DOROTHY KAY (1577-1638)
Dorothy Kay was the daughter of John Kay of Hackney (d. May 1589), clerk of the Green Cloth, and his wife Bridget (d. May 2, 1601). She was christened August 2, 1577. In his will, dated May 7, 1589, Kay left his daughter his leases in messuages in the manor of Laleham, Middlesex and £100, which she was to receive at age twenty-one or upon her marriage. In 1595, Dorothy married William Hatcliffe (September 1568-1631/2), proposed by Leslie Hotson as the “Mr. W. H.” of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Their children were Dorothy, Judith, and Thomas (1606-1653). William acquired the manor of West Ravendale (or Randall), Lincolnshire upon the death of his father in 1610. In January 1629/30, Dorothy was left “an olde Angell” in the will of her cousin, Frescheville Holles. Her husband wrote his will on December 17, 1631, naming Dorothy as executor, and it was proved February 13, 1631/2. Dorothy wrote her will on May 8, 1638 at West Ravendale and it was proved March 19, 1638/9. She named her daughter Judith as executor. An inventory was done on February 11, 1638/9. The complete inventory, and the inventory when her husband died, along with both their wills, can be found in Mr. W. H. by Leslie Hotson. Her inventory included six geese, six turkeys, three hens, two cocks and four ducks, a coach and harness, two horses, one cow and three kine, and a trunk with books.


ALICE KEBELL (1482-June 8, 1521)
Alice Kebell was the daughter of Henry Kebell, Kebel, or Keble (1452-April 1517), a grocer and merchant of the staple who was Lord Mayor of London in 1510-11, and Joan Brice (d.1499+). Her father gave £1000 toward the building of his parish church of St. Mary Aldermary, Budge Row. Alice married Sir William Browne of Flambard’s Hall and St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street (1467-1514), a mercer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1513-14, as his second wife. Their children were Anne (1509-March 10, 1582), Elizabeth, Matthew, John of Horton Kirby, Kent (d. September 1570), and another daughter. On February 15, 1515, Alice married William Blount, baron Mountjoy (1479-November 8, 1534). Their children were Charles (June 28, 1516-October 14, 1544), Catherine (c.1518-February 25, 1558/9), and Edward. Alice was at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 as part of Catherine of Aragon’s household.


MISTRESS KEBLE (of “Mistress Keble’s Chamber” at Ingatestone Hall)

ANNE KEIGHLEY (c.1566-c.1598)
Anne Keighley was the daughter of Henry Keighley or Kighley and Mary Carus. In about 1580, she married William Cavendish (December 27, 1552-March 3, 1626), later earl of Devonshire. Their children were William (c.1590-1628) and Frances (c.1593-1613). Portrait: possibly one by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.



Joacomyn Keldermans was a London beer brewer with property in All Hallows Barking and Kent. She was married to a man named Mervys. She left her estate to her daughter, but if that daughter were to die, Jacomy’s goods were to be distributed to charity. She also forgave all those who owed her debts. Among her other bequests were a gift of money to old Mother Alice and a gold standing cup to Katherine Granado, whose father had been killed by being crushed by a horse.





Margaret (or Margery) Kelly was the daughter and coheir of  William Kelly of Stoodleigh and Camerton, Devon. She married John Carew of Crowcombe, Devon (d. March 1, 1524). They had one son, George (1511-1538), and possibly two daughters, Anne and Margaret. The inquisition post mortem for John is dated September 30, 1524. The manor of Sapston was settled on Margaret for life. Margaret married James Tyrrell of Columbine Hall (c.1475-1538). His will was written April 8, 1533 and proved October 17, 1539. They had at least one son, Charles Tyrrell (d.1570). Margaret is mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Chedworth, Lady Audley (d.1542), who refers to her as her niece. Lady Audley was the sister of John Carew’s mother, Margaret Chedworth. A quitclaim dated 1551 refers to Margery Tyrrell, widow, of Pentlowe, Essex and her grandsons John and Thomas Carew and Charles Tyrrell.

ANNE KELWAY (1549-May 25, 1620)
Anne Kelway was the daughter of Sir Robert Kelwey of Combe Abbey, Minster Lovel, Oxfordshire (1510-1581), surveyor of wards and liveries to Queen Elizabeth, and Cecily Bulstrode (1513-1549+). She inherited Combe Abbey upon her father’s death. She married John Harington (1539/40-August 23, 1613), who was created baron Harington of Exton on July 21, 1603. Their children were Kelway (d.yng), Lucy (January 1581-May 26, 1627), Frances (1587-1615), and John (1592-1614). On October 19, 1603, Harington was given charge of the household of Princess Elizabeth and this was established at Combe Abbey. Harington and his wife remained the princess’s guardians until her marriage in 1613 to Frederick V, elector Palatine. Although they had an annual income of between £5000 and £7000, by that time they were at least £30,000 in debt. They spent four months abroad and during that period, Haringdon died of a fever at Worms. Anne brought his body home for burial at Exton and then obtained permission to “end her days” in the Palatinate. She received a gift of £500 to cover her travel expenses. Portrait: the portrait at Gripsholm Castle, Sweden of Anne’s daughter, Lucy Harington, was once said to be Anne; effigy on Kelway tomb in Exton Parish Church, Exton, Rutland.


Elizabeth Kemp was the daughter of Robert Kemp of Gissing, Norfolk (c.1516-April 27, 1594) and his second wife, Elizabeth Grey. She married John Buxton of Chanons, Norfolk (c.1560-May 15, 1596) in 1587. Their children were Margaret (b.1587), Robert (1589-1611), John (1591-1607+), and Elizabeth (d. yng.). Her son Robert was his paternal grandfather’s heir in 1607, but the executors were also made trustees of some of his inheritance for a period of ten years. Elizabeth challenged the will but it was proved by sentence on June 21, 1610. Her second husband was Thomas Talbot of Wymondham. Portrait: c. 1588-90, possibly by Robert Peake.

ALICE KEMPE (d.1592)
Alice Kempe was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe of Olantigh, in Wye, Kent (d. March 7, 1591) and his first wife, Katherine Cheyney. She married James Hales (d.1589) and had one child, Cheyney Hales (d.1594). Hales wrote his will on March 15 and 18 and June 25, 1589 and it was proved May 7, 1590. In it, he left his books, pictures, and maps to his good friend, Richard Lee. His “beloved wife” received a number of bequests, including “her jewel called Fortune,” her nineteen casting counters, her seal of arms, and “the toys in my little box.” It was just after Hales died that Robert Greene dedicated his Menaphon (1589) to Alice, calling her “the pattern of a loving and virtuous wife.” Hales and his son are memorialized on a monument in Canterbury Cathedral which reveals that Hales died at sea following the attack on Cadiz. He is shown being lowered into the water. Alice inherited the manor of Dungeon (or Dane John) near Canterbury. She lived there with her second husband, Sir Richard Lee of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (d. December 22, 1608). Portrait: effigy at prayer on Hales memorial in Catherbury Cathedral, now on the north wall of the nave but probably originally in St. Michael’s Chapel.


DOROTHY KEMPE (c.1561?-c.1616)
According to several genealogies,t Dorothy Kempe was the daughter of Robert Kempe of Spains Hall, Finchingfield (c.1515-1557+) and Elizabeth Heigham. Dorothy married Ralph Leigh or Lee of Cheshire. Their sons were George, John, and William. Leigh served with Essex at Cadiz in 1596 and may have been the Ralph Leigh of Adlington Hall who died in 1597. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Leigh [née Kempe], Dorothy.” According to the author of this entry in the DNB, she was the daughter of William Kempe of Finchingfield, Essex because the Dorothy born in about 1561 would have been too old to still have young children in 1616, when her book, The Mother’s Blessing, was published posthumously. Since it was “left behind for her children,” the author argues, those children must still have been young in 1616. But were they? The youngest, William, was appointed rector of Groton, Suffolk ten years later. Either he was a prodigy or the children were already adults when their mother died. The same entry gives c.1616 for her husband’s date of death, but does not identify him in any other way. I am inclined to think that Dorothy, who wrote a book of advice for mothers with religious overtones that went into twenty-three editions between 1616 and 1674, composed it well before her death and left instructions that it only be published afterward. This would have been more “respectable” than publishing it while she was still alive.


ELIZABETH KEMPE (c.1472-1539+)
Elizabeth Kempe was the daughter of Robert Kempe of Gissing, Weston Flordan, and Mergate Hall, Norfolk (d.1526) and Elizabeth Appleyard (d.c.1473). According to her will, she was born at Gissing. She was one of Catherine of Aragon’s chamberers and may later have been a lady of the bedchamber. She received numerous gifts and grants from the queen. In 1519/20, she was given a gown of black broadcloth trimmed in black velvet. At Michaelmas 1528, she got three and a half yards of puke cloth with two and a half yards of tawny velvet to line the sleeves and three ells of worsed for a kirtle. This gift was repeated for 1531/2, 1535/6, 1537/8, and 1538/9.

Margaret Kempe was the daughter of Edmond Kempe of Ollantigh, Kent, a wealthy London mercer, and Bridget Style. On May 12, 1542, she married William Dane (1517-September 5, 1573), an ironmonger, who later became a London alderman and served as sheriff in 1569. They had no children. Margaret continued her husband’s business after his death. She left several charitable bequests in her will and also left a gold necklace worth £200 to Queen Elizabeth. She is best known for having founded a school in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, the town where her husband was born, but she also willed £2000 to the Company of Ironmongers. The interest on this bequest was to be used for charity, but £100 was reserved to make loans to young men just starting out in business, with preference given to dealers in linen cloth. The Ironmongers did not actually receive this legacy until 1602 and it took even longer for the school in Bishop’s Stortford to be founded, but eventually Margaret’s wishes were carried out. She was buried in the parish church of St. Margaret Moses, London. Portrait: one said to be from the sixteenth century is at Birchwood High School (formerly Margaret Dane School).

MARY KEMPE (d.1557)
Mary Kempe was the daughter of Christopher Kempe (1485-1512) and Mary Guildford (1486-1529). Her stepfather was Sir William Hawte (1490-June 1539) and she was raised with two stepsisters. One of them, Jane Hawte, married Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger. Mary was in service with Mary Tudor as early as 1536. In 1542/3, she had charge of Mary’s jewels. She married Lawrence Finch or Fynch of “the Moat” and Eastwell, Kent (c.1508-c.1563). They do not seem to have had any children. She became a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber in 1553. That same year, she obtained a license for her brother-in-law and his family to travel overseas. According to George Wyatt, Mary’s sister Jane’s youngest son, Jane was pregnant and unable to travel and because of that, Sir Thomas Wyatt remained in England and was drawn into rebellion. Mary Finch died at court.


URSULA KEMPE alias GRAY (x.1582)
Ursula Kempe of St. Osyth, Essex was a major figure in the 1582 Chelmsford witch trials. She was one of the “cunning folk” who were usually accepted by the community because of their usefulness in finding lost property, “unwitching,” and nursing. Her recipe for resisting witchcraft consisted of three leaves each of sage and St. John’s wort, steeped in ale. Although “she could unwitche,” she could “not witche.” Ursula was not married but she did have a son, Thomas Rabbet (b.1574). In 1580, Ursula was hired by the Thorlowe (or Thurlowe) family. Grace Thorlowe suffered from arthritis (“a lameness in her bones”) and her son Davy had some sort of ailment which Ursula healed with an incantation. She was promised twelvepence as payment. Five weeks later, she still had not been paid. When Grace said she had no money, Ursula asked for some cheese instead. This, too, was refused and Ursula, angry, swore she’d “bee even with her.” The next day, Grace went lame. Ursula was later accused of putting a spell on her. Meanwhile, the Thorlowes refused to let Ursula nurse their newborn daughter, Joan, and when Joan fell out of her crib and broke her neck on October 6, 1580, they accused Ursula of bewitching her to death. When Ursula went before Brian Darcy, the quarter sessions judge, matters escalated. Darcy was an avid witch hunter. He convinced both Ursula and her son to “confess” and his promise of clemency persuaded Ursula to name four other women as witches: Elizabeth Bennett, Alice Hunt, Alice Newman, and Margery Sammon. Ursula also confessed to having four familiars, two cats (Titty and Jack), a toad (Pigin) and a lamb (Tyffin). In official documents, Ursula Kempe, also known as Ursula Gray, is accused of bewitching Joan Thorlowe on October 3, Edna Stratton (d. February 14, 1582) on November 30, 1581, and Elizabeth Letherdall (d. February 26) on February 12, 1582. Meanwhile, the four women Ursula implicated named nine more: Joan Pechey, Agnes Glascock, Cecily Celles or Sylles, Joan Turner, Elizabeth Ewstace, Anis Herd, Alice Manfield, Margaret Grevell, and Alice Hunt’s sister, Anne Swallow. These thirteen women, collectively known as the St. Osyth Witches, were tried at Chelmsford on charges of witchcraft. Two were not indicted. Two were discharged but held in prison on other charges. Four were acquitted. Four were found guilty but reprieved. Two, Ursula Kempe and Elizabeth Bennett, were hanged. In 1921, two female skeletons were discovered in St. Osyth, both with iron rivets driven into their knees and elbows, something that was done to prevent witches from rising from their graves. On this evidence, they have been identified as Ursula Kempe and Elizabeth Bennett.


MISTRESS KENDAL (d.1547+) (given name unknown)
Mistress Kendal was one of Kathryn Parr’s women. She received black damask for a gown and russet worsted and black bridges (Bruges) satin and russet lukes velvet. Her black livery indicates she served in the queen’s privy chamber but nothing more is known of her.

ELIZABETH KENN (July 1593-November 23, 1663)
Elizabeth Kenn, also known as Christian Kenn, was the daughter and heir of Christopher Kenn of Kenn Court, Somerset (d. January 21, 1593) and his third wife, Frances Stalling (d. September 27, 1620). In 1615, Elizabeth married John Poulett, later 1st baron Poulett (1586-1649). Their children were Margaret, Elizabeth, and Florence. Her second husband was John Ashburnham of Ashburnton, Sussex (1603-June 15, 1671). Portrait: by Robert Peake, 1616 @22.



Jane Kennedy was one of Mary Queen of Scots’ attendants during Mary’s imprisonment in England. She was with her from 1569 until her execution. Jane was not the daughter of Gilbert, 3rd earl of Cassilles. That Jane Kennedy (actually Jean) married in Scotland and had children. The Jane who went to England was one of the two women with Mary on the scaffold. After the execution, Mary’s ladies were held at Fotheringay until July 30, when they were taken to Peterborough Cathedral for Mary’s funeral. It was September before they were finally released and allowed to leave England. Before she returned to Scotland, Jane sought out the countess of Arundel to deliver a rosary Queen Mary wanted her to have. Once in Scotland, Jane had the unpleasant duty of describing his mother’s last hours to King James. In 1588, Jane married Andrew Melville of Garvock (d.1617), master of King James’s household. In 1589, she was chosen as one of the ladies who would escort Anne of Denmark to Scotland to marry King James. On the way to meet Anne’s ship in Leith, the smaller craft Jane was aboard struck another vessel and Jane was among those drowned in the shipwreck. Portrait: shown in the memorial portrait of Mary Queen of Scots commissioned by Elizabeth Curle.

ELIZABETH KENNETT (d. September 3, 1584) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Kennett, widow, was the subject of an inquisition post mortem on November 14, 1589. Her first husband was named Bragge and her heir was her son, Stephen Bragge, “aged 24 years and more” in 1589. She also had two daughters, Martha and Alice. “Long before her death” she owned a messuage called the Cat and Fiddle in Fleet Street in the parish of St. Dunstan, together with the buildings, shops, cellars, etc. belonging to it. She sold this property and all her goods, jewels, and household stuff on the condition that she should enjoy their use for life without paying rent—an early case of reverse mortgage. Upon her death, the remaining value of the property was to be used to pay her debts. Each of her children was to receive £100 and each of her grandchildren £40.

MARGARET KENNIX (d. 1583+) (maiden name unknown)
Margaret Kennix or Kemys, called a “Dutch emperic” by Deborah Harkness, lived in Seacole Lane, London c. 1571-85. In 1581, since she was not licensed as an apothecary, she was accused by the Royal College of Physicians of illegally supplying her friends and relatives with herbal remedies. In the complaint, Margaret was described as “an outlandish, ignorant, sorry woman.” For reasons unknown, possibly at the request of someone at court who knew of the case, or because she herself had consulted the herbalist, Queen Elizabeth intervened in Margaret’s defense by instructing the Principal Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, to write the following letter: “It is her Majesty’s pleasure that the poor woman should be permitted by you quietly to practice and minister to the curing of diseases and wounds, by the means of certain simples, in the application whereof it seems God hath given her an especial knowledge. I shall therefore desire you to take order amongst yourselves for the readmitting of her into the quiet exercise of her small talent, lest by the renewing of her complaint to her Majesty through your hard dealing towards her, you procure further inconvenience thereby to your selves.” The physicians took pains to point out that allowing Margaret to continue in business would set a dangerous precedent. They appear to have banned her from continuing to dispense herbal remedies.

ANNIE KENT (d. 1585+)
Annie Kent was “a common and lewd woman” and the mistress of Thomas Cole, who was rector of Landewednack, Cornwall from 1572 to 1622. In 1585, they were accused of running a brothel in the rectory for John Tregose and other gentlemen. Cole had already spent a year in prison for forgery. Oddly enough, this is what saved him from being removed from his living. Three former sheriffs of Cornwall (Sir William Mohun, William Lower, and Peter Courtenay) asked that he be left alone because his skill at counterfeiting made him useful. What skill Annie possessed was not specified.

DOROTHY KENT (d. October 26, 1587)
Dorothy Kent was the wife of Dr. Thomas Vavasour of York (d. May 12, 1585). Their children were Dorothy, Anne, Thomas (d. 1587), and James. They were leaders in the recusant movement in the north of England. They established a refuge for Catholic women about to give birth so that the children could be christened in the faith. After her husband was declared a fugitive in 1568, Dorothy continued his work. In 1571, she was called before the High Commission but not imprisoned. When her husband was finally captured and sent to the prison in Hull in 1574, where he remained until his death, Dorothy had a breakdown. Her recovery was accounted miraculous. In August 1578, she was arrested in a raid and once again brought before the High Commission. She was released from the Kidcote prison on Ouse Bridge and held under house arrest instead. After a second raid, in August 1581, she was convicted, fined 100 marks, and sentenced to a year in the Kidcote, together with her daughters. She was still in prison six years later when she died of a fever. Both of her sons became priests.

ELIZABETH KERDESTON (d. November 20, 1535)
Elizabeth Kerdeston was the only daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Kerdeston of Claxton and Kerdeston, Norfolk (d. July 20, 1446) and Philippa Trussell. Her father’s will, dated July 1, 1446 and proved May 4, 1448, left Elizabeth a missal. Given his date of death, the latest she could have been born was 1446, making her at least forty when her oldest son was born in 1486. Elizabeth married Sir Thierry Robsart (1443-December 1496). Their children were William (1486-1503), John (c.1494-June 8, 1554), and Lucy (d.1560). William’s wardship was granted to Sir William Carew of Bury St. Edmonds (d.1501), who left it in his will to his widow, Margaret (Chedworth) Carew. Elizabeth’s father’s first wife had been Elizabeth de la Pole and on May 25, 1497, Edmund de la Pole granted Elizabeth the manors of Syderstone and Bircham Newton for life, with the remainder to her children. Elizabeth wrote her will on November 10, 1535 and it was proved October 30, 1536. From the fact that she mentions her “daughter Bennet” and her “son Eston” as well as “my daughter his wife” (Elizabeth Eston) it appears that Elizabeth made a second marriage. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com, which is the source for the information in this entry.

ALICE KERVELL (d.c.1577)
Alice Kervell was the daughter of Humphrey Kervell (Kervile/Carvell) of Wiggenhall St. Mary, Norfolk (d. January 16, 1526) and Alice Fincham. She married John Bedingfield of Quiddenham, Norfolk (d. January 1, 1545). They had a son, Humphrey (c.1529-November 2, 1609). She married Sir John Sulyard of Wetherden, Suffolk (d. March 4, 1575), a lawyer, as his third wife. In her second widowhood, Alice was a well known recusant.


ALICE KEYES (d.1617)
Alice Keyes married Nicholas Kirfoote (d.1625) at Little Wittenham in December 1586. They had moved to North Moreton, Berkshire by February 1593, when their daughter Mary was baptized there. They had at least three other children. In 1604, Alice played a key role in the fraudulent bewitchment of a North Moreton girl named Anne Gunter, teaching her how to hide pins in her mouth and pretend to vomit them. Not enough is known about Alice or her husband to be sure what her motives were, but it is likely some village feud was at the root of the deception. After Anne Gunter began to have fits, Alice followed suit, making accusations of witchcraft against two local women, Elizabeth Gregory and Agnes Pepwell. She stopped short, however, of making those charges in court. This probably explains why she and her husband were not prosecuted for fraud along with Brian Gunter, Anne’s father. Further details can be found in The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England  by James Sharpe.

ISABEL KEYES (d.1560+)
Isabel Keyes is said to have been the daughter of Thomas Keyes of St. Radigund’s, Kent (1523-c.September 5, 1571), Sergeant Porter to Queen Elizabeth, by his first wife. If so, Isabel had at least two siblings, Thomas (b.c.1550?) and Jane. On July 16, 1565 Keyes married Lady Mary Grey. He was imprisoned in the Fleet on August 21, 1565 for marrying the queen’s cousin without her permission. After his death, Lady Mary asked to be allowed to raise his children, but the queen would not permit it. Lady Mary is said to have remained on friendly terms with them. Isabel married William St. Leger of Belgar and Bilsington, Kent (1524-1582), eldest son of Sir Anthony St. Leger. Sir Anthony disinherited him, allegedly for his dissolute lifestyle. They had at least two children, born in Ireland, Warham (1560-1599) and Anne, and were the ancestors of the viscounts Doneraille. If Isabel had a son in 1560, she was a grown woman before her father remarried, but most accounts seem to imply that the Keyes children were still young enough to benefit from the care of their stepmother. It is possibile that Isabel Keyes St. Leger was the sister rather than the daughter of Thomas Keyes, although she is not mentioned in the will of Richard Keyes of Brockley, Lewisham, and St. Radigund’s, Kent (d.1545/6), Thomas’s father. Richard Keyes was married twice, first to Agnes Saunders and second to Mildred Scott (d.1546+).

JANE KEYES (d. 1578+)
Jane Keyes was the daughter of Thomas Keyes of St. Radigund’s, Kent (1523-c.September 5, 1571), Sergeant Porter to Queen Elizabeth, by his first wife. On July 16, 1565 Keyes married Lady Mary Grey. He was imprisoned in the Fleet on August 21, 1565 for marrying the queen’s cousin without her permission. After his death, Lady Mary asked to be allowed to raise his children, but the queen would not permit it. Lady Mary is said to have remained on friendly terms with them. Jane married a man named Merrick and Lady Mary Grey was godmother to their daughter Mary. In her will, written on April 17, 1578, Lady Mary left her bed to Jane Merrick and the bulk of her money to Mary Merrick.


MIRIAM KHAN (d.1617+)
Miriam Khan was the daughter of Mubarak Khan, an Armenian Christian merchant at the court of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. After her father died, the emperor appears to have become her guardian. He offered her as a bride to William Hawkins (c.1560-1613), an English adventurer who arrived in Agra on April 16, 1609. When Hawkins left India for England in November 1611, Miriam and some of her relatives went with him, in spite of the objections of her mother and brother. Around May 21, 1613, Hawkins died aboard ship en route to England and was buried in Ireland. Miriam is said to have arrived in England with one diamond worth £2000 and smaller ones worth £4000, as well as other money and goods brought with her from India. In February 1614, she was given a purse of 200 gold sovereigns by the East India Company in return for signing a general release. Later that year, she married Gabriel Towerson (d. February 27, 1623) who, like Hawkins, was a trader, ship captain, and member of the East India Company. In 1617, they returned to Agra, where Miriam stayed on with her family after Towerson left. He perished in the Massacre of Amboyna in the Moluccas. According to one account, Miriam made several appeals to the East India Company for assistance but received nothing.

Anne Killigrew was the oldest daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew (c.1528-1603) and Katherine Cooke (c.1530-December 27, 1583). In 1584, she married Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear, Berkshire (c.1564-July 10,1615). Their children were Henry (c.1586-June 29, 1629), William, Charles (d.1626), Richard (d.1644), Edward (d.1632), Elizabeth (c.1588-c.1656), Catherine (c.1585-1650), Frances (d. May 27, 1661), Dorothy (d.1672), and Anne. One genealogy lists Margaret (c.1591-1618) instead of Anne. Neville was ambassador to France in 1599 but asked to be recalled because of deafness. When he was suspected of involvement in Essex’s rebellion, he was confined to his father-in-law’s house in Lothbury, London. Killigrew forbade his daughter to see her husband until the Privy Council ordered him to let her visit. Neville was fined £5000 and imprisoned in the Tower until 1603. During that time, Anne worked actively for his release. In about 1619, Lady Neville married George Carleton, Bishop of Chichester (1557/8-May 12, 1628). They had one son, Henry.

BLANCHE KILLIGREW (d. December 14, 1595)
Blanche Killigrew was the daughter and heiress of Henry Killigrew of Wolston, Cornwall. Her mother is given by some sources as one of the co-heiresses of the Trelawny family and by others as Elizabeth Bond. Blanche married John Wrey of North Russell and Bridestowe, Devon (d.1597). Their children were John, William (d.1636), Edmond, Arthur, Robert, George, Philippa, and Jane. Blanche brought the manor of Trebeigh in St. Ive to her marriage. She was buried in St. Ive Church in Cornwall on December 16, 1595. Portrait: monument in St. Peter’s Church, Tawstock, moved there in 1924.

Catherine Killigrew was the daughter of Sir William Killigrew of Lothbury, London (1545-November 23, 1622) and Margery or Margaret Saunders (1545-June 1625), although the Oxford DNB incorrectly states that she was the daughter of Henry Killigrew of Hanworth, Middlesex. Birthdates given for her vary from 1574-1582. On November 26, 1599, in St. Margaret Lothbury, London, she married Sir Thomas Jermyn of Rushbrooke, Suffolk (1573-1644/5). Their children were Robert (1601-1623), Thomas (c.1602-1659), Henry (c.1604-1684), another son, and Elizabeth, who died in 1605 from accidentally ingesting rat poison. Portrait: by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 1614.










Alice Kingsmill was the daughter of Sir John Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hampshire (d. August 11, 1556) and Constance Goring (c.1580/1). She came from a staunchly protestant family and one of her brothers was in exile during the reign of Queen Mary. In about 1564, although there was extreme prejudice against clerical wives in England at this time, she secretly married James Pilkington, bishop of Durham (1520-1576). Their children were Deborah (b.1564), Isaac (1567/8-d.yng), Joshua (d.yng), and Ruth (b.1569). Negotiations for a dowry of £800 for Deborah indicate that her family was well-to-do, although not nearly so wealthy as some contemporary critics claimed. According to Mary Prior in “Reviled and Crucified Marriages: the position of Tudor bishop’s wives,” in Women in English Society 1500-1800, edited by Mary Prior, during her widowhood Alice may have moved to London to be near her family.

Bridget Kingsmill was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hampshire (1526-November 10, 1593) and Bridget Raleigh (1534-1607). She married Thomas Norris (1556-August 20, 1599). They had one child, Elizabeth. In 1598, Bridget visited Simon Forman the astrologer, who wrote of her in his notes: “She hath a truckling in her flesh, like the stinging of nettles, and a rising of blood into her lungs, periplomania, much gravel in the reins, catarrh, fearfulness and trembling . . . she is often in great pain.” Although both A. L. Rowse and Judith Cook identify Lady Norris as Bridget Vere, granddaughter of Lord Burghley and wife of Francis Norris, later earl of Berkshire, and agree from Forman’s other notes that her troubles were caused by a botched abortion, Bridget Vere was only fourteen in 1598 and not yet married to Norris. In addition, the Lady Norris who visited Forman gave her name as “Bridget Kingsmill.” Rowse and Cook explain this by saying it was an alias, the name of Bridget Vere’s maid, but when there was a real Bridget Kingsmill who was Lady Norris in 1598, it seems much more logical to me that this was she. Forman gives her age as twenty-four when she consulted him. In 1600, after her husband’s death in Ireland, Lady Norris was destitute. She wrote to Sir Walter Raleigh asking for assistance in a letter that is still extant. According to Norris’s entry in the Oxford DNB, which calls Bridget “a strong minded and independent woman,” she also “harassed Sir George Carew, president of Munster, to protect her property and interests,” In 1601, she married Humphrey Pakington of Harvington Hall (c.1555-1631), a recusant. In 1602, she negotiated a Crown lease of Pakington’s sequestrated estate, including Harvington Hall, to Sir Richard Verney, to whom she was related through the Raleighs of Farnborough in Warwickshire.

Constance Kingsmill was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hampshire (1526-December 11, 1593) and Bridget Raleigh (1534-1607). In about 1570, she married Sir Richard Fiennes of Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire, later 7th baron Saye and Sele, (1558-February 1613), her father’s ward. Their children were William (May 28, 1582-April 14, 1662), Anne, and Ursula. According to All the Queen’s Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (1987) by Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, Fiennes and his wife separated during the 1580s, but this is more likely to have been Fiennes’s second wife, Elizabeth Codingham, from whom he separated in 1592.

Constance Kingsmill was the daughter of William Kingsmill of Malshanger, Hampshire (d.1592?). There are a confusing number of Williams and Constances in the Kingsmill family, but it appears that this Constance, in about 1602, married Thomas Baker of Whittingham Hall, Suffolk and Leyton, Essex (d. April 10, 1625) as his second wife. Their children included Thomas, Richard, and Elizabeth. At the time of their marriage, Baker subscribed to an indenture by which all his lands in Essex were assigned to Constance as her jointure. She died only a few months after her husband.

Constance Kingsmill was the daughter of Richard Kingsmill of Highclere, Hampshire (c.1528-September 1600) and Alice Fauconer (d. before 1574) and was a wealthy heiress whose worth was estimated at £40,000. She was brought up in Sir Francis Walsingham’s household as a companion to his daughter, Frances. Constance married Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote (1551-1605) as his second wife. Their fourteen children included Thomas (1585-December 1640), Richard (1592-April 5, 1667), George (b.1593), William (1594-October 4, 1677), Robert (d.1615), Francis (1600-c.1682), Elizabeth, Bridget, Anne, and Susanna. Portrait: effigy on her father’s tomb in St. Michael Archangel, Highclere, Hampshire; effigy on her husband’s tomb in Charlecote, Warwickshire.


FRANCES KINGSMILL (c.1564-January 1, 1627)
Frances Kingsmill was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hampsire  (1526-December 11, 1592) and Bridget Raleigh (1534-1607). In about 1582, she married John Croker of Steeple Barton, Oxfordshire (1565-1610). Their children were Gerard (d.1620), William (d.1653), John (c.1599-c.1668), Henry (d. July 15, 1665), and Anne. Portraits: miniature by Nicholas Hilliard c.1580-85; portrait by George Gower c.1585-1587, both in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Morphita Kingsmill was the daughter of John Kingsmill of Freefolk, Hampshire and Barkham, Berkshire (d. May 13, 1509), Judge of Common Pleas, and Joan Gifford. She became a nun, was prioress of Wherwell in Hampshire by 1529, and in September 1535 was elected abbess. The abbey was supposed to be sold to her brother, John Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hampshire (d. August 11, 1556), but once it was surrendered, on November 21, 1539, it went to Lord De La Warr instead. Morphita received a pension of £40 per annum. She may have continued to live in her former lodgings as abbess. Seven of her former nuns are mentioned in the will she made on March 31, 1569/70. For more information, see Mary C. Erler, Reading and Writing During the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530-1558, pp. 72-74.




MARY KINGSTON (d. March 24, 1539)
Mary Kingston was the daughter of John Kingston of Kingston Bagpuze, Berkshire and Eleanora Lisle. She was heir to her uncle, Sir John Lisle of Thruxton, Hampshire (d.1523), but since she was “fair but weak and silly” he arranged her marriage to a distant cousin, Sir Thomas Lisle (c.1481-February 1, 1542), son of Sir John Lisle of Kimpton, Hampshire. They had married by September 14, 1515 and Mary became de jure baroness Lisle. They had one son, Anthony, who died young.




AGNES KIRK (d.1546+) (maiden name unknown)
By 1532, Agnes had married Gilbert Kirk (Kyrke/Kirkeby) of Exeter, Devon (d. March 16, 1546), who was mayor of Exeter in 1531-2 and 1539-40, as his third wife. Their children were Thomas (b.1534) and two daughters. When Gilbert died, it was Thomas, not his son by his second wife, who was his heir. When Thomas died, the inheritance was divided between Agnes’s two daughters. Agnes erected a tomb over the grave of her husband in the church of St. Mary Arches. On July 10, 1546, she married John Southcote of Bovey Tracey, Devon (c.1481-September 14, 1556), a recent (April 11) widower with grown children.

ANNE KIRKALL (d.1592+)
Anne Kirkall was the daughter of a butcher in East Cheap, London who died c. 1573. Her mother had died long before that. Anne married Edward Burnell, second son of a gentry family based at the manor of Winkbourn in Nottinghamshire. At some point in 1579, on a visit to her husband’s stepmother at Winkbourn, Anne met an old woman known as the witch of Norwell. She convinced Anne that she, Anne, was the daughter of King Philip of Spain and that she had the arms of England on her back. In the autumn of that same year, when Anne and her husband were living in Westminster in the same lodgings as Thomas Watson (a poet referred to as the wise man of St. Helen’s), she told Watson about her royal blood. He appears to have encouraged her in her delusion. In the course of the next thirteen years, Anne showed the coat of arms on her back to her husband, to several female acquaintances, and to her young servant, Alice Digges. Anne’s husband was probably the Mr. Burnell imprisoned after the Babington plot in September 1586. One theory is that this “late trouble of her husbande and herselfe” caused her wits to be “greately decayed,” but the delusion that she was the daughter of the King of Spain had already persisted for some years by that time. In June 1587, when Anne announced that the king of Spain would soon come to England, the Privy Council took note of her claim. She was examined on August 8, 1587 by a council officer, James Dalton, who took her into his home to observe her behavior while he conducted his investigation. Since this was right before the Spanish Armada sailed for England, anything to do with Spain aroused the darkest suspicion. That the Burnells were Catholics made Anne’s words even more dangerous. The case remained active until December 10, 1592, when the Privy Council sent instructions to the Lord Mayor of London that Anne Burnell and Alice Digges were “to be well whipped at the tayle of a Carte through the Citty with a note in writinge uppon the hinder parte of there heades shewing the cawse of there saide punishment.” This punishment was for lying, since the allegation that she had the arms of England on her back was declared to be false. Alice Digges was guilty of saying she had seen the coat of arms. She was reprieved and given a lesser punishment, but Anne Burnell was whipped through the city on December 13, 1592. Five days later, there was already a ballad in print to memorialize the event.

GRISSEL KIRTON (1536-July 15, 1607)
Grissel or Griselda Kirton was the daughter of Stephen Kirton or Kyrton (c.1501-1553), an alderman of Cheapside, London, and Margaret Offley (1508-1573). In June 1553, she married Nicholas Woodruff (c.1529-May 18, 1598), a haberdasher in the parish of St. Andrew Undercroft who was Lord Mayor of London in 1579-80 and a member of Parliament. Their children were David (1556-February 3, 1604), John (January 1558-January 1562), Robert (b. January 1559), Thomas (b. February 1561), Mary (b. 1564), Stephen (b. September 1570), Jane (b. May 1572), and Elizabeth (b. September 1574). The family’s country seat was Poyle in the parish of Seale, Surrey. Nicholas made his will on May 7, 1596, naming his wife executor and leaving one third of all he owned to her. It was proved August 7, 1598. In September 1601, Queen Elizabeth visited Lady Woodruff at Poyle.







Frideswide Knight was the daughter of John Knight of Spaldington, Yorkshire. She was a member of Catherine of Aragon’s household and was part of Mary Tudor’s household in 1533 and again from 1536-1558, listed variously as a chamberer and a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. In 1548, she married a gentleman of Mary’s household, Robert Strelley (d. January 23, 1554). They had no children. Frideswide Strelley was the only one of Queen Mary’s ladies who would not pretend that the queen was pregnant after it became obvious that she was not. She received several grants for her service, including the former chantry windmill at Great Bowden, Leicestershire,  Ulverscroft Priory, and a property called Oxehedd. Frideswide and her husband received the latter from Edward VI in return for surrendering a £10 annuity. Her heirs were her nephew, John Wilson, and her husband’s nephew, William Saville.



Susan Knightley was the daughter of Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley, Northamptonshire (c.1500-December 8, 1534) and Jane Skennard (d.1539). She married Sir William Spencer of Althorp, Northamptonshire and Wormleighton, Warwickshire (d. June 22, 1532). Their children were John (1524-1586), Isabel (1515-1578), Jane (d.1593), Dorothy (d.1575), Anne, and Mary. Susan’s brothers, Richard and Edmund, quarreled with her husband. After an alleged assault on them by Sir William as they were leaving the Horse’s Head in Cheapside in 1529, they took their case to the Star Chamber. After Spencer died, they supported their sister’s effort to withhold her son’s wardship from the Crown. Susan claimed that her husband had been deeply in debt at his death and that she and her children were destitute. Edmund Knightley was charged with fraud and was briefly imprisoned in the Fleet in September 1532. The wardship was granted to Sir Giles Alington in December 1539. The estate was valued at £454 a year when John Spencer reached his majority,


WINIFRED KNIGHTLEY (1515-January 16, 1569)
Winifred Knightley was the daughter of William Knightley of Morgrave Knightley and Norwich (d. 1545+), a wealthy attorney, and Margaret Pawe, whose father was also a Norwich lawyer. On December 22, 1543, Winifred married Robert Coke of Melcham, Norfolk (1513-1561) in St. Peter Parmentergate, Norwich, a barrister. Their children were Winifred, Dorothy, Elizabeth, Audrey (1551-November 16, 1630), Edward (February 1, 1552-September 3, 1624), Ursula, Anne, and Margaret. Winifred was the heiress of her uncle, William Pawe. Upon her husband’s death, she inherited Melcham and Tittleshall.  In 1563, she married Robert Bozoun of Whissonsett, Norfolk (d.1575+). They had one son, John. Her legacy to her eldest son, Edware Coke, later speaker of the House of Commons, attorney general, and a judge, included two law books, which formed the basis of his library.

ANNE KNIGHTON (d. December 23, 1558)
Anne Knighton was the daughter of Thomas Knighton of Bradley, Suffolk (1490-March 1, 1532/3) and Alice Bull. She married Richard le Hunte of Ashen, Essex, Bradley Parva, and Little Thurlow, Suffolk (d.1540). Their three children included John (c.1537-1605) and Alice. She married Sir Thomas Soame of Bestley, Norfolk (c.1520-1569). Their fourteen children included Thomas (c.1543-October 12, 1606), Stephen (c.1544-1619), Bartholomew (d.1596), Robert (d. January 14, 1609), William, Frances, Elizabeth, Anne, Mary (d.1627), and another Elizabeth. Portraits: effigy on the tomb of Richard le Hunte (missing the head) in Little Bradley, Suffolk; brass with Sir Thomas Soame.


ANNE KNOLLYS  (July 19, 1555-1633)
Anne Knollys was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) and Catherine Carey (1523/4-January 15, 1569). When she was a maid of honor in 1570, she received fifty-three pairs of shoes, thirty-one made of calves’ leather. Aside from footwear for Tomasina the dwarf and Ippolyta the Tartarian, these are the only other records of shoes being supplied to a member of the queen’s household. Most court women, according to Charlotte Merton’s The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, went to London shoemakers. On November 19, 1571, Anne married Thomas West of Offingham, Sussex and Wherwell, Hampshire (1556-March 24, 1602) at Wherwell, who became 2md baron de la Warr in 1595. Their children were Walsingham (d. yng.), Robert (January 3, 1573/4-1594), Elizabeth (1573?-1633?), Margaret (b. 1576), Thomas (July 9, 1577-June 7, 1618), Lettice (b. November 24, 1579), Anne (b. May 21, 1581), Penelope (September 9, 1582-c.1619), Catherine (b. December 27, 1583), Francis (October 28, 1586-1634), Helena (b. December 15, 1587), John (December 14, 1590-1659), Nathaniel (November 30, 1592-1673), and possibly a second Elizabeth. In August 1608, Anne was living in the parish of St. Katherine Coleman Street. Her will, dated July 2, 1633, was proved August 17, 1633. Portrait: by Robert Peake, 1582.

CATHERINE KNOLLYS (October 21, 1559-December 30, 1632)
Catherine Knollys was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) and Catherine Carey (1523/4-January 15, 1569). She married Gerald Fitzgerald, Lord Offalay (c.1559-1580), son and heir of the 11th earl of Kildare. He predeceased his father. Since their only surviving child was a daughter, Lettice (c.1580-1658), the title went to Catherine’s brother-in-law in 1585. Her jointure lands in Portlester, Woodstock, and Athy were forfeit when she married Philip Butler/Boteler of Walton/Watton Woodhull, Hertfordshire (d. January 1592), who was knighted in 1586. Their four sons included Robert and John (c.1587-1653).



ELIZABETH KNOLLYS (June 15, 1549-c.1605)
Elizabeth Knollys was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) and Catherine Carey (1523/4-January 15, 1569). She is called Cecilia Knollys by Violet Wilson in her Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber. She was at court as a maid of honor early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In 1574, according to Janet Arnold’s Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d, she had a servant named Arthur Middleton who made doublets and did alterations. He worked unofficially for Queen Elizabeth until he was expelled from the Great Wardrobe in 1594. In 1578, Elizabeth Knollys married Thomas Leighton or Layton of Feckenham (c.1535-c.1610/11) but continued her career as a lady of the privy chamber. Their children were Thomas, Anne (d.1628), and Elizabeth (d. January 12, 1633). Leighton was governor of Guernsey from 1570 until his death and it is likely the family lived there at least part of the time. Elizabeth died before June 10, 1605, when her annuity of £200 was granted to Elizabeth Howard, Lady Carrick. Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith, in her 1987 dissertation, All the Queen’s Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, identifies the Elizabeth Knollys in the queen’s household from 1559-1575 as a sister of Sir Francis Knollys, rather than his daughter, but lists of the children of Sir Robert Knollys and Lettice Penyston include only Mary and Jane, both born before 1521, when Sir Robert died. Portrait: after George Gower, 1577.



LETTICE or LAETITIA KNOLLYS (November 8, 1543-December 25, 1634)
Lettice Knollys was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) and Catherine Carey (1523/1524-January 15, 1569). She was a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth and resembled the queen a good deal. She was probably in exile with her parents during the reign of Mary Tudor but upon Elizabeth’s ascension she came to court as a maid of honor. In late 1560, she married Walter Devereux, viscount Hereford (September 16, 1539-September 22, 1576). Their children were Penelope (1562-July 7, 1607), Dorothy (1564-August 3, 1619), Robert (November 19, 1566-February 25, 1601), Walter (1569-1591) and Francis (d.yng.). Her husband was elevated in the peerage to earl of Essex in 1572. The family seat was at Chartley in Staffordshire, but Lettice was often at court. There a relationship developed with Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester (June 24, 1532-September 4, 1588), the queen’s favorite. With Essex in Ireland from 1572 until the winter of 1575/6, Lettice lived in Durham House on the Strand, quite near Leicester House. In the summer of 1575, when Lady Essex and the earl of Leicester were both on progress with the queen, Edward Arden, sheriff of Warwickshire, refused to wear Leicester’s livery for the festivities at Kenilworth Castle because the earl “had private access to the countess of Essex.” According to one account of the incident, Arden called Leicester a whoremaster. During that same progress, in August 1575, Lettice entertained the queen at Chartley, Staffordshire. The anonymous 1584 pamphlet known as Leicester’s Commonwealth claimed that Lady Essex was pregnant by Leicester immediately before her husband’s return from Ireland and that she had an abortion. Another tale, this one reported by the Spaniard, de Guaras, in December of 1575, was that there was “a great enmity between the earl of Leicester and the earl of Essex in consequence . . . of the fact that while Essex was in Ireland his wife had two children by Leicester.” Acccording to de Guaras, this was openly talked of in London. When Essex returned to Ireland and shortly thereafter died of dysentery, gossip insisted that Leicester had poisoned his rival. An autopsy proved otherwise, but talk did not cease and rumor had the two lovers married soon after. They may have gone through an earlier ceremony, but their wedding at Wanstead on September 21, 1578 was witnessed by Sir Francis Knollys, Lettice’s father. She appeared to be with child at the time. Robert Dudley, Lord Denbigh (d. July 19, 1584) was born in 1579. Lettice was at court in July of that year with a new wardrobe that rivaled the queen’s, when her marriage to Leicester became known. The queen is said to have boxed Lettice’s ears and banished her, saying that as but one sun lighted the sky, so she would have but one queen in England. Away from court, Lettice went out of her way to be mistaken for her royal cousin, riding through the streets of London in a carriage with her ladies in coaches behind her. Lettice also began scheming to marry her daughter, Dorothy, to the king of Scotland. When the queen heard of this, in 1583, she swore she would “sooner the Scots King lost his crown” than be married to the daughter of a “she-wolf” and further said that if she could find no other way to check Lady Leicester’s ambition she would proclaim her all over Christendom as the whore she was and prove Leicester a cuckold. These statements, of course, come from Spanish reports, and should be taken with a grain of salt. The Frenchman, Mauvissiere, writing at about the same time, reported that Leicester was greatly influenced by his wife. On December 8, 1585, Leicester was sent to the Low Countries and soon after made Governor General of the Netherlands. Lettice made plans to join him there and set up a court of her own, but the queen prevented her from leaving England. At about that time a rumor started that Leicester was jealous of his wife’s attentions to his Master of the Horse, one Christopher Blount (1565-March 18, 1601). This tale gained credence after Leicester’s death. Lettice married Blount less than a year later, in July of 1589. An anonymous manuscript called “Leicester’s Ghost” claimed that Lettice and Blount had poisoned the earl of prevent him from killing Blount and imprisoning Lettice at Kenilworth Castle. Leicester’s will seems to disprove this. It was written on his deathbed in the form of a letter to Lettice. After her third marriage, which angered the queen, Lettice lived primarily at Drayton Bassett in Staffordshire, even though she deemed life there to be fit “only for the disgraced.” In 1597, Lettice’s son Robert, 2nd earl of Essex, made several attempts to reconcile the queen and his mother. He had taken his stepfather’s place as Elizabeth Tudor’s favorite and was eventually able to bring the two women face to face. Lettice presented the queen with a jewel, which was accepted, but a few days later, when Lettice requested permission to return to court, she was refused. Lettice was living in Essex House in 1599 when her son was arrested. Aside from one visit, she was not allowed to see him. In February 1601, when Essex made his ill-advised attempt to take control of the government, Lettice was at Drayton Bassett, but Sir Christopher Blount played an active role in the conspiracy and was tried and executed for treason, as was Essex. Lettice remained at Drayton Bassett for the remainder of her life. Biography: Elizabeth Jenkins in Elizabeth and Leicester deals fairly extensively with Lettice’s life; Oxford DNB entry under “Dudley [née Knollys; other married name Devereux], Lettice.” Portraits: portrait by George Gower at Longleat, c. 1585; at least five portraits of Lettice existed in her lifetime in her own households as well as a miniature belonging to a granddaughter; effigy on her tomb in St. Mary’s Church, Warwick.

LETTICE KNOLLYS (c.1583-1655)
Named for her famous aunt, Lettice Knollys was the daughter of Henry Knollys of Rotherfield Greys (1541-1582/3) and Margaret Cave (1549-1606). She married William Paget, 4th baron Paget (d. August 20, 1629). Their children were Anne, Margaret (c.1604-1652), William (September 13, 1609-October 19, 1678), Katherine (1615-1695), Mary, Dorothy, Henry, and Thomas. She is mentioned here primarily because she is the subject of several stunning portraits.








ANNE KNYVETT (c.1475-1558)
Anne Knyvett was the daughter of Edmund Knyvett of Buckenham Castle, Norfolk (c.1462-1504) and Eleanor Tyrrell (d. 1520+). She married Sir George St. Leger of Annery, Devon. Their children were John (c.1520-October 8, 1596), Catherine, and George (b.1530). One online genealogy states that Anne St. Leger owned a lead mine at Shebbear. She was a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon and was probably the “Lady Selenger of Kent” who was at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520. Selenger and Selinger were common spellings of St. Leger. This makes me wonder if Anne and Sir George might also have been the couple Neville Williams identifies as participating in a masque at court on Twelfth Night 1515. He gives their name as Fellinger and says he was an Imperial diplomat, but offers no other information, not even a first name. On January 9, 1514, Lady Selinger bought a gown of “right crimson velvet” from the yeoman of robes. She still owed him £6 some time later. Anne Knyvett, Lady St. Leger participated in court revels in 1517-18.

ANNE KNYVETT (c.1506-c.1533)
Anne Knyvett was the daughter of Sir Thomas Knyvett of Buckenham Castle, Norfolk (d. August 10, 1512) and Muriel Howard (1485-December 14, 1512). Her mother wrote her will on October 13, 1512 (proved January 12, 1513), leaving her children in the care of King Henry. In 1519-20, Anne Knyvett was given six yards of yellow bridge (Bruges?) satin for a kirtle, 2¼  ells of black worsted for a kirtle, lined with two ells of black kersey, and ten ells of linen, as well as ribbons, shoes, hose, and other items. In the covenant for a marriage settlement dated May 31, 1527, Anne was described as “one of the queen’s gentlewomen and one of the daughters of Sir Thomas Knyvett deceased.” She was to marry Thomas Thuresby or Thoresby of Asshewykyne.



CATHERINE KNYVETT (1543-December 20, 1622)
Catherine Knyvett was the daughter of Henry Knyvett of Charlton, Wiltshire (1510-March 1547) and Anne Pickering (1514-1582). She was a maid of honor from 1562 until she married Henry, 2nd baron Paget (c.1537-December 28, 1571). They had one child, Elizabeth (d. June 29, 1571). While Catherine was at court, her chamber was robbed and £60 worth of plate was stolen. She married Sir Edward Cary of West Smithfield, London and Aldenham and Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire (c.1540-July 18, 1618). Their children were Catherine (d. September 24, 1635), Philip (c.1572-June 1631), Adolphus (c.1574-April 8, 1609), Jane (c.1594-c. December 1632), Henry, later Viscount Falkland (c. 1576-September 1633), Frances, Meriall (c.1579-May 15, 1600), Anne (August 10, 1580-c.1624), and Elizabeth. As Lady Paget and as Lady Paget-Cary, Catherine was a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth. Her second husband was master of the jewel house. Portrait: c.1560-62.


Christian Knyvett was the daughter of John Knyvett of Homeston, Huntingdonshire and Buckenham, Norfolk (d.1489/90) and Alice Lynne. She married Sir Henry Colet (c.1430-October 1, 1505), a mercer who was twice Lord Mayor of London. Their twenty-two children included John (1467-September 16, 1519), Richard (d. 1503+), and Thomas (d.1479). John Colet was the founder of St. Paul’s School in London and through his letters we know that his mother was much admired by Erasmus. In 1510, she entertained the German theologian and physician Henricus Cornelius Agrippa. Christian spent her last years in her late husband’s residence in Stepney, located southwest of the church and in the hamlet of Ratcliff and later known as The Great Place. It came into the possession of the Mercers’ Company after her death. Her will is dated January 13, 1523 and was proved on November 2 of that year. She was buried in St. Dunstan’s Church in Stepney. Biography: Dame Christian Colet: Her Life and Family by Mary MacKenzie (1923).


Elizabeth Knyvett was a lady-in-waiting to Eleanor Percy, duchess of Buckingham. She appears in the duke’s accounts as early as 1508, on a list of the duke’s servants to whom rewards were given. At Easter 1518, she was paid the £20 due to her on Lady Day. The next entry in the summary of the duke of Buckingham’s papers, seized when he was arrested and executed on charges of treason in 1521, and collected in the Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII (vol. 3: 1519-1523), reads: “To M. Geddyng, toward the burying of my said cousin.” This appears to have been in December 1518. If I am reading this correctly, the “said cousin” was  Elizabeth Knyvett. She was certainly “deceased” by the time her possessions, “wrongfully withheld” by the duke, were inventoried after his execution. These included three satin and damask kirtles, a black velvet gown lined with yellow satin with gold buttons, a blue velvet gown lined with crimson tinsel, a russet damask gown lined with crimson velvet, a green silk camlet gown lined with crimson velvet, a black taffeta gown lined with crimson velvet, three gold chains, a silver basin and ewer, a pair of parcelgilt pots, three gilt goblets and a salt, with covers, six silver spoons, a sarcenet “trussing bede,” red and yellow, with a counterpoint, two pallet beds, and six pieces of “verdewis,” checked white and orange. These possessions indicate a woman of some wealth. Carole Rawcliffe, in The Staffords, Earls of Stafford and Dukes of Buckingham 1394-1521, states that Elizabeth had committed some unspecified misdemeanor, for which her possessions were unjustly seized, and that this seizure led her kinsman, Charles Knyvett, to testify against the duke at his trial in 1521, but she gives no documentation and the identity of Elizabeth Knyvett remains something of a mystery. The most logical “kinswoman” would be the Elizabeth Knyvett who was Charles Kynvett’s half sister. One online genealogy states that she became a nun, but in light of the will of William Knyvett (1440-December 21, 1515), Charles’s father, who was chamberlain of Buckingham’s household, this seems unlikely. His will, written on September 8, 1514 and proved June 19, 1516, left his daughter a marriage portion of £333 6s. 8d. Charles’s mother was a daughter of the first duke of Buckingham and the great aunt of the third duke. Although there is considerable confusion over which of Sir William’s wives was the mother of which Knyvett children, Elizabeth was probably his daughter by his first wife, Alice Grey (d. April 4, 1474).

ELIZABETH KNYVETT (c.1574-c.1630)
Elizabeth Knyvett was the daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton, Wiltshire (1539-1598) and Elizabeth Stumpe (d.1585). She married Thomas, Lord Clinton (1567/8-1619), heir to the earl of Lincoln, although he did not inherit the title until 1616. Their children were Elizabeth (c.1591-July 20, 1624), Anne (1595/6-December 26, 1632), Theophilus (c.1600-May 21, 1667), Dorcas, Frances (c.1603-1626+), Sara, Susan, Arabella (1603-c.1630), Henry, Thomas, Catherine (d. January 7, 1618), Lucy, Edward (c.1604-by 1616), Charles, Robert, Knyvett, John, and James. Five daughters and four sons survived infancy. In 1622, as a widow and with a great deal of knowledge of the subject, Elizabeth published a tract on breastfeeding called “The Countesse of Lincolnes Nurserie.” She dedicated it to her son Theophilus’s wife. In 1625, Theophilus brought suit against his mother in chancery, attempting to take the guardianship of his three younger brothers away from her. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Clinton [née Knevitt], Elizabeth.”




KATHERINE KNYVETT (1564-September 8, 1638)
Katherine Knyvett was the daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton, Wiltshire (1539-1598) and Elizabeth Stumpe (d.1585). As one of three co-heiresses, she inherited Charleton, Wiltshire and a house in London from her father. She married Richard Rich (d. before February 27,1581), younger brother of the 3rd baron Rich. In 1583, she married Thomas Howard (August 24,1561-May 28,1626). Their children were Theophilus (1584-1640), Thomas (d.1660), Elizabeth (1586-1658), Frances (May 31,1593-August 23,1632), Henry, Catherine (d.1672), Charles (d.1622), Robert (1598-1653), William (1600-1672), Edward (d.1675), and possibly Emily (1580-1623+) and Gertrude (d.1623+). Her husband was created baron Howard of Walden in 1597 and earl of Suffolk under James I. Katherine was rumored to have been Robert Cecil’s mistress, but there seems little foundation for the story. She was reputed to be a great beauty until a bout of smallpox in 1619. She was Lady of the Privy Chamber and Keeper of the Jewels to Anne of Denmark. From 1604, she received a pension of 4000 ducats from the Spanish government. The family lived at Audley End, Essex and Charing Cross House in London. When their daughter Frances was tried for the murder of Thomas Overbury, the earl and countess of Suffolk were also brought before the Star Chamber. They were fined £30,000 and imprisoned until the fine was paid. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Howard [née Knyvett; other married name Rich], Katherine.” Portraits: by William Larkin, c.1614-18; by Paul van Somer, unknown date; others labeled Countess of Suffolk may be her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Home.

KATHERINE KNYVETT (1578-March 10, 1629)
Katherine Knyvett was the daughter of Sir Thomas Knyvett (d. February 9, 1617) and Muriel Parry (d.1616). On April 28, 1603, she married Edmund Paston of Paston Hall (1585-1623). Their children were William (1610-1663) and Thomas (b.1614). Katherine was obliged to play an active role in family legal affairs because her husband was sickly and his father, Christopher Paston, was mentally ill. Forty-eight letters written by her and thirty-seven addressed to her or to members of the Paston family have been preserved. Biographies: Oxford DNB entry under “Paston [née Knyvett], Katherine;” Ruth Hughey, editor, The Corresponsence of Lady Katherine Paston, 1603-1627. Portrait: effigy by N. Stone, St. Margaret’s Church, Paston.




Thomasine Knyvett was the daughter of Thomas Knyvett of Great Stanway, Essex (d.1481) and Elizabeth Lunsford (d.1492). She married William Clopton of Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk (1480-February 20, 1530/1) as his third wife. Their children were Francis (1498-1559), Richard (1500-1580), and John. Thomasine was the sister and coheir of her brother, Edward Knyvett (d.1501), together with her sister Margaret’s two daughters by John Roydon. One of them, Elizabeth Roydon, married Thomasine’s stepson. From her brother’s daughter, Elizabeth Rainsford (d.1507), Thomasine inherited Castelyns Manor in Groton, Suffolk. Although her date of death is given in Suffolk Manorial Families as 1536, she  was alive to pay £4 in taxes in 1547.



JANE KYNASTON (d. 1578+)
Jane Kynaston was the daughter of Thomas Kynaston of Estwick, Staffordshire. She married Thomas Young, Archbishop of York (1507-June 26, 1568), as his second wife and was the mother of his son and heir, George Young (1568-July 10, 1620). In his will, made June 25, 1568, the archbishop named George Leighe, Sir William Cordell, and Robert Monson as his executors. Leighe, a merchant of the Staple and a burgess of Shrewsbury, was kin to Jane, but that did not stop him from trying to cheat her out of her inheritance. According to his entry in the History of Parliament, lands in Shropshire were “detained from her” by Leighe. In April 1569 the 6th earl of Shrewsbury wrote to Sir William Cecil on her behalf but litigation between Jane and Leighe was still ongoing when Leighe died in 1578. Jane should not be confused with another Jane Kynaston (c.1536-1588), the daughter of Thomas Kynaston of Walford, Shropshire and Susanna Onslow. In about 1560, well before the other Jane Kynaston was widowed, this second Jane married Robert Corbet of Moreton Corbet, Shropshire (d.1593), by whom she had nine children.

DOROTHY KYTSON (1531-May 2, 1577)
Dorothy Kytson was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave, Suffolk (1485-September 11, 1540), mercer and sheriff of London, and Margaret Donnington (1510-January 20, 1562). She married Sir Thomas Pakington of Hampton, Worcestershire (c.1530-June 2, 1571). Their children included John (1549-1625), Mary, Catherine (b.1556), Margaret, and two more sons. In her mother’s will, Dorothy was left £20, a brooch with a great diamond and “my second ring set with a diamond. ” Her husband died at Bath Place, Holborn, leaving Dorothy as his sole executrix. On May 4, 1572, she issued a writ in her own name as “lord and owner” of the town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to appoint the burgesses. This scandalized the local citizens. She later married Thomas Tasburgh of Hawridge, Buckinghamshire (1554-January 1603). Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Tasburgh [née Kitson], Dorothy.”


FRANCES KYTSON (c.1527-1586)
Frances Kytson was the daughter of Thomas Kytson of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk (1485-September 11, 1540), mercer and sheriff of London, and Margaret Donnington (1510-January 20, 1562). After her mother married John Bourchier, 2nd earl of Bath, Frances married his son and heir, John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarine (1529-February 28, 1557). They had one child, William, later third earl of Bath (September 28, 1557-July 12, 1623). In about September 1557, Frances married William Barnaby of Great Saxham, Suffolk, land agent to the earl of Bath, “which marriage gave great offense to her friends.” Her mother’s will in 1561 left “the Lady Frances Fitzwarin, my daughter, my two best gowns and my two best kirtles, my best girdle of gold and my best biliment of gold set with pearl, and one cypress chest and all the linen cloths therein contained with other things of divers sorts meet for women lying in childbed.” Frances wrote her will on March 1, 1586 and it was proved April 16, 86. She was buried April 4, 1586. Portrait: effigy in Tawstock Church, Devon.

KATHERINE KYTSON (c.1521-by December 10, 1561)
Katherine Kytson was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave, Suffolk (1485-September 11, 1540), mercer and sheriff of London, and Margaret Donnington (1510-January 20, 1562). She married Sir John Spencer of Wormleighton, Warwickshire (1517-November 8, 1586). They had at least eleven children. Various genealogies name Henry (March 31, 1544-April 15, 1573), George (c.1546-c.1568), John (1546-January 9, 1599/1600), Thomas, William (1555-December 18, 1609), Alice (1556-January 23, 1637), Richard (1559-November 1624), Edward, Margaret, Elizabeth, Anne (d. September 22, 1618), Frances, Jane, Mary, and Katherine (d. 1639). Since she is not mentioned in her mother’s will, she probably died before December 10, 1561. Portrait: tomb effigy in Great Brington, Northamptonshire, where her effigy shows her with her head resting on a flowered cushion..

MARGARET KYTSON (1563-July 1582)
Margaret Kytson was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave, Suffolk (October 9,1541-January 28,1603) and Elizabeth Cornwallis (1547-August 2,1628). In 1581/2, she married Charles Cavendish of Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire (1553-April 14, 1617). She died a little over a year later giving birth to a son, William, who died in infancy. It was a second William, the son of Cavendish’s second wife, who became duke of Newcastle. Ten years after her death, Margaret was described as “a papist by birth.” Portrait: by George Gower, 1580.


MARY KYTSON (1566-June 28, 1644)
Mary Kytson was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave, Suffolk (October 9, 1541-January 28, 1603) and Elizabeth Cornwallis (1547-August 2, 1628). In 1583, she married Thomas Darcy (July 5, 1565-February 21, 1640), later Lord Rivers, although it was said she preferred her other suitor, Lord Percy. Six embroidered smocks were made for her on this occasion by Mrs. Crockston and Mrs. Barbor. Their childen were Elizabeth (c.1584-March 9, 1650/1), Thomas (1586-c.1606), Mary (c.1588-1627), Edward (b.c.1590), Susan (c.1590-1612), and Penelope (1593-1660/1). When her mother died, Mary took over the patronage of John Wilbye, the madrigalist. According to the Oxford DNB’s entry under “Kitson family,” Lord Darcy suspected Mary of “unbecoming flirtations, if not outright adultery.” Their formal separation in 1594 left her with £300 a year and, eventually, the Kytson estates. Darcy lived at St. Osyth and in London. Mary lived with various family members before settling in Colchester. Portraits: by George Gower, 1583; c.1590; one (according to the DNB) full length portrait in which she holds her deed of separation in one hand.