Tag Archives: Lord Burghley

On this day in 1591 – Sir Edward Waterhouse died

Sir Edward Waterhouse was born in 1535 in Helmstedbury, Hertfordshire, to John Waterhouse and his wife Margaret, his father was once an auditor to King Henry VIII. Edward was educated at Oxford before joining the King’s Court.

Waterhouse began his career at court by being a private secretary to Henry Sidney, the Lord Deputy of Ireland and on 1st February 1566 was made clerk of the castle chamber at the same time he received a grant of a lease of the manor of Evan in Co. Kildare and the corn tithes of Dunboyne in Co,. Meath. During a tour of Ireland with Henry Sidney he was left to look after Carrickfergus whilst in care of the town he was a crucial part of obtaining a charter for the town in 1570 and as a result he was created a freeman, he later went on to represent the town in the Irish Parliament of 1585.

Waterhouse married three times firstly to Elizabeth Villiers, daughter of George Villiers whom he divorced in 1578, secondly to Margaret Spilman of Kent and finally to Deborah, widow of Mr. Harlackenden of Woodchurch. Deborah would survive Edward.

He then went on to serve Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex until the Earl’s death, during this time Devereux would sent Waterhouse to England on missions that were connected to the sale of property. Waterhouse gained the trust and gratitude of Devereux and then Earl died in his arms saying ‘Oh, my Ned! Oh, my Ned! Thou art the faithfullest and friendliest gentleman that ever I knew’.

Following Devereux’s death Waterhouse was able to obtain a pension of 10s a day which in 1579 was confirmed as a pension for life. He was then appointed secretary of state by Sir Henry Sidney and between 1576 and 79 was sent back to England to escort over treasure and in connection with the question of cess.

On 5th February 1579 he obtained a grant of the collectorship of customs of wine in Ireland and on 27th June he was appointed commissioner for check of the army, 7th July receiver-general in the exchequer and 25th July receiver of all casualties and casual profits falling to the crown.

Between August and November 1579 Waterhouse attended the movements of the army under Sir William Drury before being sworn in at the Privy Council in the October, but a rebellion of the Earl of Desmond in November saw him return to the army in Munster. The army took up all his time for two years and therefore he dismissed his other duties.

On 17th June 1580 Waterhouse obtained a grant for the office of overseer and water bailiff of the Shannon and on 10th April 1581 he was appointed a commissioner for ecclesiastical causes and on 22nd July of the same year he was granted a lease for 21 years of the lands of Hilltown, Meath.

As his positions grew he caught the eye of Queen Elizabeth who was allegedly jealous over his value in particularly the position of water bailiff of the Shannon and custodian of the boats at Athlone and in the autumn of 1582 he was ordered back to England. His gentle manner won the favour of Lord Burghley and his offer to surrender his posts pleased the queen although she demanded that he wrote a list of all the patents, fee etc that had been granted to him in the past seven years.

Upon his return to Ireland he was given the task alongside Sir Geoffrey Fenton of torturing Dermot O’Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel at the request of Lord Burghley, they were instructed to torture him by toasting his feet in front of a fire.

Waterhouse was knighted on 20th June 1584 by Sir John Perrot in Christ Church, Dublin. Perrot said that the reason was that Waterhouse had dispensed yearly more than a thousand marks.

Waterhouse began surrendering some of his roles in order to keep the peace in Ireland between nobles and at one point sought leave to return to England to plead for the reinstatement of his patent, Elizabeth again demanded a detailed account of his offices and rewards but Waterhouse explained that he had been obliged to sell his land in England to survive.

On 19th October 1586 he was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer or of the green wax if Ireland, a position that lasted three years when he surrendered it to George Clive after receiving a grant in consideration of his sufficiency and painful good service.

Waterhouse retired to his estate of Woodchurch, Kent in January 1591 where he died on 13th October 1591.

Letter from WaterhouseA letter from Sir Edward Waterhouse

On this day in 1601 – William Lambarde died

William Lambarde was born on 18th October 1536 to John Lambarde and his wife. His father died when he was 15 years old and he temporarily became the ward of Edmund Hensley. Lambarde’s early life is unknown until he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1556 where he studied law.

During his time studying law he was encouraged by Laurence Nowell to publish a collection of Anglo-Saxon laws, entitled Archaionomia which was printed by John Day. The publication included a woodcut map showing the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, the first map of its kind to be published in England.

In 1570 Lambarde completed Perambulation of Kent which was the first English country history and it was eventually printed in 1576, it would go through several editions after proving to be very popular. With the success of Perambulation of Kent Lambarde considered writing a similar one for the whole of Britain but set it aside once he discovered that William Camden was already working on the same idea.

On 11th September 1570 Lambarde married Jane Multon, daughter of George Multon, on her 17th birthday but she died just three years later. Lambarde lived in the Manor of St. Clere in Ightham, Kent.

It is believed that Lambarde served as a Member of Parliament for Aldborough during the Parliament of 1563 – 1567, he was also at one time a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn as well as a Justice of the Peace for Kent.

Lambarde was in close communication with Lord Burghley and they wrote regularly. Burghley at one point requested that Lambarde collected some historical notes on Lincoln and Stamford and later in 1587 Lambarde thanked Burghley for unspecified favours which he appreciated after the death of his second wife.

In 1576 Lambarde founded an almshouse in East Greenwich, in 1597 Sir Thomas Egerton, the Lord Chancellor appointed Lambarde as Keeper of the Rolls and in 1601 Queen Elizabeth appointed him as Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London in 1601. As part of his role in early August 1601 he had a private meeting with the Queen who had asked him to draw up a detailed account of the documents that were under his care, they talked at length in her privy chamber in Greenwich and Lambarde was asked to explain various terms.

Lambarde died on 19th August 1601, just two weeks after his audience with the Queen. He died at Westcombe and was buried at Greenwich; he was later reinterred to the Lambarde Chapel in Sevenoaks Church.

by Unknown artist,painting,

On this day in 1578 – William Bradbridge died

William Bradbridge was born in London in 1501, very little is known about his early life. On 15th July 1528 he was awarded his B.A. at Magdalen College, Oxford with his M.A. following on 6th June 1532 and finally his B.D. on 17th June 1539.

Raised as a Protestant, in 1555 Bradbridge was appointed prebendary of Lyme and Holstock Sarum, he was also granted the post of canon of Chichester in 1561 a dispensation was issued regarding a term of residence at Salisbury.

On 28th April 1562 Bradbridge was appointed to chancellor of Chichester and he was able to hold the chancellorship with his bishopric. On Low Sunday 1563 he preached the annual Spittal sermon and in the same June he was elected to dean of Salisbury via letters from Queen Elizabeth I.

On 1st March 1571 Bradbridge was elected to the bishop of Exeter. After a declaration regarding the Queen’s supremacy the temporalities of the see were restored to Bradbridge two weeks later on 14th March. He was officially consecrated at Lambeth on 18th March by Archbishop Matthew Parker and Bishops Robert Horne and Nicholas Bullingham. Alongside being made bishop he was also granted two benefices in commendam, in Newton Ferrers, Devon and Lezante, Cornwall. It was not as promising as he would hope and would leave him financially ruined. It was documented

He was far indebted to the Queen’s Majesty for the monies received of the clergy for tenths and subsidies, so that immediately upon his death, all his goods were seized for her use”

In 1572 Bradbridge was given the Pentateuch to translate for the new Bishop’s Bible. Despite holding a high position within the church Bradbridge he still had trouble with Catholics and dissenters. In 1578 Bradbridge asked Lord Burghley if he could return to Salisbury following trouble in his diocese.

Bradbridge died suddenly on 27th June 1578, aged 77, at his home in Newton Ferrers and was buried in Exeter Cathedral.

Upon his death it was noted that;

he died £1400 in debt to Queen Elizabeth, and had not wherewith to bury him”

Exeter CathedralExeter Cathedral

On this day in 1586 – Henry Cheke died

Henry Cheke was born in 1548 and was the eldest son of Sir John Cheke and his wife Mary. Cheke was tutored at an early age by his father’s friend, Peter Osborne and later sent to King’s College, Cambridge. However, Cheke’s father died when he was just nine years old and although Cheke inherited his father’s land that were worth two hundred marks a year he also inherited debts that totalled a thousand marks.

As a minor Cheke’s wardship was likely to have been granted to Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, therefore Cheke and Cecil corresponded often with Cheke asking for help or thanking him for various things.

In 1568 Cheke was granted his M.A. from Cambridge at just the age of 20 although Cheke was studious some believed that Cecil had a hand in it being granted early. With his M.A. and Cecil’s influence Cheke attended the 1572 Parliament for Bedford. Just two years later he would be seeking Cecil’s help again, this time in the form of employment.

In 1569 Cheke married Frances Radcliff and although we know for definite they had their son, Thomas, the total amount of children the couple had is unknown, although many believe they had three sons and two daughters

In July 1576 Cheke received a clerkship from the Privy Council and not long after that Cheke set sail for the continent, in particular France and Italy. During his travels Cheke translated a play about the ‘devilish devices of the popish religion’ and dedicated it to Lady Cheney of Toddington.

Upon his return back to England on 3rd January 1578 Cheke was placed on the roster of Privy Council clerks and would be required for six months of the next year; January, February, July, August, September and October. In August of the same year Cheke was sent to York to take up the role of secretary to the council in the north. He resided at the council in a place called ‘The Manor’

With his new position within the council in the north Cheke retained his position in Parliament this time for Boroughbridge and served on a committee that discussed the fraudulent conveyances bill on 15th February 1585.

Cheke became involved in an argument with the Archbishop of York when two council servants were arrested. The Archbishop complained that Cheke had attempted to hinder his proceedings whereas Cheke stated that he and other members of the council commissioners had simply refused to comply with the demands of the Archbishop who had demanded to see depositions and examine those who had not been listed in the Archbishops commission.

Cheke died on 23rd June 1586, most likely at ‘The Manor’ and as buried in York Minister. Although the cause of his death is not officially known it is widely believed that he died after breaking his neck after falling down some stairs. This allegedly occurred after he had openly mocked the Catholic martyr, Francis Ingleby. However, the two incidents were never proven to be linked.York MinsterYork Minster, burial of Henry Cheke

On this day in 1592 – Francis Wyndham died

Francis Wyndham was the second son of Sir Edmund Wyndham and was raised in Norwich. Not much is known about Wyndham’s early life.

Wyndham was active within the city of Norwich and his relationship with the city dates back to 1563 when he was retained as their counsel to the coroporation at an annual rate of 20s and in September 1570 he was appointed steward of Norwich and his rate doubled.

Most information that is recorded about Wyndham relates to his legal career. Wyndham studied at the Lincoln Inn and held all the major offices within the Inn and in 1573 he was the keeper of the Black Book which held the records for each year.

In 1575 Wyndham was made recorder of the city for Norwich, a post he would hold for the next five years when he was succeeded by Edmund Flowerdew, who was holding the post of steward after Wyndham was promoted to recorder.

Wyndham began appearing in records at the start of his career in 1576 it was noted in the House of Commons that he was serving on committees that concerned the alehouses (17th February), dilapidations (24th February), grants by the dean and chapter of Norwich (2nd March) and taking away the benefit of clergy from rapists (7th March). Wyndham’s name continued to appear on commissions and documents in 1575 he served as arbitrator in a controversy between Yarmouth and the Cinque Ports.

In 1579 Wyndham received promotion and was selected to succeed Sir Roger Manwood as justice of the common pleas. He beat of three other contenders to the post.

At some point before 1584 Wyndham was made a judge and as a result he was a receiver of petitions in the Lords for the Parliaments of 1584, 1586 and 1589. Now he was a judge he officiated at two high profile trials where the defendants were charged with treason, John Somerville, 1583, and William Parry in 1585. Wyndham was also chosen to be consulted over the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, although he did not preside over her trial.

There is one record that shows that Wyndham ran into trouble at court. Wyndham opposed the use by the bishops’ courts of examination under the ex officio oath and openly spoke out against this procedure this angered many. At the same time, in November 1587 with the threat of invasion from Spain looming over England, Wyndham wrote to his brother in law, Nathaniel Bacon, regarding the inadequate preparations in East Anglia regarding an invasion by the Duke of Parma’s army. The following September Wyndham wrote to Lord Burghley himself asking for an inquiry into the way in which money was raised for the defence of Norfolk had been spent. Wyndham said that the people of Norfolk would be happy to pay their subsidy assessment if they were satisfied how their money was spent. Wyndham also called for those who handle the money should not be in charge of the inquiry, this would include Lord Hunsdon the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk.

Lord Hunsdon finally got his chance to raise his disapproval of Wyndham at a Privy Council meeting months later when judges were summoned to Hunsdon’s home and ordered to stand against anyone connected with the Martin Marprelate tracts. Due to his stance against the ex officio oath Wyndham was treated with special censure and was told by Hunsdon that his belief had ‘bred a scruple to all the bishops in England that they doubt how to proceed’. With Lord Burghley absent due to illness after the official meeting was over Hunsdon used this as his chance to berate Wyndham accusing him of attempting to discountenance him in his lietenancy and started to raise causes of their dispute. When the announcement was made for dinner Lord Hunsdon declared that he had at least 20 more charges to raise with him. Their disputes continued into 1591 when the Privy Council eventually intervened to restore a good relationship between the two.

Wyndham was employed by his relatives and other noble families to negotiate the purchases of various properties many of which were lands that were granted out during the dissolution of the monasteries.

Wyndham died on 18th June 1592. He left his widow his Norfolk properties and ensured a £400 debt was paid to his brother Dr Thomas Wyndham after the sale of his Norwich home. A monument was set up with an effigy in judge’s robes in St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich.

Francis Wyndham monumentFrancis Wyndham monument.

On this day in 1598 – Sir Henry Knyvett died

Sir Henry Knyvett was born in Charlton, Wiltshire in 1539 to Henry Knyvett and his wife Anne. Not much is known about his early life but it is believed he was a soldier like his father. Knyvett fought during the siege of Leith against France in 1560 and after this he was frequently sent to Scotland to fight on behalf of England. Due to this Knyvett received a special commendation from Queen Elizabeth I.

Knyvett married Elizabeth Stumpe on 13th May 1563 after he returned from the wars in Scotland. They went on to have six children until Elizabeth’s death in 1585. His wife held vast amounts of land around Charlton and so upon their marriage Knyvett became an important man in Elizabethan England.

In September 1574 Queen Elizabeth I granted Knyvett a knighthood at Salisbury, whilst she was on a progress to Bristol.

Knyvett was appointed as the High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1577 and he served as a Member of Parliament for Malmesbury on four separate occasions between 1584 and 1597.

In 1580 was caught up in a duel with Richard Mody and it was a duel that nearly cost Knyvett his life. An account was recorded regarding the duel 40 years after the event by Anthony Hungerford in an action against Sir Henry Moody, the son of Richard. It was recorded in the Court of Chancery and read;

“By reason of mortal and cruel hatred, there was a duel or single combat in Garsdon Marsh in which fight Mr. Richard Moddy did greviously and, as was supposed, mortally wound Sir Henry Knyvett, who being so wounded, the place of the fight being near the house of Antony Hungerford, was brought thither by Richard Moody and others. Moody did lead Sir Henry Knyvett by one of his arms thereunto, and find Antony Hungerford’s wife there, her husband being absent, Mr Moody did earnestly and passionately request her that Sir Henry Knyvett might lack nothing that was in the house, or that she could do to save his, and that he would see her satisfied”.

Knyvett was nursed back to health by Mistress Hungerford and he was unable to leave her home for 26 days. In that time the Queen had sent many physicians and surgeons to aide Mistress Hungerford and they had overtaken her home. Knyvett fully recovered and returned to his duties.

In 1588 Knyvett was one of the Deputy Lieutenants for Wiltshire and was responsible for raising an army to help defend the England as they were under the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada. He was called upon to arrange for 2000 armed men to be sent to attend the Queen. He was then appointed as one of the captains to help the Lord Chamberlain in London work out the best way to defend the English from the Spanish.

Following a short stint in the Fleet prison in late 1592 Knyvett wrote to the Privy Council to protest against the Lord Keeper, however, the Privy Council summoned Knvyvett and chastised him before returning him to the Fleet. Knyvett resorted to writing another letter to apologise for his actions and on 28th January 1593 he was released and returned home. Knyvett, however, despite returning to court to attend Parliaments was never regarded by the Court in the same light.

In 1595, ten years after the death of his first wife, Knyvett remarried Mary Sydenham.

England was once again under threat in 1596 and Knyvett wrote to Sir Robert Cecil his suggestions to defend the country. He had produced a pamphlet entitled ‘The Defence of the Realme,’ in it he suggested that England should retake Calais and use it as a strong hold to support the navy as he believed that many people were uneasy if the Spanish attempted another invasion as the navy was unable to patrol all English waters. He provided an estimation of numbers required and how best to train them. The pamphlet reached the Queen but like many suggestions went ignored.

Knyvett retained his position of Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire alongside being a Member of Parliament for Wiltshire. He spoke at the 1572 Parliament about a wide range of issues including orphans, unlawful weapons and the Queen’s marriage.

As Knyvett approached the end of his life his reputation was brought into disrepute after he was accused by an anonymous member of the Inner Temple of hiding his assets and passing his property and wealth to Lord Thomas Howard and his brother respectively, most likely to keep safe for his unmarried daughters. He was accused of attempting to defraud the Queen and the unnamed accuser wrote to Lord Burghley with the suggestion that Knyvett paid the Queen upfront what she was owed, this was unpaid rents and fines. However, upon his death on 14th June 1598 he owed the Queen £4000. Knyvett was buried on 25th June in Charlton church.

Knyvett treatyKnyvett’s The Defence of the Realme pamphlet

Is this Shakespeare or a case of false identity?

On 19th May 2015 at the Rose Theatre, London, it was announced by botanist and historian Mark Griffiths that he had discovered a new likeness of William Shakespeare that had been hidden in plain sight on the pages of John Gerard’s The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes for over 400 years.

Shakespeare country lifeA new image of William Shakespeare as discovered by Mark Griffiths

The image Griffiths believes is now the only portrait that exists of Shakespeare that was made whilst he was still alive and he ages Shakespeare at approximately 33 years old. It all seems quite straightforward so far, the next part of the story feels like it has come straight out of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Griffiths discovered who the portrait was of only after cracking a Tudor cipher!

Griffiths has shared his story exclusively with Country Life. He explains just how he came to the conclusion that the unidentified man on the page is Shakespeare and how he deciphered the hidden code. It was a midsummer’s night when the lightbulb or should I say candle sparked for Griffiths!

Botiny bookJohn Gerard’s The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Firstly, Griffiths identifies the other three men on the page as John Gerard, the author, Rembert Dodoens and Lord Burghley, Gerard’s patron.

Cipher Country LifeFrom the cipher Griffiths worked out that the 4 at the top of the cipher can be translated as the Latin ‘quarter’ but if you add the E that is positioned next to it that makes quatere, which is Latin ‘to shake’. If you add the diagonal line into the equation to link the 4 and E together it creates a spear so all together Griffiths claims that this clearly means ‘Shakespeare’. However, it doesn’t end there Griffiths states that at the bottom of the cipher is a W which clearly stands for William. Finally, in the centre is OR, which is the heraldic word for the colour Gold, the colour of John Shakespeare’s coat of arms. With all these added together Griffiths claims that the man stood on the fourth plinth is without a doubt William Shakespeare.

The most obvious objection to all this is that the man in the image is wearing Roman attire, why would William Shakespeare be wearing a Roman toga, holding an ear of corn and wearing a laurel wreath around his head? Well, Griffiths claims that it is homage to Apollo.

Why do all four men from different backgrounds appear on the front page of a botany book? Well according to Griffiths Lord Burghley was not only the patron of John Gerard but also William Shakespeare. He claims that it was Burghley who commissioned Shakespeare’s early poems, such as Venus and Adonis and not the Earl of Southampton. This is purely down to the fact that Burghley was Southampton’s guardian and controlled his finances until Southampton turned 21 in 1594. Therefore Burghley paid Shakespeare to write these poems and dedicate them to his ward urging him to marry, preferably his granddaughter, Elizabeth Vere. By claiming that Burghley was Shakespeare’s patron it disproves any theories that the Earl of Oxford was in fact the play writer as Burghley and his son in law Oxford openly disliked each other.

With revelation after revelation being divulged in this issue of Country Life there is still time for one more that armed with all this new information about Shakespeare Griffiths has been able to identify a new play that he now credits Shakespeare as the author of.

Not everybody has backed these new claims. Professor Michael Dobson, director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham said;

“I haven’t seen the detailed arguments but Country Life is certainly not the first publication to make this sort of claim. One has seen so many claims on Shakespeare based on somebody claiming to crack a code. And nobody else has apparently been able to decipher this for 400 years. There’s no evidence that anybody thought that this was Shakespeare at the time.”

So if it is not William Shakespeare on the page then just who could it be? Firstly, it could be an entirely fictional character made up by the artist who designed the page. It could even be Dioscorides, a Greek physician and herbalist who served the Roman Legions. His book of herbal knowledge dated 1500 years prior to Gerard’s work.

DioscoridesDioscorides

However one suggestion is that the cipher is in fact the ‘sign of four’, a mark that was used by various merchants in the Elizabethan era and in this case by the printer. The sign of four is clearly seen at the top of the cipher but it is what’s below that relates to who it belongs to. In this case it could be William and John Norton. This is further backed up by Joseph Ames in Typographical Antiquities, 1749;

“This curious folio has the mark of William and John Norton together in a cypher”

What about the two images of William Shakespeare thaShakespeare first foliot we know for certain are of the man himself? The engraving that accompanies the first folio and the effigy of Shakespeare that overlooks his grave in Stratford upon Avon were both commissioned by friends and family after his death. So they must be a true likeness otherwise they surely would not have allowed them into the public domain to accompany not only his work but his final resting place. The121refore you must assume that if it was Shakespeare on the page of Gerard’s book then someone somewhere would have documented this and as Professor Dobson said why has no one else deciphered the code in 400 years!

Above – Shakespeare’s image in the first folio

Right – Shakespeare’s effigy, Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon

What about the play that Griffiths is claiming is Shakespeare’s work? It is not so much a play but a piece of Elizabethan political propaganda. Queen Elizabeth I visited Lord Burghley at his home Theobalds, Herfordshire on 10th May 1591. It was widely believed that Burghley, now aged 70, would be retiring from his duties as Lord Treasurer and chief minister. Burghley put on a spectacular display, which Elizabeth was a part of. First she was told that Burghley would not permit her entrance unless she handed over a decree that would allow Burghley to continue in his work. This was all via an unnamed actor who was hired for his role in the entertainment.

TheobaldsLord Burghley’s home, Theobalds

During the ten day visit the actor and a colleague appeared to perform in front of the Queen. This according to Griffiths was not only written by but also performed by Shakespeare. The performance consisted of an argument between a mole catcher and a gardener and the possession of a jewelled box. They were both to put their case in front of the Queen over the ownership of the box.

Griffiths believes that this short play was designed around promoting Burghley’s son, Robert Cecil and his suitability to be Sir Francis Walsingham’s replacement as Principal Secretary. The play uses the gardener as a metaphor for Cecil and the garden as England. The mole catcher is a representation of both Burghley and Cecil and the darker side of their roles in terms of espionage. Therefore the play is telling Elizabeth that her country is safe in the hands of the Cecils.

Whether William Shakespeare actually wrote this is unknown, certainly some aspects crop up in later work but as this took place during Shakespeare’s ‘lost years’ we will never know for certain unless some concrete proof is unearthed and not all based around a 400 year old cipher.