DORCAS ECCLESTON (1537-September 1, 1599)
Dorcas Eccleston (Egleston, Eglestone, Ecclestone) was the daughter of John Eccleston and his wife Margery (d. 1571). Eccleston is variously described as a gentleman of Lancashire and as a London grocer. It is possible he was both. Dorcas married Sir Richard Martin (1533/4-1617) who was Lord Mayor of London twice and served as master of the mint. They had six children, including John, Richard (d.1616), and Dorcas. According to Chris Laoutaris in Shakespeare and the Countess, Dorcas and her husband  gave financial support to the French church in London. She was one of a group of Puritan translators and translated a French catechism. She sheltered reformer Thomas Cartwright in her house in Cheapside when he was in trouble for publishing his Reply to an Answer Made of Mister Doctor Whitgift in April 1573. In December, Dorcas was accused of being the illegal “stationer for all the first impressions of the book.” Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Martin [née Eccleston], Dorcas.” Portrait: with her husband on a silver medal, 1562.


Anne Edgecumbe was the daughter of Sir Richard Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe and Cothele, Cornwall (c.1499-February 1, 1562) and Elizabeth Tregian. In 1580, she married Hugh Dowriche (1552/3-1598), rector of Lapford and later of Honiton. Their children were Elkana, Walter, Mary (b.1587), Elizabeth, Anne (b.1589), and Hugh (b.1594). Her The French Historie (1589) was dedicated to her brother, Piers. She also contributed verses to The Jaylor’s Conversion (1596), written by her husband. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Dowriche [née Edgecumbe], Anne.”

Catherine Edgecumbe was the daughter of Sir Richard Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe and Cothele, Cornwall (c.1499-February 1, 1562) and Elizabeth Tregian. In around 1557, she married Henry Champernowne of Modbury, Devon (c.1538-May 28, 1570). They had two sons and four daughters: Richard (c.1558-1622), Elizabeth (c.1558-June 14, 1617), Arthur (c.1560-1599), Mary (c.1562-February 3, 1611/12), Margaret, and Bridget. After Champernowne was killed fighting for the Huguenots, the queen of Navarre wrote to Queen Elizabeth of England, in July 1570, asking her to help his widow and children. Catherine was sole executrix of his will, which was written in October 1568 and proved in 1570. The inquisition post mortem was held October 4, 1570.


Elizabeth Edgecumbe was the daughter of Sir Richard Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe and Cothele, Cornwall (c.1499-February 1, 1562) and Elizabeth Tregian. She married Thomas Carew of Antony, Cornwall (1526/7-February 12, 1564/5), by whom she had Richard (July 17, 1555-November 6, 1620), George, another son, and a daughter. After her husband died, she bought the wardship of her eight-year-old son and was granted a annuity of twenty marks to pay for his education to the age of fourteen. After that she was to receive £20/year.



MARGARET EDGECUMBE (1560-April 24, 1648)
Margaret Edgecumbe was the daughter of Piers Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe, Cornwall (c.1536-January 4, 1607/8) and Margaret Luttrell or Lutterell (c.1538-1580+). At eighteen she became a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth and was highly regarded by the queen. She was said to possess “great beauty and parts.” In 1583, when Margaret married Sir Edward Denny (1544 or 1547-February 12, 1599/1600), the queen granted them a twenty-one-year lease on Rectory Manor House, where Margaret lived after she was widowed and where she once entertained King Charles I. Margaret and Edward Denny had seven sons and three daughters: Arthur (1584-July 4, 1619), Francis, Henry (1595-1658), Anthony (d. yng.), Anthony (1592-1662), Thomas, Charles (d. December 29, 1635), Elizabeth (b.1586), Honora (d.yng.), and Marie (d. November 29, 1678). Denny died in Ireland of “a deadly sickness in his country’s service.” Margaret complained that he received nothing but a few sinecures for this service, although she somehow found the funds to erect a monument to him in Waltham Abbey. This may have been due to her husband’s connection to piracy. Margaret herself, according to David Mathew in “The Cornish and Welsh Pirates in the Reign of Elizabeth” (English History Review 39, 1924), received stolen goods at Tralee. She attributed the queen’s indifference to her poverty to Denny’s loyalty to the earl of Essex. In 1600, she petitioned against Edward Darcy’s attempts to obtain part of the proceeds of the sale of her late husband’s office, writing that Darcy had little need “to suck this small portion of her Majesty’s favor from the hungry mouths of my children.” After 1642, she shared her home with her grandson’s widow and seven great grandchildren. Portraits: portrait; effigy erected in 1600 in the Church of the Holy Cross and St. Lawrence, Waltham Abbey, Essex.






FRANCES EDMONDS (c.1512-1601)
Frances Edmonds was the daughter of Andrew Edmonds of Cressing Temple, Essex (c. 1484-June 23, 1523) and Elizabeth Bledlow (c.1490-October 25,1556) and the sister and coheir of Christopher Edmonds of Lewknor, Oxfordshire (1521/2-1595/6). She was a stepdaughter of John, baron Williams of Thame and half sister of Marjorie Williams, Lady Norris. She is said to have been a maid of honor to Elizabeth Tudor before Elizabeth became queen, but she was married to John D’Oyly of Greenland House, Hambledon, Buckinghamshire (c.1508-1569) by 1538, making this doubtful. She probably met the princess when Elizabeth was on her way to Woodstock in 1554 and stopped for a night at Rycote, the home of Lady Norris. Frances’s children were Robert (c.1539-July 1577), John (c.1541-March 1623), Dorothy, Phyllis, Francis, Thomas (1548-1603), and Henry (d.c.1627). In 1560, she and her two half sisters were official mourners at the funeral of Amye Robsart, Lady Dudley. Her jointure and that of her eldest son’s widow encumbered the estate for many years.




Rebecca Edwards was married twice by the time she was sixteen. On January 30, 1586, she married William Knell (d. June 13, 1587), an actor with the Queen’s Men. He was killed by John Towne, a fellow actor, while on tour at Thame, Oxfordshire. On March 5, 1588 a license was issued for her marriage to another member of that company, John Heminges (November 25, 1556-October 10, 1630). They were married on March 10, 1588 at St. Mary Aldermanbury, London. They had fourteen children between 1590 and 1613, including Thomasine (1595-1616+), William (1602-1653?), Margaret (bp. June 21, 1611), and four who died young. It has been theorized that since Heminges had been apprenticed to a grocer, he supplied food and drink to the patrons of the Globe, perhaps sending his children out to sell it. One of those children, Thomasine, took her father to court in 1615 and1616 over his refusal to return shares to the Globe and Blackfriars that she had given to him in trust after inheriting them from her husband, William Ostler (d. December 6, 1614). Rebecca was buried in St. Martin Aldermanbury on September 2, 1619.

ALICE EGERTON (c.1454-1534)
Alice Egerton was the daughter of Hugh Egerton of Wrinehill (1426-1505) and Margaret Dutton and was said to be related to King Henry VII. She married Sir William Chetwynd of Ingestre, Staffordshire (c.1450-July 3, 1494), who was one of the king’s gentlemen-ushers. The Chetwynds lived at Alspath. On the day of his death, Sir William was lured out of his house by a letter, supposedly from the county sheriff, asking him to meet with him at five the next morning. While passing over Tixall Heath en route to this meeting, Chetwynd was set upon by twenty armed men and murdered. Alice later charged that Sir Humphrey Stanley of Pipe had set the whole thing up and that his servants were the murderers. She further deposed that Stanley came to her husband’s wake to gloat. He was dressed for hunting and claimed he’d only been passing that way by chance, but there had been no deer in the area for the last eleven years. Later historians accepted that Stanley was responsible but he was never tried for his crime. Alice’s children were William (1477-1547), Philip (1478-1525), Thomas, Joane, Margery, Alice, and (possibly) Elizabeth.


ANNE EGERTON (d. July 1620)
Anne Egerton was the daughter of Thomas Egerton of London and Wallegrange, Staffordshire, a mercer. Her first husband was George Blythe of Cambridge, London, and York (d.1581). Shortly after his death she married, as his second wife, William Deane of Dynes Manor, Maplestead, Essex (d. October 4, 1585), by whom she had John (1583-1625), Rachel (d. 1627), and Anne. In his will Deane placed two restrictions on his widow. She would be deprived of all leases and legacies over and above those included in her jointure if she attempted to obtain the warship of their infant son for herself. Further, if she took a new husband who was not deemed sufficiently godly by the overseers of the will, she would be barred from educating her son. Her third husband did not pass muster. He was Sir John Tyndall of Chelmshoe House in Great Maplestead (d. November 12, 1616), a lawyer in Chancery. With Tyndall, Anne had a daughter, Margaret (c.1591-June 14, 1647), who grew up to marry John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne wrote her will on July 14, 1620.



Dorothy Egerton was the daughter of  William Egerton of Betley (d. 1571) and Jane Lacon (d.1578) and the half sister of Sir Thomas Bromley. She married Sir Thomas Vernon of Haslington, Chesthire (d. May 9, 1616). Their son George (1575/6-1639) was a Justice of Common Pleas. In his will dated, April 10, 1587, they were bequeathed gold rings by Lord Chancellor Bromley. After the death of Dorothy’s brother-in-law, Robert Sandford, in c. 1596, Dorothy and her husband brought suit against Dorothy’s sister Isabel and her son Arthur concerning lands in Audley and Betley. The inquisition post mortem for Sir Thomas Vernon was taken April 17, 1620. Dorothy Egerton’s signature can be found on a copy of Chaucer now in the Folger Library. The copy passed from her to Anne Vernon, then to Mary Egerton, daughter of Sir Ralph Egerton of Wrinehill (d. 1596) and Anne Fitton.

DOROTHY EGERTON (1565-April 4, 1639)
Dorothy Egerton was the only legitimate child of Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley, Cheshire (d. November 1579) by his wife Mary Grosvenor (d. March 26, 1599). In 1577, Dorothy married Richard Brereton of Tatton and Worsley, Lancashire (d. December 18, 1598), by whom she had one child who died young. She inherited the manor of Worsley for life but other properties and the reversion of Worsley were left to her half brother, Sir Thomas Egerton, later Lord Chancellor. Her second husband was a widower with children, Sir Peter Legh of Lyme, Cheshire and Bradley Hall, Lancashire (c.1563-February 17,1636). They married on March 11, 1605. W. K. Jordan, in The Social Institutions of Lancashire, identifies Dorothy as the Dame Dorothy Leigh of Worsley who, in 1638, gave £400 to set up a trust to pay for a minister for the chapel of Ellenbrook, so that the bishop would have no hand in his selection. Her will reveals an interest in coal mining. She left 10s to each of the workmen in her coal pits and the cannel pits in Middle Hulton. She was buried in Eccles Church with her second husband. Portraits: A. L. Rowse in Sex and Society in Shakepeare’s Age describes two portraits of Dorothy at Lyme. In one “the younger-looking face is sad and numb; she is all in black, no jewelry, hand on the Book. The second shows a middle-aged lady bedizened with jewelry, chains of pearls down to her waist, jewels and ornaments in her hat, beneath which is a very wide-awake face; and, in place of the Bible, one of her special breed of monkeys.” The first portrait, by Zuccaro was mislabeled the queen of Bohemia. It was painted during her first widowhood. The second, called in a history of Lyme the “kit-cat” portrait, was painted c. 1615 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.





Elizabeth, Mary (d.1669), and Vere Egerton, shown as children in a triple portrait painted c.1601, were the daughters of Sir Thomas Egerton (c.1574-August 1599) and Elizabeth Venables. Elizabeth, the eldest, married John Dutton (d.1611). Mary wed Thomas Leigh, 1st Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh (1595-February 22, 1672) on November 11, 1610 and was the mother of five sons and six daughters, the eldest born in 1614. Among them were Elizabeth (d.1688), Vere, Thomas (1616-April 1662), and Charles. Mary was buried at Stoneleigh. Vere Egerton married William Booth (d. April 26, 1636) in May 1619 and was the mother of Thomas (June 21, 1620-January 3, 1632), George (December 18, 1622-August 8, 1684), Catherine (May 11, 1624-1667), William (b. February 14, 1625), Nathaniel (April 26, 1627-1692), and Charles (July 6, 1628-1634). A portrait of Vere Egerton on her own was painted c.1619.


Isabel Egerton was the daughter of  William Egerton of Betley (d. 1571) and Jane Lacon (d.1578) and the half sister of Sir Thomas Bromley. She married Robert Sandford (d. 1597?). Their children were Arthur, Mary, and possibly Thomas (d.1643). Isabel and her husband were bequeathed gold rings by Lord Chancellor Bromley in his will dated April 10, 1587. Sandford’s will is dated March 22, 1593 and was proved May 24, 1598. After his death, his son Arthur and his widow were defendants in a lawsuit concerning lands in Audley and Betley brought by her sister Dorothy and Dorothy’s husband, Sir Thomas Vernon.





ELIZABETH I (September 7, 1533-March 24, 1603)
Elizabeth Tudor was the daughter of Henry VIII (June 28, 1491-January 28, 1547) and Anne Boleyn (c.1507-x. May 19, 1536) and England’s queen from 1558 until 1603. There are too many biographies of her available for me to need to say much about her here. In my personal opinion, however, she was indeed “the virgin queen.” There was very little privacy to allow her to be otherwise. In addition, what happened to her mother and her stepmother, Catherine Howard, would surely have left her with a deep-rooted fear of sexual intimacy. Biographies: too many to name. Portraits: ditto

ELIZABETH OF YORK (February 11, 1465-February 11, 1503)
Elizabeth of York was the eldest daughter of King Edward IV (1442-1483) and Elizabeth Woodville (1437-1492). Although her parents’ marriage was declared invalid by Richard III, she was considered the Yorkist heir after the disappearance and probable death of her brothers and the death if King Richard. She married Henry VII (1457-1509), who won the throne from Richard in battle. His claim was also tainted by irregular marriages but their union united the warring factions and led to relative peace. Their children were Arthur, Prince of Wales (September 19, 1486-April 2, 1502), Margaret (November 29, 1489-October 18, 1541), Henry VIII (June 28, 1491-January 28, 1547), Elizabeth (July 12, 1492-September 4, 1495), Mary (March 18, 1495-June 25, 1533), Edmund (February 21, 1499-June 12, 1500), Katherine (February 2, 1503-February 18, 1503) and one other child who died as an infant. Elizabeth of York died shortly after giving birth to her eighth child. Biographies: Nancy Lenz Harvey, Elizabeth of York; Alison Weir, Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and her World (2013); Oxford DNB entry under “Elizabeth [Elizabeth of York].” Portraits: c.1502; funeral effigy; tomb effigy by Pietro Torrigiano.


Margaret Ellerbek was the daughter of Nicholas Ellerbek of Sutes or Sotes Manor in Standon, Hertfordshire (d.1472) and Ann Baud (who married John Digges as her second husband). Margaret married William Tendring (d.c.1500), by whom she had two daughters, one of them named Margaret. As a widow, she was the “minor Hertfordshire heiress” who married Francis Marzen or Marston, a Breton in the service of King Henry VII. Margaret was at court in the household of Elizabeth of York and later served Queen Catherine of Aragon. At age fifty-seven, she was reportedly considering marriage to Richard Audley (d.1531), son of Sir John of Swaffham, Norfolk, but Audley married Catherine Scrope instead. Margaret appears in records as Margaret Marzen, widow, as late as 1534.

Anne Ellerker, Lady Rokeby or Rokesby, is the mystery woman of The Plumpton Correspondence. A widow, she apparently lived at Plumpton until her death, although in what capacity is unclear, as are the exact years of her residence in that often troubled household. Three letters addressed to her are included along with letters to and from members of the Plumpton family, but they only deepen the mystery. They are dated by month and day but not year. She is addressed as “Dame Anne” Rokeby by one letter writer, giving us her first name. A history of the Rokeby family contains the information that Richard Rokeby, third son of Ralph Rokeby of Mortham, Yorkshire, married the daughter of an Ellerker of Risby. This Richard Rokeby was a servant of Lord Scrope of Bolton and fought for him at Flodden (1513). Rokeby and Anne Ellerker had a son, Thomas. A letter from Marmaduke Constable refers to “your son, Newport,” which could mean either that she had a son by another marriage to a man with that surname or that her daughter married a man named Newport. We know she had a daughter because another letter, from Ann Abott, asks her to “let not my mistress, your daughter, wit of it, for then she will never trust my husband nor me.” Having bills of her own to pay, Mistress Abott apparently held back some money from Lady Rokeby’s daughter that Abott was supposed to take to Lady Rokeby. She suggests that Lady Rokeby should consider this a loan to be repaid before Lammas. It is unclear who Ann Abott was, but the authors of the other two letters are identified by the editor of The Plumpton Correspondence as Sir Robert Constable of Holme and Flamborough (1478-1537) and his brother, Sir Marmaduke Constable of Everingham (1480-1545).

ANNE ELMBRIDGE (1504-May 7, 1577)
Anne Elmbridge was the daughter of Thomas Elmbridge (also spelled Ellenbridge, Elynbrugge, Elingbridge, and Ellingbridge) of the manor of Chaldon in Surrey (d. March 26, 1507) and Joan Overton. Anne married Sir John Dannet, possibly as early as 1520, and they took livery of her lands in Surrey and Worcestershire in 1525. In 1522, she was listed as a patroness of Chaldon church. On August 18, 1525, the list of attendants to accompany Princess Mary to Wales included the names “Mrs. Anne Dannet” (or Darrell or Darnell) and “Mrs. Dannet.” Mrs. was the abbreviation for mistress and did not necessarily denote marital status, but it is possible that “Mrs. Anne Dannet” was Anne Elmbridge Dannet. The princess’s household was dispersed a few years later. Anne and John were the parents of Leonard (d.1582), John (d.c.1607), Gerard, Thomas, Jane, and Mary. Anne was buried in Thornfrith, Merstham, Surrey on May 30, 1577.


ANNE ELMES (d.1597+)
Anne Elmes was the daughter of George Elmes, probably of the Lilford, Northamptonshire family. She married William Clopton (c.1550-1588), a third son of William Clopton of Kentwell (d.1562) and then, by 1597, a man named Norris. One online genealogy calls her “the wicked Anne” but without explanation. If she is the Dame Norris who died in 1600 in Warwick, her husband survived her and remarried. Possible portrait: sketch of an effigy in Trinity Church, Stratford-on-Avon in Herbert Norris Tudor Costume and Fashion. Norris labels it Dame Anne Clopton, 1596.

MARGARET ELTER (c.1525-1553)
Margaret Elter or d’Elter was born in Guelders and educated in a convent in Mons, Hainault. In 1547, she joined the household of Jacques de Bourgonne, seigneur de Falais, in Basel. In February of that year, Anna de Tserclaes, to whom Margaret was related, had left that same household to marry John Hooper, an Englishman who returned home shortly thereafter and later became a bishop. In March 1548, in Strasbourg, Margaret married Francisco de Enzinas (d. December 30, 1552), a Spanish protestant. They, too, emigrated to England, at the urging of reformer Martin Bucer. Once there, Thomas Cranmer housed them temporarily at Lambeth Palace and then secured a temporary position for Enzinas at Cambridge, where Margaret’s daughter Margarita was born in 1549. Enzinas’s presence at Cambridge was also the wish of Catherine Willoughby, duchess of Suffolk, who wante him to tutor one of her sons. Enzinas decided to return to Strasbourg in November 1549, preferring printers there to those in England for publishing his Spanish translations of Lucian, Livy, and Plutarch. At first, Margaret refused to go with him. The baby was sick and travel in winter was dangerous. The following June, however, she made the trip with her niece, Anna Elter, and little Margarita. A second daughter, Beatriz, was born in Strasbourg in 1551. The plague of 1552/3 killed first Enzinas and then Margaret. Their children were declared wards of the city. The German reformer Philip Melanchthon offered to take one of them into his home in Wittenberg, but the city refused. Beatriz de Santa Cruz, a Catholic relative in Spain, then tried to gain custody of them. This resulted in a legal battle that was still going on in 1566, at which time the girls were living in Flanders. Anna Elter, the niece who had accompanied Margaret from England to Strasbourg in 1550, kept the children out of Catholic hands, an endeavor made easier by her July 1555 marriage to Guillaume Rabot de Salène, a cavalry officer. The marriage was arranged by the Elector Palatine.



KATHERINE EMMES (1570/1-December 1590)
Katherine Emmes was the daughter of William Emmes of St. Dunstan in the West, London (d.1583), a cordwainer, and an unnamed Dutch woman. At fifteen, in September 1586, she married Philip Stubbes, the Puritan pamphleteer (c.1555-c.1610). They moved from St. Mary at Hill, London, to Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, where Katherine died a few weeks after giving birth to a son, John, who was baptized on November 17, 1590. Stubbs’s next work was a life of his wife titled A Christal Glasse for Christian Women (1591), in which he idealized her as “a perfect paterne of true Christianitie.” This pamphlet proved even more popular than his earlier work, Anatomie of Abuses (1583).

Elizabeth Empson was the daughter of Sir Richard Empson of Easton, Northamptonshire (c.1450-x. August 17, 1510) and Jane Hill. Empson was an advisor to Henry VII who was executed by Henry VIII at the start of his reign. In 1496, Elizabeth married George Catesby of Ashby St. Ledgers, Northamptonshire (d. November 27, 1505). Their children were Elizabeth, Jane, Audrey, William (1504-October 2, 1517), Richard (c.1505-March 8, 1552/3), and another daughter. On September 15, 1510, Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote, Warwickshire (1488-September 23, 1525). Their children were William (1511-1551), Anne, Radugund, Thomas, Edmund, and Barbara (b.c.1523). Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, in his Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York, misidentifies her as the Elizabeth Catesby, the king’s kinswoman who was a gentlewoman to Queen Elizabeth of York and later served as a lady in waiting to Elizabeth of York’s daughter, Mary Tudor, while Mary was in England. Alison Weir, in Elizabeth of York, correctly identifies that Elizabeth Catesby as the wife of Roger Wake.

JANE EMPSON (d.1579?)
Jane Empson, often said to have been the youngest daughter of Sir Richard Empson  of Empson, Northamptonshire (c.1450-x. August 17, 1510) and Jane Hill, was born a generation too late for this to be possible. According to the Oxford DNB entry for Thomas Wilson, she was the daughter of Richard Empson of London. She married John Pinchon or Pynchon of Writtle, Essex and London (1534-November 29, 1573) as his second wife. Their children included William (b.1560), John (1565-1610, Edward, Agnes, and Jane. In his will, proved December 11, 1573, Pinchon left 500 marks to his unmarried daughter by his first wife, Elizabeth, and land in Writtle, Roxwell, and Bradwell to his widow. She was his sole executrix. In 1576, Jane married wealthy diplomat Thomas Wilson of Washingborough, Lincolnshire and Edmonton, Middlesex (1523-1581) as his second wife. He was ambassador to the Netherlands in 1576-7. They had no children. The Oxford DNB says Jane died in 1579, but one online discussion group gives her life dates as 1534-February 14, 1587.


Maria Enríquez de Toledo y Guzmán was the daughter of Diego Enríquez de Guzmán (or de Velasco), 3rd count of Alba de Liste, and his first wife, Aldonza Leonor Alvarez de Toledo y Zuniga. On April 27, 1529, she married her cousin, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd duke of Alba (October 29, 1509-December 11, 1582). They had four children, Garcia (1530-1548), Beatriz (b.1534), Fadrique (1537-1583), and Diego (1542-1583). On November 12, 1543, Maria and her husband were present at Salamanca at the marriage of Philip of Spain and his first wife, Mary of Portugal. In 1554, she traveled with her husband to England for Philip’s marriage to Mary Tudor. Philip had instructed members of his entourage not to bring their wives, but several of them ignored him. Doña Heironima de Navarra and Doña Francisca de Cordova were not received by Queen Mary, but the duchess of Alba, as the highest ranking Spanish lady in England, was invited to court right after the wedding. Reportedly, neither lady would allow the other to take a lower seat with the end result that they both ended up sitting on the floor. There was no lodging available for the duchess at court, but she was housed outside the palace at royal expense. She did not have any direct influence with the English queen, but that did not stop Jane Guildford, duchess of Northumberland, from appealing to her on behalf of her imprisoned husband and sons. Maria must have been sympathetic, for Northumberland’s widow remembered both the duke and duchess of Alba in her will in January 1555. Aside from her role as the duke’s wife and the mother of his children, Maria was also a benefactress of the Carmelite order. In 1582, she requested the presence of Teresa of Avila at the convent she’d founded at Alba de Tormes, near Salamanca. Teresa endured terrible conditions on the journey and died. After she was buried at Alba, a series of miracles occurred. Maria’s sister, Doña Bernardine de Toledo y Enríquez, who had been ill with a fever for some two months, touched one of Teresa’s garments and immediately recovered her health.




JULIAN ERISEY (c.1505-March 12, 1567)
Julian or Juliana Erisey was the daughter of James Erisey or Erissey of Erisey in Grade and Ruan Manor, Cornwall (c.1458-October 18, 1522) and Margaret Durant (1467-January 1, 1535). According to John Chynoweth in Tudor Cornwall, she had an illegitimate son, Robert, by Sir John Arundell of Trerice (c.1494-November 26, 1561), Vice Admiral of the West under Edward VI. Other sources give her a husband named Thomas Gurlyn or Gourlyn. Following the death of the first Lady Arundell, Margaret Beville, in 1526, Sir John married Julian and they were the parents of John (1533-1580), Jane, Margaret (1540-1612), Grace, Margery, Richard, Philippa, and Anne. Portrait: monumental brass of Sir John Arundell and his two wives in St. Andrew’s Church, Stratton, Cornwall.





ALICE ESSEX (1520-November 1583)
Alice Essex was the daughter of Sir Thomas Essex of Lambourn, Berkshire (1490-1558) and Margaret Sandys . She married William Hyde of Denchworth, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) (April 4, 1518-July 1567). Their children were Arthur, Francis, Mary, William (1547-1598), Edward, Margaret, Katherine, Anne, Thomas, and Mary. She was buried November 19, 1583 (some sources say 1584) in the churchyard of St. James Parish, Denchworth. Portrait: memorial brass in St. James Church.

DOROTHY ESSEX (d. 1570+)
Dorothy Essex, known as Doll to her friends, was one of the six gentlewomen who accompanied Jane Dormer, countess of Feria when she left England in July 1559. The party went first to Mechlin and the court of Margaret of Parma, then to Amboise, France, and finally to Spain, where they settled in Zafra in Estremadura. There is no Dorothy listed among the children of either Sir William Essex or Sir Thomas Essex of Lambourn, Berkshire, but Dorothy was probably related to that family. At least two letters sent to her in Spain in 1570 exist, one from Anne Dormer, Lady Hungerford, Jane Dormer’s sister, complaining that she had not seen her children for over a year (she was separated from her husband) and the other, from Guerau de Spes, who wrote from Louvain in April of that year that “Lord Montague did not come hither as you thought, nor any other man of account.”



WINIFRED ESSEX (1515-1548+)
Winifred Essex was the daughter of Sir William Essex of Lambourn, Berkshire (c.1470-August 13, 1548) and Elizabeth Rogers (1476-before 1548). Some accounts say she married Richard Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe and Cothele, Cornwall (c.1499-February 1, 1562) c.1531 and that she was at court as a lady of the Privy Chamber to Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard and that she was the mother of all of Sir Richard’s children, including Elizabeth, Peter (c.1536-January 4, 1608), Richard, Catherine, and Anne (d.1613+). However, the History of Parliament entry for Edgecumbe gives his four sons and four daughters to his second wife (m. c.1535), Elizabeth Tregian, and none to Winifred, his third. Since Edgecumbe was not knighted until January 16, 1542, it is unlikely that Winifred was the Lady Edgecumbe who was a lady of the Privy Chamber (see CATHERINE ST. JOHN). If Elizabeth Tregian had eight children after 1535, Winifred would not even have been married to Edgecumbe yet in 1540-2. The only certainty is that she was his wife by 1548, when her father died.


ANNE ETTON (d. July 10, 1582)
Anne Etton was the daughter and heir of John Etton of Firsby, Lincolnshire. Her mother was a Langton. She married John Copledike of Harrington, Lincolnshire (d. April 4, 1585). She seems to have died without issue, as her coheirs were her two aunts, Margaret and Alice Etton, daughters of the elder John Etton of Firsby (d. May 8, 1503) and Margaret Ashby (d.1526). Margaret married John Reed. Alice married Richard Goodriche and then Thomas Bradley. Portrait: memorial brass in Harrington, Lincolnshire.




According to Duncan Salkeld, in “The Case of Elizabeth Evans” in Notes and Queries, 50 (2003), 60-61 and Shakespeare among the Courtesans, Elizabeth Evans was one of the most successful prostitutes in London in the 1590s. She was the daughter of Robert Evans of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, a cutler who was executed for coining and counterfeiting. She arrived in London around 1594 and by April of 1598 was living in Tothill Street in Westminster and claimed to have an income of £300 a year. In late March, her former serving maid, Mary Holmes, gave testimony against “Elizabeth Dudley,” one of the two aliases used by Elizabeth Evans in London, and Elizabeth was sent to Bridewell under special warrant. At her hearing on April 1, 1598, between her confession (which she signed “Elis Evens”) and the testimony of two other former residents of Stratford-upon-Avon, a good many details came out. Soon after her arrival in London, Elizabeth had an affair with John Pears. Later, under the alias “Elizabeth Carew,” she agreed to marry Master Nixon, a silk merchant. Nixon provided lodgings for her at the house of Thomas Malin, but she entertained other clothiers there when Nixon was away and Malin eventually threw her out. After that, she admitted to working as a prostitute at several locations and she was facing punishment for her lewd lifestyle when Sir William Howard of Lingfield (c.1540-September 2, 1600), brother of the earl of Nottingham, spoke up in court to ask that she be spared. He hinted that she might be kin to him, with the result that she was turned over to him and the case against her was dismissed. What happened after this powerful protector stepped in is unclear. An Elizabeth Evans was arrested with Martha Marlin the following January for vagrancy and stealing linen clothes out of a garden. In 1604, a woman named Elizabeth Evans alleged that Jarvis Scarborough raped her and that his wife beat her. On April 25, 1610, an Elizabeth Evans was sent to St. Thomas Hospital to be cured of an unspecified disease. These could all be the same person. Or not.

ELLYN EVYNGAR (d.c.1535) (maiden name unknown)
Ellyn Evyngar was the wife of Andrew Evyngar/Evanger (d.1533), a salter and merchant adventurer. Her husband was the son of John Evyngar (d.1496), a native of Brabant and a brewer. John left his widow, Jacomyn, a house and tenements in Antwerp for five years, after which they reverted to Andrew. Andrew and Ellyn had one son and six daughters, but all but one daughter, Elizabeth, appear to have died young. The family lived in the parish of St. Mary upon Hill at Billingsgate. In his will, Andrew left a beer house at Charing Cross with three tenements to his widow and the remainder of his property to their daughter, by then the wife of Robert Lorde. Ellen appears to have died c.1535, but she is referred to in a grant dated 1548. Portrait: memorial brass in All Hallows Barking, London.