, 1606/7). She came to court in January 1560 as a gentlewoman of the privy chamber and quickly became one of Elizabeth Tudor’s favorites. In July 1563 she married Charles Howard, later earl of Nottingham (1536-December 14, 1624). They had ten children, including William (1577-1615), Charles (1579-1642), Elizabeth (d.1646), Margaret (c.1572-1641), and Frances (December 29, 1566-1628). The children were brought up at Reigate, but Catherine spent her time at court. She held various posts, including Mistress of Robes and Mistress of Jewels. In 1585 and again in 1587, she entertained the queen at her husband’s house in King Street, Westminster. As a reward for her long service, she was granted the manor of Chelsea in 1591. According to legend, the countess of Nottingham was responsible for the earl of Essex’s execution in 1601. The story goes that Essex was supposed to have given a ring (a gift to him from the queen) to a messenger with directions to give it to Lady Scrope, Lady Nottingham’s sister, who sympathized with his situation. The messenger mistook the sisters and gave the ring to Lady Nottingham and, as she was not an Essex supporter, she kept it. On her deathbed she is said to have confessed her deception to the queen, who cried out “God may forgive you, Madam, but I never can!” The problem with this story is that Lady Nottingham was not at court in 1601. She fell ill in January of that year and her health continued to decline until her death at Arundel House two years later. Her passing so demoralized the queen that Elizabeth lost her own will to live. Catherine was buried at Chelsea three days before Queen Elizabeth was interred in Westminster Abbey. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Howard [née Carey], Katherine.” Portraits: in Nottingham Castle museum; one by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger; a miniature by Isaac Oliver.

ELEANOR CAREY (c.1496-1528+)
Eleanor Carey was the daughter of Thomas Carey of Chilton (c.1455/60-1500) and Margaret Spencer (1472-1536) and the sister of Mary Boleyn’s first husband, William Carey (d.June 23, 1528). She was a nun at Wilton Abbey, a large Benedictine nunnery located some seventy miles from London. When the abbess, Cecily Willoughby, died on April 24, 1528, the prioress, Isabel Jordan or Jordayn, whose sister was the abbess at Syon, was the natural successor. She was “ancient, wise, and discreet.” But Eleanor Carey’s name was also proposed, and Eleanor had the backing of Anne Boleyn. Cardinal Wolsey, supporting Isabel Jordan, ordered that Eleanor’s background be thoroughly investigated. It soon came out that Eleanor had borne two children out of wedlock to two different priests and had more recently been involved with a servant in Lord Willoughby de Broke’s household. Eleanor’s eldest sister, also a nun at Wilton, was then proposed as a compromise candidate. This may have been Anne Carey (c.1493-1550). In July, the king decided that none of them should have the post, but Wolsey went ahead with Dame Isabel’s appointment anyway, precipitating the first violent disagreement between king and cardinal. What happened to Eleanor Carey after that is unknown. Side note: Philip W. Sergeant’s The Life of Anne Boleyn mistakenly names Elizabeth Shelford as abbess of Wilton, rather than Cecily Willoughby. Elizabeth Shelford was abbess of Shaftesbury in Dorset from 1505 until her death in 1528.

ELIZABETH CAREY (May 24, 1576-April 23, 1635)
Elizabeth Carey was the daughter of George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon (1547-September 9, 1603) and Elizabeth Spencer (June 29, 1552-February 25, 1618). She was a patron of the arts. Thomas Nashe dedicated his Terrors of the Night to her in 1594. On February 19, 1595/6, Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Berkeley (1575-1611), one of the occasions that has been suggested for the first performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their children were Theophila (b.1596) and George, 8th baron Berkeley (1601-1658). In January 1601, Augustina Patra, Lady Berkeley’s “blackamour servant” was punished in Bridewell for running away “diverse times.” Peter Erondell had been Berkeley’s French tutor and had received “gratuites faveurs” from Lady Berkeley. Erondell probably used her as his model for Lady Rimellaine in his manual on proper behavior, The French Garden (1605). On January 5, 1606, she was one of the Powers in the tableau at the end of Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones’s Hymenaei, performed at the wedding of the earl of Essex to Frances Howard. After her husband’s death, Elizabeth paid off his debts. In February 1622, she married Sir Thomas Chamberlain (d. September 17, 1625), a justice of the King’s Bench. He provided generously for her and left her son £10,000. Elizabeth was buried in Cranford Church, Middlesex. Portrait: in masque costume, 1606, at Berkeley Castle.



MARGARET CAREY (1567-1605)
Margaret (or Mary) Carey was the daughter of Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon (March 4, 1525/6-July 23, 1596) and Anne Morgan (1529-January 19, 1606). She is said to have been a maid of honor before she married Edward Hoby (1560-1617) on May 21, 1582. He was knighted the next day. They had no children and did not get along, although she accompanied him to Berwick-upon-Tweed in November 1584, when he was governor there, a position her father had held when she was a young child. For the most part, however, when in London, Lady Hoby lived in rooms in Somerset House rather than with her husband in his house in Canon Row. In 1592, she helped her mother-in-law, Lady Russell, entertain the queen at Bisham. Margaret suffered from gout and journeyed to Bath in April 1600 with her brother, Lord Hunsdon, and his wife to take the waters there. The following year she was a patient of Dr. Simon Forman. Her monument is in Bisham Church.


PHILADELPHIA CAREY (c.1552-February 3, 1627)
Philadelphia Carey was the daughter of Henry Carey, baron Hunsdon (March 4, 1525/6-July 23, 1596) and Anne Morgan (1529-January 19, 1606). She was the middle sister between Catherine and Margaret and came to court in 1558 as a maid of honor. Like her sister, Catherine, she was in the queen’s service all her life. She married Thomas, 10th baron Scrope (c.1567-September 2, 1609). They were the parents of Emmanuel, 11th baron (1584-1630). She wore mourning during the earl of Essex’s imprisonment in 1599 and campaigned for his pardon in 1601. She was with the queen when Elizabeth Tudor died in 1603 and went on to serve Queen Anne.

Christian Carkett was the daughter of William Carkett. She married widower John Browne of Horton Kirby (before 1513-September 1570), a wealthy London merchant. They had five children, including William, Charles, and Christian. Christian Carkett may have been the Lady Brown arrested for hearing mass in 1568, along with a Lady Cary, who had been arrested before. Lady Cary was pardoned. Lady Brown had to find surety for future behavior.



MARY CARLEILL (d.1596+) (maiden name unknown)
According to Elizabethan Adventurer, the biography of Christopher Carleill (d. November 11, 1593) by Rachel Lloyd, Carleill sent his portrait and a ring to a beautiful Flemish seamstress (“la belle lingère”) in 1581 with a view to marrying her. The person who reported this to Carleill’s stepfather, Sir Francis Walsingham, was of the opinion that this woman was no better than a courtesan and an unsuitable match. Nothing further is heard of her but neither is there any record of the woman Carleill did marry, to the point where some online sources say he was unmarried. There is mention of a wife, however, in an August 1588 letter from Carleill to Walsingham, in which he states that he means to fetch his wife to Carrickfergus. Lloyd states they were married by 1586, that her Christian name was Mary, that she had no money or position or coat of arms but that she could read and write. In July 1592, she wrote to Lord Burghley to remind him that £100 was due to Carleill and his company by warrants signed by the Lord Deputy and Council in Ireland. She asked that a third of this sum be paid. At the time, she was living in St. Botolph’s Lane, London and had a child under the care of a Walloon surgeon. Carleill was in England the following month and received £50 and forfeiture of land in Dorset. He was authorized to return to Ireland that same month but was in London the following November when he died. In December 1593, Mary renounced administration of his goods, rights, and credits, but on August 17, 1596, she was granted administration of his estate. At that time it had a value of less than £20. Between those two dates, on April 27, 1594, she was granted administration of another estate, that of her late father-in-law, to the use of Carleill’s children. This is curious both because she had already renounced administration of her husband’s estate and because Carleill’s father had been dead since 1561.



Jane Carlisle or Carlyle was an Englishwoman from Carlisle who inherited property in that city. She had a sister, Elizabeth (c.1510-c.1564), who is sometimes said to have been the daughter of William Carlisle, 2nd baron Carlisle of Torthorald, Dumfrieshire, but Lord Carlisle was a Scot and neither Jane nor Elizabeth are listed among his children in the usual sources. One online genealogy lists her parents as Robert Carlisle and ___ Bewley. In the 1540s, Jane was the mistress of Sir John Lowther (c.1488-1553), constable of Carlisle Castle. They had two daughters, Mabel and Jane. In his will Lowther named his mistress as one of his executors and as residuary legatee. In March 1564/5, Jane traveled to Scotland to attend the wedding of her nephew, John Sempill or Semple (Elizabeth’s son by Robert, 3rd baron Sempill, legitimized after their 1546 marriage), to Mary Livingston, Queen Mary’s lady in waiting. The queen called John Sempill “the Englishman” because he had been born in the south to an English mother. It may be at this time that Jane received the gift of a chain worth £60, possibly from the queen of Scots herself. It is unclear exactly when Jane became the third (or fourth) wife of Sir Thomas Dacre (d. July 17, 1565), illegitimate son of Thomas, 2nd baron Dacre, but they appear to have had a happy marriage. After his death, however, Jane was involved in a bitter lawsuit with one of Dacre’s sons by a previous wife. Biography: Oxford DNB entry in “Dacre family” as “Jane Dacre [née Carlisle].” Portrait: c.1545, previously misidentified as Lady Jane Grey. J. Stephen Edwards argues that this portrait is really Mary Neville, Lady Dacre. See http://www.somegreymatter.com/wrestpark3.htm for details.





ELLEN CARRELL (1555-1597+)
Ellen Carrell or Carowle accompanied Marie Mountjoy to a consultation with astrologer Simon Forman on December 1, 1597. She thought herself pregnant. Charles Nicholl in The Lodger Shakespeare, His Life on Silver Street, suggests that she is the E. C. referred to in the sonnet series, Laura: The Toyes of a Traveller (1597) by Robert Tofte (1562-1620). The poems identify her as an older married woman and in one of them capital letters spell out CAREIL. In Tofte’s sequel, Alba: The Months Mind of a Melancholy Lover (1598), he uses similar capital letters to spell out CAREL. Laura was dedicated to Lady Lucy Percy, daughter of the 8th earl of Northumberland, and Alba was dedicated to Anne, Lady Herne, wife of Sir Edward and sister of Sir John Brooke. One of the poems is also addressed to Lady Herne.

Elizabeth Carter was the daughter of Thomas Carter and the second wife of Thomas Fasshyn (by 1511-November 1557), a merchant who traded in canvas and other goods. He was mayor of Southampton in 1531/2. According to Fasshyn’s will, written on March 6, 1556, Elizabeth’s brother once arrested him at Guildford, but he gives no details. Fasshyn died in possession of at least thirteen houses and numerous other properties. He left his widow £420, part of that in the form of the lease of the King’s Arms in Cheapside.



ROSE CARTWRIGHT (1518-January 6, 1574/5)
Rose Cartwright was the daughter of John Cartwright of Sussex and was a silkwoman of St. John’s Walbrook, London. She was the wife of John Trott (d.1551), a draper, and after his death bound at least six apprentices as an independent businesswoman. In August 1561, she turns up in the records of the city Aldermen with other silkwomen because they did not wish to weigh their silk at the common silk beam. In 1569-70, she sold silk fringe to the Drapers’ Company. Assessments and subsidies indicate she was a wealthy woman throughout her widowhood. In her will, written January 20, 1574/5 and proved March 18, 1575, she left a standing silver-gilt cup to the Drapers. Her children were John (1537-February 9, 1600/1), Mary (1540-1574+), and Martin (d.1574/5+). She left Mary, who by then was married to William Revett, all her jewels and the manor of Michelfield in Herford. The jewels listed were one ring of gold with a pointed diamond, two rings of gold with turquoises, a great ring of gold with a death’s head, two bracelets of gold, a book of gold, a cross of gold, a jewel of gold with a red stone in it, a wedding ring, and a “sea ring of gold.” She was buried on January 17, 1575 in the church of St. John the Baptist, Walbrook. Anthony Stapleton, a lawyer, died c.1574/5. His will was not proved until October 12, 1575, some months after Rose died, but it had been written on October 20, 1569 and included the bequest of “my ring of gold which I had of my Lady Godshum” (possibly Katherine Sampson, wife of Sir John Gresham, connected to Stapleton through his first marriage) to “Mrs. Rose Trott for a remembrance.” Rose left “Mr. Stapleton” a gold ring in her will.

ELIZABETH CARUS (c.1562-April 1611)
Elizabeth Carus was the daughter of Thomas Carus of Halton, Lancashire (c.1541-September 9, 1575) and Anne Preston (d.c.1607). Some genealogies incorrectly give her parents as Sir Thomas Carus (d.1571), a judge, and Catherine Preston, but they were her grandparents. Elizabeth married Nicholas Curwen of Workington, Cumberland (1550-January 16, 1604) as his second wife. Their children were Anne (1584-April 13, 1605), Mary (1590-October 6, 1622), and Jane (1592-March 3, 1618/19). Burke says Curwen had no children by his first wife, but the History of Parliament says she was the mother of his son and heir, Henry (1581-1623). Elizabeth was buried on April 30, 1611 in Kirby Lonsdale, Westmorland and a plaque was erected in her memory in the parish church by her daughter, Mary Widrington.

LUISA de CARVAJAL y MENDOZA (1566-January 2, 1614)
Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza was a noblewoman and a native of Jaraicejo in Extremadura. Her parents died when she was six years old. The Catholic Encyclopedia online at NewAdvent.org says she was raised by an aunt and uncle in Pampeluna. Information from the book edited by Anne J. Cruz, cited below, indicates that she lived at the court of Philip II and only later with her uncle, the Viceroy of Navarra. After her uncle died, she brought suit against her brother to claim her inheritance so that she could live a life of prayer with a few other women in her own house. Although she considered founding a nunnery in Belgium and did found a college for English Jesuits in Leuven in the Spanish Netherlands, her Jesuit confessor persuaded her to travel to England and dedicate her life to missionary work. The execution of Jesuit Henry Walpole in 1595 is said to have inspired her to follow this advice. The idea that her efforts to persuade English Protestants to convert to Catholicism could put her at risk of execution seems to have appealed to her. In 1598 she took a vow of martyrdom. She arrived in England in April of 1605. At Dover, customs officials confiscated her “instruments of penance.” She probably spent the first six weeks with Father Henry Garnet and the Vaux sisters. For a fortnight of that she was bedridden. The threat of a raid by priest hunters sent the household scurrying to London. At that time, Luisa could not speak English and she did not think much of England. In 1606, she wrote “it is an unbearable country . . . very damp and overcast” and London, aside from being smelly, noisy, and dirty, was also an expensive place to live. Her letters written from that city in 1606 and 1607, when she was apparently living in the residence of the Spanish ambassador, are quoted extensively by Jessie Childs in God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England. According to Wikipedia, Luisa put herself in the public eye by preaching in Cheapside. She was imprisoned twice for her subversive activities, the first time in 1608 for founding a nunnery in a house in Spitalfields. The Spanish ambassador managed to secure her release and did so again when she was arrested a second time. During that imprisonment she fell ill. An attempt was underway to banish her from England when she died. Her body was shipped back to her native land for burial. Over 200 of Luisa’s letters survive, providing information on the underground Catholic movement in England during this period. She also wrote poetry. Biographies: Elizabeth Rhodes, This Tight Embrace: Luisa de Carvajal de Mendoza (1566-1614); Glyn Redworth, The Letters of Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza; The Life and Writings of Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza, edited and translated by Anne J. Cruz. Portrait: reproduced on the cover of the book by Cruz.

ANN CARY (1564-June 1611)
Ann Cary was the daughter of Richard Cary (1515-June 1570), a wealthy Bristol merchant and mayor of that city, and Joan Holton. She married Nicholas Ball (d. March 1586), a pilchard merchant of Totnes, Devon, who was M.P. for Totnes in 1584 and mayor in 1586. His house in Totnes is still standing. Their eight children included Elizabeth (1585-September 28, 1659). Ann was granted administration of her husband’s estate on April 28, 1586. He had left £1,600 in trust for his children. Ann continued to trade, but on June 19, 1586 married Thomas Bodley (March 2, 1545-January 29, 1613). Although they had no children, they had a happy marriage that lasted for twenty-four years. Bodley was resident ambassador to the United Provinces from December 1588 until early 1597 and Ann was issued a safe conduct on May 29, 1589 to take ship to join him. It is not clear how long she resided with him in the Hague. Following his return to England, Bodley devoted himself to restoring the university library at Oxford, which opened in 1602. He was knighted in 1604, making Ann Lady Bodley. Biography: Bodley wrote his autobiography in 1608. Portrait: monument in St. Bartholomew-the-Less.



JANE CARY (c.1595-c. December 1632)
Jane Cary was the daughter of Sir Edward Cary of Aldenham, Hertfordshire, master of the jewel house (c.1540-July 18, 1618) and Catherine Knyvett (1543-December 20, 1622). She was the sister-in-law of Elizabeth Tanfield. In c.1605-6, when that lady was confined to her chamber by Jane’s mother, Jane was one of only two people in the household besides Elizabeth’s own servants who showed her any kindness and the two became lifelong friends. Elizabeth, a poet and playwright who spoke numerous languages, was kept close, without even books to read, during the time when Sir Henry Cary, Elizabeth’s husband and Jane’s brother, was a prisoner of the Spanish in the Low Countries. Jane married Sir Edward Barrett of Belhus, Essex (June 21, 1581-December 1544) on February 20, 1609 at the house of Sir Dudley Digges. John Heminges of the King’s Men attended the wedding. They had one daughter who died young. On October 17, 1627, Barrett was created Lord Barrett of Newburgh. Jane was buried January 2, 1633 in Aveley, Essex. Portrait: formerly identified as Queen Henrietta Maria, this portrait by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen is at Sewerby Hall Museum and Art Gallery in Bridlington, Yorkshire.

MARY CARYLL (1596-July 18, 1639)
Mary Caryll was the daughter of Thomas Caryll of Benton and Shipley, Sussex and Margaret Tufton. She was baptized on April 12, 1596. In 1615, she became the second wife of Richard Molyneux of Sefton (February 1593-May 8, 1636), who was later created viscount Molyneux of Mayborough. In 1880, Alexander Grosart, editor of the poems of Richard Tofte (1562-1620), identified Mary as the subject of Tofte’s Alba, but since this was published in 1598, when Mary was only two years old, this seems unlikely. See the entry for ELLEN CARRELL for an alternative.


MARY CASTELL (1580-1647)
According to the inscription on a monument in Padstow, Cornwall, Mary Castell was the daughter of John Castell or Kestell of Scokechester, Ashbury, Devon, but it has been pointed out that the arms shown are those of the Kestell family. Mary’s first husband was Dr. Evan Morice (c.1570-c.1605), chancellor of the Exeter diocese. They had one son, William (November 6, 1602-December 12, 1676). By a marriage license dated September 26, 1611, she married Nicholas Prideaux of Padstow, Cornwall and Soldon, Devon (c.1550-January 28, 1627/8) as his third wife. They had no children. He had completed building his manor house at Padstow in 1592. Her son William married his granddaughter, Elizabeth Prideaux. Mary was his sole executrix and is the wife shown on his tomb in Padstow, originally erected in the church at Holdsworthy, near Soldon. In addition to Mary, the monument shows four of Sir Nicholas’s descendants. Mary wrote her will on September 28, 1640 and it was proved on February 20, 1647/8.




ELIZABETH CASTLYN (d. March 1582/3)
Elizabeth Castlyn was the daughter of William Castlyn (Castelin/Castelyn), a London mercer and Governor of the Merchant Adventurers (d. April 1545), and Angela or Angelet Villacho or Vlacho of Chio, Greece (d. August 1570). Elizabeth married Thomas Knowles or Knolles (d. July 11, 1550), a mercer. Their children were Thomas and Samuel. When she remarried, according to Richard Grassby in Kinship and Capitalism, she had Thomas’s body moved so that she could later be buried with both her husbands. Her second husband was Sir Roger Martin or Martyn of Long Melford, Suffolk (d. December 20, 1573), another mercer and Lord Mayor of London in 1567-8. Their children were Mary (1557-1574), Joan (bp. June 14, 1561-1621), and Anne (bp. April 14, 1563-1583+). The family lived in Soper Lane. When Sir Roger died, Elizabeth was responsible for the verse epitaph to both her husbands at St. Antonin’s Budge Row. It includes the lines: His wife him wails in woeful plight,/And for mere love him here she pight/With her second spouse to sleep in peace,/And she with them when life shall cease. Her own epitaph begins “Here lies the Lady Martyn eke/Of Grecia soil and Castlyn’s race.” Lady Martyn was named one of the overseers of the will of her son-in-law, Alexander Denton in 1576 and was an investor in Martin Frobisher’s 1578 voyage in search of a Northwest Passage. Elizabeth made her will on October 6, 1581 and it was proved July 1, 1583. The entire will plus locations of the wills of her father, her husbands and her daughter Joan can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com.

CATALINA (d.1531+)
Catalina was a slave who belonged to Catherine of Aragon, one of two female slaves who accompanied the Spanish princess to England in 1501. Giles Tremlett, in Catherine of Aragon, identifies her as a Moor. Catalina’s duties included making Catherine’s bed and attending “to other services of the chamber.” Thirty years after the marriage of Catherine and Arthur, Prince of Wales, Catalina was being sought to give a deposition concerning whether or not that marriage had been consummated. According to the instructions given to those who were looking for her, Catalina had “married at Valdarcaray to a cross-bow maker named Oviedo,” then moved to Malaga, where he died. Oviedo is further identified as a Morisco—a Spanish Moor. After his death, Catalina and her two daughters returned to Motril, “of which town she was a native.” Valdarcaray, also written as Valdeyzcarria in the records, is probably Valdezcaray in Castile. Some sources confuse Catalina with Catalina de Cardones, one of Katherine of Aragon’s maids of honor. For more information see https://www.historytoday.com/lauren-johnson/other-catalina

DOROTHY CATESBY (c.1527-September 30, 1613)
Dorothy Catesby was the daughter of Anthony Catesby of Whiston, Northamptonshire (c.1500-October 10,1554) and Isabel Pigott. In about 1550, Dorothy married Sir William Dormer of Eythorpe and Wing, Buckinghamshire (c.1503-May 17, 1575). Their children were Catherine (c.1550-March 23, 1615), Robert (January 26,1551-November 8, 1616), Margaret (1553-April 26,1637), Mary (c.1555-1637), Richard, Frances, Anne, and Peregrine. Magna Carta Ancestry adds Grizzel and Amphyllis and omits all sons except Robert. The Dormers were a Catholic family and sheltered priests during the reign of Edward VI. When Elizabeth Tudor took the throne, Dormer’s daughter by his first marriage, Jane, married a Spanish duke and moved to Spain. Dormer’s mother settled in the Netherlands. The family in England were under suspicion. Dormer was listed as a “hinderer” of Protestant religion in the 1560s and was on a list of alleged supporters of Mary, queen of Scots in 1574. Dorothy married Sir William Pelham (c.1530-November 24, 1587). They had one son, William. Pelham died of wounds suffered in battle at Flushing. Dorothy founded an almshouse in Wing, Buckinghamshire in 1596. She died at Eythorpe. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Pelham [née Catesby; other married name Dormer], Dorothy.” Portraits: alabaster effigy in Wing Church, Buckinghamshire; portrait c.1596 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.

Elizabeth Catesby, who served in the households of both Elizabeth of York and her daughter Mary, was the daughter of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St. Ledger, Northamptonshire, but there is no agreement on which of two William Catesbys this was. The elder William (c.1408-1470) married twice. His first wife was Philippa Bishopston (d. December 20 1446) and Elizabeth, with a birth date c.1438, is most often listed as their child. Some genealogies, however, list her as the daughter of Catesby’s second wife, Joan Barre (d. by 1474) and suggest a birth date c.1455. Still others argue that William and Philippa were Elizabeth’s grandparents and that her parents were Sir William Catesby the younger (c.1440-x. August 25, 1485) and Margaret Zouche (c.1451-October 8, 1494), giving Elizabeth a birth date c.1471. What all can agree on is that Elizabeth married Roger Wake of Blisworth, Northamptonshire (c.1452-March 16, 1503/4). Their children were Elizabeth, Thomas (d. by 1536), Margaret, Richard (d. August 10, 1558), John (d.1541), and William. Wake was attainted after the Battle of Bosworth, but later had his lands in Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Clevedon, Somerset, and Deeping, Lincolnshire restored to him. Elizabeth was in the household of Elizabeth of York in 1503. In his will, her husband left Clevedon and Blisworth manors to Elizabeth for life. Soon after, their eldest son Thomas (described as a “miscreant” on his memorial plaque) was imprisoned in the Tower of London “by reason of certain trespass he had done” and Elizabeth had to resort to bribery to obtain his freedom. She purchased property in Clevedon from in him 1507, possibly as a way of transferring money. He was pardoned in 1512. On June 30, 1515, describing her as a kinswoman, Henry VIII granted Elizabeth a pension of forty marks. Before 1520, possibly as early as 1509, Elizabeth married Lord John Grey (d.1528+), a younger son of the first marquis of Dorset. They attended the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 and she is mentioned in his will, dated March 3, 1523. One online genealogy says Elizabeth had died by March 14, 1523. Yet another gives her a daughter by Grey, Frances, born about 1512. Most records, however, say that Grey had no children by either of his wives. She was buried beside her first husband in St. John the Baptist, Blisworth. Portrait: memorial brass.


CATHERINE OF ARAGON (December 16, 1485-January 7, 1536)
The daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon (1452-1516) and Isabella of Castile (d.1504), Catherine of Aragon was sent to England in 1501 to marry Henry VII’s oldest son, Arthur, Prince of Wales (September 19, 1486-April 2, 1502). He died soon after their marriage and Catherine spent the next seven years on the fringes of the English court and in near poverty. When Henry VIII (June 28, 1491-January 28, 1547) succeeded his father, one of his first acts was to marry his brother’s widow. During the early years of Henry’s reign it was a successful and harmonious marriage. When the king left England to make war on France, he named Catherine as regent. Although she had expert help from the earl of Surrey and others, she was the one who ordered troops to defend England against the Scottish invasion that ended with the Battle of Flodden and she had a hand in negotiating the peace that followed. When she failed to give King Henry a son, he divorced her. Biographies: Garrett Mattingly’s Catherine of Aragon and Mary M. Luke’s Catherine the Queen have both been around for awhile, but both are excellent. A more recent addition is Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett. Portraits: there are a number of these, most fairly well known.

ANNE CAUNTON  (d.1617)
Anne Caunton (Cawnton/Nannton) was the daughter of John Caunton (d.1526+) and Maud Thurston (d.1521+). Caunton was a haberdasher of London, alderman of Bishopsgate Ward from 1523-8, and sheriff in 1525-6. Anne married Richard Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex (1531-October 3, 1579). Their children were Anthony (1559-1604), John, Philippa, Mary, Mildred, and Francis (April 25, 1577-April 7, 1663). She remained at Gidea Hall after her husband’s death while her son and daughter-in-law resided on the adjoining manor of Bedfords. She had an extravagant lifestyle and her household included a number of gentlewomen and a dwarf. She was censured by the church when, in 1589, she arranged to hide an unmarried, pregnant servant during her confinement. By 1601, she was obliged to take in boarders to make ends meet, housing Lady Bedford in that year and Gilbert, earl of Shrewsbury, in 1602. In 1612, she finally allowed her grandson, Edward Cooke, to sell some of the lands she held for life.


DOROTHY CAVE (May 7, 1512-1593)
Dorothy Cave was the daughter of Richard Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire (1465-April 20, 1538) and his second wife, Margaret Saxby (1475-March 1531/2). Her first husband was John Smith or Smythe (alias Harris or Horres) of Withycotes, Leicestershire (d.1545), One genealogy lists their children as Roger, Frances, Anthony, Erasmus (1538-August 1600), Margaret, Ambrose, George, Clement, Robert, and Arthur. She inherited a life tenancy in Withcote. In 1555, she married Henry Poole of Kirk Langley, Derbyshire (d. February 3, 1559). He had an illegitimate son and daughter but they had no children together. Poole made his will on April 18, 1558. Portrait: figure incised on alabaster tomb with her second husband in the church at Kirk Langley, Derbyshire.

Elizabeth Cave was the daughter of Thomas Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire (d. September 4, 1558) and Elizabeth Danvers (1506-1522+). She married Humphrey Stafford of Bletherwick, Northamptonshire (d.1574). Their children were Humphrey (d.unm.) and John (d.1596). In 1562, Elizabeth brought charges against her husband in the Court of Requests. Timothy Stretton’s Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England provides a number of details from the case. Elizabeth accused Humphrey of fathering a child with a maidservant and giving his mistress expensive gifts, of slandering acquaintances, sacking servants, and falsely accusing her of infidelity. Humphrey maintained that she had been unfaithful to him, saying that one of her lovers had committed suicide and indicating that she had told one man that he should be patient and not marry someone else, implying that she would soon be free to remarry. Humphrey freely admitted that he had beaten his wife (a husband’s right in those days) because she had uttered “many unseemly and quarrelous words.” His goal, he said, was to reform “her manners and life.” Humphrey also protested the authority of the Court of Requests to rule of the matter. It appears that the final outcome of the case is not known.

ELIZABETH CAVE (1564-November 1638)
Elizabeth Cave was the daughter of Roger Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire (d. July 26, 1585) and Mary or Margaret Cecil (d. March 19, 1552/3) and the niece of William Cecil, Lord Burghley. The History of Parliament gives her mother’s name as Elizabeth.  In about 1584, she married Walter Bagot of Blythfield, Staffordshire (October 26, 1557-March 2, 1622/3). Their children were Lewis (April 19, 1587-June 8, 1611), Anne (b. September 7, 1589), Henry (February 8, 1590/1-1660), Richard (October 11, 1592-November 31, 1666), Thomas (December 15, 1595-d.yng), Frances (b. November 9, 1597), William (b. April 25, 1605), Lettice (b. November 25, 1606), and Mary (b. April 2, 1608). According the the History of Parliament, she obtained the wardship of Humphrey Okeover in 1610. The plan was to marry him to her daughter Lettice but lawsuits eventually forced the surrender of marriage rights in return for £800, which Bagot willed to his daughter. Elizabeth was her husband’s executor, along with her son Henry. Portrait: attributed to John Bettes the Younger, 1584.


Margaret Cave was the daughter and coheir (with her sister Catherine, who died August 18, 1555) of Edward Cave of Wenwick and Stanford, Northamptonshire (d.c.1534). Her mother was Dorothy Mallory. She was also one of the heirs of Mary Kingston (d. March 24, 1539), de jure baroness Lisle and wife of Sir Thomas Lisle (d. February 1542). Her inheritance included lands in Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire. Between 1536 and 1542, she married Thomas Boughton of Cawston and Lawford, Warwickshire (d. May 4, 1558). They had seven or eight sons, including Thomas and Edward (c.1545-1589) and three daughters. When her husband died, Margaret inherited a life interest in all his property provided she entailed her Somerset, Warwickshire, and Wiltshire lands on her heirs male.

Margaret Cave was the daughter of Roger Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire (d. July 26, 1586) and Mary or Margaret Cecil (d. March 19, 1552/3). She is included here mostly because she is so often confused with her mother and then, in some cases, said to be a daughter of William Cecil, Lord Burghley and his second wife, Mildred Cooke. Margaret Cave’s mother was Burghley’s sister, not his daughter. Margaret married Sir William Skipwith of Coates (c.1564-May 3, 1610), They had a son, Henry. Some genealogies give her a second husband named Erasmus Smith. Others give her mother a second husband named Ambrose Smith. Neither seems likely, since in both cases these women were outlived by their first (and apparently only) husbands.

MARGARET CAVE (1549-1606)
Margaret Cave was the daughter and heir of the very wealthy diplomat, Sir Ambrose Cave (c.1503-April 2, 1568), and Margery Willington (d.c.1561). Together with her half brother, Edward Holte of Aston, Warwickshire, she brought suit in Chancery against the executor of their grandfather’s will for refusing to pay legacies to his grandchildren. William Willington, a wealthy merchant, was reportedly worth £10,000 at the time of his death in 1559. Margaret married Henry Knollys of Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire (1541-1582/3) on July 16, 1565 at Durham House on the Strand, a wedding attended by Queen Elizabeth. It was celebrated with a feast, a ball, a tourney, and two masques and went on until 1:30 the next morning. They had two daughters, Elizabeth (c.1579-before 1632) and Lettice (c.1583-1655).  Knollys’ will, proved May 14, 1583, named Margaret as executor and advised her to sell their house at Greenwich and take the advice of Mr. Edward Williams in financial matters. Alternate life dates for Margaret, from a genealogy site, are April 25, 1548-June 1602. Other sites say she died in 1600. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Nicholas Church, Stanford-on-Avon, Northamptonshire.



The only information I can find on Elizabeth Cavendish comes from Marion Colthorpe (http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/The_Elizabethan_Court_Day_by_Day) in which she says Elizabeth was the daughter or Richard Cavendish and Elizabeth Grimston and married Richard Snow (d.1554). She was in the household of Elizabeth Tudor before 1558 and in January 1559 was listed as a Extraordinary Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. She exchanged New Year gifts with the queen from 1562-1585. Her will was proved April 11, 1587. The queen called her “Eme.”

ELIZABETH CAVENDISH (March 31, 1555-January 21, 1582)
Elizabeth Cavendish was the daughter of Sir William Cavendish (c.1505-October 25, 1557) and Elizabeth Hardwick (1527-February 13, 1608) and the goddaughter of Elizabeth Brooke, Lady Northampton and Lady Catherine Grey. She was an attractive girl with whom Sir Christopher Hatton was said to be in love. Her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with Peregrine Bertie, but in 1574 she found a more prestigious match. In the autumn of that year, Margaret Douglas, countess of Lennox, and her son Charles Stuart, earl of Lennox (1556-1577) were en route to Settringham. On October 9 they stopped for a few days with the duchess of Suffolk at Huntingdon. Elizabeth’s mother, better known as Bess of Hardwick and by that time married to the earl of Shrewsbury, was at nearby Rufford. She met them between Huntingdon and Sheffield and invited them to stop for the night with her. According to some accounts, this meeting had been pre-arranged for the purpose of establishing contact between Margaret and her imprisoned daughter-in-law, Mary, queen of Scots, who was in the keeping of the earl of Shrewsbury. At Rufford, Lady Lennox took to her bed, claiming to be ill, and remained there, with Lady Shrewsbury for company, for the next five days. During that time the two young people were left to their own devices and Charles so “entangled himself” with Elizabeth Cavendish that they had to be secretly married in early November. On November 17, both the mothers and the newlyweds were ordered to London by the queen. The blame seems to have fallen entirely on the two countesses, but by March both had been acquitted of “large treasons.” The cause of the queen’s alarm was Charles Stuart’s claim to her throne, which he would pass on to any children he and Elizabeth produced. Their daughter, Arbella Stuart, was born at Chatsworth the following September. Sadly, Charles Stuart died when his daughter was only two and Elizabeth died when Arbella was six. Portrait: reproduced in E. C. Williams’s Bess of Hardwick (1959).


FRANCES CAVENDISH (c.1594-September 1, 1613)
Frances Cavendish was one of the three daughters of William Cavendish (December 27, 1551-March 3, 1625/6), later 1st earl of Devonshire, and Anne Keighley (c.1566-1598). Before July 12, 1608, she married William Maynard (d. December 17, 1640), later created 1stbaron Maynard. She died at nineteen, giving birth to her daughter, Anne. Frances and her sisters Mary and Elizabeth are named on the tomb of her mother in Ault-Hucknall Church in Derbyshire. Portraits: painting at Hardwick Hall, c.1613 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger; effigy in Little Easton, Essex.


Margaret Cavendish, was not the daughter of William Cavendish (December 27, 1551-March 3, 1625/6), later 1st earl of Devonshire, and Anne Keighley (d.1598). Her father was Richard Cavendish (c.1530-1601). Margaret was at court, probably as a maid of honor, from 1589-91. In 1591, Sir Robert Dudley (August 7, 1574-September 6, 1649) was temporarily barred from court for kissing her in public. They married soon after. Up until that time, and possibly afterward, Dudley had been having an affair with another maid of honor, Frances Vavasour. Years later, he tried to claim that he’d married her, in the hope of invalidating both his first and second marriages so that he would be allowed to marry his mistress. Margaret died of the plague in the spring of 1595, while her husband was in the West Indies. She had no children.


MARY CAVENDISH (January 1556- April 1632)
Mary Cavendish was the youngest daughter of Sir William Cavendish (c.1505-October 25, 1557) and Elizabeth Hardwick (1527-February 13, 1608), better known as Bess of Hardwick. On February 9, 1568, when she was twelve, Mary was married to her mother’s stepson, Gilbert Talbot (November 20, 1552-May 8, 1616), who became earl of Shrewsbury on his father’s death. Their children were George (1575-1577), Mary (b.1580), Elizabeth (1582-1651), John (d.yng), and Alethea (1584-1654). The countess of Shrewsbury was a patroness of Rowland Lockey the painter, a subscriber to the Virginia Company, and a contributor to St. John’s College, Cambridge. She is best known, however, for her scheming on behalf of her niece, Arbella Stuart. Mary planned Arbella’s escape from the Tower of London, hoping she would go abroad and serve as a Catholic pretender to the throne. Mary was arrested and twice examined by the Privy Council after Arbella’s capture and was fined and confined to the Tower in 1611. Since she was not restricted to her lodgings in the Lord Lieutenant’s House, she was helpful in bringing to light the truth about the murder of Thomas Overbury. When her husband fell ill in 1618, Mary was released in order to nurse him, after which she was fined £20,000 and set free. Portraits: at St. John’s College; at Hardwick Hall (called “Queen Elizabeth”).


ANN CECIL (December 5, 1556-June 5, 1588)
Ann Cecil was the daughter of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (September 13, 1520-August 4, 1598) and his second wife, Mildred Cooke (August 24, 1526-April 4, 1589). She was educated by her mother and then, after 1565, by William Lewin. She is said to have briefly been a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth. Her father wished to marry her to Sir Philip Sidney, but she fell in love with Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford (1550-1604), one of her father’s wards. He asked for her hand in July 1571 and they were married on December 19, 1571. Soon, however, Oxford neglected his wife, spending all his time at court flirting with the queen and with other ladies. He blamed his father-in-law for failing to obtain the freedom of his kinsman, the duke of Norfolk, who was executed in 1572, and by May 1573 there was open hostility between Oxford and Lady Burghley. Oxford swore “to ruin the Lord Treasurer’s daughter,” casting doubt on her honor. This careless talk came back to haunt him when Ann gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth (July 2, 1575-1627) while Oxford was abroad. Lord Henry Howard, Nofolk’s brother, stirred up more trouble, and Ann was unable to convince her husband that the child was his. Apparently, part of the trouble was that Oxford was convinced that the gestation period was twelve months rather than nine. Surviving letters testify to her continuing love for him. They were reconciled in 1582, but not until after Oxford’s mistress, Ann Vavasour, had borne him a son. Ann gave her husband four more children, a son who died in infancy in May 1583 and three daughters, Bridget (April 6,1584-1620), Frances (d. September 12, 1587), and Susan (May 26,1587-1629). When she was at court in 1584, Ann’s entourage consisted of two gentlewomen, a chambermaid, a gentleman, and two yeomen. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Vere [née Cecil], Anne de.” Portrait: effigy in Westminster Abbey, where she shares a tomb with her mother (Ann is behind her mother on the raised shelf).

ANNE CECIL (c.1596-1676)
Anne Cecil was the youngest daughter of William Cecil, 2nd earl of Exeter (1566-1640) and Elizabeth Drury (January 4, 1577/8-February 12, 1653/4). On July 19, 1620, she married Henry Grey, baron Grey of Groby and later (1628) earl of Stamford (c.1599-August 21, 1673) in St. Benet Sherehog, London. They had nine children, including Elizabeth (c.1622-January 4, 1691),Thomas (1622-1657), Anchitell (c.1624-July 8, 1702), Diana (c.1631-April 8, 1689), and John (c.1643-February1709). Portraits: by William Larkin, c.1614-18; by Paul van Somer, 1618.

DIANA CECIL (c.1596-April 27, 1654)
Diana Cecil was the daughter of William Cecil, 2nd earl of Exeter (1566-1640) and Elizabeth Drury (January 4, 1577/8-February 26, 1653/4). She had dowry of £30,000. On January 1, 1623/4, she married Henry de Vere, 18th earl of Oxford (February 24, 1593-June 1625), who died at the Hague of an infection from a wound sustained at the siege of Breda. On November 12, 1629, she married Thomas Bruce (1599-1663), who was created earl of Elgin in 1633. She was famous for her beauty. She had no children. Portraits: by William Larkin, c.1614-1618 (possibly as an attendant at the wedding of her sister Elizabeth); attributed to Paul Van Somer, 1618 (one of a series with her mother and sisters); unknown artist, c.1623-4; by Michiel van Mierevelt, date unknown; by Daniel Mytens, date unknown; after Cornelius Johnson, date unknown; Cornelius Johnson, c.1638; monument in Ailesbury Mansoleum, Bedfordshire, showing her in her shroud.


ELIZABETH CECIL (July 1, 1564-1583)
Elizabeth Cecil was the daughter of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (September 13, 1521-August 4, 1598) and his second wife, Mildred Cooke (August 24, 1526-April 4, 1589). Born at Cecil House, her godmothers were Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Douglas, countess of Lennox. She was educated at home with her sister Ann and her father’s wards. Her father refused offers for her hand from the earls of Essex and Shrewsbury and Lord Buckhurst and accepted William Wentworth (d.1582), heir to the second baron Wentworth. They wed in February 1582. When he died ten months later, Elizabeth was pregnant. She insisted on nursing her husband in spite of the risk of infection. She died five months later, probably in childbirth. No children survived her. Portrait: identified as “Elizabeth Cessil” c.1580, by Lucas de Heere.

ELIZABETH CECIL (1578-January 3, 1646)
Elizabeth Cecil was the daughter of Thomas Cecil, earl of Exeter (May 5, 1542-1623) and Dorothy Latimer (1547/8-1609). She married Sir William Hatton (d.1597), a wealthy gentleman who left her with properties on the Isle of Purbeck and in London. She was also the guardian of her stepdaughter, Frances Hatton. She was courted by Francis Bacon and Fulke Greville, but married Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), a widower who had recently won a lawsuit for her father. She insisted that the wedding take place in secret, on November 2, 1598, with only her father and the minister present. This was illegal for several reasons. They wed without banns; they did not have a special license; the ceremony took place in a house instead of a church; and it took place outside the acceptable hours of the day for weddings. When Queen Elizabeth heard of it, she insisted that they remarry in St. Andrew’s Church. Rumor had the bride pregnant by another man before either ceremony but the couple’s first child was not born until August 1599. Elizabeth continued to be known as Lady Hatton. In September 1601, Queen Elizabeth visited Coke and his wife at Stoke Poges. They entertained her lavishly and presented her with jewels and other gifts valued at over £1000. By Coke, Elizabeth had two daughters, Elizabeth (1599-1623) and Frances (1603-1645) but for most of their marriage she did not live with her husband. They quarreled over the arrangements Coke made for the marriages of Elizabeth’s daughter and stepdaughter. By 1614, the servants at Hatton House had orders not to admit their mistress’s husband. He was forced to use a side door to see his own wife. In 1617, Lady Hatton kidnapped her daughter, Frances Coke, from Stoke Park to prevent her marriage to Sir John Villiers. She took the girl first to the house of her cousin, Sir Edmund Withipole, at Oatlands, and then to the earl of Argyll at Hampton Court. Coke found them there, hiding in a closet, and took Frances away. Elizabeth chased them in her coach until it lost a wheel, forcing her to stop. According to one account, Elizabeth followed her husband, seeking another opportunity to make off with their daughter, until King James stepped in and ordered her locked up until after the September 27, 1617 wedding. The DNB, however, says that the matter went to trial, where it was ruled that, since Frances was heir to her mother’s estates, the consent of both parents was needed for her marriage. Eventually, Lady Hatton agreed to the match, but on terms ensuring Frances’s income. Villiers, created Viscount Purbeck in 1618, later went insane and Frances returned to her mother’s house. There she fell in love with Robert Howard. In the hope of putting an end to their affair, Elizabeth took her daughter to Holland to visit the Electress Palatine, King James’s daughter, but in 1624 Frances gave birth to an illegitimate child and both she and Howard were arrested for adultery. After 1623, when she sold Hatton House in London, Lady Hatton lived mostly at Stoke Park. She entertained Parliamentary leaders there during the Civil War. In 1643, they returned Hatton House to her. According to legend, she died there, carried off by the devil in a clap of thunder, leaving behind only her heart. The name Bleeding Heart Yard clung to Hatton House for many years. In fact, she was buried in St. Andrew’s Holborn. Biographies: Laura L. Norsworthy, The Lady of Bleeding Heart Yard (1935); Oxford DNB entry under “Hatton, Elizabeth [née Lady Elizabeth Cecil].”

ELIZABETH CECIL (c.1595-August 1672)
Elizabeth Cecil was the eldest daughter of William Cecil, 2nd earl of Exeter (1566-1640) and Elizabeth Drury (1578-1654). A match for her was first considered with Robert Sidney (1595-1677), future earl of Leicester, but in May 1614 she wed Thomas Howard, second son of Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk, who was created earl of Berkshire in 1626. Their children were Charles (1615-1679), Mary (1616-1679), Thomas (November 14, 1619-April 17, 1706), Frances (September 29, 1623-April 9, 1670), Robert (January 19, 1626-September 3, 1698), Philip (March 5, 1629-September 18, 1717), Diana (1636-1713), Elizabeth (c.1638-1714), Henry, William, James, Algernon, and Edward. Portraits: several exist, all after a lost original by Paul van Somer, c.1618.


FRANCES CECIL (1590-1644)
Frances Cecil was the daughter of Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury (1563-1612) and Elizabeth Brooke (1562-Janaury 1596/7). David McKeen’s A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham gives her date of birth as July 1593. Her mother returned to court after her birth and she was left in the care of a wet nurse at Theobalds. The nurse was more interested in her lover, the steward’s boy, than in taking care of Frances and the child became ill. She either inherited her father’s spinal deformity or was injured during this period, resulting in a twisted spine. From her mother’s death until late 1604, Frances was raised by her maternal aunt, Frances, Lady Stourton. In 1599 an attempt was made to have her back straightened by putting her in irons. It was unsuccessful but her father and Lady Stourton worked together to fit her with a bodice that would cover her deformity but could be worn without pain. In August 1604, Frances returned to London and although her maternal great aunt, Elizabeth, Lady Russell, wished to take her into her household, she was placed instead at the Charterhouse with the countess of Suffolk and her children. She remained there until mid-1607, when she was sent to Lancashire to live with her two de Vere cousins, Lady Derby and Lady Norris. This arrangement was made by her father against Frances’s wishes, probably to thwart an unsuitable attachment to one of the young men in the Suffolk household. Earlier that year, John, 1st Lord Harington, had proposed that Frances marry his son John, but Salisbury refused the match. He also refused Harington’s suggestion that Frances join the household of Princess Elizabeth, a  household that was under the supervision of Harington and his wife. Apparently Frances did meet the Princess, who liked her, but Salisbury was protective of his daughter and feared she would be made fun of at court. A letter is extant from about this time in which he wrote: “I know it is the fashion of the Court and London to laugh at all deformities. I would be exceeding glad that somewhat was done to cover the poor girl’s infirmities before such ladies and others as will find her out, should see her in such ill case as she is.” He arranged a marriage for Frances to Henry, Lord Clifford (1592-1643), son and heir of the 4th earl of Cumberland. They were wed on July 25, 1610 at the house of Sir Walter Cope in Kensington. The reception cost £250, the bridal apparel £935, and Frances’s dowry was £6000. In spite of that, shortly after her father died in 1612, she was in the unhappy position of being stranded, penniless, on Clifford lands in the north, while her husband lived well on his own in London. In time, however, they found they had a love of music in common and produced six children. Most of the information in this entry comes from Helen Payne, “The Cecil Women at Court,” an essay in Patronage Culture and Power: The Early Cecils 1558-1612, edited by Pauline Croft. Portraits: 1599 at age 9 with her brother William (1591-1668); attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts or Federico Zuccaro



LUCY CECIL (March 7, 1568-October 1614)
Lucy Cecil was one of the eight daughters of Thomas Cecil (May 5, 1542-1623), later earl of Exeter, and Dorothy Neville (1547-1609). She was at court in 1586, left to marry William Paulet, 4th Marquis of Winchester (1563-February 4, 1627/8) on February 28, 1586/7 at St. Martins-in-the-Fields, and returned after her marriage, Their children were William (d.1621), Thomas, John (1598-March 5, 1675), Henry (1600-1672). Charles, Elizabeth (c.1590-September 16, 1656), and Edward.



CECILIA OF SWEDEN (November 16, 1540-January 27, 1627)
Cecilia of Sweden was the daughter of Gustavas Vasa (May 12, 1496-September 29, 1560) and Margareta Leijonhufvud (January1, 1516-August 26, 1551). Gustavus wanted an alliance with England and at least three of his children, Eric, John, and Cecilia, grew up with a rosy picture of that island kingdom. Both John and Eric proposed marriage to Elizabeth Tudor and, as a condition of Cecilia’s 1564 marriage to Margrave Christopher of Baden (1527-1575), she insisted on a wedding journey to England. They left Sweden in October but did not reach Dover until September of the following year, by which time Cecilia was about to give birth. She created a sensation when the countess of Sussex and Lady Cobham escorted her through London by wearing a black velvet dress with a mantle of cloth of gold and her long, pale blonde hair loose under a crown. Her son was born on September 15, 1565. Queen Elizabeth was the child’s godmother and named him Edward Fortunatus. Cecilia remained in England until April 29, 1566, running up huge bills that she had no intention of paying. Hounded by creditors, the Margrave was briefly imprisoned for debt. Eleven years later, when Cecilia was widowed, Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, sought her hand in marriage. He was formally rejected in January 1578. Cecilia apparently led a rather wild life, possibly taking a lover before her marriage, dabbling in piracy to help her brothers and, as a widow, giving birth to a daughter, Caritas (b.c.1579) fathered by Spanish Ambassador Francisco de Eraso. She converted to Catholicism for political reasons and sent her sons to be educated by Jesuits.

CECILY CELLES or SYLLES (d.1582+) (maiden name unknown)
Cecily Celles or Sylles was one of the St. Osyth Witches, accused by one of the four women accused by Ursula Kempe when Kempe herself was accused of witchcraft in 1582. Cecily was wet nurse to a neighbor’s child. When another woman was hired to replace her, Cecily apparently said to her “Thou shalt lose more by the having of it, than thou shalt have for the keeping of it.” A few weeks later, the woman’s four-year-old daughter died. In another incident, Cecily correctly predicted that a baby would die. The father of the little girl who died accused Cecily of witchcraft, resulting in the arrest of both Cecily and her husband. He was acquitted. Cecily pled not guilty but was convicted. Some of the testimony against her came from her sons, Henry (the eldest at age 9) and John, who wove fanciful tales about imps their mother preferred to her two boys. One of the imps was named Hercules. Henry claimed that he overheard his mother tell his father that she had sent this imp to Alice Baxer, the maid at a neighboring house, to make her ill. Alice and her master also testified against Cecily and prosecution witnesses were allowed to examine her for witch’s marks. In the end, however, Cecily was reprieved. The testimony of her sons also established that Cecily had a daughter.

Philip C. Almond, in The Witches of Warboys, suggests that Elizabeth Cervington was one of the seven female servants of the Throckmorton family to be bewitched by Alice Samuel in 1590. The five Throckmorton daughters suffered symptoms of bewitchment starting in November 1589 and continuing until April 1593. On November 15, 1591, Elizabeth Cervington married John Pickering of Ellington, Northamptonshire (baptized January 18, 1559 at Titchmarsh), a cousin of Mrs. Throckmorton (Elizabeth Pickering). Their son Gilbert was christened in Warboys on September 17, 1592, at which time Elizabeth and John and the baby were living with the Throckmortons. Mother and son were paid a visit by Mother Samuel, at which time one of the Throckmorton daughters, who had been in a fit, suddenly recovered, leading to new accusations against the old woman. In accounts of the bewitchment and trial, Elizabeth is referred to by the children as Aunt Elizabeth, but her husband was the son of Boniface Pickering, Elizabeth Throckmorton’s uncle. In the records, “Aunt Elizabeth” is said to have been bewitched first by Alice Samuel and then, later, by her daughter, Agnes Samuel. The latter accusation was made on March 19, 1593, when Elizabeth and John were once again staying with the Throckmortons. At that time, Elizabeth was ill and had lost the use of her legs. This condition, too, was attributed to witchcraft.

HELEN CHALONER (before 1534-January 8, 1569)
Helen Chaloner was the daughter of Roger Chaloner of London (c.1493-1550), a mercer, and Margaret Middleton (1497-before1534). She married Thomas Farnham of Nether Hall, Quorndon, and Stroughton, Leicestershire (1530-September 4, 1562) as the second of his three wives. Their children were two sons who died young, Katherine (February 14, 1558-May 10, 1621), and another daughter. By 1551, Farnham was residing in London. In 1552, he took over the tellership of the Exchequer from his brother-in-law, Thomas Chaloner. Helen married Francis Saunders of Welford and Brixworth, Northamptonshire (1513/14-June 20, 1585). They had one son, Francis. Portraits: effigy on Farnham tomb, Stoughton; brass at Welford.

ELIZABETH CHAMBER or CHAMBRE (d.1520+) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Chamber was the wife of Edward Chamber (Chambre/Chambyr) of Dorset. She was in the household of Elizabeth of York and later served Princess Mary, sister of Henry VIII. She received an annuity of £20 from at least 1515 until at least 1520.

Elizabeth Chamber was the daughter of Geoffrey Chamber of Stanmore, Middlesex. She married four times. Her first husband was Sir Walter Stonor of Stonor, Oxfordshire (1477-1550/1). Her second husband was Reginald Conyers of Wakerley, Northamptonshire (d.1560). Her third husband was Edward Griffin of Dingley, Northamptonshire (d.1569). After August 28, 1572, she married Oliver St. John, 1st baron St. John of Bletsoe (1516-April 21, 1582) as his second wife. The entry for St. John in the History of Parliament calls Elizabeth a widow well provided for by two of her three previous husbands. They had no children. He wrote his will on April 20, 1582 and it was proved on May 23, 1582. In 1591-6, Elizabeth was sued in Chancery by Edward and Lucy Griffin over the manors of Wakerley, Stoke Wilbarston, Edith Weston, and Ketton. She was still living, in Warwickshire, in December 1602.

REBECCA CHAMBER (x. July 1571) (maiden name unknown)
According to Holinshed’s Chronicle, Rebecca poisoned her husband, Thomas Chamber, with a dish of roseacre mixed with milk. Two days later he was dead. She was tried and convicted at the Maidstone assizes in July 1571 and burned to death that same month.


Constance (or Constantia) Chamberlain was the daughter of Sir Robert Chamberlain or Chamberlayne of Capel and Gedding, Suffolk (x. March 12, 1491/2) and Elizabeth Fitz Ralph (d.1517). She married Richard Harper of Latton, Essex (d.1507). They had a son, George (March 11, 1503-December 8, 1558). She married to Sir Alexander Culpepper or Culpeper of Bedgebury, Kent (1459-1541). Their children were Sir Thomas (d. May 13, 1558), John, Catherine, Elizabeth, Johanna, Margaret and Anne (d.1550). Lacey Baldwin Smith’s biography of Queen Catherine Howard misidentifies her lover, Thomas Culpeper (x. December 10, 1541), as a second son named Thomas in this family. This seems unlikely, since neither Sir Alexander’s will nor Constance’s refer to more than one son by that name. In Sir Alexander’s will, written on May 20, 1540, he named his wife as executor and left £100 to each of their unmarried daughters, Margaret and Katherine, for their dowries. He left another daughter, Alice, the child of Agnes Davy, a yearly pension of £3. 6s. 8d. for twenty years but specified that it would cease if she married. The residue of the estate was to go to Constance, “to her own proper use.” He added a codicil on May 5, 1541 to deal with some matters of debt, and it is only here that he mentions any Thomas Culpepper, identifying him as “myne eldist sonne.” He also mentioned his other children—Anne, John, Margaret, and Katherine Culpepper. The will was proved June 21, 1541 and Culpepper was buried at St. Mary’s Church, Gouldhurst, Kent. Constance made her own will on October 4, 1541, shortly before the scandal broke at court concerning Thomas Culpeper and Queen Catherine Howard, so if he were her son, she would have had, as yet, no reason not to mention him. Barbara J. Harris, in English Aristocratic Women 1450-1550 identifies the Alice Culpepper mentioned in both wills as illegitimate, thus explaining why the bequests to her—a “gown of black cloth . . . a featherbed, a bolster, two pair of sheets, two blankets and a coverlet, a tester and ceiler with three curtains of white cloth and two kine” and an annuity of £3 6s. 8d “according to her father’s will and 26s. 8d. of my gift to her yearly” for nine years—were closer to what Constance left to Jane Porter, who was probably her waiting gentlewoman, than to the legacies bestowed on her own children. Jane and Alice were also to have all her rails, kerchiefs and smocks, to be divided between them. The will is a lengthy document. Among other bequests, she left “my ring of gold with a diamond three square set therein” to her son George Harpur; “a bay colt, the dam I bought of Luce Harpur, and my best saddle with the gilt pommel with the bridle and harness thereto pertaining and also my pillion of fustian of Naples with bridle, harness, and foot scale thereto belonging” to her daughter Margaret; “my featherbed which I now lie on with the bolster, two pillows, the tester, ceiler and coverlet as it now is with three curtains of green silk with all other things to the same bed belonging . . . and my sorrel colt that I bought of Bruer the Colyer and my saddle covered with tawny velvet with bridle and harness thereto belonging and my pillion of tawny velvet with bridle and harness thereto appertaining” to her daughter Katherine. Margaret and Katherine also received £100 each toward their marriage. Her married daughters received less. She left a cow to each of two goddaughters, Constance Fynch (apparently the daughter of Nicholas Fynch, who was left her bay horse and 40s. and his wife, Agnes, who received “20s. to buy her a gown”) and Constance BesByche (sic); £10 each to her goddaughters Constance Clifford (with £5 to her sister, Ursula) and Constance Molyns; and £20 each to her goddaughters Constance Culpepper and Dorothy FitzJames. She also had a godson, Nicholas Clifford. She left 20s. to her chaplain, Sir William Pyerson, and in a codicil added £7 “for his labor.” She also left, to “my Lady Grey of the Mote in Kent” [Anne Barlee], apparently a close friend, “a pair of beads of gold with a tassel of gold . . . and nineteen great bead stones besides the small bead stones in the same.” The will was proved November 13, 1542. Portrait: wooden effigy, St. Mary’s Church, Gouldhurst, Kent.



Theophila Chamberlain was the only daughter of Sir Thomas Chamberlain of Churchdown and Prestbury, Gloucestershire and Cripplegate, London (c.1504-June 26, 1580) and his second wife, Joan Elizabeth (or Elizabeth Jane) Luddington. Her father, who served abroad as an ambassador in several posts, disinherited her for becoming involved with a “lewd fellow of base condition.” “Out of pity,” her eldest brother, John, was instructed to maintain her while she remained unmarried and provide a portion for her, but only if she married with his consent. One online genealogy site says she married a man named Hughes.

Cecily Chamberlayne was the daughter of Sir Leonard Chamberlayne of Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire (d.1561) and Dorothy Newdigate. She was a devout Catholic and married another of that ilk, Sir Francis Stonor (1520-1564), in 1552. The entire family was involved in hiding priests and turning out Catholic propaganda during the reign of Elizabeth I. From 1577, Cecily paid an annual fine of £500 for recusancy. Cecily allowed Father Campion to set up an illegal printing press at Stonor Park, which is four miles south of Henley-on-Thames and about twenty miles from London. Her younger son, John (1556-1626), was arrested in August 1581 and Cecily’s estates were confiscated. She was put under house arrest with her older son, Sir Francis (1553-1625), at Blount’s Court in September but by November had been allowed to return to Stonor Lodge. Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear, Berkshire was charged with preventing Lady Stonor from communicating with Catholic priests. Sir Francis remained her official guardian. He farmed her lands (worth £250/year), taken from her for her recusancy. She was in poor health in April 1582 and was allowed to spend two months in Bath. Also in April 1582, John was released from the Tower. In 1583, he left England for the Low Countries and never returned. Around 1590, Cecily’s son Francis embraced Catholicism and was arrested for recusancy. In 1591, he paid a fine of £30 for himself and £60 for his mother. At some point, his wife (Martha Soutcote), sister, and daughter were also committed to prison and in 1592, Cecily was again arrested and imprisoned.That same year, Owen Oglethorpe and Ralph Warcoppe formed a committee to decide a dispute between Lady Stoner and her son and guardian.




Malyn or Malena Chambre was the wife of Philip Tilney/Tylney of Streatham, Surrey (d. September 1541), usher of the privy chamber to Henry VIII. They had one son, Edmund (1535/6-August 20, 1610). In late 1536, Malyn was in the service of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Agnes Tylney (her husband’s aunt) at Lambeth. Gareth Russell, Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII (2016), describes Malyn as the duchess’s companion and identifies her as Agnes’s sister-in-law, but I believe he is off by one generation. Malyn was one of those aware of young Catherine Howard’s promiscuous behavior. She kept quiet about it and some accounts indicate that when Catherine became queen, Malyn became one of her chamber women. On September 10, 1541, Malyn’s husband was buried in St. Leonard’s Church, Streatham. Two months later, Malyn was examined by the Chancellor of Augmentations in the matter of the queen’s treason. According to the L&P, she returned to Lambeth afterward, to the house of one Feffar. Duchess Agnes then sent her servant, Chamber (a relative?) for her and questioned her about her examination, but Malyn had been told not to answer. She did tell the duchess that Philip Tylney had died in debt and the duchess promised to help her. Unfortunately, they were both arrested and tried for treason shortly thereafter. Malyn was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 22, 1541 but she was pardoned and released after Catherine Howard’s execution on February 13, 1542. The author of the DNB entry for her son speculates that both Malyn and young Edmund were taken into the duchess’s household after her release. Duncan Salkeld, in Shakespeare among the Courtesans, states that Edmund had an older brother named Robert. Edmund was master of revels under Elizabeth.


JOAN CHAMPERNOWNE (d. May 15,1553)
Joan Champernowne was the daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne of Modbury, Devon (c.1479-August 2, 1545) and Catherine Carew (1495-February 5, 1546+). Joan came to court as a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon and remained at court during the tenures of Henry VIII’s next five wives. Initially sponsored by her uncle, Sir Gawen Carew, her own beauty, her accomplishments, and her conversion to the New Religion all contributed to her success. By a license dated February 4, 1538, she married Sir Anthony Denny of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (January 16, 1501-September 10, 1549). Their children were Honora, Anne, Mary, Arthur, Douglas, Charles, Edmund, Henry (1540-March 24,1574), Anthony (1542-1572), and Edward (c.1544-1600). N. P. Sil in Tudor Placemen and Statesmen gives the date of their marriage as February 9, 1538. While Kathryn Parr was queen, Joan was accused of sending 8s. to Anne Askew but nothing was proven against her. In 1547, she retired to Cheshunt but her service to the Crown was not yet over. In May 1548, Princess Elizabeth and her household were sent to stay there with the Dennys and remained until autumn. Some accounts say Elizabeth’s governess, Katherine Champernowne Astley, was Joan’s younger sister. Others believe they were only distantly related. In her widowhood, Joan bought land for her younger sons. She lived at Dallance, Essex. In her will, proved on May 27, 1553, she left an additional 500 marks to each of her daughters (their father had left them each 600 marks). Her eldest son received his father’s gold chain. Portrait: found online without citation.

Known as Kat, Katherine Champernowne’s birth year and parentage are uncertain. Some sources say she was the sister of Joan Champernowne (above), others identify her (and sometimes, Joan) as the daughter of Sir John Champernowne of Dartington (1458-1503) and Margaret Courtenay (c.1459-1504). She may have been from another branch of the family altogether. What is known is that Kat was appointed as a waiting gentlewoman to the young Elizabeth Tudor in July 1536 and that a letter from Kat to Lord Cromwell written in that same year makes reference to her father, saying he “has much to do with the little living he has.” The implication is that this Champernowne was still alive and was not well-to-do. This seems to eliminate both Sir Philip, who was wealthy, and Sir John, who had died thirty-three years earlier, as candidates to be her father. In addition, no contemporary records refer to Joan Denny and Kat Astley as sisters. Whatever her origins, by the end of 1537, Kat had been made Elizabeth’s governess. In 1545, Kat married John Astley—also spelled Ashley—(c.1507-August 1, 1596), Elizabeth’s senior gentleman attendant. In 1547, when Henry VIII died, the household was combined with that of the Queen Dowager at Chelsea. While there, Kat permitted her charge to go to a party on the Thames at night. The Lord Protector’s wife declared that she was not fit to have governance of the king’s daughter. Soon, however, Kat faced a more serious problem in dealing with a flirtation between Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour (the Queen Dowager’s husband) and the young princess. In the end, Elizabeth and her household were sent to Cheshunt. After the Queen Dowager’s death, Kat seems to have believed that a match between the Lord Admiral and the princess could be arranged. She journeyed to London in December 1548 to meet with Seymour. On that same visit she also saw Lady Cheke and Lady Tyrwhitt and was commanded to go to the Lord Protector’s wife, Ann Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset. On January 21, 1549, Sir Anthony Denny arrested Kat at Hatfield and conducted her to the Tower. She finally confessed in February, but to nothing treasonous, and she was released thirteen days before Seymour’s execution. By August she had returned to Hatfield. When Mary became queen, Kat’s husband went into exile but Kat remained with the princess until Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower in 1554. Kat was allowed to rejoin her in October 1555 but shortly thereafter a search of Somerset House unearthed a casket full of seditious books and papers. Kat was arrested in May 1556. This time she spent three months in Fleet Prison and after her release was forbidden to see Elizabeth Tudor again. When Mary Tudor died the order was rescinded and Kat was made either First Lady of the Bedchamber or Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. She may also have served as Mother of Maids until 1562. She was much sought after as a source of information about the new queen and as a go-between for asking favors of the sovereign. Her death distressed Elizabeth greatly. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Astley [née Champernowne], Katherine.” Portrait: unknown artist or date, posed with a skull.

Katherine Champernowne was the daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne (c.1479-August 2, 1545) and Catherine Carew (d.1545+). She married Otho Gilbert (d.1547). Their children John, Humphrey (1539-1625) and Adrian. She married Walter Raleigh (d. February 1581). Their children were Carew (1550-1625),Walter (1552-1618), and Margaret. During the reign of Henry VIII, she converted to Protestantism and refused to give up her beliefs when Mary Tudor was queen. She sat with the martyr, Agnes Prest, the night before Prest’s execution. She does not, however, seem to have been prosecuted herself. Under Elizabeth Tudor, through the influence of Katherine’s relative, Kat Astley (cousin? aunt? sister?), Katherine’s son Walter was introduced to court and made a success of himself there. Katherine continued to live in the West Country, where she kept liveried servants and a waiting woman, but she was in debt when she died. She made her will on April 18, 1594. She was buried in Exeter with her second husband.



DENISE CHAMPION (d.1539+) (maiden name unknown)
Denise was the wife of Walter Champion, wealthy draper, alderman, and sheriff of London in 1529. In 1534, she married Sir Richard Sandys (d.c.1538), younger brother of Lord Sandys of the Vyne, as his second wife. They lived at the Vyne and in those few years of marriage, or so Denise afterward claimed, her husband and his brother “consumed and expended” over £7000 that she had brought to the marriage. Lord Sandys wrote to Lord Cromwell that he had offered her a pension of £80 a year and that she had accepted that amount, then changed her mind and refused it.

SUSAN CHAPLYN (d.1603+) (maiden name unknown)
Susan married John Chaplyn of St. Katherine Cree, London (d. July 1592). They were probably the parents of another Susan Chaplyn, who married Philip Pound on May 8, 1597 at St. Mary Matfellon. Chaplyn left no will, but the bond his widow posted on July 18 to obtain the administration of his goods was for £77 5s.1d., so we may presume she was left well off. In January 1594, Susan married Oliver Woodliffe of Barking, Essex (d.1603), a moneylender. In the marriage record, Susan is identified as being of Eastham, Essex. Soon after, they were in court over debts owed by Chaplyn. On November 28, 1594, the couple leased the Boar’s Head for £40/year for twenty-one years with the intention of turning it into a permanent playhouse. Their son, Oliver, was baptized in St. Mary Matfellon on April 19, 1595. In mid-1598, Woodliffe went abroad for a year or so but in 1598 and after, the family was apparently living at the Boar’s Head. Their theatrical endeavor led to lawsuits and conflict in 1599-1600. Susan is recorded on December 13, 1599 as accompanying other plaintiffs and the bailiffs to summons Richard Samwell, who also had an interest in the property and had moved into the inn in 1597. On December 24, she accompanied some of the same men with a warrant for the arrest of Samwell’s son. They took young Samwell’s wife instead. In another raid, which took place on December 16, a wall from Woodliffe’s former premises into Samwell’s gallery was knocked down. Woodliffe died of the plague and was buried in Whitechapel on July 30, 1603 along with twenty-seven other plague victims. He left no will but on August 26, Susan was granted the administration of his goods and took over his interest in the Boar’s Head—half profits of the western gallery for twelve and a half years. Seven months later, she married James Vaughan (d.1608+).

Anne Chapman was the daughter and sole heir of Thomas Chapman and the granddaughter of Robert Chapman (d.1574/5), merchant adventurer of London and owner of Stone Castle, Kent. She married William Carew of London (d.1588). Their children were William, Henry, Thomas, and Thomasine (d.1639). After the death of her grandfather’s second wife’s second husband, Anne inherited Stone Castle. Although she left a will, made January 4, 1599 and proved March 21, 1599, Anne could not write. She signed it with her mark. In addition to other bequests, she left her maid, Margaret, twenty shillings. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com.



MARIE de la CHATRE (1550-1626)
Marie de la Chatre was the daughter of Claude, baron de la Maison-forte, and Anne Robertit. She was a maid of honor to Catherine d’ Medici in 1572. On December 31, 1572, in Orleans, she married Guillaume de l’Aubépine, baron de Châteauneuf (August 17, 1547-March 16, 1629). Their nine children included Guillaume (d. yng), Claude (April 5, 1574-June 13, 1619), Gabriel (January 24, 1579-August 15, 1630), Charles (February 22, 1580-September 17, 1653), and François (March 1586-March 27, 1670). She was at court during the years 1573-85. Her husband was appointed ambassador to England in November 1584, although the family did not arrive in London until July 28, 1585. He served in that post until February 1589. Marie brought with her a Florentine named Brancaleone. Sir Francis Walsingham wanted him sent back to France, claiming he was a spy, but Marie, if she was ever asked to send him away, ignored the request. She was in England when she gave birth to her son François.

BRIDGET CHAWORTH (1548-April 18, 1621)
Bridget Chaworth was the daughter of Sir John Chaworth of Wiverton, Nottinghamshire (c.1498-September 3, 1558) and Mary Paston (c.1520-September 30, 1583). According to Marion Colthorpe, “Women at Court: Royal Household” in The Elizabethan Court Day By Day (2017) (http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/The_Elizabethan_Court_Day_by_Day), her father was Sir George Chaworth. In 1577, it was thought she might marry Lord Gormanston. By 1579, she was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber. Around 1590 (Folgerpedia says 1584), she married Sir William Carr of Sleaford (May 16, 1542-1608). One online genealogy gives them three sons, Benjamin, William, and George (August 15, 1599-April 4, 1682). and their daughter, Bridget, was sworn in as a member of the privy chamber on June 18, 1601. In 1591, Lady Carr was given a gift of a “skarfe of Ash cullor cypers with ij edges of gould& Sylver,” which she then gave away to George Tenecre. Portrait: effigy at Ufford, Northamptonshire.


Elizabeth Chedworth was the daughter  of William Chedworth of Stepney, clerk to the Common Council of London (d. before 1471), and his wife Joan. She was left a bequest by her uncle, John Chedworth, bishop of Lincoln, in 1471, by which time she was married to Thomas Blake of Swaffham Market, Norfolk (d.1505/6). Blake wrote his will on November 18, 1505 and it was proved December 22, 1506. There are no children mentioned. Among other bequests, Elizabeth was to have their dwelling place in Swaffham for life, 1500 ewes, 500 wethers, and their pasture in Swaffham and Sporle. Her goddaughter, Elizabeth Lovell, was left six ewes without lambs and her servant, Elizabeth Powlye (Poley?) was to receive five marks. Elizabeth married Sir John Audley (d.1530) as his second wife. She made her will on April 30, 1541 and it was proved January 14, 1542. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com. In it she leaves Ellen Audley, wife of Thomas Dereham, a sapphire with three pearls, a pair of fine sheets, and a diaper tablecloth. She refers to Ellen as her daughter, but it is more likely that she was the daughter of  Muriel Brewes, first wife of John Audley.

MARGARET CHEDWORTH (d. July 2, 1525)
Margaret Chedworth was the daughter of William Chedworth of Stepney, clerk to the Common Council of London (d. before 1471), and his wife Joan (d.1486). She is misidentified in older sources as the daughter of 1) Sir Thomas Chedworth, Lord Mayor of London or 2) Sir Thomas Catworth. She married Sir William Carew of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (c.1440-June 28, 1501) as his second wife. Their children, all minors in 1501, were John (d. March 1, 1525), William, Nicholas, Thomas, Elizabeth, and Mary (d.1542+). Margaret is mentioned in the 1471 will of her uncle, John Chedworth, Bishop of Lincoln, as the wife of Sir William Carew and the daughter of William Chedworth of Stepney, deceased. William Carew wrote his will on May 26, 1501 and it was proved June 28, 1501. He asked that John de Vere, 13th earl of Oxford, be supervisor. Carew’s mother had married, as her second husband, Sir Robert Vere, the earl’s brother. Carew left his wife the wardship of William Robsart (d.1503), by then married to Anne Carew, who was probably another daughter. In 1510, as a widow, Margaret Carew and her son John received royal pardons but the reason they needed to be pardoned is not given. In that year she is listed as of Bury St. Edmunds but formerly of Hengrave. Records for 1518-1529 reveal a lawsuit she pursued together with her sister Elizabeth Audley, Elizabeth’s husband, and their nephew, Thomas Marrow, against their late brother Nicholas’s widow over land in Stepney and elsewhere. Portrait: effigy on her husband’s tomb in St. Mary’s Church, Bury St. Edmunds.

ELEANOR CHEESEMAN (d. February 29, 1558)
Eleanor Cheeseman was the daughter of Edward Cheeseman (d.1510) and Joan Lawrence (d.1536). Her first husband was Edward Taylor (d.1509). She then married John Palmer of Rugmere (d.1542). Their eight children included Jerome (d.1565), Mary, Christopher, Francis, Erasma, and Alice (d. November 1573). Eleanor was buried in St. John the Baptist, Chipping Barnet. She established a charity for the poor of Chipping Barnet and Kentish Town that still exists today.



MARY CHEKE (c.1520-February 22, 1543/4)
Mary Cheke was the daughter of Peter Cheke (1477-January 30, 1529/30), an esquire bedell in divinity at Cambridge University, and Agnes Dufford or Duffield (1479-1549), a vintner in St. Mary’s parish, Cambridge. By the terms of her father’s will, Mary inherited £10 at the age of nineteen. At about that time, Mary met William Cecil (September 18, 1520-August 4, 1598), a student at St. John’s. Her brother, John Cheke, was his tutor. Cecil left Cambridge without a degree in May 1541 and married Mary on August 8 of that year. The marriage was considered a misalliance by the Cecil family. They had one child, Thomas (May 5, 1542-February 1623).


see also CHEYNEY

ANNE CHENEY (d. September 1553)
Anne Cheney was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cheney (Cheyney/Cheyne) of Shurland, Kent (1485-December 16, 1558) and Anne Broughton (d.1562). She married Sir John Perrott (November 1528-September 1592) and died giving birth to her only child, Sir Thomas Perrott (September 1553-February 1594/5).

ELIZABETH CHENEY (1505-November 20, 1556)
Elizabeth Cheney was the daughter of Thomas Cheney of Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire (c.1448-January 13, 1512/13) and Anne Parr (c.1476-November 4, 1513). In 1523, Elizabeth married Thomas, 2nd baron Vaux (April 25, 1510-October 1556). Their children were William (August 14, 1542-August 20, 1595), Nicholas, Anne (d. May 7, 1619), and Maud. According to Jessie Childs in God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England, Elizabeth negotiated property transactions on behalf of her husband, who had no head for business. Vaux was apparently aware of this, as he once told one of Thomas Cromwell’s agents that he would make “no further answer till my Lady his wife had spoken with you.” Portraits: Holbein sketch; Holbein portrait at Hampton Court and copy in National Gallery, Prague; miniature dated 1535.

JANE CHENEY (c.1511- September 15, 1574)
Jane Cheney was the daughter and heiress of William Cheney of Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire and Emma Walwyn. She was taught to read and write and owned a copy of the 1532 edition of Chaucer, in which she later wrote “this ys Jane Southampton boke.” Before 1533, possibly as early as 1527, she married Thomas Wriothesley (December 21, 1505- July 30, 1550), who was created earl of Southampton in 1547. Their children were William (1535-1537), Anthony (1540-1543), Henry (April 24, 1545-October 9, 1581), Elizabeth (d.1554/5), Anne, Mary (d. December 1561), Katherine, and Mabel. In 1540, Jane was one of the godmothers of Elizabeth Petre, younger daughter of William Petre. She was one of Catherine Howard’s ladies, although she may have been absent from court at the time of Catherine’s marriage to the king, giving birth to her second son. She returned to the queen’s household afterward. Jane was also at court as a senior lady attending Katherine Parr and later was in attendance on Queen Mary on state occasions. As a widow, Jane inherited several manors, most in Hampshire, including Titchfield and Micheldever, and Southampton House in Holborn. The wardship of her surviving son was granted to the earl of Pembroke. In January 1551, the Privy Council ordered the arrest of her children’s schoolmaster, suspicious of certain messages he’d been sending abroad. On February 25, 1556, Lady Southampton was at Titchfield Abbey. Her dinner guests were Christopher Ashton, John Bedell, Thomas White, and Richard Rythe, who were at that time engaged in a treasonous plot to overthrow Queen Mary. Jane’s cousin, Henry Peckham (x.1556) was another of the conspirators. The countess does not seem to have been implicated when the plot was thwarted. The loss of Jane’s first two sons in infancy appears to have made her overly protective of the third. When nineteen-year-old Henry was summoned to court in 1564, she refused to let him leave home. The Privy Council had to issue a special order to remove him from his mother’s house. Henry himself seems to have wished to make his own decisions. In February 1566, when he wed Mary Browne, he did so against his mother’s wishes. In her will, Jane left specific gifts of jewelry to each of her daughters, her daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter. She left her prayer book, in which she had collected inscriptions and verses written by friends, to her daughter Katherine. Jane’s son left instructions in his will for the erection of a family monument that would include his mother’s effigy. Work on the tomb began in 1582. Portraits: effigy in St. Peter’s Church, Titchfield, Hampshire; A. L. Rowse, in Shakespeare’s Southampton, describes a portrait of Jane as seen in an article by R. W. Goulding titled “Wriothesley Portraits” in Walpole Society, viii (pp. 17-94): rounded face; surprised, rather sweet expression; small mouth and nose; arched eyebrows; white lace cap with long lappets falling behind; richly dressed.






CATHERINE CHETWODE (d. December 27, 1620+)
Catherine Chetwode was the daughter of Sir Richard Chetwode or Chetwood of Chetwood, Buckinghamshire and Warkworth, Northamptonshire (c.1560-May 21, 1635) and his first wife, Jane Drury (1561-1581?). Catherine married Sir William Skeffington of Skeffington, Leicestershire (d. December 19, 1605). They had no children. According to W. Burton in the History of Leicestershire (1622), “he was so possessed of the Italian humour of jealousy that he would not vouchsafe that she should either see or be seen, to converse or be conversed withal, though she was a lady of many worthy parts, well qualified, and of great desert.” Servants served as her guards any time she went out. Skeffington left her a wealthy widow, although his principal heir was his younger brother John, aged fifteen in 1605. John was outraged when Catherine turned down several well-born suitors to marry Michael Bray, her groom. Their children were Richard, Giles, Ann (d. July 16, 1618), and Elizabeth. On November 4, 1613, John Skeffington and Michael Bray were in London, where a dispute between them was to be heard in Chancery. Both parties adjourned to the Hoop, a tavern near Gray’s Inn. After descending a staircase with his sword drawn, Bray fatally wounded Skeffington and Skeffington struke back with his own weapon. Both men died on the spot.






Margaret Cholmeley was the daughter of Sir Roger Cholmeley of Kinthorpe and Roxby, Yorkshire (d. April 28, 1538) and Catherine Constable (c.1498-c.1585). She married Sir Henry Gascoigne of Sedbury, Yorkshire and Ravensworth, Durham (d. October 28, 1558). Their children included Richard (d.1605), Margaret (d.1567), Henry, and Thomas, the youngest, (b.1558). Her sister Jane (d. before December 1558) was at that time married to Henry Neville, 5th earl of Westmorland (1525-February 10, 1564), as his second wife. After her death and that of Sir Henry, Margaret first lived with and then married her brother-in-law. The wedding took place before June 21, 1560, before the publication of the Table of Kindred included in the Book of Common Prayer (1563), which might have prevented the earl from marrying two sisters. Their children were Margaret and Elizabeth, both living in 1563, when Westmorland’s will, dated August 18, 1563, left Margaret a yearly income of £100, all the plate she’d owned at the time of their marriage, and a gelding named Gray Wycliffe. Only Westormland’s first two wives are shown in effigy with him in a wooden memorial at Staindrop, Durham. Margaret was buried on April 2, 1570, in St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West, London.


ELIZABETH CHOLMLEY (d. November 24, 1583)
Elizabeth Cholmley or Cholmeley was the daughter of Sir Roger Cholmley of Ludgate, London and Highgate and Hampstead, Middlesex (c.1495-June 21, 1565), chief baron of the Exchequer and chief justice of the King’s Bench, and his wife Christian (d.1558). She married Sir Leonard Beckwith of Selby, Yorkshire (d. May 7, 1555 or 57). Their children were Roger (d. September 5, 1586), Francis, Frances, and Elizabeth. According to the History of Parliament entry for her father, she was a widow contemplating a second marriage when he made his will in April 1565. She and her late sister Frances’s son, John Russell (1551-1593), were coheirs, but the will contained the provision that if Elizabeth married Christopher Kerne (sic), her share of the estate would be administered by trustees. Elizabeth married Christopher Kenn or Kenne of Kenn Court, Somerset (d. January 21, 1593), but some sources give the date of their wedding as April 19, 1559, in St. Martin Ludgate, well before Cholmley made his will. They had no children. In 1589, the Inquisition Post Mortem of Elizabeth’s son and heir, Roger Beckwith, itemized her share of the Cholmley estate. Among other properties, she had owned messuages and tenements in London, Holborn, Hampsted, Essex, Surrey, and Kent.


Lettice Cholmondeley was the daughter of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (1557-1601) and Mary Holford (1563-1626).  She married Sir Richard Grosvenor (1595-1646). They had a son, named Richard after his father, who was born c.1604. The identities of two sisters pictured in a well-known portrait with babies born on the same day, is not certainly established. It was long said that they were twins. It is likely the sisters depicted are Lettice and her sister Mary (d.1616), wife of Sir George Calveley. Portrait: c.1600-1610 in the Tate.



CECILY CHOWNE (d. January 28, 1543) (maiden name unknown)
The will of Cecily Chowne can be found at http://www.british-history.ac.uk in London Consistory Court Wills 1492-1547 under “Cecilye Clowgh.” The surname is spelled both Chowne and Chewne in the document, in which she names her brother (brother-in-law?), Nicholas Chowne (d.1569), as her executor. Cecily describes herself as “wedow of the parisshe of Seynt Bride the Virgin in Fletstret, being syke in my bodie.” She asked to be buried in the churchyard of St. Bride at the cross in the north side of the church, near her children. The bequests of most interest in the will are to her maid, Mary, who was to receive a good featherbed, a bolster, a pair of sheets, a pair of blankets, and a coverlet, and to Agnes Cokered (possibly Annys Cockerell?), who was to have a saddle and “all thinges belongyng to a horse for a woman, paying to my executor 6s. 8d.” The will was proved January 29, 1543. The document was “formally written, with decorative initial letter, on one sheet of paper.”

JANE CHOWNE (d.1611)
Jane Chowne was the youngest daughter of Nicholas Chowne or Chewne of London, Fairlawn (near Wrotham), Kent, and Aldenham, Hertfordshire (d. August 8, 1569) and his second wife, Elizabeth Scott (d.1576+). Jane’s father was a haberdasher, but the family lived at the brew house in Thames Street, her mother’s inheritance from her first husband, Evan Lloyd, until Chowne bought a house in Bush Lane in April 1558. Jane married John Puckering of Kew, Surrey and Weston, Hertfordshire (c.1544-April 30, 1596). Their children were one son and four daughters (according to the History of Parliament, which does not name them), or Thomas (d.1635/6), Elizabeth, Catherine, Henry (d.1645/6) and Dorothy (according to an online genealogy that gives Puckering’s birthplace as Flamborough, Yorkshire and Jane’s first name as Anne). In 1592, Puckering was knighted, appointed to the queen’s privy council, and named Lord Keeper. The queen visited Sir John and Lady Puckering twice at Kew. Her entertainment there in 1595 was costly and her hosts also presented her with a fan with a handle garnished with diamonds, a jewel valued at £400, and a pair of virginals. In addition, the queen walked off with a salt, a spoon, and a fork made of agate. It was Lady Puckering who broke the news of the earl of Huntingdon’s death to his widow in December 1595. According to Puckering, it cost him £1000 a year to serve as Lord Keeper and he complained that the job did not come with accommodations. As had Lord Keepers before him, he leased York House near Charing Cross. In spite of Puckering’s complaints about being short of money, he owned property in Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, and Lincolnshire at the time of his death. His successor as Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton, had to delay taking possession of York House until January 1596/7 because the lease Puckering had negotiated entitled Lady Puckering to remain in residence for up to a year after his death. Jane’s second husband (as his third wife) was William Combe of London and Warwick (June 1551-1610), a lawyer. In May of 1602, Combe sold 107 acres of arable land and twenty acres of pasture in Old Stratford to William Shakespeare for £320. Combe made his will on September 28, 1610 and it was proved June 1, 1611. He was buried October 5, 1610. He had already made provision for Jane with her jointure, giving her the lease of lands at Alvechurch and property in Warwick. She was buried in St. Mary’s Church in Warwick on July 15, 1611.

Christina of Denmark was the daughter of Christian II, deposed king of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (1481-1559) and Isabella of Austria (July 18, 1501-January 19, 1526). In 1553, she married Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan (February 4, 1495-October 24, 1535). In 1538, she was considered as a prospective bride for Henry VIII and was at the court at Brussels when Hans Holbein the Younger painted her portrait. This likeness, in which Christina was said to resemble Henry’s former mistress, Margaret Shelton, convinced the king that she should be queen, but negotiations were not successful. Henry wanted Christina to be named heir to Denmark, but she was second in line behind her older sister, Dorothea. Christina was not enthusiastic about the match, although she would have married Henry if the Emperor had commanded it. In 1541, she married Francis I, duke of Lorraine (August 23, 1517-June 12, 1545). Their children were Charles III, duke of Lorraine (February 18, 1543-May 14, 1608), Renata (April 20, 1544-May 22, 1602), and Dorothea (May 24, 1545-June 2, 1621). Christina became active in politics after her husband’s death, serving as her son’s regent. She visited England in 1557, during the reign of Mary Tudor, to try to arrange a marriage between Elizabeth Tudor and the duke of Savoy. Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain, was said to have been in love with Christina. In 1558, Christina helped bring about a peace between Philip and King Henri II of France with the Treaty of Chateau-Cambresis. From 1561, she styled herself queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. According to Sarah Gristwood’s Game of Queens, Christina’s elder daughter served as governor of Siena and the younger was regent of the Tyrol. Portraits: aside from the Holbein portrait, there are at least three others, one as a baby in “The Children of King Christian of Denmark” (NOTE: an almost identical engraving is elsewhere identified as the children of Henry VII of England) and two others as duchess of Lorraine.

MERIAL CHRISTMAS (d.1553+) (maiden name unknown)
Before 1509, Merial (or Muriel) married John Christmas of Colchester, Essex (d.c.1552), a wealthy merchant, as his second wife. They at least two sons, including George (d. February 23, 1566). At some point she was a member of the household of Catherine of Aragon. At the end of July 1553, on her way to London to claim the throne, Mary Tudor stayed at Merial’s house in Colchester. It was probably at about the same time that Merial and her son went into litigation over the terms of John Christmas’s will. Among other things, he had left movables to the value of 1000 marks.

ALICE CHRISTOPHER (d.1529+) (maiden name unknown)
Alice was the wife of William Christopher and, apparently, the mistress of Thomas Trethurffe. When Trethurffe wrote his will on September 20, 1528 (proved October 26, 1529), he had a legitimate daughter, Elizabeth, who was married to John Vivian (d.1562), but he left Alice all his tin-works in Cornwall for life, the rents of numerous properties in Cornwall, half his boat and seine net, two feather beds, two flock beds, and the residue of the goods and stuff within the house he had, apparently, already given her. His corn and cattle were to be divided between Alice and his son-in-law. He made them both his executors.

DOROTHY CHUDLEIGH (before 1589-1640+)
Dorothy Chudleigh was the daughter of John Chudleigh of Ashton, Devon (1564-1589) and Elizabeth Speake. Her father was lost at sea on an expedition to raid Peru for treasure. He had borrowed heavily to finance the venture and although his widow was granted administration of the estate in 1590, she later renounced it in favor of a creditor. Dorothy married Sir Reginald Mohun of Boconnoc, Cornwall (c.1565-December 26, 1639) as his third wife. Their children were Reginald (c.1603-1642), Bridget, Dorothy, Margaret (d.1670), Ferdinand, George, and Penelope (b.1609). Mohun wrote his will on January 14, 1638/9 and it was proved April 30, 1640. Dorothy was named executor. Portrait: double portrait with her husband, c.1602-5.





AMY CLARKE (d.1581)
Amy Clarke was the daughter of Valentine Clarke or Clerke (d.c.1540) and Elizabeth Brydges (c.1510-1568). She married Edmund Horne of Sarsdon, Oxfordshire (c.1490-1553), a gentleman pensioner. They had one daughter, Elizabeth (c.1549-1599). By 1559, she married Sir James Mervyn or Marvyn of Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire (1529-May 1, 1611). They had one daughter, Lucy (c.1565-1609/10). Amy Mervyn or Marvin is found on lists of ladies at court in 1558/9 and 1567/8. She used her influence there when her daughter Elizabeth sought to divorce her husband in the late 1570s.






CLAUDE OF FRANCE (October 14, 1499-July 20, 1524)
Claude of France was the daughter of King Louis XII (1462-January 1, 1515) and Anne of Brittany (1477-January 11, 1514). Under the laws of the time, she could inherit her mother’s duchy but not her father’s kingdom. She married the nearest male heir, who became Francis I (1494-1547) upon Louis’s death. Their children were Louise (1515-1517), Charlotte (1516-1524), François, duke of Brittany (1517-1536), Henri II (1519-1559), Madeleine, queen of Scotland (1520-1537), Charles (1522-1545), and Marguerite, duchess of Savoy (1523-1574). Religious, moral, small in stature, and suffering from scoliosis that caused her to have a hunched back, Claude kept very much in the background of her husband’s glamorous and loose-living court, but her household is alleged to have been the training ground for two girls who were to have an impact on English history—Mary and Anne Boleyn. There is some debate about when (or if) Sir Thomas Boleyn’s daughters went to France and if they arrived together. One or both may first have gone to the court of Archduchess Margaret. One or both may have arrived in France in the retinue of Mary Tudor when she married Claude’s father. Mary, probably the elder, was once generally accepted to have been one of King Francis’s mistresses before returning to England, marrying, and beginning an affair with Henry VIII, but recent scholars have called this story into question. Anne’s time in France passed quietly and chastely, but when she returned to England, she also caught King Henry’s eye. King Francis’s second wife was Eleanor of Austria (aka Leonor of Castile) (November 15, 1498-February 25, 1558), eldest child of Archduke Philip of Austria and Juana of Castile, widow of Manuel of Portugal (d. December 13, 1521), who married Francis on July 4, 1530.

ALICE CLAVER (d.1489) (maiden name unknown)
Alice was the second wife of Richard Claver (d. November 1456), a merchant and adventurer. They had one son who precedeased her. As a silkwoman, she supplied silk to Edward IV and Richard III and red ribbons for the coronation of Henry VII. Claver leased a house in Catte Street from the Mercers from 1450 and Alice renewed the lease for another thirty-two years after his death at a rent of £8 a year. It had formerly belonged to a mercer, John Abbott, whose wife was also a silkwoman. Alice may have been one of her apprentices. Her own apprentice, Katherine Champion, was Alice’s heir. Katherine married Thomas Miles, another mercer. Miles held the lease on the Catte Street house in 1501. Other silkwomen in Alice Claver’s circle were Alice Boothe, who married William Pratte, and Anne Hagour, who married William Banknot. Biography: Anne F. Sutton, “Alice Claver, Silkwoman (d.1489)” in Medieval London Widows 1300-1500, edited by Caroline M. Barron and Anne F. Sutton.

Dorothy Clayton was a prostitute who was arrested in London for wearing men’s clothing in public. The formal charge against her in the Aldermen’s Court was that “contrary to all honesty and womanhood” she went “about the City appareled in man’s attire.” Further, she “abused her body with sundry persons and lived an incontinent life.” The judgment against her, dated July 3, 1575, ordered that she was “to stand on the pillory for two hours in men’s apparell” on Friday, after which she was to be imprisoned in Bridewell “until further order.”

Margaret Cleefe married Richard Barnes in St. Margaret’s, Westminster on November 22, 1551. According to the research done by Bernard Capp in “Long Meg of Westminster: A Mystery Solved,” Notes & Queries 45, 302-4 (1998), Margaret Barnes was probably the Westminster prostitute known as “Long Meg.” Most of the Long Meg stories and jests, which were published over a forty year period, are pure fiction, including the anonymous biography The Life of Long Meg of Westminster (c.1590). This fictional character “a gyant-woman” or Amazon from Lancashire, came to London during the reign of Henry VIII, disguised herself as a man to go with the army to Boulogne in 1544, and later married a soldier with whom she set up a lodging house in Islington that was really a brothel. Margaret Cleefe Barnes ran an alehouse as a front for a brothel. In May 1561, she voluntarily appeared before the Bridewell Governors to dispute charges that she was a bawd. She was identified as “Margaret Barnes otherwise called Long Meg” and her protestations of innocence were not believed. A woman named Elizabeth Lethermore was convicted of “fornication with one George Ratcliffe of Cheapside at Long Meg’s house.” On May 19, 1561, Ellen Colyer testified that Meg ran “a very vile house” and gave details of her experiences there. By 1562, Meg had left Westminster for Redriff (Rotherhide), but she once again came to the attention of the autorities when a young man named Zachary Marshall, the son of the matron of Bridewell, fell in love with one of her girls, a whore named Ellen Remnaunt, and proposed to marry her. The previous August, Ellen had given birth to a stillborn child and with the help of its father, Christopher Langthorne, Doctor of Physick, had burned the body to conceal it.


DOROTHY CLEMENT (c.1532-1578+ )
Dorothy Clement was the daughter of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6, 1570). In about 1549, she went into exile with her family, living first in Bruges, then Mechelin, and finally Louvain, where they settled by 1551. Dorothy and her sisters were educated at the Flemish Augustinian Cloister of St. Ursula in Louvain. Dorothy became a nun in the Order of Poor Clares, where she was probably the only Englishwoman in a Flemish community. In 1578, Dorothy joined her younger sister Margaret at St. Ursula’s. For more information, see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 117-120.

Margaret Clement was the daughter of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6, 1570). She went into exile in Flanders with her family at a young age and she and her sisters were educated at the Flemish Augustinian Cloister of St. Ursula in Louvain. She became a nun there in 1557. In 1569 she was elected prioress, a post she held for the next thirty-eight years. The fact that she was English attracted many English Catholic girls to St. Ursula’s during those years. After she retired, the English sisters formed their own house, St. Monica’s, in Louvain. Thirteen years after her death, Elizabeth Shirley described her as “a firebrand to enkindle in me the love of God.” Biography: Elizabeth Shirley, The Life of Our Most Reverend Mother Margrit Clement (1626); Oxford DNB entry under “Clement, Margaret” (with portrait); Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558.


WINIFRED CLEMENT (1527-July 1553)
Winifred Clement was the eldest of five daughters of John Clement (c.1500-1572) and Margaret Gigs (1509-July 6, 1570). In 1544, she married William Rastell (1508-1565). He was a wealthy older man, first a printer, then a lawyer, who owned a house, Skales Inn, and two messuages in Maiden Lane, and seven other messuages in other parts of London. These properties and all his goods were seized when Rastell fled London on December 21, 1549 for religious reasons. He took his entire household to Louvain. Winifred died there of a fever and was buried in the church of St. Pierre.



Elizabeth Clere was one of the four daughters of Sir Robert Clere of Ormsby, Norfolk (c.1452-August 10, 1529) and his first wife, Anne Hopton (d. January 23, 1505/6). Her first husband was John Bedingfield, about whom little is know. She married Sir Robert Peyton of Isleham, Cambridgeshire (1467-March 18, 1517/18). Their children were Robert (1498-August 1, 1550), John (c.1500-October 22, 1558), Edward , William (d. yng.), Margaret (d.1549), and Elizabeth (d.1578). The family lived at Isleham. Peyton made his will on March 18, 1518 and it was proved on April 28, 1518. His widow was named as co-executor along with Dr. William Butts of Cambridge. Elizabeth contributed £140 to the Loan of 1522. At some point between 1518 and 1529, Elizabeth and her sister-in-law Jane Peyton Langley Ringeley, were sued in Chancery over the manors of Knowlton, Shrynklyng, Thornton (in Eastry) Northcourt, Tykenherst, Sandown, Bardon, Leghes, Wanston, Savernhall, Oldbury, and Shortley in Coventry. The will of her stepmother, Alice Boleyn Clere, dated October 28, 1538 and proved January 23, 1539, left Lady Peyton “my beads of anettes (?) with paternosters of gold.” This was probably Elizabeth, although by that time there was a second Lady Peyton, her daughter-in-law, Frances Haselden (d.1581), who had married the younger Robert Peyton in 1516. The memorial in Isleham shows Robert, Elizabeth, and six children, but no date of death has been inscribed for Elizabeth. This has led to numerous incorrect guesses. She wrote her will on November 21, 1545 and it was proved on April 6, 1546. A transcript of this will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com.





MARY CLERKE (d.1622+)
Mary Clerke or Clerk was the daughter of Robert Clerke of Grafton, Northamptonshire and his wife Alice. She had a brother named Lewis Clerke. She was a waiting gentlewoman to Elizabeth Stafford, Lady Stafford when she married Sir Clement Edmonds or Edmondes (1567/8-October 18, 1622) on February 15, 1598. Their children were Charles (1603-1652), Elizabeth, and Mary. Edmonds was the translator of Caesar’s Commentaries and clerk to the Privy Council under James I. They had a house in St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Portrait: c.1605-10, formerly identified as Queen Elizabeth I by Zuccaro and elsewhere as Elizabeth of Bohemia.

ANNE CLIFFORD (January 30, 1590-March 22, 1676)
Anne Clifford was the daughter of George Clifford, 3rd earl of Cumberland (1558-1605) and Margaret Russell (1560-1616). Her tutor, Samuel Daniel, dedicated poems to her and she inspired many others in the course of a long life. She recorded her impressions, at thirteen, of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession. She married Richard Sackville, Lord Buckhurst and earl of Dorset (1589-1624). Their children were three sons who died young, Margaret, and Isabella. Her second husband was Philip Herbert, earl of Montgomery and Pembroke (1584-1650). Biographies: Richard T. Spence, Lady Anne Clifford; Oxford DNB entry under “Clifford, Anne.” Portraits: there are many.


Catherine Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st earl of Cumberland (1493-1542) and Margaret Percy (d.1540). In about 1530, she married John, 8th baron Scrope of Bolton (c.1510-June 22, 1549). Their children were Margaret (b.c.1531), Henry, 9th baron (c.1534-June 13, 1592), John (d. May 10, 1592), George, Edward (c.1540-1580), Elizabeth (1542-November 6, 1620), Thomas, Eleanor, Catherine, Bridget, and Joan (b.1549). Her second husband was Sir Richard Cholmley of Cholmondeley of Roxby, Thornton-on-the-Hill, and Whitby, Yorkshire (1516-May 17, 1583). Their children were Henry (1556-1616), John, Catherine, Margaret, and Ursula (d.1580+). According to Roland Connelly’s The Women of the Catholic Resistance in England 1540-1690, they also had another son, Roger, who was disinherited by his father. Lady Scrope was a leading recusant in the north. During her eldest son’s early years, he lived with her at Roxby. From 1578-1598, she lived at Abbey House, Whitby, said to be a way station for missionary priests. According to the History of Parliament entry for Sir Richard Cholmley, he was consistently unfaithful to her. Portrait: a portrait of a lady thought to be Catherine Clifford, Lady Scrope, was offered at auction in 2010.


Elizabeth Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st earl of Cumberland (1493-1542) and Margaret Percy (d.1540). Her father made his will in 1540, when three of his four daughters were already married. He stipulated that if Elizabeth wed an earl or the son and heir of an earl, her dowry would be £1000, but if she wed a baron or the son of a baron, she would only get 1000 marks. If she married a mere knight, her portion would be 800 marks. At some point after this, Although online genealogies persist in saying that Elizabeth married Sir Christopher Metcalfe of Nappa (August 1, 1513-May 9, 1574) in 1533 at the age of nineteen, their marriage could not have taken place until after 1542. Their four sons and two daughters included James (d.1579/80).




MABEL CLIFFORD (c.1492-August 1551)
Mabel Clifford was the daughter of Henry, 10th baron Clifford (c.1454-1523) and Anne St. John (c.1456-c.1506). In November 1513, she married William Fitzwilliam (c.1490-October 15, 1542), a gentleman usher who was later (1537) created earl of Southampton. The king attended the wedding and gave the bride a manor in Staffordshire and an annuity of £100. Mabel was at court as a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon and rode in the first chariot in Queen Jane’s funeral procession. She was named an executor of her husband’s will in 1542 and specifically charged with continuing the annuity of £100 to his niece, Mabel Browne. He left each of his wife’s gentlewomen £6 13s. 4d. “over and besides” two year’s wages. Portrait: unknown artist and date.

MARGARET CLIFFORD (1540-September 29, 1596)
Margaret Clifford was the daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd earl of Cumberland (1517-January 2, 1570) and Eleanor Brandon (1517-November 1547). She was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII. Under the terms of Henry VIII’s will, she was next in line to inherit the throne of England after the three Grey sisters. John Dudley, duke of Northumberland proposed to marry her either to his son, Guildford, or to his brother, Sir Andrew Dudley, but Cumberland refused the match and took no part in the attempt to make Lady Jane Grey queen. On February 7, 1555, Margaret married Henry Stanley, Lord Strange (September 1531-September 25, 1593) at Westminster. Queen Mary gave her the confiscated Dudley jewels and robes as a wedding gift. They had four sons: Edward and Francis, who died young, Ferdinando, 5th earl of Derby (1559-April 16, 1594), and William, 6th earl (1561-September 29, 1642). By 1557, Margaret was openly asserting that Lady Jane’s treason excluded Jane’s sisters, Catherine and Mary Grey, from the succession, thus making Margaret Queen Mary’s heiress presumptive. She excluded Elizabeth Tudor because Elizabeth was not a Catholic. Lady Strange was, but that did little to increase support for her claim. The “poor esteem” in which Lord and Lady Strange were held kept Philip II from backing them. Early in Elizabeth Tudor’s reign, the poet John Harington chose Margaret as his ideal of a royal lady. Robert Greene dedicated The Mirror of Modesty to her, and Thomas Lupton’s dedication to A Thousand Notable Things and Sundry Sortes called her “the affable Lady Margaret,” even though she was not generally regarded as a likeable woman. In 1565, Margaret was at court as the queen’s trainbearer. She was a lady of the Privy Chamber from 1568-1570. Lady Margaret Clifford should not be confused with the other Lady Margaret, Margaret Douglas, who was also one of the queen’s cousins. Margaret Clifford was never in the Tower for treason. Known to be a spendthrift, Margaret quarreled with her father-in-law, the earl of Derby, over money matters. In 1558, she borrowed £300 from Mrs. Calfhell, her lady-in-waiting. By 1566, the family finances were stretched by the weddings of two of Lord Strange’s sisters. Each received a dowry of £1500. At about the same time, Margaret had run up debts of £1500 and her husband was forced to sell land to pay her creditors. Eventually the couple separated, the final rift coming when he broke up the household at Gaddesden. Margaret claimed that he’d offered one of her ladies £200 to spy on her. While Lord Strange consoled himself with a mistress, Jane Halsall, by whom he eventually had four acknowledged children, Lady Strange developed a dangerous interest in alchemy, to which she had been introduced by her father. According to William Camden, she consulted with wizards “with a vain credulity, and out of I know not what ambitious hope.” Because of this, she lost the queen’s favor. In 1577, the queen visited Margaret, by then countess of Derby, in Isleworth, Middlesex. In 1578, she was accused of employing a “magician,” actually a well-known physician named Dr. Randall, to cast spells to discover how long Queen Elizabeth would live. According to one source, Randall was hanged and Margaret was banished from court and spent the remaining eighteen years of her life in the custody of a series of keepers at her house at Isleworth. An anecdote included in Mary Hill Cole’s The Portable Queen, however, suggests that Margaret enlisted the help of Sir Christopher Hatton in 1583 and was able to meet with the queen and regain her favor. Throughout this period, Margaret’s debts continued to mount. In 1579, the Privy Council ordered the Lord Mayor of London to pressure her creditors to stop hounding her. In May 1580, Margaret’s husband petitioned to be allowed to sell lands to pay her debts. In June 1581, the Privy Council appointed a commission to find ways to reduce the couple’s debts. In December 1581, the Privy Council ordered the earl to pay Margaret her pension. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth finally approved the sale of Derby lands and Margaret proceeded to sell off land in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Staffordshire valued at £88 8s.4d/year. With a twenty year purchase, that meant she probably received £1,768 6s.10d. In 1584-93, her husband and sons borrowed at least £8,732 13s.4d. against Derby holdings and sold more land for £3800. Portrait: one attributed to Hans Eworth c.1560 was long said to be Lady Strange but is more likely to be Margaret Wentworth.




ELIZABETH CLIFTON (c.1562-c.1598+)
Elizabeth Clifton was the daughter of Sir John Clifton of Barrington, Somerset (c.1542-c.1593) and Anne Stanley (1543-1591). She married Amias Bampfield of Poltimore and South Molton, Devon (c.1560-February 1626). Their six sons and two daughters included Jane (1586-before 1615), John (1588-1625+), James (d.1625+) and Dorothy (d.1615). The Bampfields were one of the wealthiest families in Devon in the sixteenth century. On September 22, 1602, when John Bampfield married Elizabeth Drake and Jane Bampfield married Francis Drake, each father settled £660 on his new daughter-in-law.



ANNE CLINTON (c.1546-1585)
Anne Clinton was the daughter of  Edward, 9th baron Clinton and earl of Lincoln (1512-January 16, 1585) and his second wife, Ursula Stourton (1518-September 4, 1551). In about 1563, she married William Ayscough or Askew of Stallingborogh, Yorkshire (1542-1585), the nephew of Anne Askew the martyr. Some accounts say they had no children. Others give them two sons, William (b.1580) and John (b.1583). One genealogy, inexplicably, gives Anne’s surname as Standingstone. At Yuletide in 1580, “the ladye Anne Askewe” presented Queen Elizabeth with “an ancker of goulde enamyled, with a small pearle pendante.” She is probably the Anne Askew the queen visited at Byfleet, Surrey in September 1582. Portrait: 1560, labeled Anne Ayscough and officially “unknown lady,” National Trust, Tatton Park, Cheshire.


Elizabeth Clinton was the daughter of Henry Clinton (1540-September 29, 1616), who succeeded his father as the earl of Lincoln in 1585. There is some confusion about the identity of Elizabeth’s mother. The History of Parliament entry for Clinton gives his first wife two sons and his second wife, Elizabeth Morison (1545-1611), two sons and a daughter. Some online genealogies therefore give Elizabeth a date of birth as 1589, but this seems unlikely given the date of her marriage, c.1597, to Sir Arthur Gorges of Chelsea, Middlesex (1557-October 10, 1625). If she was the daughter of Clinton’s first wife, Catherine Hastings (August 11, 1542-1580+), a possible birthdate is c.1574.  Or she may have been Clinton’s illegitimate daughter. Whoever her mother was, her marriage displeased both her father and Queen Elizabeth and as a result Gorges was imprisoned in the Fleet. They had either six sons and five daughters (according to the History of Parliament) or nine sons and three daughters. The latter list, from the online Tudor Place, which is not always accurate, includes: William (May 31, 1599-October 10, 1600), Timoleon (August 25, 1600-April 15, 1629), Arthur (1601-October 1, 1661), Dudley (c.1602-1667), Elizabeth (1604-May 5, 1675), Ferdinando, Egremont, Carew (c.1613-1667), Frances, Sarah, Henry, and Robert. The History of Parliamententry for Henry Clinton says Gorges claimed that Elizabeth died as a result of her father’s odious behavior toward her, but Gorges actually said this about his first wife, Douglas Howard, and her father, Viscount Bindon.


FRANCES CLINTON (1553-September 12, 1623)
Frances Clinton was the daughter of  Edward, 9th baron Clinton and earl of Lincoln (1512-January 16, 1585) and his second wife, Ursula Stourton (1518-September 4, 1551). She married Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547-February 21, 1594). They were the parents of two daughers, Elizabeth (1574-October 1617) and Catherine (1576-1654), and two sons, John and Charles, who died young. According to Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith’s unpublished PhD dissertation, All the Queen’s Women: the changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, Frances and her husband separated during the 1590s. She died at Woburn Abbey, home of her daughter Catherine. Portraits: 1577 by John Bettes the Younger, formerly thought to be Dorothy Bray, in the Paul Mellon Collection;1589 by Hieronimo Custodis. When her son-in-law, the 4th earl of Bedford, died in 1639, he left instructions to erect a tomb for Frances at Chenies, Buckinghamshire and allocated £40 for the project. It shows her reclining on one elbow and reading a book.




ANNE CLITHEROW (1574-August 3, 1622)
Anne Clitherow was the daughter of John Clitherow and Margaret Middleton (1552/3-x. March 25, 1586). At about the time of Anne’s birth, her mother converted to Catholicism. When Margaret Clitherow was arrested on March 10, 1586 (her fourth arrest), Anne and her three siblings were taken from their home and held separately. After Margaret’s execution, they were returned to their father. He later remarried. Anne ran away from home in about 1589. On July 12, 1593, she was in Lancaster Gaol. Following her release, she went into exile on the Continent and in around 1597 entered St. Ursula’s in Louvain to become a nun.


Marion Colthorpe (http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/The_Elizabethan_Court_Day_by_Day) identifies Elizabeth Clive as the daughter of Robert Clive, Clerk of the Cheque to Edward VI. She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber in January 1559 but died later that same year. She made her will on July 18, 1559, naming as executors Elizabeth, Lady Clinton and John Baptist Castilion. She died while the court was at Otford, Kent (July 21-August 2) and the funeral, held at Otford Church, was paid for by the queen. She never married.




Dorothy Clopton was the daughter of John Clopton of Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk (d.1494) and Alice Darcy. She married Thomas Curson of Billingford, Norfolk (d.1511/12). Their son was John Curson of Beckhall/Beek Hall and Belaugh, Norfolk (c.1483-c.1547). Dorothy is memorialized in a stained glass window at Long Melford.

JOYCE CLOPTON (1562-1637)
Joyce Clopton was the daughter of William Clopton of Clopton, Warwickshire (1537-April 18, 1592), sometime owner of New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Anne Griffith. On May 31, 1580, she married George Carew, later baron Clopton and earl of Totnes (May 29, 1555-March 27, 1629). They had one son, Peter, who died before his parents and (possibly) a daughter, Anne. As Lady Carew, Joyce accompanied her husband to Ireland in 1574. He eventually served as Lord President of Munster. She was also a lady in waiting to both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne. She was buried in the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford. Portrait: 1616, attributed to the school of Marcus Gheerearts the younger, currently owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

MARY CLOPTON (d.1584/5)
Mary Clopton was the eldest daughter of Richard Clopton of Fore Hall and Groton and Long Melford, Suffolk and his first wife, Mary or Margaret Bozun. She inherited lands in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She married Sir William Cordell of Long Melford (1522-May 17, 1581), a lawyer. As master of rolls, Cordell and his wife lived at Rolls House, Chancery Lane, London. All four of their children, two sons and two daughters, died young. The Cordells entertained Queen Elizabeth at Melford Hall in 1578. In 1580, Cordell bought the manor of Fakeham, Suffolk, sold after his death for £4000. His will, dated April 18, 1581, left Mary £200 in plate and household stuff, together with her jewels and apparel, but he named his sister, Jane Alington, and a friend, George Carey, as executors. Mary made her will February 2, 1584 and it was proved October 13, 1585. Her youngest half sister, also named Mary, who married Edward King of Lincolnshire, clerk to Sir William Cordell, was Mary’s executrix. Portrait: date unknown.





ANNE COBHAM (1467-June 26, 1526)
Anne Cobham was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cobham of Sterborough (d. April 26, 1471) and Anne Stafford (1446-April 14, 1472), daughter of the 1st duke of Buckingham. As a very young child, Anne became de jure baroness Cobham and was married to Edward Blount, 2nd baron Mountjoy (1464-December 1, 1475). In 1477, she married Edward Borough, 2nd baron Borough (or Burgh) of Gainsborough (c.1461-August 20, 1529). They had two sons, Thomas, 3rd baron (1483-February 28, 1549/1550) and Henry. By 1510, he was judged “a lunatic with lucid intervals.”


NAN COBHAM (d.1536+)
According to a letter from John Husee, viscount Lisle’s man of business in London, dated 24 May 1536, “the first accusers” against Queen Anne Boleyn were “the Lady Worcester, and Nan Cobham and one maid more.” Lady Worcester was Elizabeth Browne, wife of the earl of Worcester, but “Nan Cobham” is more difficult to identify. As M. St. Clare Byrne points out in The Lisle Letters, it seems unlikely that Husee would refer to Anne Brooke (née Bray), Lady Cobham so familiarly. So who is the “Mrs. Cobham” among the queen’s gentlewomen who received a New Year’s gift from the king in 1534? Is she the same “Anne Cobham” who was one of Katherine Parr’s gentlewomen in 1547? Or was that Anne Bray? There was an Anne Cobham, widow (not Anne Bray) who, in 1540, was granted some of the lands formerly belonging to Syon Abbey. There was also a Cobham family in Dingley, Hampshire. An Anne Cobham from there married John Norwich (c.1497-before 1553) around 1518. And yet another Anne Cobham (1467-June 26, 1526) was the wife of Edward, 2nd Lord Borough. Just to complicate matters, members of the Brooke family, sometimes used Cobham as a surname. The practice was not unique. It is also found in the Fiennes/Clinton, West/de la Warr, and Sutton/Dudley families. Retha Warnicke, in The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn, suggests that Nan Cobham may have been the queen’s midwife. In the January 1534 list of Anne’s ladies, Mrs. Cobham is listed eighth after the “mistress of the maidens” and the seven names before hers are those of maidens, not married women, but that may or may not be significant.

MARY COCKER (d.1587+) (maiden name unknown)
Mary Cocker was the wife of a Hertfordshire laborer. In 1587, “a bright thing of long proportion without shape, clothed as it were in white silk . . . passed by her bedside where she lay.” This happened several times, until she worked up enough courage to challenge it. According to the state papers, she demanded: “In the name of God, what art thou and why troublest thou me?” The “vision or ghost” then ordered Mary to go to Queen Elizabeth and tell her that she must not receive anything “of any stranger, for there is a jewel in making for her . . . which if she receive, will be her destruction.” As incentive, the apparition added that if Mary did not do this, she would “die the cruelest death that ever died any.” Since we have a record of this remarkable conversation, it is apparent that Mary did tell her story to someone in authority. Whether the warning was ever passed on to the queen is unknown. If would have been difficult to monitor all the gifts of jewelry Elizabeth I received as gifts.




Elizabeth Codingham was the daughter and coheir of Henry Codingham or Coddenham of London. On October 3, 1587, in Burham, Buckinghamshire, she married William Paulet of Ewalden, Somerset and Winchester. They had two daughters, one of whom, Elizabeth (c.1588-1655), married Oliver St. John, future earl of Bolingbroke. Paulet died before 1590. His widow married Richard Fiennes of Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire (1555-February 1613). They had no children. Broughton Castle was used in 1590 and 1592 to confine recusants “of quality and calling,” although Elizabeth was a Catholic sympathizer. In 1592, she and Fiennes agreed to “live divided by consent.” His income was to be used to pay his debts and improve his estates. She could spend her portion of £400/year on herself and her two daughters by her first marriage. In a letter Fiennes wrote to Lord Burghley, he reckoned his own income at £1,200/year. Unfortunately, he owed £3,900. Apparently the couple remained on friendly terms. When Fiennes, who was created Baron Saye and Sele in 1603, made his will on July 17, 1612, he was still in debt to the tune of £1,500 but he left Elizabeth all the goods in his house at St. Bartholomew’s, Smithfield, London.







ANNE COKE (1585-1671/2)
Anne Coke was the daughter of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) and Bridget Paston (1565-1598). She grew up in Elsing, Norfolk. She had a dowry of £3000 and on September 13, 1601 married Ralph Sadlier (1579-1661). The couple lived at Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire but the marriage was childless and unhappy. Anne remained close to her father and visited him when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1622. She was an avid letter writer, often debating matters of religion (she was Anglican), and donated her letters, notebooks, coins, and several illuminated manuscripts to the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Sadlier [née Coke], Anne.”


CHRISTIAN COKE (d. July 1566+)
Christian Coke was the daughter of Humphrey Coke of London. By March 1521, she had married John Russell of Westminster (d. July 1, 1566), master carpenter of the King’s Works. They had two sons and two daughters. In his will, written December 19, 1564, Russell left his wife an inn called the Christopher, which had been her father’s, an adjacent tenement, another tenement in Little Sanctuary, and the remaining years on his leases, which included the rectory of St. Margaret’s, Westminster. She proved the will in July 1566.



ANNYS COKERELL (d.1542+) (maiden name unknown)
Annys (or Agnes) Cokerell (or Cockerell) appears in the correspondence preserved as The Lisle Letters (edited by M. St. Clare Byrne) in 1537. She was a midwife, married to Edmund Cockerell, a gunner and a smith who hoped for a post in Calais. Sir Thomas Palmer (d.1543/4) wrote to Lord Lisle on September 3, 1537: “My lord, Cokerell’s wife hath been with me, and would gladly see my lady. She thinketh she can do my lady much good. If she could so do, it were well done she might come over.” Annys herself then wrote to Lady Lisle: “To my right honourable lady, I recommend me unto your good ladyship, daily praying to Jesu for your prosperity and health and your heart’s desire, to the pleasure of God. My Lady Wyllyame, my Lord Admiral’s wife, my Lady Pawlete, with many other worshipful women hath wished me many times with your ladyship, and so have I myself, that I might have been with your ladyship one or ij hours. I do not doubt but I could have caused your ladyship to have been in much quietness ere this time, as it is not unknown I have done many in such case. My heart and prayer is with your ladyship and my body at your commandment. Mine own good lady, pardon me of my rude writing, and accept my poor heart toward your ladyship, and for the love of God and in the way of charity to be good to my poor husband. Wrytyn by yowre owne to her lytyll powere, Annys Cokerell, dwellyng in lytyll Allhellowes. Madame I sent youre ladyshype a boxe of manays Cryste by thys brynger.” This last was a cordial for those who were ill. In November 1537, Annys wrote again to Lady Lisle: “Right honorable and my special good Lady. In my most humble manner I recommend me unto your good ladyship glad to hear of health and welfare which Jhesu preserve & etc. Good lady the cause of my writing unto your ladyship at this time is that it might please you to speak to my good lord your husband for my poor husband to be good lord to him for he is a nagyd [aged] man And hath lost much time which God knoweth he hath little need of it for it is showed me by worshipful folks that there be so many formal grants before that it is but folly to tarry there for him. Wherefore I do intend to make a new suit to get him some living elsewhere. And for your good will I do thank your ladyship and shall be your daily Bedewoman for now he doth tarry there to his great cost and charge this half years’ day to our great cost. Mine own good lady I beseech you to pardon me at this time of my Rude writing. No more to your ladyship at this time but Almighty Jesu have you in his blessed keeping. By your Bedwoman Angnes Cocked mydwyff dwelling in lytyll allholoys in temys street.” The interpretation Byrne gives is that Cokerell had been in Calais for six months, lobbying to fill the position of gunner. It seems that he was unsucessful and returned to London and that his wife never came to Calais. However, in 1541 and 1542, when Sir Thomas Palmer was a prisoner in the Tower of London and his house and belongings in Calais were confiscated, he apparently left some of his clothing in the keeping of Annys Cokerell. Records remain of depositions taken in Calais as to the value of gowns Annys then gave to Elizabeth Dewe. Dewe pawned them for £16. Annys may be the “Agnes Cokered” who received the bequest of a saddle and “all things belonging to a horse for a woman, paying the executor 6s. 8d” in the will of Cecily Clewne in January 1543.

DOROTHY COLBY (1565-April 5, 1621)
Dorothy Colby was the daughter of Thomas Colby of Sherfield-upon-Ludden, Hampshire (c.1530-March 5, 1588), a “puritan west country lawyer (History of Parliament) and Elizabeth Gilbert. She was named her father’s heir at the inquisition post mortem held on December 11, 1588. In 1583, she married John Tamworth of Leake, Lancashire (1562-February 17, 1594). He was a squire of the body to Queen Elizabeth. Less than two years after she was widowed, Dorothy Tamworth received a visit from a steward in the employ of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1546/7-November 16, 1596). Willoughby was newly a widower and was in the midst of a quarrel with his son-in-law and heir, who was refusing to help Willoughby settle his debts. The steward was under orders to find Willoughby a new wife. According to the Oxford DNB entry on Willoughby, the steward chose Dorothy, “an astute widow,” and Willoughby married her immediately. They lived in London and he lavished jewels and plate on her, but a mere fifteen months later, after a short illness, Willoughby died. His death was so sudden and his burial so rapid in St. Giles Cripplegate, that his family suspected he’d been poisoned. According to the entry for Michael Moleyns (d. May 14, 1615) in the History of Parliament, Moleyns, who was left in charge of Willoughby’s estates, and who may have been the second husband of Dorothy’s mother, was accused of conspiring to pass off the son of a countrywoman as Willoughby’s posthumous heir. Had Dorothy given birth to a son, he would have inherited the entire Willoughby estate. The child, however, was a daughter, Frances, born on May 3, 1597. Years of litigation with the children of her husband’s first wife followed, but Dorothy had a powerful ally. In October 1597, she married Philip, 3rd baron Wharton (June 23, 1555-March 26, 1625). He settled £1000 a year on her, £310 of which she immediately gave to Lord Chancellor Bacon to decide in her favor in a suit respecting her second husband’s estate. Ultimately, however, this third marriage proved unhappy. Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, in her unpublished PhD dissertation, All the Queen’s Women: the changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, says Dorothy separted from Wharton in the 1590s. In 1602, she was writing letters complaining of Lord Wharton’s ill-treatment.





Johanna Cole married Humphrey (aka Ambrose) Smith (d.1585). They had at least two children, Dorothy (1564-1639) and William. Ambrose Smith supplied Queen Elizabeth with velvet, silk, and camlet in 1577-8 and this has led some to speculate that Johanna was the Mrs. Smith who was a royal silkwoman. Ambrose held the lease on The Key in Cheapside from 1572 and Anne F. Sutton, in The Mercery of London, suggests that this was the site of his retail shop. His widow continued to live there until her death.

Margaret Cole of Lympne, near Hythe, is one of the subjects of an essay by Catherine Richardson (“A Very Fit Hat”) in Everyday Objects, edited by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson. She was the subject of two breach of promise cases in late 1560. The one Richardson details involved her implied promise to marry Henry Lyon of Challock. When they attended the St. George’s Day fair at Wye in 1559, accompanied by Margaret’s mother, Joanna, and her second husband, Valentyne Nott, they shopped for wedding clothes. Depositions were taken from various vendors and interested parties, including a woman from Elmstead with the remarkable name of Celestiana Dorman.

THOMASINE COLE (c.1519-December 1586)
Thomasine Cole was the daughter of Thomas Cole of Slade, Devon (1489-January 31, 1541) and his wife Joan. She married Roger Grenville of Stowe (d. July 19, 1545). Their children were Richard (June 5, 1541-September 2, 1591), Charles (1542-1544), and John (d. yng). Roger was Captain of the Mary Rose and went down with her in the Solent. Thomasine married Thomas Arundell of Leigh (1514-March 3, 1574), a younger son of John Arundell of Trerice. Their children were Alexander (b.1549), John, Robert (d.1600), Thomas, Digory, Mary, Jane, Katherine, and Elizabeth. In 1547, her former father-in-law, Sir Richard Grenville (d.1550), sold them “the barton of Clifton in Landulph parish, with 100 acres of land and a fishery next the seashore there.” A. L. Rowse, in Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge, suggests that it is likely young Richard spent his childhood with his mother and stepfather at Clifton. Thomasine was buried in Poughill.





Elizabeth Collins was a chamberer to Queen Catherine of Aragon. On October 18, 1511, she received a gown of damask furred with miniver pure and edged with lettice. On November 18, 1514, she received eleven yards of russet damask with edge, cuffs, and collar furred with mink and lined with calabre. Later she received a special grant of clothing toward her marriage: eleven yards of russet satin, black satin for a kirtle, and crimson velvet, mink, and calabre for the kirtle’s hem.


ADRIAN COLMAN (d.1596+) (maiden name unknown)
Adrian was the wife of Nicholas Colman of Norwich (d.1586+), a surgeon. He appears to be the same Nicholas Colman who had ballads printed for him in London in 1586. In 1596, by then a widow, Adrian was granted a license to practice surgery in Norwich, although there were restrictions. According to a study done by Margaret Pelling and Charles Webster, ten women were licensed practitioners of various sorts of medicine in Norwich between 1570 and 1590, so Adrian was not unique.


ANNE COLTE (d.1535+)
Anne Colte became abbess of Wherwell in 1529, succeeding Avelene Cowdrey. In April 1534, she was asked to resign in return for a pension and the right to stay at Wherwell or move to any other religious house. Anne’s reply was that she would not resign until she had spoken to the king himself. The cause of her removal seems to have been political, but when she refused to cooperate, other charges were brought, linking her with John Stokesley, Bishop of London (1475-1539), who had been charged with adultery in 1507 but exonerated. Anne appeared before the Privy Council several times. In June 1534, a commission was appointed to look into the charges against her. The commission does not seem to have found any proof of scandal, but in September 1535, when she was offered a pension of £20 by Lord Cromwell’s agents, Anne resigned in favor of Morphita Kingsmill, Cromwell’s choice for the post of abbess.

JANE COLTE (d.1605+)
Jane Colte was the daughter of Henry Colte of Cavendish, Suffolk (d.1577) and Elizabeth Coningsby. Her aunt, also named Jane Colte, was the first wife of Sir Thomas More. Jane was brought up at Colt’s Hall near Sudbury. She married John le Hunte or Hunt (c.1537-May 16, 1605). Their children were George (d. January 18, 1650), Elizabeth (b.1566), another daughter, and four sons who died young. Much of her husband’s estate was left to her. Portrait: memorial brass at Little Bradley, Suffolk.

JOAN COLTE (c.1545-February 21, 1606)
Joan, also known as Agnes, Colte was the daughter of John Colte of Little Munden, Hertfordshire. She married a man named Brockhurst. On February 7, 1563, she married Richard Whitelocke or Whitlock (1533-1570), a London merchant. Their children included Edmund (February 10, 1564/5-1608), Richard (December 28, 1565-1624), John, and twins James (November 28, 1570-1632) and William, born posthumously. To provide for them, she married John Price, but he was a spendthrift. Joan placed her son James in the Merchant Taylor’s School when he was five. He became a judge and a renowned scholar.


Margaret (or Margharita) Compagni was the illegitimate daughter of Bartholomeo Compagni (April 23, 1503-April 27, 1561), a “Florentine Merchant Stranger” who arrived in London prior to December 1532 and received letters of denization on March 25, 1535. He had a house in Broad Street, London in the parish of St. Christopher-in-the-Stocks and a license to export broadcloth and import silk, wine, and other luxury goods. She married Lazarus Allen, illegitimate son of Sir John Allen, twice Lord Mayor of London. They do not appear to have had any children. On February 11, 1558, Margaret married Giovanni Battista (John Baptist) Castiglione or Castilion (c.1515- February 12, 1597/8) in St. Christopher-in-the-Stocks, London. Their children were Francis (May 1561-1638), Katherine (January 1563-April 1581), Valentine (February 1565-1640/1), Elizabeth (March 1566-d.yng); Elizabeth (b. March 1567), Anne (b. May 1568), Peter (November 1569-1600), Walter Baptiste (December 1573-January 18, 1659), Barbara (September 1574-August 24, 1641), Selina (b. January 1576), and Henry Baptiste (b. January 1580). Valentine was the queen’s godson. Margaret’s husband had been Italian tutor to Princess Elizabeth. When she became queen, he was appointed as one of her grooms of the privy chamber. Margaret is mentioned in her father’s will, made March 6, 1561 and proved June 15, 1561. According to Alan Haynes in “Italian Immigrants in England 1550-1603” (History Today, 1977) and other sources, Margaret was “mother” to the queen’s maids of honor at least from January 1582 until 1588. The queen granted Castiglione a number of valuable leases in Kent, Somerset, and Berkshire and he received Benham Valence and Speen, Berkshire in 1565. By then, Margaret’s father’s widow and his two legitimate children had moved back to Florence. In May 1583, Margaret and her second husband had to go to court over an annuity of £20 from Sir John Allen’s estate. This was challenged by Sir John’s illegitimate son, Sir Christopher Allen. In her second widowhood, Margaret continued to live near Benham Valence and in her will, dated June 22, 1621, she identifies herself as being “of Speen.” The will was proved November 2, 1622. She made her grandson, Peyton Castilion (son of her third son, Peter) her executor, apparently having become estranged from her eldest son Francis, who also used the surname Castilion.


ELIZABETH COMPTON (1489-June 3, 1536)
Elizabeth Compton was the daughter of Edmund Compton (1440-1493) and Joan Aylworth. She married Sir Walter Rodney, by whom she had a son, John (1506-December 25, 1549). In about 1528, she is said to have married Sir John Chaworth (c.1498-September 3, 1558). Since Elizabeth appears to be the only sister of Sir William Compton the courtier, this presents a small mystery. Court records make note of the marriage of a sister of William Compton in July 1511. Either the date usually given for Elizabeth’s second marriage is wrong, or there was another sister. She and Chaworth had no children. A plaque in St. Andrew’s Church, Backwell, Somerset gives her date of death and identifies her as the original founder of the chapel in which she is buried.







Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter of Sir Humphrey Coningsby (1458-June 2, 1534), a judge, and his first wife, Isabel Fereby (d.c.1490). In about1504, Elizabeth married Sir Richard Berkeley of Stoke Gifford, Gloucestershire (1470-1514). Their children were John (d. June 28, 1545), Maurice (c.1514-August 11, 1581), Mary, Anne, and Dorothy. Her second husband was Sir John FitzJames of Redlynch, Somerset (c.1479-c.1542), as his second wife. They had no children. In addition to Redlynch, FitzJames, who was Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, owned at least one house in Glastonbury. At her husband’s request, Elizabeth deposited plate with the abbot of Glastonbury as a guarantee for a cash advance of £20 for use in London. FitzJames made his will on October 23, 1538, stating in it that he was “weake and feble in bodye with age.” The will was not proved until May 12, 1542, making it uncertain exactly when he died, but a new chief justice was appointed in January 1539. In her will, Elizabeth left bequests to her Berkeley kin and asked to be buried at Bruton, Somerset, seat of her son Maurice.

Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter and coheir of Christopher Coningsby of Wallington, Norfolk (1517-September 10, 1547) and Anne Woodhouse (1520-1563). Her father was killed at the Battle of Musselburgh. On June 2, 1563, Elizabeth married Francis Gawdy of Shouldham, Norfolk (1528-December 15, 1605), a judge. They had one child, Elizabeth (1569-1591). Gawdy appears to have been a greedy and difficult man. He cheated his wife out of her interest in Eston Hall, Wallington and acquired Wallington Hall and Fincham Hall, also Coningsby houses. He depopulated the area around Wallington and converted what had been a church into either a kennel or a hay store. According to the English antiquary, Sir Henry Spelman (c.1562-1641), “having this manor in right of his wife, he induced her to acknowledge the fine thereof, upon which she became a distracted woman and continued so until the day of her death and was to him for many years a perpetual affliction.”

Elizabeth Coningsby was the daughter of Humphrey Coningsby of Hampton Court, Herefordshire (March 1, 1515/16-April 4, 1559) and Anne Englefield. She married Gilbert Lyttleton of Frankley, Worcestershire and Prestwood, Staffordshire (c.1540-June 1, 1599). They had three sons, John (1561-1601), Gilbert, and Humphrey, and one daughter, Anne (1569-February 3, 1655/6). In about 1590, probably after the death of her father-in-law, who left Elizabeth’s son John an inheritance, She filed a petition claiming that her husband had not supported her or her sons for the last nine years. Gilbert ignored the summons of the Privy Council and swore he’d give away all he had rather than support them. In early 1596, John Lyttleton made a plea to his father for his mother’s support. When Gilbert again refused, Elizabeth, her younger sons, and a number of their cousins forced their way into the house at Prestwood and locked Gilbert in his room. When the Privy Council ordered the Staffordshire justices to step in, they forced Gilbert to sign a deed leaving all his land to John and making provision for the rest of the family. Once Gilbert was free again, however, he contrived to have his younger sons and nephews indicted and outlawed. When the case went before the Star Chamber, John Lyttleton was also outlawed and the deed Gilbert had signed was nullified.

JANE CONINGSBY (c.1548-November 16, 1614)
Jane Coningsby was the daughter of Humphrey Coningsby of Hampton Court, Herefordshire (March 1, 1515/16-April 4, 1559) and Anne Englefield. She married William Boughton. Their children were Ann (d.1658) and Edward (1572-August 9, 1625). Portrait: date unknown.




ANNE CONSTABLE (c.1545-1589)
Anne Constable was the daughter of Robert Constable of Easington in Holderness, Yorkshire and Joan Frothingham. She married John Launder (Lounde/Lander) of Naburn, Escrick,Yorkshire (d.1590), a lawyer. They had seven children. They lived at St. Martin’s, Coney Street, York. Anne was known for the richness of her dress. She was a friend of Margaret Clitherow, the martyr, and was arrested in 1576 and sent to the Kidcote prison on Ouse Bridge. She was denied a lawyer to defend herself, on the grounds she was a Catholic. When her husband and barrister Leonard Babthorpe tried to dispute this, they were arrested. Launder was sent to London and imprisoned in the Tower. In 1579, Anne was a prisoner in York Castle and was later sent to London, but she was kept apart from her husband.


Catherine Constable was the eldest daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire (c.1551-December 15, 1607) and Margaret Dormer (1553-April 26, 1637). The Constables were frequent visitors to Gilling Castle, Yorkshire, home of the Fairfax family. In 1594, Catherine married Thomas Fairfax (1574-December 23, 1636), who was created Viscount Fairfax in 1629. Their children were Thomas (c.1599-September 24, 1641), Henry, William, Mary, Catherine, and six others, three sons and three daughters. Their houses at Walton and at Gilling Castle were used to harbor priests and Lady Fairfax’s name occurs at least ten times in the records of recusants from 1600-1623. Her first conviction for sheltering recusants came in 1599. She was never, apparently, fined, nor was she penalized for employing Catholic maids or sending at least two of her sons to Catholic colleges abroad, probably because her husband conformed and had powerful friends.



DOROTHY CONSTABLE (1580-March 26, 1632)
Dorothy Constable was the daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire (c.1551-December 15, 1607) and Margaret Dormer (1553-April 26, 1637). On March 10, 1597, Dorothy married Roger Lawson of Byker, Northumberland (1570/1-1613/14). They had at least fourteen children, including Ralph (d.1612), Dorothy (1600-1628), Henry (c.1601-1636), George, Margaret, John, Mary, Roger, Thomas, Edmund (d.1642/3), James, Catherine (d.1637), Anne, and Elizabeth. Both Dorothy’s mother and Roger’s (Elizabeth Burgh) were recusants who spent time in prison for their faith. When Dorothy arrived at Brough Hall after her marriage, where she and her husband were to live with his parents until 1605, one of her first acts was to arrange for regular visits from one of the Jesuit priests secretly working in Yorkshire. She was something of a missionary, convincing her in-laws to return to the Catholic faith and also seeking converts in the neighborhood. She supported a succession of Jesuit chaplains at Heaton Hall, Northumberland and St. Anthony’s and three of her daughters embraced the religious life, Dorothy as a canoness at Louvain and Margaret and Mary as Benedictine nuns at Ghent. Their mother was never prosecuted for recusancy. She died of consumption. Biographies: William Palmes, Life of Mrs. Dorothy Lawson of St. Antony’s near Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Northumberland was written in the early seventeenth century by her former chaplain; Oxford DNB entry under “Lawson [née Constable], Dorothy.”

Eleanor Constable was the daughter of Marmaduke Constable of Flamborough, Yorkshire (1455-November 29, 1518) and Joyce Stafford. She married John (sometimes called William) Ingleby of Ripley, Yorkshire (1477-August 27, 1502). Their children were Ranulph, John, and Sir William (1494-July 12, 1528). In 1504/5 she married Sir Thomas Berkeley of Thornbury, Gloucestershire and Hovingham, Yorkshire (1472-January 22, 1532/3), who later succeeded his brother as baron Berkeley. Their children were Thomas (1505-1534), Muriel, Maurice, and Joan. In 1520, Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, brought suit against Sir Thomas Berkeley and his wife for abducting a ward. Eleanor was buried at St. Augustine’s, Bristol.





JOAN CONY (x.1589)
Joan Cony or Cunny of Stisted, Essex was tried for witchcraft at the summer assizes at Chelmsford in 1589. Within two hours of being sentenced on July 5, she was hanged, together with Joan Prentis and Joan Upney. Although the charge was witchcraft, the real issue seems to have been that Joan was “living very lewdly, having two lewd daughters,” each of whom had a bastard son. These boys, younger than twelve, were the chief witnesses against their mothers and grandmother. Joan confessed from the scaffold that the charges against her were true, that she’d stopped at the house of Henry Finch to demand a drink on her way to market and, being refused by Finch’s wife, who was busy with her brewing, caused her to be “taken in her head, and the next day in her side, and so continued in most horrible pain for the space of a week, and then died.” This story is told in the pamphlet “The apprehension and confession of three notorious witches arraigned and by justice condemned and executed at Chelmsford in the County of Essex,” which features a woodcut of the three hanged witches on the front. The two daughters, Avice and Margaret, were also tried. Avice, like her mother, was found guilty of causing death by witchcraft and sentenced to death, but she was able to “plead her belly” because she was pregnant. When this was verified by a jury of matrons (including, ironically, Joan Robinson, who had been implicated in the St. Osyth witch trial in 1582), her execution was delayed until after she had given birth. She was hanged in 1590. Her sister Margaret was found guilty of two counts of bewitchment and sentenced to one year in prison and six appearances in the stocks. Portrait: Joan Cony is one of the three hanged witches in the woodcut from the pamphlet.

ANNE CONYERS (d. January 10, 1567)
Anne Conyers was the eldest of the three daughters of John, 3rd baron Conyers (1524-June 30, 1557) and Maud Clifford (c.1523-June 1557+), younger sister of the 2nd earl of Cumberland. After Anne’s father died, Queen Mary summoned her to court. When she did not come at once, the queen sent a letter rebuking her for her hesitance to leave her mother and sisters. Shortly thereafter, Anne became a maid of honor, probably replacing Magdalen Dacre. She married Anthony Kempe of Slindon, Sussex (d. October 29, 1597) at some point during the next ten years. Although she had a son by Kempe, all the sons and daughters mentioned in Kempe’s will except Mary, wife of Humphrey Walrond, were under age and unmarried in 1597 and were the children of his second marriage, made on November 19, 1569 to Margery Gage. The Conyers title went to the son of Anne’s sister, Elizabeth.



ANNE COOKE (c.1528-August 27, 1610)
Born between 1528 and 1533, Anne Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women, and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Anne Cooke is sometimes said to have helped her father in the task of educating Prince Edward, but at the time (1544) that Cooke took up the task, the prince’s household was exclusively male. In 1552, she was being courted by a fellow at Cambridge, Walter Haddon (c.1516-1571), who wrote a letter highly critical of her when she rejected him. Anne’s sister Mildred approved of the match. Their father did not. Anne became the second wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510-1579) in 1553. Their children were Mary (b.1554), Susan (b.1555), Edmund, Anne, Anthony (1558-1601) and Francis (1561-1626). According to Robert Tittler’s Nicholas Bacon: The Making of a Tudor Statesman, Anne and Nicholas Bacon visited Mary Tudor at Kenninghall in July 1553 and Anne stayed with the royal retinue as a gentlewoman of the bedchamber at least until William Cecil (her brother-in-law) met them near London. It is said that it was Anne Bacon’s presence at court that kept Cecil out of prison. Anne may have continued as one of Queen Mary’s ladies, in spite of the fact that her father was in exile for his religious beliefs for most of Mary’s reign. Her younger sister, Margaret, was later one of Mary’s maids of honor. Anne educated her sons herself until they entered Cambridge in 1573. She had by then a reputation as a translator of religious works and some of these were published. In a letter dated December 29, 1558, the Spanish ambassador to England referred to Anne as a “tiresome blue-stocking” (a learned lady). As Anne grew older, she became obsessed with religion and was one of the wealthy widows who formed the backbone of English Puritanism. Throughout the latter part of her life she provided a haven at Gorhambury for radical preachers. In the last few years, fanaticism seems to have turned to insanity. Biographies: Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters; Chapter Two in Pearl Hogrefe’s Women of Action in Tudor England; see also biographies of her son, Francis Bacon and Golden Lads by Daphne du Maurier; Oxford DNB entry under “Bacon [née Cooke], Anne.” Portraits: terra cotta bust (c.1570); portrait by George Gower (1580) at Gorhambury; miniature by Isaac Oliver (c.1600); effigy with three of her sisters on the Cooke monument in Romford Church.



ELIZABETH COOKE (c.1540-May 1609)
Elizabeth Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Her date of birth has in the past been most frequently given as c.1528, but Patricia Phillippy cites a letter of 1608 in which Elizabeth states she is sixty-eight years old, placing her date of birth around 1540. Given the dates of her children’s births, this makes sense. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women, and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Elizabeth had a reputation for learning so great that in later years scholars came to consult her. She also composed epitaphs in several languages to the people who had been dear to her. Elizabeth lived with her sister, Mildred Cecil, from 1550-1558. During part of that period her father was in exile for his religious beliefs. On Monday, June 27, 1558, she married Thomas Hoby (1530-July 13,1566). Their children were Edward (March 20, 1560-March 1, 1617), Elizabeth (May 27, 1562-February 1571), Anne (November 16, 1564-February 1571), and Thomas Posthumous (1566-1640). Together they rebuilt Bisham Abbey. Hoby was knighted in 1566 and sent to France as English ambassador. Lady Hoby accompanied him there in April of that year, although she was already pregnant with their fourth child. She had made a number of influential friends at the French court by the time Hoby died of the plague on June 13. Queen Elizabeth wrote to the widow that she would “hereafter make a more assured account of your virtues and gifts” and some years later (1589) appointed her Keeper of the Queen’s Castle of Donnington and Bailiff of the Honor, Lordship, and Manor of Donnington. Lady Hoby erected a chapel at Bisham in which she built a monument to her husband and his brother, Sir Philip Hoby. In 1569, Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, Sir William Cecil, proposed to marry her to the imprisoned duke of Norfolk, but the idea came to nothing. In December of that year, the queen visited Lady Hoby at Bisham. On December 23,1574, she married Lord John Russell (1550-July 23, 1584), heir to the earl of Bedford. Their first child, Elizabeth, was christened in Westminster Abbey the following October. Their son, Francis, died young in 1580, and their only other child was a daughter, Anne (d.1639). Thus, when Lord John died before his father, Elizabeth’s chance to one day be the wife or the mother of an earl was lost. The story that the ghost of one of Lady Hoby’s children haunts Bisham Abbey because she went off to court and left him locked in his room to starve is pure fiction. Queen Elizabeth visited Bisham in August 1592. Lady Russell was an avid letter writer and a contentious neighbor. She was involved in disputes over her rights at Donnington, the building of an indoor playhouse in the Blackfriars district of London, where she had a home, and the marriages of her children. There were lawsuits over land claims and debts, and on one occasion (May 14, 1606) she spoke for more than half an hour in the Star Chamber. In 1605, she published a translation she had made from the French to avoid an incorrect edition coming out after her death. A Way of Reconciliation of a Good and Learned Man contained a preface in which she refers to her daughter Anne’s religious education. The book was dedicated to Anne and presented as a New Year’s gift. Lady Russell also designed and oversaw construction of her own monument in Bisham Church. She was buried there on June 2, 1609. She left a will proved June 23, 1609. Biographies: Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters; Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell: The Writings of an English Sappho, edited by Patricia Phillippy; Shakespeare and the Countess by Chris Laoutaris; Roy Strong’s The Cult of Elizabeth; Violet Wilson’s Society Women of Shakespeare’s Time; Oxford DNB entry under “Russell [née Cooke], Elizabeth.” Portraits: effigy in Bisham Church and on the Cooke monument in Romford; portrait at Bisham Abbey.


JOAN COOKE (d.1545) (maiden name unknown)
Joan married John Cooke (d.1528), a brewer and mercer who was mayor of Gloucester in 1501, 1507, 1512, and 1518. His will, dated May 18, 1528 and proved October 19, 1528, left Joan his extensive property and wealth on the condition that she not remarry. After his death she became a vowess. In accordance with his wishes, she endowed the Crypt School, adjacent to St. Mary de Crypt church in Southgate Street. Building was completed in 1539. In her later years, Joan apparently became so stout that she could no longer ride. In her will, proved on February 25, 1545/6, she left numerous bequests, including one to the prisoners in Gloucester Castle and another for improvement of the highways around Gloucester. She was buried next to her husband in St. Mary de Crypt. Portraits: modern copy of a brass taken from a rubbing of the original, now lost, in St. Mary de Crypt; possible double portrait with her husband, dated from before 1528. Biography: http://www.livinggloucester.co.uk.

KATHERINE COOKE (d. December 27, 1583)
Katherine Cooke was probably the youngest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?) and was probably born between 1542 and 1547. The DNB entry gives the date of her birth as c.1542. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women, and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Katherine was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. She may have accompanied her father into exile during the reign of Mary Tudor. On November 4, 1565, she married Henry Killigrew (c.1528-1603) in the church of St. Peter le Poor, London. Their children were Anne (d.1632), Elizabeth (d.1626), Mary (d. before 1592), and Dorothy (d.1643). In the spring of 1566, Killigrew was sent to Scotland by Queen Elizabeth. Their life together included many such separations. A number of their letters survive, including one in which Katherine asks her sister Mildred, wife of Sir William Cecil, to prevent Killigrew from being sent abroad again. It is written in verse. She also corresponded with Edward Dering, the Puritan divine. Killigrew impoverished himself in royal service, but in 1573 he was granted the manor of Lanrake, Cornwall, and from 1575 until Katherine’s death he was in England. They lived primarily at Killigrew’s estate at Hendon and his house in St. Paul’s Churchyard in London. Katherine was ill of the plague at Hendon in 1575 but it was childbirth that killed her. A stillborn son was born December 21, 1583 and she died six days later. Three prominent Puritans, Andrew Melville, William Charke, and Robert Formanus, wrote verses to go on her monument in the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in London. Her sister Elizabeth, Lady Russell, and William Camden also wrote epitaphs. Biographies: Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters; Oxford DNB entry under “Killigrew [née Cooke], Katherine.” Portraits: effigy on the Cooke monument in Romford Church.


MARGARET COOKE (d. August 1558)
Margaret Cooke was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Estimates of her date of birth range from 1533 to 1540. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women, and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Margaret is the only one of the five sisters whose writings have not survived her and the only one who is not shown on the Cooke tomb in Romford Church in Essex. She married on the same day as her sister, Elizabeth, Monday, June 27, 1558, at a time when their father was still in exile in Frankfurt. Her husband, Sir Ralph Rowlett, is variously described as a London goldsmith and as the heir of a rich merchant of Gorhambury. One source gives his father as Sir Ralph Rowlett, one of the masters of the mint to Henry VIII. Sadly, Margaret died within a few weeks of the ceremony. She was buried on August 3, 1558 at St. Mary Staining, London. The diary of Henry Machyn supports that of Sir Thomas Hoby in saying that, in spite of her family’s Protestant leanings, Margaret was one of Queen Mary’s maids of honor before her marriage. As such, and assuming David Loades and Gemma Allen are correct in attributing “Praze of Eight Ladyes of Queene Elizabeth’s Court,” to Mary’s court rather than Elizabeth’s, Margaret seems likely to have been the “Cooke” lauded as “comely” by anonymous poet “R.E,” identified by Allen as Richard Edwards, writing before 1555. See Mildred Cooke’s entry for an alternate interpretation. Biography: Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters.


MILDRED COOKE (August 24, 1526-April 4, 1589)
Mildred Cooke was the eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall (1505-June 11, 1576) and Anne FitzWilliam (c.1504-c.1558?). Pauline Croft says she was born in London. Her father was one of King Edward VI’s tutors. Cooke saw to it that his five daughters had an education equal to that of his sons. Their learning was remarked upon (and praised) as early as 1559, in William Bercher’s Nobylytye of Women, and by Elizabeth Tudor’s tutor, Roger Ascham. Mildred was ranked with Lady Jane Grey for her erudition, known to speak Greek fluently, and had some fame as a translator. At some point, she was a member of the household of Anne Stanhope, duchess of Somerset, and this may be where she met William Cecil, who was secretary to the duke. A contemporary poem, Richard Edwards’s “Praze of Eight Ladyes of Queene Elizabeth’s Court,” may refer to Mildred with the lines, “Cooke is comely, and thereto In bookes setts all her care; In learning with the Roman Dames Of right she may compare.” However, by the time Elizabeth became queen, Mildred had been married for thirteen years and it seems unlikely she would have been referred to by her maiden name. See Margaret Cooke’s entry for an alternate theory. In December 1545, she married William Cecil, later Lord Burghley (September 18,1520-August 4,1598) as his second wife. Their children were Anne (December 5, 1556-June 5, 1588), Robert (1563-1612), Elizabeth (July 1564-1583), and three children who died young. Mildred was briefly at Elizabeth’s court as a lady of honor in the privy chamber at the beginning of the reign. She had charge of her children’s education as well as that of her husband’s wards, the earl of Essex and the earl of Oxford. In a letter of 1567, the Spanish Ambassador called Mildred a much more “furious” heretic than her husband. Biographies: Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters; “Mildred, Lady Burghley: The Matriarch,” by Pauline Croft in Patronage, Culture and Power: The Early Cecils 1558-1612 (2002), edited by Pauline Croft; Chapter One in Pearl Hogrefe’s Women of Action in Tudor England (somewhat outdated); Oxford DNB entry under “Cecil [née Cooke], Mildred.” NOTE: the DNB gives the date of her birth as 1526. Portraits: two portraits at Hatfield by the Master of Mildred Cooke (more recently been attributed to Hans Eworth), one showing her during a pregnancy, probably that of 1563; effigy on her tomb in Westminster Abbey, which she shares with her daughter, Ann; effigy on her parents’ tomb in Romford, Essex.


JOANNA COOPER (1563-1602)
Joanna (or Jane) Cooper came from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, a place that, according to Richard Deacon’s biography of John Dee, was notorious for witchcraft in the sixteenth century. She is said to have taken an aristocratic lover, John Weston (d.1582), and had two children by him, Elizabeth Jane (November 2, 1582-November 23, 1612) and Francis (1580-1600). By April 1583, Joanna married Edward Kelley, who worked as an assistant to Dr. John Dee. In September 1583, the Dees and the Kelleys left England for Poland and Bohemia. Some accounts say Joanna took her children with her. Others indicate that she left them behind in England with her mother and later sent for them to join her in Prague. The party went first to Holland and later to Poland and Bohemia. In August 1584, they were staying in a house on St. Stephen’s Street in Krakow. In 1586, they were forced to leave Bohemia and spent four months traveling in two coaches in search of a new home. They found it in the town of Třeboň. 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 Dee. Later that year, the spirit Kelley raised (an “angel” named Madimi) told him that he and Dee must 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 Dee was the object of Kelley’s “obsessive interest” from the first time Kelley met her. Whatever the motivation 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 his wife 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. Kelley and Joanna remained in Prague. For a time, Kelley was high in favor with Emperor Rudolph II, but he was imprisoned in 1591 for killing a man. He was released in the autumn of 1593 but was again imprisoned in November 1596 and appears to have died c.1598. According to one rumor, Joanna smuggled opium into his prison cell. He used it to drug his guards and tried to escape by using knotted sheets to climb out of his cell window. He fell and broke both legs. Another version of the tale has him faking his own death and traveling to Russia to practice alchemy. Either way, Joanna and her children were left on their own. It was Joanna’s daughter, Elizabeth Jane Weston (see her entry) who support the family by writing poetry.

ANNE COPE (c.1501-February 5, 1588)
Anne Cope was the daughter of Edward Cope of Deanshanger and Helmdon, Northamptonshire (1466-May 1, 1510) and Mary Woodhull. Some sources list her father as John Cope, but he was her grandfather. She was nine when her father died. Her guardian, Thomas Lovett of Astwell, Northamptonshire, married her to his son, William (1499-1519), before November 1513. They had no children. In about 1520, she married John Heneage of Benniworth, Lincolnshire (c.1485-July 21,1557). Their children were George (d. October 16, 1595), William (d. March 29, 1610), John (d. August 1584), Katherine, and Mary. In 1540, John and Anne Heneage surrendered her inheritance, Deanshanger, to the Crown in exchange for the messuage called Bevis Marks in London. Portrait: effigy in St. Mary’s Church, Hainton, Lincolnshire.




MARGARET COPLEDIKE (before October 1526-1541+)
The list of maids of honor serving Queen Catherine Howard in 1540-1 includes a “Mrs. Cowpledike.” There were Copledikes in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk at this time, but some influence at court would have been necessary to place one of their daughters there. The only young lady of the right age and with connections is Margaret Copledike, daughter of Leonard Copledike of Horsham, Suffolk (d. before 1525) and his second wife, Thomasine Gavell (c.1507-1557), daughter of Thomas Gavell of Kirby-Cane, Norfolk. In about 1525, Thomasine Gavell married Edward Calthorpe (c.1503-November 5, 1558), a cousin of the Calthorpes who intermarried with the Boleyns. About Margaret herself there is little information, other than that she was born before October 1526, when her grandmother and godmother, Margaret Ashby, widow of both John Etton of Firsby, Lincolnshire (d. May 8, 1503) and Sir John Copledike of Frampton and Harrington, Lincolnshire, wrote her will. In this will, proved May 18, 1528, Margaret’s care was entrusted to her uncle until she was twenty, married, or became a nun. Land had been purchased to support her in the interim. Margaret also inherited £20, furniture, and household goods, including a featherbed and hangings, a wainscot chair, and a long settle. I have taken the details of this will from an essay by Barbara J. Harris in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1550, edited by James Daybell.

BRIDGET COPLEY (c.1534-1583+)
Bridget Copley was the daughter of Sir Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey (c.1473-September 10, 1549) and Elizabeth Shelley (1510-December 24,1560). According to the granddaughters of her brother, Thomas Copley (1532-1584), she was “a very learned lady and Latin instructress to Queen Elizabeth.” This seems unlikely, especially since she was a) younger than Elizabeth and b) from a Catholic family, but her entry in Carole Levin, et al, editors, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen identifies her as a student at St. Mary’s Abbey in Winchester in 1536 and goes on to say she was appointed as the “bookish servant” of Princess Elizabeth and later referred to as “her Majesty’s old servant of near forty years continuance.” She had charge of her nephew, Anthony Copley, when he was a child. The entry also mentions that her sister Margaret was sentenced to death along with her husband, John Gage, but was pardoned on the scaffold. This is in error. Margaret Gage was Bridget’s niece. By December 1555, Bridget married Richard Southwell, alias Darcy, of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk (d.1600), illegitimate son of Sir Richard Southwell of London and Wood Rising, Norfolk by Mary, daughter of Thomas Darcy of Danbury, Essex (later his second wife). Their children were Richard, Thomas, Robert the Jesuit (1561-x. February 22, 1595), Mary (d.1622), Anne, Catherine (1566-1618) and (possibly) Frances (d.1643). Southwell’s entry in the History of Parliament says that Bridget died in 1583 or later, and implies that her death may have occurred not long before Southwell remarried, in “indecent haste,” around October 1589. The entry claims Bridget remained in the queen’s service until her death, but the names Bridget Copley and Bridget Southwell do not appears on any of the lists of Elizabeth’s ladies. Also arguing against any connection to the queen is the eviction of Bridget and her husband from Gatton by Sir William Cecil after Bridget’s brother fled abroad in 1569.


ELEANOR COPLEY (c.1476-1536)
Eleanor Copley was the daughter of Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey, Roughey, Sussex, and London (1429-c.1490) and Anne Hoo (d.1510). She married Thomas West, 8th baron de la Warr (1448-October 11, 1525) as his third wife. Their children were Owen (1501-1551), Barbara (1502-1549), George (1510-1538), Anne, Mary, Katherine, and Leonard (1515-June 17, 1578). Eleanor was named sole executrix of her husband’s will, proved on February 25, 1525/6. Her will, dated May 10, 1536 and proved November 14, 1536, asked that she be buried with him in his tomb in the chancel of the parish church of Broadwater in Sussex.


MARGARET COPLEY (1539-1576+)
Margaret Copley was the daughter of  Sir Roger Copley of Gatton, Surrey and Roughey, Sussex (c.1473-September 10, 1549) and Elizabeth Shelley (1510-December 24, 1560) and the sister of Sir Thomas Copley (1532-1584). On May 28, 1559, she married John Gage of Firle, Sussex (d. October 10, 1598). Most accounts say they had no children. One says they had a daughter who married Henry Guildford before 1596. There is also confusion over whether she was Gage’s first or second wife. From March 1573 until early 1576, with the queen’s permission, they lived in Antwerp with Margaret’s brother. Gage was executor of Copley’s will and adopted his daughter, the second Margaret Copley (d.1591+), who eventually married his nephew, John Gage of Halling, Surrey. John Gage of Firle was a recusant who was frequently imprisoned from 1580 on. Another John Gage, son of Thomas Gage and Elizabeth Guildford, who was created a baronet in 1622, succeeded to Firle. Portrait: memorial brass at Firle.

Margaret Copley was the daughter of Sir Thomas Copley (February 24, 1532-September 25, 1584) and Catherine Luttrell (1537-1608). She lived abroad with her parents until her father died, after which she was adopted by John Gage of Firle, one of the executors of his will and her uncle by marriage. She married another John Gage, of Halling, Surrey (1563-1591+), son of her guardian’s brother Robert (d. October 20, 1587) and Elizabeth Wilford (d.c.1590). He was a prisoner in the Clink on September 14, 1586, charged with recusancy. In 1589, he was put in the charge of Richard Fynes at Banbury Casttle or at Fynes’s house at Broughton. He was released on June 7, 1590, but was sent to the Tower in January 1591 for harboring a priest. According to the Chronicle of St Monica’s, Margaret was also arrested at this time, along with Anne Line, and she and her husband were on their way to be executed when they were reprieved. Margaret had two sisters who were canonesses at St. Monica’s. Of her children with Gage besides Henry (August 29, 1597-January 1, 1645), one became a Jesuit, one (George; d.1649+) became a secular priest, and one was an apostate. Many online sites confuse her with her aunt. An article on the Gage family in Notes & Queries 10thseries, VIII (September 29, 1907) convincingly disputes details found in the DNB and the History of Parliament.





MARY CORBET (1542-1606)
Mary Corbet was the daughter of John Corbet of Sprowston, Norfolk (c.1503-December 28, 1559) and Jane Barney or Berney (c.1507-1574). She married Roger Wodehouse or Woodhouse of Kimberley Tower, Norfolk (1541-April 4, 1588). Their eldest son, Philip (1562-October 30, 1623) was named after his godfather, close family friend Philip Howard, earl of Surrey. They also had a daughter, Catherine (b.1566) and possibly another son, Matthew. Kimberley Tower boasted more than twenty rooms for living and sleeping. Mary’s bedchamber was decorated in red and blue. On August 22, 1578, Queen Elizabeth stayed there during her annual progress and on August 27, she knighted Roger Wodehouse.



JANE CORDELL (1536-January 4, 1603/4)
Jane (sometimes called Joan) Cordell was the daughter of John Cordell of Long Melford, Suffolk (1504-January 1564) and Emma Webb. Her mother’s will was dated November 3, 1554 and was proved February 14, 1555. She left Jane her house on the green called Ives, on the condition that Jane pay 20s./year toward raising her niece, Anne Watson, daughter of Jane’s sister Thomasine. Jane married Richard Alington or Allington of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire (d. November 23, 1561), Master of Rolls and a member of Lincoln’s Inn. Their children were Mary (February 5, 1557-May 1636), Anne (February 26, 1559-November 1594), and Cordell (July 4, 1562-1585). Jane was executor of her husband’s will, dated April 4, 1561 with a codicil added June 12, 1561. It was proved February 3, 1561/2. His monument in the Rolls Chapel, Chancery Lane, London, shows husband and wife facing each other and kneeling in prayer. Although his youngest daughter was not born until after he died, three daughters are shown on another panel. In his will, he left Jane with sufficient wealth to build a new house for herself. Stow’s Survey of London (1603) describes Gray’s Inn Lane as “furnished with fair buildings . . . leading to the fields towards Highgate and Hanstead. On the high street have ye many fair houses built . . . up almost to St. Giles in the fields; amongst which buildings, for the most part being very new, one passeth the rest in largeness of rooms, lately built by a widow, sometime wife to Richard Alington, esquire.” Jane wrote her will on July 15, 1602 and it was proved January 7, 1603/4. Among the provisions was a request that the furnishings in her house at High Holborn should not be sold of disposed away but rather “remain as heirlooms in the said house” for the use of her daughter, Lady Savage, and Lady Savage’s oldest son. The complete text of the will can be found at http://www.Oxford-Shakespeare.com. Portrait: effigy on monument in Rolls Chapel.



Eleanor Cornwall was the daughter of Sir Edward or Edmund Cornwall. She married Sir Hugh Mortimer of Kyre (1413-1460). Their children were Elizabeth and John. Her second husband was Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire (c.1427-July 29, 1509). They are said to have had twenty children, including Alice, Anne, Jane, Edward (d.1547), and Robert. In 1454, Eleanor was “lady governess” to the earl of March (the future King Edward IV) and his brother the earl of Rutland at Ludlow Castle in Wales and Sir Richard was in charge of the household. Before she died, Eleanor is said to have had “seventeen score and odd” people descended from her body, including King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Portrait: tomb effigy in the chapel at Croft Castle.



ANNE CORNWALLIS (d. January 12, 1634/5)
Anne Cornwallis was the fourth daughter of Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, Suffolk (c.1551-November 13, 1611) and Lucy Neville (d. April 30, 1608). As her entry in the Oxford DNB explains, for many years she was mistakenly identified as “an authoress of some note.” At most, she owned a book of poetry. On November 30, 1609, she married Archibald Campbell, 7th earl of Argyll (1575/6-1638). Their three sons and five daughters included James (d.1646) and Mary (b.1622). Anne, a devout Roman Catholic, managed to convert her new husband to her faith, after which the family moved to the Spanish Netherlands. Four of their daughters became nuns. In 1627, they returned to England, where Anne died. She was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Her principal heir was her daughter. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Cornwallis, Anne.”


ELIZABETH CORNWALLIS (1547-August 12, 1628)
Elizabeth Cornwallis was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis of Brome Hall, Suffolk (c.1519-December 24, 1604) and Anne Jerningham (June 28, 1516-before May 28, 1581). Her mother was a lady of the privy chamber to Queen Mary and her father had been in the service of the duke of Norfolk before he, too, joined the royal household. Elizabeth was in the service of the duchess of Norfolk (Margaret Audley). In 1561, she married Sir Thomas Kytson or Kitson of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk (October 9, 1540-January 28, 1603). Their children were Margaret (1563-1582), John (d.yng) and Mary (1566-June 28, 1644). They had a London house in Austin Friars. In 1571, Elizabeth Codington (née Jenour) left Elizabeth Kytson “one hundred hops of my own growing” in her will. In 1578, Queen Elizabeth stayed three nights at Hengrave Hall (August 27-29). Thomas Kytson had been knighted by the queen earlier that month at Bury St. Edmunds. Hengrave was a large, luxurious house where each family member had a pair of rooms and there was a bathing chamber near those occupied by Lady Kytson. There was also a music room. In 1602, there were more than forty instruments and over fifty music books at Hengrave Hall. Robert Johnson, a musician, was part of the household in the 1570s and from the mid-1590s until Elizabeth died, the madrigal singer and composer, John Wilbye (1574-1638) was part of the household. In 1581, Elizabeth persuaded friends from court to intercede on behalf of her father, who was imprisoned for recusancy. She may be the Madam Kitson who visited Simon Forman the astrologer twice in January 1598. In 1599, she was facing a charge of recusancy and again called upon influential friends to prevent her from being presented at the Bury St. Edmunds petty sessions. As a widow, Elizabeth spent part of her time at Hengrave Hall and the rest at a new house her husband had built in Clerkenwell. Portraits: by George Gower, 1573; miniature.

FRANCES CORNWALLIS (c.1575-September 1625)
Frances Cornwallis was the eldest daughter of Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, Suffolk (c.1551-1611) and Lucy Neville (d. April 30, 1608). In 1588, her father bought a house from the earl of Oxford called Fisher’s Folly, opposite St. Botolph without Bishopsgate in London, and moved his family there. One member of their household, from the time he was ten or twelve years old, was Thomas Swift (c.1567-1594+), a Norwich-born musician who was about twenty-one in 1588. A later addition to the household was Thomas Watson (c.1556-September 1592), Swift’s brother-in-law, who was employed as a tutor for Frances’s brother but had secretly been sent by Sir Francis Walsingham to spy on Cornwallis, who was a recusant. In about 1589, Swift and Watson concocted a scheme to extort money from their employer. It began by lending Frances, with whom Swift fancied himself in love, the sum of ten gold angels. She was given a document to sign promising repayment with interest on her wedding day. It had been drawn up by Hugh Swift (d.1592), Thomas’s brother, and contained fine print that Frances was unaware of. What she really signed, in the parlor of the Bishopsgate house one morning before lessons began, was a promise to marry Thomas Swift. Two other members of the household, Robert Hales and John Campe, witnessed her signature. Hales signed his name and Campe made his mark. When Frances discovered the ruse, she wrote to Watson asking him to get the “cozening paper” away from Swift. This letter, signed by Frances, may be the same one Swift said was brought to him by Mary Mosste, Lucy Cornwallis’s servant. In December 1592, Frances was betrothed to Sir Edmund Withipole (d. November 6, 1619). Shortly thereafter, Swift claimed that she was already contracted to him and demanded money to rescind his claim. Frances may have been at court at the time. Her brother, who knew about the blackmail a full year before their father was informed, acted as a go-between. In 1593, Sir William Cornwallis accused Swift (who was paid £12/year as a musician) of libel and ignored his demands for an annuity of £30  and other cash payments. The case went to the Star Chamber. Swift was arrested and imprisoned in the Marshalsea. On June 3, 1594, he admitted that Frances had never read the document she signed. He was sentenced to be whipped and to lose an ear, but he bribed “Lady Skidmore” of the Privy Chamber [Mary Shelton Scudamore?] and she secured a pardon for him. One account says he had loaned her £500 back in 1589 and bribed her. In a letter written in December 1594, Cornwallis complained about the pardon to Sir Robert Cecil, but there was nothing he could do. Frances, her good name restored, married Withipole in 1595. They had one son, William (d. August 11, 1645).



Mary Cornwallis was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis of Brome Hall, Suffolk (c.1519-December 24, 1604) and Anne Jerningham (June 28, 1516-before May 28, 1581). Her mother was a lady of the privy chamber to Queen Mary and her father had been in the service of the duke of Norfolk before he, too, joined the royal household. On December 15, 1578, Mary secretly married William Bourchier, earl of Bath (1557-July 12, 1623) though the connivance of her brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Kytson, who was the young earl’s uncle. The marriage was later repudiated because, according to some sources, the earl’s mother (Frances Kytson, by then married to William Barnaby) would not consent to the match. A trial over the matter was instituted in May 1580 and the marriage was annulled on April 28, 1581. In 1582, the earl married Elizabeth Russell (d. March 24, 1605), daughter of the earl of Bedford. Mary refused to accept this turn of events. For the rest of her life, she continued to style herself countess of Bath and stirred up controversy over the matter. In 1600, the poet Francis Davison, who had a connection to the Russell family, published “Answer to Mrs. Mary Cornwallis,” an account of the affair that charged that Mary had “lived an incontinent and lewd life” and had borne a child to her lover, Francis Southwell, before she seduced William Bourchier into marrying her. How much truth there was in this version is difficult to say. On the other side of the argument, in June 1601, Sir Thomas Kyston left his sister-in-law £300 in his will and included in it a statement of his belief that she was the rightful countess of Bath. Portrait: by George Gower c.1580-85.

ELINOR CORRIATT (c.1542-January 30, 1621/2)
According to the Visitation of Wilsthire, Elinor Corriatt was the daughter of John Corriatt (Corriott/Coryat) of New Sarum (Salisbury), Wiltshire (d.1558), who was mayor of that city in 1554, and his wife Anne (d.1587+). According to her memorial in Salisbury Cathedral, she was cousin-german to Lady Walsingham (Ursula St. Barbe), which implies that her mother was a St. Barbe. After 1558, she married Hugh Powell of Sherborne House, Cathedral Close, Salisbury and Great Durnford, Wiltshire and Talyllyn, Breconshire (d.1587). He left her the yearly rent from the parsonage of Fisherton Anger and the furnishings in Sherborne House. In 1596, she married Thomas Sadler (d.1623+). William St. Barbe left “cousin Sadler” some of his books in 1619. Both Eleanor’s husbands held the post of principal registrar for the diocese. Portrait: effigy in Salisbury Cathedral, where she requested to be buried under her own pew.



AGNES COTELL (x. February 20, 1523) (maiden name unknown)
Agnes was married to John Cotell or Coteel, who may have been the steward of Farleigh Castle, one of the properties belonging to Sir Edward Hungerford of Heytesbury, Wiltshire (d. January 24, 1522). The Cotells were in residence there, with servants, when Agnes decided she would rather be married to Hungerford, who was a wealthy widower with a teenaged son. She incited her two servants, William Mathewe and William Ignes, to strangle Cotell on July 26, 1518, and some accounts say they afterward burned his body in the castle’s oven. Sometime between Cotell’s death and the end of that year, Agnes married Sir Edward. Although there was speculation about Cotell’s death early on, it was only following Hungerford’s death that Agnes was arraigned for murder. She had been named Hungerford’s sole executrix and sole heir, even though his son was still alive. Indicted on August 25, 1522, Agnes and her two accomplices were tried on November 27. Agnes was convicted in January of inciting and abetting murder. She was hanged at Tyburn and all her goods and property were forfeit to the crown. They were subsequently returned to Hungerford’s son. Agnes was buried at Grey Friars in London. An inventory of her possessions was taken in 1523. It recorded a number of expensive items of clothing, including sleeves of crimson tinsel, sleeves of cloth of gold, sleeves of green tinsel, and sleeves of yellow satin. She also owned a casket containing silk, Venice gold, and Damask gold metal thread. The complete inventory can be found in J. E. Jackson’s “Inventory of the goods of dame Agnes Hungerford, attainted of murder 14 Hen VIII,” Archaeologia 38.2 (1860), pp. 369-71. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Hungerford [other married name Cotell], Agnes.”

ELEANOR COTGREAVE (1545/6-1617/18)
Eleanor Cotgreave (Cotgrave/Cotgreve/Cotgrene) was the youngest of seven children of John Cotgreave (d.1547), a Chester draper, and Alice Fletcher (c.1500-July 1563). After September 1558, she married Sir Richard Pexhall or Pexall of Beurepaire, Hampshire, Swakeleys, Middlesex, and Steventon Manor, Fleet Street, London (d.1571) as his second wife. In a will made October 9, 1571 and proved November 8, 1571, Pexhall left Beaurepaire and most of the rest of his property and fortune to Eleanor for thirteen years, including the title of Master of the Buckhounds, which he had inherited through his mother. She was also named trustee for his grandson Pexall Brocas. In addition, the will stated that anyone who challenged these provisions would be disinherited, but this did not prevent litigation. Eventually, the terms were adjusted so that a third of the estate was divided among Pexhall’s four daughters by his first wife. Eleanor erected an alabaster and marble monument to his memory in the Chapel of St. Edmund at Westminster Abbey. After August 1570, she married Sir John Savage of Rocksavage in Clifton, Cheshire (c.1523-January 1597) as his second wife. At his death, Savage made Eleanor sole executor. She married twice more, first to Sir Richard Remington (d.1610) and then to Sir George Douglas (d.1612+). In 1602, her first husband’s grandson brought suit against her because she still held Beaurepaire, but he was not able to claim the estate until after her death. In the meantime, Sir Edward Savage, her stepson, who had married Eleanor’s niece, Polyxena Grice, entertained the queen at Beaurepaire in 1601. Eleanor was buried in the Church of the Holy Ghost at Basingstoke. Portrait: “Madame Savage” (1579) has been variously attributed to Federigo Zuccaro, Hans Eworth, and Robert Peake the Elder. See Hope Walker’s analysis at http://www.HansEworth.com/HEEleanorSavage.pdf.


ANNE COTTON (d. before 1549)
Anne Cotton was the daughter of William Cotton of Oxen Hoath Manor, West Peckham, Kent and Margaret Culpeper. She married Thomas Gargrave of North Elmsall and Kinsley, Yorkshire (1494/5-1579), steward of Lord Darcy of Templehurst’s household. Their children were Cotton (c.1540-1588) and John (d.yng). The History of Parliament suggests that Anne was the “Mistress Anne” in service to Edith (née Sandys), the second Lady Darcy, in 1521. Gargrave remarried in about 1549.

BRIDGET COTTON (c.1515-1577+)
Bridget Cotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Cotton of Lanwood/Landwade, Cambridgeshire (1485-July18, 1519) and Dorothy Clere and the half sister of Sir John Cotton (1512/13-April 21, 1593). In May 1544, she married Sir John Huddleston of Sawston, Cambridgeshire (1517-November 4, 1557). Their children were Edmund (d.1608), another son, and Alice (c.1538-September 1, 1602). Princess Mary stopped at Sawston in July 1553. Although the house was later set on fire by the duke of Northumberland, during his attempt to prevent Mary from claiming the throne, it was not totally destroyed. Huddleston named Bridget executor of his will, written September 17, 1557. In 1577, she was listed as a recusant. Portrait: at Sawston.





MARY COTTON (1541-November 16, 1580)
Mary Cotton was the daughter of Sir George Cotton of Combermere, Cheshire (1505-March 25, 1545) and Mary Onley. In December 1561, she married Edward Stanley, 3rd  earl of Derby (May 10, 1508-October 24, 1572) as his fourth wife. They had no children and the marriage proved disastrous. When a dispute developed over the marriage settlement, Mary’s cousin, Thomas Onley (1523-89), traveled north to bring her home. Mary spent the next twelve years supported by Thomas’s older brother, Edward Onley (1522-82). He later claimed to have incurred debts of £3000 on her behalf. In 1574, thanks to mediation by the earl of Leicester, an agreement was reached between Mary and her stepson, the new earl, but further litigation ensued and continued for another fifteen years. At first, she refused to come to terms with the earl until he agreed to grant a forty-year lease on the manors of Brackley and Holborn to Onley. Later she changed her mind and the matter was still unsettled when Onley died. By then, Mary had wed Henry Grey, 6th earl of Kent (1541-January 31, 1614/15). She had no children by him, either. In about 1605, he constructed a mausoleum at Flitton, Bedfordshire. The effigy of Mary Cotton is one of the most impressive there.

MARY COTTON (d. February 20, 1604)
Mary’s surname may or may not be Cotton. By 1569, she had married Sir Edward Bray of Shere, Surrey (c.1519-May 1581) as his fourth wife. The History of Parliamententry for Bray gives his third as wife Magdalene Cotton (d.1563) and tentatively identifies her father as Sir Thomas Cotton of Oxenhoath, Kent, but lists his fourthe wife only by her first name. The Oxford DNB entry for Mary’s second husband, Sir Edmund Tilney (1535/6-August 20, 1610), however, says Mary was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cotton, although it does not specify which Sir Thomas. There were several. Sir Thomas Cotton (1517-1591) married Anne Eyre in about 1535 but is said to have had no children. Thomas Cotton of Conington, Huntingdonshire (1514/15-1574), who married Lucy Harvey by 1544, is said to have had four sons but no daughters. Whatever her parentage, Mary was Lady Bray when her husband was sued in the Court of Requests in 1569. He was ordered to pay his creditor and at first agreed, but his wife convinced him to change his mind and refuse. As a result, he was arrested. He had previously been in the Fleet in November 1564 and had been released on bond. Bray was in financial difficulty again in 1573 and, according to the History of Parliament, was “hopelessly in debt” by November 1577, when he appeared in the Court of the Queen’s Bench. When he died, Mary inherited lands in Surrey for life and was named her one of his executors, along with his son-in-law, George Chowne. Although the DNB and other sources say Mary died childless, the History of Parliament says she was the mother of all three of Bray’s daughters, including Mary, Chowne’s wife. On May 4, 1583, Lady Bray married Sir Edmund Tilney of London, who had been master of revels since 1579. Tilney went to court to claim her inheritance and the income from her property was sufficient to buy a house in Leatherhead, Surrey. They entertained Queen Elizabeth there in August 1593. They were joint patrons of the rectory at Alford, Surrey. Upon Mary’s death the Bray inheritance went to her first husband’s grandson.

MATILDA COTTON (1488-1551)
Matilda (or Maud) Cotton was the daughter of Richard Cotton of Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire (c.1457-1497) and Joan or Jane Brereton (c.1454-April 30, 1517). In 1509, she married Anthony FitzHerbert (1470-May 26, 1538), an eminent judge. Their children were Thomas (1517-October 2, 1591), Elizabeth, Dorothy (d.1557), Catherine, John (d. November 8, 1590) and William (c.1520-c.1559). She is one possible candidate to have been the Mrs. FitzHerbert who was head chamberer to Queen Jane Seymour and rode in her funeral cortege in 1537. Another possibility is her daughter-in-law, Anne Eyre, who married Matilda’s son Thomas in 1535. Anne was the daughter of Sir Arthur Eyre of Padley Hall. Derbyshire (d.1560) and Margaret Plumpton. Portrait: memorial brass.

Marie (or Michelle) Courcelles was the daughter of Nicholas Leclerc, seigneur de Courcelles, and the sister of Claude de Courcelles, secretary to the French ambassador to England from 1575-1585. Marie went from France to Scotland in the household of Mary, queen of Scots, receiving sixty livres a year plus her bedding and clothing, and remained in the queen’s service until 1567. She was left behind at Lochleven. In 1573, her name appears on a list of Mary’s servants and pensioners, receiving 200 livres a year. She was with Mary at Sheffield during the Scots queen’s imprisonment in England but returned to France in the company of Mary Seton in September 1583. She may have gone with her to the convent at Rheims. On November 1, 1583, Marie’s brother returned to England with a box of presents for Queen Mary from Mary Seton. On November 15, he took the box to Thomas Baldwin, London agent for the earl of Shrewsbury, who ran a carrier service to Sheffield and Worksop. He also bribed Baldwin to carry a packet of letters to the imprisoned queen. By December 14, there were rumors of a warrant to seize Baldwin and confiscate the letters.



Joan Courtenay was the daughter of Sir John Courtenay of Exeter. She married Sir John Lisle or Lisley (d.1523). They had no children and all that remains of them is their tomb in Thruxton Church on the Isle of Wight in Hampshire, where they are shown in effigy. Joan should not be confused with another Joan Courtenay (b.c.1489), the daughter of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham (c.1451-before June 10, 1512) and Cecily Cheney (c.1455-1511+), who gained notoriety as an adulteress for being married to Sir William Beaumont while having an affair with Henry (or John) Bodrugan or Bodrigan of Cornwall. She married Bodrugan shortly after Beaumont’s death. They had a son, John Bodrugan and she may have had children by Beaumont as well. Just to add to the confusion, there are records in online genealogies of at least two other women named Joan Courtenay who married men named William Beaumont during the period from 1450-1507.


MARGARET COURTENAY (c.1499-April 14, 1526)
Margaret Courtenay was the daughter of William Courtenay, 10th earl of Devon (c.1475-June 9, 1511) and Katherine Plantagenet (August 14, 1479-November 15, 1527). Her aunt was Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII. Her father was imprisoned for treason c.1503. He was released and restored to his title when Henry VIII became king. In 1512, her mother was granted all the estates of the earldom of Devon for her lifetime, so it is safe to suppose that Margaret was raised in considerable luxury even during the time her father was in the Tower of London. In June 1520, she married Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert (1499-November 26, 1549), heir to the 1st earl of Worcester. She was probably the Lady Margaret, wife to Lord Herbert, who was at Richmond later that summer with Princess Mary while most of the court was in France at the Field of Cloth of Gold. There is some debate over which of the Somerset children were born to Margaret and which to her successor, Elizabeth Browne. Margaret was probably the mother of Eleanor (1522?-c.1584), Lucy (1524-February 23, 1582/3), and William, 3rd earl (1527-February 21, 1589), and possibly of Thomas, Charles, and Francis.




Elizabeth Cowdray was the daughter of Peter Cowdray of Herriard, Hampshire (d. April 10, 1528). Both her parents died during the epidemic known as the sweat. Elizabeth and her two sisters, Joan (1518-October 15, 1562) and Margery, inherited numerous Hampshire properties, including Herriard, and Padworth Manor in Berkshire. In 1538, Elizabeth married Richard Paulet of Basing (1493-c.1551), younger brother of the 1st marquess of Winchester. Their children were John and Mary. Paulet acquired Elizabeth’s sisters’ shares of Herriard and sold Padworth Manor to Joan, who by then was married to Peter Kidwelly of Faccombe. At some point before March 1554, Elizabeth married William Windsor, 2nd Baron Windsor (1499-August 20, 1558). Their children were Elizabeth (d.1575) and Philip (c.1555-c.1561). In May 1560, thanks to the persuasions of Sir John Throckmorton, she married George Puttenham (1529-October 1590), a lawyer, writer, and literary critic almost ten years her junior. They had a daughter, Anne, who married William Windsor’s son Andrew. This marriage cost Elizabeth part of her inheritance from Lord Windsor, but she was still very wealthy. At first the Puttenhams lived at Herriard and in Trinity Lane, London, but Puttenham was repeatedly unfaithful to Elizabeth and physically abused her and they were estranged as early as 1563. Within six years of the marriage, Elizabeth sued him for divorce. There was one reconciliation, but his treatment of her did not improve. In 1575, she rescued a young woman, Elizabeth Johnson, Puttenham had been keeping against her will for three years. Initially, Puttenham was to pay his estranged wife £100 a year in quarterly payments. During the same period, he was involved in several legal disputes, primarily over land, and in June 1570 was in the Fleet on charges he’d slandered the queen. He was released, but in 1575 he was in the Wood Street compter because he had not made any payments to his wife since 1572. He had also fraudulently transferred the manor of Herriard to Sir John Throckmorton, his brother-in-law. The court of arches ordered Puttenham to pay Elizabeth £3 a week and he was excommunicated for his failure to support her. When the divorce became final on June 9, 1578, Elizabeth renewed her appeals for the money owed her. Puttenham was in and out of various prisons over this matter and others but on July 13, 1579 he agreed to provide Elizabeth with six servants, a coach, and an annuity of £20. Once again he defaulted. This battle continued for another eight years, during which time Puttenham was again excommunicated. He was imprisoned at least twice more over the matter before Elizabeth’s death.

Alice Cowland of Tottenham was a thief. On November 16, 1549, she broke into the house of John Stowe at Totham Highcrosse (Tottenham). The True Bill lists the items she took. In addition to 15s. in numbered money, she stole a worsted apron worth 2s. 8d., a pair of silver hooks and tres assiculas argent worth 4s.8d., and three smocks, ten kerchiefs, ten raoles, and five neckerchiefs, valued together at 20s. Alice pleaded guilty but was initially reprieved because she was pregnant. Later she was able to escape punishment because she was covered by King Edward VI’s general pardon. These details come from the Middlesex Sessions Rolls online at http://www.british-history.ac.uk

ANNE COWPER (d.1540+) (maiden name unknown)
Anne Cowper was the king’s silk woman in 1539-40.

Cristabel Cowper may have been the sister of Edward Kirkby, alias Cowper, abbot of Rievaulx in 1530. He left a legacy to his sister Cristabel in his 1551 will. By 1529, Cristabel was prioress of Marrick Priory, a small nunnery near Richmond in North Yorkshire. In 1536, she managed to save the priory from suppression, but she was forced to surrender it to the Crown on September 15, 1539. At that time there were twelve nuns in residence. Cristabel received a pension of £5/annum and it was paid through the first half of 1562. In 1555, she appears to have been sharing a house with Anne Ledeman, formerly a nun at Marrick. I am not sure why Cristabel was singled out for this distinction, but she has an entry in the Oxford DNB under “Cowper, Cristabel.”

AGNES COWTIE (d.1583+)
Agnes Cowtie was born in Scotland and became a wealthy merchantin her own right. She married George Black of Dundee, another successful merchant. They had two sons. Agnes owned the Grace of God, a merchant ship trading with the Netherlands in 1582. In July of that year, the ship was attacked by English pirates led by Captain Clinton Atkinson and a man called Purser, whose real name was William Walton. During the battle, Agnes’s sons were killed. When the ship surrendered, the crewmen were tortured and maimed. The ship itself was taken to Studland Bay, a notorious pirate stronghold in England to be disposed of, eventually ending up in Spanish hands. Chapter Three of She Captains by Joan Druett recounts how Mistress Cowrie fought for and finally obtained restitution. She appealed to everyone from Sir Francis Walsingham to King James VI of Scotland. In the end, the two pirate captains were captured, tried, and executed on August 30, 1583 and Mistress Cowrie received compensation for the loss of her ship and for her maimed crewmen.





AGNES CRANE (1548-1619)
Agnes Crane was the daughter of Robert Crane of Chilton, Suffolk (1508-September 12, 1591) and Bridget Jermyn (1512-1561). She married John Smith or Smythe of Halesworth, Suffolk (1536-1561). In 1562, she married Francis Clopton of Long Melford, Suffolk (1539-April 5, 1578). By a license dated October 4, 1578, she married Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk (1518/19-December 10, 1579) as his third wife. They had one daughter, Agnes (1579-February 1621). On September 7, 1580, she married Edward Clere of Ormsby, Norfolk (June 15, 1536-June 8, 1606). They had a son, Robert (1582-June 21, 1615). By his first wife, Frances Fulmerson (d.1579/80), Clere had three sons and three daughters. The Cleres made their home at Blickling. In 1583, they sued William Heydon and his wife Anne and Miles Corbett in Chancery over some of the legacies left by Agnes’s third husband. Clere’s will, dated April 4, 1605 and proved August 2, 1606, left Agnes the manors of Weybourne and Thurston, Norfolk, and also all his jewels, gold, silver, plate, apparel, household stuff and implements of household in Blickling Hall. He expressed the wish that their son settle there with Agnes.

Bridget Crane was the daughter of Robert Crane of Chilton, Suffolk (1508-September 12, 1591) and Bridget Jermyn (1512-1561). Her first husband was Francis Clopton (c.1502-1558/9). Her second was Christopher Jenney of Theberton (d.1609/10). Portrait: a portrait said to be Bridget shows her in clothing that resembles a nun’s habit.


MARTHA CRANFIELD (1578-October 28, 1613)
Martha Cranfield was the daughter of Thomas Cranfield (d.1595), a mercer and Eastland Company merchant, and Martha Randall (d.1609). In about 1603, she married Sir John Suckling of Barsham (1569-March 27, 1627). Their six children included Martha (1605-1642+) and Sir John the poet (1609-May 7, 1642). The verses on her tomb read: “Mirror of time bright starre of Pietie/A peerless Peece, moulded by chastitie/Rarest of witts, cannot give thee thy due/Thou wert so good, so chaste, so true/Heaven hath thy soule, ye world thy living fame/A tomb in Norwich London gave thy name.” Portrait: alabaster effigy on tomb in St. Andrew’s Church, Norwich.

Alice Cranmer was the daughter of Thomas Cranmer of Sutton, Nottinghamshire (d.1501) and Agnes Hatfield and the sister of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (1489-1556). By 1525, she was a nun at the Cistercian nunnery at Stixwold, Lincolnshire. She may have been there in 1519 when the prioress was accused of spending the night outside of the priory with secular friends. To remedy that, the prioress was given permission to keep a private house within the cloister to entertain them. At that time the nuns’ accommodations were reorganized. Some boarded with the prioress and others with the sub-prioress. Alice was later elected prioress at Minster in Sheppey, a Benedictine house in Kent, succeeding Mildred Wigmore. She is sometimes listed there as Alice Crane. The priory was suppressed in 1536 and Alice was granted a pension of £14/year. An inventory taken on March 27, 1536 listed the names of eight nuns besides the prioress. In 1556, when Thomas Cranmer was imprisoned by Queen Mary, his sister pleaded with the queen for his release. This may have been Alice or another sister, Agnes. The History of Parliament says Agnes was the wife of Edmund Cartwright of Ossington, Nottingham and the mother of Hugh Cartwright (d.1572), but other sources identify her as the widow of a man named Blackman and say she later married Edmund Rede (1470-1568).






ANNE CRESACRE (1511-December 2, 1577)
Anne Cresacre was the only child of Edward Cresacre of Barnborough, Yorkshire (1485-1512) and Jane Bassett. She was the ward of Sir Thomas More and brought up with his children. She married John More (1510-1547) in 1529. Their children included Thomas (August 8, 1531-August 19, 1606), Augustine (b. August 5, 1533), Edward (1535-May 1620), Jerome (d.1537), another Thomas ( June 2, 1538-before 1606), Bartholomew (d.yng), Anne (b.1542), and Francis (d.yng.). On December 26, 1553, Anne and her son Thomas were granted the reversion of the manor of Gobions in South Mimms, Hertfordshire by Queen Mary. Anne’s second , which was dissolved in 1536husband was George West of Aughton (1511-June1572). Her daughter later married his son, John West. Anne held lands in Yorkshire until West died. Portraits: Holbein sketch; included in More family portraits.

ELIZABETH CRESSENER (c.1456-December 1537)
Elizabeth Cressener was probably the daughter of Alexander Cressener (d.1497/8) and Cecily Radcliffe. She was Prioress of the Dominican Priory of Dartford for fifty years. Her letters to Lord Cromwell, written in 1535 and 1536, are still extant, as are financial records of the house, the seventh richest nunnery in England at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. On June 8, 1516, she was granted an annuity of £16 out of customs of London in lieu of the four tuns of wine that had gone to Dartford Priory since the reign of Edward III. In about 1520, Elizabeth Cressener was authorized to take in widows of good repute as permanent guests at Dartford and to receive young ladies and give them “a suitable training.” The priory had not yet been surrendered when Elizabeth Cressener died and Joan Fane was elected to replace her. For more on Dartford Priory, see Paul Lee, Nunneries, Learning, and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society: The Dominican Priory at Dartford. Biography: Oxford DNB under “Cressener, Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth Cressener was the daughter of Thomas Cressener of Elsyng and Kymmerley, Norfolk and Eleanor Woodhouse (d.1540) and probably the niece of Prioress Elizabeth Cressner (d.1537). She was sub prioress of the Dominican Priory of Dartford in the late 1530s. When the priory was dissolved in 1539, she received a pension of 16s. 8d. Of twenty-six sisters who received pensions, twenty were still alive and in receipt of their pensions in 1556. Under Queen Mary, seven of the Dartford nuns, with Elizabeth Cressener as prioress, established the conventual observance at King’s Langley. The Dominican sisters at Dartford had previously been “subject in spirituals” to the Friars Preacher of King’s Langley. In 1557, Dartford Priory was restored to them and they removed there on September 8, 1558. Only two months later, however, Queen Mary died. In 1559, the nuns were given a choice of taking the oath of supremacy or leaving the country within twenty-four hours. Two priests, the prioress, four choir-nuns, four lay sisters, and a young girl not yet professed joined with the nuns of Syon House and left England for Antwerp. There they lived on alms until 1566. In January 1573(5?), the sisters of Engelendael, near Bruges, were ordered to take the three surviving nuns from England into their monastery. Elizabeth Cressener was mentioned in several wills. Sir John Rudstone of London left her a habit in 1530. Her mother left her a black satin gown, a flat piece of silver, a hoop of gold, and £10 in 1540. In 1551, Anne Reddeman of Sutton at Hone made Elizabeth her executrix. The 1552 will of Robert Stroudel, vicar of Sutton at Hone, left Elizabeth household stuff and forgave a debt she owed him. In 1553, William Sedley of Southfleet left bequests to three former Dartford nuns, his sister Dorothy, Mary Bentham, and Elizabeth. At one point Elizabeth had a pension of £6 13s. 4d. and another grant was made to her on May 7, 1560, by which time she was already in Zeeland. For more Elizabeth Cressener and on Dartford Priory, see Paul Lee, Nunneries, Learning, and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society: The Dominican Priory at Dartford.


MARY CRESSWELL (1586-February 6, 1622)
Mary Cresswell was the daughter of Thomas Cresswell. Both her parents died when she was an infant and Mary was raised by an elderly Catholic lady who died when she was fourteen. At that point, Mary joined the household of her kinsman, Sir Christopher Blount (c.1556-x. March 18, 1601/2) and his wife, Lettice Knollys, countess of Leicester and Essex. She remained part of the household at Drayton Basset, Staffordshire after Blount died. She planned to go abroad and become a nun, but Lady Leicester objected and with the help of her chaplain, John Wilson, converted Mary to protestantism. Mary embraced the new religion with considerable fervor, even keeping a catalogue of her sins. Lady Leicester provided Mary with a marriage portion when she wed another member of the household, Humphrey Gunter, son of Geoffrey Gunter of Melton, Wiltshire and Alys (or Agnes) Yale. They had one son. Mary insisted upon giving part of her marriage portion to the heir of the elderly lady she’d lived with earlier in life, since one of her sins had been to steal money from the old woman at the instigation of her servants. She and Gunter continued to reside at Drayton Basset until 1621. Mary’s claim to fame is her funeral sermon and the short biography published with it as Pilgrim’s Profession in 1622. It was dedicated to the countess of Leicester and Essex and was reprinted three times by 1633. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Gunter [née Cresswell], Mary.” Portrait: memorial brass, St. Mary’s, Reading.


LETTICE CRESSY (1580-1629+)
Lettice Cressy was the daughter and heir of James Cressy of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamsire and Jane West (1558-1621) and is said to have had a fortune of £10,000. Her mother, a Catholic, married Thomas Tasburgh of Hawridge, Buckinghamshire (c.1554-c.1602) as her third husband, hoping that his radical protestant leanings would protect her and her daughter. Tasburgh arranged for Lettice to marry his nephew and heir, John Tasburgh (c.1576-April 24,1629). Their children included Dorothy (b.1605/6), Charles (1608-1657), Cressy (b.1609), Peregrine (b.1614), John (b.1617), Francis, Thomas, Jane, Penelope, Cherleine, Elizabeth (d.1640), Lettice (b.1612), Mary, and possibly Agnes, who became a nun with the help of her maternal grandmother. Thomas Tasburgh settled the reversion of Hawridge on the couple and later filed suit in Chancery against his brother for his failure to honor his part of the agreement, a settlement of £120 per annum. In 1616, Tasburgh built a new house at Flixton Abbey, Suffolk. He made his will on September 9, 1626 and it was proved February 10, 1630. Portrait: painted c.1615/16 with her children, probably Penelope, Jane, and Dorothy in the back row and Charles, Lettice, and Cressy in the front.

MARGERY CROCKER (1526-1594+)
Margery Crocker was the daughter of John Crocker or Croker of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (d. March 6, 1568/9) and his first wife, Isabel Skinner (1505-1530). Before 1545, she married Edward Hawten of Swalcliffe, Epwell, and Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (August 7, 1537-1594). Their children were John, Gerard, George, Anthony, Isabel, and Margaret (November 29, 1561-1638). Before 1547, on the strength of information given to him by his servant, Margery Collyn, Hawten sued his wife in the Court of the Star Chamber, claiming that she had committed adultery with Richard Crofts, who had gone to Hawten’s house in Ley, Oxfordshire, and seduced her. The charges were apparently unfounded, since the couple reconciled and lived together for the remainder of Hawten’s life. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow on October 14, 1594.

ANNE CROFT (d.1508?)
Anne Croft was the daughter of Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, Herefordshire (c.1427-July 29, 1509) and Eleanor Cornwall (1431-1520). In about 1480, she married Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire (1456-1524), by whom she had twenty children, including Anne, Eleanor, John (d. February 14, 1531), Margaret, Walter (d. October 3, 1561), Arthur, Joyce, Robert (d.1580), Joanna, Edward (d. September 1, 1559), Ursula, Elinor, Elizabeth, Catherine (d. July 10, 1549), William (d.1539), Thomas, and Agnes. Anne’s granddaughter was Bessie Blount, and her great grandson was Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of King Henry VIII. In online genealogies life dates for Anne vary widely, from c.1466-1508 to 1458-September 27, 1549.




ELIZABETH CROFTS (c.1535-1554+)
Elizabeth Crofts (Croft/Crofte) is included here only because she has an entry in the Oxford DNB under “Crofts, Elizabeth.” She spent several days in mid-March of 1554 hidden in the false exterior wall of a house in Aldersgate Street, London, pretending to be a spirit and spouting anti-Catholic sentiments. When the ruse was discovered, Elizabeth was thrown in jail, but she seems to have been regarded as either a dupe or a madwoman and was not executed. She was said to have been a servant.




ANNE CROMER (c.1470-1520+)
Anne Cromer was either the wife or the daughter of William Cromer (or Crowmer), a gentleman usher (Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York), or the daughter of Sir James Crowmer (Alison Weir, Elizabeth of York). Anne was a gentlewoman in the household of Elizabeth of York. In 1499, she was named mistress of the nursery, taking over from Elizabeth Denton. Nicolas says William was probably the father of Bridget Cromer, another member of the household of Queen Elizabeth of York. Weir says that Anne married William Whettenhall, who was sheriff of Kent in 1489. In May 1502, Anne was paid 40s as a reward “at her departing from court.” In 1503, she received an annuity of £10.


MARY CROMPTON (c.1581-1649)
Mary Crompton was the daughter of Thomas Crompton of Bennington, Hertfordshire, Hounslow, Middlesex, and Faringdon, London (1562-October 1601) and Mary Hodgson (d.1601+). On July 3, 1601 at St. Botolph, Aldersgate, she married William Gee of London (d.1612), a lawyer, as his second wife. Their children included John (1603-1627), William (1605-1657), Thomas (d.1645), Timothy (d. before 1628), Jane and Hanna. Her father made his will on October 24, 1601, leaving £1000 to his eldest daughter and 1000 marks each to her six younger sisters and naming Gee as overseer. Gee purchased Bishop Burton and Cherry Burton from Mary’s family in 1603 and built Low Hall at Bishop Burton. When her husband died, Mary bought the wardship of her eldest son for £750. Mary was buried September 6, 1649 in York Minster, where a monument was erected to William Gee and his two wives. As Dame Mary Gee, she left a will, dated July 16, 1628, in which, among other bequests, she left her coach and horses to her daughter Hanna, a ruby ring to her daughter Jane, and 13s. 4d. to each of her maids. The will was proved February 6, 1655. Portrait: effigy in York Minster.


CATHERINE CROMWELL (c.1557-March 24, 1620)
Catherine Cromwell was the daughter of Henry Cromwell, 3rd baron Cromwell of Oakham (d. November 20, 1592) and Mary Paulet (d. October 10, 1592). She married Lionel Tollemache (d.1611+) on February 10, 1581. Their children were Lionel (d. September 6, 1640), Anne, Mary, and Catherine. Portrait: by Robert Peake the elder, c.1592.


JOAN CROMWELL (c.1532-1560+)
Joan Cromwell was the daughter of Walter Williams of Islington (c.1497-before 1540) and Alice Wellyfield. The will of her uncle, Richard Williams, alias Cromwell, written on June 20, 1545 and proved November 24, 1545, left Joan and her sister Anne, the daughters of his brother “Water Crumwell,” £200 each. The brothers adoped the surname in order to claim an inheritance from their maternal uncle. Joan (or possibly Anne) married William Judde of London (c.1513-1591+), a skinner who owned land in Woodham Ferrers, Essex. Their children were Mary and Agnes. Portrait: 1560, in which Joan and her husband are shown in what appears to be a memorial portrait of parents mourning a deceased adult son, but which experts believe is actually a wedding portrait. The inscriptions read: “We beholde ower ende,” “The worde of God hathe knit us twain and death shall us divide agayne,” and “Live to Die; Die to Live Etarnally,” and Joan’s age is given as twenty-eight.

JOAN CROMWELL (c.1558-1641)
Joan Cromwell was the daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (d. January 6, 1603/4) and Joan Warren (c.1540-August 22, 1584). Sir Henry was born Henry Williams but his father later took his mother’s maiden name, Cromwell, in order to claim an inheritance from his maternal uncle. In 1579, Joan married Sir Francis Barrington of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex (c.1560-July 3, 1628). Their four sons and five daughters included Thomas (c.1585-September 1644), Robert, Francis, Mary (d.c.1666), John (d.c.1631), Elizabeth, Winifred, Ruth, and Joan. They were adherents of predestinarian Calvinism and gave financial support to a large number of ministers, preachers, and authors. Lady Barrington not only raised her own children but also brought up several female relatives and arranged marriages for them. One suitor she rejected for a niece was Roger Williams, who went on to found Providence, Rhode Island. Aside from a period in 1626-7, when Sir Francis was imprisoned in the Marshalsea for refusing to pay a forced loan and Joan stayed with him, she made her home at the Priory, Hatfield. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Barrington [née Williams or Cromwell], Joan.”


MARY CROMWELL (c.1576-1617)
Mary Cromwell was the tenth child and fourth daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (d. January 6, 1603/4) and Joan Warren (c.1540-August 22, 1584). On February 19, 1599, she married Sir William Dunch of Little Wittenham, Berkshire (d.1612). Their children were Edmund (1602-1678), Mary, William, Anne, Henry, Catherine, and Walter. The Wittenham Clumps—rounded hills near the Dunch family seat—go by the alternate name of “Mother Dunch’s Buttocks.” This name is “associated” with Mary. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Peter’s Church, Little Wittenham.



Margaret Cropwell was probably the daughter of Robert Cropwell, who was buried at St. Botolph’s without Bishopsgate January 11, 1579/80, and his wife Julian (d. February 1595/6). Margaret married John Allyn (d.1596), an innholder in the same parish and the brother of Edward Allyn the actor. In 1585, Allyn bought four messuages in Bishopsgate Street adjoining Fisher’s Folly from his mother and stepfather. On July 18, 1592, he leased two messuages in St. Botoph’s from his mother-in-law for nine years. He later moved from that parish to St. Andrew’s, Holborn, where he died before May 4, 1596. By July 2, 1596, Margaret had returned to St. Botolph’s.




JOYCE CULPEPPER (c.1480-1527+)
Joyce Culpepper, sometimes called Jocosa or Jocasta, was the daughter of Sir Richard Culpepper or Culpeper of Oxenhoath, West Peckham, Kent (d. October 4, 1484) and his second wife, Isabel Worsley (d. April 18, 1527). At the age of twelve, Joyce married Ralph Legh of Stockwell in Lambeth, Surrey (c.1470-November 6, 1509). Their children were John, Ralph (d. before 1563), Isabel (d. February 16, 1573), Joyce, and Margaret. She inherited property from her grandfather, Sir John Culpepper, and her father, and was coheiress in 1492 to her brother, Thomas Culpepper. “A woman of substance” with both money and standing in the Lambeth community  (Gareth Russell, Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII), at some point between 1514 and 1519, she married Lord Edmund Howard (c.1479-March 19, 1539). Their children were Catherine (1521-x. February 13, 1542), who became Henry VIII’s fifth queen, Margaret (d. October 10, 1572), Charles, Henry, George (d.1580), and Mary. In 1527, Lord Edmund sent his wife to petition Cardinal Wolsey on his behalf. He was afraid of being imprisoned for debt. That same year, they came into an inheritance from her mother, Isabel Worsley Culpepper Legh. Joyce probably died in 1528 or 1529. The will of Lord Edmund’s second wife is dated May 1530.

JANE CURE (d.1608+)
Jane Cure was the daughter of Thomas Cure of Southwark (d. May 24, 1588), saddler to Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, and Agnes or Anne Bennet (d.1590+). Cure moved to St. Saviour’s Parish in Southwark in 1570. In 1579, he purchased Waverley House from Viscount Montague. He also held other Southwark properties: the Red Lion, the Cross Keys, the Estridge Feather, and the King’s Head, among others. In 1580, he purchased the manor of Paris Garden for his son Thomas. By 1588, Jane married Hugh Browker (d.1608), Prothonotary in Common Pleas, who owned land in Whitechapel. Their four sons and four daughters includedtheir eldest son, Thomas. In 1602, Browker and his son leased Paris Garden, which had formerly belonged to Thomas Cure. Browker made his will on December 31, 1607 and it was proved five weeks later. He made Jane executor and left most of his property to her for the term of fourteen years, after which it was to revert to Thomas.

ELIZABETH CURLE (c.1560-May 29, 1620)
Elizabeth Curle was the sister of Gilbert Curle, secretary to Mary, queen of Scots during her imprisonment in England. Elizabeth was also a member of that household and was with Mary on the scaffold at her execution. Mary left her 2000 francs. After the execution, Mary’s ladies were held at Fotheringay until July 30, when they were taken to Peterborough Cathedral for Mary’s funeral. It was September before they were finally released and allowed to leave England. Elizabeth went with her brother and sister-in-law and their children to the Continent, settling first at Douai (some accounts say Paris) and later to Antwerp. It was at this time that she commissioned a memorial portrait of Mary in which she and Jane Kennedy appear as small background figures. The figures on the monument to Elizabeth and her sister-in-law, Barbara Mowbray, in St. Andrew’s Church, Antwerp, represent their patron saints, not the ladies themselves.

see also CURZON


Ursula Curson was the daughter of Sir John Curson or Curzon of Beckhall/Beek Hall and Belaugh, Norfolk (c.1483-c.1547). She married Sir John Hynde of Madingley, Cambridgeshire (c.1480-October 17, 1550), a lawyer and judge. According to the Oxford DNB entry on Hynde, she was his second wife. His first wife, Elizabeth (or Eleanor) Heydon, died in around 1530. The DNB then states that Hynde had four daughters and two sons, but is not clear about who their mother was. The History of Parliament gives them to Ursula. These children were Catherine, Sybil, Francis (c.1530-March 21, 1595/6), Mary, Anne, and Thomas. In 1543, Hynde began construction on Madingley Hall, about three miles from Cambridge, but he died in London and was buried in St. Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street. According to the diary of Henry Machyn, Ursula provided money for meat, drink, and gowns for the poor of Cambridge. As a widow, she once spent £386 on a piece of land. In her will, she bequeathed property to one of her daughters’ husbands on the condition that he include a certain manor in that daughter’s jointure. Although some sources say that Madingley Hall was completed in 1547, others say it was incomplete when Hynde died and that his son, Sir Francis, continued the building, using wood from the church of St. Ethelreda in Hilston in the construction and selling the lead, bells, and other valuable materials from the demolished church to pay for the work. It is this action which is said to have sent Ursula into the decline that led to her death and to her reappearance as a ghost to walk the grounds, wringing her hands. She supposedly makes an annual appearance between the hall and the church every Christmas Eve. Portrait: carving in a bay window at Madingley Hall.

Anne Cursonne was the daughter of Robert Cursonne or Curzon of Brightwell, Suffolk. In about 1494, she married William Freville or Frevyll of Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire. Her second husband was William Rede of Boston, Leicestershire (d. by 1507). They had a son, Thomas. On January 21, 1510, she married Paul Withypole or Withypool of Walthamstow, Essex (d. June 3, 1547), a London Merchant Taylor. Their children were Elizabeth (1510-October 29, 1537), Edmund (d.1582), and two other sons. Withypole is best known as the donor of the Withypool Triptych (1514), painted by Antonio da Solano, in which he is pictured with the Virgin and Child and St. Joseph. He was a protégé of Cardinal Wolsey and regularly loaned money to King Henry VIII. Anne owned several books of hours, both manuscript and printed, two of which are extant. The printed Book of Hours also contains entries she made during her lifetime, some about family events and some about current events, such as the landing of Henry VII at Milford Haven in 1484 and the death of the Earl of Lincoln. According to Eamon Duffy in Marking the Hours: English People & Their Prayers, 1240-1570, the entry on her marriage to Rede is “a good deal warmer than that recording her subsequent marriage to Withypole.”


Elizabeth Curwen was the daughter of Sir Thomas Curwen and Anne Huddleston. She married Sir William Musgrave (c.1497-October 18, 1544). Their children were Richard (1524-1555) and John. Although most genealogies say she died before 1536, she seems to be the Lady Musgrave who wrote to Lord Cromwell in 1537, just after the Pilgrimage of Grace, to solicit his favor for her husband. She asked that Musgrave be relieved from further service in the north.




Dorothy Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall, Staffordshire (formerly Derbyshire) (c.1490-April 15, 1541) and his second wife, Elizabeth Lygon. By 1557, she was a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Anne of Cleves, as was her married sister Maud (or Magdalen) Tatton. Dorothy apparently found great favor with her mistress. When Anne died, she left Dorothy £100 toward her marriage and also singled her out in the bequest she made to her stepdaughter, Elizabeth Tudor. She asked that the princess take her “poor maid,” Dorothy Curzon, into her service, but Dorothy is not listed in the royal household after Elizabeth became queen. Dorothy married John Mynne.

JOYCE or JOCOSA CURZON (x. December 10, 1557)
Joyce Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall Staffordshire (c.1490-April 15, 1541) and Anne Aston. She married Sir George Appleby (1513-September 10, 1547) of Appleby, Leicestershire. Their children were George (d.1561+) and Richard. Her second husband was Thomas Lewis of Mancetter, Warwickshire (d.1558). In about 1555, she left the Catholic church to become an evangelical, along with many others in the neighborhood. She was arrested in 1556, found guilty of heresy, and burned at the stake in Lichfield. Her story is told in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Lewis [née Curzon], Joyce.”

MARY CURZON (d. October 12, 1628)
Mary Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Addington and Waterperry (d.c.1563) and Agnes Hussey (d. October 20, 1588). According to Magna Britannia by Samuel Lysons (1806), Westoning, Bedfordshire, which was surrendered to the Crown in 1542, was given by Queen Mary to her goddaughter, Mary Curzon. This source also states that Mary Curzon was one of Queen Mary’s maids of honor, but this seems unlikely. Mary could not have been born much before 1553, since her mother was still married to her first husband, Roger More of Bichester, until 1551. The queen died in 1558. On September 12, 1570, Mary Curzon married Sir George Fermor of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire (1550-1612). Their seven sons and eight daughters included Edward, Agnes (c.1575-1617), Robert (c.1578-1626), Hatton (c.1584-October 28, 1640), George, Richard, Devereux, William, Elizabeth, Jane (c.1584-1648), Catherine, Mary, and three girls who died unmarried. Fermor made a will dated 1611 in which he mentions five sons and one daughter. Mary’s will was dated August 13, 1625 and proved February 10, 1628. Portrait: part of a set with that of her husband.

MARY CURZON (1586-May 1645)
Mary Curzon was the daughter of Sir George Curzon (d. November 17, 1622) and Mary Leveson. She married Edward Sackville (1591-1652), later 4th earl of Dorset. Mary was a cousin of Admiral Sir Richard Leveson (d.1605), who had an estate of over 30,000 acres in Staffordshire and Shropshire. His heir appeared to be Richard Leveson (1598-1662), son of another of Sir Richard’s cousins, Sir John Leveson (1555-1615), but Sir John had made powerful political enemies. According the Oxford DNB entry on Sir John Leveson, Thomas Sackville, later created earl of Dorset, conspired against Sir John by, among other things, supporting a forged will that named Mary Curzon as Sir Richard’s heir. That she was married to Sackville’s grandson doubtless aroused suspicion and in the end the forgery was exposed. In 1613, although Mary and Edward Sackville were already married by then, he supposedly fought a duel over Venetia Stanley and killed his opponent, Lord Bruce of Kinloss. After that he traveled on the Continent for a time. Following his return, he and Mary had three children: Richard (September 16, 1622-August 27, 1677), Mary (d.1632) and Edward (d.1646). When Charles I became king, Mary was appointed governess to his children, a post she held until shortly before her death. Portrait: attributed to William Hamilton.

MAUD CURZON (d.1572+)
Maud Curzon was the daughter of Thomas Curzon of Croxall, Derbyshire (now Staffordshire) (c.1490-April 15, 1541) and his second wife,  Elizabeth Lygon. Her first husband was Nicholas Tatton of Chester (d. October 24, 1551). She later married her cousin, William Horton of Catton, Derbyshire (son of Anne Curzon and John Horton), by whom she may have had a son, Christopher. Maud, also called Magdalen, is mentioned in the will of Anne of Cleves and was in Anne’s funeral procession in 1557.


AUDREY CUTTS (c.1542-December 2, 1594)
Audrey Cutts was the daughter of Peter Cutts. Her first husband was Ralph Latham of North Kendall, Essex. After December 14, 1568, she married Gabriel Poyntz of North Ockendon, Essex (1538-February 8, 1607/8). Their children were Thomas (d. December 17, 1597) and Catherine. Portrait: effigy in alabaster on tomb in St. Mary Magdalene, North Ockendon.