MARY LACON (1506-April 27, 1563)
Mary Lacon was the daughter of  Sir Thomas Lacon of Willey, Shropshire (d.1536) and Mary Corbet. Her first husband was Thomas Acton of Sutton, Worcestershire (1476-January 2, 1547). Their children were Lancelot (d. yng), Gabriel (d. yng.), and Joyce (1532-February 10, 1595). Her second husband, as his second wife, was George Vernon of Hodnet, Shropshire (d.c.1554). Their children were George, Edward, Dorothy (d.1599) and Anne (d.1570). Vernon’s will, dated December 21, 1554 and proved January 12, 1555, named Mary his executrix. Mary made her will on April 13, 1563 and it was proved May 18, 1563. She left her younger daughters, Dorothy and Anne Vernon, 900 marks to be divided between them. £400 of this was their inheritance from their father, as specified in his will. Mary’s eldest daughter, Joyce Lucy (neé Acton) and her husband, Sir Thomas Lucy, were to take responsibility for the girls and their inheritance. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com. Portrait: effigy on Acton monument, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

ANNE LACY (1499-1561/2)
Anne Lacy was the daughter and heiress of Walter Lacy of London and his wife Lucy (d.c.1533). By a marriage settlement dated April 26, 1513/14, she married Charles Knyvett of London, Princethorp, Warwickshire, Hamerton, Huntingdonshire, Leigh, Kent, and Winwick, Northamptonshire (c.1478-before October 22, 1528), a close kinsman of the Duke of Buckingham. Their children were (possibly) Richard (1511-November 1, 1557), (definitely) Anthony (d. March 1, 1554), William, Lucy (1522-October 1, 1577), Anne (1527-1571+), Alice (d. between 1556 and 1562), and Ellen. Knyvett played a role in Buckingham’s downfall in 1521. Star Chamber proceedings for 1509-47 contain the record of a suit brought by Lucy Lacy and Anne Knyvett against several men for stealing goods, apparel, plate and jewels from the plaintiff’s house in London. According to Magna Carta Ancestry, Anne married John Sibyll or Syble by June 10, 1533. Some sources give his surname as Clifford. She spent the last part of her life with her daughter, Lucy Gates, in Seamer, Yorkshire. She wrote her will on January 16, 1561/2. It was proved March 10, 1561/2.


ALICE LAKYN (d.1533) (maiden name unknown)
Alice was married twice, both times to members of the Mercers’ Company. Her first husband was Richard Lakyn (d.1510). By 1495, Lakyn had a shop on the front of the Broad Seld on Cheapside and owned lands in Canterbury and Dartford, Kent and in Middlesex, and a London house in Milk Street. He and Alice had a son who predeceased him and two daughters, Elizabeth (d. by 1525) and Margaret (d.1510+). In his will, Lakyn left Alice his dwelling house and all other properties except those in Canterbury, which went to Elizabeth and her husband, William Browne (d.1525). Alice’s second husband was John Barnard (d.1537), by whom she had a son, James (d.1540). In 1528, they owned three messuages, six cottages, and over a hundred acres of land in Chelsea, plus property in Kent. They continued to occupy the house in Milk Street until Alice’s death on Midsummer Eve, 1533. Three days later, members of the Mercer’s Company repossessed it from the widower.


ELIZABETH LAMBERT (c. 1450-c.1527)
Elizabeth Lambert was the daughter of John Lambert (d.1487), Warden of the Mercer’s Company of London, and Amy Marshall. She is better known to history as “Jane Shore.” How did Elizabeth end up as Jane? Probably because early mentions of her refer only to “Mistress Shore,” the name she acquired by her first marriage. Later, writers needed a first name for their fictionalized histories and settled on Jane. Elizabeth Lambert was taught to read and write. She married William Shore, a goldsmith, but the marriage was annulled in 1476 on grounds of impotence. At about that time, she caught the eye of King Edward IV and became his mistress, a relationship that lasted until his death in 1483. During that time, her intercession on behalf of Eton College, which Edward wanted to close, earned her that institution’s gratitude. After Edward died, Elizabeth reportedly shared her favors with two noblemen, Thomas Grey, 1st marquess of Dorest and William Hastings, 1st baron Hastings. Neither of them were able to protect her when Richard III declared himself king in his nephew’s stead. Both were accused of treason and Elizabeth faced similar charges. She was also charged with sorcery and with conspiring with Edward’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville, to kill King Edward. The accusations were groundless and probably made to coerce her into giving evidence against others. They were reduced to a charge of harlotry and she was made to do penance at Paul’s Cross, after which she was imprisoned in Ludgate. While she was there, the king’s solicitor, Thomas Lynom, fell in love with her and married her against the advice of King Richard. Richard eventually pardoned her and the marriage lasted some thirty years. They had at least one child, a daughter. Most stories say “Jane Shore” died in poverty. This is probably an exaggeration, extrapolated from the account Sir Thomas More left of meeting  her during the reign of Henry VIII. She was buried in Hinxworth Church, Hertfordshire. Portrait: her figure appears on her parents’ memorial brass in Hinxworth Church.

JANE LAMBERT (d.1598+)
Jane Lambert was the daughter of William Lambert of Hide Street, Winchester. She was the long-time mistress of William Paulet, 3rd marquis of Winchester (c.1532-November 24, 1598) and the mother of his four illegitimate sons, William (d. March 3, 1628/9), John, Hercules (b.1574), and Hector (b.1578). Some genealogies also list a daughter, Susanna. They went by the surname Pawlett/Powlett/Poulet. In 1594, Ashmore Manor was put in trust for Jane and her children and she received other property as well. After her lover died, his family successfully contested his will, which had made three Lamberts executors and beneficiaries. They also brought suit against Jane in Chancery, charging her with “making him a stranger and enemy” to friends and kin, “procuring a preacher to write a book justifying the said marquess” leaving his wife and marrying Mistress Lambert, opposing the marriage of the marquess’s son, putting her brothers and friends in influential posts, and keeping his kin from access to him. Jane subsequently married a young man of eighteen, Gerrard Fleetwood of Crawley, Hampshire (d.1647+)

MARGERY LAMBERT (d.1577+) (maiden name unknown)
Margery was the wife of Peter Lambert of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, a notorious receiver of stolen goods who was involved in piracy on the east coast of England in the 1570s. When her husband was caught and imprisoned, Margery, with the help of her neighbor, Alice Bevershawe, smuggled a file into the jail. Peter used it to escape. In December 1577, Margery was charged with receiving eighteen yards of cloth and a taffeta hat and cap from her husband.

MARGARET LAMBRUN (d.1587+) (maiden name unknown)
In my humble opinion, the story of Margaret Lambrun (Lambourne/Lambrin) and her attempt to assassinate Elizabeth Tudor is a fabrication. The earliest mention of her is in an undocumented entry in A new and general biographical dictionary (1762). I first became aware of Margaret’s story when I received a query in August 2012 from Callie Brown of Ely, Cambridgeshire, asking me if I knew the name of a titled lady who entered the royal garden dressed as a man and carrying two loaded muskets concealed under her coat. Apparently wishing to avenge the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, she meant to shoot the queen and then commit suicide. One musket went off by accident, killing a peacock, and Margaret was captured. After hearing her story, Queen Elizabeth pardoned her. Callie wrote that this was a question on a pub quiz and that she’d also found a similar story in which an unnamed woman hid in a closet dressed as a page with the intent to kill Queen Elizabeth with a knife. The answer to the quiz was Lady Margaret Lambourne, which was not helpful, but Callie followed up with the quiz setter and was sent the alternate spelling of Lambrun, which does pop up in search engines. There are a number of variations on the story of Margaret Lambrun, who appears to be a Scotswoman and the widow of a man who served in the English household of Mary Queen of Scots. That he died shortly after the queen was executed, and was possibly executed himself, is sometimes given as the real reason his widow sought revenge. This story is not documented in sixteenth century primary sources and is not included in any reputable biography of either Mary Queen of Scots or Elizabeth Tudor that I have seen, nor does the surname Lambrun, Lambrin, or Lambourne turn up among the members of the captive queen’s household. Furthermore, if a woman had tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, I very much doubt the queen would have been inclined to pardon her. At the least, she’d have been imprisoned. More likely, she’d have been tried and executed. And there would certainly have been a contemporary record of the case. The story pubished in 1762 says she was given safe conduct into France. For another version of this legend see http://ahistoryblog.com/?p=1036



Joan Langeford went into service in the London household of Christopher Mountjoy in about 1604. On September 8, 1605, she married Thomas Johnson, a basket maker, at St. Olave. In 1612, when they were living in Ealing, Middlesex, she testified in court about the betrothal of Mountjoy’s daughter and the role Mountjoy’s lodger, William Shakespeare, played in it.


ISABEL LANGLEY (d. December 3, 1587)
Isabel Langley was the daughter of Richard Langley of Owsthorpe, Yorkshire (x. December 1, 1586) and Agnes Hansby. She married William Foster of Earswick. She was at her father’s house of Owsthorpe (sometimes called Grimthorpe) when it was raided by priest catchers. He was arrested and charged with harboring. Isabel, who was pregnant, escaped. She visited her father while he was in prison in York Castle and, having seen the wretched conditions under which recusants were kept, continued to visit even after his execution. This led to her arrest for giving aid to Catholics. She and her child died in prison.





ELIZABETH LANGTON (d.1506+) (maiden name unknown)
Elizabeth Langton of London was the king’s silkwoman in 1502-3, 1504-5, and 1505-6. In 1503, she supplied quantities of silk and other goods to the royal family to the value of £101 17s. 5½ d. She also traded regularly with two merchants of Genoa. Maria Hayward, in Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII, suggests that Elizabeth was the widow of A Thomas Langton, who supplied silk to the king in 1498-9. Hayward further suggests that Elizabeth remarried and is identical to the Elizabeth Worship who was the king’s silkwoman in 1510-11, 1516-17, 1517-18, 1520-21, and 1523-25. She further theorizes that Catherine, John, and Lettice Worship, who later figure in the royal accounts, were Elizabeth’s children. An alternate identification for Elizabeth Langton comes from the 1475 will of Jane Langton, another silkwoman. She left bequests to her son John (d.1502) and his second wife Elizabeth.




JOAN LARKE (d.1529+)
Joan Larke was the daughter of Peter Larke of Huntingdonshire. She entered into a “noncanonical marriage” with Thomas Wolsey (1471-1530), later Cardinal Wolsey. Their children were Dorothy (1512-c.1553), who was adopted by John Clansey or Clasey and later became a nun at Shaftesbury, and Thomas (1513-c.1553 or c.1510-c.1543), who went by the name Thomas Wynter and was archdeacon of Cornwall from 1537-1543. They shared a house in Bridewell granted to Wolsey on January 10, 1510. It had twelve gardens and an orchard. As Wolsey advanced in the church, Joan became an embarrassment to him. He provided her with a dowry and arranged her marriage to George Legh of Adlington, Cheshire (1497-1529). Their children were Thomas (1527-1548), Isabel or Elizabeth (c.1525-1583), Margaret, and Mary. Later, Wolsey helped the Leghs in a property dispute with Sir John Stanley, natural son of the Bishop of Ely. He imprisoned Stanley until he gave up the contested lease. After Legh’s death, Joan married George Paulet, brother of the marquis of Winchester.

CATHERINE LASKI (d.1558+) (maiden name unknown)
Catherine or Katherina Laski was probably an Englishwoman. She was living in London in 1553 when she married John Laski or à Lasco (1499-January 8,1560), a Polish-born reformer, the former archdeacon of Warsaw, as his second wife. Laski had been invited to England in 1548 by Thomas Cranmer for discussions of Protestant union at Lambeth. He became superintendent of the Strangers’ Church of London when it was incorporated in July 1550, combining the Dutch church and the French/Walloon church. It also had a small Italian congregation. Toward the end of 1552, both Laski and his first wife caught the sweating sickness. He married Catherine a few months after her death in order to have someone to take care of his children. Together they had five more children, including Samuel. With the death of Edward VI, England became dangerous for reformers. The family went first to Denmark, then Emden, then Frankfurt, and finally settled in Poland in 1556. Laski was secretary to the king and worked on translating the bible into Polish. He died in Pinczow, leaving his family in poverty. The local nobility gave them a gift of 289 gulden, but in 1564 Catherine wrote to Duke Albrecht of East Prussia to request further financial support. Laski’s entry in the Oxford DNB reports that the family converted to Roman Catholicism before disappearing from the historical record.

Mary Lassells was the daughter of Richard Lascelles of Stourton and Gaytford, Nottinghamshire (d.1520) and Dorothy Sandford. She was a nurse to the children of Lord William Howard and his first wife, Katherine Broughton. When Lady Howard died, on April 23, 1535, Mary entered the service of Lord William’s mother, Agnes, dowager duchess of Norfolk, as a chamberer. Catherine Howard, the duchess’s step-granddaughter, was living with her and Mary was in a position to observe Catherine’s behavior and that of the other young women in the household. She became alarmed by the attention paid Catherine by a music tutor named Henry Manox and took it upon herself to warn Manox that Catherine’s relatives would “undo” him if they found out. Manox told her to mind her own business and boasted that Catherine had promised him her maidenhead. Mary was still in the duchess’s household when Catherine grew tired of Manox and began an affair with Francis Dereham. Catherine ordered Mary to steal the key to the maidens’ chamber so that she could let him in. Another of the duchess’s servants, Alice Wilkes, told Mary that Dereham spent his nights in Catherine’s bed. By the time Catherine married King Henry VIII, Mary was the wife of John Hall and living in Sussex. When her brother, John Lassells, suggested that she use her old acquaintance with Catherine to obtain a post at court, Mary refused, telling him that Catherine was “light, both in living and conditions.” When she provided further details, Lassells, a dedicated reformer, felt compelled to repeat what she had said to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer shared the information with Lord Audley and Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford. The earl of Southampton was sent to Sussex to collect Mary’s testimony, with the end result that Queen Catherine was arrested, charged with adultery, and eventually executed. Unlike others who knew about Catherine’s past, Mary Lassells did not spend any time in prison. Because she had brought the matter to light, the king intervened directly and pardoned her on December 8, 1541. Her brother fared less well. Five years later his zeal for reform led to his execution. He was burnt at the stake for heresy.


EDITH LATIMER (c.1450-1518)
Edith Latimer was the daughter of Sir Nicholas Latimer of Buckland Manor, Duntish, Dorset (c.1430-1505) and Joanna Hody. She married John Greene of Stotfold, Bedfordshire (d. before 1483). Their children were Cecily (d. before 1522) and Elizabeth (d. before 1512). Edith married Sir John Mordaunt of Turvey, Bedfordshire (December 30, 1465-September 11, 1504). Their children were John, 1st baron Mordaunt (1490-August 18, 1562), Robert, William, and Joan. Her third husband was Sir John Carew. Portrait: effigy in All Saints Church, Turvey, Bedfordshire.


Anne Launcelyn was the fourth caughter and co-heiress of John Launcelyn of Bedfordshire (d.c.1505). She married Godfrey Oxenbrigge or Oxenbridge, later bailiff of Winchelsea. In 1491, she was appointed wet nurse to the infant Henry Tudor (later Henry VIII). To qualify, she must recently have had a child of her own, since her job was to breastfeed the royal baby. She lived primarily at Eltham, where the royal nursery was located. The downside of her job, as detailed by Mary Louise Bruce in The Making of Henry VIII, was that she was required to abstain from sex and was held responsible for any ill-health the baby suffered. If he had colic, she was purged. If her milk supply was inadequate, she had to eat stewed udders of goats or sheep or powdered earthworms, since those cures were supposed to produce more milk. Bruce further lists the qualities believed by physicians of the time to be necessary in a wet nurse: “rosy cheeks, a white skin, thick reddish hair, a fleshy body and a hopeful, brave, amorous disposition . . . a thick neck, broad breasts and be aged about twenty-five, be of a respectable status if not actually a gentlewoman, and without vice.” Bruce suggests that Anne remained in the household until Henry was seven and may later have been one of Catherine of Aragon’s chamberwomen. In 1505, she was mentioned in a lawsuit over her father’s estate. Her second husband was Walter Luke (d.1544), Justice of Common Pleas. They had one son, Nicholas (1505-1563). On July 3, 1515, Anne received two annuities of £20.


Elizabeth Law was the daughter of John Law. She married Alexander Ray of Cambridge (d.1592). They had one son who predeceased his parents. Ray was a mercer and draper living in St. Mary’s parish in one of the largest houses in Cambridge. He was lord mayor in 1550-51 and again in 1566-67. In 1564, during the queen’s visit to Cambridge, the 4th duke of Norfolk was housed in the Law house. In 1572, Elizabeth and her husband jointly purchased Paul’s Inn in St. Michael’s parish. Later they acquired a forty year lease in her name on the manor (or grange) of Saffron Walden. There followed at least two lawsuits in the court of requests over this property. Their outcome is unknown but as Ray’s widow Elizabeth continued to live at Saffron Walden until her death.

ANNE LAWRE (d.1610)
Anne Lawre married John Calwoodley, a leading gentleman of Padstow and lord of the manor of Trelother (d. before 1606). Their children were Nicholas, William, John, Catherine, and Honor. In 1592, it was alleged that she took an ax to the mayor’s new pew.

Alice Lawrence was prioress of Kingston St. Michael, Wiltshire. The house was controlled by the Bishops of Salisbury, which did not please the nuns. In 1490, Alice hired a Franciscan to forge a papal bull. It was addressed to the Abbot of Glastonbury and transferred rights to the priory to him. When the forgery was exposed, Alice was forced to resign, although she remained at Kingston St. Michael. She was one of nine nuns living there in 1493 under her successor, Katharine Moleyns (d.1506), who had been a nun at Shaftesbury before her appointment as prioress.


AGNES LAWSON (c.1493-1567)
Agnes Lawson was the daughter of William Lawson (c.1480-June 19, 1518) and a daughter of Sir Richard Horsley of Thernham. She was one of four sisters, two of whom became Benedictine nuns. Joan Lawson (d.c.1557) was prioress of Neasham Abbey. Agnes was appointed prioress of St. Bartholomew’s, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in about 1523, succeeding Joan Baxster. The appointment was declared invalid by the Bishop of Durham because it infringed upon his rights, but she was reinstated by a new and “proper” election “in consequence of her personal worth” and in spite of the fact that she was not quite thirty, the age that was the usual minimum for a position of leadership. St. Bartholomew’s was preserved in 1537 but suppressed on January 3, 1540. Agnes received a relatively small pension, only £6, but she must have had other income. She kept a large house in Gateshead, Newcastle, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and her own chaplain. She died at Gateshead and was buried in the parish church.



ANNE LEA (c.1568-1605+) (maiden name unknown)
In 1596, William Wayte brought suit against William Shakespeare, Francis Langley, Dorothy Soer (wife of John), and Anne Lee for threatening him with death. Leslie Hotson in his Shakespeare vs. Swallow, suggests three possible candidates to be this Anne Lee. The most likely is the wife of a Southwark brewer, John Lea of St. Olave’s. Anne Lea had a connection to the Brooke family, who also had legal dealings with William Wayte and with his stepfather, William Gardiner. She gave a deposition on their behalf in 1602. She appeared yet again as a witness in a suit between William Gardiner the younger and his brother Thomas in 1605.


ELIZABETH LEAKE (1499-c.1570)
Elizabeth Leake was the daughter of Thomas Leake of Hasland (1458-1523) and Margaret Fox. She married John Hardwick (d. January 29, 1528). Their children were Mary, Jane, James (1526-1581), Elizabeth (1527-February 13, 1608), and Alice. Eighteen months after her husband’s death, the Court of Wards took his estate, which included Hardwick Hall, and left the family with no financial support. Elizabeth married Ralph Leche of Chatsworth (d.1550). Their children were Elizabeth (d. January 1601), Jane, and Margaret. He was imprisoned in the Fleet for debt from 1538 to 1544. During that time, the family lived at Hardwick Hall, probably renting it from the Court of Wards. Elizabeth’s daughter, Bess of Hardwick, restored the family’s fortunes and rebuilt Hardwick Hall.

Marcella Leake was the daughter of Thomas Leake of Hasland (1458-1523) and Margaret Fox. She married a man named Linacre (Linaker/Lenecker/Lynacre). She lived with her niece, Bess of Hardwick, from the mid-1540s into the 1570s, acting as companion and housekeeper.

ELIZABETH LECHE (d. January 1601)
Elizabeth Leche was the daughter of Ralph Leche or Leech of Chatsworth. Derbyshire (d.1550) and Elizabeth Leake (1499-c.1570). Elizabeth was the half sister of Bess of Hardwick and was living with her in London in 1558, before her marriage to Anthony Wingfield of Sibton, Suffolk (c.1520-April 3, 1593), a gentleman usher to Queen Elizabeth. He had three daughters by his first wife (Katherine Blennerhassett, who d.1558), Ursula (1550-1628), Margaret, and Elizabeth. He does not seem to have had any children with Elizabeth Leche. Elizabeth was a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and may have been at court as early as 1559. Letters sent from there to her half sister between 1568 and 1585 are extant, as are letters written to her by her husband in 1575, when she was absent from court. In 1598-1600, and possibly earlier, Mistress Wingfield was mother of maids. Her second husband was George Pollard of Tetbury, Gloucestershire. “Mrs. Wingfield, wife of Pollard” was buried January 6, 1601 in St. James, Clerkenwell (London).


JANE LECHE (c.1533-1604+)
Jane Leche was the second daughter of Ralph Leche or Leech of Chatsworth. Derbyshire (d.1550) and Elizabeth Leake (1499-c.1570) and half sister of Bess of Hardwick, with whom she was very close. In 1538-44, her father was in Fleet prison for debt. In 1548, after Bess married Sir William Cavendish, Jane joined her household (paid £3 a year) and remained one of Bess’s waiting gentlewomen into the next century. Jane was the one left in charge of the Cavendish children at Northaw, Hertfordshire in 1549 when Bess and Sir William returned to London. At some point before 1552, she married Thomas Kniveton of Mercaston, Derbyshire (d.1591). Their children were Mary, Elizabeth, George, St. Loe, William, Margaret, and Anne. In November of 1552, Lady Cavendish wrote from London to admonish her servants at Chatsworth, where Jane had again been left in charge of the Cavendish children, for their behavior toward Jane. They had denied her unspecified things that were “needful.” The letter reads, in part: “I wolde be lothe to have any stranger so yoused yn my howse and then assure your selfe I cane not lyke ytt to have my syster so yousede.” Mary S. Lovell, in her biography of Bess, suggests that Jane may have just given birth, since there is mention of a midwife and Bess also refers to Jane “in the case as she has been.” According to another of Bess’s biographers, David N. Durant, it was Jane who ran the estate at Chatsworth whenever Bess was at court during her marriage to Sir William St. Loe. Just after Kniveton’s death, she accompanied her half sister to court, where they stayed for eight weeks. Jane was granted administration of her husband’s estate on December 23, 1591. Her son George had joined Bess’s household by 1595 (by which time Bess was countess of Shrewsbury). A letter written by Jane’s son William to his mother at Hardwick in the summer of 1604 appears to be the last mention of her in existing records.

JOAN LECHE (d.1530)
Joan Leche was the daughter of Dennis Leche or Leech of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and his wife, Elizabeth. Between 1470 and 1475 she married a tailor, Thomas Bodley of Exeter and St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate, London (1460-1492). Their children were James (1488-1514), John (d. 1514) Elizabeth (1490-before 1530) and Denise or Dionyse (d.1560). He left an estate worth £1000. She probably continued to run his business. In about March 1495, she married Thomas Bradbury of St. Stephen Coleman Street, London and Braughing, Hertfordshire (d. January 10, 1510), a mercer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1509. He made his will January 9, 1510. After his death, Joan spent twenty years as a widow. She inherited a mansion in Catte Street and purchased a great deal more real estate and became very wealthy. She established a perpetual chantry for her husbands and herself in St. Stephen’s, Coleman Street. In 1511, she offered her house as a temporary location for Mercers’ Company’s St. Thomas Tide banquet. It was held there for the next two years. The house was later given to the Mercers. Joan endowed a school in Saffron Walden, where her brother was vicar from 1489-1521, and made many other charitable gifts. Her will was dated March 2, 1530 and proved April 26, 1530. More details of her life can be found in Anne F. Sutton’s “Lady Joan Bradbury (d.1530),” in Medieval London Widows, 1300-1500 (edited by Caroline M. Barron and Anne F. Sutton) and in Anne F. Sutton, The Mercery of London.











The same brief record of Elizabeth Legge, an Irishwoman, is found in Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain (1752) by George Ballard and The Female Worthies (1766) by S. Crowder. She was the daughter of Edward Legge of Gease Hill, King’s County, Ireland (d.1616) and Mary Walsh of Kildare. Her major accomplishment seems to have been living to the age of 105, although of her six brothers and six sisters, three (John, Margaret, and Anne) were also said to have surpassed the one-hundred-year mark. The accounts also state that she had a genius for languages and was well versed in Latin, English, French, Spanish, and Irish. Nothing written or translated by Elizabeth survived into the eighteenth century, although she was reputed to be a good poet. The story repeated in these volumes is that she spent too much time reading and writing by candlelight and thereby lost her sight. She was blind for many years before her death. She never married.

AGNES LEGH (d. between1566 and 1590)
Agnes Legh was the daughter and coheir of Sir John Legh or Leigh of Stockwell, Surrey (d.1566) and Elizabeth Darcy (d.1563+), from whom he was later divorced. Sir John was the half brother of Queen Catherine Howard. By 1544, Agnes had married Sir Thomas Paston of London (d. September 4, 1550), a gentleman of the privy chamber. Their children were were Henry (b.1545), Edward (1550-March 24, 1630), and Katherine (d.1605). Agnes’s father was in the Fleet in August 1547 and left the Tower of London for his daughter’s house in 1550. Paston left Agnes a life interest in all his lands. She was executor, but he named her father, her brother-in-law Clement Paston, and his cousin, Richard Heydon, as overseers. Agnes married Edward Fitzgerald (Fitzgarrett/Garrett) (January 17, 1528/9-1590), younger brother of the 11th earl of Kildare. Their seven children included Gerald (d. February 11, 1612), who succeeded his cousin as 14th earl, Dudley, Thomas, Elizabeth, Lettice, and Douglas. In 1566, Agnes’s wealth included property in Dorset, Somerset, Surrey, and elsewhere, and £50 worth of plate.

ANNE LEGH (1594-1677+)
Anne Legh was the daughter of Peter Legh of Lyme Cheshire and Bradley Hall, Lancashire (c.1563-February 17, 1636) and his first wife, Margaret Gerard (1570-July 3, 1603). On January 3, 1612/13 at Lyme she married Richard Bold of Bold, Lancashire (c.1588-1635). They had three sons and nine daughters, including Radcliffe (b.1615). Her second husband was James Dukenfield. Portrait: 1596, held by her great-grandmother, also named Margaret Gerard Legh, age 90.

CECILY LEGH (d.1542+)
Cecily Legh was the daughter of Piers or Peter Legh of Lyme, Cheshire (d. December 4, 1541) and Jane Gerard (d. May 5, 1510). In 1508, she married Sir Thomas Butler of Warrington, Lancashire (c.1494-September 15, 1550). Their children were Thomas (1513/14-1579), John, Margaret, Elizabeth, Jane, and Dorothy. By 1534, according to the History of Parliament entry for her son, the marriage had been dissolved and Butler had taken a new wife. Other sources say by 1542. None say why, but the marriage had been contracted to make peace between their two families and had failed to do so. One account says that, in 1542, Thomas Butler and his tenants in Burtonwood took action against Sir Peter Legh, Cecily’s grandfather, for obstructing Butler’s way from Bradley Acre to the church. This Sir Peter was probably Cecily’s brother (d.1589), since her grandfather died in 1527.



ISABEL LEGH (before 1510-February 16, 1572/3)
Isabel Legh, sometimes called Isabel Howard, was the daughter of Ralph Legh of Stockwell, in Lambeth, Surrey (c.1470-November 6, 1509) and Joyce Culpepper (c.1480-1527+) and the half sister of Queen Catherine Howard. The History of Parliament mistakenly identifies her as the daughter of Sir John Legh of Stockwell, Surrey, Ralph’s brother. She married Edward Baynton of Bromham, Wiltshire (1480-November 27, 1544) on January 18, 1531. Their children were Henry (b.1536), Francis (b.1537) and Anne (d.yng). Baynton was vice chamberlain to several of Henry VIII’s queens. The History of Parliament suggests Isabel served Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. By March 14, 1539, the Bayntons had replaced Lady Kingston in supervising the joint household of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. Gareth Russell’s Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII (2016) names Isabel as one of Anne of Cleves’s eight ladies of the privy chamber. She was also at court during the tenure of her half sister. When Queen Catherine was sent to Syon House in the autumn of 1541, she was allowed to choose her female attendants, on the condition that Isabel was one of them. Isabel accompanied Catherine to the Tower. She was later a lady of the household extraordinary to Kathryn Parr. In 1545, after Baynton’s death and that of his daughter, Bridget, Isabel married Bridget’s widower, Sir James Stumpe of Malmesbury and Bromham, Wiltshire (d. April 29, 1563). She brought Edington, Wiltshire to her second marriage, along with the household stuff at Edington, 1000 sheep, and all Baynton’s plate, jewels, corn, and cattle. Stumpe had to deal with lawsuits over this inheritance. In 1550, Isabel was granted the site and demesnes of Edington Abbey for a term of forty-one years. According to Charlotte Merton in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Isabel was part of Queen Mary’s household in 1554-7. Stumpe made his will on April 28, 1563, naming Isabel his executor and leaving her, in addition to rents totaling £100 for her jointure, an interest in Bromham, Wiltshire and Edington. Before September 30, 1572, Isabel married Thomas Stafford of Bromham, Wiltshire.

JANE LEGH (d. 1575)
Jane Legh was the daughter of Piers Legh of Lyme, Cheshire (d.1542) and Margaret Tyldesley. In about 1518, she married Sir Thomas Gerard of Bryn, the father of her new sister-in-law, Margaret Gerard. Their children were Thomas, Catherine, and a daughter who married Robert Charnocke. It was not a happy marriage. Gerard kept a concubine. In 1543, a document was drawn up whereby he promised to give her up and reconcile with Jane. The entire text can be found on pp. 35-6 of The House of Lyme by the Lady Newton (1917), available on Google Books. In 1546, Jane charged her husband with “incontinence, assault, and imprisonment.” They were divorced on November 27, 1550.






ALICE LEIGH (1579-January 22, 1669)
Alice Leigh was the daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (d.1625) and Catherine Spencer. She married Sir Robert Dudley (August 7, 1574-September 6, 1649), as his second wife. Five of their seven daughters—Alicia (September 1597-1649), Frances (d.1663), Anne (d.1663), Catherine (d.1675), and Douglas (d.1635+)—lived to adulthood. In July 1605, Dudley deserted his family to elope with his cousin, Elizabeth Southwell. There followed numerous disputes over his right to the property of his natural father, Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, as well as over Alice’s rights. In general, the Crown sympathized with Alice’s situation. A private act of Parliament in 1621 gave her the right to act as a femme sole. On May 23, 1644, Charles I granted her the title Duchess Dudley for life. She lived at Dudley House in St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Westminster and was buried at Stoneleigh. Portrait: there may still be one at Trentham Hall.


ANNE LEIGH (d.1557)
Anne Leigh was the daughter of Sir John Leigh (d.1522) and Agnes Hackett. Either she of her half sister, Joan Fry, was a lady-in-waiting to Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort. In 1512, Anne married Sir James Worsley of Appuldurcombe (d.1538), who had started his court career as a page to Prince Arthur. They had two sons, Richard (d.1565) and John (d.1580). In 1539, Henry VIII paid a visit to the Worsleys at Appuldurcombe Manor, Isle of Wight. Anne turned the chapel her father had founded at Gadshill into a free school and bought land worth twenty marks to fund it. Portrait: effigy in All Saint’s Church, Godshill, Isle of Wight.


Catherine Leigh was the daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Leigh (Lee/Legh) of London, Hogston, Middlesex, and St. Oswalds, Yorkshire (d. November 24, 1545) and Joan Cotton (d. January 1557). Her father was active in the dissolution of the monasteries and acquired leases on a number of monastic properties, making his London home in part of the former Halliwell Priory in Shoreditch. In his will, written on March 9, 1544, he assigned a third of his lands to the Crown for Catherine’s wardship. The will was proved December 23, 1545. By October 1550, Catherine’s mother married Sir Thomas Chaloner (1521-65). Catherine became Chaloner’s ward and he arranged her marriage to James Blount, 6th baron Mountjoy (c.1533-October 20, 1581). They were married May 17, 1558. Their children were William (1561-June 27, 1594) and Charles (1563-April 3, 1606) and possibly Ann and Edward, but not Christopher (x.1601). Mountjoy was fascinated by alchemy and spend his fortune pursuing this interest. The biography of the earl of Huntingdon by Claire Cross recounts a small segment of the family’s financial difficulties. Mountjoy owned two thirds of the manor of Canford in Dorset. Copperas ore was discovered there and there was a possibility of producing alum (both used in dyeing). Mining operations began in 1564, but in 1567, Mountjoy and Catherine mortgaged their part of Canford to John Browne, Catherine’s uncle. In 1568, Mountjoy assigned a mortgage on the manor of Puddletown, Dorset and leased his alum and copperas workings to George Carleton (another of Catherine’s kinsman), and John Hastings. In 1570, the earl of Huntingdon bought Puddletown for £2500 and bought the title to the manor at Canford from Browne for £2100. Catherine allegedly welcomed this transaction as relief from the mass of debt her husband had accumulated. Some £30,000 in bonds and statutes had been charged by Mountjoy on the property. In 1572, Sir Thomas Smith and his associates leased a mining house at Poole from Lady Mountjoy as part of a scheme to try to make copper from iron. She hoped to salvage something for her sons, but Mountjoy continued raising mortgages on the mines. As long as Catherine lived, Huntingdon refrained from asserting control over his purchases, but after her death he laid claim to them. Her sons, William and Charles, started legal proceedings against him, even though their father was still living. The litigation dragged on for another six years.

Catherine Leigh/Katherine Lee/Elizabeth Leigh was the daughter of Edward Leigh of Rushall, Staffordshire (c.1540-November 6, 1617) and Anne Fermor. She was a maid of honor by November 1588. On October 16, 1591, she was sent to the Tower of London after giving birth to a daughter at court, The father was Sir Francis Darcy of Isleworth, Middlesex (c.1550-November 29, 1641). Darcy claimed they were secretly married but that failed to mollify the queen. According to Marion Colthorpe, (http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/The_Elizabethan_Court_Day_by_Day), they were married in the Tower on August 1, 1592. According the the History of Parliament, Catherine was reunited with her husband at Isleworth. They had fifteen children, including Anne and Lettice. Portrait: effigy at Isleworth.




WINIFRED LEIGH (c.1538-1621)
Winifred Leigh was the illegitimate daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (1504-November 17, 1571), a stapler and mercer who was Lord Mayor of London in 1558-9. Although most online genealogies add her to the list of children Leigh had with his wife, Alice Baker (c.1525-1600 or 1603), a 1608 inquisition post mortem identifies Winifred as the “natural sister of Sir Thomas Leigh,” Leigh’s son and and heir. Sh married Sir George Bond (c.1534-March 4, 1592), a haberdasher from a Buckland, Somerset family who was Lord Mayor of London in 1587. Online sources say their marriage to place either February 12, 1561 in Middlesex or June 23, 1569 in Walton at Stone, Hertfordshire. The first date seems more likely. Their children were Rose (d. July 31, 1648) and Ann (d.1628). In February 1596, at St. Jude’s, Old Jewry, London, Winifred married John Colles of Barton Grange, Somerset (c.1541-February 18,1608) as his second wife. They had three sons and two daughters, including George (d.c.1633) and Humphrey (d.1633+). His will forbade mourning gowns at his funeral, an indication that the family had Puritan leanings.

ANNE LEIGHTON (1591-September 19, 1628)
Anne Leighton was the daughter of Sir Thomas Leighton or Layton of Feckenham, Worcestershire (1535-February 28, 1609/10) and Elizabeth Knollys (June 15, 1549-c.1605). She was christened October 14, 1591 at the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, Hanbury, Worcestershire. The family spent winters on the island of Guernsey, where Leighton was governor. In 1598, Leighton acquired the wardship of John St. John (1585-1648) and the lease of his lands with the idea of marrying him to Anne. On July 9, 1605, they married in St. John’s Church, Hackney. Their thirteen were Oliver, John (d.1643), William (1617-1642/3), Edward (d.1645), Thomas, Francis, Walter (1622-1708), Henry, Katherine, Anne, Jane, Eleanor, Barbara, and Lucy. They shared their home in Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire with St. John’s six sisters. He was created a baronet by King James in 1611. The entry for Anne’s father in the Oxford DNB confuses her with her sister Elizabeth and further errs by stating that Walter St. John, grandson of Sir Thomas Leighton and son of Elizabeth by John St. John, drowned on the island of Herm in 1597. Anne and John St. John’s son named Walter lived into the next century. The inscription on Anne’s tomb erroneously gives her date of death as 1638 but says she died at thirty-seven, “long worn down by the painful agonies of her last confinement and at last overcome.” Portraits: by unknown artist; St. John Polyptych in St. Mary’s Church; effigy holding a child.

Elizabeth Leighton was the daughter of John Leighton of London. She fell in love with a gentleman, Thomas Lucas of St. John’s, Colchester (c.1573-1625) when she was sixteen and he was twenty-four. In 1597, he fought a duel with Sir William Brooke, brother of Lord Cobham, killed Brooke, was outlawed, and had to flee abroad. In the summer of 1597, Elizabeth bore his son, Thomas (d.1649). Lucas was pardoned by King James in July 1603 and returned to England, where he married Elizabeth in August 1604. From that point on they led a conventional and prosperous life. Their other children were John (b. October 23, 1606), Mary, Elizabeth, Charles (b.1613), Anne, Catherine, and Margaret (b.1623).

ELIZABETH LEIGHTON (d. January 12, 1633)
Elizabeth Leighton was the daughter of Sir Thomas Leighton or Layton of Feckenham, Worcestershire (1535-February 38, 1609/10) and Elizabeth Knollys (June 15, 1549-c.1605). She was at court toward the end of the reign of Elizabeth Tudor. She married Sherrington Talbot of Salwarpe, Worchestershire (d.c.1642). Their children were Sherrington (c.1611-1677) and Gilbert. The entry for her father in the Oxford DNB confuses Elizabeth with her sister, Anne (d.1628), who married John St. John.



Katherine Leighton was the daughter of John Leighton of Wattlesborough, Shropshire. She married Richard Wigmore (d. before July 14, 1553). They had two children, Thomas and William. He left her his share in the Muscovy Company, making her one of only two women who, in 1553, invested in a venture to look for a northeast passage to the the riches of the far east. Elizabeth Gale was the other. Wigmore also left Katherine a house in Mark Lane and two tenements. Katherine maintained her investment in the Muscovy Company jointly with her second husband, Edmund or Edward Lomner or Lumner of Mannington, Norfolk and London (d. August 1558). Their children were Edmund or Edward (1555-before 29 September 1588) and William (d. before September 1588). When Lomner died, Katherine inherited 2200 acres in Norfolk, with the reversion to their eldest son. In 1558, she held her first court for Burgolions Manor in Reepham. Her third husband was John Dodge of Mannington, Norfolk. Their children were John, Anne (1567-January 28, 1642), and Mary. Katherine disinherited all her children except Anne, wife of Sir Christopher Heydon, declaring that they would not have a pennyworth of her goods. Anne proved her mother’s will on December 2, 1598.




Elizabeth Lenton was probably the daughter of John Lenton. In about 1553, she married John Danet (Dannet/Dannatt/Dannett). In Febuary 1554, Queen Mary granted Elizabeth the possessions of Lord Thomas Grey, a traitor. These included £200, two jeweled rings (one of gold with a ruby), a suit of mail, and at least one horse. As a result of this grant, between 1554 and 1562, Elizabeth and her husband were involved in a series of court cases against Richard Mytton, who claimed the right to Grey’s possessions for himself because he had been the one to capture him.





ANNE LEVENS (d.1578+)
According to Duncan Salkeld’s Shakespeare among the Courtesans and his essay “Alien Desires: Travellers and Sexuality in Early Modern England,” by, in Borders and Travellers in Early Modern Europe, edited by Thomas Betteridge, Anne Levens probably had the highest earnings of any English prostitute in Elizabethan London. She arrived in the city around 1573. According to her testimony in hearings at Bridewell in December 1576, she specialized in foreigners. Her first customer was one Syprian Velotell. Later a Frenchman named Mandreant paid her 5s. She also serviced Alexander Palavasye (Alessandri Palavicino, the most powerful Italian importer in London in 1575-6, with a monopoly on importing alum) and Henry Cortell of the Steelyard (he gave her a gold chain and twenty nobles), and through these dealings she became wealthy enough to loan £10 to Mathias Vanbargen of the Steelyard. Anne moved from place to place to ply her trade, sometimes at the house of one Blount in St. Katherine’s, a place that specialized in catering to Italians and charged prostitutes £1 8s/week for board and lodging, and sometimes at Mrs. Clarke’s house, or the house of Gilbert Earl, or that of Black Luce. She named seventeen in all. She was released from Bridewell December 10, 1578 upon sureties and on the condition that she leave London within three days.



Margaret Leventhorpe was the daughter of John Leventhorpe and Elizabeth Brandon and the niece of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. She married Robert Yaxley (c.1459-1540), a physician. They had no children, but Margaret was godmother to several girls, including one she calls Molle Sidney in her will. Two other Margarets were also beneficiaries, Margaret Brograve, who was her sister Catherine’s daughter, and Margaret Briggs, who was the daughter of another physician, Peter Vernando (or Fernandez). This will is dated October 24, 1540, two days after the date her husband made his will, and in it she states she is a widow. Her will was proved December 4, 1540.









ANNE LEWIS (d. before 1620)
On November 14, 1594, Anne Lewis married Benjamin Jonson in the church of St. Magnus-the-Martyr in London. This appears to be Ben Jonson (1572-August 1637) the poet and playwright. Their chilldren were Mary (d. November 1593 at six months), Benjamin (1596-1603), and another Benjamin (1608-1635). The family lived in Blackfriars, but Ben was rarely with them. In February 1603, John Manningham wrote in his diary that Jonson “married a wife who was a shrew yet honest.” He was repeating gossip passed on to him by his friend, Thomas Overbury, who also knew Jonson. This same characterization of Anne appears in the writings of William Drummond, whose “conversations” with Jonson late in 1618 were published in 1711. Drummond also reported that Jonson said he did not bed with his wife during the five years he was living with Lord Aubigny. It was during this period, on January 5 and 6, 1606, that both Jonson and his wife were summoned to appear in London Consistory Court on a charge of recusancy because they attended services at St. Anne in Blackfriars but refused to take communion. They were instructed to return to court in late April to answer the charges.





Eleanor Lewknor was the daughter of Edward Lewknor of Kingson Buci, Sussex (c.1465-December 22, 1522) and Sibella Ellingham. By 1540, she married Sir William Wroughton of Broad Hinton, Wiltshire (1509/10-September 4, 1559) as his second wife. Their children were Thomas (c.1540-June 4, 1597), George, William, James, Dorothy (c.1548-1616), Anne, and one other daughter. According to Wroughton’s entry in the History of Parliament, Eleanor was part of Anne of Cleves’s household, but there is no Lady Wroughton listed on the list of the queen’s ladies. Wroughton made his will on September 10, 1558 and named Eleanor his executor. He left her all his lands in Broad Hinton, Hinton Columbine, Medbourne, and Woodhill, Wiltshire for life. She was to share his plate and household goods with their eldest son Thomas and to have £100 and the residue. Eleanor’s second husband was Sir Giles Poole of Sapperton, Gloucestershire (c.1510-February 24, 1588/9).

JANE LEWKNOR (c.1503-1547)
Jane Lewknor was the daughter of Sir Roger Lewknor of Trotton, Dedisham and Bodiam, Sussex (1465-1543) and his first wife, Eleanor Touchet (daughter of John Touchet/Tuchet, 6th baron Audley). She married Christopher Pickering of Killington, Westmorland (d. September 7, 1516). They had a daughter, Anne (1514-1582). Her second husband was Arthur Pole (c.1502-1535), son of Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury. Their children were Henry, Mary, and Margaret. After Arthur’s death, his mother and brother (Lord Montagu) forced Jane to enter a nunnery so that they would not lose control of her fortune. As a novice, however, she was not bound to remain. She was told by a priest that she could leave at her pleasure. Instead of a nun’s habit, she wore “a black frock and white hood, like a mourner” and, after taking advice from her bishop, she left the nunnery. In 1539, she married Sir William Barentyne of Little Haseley, Oxfordshire (December 31, 1481-November 17, 1549). Their children were Drew, Charles, and Margaret. When the Act of the Six Articles made it a felony for any person who had taken a vow of chastity to marry, Sir Henry Knyvett claimed Jane’s marriage to Barentyne was invalid because of her time in the nunnery. Knyvett was the second husband of Jane’s daughter, Anne Pickering, and hoped in this way to assure that Anne would inherit her grandfather’s fortune. On December 15, 1540, a commission declared Jane’s third marriage invalid, but a decision in Chancery declared the Barentyne children legitimate. In 1543/4, an act of Parliament confirmed this decision and restored Jane’s marriage on the grounds that Arthur Pole’s brother, Lord Montagu, had forced Jane to take her vows. A separate case in the Star Chamber, pitted Jane against Anne, who claimed that her mother was afraid of Barentyne and that she had sent a message to Anne saying she was “very evill kepte” and surrounded by servants who kept “very Dishonest Rule.” According to a summary in the unpublished PhD dissertation Image and Reality: the Lives of Aristocratic Women in Early Tudor England  by Jennifer Ann Rowley-Williams, the trouble began when Anne traveled to Bramley, near Shalford in Surrey, to visit her mother. She was accompanied by her son-in-law, Francis Kelway, and a friend, Lady Rogers. Finding the outer door locked, Anne ordered her servant to force it open. Then, according to Anne’s account, she went in, saw her mother, asked for her blessing, and then asked her to send for one of her waiting women, Philippa Turke, so that Anne might rebuke her for the “many obprobriouse words” Philippa had used against her. Kelway found Philippa in hiding and brought her to the other women, whereupon Anne slapped Philippa. Jane’s account of the incident differs considerably. She claimed that Anne neglected her and that Anne and her party broke down seven doors in succession to get in when they came to Bramley and chased Jane and her servants from room to room, terrorizing them. Rather than simply slapping Philippa, Anne beat her severely while two servants held her down. After witnessing that, Jane and her servants were in fear for their lives. According to Magna Carta Ancestry, Jane was still living in 1554. Because her father had remarried and had more daughters after he settled his property on Jane and her children, legal wrangling over the Lewknor estate continued after her death, and there was still debate over her sons’ legitimacy as late as 1563.

ELIZABETH LEYBURNE (1536-September 4, 1567)
Elizabeth Leyburne was the daughter of James Leyburne of Cunswick, Westmorland and Helen Preston (d.1567+). In 1555, she married Thomas Dacre, 4th baron Dacre of the North (c.1526-July 25, 1566). Their children were Anne (March 1, 1557-April 13, 1630), George (1560-May 17, 1569), Mary (1563-1576), and Elizabeth (1565-1639). On January 29, 1567, Elizabeth secretly married Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk (March 10, 1538-x. June 2, 1572) at her mother’s house in London. She died in childbed the following September, along with her child. In November 1567, Norfolk was granted the wardships of her children. Her three daughters were betrothed to his three sons. Portrait: c.1560, attributed to Hans Eworth and called the Duchess of Norfolk?




DIONYSIA LILY (d. 1532+)
Dionysia Lily was one of the fifteen children of William Lily (1468-December 20, 1522), Greek scholar, grammarian, and High Master of St. Paul’s School, and his wife, Agnes (d. August 11, 1517). She married John Rightwise or Ritwise (d.1532), another grammarian, who succeeded his father-in-law in the mastership of the school. Rightwise is sometimes credited with writing the play “Tragedy of Dido,” which was acted at Greenwich by the boys of St. Paul’s School on November 10, 1527 for Cardinal Wolsey and the King. The suggestion has been made, however, that Dionysia was the true author. In 1531, Rightwise was removed from the High Mastership of St. Paul’s for neglect of duty. After his death, Dionysia married James Jacob (d.1560). They had one son, Polydore.


Joan, whose maiden name appears, from her will, to have been Lincoln, married Geoffrey Thurescrosse or Threscrosse (d.1522), a merchant who was sheriff of Kingston on Hull in 1517. They had one child, a son named Robert, who predeceased them. Geoffrey made his will on October 14, 1520 and it was proved November 25, 1522. Although this document, reprinted in Testamenta Eboracensia, calls his wife “Jenet,” Joan’s will later in that same volume, written on September 17, 1523 and proved January 22, 1523/4, makes it clear that she was Geoffrey’s widow. Joan later became a vowess. In her will, she left bedding to the Trinity poorhouse in Kingston on Hull, a coverlet and four cushions to her parish church for use at marriage and churching ceremonies, and money to St. James’s church in Grimsby and to St. Leonard’s nunnery in Grimsby. She also left bequests to numerous godchildren and to her brother’s daughter, Margaret Lincoln, to her kinsman, William Lincoln the younger, and to every one of William’s children dwelling in Shatow.

ISABEL LINDLEY (c.1499-1550/1)
Isabel Lindley was the daughter and heir of Thomas Lindley of Leathley in Lindley (near Otley), Yorkshire (d.1524). She married Brian Palmes of Ashwell (c.1496-October 19, 1528), a lawyer in the service of the earl of Northumberland. His will, dated October 2, 1528 and proved April 14, 1529, mentions his daughters Maud (c.1525-1575?) and Jane (d.1550+) and his sons Thomas (d.1550+) and Francis (c.1521-1567), all of whom were minors when he died. He named Isabel one of his executors. In 1529, she married Sir Thomas Johnson (d.c.1545), another Northumberland retainer. Their children were Henry (d.1550+), Arthur (d.1550+), Margaret (d.1550+), and Frances (d.1550+). The earl granted them the manor of Leathley and an annuity of £24, plus an outright gift of £200 and the wardship of Francis Palmes. Johnson was later appointed steward and master forester of Spofforth for the earl. In 1535 Northumberland granted him the manors of Walton Head and Arrow. Johnson also acquired manors in Somerset. His will, made on September 26, 1542 and proved January 23, 1545/6, left Leathley, Walton Head and Arrow upon the Wolde to Isabel for her life, along with other bequests and she was named as one of the executors. Her will, made on April 1, 1550 and proved April 15, 1551, indicates that all her children were still living. She willed £10 to each of them and asked that her body be buried at Otley. The two younger girls were still unmarried. She left her oldest son, Francis Palmes, “one flower of gold sett with diamondes and a pare of beades of stones and goldsmyth warke, in consideracon of a crosse and other suche jewels as was my late husbandes, Brian Palmes, and his fador, decessed, and put awaye by my late husband Sir Thomas Johnson, deceased.”


Elizabeth Lisle was one of Catherine of Aragon’s chamberers. She received numerous gifts from the queen. In June 1511, she was given a black damask gown edged with crimson velvet and valued at £5 9s. 4d. On October 18, 1511, she received a gown of damask furred with miniver pure and edged with lettice. In August 1514, she was listed as one of the queen’s gentlewomen and received a grant of land for life at the queen’s request. And on December 29, 1516, she was given a black damask gown furred with mink and valued at £9 8s.





Isabel Lister was the daughter of Richard Lister or Lyster of Rowton, Shropshire (d.1505+) and Agnes Fitzherbert. Some accounts give her name as Mabel. She married Thomas Bromley of Eyton-upon-Severn, Wroxeter, and Shrewsbury, Shropshire (d. May 15, 1555), later chief justice of the king’s bench, as his second wife. They had one child, Margaret (1521-August 10, 1598). Portrait: effigy on tomb in Wroxeter.





ELIZABETH LITTLETON (1546-June 4,1594)
Elizabeth Littleton was the daughter of Sir John Littleton of Frankley, Worcestershire (c.1523-February 15, 1590) and Bridget Pakington. In late 1564, she married Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire (1546/7-November 16, 1596). They had twelve children in sixteen years, including Bridget (1566-July 16, 1629), Margaret (c.1570-August 17, 1597), Frances (1572-1665), a son (1573-1580), Dorothy (1574-December 5, 1632), Abigail (1576-October 12, 1654), and Winifred (b.1578). Littleton  paid a dowry of £1500 and the cost of her clothing, plus marriage charges and room and board at his house at Frankley with six persons to attend them for three years. Her jointure was to be one third of the Willoughby estate, excluding profits from coal mines, but this was renegotiated several times during the marriage. In the 1570s, the household at Wollaton consisted of 45-50 men but only a handful of women. In 1572, these were two gentlewomen, Elizabeth Mering and Marjory Garner, two nurses for the children, Mary the fool, and two other women. Elizabeth was almost constantly ill and made frequent trips to London to consult doctors. Relations between husband and wife were antagonistic and apparently made worse by the interference of servants. At one point Sir Francis confined Elizabeth to certain rooms in the house and took away all her rights in the care of their children. By December 1579, her father was writing to her husband to arrange a separate allowance for her. According to the Oxford DNB, Elizabeth wrote to her husband, offering to reconcile in hope of a male heir, but this did not happen. In 1582, the queen formalized their separation and ordered Willoughby to pay £200 per annum for Elizabeth’s maintenance. Sir Francis’s complaints against his wife included “her disorderly life,” keeping company he disliked, and “reviling him to his face.” He also suspected her of adultery. Meanwhile, in 1585, he fathered a son born out of wedlock. During during the next few years, Elizabeth wrote letters to her huband, begging him to take her back, in spite of his treatment of her. According to the DNB, they had reconciled by the time she died. Biography: Alice T. Friedman’s House and Household in Elizabethan England: Wollaton Hall and the Willoughby Family. Portrait: painting attributed to George Gower, 1573.

MARY LITTLETON (1560-December 17, 1622)
Mary Littleton was the daughter of Sir Edward Littleton of Pillaton Hall, Staffordshire (1523-July 19, 1574) and Alice Cokayne or Cockaine (1535-1602). She married Walter Vernon of Houndhill, Staffordshire (1551-January 11, 1592/3). Their nine children included Thomas, Walter, Elizabeth, Grace, Mary, and Edward (December 14, 1584-1657). After seven years of widowhood, Mary married her first husband’s cousin, John Vernon of Sudbury, Derbyshire (d. July 8, 1600). They had no children. According to Charles J. Cox, ed, “The Rhymed Chronicle of John Harestaffe” (Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 1888, pp. 71-147), an account of events in rhyme written c.1615 and revised c.1645,  Mary and her second husband were the targets of several plots engineered by Dorothy Townshend (née Heveningham), the widow of Henry Vernon, and her second husband, Henry Townshend. The dispute centered on ownership of lands known as The Farm of Haselbache (Hazelbadge),in the Peak District of Derbyshire and went on for a number of years. It started before John Vernon died, when a lawsuit was filed against him by Henry Townshend, Dorothy Townshend, and others. At one point there was an attack on the house. At another, Mary was offered £3000 and a life interest in the property if she would agree to a settlement. She refused because this would defraud the others involved in the lawsuit. A large section of the poem is subtitled “Of the Troubles of Mrs. Mary Vernon/Wydowe after her husband’s decease, enseweth/in parte.” “Knowinge her debtes alreadie were not small,/For charges of her husband’s funerall./And for to further this their bad intent,/They had alreadie barr’d her of the rent”  She appealed to Sir Robert Cecil and went to court with her sister Margaret,wife of Sir John Repington of Amington, but the troubles dragged on, as does the poem. Mary erected a tomb in memory of her second husband, John Vernon. Her own tomb was the work of her son Edward and contains a lengthy inscription stating that she took over her second husband’s estates when they were left to her three surviving sons by her first marriage and “by her prudent endeavors” and “with great care and travel [travail?] and at her proper charges maintained their cause against their adversaries and brought the same to good effect to the great benefit of them all. Such was her charitie and vertuous mind she built a mannor house at Sudbury.” She “contributed largely to the maintenance of this church” and “having lived a virtuous matron 22 years in her later widowhood maintaining good hospitality to the daily relief of the poor she willingly and in godly manner exchanged this life for a better.” Portrait: effigy in All Saints, Sudbury, Derbyshire.




Dorothy Locke was the daughter of Sir William Locke or Lok of London (1480-August 24, 1550), a mercer who also served as an occasional agent for the Crown in France and Flanders, and his second wife, Katherine Cook (d. October 14, 1537). She married Otwell Hill of Rochdale, Lancashire and London (d.1543), a mercer and the bother of Richard Hill, also a mercer, who married Dorothy’s youngest sister, Elizabeth. In his will, Otwell left gold rings to his parents-in-law. By a license dated January 13, 1545, Dorothy married John Cosworth of London and Cosworth, Cornwall (d. December 1575). Their eight children included Edward (d.c.1640), Thomas (d.c.1590), and Michael (d.1590+), and one daughter. Five of them were still living in 1575. Cosworth retired from his business as a London mercer when he was appointed receiver general of the Duchy of Cornwall by Queen Mary. His will, dated August 1575 and proved March 5, 1576, left Dorothy £1000, an annuity of £120, the profits of his tin works, and two furnished rooms in his house in Cosworth. She was to be his executor if their son Thomas refused. If she remarried, she was to return £500 to the estate.

ELIZABETH LOCKE (August 3, 1535-c.1581)
Elizabeth Locke or Lok was the youngest daughter of William Locke or Lok (1480-August 24, 1550), a mercer who also served as an occasional agent for the Crown in France and Flanders, and his second wife, Katherine Cook (d. October 14, 1537). She married Richard Hill (c.1527-1568), a mercer who lived in Milk Street, London. They had thirteen children, including Katherine, Elizabeth, Margaret, Rowland, Otwell, Mary (1562-November 1655), and Anne. According to Mary Prior in “Reviled and crucified marriages: the position of Tudor bishops’ wives,” in Women in English Society 1500-1800 (edited by Mary Prior), Elizabeth was in exile in Antwerp with her sister Rose during the reign of Queen Mary. At the end of 1569 or the beginning of 1570, she married Nicholas Bullingham, bishop of Lincoln (1511?-1576). He became bishop of Worcester in 1571. Bullingham already had two sons by his first wife, Margaret Sutton (d.1566) and had a third son, John, with Elizabeth. Some, if not all, of his stepchildren lived with the family in Worcester from June 1571 until Bullingham died in May 1576.





ROSE LOCKE (December 26, 1526-November 21, 1613)
Rose Locke was the daughter of William Locke or Lok (1480-August 24, 1550), a mercer who also served as an occasional agent for the Crown in France and Flanders, and his second wife, Katherine Cook (d. October 14, 1537). On November 28, 1543, she married Anthony Hickman (d.1573). Their children were Mary (b.1547), William (c.1549-September 25, 1625), Henry (b.c.1550), Walter (c.1552-before February 1618), another Mary (b.1554), Anthony (c.1560-December 13, 1597), Eleazar (b.c.1562), and Matthew. During Mary Tudor’s reign, Rose’s husband and her brother Thomas were charged with heresy and imprisoned in the Fleet. When they were released, Anthony left England for Antwerp. Rose, who was pregnant, retired to Oxfordshire to give birth, after which she joined her husband abroad. She had another child while she lived in Antwerp. The Hickmans returned to England when Elizabeth Tudor became queen. Rose married Simon Throckmorton of Brampton, Huntingdonshire (1526?-March 27, 1585) as his second wife. They had no children. In 1610, she wrote her autobiography from the year 1534 to Queen Mary’s death in 1558. This still exists in manuscript. Biography: Lady Rose Hickman: Her Life and Family by Sue Allen (companion volume to her 2009 novel about Rose Locke); Oxford DNB entry under “Throckmorton [née Lok; other married name Hickman], Rose;” Elizabeth Norton’s The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women (includes portrait in private collection); Portrait: unknown artist or date.





ALICE LONDON (c.1490-March 25, 1558/9)
Alice London was the daughter and coheir (with her sister Margaret) of William London. In about 1510, she married Edmund Rokewood of Euston, Suffolk (1485-August 1524) as his second wife. According to Susan E. James in Women’s Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485-1603, they had seven sons, the youngest of whom was Brice (d.1570+), and three daughters. Rokewood left Alice Euston Hall for life. In 1525, she married Sir Thomas Bedingfield of Oxborough, Norfolk (c.1479-March 15,1538), as his second wife. They had no children. He named Alice his executor and coheir with his brother. Among other items, she gained lifetime control over all debts owed him, making her a very rich widow. She gained social status by her marriage to Thomas Borough or Burgh, 3rd baron Burgh of Gainsborough (1483- February 28, 1549/50), chamberlain to Queen Anne Boleyn. He had a large family by his first wife. He and Alice had a daughter, Dorothy. Upon his death, Alice gained control of Gainsborough and the manor of Doddington for her lifetime. Dorothy was to receive 500 marks upon her marriage, but she appears to have been either physically or mentally challenged, and no marriage was ever arranged for her. By the time Alice wrote her own will in 1558, one of her sons and her daughter Anne (wife of John Garneys) had died. She made particular provision for Dorothy, entrusting her care to a cousin, Sir John Sulyard, and for Brice, who inherited the lands and tenements Alice had purchased in Wrotton and Wroxham in Norfolk, together with a house in Euston that she’d bought from Edmund Freeman. Alice was buried in Lingfield, Surrey. Portrait: Susan E. James argues that the Holbein drawing, to which the inscription The Lady Borow was added at a  much later date, is Alice London.

Mrs. Margaret Baynham was a stapler who traded in wool, wine, and herring, shipping up to thirty large sacks of wool a year from Calais. She also kept a boarding house there and farmed 100 acres. She was a widow when she married Robert Baynham (d. 1536), who was mayor of Calais in 1535-6. Their children were Bartholomew and Anne (1523-1559). Letters from Mrs. Baynham to business contacts in England are quoted in Barbara Winchester’s Tudor Family Portrait. In 1545, she was still described as a “fair widow.” Mrs. Baynham had a sister, Elizabeth, who was married three times, first to John Bisley or Bysley, second to Henry Planckney (d. 1535), mayor of Calais in 1511, as his second wife, and third, on April 23, 1545, to Adam Copcott. Records show that Planckney’s wife was the sister of Dr. John London of Hambledon, Buckinghamshire (c.1486-1543), so it is probable that London was the maiden name of both Elizabeth and Margaret. Margaret left a will, proved January 12, 1558/9.

ELIZABETH LONG (c.1562-June 12, 1611)
Elizabeth Long was the daughter of Henry Long of Shengay, Cambridgeshire (March 31, 1544-April 15, 1573) and Dorothy Clarke or Clerk (d.1618). On February 13, 1585, she married William Russell, 1st baron Russell of Thornhaugh (c.1558-August 9, 1613). Their son was Francis Russell, 4th earl of Bedford (October 19, 1587-May 9, 1651). Portrait: full length at Woburn.



MARY LONG (c.1518-October 30, 1578)
Mary Long was the daughter of Simon Long or Longe of the Isle of Wight and Alice Huglett. She married Thomas Locke or Lok (February 8, 1514-November 9, 1556). Their children were William, Rowland, Matthew (c.1553-1599), John, Mary, and Anne. After her husband was arrested for heresy, her sister-in-law, Rose Hickman, blamed Mary for his death because she had kept him in England. By 1558, Mary married Dr. George Owen, one of the royal physicians (c.1499-October 18, 1558). Mary Owen may have been the Mrs. Owen living at Cumnor Place at the time of Amy Robsart’s death. She was a widow by then, and her stepson owned the property. Some accounts say that it was William Owen’s wife who was living there, although they disagree on her identity. The DNB gives her name as Anne Rawley. Other sources say that William married Ursula Fettiplace in 1558. At some point after 1558, Mary Long Locke Owen married Sir William Allen, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1572/3. Her son Matthew married his daughter Margaret (1560-August 25, 1624) on July 15, 1577.



MAUD LONGFORD (d. June 14, 1596)
Maud (Matilda/Magdalen) Longford was the daughter of Sir Ralph Longford of Longford, Derbyshire (d. September 23, 1544) and Dorothy FitzHerbert (d.1557). She married Sir George Vernon (1508-August 31, 1565) as his second wife and was the stepmother of Margaret and Dorothy Vernon. Maud was only a few years older than her stepdaughters and bears no resemblance to the cruel stepmother of some versions of the story of Dorothy’s elopement. Vernon’s will, dated August 18, 1565, left Maud a life interest in six Derbyshire manors and two in Staffordshire. She was also named one of his executors. According to her epitaph, Maud made a second marriage after Sir George’s death “by her own choice/Pleasing herself, who others pleased before.” She married Sir Francis Hastings (d.1610), a younger son of the 2nd earl of Huntingdon, in 1567 and gave up her life interest in Haddon Hall. Portrait: her effigy is on the Vernon tomb in All Saints Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire with her husband and his first wife, Margaret Talboys.




Elizabeth Lord was the daughter of Robert Lord or Lorde of Kendal House, Driffield, East Yorkshire. She was a nun at Wilberfoss, near York. The prioress there was Margaret Easingwold, who held that post from December 6, 1479 until September 28, 1512. Elizabeth Lord was confirmed as her successor on October 18, 1518. The convent specialized in educating young gentlewomen. In 1537, Thomas Cromwell’s granddaughter was one of its students. Possibly for this reason, the convent was not dissolved until August 20, 1539. At that time Elizabeth received a pension of £8 per year. Her nine nuns received considerably less. Elizabeth moved in with her sister, Mary Lord (c.1499-1557), by then married to George Gale (1497-1556), a goldsmith and who twice served as Lord Mayor of York. In her will, made on January 28, 1551 and proved on February 20, she left 6s.8d. each to her former sisters Agnes Barton, Alice Thornton, Joan Andrew, and Margery Browne. Other bequests included numerous gifts of money, most of them of four angels in gold, and various gilt cups and goblets. She left a cousin six silver spoons and another a silver pot and £20 towards her marriage. Yet another cousin got silver and coral beads, together with a gold ring with a blue sapphire in it. Clothing listed in the will included gowns, kirtles, kerchiefs, caps, and a silk hat. She left two shillings apiece to each of the Gale servants. In 1553, Elizabeth’s sister and brother-in-law bought the site of Wilberfoss Priory, paying just over £615 for the property. Biography: Oxford DNB under “Lorde, Elizabeth.”

Roberda, Roberde, or Robarda Lorges, sometimes called Gabrielle, was the third daughter of Gabriel de Lorges, comte de Montgommery (x.1574), a Huguenot general in the French wars of religion. An English expedition to France to aid the Huguenots in 1569 led to Sir Arthur Champernowne visiting the comte de Montgommery to arrange a marriage between his son Gawen and the comte’s daughter. Roberda married Sir Gawen Champernowne of Dartington, Devon (1555-1592) in April 1572 in Normandy and returned with him to England. Montgommery visited Exeter after the marriage but he refused to pay the marriage settlement, ignoring the demands of both the queen of England and the king of France. Roberda and Gawen had eleven children, including Arthur (1578-1650) and Ursula. In 1582, Roberda’s husband took her to court in a case for “separation from bed and board,” the closest anyone in England could come to divorce at that time. In the deposition given by Hugh Rist, who had been a servant at Dartington since 1566, Roberda was accused of adultery with John Gatchell, her groom. This story can be found in Bridget Cusack’s Everyday English 1500-1700. Letters from Roberda’s family protesting Sir Gawen’s cruelty also survive. Cusack points out, however, that although the case supposedly ended in a separation, five of the couple’s eleven children were born after 1582, including Bridget (d.1631), who was born postumously. In about August 1595, Roberda married Thomas Horner of Cloford, Somerset (c.1547-1612) as his third wife. According to The History of Parliament, which calls her “Lady Montgomery,” they had one son, Edward.



Anne Lovelace was the daughter of Sir Richard Lovelace of Ladye Place in Hurley, Berkshire (d.1602) and Anne Warde (1545-1611). Her father made his fortune sailing with Sir Francis Drake and engaging in a bit of legal piracy. He was also sheriff of Berkshire in 1574. Anne was taken into the service of Elizabeth, Lady Russell (née Cooke), whose home was at Bisham, some four miles from Hurley, as was the elder of her two brothers named John. By March 28, 1582, when Anne had attended upon Lady Russell daily for “divers years,” Lady Russell granted the copyhold of land in Bisham to Anne and both of her brothers named John. They also had an older brother named Richard (1564-1634), a sister named Coluberry (d. January 10, 1628/9) after their maternal grandmother, and a younger brother named Hobby. The copyhold included a tenement which Anne could lease out. Two years later, Lady Russell decided she wanted the copyhold back and began a campaign of mistreatment designed to pressure Anne into “undutiful behavior” that would justify reneging on the arrangement. When this failed, she dismissed John from her service without cause and demanded the return of the copyhold. Lady Russell told Anne that she meant her no ill will but only wished to replace John with Hobby. After Anne surrendered the property on March 30, 1594, Lady Russell returned it to her and Anne rented it to John Rolles. Shortly thereafter, Lady Russell discharged Anne from her service and demanded that Rolles and the Lovelaces be evicted. The dispute escalated into something approaching open warfare. A detailed account can be found in Shakespeare and the Countess by Chris Laoutaris, pp. 194-207. The matter was resolved in the courts in 1596 but flared up again in 1601. In the interim, Anne resumed her post with Lady Russell and was given more properties to lease out. Only when Lady Russell tried to coerce Anne into marrying William Latton, a Berkshire gentleman, did Anne leave her service for good, Lady Russell then revoked her grant of the copyhold. Once again, near riots and court cases ensued.


ALICE LOVELL (d. December 23, 1518)
Alice Lovell was the daughter of William Lovell (d.1475) and Eleanora Morley. The Oxford DNB gives her birthdate as 1452 but other sources say 1465. In 1486, she married Sir William Parker (d.c.1504). Their children were Henry, later 8th baron Morley (1480/1-November 27, 1556), Alice, Jane, and William. Before January 1506, she married Sir Edward Howard (1477-April 25, 1513). They had no children. In 1512, he was named Lord Admiral. He perished during the war with France. His will was proved on July 18, 1513. One of his two illegitimate sons was left in the care of the king. The other was to be raised by his friend, Charles Brandon. The manor of Morley in Norfolk already belonged to Alice for life, but Howard specified that it should go to her son Henry after her death. Alice, together with Charles Brandon, was named as executor. Alice also left a will. She specified that £3 was to go “to the makyng of a pyx for the Sacrament of the Parish Church of Halyngbury Morley.”



Elizabeth Lovell was the daughter of Henry Lovell of Lorting and Hartney, Sussex (c.1461-April 20, 1501) and Constance Hussey (1459-c.1503). After her father’s death, she and her younger sister Agnes became the wards of Sir Reginald Bray (d.1503), who was married to their mother’s sister. Their mother married Sir Roger Lewknor. Bray’s will left Chelsea Manor to his wife with the reversion to two of his nephews, providing they married Elizabeth and Agnes. Shortly after 1503, Elizabeth married Edward Bray (d. December 1, 1558) , but Elizabeth and Agnes are listed as the wards of Edmund Dudley in 1505 and of Andrew Windsor (later Lord Windsor) in 1507. By February 1508, her marriage to Bray had been annulled and in 1508/9, Elizabeth appears in the records as the wife of Anthony Windsor (c.1475-1549), younger brother of Andrew. They had no children.




URSULA LOVELL (1493-1554+)
Ursula Lovell was the daughter of Sir Robert Lovell (1450-1522) and Ela Conyers and one of the nieces of the wealthy, childless Sir Thomas Lovell of East Harling, Norfolk and Elsing by Enfield, Middlesex (d. May 25, 1524). She married Sir William Hussey of Beauvale, Nottinghamshire (c.1492-January 19, 1555/6). The marriage contract was made in 1503 but the settlemen was not made until 1529. They had two daughters, Margaret (1515-1579) and Anne, although the entry in the History of Parliament for Ursula’s son-in-law, Richard Disney (d.1578), gives his wife’s name as Neile. Hussey left no extant will, but in 1554 he arranged for trustees to hold his propertly at Beauvale to the use of his wife and heirs.


ELIZABETH LOVETT (1516-August 20.1577)
Elizabeth Lovett was the daughter of Sir Thomas Lovett of Astwell, Northamptonshire (1493-July 19, 1523) and Anne Danvers (1494-July 11, 1523). In 1537, she married Sir Anthony Cave of Chicheley, Buckinghamshire (1516-September 9, 1558). Their children included Judith (November 15, 1542-July 6, 1570), Anne (February 24, 1545-December 31, 1593), Martha (February 24, 1546-November 22, 1575), and Mary (November 1, 1556-October 16, 1593). On November 19, 1559, Elizabeth married John Newdigate of Harefield, Middlesex (October 9, 1514-August 16, 1565). They had one child, Francis (bp. March 8, 1561-before 1577). His son John (1541-1592) later married her daughter Martha. On July 7, 1566, Elizabeth married Richard Weston of Skreens (in Roxwell), Essex (1510-July 6, 1572), a Justice of the Common Pleas, as his third wife. Her daughter Mary married his son Jerome (c.1550-December 31, 1603). In her third widowhood, Elizabeth is said to have erected a monument at Chicheley to a  man who loved her in her youth. Queen Elizabeth visited Lady Weston at Chicheley in July 1572 and again in June 1575. In her will, written July 24, 1577 and proved November 20, 1577, Elizabeth split most of her estate, which included a number of mills, between her daughters, Anne and Mary, and their husbands. Jerome and Mary received half of all her household stuff and her best carpet of needlework. There were also bequests of plate, jewelry, and money. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com

JOANNA LOWDHAM (c.1404-June 20, 1501)
Joanna Lowdham was the only daughter of John Lowdham of Lowdham, Suffolk, and Frenze, Norfolk and Joan Kelvedon. From her mother, she inherited “the manor of Kelvedon Hall in Brakested,” called elsewhere Easterford Manor, Kelvedon, Essex. She married Thomas Heveningham (d. before 1422). Her second husband was Ralph Blennerhassett of Blennerhassett, Cumberland (d. November 17, 1475). They had one son, John (1423-November 27, 1510). She was ninety-seven when she died. She began life in the reign of Henry IV and lived to see Henry VII win the throne from Richard III.



ELIZABETH LOWYS (c.1524-x. March 1565) (maiden name unknown)
A law against witchcraft, the first in civil law in England for some time, was passed in 1563. One of the first to be prosecuted under it was Elizabeth Lowys of Great Waltham, Essex, the wife of John Lowys. By 1564, they had five daughters: Anne (b.c.1549), Alice, Phyllis, Joan, and Olive. Elizabeth appeared in ecclesiastical court in June 1564 and before the Colchester Assizes on July 21, 1564. She was charged with three counts of bewitching to death, but other crimes were laid at her door that did not appear in the indictment, everything from laming her husband to bewitching animals. By one report, her mother was a witch, but no name has survived for her. Elizabeth was sentenced to death, but when she was found to be pregnant she was kept in jail rather than executed at once. In the spring of 1565, examined again and found to no longer be pregnant, she was hanged immediately following the end of court. Biographies: Alan R. Young, “Elizabeth Lowys: Witch or Social Victim, 1565,” History Today, December 1972, pp. 879-85; chapters in Joyce Gibson, Hanged for Witchcraft: Elizabeth Lowys and her Successors.  Portrait: woodcut from account of trial.


ANNA LUCAS (d. August 11, 1629)
Anna Lucas was the daughter of Thomas Lucas of St. John’s Abbey, Colchester (c.1531-August 24,1611) and Mary Fermor (d.1613). In 1583, when she met Sir Arthur Throckmorton (1557-July 1626), he was more interested in Frances Hastings and Mary Darcy. It was not until he was released from the Marshalsea in June 1585 that he began to court Anna. They married on July 4, 1585. Their children were Mary (d. April 25, 1658), Elizabeth (c.1592-February 1625), Catherine (c.1594-July 1, 1632), Anna (August 18, 1594-January 23, 1620), and two others who died young. Some records identify Anna as a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth who made a clandestine marriage that angered the queen, but since the documents cited are letters dated 1593, it is more likely they refer to the secret marriage between Anna’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Throckmorton, and Sir Walter Raleigh, which took place in 1591. Biography: Sir Arthur Throckmorton’s diaries. Portraits: two pregnancy portraits dated 1587 and 1588, now lost.

ANNE LUCAS (c.1541-April 13, 1604)
Anne Lucas was probably the daughter of Sir John Lucas of Little Saxham and Bury St. Edmunds (c.1491-September 25, 1556) and Elizabeth Christmasse, although the History of Parliament says her father was Thomas Lucas of Little Saxham and Horsecroft, Horningsheath, Suffolk. By 1570 she married Richard Jocelyn/Josselyn of Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire and High Roding, Essex (c.1526-September 1575) as his second wife. Their children were Richard (1572-1625), another son, Joan or Jane and Mary (twins), and Winifred. Her second husband was Henry Heigham, who moved into Hyde Hall after the marriage. They had a daughter, Martha, who was still a baby when Queen Elizabeth stayed overnight at Hyde Hall on September 16-17, 1578. It is unknown if the family was in residence or moved out to accommodate the queen.



Frances Luce was the daughter of Robert Luce or Lucy (c.1511-c.1557), a London leatherseller, and his wife Katherine (d.1558). In c. 1553, she married Edmund Wayte of Bermondsey (d. 1557), another leatherseller. They had two sons, an unnamed boy (c.1554-c.1559) and William (c.1555-1603). On June 7, 1558, she married William Gardiner of Bermondsey, Surrey (1531-November 26, 1597). Their children were Christopher (1563-1596), Thomas (1564-1632), Katherine, Anne, Richard (1569-1591), and William (1572-1622). After her mother died, Frances took over the administration of her father’s large estate. Her husband made his fortune through money lending and fraud and among those he defrauded were his stepson, William Wayte, and his wife’s siblings. Frances, however, did not witness the worst of this. She was buried January 1, 1575/6 in Bermondsey. In 1584, Gardiner sued her brother-in-law, John Bullard, for slander for saying that Frances had sworn to a lie at her Gardiner’s instigation. A Bermondsey grocer, Richard Ryther, later deposed that he’d heard by report that Gardiner had “by shameful falsehood” defrauded the Luce heirs “of great sums of money” and used “one subtle device or another” to harass them.

MARY LUCE (d.1572+)

Mary Luce was a servant in the household of Edward Altham in London when she met Thomas Baxter, one of his apprentices. According to the account in Eleanor Hubbard’s City Women: Money, Sex & the Social Order in Early Modern London, they pledged to marry  in the future and their fellow servants, William Stede and Alice Swan, were witnesses. Mary later left there to take a new position with a Mr. Warren in North Wokingdon, Essex. Just before Baxter was to leave England for Antwerp, he visited her there and they once again vowed to marry, but since Baxter still had three years left in his apprenticeship, they could not legally wed. A year later, Mary was again working for Mistress Altham. She and Baxter met at the house of her sister, who had married a shoemaker named William Pitman and consummated their relationship. Mary’s brother, John Luce, apparently approved of the match. When Baxter returned to Antwerp, he was unaware that Mary was pregnant. She gave birth to a son, John, and Baxter paid their expenses. By the time the boy was a year old, however, it had been so long since Mary had heard from Baxter that she convinced herself he was dead. She married George Fadsham. They had been married about four years when Baxter reappeared and challenged the legality of that marriage. It appears that all three parties cooperated in straightening out the legal tangle. Fadsham brought suit in 1572 to annul his bigamous marriage and Mary and Baxter resumed their relationship.





Anne Luddington was the daughter Henry Luddington (d.1531), grocer of London and gentleman of Gainsborough, Yorkshire, and Joan Kirkeby (d. August 1576). Her mother’s second husabnd was Sir William Laxton (d.1556), another grocer and Lord Mayor of London in 1544. Anne married yet another grocer, William Lane. Her second husband was Sir Thomas Lodge (1509/10-February 1585), Lord Mayor of London in 1562/3, as his third wife. Their children were William, Thomas (1558-1625), Nicholas, Henry, Benedict, and Joanna. Upon her second husband’s death, Anne’s mother became one of the wealthiest inhabitants of London, able to purchase substantial amounts of real estate. Anne was also provided for in her stepfather’s will. When she died, her son Thomas wrote her elegy. Edward White dedicated his Mirror of Modestie to her after her death.



MARY LUDLOW (d. 1504+)
Mary Ludlow may have been the daughter of Maurice Ludlow of Stokesay and Constance Griffith. She married James de Pounte, an Italian merchant from Genoa who was based in Southampton and London. They had one son, Jasper Pount. She later married Sir Lewis Orwell or Orrell of Ashwell, Hertfordshire. They had at least one child, Jane (d. 1598+). They were taken to court by John Clifford, mercer of London, when they tried to claim the price of camlets as the property of her first husband. The case was heard in Chancery at some point between 1504 and 1515. Mary’s third husband was Thomas Parker. She was buried in St. Helen’s Bishopsgate. My thanks to Barry Watson for information on the de Pounte family.

Maude Luffkyn or Lovekyn is the name that has come down in one branch of the Lovekin family as an ancestor who attended Queen Catherine Howard on the scaffold. I can find no proof of this, but a Mistress Luffkyn or Lufkyn is listed as a chamberer in that household and in one account Mistress Luffkyn is the servant who caught sight of Thomas Culpeper trying to sneak into the queen’s bedchamber, forcing him to hide until the coast was clear. A chamberer, unlike a maid of honor, could be married. There were two George Luffkyns in the king’s service. The father, who had been born in Paris but received letters of denization in 1475, was the king’s tailor from 1470 until his death in 1504. His eldest son, George, was employed in the king’s stable and works by 1504. It is likely Maude was the daughter or wife of one of them.


Jeanne Lullier was the daughter of Nicholas, seigneur de Raucourt and de Guyotte d’Orchamps. She married Simon Renard (c.1513-August 8, 1573), Imperial Ambassador to England during the reign of Mary Tudor. Their children were Françoise (b.1544), Jeanne (b.1545), Eleanor (b.1547), Marie (b.1549), Frederic (b.1552), Philippe (b.1554), and Charles (b.1556/60). There was a delay in arranging her safe conduct for the trip to England and as a result the ship in which she crossed the English Channel was nearly captured by French warships. Jeanne was in England for a year, from October 1553 to October 1554. Portrait: by Antonio Mor, 1557.




URSULA LUSON (d. 1597)
Ursula Luson was the daughter of Walter Luson (d. before 1574) and Elizabeth Woodroff (d. 1597+). In about 1574, her mother married Richard Kingsmill of Highclere, Hampshire (d.1600), surveyor of the court of wards and liveries. On June 13, 1586, at St. Peter’s, Cornill, Ursula married Humphrey Smith of St. Peter the Poor, London (c.1531-October 1, 1589) as his second wife. Their son Walter was baptized on April 28, 1588. At the time Ursula made her will, she was living in the parish of St. Christopher in London. This document, proved September 21, 1597, mentions her stepfather, her mother, and her sister, Dionis Hixte.

ELIZABETH LUTTON (c.1498-before February 1553)
Elizabeth Lutton was the daughter of Stephen Lutton (d.c.1526) of Knapton. At fourteen, she was veiled as a Benedictine nun at Yedlingham Priory in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The prioress at that time was Elizabeth White (d.c.1526). She was succeeded by Agnes Brayerdricke or Braydericke. Upon learning that Elizabeth Lutton was pregnant, the new prioress sent her to live in a house outside the cloister until the baby was born. The fate of the child is unknown, as is its father’s name, but Elizabeth was permitted to return to the convent. Nearly five years passed without incident. Then Elizabeth was either abducted or ran away from the convent. This was part of an attempt to nullify her grandfather’s will, which left everything to his younger son, Elizabeth’s uncle, and take control of his considerable landholdings. Elizabeth married Thomas Scaseby and claimed she was not a nun, but a judicial inquiry, held at Yedlingham on April 30, 1532, found against her and the marriage was annulled. Once again, Elizabeth returned to Yedlingham. Her story is included in Runaway Religious in Medieval England c.1240-1540 by F. Donald Logan. When the house was dissolved in August 1539, “Elizabeth Sutton” received a pension of 26s. 8d. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Lutton, Elizabeth.”

Catherine Luttrell was the daughter of Sir John Luttrell of Dunster Castle, Somerset (1519-July 10, 1551) and Mary Griffith (1519-March 31, 1588), daughter of Sir Griffith Rhys. At the time of Luttrell’s death of the sweating sickness, he had been attempting to divorce his wife on grounds of adultery. Catherine and her sisters, Dorothy and Mary, became wards of the Crown. The earl of Arundell was Catherine’s guardian. Through his influence, she went to court as a member of Queen Mary’s Privy Chamber. Her grandmother, Catherine St. John, Lady Edgecumbe, left Catherine a chain of gold with a flower set with two diamonds and a ruby in December 1553. In July 1558, Catherine married Sir Thomas Copley of Gatton, Surrey (1532-September 25, 1584). Their children were Henry (1560/1-before 1576), William (1565-1643), Anthony (1567-1607), John (1577-1662; born in Leuven), Mary, Eleanor, Margaret (d.1591+), and Elizabeth. Copley later claimed to have chosen Catherine for her beauty. In doing so, he alienated Lord William Howard, who had wanted Copley to marry one of his daughters. The wedding took place at Nonsuch Palace, which at that time belonged to the earl of Arundel. In November 1558, Mistress Copley attended Queen Mary’s funeral as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. In 1560/1, Queen Elizabeth was godmother to Catherine’s eldest son. In 1563, Copley refused to conform in religion. He was fined and imprisoned in 1568. In 1570, he went abroad without license, taking his family with him. The Crown promptly seized his property. Although Catherine was allowed to return to England for a visit, her husband remained in exile until his death in Antwerp. They seem to have lived comfortably abroad, where he received a knighthood from the French king, Henri III, a title from the king of Spain, and a pension from the governor of the Netherlands. His will, written September 25, 1576, named his “entirely beloved wife” as executrix. She proved the will in England, where she was allowed to claim her dower lands even though her eldest surviving son remained abroad. Part of her jointure included the right to nominate the two MPs for Gatton. In regard to this, critics described her as simple, unfit to meddle in politics, and bigoted. On September 27, 1586, Sir Francis Walsingham wrote to the sheriff of Surrey on behalf of the Privy Council, ordering him to usurp her right because  Lady Copley was “known to be evil affected.” Late in the reign of Elizabeth, she was imprisoned at least once for recusancy and convicted twice for harboring priests. She was buried at Horsham, Sussex on January 7, 1608. Portrait: detail of “A Religious Allegory with Sir Thomas Copley (d.1584) and family” (1625), Dunster Castle, Somerset.


MARGARET LUTTRELL (c.1538-1580+)
Margaret Luttrell was the daughter of Sir Andrew Luttrell of Dunster Castle and East Quantock, Somerset (c.1486-May 4, 1538) and Margaret Wyndham (d.1580). In about 1555, she married Piers or Peter Edgecumbe of Mount Edgecumbe and Cothele, Cornwall (c.1536-January 4, 1607/8). Their children were Elizabeth, Catherine, Margaret (1560-1648), Richard (c.1563-March 23, 1639), Piers (c.1565-1638), Edward (d.1630), John, Andrew (d.1640), and Anne. She and her husband were executors of her mother’s will. According to David Mathew, in “The Cornish and Welsh Pirates in the Reign of Elizabeth” (English History Review 39, 1924, pp. 337-348), Mrs. Edgecumbe was accused of wrecking in Mount’s Bay. A. L. Rowse, in Tudor Cornwall, elaborates on this incident, placing it in 1575, when Spanish ships were driven onto the rocks at Stonehouse by a storm. Mrs. Edgecumbe seized the goods and refused to relinquish them to the vice-admiral of Devon. Her husband, who had been away, returned to support her. He was ordered to return the goods and appear before the Privy Council. Portrait: unknown artist and date. (NOTE: she looks a little young to me, given the date for this size ruff, making me wonder if the sitter is actually her daughter, Margaret Edgecumbe.)





JANE LYFIELD (1549-January 23, 1611)
Jane Lyfield was the only child of Thomas Lyfield of Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey (d. January 26, 1596) and Frances Bray (d. May 27, 1592). Her mother was one of the daughters of Edmund, Lord Bray and co-heiress in 1557 to her brother John, 2nd Lord Bray. Before 1575, Jane married Sir Thomas Vincent of Barnack, Northamptonshire (1543/4-December 14, 1613). Their children were Francis, Bray, and Jane. The family was settled in Surrey by 1582 and entertained the queen at Stoke d’Abernon in 1601. Vincent’s will, written September 23, 1613 and proved March 14, 1614, left bequests to Jane and their son Francis. Jane was buried at Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey. Portraits: 1602 (inscribed “Jane Lyfield co-heiress of Lord Bray/wife of Sir Tho’ Vincent, Knight”); effigy at Stoke d’Abernon.

Margaret Lygon was the daughter of William Lygon or Ligon of Madresfield, Redgrove, and Lower Mitton, Worcestershire and Arle Court, Elmstone, Kemerton, and Staverton, Gloucestershire (d. September 29, 1567) and Eleanor Dennis (d.1579+). She married Sir Thomas Russell of Strensham and Witley, Worcestershire (c.1520-April 9, 1574) , as his second wife. They had one son, Thomas (d.1633/4). In his will, dated April 3, 1574 and proved February 9, 1575, Margaret, as executrix, was to administer a legacy for the marriage of twenty poor maidens, pay £550 on the marriage of her stepson, John Russell, to Elizabeth Sheldon, and provide employment for “Old Humphrey” for the rest of his life. Margaret married Sir Henry Berkeley of Bruton (d.1601). Their children were Maurice (c.1577-May 1, 1617), Henry (d.1657), Edward (d. before February 3, 1654), and Margaret (d.1617+). Lady Berkeley left a will, dated February 9, 1617 and proved June 28, 1617, in which she left her son, Sir Maurice Berkeley, the wedding ring his father had given her, along with household stuff at Bruton and Norwood Park. Her daughter, by then married to Lewis Pollard, was to have £100 worth of plate, and their daughter, Elizabeth Pollard, was bequeathed £200 of current English money along with her green mockado chest and everything inside it at the time of her death. The entire will can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com.

MARY LYGON (1597-1647+)
Mary Lygon was the daughter of Sir William Lygon of Madresfield, Worcestershire (1567-December 8, 1608) and Elizabeth Harwell. On June 13, 1622, she married Henry Bromley of Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire (1596-1647). Their children were John, Thomas, Elizabeth, Anna, Henry, and Mary. They lived at Ham Court. Bromley was High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1627. Portrait: wedding portrait.






Elizabeth Lyster was the daughter of Sir Richard Lyster or Lister (c.1480-March 16, 1553) and his first wife, whose name is unknown. She married Sir Richard Blount of Mapledurham, Oxfordshire (d. August 11, 1564) in 1526 or 1527. Their children were Michael (d. November 11, 1609), Richard (d.1628), Elizabeth (c.1540-August 11, 1587), and Barbara (d. February 28, 1564). It is possible that she was the Mrs. Blount who was a mourner at the funeral of Amy Robsart, Lady Dudley, in 1560, although by then she would have been Lady Blount. Blount’s will was proved by his widow on August 27, 1564. Elizabeth made her will on February 14, 1582 and it was proved on June 26, 1582. She left her daughter Elizabeth, by then married to Nicholas St. John, her best velvet gown, her black enameled tablet of gold, a cup of silver and gilt, and £40. Among the items listed in the will that were to go to her grandson, Richard Blount (son of Michael) were two joined tables of walnut-tree, a standing cupboard of walnut-tree, a picture of the Queen’s Majesty, a picture of Lucretia, and a picture of a little boy. Other furnishings are also itemized in the will, which can be found at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com

DOROTHY LYTCOTT (c.1545-1615)
Dorothy Lytcott was the daughter of Christopher Lytcott (Litcott/Lidcott) (c.1519-December 6, 1554) of Swallowfield, Berkshire and Katherine Cheney (d.1567). In 1554, she married Sir Christopher Edmondes or Edmonds of Cressing Temple, Essex (1522-1596). According to the Quarterly Journal of the Berkshire Archaeological and Architectural Society, Vol. 2 (1891), they had one daughter, Frances, who married John D’Oyley of Chiselhampton. From 1559, Mrs. Edmondes was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth. In 1565, the queen granted husband and wife the manor of Lewknor, Oxfordshire. In 1585, Dorothy was granted the lease to Molesley, Surrey for twenty-one years. Edmondes wrote his will in 1595, naming Dorothy executor and residual legatee. It was proved in December 1596. In January 1595/6, Lady Edmondes was asked to obtain a pardon for a man named Robert Booth, who had been sued by Lady Gresham over a forgery, jailed, fined, and sentenced to lose his ears. Her price for this favor was £200, to be paid half at once and the rest within six months. She discussed the case with the queen on January 2 and Booth was pardoned on January 13, but according to one source, the bribe was never paid. The queen dined with Dorothy at her house in East Molesey on October 19, 1599 and she again entertained Queen Elizabeth at Molesley in August 1600. Dorothy’s heir was her nephew, Sir John Lytcott (b.1575). Portrait: on her father’s memorial at Swallowfield.

BRIDGET LYTE (d.1583+)
Bridget Lyte was the daughter of Thomas Lyte of Meriet, Somerset (4th son of Thomas Lyte who died in 1523 and Margery Drew) and Isabella Webber. She married Walter Smyth of Crewkerne. When her uncle, Anthony Lyte, an MP and courtier, died on January 28, 1580, letters of administration were granted the following day to Bridget. Her husband took the necessary oaths on her behalf. Anthony and his wife, Anne Weldon, were buried in Greenwich, where he had a house adjoining the palace that was later in the possession of Henry Howard, earl of Northampton. In November 1583, as niece and next of kin, Anne was named administrator of the property of George Lyte, who died without issue on the Isle of “Gersey.”

DOROTHY LYTE (d.1569+)
Dorothy Lyte was the daughter of John Lyte of Lytescary, Somerset (1498-July 28, 1566) and his first wife, Edith Horsey (d. August 29, 1556). She married Anthony Ashley or Astley of Damerham, Wiltshire, at which time land in Sussex was settled on her. Their children were Anthony (1551-1627), Robert (1565-1641), Francis (1569-1635), Jane (d.1610+), and four more daughters. Her husband was in the service of Sir Christopher Hatton. Portrait: sketch in Lyte pedigree.


GERTRUDE LYTE (1544-before June 7, 1576)
Gertrude Lyte was the daughter of William Lyte of Lytescary, Somerset (1502-1559) and Dorothy Kellaway. In about 1566, she married Thomas Howard, 1st viscount Howard of Bindon (1520-January 28, 1582) as the second of his four wives. Their children were Charles (d. August 16, 1593) and Anne. Portrait: monumental brass at Bindon; drawing in Lyte pedigree.

JOAN LYTE (d. August 20, 1557)
Joan Lyte was the daughter of Richard Lyte, younger son of John Lyte of Lytescary, Somerset. She married Willaim Walton of Barton, Somerset. Their five sons and two daughters included Isabella (d. November 7, 1590). She married Sir Nicholas Wadham of Merrifield, Somerset (d.1542) as his fourth wife. Portrait: monumental brass at Ilford; drawing in Lyte pedigree.

JOAN LYTE (d. 1572+) (maiden name unknown)
In about 1558, Joan was the widow of a man named Young when she married John Lyte of Lytescary, Somerset (1498-July 28, 1566) as his second wife. They had no children. With this marriage, he gained four score pounds a year, besides other wealth, and established his residence at Sherborne. Lyte settled the manor of Woodcourt (or Mudford Terry) on Joan for life, with the remainder to his son John, who had married one of Joan’s relatives. Joan appears to have caused a rift between Lyte and his heir, Henry Lyte, during her husband’s lifetime. Lyte died in London and was buried two days later in the church of St. Botolph without Aldersgate. The will he made in 1546 was never proved and Joan refused to accept the jointure he’d arranged for her. She brougt a writ of dower at common law for a third of all his manors and lands. On June 23, 1572, letters of administration were granted to her. By that time she was married to William Philippes.