Katherine of Aragon’s Ladies at the Beginning

Even though Katherine of Aragon had a large household at the beginning of her reign as queen consort, her ladies-in-waiting only numbered eight.¹ These women would be the most important ladies in the qu

een’s immediate circle. Each of them came from an important family at the Tudor court and each of them were known as beauties in their own right. These women’s charms and talents were shown off frequently while their main role was dancing, singing and conversation – all around entertaining the queen.


Ladies-in-Waiting to Katherine of Aragon

Elizabeth Stafford¹ (c. 1479 – 11 May 1532) was the sister of the Duke of Buckingham and had recently wed Robert Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter. Fitzwalter would later become Earl of Sussex around 1529.¹

Elizabeth’s parents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lady Katherine Woodville – sister of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV. After the execution of Henry Stafford for treason, Elizabeth’s mother married Jasper Tudor.

Anne Stafford¹ (c. 1483–1544), who was also the sister of the Duke of Buckingham, who was a widow and had recently wed Sir George Hastings. Who would become the Earl of Huntington in 1529.¹

Elizabeth’s parents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lady Katherine Woodville – sister of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV. After the execution of Henry Stafford for treason, Anne’s mother married Jasper Tudor.

Anne Stafford

Margaret Scrope¹ (d. 1515) was the wife of Sir Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk who had been in the Tower of London since 1506 and was executed in 1513.¹

Margaret was the daughter of Sir Richard Scrope and Eleanor Washbourne.²

Elizabeth Scrope¹ (d. June 26, 1537) was the second wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.¹

Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir Richard Scrope and Eleanor Washbourne.²

She married first, William, 2nd viscount Beaumont. He lost his “reason” in 1487 and was placed in the care of John de Vere, 13th earl of Oxford, until his death. In 1508, Elizabeth married Oxford.²

Elizabeth Scrope

Agnes Tilney¹ (c. 1477 – May 1545) was married to Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. Surrey would later become 2nd Duke of Norfolk.¹

Agnes was the daughter of Henry Tilney and Eleanor Tailboys. She was also the step-mother of Thomas Howard who would later become 3rd Duke of Norfolk. She was also step-grandmother of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.


Anne Hastings¹ (c.1471-c.1512) was the daughter of Sir William Hastings and married to George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Steward.¹

Anne was the daughter of William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, and Katherine Neville – niece of the “Kingmaker”, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.²

Anne Hastings

Mary Say¹ (1485-June 5, 1535+²) was married to Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex.¹

Mary was the daughter of Sir William Say and Elizabeth Fray. Her sister, Elizabeth Say was the first wife of William Blount, 4th baron Mountjoy and because of this connection, she is often called Mary Blount, William’s sister, by mistake.

She married Henry Bourchier, earl of Essex in 1497. T

In 1501, Mary was in attendance on Katherine of Aragon after her marriage to Prince Arthur. In 1529, she was one of those to give testimony about whether or not Katherine’s marriage had been consummated. In 1506, the Essex household included both Charles Brandon, who was Essex’s master of horse, and Anne Browne, former maid of honor to Elizabeth of York and Brandon’s on again, off again wife.

Mary was one of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting in 1509.

Anne Hastings, was the sister of Sir George Hastings and married to Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby

Maids of Honor to Katherine of Aragon

Maria de Salinas¹

Maria de Salinas was the daughter of Juan Sancriz de Salinas and Inez Albernos. Juan de Salinas was secretary to Isabella, Princess of Portugal, oldest sister of Catherine of Aragon. After his death, his six children were raised by his brother Martin and his wife, Maria Martinez de Buendia. Maria came to England in about 1503 to replace Maria de Rojas, who may have been her cousin, as one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies. In 1511, she was godmother to Charles Brandon’s daughter, Mary. By 1514, she was considered to be Queen Catherine’s closest friend.²

Elizabeth Boleyn neé Howard¹

Elizabeth Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tylney.

Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Boleyn of Blickling, Norfolk c.1499 and had by him three famous children, Mary, Anne and George.

There is no evidence that Elizabeth served Elizabeth of York and although she has long been believed to have been at court as a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Alison Weir points out in her biography of Mary Boleyn that there is no specific reference to her being there. She suggests that it is Anne Tempest, wife of Edward Boleyn, who was part of Queen Catherine’s household. Both Lady Boleyns were at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520.²

Lucy Talbot², daughter of Anne Hastings and George Talbot is believed to have been a Maid of Honor to the queen.²


¹Jones, Philippa; The Other Tudors – Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards; pages 59-60

²Emerson, Kathy Lynn; Index to A Who’s Who of Tudor Women

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Witness to a Secret: Anne Savage, Lady Berkeley


Witness to a Secret:

In late 1532 the relationship of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn reached a fever pitch. Sometime after their trip to Calais from October – November 1532, Anne, Marquess of Pembroke, discovered she was pregnant. Since Elizabeth was born in September 1533, Anne must have become pregnant with her in December 1532…this would explain the secret marriage in January after Anne realized she was with child. Her pregnancy was the catalyst in a speedy secret wedding on 25 January 1533. If the King were to have a legitimate heir he needed to be married to his son’s mother.

The wedding in 1533 was so secret that not even Cranmer was invited. Nobody knew except those who were witness to the event. Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys also was unaware, we know this because he wrote a letter to his master, Charles V dated 23 February 1533 shows that the marriage was still secret. Chapuys wrote:

The rumour is afloat, and increases every day, that in order to achieve his marriage the King is only waiting for the bulls of the said elect to come [from Rome], and that the more to authorize the case he has commanded those who have charge of convoking provincial synods, whilst the See is vacant, to assemble them for the 17th of next month.

Private Marriage of Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII
Private Marriage of Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII

Those who were present at the secret ceremony must have been much regarded and trusted by both Henry and Anne. Henry Norris, Mr. Heneage and Lady Berkeley. Mr. Rowland, the King’s chaplain performed the ceremony.

“The first whereof was that the King was married to [the] Lady Anne Bulleyne long ere there was any divorce made by the said Archbishop [of Canterbury]. The which marriage a was secretly made at Whitehall very early before day, none being present but Mr Norris and Mr Henage of the Privy Chamber and the Lady Barkeley, with Mr. Rowland the King’s chaplain, that was afterward made Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. To whom the King told that now he had gotten of the Pope a lycence to marry another wife, and yet to avoid business and tumult the thing must be done (quoth the King) very secretly ; and thereupon a time and place was appointed to the said Master Rowland to solemnize the said marriage.” - Ridgway, Claire; TheAnneBoleynFiles.com – 25 January 1533 – Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

We already are familiar with Henry Norris because he was one of the unfortunate souls that was executed in May 1536 just before Anne Boleyn was unjustly beheaded. I’m not familiar with a “Mr. Henage” other than what it says – that he was a member of the “Privy Chamber.” The Wikipedia page for “Privy Chamber” lists a Sir Thomas Heneage as a “Groom of the Stool” for Henry VIII from 1536-1546, after the execution of his predecessor, Henry Norris. Prior to that he would have been employed in some position in the Privy Chamber which may have been as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. Regardless, his position must have been one that allowed him to be near the King often, otherwise why would Henry have trusted him enough to keep his wedding secret. A Gentleman of the Privy Chamber would have been responsible for things like dressing and undressing the King – quite intimate if you ask me.

Anne Savage, Lady Berkeley:

Next we have Lady Berkeley. After a little research I realized this refers to Anne Savage, Baroness of Berkeley. Anne Savage during the secret wedding was not quite married to Baron Berkeley because they didn’t marry until April 1533. This would explain why, when it was discovered she was a witness, they referred to her as Lady Berkeley.  It was at the Eve of Easter mass in 1533 when Anne attended mass as Queen.

Anne Savage was the daughter of Sir John Savage (Sheriff of Worcestershire) and his wife Anne Bostock. She married Sir Thomas, Lord Berkeley in April 1533. Their marriage was short-lived since he died in 1534.

Anne Stafford and Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Anne Stafford and Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham

Lord Berekely had been a ward of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk when he was a minor and had been originally betrothed to Anne Grey, daughter of the Marquis of Dorset. That betrothal was broken and Berkeley married Mary Hastings. Mary Hastings was the daughter of Anne Stafford and George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon. Anne Stafford is best known as the sister of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and for being discovered in an affair with a young Henry VIII ( in 1510). When it was discovered Anne Stafford was removed from court by both her brother and husband and sent to a convent.

Eventually Mary died and Lord Berkeley married Anne Savage.


Anne Savage, Lady Berkeley served in the household of Anne Boleyn at the time of her secret wedding. To have been asked to be a witness at the wedding must prove to us that she had a very close relationship with Anne Boleyn.

Anne Savage did not remain long at the new Queen’s court. In Apr 1533, she married Thomas, 6th Baron Berkeley. Anne was a Lady of a masculine spirit, over-powerful with her husband, seldom at rest with herself, never wanting matter of suit or discontent to work upon. Of complexion she was of a comely brown, of a middle stature, and most tender-hearted to her children, whom should would scarcely allow out of her site, so much so that, as they afterwards complained, it interfered with their education. (TudorPlace.ar - source unknown)

Lady Berkeley and her husband had two children together, in quick succession, prior to his death in 1534. – Elizabeth and then Henry. Their son Henry was born after the death of his father and was named for the King, his godfather.


Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies; pages 209-212
‘Spain: March 1533, 1-15’, in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533, ed. Pascual de Gayangos (London, 1882), pp. 607-624. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/spain/vol4/no2/pp607-624 [accessed 4 October 2016].
Ridgway, Claire; TheAnneBoleynFiles.com - 25 January 1533 – Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
Wikipedia.com – Privy Chamber
Larson, Rebecca; TudorsDynasty.com - 3rd Duke of Buckingham: Victim of Hearsay
Castelli, Jorge H.; TudorPlace.ar – Anne Savage
Wikipedia – Anne Savage
Grueninger, Natalie; OntheTudorTrail.com – Anne Boleyn’s Marriage to Henry VIII

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3rd Duke of Buckingham: Victim of Hearsay

(c) National Trust, Sheringham Park; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) National Trust, Sheringham Park; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham was born 3 February 1478, at Brecon Castle in Wales to Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lady Katherine Woodville.

Katherine Woodville was sister to Elizabeth Woodville who became Queen of England after secretly marrying Edward IV.

Photo Andrew Tivenan
Photo Andrew Tivenan – Brecon Castle


Edward Stafford had a viable claim to the throne through his paternal grandfather, Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, who was the son of Anne of Gloucester, daughter of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of Edward III. Some said Buckingham boasted that his claim was stronger than Henry VIII’s since Henry’s father was from the illegitimate line of Edward III through his son, John of Gaunt.

The discussion, or hearsay, began after it became evident that Henry VIII’s queen, Katherine of Aragon would no longer be able to produce a male heir. It was assumed that the Tudor line would die out since a girl (Princess  Mary) had not been considered as an heir.

When Henry VIII was informed of the things his royal cousin was “saying” he requested and investigation.

“On April 8, 1521, the duke was ordered to London from his castle at Thornbury. He set out for the court, seemingly unaware of any danger, and was greatly shocked when arrested along the way and taken to the Tower. At his trial, he was charged with “imagining and compassing the death of the king,” through seeking out prophecy from a monk named Nicholas Hopkins about the chances of the king having a male heir. Evidence was supposedly obtained from disgruntled former members of the duke’s household.

Buckingham denied all charges. But a jury of 17 peers found him guilty, led by the duke of Norfolk, who condemned him — while weeping.”

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526 - 12 May 1521 - Gasparo Contarini to the Signory:

It is reported from England that the King had ordered the arrest of the Duke of Buckingham, the chief personage in that kingdom, together with two other Knights of the Garter. The real cause is not known, but according to report the Duke had plotted to assassinate Cardinal Wolsey. This the English ambassador denies, though he does not know the reason, affirming merely the fact of the arrest, and that the King had surrendered the Duke for trial by the peers of the realm.

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526 - 13 May 1521 - Gasparo Contarini to the Signory:

The Royal Courts (li eonsegli regj) have condemned the Duke of Buckingham to death. He will be definitively sentenced this morning (13 May) at Westminster, the final sentence having been passed ordering him for decapitation; and he is gone back to the Tower to be executed according to the custom here, and they will do by him as was done by his father and grandfather.

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526 - 14-17 May 1521 - Lodovico Spinelli, Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador in England, to his brother Gasparo Spinelli, Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador in France:

This morning the late Duke of Buckingham was taken “in forza de’ brazi” from the Tower to the scaffold, at the usual place of execution, with a guard of 500 infantry. He addressed the populace in English. Then on his bended knees he recited the penitential psalms, and with the greatest composure calling the executioner, requested that he would dispatch him quickly, and forgave him; after which he took off his gown, and having had his eyes blindfolded, he laid his neck on the block, and the executioner with a woodman’s axe (fn. 11) severed his head from his body with three strokes.

The corpse was immediately placed in a coffin and carried to the church of the Austin Friars, accompanied by six friars and all the infantry.

The death of the Duke has grieved the city universally. Many wept for him, as did one-third of the spectators, among whom was I. Our Italians had not the heart to see him die. And thus miserably, but with great courage, did he end his days on the 17th of May.

On 17 May 1521, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason.

Scandal Of Buckingham Sisters – 1510

A little insight on Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and the scandal of his sisters (Anne & Elizabeth) which caused havoc with the relationship of Edward Stafford and King Henry VIII:

Letter from  Don Luys Carroz to Miguel Perez De Almazan, First Secretary of State of King Ferdinand the Catholic, 29 May 1510:

Note: We believe the man referred to as Conton is actually William Compton, friend of Henry VIII.

Anne Stafford
Buckingham’s sister, Anne Stafford

What lately has happened is that two sisters of the Duke of Buckingham, both married, lived in the palace. The one of them is the favourite of the Queen, and the other, it is said, is much liked by the King, who went after her. Another version is that the love intrigues were not of the King, but of a young man, his favourite, of the name of Conton, who had been the late King’s butler. This Conton carried on the love intrigue, as it is said, for the King, and that is the more credible version, as the King has shown great displeasure at what I am going to tell. The favourite of the Queen has been very anxious in this matter of her sister, and has joined herself with the Duke, her brother, with her husband and her sister’s husband, in order to consult on what should be done in this case. The consequence of the counsel of all the four of them was that, whilst the Duke was in the private apartment of his sister, who was suspected [of intriguing] with the King, Conton came there to talk with her, saw the Duke, who intercepted him, quarrelled with him, and the end of it was that he was severely reproached in many and very hard words. The King was so offended at this that he reprimanded the Duke angrily. The same night the Duke left the palace, and did not enter or return there for some days. At the same time the husband of that lady went away, carried her off, and placed her in a convent sixty miles from here, that no one may see her. The King having understood that all this proceeded from the sister, who is the favourite of the Queen, the day after the one was gone, turned the other out of the palace, and her husband with her. Believing that there were other women in the employment of the favourite, that is to say, such as go about the palace insidiously spying out every unwatched moment, in order to tell the Queen [stories], the King would have liked to turn all of them out, only that it has appeared to him too great a scandal. Afterwards, almost all the court knew that the Queen had been vexed with the King, and the King with her, and thus this storm went on between them. I spoke to the friar about it, and complained that he had not told me this, regretting that the Queen had been annoyed, and saying to him how I thought that the Queen should have acted in this case, and how he, in my opinion, ought to have behaved himself. For in this I think I understand my part, being a married man, and having often treated with married people in similar matters. He contradicted vehemently, which was the same thing as denying what had been officially proclaimed. He told me that those ladies have not gone for anything of the kind, and talked nonsense, and evidently did not believe what he told me. I did not speak more on that subject.”


Eleanor Percy
Eleanor Percy

Edward Stafford
Edward Stafford

Family Tree of Edward Stafford and Eleanor Percy:

Mary Stafford (born c. 1495) She married George Neville, 5th Baron Bergavenny. They were the parents of:

  • Mary Neville, Baroness Dacre

Elizabeth Stafford (c. 1497 – 30 November 1558). She married Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Together they were the parents of:

Catherine Stafford (born abt. 1499 – 14 May 1555); She married Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland. They were parents of:

    • Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmorland
    • Sir Thomas Neville
    • Edward Neville
    • Christopher Neville
    • George Neville
    • Ralph Neville
    • Cuthbert Neville
    • Dorothy Neville
    • Mary Neville
    • Margaret Neville
    • Elizabeth Neville
    • Eleanor Neville
    • Anne Neville
    • Ursula Neville

Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford (18 September 1501 – 30 April 1563); He married Ursula Pole, daughter of Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury.
They were parents of:

  • Henry Stafford
  • Thomas Stafford
  • Henry Stafford, 2nd Baron Stafford
  • Edward Stafford, 3rd Baron Stafford
  • Richard Stafford
  • Walter Stafford
  • William Stafford
  • Elizabeth Stafford
  • Anne Stafford
  • Susan Stafford
  • Jane Stafford
  • Dorothy Stafford, Lady Stafford
    2 daughters whose names are not known

Interesting Notes:

Edward Stafford’s father, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason against Richard III. His mother, Katherine Woodville, married Jasper Tudor. Jasper was the son of Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor. Jasper Tudor was brother of Edmund Tudor – father to Henry VII.




‘Venice: May 1521’, in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526, ed. Rawdon Brown (London, 1869), pp. 119-130. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/venice/vol3/pp119-130.