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Elizabeth, Queen of England (Part Five)

Missed the previous parts in this series? You can find the previous four articles HERE and the podcasts HERE

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Elizabeth, Queen of England – Elizabeth’s Ladies

By mid-January 1559 Elizabeth had her household set, rightfully so, she was officially crowned Queen of England. Her group of tightly knit ladies were referred to as the “old flock of Hatfield”.

Instead of the Catholic ladies in Queen Mary’s household like Wharton, Waldegrave, Cornwallis, Babington, Dormer and Southwell, Elizabeth replaced them with her cousins, the ladies Carey, Knollys and Ashley; As well as the daughters and wives of those men who served her, such as the ladies Cecil, Throckmorton, Warner, Cheke and Benger.

Loyal Servants

Of course, those ladies who had served her throughout her life would stay involved now that she was Queen. Kat Ashley and Blanche Parry to name two. Blanche has been reported to have served Elizabeth from the time she was in the cradle until she died in 1590.

Ashley was almost immediately appointed her Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber – this position was the most prestigious post within Elizabeth’s household because it gave her complete access to the sovereign. Kat was nearly always by the Queen’s side, even at night she was right there sleeping on a pallet bed in Elizabeth’s bedchamber. Not only was she responsible for the care of the Queen but she was also responsible for overseeing all the other ladies of the privy chamber.

Blanche Parry was appointed second Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and was also (due to her fondness for literature) the keeper of the Queen’s books.

There were two other ladies from Elizabeth’s time at Hatfield that found a place in her household as Queen, they were: Lady Elizabeth Fiennes de Clinton, who was appointed Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and Elizabeth St. Loe or “Bess of Hardwick. Hardwick, who, at the age of thirty-one was one of the oldest member of the Queen’s household.

Lady Anne Russell was one the youngest ladies to serve the Queen, she was merely ten years old when she was appointed Maid of Honor.

Elizabeth didn’t only show favor to the women who had served her in the past but also some of the women who had served her stepmother, Kateryn Parr. Mrs. Eglionby was appointed mother of the maids and Elizabeth Carew was also given a noteworthy position as well.

No Women Allowed

Interestingly enough, if you were a woman and were not a member of the Queen’s household you were not welcome at court. Male courtiers were discouraged from bringing their wives to court because this would ruin the image that Elizabeth wanted as the most attractive and desired woman at court. This would explain why Amy Robsart was not at court with her husband Robert Dudley – it wasn’t only that the Queen was jealous of her relationship with her favorite, she felt that way about all the ladies except for the ones who were her servants.

Elizabeth even decreased the number of women who normally served the queen from twenty to only eleven. There were now only six maids of honor – the lowest number of female attendants in nearly forty years.

Various Positions in the Queen’s Household

I’ve had a few of you ask me on Facebook about the different positions that women held in the Queen’s household and what they were responsible for – here is an idea:

The ladies of the privy chamber attended the queen’s daily needs such as washing, dressing and serving at the table.

The queen’s chamberers would perform more menial tasks such as arranging bedding and cleaning the queen’s private chambers.

If you were a maid of honor to the Queen this meant that you were unmarried and attended the Queen in public and would carry her long train. A maid of honor was also responsible for entertaining her by singing, dancing and reading to her. These girls were supervised by the Mother of Maids.

The ladies in waiting to the queen were women who were sometimes connected to the privy chamber and held their position due to their experience or their husband’s position at court.

When these women joined the queen’s office they had to swear the ceremonial oath. This oath was used to form a bond of allegiance between the ladies and their queen.

Queen Elizabeth was very concerned about matters of personal cleanliness by the standards of the day. She was known to take regular baths in a tub that was specially made for her. This tub would travel with her from palace to palace – Elizabeth clearly liked to be clean. If for some reason her tub was unavailable, or time did not allow for it, her ladies would clean her with wet cloths that were soaked in pewter bowls. As far as dental hygiene I covered this in an article once and author Tracy Borman states that Elizabeth would clean her teeth with a concoction of “white wine and vinegar boiled up with honey which would be rubbed on with fine cloths.”

The duty of preparing the Queen each day would take hours – from bathing to dressing and hair, all had to be just right.

Elizabeth, like her father Henry VIII, did not handle illness well. In her lifetime, it had been noted that stress caused Elizabeth to suffer from headaches, breathlessness, stomach aches and insomnia. She was also known to rail against her ladies and doctors insisting she was fine because she perceived illness as weakness. This must have been hell for Elizabeth when she contracted smallpox in 1562.

It was at Hampton Court Palace on the 10th of October 1562 that Elizabeth began to feel unwell. After immersing herself in a bath and taking a walk outdoors (which resulted in a chill) Elizabeth took to her bed with a fever. A German physician by the name of Dr. Burcot was summoned to examine the queen. His diagnosis was smallpox even though she had no tell-tale spots on her skin. Elizabeth called him a fool and dismissed him.

Smallpox and Sickness

By the 16th of October the Queen was gravely ill. She was incapable of speech and would appear to pass out for stretches up to twenty-four hours. The royal doctors feared she would die and sent for Cecil.

The Queen’s cousin, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon persuaded the humiliated Dr. Burcot to return (some reported by dagger) to the Queen’s side. The doctor ordered that Elizabeth be wrapped in red flannel, laid on a pallet bed by the fire and be given a potion that he had created. Merely two hours later Elizabeth was alert and speaking. Clearly Dr. Burcot was no fool.

By her side through it all (until she became ill herself) was Robert Dudley’s sister, Mary Sidney. Sidney’s case was much worse than the Queen’s and she was badly disfigured by her illness. Her husband, Sir Henry Sidney said:

When I went to Newhaven I left her a full fair lady in mine eye at least the fairest, and when I returned I found her as foul a lady as the smallpox could make her, which she did take by continual attendance of her majesty’s most precious person (sick of the same disease) the scars of which (to her resolute discomfort) ever since hath done and doth remain in her face, so as she liveth solitary like a night-raven in the house more to my charge then if we had boarded together as we did before that evil accident happened.

Mary Sidney is listed a one of Queen Elizabeth’s Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber and makes one wonder if she was the one who attended to the Queen because of her closeness to Robert. Surely, in the big picture, this did not benefit Mary at all. She and her husband served the Queen for many, many years and felt this deserved more rewards than they received.

The Queen’s Activities

When Elizabeth’s health was good her favorite past time was dancing. She loved to show off her skills by performing such beautiful and complicated dances such as the galliard and volta. Elizabeth would spend long hours with her ladies rehearsing the steps until they were performed to perfection.

In the evenings, when Elizabeth retired to her private apartments, her ladies would attend to her every need. They would carefully unpin her hair, undress her and remove her makeup. The Queen undone was something only her ladies were allowed to see. This is why it was such a big deal years later when the Earl of Sussex (Lettice Knollys son) burst into the Queen’s bedchamber to witness her in this state.

Compensation and Treatment of her Ladies

To serve the Queen was not a lucrative career – it was mostly for the prestige and favor by the Queen. Their pay was considered moderate. Maids of honor and ladies of the presence-chamber were seldom paid at all, while ladies of the privy chamber and bedchamber receive an annual salary of roughly 33 pounds or the equivalent of around 7,000 pounds today.

Not only did they lack pay, or receive very little pay, but their meals usually consisted of leftovers from the Queen’s meals.

While most of the women in her household were unpaid or little paid they were regularly receive clothing, jewelry and other gifts from their mistress.

Their living quarters were also very cramped and uncomfortable. While sanitation was poor there were no bathrooms or flushing toilets available to them like there was to the Queen. The court, as a result, would have had a foul smell. When this would happen the Queen and her entourage would regularly move or travel to allow for a thorough cleaning of the palace to have the human waste disposed of before they returned.

Elizabeth was also noted as treating her ladies very similarly to how her mother had – if any of her ladies failed to perform any of their duties properly the Queen would fly into a rage and punish them with slaps or blows. Author Tracy Borman says in Elizabeth’s Women, “When one poor lady was clumsy in serving her at table, Elizabeth stabbed her in the hand” and that one foreign visitor to court observed: “She is a haughty woman, falling easily into rebuke…She thinks highly of herself and has little regard for her servants and Council, being of opinion that she is far wiser than they; she mocks them and often cries out upon them.”

Elizabeth had the temper of her father and all the charm and charisma of her mother.

Going Against the Queen

The downside of being a close servant to the Queen was that she controlled your fate. I’ve discussed this several times – that I find it completely selfish and unnecessary for Elizabeth to hate when her ladies married. One of the ladies who served Elizabeth learned the hard way to not cross the Queen – Elizabeth Throckmorton.

In 1584, at the age of 19, Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton went to court and became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. Eventually she became Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. She was responsible for dressing the Queen. A very intimate job, indeed.

Bess and her younger brother, Arthur were both courtiers during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. “Bess” had been described by her contemporaries as “intelligent, forthright, passionate, and courageous”.

After six years at court (roughly 25 years old) the still single “Bess” met Walter Raleigh who was quickly becoming one of the Queen Elizabeth’s favorites. As a lady to the Queen it was necessary for “Bess” to get permission to be courted. The Queen must also give her approval of any man who wished to court one of her ladies because they were supposed to be seen as extremely virtuous women. Throckmorton and Raleigh clearly believed they would not get permission and began a secret and intimate relationship.

By July 1591, Bess Throckmorton was pregnant – she secretly wed Raleigh and understood the seriousness of getting married without permission from Elizabeth. If she did not marry then her child would be considered a bastard. So really, at that point, she didn’t have a choice.

“Bess” must have been aware of the danger in having the Queen discover she was pregnant AND married that she somehow obtained permission to leave court to stay at her brother Arthur’s home in London. It is there that she gave birth to a son in March 1592.

Not long after she returned to court only to have the Queen discover all that had happened behind her back. Both Throckmorton and Raleigh were thrown in the Tower of London. In October, at only six months old, the couple’s son died of the plague and Queen Elizabeth chose to release the couple from the Tower. She never forgave “Bess” Throckmorton for her betrayal and Raleigh was ordered not to be seen at court for one year.

The fate of “Bess” Throckmorton mirrors that of Lettice Knollys after her secret marriage to Robert Dudley. Both women fell in love with the Queen’s favorite, married secretly and fell from favor. However, both women appear to have found love despite the loss of favor from their Queen. This is something that the Queen would never have.

Anne Vavasour was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the mistress of the Earl of Oxford, by whom she had an illegitimate son – Edward. Both Anne and the Earl of Oxford, for their offences, were sent to the Tower by the Queen’s orders. Later she became the mistress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, by whom she had another illegitimate son – Thomas. This affair happened shortly after she had married her first husband, John Finch, a sea-captain. The Queen apparently was not as displeased with this affair as Anne and Lee entertained the Queen together at Ditchley.

Interestingly enough, Anne was charged with bigamy when she married John Richardson after she had already married (in c.1590) John Finch, who was still living. Her fine was £2,000 and she was spared from performing a public penance.

Frances Walsingham was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the wife of Sir Philip Sydney. She was the daughter of Francis Walsingham, who was a trusted adviser of Queen Elizabeth. He is best known as Elizabeth’s “spymaster.”

In 1590, Frances married her second husband, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The match caused great displeasure to the Queen Elizabeth, partly because Essex was the son of Lettice Knollys and partly because Elizabeth herself had a crush on Robert Devereux herself.

Then we look at Catherine Carey, cousin (or possibly sister) to the Queen. Catherine and her husband Francis Knollys were both loyal servants to the Queen. Francis was always at the will of the Queen, even when his wife was on her deathbed and he begged to be by her side – the Queen would not allow him to come home. Even Catherine requested her husband to be by her said, to no avail.

My Opinion of the Queen

Throughout my years of researching the Tudors I’ve always said that Elizabeth is my least favorite Tudor monarch and this article, in my opinion is the perfect example of why. I understand those of you who love her because she was a strong female ruler, or because she brought peace and prosperity to England. My response to that is: Sure, yes, she was all those things, but that does not mean she was a nice person. In my opinion, she was just like her father. She was selfish, moody and unjust.

The next article on Elizabeth will be my last in this series and I haven’t quite figured out where I’m going to go with that one yet. Stay Tuned!

Read Part Six HERE / Listen to Part Six Here


Sources:

Borman, Tracy. Elizabeth’s Woman (Bantam Books, 2009)
MacCaffrey, Wallace T. The Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime – Elizabethan Politics, 1558-1572 (Princeton University Press, 1968)
Weir, Alison. The Life of Elizabeth I (Ballantine Books, 1998)


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The Tudor Society - Tudor History at your Fingertips

The Ladies Who Served: Kateryn Parr

Kateryn Parr was the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII. They were married from 1543 until the King’s death in 1547 – nearly the same amount of time that Henry was married to Anne Boleyn.

Here is a list of the majority of ladies who served, Kateryn Parr - This list could not be shared with you without the amazing research by Kate Emerson of “A Who’s Who of Tudor Women”. Her research has allowed me to compile the below list into one post to share with you. Please take the time to check out her site: A Who’s Who of Tudor Women.

Great Ladies of the Household those Women Closest to the Queen:

Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex

Mary was the daughter of Sir John Arundell and his second wife, Catherine Grenville.

Mary Arundell was a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour before she married Robert Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex on January 14, 1537 – she was his third wife.

Mary remained at court as one of Queen Jane’s ladies after her marriage until the queen’s death and returned as one of the Great Ladies of the Household to Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard.

Mary had two sons by the Earl of Sussex, Henry (the king’s godson) and John. After the death of her husband she married Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel on the 19th of December 1545, as his second wife.

Mary Arundell

Anne Calthorpe, Countess of Sussex

Anne Calthorpe was the daughter of Sir Philip Calthorpe and Jane Blennerhassett.

She married Henry Radcliffe, 2nd Earl of Sussex, she was his second wife and they were married prior to 21 November 1538.

Anne was the mother of Egremont, Maud, and Frances Radcliffe.

Anne was at court when Kateryn Parr was queen and shared her Protestant beliefs. She was among a group of ladies at Tudor court that were implicated in the heresy of Anne Askew.

No available portrait.

Joan Champernowne, Lady Denny

Joan Champernowne was the daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne and Catherine Carew. J

oan came to court as a maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon and remained at court during the tenures of Henry VIII’s next five wives.

In February 1538 she married Sir Anthony Denny. The couple had ten children: Honora, Anne, Mary, Arthur, Douglas, Charles, Edmund, Henry, Anthony, and Edward.

While Kateryn Parr was queen, Joan was accused of sending 8s. to Anne Askew but nothing was proven against her. In 1547, she retired to Cheshunt but her service to the Crown was not yet over. In May 1548, Princess Elizabeth and her household were sent to stay there with the Dennys and remained until autumn. Some accounts say Elizabeth’s governess, Katherine Champernowne Astley, was Joan’s younger sister. Others believe they were only distantly related.

No available portrait.

Lady Margaret Douglas

Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Margaret Tudor (sister to Henry VIII) by her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Margaret was half sister of James V of Scotland and granddaughter of Henry VII of England.

Margaret was born at Harbottle castle in England because her mother, Margaret Tudor was fleeing from Scotland, seeking shelter with her brother, Henry VIII.

When she was barely fifteen, she was appointed chief lady in waiting to her cousin, Princess Mary. Only three years later, she was at court as one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies.

Margaret Douglas was in and out of trouble all her life. She formed two unacceptable romantic alliances with English suitors and was confined for a time after each incident. She may actually have married Thomas Howard (1512-October 29, 1537), one of the Duke of Norfolk’s half-brothers. Thomas died in the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned for his liaison with Margaret. Margaret remained close to Thomas Howard’s niece, Mary Howard, duchess of Richmond, who had been married to Henry FitzRoy.²

On the 6th of July 1544, Margaret married Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox. The couple had two sons who survived to adulthood, Henry, Lord Darnley and Charles, Earl of Lennox.

Shortly before the death of Henry VIII, Margaret argued with the king over a matter of religion (she remained a devout Catholic all her life) and was disinherited.

Margaret was high in favor under Queen Mary, but under Queen Elizabeth she was under arrest on three separate occasions, once on suspicion of witchcraft and treason, once because her son, Lord Darnley, had married the queen of Scots, and once because she conspired to marry her other son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavendish.²

Margaret Douglas

Jane Guildford, Lady Dudley

Jane Guildford was the daughter of Sir Edward Guildford and Eleanor West.

In late 1525 or early 1526, she married her father’s ward, John Dudley. They had thirteen children: Henry, Thomas, John, Ambrose, a second Henry, Mary, Robert, Guildford, Katherine, and four others—Charles, Margaret, Frances, and Temperance—who died under the age of ten.

Jane was successively Lady Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, Countess of Warwick, and Duchess of Northumberland. Although she did not take an active role in her husband’s political career, she was at court as a lady of the Privy Chamber to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr and during the reign of Edward VI.

After the failure of Northumberland’s attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England in place of Mary Tudor and Northumberland’s execution, Jane went to live with her daughter, Mary Sidney, at Penshurst, Kent, until Queen Mary granted her the use of her Chelsea dower house.²

Jane’s son Guildford (husband of Lady Jane Grey), was executed in 1554 while her other sons remained prisoners in the Tower. On the 2nd of May 1554 she herself was pardoned.

That summer Jane was at court a lot to petition the release her sons. The eldest, John, was released from the Tower in early October 1554. Ambrose, Robert, and Henry were released by early 1555, before their mother’s death at Chelsea.

Jane Dudley

Anne Stanhope, Lady Hertford

Anne Stanhope was the daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope and Elizabeth Bourchier.

Elizabeth Bourchier, her mother, was sister of the Earl of Bath and was also a descendant of King Edward III.

Anne Stanhope was the only child of Sir Edward Stanhope and Elizabeth Bourchier and was born in 1510. Unfortunately, when she was about one year old her father died. There is little evidence that remains about Anne’s childhood – it is, however, believed that she was a maid-of-honour to Katherine of Aragon.

Her mother did eventually marry again, this time to Sir Richard Paget, who was also well-connected to King Henry VIII. Paget was a gentleman of the Privy Chamber for King Henry and also Vice-Chamberlain in the household of Henry Fitzroy.

Depending on who you read the following information varies regarding the marriage of Edward Seymour to his second wife, Anne Stanhope.

David Loades says they married on the 9th of March 1535, while Antonia Fraser says it was sometime in 1534 before Katherine Fillol’s death and Margaret Scard says by the 9th of March 1535. So we don’t know for certain if it was before or after the death of her first wife. We can assume from the three authors that they were definitely married by the 9th of March 1535.

Anne managed to stay on good terms with both Princess Mary and Queen Katherine Parr but her religious leanings were Protestant. She sent aid to Anne Askew in 1545.

Her husband, Edward, Duke of Somerset was arrested for a second time on the 16th of October 1551, accused of plotting against John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. This time he was executed. Anne was also arrested and remained a prisoner in the Tower of London until 30th of May 1553, even though she was never charged with any crime.

Under Mary Tudor, three of Anne’s daughters were at court. Her oldest son, Edward, was restored in blood. Anne was granted a number of Northumberland’s confiscated properties and Hanworth, Middlesex, where she chose to live. It was at Hanworth that a romance secretly blossomed between Anne’s son Edward and Lady Catherine Grey, younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. When the young couple eloped in 1560 and were subsequently confined in the Tower of London, Anne was careful to distance herself from them. The next year, Anne married Francis Newdigate (October 25, 1519-January 26,1581/2), who had been Somerset’s steward. When her son was released from the Tower, Anne was given custody of him and also of the older of the two sons he had with Lady Catherine Grey. Anne tried to advance Lady Catherine’s claim to the throne by backing John Hales’s Discourse on the Succession but met with little success. Although she was rarely at Elizabeth’s court, on one visit she had with her nineteen servants, including a chaplain and seven stable lads.

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset

Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk

Catherine Willoughby was the daughter of William Willoughby, 10th Baron Willoughby d’Eresby and Maria de Salinas.

When Catherine’s father died she became the ward of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and was raised with his children of his previous wife, Mary Tudor, dowager queen of France.

The original plan was that Catherine was to marry Suffolk’s son, Henry, but after Mary Tudor died in 1533, Suffolk married Catherine himself on 7 September 1534. When they married Catherine was 14 and Suffolk was 49.

The couple had two sons, Henry and Charles.

Catherine spent a lot of time at court during the reign of Henry VIII and Kateryn Parr.

In 1548, when Kateryn Parr died after giving birth to her daughter Mary, the child was placed in Catherine’s care.

Catherine lost both of her sons to an epidemic of “the sweat” in 1551, when they died within hours of each other. In 1553, Catherine took as her second husband the man who had been her first husband’s steward (some sources say gentleman usher). Richard Bertie (December 25,1517-April 9,1582) shared Catherine’s religious views. In 1554, their daughter Susan (d.1596+) was born. By that time Mary Tudor was queen and had restored Catholicism to England. Richard Bertie went into exile first and on New Year’s Day 1555, Catherine and Susan followed him. A son named Peregrine (October 12,1555-June 25,1601) was born during their travels abroad. They ended up in Poland, where King Sigismund offered them the governorship of Lithuania. They remained there until after Mary Tudor’s death, returning to England in the late spring of 1559. Under Elizabeth Tudor, the Berties were not significant figures at court, but Catherine was entrusted with the keeping of Lady Mary Grey for a time after that young lady’s elopement. Mary was in her step-grandmother’s household from August 7, 1567 until June 1569.

Catherine Willoughby

Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber and Bedchamber

Elizabeth Oxenbridge, Lady Tyrwhitt

Elizabeth Oxenbridge was the daughter of Goddard Oxenbridge and his second wife, Anne Fiennes.

Elizabeth was at Tudor court in the household of Jane Seymour in 1537, then after the queen’s death she resided with Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex.

When Katheryn Howard became queen, Elizabeth was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber and during Anne Parr Herbert’s absence from court to have a child, temporarily took over her duties as keeper of the queen’s jewels. She was also a lady of the privy chamber to Kateryn Parr and shared the queen’s views on religion.

It is probably at this time that her book of prayers was written. Her husband was Kathryn’s master of horse. Both she and her husband remained with the queen dowager after Henry VIII’s death and Elizabeth, in testimony before the Privy Council, gave an eyewitness account of the queen dowager’s death on September 5, 1548. Elizabeth’s dislike of Kathryn Parr’s new husband, Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour, comes through clearly in this report. A short time later, Sir Robert and Lady Tyrwhitt were put in charge of Princess Elizabeth at Hatfield, following the removal of the princess’s longtime governess, Kat Astley, on suspicion of plotting to marry her young charge to the widowed Lord Admiral. Upon Lady Tyrwhitt’s arrival, the princess locked herself in her room and declared that she did not need a governess. Sir Robert was of the opinion that she needed two and Lady Tyrwhitt stayed on even after Kat Astley’s return to the household.

No available portrait.

Maud Parr, Lady Lane

Maud Parr was the daughter of William Parr, Baron Parr and Mary Salisbury.

She married Sir Ralph Lane in 1523, although they did not live together as man and wife until 1527. The couple had three sons and seven daughters, including Laetitia, Robert, Ralph, Frances, Mary, Jane, Dorothy, Katherine, and William.

In 1543, she entered the service of her cousin, Queen Katherine Parr. She shared evangelical religious views with several other of the queen’s ladies and was at one point in danger of arrest. In the past, several historians misread Lady Lane as Lady Jane and thought that Lady Jane Grey was part of Katherine Parr’s protestant circle when she was queen, but Lady Jane would have been too young at that time. Maud Lane survived Henry VIII’s reign and retired to Horton until her death in 1558 or 1559.

No available portrait.

Mary Wotton, Lady Carew

Mary Wotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton and Anne Belknap.

It is possible that Mary was the Mistress Wotton who was a chamberer to Mary Tudor, queen of France, in 1513.

She married first, Sir Henry Guildford. Her second husband was Sir Gavin Carew and they married in July 1540.

Mary was at court in 1543 as one of Queen Kateryn Parr’s ladies.

Mary Wotton

Chamberers:

Dorothy Fountain

Not a great deal is known about Dorothy Fountain. She has been identified by Susan James in Catherine Parr as nurse first to Margaret Neville, daughter of Lord Latimer and the queen’s stepdaughter, and later as nurse to Edward Herbert, Anne Parr’s son, when he lived at Chelsea Manor in 1547. From 1543 until Margaret Neville’s death in 1546, Dorothy was at court as Margaret’s servant. In 1547, she was listed as one of the queen’s chamberers. She married William Savage, another of the queen’s household, at around that time but they both disappear from the records after the death of the queen dowager in 1548.

No portrait available.

Mary Woodhull

Mary Woodhull (often written Odell) was the daughter of Nicholas Woodhull and Elizabeth (or Alice) Parr.

Her grandfather was Lord Parr of Horton, making her a cousin to Queen Katherine Parr, Horton’s niece. She came to court as a chamberer in 1543 when she was about fifteen and had been promoted to gentlewoman of the queen’s chamber at a salary of five shillings by 1547.

Mary remained with Kateryn Parr after Henry VIII’s death. It was noted that sometimes she shared a bed with Parr for warmth.

In June 1550, Mary married David Seymour, a distant relation of Lord Protector Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, who had also been in Queen Katherine’s household. They had three children, William, Edward, and Anne.

No portrait available.

Maids of Honor:

The list of maids of honor is vague at best – Anne Bassett, Dorothy Bray, a daughter of Sir Anthony Browne’s, a Carew girl, a Guildford girl, a relative of Dr. Robert Huicke and a Windsor girl.

Mother of Maids:

Margaret (or Anne) Foliot, Mrs. Stonor

Paintrix:

Lavina Bening, Mrs.Teerlinc

The eldest of five daughters of Simon Bening, an illuminator, and Katlijne Scroo, Lavina  was born in Bruges.

Between 1540 and 1542, she married George Teerlinc. It was as Lavina Teerlinc that she became well known as a limner and miniature painter.

She and her husband arrived in England in early 1545 and she was sworn into the queen’s Privy Chamber. The following year, her husband became one of the king’s Gentlemen Pensioners and Lavina became one of the king’s artists at £40 per annum.

Under Queen Mary I, Lavina continued to receive the £40 annuity as a “paintrix” but this salary was not paid.

Lavina continued to be a court painter under Queen Elizabeth I and in 1562 presented the queen with “the Queen’s personne and other personages, in a box finely painted” as a New Year’s gift.

Laundress:

Christian Murset (wife of William)

Other Women in Unspecified Positions:

Mistress Barbara ?
Elizabeth Bellingham, Mrs. Hutton
Anne Blechingham or Blechington
Eleanor Browne, Lady Kempe
Jane Cheney, Lady Wriothesley
Mrs. Eglionby
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Mrs. Garrett
Margery Horsham, Lady Lister
Anne Jerningham, Lady Walsingham
Mistress Kendal
Margaret Neville
Anne Sapcote, Lady Russell
Elizabeth Slighfield, Mrs. Huicke (wife of Dr. Robert Huicke)?
Lucy Somerset
Elizabeth Stonor, Lady Hoby
Mistress Syllyard

Once again this list could not be shared with you without the amazing research by Kate Emerson of “A Who’s Who of Tudor Women”. Her research has allowed me to compile the below list into one post to share with you. Please take the time to check out her site: A Who’s Who of Tudor Women.

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The Ladies Who Served: Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard’s time as Queen of England was short-lived but even so she also had many ladies who served her.

It makes one wonder if Katherine could foresee her future or if she was naive enough to think that Henry’s love would always be hers – she knew if she had the king’s favor that she would remain continue to receive gifts and affection from him.

How did it all begin? We don’t often speak of this and I’d like to share this quote with you:

Katherine Howard met Henry VIII the first time at a banquet given by Bishop of Winchester to celebrate the king’s marriage with Anne of Cleves, and afterwards at the house of Gardiner. The king took such a fancy to her that it was not long before he secured her appointment as maid of honor to the queen.¹

It is believed that the queen consort chose her ladies and the king would, on occasion, interfere with his own choices after suggestions from those close to him. When choosing the ladies who would serve in their privy chamber, a Tudor queen would look for a lady who was well-educated, attractive and aristocratic women.



There were different groups of women who served the queen and we’ll briefly explain them here:

Privy Chamber – these ladies attended to the queen’s daily needs such as washing, dressing and serving at the table.

Chamberers – performed more menial tasks such as arranging bedding and cleaning the queen’s private chambers.

Maids-of-Honor – attended the queen in public and carried her long train. They were also responsible for entertaining her by singing, dancing and reading. These girls were unmarried and were supervised by “Mother of Maids”.

Ladies in Waiting – these women were sometimes connected to the privy chamber and held their position due to their experience or their husband’s position at court.

When these women joined the queen’s office they had to swear the ceremonial oath. This oath was used to form a bond of allegiance between the ladies and their queen.

Great Ladies of the Household :

Lady Margaret Douglas

Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Margaret Tudor (sister to Henry VIII) by her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Margaret was half sister of James V of Scotland and granddaughter of Henry VII of England.

Margaret was born at Harbottle castle in England because her mother, Margaret Tudor was fleeing from Scotland, seeking shelter with her brother, Henry VIII.

When she was barely fifteen, she was appointed chief lady in waiting to her cousin, Princess Mary. Only three years later, she was at court as one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies.

Margaret Douglas was in and out of trouble all her life. She formed two unacceptable romantic alliances with English suitors and was confined for a time after each incident. She may actually have married Thomas Howard (1512-October 29, 1537), one of the Duke of Norfolk’s half-brothers. Thomas died in the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned for his liaison with Margaret. Margaret remained close to Thomas Howard’s niece, Mary Howard, duchess of Richmond, who had been married to Henry FitzRoy.²

On the 6th of July 1544, Margaret married Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox. The couple had two sons who survived to adulthood, Henry, Lord Darnley and Charles, Earl of Lennox.

Shortly before the death of Henry VIII, Margaret argued with the king over a matter of religion (she remained a devout Catholic all her life) and was disinherited.

Margaret was high in favor under Queen Mary, but under Queen Elizabeth she was under arrest on three separate occasions, once on suspicion of witchcraft and treason, once because her son, Lord Darnley, had married the queen of Scots, and once because she conspired to marry her other son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavendish.²

Margaret Douglas

Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond

Mary Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Stafford.

Mary was a maid of honor to her cousin, Anne Boleyn and was married to Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII with Bessie Blount. The couple married on the 26th of November 1533, but they never lived together.

Henry VIII tried to use non-consummation of the marriage as an excuse not to support Mary in her widowhood, however, by 1540, she had been granted a number of former church properties and had an income in excess of £744 per annum.

Following the death of her husband, Mary lived mostly at Kenninghall when she was not at court.

Mary Howard was part of the household of Catherine Howard but send back to Kenninghall in November 1541 when the queen’s household was disbanded.

There was talk of a marriage with Thomas Seymour, as early as 1538 and the idea was revisited in 1546. Mary’s brother, Surrey was opposed to the idea and Mary as well was not too keen to the idea of marriage with Seymour.

In December 1546, when Mary’s father and brother were arrested on charges of treason, she was forced to give evidence against them, but managed to say very little of use. After Surrey was executed, Mary was given charge of his children. She established a household at Reigate and employed John Foxe to educate them. Unlike most of the rest of the Howards, Mary adopted the New Religion, which meant she fell out of favor when Queen Mary came to the throne. She did remain close to her father, however, and when he died he left her £500.²

Mary Howard

Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex

Mary was the daughter of Sir John Arundell and his second wife, Catherine Grenville.

Mary Arundell was a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour before she married Robert Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex on January 14, 1537 – she was his third wife.

Mary remained at court as one of Queen Jane’s ladies after her marriage until the queen’s death and returned as one of the Great Ladies of the Household to Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard.

Mary had two sons by the Earl of Sussex, Henry (the king’s godson) and John. After the death of her husband she married Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel on the 19th of December 1545, as his second wife.

Mary Arundell

Margaret Gamage, Lady Howard

Margaret was the daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage and Margaret St. John.

She was a maid of honor to Queen Anne Boleyn and was married William Howard, who was created Baron Howard of Effingham in 1554.

According to one source, to celebrate their wedding, on June 29, 1533 in the chapel at Whitehall, King Henry VIII mounted a small battle on the Thames for entertainment. One man drowned and two more broke their legs while jousting. Since other sources give April 23, 1535 as the date of death of Katherine Broughton, first wife of William Howard, the 1533 date seems to be an error for 1535. According to Eric Ives in his biography of Anne Boleyn, it was during the late summer progress of 1535 that Lady Howard, one of Anne’s ladies who had not gone with the reduced court, was a ringleader in a demonstration at Greenwich in support of Mary Tudor. He says the matter was hushed up but that Lady Howard was sent to the Tower. This is highly speculative. The only evidence is a report by the Bishop of Tarbes to the Bailly of Troyes in October of 1535, which states that “citizens’ wives and others, unknown to their husbands” protested Princess Mary’s removal from Greenwich and some were placed in the Tower. A handwritten note in the margin says only “Millor de Rochesfort et Millord de Guillaume.”²

Margaret was seen at court in the Spring of 1536 when Margaret Douglas had confided in her that she had secretly agreed to marry Lord Thomas Howard. Not long after, in November of the same year Lady Margaret Douglas was sent to Syon and Lord Thomas to the Tower. He would eventually die there.



Margaret was one of Queen Catherine Howard’s ladies. When the queen was arrested, both Margaret and her husband were arrested for misprision of treason. They were tried and found guilty of concealing her unchastity and later pardoned.

Agnes Tylney, dowager Duchess of Norfolk

Agnes Tylney was the daughter of Hugh Tylney and Eleanor Tailboys (or Talbot). She was first at court at fifteen. She married Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey as his second wife on the 17th of August 1497.

Agnes and Thomas had many children: Dorothy, Thomas, William, Anne, Katherine, Elizabeth, Richard, and two sons and four daughters who died young.

Agnes waited on Catherine of Aragon during Catherine’s marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales in 1501-2. In 1503, she went with Princess Margaret to Scotland for Margaret’s marriage to James IV. In 1514, she accompanied Princess Mary to France for her wedding to King Louis XII. By then Agnes’s husband had been elevated in the peerage to duke of Norfolk. In 1516, Agnes was one of Mary Tudor’s godparents. In 1520, she was one of the few noblewomen who did not attend the Field of Cloth of Gold. Her husband was left behind to defend England and Agnes, together with her daughters Dorothy, Katherine, and Elizabeth, remained with Princess Mary at Richmond. As a widow, the dowager duchess of Norfolk lived mostly at Horsham and at Lambeth. Her household always included a number of young relatives. Her daughter, Lady Daubeney, for example, sent all three of her daughters by Rhys ap Griffith to be raised by her mother. In June 1528, during an epidemic of the sweating sickness, Agnes wrote to Cardinal Wolsey with advice on curing those who fell ill. She recommended treacle and “water imperial” and setwell for the stomach and advised that those who fell victim to the disease fast for sixteen hours and stay in bed for twenty-four hours. As precautions, she suggested isolating sufferers for an entire week and putting vinegar, wormwood, rosewater, and crumbs of brown bread on linen and sniffing it, but warned that this mixture must not touch the face. She also took advantage of the occasion to begin to lobby for the wardship of one of the daughters of Sir John Broughton, which she eventually obtained. In 1529, she gave evidence that Catherine of Aragon had been Prince Arthur’s wife and later she took part in the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn, daughter of one of her Howard stepchildren. The deposition was given on June 16, 1529 in the Cluniac priory at Thetford. Agnes was godmother to Princess Elizabeth. When King Henry VIII began to court Catherine Howard, one of the young girls who had been brought up at Horsham, Agnes said nothing to discourage the match. When Catherine’s past misconduct was revealed, therefore, Agnes was held accountable and arrested in late 1541. She was pardoned the following May 5th and released. ²

Agnes Tilney Howard

 

Ursula Stourton, Lady Clinton

Ursula Stourton was the daughter of William Stourton, 7th Baron Stourton and Elizabeth Dudley. She married Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln sometime before the 15th June 1541.

The couple had two children, a daughter Frances and a son, Henry.

It is noted by Kate Emerson, author of “Who’s Who of Tudor Women” that Ursula served Queen Katherine Parr.

There are no portraits of Ursula Stourton

Ladies of the Privy Chamber

Eleanor Paston, Countess of Rutland

Eleanor Paston was the daughter of Sir William Paston and Bridget Heydon.

She married Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland, as his second wife, sometime before 1523. The couple had eleven children: Anne, Elizabeth, Gertrude, Henry, Sir John, Frances, Roger, Sir Thomas, Oliver, Isabel, and Catherine.

In between giving birth, she participated in the ceremony creating Anne Boleyn marchioness of Pembroke and accompanied the new marchioness and the king to France in October 1532. She was on the summer progress of 1536 and was one of the chief mourners at the funeral of Jane Seymour. She may have been part of Anne Boleyn’s household. She was definitely a lady of the privy chamber to Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard.²

Eleanor was quarantined at her manor in July 1537, after a member of her household came down with the Sweating Sickness. She was back at court the following month, just in time to take Catherine Bassett, stepdaughter of Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, under her wing and look after her until Catherine was awarded a post in the household of Anne of Cleves in August 1540. T

Eleanor Paston

Jane Parker, Lady Rochford

Jane Parker was the daughter of Henry Parker, 8th Baron Morley and Alice St. John.

Jane is best known as Lady Rochford, wife and then widow of George Boleyn, brother to Anne. The couple were married in 1525 and had no children.

She gave evidence to help King Henry VIII annul his marriage to Anne of Cleves, but during the tenure of Queen Catherine Howard, it was Jane who helped the young queen betray her husband. Just how involved Jane was, and whether she was the villainous creature history has painted her, are subject to much debate. Her own evidence in interrogations in 1541 is disjointed and contradictory and she is said to have run mad when she realized she would be executed along with the queen. It was a letter in Catherine Howard’s handwriting that condemned her. The queen wrote to Thomas Culpepper to “come when my Lady Rochford is here, for then I shall be at leisure to be your commandment.”²

Further Reading: Jane Boleyn: Victim of History

There are no portraits of Jane Parker

Isabel Legh, Lady Baynton

Isabel Legh, sometimes called Isabel Howard, was the daughter of Ralph Legh and Joyce Culpepper and thus a half sister of Queen Catherine Howard.

She married Edward Baynton on the 18th of January 1531 and had by him three children, Henry, Francis and Anne.

Her husband was vice chamberlain to several of Henry VIII’s queens. It is believed that Isabel served Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves. The History of Parliament entry for her husband says that by the 14th of March 1539, the couple had replaced Lady Kingston in supervising the joint household of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor.

Isabel was also at court during the tenure of her half sister, Catherine Howard.

When Queen Catherine was sent to Syon House in the autumn of 1541, she was allowed to choose her own female attendants, on the condition that Isabel was one of them. Isabel also accompanied Catherine to the Tower. She was later a lady of the household extraordinary to Kathryn Parr.

According to Charlotte Merton in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, she was also part of Queen Mary’s household in 1554-7.²

There are no portraits of Isabel Legh

Catherine St. John, Lady Edgecumbe

Catherine St. John was the daughter of Sir John St. John and Sybil Morgan.

Her first marriage was in 1507 to Sir Griffith ap Rhys. The couple had a daughter, Mary Griffith.

Her second husband was Sir Piers Edgecumbe – she was his second wife as well.

Her second husband had three sons and four daughters by his first wife, Jane Dernford. In 1524-5, Sir Peter and his wife Catherine were sent three gallons of wine “at their first homecoming.” In November 1531, her stepson, Rhys ap Gruffydd, was attainted for treason but her jointure was protected. She was receiving about £72/year in 1532. There was an outbreak of measles in the household in March 1534. Catherine was executor of her husband’s will in 1539. M. St. Clare Byrne identifies Catherine as the Lady Edgecumbe who was a lady of the Privy Chamber to Anne of Cleves in 1540. Although other sources say that was Winifred Essex, her stepson’s wife, Winifred may not yet have been married and in any case would not have been Lady Edgecumbe because her husband was not knighted until 1542. The “Lady Edgecumbe” who served Catherine Howard in the Privy Chamber was probably also Catherine Edgecumbe, for the same reasons. Catherine made her will on December 4, 1553, at Cothele, Cornwall and it was proved on December 12, 1553. In it she names a daughter Mary Luttrell (wife of Sir John Luttrell), to whom she leaves the household goods at Dunster, Somerset, that had belonged to Sir Griffith ap Rhys.²

There are no portraits of Catherine St. John

Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber

Anne Parr, Lady Herbert

Anne was the daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green.

Her mother, Maud Parr,  was a lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon and Anne became a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour.

In early 1538, Anne married William Herbert.

Anne should not be confused with Lady Herbert of Troy (Blanche Milborne) who carried Elizabeth Tudor’s train at the christening of Prince Edward, or Mrs. Fitzherbert, who was chief chamberer to Queen Jane and rode in her funeral cortege in 1537. Anne was also in the cortege, but she was not yet Mrs. Herbert.

As Lady Herbert, she was keeper of the queen’s jewels to Catherine Howard, although she left court briefly to give birth to her first child, Henry (d.January 19,1601), in 1540. She was back at court in time to attend the disgraced queen at Syon House and in the Tower.

When her sister Katherine Parr became Henry VIII’s sixth queen in 1543, Anne returned to court.

The couple had two more children, Edward and Anne and used Baynard’s Castle as their London residence. For the birth of her second son, Anne’s sister loaned her the manor of Hanworth in Middlesex for her lying in.

At the time of her death, Anne Parr was one of Princess Mary’s ladies. She died quite unexpectedly at Baynard’s Castle and was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral next to the tomb of John of Gaunt. Her memorial there reads: “a most faithful wife, a woman of the greatest piety and discretion.”



Anne Parr by Holbein

Elizabeth Oxenbridge, Lady Tyrwhitt

Elizabeth was the daughter of Goddard Oxenbridge and his second wife, Anne Fiennes.

She was at court in the household of Queen Jane Seymour in 1537 and after the queen’s death resided with Mary Arundell, countess of Sussex.

Elizabeth was married to Sir Robert Tyrwhitt by the 4th of August 1539, when she and several other gentlewomen wrote a letter to King Henry from Portsmouth, where they had gone to view the royal fleet.

When Catherine Howard became queen, Elizabeth was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber and during Anne Parr Herbert’s absence from court to have a child, temporarily took over her duties as keeper of the queen’s jewels. She was also a lady of the privy chamber to Kathryn Parr and shared the queen’s views on religion.

Memorial of Elizabeth Oxenbridge

Susanna Hornebolt, Lady Gilman

Susanna Horenboult was the daughter of Gheraert Horenboult and Margaret Sanders.

Susanna’s father and brother, Lucas, were among the king’s painters at the court of Henry VIII. Lucas was employed in 1525 and Gerard by 1528. Susanna herself was an illuminator and miniature painter who had gained recognition on the Continent before coming to England around 1522 to work as an artist for Henry VIII. She was assigned to the queen’s household rather than being listed as an artist.²

Around 1526, Susanna married John Parker, who was Yeoman of the Wardrobe and Keeper of the Palace of Westminster. When they married she may have stopped painting professionally.

The same year her husband died, Susanna lost her place in the queen’s household due to the death of Jane Seymour and by 1538 she was in serious financial difficulties. She had no children by Parker.

On the 22nd of September 1539, Susanna married John Gylmyn or Gilman in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. He was a widower with a young daughter and a freeman of the vintner’s company, as well as holding a position at court. Two weeks later, Susanna was sent to Anne of Cleves as a personal ambassador from King Henry, and possibly as a spy. She was supplied with £40 for travel expenses and issued livery and was gone from England for three months. She joined the household of Anne of Cleves in Dusseldorf and accompanied the future queen to England. Anne made Susanna her chief gentlewoman and provided her with servants of her own.

At Calais in December, delayed by bad weather, “Mrs. Gylmyn” taught Anne of Cleves to play a card game called Cent (an early form of piquet). Susanna remained in Anne’s household as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber until Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII was annulled.²

The couple had two sons and at least two daughters, including Henry and Anne. In 1543, Susanna was back at court as part of Katherine Parr’s household. She remained at court under Edward VI.

Susanna Hornebolt

Chamberers

Katherine Tylney

Katherine Tylney was the daughter of Sir Philip Tylney and Elizabeth Jeffrey and the niece of Agnes Tylney, Duchess of Norfolk. Through her mother, she was also related to the Brandon family and thus to the Duke of Suffolk.

She was a member of the dowager Duchess of Norfolk’s household at Horsham in Sussex and at Lambeth, along with her sister-in-law, Malyn Tylney (née Chambre), Dorothy Baskerville, Margaret Benet, and Alice Wilkes, at the same time Catherine Howard was in the duchess’s care. After Catherine became queen, Katherine Tylney and Alice Restwold were among her chamberers, as was Margaret Morton, who had also been at Lambeth. While the queen was carrying on with her lover, Thomas Culpepper, everyone but Lady Rochford and Katherine were barred from Catherine’s bedchamber. When the whole sordid story came out, Katherine was interrogated about events at Lambeth, particularly how much the duchess knew about them and, on November 13, 1541, was questioned about more recent events at court, particularly at Lincoln on the recent progress and at Hampton Court. Katherine insisted that she’d never seen who it was the queen met in the wee hours of the morning.

On the 22nd of December 1541, Katherine pleaded guilty to knowing of the wicked life of Katherine Howard before her marriage and concealing it from the king. She was sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower of London and the seizure of all she owned. As a single woman, she did not actually own much of anything, certainly no lands or tenements. How long she was held is uncertain, but it was probably not for an extended period of time. The duchess was freed in May 1542. Katherine later married John Baker of Cambridge.²

There are no portraits of Katherine Tylney

Margaret Morton

Margaret Woodford was the daughter of William Woodford and Anne Norwich.

When her father died, she inherited the manors of Brentingby, Wyfordby, Freeby, and Garthorpe. She was also the principal heir of her grandfather, Sir Ralph Woodford.²

Margaret’s first husband was John Turville who died soon after their marriage. Margaret then married his brother, William Turville. This marriage was found to be irregular – interesting after what Henry VIII did to Katherine of Aragon after she had been married to his brother. Once it was annulled, Margaret married in about 1495 to Thomas Morton who was a widower with a son.

There are no portraits of Margaret Morton

Maude Luffkyn

Maude Luffkyn is believed to have been one of the women who attended Queen Catherine Howard on the scaffold.

It is thought that Luffkyn was 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.

There are no portraits of Maude Luffkyn

Joan Acworth

The daughter of George Acworth and Margaret Wilberforce.

Joan married William Bulmer at an early age, then left his house to go into service with the dowager duchess of Norfolk (Agnes Tylney). Joan was involved in a love affair with Edward Waldegrave of Rivers Hall, Essex at the same time Catherine Howard was living in that household. When Catherine married King Henry VIII, Joan was at court as a chamberer and was called upon to testify against the queen when the scandalous behavior of her early life was revealed in 1541. Both Joan and Edward Waldegrave were arrested and held for several months. At the time of Catherine Howard’s trial and execution in 1542, Joan Bulmer was listed as a widow, but in fact her husband was still alive. She could not marry Waldegrave until June 1556. ²

There are no portraits of Joan Acworth

Alice Wilkes

Alice Wilkes was a servant in the household of Agnes Tylney, Duchess of Norfolk at the same time as Katherine Howard and was aware of that young woman’s sexual hijinks.

Alice’s future husband, Anthony Restwold of the Vache, Buckinghamshire was also part of that household, but it is unclear exactly when they married. Later she would testify that she was “a married woman and wist what matrimony meant and what belonged to that puffing and blowing” she heard behind the bed curtains when Francis Dereham, a gentleman pensioner in the service of the duke of Norfolk (stepson of the dowager duchess) was with Katherine.

After Katherine Howard became the wife of Henry VIII, Alice came to court. Some accounts say she was there as a chamberer, but unlike most of those young women, Alice has the word “gentlewoman” added after her name in some records.

There are no portraits of Alice Wilkes

Ladies and Gentlewomen Attendants

Jane Guildford, Lady Dudley

Jane Guildford was the daughter of Sir Edward Guildford and Eleanor West.

In late 1525 or early 1526, she married her father’s ward, John Dudley. They had thirteen children: Henry, Thomas, John, Ambrose, a second Henry, Mary, Robert, Guildford, Katherine, and four others—Charles, Margaret, Frances, and Temperance—who died under the age of ten.

Jane was successively Lady Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, Countess of Warwick, and Duchess of Northumberland. Although she did not take an active role in her husband’s political career, she was at court as a lady of the Privy Chamber to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr and during the reign of Edward VI.

After the failure of Northumberland’s attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England in place of Mary Tudor and Northumberland’s execution, Jane went to live with her daughter, Mary Sidney, at Penshurst, Kent, until Queen Mary granted her the use of her Chelsea dower house.²

Jane’s son Guildford (husband of Lady Jane Grey), was executed in 1554 while her other sons remained prisoners in the Tower. On the 2nd of May 1554 she herself was pardoned.



That summer Jane was at court a lot to petition the release her sons. The eldest, John, was released from the Tower in early October 1554. Ambrose, Robert, and Henry were released by early 1555, before their mother’s death at Chelsea.

Jane Dudley

Margaret Howard, Lady Arundell

Margaret Howard was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpepper, as well as sister to Queen Katherine Howard.

Sometime between 1530 and 1533, Margaret married Sir Thomas Arundell.

Margaret Howard

Jane Cheney, Lady Wriothesley

Jane Cheney was the daughter and heiress of William Cheney and Emma Walwyn.

She was taught to read and write and owned a copy of the 1532 edition of Chaucer, in which she later wrote “this ys Jane Southampton boke.”

Before 1533, possibly as early as 1527, she married Thomas Wriothesley, who was created Earl of Southampton in 1547.

Jane Cheney, Lady Wriothesley

Catherine Skipwith, Lady Heneage

Catherine Skipwith was the daughter of John Skipwith and Catherine Fitzwilliam.

In 1515, she married Sir Thomas Heneage, a gentleman pensioner.

The couple only had one child, a daughter named Elizabeth.

Catherine rode in the funeral procession of Queen Jane Seymour and was a gentlewoman in attendance on Queen Anne of Cleves in January 1540 and later served in the household of Catherine Howard.

Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell

Elizabeth Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth and the younger sister of Edward, Henry, Queen Jane, Thomas and Dorothy.

By 1530, she was married to Sir Anthony Ughtred. Some sources have said that Elizabeth, as Lady Ughtred, was at court when Anne Boleyn was queen, but Jane Seymour’s biographer, Elizabeth Norton, contradicts this, saying that Elizabeth lived primarily in the north, away from both court and family.

In March of 1537, after her sister Jane was married to King Henry, the widowed Elizabeth, living in poverty in York, wrote to Lord Cromwell to ask for the grant of some of the goods from one of the dissolved monasteries. Instead, Cromwell proposed that she marry his son, Gregory. The couple wed on August 3, 1537.

The couple had five children together: Henry, Frances, Catherine, Edward, and Thomas.

In 1551, when Elizabeth’s brother, Edward Seymour, then Lord Protector, was arrested, Elizabeth was given charge of his four younger daughters. Later that year, Gregory Cromwell died of the sweat and Elizabeth was also ill, at Launde Abbey in Leicestershire, but recovered. She gave birth to her last child after her husband’s death.

Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell

Jane Ashley, Lady Mewtas

Jane’s parentage is unknown but she had a brother named John Asteley who was a mercer in London.

It is possible that Jane was a maid of honor to Anne Boleyn in January 1534, but she was definitely a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour.

Jane married Peter Mewtas in 1537.



Author Agnes Strickland believed that Lady Mewtas was in the household of Katherine Howard but Kate Emerson believes she was in the household of Prince Edward in 1540-41.

The couple had five children: Cecily, Frances, Henry, Thomas and Hercules.

Jane Ashley, Lady Mewtas

Maids of Honor

Lady Lucy Somerset

Lucy was as an English noblewoman and the daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester. Who her mother was is still uncertain, it was either the first wife of her father, Lady Margaret Courtenay or his second wife, Elizabeth Browne.

She served as a maid of honor to Katherine Howard.

In 1545, she married John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer, the stepson of King Henry’s sixth consort Kateryn Parr. Lacy was also a Lady in Waiting to Parr.

There are no portraits of Lucy Somerset

Anne Bassett

Anne Bassett was the third daughter of Sir John Bassett and his second wife, Honor Grenville. After the death of her father, her mother married Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, who was Lord Deputy of Calais and the illegitimate son of King Edward IV.

Anne was mostly raised in Calais and was sent to a French family to be educated. In 1537 she obtained a post at court as one of Queen Jane Seymour’s six maids of honor, having been told in 1536 that, at fifteen, she was too young for the post.

After the death of Jane Seymour, she was placed in the household of her cousin, Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex, to await the king’s next marriage.

With close connection to other court families she later resided with Peter Mewtas and his wife Jane Ashley (see above) and then with a distant cousin, Anthony Denny, and his wife Joan Champernowne.

Henry VIII took interest in Anne and it was suspected that she was his mistress and possible future wife after his divorce from Anne of Cleves and after the execution of Katherine Howard.

Upon the King’s marriage to Anne of Cleves, Anne resumed her position as a maid of honor and she also held this post under Katherine Howard.

There are no portraits of Anne Bassett

Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Elizabeth Fitzgerald was born in 1527, in Ireland to Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and his wife Elizabeth Grey. Elizabeth Grey was the daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquis of Dorset. Dorset was the son of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen to King Edward IV, by her first husband, John Grey.

In 1533, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, her mother and one of her sisters moved to London when her father was accused of treason or corruption charges and put in the Tower of London. After her father died in the Fall of 1534 (in the Tower), she was raised at English court alongside her cousin Princess Elizabeth Tudor.

In 1537, her half-brother Thomas Fitzgerald, 10th Earl of Kildare, and five FitzGerald uncles (James, Oliver, Richard, John and Walter) were executed at Tyburn for treason and rebellion. Thomas had renounced his allegiance to Henry VIII. On 3 February 1537, Elizabeth’s brother, who had been imprisoned for sixteen months, and her uncles for eleven months, were executed as traitors at Tyburn. They were hanged, drawn and quartered.

After the execution of her half-brother and uncles, Elizabeth was sent to Lady Mary Tudor’s household at Hunsdon. Her younger brothers, however, were raised alongside Prince Edward Tudor. Elizabeth’s oldest remaining brother, Gerald, who became 11th Earl of Kildare upon the execution of his brother, had gone on the run in Ireland.

Around that same time, at the age of ten, she became immortalized in a sonnet by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. This is where she picked up the nickname, “The Fair Geraldine”. Since Elizabeth was so young it is not believed to be a love sonnet by any means, it was more of a way for Surrey to show men at court what a great catch she would be in the future. She needed all the help she could get after her family’s name was tarnished by the above noted scandal.

 The truth was, she was an impoverished noblewoman dependent upon the Tudors. Other sources date the poem in November 1541 and say Elizabeth was a maid of honor to Catherine Howard at the time, but there is no evidence to support this. She may, however, have been at court while Catherine was queen, however, author Agnes Strickland listed her as a maid of honor in the household of the queen.
In 1543, at the age of sixteen, Lady Elizabeth married a forty-something year old Sir Anthony Browne and subsequently became stepmother to his eight children.



Five years after they were married, on 6 May 1548, Sir Anthony died –  Elizabeth was left a widow at the age of twenty-one. She had two children by Sir Anthony, but they had both died young.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Mary Norris

Mary Norris was the daughter of Sir Henry Norris and Mary Fiennes.

Mary was a maid of honor, possibly to Anne Boleyn, most likely to Jane Seymour, definitely to Anne of Cleves, and probably to Katherine Howard.

Mary married Sir George Carew, Vice Admiral of the English fleet sometime before February 1541.

She was at Southsea Castle with the Henry VIII in 1545, watching the ship her husband was aboard, the Mary Rose, when it suddenly rolled over and sank. Lady Carew fainted. In armor, her husband had no hope of surviving.

There are no portraits of Mary Norris

Other Ladies Listed by Agnes Strickland as Maids of Honor

Mrs. Garnyshe
Mrs. Cowpledike
Mrs. Catherine Stradling
Mrs. Stonor [Mother of Maids]
Dorothy Bray

Notes/Sources:

¹ Strickland, Agnes; Queens of England [Page 423]

Emerson, Kate; Who’s Who of Tudor Women 

**Please be sure to check out Emerson’s website***

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The Ladies Who Served Anne Boleyn

Tudor court at the time of Anne Boleyn’s rise must have been a very exciting place to be – if you were a supporter of Henry’s new love that is. When Anne Boleyn began to build a household the excitement must have been palpable. So much youth restored at court once again – laughter, love and other courtly adventures.

Today we take a look at the ladies who served Anne Boleyn. This is not all the ladies, only the ones I was able to find with the help of the wonderful Kate Emerson and her website: Index to A Who’s Who of Tudor Women. Her website is well researched and organized for anyone to use and I’d highly recommend you take some time to check it out.



 

Jane (Joan) Ashley

Jane is listed as a maid of honor to Anne Boleyn in January 1534. She was definitely a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour, and then married Peter Mewtas (Meautas, Meautys, de Meautis) in 1537 (before October 9). In 1540 and 1541,

Jane was apparently in the household of Prince Edward. Henry VIII’s household accounts list the expense of 10s for “a dozen handkerchiefs garnished with gold” in each of those years.

Jane’s husband was knighted in 1544. Their children were Cecily, Frances, Henry, Thomas, and Hercules.

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Mary Aucher

A lady called Anne Boleyn’s “old nurse” is believed to be Mary Orchard/Aucher, who later became a chamberer in Anne’s household and was with her at the end of her life in the Tower of London.

The identity of this woman is unknown, as is her marital status, but it seems likely that she was a connection of the Boleyn family through the marriage of Isabel Boleyn (d. April 23, 1485), Anne’s father’s paternal aunt, to Henry Aucher of Otterden, Kent. The name is also spelled Orcher. According to Alison Weir’s The Lady in the Tower, Mrs. Orchard was in the gallery at the trial of Anne Boleyn when the Duke of Norfolk condemned Anne to be burned or beheaded at King Henry’s pleasure. At those words, she “shrieked out dreadfully.”

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Isabel Agard

Isabel Agard was a member of the Agard family of Foston, Staffordshire. She married John Stonor (1480-1550). She may be the Mrs. Stonor who was with Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London in 1536 and/or the Mrs. Stonor who was Mother of Maids under Henry VIII’s next four queens. See the entry for Isabel’s sister-in-law, Margaret Foliot for more speculation on this identification. Isabel was the mother of Francis Stonor (1520-1564) and Henry Stonor. Retha Warnicke identifies Mrs. Stonor as “perhaps the wife of John, the king’s sergeant at arms,” in her The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn.

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Mary Boleyn

Mary was the older sister of Anne and also George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. She accompanied Princess Mary Tudor to France in 1513 and afteer the death King Louis XII of Frances Mary served the next queen consort, Queen Claude.

Learn more about Mary Boleyn by reading these earlier posts about her:

Mary Boleyn - Guest post by Susan Abernethy

Mary Boleyn Loses First Husband to Sweating Sickness  by Rebecca Larson

The Downside of Marrying for Love: Mary Boleyn by Rebecca Larson

The Tudors Dynasty Podcast: The Sisters Boleyn with Christine Morgan

Mary Boleyn

*Portrait: there is no authenticated portrait but six versions exist of one in the school of Hans Holbein that is called Mary Boleyn, including copies at Hever Castle and Holyroodhouse; a miniature is also unconfirmed.



Anne Bray

The daughter of Edmund Bray, 1st baron Bray and Jane Hallighwell, Anne Bray was married to George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham.
Barbara Harris in her work on aristocratic women names Anne, Lady Cobham as one of Anne Boleyn’s first accusers but M. St. Clare Byrne argues that Lady Lisle’s man in London, John Husee, would not have referred to a noblewoman as “Nan Cobham” and therefore he must have meant some other person, probably someone lower on the social ladder. Lady Cobham was in Anne Boleyn’s coronation procession and was one of Queen Jane Seymour’s ladies. According to David McKeen’s A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham, Lady Cobham was at Cobham Hall in July 1545 but shortly afterward joined her husband in Calais. They lived in the Lord Deputy’s residence there for the next five years. In 1554, when her husband and sons were imprisoned in the Tower of London after Wyatt’s rebellion, Lady Cobham was given permission to visit them there.

Public Domain Image – Tomb of George and Anne Brooke, Baron and Baroness Cobham, in St Mary Magdalene parish church, Cobham, Kent

Elizabeth Browne

Elizabeth Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne and Lucy Neville. She married by 1527, Henry Somerset, 2nd earl of Worcester.

Elizabeth was at court in the household of Anne Boleyn and seems to have been a friend of queen’s. It was noted that on the 8th of April 1536, she borrowed £100 from the queen. At the time of Anne Boleyn’s arrest Elizabeth Browne had not repaired her.

An unsubstantiated story has Elizabeth taken to task for immorality by her brother, Sir Anthony Browne (1500-1548) and responding that she was “no worse than the queen.” One variation on this story identifies Elizabeth as King Henry VIII’s former mistress and has her specifying that her brother should talk to Mark Smeaton and one of the queen’s gentlewomen called Marguerite for details on the queen’s misconduct. Another version has Lady Worcester issuing the reprimand and an unidentified woman comparing herself to the queen. The source appears to be a poem dated June 2, 1536 and written by Lancelot de Carles, a member of the French embassy to England. Gossip prevalent at the time of Queen Anne’s arrest did mention Lady Worcester as a source of some of the accusations against her, but specifics are elusive. Similarly, comments Queen Anne made during her imprisonment are open to various interpretations.

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Nan Cobham

It is still uncertain who Nan Cobham could be. There has been speculation over the years regarding her identity but no concrete answers to solve the mystery.

According to a letter from John Husee, viscount Lisle’s man of business in London, dated 24 May 1536, “the first accusers” against Queen Anne Boleyn were “the Lady Worcester, and NanCobham and one maid more.” Lady Worcester was Elizabeth Browne, wife of the earl of Worcester, but “Nan Cobham” is more difficult to identify. As M. St. Clare Byrne points out in The Lisle Letters, it seems unlikely that Husee would refer to Anne Brooke (née Bray), Lady Cobham so familiarly. So who is the “Mrs. Cobham” among the queen’s gentlewomen who received a New Year’s gift from the king in 1534? Is she the same “Anne Cobham” who was one of Katherine Parr’s gentlewomen in 1547? Or was that Anne Bray? There was an Anne Cobham, widow (not Anne Bray) who, in 1540, was granted some of the lands formerly belonging to Syon Abbey. There was also a Cobham family in Dingley, Hampshire. An Anne Cobham from there married John Norwich (c.1497-before 1553) around 1518. And yet another Anne Cobham (1467-June 26, 1526) was the wife of Edward, 2nd Lord Borough. Just to complicate matters, members of the Brooke family sometimes used Cobham as a surname. The practice was not unique. It is also found in the Fiennes/Clinton, West/de la Warr, and Sutton/Dudley families. RethaWarnicke, in The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn, suggests that Nan Cobham may have been the queen’s midwife. In the January 1534 list of Anne’s ladies, Mrs. Cobham is listed eighth after the “mistress of the maidens” and the seven names before hers are those of maidens, not married women, but that may or may not be significant.

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Frances de Vere

Frances de Vere was the daughter of John de Vere, 15th earl of Oxford and Elizabeth Trussell. Frances married Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey in April 1532. Frances and Henry lived apart until 1535 because of their youth.

Alison Weir in Henry VIII: The King and his Court, states that Anne Boleyn arranged the match over the objections of the duchess of Norfolk and that Frances was at court as one of Anne’s ladies from 1533.

Frances was also noted to have been at the court of Katherine Howard, however, there is no evidence of her at court after the queen’s execution. Katherine gave her a brooch set with tiny diamonds and rubies.

According to one of her grandsons’ biographers, Frances also wrote poetry (like her husband the Earl of Surrey). Her children were Jane, Thomas, Catherine, Henry, and Margaret. Frances miscarried in 1547, the year her husband was executed for treason. She was ill for some time afterward.

They lived at the manor of Earl Soham near Framlingham Castle, returned to her from her first husband’s estate by Edward VI. She was granted nine manors by the duke of Norfolk, her father-in-law, after his restoration in 1553. They were worth £353/year. In July 1554, Frances represented Queen Mary at the christening of the French ambassador’s son and in December 1557 she was chief mourner at the funeral of her sister-in-law, Mary Howard.

Frances de Vere, Lady Surrey

 

Elizabeth Holland

Elizabeth Holland was the daughter (some sources say the sister) of John Holland of Wartwell Hall in Redenhall, Norfolk and a kinswoman, probably a niece, of John Hussey, 1st baron Hussey of Sleaford.

John Holland was the duke of Norfolk’s secretary and one of his stewards and Elizabeth, known as Bess, was also part of the ducal household at Kenninghall in 1526. At that time, Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk noticed her and she became his mistress.

Because of the letters left by the duchess of Norfolk (Elizabeth Stafford), there is a good deal of confusion about Bess Holland. Since she was a gentlewoman, she was probably not a laundress in the household, or the children’s nurse. She may have been their governess. She was certainly on good terms with Mary Howard, Norfolk’s daughter.

When Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke, Bess Holland was one of her maids of honor and she was still at court in 1537, when she rode in the funeral cortege of Queen Jane Seymour.

The records left by the duchess of Norfolk paint Bess Holland as a villainess and the duke as a monster, but the truth is probably less dramatic. Bess was his mistress for some twenty years. In December 1546, however, when both the duke and his son, Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, were charged with treason, Bess gave evidence against them. She probably had no choice.



 

Margery Horsman

Margery Horsman was a maid of honor to Henry VIII’s first three queens and a member of the households of the last three, although in some accounts of Anne Boleyn’s life, she is identified as “of the queen’s wardrobe.”

In the January 1534 list, hers is the seventh name after Mrs. Marshall, “mistress of the maidens.” If there were only six maids of honor, this may indicated she held another position. Or not. She was probably the “one maiden more” who was the third of three women to make accusations against Anne Boleyn in 1536. Edward Baynton recorded that “Mistress Margery” first assisted him and then became uncooperative, which fits with a report by Sir William Kingston that suggests she was loyal to the queen. Margery may also be the “Marguerite” mentioned as a witness in some reports. And she may have been with Anne Boleyn in the Tower. What is certain is that when Jane Seymour was queen, Margery offered advice to Lady Lisle about placing her daughters at court and appears a number of times in the Lisle letters. In particular, she advised that Anne Bassett, Lady Lisle’s daughter, was too young at fifteen to serve as a maid of honor to Queen Jane. Margery married Sir Michael Lister of Hurstbourne, Hampshire (d.1551), as his second wife, on June 27, 1537 and with her husband served jointly as Keeper of the Queen’s Jewels. She had two children, Charles (d. November 26, 1613) and Lawrence. Portrait: The portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger labeled Lady Lister is probably Margery’s mother-in-law, Isabel Shirley, but I include it here on the off chance it is Margery instead.

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Mary Howard

Mary Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Stafford. By birth she was part of two very noble families in the realm, the Howards and the Staffords.

Mary was a maid of honor to her cousin, Anne Boleyn and married Henry Fitzroy, duke of Richmond (illegitimate, yet acknowledged son of Henry VIII) at Hampton Court on 26 November 1533.

For more reading about Mary Howard, see our previous post about here:

Mary Howard: Bold Disobedience by Rebecca Larson

Tudors Dynasty Podcast: Too Wise for a Woman

Mary Howard

 

Elizabeth Isley

Elizabeth Isley was the daughter of Sir Thomas Isley and Elizabeth Guildford.

Her first husband was Richard Hill who was a wine merchant and master of Henry VIII’s wine cellar. It is believed that Elizabeth had ten or eleven children. Among them were Mary, Margaret, Frances, Anne, and Richard.

“Mrs. Hillis” is listed as one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies in January 1534 and it is tempting to think that this may have been Elizabeth Isley.

After the death of her first husband, Elizabeth remarried in 1540 to Sir John Mason who served in a number of civic posts, including ambassador to the court at Brussels under Mary Tudor.

Elizabeth was with him when he served in France. Together they had one son, Thomas.

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Grace Newport

Grace Newport was the daughter of John Newport and Mary Daniel. Married at the age of eight to Henry Parker (on May 18, 1523, Grace was the mother of Henry, 9th baron Morley, Charles, Edmund, Mary, Margaret, and Ann (or Amy).

According to Alison Weir’s Henry VIII: The King and His Court, she was one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies in waiting from 1533. Portrait: Grace is generally accepted to be the subject of the Holbein drawing inscribed “The Lady Parker.”

Grace Newport, Lady Parker

Mary Norris

Mary Norris was the daughter of Sir Henry Norris (who was executed 17 May 1536) and Mary Fiennes and was born around 1526.

It is believed that Mary was was a maid of honor to Anne Boleyn (she would have been fairly young in that position). It is more commonly believed that she served Jane Seymour – most definitely to Anne of Cleves and probably to Katherine Howard.

It was also noted that there was a Mary ‘Norice’ in Elizabeth Tudor’s household around 1536, and this may also be the same woman.

By February 1, 1541, Mary married Sir George Carew, Vice Admiral of the English fleet and was at Southsea Castle with the king in 1545, watching the ship her husband was aboard, the Mary Rose, when it suddenly rolled over and sank. Lady Carew fainted. In armor, her husband had no hope of surviving. I

Mary married a second time in 1546 to Sir Arthur Champernowne. She brought jointure lands worth £65/year to the marriage. With Sir Arthur she had five sons and one daughter: Gawen, Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, George, and Edward.

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Jane Parker

Jane Parker was the daughter of Henry Parker, 8th baron Morley and Alice St. John but she is best known as Lady Rochford, wife and then widow of George Boleyn, Queen Anne’s brother, to whom she was married in 1525. 

Further reading on Jane:

Jane Boleyn: Victim of History by Rebecca Larson

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Anne Savage

Anne Savage was the daughter of Sir John Savage and Anne Bostock and born around 1496.

Anne’s description at TudorPlace.com.ar is a woman “of middling stature, with a comely brown complexion, and much tender-hearted with her children.” She was at court and apparently in the household of Anne Boleyn before Anne Boleyn was queen. She was one of only four or five people to witness Anne Boleyn’s marriage to Henry VIII on January 25, 1533 and was Anne Boleyn’s trainbearer.

For more on Anne being witness to the secret wedding read this previous post:

Witness to a Secret: Anne Savage by Rebecca Larson

Anne Savage did not remain long at the new queen’s court. In April 1533, she married Thomas, 6th Baron Berkeley, known as “the Hopeful.” They had a daughter, Elizabeth (1534-September 1, 1582) and nine weeks after her husband’s death, Anne gave birth to his son and heir, Thomas, 7th Baron Berkeley.

Lady Berkeley was an avid letter writer, and was written about as well. A number of these missives are still extant, including one to Lord Cromwell on May 1, 1535 to complain about the Court of Wards, which opposed the release of her jointure. A letter from John Barlow, dean of Westbury College, to Lord Cromwell, also in 1535, complains about Lady Berkeley’s interference in his attempt to prosecute a number of men who were caught playing tennis “in service time” (in other words, when they should have been in church). The incident occurred near where she was living in Yate, Gloucestershire and she actively rallied opposition to Barlow’s charges. Barlow had earlier had a run in with Lady Berkeley over some religious books found in her house, but since both Catholic and radical Protestant texts were equally frowned upon at this time, it is difficult to say what Lady Berkeley’s beliefs might have been. 

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Jane Seymour 

Jane Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. She was the sister of Edward, Thomas, Henry, Elizabeth and Dorothy Seymour and mother of KIng Edward VI.

Jane came to court as a maid of honor under Katherine of Aragon and then to the household of the new queen, Anne Boleyn.

For more reading on Jane Seymour:

Jane Seymour’s Rise to the Throne by Rebecca Larson

Portraits of a Queen: Jane Seymour 

Jane Seymour

Margaret Shelton 

Known as “Madge,” Margaret Shelton was the daughter of Sir John Shelton and Anne Boleyn, who was the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn’s father, Thomas. Madge came to court as a maid of honor to her cousin, Queen Anne around 1535.

It is commonly believed that Madge Shelton had a brief affair with Henry VIII while he was married to her cousin.

Kimberley Schutte, in her biography of Lady Margaret Douglas, describes Madge Shelton as a “pretty girl with dimples . . . very gentle in countenance” and “soft of speech,” but she also seems to think Margaret and her sister Mary were the same person and further identifies Madge as the “handsome young lady at court” who may have been the king’s mistress in 1534.

The name “Mistress Shelton” next crops up in connection with the king in 1538, as both a potential mistress and in describing Christina of Milan, who was said to resemble her.

It is unlikely King Henry was considering making Margaret his mistress again in 1538, since she was by then married to Thomas Wodehouse or Woodhouse.

Margaret “Madge” Shelton

Mary Zouche

Mary Zouche was the daughter of John Zouche, 8th baron Zouche of Harringworth and his first wife, Dorothy Capell – she was born around 1512.

In about 1527, she wrote to her cousin, Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (Mary’s grandmother was Margaret Arundell, Sir John’s aunt), asking to be taken into royal service because her new stepmother (Susan Welby) was cruel to her. The letter was probably written before 1529. It is dated only “at Notwell, the 8th day of October.”

Mary Zouche was at court as a maid of honor possibly to Katherine of Aragon, but certainly to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour.

A number of accounts say Mary never wed, but the will of Robert Burbage, identifies his late wife as “the eldest daughter of John Zouche, knight, Lord Zouche, Saint Maur and Cantelupe.” It would appear that they married shortly after the 1542 payment of her annuity, when Mary was about thirty years old. They had one daughter, Anne Burbage, who married William Goring in 1563.

Mary Zouche

Source:

An Index to a Who’s Who of Tudor Women by Kate Emerson

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The Ladies Who Served: Mary Tudor, Queen of England (Part 2)

Mary Tudor had many women and girls who served her over her four decades of life. There were the ladies who served in her household when she was a princess and then those who served her as queen of England. All of them played very important roles to ensure everything ran smoothly within her household

This is the second part of the two-part series of “The Ladies Who Served: Mary Tudor, Queen of England”. If you missed part one you can find it *here*.

As always, I must give the credit for this list of ladies to Kathy Lynn Emerson of “The Who’s Who of Tudor Women”, because without her website I would never have been able to discover these ladies. Her website is alphebetized and I had to search throughout the pages to find women who served Mary. Thank you Ms. Emerson for your hard work researching the hundreds of names and stories of these amazing ladies who left a little mark on history.



The Ladies Who Served: Mary Tudor, Queen of England

ELIZABETH JERNINGHAM

Elizabeth Jerningham was the daughter of Sir Edward Jerningham or Jernegan and his second wife, Mary Scrope.  She was a waiting gentlewoman to Anne Stanhope, Lady Beauchamp until January, 1537, when she became a maid of honor to Anne’s sister-in-law, Queen Jane Seymour. Later she was a maid of honor to Queen Mary. She was following family tradition. Her mother, first as Lady Jerningham and then as Lady Kingston, had been in the queen’s household since the beginning of Henry the Eighth’s reign.

JANE THE FOOL

Jane the Fool was as much a fixture at the Tudor court as Henry VIII’s fool, Will Somers. John Southworth, in Fools and Jesters at the English Court offers evidence that she was there as early as 1537 and may have been there earlier, as the female fool in Queen Anne Boleyn’s household. She was the type of fool known as an “innocent”—probably mentally retarded and possibly suffering from physical disabilities. She had a “keeper” assigned to her. According to records cited in Carolly Erickson’s Bloody Mary, Jane wore beautiful gowns but the hose and shoes of a clown and she had her head shaved regularly at fourpence per barbering. In December 1537 she was in Princess Mary’s household. She was ill in the autumn of 1543 and cost Mary 22s 6d. and another 5s for six ells of cloth to make a pair of sheets for her. It is possible that soon after that she became part of the household of Queen Kathryn Parr, but she was with Mary Tudor after Mary became queen in 1553. Jane the Fool survived into the reign of Elizabeth but then disappears from the records. Biographies: see the chapter on Jane in Southworth’s book. Portraits: Again, following Southworth, Jane is probably the figure on one side of the portrait of Henry VIII and his family at Hampton Court. This makes sense, since the figure on the opposite side is Will Somers. Others argue that the woman is “Mother Jak,” Prince Edward’s nurse, but Mother Jak herself is the object a good deal of confusion. The Holbein sketch labeled “Mother Jak” is actually Margaret Gigs, Sir Thomas More’s foster daughter. Nineteenth-century historian Agnes Stickland suggested that Jak was short for Jackson, but offered no proof. Another unsubstantiated story I’ve seen online is that “Mother Jak” haunts Hampton Court. In reality, the most likely “Mother Jak” was an anonymous wet-nurse hired to take care of Prince Edward. She was replaced, when her services were no longer needed to feed the infant prince, by Sybil Hampden, Mrs. Penne, the gentlewoman who was Edward’s chief nurse (a “dry” nurse) from October 1538 to 1544.

ELIZABETH JERNINGHAM

Elizabeth Jerningham was the daughter of John Jerningham and Agnes Darrell. She married John Denton about whom nothing is known, before October 31, 1473, the date of her father’s will, in which he names her the default heir to his manor of Little Worlingham. She is to inherit a life interest in this property after the death of her brother Osberne. Upon her death, the manor was to go to her son, Walter Denton, but he appears to have predeceased her.

In 1496, she entered the household of Henry VII’s children as mistress of the nursery to Prince Henry. She went on to become Princess Mary’s governess and is probably the Mistress Denton who accompanied Princess Margaret to Scotland as well as the wardrobe keeper and lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth of York. She was paid £20 on June 23, 1503 ”for the queen’s debts.” Giles Tremlett (Catherine of Aragon) identifies her as Lady Governess to Catherine of Aragon’s first, short-lived child in 1511 and David Loades identifies Elizabeth Denton as the first Lady Mistress of the nursery to Henry VIII’s daughter, another Princess Mary, in 1516.

In May 1515 she was granted an annuity of £50 per annum “for service to the late king and queen.” By November 1517, Margaret Bryan was in charge of Mary Tudor’s nursery. In 1518, Elizabeth Denton erected a tomb to herself in Blackfriars. She lived in some comfort in the Blackfriars Precinct until her death. She had a messuage, tenement and garden with a way to the waterside between the garden of Lady Peacock on the west and the garden of Richard Tryce on the east, and also two chambers and a cellar under the under-library adjacent to the hill garden.

Philippa Jones’s The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards makes the extraordinary claim that Elizabeth Denton was King Henry’s first lover and even suggests that his grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, selected her for him.

Elizabeth Denton left a will dated April 26, 1518. Among other legacies, she left thirty shillings to the prior and chapter of Blackfriars.

FRIDESWIDE KNIGHT

Frideswide Knight was the daughter of John Knight. She was a member of Katherine of Aragon’s household and a member of Mary Tudor’s household in 1533 and again from 1536-1558.

Knight was a chamberer in 1533 and 1536 and a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber from 1553. She married a gentleman of Mary’s household, Robert Strelley, in 1548. She received several grants for her service, including the former chantry windmill at Great Bowden, Leicestershire in 1548,  Ulverscroft Priory from Queen Mary, and a property called Oxehedd.

Frideswide and her husband received the latter from Edward VI in return for surrendering a £10 annuity. She did not have any children. The heirs to various properties were her nephew, John Wilson, and her husband’s “nephew and heir” William Saville. Frideswide Strelley was the only one of Queen Mary’s ladies who would not pretend that the queen was pregnant after it became obvious that she was not.

ISABEL LEGH

Isabel Legh, sometimes called Isabel Howard, was the daughter of Ralph Legh and Joyce Culpepper and thus a half-sister of Queen Catherine Howard. The History of Parliament identifies her as the daughter of Sir John Legh of Stockwell, Surrey, Ralph’s brother.

She married Edward Baynton of Bromham, Wiltshire on January 18, 1531 and had by him three children, Henry, Francis and Anne. Baynton was vice-chamberlain to several of Henry VIII’s queens.

The History of Parliament suggests she served Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. In addition, Sir Edward’s entry says that by March 14, 1539, the Bayntons had replaced Lady Kingston in supervising the joint household of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. Isabel was 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 own female attendants, on the condition that Isabel was one of them. Isabel also accompanied Catherine to the Tower.

She was later a lady of the household extraordinary to Kathryn Parr. According to Charlotte Merton in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, she was also part of Queen Mary’s household in 1554-7.

After Baynton’s death and that of Isabel’s stepdaughter, Bridget, in 1545, Isabel married Bridget’s widower, Sir James Stumpe of Malmesbury and Bromham, Wiltshire. 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. He 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.

CATHERINE LUTTRELL

Catherine Luttrell was the daughter of Sir John Luttrell and Mary Griffith, 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, but others apparently did not believe the charges.

Catherine received a legacy in his mother’s will and was buried with the Luttrells in East Quantockshead. She did, however, remarry, taking James Godolphin of Gwinear, Cornwall as her second husband in 1552.

Catherine and her sisters, Dorothy and Mary, were wards of the Crown and the earl of Arundell became Catherine’s guardian. Through his influence, she became 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, she married Sir Thomas Copley who later claimed to have chosen her for her beauty. In doing so, he alienated Lord William Howard, who wanted him 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. Queen Elizabeth was godmother to her eldest son, Henry.

In 1563, however, Sir Thomas 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, and a title from the king of Spain and was a pensioner of the governor of the Netherlands.

Late in the reign of Elizabeth, Catherine was imprisoned at least once for recusancy and convicted twice for harboring priests. An online genealogy states 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.

BLANCHE MILBORNE

Blanche Milborne was the daughter of Simon Milborne and Jane Baskerville. She was bilingual, born in England but living in a Welsh environment.

Blanche was married first in 1494 to James Whitney and when she was widowed, she was left with three young children—Robert, Elizabeth, and James. Two others, Watkin or Walter and Anne, had died young. She remarried soon after, taking as her second husband William Herbert. They had three sons, including Charles and Thomas, and in August 1502 entertained King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York at Troy House near Monmouth. They were frequent guests of the duke of Buckingham at Thornbury. In 1516, William Herbert was knighted. In the late 1520s and early 1530s, Blanche was probably part of the Countess of Worcester’s household and may have acted as governess to the earl’s children. She may have been put in charge of Princess Mary’s household as early as 1531, when Mary was separated from her mother, Catherine of Aragon. Sometimes referred to as Lady Herbert and other times as Lady Troy, Blanche was the one charged with giving their earliest lessons to both Princess Elizabeth and Prince Edward. In each household in turn she became Lady Mistress when Lady Bryan relinquished that post. She carried Elizabeth’s train at the christening of Prince Edward in 1537. She was still in the Lady Elizabeth’s household as late as 1545 but had left by the time King Henry died in 1547. Lady Troy retired to Troy House, living there into her late seventies. Biography: The information above is condensed from the account in the biography of Blanche Milborne’s niece and goddaughter, Blanche Parry, Ruth Elizabeth Richardson’s Mistress Blanche: Queen Elizabeth’s Confidante. Other sources tend not to mention Blanche Milborne in connection with either Mary or Elizabeth.

ANNE MORGAN

Anne Morgan was the daughter of Sir Thomas Morgan and Elizabeth Whitney. On May 21, 1545 she married Henry Carey, son of Mary Boleyn and was later created baron Hunsdon. As Lady Hunsdon, Anne was a lady of the privy chamber. She had ten sons and three daughters, including George, 2nd baron Hunsdon, Henry, John, 3rd baron Hunsdon, William, Catherine, Philadelphia, Edmund, Robert, and Margaret.

In 1568 she left court for Berwick-upon-Tweed when Hunsdon was appointed governor there. According to Charlotte Merton’s The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, she had to pay domestic staff and even some staff officers out of her own pocket.When Lord Hunsdon died, he left the family in debt, thanks to the expense of serving the queen. Elizabeth Tudor paid Hunsdon’s funeral expenses (£800) and granted the widow an outright gift of £400, a pension of £200 per annum from the Exchequer, and the keepership of Somerset House for life. Lady Hunsdon used some of the money to erect a monument to her late husband in Westminster Abbey. Portrait: While another copy is elsewhere identified as Mary Hill, Mrs. MacWilliam, the portrait at Hatfield c. 1585-90 by a follower of George Gower is called Lady Hunsdon.

FRANCES NEVILLE

Frances Neville was the daughter of Sir Edward Neville and Eleanor Windsor. Around 1544, she had married Sir Edward Waldegrave. Their children included Magdalen, Catherine, Mary, Nicholas, Charles, Frances, and Christopher.

In September 1551, Waldegrave was in the Tower of London. Frances was permitted to go there to nurse him. He was released on October 24 and allowed to return to his own house on the following March 18. On April 24, he was set at liberty. Frances was one of Queen Mary’s ladies in 1556. In 1561, both she and her husband were in the Tower for hearing mass. Sir Edward died there. During their imprisonment, Queen Elizabeth made use of their house at Smallbridge, Suffolk, on her annual progress. Frances’s second husband, married c.1562, was Chidiock Paulet of Wade, Hampshire (before 1521-August 17, 1574), by whom she had one son, Thomas. Paulet was also a recusant. He was not persecuted for his faith but, in 1565, Frances’s daughters by her first marriage were prevented from leaving England. Paulet left his widow all the plate, hangings, bedding, brass, and pewter he had received when they married and all his household silver. His eldest son by his first marriage was his principal heir. He his daughters by that marriage £900 between them, a £20 annuity to his son Thomas, and a horse to his stepson, Charles Waldegrave. Frances was living at the manor of Navestock, Essex, left to her for life by her first husband, at the time of her death. Portraits: effigy on Waldegrave tomb in Borley, Essex.

ANNE PARR

Anne Parr was the daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green. Her mother was a lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon and Anne became a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour.

In early 1538, Anne married William Herbert. She should not be confused with Lady Herbert of Troy (Blanche Milborne) who carried Elizabeth Tudor’s train at the christening of Prince Edward, or Mrs. Fitzherbert, who was chief chamberer to Queen Jane and rode in her funeral cortege in 1537. Anne Parr was also in the cortege, but she was not yet Mrs. Herbert. As Lady Herbert, she was keeper of the queen’s jewels to Catherine Howard, although she left court briefly to give birth to her first child, Henry, in 1540. She was back at court in time to attend the disgraced queen at Syon House and in the Tower.

When her sister Katherine became Henry VIII’s sixth queen in 1543, Anne returned to court.

In 1551, William Herbert was created earl of Pembroke. They had two more children, Edward and Anne and used Baynard’s Castle as their London residence. For the birth of her second son, Anne’s sister loaned her the manor of Hanworth in Middlesex for her lying in. After the birth, Anne visited Lady Hertford, who had also just given birth, at Syon House near Richmond. In August, the queen sent a barge to bring Anne by river from Syon to Westminster.

After Henry VIII’s death, when the queen dowager’s household was at Chelsea, both Anne and her son Edward were part of the household there. At the time of her death, Anne Parr was one of Princess Mary’s ladies. She died quite unexpectedly at Baynard’s Castle and was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral next to the tomb of John of Gaunt. Her memorial there reads: “a most faithful wife, a woman of the greatest piety and discretion.” Portrait: portrait bust on one face of the 1540s porch at Wilton (now in Wilton garden); stained glass window; it is the opinion of Susan E. James, Katherine Parr’s biographer, that Anne is the subject of the “unidentified” lady in the Holbein sketch shown below; a portrait of Anne was part of the Pembroke collection in 1561.

Anne Parr by Holbein

ANNE PERCY

Anne Percy was the daughter of Henry Percy, 4th earl of Northumberland and Maud Herbert. She was in the household of Elizabeth of York by 1494 when, at age nine, she presented one of the participants in a tournament to Princess Margaret, then age five.

She is in mentioned in royal clothing warrants for 1497 and 1498 and on one occasion received two gowns, a kirtle, a bonnet, a doublet, and other items.

On July 10, 1502 “Lady Anne Percy” was at Windsor to take a delivery of linen cloth for a sampler to the queen. She is recorded as serving the queen from June-December 1502. A needlework sampler attributed to Lady Anne herself has descended through the Eyre family and is the subject of an article in Oremus (July&August 2011) by Christopher Wickham. After the death of Elizabeth of York, Lady Anne was part of the household of Princess Mary and she was probably the “Lady Percy” who attended Queen Catherine at her coronation in 1509.

On February 15, 1511, she married, as his second wife, William Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers. The king made an offering of 6s. 8d. for the occasion.

In 1524, Maltravers succeeded his father as earl of Arundel. Their children were Henry (April 23, 1512-February 25, 1579/80), Catherine (d.1552+), Margaret, and Elizabeth.

ANNE RADCLIFFE

Anne Radcliffe was the daughter of Robert Radcliffe, 1st earl of Sussex and his second wife, Margaret Stanley, who married Radcliffe before September 1, 1532.

On April 10, 1547, Anne married Thomas Wharton, later 2nd baron Wharton, although he did not succeed his father until after Anne’s death. Their children were Philip, Anne, Thomas, and Mary.

Anne was part of the household of Princess (later Queen) Mary before 1552. She is mentioned as such in the 1551 will of one of her fellow gentlewomen, Margaret Pennington Cooke, and also features in an oft-repeated but possibly apocryphal story about Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane is supposed to have been visiting Princess Mary at Beaulieu when, upon seeing Anne genuflect in the chapel, she made several rude remarks about Catholic practices. This “Lady Anne Wharton” is said to have been a favorite of Mary’s, but she is often misidentified as Anne Talbot, second wife of Anne Radcliffe’s father-in-law. This is impossible because Anne Talbot was Lady Bray during Queen Mary’s reign and did not marry Thomas Wharton’s father until November 1561. That was not only after the death of Queen Mary, but also after the death of Anne Radcliffe. Anne Radcliffe, Lady Wharton was also at court in 1558/9.

BEATRICE ap RICE or RHYS  (maiden name unknown)

Beatrice was the wife of David ap Rice/Rhys, a groom or yeoman of the chamber in Princess Mary’s household prior to 1525. Beatrice became Mary’s laundress in 1519 and was still with her when her household was dissolved in October 1533. She also held this post when Mary was queen.

ANNE REDE

Anne Rede was the daughter of Sir William Rede and Anne Warham.



The list of ladies attending on Princess Mary in December 1526 includes the name Anne Rede. It was there she met her first husband, Sir Giles Greville or Grevill of Wick, Worcestershire, controller of the household. Two letters are extant that refer to the courtship, the first from Margaret, countess of Salisbury, governess of the Princess Mary, to Lady Rede. Written from Worcester on August 20, 1526, it refers to the interest the comptroller has in her daughter and does not sound entirely approving of the romance. The second letter is from Lady Rede to Mr. Henry Golde, chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. Written from Knole on April 8, 1527, it announces that “the matter betwixt Sir Giles Bryvel (sic) and my daughter is driven almost into conclusion.” Barbara J. Harris, in “Women and Politics in Early Tudor England,” reveals that Sir Giles grew so frustrated with Lady Rede’s demands concerning her daughter’s jointure that he threatened to break off negotiations.

In about 1530, Anne married Sir Adrian Fortescue. He was engaged in a long-running dispute over land with the family of his first wife, Anne Stonor. On one occasion, according to later testimony before the Star Chamber, a party led by Sir Walter Stonor attacked Stonor Manor and dragged Anne Rede, who was pregnant, out of her chamber. Anne and Fortescue also contested the inheritance of one of Sir Giles Greville’s manors by his daughter by an earlier marriage and her second husband. Fortescue, in 1532, joined the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, an order that was abolished by Parliament in 1534/5. In August 1534, for refusing to take the Oath of Succession, he was imprisoned in the Marshalsea. The family was based at Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire when, in February 1539, for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, Sir Adrian was arrested again and this time charged with “sedition and refusing allegiance” and beheaded. He was beatified in 1895. By Fortescue, Anne was the mother of Sir John (1533-December 23, 1607), Thomas (May 13, 1534-1611), Sir Anthony (c.1535-c.1611), Elizabeth (d.1602), and Mary. Her third husband, married in about 1540, was Sir Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall and Welford, Berkshire (c.1505-December 15, 1560). According to The History of Parliament, the marriage was troubled early on. In August 1540, the Bishop of London set up a commission to investigate Parry’s complaint that his wife had left him. They were reconciled and eventually had two sons and three daughters: Thomas (1544-1616), Edward, Anne, Frances, and Muriel (d.1616). In October 1542, Anne was granted 1,500 sheep in Gloucestershire and other goods confiscated from her second husband. Thomas Parry had entered the service of Princess Elizabeth by 1548, when he was her cofferer. He was arrested in 1549 because of his knowledge of the activities of Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour but later released. The Parrys lived at Wallingford, Berkshire and at Welford Park, Berkshire. Anne was in the household of Elizabeth Tudor before she became queen, but on September 30, 1553, she was in attendance on Queen Mary. Mary granted her Pannington, Gotherington, Tredington, Washbourne, and Hamstead in Gloucestershire. Under Queen Elizabeth, Anne Parry was a lady of the privy chamber. When she retired from the court in 1566, she received an annuity and more land in Gloucestershire. Portrait: alabaster effigy on her tomb in Welford, Berkshire, erected by her son Thomas.

Anne Rede

MARY ROPER

Mary Roper was the daughter of William Roper and Margaret More and the granddaughter of Sir Thomas More. As such, she was given a fine education, did many translations, and was an ardent Catholic. She married twice, first to Stephen Clarke and second, around June 1556, to James Bassett. She bore Bassett two sons, Philip and Charles. Mary was at court under Queen Mary as a gentlewoman of the privy chamber. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Bassett [née Roper], Mary”

JANE RUSSELL  (maiden name unknown)

Jane was the wife of William Russell, by whom she had several children, possibly including the Mary Russell in the household of Queen Mary from 1554-7. Jane herself served Mary before she was queen, since she is listed among the “fellows in service” with Margaret Pennington, Lady Cooke, from 1552. She is listed as a chamberer in 1553 and as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber from 1554-7. She was granted five leases of land by the queen. In the winter of 1557/8, Jane was invited to live in the London house of Henry Fisher, a wealthy skinner and one of the founders of the Russia Company, and his wife, Elizabeth, “for the great friendship she showed to the same Fisher in such suits as he had” to Queen Mary. According to the entry for Fisher in The History of Parliament, the Fishers nursed Jane during her last illness, for which expenses Fisher later sued in the court of requests. Jane had a son to whom Frances Baynton repaid a loan in her will in 1583.

MARY SCROPE

Mary Scrope was one of the nine daughters of Sir Richard Scrope and Eleanor Washbourne. Two of her older sisters were married to earls, Elizabeth, countess of Oxford and Margaret, countess of Suffolk.

Mary married first, c.1509, Sir Edward Jerningham, by whom she had four sons and one daughter, Sir Henry, Ferdinand, Edward, Edmund, and Elizabeth. Her will mentions a daughter named Margaret and does not mention an Elizabeth, presenting me with a small mystery yet to be solved. In between lying-ins, she had an active career at court from 1509-1527 as one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies.

On June 26, 1510, she received the gift of tawny velvet for a gown. Her husband was the queen’s cupbearer and her son Henry was a carver to Princess Mary. Edmund became a gentleman of the bedchamber to Henry VIII and Elizabeth was one of Queen Jane’s maids of honor. See the entry for Anne Jerningham for an incident involving the newly widowed Lady Jerningham in 1517. Mary Scrope’s second husband, to whom she was married by the beginning of 1532, was Sir William Kingston (by 1476-September 4, 1540), constable of the Tower from 1524 until his death.

Although Mary Kingston was implicated in the affair of the Nun of Kent in 1533, she took part in Anne Boleyn’s coronation. She was ill at Wanstead in June 1534. During the imprisonment of Anne Boleyn, Lady Kingston was called upon to hear Anne’s apology to Mary Tudor and deliver it to the king’s daughter after Anne’s execution.

Lady Kingston carried Mary Tudor’s train at the christening of Prince Edward, rode in the funeral cortege of Queen Jane, and was listed as one of the thirty ladies appointed as “ordinary waiters” upon Anne of Cleves in 1539. According to some accounts, she served the first four of Henry VIII’s wives and also spent some time in the household of Princess Mary.

David Loades, in his biography of Mary Tudor, says she was in charge of a joint household for Mary and Elizabeth from March 1538 until April 1539. In her will she left her daughter Lady Anne Grey a goblet of silver and gilt with a cover and a ring with a ruby. She was particularly generous to her servant, Margaret Harris, leaving her gowns and other clothing, bedding, and even a tenement in Leyton, Essex. She added a codicil to revoke to revoke the bed of crimson velvet and cloth of gold panes she’d given to Sir Anthony Kingson (her stepson) and left it instead to Mary Jerningham, daughter of her son Henry. She asked to be buried at Painswick, Gloucestershire with her second husband, but her memorial brass, dated 1557, is at Low Leyton, Essex, where she was apparently buried on September 4, 1548. Portrait: a possible portrait has been located in a private collection. More information to come.

ANNE SHELTON

Anne Shelton was the daughter of Sir John Shelton and Anne Boleyn (c.1475-December 1556), the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn’s father. Anne married Sir Edmund Knyvett of Buckenham Castle, Norfolk by 1527. As he was not knighted until 1538/9, she may have been the Mistress Anne Knyvett in the household of Princess Mary in Wales in 1525-7.



In 1538, her aunt, Alice Boleyn Clere, left her ”a tablet of gold with the picture of the Salutation of Our Lady in it with 8 rubies and 24 pearls in the same.” Their children still living when Anne died in 1563 were Thomas, Edmund, Henry, and Anthony. Her second husband was Christopher Coote of Blonorton, by whom may have had another son, Richard.

ANNE SOMERSET

Anne Somerset was the daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd earl of Worcester and Elizabeth Browne. She is probably the Lady Anne Somerset who was a maid of honor to Queen Mary in 1557 and therefore is also likely the “Anne Neville” Charlotte Merton identifies in her PhD dissertation as the recipient of a wedding gift from the queen of twenty-three ruby buttons and two sapphires. On June 12, 1558, she married Thomas Percy, 7th earl of Northumberland, by whom she had Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, Lucy, and Jane or Joan.

In 1569, together with Jane Howard, countess of Westmorland, Anne was an instigator of the Northern Rebellion. Her husband was hesitant, but when, in the dead of night, his servants came to tell him that his enemies were surrounding him, the earl and countess fled to Branspeth, Westmorland’s house, and from there began their uprising against Queen Elizabeth. Lord Hunsdon, at the head of the queen’s troops, reported that Lady Northumberland was “stouter” than her husband and rode “up and down with the army.” When the rebellion failed, Northumberland sought refuge with Hector Graham, a borderlands robber, but Graham betrayed Northumberland to the earl of Moray. Anne was pregnant during the uprising. She gave birth on June 11, 1570 in Old Aberdeen, Scotland. On August 23, she and her baby fled to the Continent, arriving in Bruges on August 31,1570. Anne hoped to raise enough money to ransom her husband. She persuaded both King Philip II and the Pope to contribute to her cause, but her effort was in vain. Elizabeth of England outbid her, took charge of the prisoner, and executed him. Anne spent the rest of her life in exile. There is some mystery about her youngest child. Genealogical research on the Belgian family of Percy or Persy indicates that although the baby was given the name Maria, no sex was recorded, and argues that the child was a boy, subsequently called John Percy. A second John Percy shows up in records in Brussels in 1620, claiming to the son of “Jean Piercy,” son of Thomas, earl of Northumberland, who came to Flanders with his mother. This claim was apparently recognized by Spanish authorities. Although some English genealogists over the years have identified the child born in 1570 with the Mary Percy who founded a convent in Brussels, her epitaph there clearly states that she was “in England for a long time” before she first came to the Netherlands. Other sources say that this Mary was eighty at the time of her death in 1643, which would be consistent with a 1563 birth date. Anne Somerset’s daughters had to be abandoned in England when the rebellion failed. Two of them were found at Wressel, the family seat, in a pitiful state, nearly frozen, half starved, and terrified. The servants with whom they’d been left had been murdered and the house ransacked. Their uncle, Henry Percy, who subsequently was granted their father’s title, took his brother’s daughters into his own household and they were raised at Petworth. Meanwhile, their mother was at Liège, living on a pension from Philip II. There she wrote “Discours des troubles du Comte de Northumberland” and involved herself in Catholic plots. She spent the next decade moving from place to place in the Spanish Netherlands, staying in contact with other exiles. She was living at Malines in 1572, in Mechlin in 1573, in Brussels in 1574 and again in 1576, and was back in Liège in 1575. In 1576 she was briefly expelled from the territory in an attempt to placate Queen Elizabeth, but she returned almost immediately. In September 1591, Charles Paget, an English exile in Antwerp, wrote to the Percy family in London to say that Anne had died and to request that her youngest daughter, Jane, come to Flanders to claim her mother’s belongings. This appears to have been a ruse to allow Jane to visit her mother. Anne died of smallpox while living in the convent at Namur, but not until five years later.

MARY VICTORIA (maiden name unknown)

The name Mistress Victoria appears among the gentlewomen attending Catherine of Aragon at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 and Mary Victoria is listed in the household of Princess Mary in Wales in 1525 and was still with her in October 1533. She is listed as receiving £10/year in the household accounts for 1526. Joycelyne Russell, in The Field of Cloth of Gold, suggests she may be the wife of Dr. Ferdinand/Fernando Victoria/Vittorio, Spanish physician to the queen and this seems to be supported by an entry in the Letters and Papers, foreign & domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII, Vol. II Part II which lists a payment of £66 13s. 4d. in February 1518 to Dr. Fernando for transporting his wife out of Spain. They had a son, who was the king’s godchild. Plans were discussed in 1523 and 1524 to send him to Emperor Charles V as a page but it is not clear if he ever left England. Mary is probably the “Mistress Mary, my physician’s wife,” to whom Catherine of Aragon left £40 in her will. It is also possible there were two Mary Victorias, mother and daughter, with the daughter serving as one of Princess Mary’s maids of honor in 1525-33.

SUSAN WHITE

Susan White was the daughter of Richard White and Maud Tyrell. As early as 1525, Susan may have been in the service of Mary Tudor, remaining with Mary until she was dismissed in late 1533. By 1534, she had married Thomas Tonge, Clarencieux King-at-arms and she is better known to history as Susan or Susanna Clarence, Clarencius, or Clarencieux.

In June 1536, when Mary’s household was reorganized, Susan was one of the three women Mary asked for by name.

In 1544, Susan received an annuity of £13 and the grant of Chevenhall. In 1553, she was given the manor of Thundersley in Essex by Edward VI.

When Mary became queen, Susan was named Mistress of Robes, a new position that combined the duties of Yeoman of the Wardrobe and Groom of the Stole. This title is questioned by Charlotte Merton in her The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. She argues that there was no such official position until the reign of James I.

In 1555, she was the only one present when the recently imprisoned Elizabeth Tudor met with her half-sister the queen. A story told in Linda Porter’s First Queen of England paints Susan as somewhat conniving and greedy. She persuaded the Venetian ambassador, Michieli, to make a gift to Queen Mary of his coach and horses, after which Mary turned around and presented them to Susan. She received many gifts from Queen Mary, both grants of land in Essex and the wardships of William Latham of Essex and Robert Stapleton of Yorkshire. She is recorded as having spent 16s. at the sale of Archbishop Cranmer’s possessions in 1553, for an old Turkish “foot carpet” and a carpet for a sideboard. Susan was with Mary when the queen died on November 17, 1558 and the dying Mary gave her further gifts to insure her future. Susan transferred her English properties to her brother, Richard, before leaving the country in August,1559 in the household of Jane Dormer, countess of Feria, where she appears to have remained until her death, although the History of Parliament entry for her nephew says she went overseas “for a short while.” That source also names four Essex manors granted to her in 1558 with reversion to her heirs as Rivenhall, Runwell, Chingford Paul, and Chingford Comitis. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Tonge [née White], Susan;” Jennifer Ann Rowley-Williams, chapter in Image and Reality: the Lives of Aristocratic Women in Early Tudor England (unpublished PhD dissertation, 1998).

Source: 

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

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The Ladies Who Served: Mary Tudor, Queen of England (Part 1)

Mary Tudor, first queen regnant of England was not known (in her later years) to be a beautiful women, and from what I’ve read, neither were the ladies she surrounded herself with. It was common practice during the reign of Henry VIII to ensure that his queen consorts had only the most beautiful women around them. Near the end of Mary’s life she definitely a sight – distended belly from whatever ailed her, skeletal frame, thinning hair and bad breath. That is the consensus from all the books I’ve read.

This is part one of a two-part series because I was able to find such a large list of ladies thanks to Kathy Lynn Emerson and her website, “A Who’s Who of Tudor Women” – Emerson has been kind enough to share all her findings with the world and allowing us to share pieces as long as we give her credit where credit is due. Please, if you have a moment, go check out her amazing site!

As you’ll notice, many of these women do not have portraits available? Is that because they were so unattractive? I’m only kidding, but I have heard this several times. I’ll need to do more research on the topic.

These names took quite awhile to compile so I hope you enjoy the post!

With all that being said, now is the time when I have to embarrass myself and ask for YOUR help. If you can help I will appreciate it more than you know. My costs for web hosting (my website domain), software to create my podcast and research materials are often a cost that is difficult for me to afford. I work a full-time job to pay my everyday bills – this website and stuff is all out of my pocket. If you can help me out it would mean the world to me. Whether it’s a one-time payment or monthly payment at $1 each month, I’d appreciate. Even if it’s a one-time payment of $1 I’ll appreciate more than you’ll ever know. I’ll be sure to thank you on social media (first name only) when I see a donation come through.

One-time payment/donation to my PayPal account:

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Thank you so much – Rebecca Larson

This list includes women and girls who served Mary when she was princess and when she was queen.

Cecily Arundell

Cecily Arundell was the daughter of Sir John Arundell and his second wife, Elizabeth Danet. She was most-likely named for her great-grandmother, Cecily Bonville, marchioness of Dorset. Cecily was in the service of Queen Mary I in 1557 and is probably the Arundell referred to in a poem about eight of Mary’s ladies written by “RE” c.1553.

She was maid of honor to Queen Jane and a gentlewoman in the household of Queen Mary I. Cecily never married and was a faithful servant to her queen, a friend to poor and rich and was bent to virtuous life.

Portrait: memorial brass on which her name is spelled Cyssel Arundell

Jane Arundell

Jane Arundell was the daughter of Sir John Arundell and his first wife, Eleanor Grey. She was at least thirty years old when she went to court as one of Queen Jane’s maids of honor in 1536.

Although there was talk of a marriage with Thomas Cromwell’s son Gregory in October 1536, Jane Arundell never wed. Her younger half-sister, Mary Arundell, was also one of Queen Jane’s maids of honor until she wed the Earl of Sussex. After the queen’s death, Jane became part of their household. Later she was a gentlewoman in Queen Mary’s household before retiring to Lanherne.

Portrait: memorial brass

Frances Aylmer

Frances Aylmer was a lady of the privy chamber to Princess Mary Tudor from at least 1525 until 1533 and returned to her service in 1536. She served as Mary’s proxy when Mary was godmother to one of the children of Lord William Howard. In mid-July 1533, Thomas Cromwell wrote to Lord Hussey, Chamberlain of Mary’s household, ordering him to have Mary’s jewels and plate inventoried and placed in the custody of Frances Aylmer. This did not happen. The Countess of Salisbury (Margaret Pole), who was Lady Mistress of the household, refused to comply unless she received written orders from the king himself.

Margaret Bacon

The daughter of John Bacon, Margaret was in the household of Princess Mary Tudor in the 1530s. She had been married since about 1505 to Sir William Butts, one of the royal physicians. They had at least three children, Sir William, Thomas, and Edmund. Margaret survived her husband. Margaret is said to be age fifty-seven in the below portrait.

Margaret Bacon, later Lady Butts.

Anne Bassett

Anne Bassett was the third daughter of Sir John Bassett and his second wife, Honor Grenville. Her stepfather, Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, was Lord Deputy of Calais and Anne was sent to a French family to be educated.

In 1537 she obtained a post at court as one of Queen Jane Seymour’s six maids of honor, having been told in 1536 that, at fifteen, she was too young for the post. At the queen’s death, she was placed in the household of her cousin, Mary Arundell, Countess of Sussex, to await the king’s next marriage. The king took a particular interest in her, at one point giving her a gift of a horse and saddle. Upon his marriage to Anne of Cleves, Anne Bassett resumed her position as a maid of honor and she also held this post under Catherine Howard. After that queen’s disgrace, Anne was particularly provided for because at the time her stepfather, mother, and two sisters were being held in connection with a treasonous plot to turn Calais over to England’s enemies. This does not seem to have affected the king’s feelings for Anne. At a banquet held a short time later, she was one of three ladies to whom he paid particular attention and there was speculation that Anne Bassett might be wife number six. When King Henry chose Katherine Parr instead, Anne resumed her role as maid of honor. She left court during the reign of Edward VI with an annuity of forty marks for her service to Katherine Parr but returned as a lady of the privy chamber in 1553 when Mary Tudor took the throne.

Frances Baynham

Frances Baynham was the daughter of Sir George Baynham and Bridget Kingston. She has been identified as one of Mary Tudor’s ladies in 1536, although she would have been very young at that date. She also married young, wedding Sir Henry Jerningham  between 1536 and 1543, after which she continued to serve Mary as Frances Jerningham, both before and after Mary became queen in 1553.

Amata/Amy Boleyn

Amata or Amy Boleyn, sometimes called Jane, was the daughter of Sir William Boleyn and Margaret Butler, daughter of the Earl of Ormond, and married Sir Philip Calthorpe of on November 4, 1518. They had one daughter, Elizabeth. In mid-October 1521, when Mary Tudor was five years old, Lady Calthorpe replaced Lady Bryan as her governess and Sir Philip was put in charge of the household at joint wages of £40 per annum. In 1525, when Mary set up her household at Ludlow as Princess of Wales, Calthorpe was her vice-chamberlain and his wife was one of her gentlewomen.

Margaret Bourchier

The daughter of Humphrey Bourchier and Elizabeth Tylney. Margaret was brought up with her half brothers and half sisters, including Elizabeth Howard (Anne Boleyn’s mother). Margaret married Sir Thomas Bryan of Ashridge, Hertfordshire. She was a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon from 1509 to 1516 while her husband was vice-chamberlain of the queen’s household.

She apparently brought their daughters Margaret and Elizabeth Bryan and her son Francis with her to court. She also had charge of the upbringing of Lettice Penyston. After the birth of Mary Tudor, Margaret was put in charge of the nursery at Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire and at Hanworth. She remained with the princess for five years and when she left was given an annuity of £50 for life. In 1533 she was called back to care for Elizabeth Tudor at Hatfield and in 1537, after the birth of Prince Edward, was put in charge of a combined household at Haveringatte-Bower.

Eleanor Browne

Eleanor Browne was the only child and heiress of Robert Browne and Mary (or Margaret) Mallet. Browne’s will, however, gives his wife’s name as Anne.

Eleanor married first Thomas Fogge, sergeant porter of Calais, by whom she had two daughters, Anne and Alice, and second Sir William Kempe. Their children were Emeline, Thomas, John, Edward, Anthony, Francis, George, Cecily, Faith, Mary, and Margaret. As Eleanor Kempe, Eleanor served in Katherine Parr’s household from 1543-1547 and was one of the longest-serving and most loyal of Mary Tudor’s ladies. She was part of Mary’s household by 1547 and was still there in 1558 when the queen died.

Mabel Browne

Mabel Browne was the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne and Alys Gage. Her father’s half-brother, William FitzWilliam, Earl of Southampton, left her an annuity of £100 in his will, dated September 10, 1542. Mabel Browne was probably named after Southampton’s wife, Mabel Clifford. She was in Mary Tudor’s household before 1552, possibly as a maid of honor. Her marriage to the brother of her stepmother, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, on May 28, 1554 made her countess of Kildare.

Catherine Brydges

Catherine Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos and Elizabeth Grey. She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary. In early 1556, she married Edward Sutton, Baron Dudley and soon after found herself being questioned about her brother-in-law, Sir Henry Dudley, the conspirator. Her husband was imprisoned for debt in June 1558, by which time Catherine had given birth to their only child, Anne.

Anne Conyers

Anne Conyers was the eldest of the three daughters of John, 3rd Baron Conyers and Maud Clifford, younger sister of the 2nd Earl of Cumberland. After her father died, Queen Mary summoned Anne to court. When she did not come at once, the queen sent a letter rebuking her for her hesitance to leave her mother and sisters. Shortly thereafter, Anne became a maid of honor, probably replacing Magdalen Dacre. She married Anthony Kempe of Slindon at some point during the next ten years.

Although she had a son by Kempe, all the sons and daughters mentioned in Kempe’s will except Mary, wife of Humphrey Walrond, were under age and unmarried in 1597 and were the children of his second marriage, made on November 19, 1569 to Margery Gage. The Conyers title went to the son of Anne’s sister, Elizabeth.

Magdalen Dacre

Magdalen Dacre was born at Naworth Castle to William Dacre, 3rd Baron Dacre of Gilsland and Elizabeth Talbot.

At thirteen, she was a gentlewoman to Anne Sapcote, Countess of Bedford and at sixteen joined Queen Mary’s household. She was one of Mary’s bridesmaids when she married Philip II of Spain.

Magdalen was reportedly very religious, spending much of her time in prayer and wearing a coarse linen smock under her court clothes. According to a story repeated in E. S. Turner’s The Court of St. James and elsewhere, she was a blonde, a head taller than any other maid of honor, and very attractive, and she caught the attention of Queen Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain. The story goes that Philip opened a window to a room where Magdalen was washing her face (or in some versions, brushing her hair) and, supposedly in jest, caught hold of her. Magdalen beat him off with a nearby staff and neither she nor her mistress found the incident amusing.

Effigy of Magdalen Dacre, Viscountess Montagu

Mary Danet

Mary Dannett was the daughter of Gerald Danet and his second wife, Mary Belknap. She is recorded as being in the household of Mary Tudor (later Queen Mary) in 1526. Mary Danet married George Medley, half-brother of Lady Jane Grey’s father. They lived at Tilty, Essex and had three sons and two daughters, including Elizabeth.

Mary Dannett brass in St. Mary the Virgin, Tilty, Essex

Jane Dormer

Jane Dormer was the daughter of William Dormer and Mary Sidney. She was a favorite maid of honor to Queen Mary, having entered the queen’s service before the death of Mary’s brother, King Edward VI.

Jane’s hand in marriage was sought by the earl of Devon, the Duke of Norfolk, and Charles Howard, later Earl of Nottingham, but she accepted the proposal of Don Gomez de Figueroa, Count of Feria. They were waiting for the return to England of Philip II to marry when Queen Mary died. Jane herself had been ill in October of 1558 but she returned to her dying mistress’s bedside in November and was entrusted with the errand of journeying to Hatfield to deliver Mary’s jewels to her sister and heir, Elizabeth Tudor.

After Mary’s death, Jane lived with her grandmother, Jane Newdigate, Lady Dormer at the Savoy Palace. She had some questions to answer about jewels missing from Queen Mary’s coffers. Queen Elizabeth appointed Catherine (Carey) Knollys, Marjorie (Williams) Norris, and Blanche Parry to question her. Her explanations appear to have satisfied them. Jane Dormer married the Count of Feria on December 29th and left England in July 1559.

Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria

Margaret Douglas

Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Margaret Tudor (sister to Henry VIII) by her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. She was thus half-sister of James V of Scotland and granddaughter of Henry VII of England.

Her mother was fleeing from Scotland, seeking shelter with her brother, Henry VIII, when Margaret was born at Harbottle, on the English side of the border.

At barely fifteen, she was appointed Chief Lady-in-Waiting to her cousin, Princess Mary. Three years later, she was at court as one of Anne Boleyn’s ladies.

Margaret was in and out of trouble all her life. She formed two unacceptable romantic alliances with English suitors and was confined for a time after each incident. She may actually have married Thomas Howard (1512-October 29, 1537), one of the duke of Norfolk’s half-brothers. Thomas died in the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned for his liaison with Margaret. Margaret remained close to Thomas Howard’s niece, Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond, who had been married to Henry FitzRoy. Their “circle” had a literary bent and they all wrote poetry, although only the sonnets of Mary’s brother, the Earl of Surrey, achieved renown.

During Catherine Howard’s time as queen, Margaret was romantically involved with the queen’s brother, Charles Howard. On July 6, 1544, Margaret married Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox. They had four sons and four daughters but only two sons survived to adulthood, Henry, Lord Darnley and Charles, Earl of Lennox. Shortly before Henry VIII’s death, Margaret quarreled with him over a matter of religion (she remained a devout Catholic all her life) and was disinherited.

She was high in favor under Queen Mary, but under Queen Elizabeth she was under arrest on three separate occasions, once on suspicion of witchcraft and treason, once because her son, Lord Darnley, had married Mary, Queen of Scots, and once because she conspired to marry her other son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavendish.

Margaret Douglas

Anne Elmbridge

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

Joan Fermor

Joan Fermor was the daughter of Sir Richard Fermor and Anne Browne (d.1551+). At some point before 1536, she was a maid of honor to Princess Mary. In that year, she married Robert Wilford, a merchant tailor and London alderman. She had at least one child, a daughter, by her first husband.

On December 3, 1545, she married Sir John Mordaun, son and heir of the 1st Baron Mordaunt, as his second wife. At an unspecified date after that, Sir John’s son and heir, Lewis Mordaunt, who was only around seven years old when his father remarried, compromised his step-sister, Joan’s daughter. Joan insisted that they marry and her husband supported her in this, but Lord Mordaunt, the boy’s grandfather, objected. He took Lewis in and disinherited his own son when Sir John threatened to bar Lewis from succeeding to his mother’s lands. They were apparently reconciled before Mordaunt died on August 18, 1562. Lewis married someone else the following year. Joan married Sir Thomas Kempe of Ollantigh, Wye, Kent by a settlement dated December 20, 1571, as his third wife. They had no children. They were recusants and in 1578 the couple was noted for not receiving communion. In 1583, he was charged with absenting himself from church.

Mary Fitzherbert

Mary Fitzherbert was a member of the household of Mary Tudor in the Marches of Wales in 1525-7. The household accounts for July to December 1526 include quarterly payments of her wages, which amounted to £10 a year. Listed with her are Anne Rede, Mary Victoria (Mary Vittorio), and Mary Danet (Dannett). Possibly they were all maids of honor. On May 28, 1532, Mary Fitzherbert, still in Princess Mary’s service, was given a gown of tawny lucca velvet and a kirtle of crimson satin against her marriage, but her husband’s name is not given.

Katherine Grey

Katherine Grey was the daughter of Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset and Margaret Wotton. She married Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers, heir to the earl of Arundel in 1532. Her brother was to have wed his sister, but the match was called off when Henry Grey married Lady Frances Brandon instead. As Lady Maltravers, Katherine was listed as a member of the household of Princess Mary Tudor in October 1533. She had three children by Maltravers, Joan, Henry, and Mary.

Catherine Grey

Lady Catherine Grey was the middle daughter of Henry Grey, 3rd Marquis of Dorset and Duke of Suffolk and Frances Brandon. By the time she was eight, Catherine was studying Greek, although she was not as clever as her older sister, Lady Jane Grey.

In May and June of 1549, riots and rebellion came close to Bradgate Manor in Leicestershire, the Grey family seat, while the family was in residence there. On November 26 of that year, during a stay at Tilty in Essex, all three girls were taken to visit Mary Tudor, the king’s sister, at Beaulieu. In February the family was at Dorset House on the Strand.

On May 25, 1553, at age twelve, Catherine was married to Henry Herbert, the earl of Pembroke’s heir. Although the marriage was not to be consummated, Catherine was sent to live in Pembroke’s London residence, Baynard’s Castle. When the plan to put Catherine’s sister, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne of England in place of Mary Tudor failed, Catherine’s marriage was annulled. Her sister and father were executed after Wyatt’s rebellion a few months later.

In April 1554, with her mother and younger sister, Catherine was living at Beaumanor, near Bradgate, but in July her mother was called to court to join the queen’s Privy Chamber and her surviving daughters went with her.

Under both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Catherine lived at court, possibly as a maid of honor, although she had her own room, personal servants, and both dogs and monkeys as pets. She was considered by many to be heiress presumptive and as such was not, by law, allowed to marry without the queen’s permission.

Catherine spent the summer of 1558, when there was sickness (probably influenza) at court, at Hanworth in Middlesex with the Seymour family. It is at that time that her romance with Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford is said to have begun. In November or December 1560, Catherine secretly married him. When the marriage was discovered the following summer, both parties were imprisoned in the Tower. There Catherine gave birth to her son Edward (September 24,1561-1639). Sympathetic jailers allowed the young couple to meet and the result was a second son, Thomas (February 10,1563-1619). Because of the threat of plague in London, Catherine and her younger son were removed from the Tower and sent to her uncle, Lord John Grey, at Pirgo in Essex, arriving there on September 3, 1563. With them were the baby’s nurse, three ladies-in-waiting, and two manservants. Edward and their older son were sent to Edward’s mother, the Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset, at Hanworth. Catherine never saw either of them again. She was moved to Sir William Petre’s house of Ingatestone, Essex in the autumn of 1564. That same year, Hertford was removed from Hanworth and placed with Sir John Mason. When Mason died in April 1566, Hertford remained with his widow in London for a time, then was transferred to the keeping of Sir Richard Spencer. Three-year-old Lord Beauchamp remained with his grandmother. In May 1566, Catherine was moved a few miles east of Ingatestone Hall to Gosfield Hall, the house of Sir John Wentworth, when Sir William Petre fell ill. Wentworth was 76 and his wife was 71, but their plea that they were too old to act as warders was ignored. Wentworth died in late September 1567, after which Catherine and her son were moved to Sir Owen Hopton’s house, Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford, Suffolk. It was there she died, probably of tuberculosis, although the theory has been advanced that she starved herself to death. Her younger son was then sent to join his brother. Catherine was buried at Yoxford, but in 1621, following Hertford’s death, Catherine’s grandson, the surviving male heir, had her body moved to Salisbury Cathedral and buried with her husband.

Lady Catherine Grey with her elder son Edward, Lord Beauchamp

Dorothy Grosvenor

Dorothy Grosvenor was one of the sixteen children of Richard Grosvenor and Catherine Cotton. She married first Richard Wilbraham or Wilbram of Woodhey, Cheshire, who was a member of the household of Princess Mary from 1525, first as clerk of the kitchen and later as a gentleman usher. When Mary became queen he was made master of the jewel house.

According to his entry in the History of Parliament, in February 1558, he had a premonition about his own death and secured the wardship of his four-year old son Thomas for his wife, her father, and two other men of his own choosing. There is a problem with this statement, however, since Richard Grosvenor had died in 1542. One of two explanations is possible. Either father is a mistake for brother, or it was Richard Grosvenor the younger who fathered Dorothy. Since young Thomas was not born until 1554, it is possible that Dorothy could have been born c.1530 and be the daughter of the younger Richard. He married Katherine Dutton but I have no date for that marriage. One argument that Dorothy became a mother at forty-three rather than in her teens comes from the record of gifts before 1553 from Princess Mary to both Wilbraham and his wife. In his will, written on July 25, 1558, Wilbraham named Dorothy one of his executors, along with his sister, Elizabeth Whitmore, and two cousins. By Wilbraham, Dorothy also had a daughter, Elizabeth. Dorothy remarried, taking as her second husband Henry Savile of London, Barrowby, Lincolnshire, and Lupset, Yorkshire. She was his third wife and they had no children. He was a member of the Council of the North.

Sybil Hampden

Better known as Mrs. Penne, Sybil or Sibell Hampden was the daughter of William Hampden and Audrey Hampden (daughter of Richard Hampden of Kimbell).

She married David Penne and had two sons, John and William. In October 1538 she became the chief nurse in the household of the future Edward VI and remained in that post until 1544. The prince was very fond of her and, as king, gave her the manor of Beaumond and the rectory of Little Missenden in Buckinghamshire.

In 1553 she reappears in the household of Queen Mary, Edward’s sister, and she continued to live in rooms at Hampton Court during the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, although she had a house, called Penn’s Place, nearby. She was stricken with smallpox at the same time Queen Elizabeth caught the disease, but Sybil Penne died of it.

Effigy of Sybil Hampden

Barbara Hawke

All the Queen’s Women: The Changing Place and Perception of Aristocratic Women in Elizabethan England 1558-1620 (1987) by Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith lists Barbara Hawke Bruselles as part of the household of Elizabeth Tudor before 1558 and again from 1558-1569+ but it is in the household of Mary Tudor that I find early mention of Barbara Hawke. She is listed as a gentlewoman of the chamber for the period 1536-47, before Mary became queen, and appears again in 1553-8 as a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber to Queen Mary. The surname Bruselles does not appear in these early records. Queen Elizabeth gave Barbara russet colored material for gowns in 1565 and again in 1569. Jane Brussells, listed as a chamberer in the household of Queen Elizabeth in 1586, is Barbara’s daughter.

Dorothy Howard

Dorothy Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tylney. With her mother, she was with Princess Mary at Richmond in 1520 when most of the court went to France for the meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I at the Field of Cloth of Gold. Sometime after the death of his first wife, Katherine Howard, in 1530, Dorothy married Edward Stanley, 3rd earl of Derby. As Lady Derby she accompanied Anne Boleyn to France before Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII. She was also in Anne’s coronation procession and in the funeral procession of Jane Seymour. Her children were Henry, Thomas, Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, and Jane.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tylney. In 1520, during the Field of Cloth of Gold, she was at Richmond with her mother, two of her sisters, and four-year-old Princess Mary. In 1523, she was one of the “bevy of ladies” with Elizabeth Stafford, Countess of Surrey, as described in the poem A Goodly Garland or Chaplet of Laurel by John Skelton. She married Henry Radcliffe. He became Lord Fitzwalter in 1529 (and earl of Sussex in 1542). Elizabeth is a leading candidate to be “The Lady Ratclif” of the Holbein sketch, although the identity of the sitter is by no means certain. Elizabeth’s children by Radcliffe were Thomas, 3rd earl (1526-June 9, 1583), Henry, 4th earl (c.1530-December 14, 1593), and Robert. In 1532, she was one of six ladies who accompanied Anne Boleyn to Calais. Portrait: drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Katherine Howard 

Katherine Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tylney. In 1520, during the Field of Cloth of Gold, she was at Richmond with her mother, two of her sisters, and four-year-old Princess Mary.

At the age of six she was betrothed to Rhys ap Griffith of Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire and married him when she was fourteen. Their children, who followed the Welsh practice of using their father’s first name as their last name (ap Rhys or Rice) were Thomas, Griffith, Agnes, Mary, and one other daughter.

Sir Rhys was arrested on October 2, 1531 and accused of plotting to kill the king. He was beheaded. The attainder of November 1531 safeguarded Katherine’s jointure and she continued to receive about £196/year. Her second husband, married in 1532, was Henry Daubeney, earl of Bridgewater. She was his second wife. He’d had no children by his first marriage and this second union also proved childless (although TudorPlace.com.ar gives them three unnamed children). Barbara J. Harris in “Sisterhood, Friendship and the Power of English Aristocratic Women 1450-1550,” in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1540-1700, edited by James Daybell, reports that Lady Daubeney sent all three of her daughters to her mother to raise. Daubeney was reportedly in poor health by 1534 and trying to get rid of his wife. They were already living apart. He may have thought he could get an annulment and marry again in the hope of a son to inherit or they may simply have been incompatible.

In any case, in 1535, he offered her all her own lands and £100/year. In the winter of 1535/6, however, she wrote to Lord Cromwell that her only income came from Queen Anne, her niece. She also claimed that efforts had been made to discredit her with the queen. Daubeney, meanwhile, was pleading financial hardship. By March 1536, however, the queen’s father, the earl of Wiltshire, had loaned him £400. It is not clear if Queen Anne’s generosity extended to having her aunt at court, but we next hear of her nearly two years after Anne’s execution. On April 7, 1538, Katherine was chief mourner at the funeral of her half-sister Elizabeth, Lady Wiltshire. In 1540 there were rumors that Katherine and her husband might reconcile. Reconciled or not, she was at court when another niece, Catherine Howard, was queen, and when Catherine was arrested, so was Katherine. She was indicted for misprision of treason along with her mother, her brother William, and William’s wife (Margaret Gamage). Katherine was buried in the Howard Chapel in Lambeth on May 11, 1554.

Mary Holland

Mary Holland was the daughter of Sir Richard Holland and Eleanor Harbottle. Some sources say Holland was Eleanor Harbottle’s first husband, married in 1524, but this is incorrect. She was married first to Sir Thomas Percy, by whom she had several children, including two future earls of Northumberland. Holland had also been married before. Mary Holland had only one full sibling, a brother named Richard. It has been suggested that Mary Holland might be the Mrs. Holland who was one of Queen Mary’s attendants in 1555/6 and this is certainly possible, although unproven.

Mary married Arthur Pole of Lordlington. His entry in the Oxford DNB says they wed before September 1562. Other sources say the wedding took place between September 15, 1562 and January 27, 1563. Either way, they were not to have much of a life together. Arthur had already been in the Fleet in April 1561 and he was imprisoned again in late 1562. Condemned on a charge of treason in February 1563, he spent the rest of his life in the Tower of London, dying there sometime between January 1570 and August 12, 1570.

Anne Jerningham

Anne Jerningham was the daughter of Sir John Jerningham and Bridget Drury. She married Sir Thomas Cornwallis, who was arrested briefly for recusancy in 1570 and was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary in 1555. Her children were Elizabeth, Alice, Mary, Sir William, and Sir Charles Cornwallis.

Portrait believe to be Anne, Lady Cornwallis (née Anne Jerningham)

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