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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 LavinaTeerlinc 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.
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
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Mrs. Garrett
Margery Horsham, Lady Lister
Anne Jerningham, Lady Walsingham
Margaret Neville Anne Sapcote, Lady Russell
Elizabeth Slighfield, Mrs. Huicke (wife of Dr. Robert Huicke)?
Elizabeth Stonor, Lady Hoby
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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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 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 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 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, 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 alsopart 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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).
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.
This list includes women and girls who served Mary when she was princess and when she was queen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 Havering–atte-Bower.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Anne Elmbridge was the daughter of Thomas Elmbridge (also spelled Ellenbridge, Elynbrugge, Elingbridge, and Ellingbridge) and Joan Overton. Anne married Sir John Dannet (Dannett, etc), 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 Thornfrith, Merstham, Surrey on May 30, 1577.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
Even though Katherine of Aragon had a large household at the beginning of her reign as queen consort, her ladies-in-waiting only numbered eight.¹ These women would be the most important ladies in the qu
een’s immediate circle. Each of them came from an important family at the Tudor court and each of them were known as beauties in their own right. These women’s charms and talents were shown off frequently while their main role was dancing, singing and conversation – all around entertaining the queen.
Ladies-in-Waiting to Katherine of Aragon
Elizabeth Stafford¹ (c. 1479 – 11 May 1532) was the sister of the Duke of Buckingham and had recently wed Robert Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter. Fitzwalter would later become Earl of Sussex around 1529.¹
Elizabeth’s parents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lady Katherine Woodville – sister of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV. After the execution of Henry Stafford for treason, Elizabeth’s mother married Jasper Tudor.
Anne Stafford¹ (c. 1483–1544), who was also the sister of the Duke of Buckingham, who was a widow and had recently wed Sir George Hastings. Who would become the Earl of Huntington in 1529.¹
Elizabeth’s parents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lady Katherine Woodville – sister of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV. After the execution of Henry Stafford for treason, Anne’s mother married Jasper Tudor.
Margaret Scrope¹(d. 1515) was the wife of Sir Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk who had been in the Tower of London since 1506 and was executed in 1513.¹
Margaret was the daughter of Sir Richard Scrope and Eleanor Washbourne.²
Elizabeth Scrope¹ (d. June 26, 1537) was the second wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.¹
Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir Richard Scrope and Eleanor Washbourne.²
She married first, William, 2nd viscount Beaumont. He lost his “reason” in 1487 and was placed in the care of John de Vere, 13th earl of Oxford, until his death. In 1508, Elizabeth married Oxford.²
Agnes Tilney¹ (c. 1477 – May 1545) was married to Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. Surrey would later become 2nd Duke of Norfolk.¹
Agnes was the daughter of Henry Tilney and Eleanor Tailboys. She was also the step-mother of Thomas Howard who would later become 3rd Duke of Norfolk. She was also step-grandmother of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Anne Hastings¹(c.1471-c.1512) was the daughter of Sir William Hastings and married to George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Steward.¹
Anne was the daughter of William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, and Katherine Neville – niece of the “Kingmaker”, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.²
Mary Say¹ (1485-June 5, 1535+²) was married to Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex.¹
Mary was the daughter of Sir William Say and Elizabeth Fray. Her sister, Elizabeth Say was the first wife of William Blount, 4th baron Mountjoy and because of this connection, she is often called Mary Blount, William’s sister, by mistake.
She married Henry Bourchier, earl of Essex in 1497. T
In 1501, Mary was in attendance on Katherine of Aragon after her marriage to Prince Arthur. In 1529, she was one of those to give testimony about whether or not Katherine’s marriage had been consummated. In 1506, the Essex household included both Charles Brandon, who was Essex’s master of horse, and Anne Browne, former maid of honor to Elizabeth of York and Brandon’s on again, off again wife.
Mary was one of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting in 1509.
Anne Hastings, was the sister of Sir George Hastings and married to Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby
Maids of Honor to Katherine of Aragon
Maria de Salinas¹
Maria de Salinas was the daughter of Juan Sancriz de Salinas and Inez Albernos. Juan de Salinas was secretary to Isabella, Princess of Portugal, oldest sister of Catherine of Aragon. After his death, his six children were raised by his brother Martin and his wife, Maria Martinez de Buendia. Maria came to England in about 1503 to replace Maria de Rojas, who may have been her cousin, as one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies. In 1511, she was godmother to Charles Brandon’s daughter, Mary. By 1514, she was considered to be Queen Catherine’s closest friend.²
Elizabeth Boleyn neé Howard¹
Elizabeth Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tylney.
Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Boleyn of Blickling, Norfolk c.1499 and had by him three famous children, Mary, Anne and George.
There is no evidence that Elizabeth served Elizabeth of York and although she has long been believed to have been at court as a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Alison Weir points out in her biography of Mary Boleyn that there is no specific reference to her being there. She suggests that it is Anne Tempest, wife of Edward Boleyn, who was part of Queen Catherine’s household. Both Lady Boleyns were at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520.²
Lucy Talbot², daughter of Anne Hastings and George Talbot is believed to have been a Maid of Honor to the queen.²
¹Jones, Philippa; The Other Tudors – Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards; pages 59-60
²Emerson, Kathy Lynn; Index to A Who’s Who of Tudor Women
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