CECILY DABRIDGECOURT (1506-September 20, 1558)
Cecily Dabridgecourt was the daughter of John Dabridgecourt of Langdon Hall and Solihull, Warwickshire (1483-July 16, 1543) and his first wife Maria Mynors (1485-1512). Cecily was one of Princess Mary’s attendants in Wales in 1525. On June 19, 1527, she married Sir Rhys/Rice Mansell of Oxwich, Glamorganshire (January 25, 1487-April 10, 1559) as his third wife. Their children were Edward (c.1527-August 5, 1595), Philip (1531-before 1559), Anthony (1535-1601+), Mary (1536-1564), Katherine, Elizabeth (d.1549+), and three sons who died young. In a letter to Lord Cromwell, Princess Mary refers to Cecily as “one of my gentlewomen, whom, for her long and acceptable service to me done, I much esteem and favor.” On August 3, 1535, Cecily herself wrote to Cromwell, begging him to intercede with the king so that her husband, who was serving in Ireland, might return to England where, she writes, “Most of his living is encumbered with jointures and other charges, so that if God should take him, I, with my poor children, were clearly undone; for in these parts I am a stranger.” She was writing from Beaupré and signed herself “Cecil Maunsell.” In 1540, Margam Abbey became the family seat. The Mansells also had a town house in Clerkenwell. When Mary became queen, Cecily was a Lady of the Privy Chamber (as “Lady Manxwell”) and her daughter Mary was a maid of honor. Cecily was buried in St. Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield. Portrait: effigy in Margam Abbey, Glamorganshire with three children.

Christian or Christiana Dabridgecourt was the daughter of John Dabridgecourt of Langdon Hall and Solihull, Warwickshire (1483-July 16, 1543) and his second wife Elizabeth Wigston (d.1543+). She married Anthony Forster of Newark-upon-Trent, Nottinghamshire (d. March 1559) as his second wife. His will, dated February 23, 1558, left her lands in Nottinghamshire, £200, and specified valuables, as well as the lease of St. Leonard’s hospital, Newark, for as long as she chose to live there. He also made provision that his two daughters by his first wife and his daughter with Christian be raised by her and married at eighteen or earlier, and gave instructions for a tomb to be erected to himself and his first wife in the church of Mary Magdalene, Newark. By 1562, Christian married Sir Robert Constable (c.1522-November 12, 1591), a soldier. Their son Henry (1562-October 9, 1613) was a poet and religious exile.

ANNE DACRE (c.1500-1547/8)
Anne Dacre was the daughter of Thomas, 2nd baron Dacre of the North (November 25, 1467-October 24, 1525) and Elizabeth Greystoke (July 10, 1471-August 14, 1516). On September 28, 1515, she married Christopher Conyers, 2nd baron Conyers of Hornby (c.1491-June 14, 1538). On February 2, 1539, her brother, William, 3rd baron Dacre, wrote to Lord Cromwell to ask him to befriend Anne, who needed his aid for herself and her young children. Lady Conyers wrote to Lord Cromwell from Skelton Castle on July 10, 1539. Her eldest son John (1524-June 30, 1557) was still a minor and although he was a ward of the Crown, he was already betrothed to Maud Clifford, daughter of the earl of Cumberland. Conyers had tried to make arrangements for the rest of his family before his death, but he had left behind enormous debts and his widow was faced with raising Elizabeth, Jane (c.1522-December 4, 1558), and Leonard (c.1529-1577), and arranging marriages for them, without any income. She asked Cromwell for her dower rights and begged to be allowed to stay where she was and “be your farmer of my said son’s lands.” In a second letter, written on October 17, 1539, she restates her case, telling Lord Cromwell that since her husband’s death she has had “nothing to live upon, but as we have borrowed amongst our poor friends, and daily sundry of the creditors of my said lord my husband calls upon me for such debts as he was indebted unto them; the which I shall never be able to pay, unless I may be therein relieved and holpen by the profits of such of my said husband’s lands as he devised and assigned to that purpose, and for the preferment of his children.” She asks again for her “dower and living” but when or if she received them is not recorded. Anne wrote her will on December 16, 1547 and it was proved April 1, 1548. She asked to be buried with her husband in the Church of All Saints in Skelton and, among other bequests, left her daughter Jane all her clothes except one gown of tawny velvet with one kirtle of tawny damask, which she left to her other daughter.

ANNE DACRE (c.1538-1581)
Anne Dacre was the daughter of William Dacre, 3rd baron Dacre of the North (April 29, 1500-November 18, 1563) and Elizabeth Talbot (d.1559). In 1554, she married Henry Clifford, 2nd earl of Cumberland (1517-January 8, 1570), as his second wife. Their children included George, 3rd earl (August 8, 1558-October 30, 1605), Francis, 4th earl (1559-1641) and Frances (d.1592). Anne’s sister Dorothy, Lady Windsor, left her a ring of gold with a turquoise in 1561. Anne was buried at Holy Trinity church, Skipton, Yorkshire.

ANNE DACRE (March 1,1557-April 13,1630)
Anne Dacre was the oldest daughter of Thomas, 4th baron Dacre of the North (c.1526-July 25,1566) and Elizabeth Leyburne (d. September 4,1567). On January 29, 1567, her mother married Thomas, 4th duke of Norfolk. After the death of her only brother, George, 5th baron, at Thetford, Norfolk on May 17, 1569, in a fall from a wooden vaulting horse, Anne and her sisters became considerable heiresses. They were brought up by their stepfather and by their grandmother, Helen Preston, dowager Lady Mounteagle. In September 1571, when Anne was fourteen, she married her stepbrother, Philip Howard (June 28, 1557-November 19,1595). He should have succeeded his father to the dukedom, but Thomas Howard was executed for treason in 1572 and the title was forfeit. Norfolk requested that “Meggy and Nan”—his daughter, Margaret Howard, and Anne—be placed in the care of Frances Sidney, countess of Sussex. Philip Howard was taken into the household of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, later attended St. John’s College, Cambridge, and then went to court. While her husband lived at Howard House in Charterhouse Square, Anne lived with his maternal grandfather, the earl of Arundel. She was chief mourner at the funeral of his daughter, Lady Lumley, in 1578, and depicted as such, styled countess of Surrey, in a contemporary manuscript. In 1581, Philip succeeded as earl of Arundel and shortly thereafter he and Anne began to live together, part of the time at Arundel Castle. When Anne openly converted to Catholicism, which was against the law, the queen committed her to the custody of Sir Thomas Sherley at Wiston House. There Anne gave birth to her first child, Elizabeth (1583-1598). She was successful in convincing her husband to convert to Catholicism as well, a step he took on September 30, 1584. As a result, he was made a prisoner in his own house by order of the queen. He was released in April 1584 and Anne was allowed to leave Wiston that September. In April 1585, however, Philip made secret plans to flee the country. Contrary winds delayed his escape and when he finally set sail his ship was boarded and he was returned to shore. He was confined in the Beauchamp Tower, charged with trying to escape the realm. His brother William and sister Margaret and his uncle, Henry Howard, were also arrested. Shortly after he was imprisoned, Anne gave birth to their son and heir, Thomas (1586-1646). Anne and her two children were reduced to living in one wing of Arundel House on a pension of £8 a week. Anne managed, however, to scrape together £30 to bribe Cecily Hopton, one of the daughters of the Lord Lieutenant, to provide her husband with access to a priest, William Bennett, who was also imprisoned in the Tower of London. Bennett secretly said mass in Philip’s cell until, in the autumn of 1588, they were discovered and Bennett was transferred to another prison. Philip was charged with treason because the mass was for the success of the Armada. He spent the rest of his life in the Tower. Anne remained free and continued to practice her faith. From 1589 until 1595, Robert Southwell secretly lived in Anne’s household as her priest. Under James I, Anne regained possession of some of her properties, including Shifnal Manor, Shropshire, where she died. She spent her last years writing a memoir with the help of a live-in biographer. He finished it five years after her death. The Life of the Right Honorable Lady Anne Countesse of Arundell and Surrey was edited by the Duke of Norfolk in 1837. She also wrote at least one poem, in 1595, on the death of her husband. Written on the cover of a letter, it begins: “In sad and ashy weeds I sigh,/I groan, I pine, I mourn;/My oaten yellow reeds/I all to jet and ebon turn./My wat’ry eyes, like winter’s skies,/My furrowed cheeks o’erflow./ All heavens know why men mourn as I,/And who can blame my woe.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Howard [née Dacre], Anne.” Portraits: a stained glass window in Arundel Cathedral, West Sussex; drawing by Lucas Vorsterman, 1626, in the British Museum; engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar, 1627; portrait sent to Philip II of Spain (no longer extant). She was described in life as being “taller of stature than the common sort” and “somewhat corpulant” in her last years.


DOROTHY DACRE (d.1561/2)
Dorothy Dacre was the daughter of William Dacre, 3rd baron Dacre of the North (April 29, 1500-November 18, 1563) and Elizabeth Talbot (d.1559). By a license dated November 27, 1544, Dorothy married Sir Thomas Windsor of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire (c.1523-1552), one of the sons of William, 2nd baron Windsor. According to his will, written November 8, 1552 and proved January 16, 1553, they had a daughter, Anne, but she appears to have died before her mother. Windsor left his wife the leases of Princes Risborough and Darlington, Durham and made her executor along with his uncle, Edmund Windsor. Dorothy wrote her will on June 4, 1561. One of the witnesses was her aunt, Mary Talbot, countess of Northumberland. It was proved February16, 1562.  The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com/documents.html

Eleanor Dacre was the daughter of William Dacre, 3rd baron Dacre of the North (April 29, 1500-November 18, 1563) and Elizabeth Talbot (d.1559). She was unmarried at the time her sister, Dorothy, Lady Windsor, made her will on November 8, 1552. In that will, Dorothy left Eleanor several bequests, including a girdle of goldsmith’s work, a flower with an emerald, a French kirtle of black velvet, a chain enameled with blue, a gown of black velvet, 18 pair of aglets enameled with white, a new velvet saddle, money remaining by a warrant of their father of £30, and the lease, interest, and term of years of the deanery of Dernton, if she “marry not nor die within the said years.” If she did marry or die within the term specified in the lease, the bequest was to go to their brother, Francis. Eleanor married Henry Jerningham of Cossey or Cotesby Hall, Norfolk (d. June 15, 1619) and had at least one child, Henry (d.1646).

Elizabeth Dacre was one of the three daughters of Thomas, 4th baron Dacre of the North (c.1526-July 25, 1566) and Elizabeth Leyburne (d. September 4, 1567). Upon her mother’s marriage to Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth was betrothed to the duke’s younger son, Lord William Howard (1563-1640). They married in 1577. They lived primarily at Naworth Castle and had little to do with the court. Their children were Philip (b.1581), William, Charles, Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth (March 1, 1587-1637), Francis (1588-1660), John, Robert, Anne, and Margaret (December 19, 1593-March 3, 1620/21). Portrait: a portrait called “Lady Elizabeth Dacre, 1577” was at Gilling Castle in 1878 and was said to resemble one at Naworth called Queen Elizabeth, except that it showed the sitter with a candle and crucifix.



JOAN DACRE (c.1433-March 8, 1486)
Joan Dacre was the daughter of Sir Thomas Dacre of Gilsland, Northumberland (1410-1448) and Elizabeth Bowett. In June 1446, she married Sir Richard Fiennes (c.1415-November 25, 1483). When her grandfather, Thomas, 6th baron Dacre, died on January 5, 1457/8, she became suo jure 7th baroness Dacre and her husband was styled baron Dacre in the right of his wife. There was, however, a dispute over the title with her uncles. It was finally settled in 1473 by Edward IV who awarded the barony of Dacre to Richard and Joan and created her uncle Humphrey baron Dacre of Gilsland (or “of the North”). In about March 1477, Joan was appointed nurse/lady mistress to George, newborn son of King Edward. At that time, her husband was chamberlain to the queen. When George died at Windsor Castle in March 1479, Joan became lady mistress to Princess Mary. Mary died at fifteen, on May 23, 1482 at Greenwich. Joan attended a service there and dinner at the palace afterward before the body was taken to Windsor for burial. Her own children were John (c.1449-1483), Elizabeth, Richard (c.1453-1455), and William (c.1455-1457). Joan died at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex. Her grandson became the 8th baron Dacre.

MABEL DACRE (c.1490-c.1533)
Mabel, sometimes called Margaret, Dacre was the daughter of Thomas, 2nd baron Dacre of the North (November 25, 1467-October 24, 1525) and Elizabeth Greystoke (July 10, 1471-August 14, 1516). She married Henry, 7th baron Scrope of Bolton (c.1480-December 1532). Their children were John, 8th baron (c.1510-June 22, 1549), Anne, Joan, Elizabeth, and Anne. Mabel was at court as one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies at the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. Neville Williams, in Henry VIII and His Court, calls her the “sickly Lady Scrope.”


MAGDALEN DACRE (1538-April 8, 1608)
Magdalen Dacre was the daughter of William Dacre, 3rd baron Dacre of the North (April 29, 1500-November 18, 1563) and Elizabeth Talbot (d.1559) and was born at Naworth Castle, Cumberland. At thirteen, she was a gentlewoman to Anne Sapcote, countess of Bedford, and at sixteen joined Queen Mary’s household. She was one of Mary’s bridesmaids when she married Philip II of Spain. Magdalen was reportedly very religious, spending much of her time in prayer and wearing a coarse linen smock under her court clothes. According to a story repeated in E. S. Turner’s The Court of St. James and elsewhere, she was a blonde, a head taller than any other maid of honor, and very attractive, and she caught the attention of Queen Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain. The story goes that Philip opened a window to a room where Magdalen was washing her face (or in some versions, brushing her hair) and, supposedly in jest, caught hold of her. Magdalen beat him off with a nearby staff. Neither she nor her mistress found the incident amusing. She is probably the “Dacars” in the poem by R. E., usually dated c.1553, about eight ladies at court. The line referring to her reads: “Dacars is not dangerous/her talk is nothing coy.” On July 15, 1558, Magdalen was married at St. James’s palace to Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu (November 29, 1528-October 19, 1592). Magdalen raised two stepchildren and had ten children of her own: Philip (b.1559), Henry (c.1562-1628), George, Anthony, Jane, Mary, Elizabeth, Mabel, Thomas, and William. Magdalen and her husband were recusants during the reign of Elizabeth and her husband was questioned when Magdalen’s brother, Leonard, took part in the Northern Rebellion of 1569, but in general they were left alone by the government, even though they had resident chaplains who celebrated mass for as many as 120 people on special occasions. Magdalen was only once accused of recusancy, her house was searched only twice, and only once was one of her priests taken and imprisoned. A house at the edge of Battle manor contained a subterranean passage by which priests were smuggled into England. Magdalen was also willing to allow a printing press on her premises, but she would not aid treasonous plots, not even one involving another of her brothers, Francis. Her chaplain at Cowdray was Thomas More, grandson of the martyr. When Queen Elizabeth visited Cowdray for a week in 1591, the priests were hidden and George Browne was knighted. Magdalen lived at Battle Abbey, Sussex after her husband’s death. At some point between 1592 and 1595, William, Lord Cobham proposed marriage. She turned him down. In 1597, when a messenger brought a letter there to be passed on to the earl of Essex, Magdalen turned the messenger over to the magistrate and also reported the incident to Lord Buckhurst, a privy councilor, sending her niece along as a witness. Magdalen was buried in Midhurst Church with her husband, but they were later moved to Eastbourne. She left a will proved April 24, 1608. Biography: written in Latin by Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon (1627); A.C. Southern, ed. An Elizabethan Recusant House: the Life of the Lady Magdalen, Viscountess Montague; Roger B. Manning, Religion and Society in Elizabethan Sussex; Oxford DNB entry under “Browne [née Dacre], Magdalen.” Portrait: alabaster tomb in Eastbourne Church with figures of Sir Anthony Browne and both of his wives.

MARY DACRE (c.1536-April 12,1611+)
Mary Dacre was born in Gilsland, Cumberland, the fourth daughter of William, 3rd baron Dacre of the North (April 29, 1500-November 18, 1563) and Elizabeth Talbot (d.1559). On October 21, 1558, she married Alexander Culpeper of Bedgebury (c.1535-January 19, 1599). She the mother of Anthony Culpeper (d.1618). She was listed as a recusant in 1611. Portrait: effigy on Culpeper tomb (carved 1599 and erected 1608) in Goudhurst Church, Kent.

MARY DACRE (July 4, 1563-April 7, 1578)
Mary Dacre was the daughter of Thomas Dacre, 4th baron Dacre of the North (c.1526-July 25, 1566) and Elizabeth Leyburne (d. September 4, 1567). During her mother’s short-lived marriage to the duke of Norfolk, Mary was betrothed to one of the duke’s sons, Thomas Howard, later earl of Suffolk (1561-1626), and had married him by May 9, 1577. Charlotte Merton, in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, advances the theory that Mary Dacre was the “Ladie M. Howarde” Sir John Harington referred to, in 1606, when he related the following story in a letter to Robert Markham. A lady at court appeared in “a rich border powdered wyth golde and pearle, and a velvet suite belonging thereto.” The queen, annoyed that “it exeeded her own” clothing, got hold of the outfit and put it on. The “kirtle and border was far too shorte for her Majesties height; and she askede every one, How they likede her new-fancied suit? At lengthe she asked the owner herself, If it was not made too short and ill-becoming? Which the poor Ladie did  presentlie consente to. Why then if it became not me, as being too short, I am minded it shall never become thee, as being too fine; so it fitteth neither well. This sharp rebuke abashed the Ladie, and she never adorned her herewith any more. I believe the vestment was laid up till after the Queenes death.” Attempts to identify M. Howarde, usually connect the story to one of the Mary Howards who were maids of honor to Elizabeth during her long reign (see MARY HOWARD), but Merton argues that since Harington says he was “a boye” at the time of the incident, it must have taken place in about 1577, around the same time that Mary Dacre, Lady Thomas Howard, would have made her first appearance at court. Although Mary had been raised in the household of the duke of Norfolk from about age three until about age nine, he was executed for treason in 1572, after which it might not have been considered essential to educate her in the ways of the royal court. This lack could account for her decision to wear clothing above her station. She would also have been very young. She died at Saffron Walden a few months before her fifteenth birthday. She had no children.

ANNE DACRES (d. August 1563)
Anne Dacres was the daughter of Henry Dacres or Dakers of London and Mayfield, Stafforshire (c.1458-c.1538), merchant taylor and sheriff of London in 1528, and his wife Elizabeth (d. April 26, 1530). His will was written January 15, 1537 and proved June 14, 1539. He was buried in St. Dunstan’s in the West. Anne married Robert Fairethwatt or Fairethwaite of London (d.1521), another merchant taylor, by whom she had Martin, Geoffrey, and Elizabeth. After his death, she married Sir John Packington of London and Hampton Lovett, Worcestershire (d. August 21, 1551), by whom she apparently had Bridget, Ursula (d.1558), and a son who died young. Sir John wrote his will on August 16, 1551 and it was proved October 30, 1551. To “Anne, my loving wife” he left the lease on the parsonage of Chaddersley Corbet, rents from the farm of Harbington, half of all corn, malt, and grains, half his household stuff, half his horses, geldings, mares and cattles, £200, half of all his plate, and his great chain of gold. He also left bequests to her children, Martin Fairthwaite and Elizabeth Tichborne (Elizabeth had married Nicholas Tichborne of Roydon, Essex), but some genealogies mistakenly give Anne an additional husband named Tychbourne. Anne made her will on November 24, 1559. It included several endowments: lands to the value of £16 16s. 9d./year to the Clothworker’s Company to distribute to the poor of St. Dunstan’s parish and pay for sermons; enough to fund £7 13s. 4d./year for the care of the poor in St. Botolph’s parish; and £3/year for the education of poor children. Lands belonging to her in Islington went to build almshouses near White Friars church in Fleet Street. Augustus J. C. Hare in Walks in London, Vol. I (1878), says she is “often supposed” to be the author of “The Whole Duty of Man,” but I have not found a source for this. Anne’s small monument in St. Botolph’s Aldersgate (Dame Anne Packington) is the oldest monument in the church. Why it shows only three figures is unclear. She was buried there on August 22, 1563. Anne’s will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com. It is dated April 26, 1563 and was proved March 10, 1564.

Margaret Dacres was the daughter of George Dacres of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (c.1533-September 30, 1580) and Elizabeth Carew (1538-March 1579). In his will, he left his daughter £500. Margaret married George Garrard of Dorney Court, Buckinghamshire (1559-1591) on September 17, 1585 and had by him two daughters, Anne (1585/6-April 18, 1627) and Frances. In about 1592, she married Henry Savile of Merton College, Oxford (November 30, 1549-February 19, 1622). Although he did not live full time at Merton, when he was there he flouted the rule against having his wife with him. They had two children, Henry (d.1604) and Elizabeth (c.1595-1651+). In 1595, the family moved from Oxford to Eton, where Savile was provost. He was knighted in 1604, by which time he was engaged in translating what became the King James Bible. Sir Henry Savile was buried in the Eton College Chapel, where there is a simple stone in his memory, but Margaret erected another monument to him in the Merton College Chapel at Oxford and he also appears on her monument in St. Nicholas Hurst, Berkshire.

MARGARET DAKINS (February 1571-September 1633)
Margaret Dakins was the daughter of Arthur Dakins of Linton, Yorkshire (c.1517-July 13, 1592) and Thomasine Gye (d. November 13, 1613), but she was brought up in the Puritan household of the earl of Huntingdon. Her first husband was another of Huntingdon’s charges, Walter Devereux (1569-September 8, 1591), but he was killed in battle in France early in their marriage. By November 1591, even before Walter’s body had been returned to England for burial, she was being courted by two men. She married one, Thomas Sidney (1569-July 26,1595) on December 22, 1591 and, after his death, reluctantly agreed to wed the other, Thomas Posthumous Hoby (1566-December 30, 1640). She married Hoby at his mother’s house in Blackfriars on August 9,1596. They lived at Hackness, Yorkshire, which Hoby’s powerful relations, the Cecils, had secured for her. It had been purchased at the time of her first marriage as a home for the young couple, but there were difficulties over the financing and the new earl of Huntingdon had claimed the property belonged to him. Margaret kept a diary of her religious observances and recorded some of the cures she used to treat her retainers. The diary covers the period from August 9, 1599 to July 21, 1605. Margaret’s piety was highly respected, but the same characteristics in her husband provoked an incident on August 27,1600 which ended in the courts. A band of hunters, dissatisfied with the way the Hobys kept open house, vandalized Hackness. The case was finally decided in Hoby’s favor by the Privy Council in 1602, but his refusal to unlock his wine cellar was regarded as just as rude as breaking four quarrels of glass and roistering while the Hobys were at prayer. Margaret was buried at Hackness on September 6,1633. Her husband erected an alabaster monument to her there. The value of her estate has been estimated at £1500. Biography: Dorothy M. Meads, ed., The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605 (1930); Joanna Moody, ed., The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady: The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605 (1998); Oxford DNB entry under “Hoby [née Dakins], Margaret.”

DOROTHY DALE (1560-1618)
Dorothy Dale was the daughter and heir of Valentine Dale (c.1520-November 17, 1589) and Elizabeth Sherer (d. October 1590), who was the widow of a man named Forth when she married Dale. In around 1580, Dorothy married Sir John North (1551-June 5, 1597). Their children were Dudley, 3rd Baron North (1582-1666), Elizabeth (c.1583-c.1616), Roger (1588-1652/3), John, Gilbert, and Mary. She erected a monument to her husband in St. Gregory by Paul’s, London. Portrait: c.1605, attributed to John de Critz.

MARY DALE (d. November 1601)
Mary Dale was the daughter of William Dale, a Bristol merchant. She married three times, but the name of her first husband is unknown. Her second husband was Thomas Avery (d. 1576), to whom she was married by 1554. In 1578, she wed Sir Thomas Ramsey (1510/11-1590), who was lord mayor of London that year and one of the richest men in London. His house in Lombard Street was one of the finest in the city. He was buried in St. Mary Woolnoth, where there is a memorial to him and his first wife. By the time of her death, Mary owned her own coach. Since there were no children from Ramsay’s first marriage and Mary had no children from any of hers, she was very active in charitable works. She left £1000 to her native city, Bristol, and was a benefactress of Christ’s Hospital in London. The total value of charities established by husband and wife from 1583 until Mary’s death is reckoned at £14,318. After Mary’s death, she was twice honored in print. The first was Nicholas Bourne’s 1602 An Epitaph upon the Decease of the Worshipful Lady Ramsay. In 1606, she was portrayed as what the Oxford DNB calls “the model of virtuous civic womanhood” in Thomas Heywood’s play If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody, Part II. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Ramsey [née Dale; other married name Avery], Mary.” Portraits: oil painting at Christ’s Hospital; line engraving.



Katherine Dallam was the daughter of Thomas Dallam (d.1497+), a skinner. Her first husband was Richard Collyer or Collier (d.1533), a wealthy adventurer and mercer born in Horsham, Sussex. They had two children, George and Dorothy, and lived in The Key, a property located on the south side of Cheapside, almost opposite Mercers’ Hall, in the parish of St. Pancras, Soper Lane. Collyer purchased this property in 1520 for £100. By 1532, he also owned another house in Cheapside and property in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. By November 1535, Katherine had married Robert Packington or Pakington (1496-November 13, 1536), another mercer. Packington was an evangelical and during the 1530s was secretly smuggling English-language Bibles into England. At 4 AM on Monday, November 13, 1536, Packington, who was probably living at The Key, was on his way to mass at the Mercer’s Chapel of St. Thomas of Acre Church. Near the end of Soper Lane, when he was about to cross Cheapside, he was shot dead by an assailant who was never identified. Both the fact that he was shot by a hand gun when guns were still somewhat rare and the failure of authorities to make any arrest led to all manner of speculation. The best guess is that he was killed because of his smuggling activities. The Oxford DNB gives Packington two sons and a daughter by his first wife. Anne F. Sutton, in The Mercery of London, confuses Katherine with this first wife, Agnes Baldwin. Another source says Packington and Katherine’s children were Thomas (d. June 2, 1571), John, Elizabeth, Anne, and Margaret, but some of those may belong to Agnes. What is clear is that, on August 21, 1539, Katherine married for a third time. Her new husband was Michael Dormer (d.1545), yet another mercer. He is said to have been wealthier than either of her previous husbands. They appear to have remained at The Key, but by 1540, both of Katherine’s Collyer children had died. Under the terms of Collyer’s will, the property was supposed to be sold to provide an endowment to establish a school at Horsham. An agreement was worked out whereby Katherine and her husband stayed on at The Key as company tenants. In August 1540, Dormer paid £8 6s 8d for a house and garden near Horsham for the school, which opened in 1541 and remained in operation until 1893. Michael Dormer was Lord Mayor of London in 1541-2. Katherine does not seem to have had any children by this third marriage. Dormer, however, had five sons and a daughter by his first wife. Upon his death, Katherine inherited houses in St. Laurence Jewry and at Kimble, Buckinghamshire for life. According to his will, proved October 2, 1545, she was “to take her pastime therein, to make merry with my friends and hers.” Dormer left several sets of instructions for her. She was to pay 53s 4d to the Mercers to support a morrow mass priest during the lifetime of Ambrose Barker, grocer. After his death, the reversion of certain lands was to pass to the Mercers to support the same priest. She was also to give the Mercers £6 13s 4d each year for a dinner “to be kept at their pleasure.” “Lady Dormer of London” was remembered in the will of Denise Leveson (née Bodley). She was left “a ring of the value of 30s.” Katherine’s will, written May 24, 1562 and proved January 26, 1563, can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com.



CATHERINE DAMMARTIN (d. February 15, 1553)
Catherine Dammartin was a former nun from Metz when she married Pietre Martiri Vermigli of Florence (September 8, 1499-November 12, 1562) in Strasbourg in 1545. Better known as Peter Martyr, her husband was a radical religious reformer. They traveled to England where, in January 1551, he was appointed first canon of Christ Church, Oxford. Catherine thus became the first woman resident in an Oxford college. The Oxford DNB entry for Richard Cox, later bishop of Ely, gives this distinction to Cox’s first wife, who resided at Christ Church and was “joined by Mrs. Vermigli.” When the windows of their rooms were repeatedly smashed by protestors, the Vermiglis moved their lodgings into the cloisters. A contemporary, George Abbot, described Catherine as “reasonably corpulent, but of most matronlike modesty” and skilled at cutting “plumstones into curious faces.” When Catherine died, she was interred in Christ Church Cathedral near the former shrine to St. Frideswide, becoming the first clerical wife buried in an English cathedral. A few months later, Mary Tudor became queen and Peter Martyr fled from England with other Marian exiles. It is difficult to separate the truth of what happened next from later Protestant propaganda, but it appears that sometime in 1557, Catherine was tried posthumously for heresy. The case could not be made, partly because she does not appear to have spoken English and those who had met her could not understand German. The intention, had she been convicted, was to burn her remains. This was not done, but her bones were exhumed, some say on orders from Cardinal Pole himself, and Richard Martial/Marshall, dean of Christ Church, was ordered to dispose of them. The story goes that the bones were flung on a dungheap in the stable. In 1558, when Elizabeth Tudor became queen, these bones were somehow identified and at some point were reinterred in the cathedral. The story reported in a 1562 publication and repeated by John Foxe in his Book of Martyrs was that her bones were deliberately mixed with those of St. Frideswide so that neither would ever be dishonored again.

ANNE DANBY (1534-1577+)
Anne Danby was the daughter of Sir Christopher Danby of Farnley, Yorkshire (October 1, 1503-June 14, 1571) and Elizabeth Neville (April 28,1500-1571+). She married Walter Calverley of Calverley and Pudsey, Yorkshire (d.1596). Their children were William (1557-1596), Edmund, and Christopher. There may have been a fourth child. Anne was a listed as a recusant in 1575 and again in 1577 (along with her son William, then at Staple Inn). She was listed as “Anne Calverleye her husband £40 per annum in lands wife of Walter Calverley, esquire of Calverley parish.” Calverley conformed during the years 1576-1582 when he was escheator for Yorkshire. William was imprisoned for recusancy. Edmund was ordained a priest and was imprisoned at Wisbech. The queen took possession of Walter Calverley’s lands in 1590. Portraits: at age 37 in 1571, described in Lionel Cust, “The Painter HE (Hans Eworth),” The Second Annual Volume of the Walpole Society 1912-1913; portrait with her eldest son (at 14 in 1571) at Wallington Hall, Northumberland (National Trust).





Elizabeth Danet was the daughter of Gerard or Gerald Danet of Danet’s Hall, Bromkinsthorpe, Leicestershire (c.1466-May 3, 1520) and his second wife, Mary Belknap (1472-c.1558). The date of birth given in “Early Dannett Pedigree” online, August 10, 1507, would make Elizabeth ten years old when she participated in revels at court in 1517. This seems unlikely, especially as she was listed as one of Queen Catherine of Aragon’s “women” in March 1521, when she received a “reward” from the king of £20. Her younger sister, Mary Danet, was also at court. Elizabeth Danet’s marriage contract with Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (c.1500-November 7, 1557) bears the date July 10, 1525. She was his second wife. They had twelve children, including John (c.1530-November 17, 1590), Cecily (c.1526-c.1578), Thomas, Marie, George, Elizabeth, and Edward (d.1586). Arundell was in prison from 1549 until June 1552. After his death, his widow was granted the administration of his possessions, including his library. She left a ring worth 20s. to her sister, Mary Medley, which calls into questions the date of death given for Mary (below). According to A. L. Rowse in Tudor Cornwall, Elizabeth was a “wealthy old lady” who left many bequests of money and plate. She left twenty marks to a servant, Ursula Bray. Only a fragment of her brass in St. Mawgan remained when Rowse was writing in 1941.


Mary Dannett was the daughter of Gerard or Gerald Danet of Danet’s Hall, Bromkinsthorpe, Leicestershire (c.1466-May 3, 1520) and his second wife, Mary Belknap (1472-c.1558). She is recorded as being in the household of Mary Tudor (later Queen Mary) in 1526. Mary Danet married George Medley (d.1562), half brother of Lady Jane Grey’s father. They lived at Tilty, Essex and had three sons and two daughters, including Elizabeth (d.1603). Portrait: brass in St. Mary the Virgin, Tilty, Essex.


MARY DANIEL (d. October 7, 1598)
Mary Daniel or Danyell was the mistress of Sir Edward Darrell of Littlecote, Wiltshire (1520-1549) at the time of his death. Although he had a legitimate heir, William (June 23, 1539-October 1, 1589), Darrell left Littlecote House and other property in trust for Mary and she served as administrator of his estate,which included twenty-five manors. Mary styled herself Lady Darrell. On her memorial brass, she claimed that Sir Edward was her first husband and that they had a daughter, Eleanor Darrell. Although some online sources say Mary was also the mother of Darrell’s illegitimate son Thomas, his name is not listed with her other children. According to the rest of the inscription, Mary married Philip Maunsell or Mansel (1531-before 1559), by whom she had a son, Rice (Rhys) Maunsell, and Henry Fortescue of Faulkbourne, Essex (1514-1576), by whom she had a son, Dudley Fortescue. From 1561, as Mary Fortescue, Mary was harassed by lawsuits brought by William Darrell as he attempted to claim income from the properties his father had put in trust for her. Portrait: memorial brass at Faulkborne.


MARGARET DANIELL (d.1561+) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret was married three times, first to a man named Godwin of Chippenham, Wiltshire, then to Richard Hitchcock, and finally to Geoffrey Daniell, a lawyer of the Inner Temple, London. In 1531, as a widow, Margaret Hitchcock sold wool worth £36 to Nicholas Taylor, a Gloucestershire clothier. Taylor was to pay the money to Thomas Wilkes “to the use of” Margaret’s children. By 1537, Margaret had married Geoffrey Daniell and together they brought suit against Wilkes in the Court of Requests. Taylor said he’d given the money to Wilkes. In 1538, after Thomas Wilkes’s death, his brother, John Wilkes, deposed that this was so, but Thomas Wilkes’s widow, Edith, and his son, another John Wilkes, denied all knowledge of the transaction. The outcome is unknown. Meanwhile, Daniell went on to become surveyor to Anne of Cleves (1540) and Kathryn Parr (by 1545) and later was a steward in the service of Thomas Seymour, Lord Sudeley (by 1548). He acquired St. Margaret’s, Marlborough, Wiltshire by 1543. He made his will on July 9, 1558, leaving his widow her jointure, £100, and 400 sheep, plus all the goods in their dwelling house at St. Margaret’s. The will was proved February 4, 1561. They do not seem to have had any children.


Anne Danvers was the daughter of William Danvers of Culworth, Northamptonshire, Calthorpe, Oxfordshire, and Chamberhouse at Crookham, Berkshire (c.1432-April 1504) and Anne Pury (d.1530). She married Richard Verney of Compton Verney, Warwickshire (c.1464-September 28, 1527) and was the mother of Anne (d.1523), Thomas, John, and George (c.1506-before 1540). Portraits: Anne is featured in two memorials in stained glass, formerly in the church in Compton Verney, the first in memory of her husband and installed c.1527 and the second commemorating her death in 1558.


Elizabeth Danvers was the daughter of John Danvers of Chamberhouse, Crookham, Berkshire (c.1478-October 30, 1508) and Margaret Hampden. In 1518, William Boughton was granted the wardships of Elizabeth and her sisters Mary and Dorothy. Another sister, Anne, was already married. By February 1522, Elizabeth was married to Thomas Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire (d. September 4, 1558). Their children were John, Richard (c.1527-1566), Ambrose (d.yng), Roger (c.1536-July 26, 1586), Edward, Anthony, Amy, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth (c.1532-1562+), Margery, Barbara (d.yng), Alice, and Susan. Portrait: tomb effigy in St. Nicholas Church, Stanford-on-Avon.


Lucy Danvers was one of the daughters of Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey, Wiltshire (1540-December 19, 1594) and Elizabeth Neville (d.1630). Lucy inherited property in Yorkshire and Northamptonshire from her grandfather, John Neville, 4th baron Latimer, making her a good catch for Sir Henry Baynton of Bromham, Wiltshire (1571-1616). They married c. 1599, lived primarily at Bromham and at Bromhill House, and had two children, Edward and Elizabeth (1606-1638). In her will, Lucy left money for a minister to say the service in Foxham Chapel in Bromhill parish and items of clothing, including an ash color velvet gown and a satin waistcoat. She was buried in Westminster Abbey on June 14, 1621.




Catherine Darcy was the daughter of Sir Henry Darcy of Brimham, Yorkshire (d.1592) and his second wife, Catherine Fermor. In June 1591, she married Gervase Clifton of Leighton Bromswold (c.1570-1618). In that same year, John Dowland wrote four musical pieces for her. The Cliftons had a son, who died young, and a daughter, Catherine (c.1592-1637).





Elizabeth Darcy was the daughter of Sir Roger Darcy of Danbury, Essex (1478-September 30, 1508) and Elizabeth Wentworth (c.1470-c.1542). In 1522, she was left £200 for her dowry by her stepfather, Sir Thomas Wyndham. She married Sir John Legh or Leigh of Stockwell, Surrey (d.1566) and had one daughter, Agnes. By the time Legh made his will in 1563, they were divorced but she was still living, as evidenced by the following excerpt from the will of Sir John Legh, transcribed by Nina Green at http://www.Oxford-Shakespeare.com: And furthermore I will that Elizabeth, my wife, upon condition hereafter mentioned, by the way of my mere and free gift in recompense of her jointure which she late had of certain manors, lands, tenements and other hereditaments in the county of Surrey, albeit the said Elizabeth is not at this present, nor after my death by order of the laws of this realm can or ought to be entitled to the same, but precluded by reason of a just and lawful divorce made between me and the said Elizabeth had upon a just consideration, shall have and be paid one annuity or yearly rent of £33 6s 8d of lawful English money out of my manor of Hilton in the county of Dorset, to have and to hold the same to the same Elizabeth and her assigns for term of her natural life at the feasts of the Annunciation of Our Lady and Saint Michael the Archangel or within 28 days next after either of the said feasts upon request in that behalf by even portions, upon condition that the said Elizabeth do not at any time after my death make any claim or title to any of those manors, lands, tenements or other hereditaments which sometime were appointed for her jointure, nor do not claim any dower in any of my other manors, lands or tenements in the which I have been or now am seised within the realm of England, nor do not interrupt my executors nor any of them in the execution of this my last will and testament; And if the said Elizabeth do by any means let or go about to let that this my testament and last will shall not be in every point and article performed and observed, then I will the grant and payment of the said annuity or yearly rent of £33 6s 8d to the said Elizabeth shall cease, be void and of none effect. One online genealogy site suggests that this Elizabeth is the same Elizabeth Darcy who married Humphrey Colles of Barton Grange and Nether Stowey, Somersetshire (d. 1570/71) and had a daughter Elizabeth (d.1580) and a son John (d.1607), but according to the entry for Humphrey in the History of Parliament, although he did marry an Elizabeth Darcy, the daughter of a Roger Darcy of Danbury, Essex, this marriage took place before 1541 and she had died by February 1,1544, when Humphrey had a license to marry Elizabeth Lambert.

ELIZABETH DARCY (1501-1536+)
Elizabeth Darcy was the daughter of Thomas, baron Darcy of Templehurst (1467-x. June 30, 1537) and Edith Sandys (1475-August 22, 1529). By April 1521, possibly on April 26, 1514, Elizabeth married Sir Marmaduke Constable of Nuneaton, Warwickshire (d. April 21, 1560). They had two sons and eight daughters, including Robert (1530-1591), Marmaduke, Jane, Catherine, Margery, Dorothy, Isabel, Margaret, and Frances. Elizabeth and her husband were estranged by 1534 and in 1536, when both his father and hers were involved in the Pilgrimage of Grace, she wrote a letter to Thomas Cromwell complaining of her ill-treatment by her husband. At that time, Constable was facing the probable forfeiture of his father’s lands and consequent loss of his own inheritance. Elizabeth died before 1539.

ELIZABETH DARCY (d. February 2, 1616/17)
Elizabeth Darcy was the daughter of John, 2nd baron Darcy of Cliche (1525-March 3, 1581) and Frances Rich (c.1539-before March 3, 1581) and the sister of Thomas, 3rd baron Darcy (1565-1640). In 1582, she married John, 7th baron Lumley (1534-April 11, 1609) as his second wife. They lived primarily at Nonsuch, which he had inherited from his former father-in-law, the earl of Arundel. They remained in residence there even after Lumley gave it to the queen in 1592, in return for release from debts he had also inherited from Arundel. Elizabeth was described by one writer as “a woman not only of an ancient pedigree and race, but, which is greatly to be praised, with the virtues of modesty, truth, and conjugal love.” When her husband died, the Lumley title became extinct. Elizabeth inherited a house on Tower Hill, Lumley Castle in Durham, and land in Yorkshire and Sussex. She left the London house to her brother, with reversion to his daughter, Elizabeth Darcy, Lady Savage. Portraits: by unknown artist at Cheam; effigy in Lumley Chapel, Cheam, Surrey.

ELIZABETH DARCY (c.1584-March 9, 1650/1)
Elizabeth Darcy was the daughter of Thomas Darcy, 3rd baron Darcy of Cliche (July 5, 1565-February 1640) and Mary Kytson (1566-June 28, 1644). On May 14, 1602 she married Thomas Savage of Melford Hall, Suffolk (c.1586-November 20, 1635). He was created Viscount Savage in 1626. Elizabeth was created Countess Rivers in her own right on April 21, 1641. She was a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Henrietta Maria. Because she was a Catholic, she was a target when Parliament called for action against all recusants. Her homes at St. Osyth and Long Melford were destroyed by mobs, for a loss estimated at £100,000. Although Parliament ordered restitution, her troubles continued. In May 1643 she requested permission to leave England for France, but she does not appear to have gone. By the time of her death, she was said to be bankrupt. Elizabeth and Thomas Savage had eleven sons and eight daughters, including Anne, John (c.1602-1654), Jane (1607-1633), Thomas (1611-1682), Dorothy (c.1611-1691), Charles, Elizabeth, Catherine, Henrietta Maria, Francis, William, James, and Richard. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Savage [née Darcy], Elizabeth.” Portrait: c.1640 by P. Leley.




MARY DARCY (d. by July 1561)
Mary Darcy was the daughter of Thomas Darcy of Danbury, Essex. She was not the daughter of Thomas, 1st baron Darcy of Cliche (1506-June 28, 1558) and Elizabeth de Vere. By 1531, Mary was married Robert Leche (Leeche/Leech), an alderman of Norwich (d.1544+). During her marriage, she was the mistress of Richard Southwell of Wood Rising, Norfolk (d. January 11, 1565), who was married to Thomasine Darcy, sister of the 1st baron of Cliche. In 1544, Thomas Lewyn, a clerk acting for Southwell, had license to alienate Widford Manor in Hertfordshire to the use of Mary Leech, wife of Robert Leech. In 1558, Mary is listed as Mary Darcy alias Leech of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk. Mary had four children by Southwell before Thomasine died and he was able to marry her. They were Richard (by 1531-1600), Dorothy, Mary (d.1622), and Thomas. After their marriage, they had one additional child, Catherine. Accounts that identify Mary’s husband as Robert Leche of Colchester, Essex, who made his will in 1559, are incorrect, as is the claim that when Thomasine died, Southwell accused Leche of making a bigamous marriage with Mary, since his (Leche’s) first wife still lived.

MARY DARCY (c. 1543-1588+)

Mary Darcy was the daughter of Sir George Darcy (1487-August 23, 1558), who was created Baron Darcy of Aston in 1548, and Dorothy Melton (c.1506-September 21, 1557). She was born in Plattyn, County Meath, Ireland, in the English Pale. She married Sir Henry Babington of  Derbyshire (d.1570). Their children were Thomas, Francis, Helen, Maud, Anthony (October 24, 1561-September 20, 1586), and George. Her second husband was Sir Henry Foljambe (d.1588), a merchant and lead smelter. She has an entry in Carole Levin, et al, editors, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen on the basis of being the granddaughter of one traitor (Lord Thomas Darcy) and the mother of another (Anthony Babington).




Alice Darling was a servant of George Whitton of Woodstock, Oxfordshire (d. November 4, 1606). On September 28, 1556, Whitton had married Dorothy Peniston (d.1606+), a cousin of Sir Francis Knollys. They had no children. Alice, on the other hand, bore him three. In his will, written January 27, 1605/6, and proved December 3, 1606, Whitton left the manor of Hensington to his son John Whitton, alias Darling, and made him executor. He left £300 to his base daughter Winifred and £200 to his base daughter Anne. He specified that his wife, “considering her weakness and imperfection,” should be kept in “meat, drink, lodging and apparel fit for her rank and position.” Alice she was to receive £50 to be paid within one year, the bed in the chamber where she slept and all its furniture, the rents of several houses for life, and the use, profits and occupation of his malt house in Woodstock for life. He added a codicil on January 29, 1606. Because his daughter Anne had died, he redistributed her inheritance and added more bequests to Alice: a “silver cup with gilt ribs with two ears, one iron pot and one of my coverlets which she caused to be made or spun herself.” Alice outlived her lover by many years and never married. On April 10, 1629, she wrote her own will. At that time she was “of New Woodstock.” It is not clear if Winifred was still living, but Alice left bequests to her son John (a gold ring), his children from two marriages, and Winifred’s children by her first marriage. Her granddaughter, Magdalen Whitton, was to have one cow, bed and bedding, furniture, and a gilt silver pot. Magdalen’s sister Bridget was to have one cow, a bed and bedding, and furniture. The entire will can be read at http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/az/wtext/darling_002.html.

Elizabeth Darrell was the daughter of Sir Edward Darrell of Littlecote, Wiltshire (1466-March 9, 1530) and either his first wife, Jane Croft (d. before 1493), or his third, Alice Flyte, who married him on April 3, 1512. He left his unmarried daughter Elizabeth 300 marks in his will. Two other daughters received 100 marks each. It seems likely that Elizabeth was the youngest, born c. 1513. She was one of Catherine of Aragon’s gentlewomen until she refused to take the oath of supremacy in December 1533. She was among the mourners at the queen’s funeral. Catherine left her a bequest of £200 “for her marriage.” Elizabeth asked to serve in the household of Queen Jane Seymour but is next yeard of as part of the household of Gertrude Blount, marchioness of Exeter, although she is not listed among her “gentlewomen” in November 1538, when the marchioness and others were arrested on suspicion of treason. It appears that Elizabeth was forced to give evidence against the marchioness. In her interrogation on November 6, she revealed that she had overheard that the king had sent Peter Mewtas into France to kill Cardinal Pole with a handgun. Exactly when Elizabeth met Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) the poet and diplomat, and how long they were involved in a romantic relationship is unclear. Some suggest that the affair began as early as June 1532. Elizabeth is said to be the Phyllis of his poem If waker care, if sudden pale colour. Wyatt was out of the country a good deal as an ambassador. They could not marry because Wyatt already had a wife, Elizabeth Brooke, from whom he had long been separated. In 1537 an attempt was made by the Brooke family to force a reconciliation between husband and wife, but Wyatt refused to take her back. Elizabeth Darrell was openly living with Wyatt at Allington Castle in Kent in January 1541, when Wyatt was arrested. Because she was pregnant at the time, she was allowed to remain in one of Wyatt’s confiscated houses. There was another attempt made at that time to force him to take back his wife and give up his mistress on pain of death and confiscation of property, but following his release from the Tower, he returned to Elizabeth. Curiously, according to a recent Wyatt biographer, Wyatt was alleged to have had a second mistress at this time, with whom he was also forbidden to have further relations. Wyatt made provision in his will for Elizabeth and the son born in 1541, leaving her properties in Dorset with the right of reversion to her son, Francis, and Montacute and Tintinhull in Somerset, to revert to his legitimate son, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, on Elizabeth’s death. Some accounts say she gave birth posthumously to a second son, Henry, who died young, but others say there was only Henry (aka Francis). Wyatt was reputed to have another illegitimate child, a daughter named Frances who married Thomas Lee (Leigh) of St. Bees and Calder Abbey, Cumberland by 1553. She does not appear to be Elizabeth’s daughter. There is also a story that credits her with a third son, Edward (c.1540-1590), who was involved with the rebels led by Sir Thomas the Younger in 1554 and was sentenced to be executed, even though he was only thirteen or fourteen at the time. This Edward is variously identified as a natural son of Sir Thomas the Younger and as the son of Sir Thomas the Elder. If he was thirteen or fourteen, he must have been born before Sir Thomas the Elder died, but he is not named in Sir Thomas’s will, making it more likely he was the natural son the younger Thomas. He was pardoned on April 29, 1554. Elizabeth’s son Francis went by the name Francis Darrell. Elizabeth got along well with Thomas Wyatt the Younger, which is probably what gave rise to the identification of her as his mistress rather than his father’s. Sir Thomas the Younger transferred Tarrant, Kent to Francis Darrell in 1542 (or, according to other sources, to Elizabeth in 1544). The parsonage at Stoke, Somerset was leased to Elizabeth in 1548. Around 1554, at about the same time Queen Mary paid Elizabeth the legacy left to her by Queen Catherine, Elizabeth married Robert Strode or Strowde. With the attainder of Sir Thomas the Younger in 1554, the properties that would have gone to him on Elizabeth’s death, went to the Crown instead. Tintinhull, still in her possession in 1547, was occupied by the Crown’s tenant, Sir William Petre, in 1556. Papers relating to the lease suggest that Elizabeth was deceased by then. In 1560, her husband was living in the provost’s house at Stoke. Portrait: Nicola Shulman, in her biography of Wyatt, Graven with Diamonds, suggests that the portrait that has been variously identified as Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Brooke is actually Elizabeth Darrell, citing the hair of “crisped gold” from Wyatt’s poem as proof.

MARY DARRELL (c.1545-1594+)
Mary Darrell was the daughter of Thomas Darrell of Scotney, Kent and Mary Roydon (c.1525-1591+). In 1563, the Darrells approached John Lennard of Chevening, near Tunbridge Wells, about making a match between Mary and his son, Sampson (1545-September 20, 1615). Since Mary seemed agreeable and Lennard approved of her, a pre-contract was arranged. By Bartholomewtide, however, Lennard had heard rumors that Mary was to wed someone else. When he questioned the Darrells about this, they denied it. They admitted that she had another suitor, one Barnabe Googe of Gooche (June 11, 1540-February 7, 1593/4), who had been writing poems to her, but insisted that there was no “secret enticement.” The case was submitted to arbitration by Archbishop Parker of Canterbury. He removed Mary from her parents’ house and made her a ward of the court while the matter was decided. To the dismay of both the Darrells and the Lennards, the archbishop decided in favor of Master Googe, to whom Mary was wed on February 5, 1564. They had eight children: Matthew (c.1566-c.1624), Thomas (b.c.1568), Barnabe, William, Henry, Robert, Mary, and Francis. Additional details on Mary and the Lennards are given in Germaine Greer’s Shakespeare’s Wife.


ANNE DASTON (1580-1605)
Anne Daston was the eldest daughter of Richard Daston of Dumbleton. She married John Savage of Nobury, Worcestershire. She died giving birth to his son. Portrait: brass in St. Katherine’s Church, Wormlington, Gloucestershire.

CATHERINE DASTON (1589/90-November 6, 1674)
Catherine Daston was the daughter of Richard Daston (Dalston/Darleston) of Wormington, Gloucestershire and Anne Savage. She married her first cousin, Sir Giles Savage of Elmley Castle, Worcestershire (c.1585-January 31, 1631) on April 22, 1623 in Wormington, Gloucestershire. They had five children, four sons (Thomas, William, Giles, and John), who appear on the Savage monument in St. Mary’s Church, Elmley, and a posthumous daughter, Mary, who died as an infant and who is shown on the monument in her mother’s arms. Also on the monument is Sir Giles’s father, William Savage, who died in 1616. Although represented on this c.1631 structure, Catherine herself lived to be eighty-four and was buried in Malvern Priory.








ALICE DAVY (d.1519+)
Alice Davy was a nurse to Margaret Tudor in May 1490. Hester W. Chapman, in The Thistle and the Rose: The Sisters of Henry VIII, says that Margaret’s head nurses, Alice Davy and Alice Bywimble, were pensioned off by November 1494. Later, Alice was a gentlewoman to Queen Catherine of Aragon. On January 5, 1519, she was granted an annuity of £10.


MARGARET DAVY (x. March 17, 1542)

Margaret Davy was executed at Smithfield by being boiled to death. She is mentioned in contemporary chronicles by both Stow and Holinshed, although the details differ. Stow says she poisoned people in three households. Holinshed specifies that the victim was her mistress and “diverse other persons.” Biography: entry in Carole Levin, et al, editors, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen.




DAY SISTERS (d. 1596+) (given names unknown)
The three daughters of Thomas Day of Great Wendon, Essex, were cited in ecclesiastical court for “going disguised to a mumming,” apparently dressed as men. For “suffering to let them go,” their father was also cited. The stiffest punishment for this offense was the performance of public penance.


PRUDENTIA DEACON (c.1580-December 21, 1645)
Prudentia Deacon was the daughter of John Deacon of Middlesex. She was a member of the household of Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, until she left England for Brussels. On July 11, 1606 she was received into the Abbey of the Glorious Assumption of Our Lady along with four other Englishwomen. One of the others was a Mrs. Morgan, who had previously been in the service of the countess of Sussex. Prudentia was professed as a nun on April 29, 1608, when she was said to be thirty-two, but if the age given at her death is correct, she was only twenty-seven or twenty-eight. In 1623 she was sent to a new convent at Cambrai. She served as prioress at Cambrai and worked on translations there. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Deacon, Prudentia.”

AGNES DEAN (d.1503+?)
Agnes Dean was laundress to Elizabeth of York. She received a salary of £3 6s. 8d. a year and was paid an additional fourpence a day for food for her horse when she attended the queen on her journeys.


SYLVESTRA DEANE (d. September 1, 1587)
Sylvestra Deane was the daughter and heir of Robert Deane or Dene of Halling, Kent (d.1577) and Margaret White (d.1594). Her first husband was William Dallison or Dalison of Greetwell, Lincolnshire and Gray’s Inn (c.1545-1581), by whom she had a son, Maximilian Dallison (d.1631). On October 28, 1583, she married William Lambarde, antiquary and jurist (October 18, 1536-August 19, 1601) as the second of his three wives. He was granted the wardship of her son and the lease on Halling. By Lambarde, Sylvestra had four children, Multon (1584-1634), Margaret (1586-1611), and twins Fane and Gore, whose birth was the cause of her death. Her memorial is a brass in the church of St. John the Baptist, Halling.

_____ DE BRUXIA (d. 1533+) (given and maiden names unknown)
Mrs. de Bruxia was the wife of an Italian musician at the court of Henry VIII. She served in the household of Princess Mary from 1525-33 and possibly longer. She is listed only as the wife of Peter de Bruxia (d.1536+), without a first name. Was she Italian like her husband? Probably not, although there was a Spaniard, Mary Vittorio, in the same royal household. More likely, since de Bruxia arrived in England before 1512, she was English. Her husband signed himself Giovanni Pietro de Bustis, but surviving records call him John Peter, John Piero, and Zuan Piero de Brescia, de Bruxia, de Brecia, de Briscia, and de Brisia. In 1512, King Henry granted him an annuity of £40 for life. At that time he was the premier court lutenist. Although he remained in royal service until 1536, he had been eclipsed by a younger lute player, probably Philip van Wilder, by 1517. In 1525 and in 1533, Mrs. Peter de Bruxia is listed among the ladies and gentlewomen in the household of Princess Mary. Her husband is also found there, although as a gentleman waiter rather than as a musician. He likely served in both capacities.


KATHERINE DEE (June 1581-1608+)
Katherine Dee was the daughter of John Dee of Mortlake (July 13, 1527-1608/9) and his third wife, Jane Fromond (1555-March 23, 1605). In September 1583, as a child of two, Katherine traveled to Poland and Bohemia with her parents. The family did not return to England until December 1589. Earlier in that same year, on May 21, Dee recorded in his diary that his wife boxed Katherine’s ears and caused a nosebleed that lasted more than an hour. In 1595, Katherine, her mother, and her siblings traveled to Coventry in a hired coach pulled by two horses. This cost Dee 10s./day. In 1608, when her father lay dying, Katherine is supposed to have “conveyed away his books unknown to him . . . which when he came to understanding, it broke his heart.”

Étiennette de la Baume was the daughter of Marc de la Baume, seigneur of Châteauvillain and Count of Montrevel. A Flemish woman who was a maid of honor at the court of Margaret of Austria, Archduchess of Savoy and Regent of the Netherlands, Étiennette enjoyed the attentions of King Henry VIII during his visit to Lille in 1513. In August 1514, when she was about to marry Ferdinand de Neufchatel, seigneur de Marnay and Montaigu (1452-1522), as his third wife, she wrote to the king, sending him “a bird and some roots of great value” and reminding him that he had promised to give her ten thousand crowns as a wedding present. It is unclear whether or not Henry sent her the gift. Neither is it clear whether she was briefly his mistress or simply someone he flirted with during his time in Lille. According to Alison Weir (Mary Boleyn) Étiennette’s letter implies that King Henry installed her in the house in Marnay where she was still living a year later. Her wedding took place on October 18, 1514. She had no children.





SARA DE LAUNE (1576-before 1626)
Sara de Laune was the daughter of William de Laune of Nîmes, France (c.1530-1611) and Katherine de Loges (d.1607). After the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572, de Laune and his family fled to England, settling first in Rye and then moving to London, where Sara was born. Her father was assistant minister of the French Church but he also practiced medicine. In December 1582, he was summoned by the College of Physicians because he had failed to apply to them for a license. He was able to persuade them to grant him one and in 1583 was released from his ministry to focus on medicine. The family lived in Blackfriars, where de Laune bought a messuage called the Square Tower (or Church Porch) and the adjoining gatehouse for £360. The former tenant was Thomas Vautrollier the printer. Sara’s oldest brother, Gideon de Laune (1565?-1659), later Royal Apothecary, married Judith Chamberlen and Sara later married Judith’s cousin, Peter (or Pierre) Chamberlen (August 2, 1572-August 12, 1626). His parents and three older siblings, one of whom was also named Peter, had arrived in Southampton in 1569. Like the de Laune family, they had fled religious persecution. Sara and Peter had eight children: Peter (May 8,1601-1683), who was born in Blackfriars and became famous as a man-midwife, Sara (1604-1634; born in Spitalfields), William, Anne (bp. January 22, 1609 in the French Church in Threadneedle Street), Henry, Robert, Nathaniel (b.1612), and Marguerite.

ANNIS DELL (x. August 4, 1606) (maiden name unknown)
Annis Dell was an innkeeper in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. According to pamphlets written after her execution, she and her son were paid by a band of thieves to dispose of the two children whose wealthy parents the thieves had robbed and murdered. Why they needed someone else to do this when they’d already proven themselves capable of murder is not explained. The body of the boy was found in 1602, but although Annis and her son were indicted several times, there was not enough evidence to convict them until a young girl appeared at the inn four years later. She had no tongue, but by her gestures she indicated that she was the sister of the boy who had been killed. At the next assizes, she was miraculously able to speak. She claimed the Dells had murdered her brother and left her for dead and that she had spent the intervening years as a beggar. Despite denying the charges, they were found guilty and executed. Biography: entry in Carole Levin, et al, editors, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen.

CECILY DELVES (c.1470-1517+)
Cecily Delves was the daughter of Sir Henry Delves of Doddington, Cheshire (one source says Doddington, Shropshire) (c.1454-c.1484) and Elen (Eleanor/Helena/Elena/Hellina) Swinnerton or Swynnerton (c.1453-1489?). Her mother’s second husband was Humphrey Peshall of Horsley (d. June 3, 1489), by whom she had three sons (John, Richard and William) and a daughter, Isabella. Cecily married William Mytton of Shrewsbury (1465-July 16, 1513). They had two children, Helen or Eleanor (1498-1517+) and Richard (1500/1-November 28, 1591). William owned 200 houses at the time of his death, in Habberley, Shrewsbury, and elsewhere. The family seat was at Halston, near Olwestry. The heir, Richard, became the ward of the 10th earl of Arundel, but Cecily was the one who negotiated the marriage settlement for her son, dated September 29, 1517. He was to marry Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Grey of Enville, Staffordshire. As part of the contract, Cecily received a payment of £200.

Elizabeth Denkaring was the daughter and heir of Philip Denkaring and Elizabeth Finch. Her first husband was Thomas Tamworth of Essex and Lincolnshire (d. January 1533), by whom she had a son, John Tamworth (c.1524-April 19, 1569). Her second husband (as his second wife) was Sir William Musgrave of Hartley, Westmorland and Edenhall, Cumberland (d.1544). They had no children. In January 1537, Musgrave took a stand against the rebels and Elizabeth predicted that he would never be able to live in Westmorland again. They took up residence in St. Botolph’s without Aldersgate, London. On one occasion, when Musgrave returned from court, looking “pensive,” Elizabeth feared he had “fallen in displeasure” with the king but he had not.



JOYCE DENNY (July 29, 1496 or July 24, 1506-1560/1)
Joyce Denny was the daughter of Sir Edmund Denny of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (c.1461-December 22, 1520) and his second wife, Mary Troutbeck (c.1461-June 29, 1507). Many sources say her mother was Mary Coke, Denny’s third wife, but neither birthdates given for Joyce are prior to Mary Troutbeck’s date of death. Joyce married Sir William Walsingham (d. March 1534), a London lawyer, by whom she had Elizabeth (d. July 21, 1596), Barbara (d.1585), Eleanor, Christiana, Mary (c.1527-March 16, 1576), Francis (c.1532-April 6, 1590), and possibly another son named Thomas who died young. In c.1536, she married Sir John Carey of Plashy, Hertfordshire and Thremhall Priory, Essex (1495-September 9, 1552). Her son Francis’s biographer, Robert Hutchinson, speculates that this marriage, for which he gives a date of 1538, was arranged by her family, since they owned property in Hertfordshire. Her Carey children were Wymond (March 6, 1538-August 3, 1612), Edward (c.1540-July 18, 1618), and possibly a third son named Adolphus, who probably died young. Joyce died at Thremhall Priory. She left a will dated November 10, 1560. It was proved January 30, 1560/1. She was buried next to her first husband in St. Mary Aldermanbury Church in London. A 1559 entry in the diary of Henry Machyn is the source of some confusion. Although Machyn wrote of the funeral of Lady Gray, his editor declared this was a mistake and identified her as Lady Cary, the mother of Sir Francis Walsingham, in his notes to the text.


MARTHA DENNY (1505-January 9, 1571/2)
Martha Denny was the daughter of Sir Edmund Denny of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (c.1461-Decembe 22, 1520) and Mary Troutbeck (c.1461-June 29,1507). By July 1519, she had married Sir Wymond Carew of Antony, Cornwall and St. Giles in the Fields, Middlesex (c.1493-August 22,1549). They had nineteen children, including Thomas (1527-February 12, 1564/5), Roger, George John, Matthew (1531-1618), Anthony, Harvey, Prudence (d.1586+), and Temperance (c.1537-October 9, 1577). During her husband’s lifetime, the Carews lived in grand style at Bletchingley, Surrey, where he held the position of Anne of Cleves’s receiver. They also had houses of their own at Pyshoo, Hertfordshire and Hackney, Middlesex. When he died, Martha was left with debts of almost £8000. In 1554, she lost Hackney and other lands to the Crown. She petitioned the exchequer for relief more than once, but Hackney was not returned to her and her debts were not fully discharged until 1611. Martha ended up living in London where, on September 8, 1562, she was arrested for attending mass. She was tried and convicted a month later and when she did not pay a fine of 100 marks, she was put in prison for six months. She was arrested a second time on the same charge on April 4, 1568, but was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Carew [née Denny], Martha.”

MARY DENNY (c.1504-1553+)
Mary Denny was the daughter of Sir Edmund Denny of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (c.1461-December 22, 1520) and Mary Troutbeck (c.1461-June 29, 1507) and the sister of Joyce, Martha, and Sir Anthony Denny. In about 1534, she married Sir John Gates of Great Garnetts, Essex (1504-August 22, 1553). They had no children. After Gates was executed for treason, Mary was granted the manors of Garnet, Longbarns, and South Fambridge and lands in Stow, Essex for life, as well as a pension of £100. She owned Pleshy Castle near Chelmsford, Essex by September 1, 1552, when she stopped at Ingatestone Hall to visit Sir William Petre and his wife. Sir Anthony and Lady Cooke (Anne Fitzwilliam) of Gidea Hall were there at the same time.

ALICE DENSELL (c.1526-c.1563)
Alice Densell was the daughter of John Densell/Denysel of Densell, Cornwall (1490-January 3,1534/5) and Mary Lacey. In about 1540, she married William Reskymer of Haylford, Cornwall (c.1515-by 1558). Since he was a royal page from 1526 until 1546, he may be the subject of the portrait by Hans Holbein. In 1543, William complained to the Court of Requests that John Skewys had seized his lands in Cornwall. Records reveal that Skewys claimed Reskymer had an income of £50 a year and that his wife had 1,000 marks. Alice and William had as many as eight children, including four daughters: Anne  (July 26, 1542-1585), Katherine (c.1546-June 28, 1576), Frances (b. August 10, 1550), and Johanna (1552-April 12, 1615). In 1558-9 Alice’s rental income as a widow was £10. A footnote in the Visitation of Cornwall for 1620 cites her Inquisition Post Mortem, dated January 14, 1564 for the names and ages of her daughters and heirs: Anne, 21; Katherine, 16; Francesca, 13; and Johanna, 12.  A memorial inscription in St. Tudy features not only the coats of arms of her husband and her father, but also those of three of the men her daughters married. The inscription reads, in part, “Her birth, her race, her lineage and descent/ how well she lived, how happy she did die/These escutcheons blaze these images present/These tables teach, this hearse doth testify.” The verse composed for her also includes these lines: “Who live in stories, pictures, tombs/and monuments of brass/Who live in offspring and descent/all monuments that pass.” Portrait: tomb in St. Tudy church, Cornwall, where she is shown with her daughters.


ELIZABETH DENT (1591-1656)
Elizabeth Dent was the daughter of John Dent of London (1532-1595), a salter and alderman, and his second wife, Alice Grant (1569-May 23, 1614). She was baptized on October 18, 1591 in the church of St. Bartholomew by the Exchange, London. In 1596, her mother married Sir Julius Caesar and it was through her stepfather that Elizabeth met her first husband, Sir Francis Vere of Kirby Hall and Tilbury Lodge, Essex (c.1560-August 28, 1609) at Mitcham in Surrey. Vere was around fifty years old and had earned a reputation as an extraordinary soldier. She was barely sixteen and had a dowry of £2000, but it was said to have been a love match. They were married at Mitcham on October 26, 1607 in a double ceremony with Elizabeth’s sister Mary (d.1639), who wed Sir Henry Saville of Methley. During their short marriage, Vere was writing Commentaries, an account of his military campaigns. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth erected a rather spectacular monument to his memory. Although some peerages give them five children, this is clearly impossible, but they may have had one child who died in infancy. Elizabeth was granted administration of the estate on August 30, 1609. One account suggests that her mother and stepfather wanted her to marry her stepbrother, Charles Caesar and discouraged other suitors right up until October 1613, when Charles married Anne Vanlore, the daughter of Dutch merchant Peter Vanlore. However, Elizabeth’s wedding to Sir Patrick Murray, later earl of Tullibardine (d. September 5, 1644) actually took place earlier that same year, in August 1613. Their children were James (September 22, 1617-January 1669/70), Charles (December 12, 1618-before March 6, 1646/7), Elizabeth (1620-before February 15, 1656), Vere (June 7, 1621-March 6, 1647), Francis (May 10, 1627-January 5, 1638/9), William (c.1628-January 23, 1645/6), Jane (d.1616), Juliana (d. 1649+), Diana (d.1672), and Patrick (October 18, 1637-March 2, 1639). Elizabeth was buried September 5, 1656.





MARGERY DENTON (d.1593+) (maiden name unknown)
Margery was the wife of William Denton of Southwark, Surrey and Stedham, Sussex (d. July 28, 1565), steward to Sir Anthony Browne and to Anthony Browne, viscount Montagu. They had three sons and two daughters. Denton left a will that mentioned the viscount and viscountess Montagu as well as members of his own family. Margery’s second husband was Thomas Martin of Winterbourne Martin, Dorset, Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, and London (1520/21-1592/3). She was his second wife. They had one daughter. In his will, made July 8, 1590 and proved August 7, 1593, Thomas left Margery a portrait of Queen Mary. He left most of his property, plus portraits of himself and his first wife, Mary Roys, to his son Thomas, who later brought action in Chancery against Margery and her daughter over the administration of the personal estate of his father.



MARY DENYS (1517-1593)
Mary Denys was the daughter of Sir William Denys of Dyrham, Gloucestershire (1470-June 22, 1533) and Anne Berkeley (1474-1519). She was a nun at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, a small house of Augustinian canonesses with fifteen professed nuns and three novices. In late 1535, this “a faire yong woman of Laycok” was appointed prioress of Kingston St. Michael, a Benedictine house, also in Wilsthire. In August 1535 of that year there were three nuns at the priory, two of whom were guilty of incontinence and one who did not want to remain a nun. She was discharged. The next year, under Mary Denys, the priory housed four “religious of honest conversation, all desirous of remaining in religion,” a clerk, four women servants, one waiting servant, and four farm laborers. When the Kingston St. Michael was dissolved, Mary Denys received a pension of £5 a year. She was living in Bristol at the time of her death.



MARY DEREHAM (d.1646/7)
Mary Dereham was the daughter of Baldwin Dereham of Hammersmith (c.1531-1610) and Margaret Hethe. She married Hugh Hammersley (March 1564/5-October 19, 1636), a haberdasher and member of the Russia Company who was Lord Mayor of London in 1624. They had one son, Francis (1613-1665). In his will, Hugh left £50 to buy bread for the poor, but only £35 was left over after his debts were paid. Mary made up the difference in 1640. Portrait: effigy on the monument with her husband in St. Andrew Undershaft, London.

THOMASIN DERHAM (c.1525-1596)
Thomasin Derham (Dearham/Dereham) was the daughter of Thomas Derham of Crimplesham, Norfolk and Ellen Touchet (Audley). In 1546, she married John Throckmorton (c.1516-c.1554). Some sources say John was of Wardington, Buckinghamshire while others give Werrington, Northamptonshire. Several online genealogies identify John and Thomasin as the parents of George (c.1547-1513), Hugh, Thomas, and Raphael, but according to her will, she had only one son by her first husband and that was Robert Throckmorton (d.1596). Thomasin’s second husband was John Rippes of West Walton, Norfolk, by whom she had a son, John, and a daughter, Thomazin. Her third husband was John Heath of Kepyer, Durham (d.1590). She was his second wife and had no children by him, although she refers to several members of the Heath family as her sons and daughters in her will, which was written on October 14, 1596. She called herself “Thomazin Heathe of Acklife, widow,” and left, among other bequests, “a gold ring with a death’s head, for a remembrance of my good will” to her sister, Jane Baker, and her workday wearing apparel to the two maidservants who were in her service at the time of her death.


Jane Dernford (Derneford/Durnford) was the daughter and heiress of James Dernford of Stonehouse, Devon (d. October 31, 1479) and Jane Holland. She married Charles Dynham of Nutwell, Devon (d.1492/3) between 1482 and 1490. In 1493, she married Sir Piers Edgecumbe of Cotehele, Cornwall (c.1468-August 14, 1539). She brought substantial lands in Devon and Cornwall, including West Stonehouse and Rame, to the marriage. By Edgecumbe her children were Richard (c.1499-1562), John, James, Elizabeth, Jane, Mary and Ann.


Eleanor Dethick, otherwise known as Mrs. Windsor, was a “notorious bawd advanced in years” when she was questioned on March 21, 1599 by the governors of Bridewell. On April 16, 1599, because of her “great age,” she was spared the usual physical punishment for keeping a bawdy house. She was, however, ordered to pay a fine of £5. She could afford to do so. Her approximate income in 1598 was £100. Her brothel was located next door to St. Katherine’s Christchurch in the parish of Creechurch within Aldgate. The married minister, David English, age thirty-one, was one of her regular customers and she had an honored place in his congregation. Her brothel was fashionable and catered to an international clientele, including Italian, French, and Dutch customers. Eleanor had four upper-class whores working for her and also employed a kitchen maid (Jane), and a widow named Cecily Gray as a personal maid. Cecily, the widow of William Gray of Berkshire, who had died at sea in 1595, had two children. Cecily spent three weeks in Bridewell on the charge that she had been intimate with David English, which she denied. She was discharged on April 21, 1599. For further details on Bridewell and prostitution, see Gustav Ungerer, “Prostitution in Late Elizabethan England: The Case of Mary Newborough,” in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Vol. 15, edited by John Pitcher, Robert Lindsey, and Susan Cerasano.

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Anne Devereux was the daughter of John Devereux, 2nd baron Ferrers of Chartley (d.1501) and Cecilia Bourchier (d.c.1493). She was in Mary Tudor’s entourage when Mary went to France in 1514 to marry King Louis. On October 1, 1514, Sir Walter Devereux, her brother, received £25 for a “gown of tynsel for Mistress Anne Devereux, sent over with the French Queen.” Anne should not be confused with the Anne Devereux who married Henry Clifford. That Anne was the daughter of Sir Richard Devereux. Sometime before 1525, the Anne Devereux featured in this entry married David/Davy Owen of Midhurst and Cowdray, Sussex (1459-1535) as his third wife. They had three children, Elizabeth (d.1551), Harry (d. before 1535), and John (c.1525-1559). Owen was buried in Easebourne Priory, Sussex on or about September 27, 1535, although his will was not proved until 1542. In December 1535, Anne Owen, widow of David Owen, petitioned the king for custody of their ten year old son, John, and for £4,800, jewels, plate, and other items. In the petition she states that her dowry was £1000 in angelettes and royals, plus clothing, and that she had spent £113 19s. 8d. on clothes for her son Harry, now deceased, while he was in royal service. She was his heir. She further asks for all the timber, iron, lead, and glass from the house at Cowtherey, which her husband gave to her for her lifetime, so that she could build a new house at Bodyngton, and for a casket Owen had kept until his death. It is unclear how her petition fared, but by 1538 she had remarried. Her second husband was Nicholas Gaynesford of Ditchling, Sussex (d.c.1548). They had no children. Anne later married John Harman of Naunton Hall, Rendlesham, Suffolk (d.1558+), a gentleman usher and member of parliament, as his third wife. They had no children.

DOROTHY DEVEREUX (1564-August 3, 1619)
Dorothy Devereux was the daughter of Walter Devereux, earl of Essex (September 16, 1539-September 22, 1576) and Laetitia Knollys (1543-December 25, 1634). After her father died, she became the ward of the earl of Huntingdon. He hoped to marry her to his wife’s nephew, Philip Sidney, even offering to provide an additional dowry if the match were made, but Dorothy’s stepfather, Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, (Lady Huntingdon’s brother and Sidney’s uncle), proposed a match with the king of Scotland instead. In March 1583, the Spanish ambassador, Inigo de Mendoza, reported that Leicester had assured James VI that the English crown would be his after Elizabeth Tudor’s death if he married Dorothy Devereux and promised to remain a protestant. When the queen heard of the proposed match, however, she forbade it. Leicester then claimed he planned to marry Dorothy to a private gentleman. In July, Dorothy took matters into her own hands by eloping with Sir Thomas Perrott (September 1553-February 1594). The groom was imprisoned in the Fleet for a month and Dorothy’s dowry of £2000 was not paid. In 1587, when she was at North Hall, country seat of the earl of Warwick, during a royal visit, she was ordered to keep to her room. This decree so angered Dorothy’s brother, Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, that he quarreled with the queen, then sent his servants to pack Dorothy’s things and left with her. They were ordered to return by a royal messenger. After Perrott’s death, Dorothy married Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland (April 1564-November 5, 1632). They were often at odds and separated in October 1599, when Dorothy wrote to her brother that “It was his lordship’s pleasure upon no cause given by me to have me keep house by myself.” She did so in Putney, leaving two young daughters behind. Several months later, the girls were sent to her, but she received no increase in her allowance from Northumberland. In December 1601, after her brother’s failed rebellion, Dorothy and her husband began living together again, primarily at Syon. She had inherited the lease on it from her first husband. In 1604, King James granted it to Northumberland. In London, they stayed at Essex House, which belonged to Dorothy’s mother. Dorothy had six children, Penelope (1588-1620+) and Robert (1592-d.yng.) Perrott and Dorothy (1598-1659), Lucy (1599-November 5, 1660), Algernon (September 29,1602-October 18, 1668), and Henry (1604-March 11, 1705) Percy. Lita-Rose Betcherman’s biography of Dorothy’s two younger daughters, Court Lady and Country Wife, contains many details of their mother’s life, especially after their father’s arrest in 1606 for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot. According to Betcherman, Dorothy suffered from depression even before Northumberland’s imprisonment. On July 16, 1606, she waylaid King James on his way to chapel to plead for her husband’s release from the Tower of London. She was not successful in freeing him, but she herself was welcome at court because Queen Anne was fond of her. In the summer of 1607, the queen visited Dorothy at Syon. Dorothy saw her husband regularly during the first ten years of his imprisonment, stopping her visits only after she learned of his infatuation with the newly incarcerated countess of Somerset, Frances Howard. Dorothy resumed marriage negotiations for their eldest daughter (Dorothy) after Northumberland had rejected a match with Robert Sidney, later earl of Leicester. The wedding, in early 1616, was kept secret from the earl until the following year. Dorothy also supported the betrothal of their younger daughter (Lucy) to James Hay, a man Northumberland refused to consider as a son-in-law. He went so far as to force Lucy to stay with him in the Tower when she came for a visit. He sent her away again after he discovered that she’d been meeting her future husband in the Tower with the connivance of the countess of Somerset. Because her husband was so infuriated by Lucy’s behavior, Dorothy refused to take her in at Essex House and she was forced to seek shelter with her sister. That summer (1617), mother and daughter were reconciled and stayed at Syon together. In late August, Dorothy Sidney joined them there to give birth to her first child. On November 6, 1617, Lucy Percy married Hay, who was later created earl of Carlisle. Out of deference to her imprisoned husband, Dorothy did not attend the wedding. In August 1619, while staying at Syon with Lucy for company, Dorothy contracted a fever and died quite suddenly. In spite of their many differences, Northumberland was deeply upset by the news of his wife’s death. He remembered only that she’d never given up her efforts to win his freedom and had to be reminded by friends of how bitterly they had always quarreled. He insisted upon giving her an elaborate funeral. Her body was carried by barge from Syon to Petworth House in Sussex, where she was buried in the family crypt. Portraits: a double portrait of Dorothy and Penelope Devereux, painted in 1581, is at Longleat; portrait mislabeled “Lettice Knollys” at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.






PENELOPE DEVEREUX (1562-July 7, 1607)
Penelope Devereux was the daughter of Walter Devereux, earl of Essex (September 16, 1539-September 22, 1576) and Laetitia Knollys (1543-December 25, 1634). Like her younger sister, Dorothy, she became a ward of the earl of Huntingdon after her father’s death, but in Penelope’s case, Lady Huntingdon (née Katherine Dudley) took her to court in 1581 to find her a husband. Sir Philip Sidney was considered, but he had no prospects. Instead she was married to Robert, 2nd baron Rich (December1559-March 24, 1619) on November 1, 1581. Sidney’s infatuation with Penelope, the “Stella” of his sonnets, developed after her marriage and they were probably composed during the summer of 1582, when he was away from court. On his deathbed, Sidney is said to have called Penelope “a vanity wherein I had taken delight,” but it is unknown if the two ever had an affair. As Lady Rich, Penelope was a lady of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth. As early as 1589 she began a secret correspondence with the king of Scotland. When her brother, Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, fell out of royal favor, Penelope aggravated matters by writing a saucy letter to the queen. Penelope’s marriage was an unhappy one. It was not until she had borne her husband several children, however, that she began an affair with Charles Blount, 8th baron Mountjoy (1563-April 3, 1606). She then had a number of children by Mountjoy. There is confusion about the paternity of several of them. Rich was probably the father of Lettice (d.1619+), Essex, Robert (March 18, 1587-April 19, 1658), a daughter, possibly named Elizabeth, born November 26, 1588 who died young, and Henry (May 19, 1590-1649). Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy was probably the father of Penelope (March 1592-October 26, 1613), Mountjoy (1597-1666), Scipio (b. December 1597), St. John, Charles (d.1645), and Isabel. In 1595 Penelope worked out a settlement with Rich and in 1601 they were formally divorced. In that same year, Penelope’s brother, the earl of Essex, attempted to take over the government and was executed for treason. Even though Penelope had twice been put under restraint in the past for defending her brother and even though Essex blamed her for inciting him to rebellion, she was released into Lord Rich’s keeping. She maintained that she had been more like a slave than a sister to Essex and had done what he told her to out of love for him. When James became king in 1603, Penelope was appointed a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Anne and given precedence at court over all other baronesses and over the daughters of all but four of the earls (Oxford, Arundel, Northumberland, and Shrewsbury). She forfeited her place by marrying her long-time lover on December 26, 1605. In the Anglican church, remarriage was forbidden while the former spouse still lived. Mountjoy died the following spring. Between 1594 and 1606, seven books were dedicated to Lady Rich. Late in life, Penelope  converted to Roman Catholicism. Her former husband, Lord Rich, was at her side when she died. Biographies: Sylvia Freedman, Poor Penelope; Sally Varlow, The Lady Penelope; Oxford DNB entry under “Rich [née Devereux], Penelope.” Portraits: double portrait with her sister Dorothy, 1581; portait said to be Penelope at Lambeth Palace; miniature.

MRS. DEWSE (d.1590+) (given and maiden names unknown)
Mrs. Dewse was the wife of William Dewse, keeper of Newgate Prison from 1580-1594, and the mother of his children. There are two letters in the Landsdowne ms. relating to the claims made by a man named Finkel against Dewse, one to the recorder of London and the other to Lord Burghley. They complain of the “vile practices” of the keeper. By 1590, Dewse had been accused by one Humphrey Gunston of a number of abuses and  misdemeanors and Dewse had accused Gunston of slander. Gunston’s claims were supported by two justices of the peace, Justice Young and Sir Rowland Heyward (who had been Lord Mayor in 1570 and would complete the 1590-91 term when the incumbent died in office), and the underkeeper at Newgate, Nicholas Sye. As a result, Dewse was about to be charged and bound over for trial, a circumstance that Mrs. Dewse knew would be disastrous for her and her children. She consulted a London conjurer, Robert Birche, telling him that she wanted him to make wax images of Young, Heyward, and Sye, “thieves and villains,” according to Mrs. Dewse, so that she could stick pins in them and that, failing that, she wanted a spell to make them perish from the “damp” (typhus). She paid him in money and by sending him a sugar loaf and some lemons as a gift. Birche reported her to the authorities and then proceeded to entrap her by getting her to make the images herself. The sheriff (the two London sheriffs that year were Nicholas Mosley and Robert Broke) searched her house and found two pictures hidden in “a secret place” in her cupboard “with pins sticked in them,” but she was not taken into custody at that time. Her arrest came later, after she made threats against the sheriff, the recorder, the lord chamberlain (for not reading her husband’s petitions), and the lord chancellor. As is so often the case, the records do not tell us what ultimately happened to her, but as Deborah Willis points out in Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and Maternal Power in Early Modern England, my source for most of the information in this entry, unless one of her victims actually died, Mrs. Dewse’s punishment was likely no more than a year’s imprisonment and four appearances in the stocks. It is worth noting that the previous keeper of Newgate, one Crowder, was also removed from office following a complaint that he took bribes and that he and his wife were “most horrible blasphemers and swearers.” In April 1594 the council solicited the mayor and aldermen of London to appoint Richard Hutchman keeper of Newgate to replace “Dios, deceased.” The name Dewse is variously spelled Dews, Deyos, Dyos, Dios, Devyes, Devies, Duce, and Dewce in documents of the time.


ANNE DIGBY (d.1539+)
Anne Digby was the daughter of Sir John Digby of Kettleby (d.1533) and Katherine Giffin. She married Sir William Skeffington (1460-December 21, 1535), Lord Deputy of Ireland from 1529-1535, as his second wife, and was the mother of John, Thomas, Catherine, Isabel, and Anne. The Oxford DNB also identifies Leonard Skeffington, later Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London, as Anne’s son, but most genealogies indicate he was the son of the first Lady Skeffington, Margaret Digby, daughter of Sir Everard Digby of Tilton, Leicestershire. On January 26, 1536, Lady Skeffington wrote two letters from Dublin to announce the death of her husband, one to Secretary Thomas Cromwell and the other to Queen Anne Boleyn. In the letter to Cromwell, she attached a list of requests. They included, among other things, the fees and stipends due her late husband, license to convey back to England her husband’s horses and other moveable goods, and travel expenses. The letter to the queen asked her to persuade the king to support her petition to Cromwell. In another letter to Cromwell, dated Dublin, February 18, 1536, she complained about Lord Leonard Grey, who replaced her husband as Lord Deputy. She claimed he would not let her take her own belongings out of the castle at Maynooth and had prevented the ship due to take her home from leaving Ireland. A third letter, dated August 1, 1536, informs Cromwell that Lord Leonard has released her belongings but she cannot afford the journey home unless the wages due her late husband are paid to her. She did eventually return to England. On April 27, 1539, she wrote to Lord Cromwell from Colliweston to say “I have been so straitly ordered with my husband’s children, that I have no house of my late husband’s to put my head in; neither have I any house of any other man but only from year to year.” She also wrote to Cromwell to ask that a sentence of outlawry be lifted from her and others who had been sureties to the king for her late husband. In that letter, she again states she is improverished and also complains of age and sickness.


KATHERINE DIGBY (d. before 1570)
Katherine Digby was the daughter of Sir Thomas Digby and Dorothy Oxenbridge. Her father was knighted by Henry VII at Bosworth Field. Her mother remarried after his death, taking as her second husband Eustace Braham. Katherine married Simon Wheeler of Kenilworth, Warwickshire. After his death, she wed John Fisher of Olney, Buckinghamshire (d. March 8, 1570/1), bringing him the manor of Packington, Warwickshire from the estate of her first husband. At the dissolution of the monasteries, Fisher bought Great Packington church for £626. He was a gentleman pensioner to King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. John and Katherine were the parents of Clement Fisher (d. October 23, 1619). Portrait: effigy in Great Packington church, transferred to a newer building in 1789.





ELIZABETH DIGNELEY (1502-before 1558)
Elizabeth Digneley was the daughter of Thomas Digneley or Dingley of Stanford Dingley, Berkshire and Middle Aston, Oxfordshire (d. May 29, 1501) and Philippa Harpsfield. Her father died when she was two months old. By 1518, she had married George Barrett of Belhus in Aveley, Essex and been widowed. They had five children, including Edward (d.1558+). As a widow, Elizabeth brought suit in Chancery against her great uncle, Francis Digneley (c.1465-1538/9) for possession of the deeds to her inheritance, lands in Hampshire and several adjoining counties. By 1530, she had married a close friend of her first husband’s, John Baker of London and Sissinghurst, Kent (c.1489-December 23, 1558), attorney general from 1536-1540 and chancellor of the Exchequier from 1540 until his death. They had six children, including Richard (c.1530-1594), John (c.1531-c.1605), and three daughters. One daughter, Cecily (1535-October 1, 1615), married Thomas Sackville, later earl of Dorset. The eldest, Elizabeth, (d. November 17, 1583) was the first wife of Thomas Scott of Scot’s Hall, Smeeth, Kent (d.1594). The other, Mary, married John Tuften. Elizabeth was buried in the church at Cranbrook, Kent at some point before Baker made his will on October 16, 1558.


MARY DIXWELL (d. by 1595?)
Mary Dixwell was one of three daughters of Humphrey Dixwell of Churchover, Warwickshire (d.1572+) and Ellen or Eleanor Low or Lowe (given as Anna Loe on one site). She married Robert Price of Washingley (d.1595), who erected a tomb in Holy Trinity Church in Churchover to himself and his wife and her parents. Portrait: effigy in Churchover.





Margaret Dodworth was the daughter of William Dodworth of London, a merchant, and Margaret Cartwright (d. 1621). After her father died, her mother married Leonard White. On April 28, 1608 in Hackney, Margaret married Richard Lovelace of Hurley, Berkshire (1564-April 22, 1634), as his second wife. Their children were Elizabeth, Richard, Margaret, John (1616-1670), Sarah, William, Mary, Francis, and Coleberry. Margaret inherited Culham Court, Berkshire from her mother in 1621. Lovelace was created baron Lovelace of Hurley by Charles I in 1627. Portrait: by John de Critz.



ANNE DONNE (c.1471-c.1507)
Anne Donne was the elder daughter of Sir John Donne or Don of Kidwilly, Carmarthenshire (d. January 1503) and Elizabeth Hastings (c.1450-1508). She was painted as a child in the Donne Triptych, with her mother. She married Sir William Rede of Boarstall, Buckinghamshire (1467-c.1527) and had by him three children, Leonard (d. before 1552), Elizabeth (d.1508+) and Mary (d.1508+). It was Rede’s second wife, Anne Warham, who was a member of Mary Tudor’s household (both as princess and queen) and Anne Warham, not Anne Donne, who was the mother of the Anne Rede who married Giles Greville, Sir Adrian Fortescue, and Thomas Parry.


ELIZABETH DONNE (c.1498-1561+)
Elizabeth Donne was the daughter of Sir Angel Donne or Dun of London (c.1473-December 1506), an alderman and a merchant of the staple, and his first wife, Anne Hawardene. She married, as his second wife, Sir Thomas Mirfyn or Murfyn of London (d.1523), who had been Lord Mayor in 1518. They had three daughters, Margaret, Frances, and Mary (d.1542). Mirfyn left them very well off. Frances had a dowry that included houses in St. Helens Bishopsgate and Stepney. By a license dated July 14, 1524, Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Denys of Holcombe Burnell and Bicton, Devonshire, (1480-February 18, 1560/1), by whom she had George, Robert (1530-1593), Edward, Walter, Gabriel, Anne, Margaret, and one other daughter. Denys served as chamberlain of the household of Cardinal Wolsey, comptroller of the household of Princess Mary, and chancellor to the household of Anne of Cleves. He had close ties to Thomas Cromwell through the marriage of Frances Mirfyn to Richard Cromwell (alias Williams). It has been suggested that Elizabeth was also part of Anne of Cleves’ household, but that Lady Denny was Joan Champernowne, the wife of Anthony Denny. Elizabeth was named executor of the will her husband made on December 13, 1558.


MARGARET DONNINGTON (1510-January 20, 1562)
Margaret Donnington was the only daughter of John Donnington of Stoke Newington, Middlesex (d.1544) and Elizabeth Pye. She married three times, each time improving her lot. Her first husband was Sir Thomas Kytson of London and Hengrave, Suffolk (1485-September 11, 1540), a widower with one daughter (Elizabeth), who built Hengrave Hall between 1525 and 1538. King Henry VIII often visited them there. Kytson also had houses in Milk Street, London, Stoke Newington, Westley, and Risby, Suffolk, and Torbrian, Devonshire. Kytson and Margaret were the parents of Frances (c.1527-c.1586), Katherine (d. by December 10, 1561), Dorothy (1531-May 2, 1577), Anne, and Thomas (October 9, 1540-January 28, 1603), who was born posthumously. By a marriage settlement dated November 10, 1541, Margaret wed Sir Richard Long of Shengay or Shingay, Cambridgeshire and Draycot, Wiltshire (c.1494-September 30, 1546), a courtier. She had four children by him: Jane (c.1541-c.1562), Mary (c.1543-1573+), Henry (March 31,1543/4-April 15,1573), and Catherine (c.1546-c.1568). Margaret was sole executrix of Long’s will, made September 27, 1546. At that point, Henry was only two years nine months old and became a royal ward. The English Noble Household 1450-1600 by Kate Mertes tells us that Margaret and her daughters employed about five maids during the period 1541-64 and that Margaret kept day books at Hengrave Hall for 1541-2 and 1563-4. On December 11, 1548, Margaret married John Bourchier, earl of Bath (1489-February 10, 1561) as his third wife. They had two daughters, Susanna and Bridget. Margaret’s eldest daughter, Frances Kytson, married the earl’s son, John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarine. In 1561, Queen Elizabeth visited Henry Long’s inheritance, Filliot’s Hall, Essex. Margaret’s monument in Hengrave Church is to herself and all three husbands. She wrote her will on December 10, 1561 and it was proved on February 18, 1562. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com


ANNE DORMER (1525-1603)
Anne Dormer was the daughter of William Dormer of Wing and Eythrope, Buckinghamshire (1503-May 17,1575) and Mary Sidney (d.1542). In May 1558 she married Sir Walter Hungerford of Farleigh (c.1526-1596). They had four children: Lucy (1560-1598), Edmund (b.1562), Susan (b.1564), and Jane (b.1566). In 1570, Hungerford sued Anne for divorce, claiming that she had committed adultery with William “Wild” Darrell of Littlecote, Wiltshire (June 23, 1539-October 1, 1589) between 1560 and 1568 and had had a child by him. Sir Walter also accused her of trying to poison him in 1564. Surviving letters from Anne to her “good Will” give some foundation to the charges, since she vowed she would marry him should her husband die, but Anne was acquitted and awarded costs (£250) in the law suit. Hungerford refused to pay or to support his wife while they were separated and spent three years in Fleet Prison as a result. In a letter written in 1570 to “Doll” (Dorothy) Essex, her sister Jane’s lady in waiting, Anne complained that she had not seen her children in over a year. In 1571, Anne received a license to travel to Louvain to visit her dying grandmother (Jane Newdigate, Lady Dormer, who died on July 7). In August of that year Anne’s sister, Jane, later duchess of Feria, asked that the license be extended from six months to two years. Anne took over her grandmother’s household in Louvain and remained there. In 1573, she was granted a pension of 1,100 livres a year by the king of Spain and in 1583 he granted her a further pension of fifty escudos a month. Anne became friends with Margaret of Parma as well as with the other English exiles living in Flanders. After her only son died, Anne claimed that Hungerford was attempting to defraud their daughters of their portion. Upon hearing a rumor that Anne was dead, Hungerford married Margery Bright, his mistress for some years and the mother of four children by him, the last born after his death. His 1595 will left Margery two farms. Both Anne and Margery sued to establish the right to inherit as Hungerford’s widow. During that same period, Anne was actively involved in politics in Flanders. She urged her sister, now widowed, to leave Spain and travel to Brussels. She seems to have been convinced that Jane’s journey would alarm Queen Elizabeth and turn the tide in King Philip’s favor in the ongoing war in the Netherlands. Jane’s son, Don Lorenzo, 2nd duke of Feria, took steps to thwart this intrigue and Anne appears to have given up the plan around 1599. She died in Louvain.

CATHERINE DORMER (1549-March 23, 1614/15)
Catherine Dormer was the daughter of Sir William Dormer of Wing and Eythrope, Buckinghamshire (1503-May 17, 1575) and Dorothy Catesby (c.1527-September 30, 1613). Her father left her £1500 at her marriage or age twenty-four. She married Sir John St. John of Bletsoe, Bedfordshire (1544-October 13, 1596). They had two children, Oliver, who died young, and Anne (d.1638). She was buried in St. Michael’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey. Portrait: effigy on tomb.


JANE DORMER (January 6, 1538-January 13, 1612)
Jane Dormer was the daughter of William Dormer of Wing and Eythrope, Buckinghamshire (1503-May 17, 1575) and Mary Sidney (d.1542). She was a favorite maid of honor to Queen Mary, having entered the queen’s service before the death of Mary’s brother, King Edward VI. Jane’s hand in marriage was sought by the earl of Devon, the duke of Norfolk, and Charles Howard, later earl of Nottingham, but she accepted the proposal of Don Gomez de Figueroa, count of Feria (d. September 7, 1571). They were waiting for the return to England of Philip II to marry when Queen Mary died. Jane herself had been ill in October of 1558 but she returned to her dying mistress’s bedside in November and was entrusted with the errand of journeying to Hatfield to deliver Mary’s jewels to her sister and heir, Elizabeth Tudor. After Mary’s death, Jane lived with her grandmother, Jane Newdigate, Lady Dormer (d. July 7, 1571) at the Savoy Palace. She had some questions to answer about jewels missing from Queen Mary’s coffers. Queen Elizabeth appointed Catherine Carey Knollys, Marjorie Williams Norris, and Blanche Parry to question her. Jane’s explanations appear to have satisfied them. Jane Dormer married the count of Feria on December 29, 1558 and left England in July 1559. Her party included her grandmother and six gentlewomen: Dorothy Essex, Katherine Paston, Susan White, Margaret Harington, Damascin Stradling, and Ann Pickering. Jane’s son Lorenzo (September 28, 1559-1607) was born at Mechlin, at the court of Margaret of Parma. At Amboise, France the following spring, Jane began a friendship with Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, that lasted until the queen’s execution. Upon reaching Spain, Feria and Jane settled at Zafra in Estremadura and Feria was created duke of Feria in 1567. Jane proved so adept at running his estates after Feria’s death that Philip II considered naming her Regent of the Netherlands. She devoted much of her time to helping other English Catholics, although she also obtained the release of Protestant Englishmen imprisoned at Seville. In 1603, an Englishman named Henry Clifford entered her service and wrote her biography, possibly from her dictation, but it was not published until 1887. After 1609, Jane was in poor health and spent the last year of her life bedridden. She died in Madrid. She was buried in the habit of a Franciscan tertiary. Modern Biographies: Oxford DNB entry under “Suarez de Figueroa [née Dormer], Jane;” Chapter Four of Albert J. Loomie’s The Spanish Elizabethans. Portraits: c.1563 by Sanches-Coello; one painted c. 1560-9 by Antonio Mor may be Jane. It may also be an unknown Englishwoman, a Netherlandish aristocrat, or one of the duke of Alva’s concubines. Margaret of Parma, once identified as the sitter, has been ruled out as the subject.


JOAN DORMER (d. 1546+)
Joan Dormer was the daughter of Sir Michael Dormer (d. September 20, 1545), a mercer and Lord Mayor of London in 1541, and his first wife, Elizabeth. She married three times. Her first husband was James Bolney (d.1536). Their children were Agnes (or Anne), Winifred, and Edward and she was apparently pregnant with another daughter, Joan, when he died. Her second husband, as his third wife, was Edward Borlase (d. 1544). His will, dated February 17, 1544 and proved June 16, 1544, mentions her daughters Joan, Anne, and Winifred Bolney. Among other bequests, the widow received the lease of his dwelling house and the yearly rent of the tenement calleed Perivyncles, with a garden plot adjoining, and all his lands in the parishes of Middleton and Sittingbourne until his eldest son came of age. Her third husband was Anthony Stapleton (d.1574), a lawyer of the Inner Temple. They were married by a license dated August 14, 1544. They had two sons, Michael and Amyas. The will of Sir Michael Dormer, dated September 27, 1545 and proved October 2, 1545, left Agnes Bolney, his granddaughter, the mese and garden in Fulham then occupied by Joan and her third husband. In 1546, Joan, as executor of the will of Edward Borlase, was involved in a lawsuit. It is unclear when she died, but Stapleton does not appear to have remarried until shortly before he wrote his will on October 20, 1569.


MARGARET DORMER (1553-April 26, 1637)
Margaret Dormer was the daughter of William Dormer of Wing and Eythrope, Buckinghamshire (1503-May 17, 1575) and his second wife, Dorothy Catesby (c.1527-September 30, 1613). Her father left her £1500 at her marriage or age twenty-four. In a marriage contract dated October 26, 1578, she married Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Holderness and Halsham, Yorkshire (c.1551-December 15, 1607) and as Lady Constable she was a notable recusant who spent time in prison in 1592, 1593, 1595, and 1607. On March 6, 1582, she was to appear before the Commissioners for Jesuits and seminary priests but the Privy Council intervened. In November 1593, she was seriously ill when action against her was planned and she was once again spared. In 1596, her husband kept her safe by promising to persuade her to convert. She did not. She raised her children—Catherine (c.1579-1626), Dorothy (1580-March 26, 1632), Henry (c.1582-1645), Margaret (c.1582-February 27, 1662/3), John (b.c. 1589), and Mary (c.1586-April 17, 1669+)—as pious Roman Catholics.

MARTHA DORSETT (November 10,1577-1646)
Martha Dorsett was the daughter of Robert Dorsett (d.1580), an Oxford doctor of divinity, and his wife Martha (d.1580). On her fifty-fifth birthday, in 1632, she wrote a verse narrative of fifty-five couplets, “The Memorandum of Martha Moulsworth, Widowe.” The manuscript was discovered in 1992 and published in 1993, edited by Robert C. Evans and Barbara Wiedemann as “My Name Was Martha”: A Renaissance Woman’s Autobiographical Poem. Orphaned at an early age, Martha was raised by her maternal grandmother, Helena, and Helena’s husband, Ralph Johnson. On April 28, 1598 she married Nicholas Prynne (d.1604), a London goldsmith. They were married five years and eight months and had two children, Richard (1602-before 1632) and Martha (1604-before 1632). After a year of mourning, Martha married again, this time to Thomas Thorowgood (d.1615), a London draper with a house in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. The wedding took place on February 3, 1605 and they were married ten years and nine months. They had no children, but Martha was close to his only child, Elizabeth. Thorowgood was apparently quite wealthy. His daughter was said to have a marriage portion of £10,000. Martha did not marry again for three years and eight months. Her third husband was Bevil Molesworth, another London goldsmith (1554-February 24, 1631). They married on June 15, 1619, were married eleven years and eight months, and had one son who died young. By her third marriage Martha acquired two more stepdaughters. She saw no need to marry again, writing that “this must be my care/of knittinge here a fourth knot to beware.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Moulsworth, Martha.”


MARGARET DOUGLAS (October 8, 1515-March 7, 1578)
Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Margaret Tudor (1489-1541) by her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus (1489-1557). She was thus the half sister of James V of Scotland and the granddaughter of Henry VII of England. Her mother was fleeing from Scotland, seeking shelter with her brother, Henry VIII, when Margaret was born at Harbottle, on the English side of the border. At barely fifteen, Margaret was appointed chief lady in waiting to her cousin, Princess Mary. Three years later, she was at court as one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies. Margaret was in and out of trouble all her life. She formed two unacceptable romantic alliances with English suitors and was confined for a time after each incident. She may actually have married Thomas Howard (1512-October 29, 1537), one of the duke of Norfolk’s half-brothers. Thomas died in the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned for his liaison with Margaret. Margaret remained close to Thomas Howard’s niece, Mary Howard, duchess of Richmond, who had been married to Henry FitzRoy. Their “circle” had a literary bent and they all wrote poetry, although only the sonnets of Mary’s brother, the earl of Surrey, achieved renown. During Catherine Howard’s time as queen, Margaret was romantically involved with the queen’s brother, Charles Howard. On July 6, 1544, Margaret married Matthew Stuart, earl of Lennox (1516-1571). They had four sons and four daughters but only two sons survived to adulthood, Henry, Lord Darnley (1545-1567) and Charles, earl of Lennox (1556-1577). Shortly before Henry VIII’s death, Margaret quarreled with him over a matter of religion (she remained a devout Catholic all her life) and was disinherited. She was high in favor under Queen Mary, but under Queen Elizabeth she was under arrest on three separate occasions, once on suspicion of witchcraft and treason, once because her son, Lord Darnley, had married the queen of Scots, and once because she conspired to marry her other son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavendish. Biographies: Kimberley Schutte, A Biography of Margaret Douglas; Oxford DNB entry under “Douglas, Lady Margaret;” for her writing, see Elizabeth Heale, ed., The Devonshire Manuscript: A Womans Book of Courtly Poetry. Portraits: tomb effigy; included in the Darnley Centograph of 1567/8 by Livinus de Vogelaare; two portraits, one full length and painted in 1572 are not authenticated. Alison Weir suggests that the Holbein portrait alleged to be Mary Boleyn may actually be Margaret Douglas. Susan E. James argues that the miniature c. 1540 by Hans Holbein, once said to be Queen Catherine Howard, is Margaret.

Magdalen Downes was a novice in the Benedictine priory of Ankerwick in Buckinghamshire by 1519. In that year, Bishop Atwater found two cases of apostasy in the priory. Two nuns had left the monastery. One had married, but since marriage was forbidden to professed nuns, she was declared to be living in sin in the house of a relative. Magdalen succeeded Alice Worcester to become the last prioress of Ankerwick when Alice resigned in 1526. After Ankerwick was dissolved, Magdalen achieved notoriety by becoming the only former nun in Buckinghamshire to marry. According to a footnote to the article on Ankerwick Priory at British History Online, there were only a few nuns in all of England who married after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Several came from Elstow in Bedfordshire and fourteen, eight of them Gilbertine nuns, from Lincolnshire.



ELIZABETH D’OYLEY (1592-1612+)
Elizabeth D’Oyley (sometimes written Doyle) was the daughter of Edmund D’Oyley of Shottisham, Norfolk (d.1612+) and Catherine Neville (b.1570). In 1607 or 1608, she married Robert Buxton of Tibbenham, Norfolk (d. January 17, 1610/11). His surname is given incorrectly as Barston in the Visitation of Essex. They had one child, John (c.1609-1660). His wardship was granted to Elizabeth and her father. Her second husband was William Perte or Pert of Arnolds, Mountnessing, Essex (d.1637?). By his first wife, he had a daughter but he had no children with Elizabeth. The inscription (added later) on her portrait, by Robert Peake c.1608, is misleading. It seems to identify the sitter as a Conyers co-heiress and the mother of Margaret Buxton, but Margaret Buxton was actually Margaret Perte (c.1610-1686), the daughter of Isabel Conyers, Perte’s first wife, and thus  Elizabeth’s stepdaughter. She became Margaret Buxton when she married Elizabeth’s son.




ANNE DRAPER (August 1560-March 29, 1641)
Anne Draper was the daughter of John Draper (d.1576), a wealthy London brewer, and Margery Wilkes (d.1600/01). After her father’s death, his clerk, Thomas Hobson, wanted to marry her, but Anne’s mother refused and dismissed him. He took her to court. She claimed he’d “shamefully, wickedly, and horribly” tried to marry Anne. Exactly what this entailed is not spelled out, but it was obviously more than Margery Draper was willing to allow. On June 4, 1579, Anne married Eustace Bedingfield (d. May 19, 1599). They had several children, including two named Anne, one who died in 1581 and one who survived her mother. Anne Draper’s inheritance from her father included a piece of property in Clerkenwell. By 1605, she had leased this to Aaron Holland, who built the Red Bull theater on the property. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Bedingfield [née Draper], Anne.” Portrait: memorial brass 1641, All Saints, Darsham, Suffolk.

ELIZABETH DRAPER (d. April 27, 1605)
Elizabeth Draper was the daughter of Robert Draper of Camberwell and Elizabeth Fyfield. On June 17, 1550, she married John Bowyer of Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset and Lincoln’s Inn (d. October 10, 1570) as his second wife. Bowyer’s commonplace book describes Elizabeth’s wedding ring in detail and also records the apparel purchased for the occasion. The entries include four ells of tawny taffeta at 11s. 6d. an ell for a Venice gown, seven yards of crimson silk camlet at 7s. 6d./yard for a kirtle, and eight yards of black russet at 4s. 6d./yard for a Dutch gown. Smaller amounts of purchased fabric included tawny velvet, crimson satin, tawny satin, black velvet, tawny damask, and scarlet for a petticoat. The couple had eight sons and three daughters, including Edmond (May 12, 1552-c.1626), Elizabeth (June 10, 1553-1590+), John, Matthew, Luke (1563-5), Benjamin, and Gregory. On September 9, 1572, Elizabeth married William Forster (d. before 1605), by whom she had a son and a daughter. As a widow for the second time she lived beside the Free School. Portrait: memorial brass in Camberwell.



JANE DRAYTON (1482-1538?)
According to the research done by Nina Green, Jane Drayton was the daughter of Robert Drayton (d.1503/4) and Joan Peckham. Her first husband was Richard Lucy, by whom she had no children. She then married William Wriothesley (d.1513?), York Herald. They had two sons and two daughters, including Thomas Wriothesley, 1st earl of Southampton (1505-1550). Jane’s third husband was named Beverley. They had two daughters. Jane is mentioned in the 1501 will of her grandfather, Peter Peckham, as one of several potential heirs to properties in London and in Caversham, Oxfordshire. Older sources give the name of William Wriothesley’s wife as Agnes Drayton, daughter of James Drayton of London, and most say William had only one son.


MARGERY DREW (d.1525+)
Margery Drew was the daughter and heiress of John Drew of Bridgwater, Somerset. She married Thomas Lyte of Lytescary in Charlton Mackrell, Somerset (d. February 18, 1523), by whom she had eight children: John (1498-July 28, 1566), William, William the younger, Thomas, Edmund, George, Anthony, and Catherine. Margery was left a wealthy widow and during the two years of her widowhood engaged in building projects at Lytescary. In 1525, she married Hugh Tratter, customer of Bridgewater.


MARGARET DRIVER (1526-1558) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret Driver, called Alice in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, was the wife of Nicholas Driver, a farmer from Grundsiburgh. She was arrested for helping the fugitive Alexander Gooch. Her ears were cut off as punishment for comparing Queen Mary to Jezebel. She was excommunicated on May 28, 1558. For her execution in Ipswich, she was chained on the pyre by her neck. Her last words are supposed to have been “here is a goodly neckerchief, blessed by God for it.” The execution took place just ten days before the death of the queen.


ANN DRURY or DREWRIE (x. May 13,1573) (maiden name unknown)
According to John Bellamy, in Strange, Inhuman Deaths: Murder in Tudor England, Ann Drury was a “sinister widow . . . notorious for her palmistry and ‘surgery.’” With her friend, Anne Saunders (see ANNE NEWDIGATE), Ann Drury plotted the murder of Anne’s husband, George Saunders. Bellamy gives a full account of the case in Chapter 6 of his book, based on contemporary pamphlet written about the crime and later accounts in the chronicles of Stow and Holinshed. From evidence in her speech from the gallows, it would seem that Ann Drury was once in the service of Henry Stanley, Lord Strange, who had succeeded his father as earl of Derby the previous year and was present at her execution. She asked his forgiveness and insisted that she was not responsible for his separation from his wife (see MARGARET CLIFFORD). Bellamy interprets this statement as indicating one of two things. Either Ann had been sexually involved with the earl or she had practiced palmistry while a member of his household. Ann also denied from the scaffold that she had ever used witchcraft or sorcery, poisoned her own husband, or accused any merchants’ wives of unchaste living. She had confessed, however, to having instructed George Browne how to kill George Saunders in March 1573, and to paying Browne when he reported that he’d done the deed. Browne, when apprehended, claimed that Ann Drury had also promised him that she would arrange his marriage Saunders’ widow. Browne pled guilty to murder and was executed. Mrs. Drury, when questioned, confessed and was imprisoned, along with her servant, Roger Clement. It was Clement who implicated Mrs. Saunders. The two women were tried in May at the Guildhall, charged with being accessories both before and after the murder. On May 6, both were convicted and sentenced to be hanged at Smithfield a week later. While in Newgate awaiting execution, a defrocked clergyman named Mell offered to provide a dowry for Ann Drury’s daughter if Ann would exonerate Mrs. Saunders. Mell had fallen in love with her after seeing her at her trial. He hoped to obtain a pardon for Anne Saunders and then marry her. Both women were hanged. The play, A Warning to Fair Women (1599), was based on this case. The given names of Ann’s husband and daughter do not appear to have been recorded.

ANNE DRURY (d. September 5, 1561)
Anne Drury was the eldest of six daughters of Sir William Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (d. January 11, 1557/8) and his second wife, Elizabeth Soothill (d. May 19, 1575). By 1540, she had married Sir Christopher Heydon or Hayden of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk (1518/19-December 10, 1579). They had three sons and five daughters, including William (d.1592), Henry, and Christopher. Portrait: memorial brass in Baconsthorpe Church.

ANNE DRURY (d. May 25, 1633)
Anne Drury was the daughter of Sir Dru Drury of Riddlesworth, Norfolk (1532-April 28, 1617) and Catherine Finch (d. September 13, 1601). On August 27, 1604, she married John Deane of Maplestead Magna, Essex (1583-February 17, 1625) by whom she had Anne (d.1642+), Elizabeth, Dru (d. 1638), John, Dorcas, Frances, Mildred, and one other daughter who died young. When Deane died, he left marriage portions to his daughters that totaled £2600. He left his widow a life interest in Dynes Manor and adjoining property in Maplestead and named her co-executor with their eldest son. After Anne died, she was memorialized on two monuments in the chapel built for her husband in St. Giles, Great Maplestead. She and her children are shown above her husband on his memorial, and in a “resurrection” monument, executed in 1634 by William Wright of Charing Cross, she is shown rising in her shroud behind the effigy of her son. The inscription reads: “Her Shape was rare, Her Beauty exquisit, Her entertainment hearty, Her conversation lovely, Her Courses modest, Her Discourses wise, Her Practise holy, Her Religion pure, Her Faith unfaygnd, Her Hope stable, Her Wytt accurate, Her Judgment singular, Her Harte merciful, Her Hand helpful, Her Charity heavenly, Her Amity constant, Her Vowes Lawful, Her Meditations divine, Her Prayers devout, Her Devotions diurnall, Her Days short, Her Life everlasting.”



ELIZABETH DRURY (January 4, 1577/8-February 26, 1653/4)
Elizabeth Drury was the second daughter, third of six children, of William Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (May 30, 1550-January 8, 1589/90) and Elizabeth Stafford (c.1546-February 6, 1598/9). She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber by April 1593 when news of her secret marriage to William Cecil, 3rd baron Burghley and later (1623) 2nd earl of Exeter (1566-1640) leaked out. Their children were Elizabeth (1595-1672, Richard (d.yng), Diana (c.1596-April 27, 1654), and Anne (c.1596-1676). The family lived primarily at Burghley House near Stamford, Lincolnshire and in Exeter House on the Strand, but on July 27, 1600, she was reportedly at court, dressed all Italiana. Her will was proved April 20, 1654. She was buried in St. James, Clerkenwell. Portraits: by William Larkin, c.1614-18; attributed to Paul van Somer, 1618; English School, 1654.


FRANCES DRURY (June 13, 1576-1642)
Frances Drury was the daughter of Sir William Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (May 30, 1550-January 18, 1589/90) and Elizabeth Stafford (c.1546-February 6, 1598/9). According to Marion Colthorpe, “Women at Court: Royal Household” (2017) (http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/The_Elizabethan_Court_Day_by_Day), she was a maid of honor by January 1594. On March 29, the queen learned of her secret marriage to Sir Nicholas Clifford of Bobbing, Kent (1572-1599). By April 5, Frances was in Fleet Prison and Clifford was in the Tower. He died at sea in 1595. In 1599, she married Sir William Wray of Glentworth, Lincolnshire (1557-August 13, 1617). Her children were Frances Clifford (d. 1658) and Christopher (1601-February 8, 1646), George, Charles, and Frances Wray. Her will was written on May 27, 1637 and proved in 1642. She was buried in Ashby Church, Lincolnshire. Portraits: c.1590 miniature by Nicholas Hilliard may be Frances Drury; effigy on Wray tomb.

Katherine Drury was the daughter of William Drury of Besthorpe, Norfolk (d.1552) and his second wife, Dorothy Brampton. She married John Chamberlain of Ellingham. Her brother Roger (d.1599), left her £6 in his will, apparently because “her bad husband” did not provide for her.



SUSANNA DRURY (1584-September 29, 1606)
Susanna Drury was the daughter of Sir William Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (May 30, 1550-January 18, 1589/90) and Elizabeth Stafford (c.1546-February 6, 1598/9). Suffolk Manorial Families by Joseph James Muskett includes a transcript of a memorandum stating the terms of her will, made on September 20, 1606. In this document, she is identified as being “of Glentworth” in Lincolnshire and as “being sicke in bodye but of sound and perfect memorye.” She directed her words to her sister, Frances, wife of Sir William Wray, and made Wray and Lord Burghley (sister Elizabeth’s husband), her executors. She made bequests of money and clothing to various relatives and servants. The will was proved at London on November 14, 1606. Muskett then adds the story, quoted from an 1831 issue of Gentleman’s Magazine, of how Susanna Drury died. She was visiting Lady Wray at Glentworth and went riding. Not being a proficient horsewoman, she was “fastened to her saddle with straps that she might not be dismounted.” Unfortunately, the horse ran away with her and she dashed her head against the branches of a tree, sustaining injuries that proved fatal. She was buried in Ashby Church and an effigy was erected there in her memory. She is shown with two greyhounds. The Latin inscription reads “Unhappy only in her death, she burst the portals on the feast day of St. Michael, 1606, and joined the choirs of the blessed, having numbered but two and twenty years.” Portrait: effigy in Ashby, Lincolnshire.

URSULA DRURY (1492-1522/3)
Ursula Drury was the daughter of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead, Suffolk (d. February 8, 1535) and Anne Calthorpe. On July 5, 1515, she married Sir Giles Alington of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire (June 1499-August 22, 1586). She had a son, Robert (1520-May 22, 1552) and a daughter, Margaret. Zillah Dovey, in An Elizabethan Progress, gives her date of death as 1552, but since Alington remarried in 1524, this is obviously incorrect. Portrait: memorial brass in Hawstead Church.




ANNE DUDLEY (February 1575-1610+)
Anne Dudley was the daughter of John Dudley of Stoke Newington, Middlesex (1530-December 29, 1580) and Elizabeth Gardiner (1542-June 1602). When her father died, she was six years old. His will asked the countess of Warwick to “stand good lady” to Anne and her mother. In September 1582, Anne’s mother married Thomas Sutton of Littlebury, Essex. In 1590, Anne married Sir Francis Popham of Wellington, Somerset (c.1570-July 28, 1644). Her dowry was 700 acres in Stoke Newington and Tottenham. In 1547, they settled at Littlecote, Wiltshire. Their thirteen children included Francis (d. May 7, 1671), Alexander (1605-1669), Edward (1610-1651), John (d.1638), and seven daughters. Anne probably died before her husband. Portrait: effigy on her father-in-law’s monument in Wellington, Somerset.



Elizabeth Dudley was the daughter of Edmund Dudley (1462-x.1510) and Anne Windsor. She was betrothed to Peter Stourton, one of the sons of Edward, 6th baron Stourton, but when he died she married his younger brother, William (1484-September 16, 1548), who succeeded to the title in 1535. They were married in about 1516. Their children were Ursula (1518-September 4, 1551), Charles, 8th baron (c.1521-x.March 6, 1556/7), Francis, Dorothy, Andrew, Arthur (c.1524-1558), William (c.1526-November 22, 1581), George, Giles, John, and another Francis. In spite of their numerous children, the marriage was not a happy one and the couple separated. Stourton lived with his mistress, Agnes Rhys, while Elizabeth, at least part of the time, lived in the home of William Hartgill, her husband’s steward, at Kilmington, on the border of Wiltshire and Somerset and two miles from Stourton House. It was there, shortly after her husband’s death, that her son Charles confronted her with the demand that she vow never to remarry. What he really wanted was to gain control of her widow’s third of the estate. He asked her to accept an annuity of 100 marks and live with him in lieu of the jointure she was entitled to, or live at Stourton Caundle manor with an annuity of 200 marks. Either way, she would lose her annuity if she remarried. Elizabeth objected and Hartgill supported her rights, but Charles removed her from Kilmington against her will and took her to Stourton House. This was not the only bone of contention between Lord Stourton and the Hartgills and the feud between them raged on until January 1557, when Stourton and his men murdered William Hartgill and his son John. For this crime, Charles was executed. By the mid-1550s, Elizabeth had married Edward Ludlow of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire. Elizabeth was the half sister of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, and therefore aunt of Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite. For this reason, even though she was seventy years old by then, she is the most likely Lady Stourton to have been at court in 1558/9. The other possibility is her Catholic daughter-in-law, Anne Stanley (d.1602), Charles’s widow.




KATHERINE DUDLEY (November 1545-August 4, 1620)
Katherine Dudley was the daughter of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland (1504-x.August 22, 1553) and Jane Guildford (1509-January 15, 1555). Although the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives her birthdate as c.1538, there is a record of a christening on November 30, 1545 that several authorities believe was Katherine’s. Her godparents were Francis van der Delft, Imperial Ambassador to England, Princess Mary, and Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk, who hosted a reception at Suffolk Place, Southwark. Assuming this birthdate to be correct, Katherine was seven when, on May 24, 1553, she was married to eighteen-year-old Henry Hastings (1535-December 14, 1594) at Durham House in the Strand. Three months later, her father was arrested and executed for treason. It would have been easy for her father-in-law, the earl of Huntingdon, to have her marriage annulled. Instead he took her to Ashby-de-la-Zouche to be raised with his own family. From 1555 on, under the terms of her mother’s will, her brother Robert paid her a stipend of twenty marks a year. Katherine set up housekeeping with her husband in 1560. She first came to court in 1562 or 1563. Because her brother, Robert Dudley, was the queen’s favorite, she was made a lady of the privy chamber. In 1564, however, when a book on the succession urged acceptance of her husband’s claim to the throne, Katherine was given “a privy nippe” by the queen. His assurance that the book was “foolishly written” did not mend the rift and for a time Katherine left the court. In 1566, according to an essay by Simon Adams in Leicester and the Court, the earl of Leicester’s visit to the West Midlands was put off due to the illness “or possible miscarriage” of his sister, the countess of Huntingdon. In January 1570, Leicester and both his sisters went to meet their brother the earl of Warwick at Kenilworth. In 1576, Katherine and her husband became legal guardians of the earl of Essex’s children. She was already fostering and training several young gentlewomen but had no children of her own. In 1583, she was in London with her sister-in-law, Lady Mary Hastings, who was under consideration as a bride for Ivan the Terrible of Russia. On June 18, 1584, Katherine was living in her husband’s house in Leicester when her brother Robert stopped there for the night on his way back from a visit to the baths at Buxton. He left at 5 AM the next morning. Katherine spent some time in Yorkshire, where Huntingdon was president of the Council of the North, but the last time he went to York, she was ill and remained at Whitehall. She was prostrate with grief when told of his death. The queen visited her at Huntingdon in December 1595. During the last years of the reign, Katherine returned to court and was considered one of the queen’s closest friends. Under James I, Katherine took charge of the small daughters of her nephew, Robert Sidney, while he and his wife were in the Netherlands. She died at Chelsea and was buried there in the parish church. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Hastings [née Dudley], Katherine.” Portrait: In 1599, a portrait of Katherine Dudley was listed in the effects of Frances Powlett, a widowed Essex gentlewoman who was a known recusant.

Katherine Dudley was one of seven daughters of Robert Dudley (August 7, 1574-September 6, 1649), illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester by Douglas Howard, and Alice Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (1579-January 22, 1669). Dudley deserted his wife and daughters to run off to Italy with Elizabeth Southwell in 1605. Temple Balsall, Warwickshire, which he had inherited from his uncle, Ambrose Dudley, in 1590, passed to Katherine and her sister Anne (d.1663), widow of Sir Robert Holbourne. Katherine married Sir Richard Leveson of Trentham Hall, Staffordshire (1598-1661). She wrote her will in 1668, adding codicils in 1670, 1671, and 1673. As she had no children, she left bequests to a hospital, created a free school, and established a foundation to teach children to care for older people that still exists today. Portraits: 1625 by Cornelius Jansen; effigy on monument with her husband.



MARY DUDLEY (1531-August 9, 1586)
Mary Dudley was the daughter of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland (1504-x.August 22,1553) and Jane Guildford (1509-January 15, 1555). She was educated with her brothers. Among her tutors were Roger Ascham and John Dee. She wrote poetry as a young woman. On March 29, 1551, she married Sir Henry Sidney (June 20, 1529-May 5, 1586). When her father attempted to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne in 1553, Mary Sidney was sent to fetch Lady Jane to Syon House to be told of her new status. She remained with Queen Jane throughout her brief reign. After the failure of the coup, Mary was allowed to return to her husband, who was pardoned on July 21. Sir Henry’s father obtained for them the confiscated Dudley property of Penshurst. Their son, Philip Sidney (November 30, 1554-October 17, 1586) was born there. His godfather was King Philip II. Their other children were Margaret (1556-1558), Elizabeth (October 1560-February 1567), Mary (1561-1621), Robert (November 19,1563-1626), Ambrosia (1565-1575), and Thomas (March 25,1569-July 26,1595). Under Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney was at court as one of her ladies. After she nursed the queen through her bout of smallpox in October 1562, she caught the disease herself and was left horribly scarred by it. Thereafter, it is said, she always wore a mask in public. When her husband was named Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1565, Mary went with him but soon returned to England. She had rooms at court but spent most of her time at her house near Paul’s Wharf in London or at Ludlow Castle. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Sidney [née Dudley], Mary.” Portraits: Two portraits identified as Mary Dudley Sidney exist, one by Hans Eworth at Wilton House and the other by Willaim Scrots at Petworth.




Agnes Dufford was the daughter of William Dufford or Duffield and a vintner in St. Mary’s Parish, Cambridge, in her own right. She married William Pykerell, a bedell at Cambridge University, by whom she had a son, John Pykerell (1498/9-1539). In 1513, she married Peter Cheke (1477-January 30, 1529/30), another Cambridge bedell. They had one son and five daughters, including Anne (1512-1557), John (June 16, 1514-September 13, 1557), Mary (c.1520-February 22, 1543/4), and Magdalen (d.1562+). John Cheke became a royal tutor. Mary Cheke married William Cecil, later Lord Burghley. Agnes continued to run her wine shop in her second widowhood.

Christina Duke was the daughter and heir of Richard Duke of London and Otterton, Devon (d. September 8, 1572) and Elizabeth Franke (d. before 1562). She married George Brooke, (January 27, 1533-c.1570), one of the younger sons of Lord Cobham, and is mentioned in the will of her mother-in-law, Anne Bray, Lady Cobham, in 1558. Lady Cobham left money to Christina to pay for nursing her baby, Elizabeth, who had been born at Cobham on June 15, 1558. Christina had four other children with Brooke: Anne, Duke (1563-1606), Peter, and Charles (c.1568-1610). In April 1562, Christina’s father remarried, taking as his second wife the twice-widowed Joan Hoby (Hobby/Halby). Her previous husbands were William Pantin of London and John Sprint of Bristol (d.c.1558). When Richard Duke died, letters of administration were issued to his widow on September 10, 1573, but on September 13, 1573, new letters of administration were issued, this time jointly to the widow and to Christina, who was by then married to Gregory Sprint of Templecombe, Somerset (d.1608+), her stepmother’s son by her second marriage. According to Sprint’s entry in the History of Parliament, his marriage was arranged by Joan’s “subtle drift and device” to gain for her son an income of £200 a year in land and 1000 marks worth of goods. In 1575, Christina was said to be pregnant, but there is no record of a surviving child. Her second husband was litigious, engaging in lawsuits against the Duke family and against his mother’s fourth husband, Roger Gifford. From 1577 until 1593, he was engaged in a feud with Christina’s sons, Duke and Peter Brooke. She supported her sons, even when they attacked her husband in court and in person. In 1592, Sprint was outlawed and his goods seized. He was still living when Christina died.



DEBORAH DUNCH (1586-c.1659)
Deborah Dunch was the daughter of Walter Dunch of Avebury, Wiltshire (1552-1594) and Deborah Pilkington (1564-1594+), the daughter of an Anglican bishop. She was christened on April 3, 1586 at St. Giles’s Church in Avebury. On January 20, 1606, at St. Mary Aldermary, London, she married Henry Moody of Garsdon Manor, Wiltshire (c.1582-April 23, 1629). He was later knighted and still later (1622), created a baronet by King James I and VI. They had two children, Henry (February 7, 1607-1650+) and Catherine (1608-1627+). After ten years of widowhood, Lady Moody made the decision to leave England for the colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England. She settled first in Salem, where she had a small house. By 1640, she was in Lynn, where she was granted 400 acres. In 1641, she purchased another house and 900 acres of land in neighboring Swampscott. By 1643, her religious beliefs, particularly her denial that the baptism of infants was ordained by God, caused her to be fined, excommunicated, and evicted from Massachusetts Bay. John Winthrop said of her that although she was “a wise and anciently religious woman” he did not want her in his colony. With other like-minded individuals, she went first to Providence, then to New Haven, and finally into Dutch territory, where she received a patent in 1645 for 7000 acres that included the present day Gravesend (Brooklyn) and Coney Island, New York. The home she built there was the sturdiest in the settlement and the only one to survive an Indian attack. It went on to become the site of the first Quaker meeting in 1657. Deborah died at some point between December 1654 and May 1659. For more details of her life see Carole Chandler Waldrup, Colonial Women (1999).



CATHERINE DUNN (d. before 1544)
Catherine Dunn was the daughter of Lewis Dunn or Dunne of Badland. As a child of eleven, she was betrothed to Edmund Vaughan, age nine. When Edmund came of age, “there was a divorce lawfully between them according to the Ecclesiastical Laws.” Catherine later married Richard Blyke (Bleak/Bleck/Blike) of Radnorshire (d.1557), a servant of Bishop Rowland Lee, bringing lands and tenements in Radnor to the marriage. They had one daughter, Dorothy. Some five years after Catherine died, her cousin, Peter Dunn of Berkshire, challenged Blyke’s right to keep Catherine’s Radnor properties. He brought suit in Chancery claiming that he was her heir because she had never been legally married to Blyke and their daughter was illegitimate. His argument was that Edmund Vaughan was still alive at the time they wed.

ELEANOR DUTTON (c.1484-June 1522+)
Eleanor Dutton was the daughter of Peter or Piers Dutton of Hatton, Cheshire (c.1465-before 1502) and Elizabeth Fouleshurst. In about 1502, she married Randall Brereton of Malpas, Cheshire (1467-June 1530). Their children were Randall (d.1533), Richard (d.c.1556), John (d.1542), Thomas (d.1511), Peter, Roger, William (c.1507-x. May 17, 1536), Robert (d.1566+), Urian (c.1510-March 19, 1578), Eleanor (d.1567), Jane, Anne, and Elizabeth (c.1505-November 30, 1545+). Portrait: effigy at Malpas.


Jacquinetta, Jacqueline, or Jaklin Dutwite was the daughter of James Dutwite (d.1591), a resident of the immigrant enclave of St. Martin le Grand at the time of his death. She was probably born in France. She married Thomas Vautrollier (d. July 1587), a Huguenot refugee from Troyes. He had set up as a printer in London by 1558. He received letters of denization on March 9, 1562 and was admitted to the Stationer’s Company in 1564. He lived and worked in the Blackfriars section of London and records there list the births of Simon, Thomas (d.1608), Daniel, and Manassie (Manassas) Vautrollier between 1570 and 1587. The Vautrolliers also had a son named James. In 1580 and 1586, while Vautrollier was in Edinburgh, his wife ran the business in London. After he died, it would not have been unusual for her to take over as printer. Many wives of printers did just that. She was allowed to finish an impression he had begun and print one book, but on March 4, 1588 an order was issued by the Court of Assistants that read (spelling modernized): “Mrs. Vautrollier, late wife of Thomas Vautrollier, deceased, shall not hereafter print any manner of book or books whatsoever, as well by reason that her husband was no printer at the time of his decease, as also by the decrees set down in the Star Chamber she is debarred from the same.” Alice Clark, in her Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century, suggests that this was because the business had already been transferred to a daughter, also named Jacquinetta. According to her, this explains why records show Jacquinetta Vautrollier printing several more books in 1588, although these may also have been projects left unfinished at Vautrollier’s death. Richard Field (November 1561-November 1624), admitted to the Stationer’s Company on February 6, 1587, married Jaklin Vautrollier on January 12, 1589 in St. Anne, Blackfriars. Although some sources call her Vautrollier’s daughter, she was more likely to have been his widow. Some sources also say Field was Vautrollier’s apprentice. Technically, he was apprenticed to George Bishop, but he served the first six of seven years of his apprenticeship in Vautrollier’s printing shop. A son, Richard Field, was born to Jacquinetta in 1590. In about 1600, Field moved from Blackfriars to the parish of St. Michael in Wood Street at the sign of the Splayed Eagle. He was a prominent member of the Stationer’s Company. Jacquinetta was probably the “Field’s wife” who was buried in Blackfriars on March 9, 1611. After Field’s death his widow, Jane, by whom he had three sons and two daughters, was permitted to continue printing books, but after a short time she sold out to one of Field’s apprentices.

JOAN DUWES (d.1538) (maiden name unknown)
Although she is listed as a member of Mary Tudor’s household in 1533, little is known about Joan Duwes other than that she was the wife of Giles Duwes or Dewes (d. April 12, 1535) a lute player, French tutor, and author of An Introduction for to Lerne to Rede, to Pronounce, and to Speke French Trewly (c.1533), and other works. Duwes was employed from the 1490s to teach the children of Henry VII. He also tutored Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary Tudor, and Henry Courtenay, who was later marquess of Exeter. Duwes and his wife had four children: Henry, Arthur, Gwylliam, and Margaret. From April 1506, Duwes was royal librarian. Young Arthur Duwes entered the royal household as a lute player in 1515 and later taught the king’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, how to play that instrument. Duwes frequently appears in records as “Master Giles Luter.” In 1533, Joan Duwes was appointed as one of Princess Mary’s gentlewomen, although it must be noted that, at that time, Anne Boleyn was queen and Mary was out of favor and considered illegitimate. Duwes made his will on December 20, 1534, mentioning his wife “Jhone,” but leaving his musical instruments to his sons Arthur and Gwylliam. Princess Mary’s Privy Purse expenses for January 1538 include the gift of a frontlet to “Mistress Colson sometime Mistress Giles,” which seems to indicate that Joan had remarried.

FRANCES DYER (d. before 1603)
Frances Dyer was the daughter of Thomas Dyer of Weston, Somerset (d. June 14, 1565) and Frances Darcy. She married, as his second wife, Sir John Stawell of Cothelstone, Somerset (d. 1603), who had divorced his first wife after a long court battle and a large bribe to assure she would not contest his new marriage (see MARY PORTMAN). His pre-nuptial settlement with Frances is dated April 10, 1572. They had one son, John (d.1603/4). Portrait: effigy on tomb at Cothelstone.



Jane Dyllycotes’s parentage is unknown. She is recorded in most places simply as a French woman or a Huguenot. A manuscript cited by Alexander Balloch Grosart in Occasional Issues of Unique or Very Rare Books calls her Jane Jerrard (Gerard?) and says she was born in Anjou, but gives no source for this information. What we do know is that on March 20, 1582, she married Richard Barnes, bishop of Durham (d. August 24, 1587) at Durham Castle. She was his second wife. On September 30, 1597, she married cleric Leonard Pilkington (1527-August 1599), whose brother had been Barnes’s predecessor as bishop of Durham. She had no children by either husband. She was buried June 20, 1605 in Durham, near the burial place of Bishop Barnes.

MARGARET DYMOKE (c.1490-1550)
Margaret Dymoke was the daughter of Sir Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire (c.1461-April 15, 1545) and Jane Sparrow. In about 1507, she married Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon, Derbyshire (1477-1517). Their children were George (1508-1567) and Elizabeth. When she was left a wealthy widow, Cardinal Wolsey advocated a match with Sir William Tyrwhitt, but Margaret married Sir William Coffyn of Porthledge, Devon (c.1492-December 8, 1538) instead. Margaret attended Catherine of Aragon at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 and was at court with her second husband, who was master of horse to both Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. Margaret was one of the gentlewomen sent to wait (and spy) upon Anne Boleyn in the Tower. Some accounts give the name as “Mistress Cosyns” but this is a mistake for Coffyn. In Jane Seymour’s household, Margaret was a lady of the bedchamber. She wrote to Lord Cromwell from Standon, Hertfordshire to announce her second husband had died, “full of God’s marks over all his body.” She was his sole executor and inherited all his leases and goods. In 1539, she married Sir Richard Manners of Garendon, Leicestershire (1490-February 9, 1551), by whom she may have had a son, John. During this marriage she lived primarily at Haddon Hall. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Coffin, Sir William.” NOTE: the DNB gives her mother’s name as Anne Sparrow. Portrait: effigy at St. Bartholomew Church, Tong, Shropshire.


MARY DYMOKE (d.1582+)
Mary Dymoke or Dymmock was probably the daughter of Sir Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire (1531-September 12, 1580) and Bridget Clinton (d.1591?). She was a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth, a position she might have been appointed to by virtue of being the granddaughter of Edward Fiennes de Clinton, 1st earl of Lincoln, by his first wife. Sir Robert and Lady Dymoke were arrested for recusancy in July 1580 and he died in prison. In March 1582, together with Elizabeth Vaux, middle daughter of William, 3rd baron Vaux of Harrowden, Mary Dymoke was smuggled out of England by Robert Alfield, servant of the Jesuit, Father Robert Persons. She became a nun, joining the Poor Clares at Rouen.


Nothing is known about Joanna Dyngley’s parents, although a John Dyngley received an annuity of ten marks on May 29, 1516, “in token of the king’s regard.” It is extremely tempting to wonder if Joan has been mistread as John, but the date seems much too early. Joan or Joanna Dyngley is said to have been a royal laundress. Her natural or “base” daughter, Ethelreda or Audrey Malte (d.c.1556), was raised as the child of John Malte, Henry VIII’s tailor, but was rumored to be Henry’s bastard. Joanna was married to a Mr. Dobson by the time Malte made his will on September 10, 1546. It refers to her as “Joane Dingley, now wife of one Dobson” and as “Joane Dyngley, otherwise Joane Dobson.” He left her £20. Joanna does not seem to have played any part in her daughter’s life and the identity of Mr. Dobson remains elusive. The notoriously speculative The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards by Philippa Jones, offers an interesting if unsupportable theory about Joanna’s identity, complete with a solution to another minor mystery—the identity of the mistress who so infuriated Anne Boleyn that she tried to send her away from court. Jones’s candidate is Jane or Joan Moore (d.1558+), daughter of Sir John Moore of Douklin, Douklen, Dunclent, or Dunkelyn, Worcestershire (d.1535) and Eleanor Milbourne. This Jane Moore was married three times. Her first husband was Michael Ashfield of Northlatche Manor, Gloucestershire. Her second was a man named James Dingley. Jones suggests that Dingley had recently died when his widow began an affair with the king c.1534 and suggests that Jane was the unnamed mistress the king refused to send away from court in that year, a woman sympathetic to Princess Mary. Jones then gives Eltheleda’s birth date as June 23, 1535 and goes on to say that, by 1546, Jane Moore had married Thomas Parker of Notgrove, Gloucestershire (d.1558). They had three sons, Edmund, Thomas, and Michael, and a daughter. Where did the name Dobson come from in Malte’s will? Jones explains this away as a mistake by the person who copied the will, misreading “alias Dobson” as a reference to a husband when it was, in fact, a reference to the Moore family’s lands.

EDITH DYNHAM (c.1448-1514)
Edith Dynham was the daughter of John Dynham or Dinham of Hartland, Devon and Cornwall (1405/6-January 25, 1458) and Joan Arches or Archer (c.1410-1497). She was the third wife of Thomas Fowler of Foxley, Buckinghamshire (c.1435-c.1510), who was an esquire of the body to King Edward IV and supported Richard III. He was pardoned in 1485. In spite of her husband’s Yorkist sympathies, Edith later served as a waiting gentlewoman to Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of Henry VII. She was one of those given “manteletts and kercheffes” for Henry’s funeral in 1509. The countess died soon afterward, on June 29, 1509. Edith and her husband were buried in Christ Church, Cambridge. Portrait: brass armorial effigy.

ELIZABETH DYNHAM (1449-October 19, 1516)
Elizabeth Dynham was the daughter of John Dynham or Dinham of Hartland, Devon and Cornwall (1405/6-January 25, 1458) and Joan Arches or Archer (c.1410-1497). She was one of the co-heirs of her brother, John, 1st Lord Dynham (d.1501). She married three times. Her first husband was Fulke Bourchier, 2nd baron Fitzwarine (October 25, 1445-September 18, 1479), by whom she had four children: John, 1st earl of Bath (July 20, 1470-April 30, 1539), Joan, Elizabeth (1474-1557), and William. Her second husband was Sir John Sapcote of Elton, Huntingdonshire (d. January 5, 1501), by whom she had one son, Richard (1483-July 9, 1542). Her third husband was Sir Thomas Brandon (1470-January 27, 1510). His will was written January 11, 1509/10 and proved May 11, 1510. He left gowns to two sisters and two nieces and a house in Southwark and land in Norfolk and Suffolk to the widowed “Lady Jane Gylford” (Joan Vaux). His nephew, Charles Brandon, was his principal heir. Elizabeth would already have been provided for in their marriage contract and she had no doubt inherited considerable estates from her two previous husbands. Through Fulke Bourchier she was the grandmother of Anne Stanhope, duchess of Somerset. Through Sir John Sapcote, she was the great-great grandmother of Anne Sapcote, countess of Bedford. Elizabeth was buried in the Greyfriars, London.