Tag Archives: Walter Devereux

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

Advertisements

On this day in 1578 – Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex were married

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester married Lettice Knollys without consent from Queen Elizabeth I on 21st September 1578.

It is believed that Dudley had long hoped to marry Queen Elizabeth herself but it became more and more clear that she had no intentions of marrying anybody let alone her favourite, Dudley. Therefore, Robert began secretly looking for a wife. He had met Lettice Knollys, daughter of Catherine Carey and granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, when Lettice was 21 and married to Walter Devereux. Robert and Lettice enjoyed a brief flirtation at the time but it was nothing more than an attempt to make the Queen jealous after she had flirted herself with Sir Thomas Heneage.

After Devereux had been sent to Ireland Lettice remained in the employment of her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth and had regular encounters with Robert. Lettice was also present at Kenilworth Castle in 1575 when he entertained the Queen for 19 days, in an apparent last ditch attempt to win her hand in marriage.

Rumours began surfacing regarding the nature of Robert and Lettice’s relationship made worse when Devereux was sent back to Ireland. Devereux died in September 1576 leaving Lettice widowed with their four children to raise, they were forced to seek accommodation and favours from family and friends.

Finally accepting that the Queen would not marry him nor any other, Robert began negotiations with Lettice’s father and brothers in the hope that he could marry her. On the evening of 20th September 1578 Robert welcomed Lord North into his home at Wanstead and confided in him that he would be married in the morning. Robert also told his chaplain “that he had for a good season forborne marriage in respect of her Majesty’s displeasure and that he was then for sundry respects and especially for the better quieting of his conscience determined to marry with the right honourable Countess of Essex”.

The couple were married early on the 21st September between 7am and 8am with the bride wearing a loose gown. Only six people were present at the wedding including Lettice’s father and brother, Richard along with Robert’s brother, Ambrose and two friends the Earl of Pembroke and Lord North.

Queen Elizabeth was furious that Robert had married without her permission she banished the couple from the court, eventually allowing Robert to return but Lettice was not allowed back.

In the early years of their marriage in order to avoid further wrath from the Queen Lettice continued to call herself the Countess of Essex and not Leicester. She also continued living discreetly at her family home in Oxfordshire. Things changed when she gave birth to a son in June 1581, by 1583 Lettice and their son were openly living in Robert’s London home as man and wife, which infuriated the Queen further.

The relationship between Elizabeth and Robert never fully recovered after he married Lettice and although she still relied upon him and sent him on military missions abroad. The couple remained married until Robert’s death in 1588. The couple are buried together in the Beauchamp Chapel of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick alongside their son. When Lettice died in 1634 she had commissioned an epitaph to be fitted onto their tomb which read that she was buried with the ‘best and dearest of husband.’

Lettice Knollys Lettice Knollys and Robert DudleyRobert Dudley

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 1607 – Penelope Rich died

Penelope Devereux was born in January 1563 at Chartley Castle, Staffordshire to Walter Deverux and Lettice Knollys, the granddaughter of Mary Boleyn. In 1572 when Penelope was nine, her father was created Earl of Essex by Queen Elizabeth I.

Just a couple of years later, in 1575, saw the Queen visit Lady Essex as she returned from her stay at Kenilworth where she was entertained by Robert Dudley. The Queen was escorted by Sir Philip Sidney who met the 14 year old Penelope before her father died. The Earl of Essex died within a year of this visit and it is believed that he sent word to Sidney that upon his death he wished for Sidney to marry Penelope. With the death of her father Penelope and two of her siblings were sent to Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, who would now act as their guardian.

However, the match was broken two years later when Penelope’s mother married Robert Dudley, the Queen’s favourite, without permission of the Queen. This led to the family being banished from court and with it Penelope’s marriage agreement.

In January 1581, Penelope travelled to court with the Countess of Huntingdon and just two months later a new marriage match was arranged for her with Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich. Despite Penelope’s protests the couple were married and went on to have five children.

Although Penelope’s original marriage betrothal with Sir Philip Sidney never transpired into marriage it is widely believed that Penelope was the inspiration behind Sidney’s sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella. Penelope was considered to be one of the beauties of the Elizabethan court with gold hair and dark eyes, not too dissimilar to Elizabeth considering they were distant cousins. Sidney was only the first to use Penelope as a muse as in 1594 an anonymous poem was published, later to be attributed to Richard Barnfield, entitled The Affectionate Shepherd was dedicated to her and also the future King James I was sent a portrait that had been painted by the Queen’s miniaturist, Nicholas Hilliard.

By 1595 Penelope had begun an affair with Charles Blount, Baron Mountjoy as she had become so unhappy in her marriage to Lord Rich.

In the Essex rebellion of 1601 Penelope was caught up in her brother’s plot with Rich denouncing her as a traitor along with Mountjoy and their children. Despite this the Queen did not take action against either and Penelope was free to have a public relationship with Mountjoy.

Upon the accession of King James I, Penelope was appointed as one of the ladies to escort Anne of Denmark as she entered London in 1603 and later served as Lady of the Bedchamber.

In 1605 Rich finally applied for a divorce to which Penelope publicly admitted adultery with Mountjoy. She had hoped that with the divorce she would be granted permission to marry Mountjoy and legitimise their children. Despite having no permission the couple went ahead and married in a private ceremony held by William Laud on 26th December 1605 at Wanstead House, London. They would be banished from court for this defiance of the King’s wishes.

Mountjoy would die just a few months later; his will would be contested after many arguments regarding his new wife and their children. Penelope was brought before the Star Chamber on charges of fraud and accusations of adultery. The charges were refuted but before a settlement could be reached on 7th July 1607 Penelope died of unknown causes and was buried in an unmarked grave in a London church.

250px-Nicholas_Hilliard_called_Penelope_Lady_RichPenelope Rich painted by Nicholas Hilliard