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IZABEIH BIDUNT 
IND HENRY VUI 

1AM S. CHILDE-PEMBERTON 








Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 

ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE 
LIBRARY 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT 

HENBY THE EIGHTH 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT 

AND HENRY THE EIGHTH 



* 



WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF HER SURROUNDINGS f.T 
BY WILLIAM S. CHILDE-PEMBERTON 

ADTHOK OP "THE KOMANCE OF PRINCESS AMELIA" _X 
"THE LIFE Or LOKD NOKTON" ETC 



I 

. 

f 



ft. 



EVELEIGH NASH 
LONDON MCMXIII 




PRINTED AT 

THE BALLANTYNE PRESS 
LONDON 



PREFACE 

IN the memoir of Elizabeth Blount now pre- 
sented, the background has been sketched in 
with such accessories as seemed suitable to assist 
the picture, but this has not been done without 
careful attention to chronology, and to facts 
capable of proof. 

A pamphlet purporting to be the " History of 
the beautiful Elizabeth Blount " (by Mark Noble, 
Historian of the College of Arms) is the only 
memoir which has hitherto appeared on this 
theme. Written in 1803, long before the State 
Papers were catalogued or accessible to the 
public, it is full of flights of fancy founded on 
chronological errors, and would perhaps have 
passed unheeded, had it not been published in 
recent years without correction or comment. 

As a descendant of Elizabeth Blount's father, 
Sir John Blount of Kinlet (which property the 
Childes eventually inherited) the compiler of this 
essay has had special opportunities of tracing the 
antecedents and surroundings of Elizabeth Blount 

5 



PREFACE 

from private sources, and has been led to collect 
together and arrange all such clues and facts with 
regard to her as are now accessible to the public 
in the State Papers. His thanks in this respect 
are especially due to Mr. R. H. Brodie, of the 
Record Office. 

The story of Elizabeth Blount's son, Henry 
FitzRoy, will be well known to readers of John 
Gough Nichol's standard memoir written in 1855. 
His information was drawn from the Public 
Records. Some additional facts have come to 
hand in more recent years. 

WILLIAM S. CHILDE-PEMBERTON. 



6 






CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS 

Her renowned beauty : Her position : No known portrait : 
A mysterious personality : A little effigy : Her parents' 
tomb : Her ancestral home : The " mistress-piece of 
her time " : Her story misrepresented : A very young 
lady-in-waiting pp. 17-24 

CHAPTER II 

BIRTH : PARENTAGE 

Date of Elizabeth's birth : Parentage : Parents' marriage 
in infancy : An heiress mother : Elizabeth's maternal 
grandfather : Ballad of Bosworth Field : Boy and girl 
parents : Maternal ancestors : The Stanleys of Elford : 
Paternal ancestors : The Kinlet inheritance : The origin 
of the Cornwalis : Early history of Kinlet : Saxon and 
Norman possessors : Fifteen-century knighthood : 
Small number of peers : Tudor changes : The royal 
household : Kinlet Church : A marriage procession in 
1491 : Marriage settlement of Elizabeth's parents 

pp. 25-38 

CHAPTER III 

1500-1502 

Elizabeth's babyhood : Ludlow Castle : Katherine of Arra- 
gon : Arthur of Wales : Royal residence at Tickenhall : 
Bewdley, its beautiful site : The Blounts' neighbour- 
hood : Elizabeth's grandfather and grandmother : 
Grandmother's father, Sir Richard Croft : Steward of 

7 



CONTENTS 

the royal household : Lady Croft governess to the 
Princes : Elizabeth's kinship to the Tudors : Prince of 
Wales's court : His death : His funeral cortege : Princess 
leaves Ludlow : Character of Elizabeth's mother 

pp. 39-49 

CHAPTER IV 
1512-1513 

Elizabeth at Court : William Blount : Lord Mount joy : The 
patron of Erasmus : Elizabeth a mere child : Her 
" wages " : Her young father " King's Spear " : Her 
grandfather's career : Her great-grandmother living : 
Queen Katherine : Her prosperity : Her Regency : Her 
busy maidens : The fall of Tournay : Elizabeth's rela- 
tives there : The King's return : An unwarranted 
statement : Elizabeth's education at Court pp. 50-58 



CHAPTER V 
1514 

Another Elizabeth : " Mistress Blount and Mistress Carew " : 
A " yong wyff " : The Duke of Suffolk's message : 
Theories and counter-theories : A curious " receipt " : 
Some suspicions discussed pp. 59-65 

CHAPTER VI 
1514 (continued) 

A Christmas mummery : The King's grace : Nicholas Carew ; 
The Boleyn relatives : List of performers : The dresses ; 
Erasmus's eulogies of Henry : " A pure and modest 
court " : Henry's devotion to religion : A temple of the 
muses : Elizabeth's culture pp. 66-74 



CHAPTER VII 

Early Tudor manners : Erasmus's description : " Freedom 
and simplicity " : Kissing customary pp. 75-76 

8 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VIII 
1515-1517 

May Day sports : May dew : The Queen's handsome damsels : 
A ride in the woods : Hall's description : A sylvan 
banquet : Robin Hood : The return home : The Court 
ladies' sports and songs : Ordinary amusements : Out- 
break of the Sweating Sickness : Memo's music : The 
King's passion for music : His rare talent : His com- 
positions : Elizabeth's singing : She grows to perfect 
womanhood pp. 77-85 

CHAPTER IX 

1518 

Her last year as Maid-in- Waiting : Position of her family : 
Her father Esquire of the Body : Her great-uncle Vice- 
Chamberlain to Queen Katherine : " The chains of 
love " : The King's passion : Cardinal Wolsey : The 
French " Espousals " : Wolsey 's entertainment : List 
of masqueraders : Elizabeth's partner : Final revelry 

pp. 86-104 

CHAPTER X 
1518-1519 

Queen Katherine's disappointment : Mistress Blount's situa- 
tion : Henry's want of a male heir : King Francis jeers : 
Henry's morals contrasted : The changed tone of the 
Court : The King's companions : Suffolk, Compton, 
Carew, Bryan : French fashions : Some banishments : 
" Sad and ancient Knights " substituted : Bryan's 
character : His poetic gifts : His dissoluteness 

pp. 105-113 

CHAPTER XI 
1519-1522 

Elizabeth retires to an Augustinian Priory : Birth of Henry 
FitzRoy : Cardinal Wolsey his godfather : Wolsey's 
apparent interest in the mother : Her seclusion : Wolsey's 
motives discussed : Mysterious allusions : Accused of 
" encouraging young gentlewomen " : Matrimonial 

9 



CONTENTS 

alliances for Elizabeth : She marries Gilbert Tailbois : 
His ancestry : His father a lunatic : His mother : Act 
of Parliament passed : Handsome provision : She 
settles in Lincolnshire pp. 114-128 

CHAPTER XII 
1525 

Henry FitzRoy : Like both his parents : The King's love for 
him : Brought up " as a prince's child " : Aged six in 
1525 : Wolsey writes about him : Arms granted to the 
Lord Henry FitzRoy : Elected Knight of the Garter : 
Created Earl of Nottingham, Duke of Richmond, and 
Duke of Somerset : Description of the ceremonies 

pp. 129-139 
CHAPTER XIII 

1525 (continued) 

Richmond made " Lord High Admiral " : " Warden-General 
of the Marches towards Scotland " : Takes leave of the 
King : Wolsey's present for his journey : Visits Lady 
Parr : Presents of fish : Of wild fowl : From Huntingdon 
to Colliweston : Shoots a buck : Rides right merrily : 
From Colliweston to York : Arrives at Sheriff-Hutton : 
His magnificent establishment : Contrasted with Prin- 
cess Mary's : The Queen displeased : Her Spanish ladies 
murmur : The King dismisses them pp. 140-146 

CHAPTER XIV 
1525-1526 

Nichols's memoir of Henry FitzRoy reviewed : Elizabeth in 
touch with her son : Her brothers at his court : She 
corresponds with his tutor : A remarkable child : His 
accomplishments : His musical parents : His Councillor's 
letter : Pontefract his winter residence : A letter from 
the infant Duke pp. 147-151 

CHAPTER XV 
1526 

Letters from James V and Queen Margaret : A request for 
hounds : Ten couple sent : Queen Margaret's " natural 
affection " pp. 152-155 

10 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XVI 
1525, 1526-1527 

Matrimonial alliances contemplated : The ruses of diplo- 
macy : Projected " King of Ireland " : The Emperor 
indignant : FitzRoy's first tutor, Palsgrave : His 
methods of education : A picture-painter requisite : 
The child's Latin pronunciation : His marvellous pre- 
cocity : The pedagogue's complaints : His letters to the 
child's mother : He importunes Lady Tailbois : Her 
influence with bishops and abbots : Palsgrave leaves 
the Duke of Richmond : His poverty : He turns against 
Lady Tailbois : His mean disparagement of her 

pp. 156-170 
CHAPTER XVII 
1527-1528 

Palsgrave's successor : Dr. Croke : Hostility of clerk and 
layman : Latin letters : The Prince educated with other 
boys : His young uncles : " Whipping boys " : A well- 
devised " policie " : An infant prodigy of learning : 
Croke's complaints : The Cotton brothers : Accused of 
inciting to idleness : Extravagance of household : Sir 
William Parr : Richmond's good qualities pp. 171-181 

CHAPTER XIVII 
1529-1530 

Another scene of squabbles : The Tailbois family : Wolsey's 
omniscience : Old Lady Talbois's complaints : The 
Cardinal's intervention : Young Tailbois made Lord 
Talbois of Kyme : The " first Parliament of the Refor- 
mation " : Lord Tailbois dies : The inscription on his 
monument : Cardinal Wolsey's fall : His journey north : 
Dies pp. 182-189 

CHAPTER XIX 
1524-1531 

Elizabeth's grandfather, Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, dies : 
His will : Her father's troubles : Feud with Sir William 
Compton : Their retainers fight : Cromwell supports 
Sir John Blount : Compton dies of the sweating sick- 

11 



CONTENTS 

ness : Sir John Blount of Kinlet dies : Dame Katherine, 
his widow : Their son George a minor : Monument in 
Kinlet Church pp. 190-196 

CHAPTER XX 
1532-1533 

The widowed Elizabeth : Resides at Kyme : Her surround- 
ings and hospitality : Her younger sisters .-Their hus- 
bands : Lady Tailbois' servant at Court : Her New 
Year's gifts : " The mother of the Duke of Richmond " : 
He leaves Yorkshire : Made Lieutenant of Ireland : 
Never sets foot there : The King preoccupied with 
Anne Boleyn : Some current gossip : Monsieur de Heyl- 
wigen and John Barlow : A conversation : Lady Tailbois 
and Anne Boleyn compared : The former " eloquent, 
gracious, beautiful " pp. 197-203 

CHAPTER XXI 
1532-1534 

Elizabeth's suitor : A cousin of the King : A hunting excur- 
sion : Lord Leonard Grey's eager proposals : Cromwell 
intercedes with Lady Tailbois : She declines : Lord 
Leonard's love of money : His sordid conduct : His end : 
Elizabeth's young suitor : His good looks : Association 
of rivals : Elizabeth maries Lord Clinton : Disparity of 
years : A grant from the King pp. 204-210 

CHAPTER XXII 
1533-1536 

The young Duke's marriage : The Duke of Norfolk's in- 
trigues : The Earl of Surrey's friendship with Richmond : 
His poem quoted : Decline of Richmond's health : His 
undermined strength : Anne Boleyn suspected of 
poisoning him : He is present at her execution : Symp- 
toms of consumption develop : His death : Satisfaction 
of Princess Mary's party : His funeral and monument : 
" A natural son of supernatural endowment " 

pp. 211-223 

12 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXIII 
1536 

Lord and Lady Clinton in Lincolnshire : A dangerous situa- 
tion : The " Pilgrimage of Grace " : An enraged multi- 
tude : Kyme surrounded by the people : Lord Clinton 
gives warning of the outbreak : His men join the rebels : 
He proceeds to headquarters : Bearer of the King's 
letter : His journeys : Returns home : The rising col- 
lapses : Ring-leaders executed : Elizabeth's guest 
executed : Grants to Elizabeth and her son Tailbois : 
An honest priest : The Act for Suppression of Monas- 
teries : Ill-fortune said to have attended : But Clinton 
most fortunate pp. 224-231 

CHAPTER XXIV 
1536-1539 

Elizabeth's mother, Dame Katherine Blount : A series of 
her letters to Cromwell : He supports her interests : 
She schemes for her sons : Her eldest son's marriage : 
Bargains with Sir John Talbot : Asks Church lands for 
her younger sons : Lord Stafford asks for an abbey in 
preference to George Blount : " The Worshipful of the 
Shire " : The plague at Shrewsbury : Electioneering 
dodges : Local quarrels of gentry : Cromwell's fall and 
execution : Death of Dame Katherine Blount 

pp. 232-240 
CHAPTER XXV 

1540 

End of Elizabeth's life : Anne of Cleves arrives : Elizabeth 
among the " great ladies " : A list of these : The appear- 
ance of Anne's maidens : Some account of the " great 
ladies " : Mary of Richmond's cowardice : Lady William 
Howard : Her connexion with Katherine Howard : 
Elizabeth dead : Lord Clinton's second wife 

pp. 241-247 
CONCLUSION 

Clinton created Earl of Lincoln by Queen Elizabeth : Eliza- 
beth Blount's children by her first husband : The Barony 
of Tailbois : The King's decision : No heirs : Three 

13 



CONTENTS 

daughters by Lord Clinton : Their coheirs and repre- 
sentatives : Elizabeth Blount's brother : The descent 
of Kinlet : A disinherited daughter : Sir George Blount's 
monument : A folklore fable : The Lacons of Kinlet : 
Its descent to the Childe family : Blount's pool : The 
ghost of Sir George Blount : The ancient oaks at 
Kinlet pp. 248-260 

APPENDICES 

I. PEDIGREE SHOWING THE KINSHIP OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT 

WITH HENRY VIII pp. 262-263 

II. LINE OF THE BLOUNTS OF KINLET (THEIR DERIVATION 

AND DESCENDANTS) (folding chart) p. 265 

III. DESCENT OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT'S MOTHER, KATHERINE 
PESHALL pp. 267-268 

IV. INQUISITION POST-MORTEM OF SIR THOMAS BLOUNT OF 
KINLET, Co. SALOP pp. 269-272 

V. INQUISITION POST-MORTEM OF SIR JOHN BLOUNT OF 

KINLET pp. 273-275 

VI. SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET'S SETTLEMENT ON HIS 
NEPHEW pp. 276-278 

VII. INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT IN KINLET CHURCH 

p. 279 

VIII. LIST OF THE BLOUNT ARMS p. 280 

IX. RELATIONSHIP OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT WITH THE 
GUILFORD FAMILY pp. 281-282 

INDEX p. 283 



14 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Fating 
page 

1. HENRY FrrzRoY, DUKE OF RICHMOND AND SOMERSET, K.G. 

Frontispiece 

Photogravure from the print by R. Clamp in 1794 from the 
original miniature then in Horace Walpole's collection. 
At the Strawberry Hill sale in 1842, the miniature was sold 
for 7 Us. 6d. to the name of Jarman. Some doubt was 
then thrown upon its genuineness. But it is now authorita~ 
lively stated to be a true portrait, and is in the King's 
collection at Windsor. 

2. MONUMENT IN KINLET CHURCH TO SIR JOHN BLOUNT OF 

KlNLET AND DAME KATHERINE HIS WlFE PARENTS OF 
ELIZABETH BLOUNT. (In the background is seen the 
monument to her brother, Sir George Bloiint) 

Photograph taken in 1856 by the late Miss Anna-Maria 
Childe, second daughter of the late William Lacon Childe, 
Esquire, of Kinlet. The monument is now placed in the 
Chancel 20 

3. KINLET CHURCH 

From an engraving in 1860 36 

4. CARDINAL WOLSEY 

From the original in the National Portrait Gallery, repro- 
duced by permission 90 

6. KATHERINE OF ARRAGON, FIRST QUEEN OF HENRY VIII 

From the original on panel in the possession of G. Gery 
Milner-Gibson-Cuttum, Esquire, of Hardwick House, 
Bury St. Edmunds 106 

15 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

6, HENRY VIII page 

From the original glass medallion in the British Museum 130 

7i WINDOW IN THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF KINLET CHURCH 

Photograph taken in 1859 by the late Miss Anna- Maria 
ChUde 196 

8. EDWARD, LORD CLINTON (afterwards first Earl of Lincoln, 

K.G.). Born 1512; died 1584-5 

From Bartolozzi's engraving of Holbein's drawing, the 
original being in the King's collection at Windsor 210 

9. SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET, M.P. FOR SHROPSHIRE 

From the original at Kinlet Hall, with armorial bearings 
and date, 1548. Photograph taken by the late Miss Anna- 
Maria Childe 238 

10. MONUMENT TO SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET AND DAME 

CONSTANCE (TALBOT) HIS WIFE, IN KINLET CHURCH 256 



THE COATS OF ARMS OUTLINED ON THE BINDING 
REPRESENT : 

In the centre those of Elizabeth Blount, namely, those 
borne by the Blounts of Kinlet, who, by quartering the 
arms of the Cornwalls of Kinlet, distinguished their branch 
from the senior line of the Blounts of Sodington. The arms 
on the left represent those of her first husband, Lord Tailbois, 
and the arms on the right those of her second husband, Lord 
Clinton. 



16 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS 

Her renowned beauty : Her position : No known portrait : 
A mysterious personality : A little effigy : Her parents' tomb : 
Her ancestral home : The " mistress-piece of her time " : Her 
story misrepresented : A very young lady-in-waiting. 

IT is strange that no portrait has been handed 
down to us of one of the most beautiful women 
of her day. Among the numerous drawings by 
Holbein portraying the ladies of the Court of 
Henry VIII, none bears the name of her who 
was, or had been, its chief ornament. Is it 
possible that among the many erroneously named 
portraits in this superb series the face of Eliza- 
beth Blount looks out upon us unsuspected ? 

Although at the time when Holbein was 
employed on this work the first bloom of 
Elizabeth Blount's youth had passed, and with 
it her intimate relations with the King, she 
nevertheless retained her beauty, and continued 
to fascinate the hearts of men. Moreover by 
two marriages, progressively distinguished, she 

B 17 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

had with riper years attained an accession of 
dignity at Court, in addition to possessing, in 
the eyes of statesmen and courtiers alike, a 
denned status as the " Mother of the King's 
son." Having regard then to her prominent 
position, how comes it that no portrait of this 
lady, whether as Lady Tailbois or as Lady 
Clinton, adorns any collection, and that if any 
portrait of her anywhere exists it is unknown 
or forgotten ? Her personal appearance, indeed, 
remains one of many mysteries attaching to her 
veiling, while they enhance the interest in, 
this figure which flits, like some brilliant and 
elusive butterfly, across the history of her time. 

All that we gather of Elizabeth's appearance 
is that she was a perfect specimen of the blonde 
type so much in fashion at that epoch her 
race retaining in successive generations the fair 
hair and complexion from which it had derived 
its surname in Normandy before the Conquest. 1 

There only remains to represent the subject 
of these pages a little effigy, obscure and un- 
heeded, in the village church where her ancestors 
lie entombed the church where, as a child, she 
knelt and made confession, in the days before she 

1 A portrait at Kinlet Hall represents her brother, Sir George Blount 
of Kinlet, with fair hair and beard, ruddy complexion and blue eyes. 

18 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

had lost her innocence when as yet the brilliant 
pageants in which she was destined to become 
the cynosure had not entered into her dreams. 

In Kinlet Church, Shropshire, stands the stately 
alabaster monument to Sir John Blount of Kinlet 
and Dame Katherine his wife, father and mother 
of Elizabeth. The student of sepulchral deco- 
ration may find in this tomb of the time of 
Henry VIII as fine a specimen as any in England 
of the earliest and purest period of Renaissance 
design, before the old Gothic influence was wholly 
lost. He may contrast with it, on the one hand, 
the adjacent monument (believed to be) to 
Sir John's grandfather, Sir Humphrey Blount, 
of a date some fifty years earlier, when the 
dignity of Gothic decoration was as yet un- 
affected by Italian taste. He may find yet 
another contrast, on the other hand, in the 
florid and exuberant magnificence of the Eliza- 
bethan monument to Sir John's son, Sir George 
Blount of a date fifty years later a sumptuous 
illustration of later Renaissance, when it was 
beginning to run riot in a wealth of decoration. 1 

We are, however, only concerned with Sir 

1 A high authority, however, the Rev. D. Cranage, of King's College, 
Cambridge, writes of Sir George Blount's tomb that " without exaggera- 
tion it may be described as one of the finest Elizabethan monuments 
in England." Churches of Shropshire, p. 320. 

19 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

John Blount's tomb, for among the eleven 
children sculptured in miniature around the 
base of the life-sized recumbent effigies of their 
parents, is the representation of Elizabeth, the 
second child. Such representations, although 
executed in the lifetime of the subjects them- 
selves, were not intended as portraits, yet in 
this instance the marble bas-relief of the children 
has been chiselled with a grace and spirit unusual 
in the workmanship of the ordinary sculptor of 
family monuments, and the figure of Elizabeth 
may be distinguished by its situation as the 
second in the row of six daughters all wearing 
the " pedimental " head-dress and the robes 
which Holbein has made so familiar. Only 
a few years ago the respective names of the 
children were distinctly visible on the scrolls 
above each figure, and traces of pale colouring 
were not wholly effaced. Thus she who four 
hundred years ago left her family when she was 
but a child, to enter a Court the splendours and the 
perils of which have perhaps never been surpassed, 
is commemorated throughout the ages among the 
peaceful surroundings of her paternal home. 

The fact that the very young and very beauti- 
ful Elizabeth Blount became the mother of a 
King's son may not entitle her to the regard 
20 




MONUMENT IN KINLET CHURCH 

TO SIR JOHN BLOUNT OF KINLET AND DAME KATHERINE HIS WIFE 
(PARENTS OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT) 

For inscription on monument see Appendix (In the background is seen the 
monument to Sir George Blount) 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of posterity, but it can fairly be claimed that 
she who, in the quaint words of Lord Herbert 
of Chirbury, " was thought for her rare ornaments 
of nature and education to be the mistress- piece 
of her time," is not undeserving the notice of 
those whose pleasure it is to turn to some 
picturesque, if little known, page of history, and 
to trace the life-stories of our ancestors illumined 
by such sidelights vivid, though rare and in- 
termittent as are cast by State papers and 
private records. Moreover, the touch of romance 
is not wanting in her story. Even on Henry's 
side, if Henry was capable of romance, surely 
it may have been in this early love-affair, for 
his State-arranged marriage with his sister-in- 
law when he was a boy of nineteen had been 
wholly devoid of it ; while to the girl Elizabeth, 
her superb and superlatively handsome King- 
lover must have appeared in the light of a young 
god. 

It may here be pointed out that the true case 
of Elizabeth has repeatedly suffered from mis- 
statement rather unfairly and quite unneces- 
sarily, owing to the confusion of genealogists 
and the carelessness of historians. Some writers 
have erroneously assumed her to be the faithless 
wife of Lord Tailbois, when in fact she did not 

21 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

marry him till four years after her adventure 
with the King. 

Other writers have made the still stranger 
mistake of asserting that it was as the wanton 
widow of Lord Tailbois that Elizabeth attracted 
Henry's notice, when in fact Lord Tailbois did 
not die till twelve years later. How different, 
in sooth, and how dangerous might have been 
her situation had her intimacy with Henry been 
so many years later than it was ! Well may she 
have congratulated herself in after life that fate 
had brought her royal lover to her in his youth, 
and not in his gross and merciless middle-age. 
Henry at the latter period, alienated from 
Katherine and broken loose from all restraints 
and scruples, and from fears of Papal dis- 
pleasure, was situated very differently from where 
he had been in 1518 the date of his intrigue 
with Elizabeth Blount * when as yet he had no 
thought of ridding himself of his good Queen, 
or of flying in the face of Holy Church. But had 
he then been untrammelled and emancipated he 
might as easily have raised to the perilous 
throne the Queen's maid-in-waiting, Elizabeth 
Blount, as he did later Anne Boleyn or Jane 
Seymour. Elizabeth Blount would then have 
provided the legitimate male heir to the throne 

1 Henry FitzRoy was born the following year. 
22 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

so much desired, and Anne Boleyn would not 
have perished on the block. Even as things 
turned out, Henry at one time determined to 
make Elizabeth's son, Henry FitzRoy, heir to 
the Crown, and truly, on the score of the boy's 
illegitimacy, no serious obstacle could be raised 
when Katherine of Arragon's daughter was 
declared by Parliament a bastard, and Anne 
Boleyn's daughter was looked upon by every 
Court in Europe as the daughter of " the con- 
cubine." How vast then is the field for specula- 
tion raised by a mere discrepancy of date ! Yet 
we have only to turn to the old Chronicler Hall l 
to learn that the King was in his " fresh youth," 
and Elizabeth Blount was a " fair damosel." 

The biographer 2 of her son, Henry FitzRoy, 
Duke of Richmond and Somerset, following 
Hall's account, is among the few who have 
pointed out that the Duke's mother was young 
and unmarried at the time when she succumbed 
to the King's seduction, but he seems to have 
been unaware of her position at Court and 
unable to account for it otherwise than as that 
of a King's mistress. Elizabeth Blount, how- 
ever, cannot fairly be classed with the pro- 
fessional sultanas of the later Stuarts or the 

1 Hall's Chronicles, 1548. A. A. A. iii. b. 
1 John Gough Nichols (1855). 

23 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

first two Georges, at whose Courts the mistress 
was as necessary and recognised an appendage 
as the State officials. Among more recent 
writers, Brewer, in a passing reference to Eliza- 
beth, indicates her true status, 1 and Froude 
pays her the compliment of calling her an 
" accomplished and most interesting " person. 
But all overlook the fact that her family in its 
antecedents had for long been intimately asso- 
ciated with the entourage of the Sovereign, and 
that her own position at the Court originated 
in this connexion. She was in fact one of the 
very young ladies in attendance on Queen 
Katherine (of Arragon) a mere child when she 
is first found in the circle of the Court in 1512 
and for many years there was no cause to asso- 
ciate scandal with her name. The young King, 
it is generally admitted, was at this time a model 
of domestic habits, and during the early years 
of his married life despite some tittle-tattle 
about him and Lady FitzWalter, the Duke of 
Buckingham's sister 2 his affections did not stray 
from his wife. 

1 Brewer, Introduction to Letters and Papers ; and Reign of Henry 
VIII, vol. ii. p. 104. 

2 Letter of Caroz, May 29, 1510. Spanish State Papers. 



24 



CHAPTER II 

BIRTH : PARENTAGE 

Date of Elizabeth's birth : Parentage : Parents' marriage in 
infancy : An heiress mother : Elizabeth's maternal grandfather : 
Ballad of Bosworth Field : Boy and girl parents : Maternal 
ancestors : The Stanleys of Elford : Paternal ancestors : The 
Kinlet inheritance : The origin of the Cornwalls : Early history 
of Kinlet : Saxon and Norman possessors : Fifteenth- century 
knighthood : Small number of peers : Tudor changes : The royal 
household : Kinlet Church : A marriage procession in 1491 : 
Marriage settlement of Elizabeth's parents. 

THE date of Elizabeth's birth may be placed in 
1500, or perhaps in 1499, but it seems improbable 
that she was born earlier. Her parents were 
married in childhood in 1491. l 

Her father, John Blount, out of a family of 
some twenty children, was the eldest son and 
heir of Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, who had 
been knighted by Henry VII at the battle of 
Stoke in 1487, on the occasion of the defeat of 
Lambert Simnel. Her mother was Katherine, 
heiress of Knightley, in Staffordshire, and of 

1 So stated in post-mortem inquisition of Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet. 

25 



* , 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

many other manors in that county, the only 
(legitimate) child of Sir Hugh Peshall, or Persall, 
a soldier of the highest distinction, who, as 
Knight of the Body to Henry VII, was in 
constant attendance on that King. 

Sir Hugh is mentioned in the " Ballad of 
Bos worth Field," with his brother-in-law, Sir 
Humphrey Stanley, among " four good knights " 
whom the Lord Stanley gives to Henry of 
Richmond at his request on the eve of the 
fight. The outline of the story bears the stamp 
of truth, but in strict accuracy he was of course 
not knighted by Henry of Richmond until, after 
the battle, the crown had been placed on Henry's 
head. During the three succeeding years to 
this memorable year of 1485, the name of Sir 
Hugh Peshall frequently occurs in the State 
records as being the recipient of large sums 
of money from Henry VII " by way of 
reward." He died as a young man in 1488, 
when his daughter Katherine was a little child. 1 

John Blount at the time of his marriage to 
Katherine Peshall appears to have been not 
more than ten years old ; 2 he may well have 

1 SirHugh had two illegitimate daughters, but his daughter Katherine 
is styled on her husband Sir John Blount's monument in Kinlet 
Church, " Unica filia et heres sola Hugonis Peshall, Mil." 

2 In Sir Thomas Blount's Post-mortem Inquisition, his son John 

26 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

been some years younger. The younger he was 
the later must we place the birth of Elizabeth, 
and in that case the more remarkable would be 
her juvenility when she is found at Court in 
1512, and in that case, also, we must suppose 
John Blount to have been a father at an age 
extraordinarily early even for those days, for he 
had at least one child older than Elizabeth. 1 

Offspring at a very early age was not unusual 
in the fifteenth century, when family interest 
was concerned in the promotion of these pre- 
cocious unions, and the boy-and-girl couples 
were encouraged by their respective parents to 
fulfil at the earliest possible age the obligations 
they had entered into as children, for it was a 
matter of great consequence to the families of 

is stated to have been " forty years old and more " in 1524 the usual 
formula " and more " leaves his precise age uncertain. If he was 
forty at that date he would have been seven years old at the time of 
his marriage in 1491. 

1 Anne Lacon, whose descendants eventually inherited Kinlet 
(and whose representative in blood is the writer of these pages), was 
the eldest daughter. Her name, wrongly called Agnes in the Visita- 
tions of Shropshire, was clearly traceable a few years ago in the scroll 
above her figure on her father's monument in Kinlet Church. She 
married Richard, eldest son and heir of Sir Thomas Lacon, of Willey, 
Shropshire, whose daughter Elizabeth (sister of Richard), wife of 
George Bromley, of Hodnet, Shropshire, was mother of the eminent 
Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Bromley, and of Chief Justice Sir George 
Bromley. 

27 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

both parties. On the side of the girl she would 
not be entitled to her dowry out of her husband's 
estate, in the event of his dying before the 
marriage was consummated ; while, on the other 
side, the husband's family would have to return 
the bride's dowry to her family if she died under 
similar circumstances. Prudence and not senti- 
ment dictated these matters in days when life, 
more uncertain than in our own day, was exposed 
to sudden ravages for which there were no 
known remedies. 

But be this as it may, a further reason may 
be adduced for not placing the birth of Elizabeth 
earlier than 1499-1500, namely, the fact that, 
of her three brothers, the eldest, Sir George 
Blount, was born as late as 1513 the year 
after she arrived at Court ; while we know 
also that her second husband, Lord Clinton, was 
born in 1512, being her junior, we suppose, 
by not more than twelve or thirteen years, 
for she did not marry him till 1534 and after- 
wards bore him three children. We have dealt 
at some length with these points as affecting the 
date of Elizabeth's birth, because it will appear 
later that her extreme youth is a remarkable 
feature of her story. 

Whatever may have been the exact age of 
28 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Elizabeth's parents at the time of their marriage, 
Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet was doubtless 
eager to secure for his eldest son so desirable 
a match as the only child of his old companion- 
in-arms, Sir Hugh Peshall, who had died in the 
lifetime of his father, Humphrey Peshale of 
Knightley 1 (a leading Staffordshire esquire), 
leaving his daughter the heiress apparent of 
her grandfather. Besides the broad lands in 
prospect she was to bring an augmentation of 
quarterings 2 to the already large number borne 
in the shield of the Blounts of Kinlet ; and 
through her mother's family, the Stanleys of 
Elford, she was closely related to the most 
powerful family in the kingdom. It was at the 
mansion of Elford that Henry VII, as the guest 
of Sir John Stanley (the father of Lady Peshall), 
passed the night preceding the battle of Bos- 
worth in secret conference with the various 
members of the Stanley family, who, as is well 
known, under Thomas, Lord Stanley, the head 
of the family, turned the fortunes of the fight. 
A near connexion existed between the Stanleys 

1 The Peshalls derived in the female line from the Knightleys of 
Knightley, from whom the Knightleys of Fawsley sprang. 

8 Katherine Peshall brought to the Blounts of Kinlet the quarterings 
of Swynnerton, Hastang, Beck, Trussell, Stafford, and Knightley. 
See Appendix. 

29 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and the King, whose mother, the Countess of 
Richmond, was married to the said Lord Stanley, 1 
afterwards created Earl of Derby. Moreover 
the bride's uncle, Sir Humphrey Stanley, was 
in high favour with Henry VII throughout the 
whole of the reign, and as a Knight of the Body 
was in personal attendance on the King. 

Nor was the heir of Kinlet with the various 
other manors inherited by that branch of the 
Blount family any mean match for the young 
heiress. The Blounts of Kinlet were a junior 
offshoot of that fair-haired, widespread race of 
the " Le Blonds," of which it may with truth 
be said that while the pretensions of so many 
of our noble families have of late been ruthlessly 
discarded as mythical by modern genealogical 
critics, its nobility and antiquity have never been 
disputed. 2 And among the scions of " this 
most ancient and distinguished " house none 
were more noted, alike for prowess in arms and 
for ancestral possessions, than the branch whose 
chief residence was at Kinlet, and whose repre- 

1 Sir Hugh Peshall's wife (Katherine Blount's mother) was Isabel, 
daughter of Sir John Stanley, of Elford and Pipe, co. Stafford, and 
sister of Sir Humphrey Stanley, Knight of the Body to Henry VII. 

2 Camden, in his Britannia, says, " The name of the Blounts was very 
famous in these parts, denoting their golden locks. This is a very 
ancient and honourable family and hath spread its branches far." 

30 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

sentatives were appointed by Royal Warrant 
to superintend, as officers of the King, the 
adjacent chases of Cleobury Mortimer and Ern- 
wood, or the vast forest of Wyre (Bewdley), 
when these ancient domains of the Mortimers 
became the inheritance of the Crown. 

Kinlet had come to this junior branch of the 
Blounts in the fifteenth century, in consequence 
of a relationship with the Cornwall family. 1 The 
first of the Cornwalls of Kinlet was Edmund de 
Cornwall, 2 on whom in 1309 Edward II, styling 
him his "dear kinsman" ("nepos"), had be- 
stowed the hand of Elizabeth de Brampton (or 
Brompton) of Kinlet, the great co-heiress of 
the ancient lords of Kinlet, which young lady 
had been Cornwall's ward for some years. This 
kinship of the Cornwalls with the Crown, al- 
though a left-handed one, had been openly 
acknowledged by Edward I, 3 and was claimed 



I For the descent of Sir Humphrey Blount of Kinlet from the Corn- 
walls see Appendix II. He was the first of the Blounts of Kinlet. His 
father was a younger son of Sir John Blount of Sodington, by his 
second wife, Isabella, daughter of Sir Bryan Cornwall of Kinlet. 

II Edmund de Cornwall, and his younger brother Geoffrey (first 
of the Barons of Burford), were the sons of Richard de Cornwall, illegiti- 
mate son of Richard King of the Romans, Earl of Cornwall, the youngest 
son of King John. 

3 Grant by Edward the First to Edmund de Cornubia [Cornwall] 

31 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

by their descendants for many centuries ; till 
indeed, at last, in the seventeenth century, 
the heralds daring to assert the fact of the 
original progenitor of the Cornwalls having been 
the bastard and not the legitimate son of Richard 
King of the Romans (son of King John), the 
then representative of the Cornwalls (Barons 
of Burford) was furious with indignation. 1 

The name Kinlet has a remarkable derivation. 
It is formed of the Saxon words " kyne," signifying 
royal, and " Iseth," a district, and tallies with the 
earliest known history of the place. For it 
was a manor of the Saxon kings, and was 
enjoyed by Edith, Queen of Edward the Con- 
fessor. Richardus held it at Doomsday, and 
from him it passed to the Bromptons, of whom 
that reliable antiquary Eyton says, " it is most 
rare that the genealogy of any family of mere 
knightly degree can be traced in the male line 
so far back as Doomsday," owing to the absence 
of records during the chaotic reign of Stephen. 
The genealogy of the [Bromptons, however, 

of the custody of the two daughters and heirs of Brian de Brampton 
[of Kinlet and Brampton Brian] Jan?. 2, Anno 1305. (Calendar of 
Patent Rolls, Ed. I, and Cal. of Close Rolls, 1309.) Edmund de 
Cornwall married the younger of his two wards ; the elder, Margaret, 
married Robert de Harley, and had Brampton Brian for her portion. 
1 Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, vol. 4 (Kinlet). 

32 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

he explains, is a remarkable exception, 
and " it stands on accidental yet perfect 
evidence." L From the Bromptons, as we have 
said, Kinlet descended to the Cornwalls, and 
from the Cornwalls it eventually passed to the 
Blounts namely to the line of which we treat. 

For various reasons, then, the owners of Kinlet 
held high standing among the knightly families of 
England, and in the fifteenth century, when the 
roll of peers was still small, when dukedoms 
were almost confined to the blood royal, when 
a marquisate was the rarest of dignities, when 
many of the old earldoms were attainted, and 
when the order of the baronetage was still in 
the far future, the knightly families occupied a 
position of dignity, and had as yet not been 
submerged in the flood of newer titles. 2 

Throughout the Wars of the Roses, which had 
decimated so many of the old nobility, the 
Blounts of Kinlet, staunch supporters of the 
White Rose, had managed to keep their heads 
above water. The name of Sir Humphrey 
Blount of Kinlet frequently occurs in the annals of 
Edward IV in the lists of those called upon to 

1 Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire, vol. 4, p. 240. 

a At the accession of Henry VII in 1485 there were but one duke, 
nine earls, two viscounts, and fifteen barons to answer to his summons. 
(Dugdale.) 

C 33 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

supply the King with men for the wars. His son, 
Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, supported the 
blending of the red and white in the union of 
Henry Tudor and Elizabeth Plantagenet. Sir 
Thomas and his wife were present at the corona- 
tion of that Queen, and were guests at the 
royal feast at Westminster on the occasion. 1 

With the accession of the Tudor dynasty the 
old order came to a close, and a new state of 
things was inaugurated. Henceforth personal 
service in the household of the Sovereign was 
the chief passport to consideration and power. 
By this means, under the Tudors, adventurers 
came to the surface, and many upstart families 
rose to eminence. The Blounts of Kinlet were 
not backward in adapting themselves to the 
new system and in taking advantage of it ; 
and thus began an official connexion with 
the Court which continued to succeeding genera- 
tions. 

It is interesting to note that, at the dawn 
of the Tudor epoch, with the exception of a 
few such as the Talbots, the Howards, and the 
Stanleys, many of our great families had as yet 

1 Leland's Collectanea. The eminent Sir James Blount, who figures 
in Shakespeare's " Richard III," among the supporters of Henry of 
Richmond, was a distant kinsman of the Kinlet branch. 

84 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

not come to the front, and the stars of the 
Russells, 1 the Cavendishes, and the Cecils had 
not risen. 

The parents of Elizabeth Blount, however 
the boy-bridegroom and the girl-heiress were 
each through their ancestral alliances repre- 
sentatives of the ancient aristocracy of England, 
and were equally matched in lineage and estate. 

The marriage took place on August 1, 1491 
not, we may observe, at the bride's home, but 
at Kinlet, 2 the home of the bridegroom. 

Little change has there been in the external 
features of Kinlet Church since the two children, 
marshalled by their elders, passed with pro- 
cession from hall to church to plight their troth. 
The old manor-house at Kinlet, demolished in 
the early part of the eighteenth century, 3 was 
situated even nearer to the church than is the 
present mansion ; now, as then, both church 

1 The accomplished John Russell began his career in the latter part 
of the reign of Henry VII, and was a Gentleman Usher to that monarch. 
Later George Cavendish was in Wolsey's household, becoming his 
secretary. 

* So stated in the Inquisition Post-mortem of Sir Thomas Blount 
(A.D. 1524). (Record Office.) 

3 Sir Lacon Childe was the last to inhabit the house of his Blount 
ancestors ; his nephew, William Lacon Childe (M.P. for Shropshire), 
built the present mansion in 1727. 

35 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and house being wholly surrounded by park 
and woodland of wide extent, and remote from 
any village or hamlet. The old cross in the 
churchyard near the southern entrance must 
have been of great elevation ; its quadrilateral 
base, unique in design, lofty and gabled, is still 
in its place, though time has wrought some 
ruin, and the niche in its wall has long been 
emptied of the saint's image it once held. The 
Norman doorway, the round massive arches and 
columns of the nave, stand firm as ever ; while 
the spacious chancel and transepts, 1 added by 
pious ancestors 2 in Early English or Decorated 
style, still speak to us of mediaeval times, and 
were already venerable when that bridal pro- 
cession paused before the high altar. Still in 
the mullioned windows, amid traces of antique 
glass of colour unsurpassed by modern imita- 
tions, there remains the stained-glass figure of 
a kneeling knight, 3 helmeted and clad in coat 
embroidered with the armorial bearings of the 

1 " The South transept or Saint Catherine's Chapel," says Cranage, 
" would alone be sufficient to make Kinlet famous, for there are very 
few places where the arrangements of a mediasval chantry chapel can 
be seen so fully." 

8 Edmund de Cornwall early in the fourteenth century made 
additions. 

8 The figure "is that of a Knight of the Camail period" 
(Cranage). 

36 




s 

l! 

Q | 

E_| tD 

H 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Cornwalls, and asking of your charity prayers 
for his soul, as on the day when his descendant 
little John knelt with Katherine at the nuptial 
mass, four hundred and twenty years ago. 

The mother of the infant bride, Dame Isabel 
Peshall, and that lady's brother, Sir Humphrey 
Stanley, 1 as trustee on the side of the bride, saw 
to it that due settlements were made by the 
bridegroom's father ; and Kinlet was settled 
on young John and on such children in succession 
as he might have by Katherine. It was wisely 
done in their interests, for in the end Sir Thomas 
Blount, either not understanding law-Latin, or 
purposely disregarding the obligations he had 
entered into at the time of his eldest son's 
marriage, attempted in his old age to set them 
aside by his will, and to deprive him of the full 
rights of inheritance in order to make provision 
for his own numerous daughters and younger 
sons. But from what we know of Sir Humphrey 
Stanley, he was not one to be gainsaid. Quarrel- 
some, revengeful, unscrupulous, he was a 
dangerous man to offend, and stuck at nothing 

1 Sir Humphrey Stanley, who died in 1505, was buried in Westminster 
Abbey, where there is a brass effigy (representing him in armour with 
sword and dagger), and an inscription to his memory. 

37 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

to gain his ends. 1 It was safer to be on good 
terms with him, and in these characteristics his 
niece, Katherine Blount, resembled him in after 
years. 

1 For an account of him and his quarrel with the Monks of Lichfield 
see Harwood's History of Lichfield (p. 98) ; and a story is told of 
him by Pennant which puts him in an ugly light. In 1493 a spirit of 
rivalry existed between the Stanleys of Elford and the Chetwynds of 
Ingestre. Sir Humphrey Stanley was one of the Knights of the Body 
to Henry VII, and Sir William Chetwynd was one of the Gentlemen 
Ushers. The former contrived to draw Sir William out of his house 
by means of a counterfeit letter from a neighbour, and while he was 
passing on Tixal Heath, caused him to be attacked by twenty armed 
men and slain on the spot. Sir Humphrey passed at the instant with 
a train of followers under pretence of hunting, but in reality to gratify 
his revenge with the sight. (Pennant's Journey to Chester, p. 1909.) 




CHAPTER III 
1500-1502 

Elizabeth's babyhood : Ludlow Castle : Katherine of Arragon : 
Arthur of Wales : Royal residence at Tickenhall : Bewdley, its 
beautiful site : The Blounts' neighbourhood : Elizabeth's 
grandfather and grandmother : Grandmother's father, Sir 
Richard Croft : Steward of the royal household : Lady Croft 
governess to the Princes : Elizabeth's kinship to the Tudors : 
Prince of Wales's court : His death : His funeral cortege : 
Princess leaves Ludlow : Character of Elizabeth's mother. 

v 

WHILE Elizabeth was a baby, her parents and 
relatives were brought into association with 
Katherine of Arragon, when as a girl-bride that 
princess resided at Ludlow Castle during her 
brief and passionless experiment of marriage 
with the boy-prince Arthur, Prince of Wales. 
Of those who hastened to pay their respects to 
the young Princess of Wales the Blounts of 
Kinlet were surely among the first. Ludlow, 
that great border stronghold, a town of the 
utmost importance in Tudor times, was within 
the distance of a three hours' ride from the seat 
of the Blounts the road thence to Ludlow 

39 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

winding by slopes and valleys along the eastern 
side of the Clee Hills. No more romantic 
scenery is perhaps to be found in all England 
than that which keeps the Clee Hills in view ; 
and Kinlet, still noted for the size and age of its 
oaks the same oaks under which the little 
Elizabeth played in childhood is situated in 
the heart of that country of which an old 
rhymester sings : 

Thrice happy he 
Twixt Severn and Clee. 

Elizabeth's grandfather, Sir Thomas Blount 
of Kinlet, frequented the Court of the Prince 
of Wales, both at Ludlow Castle where as Lord 
President of the Marches of Wales the boy 
resided on the outskirts of his principality and 
at Ticknell, or Tickenall (Bewdley), which his 
father, Henry VII, had built for him near the 
banks of the Severn on the edge of the 
forest which borders the counties of Worcester 
and Salop. 1 Sir Thomas Blount was Steward 
of the Royal Park and Manor of Bewdley, of 
which Ticknell was an appurtenance, and Kinlet 
is but a few miles distant from Bewdley on 
the Shropshire side. It was in the chapel of 

1 The Royal residence of Ticknell had a great court and garden 
and several outhouses which extended on the sides. 

40 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Bewdley, we learn from a letter of the Spanish 
Ambassador to Ferdinand and Isabella, that 
Prince Arthur plighted his troth to the proxy 
of Katherine of Arragon on May 19, 1499. 
" William, Bishop of Lincoln," writes the 
Ambassador, " with many other persons present 
entered the chapel of the Manor of Bewdley, in 
the diocese of Hereford, in order to perform 
the nuptial ceremony ; " and it was doubtless 
incumbent on Sir Thomas Blount to be present 
on the occasion. The town of Bewdley (Beau- 
lieu), which derived its name in Norman times 
from the beauty of its situation, evoked the 
admiration of Leland in the sixteenth century. 
" Beaudley is set on the side of a hill," he says, 
" so comely a man cannot wish to see a town 
better. It riseth from Severne bank by east, 
upon the hill by west, so that a man standing 
on the hill, by c pontem ' by east, may discern 
almost every house in the town, and at the 
rising of the sun . . . the whole town glittereth 
as it were gold." 

There was, moreover, a near connexion 
between Sir Thomas Blount and the Court of 
Henry VII, for his wife, Dame Anne, 1 was a 

1 Dame Anne Blount (born Croft) bore twenty children, as her 
mother had done before her. 

41 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

daughter of Sir Richard Croft, of Croft Castle, 
Herefordshire, Knight Banneret, who as Steward 
of the Household to the Prince of Wales was 
of paramount influence in the royal entourage. 

Richard Croft was no ordinary country 
squire. He was as erudite as he was valiant. 
When a young man he had been Governor of 
Prince Edward (afterwards Edward IV) and of 
his younger brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland. 
A letter is extant written by these boys at 
Ludlow Castle to their father complaining of 
the " odieux reule and demenying [demeanour] 
of Richard Croft " ; l but in spite of this accu- 
sation of severity we find Croft in favour when 
Edward became king. Croft fought for his 
former pupil on the field of Tewkesbury in 
1471, and is said to have captured, after the 
battle, the unfortunate Prince Edward of Lan- 
caster, son of Henry VI. 2 He was made a 
knight banneret " on the field of Grafton." 

On the accession of Henry VII, Sir Richard 
Croft, as a kinsman of the Tudors, 3 through his 
Welsh ancestry, came at once into prominence, 
and was made Comptroller of the King's House- 

1 Ellis' Letters, 1st Series. 

2 Habingdon excuses Croft for the subsequent murder of the Prince. 

3 For the kinship of Elizabeth Blount with Henry VIII see Appendix. 

42 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

hold. A beautifully indited account-book of the 
King's expenses in 1486-87 in Croft's hand- 
writing is preserved in the Record Office. At 
the time of which we treat, in his position about 
Prince Arthur at Ludlow, he was of advanced 
years; and there was no official of the Welsh 
Tudors more acceptable to the Welsh people 
in the Marches of Wales, of which his young 
Master was the President, than Sir Richard 
Croft, a representative of the ancient Princes 
of North Wales and the Princes of Powysland, 
and in whose veins ran the blood of the renowned 
Owen Glendower. 

Croft's wife, Dame Eleanor (born Cornwall of 
Burford) was also long connected with the 
Court. She is described in the early Cornwall 
pedigrees as " Lady Governess to the young 
Princes at Ludlow Castle " (probably the above- 
named Yorkist princes), and also as " Lady 
Governess to Prince Arthur at Ludlow " in 
later years. This great -grandmother of Eliza- 
beth Blount was certainly a remarkable woman. 
From an old manuscript in the British Museum 
we learn l that "it is truly reported this lady 
lived so long and had such increase of yssue 
that she had, before she died, seventeen score and 

1 Cotton MS, XIV, 3. 

43 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

odde people descended from her body : whereof 
the Duke of Richmond, base sonne to Henry 8 
was one, and the late Duchess of Northumber- 
land, mother to Ambrose Earle of Warwick and 
to Robert Earle of Leicester was another." l 

Thus the position of the Blounts, through their 
Croft relatives, was assured at the Court of 
Ludlow, and the family on that account seem 
to have mustered thick upon the ground. At 
the time when the Spanish Princess arrived at 
Ludlow early in the year 1502, the youthful 
John and Katherine Blount the infant bride 
and bridegroom of ten years before had now 
a family, and the little Elizabeth was about 
two years old. Madam Blount had as yet not 
succeeded to her grandfather Humphrey PeshalPs 
Staffordshire estates, of which she was the 
eventual heiress. She was still waiting for his 

1 Dame Eleanor Croft was a daughter of Edmund, son and heir of 
Sir Richard Cornwall, Baron of Burford ; which Edmund died in the 
lifetime of his father in the fifth year of Henry VI, at Cologne, where 
he is buried, his heart being brought to Burford Church (Shropshire) 
at his desire, " unto my native land." From an old Cornwall pedigree 
at Kyre Wyard Park (in the possession of Mrs. Baldwyn-Childe) we 
learn that Dame Eleanor Croft had previously married Sir Hugh 
Mortimer of Kyre Wyard and had (with a son, Sir John Mortimer 
of Kyre) a daughter Anne, married to Sir Thomas West, Lord De la 
Warr. For the descent (from Dame Eleanor) of the above-mentioned 
Duchess of Northumberland (born Guilford), wife of the famous John 
Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, see Appendix. 

44 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

demise, while he, by the way, had hopes of 
disinheriting her, his dead eldest son's only 
child. 1 She and her husband resided with his 
father, Sir Thomas Blount, at Kinlet and were 
thus within easy reach of the social life and 
bustle of the Court of Ludlow. " In this romantic 
seat," says a picturesque writer, 2 " the Prince 
and Princess held a Court at which knights 
and gentry of the border shires were welcomed 
with a round of tilts and feasts, when Katherine, 
though she could not speak their language, 
crowned the victors with her eyes and hands, 
the Prince, amidst his masks and revels, gave 
a ready ear and warm encouragement to every 
one." Ludlow was, in fact, at this moment the 
point towards which the eyes of all Europe 
turned, focused on the boy Prince and his 
bride ; while the development of their pre- 
mature union was eagerly watched and can- 
vassed, alike by the statesmen as the gossips of 
the day. 

Judging by what we know of the mother of 

1 Humphrey Peshall made a will in favour of his son by his second 
wife which was eventually successfully disputed by his granddaughter, 
Katherine Blount, she being the only child of Humphrey's eldest son. 
Sir Hugh. 

* Hepworth Dixon's Two Queens. He, however, writes inaccurately 
with regard to Elizabeth Blount. 

45 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Elizabeth Blount from a series of her letters 
preserved among the State archives, we may be 
sure that this astute lady lost no opportunity 
of advancing the worldly interests of herself and 
her family. Katherine Blount appears in these 
letters (they are written years afterwards) as a 
vivid personality, and by her own showing, as 
the scheming woman of affairs, in touch with the 
principal personages in the State, a staunch 
friend to those who stood in her good graces, 
and a dangerous enemy to those who thwarted 
her plans. She was forward in soliciting favours 
according to the custom of those days, when 
nothing was to be had without the asking, and 
persistency was most likely to be crowned with 
success. It may well have been that she con- 
trived to bring little Bess under the notice of 
the Princess of Wales, with a view to future 
advantage. The hopes of all, however, were soon 
suddenly cut short by the premature death of 
the Prince at Ludlow on April 2, 1502. A form 
of plague, fostered by the torrents of rain which 
had fallen in the neighbouring hills, was raging 
in this part of the country, and the heir of 
England was one of its many victims. 

Of the four "banner-holders" at the lying-in- 
state Sir Thomas Blount was " at the Corner 
46 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of the Canopy," bearing the " Banner of the 
Patible," and among the knights who conveyed 
the body from Ludlow to Bewdley on its way 
to its final resting-place in Worcester Cathedral 
was Sir Thomas Blount " on the foulest cold 
windy and rainy day," says the chronicler, 1 
" and the worst day I have ever seen yea, and 
in many places they were fain to take oxen to 
draw the chair, so ill was the way." The funeral 
procession stopped the night at Bewdley on the 
road, the bier being " set in the quire " of the 
royal chapel there. Next day, from Bewdley, 
Sir Richard Croft and Sir William Uvedale rode 
before to Worcester and " suffered no man to 
enter the gate of the city till the tyme the corpse 
was come." 

The unfortunate Princess of Wales was hurried 
away from Ludlow Castle on account of infection, 
while the thoughts of her father-in-law, 
Henry VII, were centred on securing her dowry 
to himself. Six weary years of poverty and 
anxiety were in store for her ; but when, after 
the death of the King, she became the happy 
and devoted Queen of her brother-in-law, 
Henry VIII, an end seemed to have come to 
all her troubles, and her good fortune appeared 

1 Quoted by Leland, Collectanea, vol. v, p. 377. 

47 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

secure. Indeed for many years after her union 
with Henry her domestic happiness left nothing 
to be desired. 

Meanwhile the parents of little Bess Blount 
quitted the neighbourhood of Ludlow soon after 
the death of Prince Arthur. Madam Blount's 
grandfather, Humphrey Peshall, having died 
in May 1502, she succeeded in ousting her half- 
uncle Richard, and in establishing her rights to 
her ancestral estates. The family now removed 
to her manor of Knightley, in Staffordshire, and 
henceforth her husband John Blount, in right 
of his wife, figures in the local annals among 
" the worshipful " of that shire, 1 while his father 
Sir Thomas, at Kinlet, played a similar part 
among the knights of Shropshire. 

The veteran Sir Richard Croft died in the 
same year as his King, whom he had devotedly 
served. The quaint terms of his will (proved in 
1509) show the regard he had for his son-in-law 
Sir Thomas Blount, and the interest he took 
in the prospective matrimonial alliances of his 
granddaughters lest they should " despise " 
themselves by marrying beneath their station. 
His granddaughter Eleanor Croft, and his 

1 " The Worshipful of the Shire " is the expression by which Katherine 
Blount designates the leading persons in the county in one of her letters. 

48 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

granddaughter Joice Blount, Sir Thomas's 
daughter, are to marry only by the united 
advice of specified relatives, namely, their grand- 
mother, Dame Eleanor Croft the wife who had 
shared Sir Richard's status in the Royal House- 
hold, and had besides borne twenty children 
their two uncles, and last, but not least, Sir 
Thomas Blount. Joice Blount, if she fulfils 
these conditions, and " if she dissepisse not 
herself," is to have a legacy of fifty marks. 1 

Bess Blount, Sir Richard Croft's great-grand- 
daughter, was now nine years old. She was to 
prepare for a career at the new Court of 
the eighth Henry. We find her there three 
years later. 

1 A fine altar-tomb in Croft Church represents the recumbent 
effigies of Sir Richard Croft and Dame Eleanor, surrounded by their 
many children. 



49 



CHAPTER IV 
1512-1513 

Elizabeth at Court : William Blount, Lord Mountjoy : The 
patron of Erasmus i Elizabeth a mere child : Her " wages " : 
Her young father " King's Spear " : Her grandfather's career : 
Her great-grandmother living : Queen Katherine : Her 
prosperity : Her Regency ; Her busy maidens : The fall of 
Tournay : Elizabeth's relatives there : The King's return : 
An unwarranted statement : Elizabeth's education at Court. 

WHEN little " Bess " Blount arrived at Court 
in 1512, the Queen, we may suppose, would 
recall her own early associations with Ludlow 
and would greet the new-comer as no stranger. 

At this time an illustrious representative of 
a branch of the Blount family was Chamberlain 
to the Queen 1 William Blount, fourth Lord 
Mountjoy, noted in history as the munificent 
patron and constant correspondent of Erasmus, 
who called him his " Maecenas.'* Erasmus 
speaks of him as " the most noble among the 
learned and the most learned among the noble, 

1 May 13, 1512, he received 66 13s. 4d. annuity as Chamberlain 
to Katherine, Queen Consort. 

50 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and the most excellent of both," and to this 
he says may be added that he was also " the 
most modest among them all." 

As a kinsman of Elizabeth's father and a 
trustee of her parents' marriage settlement, 
Lord Mount joy had long been intimately asso- 
ciated with the Kinlet family and its domestic 
affairs, and in later years we find him supporting 
John's interest against his father Sir Thomas, 
and siding with John in his feud with Sir William 
Compton. 

With such a friend and relative in the imme- 
diate service of the Queen, Bess Blount had high 
interest to push her fortunes in the world, and 
it is probable that Lord Mount joy's influence, 
together with that of his Spanish wife, Agnes 
de Venegas a special favourite with her royal 
mistress was an important factor in procuring 
for the girl so desirable an opening as a post 
about the Queen. 1 

She had arrived at Court by the spring of 

1 Letter of HenryjVIII to his father-in-law, Ferdinand the Catholic, 
July 30, 1509 : " Lord William Mountjoy, one of his Barons whom 
he has in high esteem, has married Agnes de Venegas, one of the ladies 
of the Queen. He thinks it very desirable that Spanish and English 
families should be united by family ties." Spanish State Papers, 
Bergenroth's Coll., vol. ii. p. 20. Agnes de Venegas was probably bis 
second of four wives. 

51 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

1512. For we find in the list of "the King's 
Year-book " for the following year an entry 
dated from the Court at Greenwich, Sunday, 
May 8, 1513, stating that a hundred shillings is 
due to Elizabeth Blount " upon a warrant 
signed for hir last yere's wages ended at thanun- 
cacon [the Annunciation] of Our Lady last 
passed." She had therefore been already at 
Court for more than a year. The same manu- 
script informs us that John Blount, her father, 
enjoyed a post in the royal guard at this time 
as " one of the King's Spears," and in that 
capacity was in receipt of a " hole yere's 
wages " of 60 16s. 8d. a large salary in those 
days. 

Elizabeth was now, as we have said, about 
twelve years old, and possibly younger. 1 Her 
father was barely thirty, or thereabouts, while 
his father, Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, was 
still in the vigour of a martial career. 2 More- 

1 Dr. Gairdner remarks on the painful absence of natural feeling 
on the part of parents for their children in sending them out to " other 
homes as soon as they reached the age of seven, or nine at the utmost, 
in order that they might learn manners." Cambridge Modern 
History, vol. i, p. 492. 

2 In May of this year (1512) Sir Thomas was among a select number 
of certain knights and nobles to whom the King sent letters command- 
ing them " to make and send " a certified number of men " to serve 
the King's Grace by land " in an expedition against France concerted 

52 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

over her prolific great-grandmother. Dame Eleanor 
Croft, who had been a noted figure at former 
Courts, was still living perhaps at no very 
advanced age and lived yet eight years. 
Through this ancestress Elizabeth was nearly 
connected with the Guilfords now risen pre- 
eminently into favour with the King. 

At the period of which we treat, Henry VIII 
and Katherine of Arragon had been married 
and crowned about three years, and were aged 
respectively twenty-one and twenty-five years 
the higher figure was on the side of the Queen. 
Her seniority was rather to her advantage than 
otherwise, for she was in the prime of woman- 
hood, while the King was little more than a 
boy. Katherine, though rather hard-featured 
and clumsy of figure, was not, as yet, faded and 
worn by misfortune, but she was at this time, 
according to a contemporary, a handsome 
woman and noted for the beauty of her com- 
plexion. 

The career of the Queen may be said to have 
reached its zenith of prosperity in 1513, when 

between Henry and his father-in-law, Ferdinand of Spain. This 
expedition, however, proved abortive, owing to the failure of Ferdinand 
to keep his promises, but in the following year we find Sir Thomas 
among the knights who accompanied the King to the war in France. 
Record Office, Cal. S. P., vol. i, p. 360. 

53 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in June of that year the King appointed her 
Regent of England during his absence at the 
war in France. 

We find the Queen Regent residing at Rich- 
mond in August, and wherever her Court was it 
may be assumed that Elizabeth Blount was in 
attendance. 

It was at Richmond that news was received 
of the King of Scotland's " treachery " in 
declaring war on England in his brother-in-law 
the King of England's absence. The responsi- 
bility of the defence of England now rested 
nominally at least on the Queen Regent, and 
she threw herself heart and soul into the enter- 
prise. In a letter to Wolsey, dated from 
Richmond August 13, she informed him " all 
here are very glad to be busy with the Scots, 
for they take it a pastime. 1 My heart is very 
good to it," she declares, and adds, "I am 
horrible busy with making standards, banners, 
and badges " the fingers of her ladies and 
maids- in- waiting were no doubt as " horrible 
busy " as their royal mistress's, stitching and 
weaving as fast as they could. 

Meanwhile news from France reached Rich- 
mond of the fall of Terouenne and of the victory 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII, 1513, vol. i, 4398. 
54 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of the Battle of the Spurs so named, it was said, 
by the French themselves on account of their 
spurs, with which they hastened their inglorious 
flight. Elizabeth must have had a personal 
interest in the good tidings, as both her grand- 
father, Sir Thomas, and her father, John Blount, 
had accompanied the King to the wars. Sir 
Thomas Blount was among the knights ban- 
nerets l present on the occasion of the taking 
of Tournay, which was entered on September 24, 
Sir Thomas's second and favourite son, Edward, 
was his " petty Captain " on the occasion. Eliza- 
beth's father was also present as a " Shropshire 
banneret," and her brother-in-law, young Richard 
Lacon of Willey, was his " petty Captain." 2 
Moreover her kinsman William Blount, Lord 
Mount joy, was advanced to the supreme post 
of Lieutenant of Tournay. 

The Queen Regent now received the glorious 

1 He was a knight banneret in 1512 (Metcalfe's Knights). There 
was formerly in a window of Stoddesdon Church (near Kinlet) a 
representation of the banner of Sir Thomas Blount with the Blount 
and Cornwall arms quarterly, together with the banner of his wife Anne 
Croft's arms. On the field of battle he bore the following crest upon 
his banner : " 16th June, 1513. ... Sir Thomas Blount barythsylver 
a Lyon passant goules, the tayle reversed, with a crown upon his head, 
and sapits in the same. Made Bude Banerett at this time " John 
Blount bearing the same crest with a crescent in the lion's shoulder for 
difference. Cotton MSS. Cleopatra C.V. 59, B.M. * Ibid. 

55 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

news of the victory of her forces over the Scots 
at Flodden Field on September 9, and of the 
King of Scots being among the slain. She and 
her ladies were residing at the time at her Bed- 
fordshire mansion, Ampthill (or, as it was called, 
the Honour of Ampthill), and she wrote forth- 
with to the King to announce the victory, a 
letter dated from the neighbouring Abbey of 
Woburn, she being, as she says, on the point of 
departure to visit the shrine of Our Lady at 
Walsingham to pray for the King's safe return. 
Both of these victories she was confident were 
" all owing to the King's piety." 1 

The King returned from France early in 
October, and the Queen went to meet him at 
Dover. Their greeting was of the most tender. 
Miss Strickland, in her agreeable and romantic 
" History of the Queens of England," with 
regard to this meeting of the King and Queen 
makes the following surprising and unwarrant- 
able mis-statement : " But notwithstanding this 
tender greeting, Henry had permitted his heart 
to wander from his Queen during his absence ; 
for it was during his sojourn at Calais in this 
campaign that he first saw the beautiful wife of 
Sir Gilbert Talboys." 

1 Cal. S.P., vol. i, 4417. 

56 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

The fact is that Elizabeth Blount was not 
married till nine years later and why she should 
have been at Calais in 1513, or indeed at any 
time, fancy, unsupported by any clue, could alone 
have suggested. 1 It seems the more important 
to deal with this point here, in this year of 
1513, that some modern writers following Miss 
Strickland have imagined another theory, namely, 
that the King brought back Elizabeth Blount 
with him from Calais as a girl. 2 It is probable 
that Elizabeth Blount was one of the very young 
maidens in attendance on the Queen at Dover, 
but, as she had been at Court for at least a year 
and a half, it is incredible that the King should 
have now seen the girl for the first time. 

As Elizabeth grew to be one of the most 
cultivated and accomplished women of her time, 

1 Witness the Act of Parliament of 1523. See p. 125. 

8 Miss Strickland may have erroneously supposed that Elizabeth 
Blount was the daughter of a Sir John Blount, Governor of Calais, 
and thereupon assumed that Calais was Elizabeth's home, and so built 
up the fantastic theory that she met King Henry there. Martin 
Hume repeats this error a strange confusion, for not only was this 
Sir John Blount (Lord Mountjoy) of a generation antecedent to 
Elizabeth's father (of whom he was a distant kinsman), and himself 
long dead, but that she was the daughter of Sir John Blount of Kinlet 
is authoritatively stated on the epitaph to her husband Lord Tailboia 
in Kyme Church, Lincolnshire. 

57 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

it must have been as a girl at Court that she 
received her education. We may assume that, 
during her first years there, she was much 
occupied with her lessons, being taught by the 
first masters of the day. Latin, French, and 
playing on the virginals would have been the 
studies of a young lady who, by " her rare 
ornaments of education," was to become " the 
mistress-piece of her time." It was an age 
when learning, according to the standard then 
attainable, was prized and affected by ladies 
of high degree, and when also the arts of singing 
and dancing were much in fashion. Elizabeth, 
we know, excelled in all these things, 1 having 
spared no pains in improving her natural gifts. 
The superintendence would not be wanting 
of the Queen's older ladies-in-waiting duennas 
of virtuous decorum and punctilious etiquette. 

1 Hall's Chronicles. Herbert's Henry VIII. 



58 



CHAPTER V 
1514 

Another Elizabeth : " Mistress Blount and Mistress Carew " : 
A " yong wyff " : The Duke of Suffolk's message ; Theories 
and counter- theories : A curious " receipt " : Some suspicions 
discussed, 

IN the autumn of 1514 she had now been 
two and a half years at Court we find her 
already attracting attention in the immediate 
circle of the King and his associates. 

Among the very young ladies at Court also 
coming into notice in this year was another 
Elizabeth. This was Elizabeth Bryan, daughter 
of Sir Thomas Bryan, Vice-Chamberlain to the 
Queen. Lady Bryan, her mother, was a half- 
sister of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey (after- 
wards Duke of Norfolk), and of Sir Thomas 
Boleyn's wife, and through this connexion the 
Bryans were brought into the circle of courtiers 
most highly favoured by the King. Elizabeth 
Bryan was married, as a young girl, to Master 
Nicholas Carew, one of the King's favourite 

59 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

attendants. She was evidently a very juvenile 
bride in the late autumn of 1514 ; and as if to 
accentuate the fact of her youth, she is alluded to 
in a list of the Christmas revels as " Mistress 
Carew, the yong wyff." The names of the two 
juvenile Elizabeths are twice associated together 
in the records for this year, and both times it 
may be mentioned that the name of Mistress 
Blount 1 takes precedence of that of Mistress 
Carew. 

The first notice of them occurs as follows : 
There is in the British Museum a curious letter 
addressed to Henry VIII by his favoured com- 
panion and future brother-in-law, that eminently 
successful adventurer, Charles Brandon, Duke 
of Suffolk, written from France (dated " Beau- 
vais, October 25, 1514 "), and giving an account 
of his interview with the King of France, the 
invalid bridegroom Louis XII, whom the Duke 
found in bed with his young Queen sitting by 
his bedside the Queen, by the way, between 
whom and the Duke certain love-passages had 
already passed, and whom a few months later 
he was to marry clandestinely in her early 

1 It need hardly be remarked that young gentlewomen whether 
married or single were equally styled " Mistress " in the sixteenth 
century. 

60 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

widowhood. In a postscript the Duke sends by 
King Henry the following message of remem- 
brance to Mistress Blount and Mistress Carew : 
" And I beseech your Grace to [tell] Mistress 
Blount and Mistress Carru the next time that 
I write unto them or send them tokens they 
shall either write to me or send me tokens 
again." 1 

Surely an innocent message enough, though 
insinuations on account of it have been made. 

Brewer (" Reign of Henry VIII," vol. ii, p. 104) 
bases upon this message a suggestion as to 
the undue familiarity of these young ladies 
with the King at this early date. At the same 
time he alludes to Mistress Carew as an un- 
married woman, remarking that Mistress meant 
" Miss." But it also meant " Mrs." ; and it 
seems evident that the Mistress Carew of Suffolk's 
letter is identical with the Mistress Carew whom 
we find two months later at the Christmas 
festivities as the "yong wyff" recently married 
to Nicholas Carew. A difficulty arises as to the 
date of the marriage ; and we must suppose 
that at the time when Suffolk wrote his post- 
script at the end of October, he believed either 
that a marriage had already taken place between 

1 Original MS. British Museum. Calig. D. VI, 149. 

61 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Nicholas Carew and Elizabeth Bryan, or that 
being betrothed to Carew she was already called 
by his name. For, from a remarkable document 
which has recently come to light, it would appear 
that no marriage had actually taken place by 
November 7. Among the archives in the Public 
Record Office, as yet uncalendared, there is a 
" receipt " bearing that date in the sixth year 
of Henry VIII (1514), by Margaret, Lady Bryan, 
on behalf of her daughter Elizabeth, of 500 
from Sir John Daunce (that is from the King) 
" to her marriage which by God's grace shall 
be espoused and wedded to Nicholas Carew, 
son and heir apparent to Sir Richard Carew, 
Knight, before the feast of the Purification of 
our Blessed Lady the Virgin." This receipt is 
signed by the mother and daughter, Margaret 
and Elizabeth Brian, and by Sir Richard Carew. 
The young couple, by the way, certainly did 
not wait to be married till the Feast of the 
Purification (February 2, 1515) ; for there is 
an entry among the King's Household expenses 
for December 1514 of an offering of 6s. 8d. given 
through Lord Mount joy on the occasion of the 
marriage of Nicholas Carew, so that the marriage 
had openly taken place at some date previous 
to this entry. 
62 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Dealing afterwards with a suspicious aspect 
of the Bryans' " receipt," we will now return to 
Suffolk's message and the insinuation drawn from 
it as affecting Mistress Blount. 

That the Duke of Suffolk should have ven- 
tured on this freedom with the King, and should 
have particularly selected these young ladies 
from the rest of the Court for such a message is 
remarkable, and undoubtedly implies a certain 
familiarity between them and the King. But 
it is surely no evidence for scandal, and we 
cannot here involve Elizabeth Blount in any 
insinuation without involving the " young wife " 
in the same connexion ; and further, if suspicions 
of Mistress Carew are to be entertained, her 
husband would appear implicated in a charge 
of complicity which is, at all events, devoid of 
proof. 

The receipt to which we have alluded for 500 
(the King's prenuptial present to Elizabeth 
Bryan, worth at least ten times as much of our 
money to-day) may seem to give some colour 
to the speculations of those who see scandal 
in this transaction. But to such it may be 
pointed out that Elizabeth Bryan's elder sister 
Margaret, wife of Sir Henry Guilford, had been 
treated in a manner equally profuse, money and 

63 



<?<** ' ^- 
f 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

grants of land being hers and her husband's 
portion from the King. If we are to admit 
scandal in one instance we must apparently do 
so in the case of all these girls at an early age ; 
and Lady Bryan's transaction would then be seen 
in a singularly unpleasant light and this is the 
mother who, two years later, is appointed 
Governess and Lady- Superintendent of the infant 
Princess Mary, a lady of the highest social 
standing, the step-daughter of the Duke of 
Norfolk. A state of things would thus be 
revealed which certainly changes the accepted 
view of Henry and his Court during the early 
years of his reign a period which has hitherto 
received some eulogy alike from contemporary 
observers and recent writers. We hold no brief 
for Mistress Carew, and are ready to admit that 
in later years there was some intrigue between 
her and the King. The gossip of the envoy 
Chapuys twenty-five years later certainly points 
to it. 1 But we do not see sufficient reason for 
a complete alteration of perspective with regard 
to these early years of Henry's reign; indeed, 

1 Writing to the Emperor Charles V, December 31, 1539, at the time 
of the beheadal of Sir Nicholas Carew, Chapuys remarks : " The Grand 
Escuyer Master Caro was taken prisoner to the Tower, and the moment 
his arrest was ordered, Commissioners went to seize all his goods and 
his houses. It is presumed the King will not have forgotten to charge 

64 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

it would appear not unlikely that Mistress 
Blount and Mistress Carew were chosen for the 
honour of the Duke of Suffolk's message trans- 
mitted through the King, in some measure on 
account of their youth. We may suspect, how- 
ever, that it was kept secret from the Queen's 
elder ladies, and that the King took occasion 
to whisper it in the ears of those for whom it 
was intended at some convenient moment when 
he was unobserved. 1 

them to take the most beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable 
jewels which he formerly gave to the said Escuyer's wife, the greater 
part he had taken from the late good Queen." (Gairdner's Cal. 
S.P., vol. xiv, p. 18.) The last sentence seems to point to the late 
date of the liaison, for it is not in accordance with known facts that 
Henry would take the " good Queen " Katherine's jewels from her 
in the early stages of their married life when he treated her with marked 
respect and affection. 

1 It having been suggested that possibly the Mistress Carew here 
associated with Mistress Blount may not be the same as Mistress Carew 
" the young wife " associated with her two months later, but may 
have been Nicholas Carew's young unmarried sister Anne Carew, 
who appears in 1518 at Wolsey's revels, we may add that in this case 
there seems still less reason for associating scandal with her name. 



E 65 



CHAPTER VI 

1514 (continued) 

A Christmas mummery : The King's grace ; Nicholas Carew : 
The Boleyn relatives : List of performers : The dresses : 
Erasmus's eulogies of Henry : " A pure and modest court " : 
Henry's devotion to religion : A temple of the muses : 
Elizabeth's culture. 

THE names of the two Elizabeths are again 
associated in the annals of 1514, both appearing 
in a list of performers in the Christmas mummery 
that year, held at Greenwich, where the Court 
was then residing. Nicholas Carew, the husband 
of " the young wife," was forward in arranging 
these sports and pastimes in which the youthful 
King delighted, and in which he took the leading 
part. His brother-in-law, Sir Henry Guilford, 
who had married two years earlier Mistress 
Carew's elder sister, Margaret Bryan, was noted 
as the designer of similar revels in former years. 
These two young couples, with their relatives, 
the Boleyns, formed a family party which com- 
posed the greater number of those taking part 
66 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

on this occasion. It is interesting to note the 
position of the Boleyn family at this early date 
in the circle of the King, long before Sir Thomas 
Boleyn's elder daughter, Mary, appeared there, 
and when Anne, his younger daughter, was but 
a little child. 

The King's Master of the Revels, Richard 
Gibson, has left in his handwriting his bill to 
the King for the costumes supplied by him, 
and with it the names of the players. 

It may be of interest to transcribe the whole 
list, in so far as it is decipherable, from the 
mutilated fragment which exists among the 
State archives. 1 

The Kynge's Garse [Grace] 2 
The Duke of Suffolk 3 

1 Cal. S.P. Hen. VIII, vol. ii, pp. 1500-1. Compare the original. 
The left-hand margin of the paper alone is mutilated. 

1 One is reminded that the imposing title of " Majesty " was not 
adopted by any of the monarchs of Europe till some years later, and 
they were contented with the appellation of " Highness " and " Grace " 
until Charles V assumed the new epithet on his accession to the Imperial 
throne ; whereupon the contemporary sovereigns began to follow his 
example, though a considerable time elapsed before the style of 
" Majesty " was used with the invariable precision now habitual. 

8 Charles Brandon, who had been Esquire of the Body to the King 
on his accession in 1509, was created Duke of Suffolk early in the year 
1514. He had returned from his mission to the King of France shortly 
before the Christmas revels. He married Mary Tudor, Queen of France, 
in the following year. 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

. . . Nicholas Karew * 
Sir Harry Gyllforth [Guilford] 2 
Lady Margaret Gyllforth 3 
Lady Sellynger [St. Leger] 4 
Maysteres Elisabeth Blont 
Maysteres Karew the yong wyff 
Mayster Edward Bollyn 5 
Mayster Sir Thomas Bollyn 8 
Mayster Koke 7 

1 Nicholas Carew was at this time Cupbearer to Henry VIII. It 
is a mistake to say that he was a knight at this time. His father, 
Sir Richard, was Knight of the Body. Nicholas was later Esquire 
of the Body and knighted. 

2 Guilford had been made a knight banneret by the King the year 
before at Tournay. He was also an Esquire of the Body, and a King's 
Spear (with John Blount). Later he was a K.G. 

' Margaret (Bryan) Lady Guilford. As a knight's wife she would 
be styled " Lady Margaret " in those days. 

4 Lady Anne Sellynger or St. Leger, wife of Sir James St. Leger, 
was a daughter of the seventh Earl of Ormonde and sister of the mother 
of Sir Thomas Boleyn ; the lady here mentioned is probably the wife 
of her son, Sir George St. Leger, namely, Anne, daughter of Sir Edmund 
Knyvett of Beckenham, and sister of Sir Thomas Knyvett, Master 
of the Horse, who had been lost in the burning ship " Regent," which 
he commanded in 1512. 

6 Younger brother of Sir Thomas Boleyn and uncle of Anne 
Boleyn. 

6 Sir Thomas Boleyn came of a new and wealthy family who had 
made good alliances for three generations. His mother was a daughter 
of the Earl of Ormond ; and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, was 
a daughter of Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk. 

7 Robert Coke of Sparham, Norfolk. His grandson was the eminent 
lawyer Sir Edward Coke. 

68 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Mayster Koffyn 1 
Four Drumbylls lads 
Four Minstrells. 

The four ladies were dressed alike in gowns 
of white satin " savoysin," in hoops of white 
satin lined with blue, with mantles " savoysin" 
of blue velvet. 

They wore bonnets of blue velvet, and coifs of 
damask gold piped, and fillets of damask gold. 

For the dresses of the male performers, which 
were also of blue and white, " there were spent 
in this mummery four doublets, four coats, four 
mantle Albanoys, four bonnets, four pair hose, 
four pair shoes, four blue and white satin gowns, 
four yellow sarcenet girdles, four drumbyllslad's 
[drummer boy's] coats, and bonnets of blue and 
white damask," &c. 

The servant of the Duke of Suffolk supplied 
" 82| yards white velvet for mantles Albanoys, 
157 yards blue velvet for lining, ribbing and 
bordering for ladies' mantles savoysin, wrapping 
the King's bonnet, &c., 71 yards yellow satin 
for lining doublets and coats of blue velvet, 
75 yards white satin for gowns savoysis, 75 

1 Afterwards Sir William Coffin, Master of the Horse at the Corona- 
tion of Anne Boleyn in 1533. He bequeathed his hawks to the King. 

69 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

yards blue satin for ditto, &c., 9 yards white 
and 9 yards blue damask for coats for drum- 
byllslads." 

" Bought of Chrystian Warren, Silkwoman : 
. . . . damask gold; of William Botre, Mercer: 
12 yards yellow sarcenet for girdles for Nicholas 
Carew and Harry Guilford, and for covering the 
necks and faces of the mummers. Bought of 
Richard Gibson and Elizabeth Philip, silk- 
woman, Venice ribbon at 4s. 6d. a piece, 
6 dozen ribbon points, 8 a dozen, for the 
mantels Albanoys and the apparel savoysis, 
four caps of white velvet Albanoys, four blue 
and white satin gowns and bonnets for the 
mummers, four blue and white damask coats 
and bonnets for drumbyllslads, crimson and 
green satin for the taborets and rebecks." 

It seems likely that in this profusion of satin 
and velvet a superfluity of yards was inten- 
tionally supplied, so as to provide a handsome 
perquisite for Master Richard Gibson ; none the 
less because he defends himself from any sus- 
picion of extravagance by his excuse that he 
ordered a superfluity " for avoidance of the 
King's displeasure " (lest the supply in any 
item should run short). The King, however, so 
far from feeling displeasure, was evidently in 
70 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

high good humour after his " rich and goodly 
revels " at Greenwich, for he immediately ordered 
Gibson to prepare a fresh pageant for the Feast 
of Epiphany, the reason given being that the 
Court was " full of strangers, French, Spanish, 
and German." 

We may imagine that the blond beauty of 
the girl Elizabeth Blount, set off to perfection 
by her blue and white costume, was the theme 
of general admiration at these Christmas fes- 
tivities, she being, as we suppose, not more than 
fourteen years old at this time. The Queen 
herself may not have been present at this 
particular scene, for she had rather recently 
been confined of a " still-born male child to the 
very great grief of the whole Court." l But on 
many similar occasions we may be sure that the 
Queen enthroned among the audience, and sur- 
rounded by her ladies, would deign to express 
her approval and would compliment her Cham- 
berlain, Lord Mount joy, 2 on his young kins- 
woman's looks and deportment. 

We turn again to the Chronicles of Hall, and 
find that this " damosel in singing, dancing, and 

1 Andrea Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in England. Letter dated 
December 1514. Cal. S.P. Venetian Series, vol. ii, 312. 

8 Mountjoy was appointed Governor of Tournay about this time, 
and resided much there ; but was in England in December 1514. 

71 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

all goodly pastimes exceeded all other." How 
seductive these accomplishments eventually 
proved, Hall further records ; but we may close 
the scene of these Christmas pageants without 
anticipation of scandal. 

Henry did not at this time neglect his wife, 
who was deeply attached to him and bore him 
many children. 1 He treated her well, although 
whenever his father-in-law, Ferdinand, deceived 
and overreached him, he no doubt vented his 
rage by blustering at the Queen. Erasmus, who 
was intimately acquainted with the Court, 
wrote of the Royal pair : " What household 
is there among the subjects of their realms 
that can offer an example of such united wed- 
lock ? Where can a wife be better matched 
with the best of husbands ? Nowhere," he 
declares, " could be found so pure and modest a 
Court." Henry was devoutly religious, was 
" more fond of reading good books than was any 
other prince of his age, heard Mass three times 
on the days when he went to the chase, and as 

1 The report of Lippomano (September 1, 1514) that Henry in 
" demanding a million ducats from the Emperor on account of the 
expenditure in the war last year " talked of " annuling his marriage 
with the Queen," appears, if more than idle gossip, to have been a 
diplomatic threat on the part of Henry, not to be taken seriously. 
Sanuto Diaries V, xix, p. 1. 

72 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

many as five times on other days," l besides 
attending service every evening with the Queen. 
" The King is prudent and sage and free from 
every vice " is the joint testimony of the three 
Venetian Ambassadors in 1515. 2 He certainly, 
in the early part of his reign, presents a most 
remarkable contrast, both in moral character 3 
and in personal appearance, to the gross and 
callous decapitator of wives and the morose 
monster he became in later years. Nor had he 
as yet whetted his appetite for the blood and 
spoils of wealthy subjects indeed his coffers 
were still full, for his penurious father had left 
him rich beyond the dreams of avarice. 

As to his person, the Venetian Ambassador 
Pasqualigo's description (April 1515) is well 
known : " the handsomest potentate I ever set 
eyes on ... his complexion very fair and bright, 
with auburn hair combed straight and short, 
in the French fashion, and a round face so very 
beautiful, that it would become a pretty 
woman . . ." ; and all contemporary writers 
report of him in a similar strain. Moreover he 

1 Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII. Giustiniani's Letters, 
vol. i, p. 27. 

2 May 3, 1515. Ibid. p. 76. 

" Judged by the standard of a Francis [of France] he was a model 
of propriety." Political Hist, of England, vol. v, p. 265. (Fisher.) 

73 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

enjoyed the reputation of being the best dressed 
sovereign in the world. 

Erasmus describes in glowing terms the Court 
of Henry as rather a temple of the muses than a 
palace a polite academy where arts and sciences 
flourished under liberal patronage, and the eulogy 
of Erasmus, though in other ways highly coloured, 
was in this respect not undeserved. 1 

It was in this atmosphere of culture that 
Elizabeth Blount's " rare gifts of nature " grew 
and blossomed to that full perfection which we 
are told they attained. 

i These are the words of Brewer. Keign of Henry VIII, vol. i 
p. 233. 



CHAPTER VII 

Early Tudor manners : Erasmus's description : " Freedom and 
simplicity " : Kissing customary. 

A DECADE or more earlier, Erasmus, on his first 
visit to England, had merrily described, in a 
letter to Andrelinus, the delightful impression 
which English manners had made on him, 1 and 
if the pleasant freedom he then depicted was 
customary in the reign of the sombre Henry VII, 
may we not accept the description as illustrating 
the epoch of that King's debonair successor in 
his early years ? Social intercourse would surely 
have lost nothing of its warmth under the example 
of that popular monarch ; and it therefore seems 
not inappropriate to introduce this picture of 
Tudor manners in a review of the domestic 
surroundings of Elizabeth Blount and her times. 
" Did you but know," exclaims the sprightly 
theologian, writing in Latin to his poet friend 
Erasmus, now in his youth, has lately been 
released by papal dispensation from his monastic 

1 In 1499. 

75 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

vows " Did you but know the endowments of 
Britain, you would run hither with winged feet, 
and if the gout stopt you you would wish your- 
self a Daedalus. To mention one thing out of 
many, there are here nymphs of divine beauty, 
gentle and kind, whom you may well prefer to 
your Camcense. Moreover there is a fashion 
never sufficiently commended. Wherever you 
go you are received by every one with kisses ; 
when you take leave you are dismissed with 
kisses ; you return, kisses are again renewed. 
People come to you and kisses are offered. They 
take their leave and kisses are again distributed. 
Wherever you meet there are kisses in abun- 
dances. In short wherever you move, all things 
are charged with kisses. And, Faustus, if you 
once tasted how sweet and fragrant they are 
you would be glad to sojourn in England not for 
ten years, like Solon, but to your dying day." l 

The translator of this letter comments on the 
" freedom and simplicity of manners which 
prevailed among English ladies " at this date, 
and truly these were the halcyon days of " Merry 
England " a century before the leaven of 
Puritanism permeated the very heart and marrow 
of social life. 

1 Epistles of Erasmus, translated by F. M. Nichol, vol. i, p. 203. 

76 



CHAPTER VIII 
1515-1517 

May Day sports : May dew : The Queen's handsome damsels : 
A ride in the woods : Hall's description : A sylvan banquet : 
Robin Hood : The return home : The Court ladies' sports and 
songs : Ordinary amusements : Outbreak of the Sweating Sick- 
ness : Memo's music : The King's passion for music : His 
rare talent : His compositions : Elizabeth's singing : She 
grows to perfect womanhood. 

AN account of the May Day sports of the year 
1515 (to continue our Court Chronicles) con- 
tained in a letter from the Venetian Secretary, 
Nicolo Sagudino, describes the kind of scene 
in which Elizabeth Blount, one of the Queen's 
" handsome damsels " alluded to, was often 
called upon to take part. 

We may preface our quotation from this 
account by remarking that Queen Katherine 
and her maidens were doubtless careful on May 
Day to " gather May dew " in the fields, according 
to the Spanish custom introduced from the 
Queen's own country ; Maydew preserved in 
vessels for future use being considered specific 

77 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

as a wash for the complexion. The Queen, " poor 
soul," comments the translator of the Venetian 
letters l with reference to this custom, " was 
doomed to so much care that it behoved her to 
neglect no possible antidote to its furrows." 
Elizabeth Blount, however, we may add, in her 
" fresh youth," had certainly no need to trouble 
herself about her complexion. 

A notable feature of these royal sports was the 
immense multitude of spectators which collected 
to witness and share in the amusements of their 
King and his Court, a custom which contributed 
greatly to the contentment of the people, and 
made Henry exceedingly popular in the early 
part of his reign. 

" On the first day of May," reports the Venetian 
two days later, 2 "the King sent two English 
lords to the Ambassadors, who were taken by 
them to a place called Greenwich, five miles 
hence, where the King was, for the purpose of 
celebrating May Day. On the Ambassadors 
arriving there they mounted on horseback, with 
many of the chief nobles of the kingdom, and 
accompanied the most serene Queen into the 

1 Rawdon Brown. 

2 Letter of Sagudino to Alvise Foscari. Sanuto Diaries. Quoted 
by Rawdon Brown, Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII, Gius- 
tiniani, vol. i, p. 79. 

78 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

country to meet the King. Her Majesty was 
most excellently attired, and very richly, and 
with her were twenty-five damsels, mounted on 
white palfreys, with housings of the same fashion, 
most beautifully embroidered in gold ; and these 
damsels had all dresses slashed with gold lama 
in very costly trim, with a number of footmen 
in most excellent order. The Queen went thus 
with her retinue a distance of two miles out of 
Greenwich, into a wood, where they found the 
King with his guard all clad in livery of green, 
with bows in their hands, and about a hundred 
noblemen on horseback, all gorgeously arrayed." 

*The whole of Sagudino's account has been 
uoted too often and too lately to bear repetition 
m these pages his description of " bowers filled 
purposely with singing birds," of the " bastions," 
" the triumphal cars," on which were singers 
and musicians who played on the organ, the lute, 
and flutes during the banquet, the paste-board 
giants, and the rest. . . . x But there can be no 
doubt from the chronology of his letter that 
Mistress Blount now of the advanced age of 
fifteen was one of the " handsome damsels " 

1 Since these pages were prepared for the press the author has just 
read Mr. Mumby's agreeable reproduction of letters in his "Youth 
of Henry VIII," which quotes Sagudino's description in full. 

79 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

who evoked the admiration of Sagudino and 
" made a sumptuous appearance." He contrasts 
them with the " rather ugly Queen who is sup- 
posed to be pregnant." (In reality she had not 
that excuse.) 

Hall, the chronicler, who revels in the merry 
scenes of his youth, adds some particulars on 
this occasion. He paints his picture with such 
vivid and lasting colours that it is pleasant to 
look at it afresh ; and the happy relations 
between the King and Queen are obvious to all 
beholders. 

" The King and the Queen," he says, " accom- 
panied with many lords and ladies, made to the 
high ground of Shooter's Hill to take the open 
air ; and as they passed by the way they espied 
a company of tall yeomen clothed all in green 
with green hoods and bows and arrows to the 
number of two hundred, a-maying. Then one of 
them, which called himself Robin Hood, came 
to the King, desiring him to see his men shoot, 
and the ' King was content.' Then he whistled, 
and all the two hundred archers shot and loosed 
at once ; and then he whistled again, and they 
likewise shot again ; their arrows whistled by 
craft of the head, so that the noise was strange 
and great, and much pleased the King, the 
80 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Queen, and all the company. All these archers 

were of the King's guard and had thus apparelled 

themselves to make solace to the King. Then 

Robin Hood desired the King and Queen to come 

into the greenwood, and to see how the outlaws 

live. The King demanded of the Queen and her 

ladies if they durst adventure to go into the 

wood with so many outlaws. Then the Queen 

said that, if it pleased him, she was content ; 

then the horns blew till they came to the wood 

under Shooter's Hill ; and there was an arbour 

made of bows with a hall and a great chamber, 

and an inner chamber, very well made and 

covered with flowers and sweet herbs, which the 

King much praised. Then said Robin Hood : 

' Sir, outlaw's breakfast is venison, and therefore 

you must be content with such fare as we use.' 

Then the King and Queen sat down and were 

served with venison and wine by Robin Hood 

to their great contentacion. Then the King 

departed, and his company, and Robin Hood 

a,nd his men them conducted ; and as they were 

returning there met them two ladies in a rich 

chariot, drawn with five horses, and every horse 

had his name on his head, and on every horse 

sate a lady with her name written. On the 

first courser called Lawde sate Humidite, or 

F 81 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Humide ; on the second courser called Memeon 
rode Lady Vert ; on the third called Pheton 
sate Lady Vegative ; on the fourth called 
Rimphon sate Lady Pleasaunce ; on the fifth 
called Lampace sate Sweet Odour ; and in the 
chair sate the Lady May, accompanied with 
Lady Flora, richly apparelled ; and they saluted 
the King with divers goodly songs and so brought 
him to Greenwich. . . ." 

One wonders which of these fair damsels was 
Elizabeth Blount she who " exceeded all 
other." 

Queen Katherine's ladies constantly enjoyed 
a round of festivities in which music and dancing 
were the principal features. On great occasions 
such as the visits of envoys from foreign courts 
they were spectators at the wonderful jousts 
in which the King took the most prominent part. 
The Venetian Secretary describes one of special 
magnificence given in honour of the Flemish 
envoys in July 1517. After the banquet which 
followed, he reports that the King and Queen 
and their guests " betook themselves into another 
hall, where the damsels of the most serene 
Queen were, and dancing went on for two hours, 
the King doing marvellous things both in dancing 
and jumping, proving himself, as indeed he is, 
82 



o 

' 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

indefaticable " ; and we get frequent glimpses 
of similar scenes. 

On ordinary days " the amusements at Court," 
says Brewer, " were diversified by hunting and 
outdoor exercise in the morning ; in the after- 
noon by Memo's music ; by the consecration 
and distribution of cramp-rings, or the inventing 
of plasters and compounds of medicine an occupa- 
ion in which the King took unusual pleasure." 

" The amusements in which the ladies had 
most share," explains another modern writer, 1 
" were the interludes, mummeries, devices, and 
trick-waggons words the precise meaning of 
which is now lost. The descriptions of the 
' device,' ' pageant,' ' triumph,' and ' trick- 
waggon ' bring before the eye something between 
a pantomime procession scene and a circus 
procession. A grand gilt waggon brought on 
the ' device ' a scene of woodland or mountain 
cut out of silk and stuff and coloured paper. On 
various tiers of the waggon were people standing 
who represented allegorical and classical cha- 
racters. When the car had been wheeled into 
the centre of the hall, the actors, male and 
female, climbed down and danced, acted, sang, 
or did feats of skill." 

1 Social England, by Trail, vol. iii, p. 204. 

83 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

But of all the royal pastimes " the chief dish," 
reports the Venetian Ambassador to the Doge, 
" is always Memo's music." When at the end of 
the summer of 1517 shortly after the last- 
mentioned festivities a fearful outbreak of the 
" new disease," the sweating sickness, raged with 
such malignity as to kill in five days, after a few 
hours' illness, divers lords, knights, gentlemen, 
and officers of the King's Court, the King in 
great fright shut himself up at Windsor until the 
distemper passed, taking with him, among a few 
companions, his favourite musician, the Reverend 
Master Memo music being his chief distraction 
at this harassing time. 

Friar Dionisius Memo, organist of St. Mark's, 
Venice, had been sent, in September 1516, by 
the Doge to King Henry, who made him his 
chaplain and choirmaster. " He played mar- 
vellously," relates the Ambassador ..." the 
King is so enamoured of him and pleased with 
his talent that one could not wish for more." 
He would listen to Memo's playing for four 
hours at a time, " and had a greater opinion of 
him than words can express," l although 
many musicians from Germany and other countries 
flocked to the English Court. Henry was him- 

1 Four Years. Giustiniaui's Letters, Rawdon Brown, vol. i, p. 301. 

84 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

self an excellent musician. He played all kinds 
of different instruments with rare talent, and 
sang from book at sight. He was also a 
composer. " He composes fairly," reports 
Giustiniani himself a critical musician. The 
King composed two entire masses in five parts, 1 
as well as ballads. Songs of a light or comic 
kind were in vogue, we learn from one of the 
Venetian letter-writers, who calls them frottole 
and imported some from Italy for the King. 
Many a time, we may be sure, was the taste of 
the accomplished maid-in-waiting, Elizabeth 
Blount, consulted by the King over clavichord 
and lute, and her sweet voice employed in 
singing not only to Memo's accompaniment, 
but also to that of the King himself. 

" So the years ran smoothly on " we quote 
again the words of Brewer, referring to " those 
brilliant and halcyon days which seemed the 
more brilliant from the contrast they presented 
to the troubled rule of other Sovereigns." And 
it was during these years that Elizabeth was 
developing to complete womanhood until she 
reached the zenith of her unrivalled beauty. 

1 Holinshed, p. 557. 



85 



CHAPTER IX 
1518 

Her last year as Maid-in- Waiting : Position of her family : 
Her father Esquire of the Body : Her great-uncle Vice- 
Chamberlain to Queen Katherine : " The chains of love " : 
The King's passion : Cardinal Wolsey : The French " Es- 
pousals " : Wolsey's entertainment : List of masqueraders : 
Elizabeth's partner : Final revelry. 

WE now come to the last year of Elizabeth's 
attendance on the Queen. It was six years 
since her arrival at Court. Hitherto her sur- 
roundings, social and domestic, had undergone 
little or no change. Her accomplished kinsman, 
William Blount, Lord Mount joy, on his return 
from Tournay, was again Chamberlain to the 
Queen, while a nearer relative of Elizabeth was now 
promoted to be the Queen's Vice- Chamberlain. 
This was her great-uncle Sir Edward Darell 1 of 
Littlecote, who had succeeded Sir Thomas Bryan 
in that confidential position. Her father, John 

1 Sir Edward Darell's first wife was a daughter of Sir Richard Croft, 
a sister of Sir Thomas Blount's wife. He became Vice-Chamberlain to 
Queen Katherine in 1517. Brewer's Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII. 

86 






: 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Blount, with maturer years, though hardly yet 
approaching middle age, had now a post at 
Court of greater consequence than formerly, as 
an Esquire of the Body to the King, and in that 
office was in immediate attendance on the 
Sovereign's person. The duty of an Esquire 
of the Body was " to array the King and un- 
array him, and no man else was to set hand 
upon the King. The Yeomen or Esquires of 
the Robes were to take from the Esquires 
of the Body all the King's Stuff, and an Esquire 
of the Body had to take charge of the cup- 
board at night." Those of the Body took 
precedence over all other Esquires or Gentle- 
men of Ancestry, and ranked above Knights 
Bachelors. Further, they were granted the 
right of bearing supporters to their coats-of- 
arms a privilege otherwise only enjoyed by 
Peers, or Knights of the Garter, and never by 
Knights of lower degree. 

Meanwhile John's father, the veteran Knight- 
Banneret, on his return from the war, had 
retired to his Shropshire estates and resided at 
Kinlet with his numerous younger children. Sir 
Thomas was pricked Sheriff for Shropshire in 
this year (1518), which office obliged him to 
remain the whole year within the borders of 

87 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

his county, and he was therefore far away from 
the circle of the Court. He was moreover 
Steward for life of the Royal Manors of Bewdley 
and Cleobury Mortimer, and Master of the Hunt, 
and Parker of the King's Park in the Forest of 
Wyre, offices which were settled on his eldest 
son in survivorship. 

But although little variation had occurred in 
the external circumstances of Elizabeth, and the 
routine of Court functions and pastimes continued 
uninterrupted, a great change had come over 
her life. For her Sovereign was now to borrow 
the quaint phraseology of Hall " in the chains 
of love with her," and she in return " showed 
him . . . favour." 

The amours of Henry and Elizabeth culminated 
in the autumn of 1518. It is probable that the 
liaison was not of long duration, and was not at 
the moment widely notorious. The contem- 
poraneous correspondence furnishes no allusion 
to it ; even the letters of foreign diplomatists, 
usually eager to retail the Court gossip, do not 
report the intrigue. It is not till many years 
later that they allude to the " Mother of the 
King's son," and it was in that capacity, rather 
than as a mistress, that Elizabeth was known 
to her generation. 
88 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

But whether or not the liaison was suspected 
by only a few at this time, the whole scandal 
was not out till the end of the year, or the 
beginning of the next, by which time the retire- 
ment of Elizabeth from Court must have become 
necessary. In October 1518, 1 however, we find 
her still playing her part there as usual, and 
excelling in those " goodly pastimes by which 
she won the King's heart." 

The scene towards the close of Mistress Blount's 
appearances in the Court circle is the most 
brilliant, and the occasion the most interesting, 
of any in which we have seen her take part ; 
for the entertainment is provided by the most 
transcendent personage of the age, the most 
magnificent and the most profuse, namely, the 
Cardinal of York, who had been for three years, 
and was to continue to be for ten years longer, 
the supreme director of affairs secular as well as 
spiritual, private as well as public, throughout 
the entire realm. Of this period, it has been well 
said, 2 that it was one " of external state and 
magnificence which has never been surpassed, 
and when the gratification of personal expenditure 

1 Hall's Chronicles : Tenth Year of Henry VIII. (Henry 
FitzRoy was born before or about the following June.) 
8 J. Gough Nichols. 

89 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

was scarcely limited or restrained by any con- 
siderations of financial economy. The same love 
of pomp and splendour actuated both monarch 
and minister, when Henry sat at the prow and 
Wolsey at the helm." 

The Cardinal's entertainment took place on 
the evening of Sunday, October 3, 1518, two days 
before the betrothal of the Princess Mary, infant 
daughter of the King and Queen, to the Dauphin, 
son of Francis I, in connexion with the general 
peace proclaimed by Wolsey l in St. Paul's on the 
morning of the said Sunday " with so many 
pontifical ceremonies and of such unusual splen- 
dour as to defy exaggeration." 2 

Queen Katherine, who, expecting her con- 
finement, has to save herself all unnecessary 
exertion before the ceremony of the " espousals," 
and who, besides, strongly disapproves of the 
alliance with France, is absent from the revels. 
She has other grounds for disapproval or un- 
easiness, it may well be supposed, if her ladies 
have been making innuendoes with regard to 

1 Wolsey, in the interests of lasting peace, had brought about a 
general agreement between the three sovereigns, Charles, Francis, 
and Henry, by which Henry was pledged to make common cause 
against either of the two who should attack the other. 

2 Despatches of Sebastian Giustiniani, Rawdon Brown, vol. ii, 
p. 224. 

90 




Photo 



CARDINAL WOLSEY 

From the original painting- in the National Portrait Gallery 



Emery Walker 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Mistress Blount. But the King's Grace is in 
full glory on the occasion, accompanied by his 
sister Mary, the young Queen Dowager of 
France, lately received back into favour, her 
clandestine marriage to the Duke of Suffolk in the 
early days of her widowhood, some three years 
past, having been the cause of offence to the King. 
The graceful dancing and deportment of this 
royal lady is always the admiration of beholders. 

A full description of the scene is given by the 
Venetian Ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani in 
a letter to the Doge (dated October 5, 1518), of 
which the following is an abstract : * 

" After the solemn mass at St. Paul's, at 
which the Cardinal officiated with unusual 
splendour, the King and the rest went to dine 
with the Bishop of London, His Majesty re- 
turning afterwards to Durham House, in the 
Strand. From thence the Cardinal was followed 
by the entire company to his own dwelling 
[York House, afterwards Whitehall], where we 
sat down to a most sumptuous supper, the like 
of which I fancy was never given either by 
Cleopatra or Caligula ; the whole banqueting- 
hall being so decorated with huge vases of gold 

1 Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII, Bawdon Brown, vol. ii, 
p. 225. 

91 






- f t ' '<* 

i ' ' ' 

' ij 

C 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and silver that I fancied myself in the tower of 
Chosroes, where that monarch caused divine 
honours to be paid him. After supper a mum- 
mery, consisting of twelve male and twelve 
female maskers, made their appearance in the 
richest and most sumptuous array possible, 
being all dressed alike. After performing certain 
dances in their own fashion, they took off their 
vizors, the two leaders were the King and the 
Queen-Dowager of France, and all the others 
were lords and ladies, who seated themselves 
apart from the tables and were served with 
countless dishes of confections and other deli- 
cacies. Having gratified their palates they then 
regaled their eyes and hands, large bowls filled 
with ducats and dice being placed on the table 
for such as liked to gamble. Shortly after which, 
the supper-tables being removed, dancing began 
and lasted till after midnight." 

The chronicler Hall gives some vivid touches 
to the picture, and we are indebted to him for 
the names of the players, of whom the men 
were all distinguished and the ladies highly 
born. It will be noticed that the name of 
Elizabeth Blount is coupled with that of the 
brilliant and profligate Francis Bryan. Says Hall : 1 

1 Hall's Chronicles : The Tenth Year of Henry VIII. We have 
ventured to modernise the spelling of Hall throughout, 

92 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

" When the banquet was done, in came six 
minstrels richly disguised, and after them followed 
three gentlemen in wide and long gowns of 
crimson satin, every one having a cup of gold in 
his hands. The first cup was full of angels and 
royals, the second had divers bales of dice, and 
the third certain pairs of cards. These gentle- 
men offered to play at mum chance, and when 
they had played the length of the first board, 
then the minstrels blew up, and then there 
entered into the chamber twelve ladies dis- 
guised." 

" Twelve nymphs," the Venetian Secretary 
calls them. 1 

" When dancing began," Hall continues, " the 
first was the King himself and the French Queen. 

" The second was the Duke of Suffolk and 
the Lady Dawbeny. 2 

[Then followed] " the Lord Admiral and Lady 
Guylford : 

"Sir Edward Nevel [Nevill] and Lady 
Sentliger [St. Leger] : 

1 Nicolo Sagudino in his letter to Foscari, October 10, 1518, vol. ii., 
p. 234, Venetian Letters. 

2 Lady Daubeny did not live to become Countess of Bridgewater. 
Her husband, Henry Lord Daubeny, was afterwards created Earl of 
Bridgewater and married secondly Catherine, youngest daughter of 
Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk, a half-sister of Lady Elizabeth 
Boleyn and of Thomas, third Duke of Norfolk. 

93 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

" Sir Henry Guylford and Mrs. Walden : 
" Captain Emery and Mrs. Ann Carew : 
" Sir Giles Capel and Lady Elizabeth 
Carew : 

" Nicholas Carew and Anne Brown : 
" Francis Brian and Elizabeth Blount : 
" Henry Norris and Anne Wotton : 
" Francis Poyntz and Mary Fyenes : 
" Arthur Poole [Pole] and Margaret 
Bruges. 

" On this company twelve knights attended 
in disguise and bearing torches. All these thirty- 
six persons were disguised [each] in one suit of 
fine green satin all covered with cloth of gold 
undertied together with laces of gold, and had 
masking hoods on their heads, the ladies had 
tires made of braids of damask gold with long 
hairs of white gold. All these maskers danced 
at one time, and after they had danced they 
put off their vizors, and they were all known. 
The Admiral and Lords of France heartily 
thanked the King that it had pleased the King 
to visit them with such disport, and then the 
King and his company were banqueted and had 
high cheer, and then they departed every man 
to his lodging." 

These details are said to have suggested to 
94 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Shakespeare the scene of the masked ball in 
Romeo and Juliet.* 

As we glance at Hall's list, we are reminded 
that great titles were far less common than in 
our own day, when good birth is comparatively 
rare. But in Tudor times many an untitled 
family, or one of merely knightly degree, held 
high standing, and not a few could claim kinship 
with the King. 

Scanning the names of the revellers we may 
pause to review the career of some of them. A 
tragic fate was in store for many of these boon 
companions of the King. Three were eventually 
doomed to execution by their Sovereign-tyrant 
in whose relentless scheme of rule friendly 
sentiment had no part. The aged mother and 
the brother of a fourth were also to suffer be- 
headal. A fifth fell in battle, and another was 
suddenly cut off by a deadly plague. 

Taking the partners in rotation : 

Young Lady Daubeny's rank entitled her to 
be assigned to the Duke of Suffolk, and her 
gaiety and lightness were suited to her com- 
panion's tastes. She was Elizabeth, first wife 
of Henry, Lord Daubeny, and daughter of 
George Nevill, Lord Bergavenny (Abergavenny) ; 

1 Brewer. 

95 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and through her mother (Joan FitzAlan, daughter 
of the Earl of Arundel) she was nearly related to 
the King. 

" The Lord Admiral " was Thomas Howard, 
Earl of Surrey, son and heir of the old Duke of 
Norfolk, and himself, as Duke, a few years later, 
the leading personage in the State. In his 
domestic aspect he figures as being on ill terms 
with his wife, and as the secret enemy of 
his Boleyn relatives (his sister, Lady Elizabeth 
Howard, being Sir Thomas Boleyn's wife), more- 
over as hating his half-blood on his father's side 
(the children of his step-mother, Agnes Tylney, 
Duchess of Norfolk). He appears, however, as 
friendly with his half-sister (on his mother's 
side), the old lady Bryan, and with her children, 
of whom his partner, Lady Guilford, was one. 

Lady Guilford, Sir Henry's first wife, was the 
Margaret Bryan of an earlier page, the elder 
sister of " Mistress Carew, the young wife." 

Sir Edward Nevill, a Knight Banneret, and of 
high distinction as a, valiant soldier, was even- 
tually beheaded on the charge of " devising to 
maintain, promote, and advance one Reginald 
Pole, late Dean of Exeter, enemy of the King," 
&c. He was uncle to Lady Daubeny, being 
her father's (Lord Bergavenny) brother. The 
96 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Marquis of Abergavenny is Sir Edward NevilFs 
direct descendant. 

Lady St. Leger, or Sentliger (Anne Knyvett), 
we have met before at the Christmas mummery 
four years earlier, 

Sir Henry Guilford, renowned in the field of 
battle as prominent in the revel, was related to, 
or connected by marriage with, most of the 
players. 

Mrs. Walden, Guilford's partner, was probably 
Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir Richard 
Walden, of Erith, in Kent, and married soon 
afterwards (as his second wife) to George, fourth 
Earl of Shrewsbury, much older than herself. 
Her only child, Anne, married Sir William 
Compton's son and heir, Peter, and was by him 
ancestress of the present Marquis of Northampton. 

Captain Emery, of Flemish birth, was popular 
and distinguished in the service of England. He 
was David, Lord of Howterrosche, alluded to 
as " the Bastard Emery," and was slain in 
battle three years later, when the King expressed 
regret at his loss. 

Mrs. Ann Carew, his partner, was probably 
an unmarried sister of Sir Nicholas Carew, who 
afterwards married Nicholas Legh of Adlington. 
She appeared two years later in attendance on 

G 97 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Queen Katherine at the Field of the Cloth of 
Gold. 

Sir Giles Capell, who had been knighted after 
the Battle of the Spurs, was a direct ancestor of 
the Earl of Essex. His partner, the Mistress 
Carew (Elizabeth Bryan), of the Christmas 
mummery of 1514, the " young wife " (whose 
character we have discussed under that date) 
is now " Lady Elizabeth," her husband having 
become Sir Nicholas knights' wives in Tudor 
times being customarily given this style, con- 
trary to modern usage. 

About Sir Nicholas Carew we shall have a 
word to say hereafter. He was one of the 
distinguished favourites of fortune eventually 
doomed to suffer on the block. 

Anne Browne, his partner, was a niece of Sir 
Henry Guilford, being the daughter of Sir 
Matthew Browne, of Beechworth Castle, by 
Frideswide, daughter of Sir Richard Guilford, 
Knight of the Garter. She appears later as 
" Mrs. Danet," in attendance on the French 
Queen in 1522. 

Francis Bryan, as the partner of Elizabeth 
Blount, will receive separate notice. 

The ill-fated Henry Norris, or Norreys (younger 
son of Sir Edward Norreys by Fridiswide, 
98 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

daughter and co-heir of Francis, Viscount Lovell), 
was at one time an Esquire of the Body to the 
King. A special favourite, he slept in the King's 
room. Later he was involved in the fall of 
Anne Boleyn, and committed to the Tower on 
the charge of being one of her paramours. Upon 
it being reported to the King that Norreys said 
" he had rather endure a thousand deaths than 
betray the innocent," the King cried out, " Hang 
him up hang him up ! " He suffered death 
accordingly, May 14, 1536, and was attainted 
by Parliament the same year. He married 
Francis Poyntz's partner, Mary Fiennes, one of 
Queen Katherine's ladies-in-waiting, a daughter 
of Lord Dacre of the South. 1 She died shortly 
before his disgrace. 2 

Ann Wotton, Norreys' partner, must have been 
a mere child at this date. Her father, Sir Edward 
Wotton, was not yet thirty. Later he was in the 
Privy Council of Henry VIII and Governor of 
Calais. Dugdale says of him that " he was of 

1 The present Viscount Hampden is the representative (by female 
descent) of this Lord Dacre, whose Barony he inherits. 

2 Henry and Mary Norreys had two children : a daughter, who 
married first Sir George Carew, and secondly, Sir Arthur Champer- 
nowne of Dartington ; and a son Henry, who was Ambassador to 
France and created Lord Norreys by Queen Elizabeth. This Barony 
is now merged in the Earldom of Abingdon. 

99 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

such ability that he might have been Lord 
Chancellor of England, but that he modestly 
declined it." Ann Wotton was niece to Sir Henry 
Henry Guilford's second wife and of Margaret, 
Marchioness of Dorset. She married first 
James Cromer, Esquire, and secondly Robert 
Rudstone, Esquire. The Duke of Devonshire is 
the senior co-heir of the Wottons. 

Sir Francis Poyntz was in later years sent as 
Ambassador to Charles V. He died of the 
sweating sickness in the memorable summer of 
that outbreak in 1528. His wife was a sister of 
Anne Browne. 

Arthur Pole was of pre-eminent birth. He 
was a son of Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of 
Salisbury, " the last of the Plantagenet s," the 
" saintliest of women," the King called her 
who at the age of seventy was destined to be 
condemned to death unheard by Parliament 
and beheaded on Tower Hill. His eldest brother, 
Henry, suffered a similar fate. Another brother 
was the illustrious Reginald Pole who became 
Cardinal and Archbishop in the reign of Mary. 

But these gay masqueraders recked not what 
Fate might hold in store for them, and Life, 
brief though it was, was perhaps never more 
100 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

keenly enjoyed than by the glorious courtiers of 
Henry VIII. 

During the remainder of the visit of the foreign 
envoys the whole Court gave itself over to 
extravagant re j oicings. Revelry, alternating with 
religious functions, continued for many days in 
connection with the ceremony of the " espousals," 
which took place at Greenwich on October 5. 
The little Princess Mary, aged two, who was the 
centre of all this empty diplomatic display of 
unity, stood on this occasion l "in front of her 
mother dressed in cloth of gold with a cap of 
black velvet on her head adorned with most 
costly jewels," the King standing in front of his 
throne with the Queen and his sister, the Queen 
Dowager of France on one side of him, and the 
two right reverend legates on the other. ..." The 
Reverend Cuthbert Tonstal, the Privy Councillor, 
recited a most full and elegant oration in praise 
of the marriage, which being ended, the most 
illustrious Princess was taken in arms, and . . . 
the Cardinal of York placed on her finger a 
small ring in which a large diamond was set. 
. . . Mass was then performed by the Cardinal, 
the whole of the choir being decorated with cloth 

1 Giustiniani Despatches, Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII, 
vol. ii, p. 226. 

101 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of gold, and all the Court in such rich array that I 
never saw the like either here or elsewhere." l 

That night was more banqueting, dancing, 
and supping, and so "to bed at three in the 
morning." Next followed two days of stately 
jousts, banquets, and comedies "pageants of 
such a sort as are rarely seen in England." On 
the night of October 8 we may take leave of 
Mistress Blount at a final scene especially 
characteristic of such fair " nymphs," as were 
she and her companions, although in this instance 
their names have not been recorded by the 
English chronicler. After the " strangers had 
been c feasted all day ' " he tells us 2 " at night 
they were brought into the hall, where was a 
rock full of all manner of stones, very artificially 
made, and on the top stood five trees, the first 
an olive tree, on which hanged a shield of the 
arms of the Church of Rome ; the second a pine- 
apple tree with the arms of the Emperor ; the 
third a rosier with the arms of England ; the 
fourth a branch of lilies bearing the arms of 
France ; and the fifth a pomegranate tree bearing 
the arms of Spain, in token that all these five 
potentates were joined together in one league 

i Thus reports the Venetian Secretary Sagudino. Ibid. vol. ii, 
p. 234. 2 Hall. 

102 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

against the enemies of Christ's faith. . . . Upon 
the midst of the rock sate a fair lady, richly 
apparelled, with a dolphin in her lap ; in this 
rock were ladies and gentlemen apparelled in 
crimson satin covered over with flowers of purple 
satin embroidered on, with wreaths of gold, knit 
together with gold laces, and on every flower a 
heart of gold moving. The ladies' tyre was after 
the fashion of Inde, with kerchiefs of Pleasaunce, 
hached with fine gold and set with letters of 
Greek in gold of bullion, and the edges of their 
kerchiefs were garnished with hanging pearl. 
These gentlemen and ladies sat on the nether 
part of the rock, and out of the cave in the 
said rock came two knights, armed at all points, 
and fought together a fair tournay ; and when 
they were severed and departed, the disguisers 
descended from the rock, and danced a great 
space ; and suddenly the rock moved and 
received the disguisers, and immediately closed 
again. Then entered a person called 6 Report,' 
apparelled in crimson satin full of tongues, 
sitting on a fleeing horse with wings and feet 
of gold, called ' Pegasus.' This person, in French, 
declared the meaning of the rock and the trees 
and the tournay." 

An entertainment by the Duke of Suffolk, 

103 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

" a liberal and magnificent lord," concluded the 
junketings on October 10, and soon afterwards 
the Ambassadors returned to France, doubtless 
duly impressed by the hospitality of England 
and by the beauty of the young ladies of the 
Court. 



104 



CHAPTER X 
1518-1519 

Queen Katherine's disappointment : Mistress Blount's situa- 
tion : Henry's want of a male heir : King Francis jeers : Henry's 
morals contrasted : The changed tone of the Court : The 
King's companions : Suffolk, Compton, Carew, Bryan : 
French fashions : Some banishments : " Sad and ancient 
Knights " substituted : Bryan's character : His poetic gifts : 
His dissoluteness. 

ANXIETY and] worry were at this time telling 
upon the Queen's health, and a climax to her 
distress was reached in November of this year, 
when all hopes of the eagerly longed-for male 
heir were finally disappointed. In her delicate 
condition she had been keenly annoyed by the 
betrothal of her little two-year-old daughter to 
the Dauphin ; and it is not improbable that the 
discovery by the Queen of Mistress Blount's 
situation caused her distress prejudicial to her 
health. Certainly the dates of these circum- 
stances correspond. Passionately devoted as 
Katherine was to her husband, it must have 
been now clear to her that his affection for 

105 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

herself was on the wane, if indeed it had not 
been entirely alienated by this maid- in- waiting 
this accomplished and beautiful creature, whose 
fair face was in marked contrast to her own lined 
features, as was the girlish physique of her rival 
to her own stout, short figure. And Katherine's 
disappointment, the more bitter that the King 
was now obsessed by his desire to have a son, was 
not the less keen that it was concealed beneath 
a cheerful demeanour. 

Meanwhile the King of France made merry 
at the expense of Henry's matrimonial relations. 
" My good brother of England," he jeered, " has 
no son because, although a young and handsome 
man, he keeps an old and deformed wife." 1 

Henry he was now in the tenth year of his 
reign and his age was twenty-eight was 
gradually changing as he began to tire of the 
Queen, whom, however, he continued to treat 
with the greatest external respect. But, 
although Henry's morals were correct by contrast 
with those of his libertine brother of France, 
strict fidelity was not expected of any monarch ; 
and certainly the whole tone of the Court was 
little in accordance with Erasmus's description 
of it a few years earlier. The King's somewhat 

1 Francis said this to Giustiniani on May 17, 1519. " Sanuto 
Diaries V.," xivii, p. 276. 

106 




KATHERINE OF ARRAGON, FIRST QUEEN OF HENRY VIII 

From the original on panel iu the possession of G. GERY MILNER-GIBSON-CULLUM, Esquire 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

unnatural zeal for religion, and his virtue of 
former years, had become irksome to the lighter- 
minded among the courtiers; and religion was 
less the fashion than formerly. Many of the 
King's associates, whose chief object it was to 
provide for his amusement, while they enriched 
themselves by his munificence, were conspicuous 
examples of licentious manners. The domestic 
career of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, was 
notorious. His marriage to the King's sister 
was bigamous, for he had at least one other wife 
living. Among the King's most favoured com- 
panions, Sir William Compton, 1 the chief gentle- 
man of the Bedchamber, was cited before Wolsey 
for living in open adultery with Lord Hastings' 
wife (the sister of the Duke of Buckingham) 
and for adding to his offence by taking the 
sacrament to disprove it. The stricter members 
of the Court pointed contemptuously to Nicholas 
Carew as an unsuitable companion for his royal 
master. He was removed more than once on 
account of the liberties he took with the King, 

1 Sir William Compton, through the favour of the King, became 
one of the richest men in England, possessing manors in seventeen 
counties. He was in near association with the Blounts of Kinlet. 
We find him later appointed by Sir Thomas Blount's will, a feoffee of 
the Kinlet estates, and consequently acting in hostility to the rights 
of John Blount, with whom he was at enmity, after Sir Thomas's death. 
See Chapter xx. 

107 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

but managed to get back again into favour. 
" Mr. Carew and his wife," writes Pace to Wolsey 
(March 27, 1518), " be returned to the King's 
Grace too soon in my opinion." 1 Carew and 
Francis Bryan had about this time returned 
from France imbued with the follies and vices 
of the French Court. Hall gives an amusing 
account of their doings there. " During his 
time," he chronicles, " remained in the French 
Court, Nicholas Carew, Francis Brian, and diverse 
other of the young gentlemen of England, and 
they, with the French King [Francis I] rode 
daily disguised through Paris throwing eggs, 
stones, and other foolish trifles at the people. . . . 
They return to England and are all French in 
eating, drinking, and apparel. Yea, and in 
French vices and brags, so that all the estates 
of England were by them laughed at, the ladies 
and gentlewomen were dispraised, so that nothing 
by them was praised, but it were after the 
French turn which after turned them to dis- 
pleasure, as you shall see." 2 In the following 
May (1519) he continues, " the King's Council 
secretly communed together of the King's gentle- 

i Cal. S.P., 4034, vol. ii, part ii. 

8 Hall, Tenth Year of Henry VIII. We have, in quoting Hall, 
modernised his spelling throughout. 

108 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

ness and liberality to all persons ; by the which 
they perceived that certain young men in his 
Privy Chamber, not regarding his estate nor 
degree, were so familiar and homely with him, 
and played such light touches with him, that 
they forgot themselves." 1 The King agrees to 
dismiss them, and to reform his Court ; and 
Hall continues : " Then the King's Council 
caused the Lord Chamberlain to call before 
them Carew, and another who yet liveth, and 
therefore shall not at this time be named [Quere 
Bryan, who outlived most of his companions], 
with divers also of the Privy Chamber which 
had been in the French Court, and banished 
them the Court for divers considerations, laying 
nothing particularly to their charges . . . which 
discharge out of the Court grieved sore the 
hearts of these young men, which were called 
the King's minions. Then was there four sad 
and ancient knights put into the King's Privy 
Chamber, whose names were Sir Richard Wing- 
field, Sir Richard Jerningham, Sir Richard 
Weston, and Sir William Kingston, and divers 
officers were changed in all places. ..." A 
political motive aiming against the King of 
France was seen by some in these sudden dis- 

1 Hall, Eleventh Year of Henry VIII. 

109 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

missals. It was asserted by others that the stir 
was made because these persons had been the 
cause of the King's excessive gambling and that 
he himself resolved to lead a new life. Whatever 
the true reason, Hall informs us that the fall of 
the minions was " little moved among wise 
men." The King, however, tempered the harsh- 
ness of banishment to his companions by giving 
them employment and promotion, " extra 
curiam" and before long received them all back 
into favour, probably himself being meanwhile 
heartily wearied by the society of the " sad and 
ancient knights." 

A special interest attaches to Francis Bryan 
as the partner of Mistress Blount at Cardinal 
Wolsey's pageant in October 1518. Of all the 
younger members of the royal circle he had the 
character of being the most dissolute as he was 
also the most brilliant. Son of Sir Thomas 
Bryan (Queen Katherine's Vice-Chamberlain) by 
his wife, Margaret Bourchier, 1 half-sister of 
Thomas, Earl of Surrey, afterwards third Duke 
of Norfolk, Francis Bryan, with his sisters, 
Margaret Guilford and Elizabeth: Carew, was 
bred within the precincts of the Court, where 

1 Lady Bryan's mother, Lady Bourchier, was the first wife of the 
second Duke of Norfolk. 

110 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

his talents and connexions helped him to push 
his way early into the front rank as a leader 
among the young men of fashion. Throughout 
his career his astuteness and his time-serving 
qualities enabled him to steer his fortunes 
through all the perilous vicissitudes of the reign, 
and, as time went on, to rise with his cousin 
Anne Boleyn's elevation, to turn against her 
when her star was on the wane, and so on to 
the end, trimming and treacherous, to avoid 
execution himself, while many of his early 
companions suffered death a fate which not 
seldom befell Henry's minions. " Vicar of Hell " 
Thomas Cromwell called him, and Cromwell 
should have been a good judge. 

To the ordinary accomplishments of a man of 
the world Bryan added many mental acquire- 
ments. He was a student of foreign languages 
and a translator, and he may be supposed to 
have derived his love of letters from his maternal 
uncle, the illustrious John Bourchier, Lord 
Berners. 1 

But his chief title to fame was that of being 
the first poet of his day his reputation as such 

i " The Castell of Love " was translated by Lord Berners at the 
instance of his niece, Elizabeth Carew, " late wyfe of Sir Nicholas 
Carewe Knight," about 1540, shortly after Carew's beheadal. 

Ill 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 



has been handed down to posterity, although 
none of his verse has survived. Drayton speaks 
of him as : 







Sacred Bryan whom the muses kept 

And in his cradle rockt him while he slept* 

Bryan wrote verses in praise of the accom- 
plished Earl of Surrey : 

Sacred verses most divinely penned, 

and Francis Meres 2 describes Bryan as " the 
most passionate among us (poets) to bewail and 
bemoan the complexities of love." 

He did not, however, confine his study of love 
to its merely poetical aspect. He was also a 
master in the more material arts of seduction, 
and no one could so daintily recount a ribald 
story, or whisper a double entendre in the ear of 
his fair partner in the masque or revel. A 
curious sidelight, showing his reputation in this 
direction, is cast by a chance remark of a 
chronicler. In recording the apparently unique 
purity of mind of the young Princess Mary as 
% she was growing to womanhood the date is, 

of course, many years later than the episode of 
Elizabeth Blount it is stated that when her 

1 Some editions have " sweet-tongued " Bryan perhaps a more 
appropriate epithet than " sacred." 2 Palladis Tamia. 

112 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

royal father was informed of it he could not 
believe it possible that she should " know " no foul 
or unclean speeches " until he had caused Francis 
Bryan to try it " at one of the Court masques. 1 The 
conversation at these masques or "disguisings," 
as they were called, was likely to be of the 
freest, and we may be sure that Cardinal Wolsey's 
entertainment was no exception in this respect. 

Sir Thomas Wyatt in his scathing poem on 
Bryan, " How to use the Court and Himself," 
compares him to Pandar : 

" In this also, see that thou be not idle, 
Thy niece, thy cousin, sister, or thy daughter, 
If she be fair, if handsome be her middle 
If thy better hath her love besought her, 
Advance his cause, and he shall help thy need. 
It is but love, turn thou it to a laughter ; 
But ware, say I, so gold thee help, and speed 
That in this case thou be not so unwise 
As Pandar was, in such a like deed ; 
For he, poor fool, of conscience was so nice 
That he no gain would have for all his pains." 

The fair and seductive Elizabeth did not escape 
the influence of such an associate, and there can 
be little doubt that although at the time of the 
Cardinal's revels others may not have known 
of her intrigue with the King, Francis Bryan 
was in the secret from the first, if indeed he had 
not been the go-between. 

1 Life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria, by Henry Clifford, p. 80. 

H 113 




CHAPTER XI 
1519-1522 

Elizabeth retires to an Augustinian Priory : Birth of Henry 
FitzRoy : Cardinal Wolsey his godfather : Wolsey's apparent 
interest in the mother : Her seclusion : Wolsey's motives 
discussed : Mysterious allusions : Accused of " encouraging 
young gentlewomen " : Matrimonial alliances for Elizabeth : 
She marries Gilbert Tailbois : His ancestry : His father a 
lunatic : His mother ; Act of Parliament passed : Handsome 
provision : She settles in Lincolnshire. 

LORD HERBERT OF CHIRBURY, in light and 
lenient allusion to this episode, remarks that 
" as all recommendable parts concurred in [the 
King's] person, and they again were exalted in 
his high dignity and valour, so it must seem 
[the] less strange if amid the fair ladies in his 
Court he both gave and received temptation. 
Among whom Mistress Elizabeth Blunt, daughter 
of Sir John Blunt, Knight, was thought for her 
rare ornaments of nature and education to be 
the beauty and mistress- piece of her time, that 
intire affection past betwixt them so as at last 
she bore him a son." 
114 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Thus Lord Herbert, writing early in the next 
century as if the story of Elizabeth were still 
remembered in his generation. At his residence, 
Ribbesford, near Bewdley, Lord Herbert was 
a neighbour of the family at Kinlet, and may have 
heard traditions of Elizabeth handed down from 
his predecessors. He follows and amplifies the 
testimony of Hall, who as a contemporary of 
Elizabeth must have known her and her story 
well, and who himself records her adventure in 
merry strain. But although her contemporaries 
and associates may have made light of the 
situation of Mistress Blount, it would not have 
been possible for her to remain under the eye of 
the Queen after the evidence of her dishonour. 

It was not unusual in that age for a lady 
similarly situated to retire to a religious house, 
and Elizabeth found refuge before the birth of 
her child at the Priory of St. Lawrence at Blacka- 
more, or Blackmore, in Essex. There the 
Augustinian canons received her. In this 
arrangement we trace the hand of her friend 
the Cardinal of York, and it is evident that he 
did not lose sight of her. A nunnery, under the 
circumstances, might seem a more suitable resi- 
dence. She was, however, doubtless attended 
by nuns. 

115 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

In the early summer of 1519, 1 at the Prior's 
house at Blackamore, 2 she gave birth to a " goodly 
manne child, in beautie like to the father and 
the mother," 3 and the King having apparently 
already acknowledged the child as his own, he was 
christened " Henry," and Cardinal Wolsey was 
his godfather. For a surname he received that 
of FitzRoy, which is said to have been given in 
England in some earlier times, and particularly to 
Geoffrey, one of the natural sons of King John. 

How long the young mother remained at the 
Prior's house after the birth of her child, and 
whether the King visited her there is not known. 
It is improbable that he did so. 4 

1 Hall states that Henry FitzRoy was six years old when he was 
made Duke of Richmond and Somerset in June 1525. 

2 Stowe's Chronicle, 1615, p. 526. " In the manor-house of 
Blackamore ... it was the Prior's House." 

3 Hall's Chronicles. 

4 The fact of the royal bastard having been born at Blackmore is 
probably the sole origin of the story related by Morant more than 
two hundred years afterwards (History of Essex [1768], vol. ii, 57). 
"This [place]," he says, "is reported to have been one of King 
Henry the Eighth's Houses of Pleasure and disguised by the name of 
Jericho. So that when this lascivious Prince had a mind to be lost 
in the embraces of his Courtesans, the cant word among the Courtiers 
was that * He was gone to Jericho.' " This ingenious fable seems 
devoid of foundation. Jericho was the name of a tenement appertain- 
ing to the Manor of Blackmore (which belonged to the Priory), but 
this tenement so far from being disguised by its name was called and 
known by no other in the time of Henry VIII and probably much 
116 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

The assertion which has recently appeared, 
that Henry VIII built Newhall for Elizabeth 
Blount, has no foundation in any of the records. 1 

All that is known is that her maiden name is 
never again found in Court annals, and that 
she did not return to the Queen. While many 
of her former companions at Court were in 
attendance on the Queen at the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold in the memorable summer of 1520 the 
year following the birth of Henry FitzRoy 

earlier. When the Priory was dissolved by Wolsey in 1525 (for the 
foundation of his College) Jericho passed with the Manor of Blackmore 
into other hands. 

Miss Strickland eagerly seizes on the above story and asserts as 
fact that the King and " Lady Tailboys " (sic) carried on their intrigue 
(before the birth of their child) at a place called Jericho. It seems 
improbable that in the early days of their intrigue, Henry and Elizabeth 
should have retired for secrecy to a remote village in Essex, a long 
journey's distance from any of the royal residences, when they had 
frequent opportunities of being together at Court. It seems equally 
improbable that after the birth of Henry FitzRoy even supposing 
Elizabeth to have moved from the Prior's house to Jericho (the neigh- 
bouring tenement) the King should have visited her and been " lost " 
at Jericho when the absence of the head of the State on such an excursion 
would have been notorious far more so than it would be in our own 
days of rapid locomotion. 

As to Morant's insinuation that Henry had " houses of pleasure " in 
different parts of the country, it is generally admitted that his liaison 
with Elizabeth Blount was his first, and it may be added that history 
records for Henry a longer succession of wives than of mistresses. 

1 Martin Hume (Wives of Henry VIII, p. 96), who misnames her 

Eleanor " and " Lady Tailebois " in 1519. 

117 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Mistress Blount was living in retirement at 
least this seems a fair assumption from the 
silence of all record of her name. Not till three 
years later is there any record of her, and she 
then appears as the bride of Gilbert Tailbois. 

We know that in the meantime Wolsey con- 
tinued to keep his eye on her. " The mother of 
the King's son," as she was styled in the diplo- 
matic correspondence of the day, could not be 
disregarded by so astute and far-seeing a states- 
man as Wolsey. Indeed, that she in right of 
that position might attain to high influence was 
not improbable, and when a clerical corres- 
pondent assured her in later years how many 
bishops and prelates would be willing to oblige 
her, he no doubt said but the truth. 

As it was, it appears to her credit, considering 
her opportunities and the times in which she 
lived, that she is not found making capital out 
of her position or intriguing in affairs of State. 
History records no charge against her of plotting 
the destruction of enemies or of squandering the 
national revenues, as did the mistresses of 
Charles II or Louis XV, and the silence of 
history in this respect is in itself an encomium. 
Nor do her family, as in so many instances of 
the kind, appear to have reaped any profit from 
118 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 







er dishonour. They remained what their fore- 
fathers had been from time immemorial, of good 
status according to their knightly birth, and 
whatever offices they held, their ancestors had 
held before them. 1 

We need not pay serious attention to an item 
in the long list of malignant accusations against 
Wolsey, 2 drawn up many years later in the 
interest of Wolsey's rival and supplanter, the 
Duke of Norfolk, namely an item, signed by 
the Reverend John Palsgrave, taxing the Cardinal 
with having " begun to encourage our young 
gentlewomen to become our concubines by the 
well-marrying of Besse Blont." We shall find 
this same Palsgrave as tutor to little Henry 

1 Hepworth Dixon implies that the dubbing of John Blount a 
knight was a reward for his daughter's dishonour, but as a matter of 
fact " Squire John " was not knighted till some years later, when he 
came into possession of the inheritance of his knightly ancestors. 

2 The whole tone of these documents in Palsgrave's handwriting 
is remarkable. They differ from certain other more virulent and 
more openly malignant indictments, namely, those of Darcy, in that 
they appear to aim at, or at least to simulate, impartiality to admit 
good intentions in some parts of the Cardinal's policy, but to blame its 
ineffectiveness. For in the long catalogue of hostile criticisms, many 
of the doings of Wolsey cited are in themselves laudable, and the 
only insinuation with regard to them seems to be that he had " begun " 
to do them, but got no farther than the beginning. The handwriting of 
Palsgrave strangely resembles that of Norfolk, and one might almost 
suppose they had the same writing-master. (Brewer's Letters and 
Papers Henry VIII, vol. iv, p. 2558.) 

119 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

FitzRoy (to which post he was appointed by 
Wolsey) writing abject appeals to the child's 
mother for her protection and support, and 
assuring her that he (the writer) was determined 
never to confide in anyone but " her lady shyppe." 
It would seem as if, on the reverend gentleman's 
dismissal from this post, he had joined the party 
of the Cardinal's enemies, at the same time 
cherishing some grudge against Elizabeth her- 
self, whence the item in allusion to her early 
shortcomings was inserted among the charges 
against Wolsey. 1 

The fact remains, however, that Wolsey did 
set himself to get her " well married." His 
motives in so doing may have been many and 
complex. Although the divorce of Katherine 
was not considered till many years later, it is 
not unlikely that as soon as it became certain 
the Queen would never bear a son, the Cardinal, 
knowing Henry's extreme anxiety to have a 
male successor, anticipated the possibility of the 

How, why, or when these papers (now in the Record Office) 
were found in Palsgrave's coffers does not appear. They have been 
catalogued among the State papers of 1529, as bearing upon Wolsey 
at the time of his fall. But we have no trace of Palsgrave being 
arrested either then or at any other time. Yet the indorsements 
imply that three, or at least two, distinct searches were made among 
his papers. 

120 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

King's raising the question of a divorce, and 
that this possibility, although never mooted, 
entered into his calculations even at so early a 
date as 1522. Besides the divorce of the Queen, 
the possibility of her dying was always to be 
reckoned with, and so, in either of these even- 
tualities, was the position of the mother of the 
King's son this only son and probable heir 
until the King should marry again and beget one. 
It would be well, taking everything into con- 
sideration, for the Cardinal to bear in mind 
the future of this young lady. It might be well 
to see her safely married, lest haply she might 
stand in the way of his plans. Even in later years, 
when the question of the King's marriage with 
Anne Boleyn was in the air, the gossip of 
diplomacy hinted that the King should marry 
the mother of his son " to legitimize by sub- 
sequent marriage the son he had had by her." 
But such an idea would have been at all 
times contrary to Wolsey's schemes, for, in- 
defatigable as he was later in furthering the 
divorce of Katherine, it was not his policy to 
raise a subject to the throne. His schemes in 
the complicated game of statecraft were for a 
foreign alliance ; and if in the end he was 
driven to support the case of Anne Boleyn, 

121 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

it was only because he then saw no hope of 
opposing the King's determination. Not with- 
out motive, we may be sure, did he get Besse 
Blount well married to young Gilbert Tailbois 
in 1522 that is three years after the birth of 
her son. 

In the above-mentioned accusations it is 
further asserted that (well-married as she is), 
Wolsey " would yet by sleight have married her 
much better and for that purpose changed her 
name." The foundation for this statement is 
shrouded in mystery, if indeed it ever existed 
save in the malicious imagination of Wolsey's 
enemies. We may conclude, however, that 
Elizabeth remained secluded from the world 
in some retreat known to the Cardinal ; and 
that when, in the course of time, he determined 
upon her marriage, he encouraged more than 
one suitor for her hand. The words " much 
better " in Palsgrave's manuscript being care- 
fully substituted for the word " better," which 
is erased, seem certainly to point to a rumour 
of some highly illustrious marriage having been 
contemplated for Elizabeth Blount. But that 
it could ever have been the Cardinal's policy to 
change or conceal the name of a lady whose 
worldly position in the estimation of many 
122 



E 



th 



ir 


p 









LIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

would have been rather enhanced than other- 
wise by the marks of the royal favour, or that 
such a ruse could have been attempted, seems 
hardly credible. There must have been many of 

e Court gallants who would have been glad 
enough to marry the brilliant and beautiful 
protegee of the Cardinal, whom the King had 
distinguished by his favour, especially as she 
was sure to receive a handsome dowry. In- 
deed such secrecy as might be supposed to arise 
from any delicacy of feeling was foreign to the 
King's nature, and the publicity of the Act of 

arliament passed on the marriage of Elizabeth 
Blount does not convey the impression that 
concealment of her name was at any time 
thought necessary. 

To judge by a certain fastidiousness observable 
later in Elizabeth when choosing a second 
husband, she was not likely to accept the addresses 
of the first man who wished to marry her, and 
it is probable that she herself had some choice in 
the selection of Gilbert Tailbois. It is apparent, 
however, that it was through the intermediary 
of Wolsey that Elizabeth made the acquaint- 
ance of this young suitor, whose family and 
circumstances were well known to the Cardinal. 
Gilbert had been sent from Lincolnshire by his 

123 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

mother, Lady Tailbois, to push his fortunes 
in the world, and was attached to the household 
of the Cardinal, who, in thus marrying " the 
mother of the King's son " to a gentleman espe- 
cially beholden to him, strengthened the influence 
which he already held over both, and bound closer 
the ties of their dependence upon himself. 

The bridegroom's father, Sir George Tailbois 
of Kyme, in Lincolnshire, possessed large estates 
in that county, as the descendant of the Umfra- 
villes, Earls of Angus and of the ancient Lords 
of Kyme. He had been declared a lunatic in 
1517, and his property had been handed over 
by royal warrant to the custody of guardians, 
chief of whom was the Cardinal of York. The 
lunatic knight, with his wife, Lady Tailbois, re- 
sided at his manor of Goltaught, 1 in Lincolnshire, 
and lived to a great age. Lady Tailbois, Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, 
Yorkshire, Gilbert's mother, was nearly related to 
the then powerful house of Percy, her mother being 
a daughter of Henry, third Earl of Northumber- 
land. She was thus kin to the wife of the 
newly attainted Duke of Buckingham, and to 
their daughter, the Duchess of Norfolk a noted 
figure throughout this reign. 

1 Goiters or Golthro. 

124 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

From glimpses of the domestic affairs of the 
family which we get in the grumbling letters of 
this Lady Tailbois (the elder), written some 
years later, we suspect that before the un- 
fortunate Sir George was " committed " to 
Wolsey, the resources of his property had been 
squandered in " wasteful expenses." Whatso- 
ever may have been wanting, however, from the 
patrimonial coffers was amply compensated by 
the handsome provision which the King and the 
Cardinal made for the young couple from other 
revenues. On June 18, 1522, Gilbert Tailbois 
and Elizabeth (Blount), his wife, were granted 
by royal warrant the manor and town of Rokeby, 
in Warwickshire, forfeited by the late Duke of 
Buckingham (recently beheaded and attainted). 
And shortly afterwards an Act of Parliament 
was passed in the session of 14-15 Henry VIII, 1 
setting forth that " Gilbert, son and heir apparent 
of Sir George Tailbois, Knight, had married and 
taken to his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John 
Blount, Esquyer, 2 by which marriage, as well the 
said Sir George Tailbois, Knight, as the said 
Gilbert Tailbois, have receyved not alonely great 

1 Statutes of the Realm, fol. 1817, iii. 280. 

* John Blount, Esquire of the Body, was not knighted till after the 
death of his father, Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, who did not die till 
two years later, 1524. 

125 







ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

summes of money, but also many benyfittes to 
their right much comforte." The Act of Parlia- 
ment then assures to the said Elizabeth, a life- 
estate in her father-in-law's (Sir George Tailbois's) 
houses, lands, &c., in the city of Lincoln, the 
manors of Skelyngthorpe, Bamburgh, Freskeny, 
Sotby, and Faldyngworth, Co. Lincoln, Newton 
Kyme and Hesylle, Co. York, and Yeirlton, 
Co. Somerset. 

By this curiously explicit wording of the Act 
of Parliament, Wolsey publicly emphasizes, as 
it were, the fact that the Tailbois family have 
been treated in a thoroughly handsome manner. 
The debts of the lunatic father have thus been 
paid ; and his wife, the elder Lady Tailbois, so 
far from having cause to complain that her 
son and daughter-in-law have been favoured 
at their father's expense, evidently enjoys a 
liberal share of the " benefits." This lady was 
doubtless well known to Wolsey in old days 
when he was Dean and Bishop of Lincoln, and, 
from long experience of her humours, he might 
anticipate that she would be unlikely to enter- 
tain a lasting sense of obligation for benefits. 

We shall find her in later years disregarding 
Wolsey's orders, and yielding with bad grace 
to his " visitations." While she and her afflicted 
126 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

husband continued to reside at the Manor of 
Golthro, subject to the " visitations " of Wolsey 
and his agents, their son, Sir Gilbert he was 
knighted about this time entered, with his 
wife, into possession of the baronial castle and 
patrimony of Kyme, handed over to them by 
the Act of Parliament. Sir Gilbert was pricked 
Sheriff of Lincolnshire in November 1523 (the 
year after his marriage) an office which would 
necessitate his remaining within the borders of 
that county during the year of his sheriffalty. 
We may conclude that his wife accompanied 
him, and at this time her name does not appear 
in any Court annals. It is to be found, however, 
from time to time in later years in the lists of 
such privileged courtiers as were recipients of 
" the King's New Year's gifts," and she was 
certainly as Lady Tailbois within the circle of 
the Court. In fact, whether at a State function 
or at her castle in Lincolnshire where we shall 
find her entertaining hunting parties on the 
borders of the vast forest of Kyme she main- 
tained the position of a " great ladye." But it 
is clear that when she became Lady Tailbois all 
connexion between her and the King was at 
an end if indeed it had not ceased some years 
before her marriage. There is no ground for the 

127 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

insinuation that Sir Gilbert Tailbois played the 
part of a mari complaisant as did the Earl of 
Castlemaine to Barbara Villiers and Charles II. 
He lived happily with his wife, who bore him 
three or more children during the seven years 
of their married life, and the fable that, as 
Lady Tailbois, she was the King's mistress, has 
not the slightest foundation in fact. 

It may be added that it would seem that as the 
King advanced from youth towards middle age 
it was not in accordance with his nature to 
continue long in any passion. He had been 
faithful to Katherine of Arragon longer than to 
any other woman. Moreover his fancy had now 
fallen lightly and temporarily upon Mary Boleyn, 
the elder of Sir Thomas Boleyn's daughters, and 
(before, if not after, her marriage to William 
Carey) she was apparently Henry's mistress for 
a short time. The year of Elizabeth Blount's 
marriage was, it may be noted, the year of the 
arrival from France, at the English Court, of 
Mary Boleyn's younger and more brilliant sister, 
Anne now aged fifteen and when later the King 
fell under the spell of Anne's fascinations, she 
perhaps the longer exercised her influence over him, 
before her marriage, that she appears to have been 
in no great hurry to succumb to his seductions. 
128 



CHAPTER XII 
1525 

Henry FitzRoy : Like both his parents i The King's love for 
him : Brought up "as a prince's child " : Aged six in 1525 : 
Wolsey writes about him : Arms granted to the Lord Henry 
FitzRoy : Elected Knight of the Garter : Created Earl of 
Nottingham, Duke of Richmond, and Duke of Somerset : 
Description of the ceremonies. 

MEANWHILE the babe, Henry FitzRoy, whose 
birth at the Prior's house at Blackmore we 
recorded in 1519, had grown to be a most inter- 
esting child. To quote the words of Lord 
Herbert of Chirbury with regard to him : 
14 proving so equally like to both his parents, 
he became the chief emblem of their mutual 
affection." " The King," reports Lorenzo Orio 
to the Doge and Signory of Venice (January 12, 
1525), " loves him like his own soul." 

Whether the child ceased to reside with his 
mother, before or soon after her marriage to 
Sir Gilbert Tailbois, does not appear. When he 
did so, however, she kept in touch with him, 

I 129 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

while her friend, the Cardinal of York, who 
had taken a very politic interest in his godson 
from the hour of his birth, continued to watch 
over his infantine years. Meanwhile " he was 
well brought up, like a Prince's child," and at 
the age of six, 1 his loving father determined to 
advance him to a highly conspicuous position 
in the eyes of the world, and resolved that he 
should be regarded as a prince if necessary a 
prince worthy to succeed to the throne. 

It is evident that the King acted with very 
special motives, and to these, although they 
were not for the present openly avowed, Wolsey 
was doubtless privy. " To appreciate them 
correctly," says an anonymous commentator, 2 
" we must take into consideration that before 
the reign of Henry VIII no female monarch had 
actually sat upon the English throne. The regal 
office in England was regarded essentially in the 
character of a male fief, which, though it might 
be transmitted by a female heir, could scarcely 
be enjoyed or administered except by a male 
possessor. Such there can be no doubt was the 
prevalent sentiment at the time when Henry VIII 
was repeatedly disappointed of male issue from 

1 Hall. Seventeenth Year of Henry VIII. 

2 Gentleman's Magazine, 1855. 

180 







Donald Macbeth 
HENRY VIII 
From the original glass medallion iu the British Museum 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Katharine of Arragon." We have seen that his 
hopes had been finally disappointed towards the 
close of 1518 the year of his amour with 
Elizabeth Blount and there was now no hope 
that the Queen would ever bear a Prince of 
Wales. The scheme of divorce and of a new 
marriage had, as yet, hardly taken root in the 
tyrant's mind, 1 and he presumed upon the 
extent to which his will was law to entertain 
the intention of nominating his natural son 
to the throne should he, in his plenary will and 
pleasure, determine to do so. 2 

The period when this resolution was taken 
belongs to the year 1525. 3 The earliest mention 
of Henry FitzRoy in the English records dates 
from May or June of that year. It occurs in a 
letter 4 of Wolsey to the King : " Your Grace 
also shal receyve by this present berer such 
armes as your highnes hath devised by Page 5 

1 The story that his confessor suggested doubts to the King as to 
the legality of his marriage about 1522-23 is not generally believed. 
The " doubts," however, may have been present to the King's mind 
then or even earlier. 

2 J. Gough Nichols. 3 Hall. State Papers. 

5 The arms are still to be seen on one of the bosses of the roof of St. 
George's Chapel, Windsor, over the organ gallery : France and England 
quarterly, debruised by a baton sinister argent within a bordure, also 
quarterly, first of ermine, secondly and thirdly compony or and azure 
(these three bordures in allusion to the coat of Fergaunt, first Earl of 

131 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

for your entirely beloved sonne the lord Henry 
Fitzroy." The coat-of-arms (designed by the 
King himself in the overladen and degenerate 
style of heraldry which this Sovereign was the 
first to affect and to introduce into England) 
was intended as a preparation for the honours 
to which the child was shortly to be advanced. 
The Lord Henry FitzRoy, as he was called, now 
six years old, was elected to the Garter 1 on 
June 7, and on the 25 was installed at Windsor 
in the second stall on the Sovereign's side, 
in that vacated by the " translating of Charles 
the Emperor." Between these dates he was 
created Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Rich- 
mond and Somerset, on which occasion he was 
the centre of an elaborate ceremonial. 

The dignity of a Duke at that time was an 
extremely limited privilege in England, and 
may be said to have been confined to the blood 

Richmond) ; fourthly, gobony argent and azure (in allusion to the 
gabony bordure borne by Beaufort Duke of Somerset), an inescucheon 
of pretence quarterly gules and vaire or and charged with a lion rampant 
argent (for the Earldom of Nottingham) on a chief azure a castle 
between two bucks' heads caboshed argent (the castle representing 
Nottingham and the bucks' heads representing Derby, from which 
counties a pension was assigned for the maintenance of the Earldom). 

1 The eight Knights, present at the election, nominated, according 
to ancient custom, each three princes, three barons, and three knights, 
and all named the " Lord FitzRoy " first of the barons. 

132 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

royal. There were in fact, since the attainder 
of the Dukedom of Buckingham, only two 
Dukes those of Norfolk and Suffolk (both of 
modern creation), the former the representative 
of one of the sons of Edward III, the latter 
King Henry's brother-in-law, Charles Brandon. 
To the King's son were given at once two Duke- 
doms, of which it is said this was the first 
instance in England. 1 Moreover the titles of 
Richmond, Somerset, and Nottingham had been 
previously specially associated with the blood 
royal. He was at the same time given pre- 
cedence of all other dukes already created 
or to be created hereafter, " those born legiti- 
mately of the King's body or of the bodies of his 
heirs alone excepted." The King had, of course, 
no legitimate son at this time, and it may be 
observed that this clause gave Henry FitzRoy 
precedence in the future of the Princess Mary 
when she was declared illegitimate. 

Minute descriptions of the picturesque cere- 
mony of the creations are extant, from which 
the following is abstracted and arranged : 

On Sunday, June 18, the Lord Henry FitzRoy 
came from Durham Place [near Charing Cross], 
whereat he kept his household, to the King's 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, 1855. 

133 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

palace called Bridewell, at nine o'clock or there- 
upon, in company with honourable knights, 
squires, and gentlemen to a great number. 
Entering into the said palace, he passed through 
the great chamber, into the Chamber of State, 
at the end of which was a goodly gallery, called 
the " nu gallery," wherein he rested in a chamber 
by himself and there was put on him his robes 
that pertained to the State of an Earl [he was 
to be created Earl of Nottingham first]. And 
all the other Lords, having on their robes, gave 
on him their attendance, tarrying there unto 
such time that word came from the King 
that his Grace was ready to give them their 
creation. 1 

" The [Presence] Chamber where was the King's 
Grace, was hung with rich arras, worked with 
gold and silk, as well all the gallery, so rich as 
hath been seldom seen 2 and at the upper end 
of the chamber hung a cloth of State and under 
it was a chair of gold tissue, and the pomels of 
the said chair were gilded with fine gold. By 
it, under the cloth of State, stood the King's 
grace, and on his right hand and within the 

1 Add MS. 6113, f. 61. Cotton MS. Tib. E. VIII. " Cal. S.P. 
Hen. VIII," vol. iv. p. 1. p. 6. 

2 The destruction of Troy was one subject. 

134 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

compass, a certain space, of the cloth of State 
stood the Lord Legate " (Wolsey). Beside him 
the Bishop of Carlisle, the Bishop of Sentas, the 
Abbot of Westminster, with the divers other 
abbots and prelates of the Church, and on the 
left hand of the King's grace divers temporal 
lords, that is to say, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, 
Treasurer and Steward, 1 Charles, Duke of Suffolk, 
Marshal of England, George, Earl of Schorysbere * 
(Shrewsbury), Steward of the King's Household, 
the Earl of Arundel, 3 the Earl of Oxinford, 
Chamberlain of England, 4 the Earls of Northum- 
berland, 5 Westmoreland, 6 the Lord Fitz Walter, 7 
the Lord Sandys, 8 with divers lords, knights, and 
squires to a great number. As the command- 

1 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, had succeeded his father in the previous 
year (1524). 

2 George, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, K.G., who died three years later 
in 1528. 

3 William FitzAlan, 17th Earl of Arundel, K.G., had succeeded his 
father in 1524 ; he was related to Henry VIII. 

4 John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford, commonly called " little John 
of Campes " from his diminutive stature, and residence at Castle 
Campes in Cambridgeshire. He married Lady Anne Howard, daughter 
of Thomas Duke of Norfolk ; and died without issue in 1526. 

5 Henry Algernon, 5th Earl of Northumberland, died 1527. 

e Ralph Nevill, 4th Earl of Westmoreland, K.G., married Lady 
Catherine Stafford, daughter of the attainted Duke of Buckingham. 

7 Robert Ratcliff, Lord FitzWalter, afterwards 1st Earl of Sussex- , 
and K.G. 

8 Sir William Sandys, 1st Lord Sandys of the Vine. 

135 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

merit of the " Vezehamberlayn " the " jentylmen 
osehers " made all the people stand on both 
sides so that from the lower end of the chamber 
to the top, where the King's grace stood a space 
was made that four men might pass arm in arm. 
Also the trumpeters were appointed to stand 
in the window which was right against the 
cloth of State, to blow, when they were com- 
manded at such times as was convenient. The 
chamber thus set in order, and the trumpeters 
commanded to blow, then came the Lord Henry 
FitzRoy from his chamber led between two 
earls in their robes, the Earls of Arundel and 
Oxinford. Before them went the Earl of 
Northumberland in his robes bearing the sword 
in the scabbard by the point, garnished with 
the girdle. Before him went Sir Thomas, Garter 
King-at-Arms, bearing the Earl's patent, with 
Clarencieux, King-at-Arms, Norroy Lancaster, 
Montorgel Windsor, Heralds-at-Arms, all of these 
wearing the King's coat-of-arms, saving Somerset 
herald, who wore the coat-of-arms of the Lord 
Henry FitzRoy (because he was created Duke 
of Somerset), and when they came near to the 
King's grace the said Lords kneeled down to 
the ground, and the King commanding them to 
stand up, the Lord Harry stood still between 
136 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

the two Earls that led him. Then Garter King 
at-Arms presented the patent to the King, 
which my Lord Cardinal received, delivering it 
to Master Mowre (Sir Thomas More), who read 
it aloud. On coming to the words " per cinc- 
turam gladii," the Earl of Northumberland 
presented the sword unto the King's grace, the 
King took the sword and put it about the Lord 
Henry's neck in bend manner, that is, over his 
right shoulder and under his left arm. Then the 
King delivered his patent (of the Earldom of 
Nottingham) to him in his right hand, and all 
these ceremonies ended the trumpets blue, and 
thus created Earl of Nottingham he departed 
out of the King's presence in like manner and 
form as he was brought into it. 

When he was conveyed into his chamber he 
was next apparelled in the robes pertaining to 
the state of a duke, and then there came to him 
the Duke of Norfolk, Treasurer, and the Duke 
of Suffolk, Marshal of England, they leading 
him between them, and the Marquis of Dorset 
bearing the sword, the pomel upward, and before 
the sword went, side by side, the Earl of Arundel, 
bearing the cap of estate with the circlet on it, 
and the Earl of Oxinford, bearing the rod of 
gold, and before them went the Earl of 

137 



' * 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Northumberland, with the mantel, and Garter 
King- at- Arms with the patent preceded by 
Norroy, Somerset, and the other heralds. In 
this manner he was led to the King's presence, 
and he, standing between the Dukes of Norfolk 
and Suffolk, the patent was read, the mantel, 
sword, cap, and circlet were put on him in due 
order by the King, and the gold rod and patent 
handed to him. Thus was he created Duke of 
Richmond and Somerset, and at the conclusion 
of the ceremonies he stood aside in the King's 
presence above all the other peers of the realm. 

Henry FitzRoy was not the youngest peer 
created on this occasion with an elaborate 
ceremonial. The King's nephew, Henry (son 
and heir of the Duke of Suffolk), who was created 
Earl of Lincoln, was so young that Sir John 
Vere was appointed to carry him in his arms 
into the King's presence, but none of the cere- 
monies of the creation were dispensed with in 
his case. 

Several of the principal nobles at the same 
time received advancements in the Peerage, 
probably to reconcile them to the sudden 
exaltation of the King's infant son, and it is 
noticeable that some of these dignities were 
conferred in recognition of the claims of royal 
138 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

blood. Courtney, Earl of Devon, was made 
Marquis of Exeter (" my lady Marquis " being 
Gertrude Blount, Lord Mount joy's daughter), 
Lord Clifford was made Earl of Cumberland, 
Sir Thomas Manners, Lord Roos, was made Earl 
of Rutland, Lord FitzWalter was made a 
Viscount, and one commoner, Sir Thomas Boleyn, 
was created Viscount Rochford. 



139 



CHAPTER XIII 
1525 (continued) 

Richmond made " Lord High Admiral " : " Warden-General 
of the Marches towards Scotland " : Takes leave of the King : 
Wolsey's present for his journey : Visits Lady Parr : Presents of 
fish : Of wild fowl : From Huntingdon to Colliweston : Shoots 
a buck : Rides right merrily : From Colliweston to York : 
Arrives at Sheriff-Hutton : His magnificent establishment : 
Contrasted with Princess Mary's : The Queen displeased : Her 
Spanish ladies murmur : The King dismisses them. 

IN the following month (July 16) the little Duke 
received a patent as Lord High Admiral of 
England, Wales, Ireland, Normandy, Gascony, 
and Acquitaine, for life, with the appointment 
of Commissioners, Lieutenants, Vice-Admirals, 
&c. In this patent the King alludes to the 
" sincere and eternal affection which he bears 
to our most illustrious Henry, De prosapia 
nostra ortum." 

The King's scheme was not fully completed 
till his son was further dignified, a few days 
later, by the great office of Warden General of 
all the Marches towards Scotland, namely, the 
140 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Eastmarch, the Westmarch, and the Middle- 
march, with powers of array extending to the 
counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and 
Northumberland, for the defence of the Marches, 
and for the rescue and safe custody of the towers 
and castles of Berwick and Carlisle in time of 
danger. 

The chief administration of affairs in the 
northern parts of England was at this period 
seated at Sheriff-Hutton, in Yorkshire, and it 
was necessary for the Duke of Richmond and 
Somerset to set forth thither immediately, to 
assume his nominal supremacy over the councils 
of the north. Accordingly, after taking leave of 
the King, his father, in the gallery of Hampton 
Court l he had proceeded thither from London 
by river with a band of followers in sumptuous 
barges he finally quitted Durham Place, in the 
Strand, at which royal residence he had been 
residing with his retinue. His godfather, the 
Cardinal, presented him with a " horse litter " 
for his journey " garnished with cloth of silver 
and other stuffs." The trappings of the horses 
were " black velvet with buckles of copper and 
gilt for reins " and " gold and silver buttons." 
His footmen had doublets of blue and yellow, 

1 Newly presented by Wolsey to the King. 

141 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and his councillors, gentlemen, and servants were 
all provided with costly liveries. His journey was 
made with deliberation, for altogether it occupied 
more than a month. A curious account of its 
early stages is preserved in a report which was 
made to Wolsey by the Duke's " councillors " 
when they had travelled so far as Colliweston, 
near Stamford. 

Early on the journey a visit was paid to 
Lady Parr (mother of the future Queen), at 
whose house " his Grace was marvellously well 
intreated and had good chere." There the Duke 
of Norfolk took leave of him " demanding if he 
would anything to the King's Highness." At 
Huntingdon the bailiffs and " the honest men 
of the town " met him upon the bridge and 
presented him with " four great pykes and 
tenches." The Abbot of Ramsay sent certain 
swans, cranes, and other wildfowl, and " Dr. 
Halle gave his grace wine and also unto his 
council." 

From Huntingdon he proceeded to his own 
Manor of Colliweston, where David Sicile (Cecil, 
grandfather of the great Lord Burleigh) 
Steward. On the way the child killed a bucl 
in the King's park, called Clyffe Park. We 
gather from some items among the " Army and 
142 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Navy expenses " that, in spite of his tender years, 
he was already practised with his bow and arrow. 
" One hundred and twenty sheaves of arrows with 
girdles " had been supplied him at the cost of 
5 " one day's wages for the fletchers' trimming 
the arrows into their cases, 18d." and it is clear 
with what weapons he slew the buck in Clyffe 
Park. At Colliweston David Sicile " made his 
Grace good cheer at the said David's own cost 
and charge." Here also the Abbots sent him 
goodly presents of swans, cranes, and other wild 
fowl. 

His Grace did not at all like riding in his 
" horse-litter " the Cardinal's present which 
he only did for a few miles, " but ever since his 
Grace has ridden upon his hobby he hath been 
very well at ease and is cumen right merely 
(come right merrily) into Colliweston, thanked 
be God, and in better case and more lusty of 
his boddy than his Grace was at his first taking 
of his journey." Notwithstanding which the 
Council recommend the Lord Cardinal to send 
a physician " for the preservation of his person," 
and we consequently find in future the King's 
own physician, Dr. Butts, appointed to the 
household of the Duke. 

At Colliweston he and his party rested a week 

143 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and from Whence after a journey of ten days 
reached York on August 17. Their visit to that 
city, which occupied another ten days, is 
chronicled in the records of the Corporation. 

It was not till the end of the month that the 
party arrived at its destination at the Castle of 
Sheriff-Hutton. 

Of Sheriff- Hutton Leland says : " I saw no 
house in the north so like a princely lodging." 
The boy's household, in fact, was now formed 
on a scale worthy of a prince, and had he been 
Prince of Wales his elevation would have been 
greater only in name. The magnificence of his 
establishment was the more conspicuous by 
contrast with the comparatively parsimonious 
treatment of the Princess Mary three years 
older than himself, and indeed Henry FitzRoy 
from the age of six was distinguished by higher 
consideration than was the Princess a fact 
which greatly displeased and disquieted the 
Queen, her mother. No wonder that certain of 
the Queen's Spanish ladies-in-waiting murmured 
their disapprobation. " The Queen," reports 
Lorenzo Orio to the Doge, " remains dissatisfied, 
at the instigation, it is said, of three of her 
Spanish ladies, her chief counsellors, so the 
King has dismissed them from the Court a 
144 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 






strong measure but the Queen was obliged to 
submit and to have patience." 

The following is a list of the principal officers of 
the Duke of Richmond's Court at Sheriff-Hutton, as 
authorised to act under the sign manual of Wolsey, each 
of whom had with them a retinue of servants : 

The Dean of York. Chancellor [Brian Higdon]. 
The Archdeacon of Richmond, dean of his chapel and 
treasurer of his chamber. 

Mr. Magnus, surveyor and general receiver [Arch- 
deacon of the East Riding, 1504-1550. Many of his 
letters written when he was Ambassador to Scotland are 
preserved]. 

Sir William Bulmer, Steward of Household. 
Sir Godfrey Fulgeham, Treasurer [Foljambe]. 
Sir Thomas Tempest, Comptroller. 
Roger Radcliffe, Chamberlain. 
Richard Page, Vice-Chamberlain. 
Palgrave, Schoolmaster [The 

Revd. John Palsgrave]. 
Fairfax, Serjeant-at-Law. 
William Frankelyn, Chancellor 

of Durham. 
Bowes [afterwards Master of Counsellors. 

the Rolls]. 

John Uvedale, Secretary. 
Walter Luke, General Attorney 

[afterwards Justice of the 

King's Bench]. 
Doctor Tate, Almoner. 
Doctor Butts, Physician. 

The inferior officers of the household were appointed 
after a like princely proportion, and altogether there 

K 145 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

were 245 servants on the check-roll, the sum total of 
whose wages alone amounted annually to the then 
high figure of 856 15s. 7d. 

Lands and income were at the same time granted to 
him, amounting to over 4000 in yearly value : 

Middleham, Carleton, Coverdaill, Ketilwell, Crakehall, 
Brynbrig, Bowis, Arkilgarthdale, Sherifhotton, Stam- 
forthbriggis, Busbye, Faceby-cum-Carleton, Kimpton (?), 
Skirpynbek, Elvyngton, Sutton-super-Darwent, Rascall, 
Cotyngham, Langton, and Kirkstall in Yorkshire ; 
Frampton, Wykes, Skirbeck, Boston, Jeserhall, Taters- 
hall, East Depyng, West Depyng, Barne, and Bylling- 
burgh in Lincolnshire ; Thorpp-Watervyle and Achurche, 
Wrastlyngworth in Bedfordshire ; Bassyngburne in 
Cambridgeshire ; Cheshunt, Tidburst, Kendall, and 
Maydecrofte in Herts ; Bedhampton in Hants ; 
Lammershe and Colnewake in Essex ; Canford, Corffe 
Castle, &c., in Dorset ; Curryrivell, Carnell Reginae, 
Martok, Kingsbury, Langporte estoner Langporte 
Westover in Somersetshire ; Toryton Maner, Freming- 
ton Maner, Borrytracie, Sanford Paverele in Devon ; 
Dartford, Chydlynston, and Lychefelde in Kent ; 
Kendall, Londesdaille, and Eryresdaill Marton and 
Kyrby in Kendale in Westmorland ; Dalby, Lees, and 
Wresworth in Derbyshire ; Rydlington in Rutland ; 
Dartwith in Worcestershire ; Walsale in Staffordshire ; 
Ormesby and Bishops Lynn in Norfolk ; Dere and 
Pessnalen in Pembroke ; Escoyd and Gwynnyonneth in 
Cardiganshire, &c. 



146 



CHAPTER XIV 
1525-1526 

Nichols's memoir of Henry FitzRoy reviewed : Elizabeth in 
touch with her son : Her brothers at his court : She corresponds 
with his tutor : A remarkable child : His accomplishments : 
His musical parents : His Councillor's letter : Pontefract his 
winter residence : A letter from the infant Duke. 

THE biography of Henry FitzRoy, Duke of 
Richmond and Somerset, has been fully written, 1 
but it seems suitable to review it and to quote 
from it in these pages, closely connected as is the 
life- story of the mother with that of her son 
a fact which has escaped the attention of his 
biographer. Although Elizabeth did not reside 
with her son, she was constantly informed of 
his well-being, was in correspondence with his 
tutor, 2 and, it is evident, not only was con- 
sulted, but had considerable influence with 

1 Biographical Memoir of Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond, 
1855. By John Gough Nichols. Camden Miscellany, vol. iii. 

f 2 Cal. S.P., Henry VIII, vol. iv. 5807. This important letter con- 
necting mother and son which we quote on a later page, seems to 
have been unknown to Nichols. 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

regard to his education. Moreover she had a 
link of intimacy with his entourage, for 
curiously enough her own young brothers, 
George and William Blount, resided at her 
son's Court, and were educated with him, the 
elder being but five years older than Henry of 
Richmond and the younger much nearer to him 
in age. 

Henry appears from all accounts to have been 
a very remarkable child, of an extremely amiable 
disposition, and to have been worthy of the 
affection lavished on him by his father. With 
a precocious aptitude for learning, he already 
showed proficiency in all kinds of sports and a 
great taste for music qualifications which he 
inherited from both his accomplished parents, 
and which must have especially recommended 
him in the eyes of his father. Music indeed was 
the inheritance of all the Welsh Tudors, while 
through his mother a descendant of Owen 
Glendower the boy inherited a further strain 
of Welsh blood, and with it the gift of 
song. 1 

One of his councillors, Sir William Frankelyn, 
writes to Wolsey on October 10 following the 
Duke's arrival in the north : 

1 A lute was one of the Bang's gifts to his son. 

148 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

" I assure your Grace my Lord of Richmond 
is a child of excellent wisdom and towardness, 
and for his good and quick capacity, retentive 
memory, virtuous inclination to all honour, 
humanity, and goodness, I think hard it would 
be to find any creature living of twice his age 
hable [sic] or worthy to be compared to him. 
How his Grace used himself in dispeeching Mr. 
Almoner [Edward Lee, afterwards Archbishop 
of York], myself being present, and with what 
gravity and good manner he desired to be 
recommended to your Grace, I doubt not but 
the said Mr. Almoner will advertise your Grace 
at his coming." 

A month later (November 5) the Council of 
the north begin betimes to prepare for providing 
a " New Year's gift " to be given by the little 
Duke to his father, and they write thus early 
to Wolsey to beg his opinion as to the device of 
the gift and as to whether other gifts shall be 
sent at the same time to the Queen, to the 
French Queen (Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk), 
to the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and to the 
Marquises of Exeter and Dorset. 

On Christmas Day (1525) the Council write 
to Wolsey that his " young and tender godson 
is at the present time (lauded be God) in good 

149 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and prosperous health, and as toward a young 
prince as hath ' been seen in our time.' : 

The King's castle of Pontefract was usually 
the winter residence of the Duke and his Court. 
A letter dated from thence January 14 (the 
year is not stated), written by Dr. Magnus to 
Wolsey, announces that my Lord of Richmond 
proceeds well in his learning, and " hath kept 
a right honourable Christmas," and that 
" numbers of worshipful persons " came to visit 
him and pay him Court at Pontefract. The 
letter further informs us that William Saunders, 
Wolsey's old servant, " is very dilligent in 
teaching my Lord singing and playing upon the 
virginals." 1 

The same day the Duke himself writes a letter 
to his father, probably the first of a series of 
thirteen interesting letters preserved. " The 
penmanship is so beautifully fair," remarks 
Nichols of these letters, which are undated, 
" that it does not afford much guide to the 
arrangement of them. By that criticism, how- 
ever, the following penned with his own hand 
may be regarded as the first in date." 

" After most humble and most laulye requeste 
and petition had unto youre Grace for your 

1 A pair of virginals cost 20*. (E.O. July 24, 17 Henry VIII). 

150 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

daylye blissynge, pleasyt the same to be adver- 
tysed I have receyved your moste honorable 
and goodly new yere's gyfte. And gyve onto 
youre sayde grace most laulye thankes for the 
same. Humblye beseechynge youre grace to 
accept and take thys my lettre pennyd with 
myne owyne hande for a poore token at thys 
time. At your castel of Pontefract the XIIHth 
off Januarye. 

" Youre humble servant, 

" H. RYCHEMONDE. 
" Unto the Kynge's hyghnes." 



151 



CHAPTER XV 
1526 

Letters from James V and Queen Margaret : A request for 
hounds : Ten couple sent ; Queen Margaret's " natural 
affection." 

A CORRESPONDENCE took place early in the new 
year between the young King of Scots, James V, 
aged fourteen, and his " cousin," the little Duke 
of Richmond, not yet half of that age. 

It opened with letters from the King and his 
mother, Queen Margaret * (FitzRoy's " aunt ") 
to Dr. Magnus, the Duke's Surveyor, who was 
well known at the Court of Scotland, having 
been on an embassy there from Henry VIII in 
connexion with the Angus rebellion. King 
James in his letter, dated " at our Palace beside 
Holyrood House ye VIHth day of January, 
1526," asks for " three or four brace of the best 
ratches in the country, less or more, for hares, 
foxes, or other greater beasts, with one brace 

1 Elder sister of Henry VIII. 

152 



FT 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of blood hounds of the best kind that are good, 
and will ride behind men on horseback." 

Dr. Magnus writes to report this duly to 
Wolsey, who was kept minutely informed of 
every occurrence in the Duke's surroundings. 
His letter is dated from Pontefract on February 8. 
" Immediately upon the receipt of the said two 
letters," continues Magnus, " I shewed them to 
my Lord of Richmond's Grace, whose Grace 
did roundly read them over and forthwith had 
a natural inclination to do pleasure to the said 
King of Scots." 

Dr. Magnus shrewdly suspects that the osten- 
sible object contained a secret one namely that 
the Scotch messenger should note the " maner, 
form, and facion " of the Duke's household, 
reputed in Scotland of " right high estimation." 

However, " all premises reasoned and con- 
sidered among us here," the Duke sent ten 
couple of his hounds to the King of Scots, with 
a letter written by his own hand in which the 
little fellow says that he sends them " of the 
beste that I have proved of my owne." He 
adds that he was then destitute of any such 
lyam hounds [blood hounds] as be good and 
excellent to use to ride behynde men," but 
proposes to procure them for the King, his cousin. 

153 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Magnus concludes his report to Wolsey by 
" trusting that nothing but much goodness, 
perfect love, and favour by this means shall 
increase between both the young princes " 
thus, it may be observed, placing the Duke of 
Richmond on a par with the King of Scotland. 
These amenities seem to have led to the result 
desired, for King James, in acknowledgment, 
wrote a letter to the Duke (dated from Edin- 
burgh, March 9), 1 thanking him for his " honest 
present for the game of hunting," accompanied 
by a present of two brace of hounds for " deer 
and smaller beasts," and by an offer that " if 
the Duke take pleasure in hawking, he would 
send him," at the right season, " some of the 
best red hawks in the realm." At the same 
time he wrote to Dr. Magnus thanking him 
" still more for the acquentence making betwixt 
us and our tender cousing, the Duk of Rieh- 
monde." It is noticeable that the relationship 
was thus openly acknowledged. In like manner 
Queen Margaret, writing to Magnus (the previous 
November 25, 1525), 2 speaks of " our good 
nephew, the Duke of Richmond and Somerset," 

1 Probably 1526, No. 2955. State Papers, Record Office. 
* Letter published by Miss Wood (Mrs. Green). Letters of Koyal 
and Illustrious Ladies, vol. i, p. 368. 

154 






ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY| VIII 

and adds " we desire you to have us recom- 
mended unto him, as we that shall entertain our 
dutiful kindness as natural affection aright 
towards him, as we that is right glad of his good 
prosperity, praying the same to continue." 



155 



CHAPTER XVI 
1525, 1526-1527 

Matrimonial alliances contemplated : The ruses of diplomacy : 
Projected " King of Ireland " : The Emperor indignant : 
FitzRoy's first Tutor, Palsgrave : His methods of education : 
A picture-painter requisite : The child's Latin pronunciation : 
His marvellous precocity : The pedagogue's complaints : His 
letters to the child's mother : He importunes Lady Tailbois : 
Her influence with bishops and abbots : Palsgrave leaves the 
Duke of Richmond ; His poverty : He turns against Lady Tail- 
bois ; His mean disparagement of her. 

ALREADY various matrimonial alliances were 
proposed for my Lord of Richmond's grace, 
when he was barely eight years old. Within the 
space of a few months there was some talk of 
his marrying Catherine de Medici, styled " the 
Pope's niece," 1 a Danish Princess, a French 
Princess, and a daughter of Eleanor, Queen 
Dowager of Portugal, sister of Charles V. It 
was mooted in the negotiations between Henry 
and the Emperor that the Duke of Richmond 
should become Duke of Milan on marrying the 

1 She was in reality more distantly related to Clement VII. 

156 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Emperor's niece. The ambassadors charged with 
the negotiations were to say on behalf of the 
King : " His Highness can be content to bestow 
the Duke of Richmond and Somerset (who is 
near of his blood and of excellent qualities, and 
is already furnished to keep the state of a great 
prince and yet may be easily by the King's 
means exalted to higher things) to some noble 
princess of his near blood." 1 Some of these 
matrimonial projects were probably merely moves 
in the game of politics, but his future destiny 
already entered into the speculations of inter- 
national diplomacy. A rumour was spread from 
time to time that he was to be made King of 
Ireland, causing great indignation to the partisans 
of the Queen and the Princess Mary. Mendoza 
reports to Charles V : " The King and the 
Legate have in hand to make the King's illegiti- 
mate son King of Ireland. The plan is most 
unwelcome to the nation, and has aroused such 
illwill among the people that were only a leader 
to present himself and head the malcontents 
the King would soon be obliged to change his 
councillors. The Queen is very dissatisfied with 
these proceedings, though little of it is com- 

1 Ellis Letters, 3rd Series, vol. ii, p. 121. 

157 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

municated to her." x The report was in circula- 
tion two years later in Spanish circles, the 
Emperor expressing himself on the subject in 
a letter to Mendoza with great vehemence. 2 
Coupling this news about the King's bastard son 
and Ireland with a report that the Queen was 
to be divorced, he says : " Such things are not 
to be tolerated, as they might be the source 
of much scandal among Christian Princes, very 
detrimental to England itself, and injurious 
to the Queen and the illustrious Princess Mary, 
her only daughter and heir in that kingdom. 
Things having come to such a pass, we intend 
preventing the aforesaid evils as much as we 
can, and waging war on the King of England." 

Meanwhile, in order that the little boy might 
be duly qualified to fulfil the great position for 
which he was destined, he was to receive the 
highest possible education ; and for this pur- 
pose the King and Wolsey appointed the most 
erudite masters to teach him from the age of 

six. 

The earliest of these was John Palsgrave, to 
whose care the King (in the " gallery at Hampton 



1 Spanish State Papers, March 18, 1527. 

2 Ibid. February 1529. 



158 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Court," on the eve of his son's departure for 
the north) had entrusted his " worldly jewel ' 
and charged Palsgrave to bring him up in " virtue 
and learning." 

Palsgrave had been previously " schoolmaster " 
to the King's sister, Mary Tudor, and instructed 
her in French before she became Queen of 
France. He was the author of " Lesclarcisse- 
ment de la Langue Francoyse," the first book of 
the kind, and one much prized in our own day 
as illustrating both English and French terms 
in use early in the sixteenth century. In the 
introductory portion of this work it is stated 
that " he had in commandment from our most 
redoubted Soveragne to instructe the Duke of 
Richmonde's grace in the latin tong." 

We accordingly find him established at Sheriff- 
Hutton as " schoolmaster " in 1525, and as one 
of the " councillors " who reports to Wolsey 
and the King, during the first year and a half 
after the Duke's arrival in the north. 

A draft of a letter of Palsgrave's to the King 
promises that " according to my saying to you 
in the gallery at Hampton Court I do my utter- 
most best to cause him to love learning and to 
be merry at it, in so much that without any 
manner of fear or compulsion he hath already 

159 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

a great furtherance in the principles grammatical 
both Greek and Latin." 

Vivid sidelights are thrown by his letters on 
the methods of teaching pursued in an epoch so 
remote from our own. 

In ages when children's picture-books were 
unknown and children were thus without aids 
to stimulate imagination and develop know- 
ledge through the medium of the eye, there was 
but one way by which such could be supplied. 
In an establishment so great as was the young 
Duke of Richmond's a painter would be included, 
so that he might be ever at hand to illustrate 
with design and colour whatever might be the 
subject of the schoolmaster's lesson or dis- 
course. Thus we find Palsgrave, in a letter to 
the King, petitioning that the bearer of it may 
" make search to provide the Duke of a sufficient 
person " for the post of painter. Palsgrave 
understanding that the King intends to occupy 
otherwise " the painter about whom Dr. Taite, 
the King's Almoner, motioned the King," adds 
that he hopes the King will allow him " to ask 
some of the Privy Chamber, till the matter may 
take effect .... as it is a great furtherance in 
learning to know the names of things by their 
pictures, and the want of a painter causeth 
both him and me to stay." 
160 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

It is interesting to note that the King con- 
sulted Sir Thomas More as to whether this child 
of six years old should learn Latin, and that they 
concurred with Palsgrave that he should. It 
will be remembered that Latin was at this 
epoch the hall-mark of a polite education, and 
was not only the language of secret and diplo- 
matic letters, but it was the tongue in which 
the cultivated of all nations could converse 
in common and be intelligible to one another. 
It was also the language of prayer. The child 
had already learnt to lisp his " Matins " in it, 
and we find Palsgrave complaining to Sir Thomas 
More that " the barbarous tongue of him that 
taught him his Matins is, and hath been, a great 
hindrance to me." To the King he wrote : 
" He who first taught him to read was no clerk 
and did not know the true pronunciation of 
Latin, and whereas he is something inclined to 
lisp I trust now at the changing of his teeth 
to amend that default, but much might have 
been done at the beginning." One wonders 
whether the popular or the erudite method of 
pronouncing Latin then in vogue was the more 
correct, or which of the two most nearly re- 
sembled the one now taught in our schools. 

According to Palsgrave, his method of com- 

L 161 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

bining instruction with " merriment " was most 
successful in spite of the " perils " and tempta- 
tions put in his pupil's way by the less serious 
members of the household. 

This wonderful little boy could already " read 
the first Eclogue of Virgil," and two of the first 
scenes of " Adelphorum " which he could pro- 
nounce right prettily. " Yet," declares Pals- 
grave, he " never suffers my lord to continue 
long at his studies till he is wearied," but tries 
to make them pleasant " in so much that many 
times his officers wot not whether I learn him 
or play with him." Some of his household, 
however, did not hesitate to say " learning is 
a great hindrance to a nobleman" 1 and "would 
in no wise that he should be learned which were 
a pity, for no man, rich or poor, had ever better 
wit, though every day more people call upon 
him to bring his mind from learning, some to 
hear cry at a hare, some to kill a buck with his 
bow, sometime with grey hounds and sometime 
with buckhounds, and [tell him] that it is not 
lefull to depart till he hath taken the saye [sic], 
some to see a flight with a hawk, some to ride a 

1 " Albeit that some here which be high shaven murmur, and after 
putting of many perils let not to say that learning is a great hindrance 
and displeasure to a nobleman, I hear them with Ulixes ears." 

162 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

horse (which yet he is not greatly combered 
with because of his youth), besides many other 
devices found within the house when he cannot 
go abroad." 

In truth the position of a tutor in those days 
was neither remunerative nor held in high 
estimation. The leading persons about the Duke 
appear to have treated the pedagogue with all 
the arrogance born of a contempt of books, 
while, on his part, systematic begging for money 
and preferment seems to have been the only 
resource against destitution. He was in this 
respect not singular among his fellows, and even 
the great Erasmus was an inveterate beggar. 
Palsgrave, finding his pay of 13 6s. Sd. per 
annum insufficient for his needs, importuned 
his highly- placed friends and benefactors on 
all sides for their patronage, and among these 
Lady Tailbois, to whom he wrote urging his 
claims and soliciting her interest with a con- 
fidence which shows him to have been sure of 
her power to help him. 

One of these letters, or rather a draft of a 
letter, preserved in the Record Office,! i s of 

1 Cal. S.P. Henry VIII, vol. iv. 5807. This paper has been placed 
in the Calendar under date " 1529 " some three or four years too late. 
Palsgrave was no longer tutor to Richmond at that date. 

163 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

special interest as showing that the writer was 
in frequent correspondence with the Duke of 
Richmond's mother, and that she was concerned 
and consulted with regard to her son. 

He begs her to " come hither and judge for 
herself " words which imply that she was in 
open communication with the child. She 
appears, too, as a lady of high influence and in 
a position to exercise it over bishops and other 
ecclesiastical dignitaries. This letter, being the 
only known letter extant addressed to the 
subject of these pages, is here reproduced in 
full, for the first time, and in its original spelling, 
a specimen of the orthography approved by the 
most learned of the day : 

" MADAME, 

" I have receyved your favourable letter, most 
humbly thank you, and whereas I have in all 
my letters sent to your ladyshyppe synce my 
comyng into these partes certyfyed you that 
I lyved in parfit hoope [perfect hope] that, at 
the length, when the Kyng's grace and my 
lorde Cardinall should parfitly understand my 
diligent labours takyn with my lord off Rych- 
monts grace, and his great forderance in good 
learnyng by reason off the same, that they wold 
both be good and gracious unto me, and for 
164 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

my paynes mak me abyll to lyve accordying 
to the roome [place] they have sett me yn here. 
I certyfyed you allso in every of my saide letters 
that I hadd bene by the advise and counsell off 
Syr Richard Wyngfeld so free to make me abyll 
at the begynnyng to do service according to 
my roome [but] that I feryd [feared] unless 
your ladyshyppe were good unto me I should 
not be abyll to abyd [abide]. . . . 

" Madame, I have sustayned, synce my coming 
into Yorkshire a great dele more displeasure 
than you wold know off, and that, not only in 
wantyng off these things that were requisite 
for me to have, but allso both for my necessity 
and honesty by reason off my povertye am 
malynyd agaynst. I am sore dispicet [despised] 
at, in so myche [in-so-much] that not so lytyll 
as VI sundrye matters have been contryved 
agaynst me, whereof yoursellf was as gyltye 
[in respect of] many of theym as I was, and 
that shall you evidently know, yff yt shall ever 
be my fortune to see you here and you to be at 
any convenient leysure. 

" Madame, thys ys yett to me but a sory 
provision, whych [who] have not only forgone 
the hallff off that whyche I have gottyn in all 
my lyff in lesse than a xij monthe, but allso 

165 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

have hadd more prowyng [proving] and de- 
fendyng to declare my poore honestye than ever 
I hadd hytherto yn all my lyff, or I trow ever 
honest man hadd layed unto hym by folks that 
be esteymyd honest ; but as for my parte I am 
fully determined never to be aknowyn [indebted] 
thereoff to no creature lyving but to yoursellff ; 
for, as for me, let theym esteme me as they lyst, 
I wyll esteme mysellff, and endeavour me whyle 
I lyve to use as mych faith and trewth and 
honestye in my dealing as yt should be in a man 
better that loveth parfit honesty to do. And, 
on my fayth, yff I thought yt not honestly 
requisit for you to know theyse thinges, to the 
intent that you may substantially provyd [pro- 
vide] that the especiall gyftes off grace whyche 
Godde hath gyveyn unto my lorde of Rychmont's 
Grace (farre above that whych you yoursell 
could thynke) be not by malicious and evyll 
disposed parsons corrupted, I would never have 
made motion off theym to you. 

" But, Madame, to be playne with you, on my 
conscience my lorde of Richemont ys off as good 
a nature, as mych enclyned to all manner 
vertuous and honorable inclination, as any babe 
lyvyng. Now ys my roome undoutyd great 
about hym, for the Kynges Grace said unto me 
166 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in the presence of Master Parre and Master 
page [Page] I deliver q he [quoth he] unto you 
iij [three], my worldly Jewell, you twayne to 
have the guyding off hys bodye, and thou, 
Palsgrave, to bring hym uppe in vertu and 
learnyng, wherefore yff there be not a fayth 
and a trewth and honestye in me, and, by sydes 
that, a sufficient dyscretion, the Kynges Grace 
ys hyghly beguyld in me, and the chyldes 
manners shall at the lengthe be corrupted by 
me as many a great yong Princes hath beene 
. . . unto theym in lyke roume, and on the 
othersyde yff I be as I ought to be, and other 
folkes imagyne and conceyve matters agaynst 
me that I woulde never [have] thought nor 
wrought, and bring me in disputation before 
hym as thoughe I were gyltye, the babe shall 
begyn to dispyse me, or ever he know me, and 
conceyve a hatredde agaynst me causeless, that 
hereafter yt shall cause the gospell spoken off 
my mouthe seem wors [worse] to hym than a 
dreame or fantasy ; and, to be plain with you, 
folkes accustom hym already to lye for their 
pleasure. 

"Madame, lett thys matter be lokyd upon 
for yt standeth you in hand. As for me, yt ys 
not my natuer to accuse no parson, but yett for 

167 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

feare hys good qualities shall be marry d [marred] 
by any about hym, come hyther, Madame, and 
yff [if] after you could secret wysdom trye 
[try] every man and parson about hym, yff I be 
worthye to be expulsyd from hym, lett me ; 
for on my conscience yt hadd beene better that 
I hadde never bene borryn [born] than so 
excellent a creature should by me be corrupted 
in hys maners and yff ytt be others (as you 
may well parceyve what I thynke by my playne 
writyng) assaye yff you can trye theyr evyll 
conditions. 

" Madame, the very grownde off thyse 
malicious dispites that be here shewyd me 
ryseth off [ariseth from] my extreme povertye 
and none other cause, and that shall you well 
know when so ever you be amongst us, whyche 
I wold exhort you myght be so shortly as myght 
be possible, beseching your ladyshyppe on your 
partye [part] to studye how my poverty may be 
helpyd ; yt nedeyth me not to put you in 
mynd how many spirituall prelates as well as 
byshoppes and abbots wold not styck with you to 
grant you the advowsons off the best thynge in 
their gyft, or off any sych thyng as you thought 
wold shortly fall voyd : whych thyng I beseche 
you, good Madame, let be part off your studye, and 
168 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

as for me I shall apply my hole mynd to advance 
my lord's grace in hys lernyng beseeching Godde 
that I may do hym in my roume as mych good 
service as ever did Plutarch unto Trajan ; but 
as for howe he prayeth for me (for I am fallyn 
into a sore fever tertian) I praye Godd he be 
not a wors [the worse] till I be recovereyd." 

If Lady Tailbois were sufficiently versed in 
classical learning to understand the allusion to 
Plutarch and Trajan (and we may suppose she 
was one of the lettered ladies of the day) she 
might appreciate the subtle flattery conveyed 
in the comparison between her son and the 
Roman Emperor, while Palsgrave's hopes of 
future advancement from his august pupil are 
indicated by the parallel he draws between his 
own situation and that of Plutarch as preceptor 
to Trajan. 1 

Whatever may have been the result of this 
cringing appeal to " her Ladyshippe," Palsgrave 
did not remain long in his post of tutor to the 
Duke of Richmond. The poor wretch continued 

1 Fabricius asserts that Plutarch was Trajan's preceptor and that 
he was raised to the consular dignity by him. See also Suidas, who 
says that Trajan bestowed on Plutarch the consular ornaments and 
also caused an edict to be passed that the magistrates or officers of 
Illyria should do nothing in that province without Plutarch's knowledge 
and approbation. 

169 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

to importune his patrons for preferment, and 
seems to have been always in debt. " I beseech 
you," he writes to Sir Thomas More in 1529, 
" for your accustomed goodness to continue 
until such time that I may once more tread 
under foot this horrible monster poverty." It 
was perhaps through More's influence that 
Palsgrave became a Prebendary of St. Paul's. 
But it would appear that Lady Tailbois did 
not respond to his hint that she should influence 
bishops and abbots to get him the " best things 
in their gifts," for we find Palsgrave, in later 
years, either wantonly ungrateful for past favours, 
or cherishing some petty sense of resentment 
that she had not done all she might for his 
advancement ; and the same hand which penned 
the fawning letter we have quoted penned also, 
with singular meanness, the item in disparage- 
ment of " Besse Blount " to be found in those 
charges against Wolsey (drawn up later in the 
interest of his rival), to which we have referred 
in an earlier page. 1 

1 Page 119. 



170 




CHAPTER XVII 
1527-1528 

Palsgrave's successor : Dr. Croke : Hostility of clerk and 
layman : Latin letters ; The Prince educated with other 
boys : His young uncles : " Whipping boys " : A well- devised 
" policie " : An infant prodigy of learning : Croke's complaints : 
The Cotton brothers : Accused of inciting to idleness : Extra- 
vagance of household : Sir William Parr : Richmond's good 
qualities. 

To Palsgrave succeeded, as " schoolmaster " 
to the little Duke, Richard Croke, D.D., 1 who 
had been reader of Greek in the University of 
Cambridge, and was one of the most famous 
pioneers of Greek scholarship in England. 

The mantle of Palsgrave's unpopularity seems 
to have fallen upon Croke. Indeed, clerk and 
layman, in their respective methods, habits, 
and outlook, were at this epoch so irreconcilably 
opposed that, forced into contact in the Ducal 

1 It is curious that this Croke appears to have been a distant kinsman 
of the Blounts, being a scion of that senior branch of the Blount family 
which in early times changed its name to Croke for political reasons. 
(See Sir Alexander Croke's History of the Blounts.) 

171 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

household, they lived in a state of perpetual 
hostility the one to the other. The lay element 
preponderating so greatly in strength and num- 
bers, one poor ecclesiastic had little chance of 
holding his own. 

He had, however, a weapon with which his 
adversaries could not match him. He could 
write Latin letters of complaint to the King and 
the Cardinal, which they were not only unable 
to do, but they could not understand a word of 
the contents if they contrived to intercept them. 
The squabbles reached a crisis in the summer of 
1527, when Dr. Croke's indignation found vent 
in a Latin letter to Wolsey, of seven pages' 
length, in which he complains that he can do 
nothing with the " Prince " unless the Cardinal 
will restrain the attendants " who do all they 
can to make the Prince and his fellow pupils 
dislike literature and the clergy." 

In the surroundings of FitzRoy we have an 
interesting illustration of the system of educa- 
tion and discipline customary in the care of a 
" Prince " for so Croke always designates the 
Duke of Richmond. The Prince was not edu- 
cated alone, but several boys of good birth 
(" nobles," as Croke calls them) were brought 
together to be his schoolfellows. These, among 
172 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

whom, as we have said, were his young uncles, 
George and William Blount, had the great 
advantage of sharing in the Prince's education, 
thus receiving the best instruction anywhere 
to be attained. Some of these boys slept in the 
same room with the Prince. But the Prince's 
companions were intended to serve more than 
one useful purpose. They were not only to set 
him an example of diligence, but further by the 
punishment they received to let him see what 
his own shortcomings deserved, that he might 
in some measure " dread the like discipline, 
even if he did not sustain it in his own 
person." 

It was, of course, contrary to all etiquette 
that a prince should receive the full indignity 
of castigation, however much he might deserve 
it. As is well known, it was customary for 
another boy's person to be offered in sacrifice, 
the princeling being condemned to suffer spiritu- 
ally, it was supposed, a double guiltiness at 
seeing his companion suffer physically for offences 
which he himself had committed. " The idea 
of intimidating a lordly pupil," remarks Nichols, 
" by the vicarious punishment of his school- 
fellows appears to have been long regarded as 
a ' well-devised policie ' " ; and in the old play, 

173 



*-' 

*' 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

by Rowley, entitled " When you see me you 
know me," Cranmer is made to say : 

So, Sir, this policie was well devised ; 

Since he was whipt thus for the Prince's faults 

[Prince Edward] 

His Grace has got more knowledge in a month 
Than he attained in a year before ; 
For still the fearful boy to save his breech 
Doth hourly haunt him wheresoere he goes. 

Whether or not his Uncles George and William 
ever " haunted " their princely nephew in this 
fashion, we can well understand that with so 
amiable and generous a boy as was FitzRoy the 
fear of their " smarting " for his faults rendered 
him the more tractable and obedient to his tutors. 
Certainly one at least of the Blount brothers 
in after life retained nothing but the happiest 
recollections of his boyhood. So lastingly im- 
pressed were these on Sir George Blount's memory 
that his epitaph in Kinlet Church records that 
he " delighted in the court of his Prince." Of 
the natural disposition and ability of FitzRoy, 
Croke indeed has only good to report. 

We suspect that had not the pedagogue's 
zeal for cramming his pupil been held in check 
by counteracting influences, the boy and his 
174 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

companions would have had a dreary existence. 
We are glad to find him writing to Wolsey " for 
an harness to exercise myself in arms according 
to my erudition in the Commentaries of Caesar." 
He begs Wolsey to back his request to the King, 
to whom he writes a letter to the same effect ; l 
and we doubt not it was promptly granted. 

But not content that at eight years old this 
child " could translate any passage of Caesar," 
his master evidently hoped to make him a still 
greater phenomenon of learning, were it not for 
the interruptions and interference of the gentle- 
men ushers, one George Cotton in particular, 2 
whom Croke accused of putting every obstacle 
in the way of the Prince's progress, especially 
in Latin. If Croke's long list of grievances is 
to be believed, Cotton had forbidden Croke to 
have access to the Prince even at the hours of 
teaching, and had told him openly before the 
Prince that he should not go to him without 

1 Cal. S.P., vol. iv, 3860-1. 

1 George Cotton, direct ancestor of the present Viscount Comber- 
mere, was afterwards knighted, and Esquire of the Body to Henry VIIT. 
On the dissolution of the Abbeys he seated himself at Combermere, 
an ancient Abbey of the Benedictines. His younger brother, Richard 
Cotton, was knighted by Edward VI at his coronation, and was ap- 
pointed Comptroller of that King's Household in 1552. Both these 
Cotton brothers (and a third) were skilled in archery, and often shot 
in contest with Henry VIII, and won on three occasions in 1531. 

175 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

definite letters from the Cardinal. Although 
he keeps his instructors from him, he (Cotton) 
allows buffoons to sing indecent songs before 
him, and omits no opportunity of abusing the 

clergy and bringing them into contempt 

The Prince has been taught to say " Teacher, 
if you beat me I will beat you," and might he not 
well say so when he sees his fellow-pupils, though 
so much his own inferiors, laughing at Croke 
even before his face, and when they came for 
correction they were rescued out of his hands 
by grooms, who asserted that it was improper 
to unbreech them before so great a Prince, and 
that they ought to be taken to the bedchamber ! 
. . . The groom who had done this was a 
kinsman of Cotton, and no doubt acted by 
his directions. One boy, Scrope, is especially 
named ?s following Cotton's example in exciting 
the others against him. This Scrope had not 
only dared to say the worst things against him, 
but had even loudly abused him in church, 
calling him bastard, fool, rogue, mope, and a 
thousand other naughty names, and had further 
actually ill-treated a boy of good disposition 
who lodged with Croke and had been sent there 
recently by the King. Cotton excuses all the 
Prince's faults, telling Croke he is too severe 
176 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

takes him out for hunting or other reasons without 
Croke's leave, forbids the boys who sleep in the 
Prince's chamber to rise before daylight or to 
come to Croke to be taught at night. First he 
forbids the Prince to write to the King, to Wolsey, 
to Magnus or Parr, at Croke's suggestion. Then 
he will not allow any writing before dinner, 
though that was the only convenient time ; but 
he would set the Prince to writing after dinner 
before lessons, to his double injury, first because 
by stooping and too long occupation with his 
pen he became so wearied that he was wholly in- 
capable of study, (for his strength being exhausted 
his mind grew heavy and listless with everything, 
his apprehension was dulled, and with evident 
pain both of stomach and head his eyes were 
stiff and filled with tears) ; and also because of 
this pretence, the Prince's autograph letters 
were procured for Cotton's advantage or favour, 
and, without the knowledge of the Councillors, 
they were sent perhaps to the neighbouring 
abbots for hawks, or trifles of that sort, the 
Prince's dignity being compromised, contrary 
to the orders Wolsey had given. . . . 

Frequently Cotton would take the Prince out 
from dinner to practise archery and thus render 
him by fatigue little fit for his books, and indeed 

M 177 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

so idle that he would sometimes purposely stick 
at what he knew perfectly well and not proceed 
any further ; on which occasions if Croke at all 
chid him, Cotton would immediately interfere 
and say " Why do you scold so ? My lord has 
done well. The passage is too difficult, he 
made a mistake. What can you expect ? He 
will make some mistakes " ; and anon, as if 
by his authority, the Prince was torn away 
from his master, and the lesson broken off with 
caresses, &c. 

In this human document we trace the spirit 
characteristic of the true pedagogue in all ages, 
and our sympathies incline to the other side. 
But when some months later Croke charges 
the Cotton brothers with gross extravagance, 
and even the Chamberlain of the Household, 
Sir William Parr, 1 with neglecting his duties, 
we suspect the accusations may have been well 
founded, however interested may have been the 
motive of the accuser in bringing them against 
his adversaries. 

In letters to the King and the Cardinal, he 

1 Sir William Parr, younger brother of Sir Thomas Parr, whose 
daughter Katherine was the sixth wife of Henry VIII. He became 
Chamberlain to his niece and was created in 1543 Lord Parr of Horton, 
and died in 1546, and was buried at Horton, where there is a splendid 
monument to his memory. 

178 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

begs that the Prince's Council be commended 
to examine the Clerks of the Kitchen and the 
yeomen and grooms of every office as to what 
wine, beer, and other stuffs they have known 
the two Cottons to spend in two years by enter- 
taining friends and servants above their allow- 
ance, and in providing for Parr's family of which 
the fifth part does not appear in the books by 
the fraud of Richard Cotton, Clerk Comptroller. 
As to Sir William Parr, he has been absent sixty- 
six weeks since Croke came, and when present 
has seldom given attendance, but spent his 
time in hawking and hunting. 

To Wolsey he adds that the Cardinal would 
hardly believe how great a quantity of the 
Prince's corn, malt, wine, ale, beef, mutton, 
veal, venison, salt meat, fish, and all kind of 
provision has been wasted by the Cottons and 
the Parrs. 

That there was reckless excess and waste in 
this household we can the more believe when 
we turn to some of the items in Richard 
Cotton's book of accounts from June 12, 1526, 
to March 3, 1527, and see what a vast amount 
of meat, wine, ale and beer was consumed 
a period of nine months and nineteen 
lays : 

179 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 



Gascon Wine 24 tuns . 
Ale 162 tuns "V * 
Beer 251 qts. ^ 
Hops 5J Cwt. 12 Ib. 



1551 

1761 
391 



53s. 8id. 



26 


14 


8 


4 


10 


7J 


4 


18 


2 


123 


14 


i 


123 


17 





281 


7 


9 



178 Oxen . . V V . 160 12s. 3d. 

916 sheep . . V . .110 7 1| 

251 calves . 

Hogs 

194 Porkers 

82 Eels 

Fish . 

(Cod, Stockfish 

(Salmon and herring) 

Poultry 

And according to Croke this was but a fifth 
part. 

The implication of Sir William Parr in these 
charges would perhaps never have been made 
had it not been that he had mortally offended 
the schoolmaster by calling the Prince before him 
and enjoining him that he should cease to repeat 
to Croke the lessons he had learnt in the day, 
and that he should never be alone with him or 
listen to him except when reading. Further, 
he had forbidden Croke to arrange the Prince's 
180 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

holidays, and had appointed his (Parr's) nephew x 
to say Matins and Vespers with the Prince. 

He had thus " got the Prince to pay no atten- 
tion to the requests or threats of either Ambrose 
the Usher (one of the best-natured of men) or 
of the woman his nurse, or of Croke himself. 
" Your foresight," he tells Wolsey, in conclusion, 
" will easily divine to what all this will lead. 
I vastly fear lest a disposition of the best promise 
with a great proof of my diligence may at last 
be ruined under such masters, who measure 
everything for their own pleasure and profit, 
and nothing for the advantage of their lord." 2 

It seems more due to FitzRoy's good qualities 
of heart and head than to his masters and attend- 
ants, that these gloomy forebodings were not 
realized. But the witness of his contemporaries 
and the verdict of history have nothing but praise 
for this remarkable boy. 






1 Probably William Parr, afterwards Marquis of Northampton 
(Nichols). 

2 Many further details with regard to his career may be found among 
the State Papers, and in Nichols' Memoir compiled from them. 



181 



CHAPTER XVIII 
1529-1530 

Another scene of squabbles j The Tailbois family : Wolsey's 
omniscience : Old Lady Talbois's complaints : The Cardinal's 
intervention : Young Talbois made Lord Talbois of Kyme : 
The " first Parliament of the Reformation " : Lord Tailbois 
dies : The inscription on his monument ; Cardinal Wolsey's fall : 
His journey north : Dies. 

WE have seen that the quarrels of the Duke of 
Richmond's household were referred to the 
omniscient Wolsey. We now turn to another 
scene of squabbling, in which the Duke's mother, 
Lady Tailbois, figured, and which equally, and 
at the same period, came under the eye of 
the Cardinal no details indeed seem to have 
been too petty for the attention of the great 
man. 

This quarrel was between Elizabeth (Gascoigne) 
Lady Tailbois the elder, on the one side, and 
her son, Sir Gilbert, and his wife, Elizabeth 
(Blount) Lady Tailbois the younger, on the 
other. 
182 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

A large part of the property of the lunatic 
Sir George Tailbois had, as we have said, been 
handed over to his son, Sir Gilbert, and settled 
on Sir Gilbert's wife should she survive him. 
The lunatic was still living and, in fact, lived 
for many years. He continued to reside at 
Golthro, in Lincolnshire, with his wife, Lady 
Tailbois the elder, who managed or mismanaged 
his household while under the surveyance of 
Wolsey, and subject to certain " visitations " 
by him or his agents. 

Here, then, was a state of things likely to be 
fruitful in dissensions. The elder Lady Tailbois 
cherished a grievance against her son, and 
doubtless more especially against her daughter- 
in-law, while they, on their part, were constantly 
complaining of the mismanagement of that 
portion of the paternal property which was not 
in their hands, and trying to get possession of 
it. Their case was supported by Wolsey, who 
is reported to have sent for young Sir Gilbert 
and told him he " ought to go home and see 
order kept, and that he should have the custody 
of his father and his lands." So says young 
Lady Tailbois to an old servant of the family, 
and denies that she or her husband made any 
request to the King or the Cardinal that they 

183 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

should have more of their father's lands. Her 
conversation is reported back by the old servant 
to Lady Tailbois the elder, in Lincolnshire, 
together with an undutiful message from Sir 
Gilbert to his mother to say that " as she was 
the cause of his going to Court she must pay for 
his Costs." "This," writes the elder lady from 
Golthro to Thomas Heneage l ( Wolsey's Secretary, 
and son of her cousin the Dean of Lincoln) 
" causes me great disquiet and makes my friends 
here and in the north wonder," and " if their 
unfitting words do not cease " she " will com- 
plain to Wolsey. It is folly of my son and 
daughter [in law] to take any order concerning 
their father's lands without my Lord Cardinal's 
commandment, for they shall never order me 
without it." She thanks Heneage for the pains 
he always takes in her husband's causes, and is 
surprised that her son and daughter should 
complain of Heneage taking her part against 
them, as he has always been so impartial. 
She is "sending six fat oxen as a present for 
my Lord Cardinal at Easter," an attention 
which no doubt she hoped might further her 
cause. 

Possibly the oxen did not arrive in good 

1 Letter dated April 1, 1529. Record Office, Wood's letters 11-43. 
184 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

condition, or the Cardinal was proof against the 
bribe. For he wrote a month later to the elder 
lady a letter dated from Durham Place, May 15, 
desiring her to deliver to her son, Sir Gilbert 
Tailbois, "lands to the yearly value of 100/. 
the residue of 200J. appointed by Act of Parlia- 
ment to him and his wife ; and an annuity of 
40Z., together with the money received from 
the lands from May Day last." 

To this the lady replies that she would give 
him the lands, but begs to be excused giving 
the money, for the following reasons : 

(1) Since her husband's visitation when he 
\yas committed to Wolsey by the King his rents 
have been employed for household expenses and 
the marriage of his children and not for wasteful 
expenses. (2) There are now 150 marks owing 
of the marriage money of one of their children 
for which her nearest friends are bound. (3) Her 
younger son has no assignment for his living and 
must be provided for. (4) William Bongham, 
an old servant of her husband's, who was accus- 
tomed to provide wheat and grain for the house- 
hold, has gone away with money enough to 
provide for the whole year, and she is obliged 
to make fresh provision with the rents of the 
Lordship of Kyme for which her son Sir Gilbert 

185 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

asks, and of other lands also. (6) There are six 
score wild beasts in the Lordship of Kyme from 
which they used to provide beef for the house- 
hold, but from which they can now get no 
profit. She has had little comfort since her 
husband's last visitation " and for the pleasure 
of God I have yielded me thereunto, and now 
my husband is aged it would be hard to live in 
penury, and be unable to discharge our friends 
of the sums in which they are bound to us. If 
my son obtain his demands we shall be obliged 
to break up house and 6 sparpull ' [sic] l our 
children and servants." He has " now in his hands 
lands worth 342L 17 s. 11 fd. more than she and 
his father have." She concludes by saying she 
will do all she can for him when her children are 
provided for and her debts paid. 

So the curtain falls on these unseemly wrangles, 
and the conclusion of the episode is left to con- 
jecture. Whether or not the parents received 
any compensation at the hands of Wolsey, it is 
certain that the young Tailbois were further 
advanced in fortune shortly after this corre- 
spondence. 

Sir Gilbert was summoned to Parliament as a 
baron by the style and title of Lord Tailbois 

1 Compare the French esparpitter eparpitter to scatter. 
186 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

of Kyme in November 1529, the unprecedented 
number of twelve peers being created at 
the same time with him. The occasion is 
noteworthy in parliamentary history, and has 
been often quoted as a precedent for the creation 
of large numbers of peers for the purpose of 
carrying a measure. Froude has extolled this 
as the first great Parliament of the Reformation, 
which commenced and concluded a revolution 
reversing the foundations of the State ; and Mr. 
Horace Round remarks J that the new peers were 
summoned to this Parliament in order to facilitate 
the desired changes, and to counteract the re- 
actionary influence of the " Spiritual Persons " 2 
among the lords who were known to be hostile 
to them. 

But a few months after he received his 
summons as a baron, young Lord Tailbois 
received the premature summons of death 
for he "departed forth of this world" in the 
following April. 

He was buried in the Priory Church of South 
Kyme, 3 where this epitaph may still be seen to 
his memory : 

1 Studies in Peerage. 2 Hall. 

8 His body with two other bodies supposed to be those of his children 
were discovered some years ago shrouded in lead. 

187 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Here lyeih the body of Sir Gilbert 

Taylboys, Lord Taylboys, Lord of Kyme 

Whych married Elizabeth 

One of the daughters of Sir 

John Blounte of Kynlet Knight. 

He departed forth of this world 

Ye 15th day of April An.Do. 1530 

On whose soule God have Mercy, Amen 

The epitaph seems to suggest that the marriage 
of Gilbert Tailbois was the principal event of his 
life ; and doubtless he was chiefly known to his 
contemporaries as the husband of Elizabeth 
Blount. 

In the year of Tailbois's death his great patron 
was himself hastening to his end. A prey to his 
enemies, Wolsey had been driven from London 
by his rival, the Duke of Norfolk, and sent to 
York under the pretext of looking after his 
diocese. On his way thither he rested at Peter- 
borough from Palm Sunday, April 10, to 
Thursday in Easter week, and there he would 
have heard the news that his protege, Lord 
Tailbois, had died on Good Friday. After a brief 
visit to his friend Lord Fitz William, at Milton, 
Wolsey proceeded to Grantham, thus passing 
near the estates of the widowed Lady Tailbois. 
188 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

It is not improbable that a meeting took place 
between the two friends, who would condole 
with each other on their misfortunes ; or she 
may at least have sent him neighbourly presents 
for his journey, according to the custom of the 
day. 

Wolsey died in the following November, never 
having recovered from the effect of his disgrace. 
Norfolk succeeded to his vast interests, private 
as well as public, but he was destitute of Wolsey's 
genius. And now, from the ashes, as it were, 
of his former master, Wolsey, there gradually 
arose to the pinnacle of power another figure, 
more sordid but hardly less prominent than the 
mighty Prelate, namely, the Right Worshipful 
Master Thomas Cromwell of the King's Council. 



189 



CHAPTER XIX 
1524-1531 

Elizabeth's grandfather, Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, dies : 
His will : Her father's troubles : Feud with Sir William 
Compton : Their retainers fight : Cromwell supports Sir John 
Blount : Compton dies of the sweating sickness : Sir John 
Blount of Kinlet dies : Dame Katherine, his widow : Their son 
George a minor : Monument in Kinlet Church. 

WHILE the husband of Elizabeth thus passed the 
last years of his life in wrangling with his parents 
about the family possessions, her father, Sir John 
Blount (he was knighted about this time) was 
harassed up to the time of his death in 1531 by 
quarrels with regard to his inheritance. His 
father, Sir Thomas Blount of Kinlet, had died 
in 1524, leaving a will the whole provisions of 
which were an infringement of his eldest son's 
right to succeed to his inheritance as guaranteed 
by the latter's marriage settlement in 1491. 

The will, dated March 10, the fifteenth year 
of Henry VIII (1523), is preserved at Kinlet, 
and sets forth that the testator " being aged 
and many tymes sicke in body, but stedfast 
190 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in mynde " a proviso against any suggestion 
of mental incapacity makes his last will and 
testament. After bequeathing his " Soule to 
God and Our Ladye and to all the Sayntes in 
heaven " and his " body to be buried in Saynt 
Katryne's Chappel in Kinlet Church before the 
altar there," he leaves Kinlet in trust for thirty 
years subject to legacies to his numerous 
daughters and younger sons ; and to this end 
he appoints certain feoffees. A clause in the 
will provides that if " John Blount, my son and 
heir apparent . . . suffer my last will to be 
performed, fulfilled, and kept according to the 
words and intent of the same without any lett, 
vexations, inquieting, or interupcion," then the 
trust is to terminate at the end of thirty years 
in his favour. But if, on the other hand, he 
should " lett or hinder this my will or any part 
thereof," then the trust is to terminate in favour 
of Sir Thomas's second (and favourite) son 
Edward, and John and his children are to be 
disinherited. Two days after his father's death, 
Edward Blount, the first- named executor, carried 
the will to Ludlow Castle and had it proved " in 
the sacello of our Lady Mary Magdalen within 
the Castle " before Charles Bishop of Hereford, 
on June 6, 1524. 

191 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

First among the feoffees appointed by Sir 
Thomas to carry out the terms of his will was 
Sir William Compton, the King's powerful 
favourite, to whom were granted more manors, 
lands, and spoils than to any other man in 
England. He was, moreover, pre-eminent in 
Worcestershire, the county adjoining Kinlet, for 
he enjoyed the unusual privilege of being Sheriff 
of Worcestershire for life. He had received his 
knighthood after the battle of Tournay, where 
the veteran knight banneret Sir Thomas Blount 
was present with him. But the chief reason the 
old knight had in appointing Compton was that 
Compton was at enmity with John Blount (whose 
contemporary in age he was) and that he was the 
patron of his favourite son Edward. Further, 
the influence of so powerful a personage might be 
counted on to nullify the influence of John and 
the trustees of John's marriage settlement, among 
the survivors of whom was William Lord Mount- 
joy, whose name was known to carry high weight 
and consideration. 

Litigation ensued * on the death of Sir Thomas 

i On February 25, 1525, " Edward Sutton Lord Dudley, William 
Blount Lord Mount joy, and the other surviving feoffees of the marriage 
settlement of John and Katherine Blount made a deed of recovery, 
which had not been before executed, by which the said John and 

192 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

and a state of feud, not only between John Blount 
and Compton, but between their respective 
servants and dependents, who f fought in the 
vast forest of Wyre, which borders the counties 
of Salop and Worcester. 

Sir William Compton at once succeeded Sir 
Thomas Blount in the post of Keeper of the 
Royal Parks at Bewdley and Ernewood privi- 
leges usually enjoyed by the owners of Kinlet, 
and which had been guaranteed by royal warrant 
to John Blount some years previously in the 
event of his surviving his father. John Blount, 
however, now appears as Parker of Cleobury 
Mortimer, another of the royal domains adjacent 
to Kinlet. The respective retainers of the two 
rivals had therefore constant opportunity for raids 
over the border ; and the feud was the more 
bitter that Edward Blount l was in the service 
of Sir William Compton. 

Sir John Blount, however, had a friend in 
Thomas Cromwell, newly rising to supreme power 

Katherine entered into possession of Kinlet " thus setting aside Sir 
Thomas Blount's will, and disregarding the threats contained therein. 
(Deed at Kinlet.) 

1 Edward Blount (of Kidderminster) was one of two deputies of the 
King's Surveyor of the Royal Manor of Ticknell (Bewdley), Sir William 
Compton being the King's Surveyor in 1526. He married an heiress, 
Mary, daughter and only child of John Garneys, and he and his descend - 

N 193 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in the State, who supported him in his cause. 
In a letter addressed to Cromwell (preserved 
among the State Papers) Sir John thanks 
Cromwell for the " great pains " he has taken 
on his behalf, and complains of one in particular 
of Sir William Compton's men who has indicted 
thirty of his [the writer's] men " seven of whom 
are at exigend." He desires Cromwell " to find 
some remedy, to have a discharge of the Scheroff 
[sheriff] or else to remove it out of that shire 
[probably out of Worcestershire into Shropshire] 
for there," he adds, " I can have no favour by 
reason of my brother [Edward Blount] and 
others of Sir William Compton's servants. And 
here," concludes Sir John, " I send you a token 
[doubtless a handsome fee] and will provide you 
a gelding against summer which I trust you shall 
me thank for, as God knows. 1 . . ." 

Shortly before this letter was written Compton 
had been suddenly cut off by the "sweating 
sickness " that swift and deadly " scourge " 
which seems to have specially singled out the 
wealthy and the highly placed for its ravages, 

ants flourished at Kidderminster. In the church there are fine recum- 
bent monuments to his son, Thomas Blount, and to Thomas's son, Sir 
Edward, represented with his two wives, the former of whom was a 
daughter of Edward Nevill, Lord Abergavenny. 
1 S.P. Henry VIII, vol. iv. 632. R.O. 

194 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in the summer of the year 1528. Sir John 
Blount's situation became easier by the death 
of his adversary ; although Compton's men, as 
we have seen, continued to harass him and his. 
But soon afterwards we find him probably 
not without the assistance of another timely 
bribe to Thomas Cromwell in the enjoyment 
of his ancestral offices which Compton had 
usurped, namely the keepership of the royal 
parks of Bewdley and Ernwood the latter 
closely adjoining his own park at Kinlet. 

But Sir John Blount himself did not long 
survive in the possession of the lands of his 
forefathers. He died in February 1531 during 
which year he was serving as Sheriff of Shrop- 
shire leaving his widow to carry on the struggles 
and intrigues which seem to have been inseparable 
in this epoch from large possessions and the 
maintenance of social position always apt to 
be threatened by the envy and hostility of rivals 
and enemies. 

Dame Katherine, whom we have not met 
since the early days of her married life, appears 
henceforth as the shrewd and scheming mother 
of sons to be launched in the world. Her cor- 
respondence with her husband's ally, Thomas 
Cromwell, will be quoted in its due chronology. 

195 



I 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Meanwhile her eldest son, George, the heir of 
Kinlet, who had been born after his sister 
Elizabeth's arrival at Court, and had been 
educated with his " princely " nephew, was 
eighteen, and during his minority was in the 
wardship of the Duke of Norfolk, while his 
property was under the superintendence of his 
mother. This lady now erected to her husband's 
memory the beautiful alabaster monument in 
Kinlet Church, a picture of which is reproduced 
in our pages. By the side of Sir John's recum- 
bent effigy, which represents him wearing the 
" S.S. Collar " and armour of the Tudor period, 
she placed a life-sized figure of herself with a detail 
of necklaces and " pedimental " head-dress deli- 
cately carved. He who fashioned this work of 
art must have been a sculptor of repute. 



196 




WINDOW IN THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF KINLET CHURCH 



CHAPTER XX 
1532-1533 

The widowed Elizabeth : Resides at Kyme : Her surroundings 
and hospitality : Her younger sisters : Their husbands : Lady 
Tailbois' servant at Court : Her New Year's gifts : " The 
mother of the Duke of Richmond " : He leaves Yorkshire : 
Made Lieutenant of Ireland : Never sets foot there : The King 
preoccupied with Anne Boleyn : Some current gossip j 
Monsieur de Heylwigen and John Barlow : A conversation : 
Lady Tailbois and Anne Boleyn compared : The former 
" eloquent, gracious, beautiful." 

AFTER the death of Lord Tailbois, the widowed 
Elizabeth chiefly resided in Lincolnshire, at her 
moated Castle of Kyme, the ancient inheritance 
of her husband's family, " the goodly house and 
park " of which, says Leland, " is a three mile 
from Sleaford." The lofty quadrangular tower 
of Kyme still forms a conspicuous object in the 
flat landscape on the western border of the 
Boston fens, but nothing else remains of what 
was once a baronial mansion on a great scale, 
The extent of its walls can still be traced beside 
the trenches of the moat which surrounded it. 

197 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

It was here that " my lady Tailbois " provided 
the hospitable entertainment for her hunting 
neighbours of which we get glimpses from time 
to time. 

With her lived her three little children, a 
daughter, Elizabeth, and two sons, George and 
Robert. The elder succeeded to his father's 
barony, while his mother had the enjoyment 
for life of the large estates which had been 
settled on her by Act of Parliament at the time 
of her marriage. 

Two of her younger sisters, no doubt through 
her connexion, were married to Lincolnshire 
gentlemen a county so remote from that of 
their birth. One, Isabella, was the wife of 
William Reade, and another, Rose, the wife of 
William Greslyng, or Gresley, whom his nephew 
Henry FitzRoy styles his " friend " in a letter 
thanking Cromwell for his goodness to him and 
praying for its continuance. 1 

That Lady Tailbois was within the circle of 
the Court is evidenced by the fact of her name 
being found occasionally in lists relating to 
Court matters. Among " payments to certain 
grooms and messengers of the Chamber riding on 
the King's business " servants belonging to a 

1 October 27 [1534 ?]. 
198 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

few prominent personages whose names are 
entered with the items " the Lady Tailbois' 
servant " has 135. 4d., the list being scheduled 
" rewards given on New Year's Day at Green- 
wich 1529." The servant was probably the 
bearer on this occasion of a New Year's gift 
from Lady Tailbois to the King. 

In a list, dated January 1532, 1 of " gifts given 
by the King's Grace to these persons ensuing," 
among some select names entitled " Duchesses, 
Countesses, and Ladies," the name of " my 
Lady Tailbois " figures, the gifts to the various 
recipients respectively being such as gilt 
cruses, cups, salts, casting-bottles, and goblets. 
The entry is : " To the lady Tailbouse a gilt 
goblett with a cover, Cornelles, ponderis 
35 oz. d. d. qrt." The word " Cornelles " is the 
name of the goldsmith who supplied the article,* 
the weight being some 35 J oz. Ij dwt. She got 
on this occasion the heaviest present of any of 
the ladies, though Lady Sandys (wife of the 
King's Chamberlain, Lord Sandys of the Vine), 
ran her close. At the same time Lady Tailbois 
was among those who gave the King a New 
Year's gift, but what it was is not specified. 

1 Treasure of the Chamber Accounts. Record Office. Cal. S.P., 
vol. v, p. 307. 

199 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

It is interesting to note " old Lady Bryan's " 
present, " a dog-collar of gold of damask, with a 
lyalm " [bloodhound]. We may conclude that 
the givers and recipients in this New Year of 
1532 were in the good graces of Anne Boleyn, 
whose star was now at the full height of its 
ascendancy. 

Of Elizabeth's association with her first-born, 
Henry FitzRoy, there is no actual record during 
her widowhood. She continues, however, to be 
referred to from time to time as the " Mother of 
the Duke of Richmond." The King's affection 
for this beloved son did not diminish with time, 
and he now kept him nearer under his own 
superintendence. The Duke, in his tenth year, 
having ceased to be " Lord Warden of the 
Marches towards Scotland," appears to have 
quitted Yorkshire in 1528-9, and was sub- 
sequently advanced to the Lieutenancy of 
Ireland whence doubtless arose the report which 
reached the Emperor of his being made King of 
Ireland although to the day of his death he 
never set foot in that country. He was with the 
King at Windsor on St. George's Day 1530, 
when the Knights of the Garter kept the feast 
with solemn ceremonial. The boy's tastes for 
sport and for music both so much in accord 
200 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

with those of his father are traceable about 
this time. The King's fletcher received twenty 
shillings in April for arrows which he had supplied 
to " my lord of Richmond," and in May the 
King gave his son a lute which cost the same 
sum. 

But the King's thoughts were now engrossed 
by the prospect of his divorce from Katherine 
of Arragon ; and as time went on the chances 
of Henry FitzRoy being heir to the Crown 
gradually diminished in proportion as the King's 
hopes of marrying Anne Boleyn seemed likely to 
be realized. 

Speculation was rife not only in England 
but in every Court in Europe as to how soon 
" the concubine," as Anne was usually desig- 
nated on the Continent, would ascend the throne 
of Katherine. An unexpected sidelight on the 
kind of vague gossip current is here thrown by 
a record otherwise obscure and politically un- 
important which, curiously enough, associates 
the name of Lady Tailbois with these rumours. 
Moreover, we are indebted to the illumination 
afforded by it for the one and only clue we 
possess as to the personality of the fair subject 
of our researches ; and slight as is this clue it 
suffices to supply a true insight into the peculiar 

201 



*" ' 



* 







ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

characteristics which distinguished her. We 
here gather from a contemporary that more 
beautiful, in his opinion, as was Anne Boleyn, 
Elizabeth Tailbois (the elder lady by many 
years) was still beautiful, that she was gracious 
to all who approached her, and further that 
she had a facility in conversation and address 
summed up in the word " eloquent." " Elo- 
quent, gracious, and beautiful " are the epithets 
applied to Elizabeth by one who knew her, the 
Reverend John Barlow, styled " Dean of West- 
bury," at one time 1 chaplain to Sir Thomas 
Boleyn and a creature of the Boleyn party. 

On his travels in Belgium the Dean fell in 
with a Flemish stranger, a certain Monsieur Loys 
de Heylwigen, of the Emperor's Household in 
Brabant, and probably a spy in his interest. 
Monsieur de Heylwigen reports 2 that on June 22, 
1532, he was at the Castle of Louvain, supping 
with the Porter, and among the company was 
John Barlo, " priest and Dean of Westberry 3: 
described as " of small stature, with red hair, 
sober in eating and drinking, speaking little, 
and ignorant of music and games." 

1 He was succeeded by Cranmer as Chaplain to Boleyn. He was a 
brother of the notorious Bishop, William Barlow. 

2 Add MSS. 28, 585, f. 43. British Museum. Original in French. 

202 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

At table nothing was said of any importance, 
but after supper the conversation turned upon the 
subject of the divorce. Monsieur de Heylwigen 
mentioned that he had heard a report that the 
King wished to marry a lady of a noble house 
[Lady Tailbois] " to legitimatize by subsequent 
marriage a son he had by her." 

But the " Dean " said it was another lady 
[Anne Boleyn] whom the King wished to marry. 
Monsieur de Heylwigen replied he had never 
heard of this, and he thought the King's love 
for another than his wife must be for the mother 
of his son ; he remarked also on the suspicious 
nature of the King's intimacy with the lady in 
question ; but the Dean said he had never 
heard anything of it. Heylwigen asked the 
Dean if he knew these two ladies, and whether 
they were beautiful and worth leaving his wife 
for. To this the Dean replied "he knew them 
both, and the mother of the King's son was 
eloquent, gracious, and beautiful, but the other 
lady was more beautiful still. 1 . . ." 

Anne Boleyn was created Marchioness of 
Pembroke in September 1532, and the King 
married her in November. 

1 Gardner's Letters and Papers Hen. VIII; vol. 5; 1114. 

203 



CHAPTER XXI 
1532-1534 

Elizabeth's suitor : A cousin of the King : A hunting excursion : 
Lord Leonard Grey's eager proposals : Cromwell intercedes 
with Lady Tailbois : She declines : Lord Leonard's love of 
money : His sordid conduct : His end : Elizabeth's young 
suitor : His good looks ; Association of rivals : Elizabeth 
marries Lord Clinton ; Disparity of years : A grant from the 
King. 

WHILE her name was being thus bandied about, 
Lady Tailbois, who, retaining much of the beauty 
of youth, added to it the charm of experience, 
was urgently sought in marriage by Lord Leonard 
Grey, a first cousin of the King by the half- 
blood, a suitor some years older than herself. 
A younger son of the Marquis of Dorset (whom 
Shakespeare introduces into Richard III), he 
was a grandson of Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV. 
by her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby, 
and was thus a half-nephew of Elizabeth Plan- 
tagenet, mother of Henry VIII. A prominent 
figure all his life, in his younger days he had 
served with distinction in the war with France. 
204 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

The affair originated in a hunting excursion 
in the forest of Kyme, followed by a visit to the 
lady of the Castle on the way home. 

Lord Leonard himself describes the episode 
thus in a letter to Mr. Secretary Cromwell : * 
" Written at Kay me [Kyme] my Lady Tayl- 
busshe house the xxiiij day of Maye at xij of 
the clocke at noone. ... So it is I have been 
hunting in Lincolnshire and so came by my 
Lady Taylbusche homewardes, and have had 
commyngcacion [communication] with her in 
the way of marriage, and so I have had very 
good chere [cheer] with her ladyship. Enduring 
you that I could be better contented to marye 
with her (God and the King pleased) than with 
any other lady or gentlewoman lyving. . . ." 
' Wherefore " (he continues with more fervour 
than grammatical sequence) " if it would please 
you of your goodness to move the Kynges Grace 
also my Lord of Norfolk in this matter, and 
that ye wolde gette the Kinges lettres, and also 
my lord of Norfolkes lettre unto her in my 
behalf, for so my frendes have advised and 
counseylled me and alle my hole truste next 
God and the King is in you." Then follows the 

1 Record Office. Gairdner's Letters and Papers Henry VIII., vol. v. 
1047. (Anno 1532.) 

205 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

usual sop to Cromwell in exchange for his 
prospective good offices in this delicate matter 
" five pounds in gold to buy a nag " which he 
excuses himself for not sending according to his 
promise. 

In conclusion he sends a blank in paper hoping 
that Cromwell or Anthony Bridgewood would 
devise a letter to the Duke of Norfolk in his 
favour. Cromwell thereupon appears to have 
written to Lady Tailbois recommending Lord 
Leonard Grey as a husband ; which kindness 
Lord Leonard acknowledges in a letter to 
Cromwell written " at my pore house at Bew- 
manour, the second day of July." 1 He thanks 
him " for the good and kinde letter ye wrote 
in my favour to my good lady Taylbusse, 
ascertaigning you that I had rather obteyne 
that mater than to be made lord of as moche 
goodes and landes as any one nobleman hath 
within this realm ... for I promise you at this 
hour my heart is not in my governance nor I 
ruler thereof . . . but unless the King were 
displeased in this matter, which he is not, my 
wretched carcase will suffer more pains in 
obtaining this matter than other folkes would 
think for." He proceeds with an urgent appeal 

1 Record Office. Ibid. vol. v. 1146. 

206 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

to Cromwell " to help him now or never and 
now and ever to the furtherance of this matter 
which he would fain bring to pass of anything 
in this world." 

But Elizabeth did not encourage his advances, 
and wrote in answer to Cromwell suggesting 
that he had undertaken to persuade her " for 
the good-will he bare the Lord Leonard." From 
which we may conclude that she considered the 
advantage would be all on his side. 

She had probably good reason for rejecting 
him, and although she had treated him with 
hospitality at Kyme she may have had some 
opportunities during his visit to discover that 
her castle and broad lands were a greater 
attraction than her beautiful person in the eyes 
of this elderly suitor. Somewhat of an adven- 
turer in his career, Lord Leonard had the 
reputation of being too fond of money. Even 
in his youth he had dabbled in the black art of 
treasure- seeking. Certainly the charge of avarice 
seems to have been well-founded, for eventually 
he treacherously sacrificed his friend and con- 
nexion, the young Earl of Kildare, in exchange 
for bribes of money and lands from the King. 
But Fate, which in the latter part of this reign 
brought such rapid and fearful changes of 

207 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

fortune, after elevating Grey to the high post 
of Deputy Governor of Ireland, doomed him 
a few years afterwards to destruction, and he 
was in his turn accused of treason and beheaded. 

But this desirable widow had the best of all 
reasons for not marrying Lord Leonard Grey. 
Her eye had fallen on one utterly different to 
him in age and circumstances, namely, the 
handsome boy, Edward, Lord Clinton, 1 some 
twelve or thirteen years younger than herself. 

Lord Clinton's Lincolnshire properties adjoined 
her own, and she had known him from childhood 
he was but ten years old when she first married 
and settled at Kyme till he reached the age of 
manhood at the time which our chronicle has 
reached. Remarkable for his good looks (as we 
know from Holbein's early portrait of him), a 
youth of great promise and high fortune, he 
was destined to be one of the most distinguished 
personages of this and the three succeeding 
reigns. Born in 1512 (the year memorable in 
Elizabeth's career as that of her introduction to 
Court) he had been left an orphan at the age of five, 
his father (the eighth lord) dying of the u sweating 
sickness " in 1517. According to the custom of 

1 A portrait of this Lord Clinton in old age as Earl of Lincoln is in 
the National Portrait Gallery. 

208 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

the times he was in ward to the King ; and such 
care was taken of his education, we are told, 1 
that he became in after life wise, valiant, and 
successful in all his enterprises. 

Elizabeth's two rival suitors, so strangely dis- 
similar the time-worn schemer and the gallant 
stripling both attended the King at the memor- 
able meeting with Francis I in September 1532, 
and it is curious to note their names placed 
next each other in the lists of lords present, on 
the occasion of the royal entertainment at 
Calais the son of Clinton's future wife, the 
Duke of Richmond, a few years younger than 
himself, being among the principal guests. On 
the journey to and from Calais, Clinton, it may 
be observed, would have passed by his extensive 
property at Folkestone and Dover. Later in 
the same year he was present at the Coronation 
of Anne Boleyn, " holding the cup for the 
Bishop " at the feast in Westminster Hall. He 
was still a minor at the time ; but in the following 
year he came of full age and entered into his 
large patrimony in 1533. 

Soon afterwards he was married to the mature, 
it still beautiful, lady of his choice, despite 
disparity of years between them, as wide as 

1 Collins' Peerage. 

O 209 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

or wider than that between Esmond and Lady 
Castle wood. 

The approximate date of this romantic event 
is confirmed by the prosaic record of a grant 
from the King, dated February 12, in the 
twenty-sixth year of his reign (1534-1535) " of 
three tuns of Gascon wine yearly of the prizes 
of the port of Boston, Lincoln, to Elizabeth, 
late Lady Taylbois, now wife of the Lord 
Clinton." 



210 



CHAPTER XXII 
1533-1536 

The young Duke's marriage : The Duke of Norfolk's intrigues i 
The Earl of Surrey's friendship with Richmond : His poem 
quoted : Decline of Richmond's health : His undermined 
strength : Anne Boleyn suspected of poisoning him : He is 
present at her execution : Symptoms of consumption develop : 
His death : Satisfaction of Princess Mary's party : His funeral 
and monument : " A natural son of supernatural endowment." 

THE year before Elizabeth's marriage to Lord 
Clinton, the marriage of her son, the Duke of 
Richmond and Somerset, aged fourteen, with 
the Lady Mary Howard had been celebrated. 

The only daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, 
she was sister to Richmond's friend, the accom- 
plished Earl of Surrey, in whose company Rich- 
mond had previously passed some time at the 
Court of France. 

The King had relinquished his former plan of 
an alliance for his son with one of the sovereign 
houses of Europe ; and indeed Henry was at 
this time hardly on terms sufficiently friendly 
with his continental neighbours to form such 

211 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

an alliance with any of them. He therefore 
turned to choose from the families of the English 
nobility, and among them the house of Howard 
now occupied a pre-eminent position. At this 
period it may be noted that the Princess Mary 
was bastardised by Act of Parliament. To 
give her the style of a legitimate Princess was 
treasonable, and the penalty of treason was 
death. The baby, Princess Elizabeth of Henry's 
children, was now alone legitimate, and remained 
so during the three years that her mother was 
Queen. 

The Duke of Norfolk was most eager for the 
match, and wrote to Cromwell expressing in 
cringing terms his gratitude for Cromwell's share 
in bringing it about. Intrigues and counter- 
intrigues centred on the youthful Richmond, 
while self-interest and jealousy of rivals were 
the only motives which actuated all concerned. 
Norfolk himself was habitually divided between 
self-interest and jealousy of his Boleyn brother- 
in-law, Anne's father, whom he hated mortally. 
Bent solely on the advancement of his own 
house he had been opposed to the aggrandise- 
ment of the Boleyns and the elevation of his 
niece to the throne. His intention had at one 
time been to marry his son Surrey to the Princess 
212 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Mary and to secure to her the succession to the 
throne. But now a new scheme presented itself 
for his ambitions, and if Richmond was to be 
made heir to the Crown he wished his daughter 
to marry him and to become Queen. He there- 
fore concealed his jealousy of Anne Boleyn and 
wheedled her into furthering the alliance. Queen 
Anne herself appeared to promote the marriage 
in order to oblige her Uncle of Norfolk, and is 
said to have induced the King to forgo the 
customary sum of money due from Norfolk on 
the alliance of his daughter so says her mother, 
the Duchess of Norfolk, in after years declaring 
that " the King's Grace never had a penny of 
profit by the marriage." 1 But Queen Anne was 
generally suspected of jealousy of the King's 
son, and the young Duchess of Richmond if 
her word is to be believed declared later that 
the King alone made her marriage. 

Amid the sordid interests and intrigues which 
surrounded this event it is pleasant to trace one 
element of warmer feeling. This was the romantic 
friendship of Richmond and Surrey, who desired 
to become brothers by the proposed connexion. 
But little did either of them think, it has been 

1 Letter of Duchess of Norfolk (Elizabeth, daughter of the attainted 
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham) to Cromwell, October 24, 1537. 

213 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

truly said, that Mary of Richmond would some 
day be so base as to join with her brother's 
enemies in causing his condemnation to death. 

Owing to the consanguinity supposed to exist 
between the contracting parties, in spite of the 
illegitimacy of the Duke of Richmond, a dispen- 
sation from the Pope was necessary ; and 
that being obtained in November 1533, the 
marriage was celebrated before the close of that 
year. 

In consequence of the tender age of the bride 
and bridegroom they remained apart ; the 
marriage on that account in after years was 
considered incomplete when the question of 
Mary of Richmond's dower was raised. She 
appears to have gone to live with her father, 
to whom she was devotedly attached. But the 
quarrels and scandals in her home did not make 
it a happy or a suitable residence for her, one 
may suppose. A certain Bess Holland had been 
the cause of the Duchess of Norfolk leaving the 
Duke in great wrath, which was not the less 
violent that her daughter Mary associated with 
this person under her father's roof. The young 
Duke of Richmond was more fortunately situated, 
for he went to reside at Windsor Castle, and 
remained there a year or two. 
214 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

" To the period which now ensued," says 
Nichols, " we may properly assign that happy 
time at Windsor Castle, which is described in 
one of the most beautiful and best known of 
the Earl of Surrey's poems." It gives so complete 
a picture of the sports and exercises of the Duke 
of Richmond and his companions that it seems 
appropriate to give the following excerpt from 
it here. The poet, mournfully recalling the 
scenes of past happiness, sings of : 

. . . proude Windsor e . . . where I in lust and 

joy 
With a Kynge's Sonne my childish yeres did 

passe 

In greater feasts than Priam's sonnes of Troy, 
Where each swete place returns a taste full sour, 
The large Green Court, where we were wont to 

rove 

With eyes cast up into the Maiden's tower, 
And easy sighes such as folkes draw in love, 
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hewe 
The daunces short, long tales of greate delight, 
With wordes and lookes that tygers could but rewe, 
Where eche of us did plead the other's right, 
The palme-day, where despoiled for the game, 
With dazed eyes oft we by gleames of love 

215 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Have myst the ball, and got sight of our dame 
To bayte her eyes which kept the leads above, 
The Gravel- ground, with sleeves tyde on the helm 
On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts, 
With chere as though one should another whelm 
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts, 
With silver drops the meade yet spread for ruth, 
In active games of nimbleness and strength 
Where we did strain, trained with swarms of 

youth 

Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length ; 
The secret groves that oft we made resound 
Of pleasant playnt, and of our ladies prayse ; 
Recording oft what grace each one had found, 
What hope of spede, what dread of long delayes. 
The wildforeste, the clothed holts with greene ; 
With reins availed, and swift-y-breathed horse 
With cry of hounds and merry blasts betwene 
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force, 
The voide walls, eke, that harborde us eche night ; 
Wherewith, alas ! revive within my breast 
The sweet accorde, such slepes as yet delight 
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest ; 
The secret thoughtes, imparted with such trust ; 
The wanton talke, the divers change of play ; 
The friendship sworne, eche promise kept so just, 
Wherewith we past the winter nightes away. 
216 




ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

And with this thought the blood forsakes the face, 
The teares berayne my chekes of deadly hewe, 
The which as soon as sobbing sighs alas ! 
Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew : 
O place of bliss ! renewer of my woes ! 
Give me accompt, where is my noble fere ? 
Whom in thy walls thou didst each night inclose, 
To other leefe, but unto me most deare. 
Echo, alas / that doth my sorrow rewe, 
Returns thereto a hollow sound of playnt ; 
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grewe 
In prison pyne, with bondage and restraynt. 
And with remembrance of the greater grief e 
To banish the less I find my chief relief e. 

This passionate tribute to his friendship with 
Richmond was probably written by Surrey when 
he was under restraint at Windsor in 1542 that 
is about eight years after the period described, 
and six years after the death of Richmond. 

The health of the Duke visibly declined in the 
spring and summer of 1536. His physical strength 
had too long been strained by the violence of 
martial and field exercises, together with pro- 
found mental study, and by living the life of 
a man while still but a boy. Nature was 
prematurely exhausted. This was in itself a 

217 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

sufficient cause for the Duke's failing health, 
but it was suspected that he had been poisoned 
by the Queen and her brother, George Boleyn, 
Lord Rochford. It is more likely that in this 
instance the will was mistaken for the deed. 
But the King affected to believe and actually 
declared that Anne tried to poison his son. On 
the day of her committal to the Tower, the 
Duke of Richmond went as usual to ask his 
father's blessing, when the King with tears in 
his eyes said that both Richmond and his sister 
Mary " were greatly bound to God for having 

escaped from the hands of that accursed , who 

had determined to poison them." "From which 
it is clear," wrote Chapuys the eager retailer, 
and perhaps the inventor of the story "that 
the King knew something" of her wicked 
intentions. 1 

However that may have been, the execution 
of the Queen on May 19 was the last occasion 
on which the Duke appeared at any public 
function. His high rank and the commands of 
his Sovereign were doubtless the obligatory 
causes of his being among the witnesses of this 
" shocking spectacle " as was also, it may be 
noted, his mother's husband, Lord Clinton and 

1 Gayangos Cal, vol. v, pp. 11, 127. 

218 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

there is surely no reason to accuse those present 
of wishing " to feast their eyes upon her blood." x 

Indulgence in revengeful feelings seems foreign 
to so generous and so lovable a character as was 
Henry FitzRoy's. Rather is it likely that the 
piteous sight of the decapitation of the young 
Queen, with whom he had been constantly asso- 
ciated, injuriously affected the health of this 
very young man, whose disease had already 
declared itself. Symptoms of consumption 
rapidly developed, and his physicians pronounced 
his condition incurable. 

The King became much distressed and morti- 
fied, the more so because but for his son's illness 
he would have got him proclaimed by Parliament 
his successor. The little Princess Elizabeth was 
now declared a bastard and debarred from the 
succession as her sister Mary had been, and the 
King consequently had no legitimate offspring, 
according to the enactments of Parliament. 
At this moment, too, he is said to have de- 
spaired of issue by Jane Seymour, whom he 
had married the day after Anne Boleyn's execu- 
tion. 

The death of Richmond took place at the 

1 Strickland (Queens of England), who, remarks Nichols, " expresses 
herself with extraordinary vehemence on this occasion." 

219 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Palace of St. James's on July 23, 1536. He was 
past seventeen years by a month or two. A 
French poet who lived much in England, Nicholas 
de Bourbon, represented the whole country as 
sharing in the grief of the King. Richmond 
was certainly deeply mourned by his own friends 
and companions, to whom he had endeared him- 
self. But the party of the Princess Mary was 
naturally jubilant at his death ; and Chapuys, 
Charles V's Ambassador to England, at once 
announced the good news to the Emperor. 
" Thank God," he wrote to Secretary Perrenot, 
" the Princess now triumphs " ! 

" Even Secretary Cromwell," he reports, " con- 
gratulated her " in his letters to the Princess. 
Cromwell, by the way, had himself aspired to 
marrying the Princess ever since the time of 
her being declared illegitimate, when her value 
in the matrimonial market had been lowered ; 
and the King's duplicity seems to have given him 
some reason to suppose that his ambitious hopes 
were not impossible of realization. 

The King received the news of his son's death 
at Sittingbourne, and commissioned the Duke 
of Norfolk to take charge of the burial. 

Two days after Richmond's death a voluminous 
inventory was taken of his goods " as well of 
220 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

his Wardrobes of the robes and beds, as of all 
his plate of gold, jewels, plate gilt and white, 
with the inventory of his chapel-stuff and stable." 
In a list of nine coats of satin, taffeta, velvet, 
cloth and damask it is interesting to note one 
" delivered by George Cotton to my Lord Tail- 
bois " the Duke's half-brother, now about 
twelve years old namely, " a coat of green 
taffeta, welted with green velvet, and lined with 
sarcenet " a touching memento of a dear elder 
brother. 

Chapuys, writing to Secretary Perrenot on 
August 3, says : " The Duke of Richmond, whom 
the King certainly intended to succeed to the 
Crown, after being dead eight days, has been 
secretly carried in a wagon [charette] covered 
with straw, without any company except two 
persons clothed in green who followed at a 
distance into Norfolk." 

He was interred at Thetford, the burial-place 
of the Howards ; but the King was displeased 
with the Duke of Norfolk because Richmond 
was not buried so honourably as he had intended. 
It was some little time before he received Norfolk 
again into favour, to the no small satisfaction 
of Cromwell, who took care to keep the King's 
displeasure alive. 

221 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Norfolk, writing to Cromwell to excuse himself 
for his action in the matter, says that it was the 
King's own wish that the body should be conveyed 
from London secretly in a closed cart. " Accord- 
ingly I ordered both the Cottons to have the 
body wrapped in lead and a close cart provided, 
but it was not done, nor was the body conveyed 
very secretly." 

A costly monument was erected to Richmond 
at Thetford, but it was not finished before it was 
removed with the body to Framlingham, where 
the monument may still be seen. 

So perished, " in the flower of his loveliness," 1 
the son of Elizabeth Blount and Henry VIII, 
a youth of extraordinary merit and promise. 
The quaint old Chronicler Fuller, in his Church 
History, alludes to him as a "natural son, but 
one of supernatural endowments." " Well it 
was," he says, " for Mary and Elizabeth that 
he was dead. Had he lived to survive King 
Edward VI we might presently have heard of 
a King Henry IX, so great was his father's 
affection, and so unlimited his power to prefer 
him." 

Thus also Froude in the same strain : " Had 
he lived, he would have been named to follow 

1 Froudei 

222 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Edward VI in the succession and would have 
been King of England. There can be no doubt 
of this." 

HENRICUM REX HENRICUS NUNC LUGET, ET OMNIS 

CUM REGE FLET BRITANNIA. 

O MORS, SI TALEM VIOLASTI, CUI TUA TANDEM 
SUPERSTITUM PARCET MANUS ? 

(Nicolai Barboni Vandoperani Lingonensis, 
Nugarum. Lit. v. Carmen xx. Lugduni 1538.) 



223 



CHAPTER XXIII 
1536 

Lord and Lady Clinton in Lincolnshire : A dangerous situation : 
The " Pilgrimage of Grace " : An enraged multitude : Kyme 
surrounded by the people : Lord Clinton gives warning of the 
outbreak : His men join the rebels : He proceeds to head- 
quarters : Bearer of the King's letter : His journeys ; Returns 
home : The rising collapses : Ring-leaders executed I 
Elizabeth's guest executed : Grants to Elizabeth and her son 
Tailbois : An honest priest : The Act for Suppression of 
Monasteries : Ill-fortune said to have attended : But Clinton 
most fortunate. 

IN the autumn of this year (1536) we find Eliza- 
beth residing in Lincolnshire with her young 
husband. Whatever of sorrow or disappoint- 
ment she may have felt at the death of her 
illustrious son, the distractions of life must have 
left little leisure for retrospection. Not only was 
each successive year of her second marriage 
domestically occupied, with the cares of breeding 
and rearing children, but the unrest of the times 
and the perils of her own immediate surroundings 
brought her harassing excitement and anxiety. 

Lincolnshire was now the chief centre of wide- 
224 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

spread popular discontent at the wholesale 
seizure and appropriation of church property 
and institutions, carried on by Cromwell and 
his emissaries. About Michaelmas the feeling 
of indignation found vent in what was called 
the " Pilgrimage of Grace " the story of which 
is familiar to every reader of history. With 
the object of preserving the sacred relics and 
images venerated by the people, and believed 
by them to be threatened with destruction, a 
vast crowd marched from Louth towards Caistor, 
where the King's Commissioners were assembled, 
and were joined by other multitudes from Horn- 
castle and East Rasen, the rabble being headed 
by a shoemaker, Malt on, nicknamed " Captain 
Cobbler." 

This formidable demonstration now assumed 
the nature of a rising, the chief danger of which 
appeared that the partisans of the young Princess 
Mary were said to be secretly urging Charles V 
to take advantage of it, to support her preten- 
sions as heiress to the throne and to restore the 
supremacy of the Pope by an invasion of England. 

Lord and Lady Clinton were in the heart of 
the disturbance, and the Castle of Kyme was 
one of the first places surrounded by the people. 
An anonymous writer has suggested that Eliza- 

P 225 






* 

* 

V 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

beth was herself in secret sympathy with the 
insurgents, as were many of the leading gentlemen 
in Lincolnshire, while undoubtedly some of her 
guests and neighbours were desperately involved. 
But no proof is forthcoming of such an assump- 
tion, and the facts seem to point to the contrary. 

Her first husband, it may be remembered, 
was one of the new peers of 1529, specially created 
to pass a measure of Reform ; and Elizabeth 
herself may be supposed 1 to have followed the 
policy of Cromwell, as her mother, Katherine 
Blount, we know did in Shropshire. Moreover, 
we trace in the character of Elizabeth a certain 
caution showing itself in her unobtrusive main- 
tenance of an even tenor of way, throughout 
the whole of her career, which, without this 
caution, would surely have involved her in 
vicissitudes and dangers such as befell so many 
of her contemporaries. 

Certainly Lord Clinton was the first to give 
warning of the outbreak. On the Monday after 
Michaelmas he advertised his neighbour, the 
veteran Lord Hussey, of the rising at Louth, 
although Lord Hussey, as it afterwards appeared, 
was himself strongly in sympathy with the 
movement at least he was later found guilty 
of connivance and doomed to suffer death. By 
226 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

the Wednesday no less than five hundred of 
Lord Clinton's own men had gone over to the 
rebels and he himself had fled with a single 
servant. 1 It was even bruited next day that 
they had burned Kyme as well as Gainsborough, 
my Lord of Burrowes' house. Lord Clinton, who 
by the defection of his servants was prevented 
from serving the King in repressing the rising, 
proceeded in hot haste to head-quarters to warn 
the King and Cromwell of the dangerous state 
of affairs. With all the vigour of youth, he 
immediately returned north, riding night and 
day at extraordinary speed, as the bearer of the 
King's letters to the principal persons of in- 
fluence on the way. On the Friday afternoon 
he had reached Ashby, and delivered the King's 
orders to my Lord of Huntingdon. From Ashby 
he proceeded to my Lord Steward (The Earl 
of Shrewsbury) at Hard wick, but " could not 
pass the waters that night, having also ridden 
to Nottingham, thinking to have found him 
there." He arrived at Hard wick next morning 

1 Gairdner's Letters and Papers Henry VIII, vol. ii, 714. Chapuys 
writes to the Queen of Hungary, October 15, 1536 : " The men of Lord 
Clinton, who has married the mother of the Duke of Richmond, went 
over to the rebels, and the said lord was compelled to fly with only 
a single servant. So also did those of Lord Borough and several other 
gentlemen who had intended to serve the King." 

227 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

at six o'clock. " Many of those to whom the 
letters were addressed," says Lord Shrewsbury, 
writing from Hardwick to the King the same 
day (Octr. 7) " are with the rebels, and so he 
[Lord Clinton] has forborne sending them." 
Lord Clinton tells the same story in a letter 
despatched that day from Hardwick to 
Cromwell. 

" I find," he writes, " all the Knights to whom 
the King's letter is directed are in company with 
the traitors, except Sir Robert Dymok and Sir 
Robert Tyrwhyt, so I shall deliver it to none 
of them." Meanwhile Elizabeth must have been 
anxiously expecting the return of her lord. Not 
only was his mission attended with peril to 
himself, but during his absence from home 
matters had assumed a desperate aspect and 
Kyme had narrowly escaped destruction. The 
rebels had already killed the Bishop of Lincoln's 
Chancellor, Dr. Raynes (who was visiting the 
diocese by virtue of the King's writ), and had 
committed other acts of murder and violence ; 
and had even sworn all the gentry and justices 
of the peace to take part with them from Boston 
to the Humber. 

The King was now thoroughly alarmed and 
collected large armies, preparing to march North, 
228 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

from Ampthill, in Bedfordshire, when dissensions 
in the councils of the insurgents caused the 
revolt in Lincolnshire to collapse. The more 
obstinate of the rebels having departed to join 
their brethren in Yorkshire where the rebellion 
was now concentrated, the rest of the men of 
Lincolnshire were granted a full pardon on the 
acknowledgment of their offences, the surrender 
of their arms and the promise to maintain all 
the Acts of Parliament recently passed. Not 
long afterwards the rising in Yorkshire was also 
suppressed and the whole country completely 
terrified into submission. 

But in spite of the proclamation of pardon, 
the ring-leaders, the Abbot of Barking, the 
Vicar of Louth, and ten others, were executed 
at Tyburn in the following March 1537 ; as were 
also, later (with Bigod and Aske) two of Eliza- 
beth's neighbours, the Lords Hussey and Darcy, 
and her recent guest and relative, Sir Thomas 
Percy, a brother of the (6th) Earl of Northumber- 
land. 1 

At the trial of Sir Thomas Percy it transpired 
in evidence that he had been " hunting at my 

1 Sir Thomas Percy was a cousin of Gilbert Tailbois, old Lady 
Tailbois's mother, Lady Gascoigne, having been a daughter of Henry 
3rd Earl of Northumberland. 

229 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Lady Tailbois " in Lincolnshire, shortly before 
he joined the rebels. It is clear, however, that 
Elizabeth was not involved in, or suspected of, 
connivance with them, for in February 1537, 
she and her son, George, Lord Tailbois, were 
the recipients of a favour, the more marked 
considering the circumstances, obtaining a grant 
" in survivorship " from the King of the offices 
of bailiff of the manor and lordship of Tatteshall 
in the county of Lincoln, and being appointed 
" keepers of the Great Park and chase there, 
and of the little park and warren of coneys, 
woods, underwoods, and castle," with certain 
stated fees in those offices. 

The King's Commissioners, while proceeding 
unremittingly with the suppression of the monas- 
teries, seem henceforth to have deemed it politic 
to show more consideration to the feelings of the 
people of Lincolnshire. We note that when 
three years after the rebellion the Priory of 
Kyme was suppressed the Prior is reported to 
have had 30 compensation given him in 
acknowledgment of his being " an honest priest " 
who had " redeemed his house and left it out 
of debt." We suspect that Lady Clinton had 
sent a seasonable word to high quarters in 
favour of this priest, who must have been inti- 
230 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

mately known to her ; and her interest still 
counted for much with those in power. 

Lord Clinton was among the peers who passed 
the Act of Parliament for the suppression of 
monasteries in 1539. A seventeenth-century 
writer, Sir Henry Spelman, in attributing to this 
Act the misfortunes which afterwards befell the 
King and all concerned in it, while enumerating 
these, includes Lord Clinton's name in his list, 
but omits all reference to misfortunes in his case 
alone. And certainly Clinton's life, from youth 
to age, was conspicuous for good fortune 
throughout. 



231 



CHAPTER XXIV 
1536-1539 

Elizabeth's mother, Dame Katherine Blount : A series of her 
letters to Cromwell : He supports her interests : She schemes 
for her sons : Her eldest son's marriage : Bargains with Sir John 
Talbot : Asks Church lands for her younger sons : Lord 
Stafford asks for an abbey in preference to George Blount : 
" The Worshipful of the Shire " : The plague at Shrewsbury : 
Electioneering dodges : Local quarrels of gentry : Cromwell's 
fall and execution : Death of Dame Katherine Blount. 

IT is curious that, while the records of Elizabeth 
become fewer and fainter as her life advances, 
her mother, Dame Katherine Blount, of whom 
there is no trace since she succeeded in 1502 to 
her ancestral property in Staffordshire until the 
death of her husband, Sir John, nearly thirty 
years later, now stands forth in her widowhood 
as a living personality in a series of four letters 
written to Thomas Cromwell at intervals between 
1533 and 1540. 

No doubt, whether at her own Manor of 
Knightley, Staffordshire, or at Kinlet, Shrop- 
shire, where she resided during the minority of 
232 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

her son George, this enterprising lady, skilful in 
the use of her pen, had all her life frequently 
corresponded with friends in high places, although 
only four letters by chance survive among the 
State archives, owing to the fact of their having 
been found among Cromwell's papers when these 
were seized at the time of his disgrace. 

Whereas her late husband, when writing to 
ensure the good offices of Cromwell, was careful 
to send a gelding or some handsome present in 
support of them, Dame Katherine paid him an 
annual fee. It seems to have been the custom 
of people with property to pay fees to influential 
officials about the Court, and there are many 
" patents " to Cromwell of this nature. An 
entry runs : " Item a patent made ... [to 
Cromwell] by my lady Kateryn Blunte widow, 
late the wyff of Sir John Blunt, Knight, desseased, 
of an annual fee or yearly rent of xls." the 
marginal heading being " my lady Blunt." The 
acceptance of these fees meant that Cromwell 
would use his influence for the donor in any 
matters which might be moved against him or 
her in the law, either by the Exchequer or by 
private persons ; while my lady Blount would 
exercise in Cromwell's interests her own influence 
with the " worshipful of the shire," as she 

233 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

termed the country magnates of Shropshire and 
Staffordshire, and would report to him the state 
of local politics in those counties. 

In exchange for Cromwell's offices, she was 
free to pour forth her domestic grievances to 
him, to ask favours for her sons, to recommend 
her friends to his notice, and to report the 
ill-doings of such persons as did not stand in 
her good graces. She appears in the light of a 
good friend and of a dangerous enemy, and 
in this, as we have said, she resembled her 
redoubtable uncle, Sir Humphrey Stanley. 

In the first letter of the series, dated at Kinlet 
January 20 (probably in the year 1533), 1 she 
desires a continuance of Cromwell's good offices. 
After alluding to his having " made an end " 
between her and a certain Mr. Kytson 2 for 
1400 marks in consideration of a debt owing 
to the latter, she mentions that the Duke of 
Norfolk has her son in ward, and has indented 
with her to see Kytson paid at Lady Day in 
Lent, the Duke saying Kytson would be content 
to wait till then. " And so," she continues, 
" I bought my son of my lord [of Norfolk] and 

1 Record Office. Letters and Papers, vol. vi, 61. 

2 Probably the wealthy merchant Sir Thomas Kitson, who built 
Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, long the seat of his descendants the Gages, 
Baronets. 

234 




LIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

must give him 100Z. to the intent that I would 
marry my son to his comfort." She proceeds 
to say that she has " accordingly bargained 
with Sir John Talbot for her son [with a view 
to his marrying Sir John's daughter] and has 
provided that the 1400 marks shall be forth- 
coming at Lady Day, besides the 100Z. to my 
Lord of Norfolk." She declares that she herself 
has " had no penny of profit " by her son's 
wardship (evidently an unusual state of things), 
" and now the Duke says Kytson will have his 
money at Candlemas or enter into the land." 

The young lady alluded to above as selected 
for her son's " comfort " was Constantia, 
daughter of Sir John Talbot of Grafton, cousin 
of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and himself the 
direct ancestor of the present Earl of Shrewsbury 
and Talbot. 

The marriage took place in due course, and 
in the next letter (dated " Kynlett," February 
21 *) Lady Blount asks that her servant who 
conveys it may consult Cromwell about certain 
writings touching the marriage. 

She was not less mindful of the comfort of 
her two youngest sons, Henry and William, and 
young as they were (they were not of age) she 

1 Probably 1535, 1536. Record Office : vol. x, 335. 

235 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

was anxious to secure for them some of the good 
things going during the wholesale alienation of 
Church property, and was determined not to 
be behindhand in the general scramble, lest 
their interests should be neglected through any 
want of asking on her part. Hearing that " the 
King intends to take into his hands certain 
abbeys and priories and put them to other 
uses," she desires Cromwell to help that 
she may have some of them for her two 
youngest sons, she " giving for them as another 
will." 

At the same time we learn from another 
quarter her eldest son, " young George Blount " 
(now of full age) " makes great suit to have the 
Abbey of Ranton," near Stafford. So complains 
his kinsman, Henry Lord Stafford (eldest son of 
the beheaded and attainted Duke of Buckingham), 
who desires the farm of that abbey for himself 
when it is dissolved. "It is within four miles of 
my house [Stafford Castle]," he writes to Crom- 
well, " and reaches my park pale." 1 

His suit is supported by the Queen (Anne 
Boleyn, whose head will be off a month later), 
and the King " is content saying it is alms to 

1 Letter dated April 27 [1536]. Record Office. Letters and Papers, 
vol. x, 741. 

236 







ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Lord Stafford having so many children on his 
hands." " George Blount " (says Lord Stafford 
in another letter 1 ) "has a fair house of his own 
or ij [or two, Kinlet was one]," and Lord 
Stafford apparently considers this as a sufficient 
reason why the young man's suit should be 
disregarded in favour of his own, George 
Blount being also " my Lord of Richmond's 
servant " evidently a desirable post. (This 
was a few months before his nephew Richmond's 
death.) 

In the meantime, while George was at Court, 
in attendance on his princely nephew, his mother 
was busy canvassing in Shropshire for his election 
to Parliament. The " worshipful of the Shire 
and the Justices " desired him to represent their 
interests as a " Knight of the Shire," but the 
Sheriff, supported by the Burgesses of Shrews- 
bury, opposed his election with another candidate, 
and, taking advantage of the plague now raging at 
Shrewsbury and of the consequent unwilling- 
ness of the " worshipful " to render themselves 
liable to the infection by going thither to vote, 
appointed the election to take place in that 

1 Letter of Lord Stafford to the Earl of Westmoreland, April 28 
[1536]. From Stafford Castle. Record Office. Letters and Papers, 
vol. x, 749. 

237 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

town, where the supporters of the rival candidate 
were in preponderating numbers. 1 

Thus Lady Blount reports to headquarters in 
an unsigned but sealed letter, 2 desiring Cromwell 
to be a " good master " to her son. 



The final letter of the series may be cited as 
a specimen of the way in which she attempted 
'to secure justice for friends and denounced the 
extortions of enemies. 

She writes from Knightley, January 16 [1540], 3 

1 Sir George Blount did not become M.P. for Shropshire till 1547. 
He was M.P. for Bridgenorth in 1553 and 1558-9, M.P. for Wenlock in 
1563, for Bridgenorth in 1571, and again for Wenlock in 1572. 

2 Dated Knyghtley, June 5 [1536]. When the writ came to the 
Sheriff of Shropshire to choose the Knights for Parliament, some of the 
worshipful and the justices wished her to labour that her son, 
George Blount, should be one of them, which she did, he being at 
Court. 

The shire did not want the elections held at Shrewsbury as the plague 
reigned there, but the Sheriff would have it, so that the inhabitants, 
burgesses with the franchises of the town, might choose one Trentham, 
and so they assembled themselves riotously that the worshipful of the 
shire were not content, saying their voice cannot be heard, and had 
much ado to keep the King's peace. Whereupon they titled their 
names and went to the Sheriff, willing him to return George Blount, 
for they would have no other ; but in any wise he would not, because 
the Under Sheriff is a dweller in the said town ; and then the gentlemen 
delivered their names to make report. . . . Record Office. Letters 
and Papers, vol. x, 1063. 

3 Record Office. Letters and Papers, vol. xv, 72. 

238 




SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET, M.P. 

(From the portrait at Kinlet Hall. Dated 1548, with armorial bearings) 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

to Cromwell on behalf of the bearer of her letter, 
Philip Pen, bailly of Forton, an honest man, 
in good repute with everybody except Thomas 
Skremshere [Skrymshire], 1 Secondary of the King's 
Bench, who bears him malice about a bargain 
for wheat. She describes how on Stephen's Day 
last John Skremshere, son and heir of Thomas, 
attacked the said Philip with a sword, and would 
have slain him if one Richard Osborne had not 
parried the blow and kept him off. Philip is no 
breeder of quarrels, but keeps thirteen or fourteen 
persons in his house. She concludes by begging 
Cromwell's favour for her son-in-law, Richard 
Lacon, 2 of Willey, "who is wrongfully vexed 
by one Sir Richard Brereton." 

But my Lady Blount's methods of obtaining 
retribution and recompense for enemies and 
friends were brought to an end shortly after she 
wrote the last letter. 

1 Aqualate, formerly the property of the Skrimshires, is in the parish 
of Forton (Staffordshire). It passed by inheritance to the Baldwyns in 
the seventeenth century. Charles Baldwyn, Esq., M.P. for Shropshire, 
sold Aqualate to the ancestors of the late Sir Thomas Boughey, Bart. 
Curiously enough, the author is the descendant of these Skrymshires 
who incurred the hostility of Lady Blount, and also the descendant 
of the Richard Lacon mentioned in her letter. 

2 Richard Lacon, Sheriff of Shropshire in this year, 1540, was the 
husband of Anne, elder sister of Elizabeth Blount. 

239 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

She died in the year to which this letter is 
assigned (1540). Whether she survived to know 
of the sudden fall and fearful end of her corre- 
spondent and of the seizure of her own letters 
among his papers we know not, but Thomas 
Cromwell was beheaded on July 29 in this same 
year. If she did so, the ill news may have 
hastened her death. 



240 



CHAPTER XXV 

1540 

End of Elizabeth's life : Anne of Cleves arrives : Elizabeth 
among the " great ladies ": A list of these : The appearance of 
Anne's maidens : Some account of the " great ladies " ' 
Mary of Richmond's cowardice : Lady William Howard : Her 
connexion with Katherine Howard : Elizabeth dead : Lord 
Clinton's second wife. 

IN January 1540 the year in which her mother 
died Elizabeth was nearing her end. She had 
hardly passed her fortieth year, but it was an 
age when men and women began life early, and 
old age was the exception. She had survived 
many of her contemporaries at Court, and of 
the partners of her youth not a few had perished 
either on the scaffold or by other violent deaths. 
She continued to play her part in the front 
rank to the end. Among those appointed at the 
above date to attend the new Queen, Anne of 
Cleves, on her arrival in England, the name of 
Elizabeth is found for the last time in the State 
records. The entry is headed : "a book of 

Q 241 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

certain of the Queen's ordinary, as yet to no 
place appointed." In the list the name of Lady 
Clinton appears as one among six specially 
exalted personages, entitled " the great ladies." 
They are classed separately from, and in pre- 
cedence of, " the ladies-in-waiting " and " the 
ladies of the Bedchamber," and their names 
are : 

" The Lady Margaret Douglas [the King's niece, 
daughter of the Queen of Scotland, afterwards 
wife of the Earl of Lennox and mother of 
Darnley] : 

"The Duchess of Richmond [Henry FitzRoy's 
young widow] : 

" The Duchess of Suffolk [nearly connected with 
the King, being the last wife of Charles Brandon, 
the widower of 6 the French Queen, 9 the King's 
sister] : 

" The Countess of Sussex [wife of Ratcliff, Lord 
Fitz Walter, first Earl of Sussex, and Lord High 
Chamberlain for life] : 

"The Ladies Howard and Clynton." 1 

1 The above list has been calendared among the State Papers for 
January 1540, by the late eminent authority, Dr. James Gairdner, 
as referring to the Household of Anne of Cleves, who had just arrived 
in England at that date. By this chronology the " Lady Clinton " 
mentioned would refer to Elizabeth Blount. But some doubt has 
now arisen as to whether this list should not be calendared a year or 
242 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

This list has a line of erasure drawn across it, 
and possibly the proposed appointments in the 
" Queen's Household " were not carried out. 
But the position of Lady Clinton is thus suffi- 
ciently indicated among the " great ladies." We 
can imagine the derisive smiles and comments 
of these distinguished ones at sight of the 
uncouth appearance of the fifteen damsels who 
accompanied the new Queen from Cleves 
" inferior in beauty even to their mistress," 
says an observer, 1 " and dressed so heavily and 
unbecomingly that they would be thought ugly 
even if they were beautiful." Then, amid a 
flood of gossip among the courtiers and some 
brutal insinuations from the King, the discarded 
Queen, a few months later, passes complacently 
into retirement, while another fairer and less 
worthy mounts the perilous throne. 

Allusion may here be made to the widow of 
Henry FitzRoy, the Duchess of Richmond, whose 
name we have just chronicled and it is not to 
the credit of her courage or her loyalty. When 

more later as Katherine Howard's Household. The " Lady Clinton " 
would in that case refer to Lord Clinton's second wife, Ursula, who 
we find mentioned as his wife in June 1541 (Gairdner's Letters and 
Papers of Henry VIII, vol. xvi, p. 459). 

1 Letter of Marillac to Montmorency, January 5, 1540. 

24,3 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

a few years later her accomplished brother, the 
Earl of Surrey, was arraigned on the frivolous 
charges for which he was executed, Mary FitzRoy 
gave her silly, cowardly evidence against him 
the devoted friend of her husband, the poet 
whose passionate verse recording their friend- 
ship will never be forgotten. Some spite she 
surely entertained towards this impetuous brother 
reckless of tongue as emotional of heart whose 
chief crime really was that he had mortally 
offended the Seymours. He had rashly termed 
them " new men " (a term of contempt which, 
by the way, had earlier in the reign been bestowed 
on the Howards themselves by the older race of 
the attainted Staffords). Our estimate of Mary 
FitzRoy is based on the record of her own 
evidence, taken by the Commissioners when they 
descended on her and her father's favourite, Bess 
Holland (with whom she lived in association at 
Kettering to the not unnatural indignation of 
her mother, the Duchess of Norfolk). It is fair 
to add that Mary FitzRoy has been chivalrously 
defended by an able writer, 1 who pleads in her 
favour that she was entrapped by the Com- 
missioners, that she was a devoted daughter to 
her father, that her brother had insulted her, and 

1 Gentleman's Magazine , May 1845. J. G. N. 

244 




rZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 
she was an ardent Protestant, who brought 
up her dead brother's children as Protestants 
under the influence of Foxe on which account 
she has received small mercy from Catholic 
chroniclers of the House of Howard. She may 
have been deserving of some pity. She seems to 
have lived undowered, and in poor circumstances 
considering her rank. Apparently what things of 
any value the Commissioners found at Kettering 
were the trinkets acquired by Bess Holland. 

Some interest attaches to the lady whose name 
is coupled with Elizabeth's in the list. " Lady 
Howard " or as she would now be designated, 
Lady William Howard was Margaret, daughter 
of Sir Thomas Gamage, Knight, of Coity, 
Glamorganshire, wife of Lord William Howard, 
now Ambassador to France, uncle of Katherine 
Howard the new favourite, who was already 
receiving the attentions of the King. Strange 
vicissitudes were in store for Margaret Howard 
in this connexion with her husband's niece, for, 
but a year and a half later, she spent many 
months of anxiety in the Tower, as did Lord 
William, his mother, the old Dowager Duchess 
of Norfolk (responsible for the bringing up of 
frail Katherine Howard), and his " sister Bridge- 

245 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

water " (a lady of light manners) all arraigned 
in connexion with the wretched charges of 
misconduct for which Queen Katherine was 
executed. It was fortunate for Margaret Howard 
that the " simplicity " of her demeanour was 
reported by her interviewers to indicate her 
innocence ; and in spite of the malice of the 
Duke of Norfolk against all his half-blood, she 
was released from the Tower sooner than the 
rest. She survived to share the honours of her 
husband, who was created Lord Howard of 
Effingham in Queen Mary's reign. 1 

But Elizabeth did not see the fall of ill-fated 
Katherine Howard, for her own part in the 
pageant of life had ceased. Whether or not she 
lived to witness the splendid international tourna- 
ment at Westminster Hall in May 1540, in which 
her gallant husband, " very richly apparelled," 
played a conspicuous part, another Lady 
Clinton figures in the annals in the following 
year. This was Ursula Stourton, Lord Clinton's 
second wife, who was to provide him with the 
male heir his first marriage lacked. 

1 This Lord Howard, in 1553, was the first ambassador from England 
to Russia. From him and Margaret his wife descend the Earls of 
Effingham, as did also the Honble. Kenneth Howard, so well 
remembered in late Victorian society. 

246 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

The fair lady whose career has been traced in 
these pages had then in the words of the 
epitaph which she had placed to the memory 
of her first husband 

" DEPARTED OUT OF THIS WORLD. 

ON WHOSE SOUL GOD HAVE MERCY. 

AMEN." 



247 



CONCLUSION 

Clinton created Earl of Lincoln by Queen Elizabeth : Elizabeth 
Blount's children by her first husband : The Barony of Tail- 
bois : The King's decision : No heirs ; Three daughters by 
Lord Clinton : Their coheirs and representatives : Elizabeth 
Blount's brother : The descent of Kinlet : A disinherited 
daughter : Sir George Blount's monument : A folklore fable : 
The Lacons of Kinlet : Its descent to the Childe family : 
Blount's pool : The ghost of Sir George Blount : The ancient 
oaks at Kinlet. 

LORD CLINTON survived his first wife nearly 
forty-five years, maintaining a foremost position 
in the State during the dissimilar circumstances 
of the four successive reigns of Henry VIII, 
Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth. 

Distinguished alike as a general in battle and 
a statesman in diplomatic missions, he turned 
his attention to naval matters, and was con- 
stituted Lord High Admiral of England in 1550. 
In the following year he was installed a Knight 
of the Garter. In 1557 he was a second time 
appointed Lord High Admiral, and confirmed 
in that office by Queen Elizabeth on her accession 
248 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

in the same year. In 1572 she created him 
Earl of Lincoln, a dignity still enjoyed by his 
representative in the male line, the present 
Duke of Newcastle, who is descended from the 
Earl by his second wife, Ursula, daughter of 
William, Lord Stourton. 1 

His third wife was " the fair Geraldine," the 
child-heroine of Surrey's verse, namely, Elizabeth, 
daughter of Gerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, and 
widow of Sir Anthony Browne, K.G., but by her 
he had no children. The singular fact is recorded 
of this illustrious soldier, sailor, and statesman, 
that he was the most extensive farmer in the 
kingdom, and so successful as such that he was 
able to live in a most hospitable manner and 
at the same time not only save the emoluments 
of his offices, but add greatly to them. 2 

This great Lord Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, died 
in January 1585, and was buried in St. George's 
Chapel, Windsor, under a stately monument 
of alabaster and porphyry erected by his widow. 

While the earldom of Lincoln descended in 
the male line, the Barony of Clinton after some 
generations passed by female descent, and 

1 It was this Lady Clinton's death that Machyn recorded in his 
diary in 1551 not, as has been erroneously said, Elizabeth's. 
The Genealogist, vol. ii, p. 23. 

249 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

eventually descended to the Trefusis family, the 
present Lord Clinton being thus the senior 
representative in blood of Edward, Lord Clinton, 
Earl of Lincoln, and his second wife, Ursula 
Stourton. 

During the five years of her second marriage 
Elizabeth had three daughters by Lord Clinton 
little children at the time of her death. They 
all married and left many descendants. Her 
three children by Lord Tailbois also survived 
her, but not long. Her eldest son, George, 
Lord Tailbois, as a boy of fifteen or sixteen 
years, was among those appointed towards the 
close of 1539 (during his mother's lifetime) to 
meet Anne of Cleves at Calais and to escort her 
to England. Like his half-brother, Henry 
FitzRoy, he was an instance of premature 
marriage, for he was already married in May 
of that year to his cousin, Margaret, daughter of 
Sir William Skipwith, and niece of Sir Thomas 
Heneage. 1 He survived his mother only a year, 

1 Margaret Lady Tailbois married three times, always retaining the 
name and title of her boy-husband. Her second husband was Sir 
Peter Carew, who died in or before 1575. Her third was Sir John 
Clifton, from whom the Earl of Darnley descends in the female line. 
Sir John Clifton's mother was, curiously enough, another Elizabeth 
Blount but not, as erroneously stated by Edmondson, " daughter 
of Sir John Blount of Kinlett " she was of the Sodington branch of 

250 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

dying in 1541, at the age of seventeen the same 
age that had proved fatal to Henry FitzRoy. 

His brother, Robert, who succeeded him in 
the Barony of Tailbois, followed him to the 
grave in the next year and at the same age. 
The inference seems not improbable that all three 
of Elizabeth's sons died of consumption, as did 
certainly both the King's sons, Henry FitzRoy 
and Edward VI. It was an epoch when the 
strenuous system of education in vogue among 
the highest nobility taxed to the utmost the 
strength of its youth, and the weakly succumbed 
to early death, their constitutions being pre- 
maturely forced in every direction, and their 
strength undermined by the strain of manly 
exercises combined with application to learning, 
begun at too early an age. 

On the death of Robert, last Lord Tailbois, 
his sister Elizabeth succeeded as Baroness 
Tailbois of Kyme. Her husband, one Thomas 
Wimbish " a man of great possessions," says 
Leland claimed in her right to sit in Parliament 
as Baron Tailbois. His claim was solemnly 

the Blounts. In her will dated 1580, this lady, the widow of William 
Clifton, Esq., bequeaths her wedding-ring to her daughter-in-law, 
" My Lady Talboys," namely, the above-named Margaret. (Informa- 
tion supplied by Lady Elizabeth Gust.) 

251 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

decided in the presence of Henry VIII. The 
King took part in the curious arguments, 
replying to those of Gardiner, Bishop of Win- 
chester, and of Barker, Garter King-at-Arms, 
who had been expressly summoned by the King. 
On the Bishop declaring that " by the law he 
professed " (the Civil law) " dignity was denied 
both to women and Jews," the monarch objected 
to putting Christian women and Jews in the 
same predicament. Finally it was decided by the 
King that " no man, husband of a Baroness, 
should use the title of her dignity until he had 
a child by her, whereby he should become 
tenant by the courtesy of her Barony." 

This Mr. Wimbish failed to do. On his death 
the Baroness married, secondly, her kinsman, 
Lord Ambrose Dudley, afterwards Earl of 
Warwick, eldest surviving son of the attainted 
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who 
had married his younger son, Lord Guilford 
Dudley, to Lady Jane Grey, and had brought 
ruin to himself and to them by his ambitious 
designs. 

Lord Ambrose Dudley, favoured by Queen 
Mary, was restored from the attainder of his 
father, and was created Earl of Warwick 1 by 

1 This Earl of Warwick is buried in St. Mary's Chapel in Warwick 

252 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Queen Elizabeth in 1561, his younger brother 
being the notorious Robert Dudley, Earl of 
Leicester. 

On the death without children of Lady Ambrose 
Dudley, Baroness Tailbois, the Barony of Tail- 
bois became extinct, and Kyme Castle and 
property fell to the share of her cousin, Dymoke 
of Scrivelsby, Champion of England, as one of 
her co-heirs (his mother having been a daughter 
of the lunatic Sir George Tailbois). 

The three daughters of Elizabeth Blount 
by her second husband, Lord Clinton, Earl of 
Lincoln, now became the co-heirs and repre- 
sentatives of their mother. They were : 

1. Bridget, married to Robert Dymoke of 
Scrivelsby, Champion of England, who, as we 
have said, inherited Kyme on the death of his 
cousin, Baroness Tailboys. 

2. Katherine to William, Lord Borough or 
Burgh. 

3. Margaret to Charles, Lord Willoughby of 
Parham. 

Of the first Mr. Dymoke, the present Champion 
of England, is the descendant in the male 
line. 

Church. He died without children in 1589, when all his honours 
became extinct, Warwick Castle being granted later to Sir Fulke 
Greville. 

258 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Of the second the Thorpes, the de Burghs, and 
Baroness Berners are the representatives. 

Of the third the representation is uncertain 
owing to the curious confusion which eventually 
arose in the family of the Willoughbys of Parham. 

Among the Holbein series of drawings at 
Windsor Castle there is one which bears the name 
of the above-mentioned Lady Borough evidently 
a mistake, for Lady Borough, the daughter 
of Elizabeth and Lord Clinton, was a little child 
at the time of Holbein's death in 1543. (This 
date, by the way, is often erroneously given as 
1554.) In fact the lettering put on these 
pictures after Holbein's generation had passed 
away, is so frequently at fault, that apparently 
none of the names can be accepted without 
proof. The Holbein drawing lettered " Lord 
Clinton " is more likely to be correct, because 
he lived so long that probably he was known, or 
remembered, at the time of the lettering. The 
exact date when this lettering was added is, 
however, uncertain. 

Sir George Blount survived his sister Eliza- 
beth forty-one years. He conveyed Kinlet, the 
paternal home, by deed of settlement to his 
nephew, Rowland Lacon of Willey (Shropshire), 
254 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

the eldest son of his eldest sister, Anne Lacon, 
which settlement was to take effect on Sir 
George's death an arrangement of this kind 
being a usual way of evading the heavy expenses 
of wills in the reign of Elizabeth. 1 Rowland 
Lacon accordingly came into possession of Kinlet 
on the death of Sir George Blount in 1581, and 
erected to his uncle's memory the fine alabaster 
monument so much admired by the students 
of sepulchral architecture. 2 It represents the 
kneeling effigy of the knight in armour, and 
that of his wife, Constantia Talbot a stately 
and mature dame, with a lap-dog at her feet 
the wife whom his mother had provided " for his 
comfort " five and forty years earlier. Between 
are two little kneeling figures, thus inscribed : 

Hier theyr two children be 
John and also Dorothie. 

A fable, repeated by Augustus Hare, relates 
of them that " one died of the bite of a mad 
dog, the other choked with the ' scork ' of an 

1 The Deed, dated March 22, the 23rd year of Elizabeth, is, or was, 
at Kinlet. See Appendix. 

2 " It is difficult to speak too highly of the exquisite carving of this 
monument ; every detail is cut with the utmost care. . . . The 
heraldry on the monument is a study." Cranage, Churches of 
Shropshire, vol. i, p. 320. 

255 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

apple." Be this as it may, the Latin inscription 
states that Sir George Blount on the death of 
his son appointed Rowland Lacon " in the place 
of him " he being descended, through his 
paternal ancestors, from the ancient Norman 
lords of Kinlet (the de Bramptons) equally 
with the Blounts, his mother's family. 1 The 
epitaph also records that Sir George in his 
youth " delighted in the Court of his Prince " 
(his nephew Henry FitzRoy being the only 
" Prince " in England in his time) ; further, 
that Sir George was " the terror of Scotland" 
namely in the wars with that country in the 
latter part of the reign of Henry VIII ; his 
portrait at Kinlet (bearing his arms and date 
1548) suggests a man of strong and rather 
ruthless character. On the under part of his 
tomb lies a representation of his dead body 
in a shroud, according to the peculiar custom 
of the time. In connexion with this weircl 
figure, folk-lore supplies another story which has 
gathered round Sir George Blount's name. At 
the foot of the shrouded figure is, or was, a bottle 
about six inches long, fastened down with a glass 

1 The Lacons represented by descent through the Harleys, one of 
the Brampton co-heiresses, while the Blounts through the Cornewalls 
represented the other. 

256 




MONUMENT TO SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET AND DAME CONSTANCE 
(TALBOT) HIS WIFE, IN KINLET CHURCH 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

stopper, and three parts full of a dark liquid. 
" No earthly power could move this stopper " 
so said an old inhabitant of Kinlet " because 
it contained the departed spirit of Sir George 
Blount." 1 

In selecting his nephew Lacon to succeed 
him, Sir George Blount disinherited his daughter 
Dorothy. Blakeway, the antiquary, surmises 
that he was displeased at her marriage to one 
John Purslow, a neighbouring squire. From an 
old paper at Kinlet it appears that a Purslow in 
an earlier generation had been convicted of 
stealing deer from the park at Kinlet, having 
confessed his crime in the presence of Lady 
Blount (whom we may distinguish as the mother 
of Elizabeth). The penalty for deer-stealing in 
those days being death, it is likely enough that 
an alliance with a member of the Purslow family 
would be unpardonable in Sir George Blount's 
eyes. 

The Lacons continued in the male line at 

1 Miss Burns's Folklore of Shropshire, quoted by Augustus Hare 
(Shropshire, p. 327). The less credulous say this bottle is known 
to have been an early Victorian one which held photographic chemicals, 
and was accidentally left in the church by the late Miss Anna Maria 
Childe, an accomplished exponent of photography in the years 1850- 
1860. Our picture of Sir John Blount's tomb is reproduced from one 
of her negatives taken at that date, before the monument had been 
moved into its present situation in the chancel. 

E 257 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Kinlet for three generations. Sir Francis Lacon 
suffered in purse and property as an adherent 
of Charles I, accused of being " a harbourer of 
papists and suspected persons." He sold the 
Manor of Knightley, the Staffordshire inherit- 
ance of his ancestress, Katherine Peshall, Lady 
Blount. 1 He also sold his patrimonial estate, 
Willey (now the property of Lord Forester). 
Fuller, in his " Worthies of England," writing 
at this epoch, remarks of the Lacons : " My 
hopes are according to my desires that this 
Family is still extant . . . though I suspect 
shrewdly, shattered in estate." 

Kinlet descended to his granddaughter, Anne 
Lacon, the heiress of her line, who at the 
age of twelve married Sir William Childe (in 
1640), and became a grandmother before she 
was thirty. 

The fortunes of Kinlet revived under Sir 
William Childe, a nephew of the eminent Lord 
Keeper Coventry, and himself prosperous in 
the law, although born a portionless younger 
son of a Worcestershire family which had been 
heavily fined during and after the civil wars. 

Ashmole " the greatest virtuoso and curioso 
that ever was known," as he was called visited 

1 To Sir Edward Coke. 
258 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

Sir William Childe at Kinlet in 1663; and 
drew the " achievement " which he found on 
the carved roof there, and in the " parlour " 
window, 1 namely, the arms and quarterings of 
Sir John Blount and his wife, Katherine Peshall 
a memorial of their child-union in 1491. 

William Lacon Childe of Kinlet (M.P. for 
Shropshire in the time of George II), grandson 
of Sir William and Dame Anne Childe, was long 
hostile in feeling to the Hanoverian dynasty, 
and was prepared to lead the Jacobites in 
Shropshire at the time of Sir Watkin Wynn's 
projected rising for Prince Charlie in Wales. He 
built the present mansion at Kinlet in 1727, 
and demolished the ancient manor-house of his 
Blount ancestors the story goes because of the 
ghostly appearances of Sir George Blount, who 
haunted the house, even entering the dining-hall 
when the family were at dinner, to the terror 
of all who beheld the sight. 2 The ancient cellars 
and foundations of the original structure were 
uncovered and seen by several persons a hundred 
years ago. 

Kinlet descended, from the time of Doomsday, 

1 Ashmole MSS. 854, 176 (Bodleian). 

2 A more elaborate version of this tale is given by Augustus Hare 
in his Shropshire, p. 327. 

259 



ELIZABETH BLOUNT AND HENRY VIII 

to its late owner, Major Charles Baldwyn Childe 
(of the Royal Horse Guards), whose gallant 
death early in the Boer War will not be for- 
gotten. His widow now resides at Kinlet. The 
author of this essay is his only brother. 

Family traditions linger at Kinlet, which has 
remained singularly remote and undisturbed by 
the stir of the outside world. 

The name " Blount's Pool " still survives. 
This pool near " the dark drive " is pointed 
out as haunted by Sir George Blount, who 
could be seen so the old folks say in the 
dim light of winter riding through it on his 
white horse. What is more certain is that 
in the park at Kinlet the same park from 
which Purslow stole the deer four hundred years 
ago among the splendid oaks which make 
the glory of the country "twixt Severn and 
Clee," here and there stands forth some ancient 
specimen of giant girth, and recalls the Tudor 
times when it was a young tree and Elizabeth 
Blount a little child. 



260 



APPENDIX I 

PEDIGREE SHOWING THE KINSHIP OF 
ELIZABETH BLOUNT WITH HENRY VIII 




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APPENDIX II 

LINE OF THE BLOUNTS OF KINLET 

(THEIR DERIVATION AND DESCENDANTS) 



APPENDIX III 

DESCENT OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT'S MOTHER 
KATHERINE PESHALL 



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268 



APPENDIX IV 

INQUISITION POST-MORTEM OF SIR THOMAS 
BLOUNT OF KINLET, CO. SALOP 

[INQUISITION OF STAFFORDSHIRE LANDS, ETC.] 
17TH OF HEN. 8 (1524-1525) 

THOMAS BLOUNT, KNIGHT, Deceased 

Staff. Writ dated, 8th June 16 Hen. 8 [A.D. 

1524]. 

Inquisition, at Stone, co. Staff., 17 June 

17 Hen. 8 [1525]. 

He was seized of the Manor of Balterley 
[Staffordshire] and of one messuage [and] ten acres 
of land in Fenton Kylwarde, and of one yearly 
rent of 6s. 8d., viz. rent set in Bedulff issuing 
from one messuage and 10 a land, late of John 
Bromley, Knight, and Richard Bedulff, and of 
2 messuages, 20 a land, and 2 a meadow with app 3 
in Denston, and of 2 messuages, 18 a land, 2 a 
meadow in Waterfall, and of one toft, 20 a land, 

269 



APPENDIX IV 

2 a meadow, 5 a wood in Romeshore, and of one 
parcel " miner lapide " in Wekesall. By in- 
denture made at Kynlett in co. Salop 24th Feb. 
6 Henry 7th between Humphrey Stanley, Knight, 
and Lady Isabella Pessall, late wife of Hugh 
Pessall, Knight, of the one part, and the said 
Thomas Blount of the other part, it was agreed 
that John Blount, then son and heir apparent of 
the said Thomas, before the feast of St. Michael 
next ensuing should marry Katherine, daughter 
and heir of the said Hugh, begotten by the said 
Isabella ; which Katherine was sole heir apparent 
of Humphrey Pessall, Esquire, father of the 
said Hugh Pessall, Knight, whereupon the said 
Thomas Blount granted that if any son and heir 
of his should have issue by the said Katherine, 
then within one year after the birth of such 
issue, the said Thomas Blount would make to 
the said Katherine a sufficient and secure estate 
of the lands and tenements whereof she was 
then not " heritable," to the yearly value of 20L, 
for term of her life ; for the performance whereof 
the said Thomas bound himself in 200JL ; he also 
granted that all the lands to which he was then 
heritable should on his decease descend to the 
said John Blount and Katherine, or to any heir 
of the said Thomas who married the said 
270 



APPENDIX IV 

Katherine and the heirs of their bodies, with a 
proviso that it should be lawful to the said 
Thomas to enfeoff the manors, lands, etc., of 
his inheritance to the yearly value of 20/. under 
these conditions that if he should die before 
the marriage of any of his children (puerorum), 
[he might] assign for a term of years the said 
lands and tenements for the contentation and 
performance of the same . . . remainder to the 
said heir or heirs and to the aforesaid Katherine. 
On the 1st of August, in the 7th year of Henry 
7th at Kynlett, the said John and Katherine 
were married, and are still living. Thomas 
Blount died 4th June in the 16th year of 
Henry 8th, the said John being son and heir, 
aged 40 years and upwards. The Manor of 
Balterley is held of the King in chief by the 
service of the tenth part of one Knight's fee, 
and is worth yearly 4/. The messuage, lands, etc., 
in Fenton Kylward are held of the King by the 
service of the 14th part of one Knight's fee, 
and are worth yearly 13s. 4d. The messuages, 
lands, etc., in Denston are worth yearly 20 s . 
and are held of George, Earl of Shrewsbury. The 
lands, etc., in Waterfall are worth yearly 195. 
and are held of the same Earl. The lands, etc., 
in Romeshore are worth yearly 10s. and are held 

271 




APPENDIX IV 

of the same Earl. The " miner lapia " in 
Wykesall are worth yearly beyond reprises 2d. 
and is held of the said Earl. 

(Translation from original in Record Office.) 

[Inquis. Post-mortem, 16 Hen. 8, 102 Thomas 
Blount, co. Hereford.] 



272 



APPENDIX V 

INQUISITION POST-MORTEM OF SIR JOHN 
BLOUNT OF KINLET 

23 HENRY 8, N. 15 

(Translation from original in Record Office) 

JOHN BLOUNT, Knight, deceased. 

Salop Inquisition taken at Bruggenorthe 

23 Henry 8. Thomas Blount, Knight, 

father of the said John Blount, was seized of the 
Manor of Kynlet, & of 20 messuages, 300 a land, 
40 a meadow, 200 a pasture, 100 a wood, 40 a 
heath, & 32s. of rent, in Kynlet, Cottesley, 
Foxcote, & Ernewode in his demesne as of fee : 
and by Indenture made at Kynlet, 24th February 
6 Henry 7 [etc., as in Inquis. 17 Hen. 8]. 
Afterwards William Bishop of Lincoln, Edward 
Sutton of Dudley, Knight, William Blount of 
Mountj oy, Knight, and others on the 12th Dec. 
21 Henry 7, read out a writ of entry sur 

s 273 



APPENDIX V 

disseisin in le post against the said Thomas 
Blount, Knight, then tenant of the premises, 
whereby the Sheriff of Salop was commanded 
to render to the said Bishop and the others the 
said manor & tenements by name of the Manor 
of Kynlet, and 20 messuages, 300 a land, 40 a 
meadow, 200 a pasture, 100 a wood, 40 a heath, 
& 325. of rent in Kynlet, Cattesley, Foxcote, & 
Ernewode ; which writ was returned, etc. : where- 
upon the Bishop, etc., recovered the premises 
against the said Thomas Blount, which recovery 
was to the & intent mentioned in the said 
Indenture. Some of the trustees died, and also 
the said Thomas Blount, and afterwards the said 
Edward Sutton, William Blount of Mount joy, 
& others [surviving trustees], by their charter 
dated 14th February 6 Henry 8 [1514-1515], 
granted the premises to the said John Blount 
and Katherine and the heirs of their bodies: 
remainder to the right heirs of Thomas Blount, 
Knight. John Blount died 27th Feb. 22 Henry 8 
[1530-1531] ; the said Katherine is still living. 
George Blount, son & heir, set. 18. The Manor 
of Kynlet and other lands in Foxcote & Erne- 
wode are held of the Earl of March as of his 
Honor & Castle of Wyggemore, by fealty only, 
and it is worth yearly 40Z. The messuages, etc., 
274 



APPENDIX V 

in Catteley are held of the King in chief, but by 
what services the jurors know not, they are 
worth yearly 31. 

Staff. Writ dated 28 Feb. 22 Hen. 8. Inquis. 
at Stafford 26 October 23 Henry 8 [A.D. 1531] 
Thomas Blount, father of the said John, was 
seized in fee of the Manor of Balterley, etc., 
& by Indenture, etc. [as in the Inquis. of 
17 Hen. 8]. Similar findings as to the heir, 
the values & tenures of the premises except 
that the messuages, etc., in Waterfall are said 
to be held of the heir (or heirs) of Hugh Pessall. 



275 



APPENDIX VI 

SIR GEORGE BLOUNT OF KINLET'S SETTLE- 
MENT ON HIS NEPHEW 

THE following is an excerpt of a deed at Kinlet 
Hall, in the possession of the late William Lacon 
Childe, Esquire, of Kinlet ; by which deed Sir 
George Blount settles Kinlet on his nephew, 
Rowland Lacon of Willey. 

This settlement is dated 22nd of May, 23rd 
year of Elizabeth (1581). Sir George Blount 
appoints certain feoffees (trustees), Harnage and 
Hill, who are to hold the Manor of Kinlet for 
the use of himself (Sir George Blount) during 
his life, and after his death for the use of his 
nephew, Rowland Lacon. It seems to have been 
a usual practice, at this epoch, to convey estates 
in this manner instead of by will. Sir George 
Blount thus disinherited his daughter Dorothy. 

" To all Christian people to whom this present 
dede indented shall come, S 1 George Blount of 
276 



APPENDIX VI 

Kinlett, in the county of Salop, Knight, fondly 
greting in our Lord God everlasting, Know you 
that I the sayd S r George Blount, Knight, for 
divers good cawses and consyderations me 
especially moving ... do by this my present 
dede indented, give, graunt, enfeoff, and con- 
firm, unto Francis Harnage of Belsewardyne, in 
the County of Salop, Esquire, and to Humphrye 
Hyll, of Sylvington, in the County aforesayd, 
Gent., all my Manor and Lordship of Kinlett 
. . . Catesley, Foxcote, and Earnewoode, in the 
County of Salop . . . waters, fyshing, woods, 
underwoods, advowsons, donations, presenta- 
tions, rights of patronage, Courte leete . . . 
To have and to hold the sayd Manors, &c., to 
the sayd Francis Harnage and Humphrye Hyll 
... to the use of me the sayd Sir George Blount 
for the term of my life, and after my decease, 
then to the sole and proper use and behoofe of 
Rowland Lacon of Wylley, Esquire . . . being 
the son of the sister of the sayd Sir George 
Blount, but also of the very great and sondrye 
gratuities, gentleness, courtysies, and friendly- 
ness by the sayd Rowland Lacon hertofore most 
lovingly and amply shewed and used unto 
the sayd S r George Blount, And for the ad- 
vancement and preferment of this sayd nephew. 

277 



APPENDIX VI 

. . . And I the sayd S r George Blount do, by 
these presents, ordayne, constitute, make, and 
appoint, my well-beloved in Christe Thomas 
Warter, Clerke, and Alvery Kellet, Yeoman, 
my true and lawfull Autorneys jointly and 
severally for me and in my name. . . . 

" In witness whereof I have put my scale the 
two and twenty daye of Maye in the xxiij d 
yeare of the reigne of our soveraigne Lady 
Elizabeth, by the Grace of God of England, 
France, and Ireland Queene, Defender of the 
fayth, &c. Sealed and delivered in the presence 
of 

" FRANCIS LAWLEY, 

" RYCHARD 

" FRANCIS HARNAGE, 
" HUMPHRAY HYLL, 
" HUMPHRAYE DRAPER, 
" GEORGE DRAPER, 
" ALVERY KELLETT." 

The late Mr. Shirley of Ettington in the second edition of his Noble 
and Gentle Men of England corrected the misstatement which had 
appeared in the first edition, viz. that the Lacons " purchased " Kinlet 
from the Blounts. He substituted the word " inherited " for " pur- 
chased." 



278 



APPENDIX VII 

INSCRIPTION on the monument in Kinlet Church 
to Sir John Blount of Kinlet and Dame Katherine 
his wife, parents of Elizabeth Blount : 

" Hie jacet corpus Johanis Blount milit : filii 
et heredis Thomi Blount milit : filii et hered : 
Humfrid : Blount mil : ac Dominae Katherinae 
uxoris filiae et heres : solae Hugonis Pesall milit . 
ac Dominae Isabellae uxoris suae filiae Dni: 
Johans : Stanley mil : qui quidm : Johanis Blount 
obyit xiiij die mensis Febru : Anno Dni: 
McccccXXXI. cuis: anim: propicietur deus. 
Amen." 

" Here lieth the body of John Blount, Knight 
(son and heir of Thomas Blount, Knight, son 
and heir of Humfrey Blount, Knight), and of 
the Lady Katherine his wife, daughter and sole 
heir of Hugh Pesall, Knight, by the Lady Isabella 
his wife, daughter of Sir John Stanley, Knight, 
which said John Blount died the 14th day of 
the month of February, in the year of our Lord 
1531, on whose soul God have mercy. Amen." 

279 



APPENDIX VIII 



THE following is a list of the arms quartered 
in the shield of the Bloimts on the monument 
to Sir George Blount of Kinlet. 



1. Blount 

2. Sodington 

3. Verdon 

4. Lacy 

5. Marshall 

6. Strongbow 

7. MacMurrough 

8. Cornewall of Kinlet 

9. Brampton 

10. Valerie 

11. Braose 

12. Milo, Earl of 

Hereford 



13. Newmarch 

14. Remieule 

15. Corbet of Caux 

16. Hereford 

17. Peshall 

18. Chetwynd 

19. Caverswell 

20. Knightley 

21. Pantulph 

22. Swynnerton 

23. Beck 

24. Hastang 

25. Trussell 



The arms and quarterings of the Talbots 
are represented on the same monument, as 
also the arms of the Lacons with twenty-three 
quarterings. 
280 



APPENDIX IX 

RELATIONSHIP OF ELIZABETH BLOUNT WITH 
THE GUILFORD FAMILY 

(From an old pedigree of the Corn walls of Burford in the 
possession of Mrs. Baldwyn-Childe at Kyre Park) 

" ELINOR CORNWALL m d 1 st Sir Hugh Mortimer 
of Cuer x Wyard, 2 Sir Richard Croft of Croft. 
This Sir Hugh Mortimer had by the same Dame 
Elinor a daughter named Anne, m d to Sir 
Thomas West, L d Delawar, who had by her a 
daughter, married to S r Edwad Gilford, who 
had by her Anne, Duchess of Northumberland, 
mother to the most noble Ambrose, Earl of 
Warwick & the right excellent E. of Leicester. 
This said Dame Elinor took to her 2 d husband 
S r Richard Croft, who was Comp* of the 
household to King Edward 4th. Dame Elinor, 
his wife, was Lady Governor to the young 
Prince Arthur at Ludlow, and that it had been 
reported that the Lady Elinor lived so long 

1 Cuer, now called Kyre. 



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APPENDIX IX 

and had such increase of children that before 
she died 340 and odd were descended of her 
Body."' 

1 The monument in Burford Church, Shropshire, where the heart of 
Edmund Cornwall (father of Eleanor Croft) is buried gives the same 
genealogy ; Anne Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland, being styled 
"the most beautiful lady." 



282 



INDEX 

/ 



INDEX 

ABERGAVENNY (Edmund Nevill), Lord, 194 

(George Nevill) Lord, 95, 96 
Ambrose, of Richmond's household, 181 
Angus, Earls of, 124 
Anne of Cleves, 241, 250 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, 39 et seq. 
Arundel, William FitzAlan, Earl of, 96, 135-7 
Ashmole, the virtuoso, 258 

BADGER, Andrea, Venetian Ambassador, 71 

Barker, Sir Thomas, Garter King-at-Arms, 186, 252 

Barlow, Rev. John, Dean of Westbury, 202 

Barlow, Bishop William, 202 

Berners, John Bourchier, Lord, 111 

Blackmore, Essex, Birthplace of Henry FitzRoy, 116 

Blount, Anne, born Croft, wife of Sir Thomas, grandmother 

of Elizabeth, 41 
Blount, Anne, afterwards Lacon, Elizabeth's elder sister, 

ancestress of the author, 27, 239, 255 

Blount, Constantia Talbot, sister-in-law to Elizabeth, 235, 254 
Blount, Edward, Elizabeth's uncle, 55, 191, 193 
Blount, Sir Edward, of Kidderminster, 194 
Blount, Dorothy, Elizabeth's niece, 257 
Blount, Elizabeth, beauty of, 17 

no known portrait, 18 

early association with Henry, 21 

erroneous statement with regard to, 22 

chronological mistakes dispersed by public records, 22 

status of, 24 

date of birth, 25, 28 

marriage of her parents in infancy, 26-7 

285 



INDEX 

Blount, Elizabeth, distinguished ancestry, 28 et seq. 
babyhood, 39 
her great-grandmother, 43 
infancy, 44, 49 
at Court, 50, 52 

her wages as maid-in-waiting in 1512-1513, 52 
Lord Mount joy's influence, 51 
mistaken statement as to her being at Calais, 57 
education, 58 

contemporary of Elizabeth Carew, 59 
message from Duke of Suffolk, 61 
scandal affecting, 63-5 
culture, 71 

domestic surroundings, 75 
May-day revels, 77-9 
beauty and talent, 77-85 
last year as maid-in-waiting, 86 
intrigue with Henry, 88 
her partner Francis Bryan, 92 
appears in Wolsey's masque, 94, 102, 110 
her condition necessitates retirement from Court, 105 
influence of her associates, 113 
retires to Priory of St. Lawrence, Blackmore, 115 
birth of Henry FitzRoy, 116 

her maiden name disappears from Court annals, 117 
in seclusion, 118, 122 
married to Gilbert Tailbois, 118-25 
points to her credit, 118 
Wolsey's interest in, 118 
Palsgrave an enemy of, 120 
Wolsey's matrimonial schemes for her, 123 
her choice of Tailbois, 123 
settlements, 126 
at Court as Lady Tailbois, 127 
resides in Lincolnshire, 127 
connexion with Henry terminated, 127, 128 
her love for her son, 129 
in touch with him, 147 
consulted with regard to Henry FitzRoy's education, 

164 ; a letter from his tutor to her, 164-169 
death of Lord Tailbois, 187 

286 



INDEX 

Blount, Elizabeth, widowed life at Kyme Castle, 198 

children, 198 

still within circle of Court, 198 

New Year gift to Henry VIII, 199 

her name in Court records, 201 

sought in marriage by Lord Leonard Grey, 204, 207 

married to Lord Clinton, 209 

Henry VIIFs grants to, 210 

marriage of her son, Henry FitzRoy, 211 

death of her son, Henry FitzRoy, 222 

harassing times in Lincolnshire home, 224 

cautious demeanour, 226 

in danger at Kyme, 228 

further favours from Henry VIII, 230 

nearing her end, 241 

last appearance of her name in State records, 241 

death, 246 

descendants of, 250 

her three daughters by Lord Clinton, 253 

her pedigree, showing kinship with Henry VIII, 

262 
Blount, George, Elizabeth's brother, portrait, 18 

tomb, 19, 255 

birth, 28 

intimacy with Henry FitzRoy, 148, 173, 174 

ward of Duke of Norfolk, 196 

at Court of Richmond, 237 

M.P., 238 

death of, 255 

tomb at Kinlet, 255 

disinherited his daughter, Dorothy, 257 

legend attaching to, 257 

succeeded by his nephew, Rowland Lacon, 257 

settlement on his nephew, 274 
Blount, Gertrude, Lord Mountjoy's daughter, 139 
Blount, Henry, Elizabeth's brother, 235 
Blount, Sir Humphrey, of Kinlet, 19, 31, 33 
Blount, Sir James, kinsman of Kinlet branch, 34 
Blount, Sir John, of Kinlet, Elizabeth's father, tomb, 20 

eldest son of Sir Thomas, 25 

marriage at Kinlet to Katherine Peshall, 26 

287 



INDEX 

Blount, Sir John, marriage-settlement, 87 
a parent at an early age, 27 
takes up residence at Knightley, 48 
one of the King's Spears, 52 
accompanied the King to France, 55 
Esquire of the Body to the King, 87 
at enmity with Sir William Compton, 107 
harassed on his inheritance, 190 et seq. 
death of, 195 

inquisition, post-mortem of, 273 
date and mention of marriage and age, 269 
Blount, Sir John, Governor of Calais, 57 
Blount, Joice, aunt of Elizabeth, 49 
Blount, Katherine, Elizabeth's mother, tomb, 20 
heiress of Knightley, 25 

resemblance to her uncle, Sir Humphrey Stanley, 38 
successfully disputes will of Humphrey Peshall, 45 
a woman of vivid personality, 46 
shrewd and scheming for her sons, 196 
enlists the aid of Cromwell, 233 et seq. 
canvasses for her son George, 237 
death of, 240 
Blount, Sir Thomas of Kinlet, Elizabeth's grandfather, 

knighted at Battle of Stoke, 25 
arranges his son's marriage, 29 
present at Coronation of Elizabeth Plantagenet, Queen 

of Henry VII, 34 

attends Court at Ludlow Castle, 40 et seq. 
in full vigour of martial career, 52 
accompanies the King to France, 53 
retires to his Shropshire estates, 87 
appoints Sir William Compton a feoffee of Kinlet 

estates, 107 
death of, 125, 190 
inquisition post mortem of, mention of his son's age, 

27, 35, 272 

Blount, William, see Mount joy, Lord 
Blount, William, Elizabeth's brother, 148, 173, 235 
Blounts of Kinlet, origin of, 29, 30 

supporters of White Rose party, 33 
pedigree and descendants of, 265 

288 



INDEX 

Boleyn, Anne, 22, 23, 67, 69, 99, 111, 121, 128, 200-3, 

209, 212, 213, 218, 236 
Boleyn, Edward, uncle of Anne, 68 
Boleyn, Elizabeth, 93, 96 
Boleyn Family, the, 66, 67, 96 
Boleyn, George, Viscount Rochford, 218 
Boleyn, Mary, 67, 128 
Boleyn, Sir Thomas, 59, 67, 68, 96, 128, 139, 202, 212. 

See also Rochford, Viscount 
Borough, Lord, or Burgh, 227, 253 
Bosworth, Battle of, 26, 29 
Botre, William, Mercer, 70 

Bourchier, Margaret, mother of Lady Bryan, 110 
Bowes, Sir Robert, Master of the Rolls, 145 
Brandon, Charles, see Suffolk, Duke of 
Brereton, Sir Richard, 239 
Bridewell Palace, 134 
Bridgewater, Earl of, 93 
Bridgewood, Anthony, 206 
Bromley, Sir Thomas, Lord Chancellor, 27 
Bromptons, of Kinlet, genealogy of the, 32 
Browne, Anne, of Beechworth Castle, 98, 100 
Browne, Sir Anthony, K.G., 249 
Browne, Frideswide, mother of Anne Carew, 98 
Browne, Sir Matthew, of Beechworth Castle, 98 
Bruges, Margaret, 94 

Bryan, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan, first 
appearance at Court, 59 

married to Nicholas Carew, 59, 61, 62 

scandal about, 63 

intrigue with Henry VIII, 64 

Duke of Suffolk, 65 

takes part in Wolsey's masque, 94, 98 

return to Court, 108 
Bryan, Francis, partner of Elizabeth Blount, 92, 94, 97, 

108-113 

Bryan, Margaret, Lady, mother of Francis, 59, 62, 96, 110, 200 
Bryan, Sir Thomas, Vice- Chamberlain and father of Francis, 

59, 60, 110 

Buckingham, Edward Stafford, Duke of, 24, 107, 124, 125, 
133, 135, 213, 236 

T 289 



INDEX 

Buhner, Sir William, Steward of Richmond's Court, 145 
Burrows, Lord of, of Gainsborough, 227, see Borough 
Butts, Dr., Henry's physician, 143, 145 

CAMDEN, William, historian, 30 

Capell, Sir Giles, 94, 98 

" Captain Cobbler," leader of Lincolnshire rebels, 225 

Carew, Ann, sister of Nicholas, 65, 94, 97 

Carew, Sir George, 99 

Carew, Nicholas, one of Henry VIII's favourites, 59, 61, 62, 

64, 66 el seq., 98, 107-9, 110, 111 
Carew, Sir Peter, second husband of Margaret, Lady Talbois, 

250 

Carew, Sir Richard, father of Nicholas, 62, 68 
Carey, William, husband of Mary Boleyn, 128 
Carlisle, Bishop of, 135 

Cavendish, George, Secretary to Cardinal Wolsey, 35 
Cavendishes, the, early status of, 35 
Cecil, David, ancestor of Lord Burleigh, 142, 143 
Champernowne, Sir Arthur, of Dartington, 99 
Chapuys, Eustace, Charles V's Ambassador, 64, 218, 220, 

221, 227 

Charles V, of Spain, 64, 67, 90, 156, 157 et seq., 220, 225 
Chetwynd, Sir William, of Ingestre, 38 
Childe, the late Major C. B., of Kinlet, 259 
Childe, Sir William, of Kinlet, 258 
Childe, William Lacon, of Kinlet, M.P. for Shropshire, 35, 25! 
Childe, Mrs. Baldwyn, of Kyre Park, 44, 269 
Clement VII, 156 
Clifford, Henry, 113 
Clifton, Sir John, third husband of Lady (Margaret) Tailbois 

250 

Clinton, Bridget, daughter of Elizabeth, 253 
Clinton, Barony of, 249 
Clinton, Lord, twenty-first Baron, 250 
Clinton, Edward, Lord, ninth Baron, birth, 28 

remarkable for good looks, 208 

of great promise and fortune, 208 

with Henry VIII at Calais, 209 

at coronation of Anne Boleyn, 209 

married to Elizabeth, 209 

290 



INDEX 

Clinton, Edward, Lord, at execution of Anne Boleyn, 218 

" Pilgrimage of Grace," 225 

first to carry news of outbreak, 226 

his servants side with the rebels, 226 

collapse of rebellion, 229 

supports Act for suppression of monasteries, 231 

death of his wife, Elizabeth, 246 

maintains a foremost position in State affairs, 248 

high offices for, 248 

his second wife, 249 

created Earl of Lincoln, 249 

his third wife, 249 

death of, 249 

descendants of, 250, 253 

portrait of, by Holbein, 254 
Clinton, Katherine, daughter of Elizabeth, 253 
Clinton, Margaret, daughter of Elizabeth, 253 
Coffin, Sir William, 69 
Coke, Sir Edward, 68 
Coke, Robert, of Sparham, 68 
Compton, Anne, spouse of Peter, 97 
Compton, Peter, 97 
Compton, Sir William, favourite of Henry VIII, 51, 97, 187, 

192, 193, 194 

Cornwall, Edmund, of Burford, 44 
Cornwall, Edmund, of Kinlet, 31, 36 
Cornwall, Geoffrey, of Burford, 31 
Cornwall, Sir Richard, of Burford, 44 
Cornwalls, of Kinlet, their royal origin, 31 
Cotton, Sir George, of Combermere, 175 et seq. 9 221, 222 
Cotton, Sir Richard, 175, 179, 222 
Cramner, Archbishop, 202 $,. 

Croft, Eleanor, wife of Sir Richard, 43, 44, 48, 49, 53 
Croft, Sir Richard, of Croft Castle, 42, 43, 47-9, 86 
Croke, Richard, D.D., 171 et seq. 
Cromwell, Thomas, his opinion of Bryan, 111 

rise to power, 189 

friend of Sir John Blount, 193 

thanked by Sir John, 194 

his fees, 195 

thanked by Henry FitzRoy, 198 

291 



INDEX 

Cromwell, Thomas, letter from Lord Leonard Grey, 205 

writes to Lady Tailbois, recommending Lord Leonard's 
suit, 206 

Duke of Norfolk's gratitude to, 212 

his influence with the King, 221 

appropriation of Church property, 225 

letter from Lord Shrewsbury, 228 

letters from Katherine Blount, 232 et seq. 

execution of, 240 
Cumberland, Earl of, 139 

DACRE, Lord, 99 

Darcy, Lord, execution of, 229 

Darrell, Sir Edward, of Littlecote, Elizabeth's great-uncle, 

Vice-Chamberlain to Katherine of Arragon, 86 
Darnley, Earl of, ancestors of, 250 
Daubeny, Lady, 93-6 
Daubeny, Henry, Lord, 93, 95 
Daunce, Sir John, 62 
de Bourbon, Nicholas, French poet, 220 
de Brampton, Brian, of Kinlet, 32 
de Brampton, Elizabeth, of Kinlet, 31 
de Brampton, Margaret, 32 
de Cornwall, Richard, founder of family, 31 
de Harley, Robert, of Brampton Brian, 32 
de Heylwigen, Loys, of Brabant, 202 
de Medici, Catherine, 156 
de Venegas, Agnes, Lady Mountjoy, 51 
Derby, Earl of, 30 
Devon, Courtney, Earl of, 139 
Devonshire, Duke of, 100 
Dorset, Marquis of, 137, 149, 204 
Dorset, Margaret, Marchioness of, 100 
Douglas, Lady Margaret, niece of Henry VIII, 242 
Drayton, Michael, poet, 112 
Dudley, Lord Ambrose, second husband of Baroness Tailbois 

44, 252 
Dudley, Anne, Duchess of Northumberland, born Guilfc 

see Northumberland 
Dudley, Edward Sutton, Lord, 192 
Dudley, Lord Guilford, husband of Lady Jane Grey, 252 

292 



INDEX 

Durham Place, 133, 141, 185 

Dymok, Sir Thomas, 228 

Dymoke of Scrivelsby, champion of England, 253 

Dymoke, Mr., champion of England (1913), 253 

EDITH, Consort of Edward the Confessor, 32 

Edward I, 31 

Edward II, 31 

Edward IV, 33, 42 

Edward VI, 175, 222, 248, 251 

Edward, Prince, of Lancaster, 42 

Effingham, Earls of, 246 

Eleanor, Queen Dowager of Portugal, 156 

Elizabeth, Princess, daughter of Henry VIII, and Anne 

Boleyn, 212, 219, 222 ; Queen, 99, 248, 253 
Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV, 204 
Emery, Captain David, Lord of Howterrosche, 94, 97 
Erasmus, Desiderius, scholar, 50, 72, 74, 75, 106, 163 
Exeter, Marquis of, 139, 149 
Eyton, R. W., antiquary, 32, 33 

FAIRFAX, Serjeant-at-law and Counsellor at Richmond's 

Court, 145 

Ferdinand, King of Spain, 58, 72 
Feria, Jane Dormer, Duchess of, 113 
FitzRoy, Geoffrey, son of King John, 116 
FitzRoy, Henry, son of Elizabeth Blount and Henry VIII ; 

Nichols's biography of him, 23, 147 
mention of him in Cotton MS. as one of over seventeen 
score of the descendants of his great-great-grand- 
mother during her lifetime, 44 
his birth and christening, 114, 116 
and his tutor, the Rev. John Palsgrave, 119 
his likeness to his parents, the King's affection for him, 

129 

his godfather Cardinal Wolsey, 130 
Henry's resolve that he should be considered as a 
Prince and one worthy to succeed to the throne, 
130-1 

the earliest mention of him in the records, his arms, 
131 

293 



INDEX 

FitzRoy, Henry, elected to the Garter and created Earl of 
Nottingham and Duke of Richmond and Somerset, 132 

given precedence to all other dukes already created, 133 

description of the ceremony of the creations, 133-8 

he receives patent as Lord High Admiral and Warden 
General of the Marches towards Scotland, 140 

takes leave of his father at Hampton Court and pro- 
ceeds to Yorkshire, 141 

account of his journey, 142-4 

list of the officers of his Court at Sheriff -Hutton, 145 

lands and income granted him, 146 

two of his mother's brothers reside at his Court and 
are educated with him, his disposition and acquire- 
ments, 148, 149 

a letter from him to the King, 150, 151 

his correspondence with James V of Scotland, 152-5 

matrimonial alliances proposed for him, 156 

rumoured that he was to be made King of Ireland, 157 

his education and first preceptor, 15963 

his second teacher, 171-81 

ceases to be Lord Warden of the Marches and advanced 
to the Lieutenancy of Ireland, 200 

accompanies the King to his meeting with Francis I 
at Calais, 209 

married to the Lady Mary Howard, 211, 212 

his friendship with the Earl of Surrey, 213-17 

the youthful couple live apart, 214 

his illness, 217-18 

death, 219-20 

burial, 221-3 

monument at Framlingham, 223 
FitzWalter, Lady, 24 

FitzWalter, Robert Radcliff, Lord, 135, 139, 242 
FitzWilliam, Lord, of Milton, 188 
Flodden Field, victory of, 56 
Foscari, Alvise, 78, 93 
Foxe, John, 245 

Francis I, of France, 90, 106, 108 
Frankelyn, William, Counsellor at Richmond's Court, 

148 
Froude, James A., 24, 187, 222 

294 






INDEX 



Fulgeham, Sir Godfrey, treasurer of Richmond's household, 

145 

Fuller, Thomas, historian, 222 
Fyenes, Mary, 94 ; wife of Henry Norreys, 99 

GAIRDNER, Dr. James, 52, 227, 242 

Gamage, Sir Thomas, of Coity, 245 

Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, 252 

Garneys, John, father of Mary Blount, 193 

Gascoigne, Lady, 229 

Gascoigne, Sir William, of Gawthorpe, 124 

Gresley, or Greslyng, brother-in-law to Elizabeth, 198 

Grey, Lady Jane, 252 

Grey, Sir John, of Groby, 204 

Grey, Lord Leonard, 204-8 

Gibson, Richard, Master of the Revels, 67, 70, 71 

Giustiniani, Sebastian, Venetian Ambassador, 73, 84, 90, 91, 

101 

Glendower, Owen, 43 

Guilford, Sir Henry, 63, 66, 68, 70, 94, 96-8 
Guilford, Margaret, Lady, 63, 66, 68, 93, 96 
Guilford, Sir Richard, 98 

HALL, Edward, historian, 23, 58, 71, 80, 89, 92, 95, 108, 109, 

110, 116, 130 
Hampden, Viscount, 99 
Hampton Court, 141, 159 
Hare, Augustus (the late), 255, 257, 259 
Harwood, Thomas, topographer, 38 
Hastings, Lady, 107 

Heneage, Sir Thomas, Wolsey's secretary, 184, 250 
Henry VI, 42, 44 

Henry VII, 25, 26, 29, 30, 33, 35, 38, 40-2, 47, 75 
Henry VIII 

explanations in regard to his intrigue with Elizabeth 
Blount, 22 

marriage to his sister-in-law, Katherine, 47, 53 

at war with France and Scotland, 54-6 

curious letter from Duke of Suffolk, 60 

life at Court, 64 

revels at Court, 69-71 

295 



INDEX 

Henry VIII, kindness to Queen Katherine, 72 

religious devotion, 72 

handsome appearance, 73 

cultured state of Court, 73 

popularity, 78 

May-day revels, 78 

amusements at Court, 83 

alarm at " sweating sickness," 84 

talent for music, 84 

intrigue with Elizabeth, 88 

guest of Wolsey, 90-101 

appears in masque, 93 

treatment of early companions, 95 

tires of Katherine, 106 

religious zeal, 107 

reforms his Court, 109 

residence at Blackmore unproved, 116 

marriage provision for Elizabeth, 125 

disappointed with Katherine, 131 

intention of nominating Henry FitzRoy his successor, 
131 

confers titles on Henry FitzRoy, 134 

promotes Henry FitzRoy Lord High Admiral, 140 

dismisses Katherine's ladies, 144 

gift to Henry FitzRoy, 148 

letter from Henry FitzRoy, 150 

intention to create Henry FitzRoy King of Ireland, 157 

Elizabeth's New Year gift, 199 

affection for Henry FitzRoy, 200 

marriage to Anne Boleyn, 203 

unfriendly with continental neighbours, 211 

promotes marriage of Henry FitzRoy, 213 

suspects Anne Boleyn of poisoning FitzRoy, 218 

married to Jane Seymour, 219 

grief at death of Henry FitzRoy, 220 

warned of Lincolnshire outbreak, 227 

presides at legal inquiry, 252 

pedigree, showing kinship with Elizabeth, 262 
Herbert, Lord, of Chirbury, 21, 114, 115, 129 
Hereford, Charles, Bishop of, 191 
Holbein, Hans, 17, 20, 208, 254 

296 



INDEX 

Holland, Bess, Duke of Norfolk's mistress, 214, 244, 245 

Holyrood House, 152 

Howard, Lady Anne, 135 

Howard, Lady Catherine, 93 

Howard, Lady Elizabeth, 68 

Howard, Katherine, Henry VIII's fifth wife, 245-6 

Howard, Margaret, 242, 245, 246 

Howard, Lady Mary, wife of Henry FitzRoy, 211, 214, see 

Duchess of Richmond 
Howard, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, 59 
Howard, Lord William, Ambassador to France, 245, 246 
Howards, position of the, 34 

Howterrosche, Lord of, see Emery, Captain David 
Hume, Martin A. S., historian, 117 
Huntingdon, first Earl of, 227 
Hussey, Lord, 226, 229 

JAMES IV, 54 

James V, 152-154 

" Jericho," Essex, 116, 117 

Jerningham, Sir Richard, 109 

John, King, 116 

KATHERINE OF ARRAGON, 22-4, 39, 40, 47, 50, 53, 54, 
77-9, 82, 86, 90, 98, 99, 101, 105, 117, 120, 121, 
128, 131, 144, 149, 157, 158 

Kildare, Earl of, 207, 249 

Kingston, Sir William, 109 

Kinlet, Shropshire, 18, 19, 26, 27, 30, 32, 35, 259 

Kitson, Sir Thomas, of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, 234 

Knightley, of Fawsley, Family of, 29 

Knightley, of Knightley, Family of, 29 

Knyvett, Anne, see St. Leger, Anne, Lady 

Kynvett, Sir Edmund, of Beckenham, 68 

Kyme, Lords of, 124 

LACON, ANNE, or Agnes, born Blount, see Blount 
Lacon, Anne, wife of Sir William Childe, 258 
Lacon, Sir Francis, of Kinlet and Willey, 258 
Lacon, Richard, of Willey, 55, 239 
Lacon, Rowland, of Kinlet and Willey, 254 

297 



INDEX 

Lacon, Sir Thomas, of Willey, 27 

Lee, Edward, Archbishop of York, 149 

Legh, Nicholas* of Addington, 97 

Leicester, Robert, Earl of, 44 

Leland, John, antiquary, 41, 47, 144, 197, 251 

Lennox, Earl of, 242 

Lincoln, Dean of, 184 

Lincoln, Earl of, son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, 

138 

Lincoln, Earl of, see Edward, Lord Clinton 
Louis XII, 60 
Luke, Walter, Counsellor at Richmond's Court, 145 

MAGNUS, Dr., Surveyor at Richmond's Court, 145, 150, 

152, 153, 154 

Malton, leader of Lincolnshire rebels, 225 
Manners, Sir Thomas, 139 

Margaret, Queen, sister of Henry VIII, 152, 154 
Mary, Princess, daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine, 90, 

110, 112, 133, 144, 157, 158, 212, 213, 218-22, 225 ; 

afterwards Queen, 246, 248, 252 
Mary Tudor, Queen of France, 60, 91, 149, 159 
Memo, Dionisius, musician, 83, 84 
Mendoza, correspondent of Charles V, 157, 158 
Meres, Francis, divine and author, 112 
Morant, Philip, historian, 117 
More, Sir Thomas, 137, 161, 170 
Mortimer, Sir Hugh, of Kyre Wyard, 44 
Mortimer, Sir John, of Kyre Wyard, 44 
Mountjoy, Lord, 50, 51, 55, 62, 71, 86, 192 

NEVILL, Sir Edward, 93, 96, 97 

Newcastle, seventh Duke of, 249 

Norfolk, Agnes (Tylney), Dowager Duchess of, 96, 245 

Norfolk, Elizabeth (Stafford) Duchess of, mother of Mary 

FitzRoy, Duchess of Richmond, 124, 213, 244 
Norfolk, Thomas, second Duke of, 59, 68, 93, 96, 110, 135, 138 
Norfolk, Thomas, third Duke of, 93, 96, 110, 119, 135, 137, 

138, 142, 149, 196, 206, 211-13, 220-2, 234, 246 
Norreys, Sir Edward, 98 
Norreys, Henry, 94, 99 

298 






INDEX 



Norris, Mary Fiennes, spouse of Henry, 99 
Northumberland, Anne (Dudley), Duchess of (bornGuilford), 

44 

Northumberland, third earl of, 124, 229 
Northumberland, fifth Earl of, 135, 136, 137, 138 
Northumberland, sixth Earl of, 229 
Northumberland, John Dudley, Duke of, 252 
Nottingham, Earl of, see FitzRoy, Henry 

ORIO, Lorenzo, 129, 144 
Ormonde, Earl of, 68 
Osborne, Richard, of Fenton, 239 
Oxford, John de Vere, Earl of, 135-7 

PAGE, Richard, Richmond's vice-chamberlain, 145, 167 
Palsgrave, Rev. John, Richmond's tutor, 119, 120, 122, 

145, 158 et seq.< 176 

Parr, Katherine, Henry VIII's sixth wife, 178 
Parr, Sir Thomas, 178 

Parr, Sir William, of Richmond's Court, 167, 178, 179, 180 
Pasqualigo, Venetian Ambassador, 73 
Pen, Philip, of Forton, 239 
Percy, Sir Thomas, execution of, 229 
Peshall, Humphrey, of Knightley, 29, 44, 45, 48 
Peshall, Sir Hugh, of Knightley, 26, 29, 30, 45 
Peshall, Isabel, born Stanley, 30, 37 
Philip, Elizabeth, silk woman, 70 
" Pilgrimage of Grace, the," 225 et seq. 
Plantagenet, Elizabeth, mother of Henry VIII, 204 
Pole, Arthur, 94, 100 
Pole, Henry, 100 
Pole, Reginald, Cardinal, 96, 100 
Pontefract Castle, Court at, 150 

Poyntz, Sir Francis, Ambassador to Charles V, 99, 100 
Purslow, John, son-in-law to Sir George Blount, 257 

RADCLIFFE, Roger, Richmond's chamberlain, 145 
Raynes, Dr., Bishop of Lincoln's Chancellor, 228 
Reade, Isabella, sister to Elizabeth, 198 
Reade, William, brother-in-law to Elizabeth, 198 
Richmond, Archdeacon, 145 

299 



INDEX 

Richmond, Countess of, mother of Henry VII, 80 
Richmond, Duchess of, see Lady Mary Howard, FitzRoy's 

widow, 242, 243, 244 
Richmond, Fergeaunt, first Earl of, 131 
Richmond, Duke of, see FitzRoy, Henry 
Rochford, Viscount, 139, 218 
Rudstone, Robert, 99 
Russell, John, usher to Henry VII, 35 
Rutland, Earl of, 42, 139 

SAGUDINO, Nicolo, Venetian Secretary, 77, 78, 79, 82, 93, 

102 

Sandys, Lady, wife of William, Lord Sandys, 199 
Sandys, William, Lord, Henry's chamberlain, 135, 199 
St. George's Chapel, Windsor, 249 
St. James's Palace, 220 
St. Lawrence, Priory of, Blackmore, 115 
St. Leger, Lady Anne, 68, 93, 97 
St. Leger, Sir George, 68 

Salisbury, Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of, 100 
Saunders, William, Wolsey's servant, 150 
Scrope, a groom in Richmond's household, 176 
Sentas, Bishop of, 135 
Seymour, Jane, 22, 219 
Sheriff-Hutton, Castle of, 141, 144 
Sheriff -Hutton, Richmond's Court at, 145, 159 
Shrewsbury, Elizabeth, Countess of, 97 
Shrewsbury, fourth Earl of, 97, 135, 227, 228, 235 
Simnel, Lambert, 25 

Skipworth, Margaret, wife of Elizabeth's son, George, 250 
Skipworth, Sir William, 250 
Skrymshire, John, son of Thomas, 239 
Skrymshire, Thomas, of Aqualate, 239 
Somerset, Beaufort, Duke of, 132 
Spelman, Sir Henry, historian, 231 
Stafford, Lady Catherine, 135 
Stafford, Henry, Lord, 236 
Stanley, Lord, 29, 30 

Stanley, Sir Humphrey, of Elford, 26, 30, 37, 38, 234 
Stanley, Sir John, of Elford, 29 
Stoke, Battle of, 25 

300 



INDEX 

Stourton, Ursula, Lord Clinton's second wife, 243, 246, 249 

Stowe, John, quoted, 116 

Strickland, Agnes, historian, 56, 57, 117 

Suffolk, Duke of, 60, 63, 67, 69, 91, 93, 95, 103, 107, 133, 

135, 137, 138, 149 

Suffolk, Duchess of, Brandon's last wife, 242 
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of, son of third Duke of 

Norfolk, 112, 211-13, 215-17 

Surrey, Thomas Howard, second Earl of, 96, 110, 244, 249 
Sussex, Countess of, 242 
Sussex, Earl of, see Fitz Walter 
" Sweating Sickness," 84, 194 

TAILBOIS, Elizabeth, Lady, mother of Gilbert, 124, 125, 126, 

182, 183, 184, 185 
Tailbois, Elizabeth, Baroness, Elizabeth's daughter, 198, 

251-3 

Tailbois Family, wrangles in, 182-6 
Tailbois, Gilbert, Elizabeth's husband, 21, 22, 56, 57, 118, 

122, 123, 125, 128, 129, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 229, 

256 

Tailbois, Sir George, Gilbert's father, 124-6, 183, 185, 253 
Tailbois, George, Elizabeth's eldest son, 198, 221, 230, 250, 

251 

Tailbois, Robert, son of Elizabeth, 198, 251 
Talbot, Sir John, of Grafton, 235 
Tate, Dr., almoner at Richmond's Court, 145, 160 
Tempest, Sir Thomas, Comptroller of Richmond's Court, 

145 

Tonstal, Rev. Cuthbert, 101 
Trefusis Family, the, 250 
Tudor and Plantagenet, Union of, 34 
Tudor Dynasty, accession of, 84 
Tudor, Mary, Queen of France, 60, 67, 159 
Tyrwhit, Sir Robert, 228 

UMFREVILLES, the, 124 

Uvedale, John, secretary to Richmond, 145 

Uvedale, Sir William, 47 

VERB, Sir John, 138 

301 



INDEX 

WALDEN, Sir Richard, of Erith, 97 

Walden, Mrs., 94, 97 

Warren, Christian, silkwoman, 70 

Warwick, Ambrose Dudley, Earl of, 44 ; Baroness Tailbois' 

second husband, 252 
West, Sir Thomas, Lord De la Warr, 44 
Westminster, Abbot of, 135 
Westmoreland, Ralph Nevill, Earl of, 135, 237 
Weston, Sir Richard, 109 
Willoughby, Lord, of Parham, 253 

Wimbish, Thomas, 1st husband of Baroness Tailbois, 251, 252 
Windsor Castle, 214, 215, 217 
Wingfield, Sir Richard, 109, 165 
Wolsey, Cardinal, 54, 89, 90, 101, 107, 115-26, 130, 131, 

135, 137, 141, 143, 145, 148, 149, 153, 154, 172, 177, 

182, 183-6, 188 
Wotton, Ann, 99, 100 
Wotton, Sir Edward, Governor of Calais, 99 
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, poet, his satirical verse on Francis 

Bryan, 113 

YORK, Dean of, Chancellor of Richmond's Court, 145 
York, the Cardinal of, see Wolsey 



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By BENJAMIN SWIFT 

A charming story centreing round the romantic 
attachment of two delightful people Ysmyn Veltry, 
the daughter of a wealthy French perfume manu- 
facturer and Vivian Darsay, a great-grandson of an 
old Crimean veteran, Colonel Darsay whom, years 
before the story opens, chance had brought together 
and made playmates of among the perfumed fields 
of roses, jasmine and all the other fragrant flowers 
which surrounded Veltry's world-renowned dis- 
tillery at Grasse. 

At the instigation of an ambitious sister-in-law, 
Veltry has come to London to inaugurate, on lines 
which shall outvie in magnificence any similar 
establishment, a shop in which to sell his perfumes. 
Ysmyn and Vivian meet again under dramatic and 
greatly changed conditions to find their path to 
happiness beset with difficulties, and it is not until 
the " Maison Merveille," which has quickly become 
the talk of fashionable London and developed into 
a veritable " palace of beauty culture " is, in the 
height of its success, overtaken by disaster, that the 
" Lady of the Night " so called after jasmine, her 
father's favourite flower becomes the wife of her 
erstwhile playmate. 



12 



MR. EVE LEIGH N ASH'S NEW BOOKS 

THE EMPEROR'S SPY 

By HECTOR FLEISCHMANN 

" The Emperor's Spy," which deals with the 
struggle between Napoleon Bonaparte's secret 
police, headed by a beautiful woman spy Elvire 
and a gang of daring Royalist conspirators led by 
Georges Cadoudal and the Chevalier Lahaye Saint 
Hilare, is one of the most exciting, vivid and 
elaborate historical novels since Dumas's " Three 
Musketeers." 

Famous historical characters, from Napoleon 
downwards, crowd its pages. Incident follows 
incident in quick succession, and plot is met by 
counter-plot, until, at last, under the shadow of the 
wild cliffs of Brittany the Emperor's Spy, having 
achieved the crowning triumph of her life, meets 
with a swift and tragic death at the hands of the 
last of the Royalists. The book is 576 pages long 
and there is not one page of this tremendous story 
which does not glow with living, human interest. 

GLOOMY FANNY AND OTHER 
STORIES 

By MORLEY ROBERTS 

Author of Thorpe's Way," " David Bran," etc. 

Readers of Mr. Morley Roberts's novel " Thorpe's 
Way " will remember that " Gloomy Fanny," 
otherwise the Hon. Edwin Fanshawe, was one of 
the most amusing characters in that very amusing 
story. 

13 



MR. EVE LEIGH N ASH'S NEW BOOKS 

I'D VENTURE ALL FOR THEE 

By J. S. FLETCHER 

Author of" The Town of Crooked, Ways," " The Fine 
Air of Morning" etc. 

A story of the Yorkshire coast, 1745. 



THE LOST MILLION 

By WILLIAM LE QUEUX 

Author of "The Mystery of Nine," "Without 
Trace" etc., etc. 

f ' v CARNACKI 

THE GHOST-FINDER 

By WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON 

Author of " The Night Land," " The Boats of Glen 
Carig," etc. 

A NEW NOVEL 
By LADY TROWBRIDGE 



MR. EVELEIGH N ASH'S NEW BOOKS 

A HAREM ROMANCE 

By E. DE LA VILLENEUVE 

A very lifelike picture of the Young Turk Revolu- 
tion is contained in this novel. A double love story, 
full of thrilling incidents, is woven into the web of 
public events, the two heroines, one a lovely Turkish 
girl, the other a beautiful Armenian, having each 
been prisoners in the Palace of Yildiz. The person- 
ality of Abdul Hamid is vividly realised, and the 
cruel oppression to which he subjected the inmates 
of his harem is graphically described. 



Three-and-Sixpence Net Novels. 
POISON 

By ALICE AND CLAUDE ASKEW 

Authors of " 7 he Shulamite," " The Woman 
Deborah" etc. 

ROADS OF DESTINY 

By O. HENRY 

Author of " Cabbages and Kings" " Heart of the 
West," etc. 

15 



MR. EVE LEIGH N ASH'S NEW BOOKS 

Two-Shilling Net Novels. 

QUEEN SHEBA'S RING 

By H. RIDER HAGGARD 

Author of " King Solomon's Mines" etc. 

THE MYSTERY OF NINE 

By WILLIAM LE QUEUX 

Author of " Without Trace" etc., etc. 

SETH OF THE CROSS 

By ALPHONSE COURLANDER 

Author of " Mightier than the Sword" 



16 



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