Category Archives: People of the court

On this day in 1501 – Henry Stafford was born

Henry Stafford was born on 18th September 1501 in Penshurst, Kent to Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Eleanor Percy.

On 16th February 1519 Stafford married Ursula Pole, daughter of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. The marriage had been arranged by Stafford’s father the Duke of Buckingham after it was suggested by Cardinal Wolsey. Ursula brought a dowry of 3,000 marks which would be increased by a thousand if her mother was able to gain back family land from King Henry VIII. Ursula’s mother, Margaret Pole, managed to secure them lands worth 700 marks and in return Edward Stafford kept lands worth £500 for Ursula’s jointure, in the event of her husband’s death.

Henry Stafford and his new wife lived in the household of his father as due to their young age they were required to have a guardian. In November 1520 the couple had their first child, named Henry, who died in infancy.

In 1521 Henry’s father was arrested and beheaded after being accused of treason, he was posthumously attainted by an Act of Parliament in 1523 which meant that his titles and lands were forfeited to the crown leaving Henry and his family with no support. Until the Attainder against his father, Henry had been known as the Earl of Stafford.

It is believed that Henry and Ursula had 14 children during the course of their marriage including Dorothy Stafford who served Queen Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes.

In 1547 Henry petitioned Parliament for the restoration in blood but did not ask for his father’s lands and titles to be returned to him. Instead in 1548 he was summoned to appear in front of Parliament and it was here that he was created 1st Baron Stafford by King Edward VI. It was the fourth time Baron Stafford had been created but because it had been viewed as a new creation he was the first in this line. Henry in February 1558 won the right for the title to have been recognised as a continuation from 1299, giving the title its history.

In 1531 Staffordshire elected him as a recorder for the borough and he was later appointed as Justice of Peace for Staffordshire and Shropshire in 1536. Henry was also the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire between 1558 and 1559 a role that included Clerk of the Peace.

In 1548 Henry published an English translation of the 1534 tract by Edward Foxe entitled ‘The True Dyfferens Between the Royall Power and the Ecclesiasticall Power’. During the reign of Queen Mary I he converted back to Catholicism and translated two tracts by Erasmus against Luther. His personal library included over 300 books many of which were in Latin.

Henry died on 30th April 1563 at Caus Castle in Shropshire. He was buried in Worthen Church on 6th May.

wothen churchWorthen Church the burial place of Henry Stafford

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On this day in 1558 – Walter Devereux, Viscount Hereford, died

Walter Devereux was born in 1488 to John Devereux, 8th Baron Ferrers of Chartley and his wife Cecily Bourchier. Devereux was born in either Chartley Castle of Chartley Manor in Stowe-by-Chartley, Staffordshire. He was also the maternal grandson of Anne Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg and sister to Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV.

In 1501, when Walter was only 13, his father died with Walter succeeding him as 9th Baron Ferrers of Chartley and on 9th December 1509 he was granted the use of a special livery, despite being underage he was not required to show proof of age or payment of relief for his father’s land. Devereux had also been married prior to his father’s death however, on 15th December 1503 it had been pardoned due to him being under the appropriate age for marriage, he had been married to Mary Grey, daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset and granddaughter to Elizabeth Woodville through her first marriage. Devereux and Mary went on to have three sons, Henry, William and Richard.

On 20th November 1510 he was created High Steward of Tamworth and on 15th February the following year he was appointed alongside Sir Edward Belknapp as joint Constable of Warwick Castle, at the same time Devereux was also appointed joint Steward of the town of Warwick.

Devereux received further appointments on 27th January 1513 when he was appointed Keeper of Netherwood Park, on 1st August 1513 as Councillor and Royal Commissioner of Wales and the Marches and the following year in 1514 as High Steward of Hereford.

Devereux also served the army during the War of the League of Cambrai and later in the Italian Wars of 1521 – 1526, during his time serving in France he was appointed as Captain of the English Army on 24th August 1523 and he oversaw the fight off the coast of Brittany. King Henry VIII was highly impressed with Devereux and rewarded him on 13th July 1523 by creating him a Knight of the Garter alongside Thomas Boleyn.

With King Henry VIII holding Devereux in such high regard the positions kept coming on 11th February 1525 he was appointed as Bailiff of Sutton Coldfield and later that year he was made Steward of the Household and Councillor to King Henry’s daughter, Princess Mary. On 22nd August 1525 Devereux was appointed as Chief Justice of South Wales and High Steward of Builth. The following year on 25th May 1526 he was created Chamberlain of South Wales, Carmarthen and Cardigan making him a powerful and influential man in Wales.

In the late 1520s with his increased powers in Wales he became the target of Welsh peer Rhys ap Gruffydd who in 1529, along with a group of armed supporters, threatened Devereux at knifepoint. The pair were allowed to talk through the issues that were troubling them but Gruffydd and his family continued to cause trouble in Wales and for Devereux until Gruffydd was eventually arrested and executed after being charged with treason.

Devereux married for a second time, following the death of his first wife, to Margaret Garneys and they went on to have two children, Edward and Katherine.

In 1543 Devereux was appointed as Custos Rotulorum of Cardiganshire otherwise known as Keeper of the Rolls, a position Devereux would hold until his death. It is also known that Devereux was with King Henry VIII at the siege of Boulogne when it was taken on 18th September 1544.

Upon his return from Boulogne, Devereux was created Viscount Hereford on 2nd February 1550 and was appointed as a Privy Councillor by King Edward VI. On 4th May 1551 he was made joint Lord Justice and Lieutenant of Stafford and on 18th February 1554 Justice of the Peace for Stafford, Worcester and Salop.

Devereux died on 17th September 1558 and was buried at Stowe-by-Chartley, Staffordshire.

walter_devereux__margaret_garneys_250x187The tomb of Walter Devereux and second wife Margaret Garneys

On this day in 1540 – Sir William Kingston died

Sir William Kingston was born around 1476 and grew up in Painswick, Gloucestershire and first appeared in court life in June 1509 as a yeoman of the guard and again in 1512 as an under marshal in the army. During his time in the army he was on the Spanish coast at San Sebastian with Dr William Knight. He is noted as being involved in discussions regarding the best course of action for the English troops that were under the leadership of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset.

Kingston was also present at the Battle of Flodden and was knighted in 1513 (you can read more about the Battle of Flodden here – https://wordpress.com/post/85308923/809/)

Kingston was appointed as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for 1514-1515. Kingston was present in the French court during 1520 after Sir Richard Wingfield wrote to King Henry VIII that the French Dauphin had taken a liking to Kingston. King Henry VIII had also taken to Kingston and he was present with the King at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and later at the meeting with the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Henry was so impressed with Kingston he presented him with a horse.

For the next few years Kingston remained a country magistrate as well as courtier and acted on the King’s behalf levying men in his home county, when he was in London he stayed with the Black Friars.

In April 1523 Kingston joined Lord Dacre on the northern frontier and Kingston along with Sir Ralph Ellerker were assigned some of the most dangerous posts including being at the capture of Cessford Castle. He returned to London suddenly and was appointed Captain of the Guard and a Knight of the King’s Body. On 30th August 1523 along with Charles Brandon he landed at Calais and on 28th May 1524 he was appointed Constable of the Tower with a salary of £100, in addition to this he also signed the petition to Pope Clement VII regarding the King’s divorce in July 1530.

Kingston would be involved in some of the biggest political events of the 1530’s in November 1530 went to Sheffield Park, Nottinghamshire to take charge of Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey was concerned as he was once told that he would meet his death at Kingston, although Kingston tried to reassure him that he was not there to kill him he was with Wolsey when he died and later rode back to London to inform the King of the news.

Kingston travelled to Calais with Henry VIII for a second meeting with Francis I at Boulogne and on 29th May 1533 he greeted Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London where she would stay before her coronation.

He remained the Constable of the Tower and on 2nd May 1536 he received Anne Boleyn once again at the Tower who had been sent to the Tower accused of adultery. Kingston would report to Thomas Cromwell regarding Anne and her movements whilst imprisoned. He sent his first report on 3rd May where he documented Anne’s arrival and her musings regarding her arrest. He would go on to escort Anne to the scaffold after already telling her that her execution had been postponed.

On 9th March 1539 Kingston was made controller of the household and on 24th April he was made a Knight of the Garter, the King gave Kingston granted Flaxley Abbey to Kingston.

Sir William Kingston attended his last Privy Council meeting on 1st Septmeber 1540 and died on 14th September at his home in Painswick.

Kingston Letter about George BoleynA letter from Sir William Kingston to Thomas Cromwell

about George Boleyn

On this day in 1581 – Barnaby Fitzpatrick died

Barnaby Fitzpatrick was born around 1535 in Ireland and was the eldest son of the 1st Baron Upper Ossory. He was sent at an early age to England as a pledge of his father’s loyalty, in England he was educated at the court of King Henry VIII alongside Prince Edward, who he became very close to. Fitzpatrick was amongst the chief mourners at the funeral of King Henry. On 15th August 1551 Fitzpatrick, alongside Sir Robert Dudley, were sworn in with four others to the new King Edward’s privy chamber.

King Edward VI sent Fitzpatrick to France in 1551 to further his education and advised him to ‘behave himself honestly, more following the company of gentlemen, than pressing into the company of the ladies there.’ Fitzpatrick responded to the King said ‘You make me think the care you take for me is more fatherly than friendly.’ Fitzpatrick was introduced to King Henri II of France by Lord Clinton the Lord Admiral. Henri made Fitzpatrick a Gentleman of the Chamber, which was a privileged position in which to observe French politics. Fitzpatrick left France on 9th December 1552 and was commended by Henri for his conduct whilst within the court.

Upon his return to England Fitzpatrick took an active role in the suppression of Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1553. Later in the year John Gough Nichols recorded in his Chronicle of Queen Jane that;

the Erle of Ormonde, Sir Courteney Knight, and Mr. Barnaby fell out in the night with a certain priest in the streate, whose parte a gentyliman coming by chance took, and so they fell by the eares; so that Barnabye was hurte. The morrowe they were ledd by the ii sheryves to the counter in the Pultry, where they remained … daies.”

Fitzpatrick was sent to Ireland shortly after with the Earl of Kildareand Brian O’Conor Faly. It was recorded that in 1558 Fitzpatrick was present at the Siege of Leith where he was knighted by the Duke of Norfolk despite Norfolk having no authority to authorise such appointments. In 1566 he was officially knighted by Sir Henry Sidney.

In 1573 as part of a feud with the Earl of Ormond his wife and daughter were kidnapped. Fitzpatrick appealed to Sir Henry Sidney to help secure their return but resorted to employing Piers Grace, an Irish felon, to rescue his daughter. His wife was eventually returned but Fitzpatrick retaliated by ruining Ormond’s lands.

The following year, in 1574, saw Ormond make fresh allegations against Fitzpatrick and his loyalty but it resulted in Fitzpatrick being summoned in front of the council in Dublin to answer his allegations instead he successfully acquitted himself at the council.

In 1576 Fitzpatrick succeeded his father to Baron Upper Ossory. He remained fairly quiet for a few years until 14th January 1581 when he and his wife were committed to Dublin Castle after Ormond declared that there was ‘not a naughtier or more dangerous man in Ireland than the baron of Upper Ossory. However, Sir Henry Wallop called him ‘as sound a man to her majesty as any of his nation’.

On 11th September 1581 Fitzpatrick was taken ill, at 2pm he died in Dublin in the house of surgeon, William Kelly. Sir Henry Sidney spoke of Fitzpatrick and said that he was ‘the most sufficient man in counsel and action for the war that ever I found of that country birth; great pity it was of his death’.

16th-century-map-of-Ireland16th Century map of Ireland

On this day in 1534 – Gerald FitzGerald 9th Earl of Kildare died

Gerald FitzGerald was born in 1487 in Maynooth, County Kildare; he was the son of Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare and his wife Alison FitzEustace.

FitzGerald’s father was the Lord Deputy of Ireland during the reign of King Edward IV and remained in the position after Henry Tudor won the Battle of Bosworth and took the throne, however, FitzGerald Snr disobeyed the Tudor King on several occasions most notably by supporting the pretender to the throne Lambert Simnel.

In 1502 the younger FitzGerald played a principle role in the funeral of Prince Arthur Tudor who had died at Ludlow Castle and was buried at Worcester Cathedral.

In 1503 FitzGerald had already married Elizabeth Zouche, cousin to King Henry VII and he was given permission to return to Ireland with his father. The following year, in 1504, he was appointed to Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, in August of that year FitzGerald commanded the reserve at the Battle of Knockdoe where his inexperience and impulsive nature caused them a loss. FitzGerald’s father died in 1513 and FitzGerald became the 9th Earl of Kildare and at the same time selected to be the Lord Justice of Ireland. FitzGerald’s brother in law King Henry VIII also promoted him to his late father’s position of Lord Deputy.

FitzGerald defended Ireland and he did such a great job in 1513, after having defeated O’More and killing O’Reilly, a rebel, King Henry VIII granted FitzGerald the custom of the ports in the County of Down. In 1515 FitzGerald invaded Imayle in the Wicklow Mountains and killed Shane O’Toole, whose head he sent to the Lord Mayor of Dublin. FitzGerald went on to march into Ely O’Carroll where he, along with the Earl of Ormond and the son of the Earl of Desmond, captured Lemyvannan castle.

In March 1517 FitzGerald called a parliament in Dublin from which he went and invaded Ulster, stormed Dundrum Castle then marched toward Tyrone before taking the Castle of Dungannon. In 1518 he was accused of maladministration in order to clear his name he appointed a deputy in his place and he set sail for England. Upon arrival he was removed from the government and in his place Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk was appointed as his replacement. FitzGerald remained in England and in 1520 he is recorded as being present with King Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

It was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold that FitzGerald met the King’s first cousin, Lady Elizabeth Grey, a few months later they married. His time in Ireland was far from over though in 1523 King Henry permitted him to return after rumours came out of the country that he was attempting to stir up trouble for the new Lord Deputy, following inquires the King decided that there was no evidence to convict FitzGerald. At the same time he founded the College of Maynooth.

Upon his arrival back in Ireland FitzGerald instantly set off on an expedition to Leix but they ran into difficulty and soon retreated to Dublin. FitzGerald and the Earl of Kildare and Ormond, the current Lord Deputy, argued and accused each other of treason therefore the only thing they could do was to appeal to the King to settle it. Henry VIII ordered the two that they should abstain from making war without his permission, that they should cease levying coigne and livery within the four shires of Meath, Urgell, Dublin and Kildare. The pair were also ordered that their kinsmen submitted to the law and finally that they were bound by a bond of 1,000 marks to keep the peace for one year.

The peace between the two men did not last for long, James Talbot one of the Earl of Ormond’s followers was murdered by the retainers of FitzGerald. Again an appeal was sent to the King who sent commissioners to Ireland. An inquiry was held at Christ Church, Dublin in June 1524, the inquiry found in favour of FitzGerald and an indenture was drawn up ordering the two to forgive each other and become friends.

Soon after the inquiry FitzGerald was reappointed as Lord Deputy and took the oath of the position at St Thomas Court with his nephew Con Bacagh O’Neill carrying the sword of state walking before him. He agreed that he would not grant any pardons without the consent of the council in England. He was also required that his men dressed in the English fashion and shaved their upper beards.

In 1525 FitzGerald and Ormond was once again fighting over the amount of £800 as before they were accusing each other. At the same time Ormond was required by royal mandate to assemble an army to march and arrest the Earl of Desmond before moving north to make peace with the O’Neills and O’Donnells.

In 1526 FitzGerald was summoned to England to face the charges that Ormond had accused him of. Ormond now held the title of Earl of Ossory and accused FitzGerald of secretly assisting the Desmonds and murdered many subjects in Ireland due to their association with the Ormond and Butler family. When FitzGerald arrived in London he was sent to the Tower of London and was kept in England for four years when he was eventually brought in front of a council where a violent altercation broke out between himself and Cardinal Wolsey. Holinshed reported that Wolsey obtained an order for FitzGerald’s execution but instead he was granted bail and in 1530 he was one of the peers who signed the letter to the Pope regarding the King’s divorce with Katherine of Aragon.

In 1530 after signing the letter to the Pope FitzGerald was once again permitted to return to Ireland with Skeffington, the new Lord Deputy. After a march again the O’Tooles and then against the O’Donnells FitzGerald and Ormond were once again writing to the King to accuse each other. With the Deputy supported by the Butlers, FitzGerald was able to clear himself and was appointed to succeed Skeffington as Lord Deputy under the Duke of Richmond who had been granted the office of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. FitzGerald landed back in Ireland to great acclaim however, it did not last and it was eventually realised that peace in Ireland could never be achieved if FitzGerald or Ormond held the office of the Lord Deputy.

FitzGerald received a gunshot wound during a battle with the O’Carrolls at Birr and as a result partially lost the use of his limbs and speech. In February 1534 FitzGerald was once again summoned to court at Drogheda where he nominated his son, Thomas, as Vice Deputy before he set off to England. Upon arriving in England he was again sent to the Tower of London, where on the 2nd September 1534 he died, with the official cause being from grief after hearing of his son’s rebellion. He is buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the grounds of the Tower of London.

Gerald_Fitzgerald,_9th_Earl_of_KildareGerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare

On this day in 1538 – Geoffrey Pole was arrested

On 29th August 1538 Geoffrey Pole was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Pole was the son of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and therefore had a claim to the throne.

Geoffrey Pole was present at Anne Boleyn’s coronation but his loyalty, along with the rest of the family, lay with Katherine of Aragon and her daughter, Princess Mary. Pole had a private meeting with the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys and Pole told Chapuys that if the Holy Roman Emperor was to invade England to avenge the wrongs that had been done to his aunt, Katherine, then the English people would support him.

The conversation, which was supposed to be private, reached King Henry VIII’s ears and Pole was instantly arrested. He would stay in the Tower of London for the next two months until in October when he was called for interrogation. Pole was questioned about conversations and letters that had been sent and received to his brother, Cardinal Pole, from his family. These letters were not approved by the King or Council and so suspicion fell on the Pole family.

Pole’s wife, Constance, was also questioned about Pole’s activity but she was not imprisoned and so attempted to contact Pole’s mother and brother, Lord Montagu to warn them that Geoffrey was facing the rack and that they could be implicated. By the time word reached his family Geoffrey had attempted suicide and had caused some injury to himself.

After further interrogation Pole broke and gave all the evidence the King would need against the Pole family. Henry had Lord Montagu and Henry Courtenay arrested and imprisoned in the Tower on 4th November 1538.

Geoffrey along with his brother and Henry Courtenay were tried, they entered a plea of guilty and was originally condemned to death until he was pardoned on 4th January 1539. Thomas Cromwell wrote that he had received the pardon because he was so ill he was already as good as dead.

A_Torture_RackA typical torture rack

On this day in 1559 – Sir Thomas Cawarden died

Thomas Cawarden was the son of William Cawarden, his birth is unrecorded but in 1528 he was noted as being an apprentice to Owen Hawkins, a mercer based in London. In 1542 Cawarden married, the only thing known about his wife is that her first name was Elizabeth, the couple had no known children.

In 1540 Cawarden was appointed Keeper of Bletchingley manor. In the same year as marrying Elizabeth, Cawarden was also elected as a Member of Parliament for Bletchingley a position he would hold again in 1547. Bletchingley was so small it did not even hold the status of town.

In 1544 Cawarden received a patent as Master of Revels and Tents, a position that was relatively minor until King Henry VIII when the role became important. Cawarden was the first to become head of an independent office and was also knighted in the same year at Boulogne. Soon after Cawarden was appointed the office and stores were moved to a dissolved Dominican monastery at Blackfriars. As part of his position he was responsible for overseeing royal festivities, progresses and military expeditions.

list of items to be moved to BlackfriarsAn itemised list detailed what was required to be moved to the new Master of the Revels office at Blackfriars

In 1547 Cawarden and his office provided hales, roundhouses and a kitchen tent for a military expedition to Scotland during the war of the Rough Wooing. Upon the return home Cawarden paid for the tents to be dried and put away after they were soaked during travel.

During the reign of Queen Mary I she ordered officers to collect arms and armour from Cawarden’s home in order to protect to city from Wyatt’s rebellion. Also during Mary’s reign Cawarden was implicated in a plot to replace Mary with Elizabeth. Evidence given implicated Cawarden and others in which he was allegedly require to intercept any treasure sent by Queen Mary to her husband in Spain. In May 1556 Cawarden was given a bond ordering him to remain in his home at Blackfriars, just two months later the order was rescinded.

His patent also allowed Cawarden to keep 40 armed and liveried servants at Bletchingley Castle, during his time in office Cawarden lived at Loseley Park near Guildford, which is where his official papers were preserved.

Many honours came to Cawarden in his life including in 1543 he was appointed as Keeper of the house and gardens of Nonsuch Palace until 1556, in 1547 Cawarden was appointed as High Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, in 1550 as Keeper of Hampton Court and in 1558 he was the joint Lieutenant of the Tower of London, sharing the position with Sir Edward Warner. Between 1547 and 1559 he was elected as knight of the shire for Surrey on four occasions.

In 1547 Cawarden obtained the former home of Anne of Cleves, Bletchingley a Tudor home that was gifted to the former Queen as part of her divorce settlement with King Henry VIII. In 1551 Cawarden began work on a banqueting house in Hyde Park, London with Lawrence Bradshaw who was a surveyor of works but by 1556 this was supplanted by his banqueting house at Nonsuch Park.

Cawarden died on 25th August 1559 at East Horsley, his body was taken to Bletchingley for burial.

Sir Thomas Cawarden tombSir Thomas Cawarden’s tomb