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John Harington of Stepney

Farmer BullshotI have recently obtained a copy of Ruth Hughey’s book John Harington of Stepney: Tudor Gentleman, published in 1971. How does it compare to my own research and does it contain any other useful information?


I have deliberately avoided reading Ruth’s account of the life of John up to now so that I wouldn’t be influenced while I was doing my own research – this being the only book ever published about the life of John Harington of Stepney, my 11x great grandfather.

John Harington of StepneyRuth includes a portrait of John, clearly in his later years. This is held by the Victoria Gallery in Bath and although it has not been authenticated as being John Harington of Stepney it came originally from the Harington family portrait collection.

Generally I think we agree about John and the key events in his life and much of the generally available information about him clearly comes from this book or from the same sources that Ruth identifies.

That John is often confused with his cousin, Sir John of Exton, is also mentioned and the source of some of the confusion is identified, but this doesn’t prevent incorrect information still being circulated today and the publication by his son, Sir John of Kelston, Nugae Antiquae, doesn’t help.

This book does show up some issues with my current Harington tree which I will need to sort out, in particular the relationship with the Exton branch of the family, but mostly it supports my current research.

One thing that Ruth did point out was that John, unlike other poets and writers of the period [who’s works John collected], was prominent through the lives of four different monarchs – Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and then Elizabeth.

But first of all who was John Harington, son of Alexander, and why was he living in poverty in Stepney only a few years after his family were the most prominent family in the north of England?


Lost Fortunes


One of the family that was killed at the battle of Wakefield in 1460 was Sir John Harington of Hornby, the brother of Sir James of Brierley who later died at Bosworth in 1585 and to whom John Harington claimed kinship.

The Stanley family, despite desperate attempts by their Harington cousins, managed to gain the wardship of the two daughters [and heirs] of Sir John and married them into the Stanley family in an attempt to claim the Hornby estates.

But it was the defeat of Richard III at Bosworth – to whom the Haringtons had been loyal followers – that destroyed the family fortunes, with the remaining family members attainted and their properties forfeit, to the benefit of the Stanleys, who switched sides during the battle.

The Stanley family could be said to have created the Tudor dynasty by this single act of betrayal at Bosworth and at the same time destroyed their main rivals in the north and several of their allied families; they became one of the most powerful families in England and the Haringtons were reduced to poverty.

It is interesting, then, to see how John Harington of Stepney could have been so devoted to the Tudors that had destroyed his family, unless this was just an attempt to recover the lost family fortunes any way he could.

Despite being loyal to Elizabeth during the reign of her catholic sister, his involvement in the Lady Jane affair and his allegiance to Admiral Seymour, for which he ended up in the Tower of London several times, he managed to survive Tudor life and pass on a comfortable inheritance to his descendants – although perhaps not the inheritance he had hoped for.


Gentleman of the Chapel


John was perhaps born earlier than my previous estimate of 1525 as he seems to have been in the royal household in 1538. But, as a chorister my estimated age of 13 may not be too far from the truth, although Ruth suggests a year or two older.

In this year he was granted an annuity of twenty marks along with Avery Burnet, described as a “gentleman of the King’s Chapel”, although it seems this form of address did not apply to John himself.

An earlier birth date of 1517, suggested by the Dictionary of National Biography  and repeated in the History of Parliament and Wikipedia, would mean he was about 21 at this point, and surely entitled to be called a gentleman?

John Harington (or Harrington) (c.1517-1582) was an English official working for Henry VIII. [wikipedia]

But this may be due to the assumption that John was older in order to hold the position of treasurer under Henry VIII. That position was actually held by his distant cousin, Sir John Harington of Exton, who was about 20 years older, and even if John had been 21 this is still too young to have held such a responsible position.


thomas-tallisIn some commentaries John is said to have been organist at the chapel royal in 1540 [which would again imply that he was older than 13] but this is incorrect and it was Thomas Tallis who became organist at this time and John studied music under him.

Whether John was actually the organist for the chapel at any point is not recorded but he was “much skilled at musicke which was pleasing to the king” according to the writings of his son.

John’s father, Alexander, is said to have died in 1539, however Ruth identifies another record from 1544 regarding the purchase of “The Red Lion” by one Alexander Harington so is the earlier death record incorrect, or was there another son, Alexander, who either died in 1539 or was the one purchasing the property?

Ruth also says that John had at least one other brother, Thomas, who is shown in records about this time, again in relation to property. Perhaps he had some sort of inheritance from their father, Alexander, if he had died 5 years earlier, although this disagrees with other accounts regarding the family’s poverty.

John was supposedly born in the prebend house in Stepney, which implies that his father, Alexander, may have been associated with the church.

Prebend: The portion of the revenues of a cathedral or collegiate church formerly granted to a canon or member of the chapter as his stipend.

Perhaps it was his father’s association with the church that helped John obtain his position in the Chapel Royal, rather than any family links with Sir John Harington of Exton or another [closer] cousin, James who was Clerk of the Bakehouse at court and who, in any case, had died by 1524?

It is possible the John only had access to this property later in life [or perhaps another close to St. Paul’s] and he may have lived elsewhere with his father, Alexander, and his mother in Stepney. There is some later mention of a garden and servants and of entertaining important and influential friends, which goes somewhat against the family’s claims of poverty.


Grant of Arms


Later in his life, John Harington and his son, Sir John of Kelston, spend much time and money trying to re-establish themselves as legitimate heirs to the Harington family ancestral lands of Brierley and Hornby but without success.

The granting of arms to John Harington of Stepney in 1568 is a bit vague about his pedigree saying only that he was descended from a younger son of the Brierley branch of the family.

John Harington of Kelston in the Countie of Somersett sonne of Alexander Harington descended of a younger brother of the Haringtons of Brierley in the Countie of Yorke …

This “younger brother” has been assumed to mean Sir James, Dean of York, but Ruth suggests that Alexander’s father may have been from a different branch of the family – or even a different family altogether, which is explored below.

Had the College of Arms been persuaded to grant these arms, against their better judgement, but would not go as far as identifying a direct pedigree? Or had they established a link to the family but had simply omitted some of the details, and if so then why would they do this?

The design of the arms granted had a checked border “for difference” around the Harington arms, which did not seem to please the family and both John and his son continued to force their claim and eventually were able to use the Brierley arms, although they never reclaimed the associated lands.

In 1635 the succeeding John Harington of Kelston surrendered to the king his interest in the manors of Brierley, co. York; Farleton in Lonsdale, co. Lans.; Farleton in Kendale, co. Westmorland; and in all other lands of Sir James Harington, attainted in 1485, which John Harington (of Stepney) had by grant from Queen Elizabeth in 1570. page


Alexander


The key to this mystery is the identity of John’s father, Alexander of Stepney, who is widely identified as the illegitimate son of Sir James Harington, Dean of York. But the identity of his mother could be equally as important.

The name Alexander is not used in the Harington family but is widely used in the Radcliffe family – who have close connections to the Haringtons – giving some weight to the theory, suggested to Ruth and repeated in her book, that Alexander may have been a member of the Radcliffe family and had changed his name.

As a natural son, Alexander would probably have taken his surname from his mother [perhaps Radcliffe], but it is possible for him to have been officially recognised by his father and then to have used the Harington name. However if his father was Sir James, Dean of York, he may not have wanted to acknowledge a illegitimate son or perhaps he simply died before this could be done?

James died on 1st December 1512, apparently naming his cousin James Harington, Clerk of the Bakehouse, as his sole heir in his will. According to Misc. Gen III. [and Ian Grimble in his book about the Harington family], this will was written on 2 Sep 1497 which would have been after the birth of any son – at least from my estimates. If he had intended to recognise a son and heir it would probably have been in his will.

But there are no references to this will elsewhere and Ruth states that he died intestate so perhaps this was based on information that came from James of the Bakehouse saying that he was the heir of James, Dean of York? Certainly he seemed to be the closest living member of the family who could make such a claim at the time.

To back up Ruth’s view there are records that it was the church that managed James’ estate and his debts after his death, and there seems to have been some provision made in the administration if an heir should appear about the next feast of St. Michael [29 September].

aliqui agnate consanguini seu affine ipsius Jacobi defuncti

I estimate that Alexander was born around 1595 when James would have still been a young man and he may have visited his father regularly at about this time of the year. He would have been about 21 when James died and he may then have used the Harington name whether entitled to do so or not.

Was Alexander his illegitimate son or did James take a young wife who died in childbirth? If so then the marriage is not recorded and I would go for the first theory, although neither could be the truth.


According to Ruth one pedigree shows James having two sons, James and Alexander, which would probably best fit into a scenario where he had actually married, rather than having two illegitimate sons, but this could be a simple mistake where the name of his son and his own name were confused.

If he had married then I don’t think there would have been any controversy about the pedigree of John of Stepney, and his claims for the Brierley estate may have been more successful – even if official records had been lost there would still have been family members and other officials who had some recollection of the event.

Also according to Ruth at least two pedigrees show that another John Harington, the natural son of Sir James of Brierley, had a daughter, Anne, who may be another key player in this whole mystery.

This John had been officially recognised by his father as heir and is then said to have been poisoned by the Stanleys after his father was killed at Bosworth, to prevent any further claims on the estates that the Stanley family had inherited.

In printed pedigrees the death of John of Brierley was in 1510, some time after the death of his father and it may be that he just died of natural causes and the Stanley’s involvement was a malicious rumour. The source of this rumour seems to have been a letter written by one of the two Harington daughters that were married into the Stanley family.

harington pedigree 3

According to Ruth, Anne is shown in one pedigree as having married A. Radcliffe but also as having married James Harington, the son of Sir James, Dean of York.

Is it possible that Anne actually married Alexander Harington, the son of James, who would be a second cousin, and would also have been known as Alexander Radcliffe having taken his mother’s name due to his illegitimacy – assuming she was a Radcliffe?

If so then both pedigrees are correct and Anne Harington was the mother to John of Stepney thus bringing together two branches of the family and strengthening the later claims on the Brierley estates by John and his son.

Thomas = Elizabeth Dacre
  James of Brierley = Joan Neville
    John = ?
      Anne = Alexander Harington alias Radcliffe
  Robert = Isabella Balderston
    James, Dean of York = ? Radcliffe
      Alexander = Anne Harington

I think this is a good solution that fits in with most of the known facts and accounts for some of the differences – but could it be true?

Working back from the birth of John of Stepney in about 1521, I estimate that Anne was born about 1500 [assuming that her father died in 1510, as stated] and Alexander 5 or 10 years earlier when his father was still a young man and before he entered the church.

I do not have any evidence that Anne actually existed, other than the claims in Ruth’s book, but if she did [and was John of Stepney’s mother] it would help resolve several issues with regard to his claims on the Brierley estates.

And it would certainly go some way to explain the rather vague pedigree attached to the grant of arms, with neither parent being entirely legitimate or entitled to inherit.

Possibly Anne, daughter of John who died in 1510, may have been mixed up with Anne, daughter of Sir John, who was killed at Wakefield in 1460 and who was one of the two sisters married into the Stanley family.


Radcliffe


Another possibility, suggested earlier, was that Alexander was never a Harington, but simply changed his name – but he must have had a very close relationship with the Harington family for any chance of the grant of arms to his son, John, to be successful.

If Alexander had married Anne Harington, daughter of the poisoned John, then there may have been a family effort to regain the estates and changing his name to that of his wife may have been a part of that process.

One possible candidate is Alexander, the second son of Sir Alexander Radcliffe of Ordsall (1476-1548)  who’s grandmother was Agnes, daughter of Sir William Harington of Hornby. page

If correct then this Alexander was born about 1502 and that little is known about him makes sense if he changed his name. Personally I think he may not fit with other events, but it is chronologically possible for him to have married Anne, born about the same time, changed his name to Harington and had a son, John, by about 1521.

Another source, A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century held in the Bodleian Library, shows Alexander, from this family, deceased in 1570, which indicates that he had not changed his name and cannot be the same Alexander who died in 1539, unless, of course, this record is incorrect.

alexander radcliffe

But if not this Alexander then perhaps another member of the family – or perhaps not a Radcliffe at all!


Another possibility is yet another Alexander Radcliffe, the third son of Alexander Radcliffe and Agnes Harington [and uncle to the Alexander mentioned above].

Pedigrees show that he married Anne Travers and became the ancestor of a line of Radcliffes settled in the counties of Buckingham and Middlesex.

He would have been born about 1440 so is unlikely to have been the father of John Harington, but he could have had a son – or even a grandson – Alexander who could have married Anne Harington.

radcliffe 3

The fact that the family were associated with Middlesex and the close family associations with the Haringtons helps to place him into this story but I think the arguments for this are very weak.

Two descendants, Dorothy and Edward [shown above], married into the Gerard family of Harrow on the hill, a family with strong business connections to William Stubbes who married Hester Harington the son of John of Stepney and Awdrey Malte.


Standish


Sir James Harington, of Wolphege Manor, Brixworth [1443-1497] was another cousin from a relatively unremarkable branch of the family – so unremarkable that Ian Grimble, in this definitive work on the Harington Family, doesn’t mention them at all!

This Sir James, who was apparently knighted at the coronation of Henry VII, was a cousin to both Sir James, Dean of York and Sir James who died at Bosworth, the father of poisoned John and also of James Clerk of the Bakehouse [who’s son Stephen, was the last heir to the Harington estates with a documented pedigree, and who held the reversion of the Brierley estates]. page

Sir James married Isabella, the daughter of Alexander Radcliffe of Ordsall [and sister of Alexander, mentioned above] although Isabella is shown as Anne in the pedigree below, and this pedigree does not entirely agree with that in Ruth’s book or Ian Grimble’s history of the Haringtons.

harrington 1

The inquisition after his death shows that this James Harington left ten daughters – Agnes, Elizabeth, Alice [Alicia], Margaret, Isabella, Allianore, Joan [Johanna], Anne, Clemence and Katherine.

There was also a son, William, who drowned crossing the river Mersey at Northenden along with his wife “submersus cum uxore” on the day they were married in 1490. page

Strangely this was also the fate of William Tatton, of Northenden, in 1616 who’s father Robert, is mentioned in several of my other writings, and it sounds as if both Williams may have drowned at exactly the same place, close to a weir owned by the Tatton family. page

One of these daughters, Alice, was married to Ralph Standish and they had a son Alexander, possibly named after his maternal [Radcliffe] grandfather, but this was also a common name in the Standish family.

Alexander Standish was born about 1503, the son of Ralph and Alice, and died, [coincidentally?], on 17 June 1539, the same year as the death of John of Stepney’s father.

According to some pedigrees he married Anne, the daughter of William Molyneaux of Sefton and had several daughters, but could he also be the father of a son born about 1521?

This partial pedigree shows just how closely the Radcliffe, Standish and Harington families were related over several generations.

John Radcliffe = Clemence Standish
Alexander Radcliffe = Agnes Harington dau. William
James Harington = Isabella Radcliffe
Ralph Standish = Alice Harington
Alexander Standish = Anne Molyneux?

Some records show that Alexander and Anne Molyneux were married in 1518 but most show that Anne was born in 1509, so would have only been 9 years old when married and could not have had any children until about 1525, even if this date is correct.

Could John have been Alexander’s son, born before he married Anne, or perhaps even the son from a previous marriage?

If so then John’s mother could have been Anne, the daughter of the poisoned John Harington, mentioned above, which would also have strengthened his claims on the Brierley arms and estates.

And could the record of Alexander’s death therefore actually be correct, but the name of Standish forgotten – or ignored? Could he have actually have married Anne Harington and not Anne Molineaux?

The record of Alexander Harington alive in 1544, mentioned by Ruth, could be unrelated and where does the death record for John’s father in 1539 come from anyway? This date may have been assumed from a poem written by John for his mother in 1540, presumed to be about the death of his father.

But if John’s father was Alexander Standish then what about his brother, Thomas? Why would he take the Harington name just because his brother had done so, unless this is yet another assumed relationship and Thomas was not his brother at all?

Although the dates for Alexander Standish match [almost perfectly] to John’s father, his mother must have been a Harington otherwise there could be no claim on either the Brierley or Hornby estates.

The only other surviving branch of the family was that of another James, know as James Generosus who was Clerk of the Bakehouse in the royal household, and he held the reversion to the family estates which was passed to his son Stephen when he died in 1524.

At some point John Harington of Stepney acquired these rights from Stephen, perhaps in exchange for paying his debt, but the Brierley and Hornby estates were never recovered by his family, possibly because John [unlike Stephen] could not prove his direct lineage and therefore his entitlement.


Some ancestral trees show several children to Alexander Standish and Anne – although none of them are consistent – and Alexander is shown to have died in Standish, but again this may have been assumed.

The History of the County, Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster, Volume 4, through the ownership of the manor of Clifton, shows that Ann Molineux had actually married someone else.

Elizabeth Clifton the heir of Cuthbert Clifton, who died 1512, had married, as her second husband, Sir William Molineux of Sefton who died in 1548.

Ann Molineux, his daughter, heiress of her brother Thomas, who inhabited Clifton, conveyed the manor in marriage to Henry Halsall, of Halsall.

Perhaps this Anne was a previous generation or a cousin, but if Alexander Standish did not marry Ann Molineux then who did he marry?


Subterfuge


In order to improve his chances of a claim on the Brierley estates it may have been necessary for John of Stepney to fabricate [or at least suggest] a male Harington ancestor and it is easy to see why Sir James, Dean of York would have been chosen for this subterfuge having never married, or had any known children, and who died without making a will.

Perhaps John was deliberately vague about his pedigree when he applied for a grant of arms in order to help create the impression that his father, Alexander, was the natural son of James with little knowledge of his father?

Later claims by Sir John Harington, that he was directly descended from Sir James of Brierley, may therefore be more accurate than previously thought if his mother was Anne, daughter of James’ son John.

In this case Alexander’s son, John of Stepney – who may have been named after his maternal grandfather – was descended from a younger son of the Brierley branch of the family, as mentioned in the grant of arms, but I doubt this helped his claim on the Brierley and Hornby estates not being a direct male descendant.

And this proved to be the case, so perhaps we are not too far from the real story here.


More Illegitimacy


Awdrey Malte, John Harington’s first wife, had previously been engaged to an illegitimate son of Sir Richard Southwell, Richard Darcy [his mothers name], according to the history of parliament, probably based on the following extract from the will of  her father and royal tailor, John Malte written in September 1546.

And all suche other manours landes tenement[es] and hereditament[es] as I have to her lymyted gyven assigned and appoynted in as full ample and large maner as is declared and comprised in a pair of indentures made betwene me and sir Richard Sothewell1 knyght and other concernyng the mariage of the said Audrey …

This has been interpreted as an arrangement between John Malte and his good friend Richard Southwell for the marriage of Awdrey with Richard’s son and perhaps other documents support this that I have not seen?
John Malte died shortly after making his will, and was replaced as royal tailor in December 1546 but probate was not granted until June of the following year.
Royal InheritanceI think it unlikely that the King had already matched his darling daughter with John Harington at this point and her marriage was not arranged until after the king’s death in January 1547 and the rise of the Seymours during the reign of Edward VI. But it was certainly what was believed by later generations of the Harington and Markham families.
For a more romantic interpretation of this story I can recommend Royal Inheritance by Kate Emerson.

Incidentally Sir Richard Southwell sat on the commission that finally released John Harington from the Tower in January 1555. John had spent £1000 to secure his release, according to his son, although the official amount on his release was £100 …

Bound for their good abearing, order and fine at Pleasure.

Does this show an element of exaggeration on the part of Sir John or did his father have to spend more money in order to get to the point of being considered for release, or just for the general cost of being confined?

This is another point that Ruth and I agree on; the unreliability of Sir John Harington of Kelston when it comes to information about his father and the earlier periods of his life, and in particular his first wife.


Brierley Arms


Harrington KnotRuth noted that it was not until 1597 that Sir John Harington was finally granted the right to use the arms of the Brierley branch of the family  – the single fret design.

This is perhaps why the older arms of the Harington family are shown on the Codrington memorial in Bristol cathedral and had, until recently, been unidentified.

The marriage between Robert Codrington and Anne Stubbes was in 1595, just a few years before the final grant of the Brierley arms.

Anne Stubbes was the eldest daughter of Hester Harington, the daughter of John and Awdrey, who had married William Stubbes, an agent of Sir Francis Walsingham, when she was about twenty years old.

Clearly Anne was proud of both her Stubbes and Harington pedigrees as both designs were included on the memorial, which she had commissioned after the death of her husband, Robert Codrington, in February 1618 [1619].

The fretty design used on the memorial is also reflected in the dress worn by Mary Rogers, the wife of Sir John of Kelston, in a portrait which was painted in 1592 a few years before the final grant to use the Brierley arms, although these are represented by the single knot design that she is holding in her left hand. page


Hester


There is some mention of Awdrey Malte in Ruth’s book, although little about her daughter Hester, but I think I have been able to fill in some of the gaps in my other writings. page

… in 1568, Hester, Harington’s daughter by Ethelreda, who had probably just come of age, passed her rights to the manor of Watchyngfeld, and other lands there, to her father. This appears to be the last reference to Hester.

There is a mention of a portrait of Hester, but not of her mother as in other references. The description of the sitter differs from another comments but could still be the same little girl, just a different interpretation.

A portrait … is traditionally held to be a contemporary painting of Hester as a child of eight or nine. It shows a pathetic little girl with a sad expression, much beyond her years.

If Hester was born in late 1554 then she would certainly have been under 5 years of age when her mother died sometime before 1559 [probably by 1556], and perhaps this reflects her sad appearance several years later.

If there is a portrait of Awdrey then it cannot be contemporary with the one of her daughter described above.

John and Awdrey were married for about 7 years before the birth of Hester, but whether there had been any other children is not known – certainly Hester is the only one that survived.

Hester married William Stubbes, an agent and receiver of Sir Francis Walsingham, in 1573, had three daughters that survived [a son “Harington” and several other daughters did not] and died in 1639 at the age of 85 in Watchfield, Berkshire.


John Malte


It seems as if Ruth had not seen a full transcription of the will of John Malte as she references only an extract in her book.

In particular she quotes later writings by Sir John Harington in regard to King Henry himself being involved in matching his daughter Etheldreda with John of Stepney.

However the will appears to show that Awdrey was engaged to a son of Sir Richard Southwell, and it was only after the Seymours came to power, following the death of Henry, that John and Awdrey were married.

John Harington was part of the household of Thomas Seymour, the younger of king Edward’s two uncles, and they had prominent positions at court during the early years of his reign.

And although John Harington had been well established in Henry’s court it is unlikely that he was personally known to the king other than through Henry appreciating his music, in particular his Black Sanctus, written while studying under Thomas Tallis.

At one point, in the writings of Sir John Harington, he refers to his father’s first wife as Hester instead of Awdrey or Ethelreda.

My father is wont to say, that Kynge Henry was used in pleasant mood to sing this verse; and my father, who had his good countenance, and a goodlie office in his Courte, and also his goodlie Esther to wife, did sometyme receive the honour of hearing his own songe … having been much skilled in musicke which was pleasing to the king, and which he learnt in the fellowship of good Maister Tallis, when a young man.

Personally, and based on other writings of Sir John regarding his father and his first wife, I think this is more likely to be a misremembrance, and perhaps shows that John Harington  senior did not pass accurate information about his first wife to his later family.

Or perhaps Sir John was just a bit confused with what he had been told.


Branches


One thing that is not quite right in my previous writing is the relationship between the Exton and Brierley branches of the family.

John Harington of Stepney is often confused with his distant cousin John Harington, of Exton who was treasurer to Henry VIII and a generation older.

Like the two branches of the Codrington family, that descended from two of the sons of John Codrington, standard bearer to Henry V at Agincourt [a position also said to be held by Sir William Harington] page, the Harington dynasty started with John, the first Baron who died in 1359.

According to Ruth the branch of the family that lived at Brierley, Farleton and Hornby started with Sir John, the second son of the first baron. And the Fleet [Lincolnshire] and Exton [Rutland] branch descended from a grandson of the first Baron, Sir Robert Harington, who was the younger brother of John the second Baron.

This sounds a bit confused but clearly there are quite a number of generations between John of Stepney and John of Exton, treasurer to Henry VIII and they were only very distant cousins.


Pedigrees


I  also now have a copy of The Harington Family, by Ian Grimble so perhaps this is a good time to make some sense of the pedigrees of the various branches of the Harington in this story.

1. The Haringtons of Brierley

John, first Baron Harington d.1347
  Sir John of Farleton d.1359
    Sir Nicholas of Farleton d.1403
      Sir William of Hornby d.1440
        Sir Thomas of Hornby d.1461 at Wakefield
          Sir James of Brierley d.1485 at Bosworth
            John d.1510 [poisoned?]
              Anne = Alexander Radcliffe?

2. The Haringtons of Hornby

John, first Baron Harington d.1347
  Sir John of Farleton d.1359
    Sir Nicholas of Farleton d.1403
      Sir William of Hornby d.1440
        Sir Thomas of Hornby d.1461 at Wakefield
          Sir Robert of Hornby d.1490?
           Sir James, Dean of York d.1512

3. The Haringtons of Farleton

John, first Baron Harington d.1347
  Sir John of Farleton d.1359
    Sir Nicholas of Farleton d.1403
      Sir James of Farleton d.1417
        Sir Richard d.1467
          Sir William d.1488
            Nicholas of Westleigh d.1497
              James, Generosus, Clerk of the Bakehouse d.1524
                Stephen

The term Generosus – meaning of noble birth – is used by Ian Grimble in his book to identify James, who held the position of Clerk of the Bakehouse in the royal court.

4. The Haringtons of Wolphege (Brixworth)

John, first Baron Harington d.1347
  Sir John of Farleton d.1359
    Sir Nicholas of Farleton d.1403
      Sir James of Farleton d.1417
        Sir Richard d.1467
          Sir William d.1488
            Sir James of Brixworth d.1497
              Alice = Ralph Standish

5. The Haringtons of Exton

John, first Baron Harington d.1347
  Sir Robert of Aldingham d.1334?
    Sir Robert of Fleet d.1399
      John Harington of Fleet d.1401
        Robert of Fleet d.1419
          John of Fleet d.1460?
            Robert of Exton d. 1501
              Sir John of Exton d.1524
                Sir John of Exton d.1553, Treasurer

Most of these are based on the pedigrees from The Harington Family, by Ian Grimble with additional informations from Ruth’s book and other published pedigrees available on-line.


Conclusion


Having read Ruth’s book I think that I now have a better understanding as to what may have been going on here.

She has opened up some new possibilities in the challenge to identify the pedigree of John Harington of Stepney – in particular the suggested connection with the Radcliffe family has proved extremely interesting.

The suggested links to the Standish family are my own although the death of Alexander Standish in 1539 was noted [and dismissed] in Ruth’s book.

It is possible that Alexander, the father of John of Stepney, was a member of the Radcliffe family who married Anne, the daughter of John Harington [who was poisoned by the Stanleys] and the grandson of Sir James of Brierley.

If this is the case then James, Dean of York was involved in this only as part of the subterfuge by John Harington in his attempt to try and recover the Brierley and Hornby estates, by suggesting a more direct male connection.

But this connection may also have been added later by further attempts to establish the Harington claims to the lost estates, or at least to establish their pedigree.

Alexander could have been the natural son of James, Dean of York, raised by a Radcliffe mother and changed his name to that of his father after he died. He may also have married Anne, daughter of John of Brierley, strengthening his claim to those estates.

Or perhaps he was the son of Ralph Standish and Alice Harington – illegitimate or not. But the claim to the Brierley estates would have been fairly weak unless he had also married [or had a child with] Anne Harington, daughter of poisoned John – if she actually existed.

Ruth did appear to be thinking along these lines, but it seems she did not want to commit herself to one particular version of events in her book.

In 12 July 1565 John Harington appointed his  young nephew Thomas Harington – son of his brother Thomas – to the living of St. Mary the Virgin at Kelston [Misc. Gen. IV]. I think it is therefore unlikely that both brothers would have adopted the Harington name if their father, Alexander, was named either Radcliffe or Standish.

It is not unheard of for a son to take the name of his mother’s family in order to satisfy the conditions of an inheritance. But does this make it more likely that Alexander was the son of Sir James, Dean of York over any other theory?

I think that important evidence is missing from all of these suggestions, but whether any evidence actually exists is another matter. Some evidence to the existence of Anne as daughter of John Harington of Brierley would be useful to all of the theories.

The strange thing is that one of these options is probably close to the truth.


Nothing in the pedigree of John Harington of Stepney seems to be entirely genuine and he could have been the son of either Alexander Standish and Alice Harington or Alexander Radcliffe and Anne Harington.

But even if he was only descended from the female Harington line John may have felt that he had a genuine claim to at least some of the twenty five estates lost by his ancestors.

Whatever his plan – if, indeed there was a plan – John did manage to restore the family fortunes, but only through his loyalties to Henry VIII, Admiral Seymour and princess Elizabeth and, of course, his marriage to Awdrey Malte which gave him the foundations on which to build a new Harington dynasty.


Farmer BullshotHere are some of the incorrect facts that are commonly published about John Harington of Stepney. Most of them originated from the brief introduction to Nugae Antiquae, published by his son, Sir John Harington of Kelston.

1. He was treasurer to Henry VIII.

No, he was much too young and a member of the Chapel Royal, probably as a chorister, in Henry’s court. His distant cousin, another John Harington, from the Exton branch of the family, and a generation older, was treasurer. John of Stepney was known to the King, but only for his music and poetry.

2. The king arranged for John’s marriage to his darling daughter Etheldreda.

This is highly unlikely as Awdrey was engaged to be married to the son of Richard Southwell when the king died in January 1547, as shown in the will of Awdrey’s father, John Malte, who died only a few months before Henry.

Richard Southwell was close to the king and was left money in his will, so perhaps the grants of land were directed at Awdrey with the intention of them being passed to the Southwell family through marriage?

It was probably the Seymours who arranged the marriage of John and Awdrey during the early reign of Edward VI – John Harington was one of Thomas Seymour’s men. This arrangement was probably more about the estates that had been left to Awdrey by her father, rather than any romantic match-making.

John was probably about 25 years old when he married Awdrey, sometime in 1547, and she would have been fifteen having been shown as under this age in her father’s will dated September 1546. [She may have been born in June 1532 if named after St. Etheldreda].

3. John Harington paid £1000 to secure his release from the tower.

John was in the tower for about 11 months in 1554, and the fine he paid on his release was £100. This does not mean that it didn’t cost him £1000 in expenses during his confinement, or that he hadn’t paid out money in bribes to try and get released earlier, but if this was the case then it didn’t seem to have helped.

4. John was in the Tower of London with his wife, Isabella Markham.

There is documentary evidence that John was still married to his first wife, Awdrey, until at least 1555 although she is thought to have been ill, probably after the birth of daughter Hester, and may have died soon after at the age of just 23.

Isabella may have been in the tower as one of the attendants of princess Elizabeth, who was there for several months at the same time as John. But her father, Sir John Markham, was Lieutenant of the Tower at the time and it may have been seen as inappropriate for her to be there as an attendant to Elizabeth.

The comment that John made about his wife, whilst confined in the tower, was certainly about Awdrey and not Isabella Markham, who he married in June 1559.

My wife ys her servant, and dothe but rejoice in thys, our miserie, when we looke with whom we are holden in bondage.

I estimate that their daughter, Hester, was born in late 1554 and it is likely that she was therefore conceived in the tower when both her parents were there together earlier that year. This is based on Hester being fourteen [of legal age] in the autumn of 1568 when she and her father were involved in the recovery of the manor of Watchfield. page

Perhaps the reason that Awdrey is not shown as Elizabeth’s attendant after she was released from the tower was because of her pregnancy and subsequent illness and she may have retired to St. Catherine’s court in Somerset and, perhaps, died there, probably about 1556.

I would like to think that John had some affection for his first wife and that he did not start pursuing Isabella until after her death, but the first poem written about Isabella dates from about 1549 only a few years after he married Awdrey and before the birth of their daughter.

This indicates more than anything that John married Awdrey for the benefits it brought him in restoring the family fortunes and not for any romantic notion of marrying the King’s daughter, although that may have appealed to his poetic nature.

If Awdrey was not the King’s daughter then it would be difficult to see why John would have had much interest in her at all and I would have thought that he had much bigger ambitions for his marriage than the daughter of a tailor and a servant – even a rich one.


Farmer BullshotIn a  previous post I have questioned why Awdrey held a position as an attendant to princess Elizabeth, and concluded that it could only be because she was the daughter of the king and the half-sister of Elizabeth.

But it may also have been through the influence of her husband, who was devoted to Elizabeth, having been imprisoned in the tower for carrying messages to her in the first place. Possibly she was there in place of Isabella Markham who does not appear to have been in the tower with Elizabeth in 1554.

Perhaps this does weaken the claim that Awdrey was the natural daughter of Henry VIII if she was an attendant to the princess simply because she the wife of John Harington and just filling in for someone else.

But I am still confident that Awdrey is more likely to be the daughter of Henry VIII than not, as it would be difficult to explain some of the other events in her life – in particular the grants of land [whoever they were intended for] – if she was just the natural daughter of John Malte and Joanne Dingley.


speech50One thing that is cleared up in the book is the names of the two Gloucestershire manors – Bibury and Alrington – that John purchased in 1547 in exchange for his annuity from the lordship of Denbigh that he had been granted nine years earlier.


 Chris Sidney 2016

 

Disinheritance

Farmer BullshotRobert Tatton, the heir to the Wythenshawe estate in Cheshire, was disinherited by his father, William. But what had Robert done to deserve this?


For background information it is recommended that you read Tatton v Stubbes before reading this.


It seems to me a little harsh to disinherit your only son and pass your estate to your grandson instead, but this is what William Tatton of Wythenshawe did in his will of 1606. His only son, Robert – the father of William who inherited the estate – is not mentioned at all.

About 1605 Robert eloped with Susan Stubbes, the daughter of William Stubbes and Hester Harington – who was due to be married to another man a few days later – and married her against the wishes of her parents, as shown in Tatton v Stubbes, however it seems unlikely that this is the reason that he was disowned.

But this is not all that happened about this time.

There are two other documents dated 1603 in the National Archives relating to charges made against Robert Tatton that was heard before the star chamber and instigated by William Tatton, Robert’s father.

Rob[er]t Tatton of Marybone in the County of Midd[lesex] gent[leman] sworne &c

We have both the deposition of Robert, in answer to the charges, and the inquisition document itself, the title on its own making interesting reading:

Sale of tithes and mortgage in Bowdon, conspiracy to murder, land in The Poole, Lancashire.

Conspiracy to murder?

This is certainly a pretty good reason for being disinherited, but just what did Robert get involved in, and who was to be murdered?


Robert Tatton


Robert Tatton 1566I am still not quite sure whether Robert was a charming, but devious man, intent on getting his hands on his inheritance (and anything else he wanted), or was just sensitive and kind and ill-used by his friends and relations – and anyone else he met.

William Stubbes, his father-in-law, certainly held a poor opinion of Robert’s character due to the way that he believed his daughter, Susan, and her children were treated by Robert.

But this may be due to his disinheritance and the subsequent large amounts of money that Robert borrowed – mainly from William’s friends and family.

Apart from being disinherited, I do not think that there were any other consequences following these charges, unless you count the sad expression that he has in his portrait – painted just before he died in January 1624.


The Charges


Interrogatories to be ministred unto Robert Tatton gentleman defendant upon the Informacion of Edward Coke Esquire Attorney general to our late soveraigne Ladye Queene Elizabeth deceased at & by the Relation of William Tatton Esquire as followeth:

John Warren-1The first items are related to the mortgage on the rectory of Bowdon taken out by William Tatton. The sums of £600 and  £800 are mentioned as well as the names of Sir Edward Warren and his father John Warren, of Poynton who died in 1587.

It seems that Robert had obtained the statute for £800 that his father had taken out on his properties from John Warren, and were now held by his son Sir Edward Warren.

… and by that meanes to have gotten the possession from your father of & in his Capitall howses of Wythenshawe & Peele and his demeasne Landes & goodes there into your owen handes & to your owen use.

Sir Edward Warren-1Robert – along with Edward – is accused of “practising to extend his fathers landes”, as well as the supply of “meate drinke and weapons” to those who would hold the landes of his father.

To this Robert replies that …

… he was pryvye that the said Sir Edward Warren dyd purpose and intende to extende the landes of this defendants said father & knoweth that parte therof was extended by the said Sir Edward.

Howbeit he this defendant dyd not by himself or by any others at any tyme perswade or practyce with the said Sir Edward to extende the same: but confesseth that he dyd trethe the said Sir Edward Warren – beinge his wyves brother & suche as were in the said Sir Edwards Company & before possession against his father – with meat dryncke and lodging.

And he thincketh that somme of them dyd to keepe the said possession taken somme wepons owt of this defendants howse.

Robert says also that he:

… bought the estate and interest of the said statute of £800 for the better securing [of himself] concerning certen articles of agreement formerly made betwixt this deffendants said father and [himself].

This earlier agreement – held by Manchester University – was made in October 1592 and concerns various properties in the possession of his father.

There is a note attached to the document that says that it was also exhibited in a suit dated 16 April 1605, two years after this inquisition.

Articles of Agreament Indented had made & Concluded upon betwene William Tatton of Wythinshawe within the Countie of Chester Esquier upon th’one partye And Roberte Tatton gentleman son & heire apparant of the saide William upon th’other partye by the mediacion of dyvers their good & loving [original damaged] frendes

One of these properties, the rectory at Bowden is also mentioned in this inquisition.

That the saide Roberte Tatton shall & maie proceade with George Bouthe of Dunham in the saide Countie of Chester Esquier for the Reobteyninge and Repurchasinge of the Rcorye [Rectory] and tythes of Bowdon in the saide Countie of Chester …

If anyone can provide a good definition of “extending lands” then I would be grateful. From the way the interrogations are worded it cannot be a good thing – at least not for Robert’s father.


Arrested


Robert also denies another accusation that he attempted to have his father arrested.

Neyther dyd he come to his fathers said howse in Companye with the sheriffe of the sayd Countie uppon purpose to have entred and kepte possession there or to have mayneteyned and furthered the same against his father.

Neyther hathe he at any tyme layd plottes with Sheriffe Baylyeffe or with anye other to take arreste and attache his fathers boddye intendinge or myndinge to have him imprisoned as in this Interrogatory is supposed But the defendant dyd many tymes doe his best endevor to keepe his said father from beinge arrested or imprisoned.

It seems that it was after this that Robert was forced into an agreement to end the controversies and disagreements between him and his father, and that he was advised that if he did not stand by such agreement that his father would disinherit him.

… that there was an agreement made and sett downe in wrytinge by certen Knightes & gentlemen for the fynall endinge of all controversies and disagrements betwixt this defendants father & this defendant But this defendant doth not remember that anye boddy dyd advise him to stande to such said agreement least his father would disinherytt him or that hee this defendant dyd make anye suche undutifull & unrespective agrement as in this Interrogatory ys mencioned.


Private Conversation


It seems that Robert’s father, William, was suffering from syphilis and being treated by a surgeon named Plante – William would have been nearly 70 years old and this was a serious condition.

wythenshaw built by Robert Tatton (1650)Robert is accused of sending one Peter Warren to visit the surgeon Plante at his father’s house [Wythenshawe] to arrange a meeting with him in private, but without the knowledge of any of his father’s servants, leading to suspicions about the purpose of the meeting.

Robert does say that he did have a private conversation with Plante, but this was at his father’s house …

… in or neare a chamber at the said howse called the Gatehowse Chamber, the [purpose] of which speche was to understand what disease his said father had, & to desire the said Plante to take greate care to cure the same

This meeting was arranged through Sir George Leycester – whose daughter was to marry Robert’s eldest son – and who was travelling between Robert and his father in order to work a reconcilement between them.

Based on this conversation it is accused that Robert did …

… move or perswade hime the said Plant to use or laye somthinge to your fathers Sore or some other parte & place of his Bodye whereby to swell & Corrupte his said Bodye & take awaye his Liefe sayeinge further to the saide Plant that if your father did Amende & recover his healthe of that disease It would be to your undoeinge, for that yow sayde yow muste paye greate summes of money for hime.

Robert replies that that he …

… dyd not crave or perswade the sayd Plante to use or laye any thing to his fathers sore or anye other parte or place of his fathers boddy whereby to make the same to swell & to corrupte his boddy & to take awaye his lyef as is supposed neither dyd he this defendant utter suche speches to the said Plante as in this Interrogatory  are mencioned or any speches to anye such effecte.

From the above accusation it seems that he owed a great amount of money, which, perhaps, he was hoping would be covered by the death of his father and his inheritance.

Plante does seem to have made the accusation himself about Robert who, of course, denies anything other than trying to obtain the best possible care for his father, and making sensible arrangements should he die.

To that end he is accused of asking Peter Warren to send him word when his father died, in the expectation that it would be soon.

Did yow tell the said Peter Warren that yow muste Comit truste unto hime touchinge matter wherein he muste use greate secresie tellinge hime that he was of your wyves fleshe & bloudde & that frendes muste holde together, and whether did yow tell the said Warren that yow did knowe your father colde not live fower dayes, and therefore desired hime that presently upon your fathers deathe he woulde come unto yow or send yow worde thereof.

Perhaps he was expecting this, considering the poor health and old age of his father, but it seems to have been taken to mean that he was expecting news of his father’s death because he had something to do with it, especially because of the conspiratorial nature of the conversation with Peter Warren.

Peter was probably a younger brother of his wife, but may also have been in the service of Robert’s father so was in a position to be able to get a message to Robert [presumably in London] quickly.


Misdemeanors & Offences


Robert is next questioned as to whether he had …

…. of late come to your fathers Howse havinge a dagge or Pystoll charged aboute yow and at the same tyme sent unto your father & desired to see hime, and whether did yow tell any person & whome, that yow weare Counselled or Intended to Kyll one John Bellers whoe (being deposed) was thoughte (as yow sayde) colde accuse yow of manye lewde undutifull & trecherous dealinges misdemeanors & Offences by yow Committed & doene or used againste the said William Tatton your Father.

John Bellers is likely to have been a trusted servant of his father.


dagger-pistolWhat Robert was carrying was probably a Dagger Pistol, which was, as the name suggests, a combination of a dagger and a pistol, but is not really the sort of personal defence that a gentleman might carry.


Robert replies to this charge …

… that hee dyd of late ryde from London allone to his fathers howse, having about him for his necessary defence a dagg or pistoll charged. 

And when he came to the owter gate of the said howse he desired one of his fathers men to goe & tell his father that hee was come thither to crave his blessinge & with an intent in all dutifull manner to satisfye his said father concerning any matters that he should objecte against him if he this defendant might be admytted to his presenc.

But this defendant dyd not tell any boddy that he was councelled or intended to kill anie John Bellers in this Interrogatory mencioned for any cause whatsoever neyther dyd this defendant intende any such thing nor was councelled by any boddy to doe any suche thinge.


Accusations


Robert says that he was informed about the accusations made by Plante by Mr Davenporte & John Makepeace who told him that:

… Plant had accused him this defendant unto them that he had practized with him to laye some plaster or other infectious thing to his fathers sore which might swell upp into his boddy & take away his lief.

The only reason that I can see for Plante making up this story is if William had died, and wanted to blame someone else, or Robert had refused to pay his fees – assuming it was his responsibility in the first place. As far as I can tell neither of these happened.

But Robert denies trying to persuade Plante to change his story saying that all he wanted was for Plante to tell the truth. He also says that he did not:

… gyve over in speches that this defendants said father had or was infected with the frenche pockes or with any other odious diseases but rather allwayes desired to conceale his said fathers infyrmities & diseases.


Farmer BullshotRoberts responses seem quite reasonable but his replies also seem to strengthen the opinion that William Stubbes had of him, as a skilled and believable orator.

… by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant …

… uppon the faithfull promises and earnest protestacions made by the said complainant …

It is possible that Robert did not have any reason to want his father dead and this was all a terrible misunderstanding. But there seems overwhelming evidence that the opposite was true – certainly his father believed that Robert wanted him dead.

One other scenario is that William simply did not trust his son with the estate, and made up the accusations so that he could disown him and pass the estate to his grandson, William. He would have needed the support of the surgeon Plante and several other of the characters in this story and is not impossible that he did this, however I think it unlikely.

When William wrote his will in 1606 there is no mention of Robert at all and everything is passed to his grandson, William, Robert’s eldest son.


speech50Some records attribute the portrait of Robert Tatton to his grandson, also named Robert (1606-1669), but this cannot be correct.

A copy of the portrait held in the Manchester City Art Galleries is signed by the artist – Cornelius Johnson – and dated 1625, the year after Robert died and when his grandson would have only been 19 years old.

Robert Tatton 1566But the most significant clue is the wedding ring on the chain around the sitter’s neck. The younger Robert died in 1669 a year before his wife, Anne Brereton, so this would have been inappropriate

On the other hand the elder Robert’s wife, Eleanor Warren, died about 1605, or perhaps before, and Robert remarried Susan Stubbes before 1608 – although this evidence for the second marriage is hidden by Robert’s left hand being in his pocket. page

Having your portrait painted, yet alone to this standard, was not cheap and I am not sure who paid for this, given Robert’s history with money!


Some background information


Poole, which is now in Cheshire, was owned by the Leycester family. Katherine Leycester married William Tatton, the eldest son of Robert, and heir to the Wythenshawe estates, who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616. In 1602 George Leycester, of Toft, was High Sherriff of Cheshire and he was also involved in negotiating between Robert and his father.

The Elcock or Elcocke family held the manor of White-Poole, which included Poole Farm, from around 1600, and this is the site of the later Poole Hall. The Leycester family probably held another of the three manors. In 1601, Poole had a watermill at Poole Bridge.


Wythenshawe Hall 1837Wythenshawe Hall was built by Robert Tatton, the grand-father of this Robert, in about 1540 and was in the same family until 1926, when it was sold to pay debts and death duties. The property was bought by Lord and Lady Simon and donated to the city of Manchester for the use of the public.

The hall has been used by the local council as an art gallery and is now being opened to the public by the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall.


speech50In his deposition, dated 18th May 1603, Robert refers to his wife’s brother which indicates that his first wife, Eleanor Warren, may still have been alive or, at least, he had not yet married Susan Stubbes, which I suspect was around this time when she would have been 21 years old.

S[i]r Edward Warren – beinge his wyves brother

Perhaps Susan was older than 21 when she was due to be married? They were married before 1608 so perhaps 1605 is a more realistic estimate of Susan’s marriage at the age of 23 – especially if Robert’s first wife, Eleanor, was still alive in 1603.

Eleanor must, however, have died shortly after this – she would have been about 40 years old and possibly died in child birth  – but there is no record of her death.


speech50There is another document in the National Archives dated 1603-1625 which mentions both Robert Tatton and his son, another Robert.

Robert Tatton the elder, Robert Tatton the younger and Katherine Tatton, widow.

Katherine [Leycester] would have been the widow of Robert’s eldest son William (and heir of Wythenshawe) who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616.

If Robert the younger was the son of his marriage to Susan Stubbes then he would probably have been too young to have been mentioned in a legal document of 1616, so he is much more likely to have been the second son from his first marriage to Eleanor Warren.

The same would also be true of Robert, the son of William and grandson of Robert who was born in 1606. This Robert would eventually inherit Wythenshaw from his deceased father, but was too young at the time and had been made a ward of court, so is unlikely to be the younger Robert mentioned.

In the articles of agreement document of 1593, Robert is said to have at least two sons – presumably William and Robert – and several daughters, although none are specifically named.


Chris Sidney 2015


 

Tatton v Stubbes

Farmer BullshotThere is an interesting, if slightly damaged, document in the National archives concerning Robert Tatton and William Stubbes and some money supposedly owed by William to Robert.


This document is related to research into my family tree, in particular the pedigree of Anne Stubbes, who married Robert Codrington in 1595. For background information please read An Heiress and of a Norfolk Family otherwise things may seem a bit confusing.


C 2_Jasl_T4_9 (WIDTH-1000)The Tatton v Stubbes document is quite large and faded in places, with a significant chunk missing, but there is enough information in the remaining text to tell an interesting story about the relationships between Robert and William.

This is only the answer of the defendant, William Stubbes of Watchfield, so we don’t get to hear the actual complaint by Robert Tatton, but some of it is repeated in the answer giving us a flavour of what was said.

Thanks to Linda at Transcription Services for her efforts in extracting all of the information out of the document that could be read.


The Tale of Robert Tatton


Once upon a time William Stubbes of Watchfield, Berkshire and his wife, Hester, had three daughters.

Anne, the eldest, married Robert Codrington of Gloucestershire in 1595; Theophilia, the youngest daughter, married Thomas Garrard of Inkpen, Berkshire and Susan Stubbes married Robert Tatton, from the Tatton family of Wythenshawe in Cheshire. page

But this was not what was supposed to have happened.

Robert Tatton had “by various practises, intised & gotten away” with their daughter Susan and married her a few days before she was supposed to marry someone else.

 … [without the] knowledge of this deffendant or of her mother this defendantes wife, even about a day or Two before that shee should have ben maryed, unto A gentleman of great worth & reputacion.

According to William, in his answer to the complaint, Robert’s father had disowned him after he married Susan and it was following this that Robert began borrowing money from William, his family and friends, which resulted in this court case.

This deffendant by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant, and partly in hope that the Complainant would have Delt the better with this deffendantes daughter the Complainant’s Promise […] to bee made […] portions of money to [be sat__] [hole in document] setled uppon such children, as he had or should have by his said wife.

And partly uppon the faithfull promises and earnest protestacions made by the said complainant to this deffendant   f___ […] this Deffendandt […] did undertake the payment of diveres somes of mony so borrowed by the Complainant as is aforesaid.


Marriage


I had associated the marriage of Susan Stubbes with Robert Tatton, the second son of Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe [1566-1623], according to the pedigree published in the Visitation of Cheshire.

Robert was born about 1586 and it was his elder brother, William, who inheriting the Wythenshawe estate and passed it to his young son, another Robert. [i]

William the elder (1544-1611)  = Mary Fitton

    Robert the elder (1566-1624)  = Eleanor Warren

        William the younger (1585-1616)  = Katherine Leycester

            Robert (1606-1669) = Anne Brereton

        Robert the younger (b.1586)  = Susan Stubbes

According to some sources Robert’s elder brother, William, was born in 1581, the same year his parents married, so Robert could have been born as early as 1582 and would be the same age as Susan.

Other sources, including the family pedigree in the visitation, say that William was born 1585 therefore Robert would have been about 5 years younger than his wife, which is unusual for the period.

[i] This Robert inherited Wythenshawe from his father, William, at the age of 10, his father having drowned crossing the Mersey, and is known for his spirited defence of Wythenshawe during the civil war.


But this may not be entirely correct – there is more useful information in the document!

And this Defendant [William Stubbes] further sha[ll] sayth that the said complainant [Robert Tatton] is so furr from makeing [provision] for his said wife & children, That of late (As this deffendant is credibly informed) the said complainant, & his sone and heir apparant by a former wife, have so handled the matter betwen them, that all the inheritance of the land sometymes in the father of the complainant is setled & stated in his said son, & noe provision made either for the Joynture of this Deffendantes daughter, nor any portions provided for her children, as this Deffendant hath credibly heard & doeth verily beleave yea & that which is more the said complainant doth threaten to turne [return] her his said wife to this Deffendant her father, & will not allowe her such […]ong as is fitting for a woman of her estate & calling.

The key part of this is that William accuses both Robert and his son and heir of contriving together to settle an inheritance from his father only on his eldest [unnamed] son, with no provision for Susan or their children.

His father, also Robert, died in January 1624 and was still alive at this time, so what was this inheritance?

The document is not dated so I have estimated, based on other dates mentioned, that it was between 1615 and 1620 – it was certainly before 1624 as Susan had died by then. William Stubbes mentions a date of 1608 when he and his wife went to visit Robert in Cheshire, so he would have been married to Susan by then.

There is also a reference to an event in 1615, so I would estimate that this document is about 1618 when a son of Robert the younger would have been “of age” at about 16 – assuming that Robert himself was married at the age of 16 in 1602, or was older.

But I can find no marriage records for Robert the younger – either to his first wife or to Susan – and no birth record for a son about the time he would have been married previously.


Farmer BullshotSo perhaps there is another possibility? Perhaps Robert was not the second son of Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe, but Robert of Wythenshawe himself!


Robert Tatton 1566This actually seems possible – even likely – having investigated this in more detail, and there is certainly a better fit with the known facts than to his son Robert, who may not have made it past childhood.

Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe had a son and heir, William, from his previous marriage to Eleanor Warren who would have been old enough to have entered into a contrivance over inheritance – he would have been about 26.

Robert’s father, William Tatton the elder, died in 1611 so there would have been an inheritance during the period covered by this document – the same was not true if this was the younger Robert as his father died later.

Some other sources also mention that Robert the elder [for some reason] transferred the titles and inheritance of his father, William the elder, to his son William the younger.

This summary of a Cheshire record, relating to William, shows that this may have some merit.

They say that William Tatton, the younger, late son & heir apparent of the said Robert, had taken all the profits &c. from the time of the death of the said William Tatton esq. […]

The children of Robert the elder and Eleanor were born between 1585 and 1589, the youngest being George who died a year later in 1590. The pedigree of the Tatton family shows that two sons Robert and Philip were alive in 1611 – the date of the death of William Tatton the elder – so they may have been mentioned in the inquisition following his death [they are not mentioned in his will].

There is a record for another son, also named George, being born in Cheshire in 1612, which seems a little late for Eleanor to be the mother – she would be nearly 50 by this date. It has been suggested that she died giving birth, but this is more likely to be the child of Susan than Eleanor as they were married by then, or he is from another branch of the family.

Eleanor had probably died shortly after the birth of youngest son George in 1590, or perhaps even in childbirth – I have no record for her death so this is not certain. In the portrait of Robert Tatton he is shown with a wedding ring on a chain around his neck, so this is likely from his marriage to Eleanor – Susan was still alive, although she died the same year.

A commentary attached to the portrait of Robert, painted shortly before his death, indicates that the transfer of the Wythenshawe estates to his son William, may be due to the loss of his wife. page

This loss may help to explain why Robert handed over the management and probably even formal ownership of his Wythenshawe estate to his own son William, who subsequently drowned accidentally in 1616.

But it does not appear that this was the case and probably had little to do with it. page


Inheritance


The son and heir of Robert mentioned in the document would be William Tatton and the inheritance mentioned is from Robert’s father, William Tatton the elder, who died in 1611.

According to William Stubbes in the answer to Robert’s complaint, Robert’s father had disowned him and there are indications that the inheritance of his father was passed directly to his grandson, William Tatton the younger.

The said complainant […] cast off by his father

This has also been suggested by other sources but they do not know why this happened – this story may resolve that.

But perhaps there was no actual contrivance between Robert and his son William.

If he had fallen out with his father then Robert would have had little money to pass to Susan and her children. Perhaps it was his father, William, that did not want to convey any family interests to Robert’s new wife and children and instead passed the estate directly to his eldest grandson?

William Stubbes seems to have believed that there had been a reconciliation and Robert had been heir apparent at his father’s death, but the document is badly damaged at this point.

By that meanes & other […] ben A reconciliac[i]on betwen the complainant & his said father.

Robert is still shown, in some documents, as being son and heir when his father, William, died.

The said William Tatton died, seised of the aforesaid manors & lands, 19 May , [1611], at Withenshawe & Robert Tatton is his son & heir & is now aged 40 years & more.

If William Stubbes was correct, and there had been some sort of reconciliation between Robert and his father, then Robert passed the estate to his son soon after his father died. This is probably what William Stubbes saw as a deliberate attempt to avoid passing anything to his daughter, Susan, and her children.

Other records [Cheshire Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1603-1660] seem to tell a slightly different story; that Robert was overlooked by his father.

So being seised, the said William Tatton esq. died 19 May , 9 James 1st [1611] at Withenshawe, after whose death William Tatton gent., the younger, entered into the said manors & lands

Robert did have some property as he passed land in Flintshire to his son Robert, but he ended his days in Southwark, London instead of the family estates in Cheshire.

His eldest son William who had inherited Wythenshawe, died a few years later, drowned trying to cross the river Mersey, with his son, Robert, who inherited at the age of 10, becoming a ward of the crown.


William Tatton


The will of William Tatton of Withenshaw, Robert’s father, was written 7th April 1606.

In the will he leaves just about everything to his grandchild, William and his wife Katherine Leycester. Robert, who was his son and heir in a document of 1592, is not mentioned, although another [probably illegitimate] son, John Tatton alias Manley is left £100.

And for all my temporall landes tenementes and hereditamentes, and my goodes Cattels, Chattles, and Debtes whatsoever and wheresoever they lye and be within the Kings Majesties Realme of England I give and bequeath unto William Tatton my Grandchilde.

No other grandsons or granddaughters are mentioned and it is curious that he uses grandchild in the will. This indicates that either there were no other children of Robert, or that they had also died before the will was written in 1606.

If there was a reconciliation between Robert and his father he did not update his will of 1606, and William died some years later in 1611 so there was time to do so.


Elopement


For whatever reason, and under whatever circumstances, Robert had stolen Susan Stubbes away from her parents and her arranged marriage, probably about 1603 when Susan would have been 21. [more likely later, but before 1608]

Robert Tatton the elder would have been about 16 years older than Susan, so not as much of an age gap as you might expect, and this was not unusual at the time, for arranged marriages anyway.

Perhaps Susan did not want to marry the man that her parents had chosen for her [whoever that was] and was enticed away by the mature, and smooth-talking Robert?

But it hardly seems to have been a love match considering how poorly William Stubbes thinks that his daughter and her children appear to have been treated.

Or perhaps we are just seeing one side of the story?

Maybe it was the other way around and it was Susan who enticed Robert so that she did not have to marry whoever it was that her parents had chosen for her? After being disinherited he then resorted to borrowing money from his father-in-law William Stubbes, who had no love for Robert – having messed up his arrangements – but was devoted to his daughter, as shown in his will of 1628.

… that my body maye be buryed in a dece[nt] and orderly manner in the Chauncell of the parish Church of Shrevenham, neare to the place wheare my loveing daughter was lately buryed …

Of course as a devoted father, William would never have believed that his daughter could have had anything to do with the affair and blamed Robert entirely – perhaps, though, more to save his reputation?

Poor Robert may just have been vulnerable, middle-aged man who had a mad moment with a younger woman which he may have regretted for the rest of his life? Or maybe they were just in love?


speech50There seems plenty of evidence that Susan married the elder Robert Tatton and that his son, Robert, may have died in childhood – or was alive, but was not the suitor of Susan.

Other than the pedigree showing him as second son, there do not seem to be any other records for his marriage or any children. His date of birth also makes it difficult for him to have been married [at the age of 16] and to have had a child before marrying Susan in 1603.

On the other hand Robert the elder would have been under forty years old when he married Susan, so he was not an old man and there is no reason for him not to remarry – however unwisely.

Robert sat for his portrait shortly before his death in Southwark, 10 Jan 1623/4, and Susan died later the same year.

In our portrait, Johnson has captured in great detail the essence of our care-worn sitter: very much in his crepuscular [twilight] years he appears rather uneasy and tousled with receding hair and a ruddy complexion.

Perhaps by hiding his left hand in the portrait he was trying to show his regret at marrying Susan, for whatever reason, perhaps just because it didn’t work out well for him.


The Children of Susan and Robert


There is a significant period after the marriage before the first known child of Susan and Robert was born, so perhaps there are other children – possibly born in Cheshire, or elsewhere – that were daughters, and not mentioned in the will of Susan’s mother, Hester Stubbes?

Perhaps Susan married later than I have suggested, but she and Robert were certainly married by 1608 as this date is mentioned in the document.

There is a record in the Tatton pedigree for Philip, also known to have been alive in 1611 [along with Robert] so perhaps this was another son of Robert and Eleanor, or an earlier son of Susan and Robert? Philip is not mentioned in the wills of either William or Hester, so if he was an older sibling of George and Thomas then he had died young.

Neither Philip or Robert, or any other grand children are mentioned in the will of grandfather William Tatton so they could both have been born after 1606.

Robert = Eleanor Warren (m. 1581)

William 1585-1616
Robert b.1586
Elizabeth b.1587
George 1589-1590

Robert = Susan Stubbes (m.1603?)

Philip ?
Robert d.1638
George 1612-1642
Thomas 1614-1646

Both George and Thomas Tatton were signatories to the will of William Stubbes in 1628, and it seems that Susan did eventually return to the family home in Watchfield, as she is buried in nearby Shrivenham church.

Robert, shown above as the son of Robert and Susan may actually be Robert Tatton from the previous marriage, and he could have been born later than suggested. If he was the second son of Robert Tatton and Eleanor then his birth would still have been before the birth of George in 1589.

Robert the younger would have been about 50 years old when he died and much older than Thomas and George, which is perhaps indicated by his relationship with the widow Ralph Beeling in his will. This would also explain why he wasn’t the heir of William Stubbes, as eldest grandson.

He died in 1638 and had some land that he had inherited from his father in Flintshire, which it seems he passed to his younger brother Thomas. George died in 1642 and Thomas, when he died a few years later, passed his inheritance – including the properties in Flintshire – to his nephews, the sons of brother George.


speech50There is another document in the National Archives dated during the reign of James I [1603-1625] which mentions both Robert Tatton and his son Robert.

It also mentions Katherine [Leycester] who was the widow of Robert’s eldest son William – the heir of Wythenshawe – who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616, which dates this document to some time after this event.

Robert Tatton the elder, Robert Tatton the younger and Katherine Tatton, widow

If Robert the younger was the son of Susan Stubbes then he would probably have been too young to have been mentioned in a legal document of 1616 or shortly afterwards, therefore he is much more likely to have been the second son from his first marriage to Eleanor Warren, as suspected.


Neither Thomas or Robert seem to have had any children. I am not sure why it was Thomas and his wife that inherited Watchfield instead of brother George, as Thomas seems to have been the youngest of the siblings.

The birth record for George in Cheshire, 1612 may belong to another George and perhaps he was born after Thomas, which would make more sense. Also if Robert was from the first marriage then it also makes sense for Thomas to have inherited Watchfield and not Robert.

The wills of both Thomas and Robert, and the relationship between all three brothers, are investigated elsewhere. page


But who was the man that Susan was supposed to have married?

A gentleman of great worth & reputacion

I doubt if he was one of those who then lent money to Robert, but he may have lent money to William.

Richard Denham seems to be mentioned several times, usually in association with George Stubbes but also with John Stocker and, in several places, William as well.

… that this Deffendant, & the said Richard Denham subtilly and Craftely practeseing & intending the utter undoing of the complainant & to deceive him of the said 400li [£50,000] did combine themselves together for any such purport as in the said bill is alledged.

Both men would certainly have had reason to want to “undo” the complainant, if Richard was supposed to have married Susan. But this is just William repeating what Robert had said in the complaint and we may never know the identity of Susan’s intended intended!

Richard Denham is also mentioned in another document with Bartholomew Stubbes, so he is certainly a close associate of the Stubbes family.


Hester Harington


This document unintentionally provides additional proof that Hester, the wife of William Stubbes, was the daughter of Awdrey Malte and John Harrington, something I have been trying to prove [beyond doubt] for a while now.

There is a long list of people involved in the financial affairs of William Stubbes and Robert Tatton, but one of them that is mentioned several times is Sir John Harington.

… this Deffendant & [the] said Sir John Harrington, this Deffendantes Brother in lawe, …

Sir John Harington was the eldest son of John Harington of Stepney with his second wife Isabella Markham and was therefore Hester’s half-brother and Williams’ brother-in-law. page

Sir John Harrington defendants brother in law

I think this finally proves that Hester, who married William Stubbes, can only be the daughter of Awdrey Malte – supposed daughter of Henry VIII – and John Harrington, and proves that they did actually have a daughter and that Hester did not die in 1568, or simply disappear after that date.

If Hester was the daughter of John Harington and second wife Isabella then she could not have been born before 1560 [they married in 1559] and would have been too young to have been involved in a recovery as the owner of Watchfield at the age of just eight years.

If only similar proof could be found to confirm the identity of Awdrey’s father as King Henry VIII.


speech50It is also likely that there are two paintings out there – somewhere in a private collection – showing Awdrey and her daughter Hester, that I would really like to have a look at.

Especially if the daughter has tudor-red hair, as suggested by Kate Emerson.


 Additional


Several other people are mentioned in the document and some of them are related.

John Carrington

He appears to be a tenant of the Tatton family in Cheshire and acting as receiver for him.

The said Robert, the father, demised to John Carrington certain lands & the said William Tatton junior acquiesced therein & also permitted his father to occupy the lands …

It also appears that Robert needed the permission of his son to do this!

John Stocker (1560-1612)

John is related to both the Harington and Codrington families through the marriage of his grand-children and was also married to Margaret, the daughter of Anthony Scutt, the only child of John Scutt [Queen’s tailor] and Bridget Malte, sister to Awdrey.

John Scutt was much older than Bridget when they married and he died not long after – he was about the same age as her father, John Malte [King’s Tailor] who died in 1546. page

Mary, daughter of Anthony Stocker and Margaret Cappell, married Benjamin Harington, nephew of Sir John Harington [although later than the period covered by this document]. Benjamin’s father, Francis was another half-brother of Hester.

Her sister, Katherine was married to John Codrington, the eldest son and heir of Robert Codrington and Anne Stubbes, eldest daughter of William and Hester. She was only 7 years old at the time of the arrangement in 1617 [shortly before the death of Robert Codrington in 1618] and their only child, Anne, was born in 1629 when Katherine probably died in childbirth.

The executors of John Stocker are also mentioned and further investigation indicates that he died about 1612 or 1615. The burial record for a John Stocker in 1647 is probably for his nephew.

Bartholomew Stubbes

Perhaps born 1580 in Congleton he is likely to be a cousin of William Stubbes although this is still being investigated.

George Stubbes

Relationship not known at the moment but possibly a brother or cousin of William.

Richard Denham

Seems to be a friend of George Stubbes, but also accused with William …

… that this Deffendant [William Stubbes], & the said Richard Denham subtilly and Craftely practeseing & intending the utter undoing of the complainant & to deceive him of the said 400li did combine themselves together for any such purport as in the said bill is alledged.

Perhaps this case is not all as one-sided as it seemed with William being the wronged party an there were deceptions on both sides of the bill?

Or perhaps Richard Denham was the one who was supposed to have married William’s daughter Susan?

He is also mentioned in another document with Bartholomew Stubbes of London.

Alice Owen

A bond of £100 between Alice and [possibly] Robert Tatton, William Stubbes and Richard Foxwell.

Richard Foxwell

This may be the father of Richard Foxwell, possibly a tailor, of Wandsworth London who emigrated to America in 1631 and died 1676 in Barnstaple, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Richard and daughter, Margaret [a minor], are mentioned in the will of John Gardener, Cutler of Wandsworthe in 1608.

He also appears in a Jury list from 1615

Richard Foxwell of St. Clement Danes.

William Rowden

Seems to have been involved as a receiver for one of the parties as had John Carrington (above). But he also sued William for £200 at one point.

Ferdinando Baude, William Beecher, George Ognel etc.

Possibly these were judges in a former case between Robert and William.

… since which tyme, that is to say the 25th day of August in the yeare of our lord god, 1615, the said complainant & this Deffendant, by ther mutuall consentes, did [submit] themsealves to the award of Ferdin[a]ndo Baude Will[ia]m Beecher & George Ognell ets[etera].

 George Solme & Gilbert Dethick

William borrowed money from these gentlemen and this is where Sir John Harington got involved as surety for the loan. It also appears that this financial mess had put strains on their relationship:

… and freindship which formerly he had & receaved at the handes of Sir John & his freindes.


Chris Sidney 2015


 

The King and Me

Farmer BullshotIf you are lucky enough to have a gateway ancestor in your family tree, then you can probably trace a connection back to William the Conqueror and beyond.


A gateway ancestor opens up connections to the noble, rich – and well documented – families of England and calculations have shown that just about everyone alive today can probably claim a connection to King John, over 20 generations ago. page

But how many can claim to be related to King Henry VIII?

Having spend a lot of time investigating this possibility, I think that it is now likely that my family can make that claim, having proved a link back to one of his, supposed, illegitimate children – Awdrey or Etheldreda Malte.


Gateway


In my family that gateway ancestor is my grandmother, Emily Codrington, who was the daughter of Robert William Codrington a butcher and owner of the  Lamb Inn at Iron Acton in Gloucestershire. Robert was a direct male descendant of John Codrington , standard-bearer to King Henry V at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, and a member of the senior branch of the Codrington family. page

The definitive guide to The Codrington family was written in 1898 by Robert Henry Codrington (RHC), an Anglican priest and anthropologist who died in 1922. His work is based on notes made by the historian Sir John Maclean who had intended to follow his Memoirs of the Poyntz and Guise family with one about the Codringtons, but passed his notes to Robert following an illness. page

There are two main branches of the family descended from two of the sons of Sir John Codrington; John and his brother Thomas who married into the Poyntz family. The senior branch lived at Codrington and Didmarton in Gloucestershire and the junior branch of Frampton-on-Severn and later Dodington before selling this property to Christopher Codrington from the senior branch in 1700 – Christopher had made a fortune from the sugar trade in the West Indies.

From marriages made into other families by the senior branch, I can trace my genes back to royal families in England, Scotland, Wales and other European countries – as can most people who have a gateway ancestor. Mathematically everyone who is alive today is probably related to someone in the Plantagenet dynasty – if only they could find the link.

King John seems to be a key figure in my pedigree and I am related to him through at least three of his children as either 21st or 22nd great-grandfather.

Codrington MemorialIn Bristol Cathedral there is a memorial to Robert Codrington, who died in 1618, that shows the arms of some of the most significant marriages within the main branch of the family.

Thomas Codrington & Mary Kellaway (m.1535) page

Robert Codrington & Anne Stubbes (m.1595) page

Robert Codrington & Agnes Samwell (m.1674)

The arms of the Samwell family were added some time after the memorial was erected, as were those of the Bethell-Codrington family – descendants of Christopher Codrington – who restored the memorial in 1840. The pedigree of both the Samwell and Kellaway families are well documented, but the Stubbes family is a bit of a mystery and I have concentrated my research in this area, with some success.


Arms


In his 1898 Memoir of the Family of Codrington of Codrington, Didmarton, Frampton-on-Severn and Dodington page Robert Henry Codrington identified Anne Stubbes, wife of Robert, only as an Heiress and of a Norfolk family. page

Stubbes-HarringtonRecords exist of the arrangement for Robert’s marriage to Anne Stubbes and the quartering of the Stubbes family Sa. on a bend between three pheons or, as many buckles gu. are clearly visible on the memorial. From this design it is likely that the Norfolk connection is assumed – the arms are used by other branches of the family – but on the memorial these are quartered with another, unidentified design.

I.M. Roper in his 1903 Effigies of Bristol page identifies the unknown arms only by their armorial description – lozengy arg. and Sable – black diamonds on a silver background, and Robert Henry does not offer any further insight.

After much research it appears that the design on the memorial itself is incorrect – either it was added that way or repainted badly when the memorial was restored – and is that of the Harington family.

The arms shown on the memorial represent a fretty design, which was used by an older branch of the Harington family. But they should have been a fret – a single stylised knot which may have been tricky to incorporate into the quartering, as granted to John Harington of Stepney forty years earlier.

Why such a significant marriage should have been forgotten to Codrington family history is very strange, whatever the pedigree.


Anne


Anne Stubbes and Robert Codrington married in Shrivenham, Berkshire in May 1595; arrangements having been made several years earlier between their fathers Simon Codrington and William Stubbes. Nothing in this document identifies who William Stubbes was or where he came from and there has been much speculation about the pedigree of his daughter Anne, many showing her to be from the Gloucestershire branch of the family.

The location of the marriage is significant as William Stubbes and his wife Hester lived in the smaller, nearby manor of Watchfield  which did not have it’s own church. As well as Anne and Robert’s marriage, two daughters – Francis and Susan – were baptised in Shrivenham, as was customary at the time, but I cannot find a baptism for the eldest daughter Anne.

Records show that William and Hester, were living at West Mill, Watchfield page from about 1593, just before the marriage of Robert and Anne. Inventories of their property are attached to their wills from 1630 and 1639 and these match the layout of that property as it was at the time [the property has been altered but still exists]. The manor of Watchfield did not have a traditional manor house, having been owned by the nearby Abbey of Abingdon until the dissolution, so was probably managed from West Mill farm.


Watchfield


After they married in 1574 William and Hester lived in Westminster, London – which indicates that William may have been lawyer, as was Robert Codrington – and later lived in Stepney, where William Stubbes of Ratcliffe – perhaps a relation – had a business near the river. Possibly William was working with William of Ratcliffe for a while until he moved his business interests to Boston in Lincolnshire where he is recorded in 1594 – at about the same time William and Hester moved to Watchfield. There are also connections to Cheshire.

Eldest daughter Anne was born a year after they married and there were two other surviving daughters – Susan and Theophilia page – who had good marriages into the Tatton and Garrard families. A son “Harrington” born in 1578 seems to have died in infancy and two other daughters, Hester and Francis had also died and are not mentioned in the will of Hester. William only mentions his daughter [Susan] who had died a few years before he wrote his will but doesn’t name her specifically, or any members of his immediate family.

watchfieldWatchfield was a property inherited by William’s wife, Hester Harington page and passed to William on their marriage. In 1568 Hester is recorded with her father, John Harington, in a Common Recovery page against Watchfield manor, so that the property could be used as a dowry – a restriction placed on the property meant that it could only be passed to Hester.

In this recovery Hester is shown as the owner or Vouchee of the property having inherited it from her mother. A recovery was a legal way of removing entailments (restrictions imposed by conditions of inheritance) on a property, and was in use for several hundred years. In this case the entailment was imposed on Watchfield by her grand-father John Malte, when he passed the property to his daughter, Awdrey, in his will.

As both the Harington and Stubbes families had connections to Stepney it is likely that they knew each other and the marriage was arranged several years before Hester and William actually married in 1573. This is similar to the arrangement of their daughter Anne when she married Robert Codrington. Robert was a lawyer and his marriage to Anne Stubbes seems to have been fitted around the end of his legal training.

All accounts of Hester that I have found say that she died in 1568 or some time after – or had never existed. The pedigree of the family shows she was last know to be alive in 1568, which would have been when she was involved in the recovery of Watchfield with her father. I’m not sure anyone really looked too hard for her as she was clearly still alive – although married – and owned, or lived in the manor until her death in 1639.


William Stubbes


The will of William written in 1628, does not mention Watchfield, but he was too ill even two years before he died to sign his name and it is likely he had already transferred the manor to his grandson Thomas Tatton, son of Robert Tatton and daughter Susan. This fits with records showing Thomas and his wife Margaret were the owners about this time. page

The husband of William’s eldest daughter Anne – Robert Codrington – had died in 1618, but it is not clear why his son John did not inherit the manor. There were however some properties mentioned in Shrivenham and Watchfield in the agreement for his first marriage to Katherine Stocker, probably given by William or his parents at the time of his marriage in 1617.

William’s daughter Susan Tatton and his son-in-laws Robert Tatton and Thomas Garrard had already died by 1628 so the Witnesses to his will were his grandsons William Garrard, George and Thomas Tatton and [his servant] Johane Jay .


speech50Recent information regarding Robert Tatton makes it unlikely that William passed Watchfield to Robert and would have passed it directly to grand-son Thomas.

Robert had enticed William’s daughter Susan and married her just a few days before she was to marry another [unnamed] gentleman of great worth and reputation. Robert already had an heir from a previous marriage and William believes that Robert was not treated Susan and the children from their marriage as well as he could. page

Robert then borrowed “and embezzled” money from William, his friends and family eventually ending up in court where some of the story is told by William in his answer to the complaint.

This is essentially a case bought by Robert about money that was due to him, or promised by William that was not received, but it does give William a chance to present his own side of the story.

This deffendant [William Stubbes] by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant, [Robert Tatton] and partly in hope that the Complainant would have Delt the better with this deffendantes daughter the Complainant’s Promise […] to bee made […] portions of money to [be sat__] [hole in document] setled uppon such children, as he had or should have by his said wife [Susan].

By mentioning other family members in the case, this document has also unintentionally proved that Hester Harington, William’s wife really was the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte, by confirming the relationship between Hester and her [half] brother Sir John Harington of Kelson.

… this Deffendant & [the] said Sir John Harrington, this Deffendantes Brother in lawe

This seems to be the final proof that Hester is the daughter of John Harington of Stepney and Awdrey Malte.


John Malte


John Malte page was Royal tailor to King Henry VIII and a member of the Company of Merchant Tailors, so was probably quite a rich man. It seems that he received several grants of property from the king, one of these properties being the manor of Watchfield in 1541, but more significantly some of the grants were given specifically to him and his bastard daughter Awdrey.

This has led to speculation that Awdrey is more likely to be the illegitimate daughter of the king and Joanne Dingley a royal laundress, than John Malte, and that some arrangement was made between them for John to adopt Awdrey. In his will John leaves money to several good causes – including poor prisoners, maidens and road repairs – and to a foundling child left on his doorstep, so it seems unlikely that, due to his good nature, he would have refused such a request.

For the same reason I think he is unlikely to have been the father of a bastard child – despite leaving money to Awdrey’s mother, Joanne Dingley in his will. The King, however, was well known for his activities in this area.

If my estimation of the birth of Awdrey as 23 June 1532 is correct, then John could have been her father. He was appointed as King’s Tailor in October 1531 and this is about the time that Awdrey would have been conceived – but perhaps this was just one of the reasons why he was involved in this deception.

John Malte. Grant of the office of King’s tailor, with fees of 12d. a day, as enjoyed by Stephen Jasper, John Apparys, and William Hylton. Greenwich, 18 Oct. 23 Hen. VIII. [1531]

John Malte wrote his will while the king was still alive so it is thought that the wording and conditions in his will were there more to satisfy the king than anything else.

my bastard daughter begotten upon the body of Johane Dyngley”

Awdrey is specifically left the manors of Watchfield in Berkshire and Nylands in Somerset in the will of John Malte, as well as others defined in an agreement between John Malte and Sir Richard Southwell.

The manors of Kelston and St Catherine’s in Somerset – which were the only grants in which Awdrey is specifically named – were not granted until after the will was written. According to a report written about the property, the Llewellyns – the King’s tenants of St Catherine – had their lease taken away and the land granted instead to Malte.

But it is through the ownership of Watchfield manor that I have been able to confirm that Hester Harrington, who married William Stubbes, was the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte. page

John Malte died in December 1546 just a month before the King and was quickly replaced as royal tailor, but his will was not proved until some time later on 7 June the following year.

John Brydgys, the King’s servant. To be the King’s tailor, vice John Malte, dec, with 12d. a day, payable from Michaelmas last. Westm., 23 Dec. 38 Hen. VIII.

Details of his burial were probably lost during the great fire in 1666 that destroyed St Augustine’s church and his actual death and burial was probably several days before the date in the court records.


It appears that John also held a second position as tailor in the Great Wardrobe. This would have brought him more business that just being the King’s tailor alone – and another 6d a day.

John Malte. To be yeoman tailor in the Great Wardrobe, vice Richard Gybson, deceased; with 6d. a day and livery. Westm., 12 Nov. 26 Hen.VIII. [1534]


The King’s Lands


On 23rd September 1546 the King granted to John Malte, and his bastard daughter, lands in Somerset perhaps as a reward for following the king’s wishes and confirming that he was Awdrey’s father in his will written two weeks earlier.

The description of Awdrey in the grant is very similar to John’s will, so could have been agreed between them so as to leave little doubt. It is very unusual for a daughter to be mentioned in a grant, especially as she also had two other sisters who are not named.

Maybe Henry suspected that he didn’t have long to live and wanted to protect his daughter from the chaos of succession following his death, so chose to disown her? His only son Edward was not a healthy child and his other – slightly more legitimate – daughters had no love for each other.

Perhaps this was prophetic considering the fate of Lady Jane Grey?

Or maybe he suspected Sir Richard Southwell of not having the best intentions for Awdrey once she was married to his illegitimate son, Richard Darcy. No doubt Henry had agreed to the marriage of Richard’s son, Richard Darcy, but perhaps he was now having second thoughts?

For whatever reason the lands were granted to John and his daughter, using the more formal version of her name Etheldreda.

John Malte, tailor, and Etheldreda Malte alias Dyngley, bastard daughter of the said John by Joan Dyngley alias Dobson. Grant, for 1,311l. 2d., of the lordship and manor of Kevelston, Soms., […]; the lordship and manor of Eston and Kateryn, Soms., the chief messuage called Katernscourte […] 400 ewes called “le yowe flocke of Charmerdon, […]. To hold to the said John Malte and Etheldreda and the heirs of the body of the said Etheldreda, with remainder to the right heirs of the said John. Del. Westm., 23 Sept. 38 Hen. VIII. [1546]

This grants the manor of Kelveston [Kelston] and the Manor of Eston and Kateryn with it’s manor house Katenscourte [St. Catherines Court] and flock of sheep for the sum of £1,311 2d [about £318,000]. page

Previously in 1544 several other Manors had been granted to Malte as a gratuity for his failtful service – Doulting, Middleton and Nyland [Andersey] in Somerset. The Malte and Harington family were also associated with the manor of Batcombe. page

John Malte, the King’s servant. Grant, in fee, for 1,824l. 16s. 8d., of the manor of Andresey alias Nylonde, Soms., which belonged to Glastonbury abbey, and all appurtenances in Batcombe beside Andresey, and all possessions of Glastonbury there; the rectory of Andresey alias Nylond, which belonged to Glastonbury mon.; all lands in Westbury, Soms., which belonged to Brewton mon.; the manor of Myddelton alias Mylton Pydymore alias Podymore Mylton, Soms., and the advowson of the rectory there, the manor of Doaltyng, Soms., and lands leased with it to Benedict Kyllygrew, now dec., by pat. 28 July 32 Hen. VIII., the rectory of Doulting, and the hamlet of Stoke, Soms., all which belonged to Glastonbury mon.; with all possessions of that mon. in Andresey alias Nylond, Batcomb juxta Andresey, Myddelton alias Mylton Pydymore alias Podymore Mylton, Doulting, Fermecombe, Boddon, Prestley, Waterlipp, Charleton, Chevelynche, Estbraddon, Heydon, Dychefurlong, and Stoke, Som. Also the advowsons of the vicarages of Andreysey alias Nylond and Doultynge, and a grove of wood within the common of Stoke, which belonged to Glastonbury. Del. Westm., 14 July 36 Hen. VIII. [1544] —S.B. (injured, signed by Westminster, Petre, Bakere, Sir Robt. Southwell, North, Moyle, Wriothesley, St. John, Ryche, Sir Ric. Southwell, Stamford and Bacon). Pat. p. 15, m. 1. page

Middleton [Milton Pudimore] and Doulton were passed to his daughter Muriel [who died shortly after her father] and her husband John Horner. Nyland [Andersey] was passed to Awdrey along with Watchfield and other manors specifically given to her and her father mentioned above.

The last entry for John in royal documents is on 17 Jan 1546/7 Lands sold by the Crown which follows on from the grant by the king the previous year.

John Malte, tailor, and Awdrye his base daughter 1,312l. 12d.

Watchfield [Wachenfelde], Uffington [Offyngton] and other properties in Berkshire were granted earlier than this on 18 May 1541

John Malt. Grant, in fee, of the reversion and rent reserved upon a 21 years’ Crown lease to Alex. Umpton, 12 March 29 Hen. VIII., of tithes of the rectory of Offyngton, Berks, which belonged to A bendon mon. Also the lordships and manors of Offyngton and Wacchenfeld, Berks, with appurtenances in Offyngton, Wacchenfelde, Blakynge alias Balkynge and Wolston, Berks, the rectory and church of Offyngton, Berks, and the rectory of the church or chapel of Wolston and the chapel of Blakynge or Balkynge; and all tithes in Offyngton, Wolston, and Blakinge, and in the manor of Hardewell, Berks, which belonged to the said monastery; the advowsons of the vicarage of Offyngton, the parish church of Wolston and the chapels of Wolston and Blakynge alias Balkinge; all which belonged to Abendon.
Also a messuage in Wacchenfelde, Berks, which belonged to Cirencester mon., and another which belonged to Braddenstok mon. Rent of 10l. 16s. 9d., with liberty to the grantee to convert to his own uses the said rectories, churches, and chapels. Subject to certain reprises. Greenwich, 9 May 33 Hen. VIII. [1541]  page

Uffington was passed to his daughter Bridget [Scutt] and Watchfield to Awdrey and other properties to Muriel and grandson John Horner.

John Malte to John Horner, jun. All his lands in Westbury, Soms., which belonged to Bruton abbey. (20th.) P. 15, m. 18. page

John seems to have done well under the king and probably made a lot of money from his position as Royal Tailor, which he seems to have invested in land and property. One of his bills is for a rather large sum of money!

John Malte for 1,824l. 16s. 4d. [£443,000]… Provided that these bills are first signed by three of the commissioners named in the said commission of 1 March 35 Hen. VIII. [1543/4]

Calculate at a rate of £1 in 1550 = £243 today page


Joanne


It has been speculated that Joanne, the mother of Awdrey, was a minor noble down on her luck and she could have been the widow of James Dyngley – and therefore the daughter of Sir John Moore – or the daughter of Sir Thomas Dyngley. page But if this was the case I would have expected her to have been married off to another minor noble, and there would be no need for Awdrey to be adopted.

Although there is no specific evidence of her being a laundress [apparently there are laundry lists] she is likely to have been a domestic servant of some sort who did not have the resources to bring up the bastard child of the king. She was married off to someone named Dobson, possibly a minor palace official, but perhaps a better match than she could have otherwise expected.

It is not know how long Awdrey lived with her mother. Possibly she made the birth known to royal officials and she was married off so that she could look after the child? It may have been several years before Awdrey was “adopted” by John Malte – but likely to have been some time before he wrote his will claiming her as his child.

There was no way for the king to have passed any lands to Awdrey through her mother, Joanne, without raising suspicion so having her adopted by Malte was a good plan – he was a rich man and could afford to buy the properties made available by the king and targeted at Awdrey. This also made it possible for Awdrey to have a much better marriage than she could have otherwise had as the daughter of a servant.

Joanne is left £20 [about £5000] in the will of John Malte, maybe as some sort of compensation from the King, but I doubt very much that John had ever met Joanne Dingley.


Awdrey


Awdrey was probably born on St. Etheldreda’s day, 23 June – Etheldreda being the Latin version of her name. In the will of John Malte in September 1546 she was not yet 15 years old so was most likely born in 1532, a period when King Henry had tired of his first wife and was courting Anne Boleyn.

If this is the correct date then she was conceived about September 1531 – where was the king at this time? Wherever he was this is likely to be where Joanne Dingley worked and Awdrey was born. This could have been Greenwich or Windsor or any other of the royal households.

And where was John Malte? He was appointed King’s Tailor in October of 1531, so it is not impossible that he is Awdrey’s father based on her estimated birth, but the timing would be tight.

There is no evidence that Awdrey had distinctive red [Tudor] hair or resembled her younger half-sister Elizabeth, but if she was the daughter of Henry VIII then this is a possibility – why not? There is supposedly a portrait of her [and one of daughter Hester] held by the Harington family for several generations, but now in a private collection, that would have proved this theory. [isn’t there always?]


In 1546 – when John Malte wrote his will – Awdrey was betrothed to Richard Darcy, the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Southwell page, but this arrangement was broken sometime after her father’s death later that year.

Sir Richard SouthwellIn the will his trustye and welbeloved frende sir Richard Sothewell was charged by Malte to look after Awdrey’s financial affairs until she was fifteen. Maybe this is the reason that the will was not proven until June of 1547 – 6 months after John died – as this meant that Sir Richard Southwell never got a chance to be involved in Awdreys financial affairs and perhaps, for this reason he broke off the engagement between Awdrey and his son Richard.

But more likely this was because the was King now dead and had publicly declared – through John Malte’s will and the grant of lands – that Awdrey was not his daughter. Richard Southwell had been privy to the large land grants awarded to John Malte so he may have guessed that things were not quite what they seemed and had other plans for Awdrey.

Both documents are very clearly worded as to the pedigree of Awdrey and this was probably devised by some trusted court official and agreed between John and the King, with a sum of money being paid to Joanne by John Malte in his will – a payment directly from the King may have given the wrong impression.

Etheldreda Malte alias Dyngley, bastard daughter of the said John by Joan Dyngley alias Dobson

Audrey Malte my bastard daughter begotten upon the body of Johane Dyngley and now wife of one Dobson

Some additional properties were granted two weeks after the will was written, and only Awdrey could inherit them. These are probably the best of the manors – Kelston and St Katherine’s Court near Bath in Somerset – where Awdrey and John Harington and their descendants actually lived – and possibly where Awdrey died.

But were these properties intended for the Southwell family? Were they part of an unofficial marriage agreement and the reason why they were specifically aimed at Awdrey after the will had been written?


Some sources say that Henry had declared Awdrey as his daughter – or at least had not denied it – and the agreement between Henry and John Malte was a very public way of correcting that mistake, assuming that he had good reasons for not wanting it to be known that Awdrey was his daughter.

Alison Weir in her book Anne Boleyn:the Great and Infamous Whore talks about Awdrey and the rumours and quotes the following:

In 1656 Jonathon lesley, Deputy Clerk, wrote to a descendant of [John] Harington describing how “the great King Henry the VIIIth matched his darling daughter to John Harington, and though a bastard, dowered her with the rich lands of Bath Priory” he added that his information came from Sir Andrew Markham, a descendant of Harington’s second wife.

This cannot be true as, at the time of his death, King Henry would have been aware that Awdrey was due to marry the son of his friend Sir Richard Southwell. Perhaps the lands he had granted to Awdrey and her father were intended for the Southwell family and not John Harington, who she married instead?

John Malte died in December of 1546 and Henry VIII early the following year leaving Awdrey without a father – one way or another. She probably lived with her mother or elder sister Bridget and husband John Scutt – who were the executors of the will – until she married.


John Harington


John Harington page was born in Stepney, the son of Alexander, in about 1525 [some say 1517] but little is known of his immediate family.

The Tudor Place website has a birth date of either 1525 or 1529 and a christening date of 21st April in either of those years – I think the earlier is more likely. However this website also associates John of Stepney much too closely with his cousin Sir John Harington of Exton, the term cousin not being quite as precise as we use it today.

In 1568 John of Stepney applied for a confirmation of arms which was granted, but this only confirms that he is descended from a younger son of the Harington’s of Brierley – possibly James before he took holy orders. This confirmation led to later attempts to regain property and titles by John’s son, Sir John Harington page, that ultimately failed.

Why – and under what circumstances – social climber John Harington married the daughter of a tailor and a servant is still unclear but he would have certainly seen the benefits of the match as far as her dowry was concerned. His branch of the Harington family had been impoverished after the wars of the roses and John was crawling his way back into royal favour.

John had studied music composition under Thomas Tallis and his work “Black Sanctus” probably brought him to the attention of the king, although none of his work survives. In her novel Royal Inheritance, about the life of Awdrey, author Kate Emerson casts John as her music teacher.

John was a poet and musician and was, for a period, in the Chapel Royal where he was organist. Later he became servant to Sir Thomas Seymour which put him in the heart of royal politics at the time of Lady Jane Grey, and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his supposed involvement. He was devoted to princess Elizabeth and when she became Queen he was back in favour – Elizabeth becoming godmother to his son John from his second wife Isabella Markham.

Awdrey and John Harington probably married late in 1547 but it is not known exactly where or when this happened. Awdrey’s local church was St Awstyn’s besides Powles gate where her father was buried, but all records were lost in the great fire of London in 1666. [i]

[i] Leading out of St. Paul’s Churchyard at the south-east corner to Watling Street, St Augustine’s besides St Paul’s gate burnt down in the Fire and was not rebuilt, although for many years after the entrance into the churchyard at this point was still known by this name. page


speech50John Harington of Stepney is known as The Poet or Treasurer. However it appears that this second soubriquet is incorrect and he was never treasurer to the king’s camps and buildings  – that post was filled by his distant cousin Sir John Harington of Exton, with whom he is often confused.

John of Stepney would have been too young to have held such a position under Henry VIII and he had no background in the skills required of a treasurer. On the other hand John Bradford was a skilled auditor and much has been written about him as a reformer and martyr, but in all the accounts I have seen he is employed by Sir John Harington of Exton, treasurer to the king’s camps and buildings – even Wikipedia says this, but then incorrectly links to John Harington of Stepney!

This position is confirmed in official court papers, although the job title varies.

Sir John Haryngton, treasurer of the wars, that Counsell should deliver him 6,000l. towards payments by Hertford’s warrant [11 April 1546]

His grandson and great-grandson were also named John – first and second Barons Exton – and they all share a common ancestor with John Harington of Stepney:

Robert Harington of Badsworth (1458-1497).

Robert was the grandfather of Sir John of Exton and the great-grandfather of John Harington of Stepney. page

John Harington of Stepney, The Poet (1525?-1582)

Sir John Harington of Kelston, The Writer (1561-1612)

Sir John Harington of Exton, (Treasurer) (1503-1589)

Sir John Harington of Kelston was the son of John of Stepney, author of nugae antiquae and inventer of the first flushing toilet.


The Seymours


King Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547 and was succeeded by his sickly nine year old son, Edward VI who was the son of Henry and his third wife Jane Seymour. Two of Edward’s uncles, Thomas and Edward Seymour, were on the council of regency, although it was Edward, duke of Somerset who was made protector of the young king, much to the annoyance of his younger brother.

Thomas, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley married the King’s widow, Catherine Parr, in April or May of 1547 – just a few months after Henry had died. This made him an extremely rich man – even more so after the death of his wife in child-birth a few years later.

Arrangements had been made for Richard Darcy, the illegitimate son of Richard Southwell, to marry Awdrey Malte and this was probably arranged between the King and Richard, who was close to the king [he was left £200 in his will] and an ambitious man. He may even have been privy to who she was – officially or unofficially – having been at several meeting where land was granted to her father, John Malte.

After the death of Henry, the Southwell fortunes changed as the Seymour family took charge of the young King Edward – it seems there was little love lost between the families. If the Seymours were aware that Awdrey was the daughter of Henry then they may have wanted to keep their options open and marry her to someone of their choosing. Or at least remove Awdrey, and her property, from the Southwell’s influence – maybe out of spite if nothing else.

The delay in publishing John Malte’s will may have been to ensure that Richard Southwell had no claims on Awdrey’s finances – as detailed in the will – and to find an alternative suitor. Thomas Seymour may have suggested his young servant John Harington perhaps as a reward for his loyal service [he would gain a lot of property from the arrangement] but also because Thomas trusted him. It is possible that John and Awdrey had never met at this point, but once the Southwells were out of the picture things could be put in motion.

The will was proved in June 1547 when either Awdrey was fifteen or the Southwells had pulled out of the marriage arrangement. John Harington bought two manors in Gloucestershire in exchange for an annuity [possibly these were Thornbury Park and Oldebury, but these have been associated with James Harington, of Rutland] in September so he would not come to the marriage totally empty handed and it is likely they married later the same year.

It was about this time that John Harington first appeared in parliament representing Pembroke, which, it appears, he never visited. The History of Parliament is in little doubt that this appointment was due to his links with the Seymours.

It is possible that as joint chancellor of North Wales the earl had obtained for him his annuity out of the lordship of Denbigh: as the Protector Somerset [Edward Seymour] the earl favoured his purchase of two Gloucestershire manors. This connexion with Seymour and the Protector doubtless explains Harington’s first known appearance in Parliament, at the beginning of Edward VI’s reign. page

The marriage was probably more of a political arrangement than a love match and several years later John began writing poems to Isabella Markham, another of princess Elizabeth’s attendants, who would later become his second wife. John and Awdrey did have one daughter, Hester but Awdrey became ill afterwards and there were no more children. She may have died in early 1559 having first witnessed the coronation of Queen Elizabeth but it may have been earlier – even in childbirth – possibly in St Catherine’s Court in Somerset or the couple’s property in London.


Hester


Both John and Awdrey were in the Tower of London in 1554 – John for his part in the Lady Jane Grey affair  [or the Wyatt rebellion] and Awdrey as an attendant to Queen Elizabeth during her confinement there by her sister Mary.

I do not think that Hester was born until after her parents were released from the tower, but she could have been conceived there. I estimate Hester to have been born late 1554 based on her being about 21 when she married and being 14 when she was involved in the recovery of Watchfield, and this fits with the period when either one or both of her parents were in the tower of London.

Her birth could have been as late as 1556 is she married at 18, but then she would only have been 12 during the recovery of Watchfield and could not have been presented as the owner [Vouchee] of the property – fourteen being the age of adulthood at that time.

The date of the recovery is Michaelmas 10-11 Eliz [1568] so would have been some time between September and December of that year. If Hester was conceived early in 1554, then she would have been born by the end of that year and  therefore could legally be the owner of Watchfield during the Michaelmas period of 1568.

It has been speculated that Awdrey was placed as an attendant to princess Elizabeth, by their half-sister Mary, when Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower in  March 1554 but I have not yet found any evidence of this.

As the bastard daughter of a tailor and a servant there is no reason at all for Awdrey to have been included in Elizabeth’s retinue – a position usually given to those of noble birth. This is perhaps a equally compelling reason to believe that Awdrey was the daughter of Henry VIII along with the grants of property that were aimed at her through her father.

There is plenty of evidence to show that Hester is the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte through documents and wills relating to the inheritance of the manor of Watchfield, and whether Awdrey was the daughter of King Henry VIII may one day be proved either way using DNA. There is certainly some evidence to support this theory and several historians believe it to be more likely than not.

If this is true then members of the Codrington, Tatton and Garrard families can claim to be descended from the Tudor dynasty and Henry would be my 12th great grandfather. There also seems little doubt that we are also related to Joanne Dingley – whoever she was.


speech50Having investigated the pedigree of Hester for some time now, I am now fairly convinced that her mother, Awdrey Malte, is the daughter of Henry VIII.

John Malte was appointed King’s Tailor in October of 1531 and, if Awdrey was born in June the following year, he could possibly be her father. Perhaps this is one of the reasons – other than his good nature – that he was involved in this deception – if he could be proved to be somewhere else it would not be believable?

I think it unlikely that the first thing he did after taking up his new post was to go looking for a young laundress! I also think that if he was the father of Awdrey he would simply have called her his daughter and not mentioned her being a bastard, and probably no need to mention her mother or her change of name.

The similarities of the wording in John’s will and the grant of lands are too obvious to ignore. The inclusion of the “disclaimer” in both documents seems to be more indicative of a hidden truth than anything else.

It is also interesting that Awdrey is specifically granted property [jointly with her father] in the first place. But this does seem like a good way of declaring the details of her parentage in official court documents without actually making a specific declaration.

It would be even more difficult – in my option – to explain some of these events if she was proved not to be the daughter of King Henry VIII.


Connections


King Henry VIII (1491-1547) = Joanne Dingley = John Malte (d.1546)

    Awdrey “Etheldreda” Malte (1532-1559) = John Harington (1525-1582)

        Hester Harington (1554-1639) = William Stubbes (1550-1630)

           Anne Stubbes (1574-1650) = Robert Codrington (1574-1618)

           Susan Stubbes (1582-1624) = Robert Tatton (1586-1636)

           Theophilia Stubbes (1584-1643) = Thomas Garrard (1575-1617)

Robert Tatton was related to the Tatton family of Wythenshaw in Cheshire and Thomas Garrard was of Inkpen in Berkshire, descended from the Garrard family of Lambourn, Berkshire.


Why John Malte?


Why did the King choose John Malte to adopt his illegitimate daughter?

To start with John was married with several daughters and step-daughters in his household, so another one would not be too out of place.

He was appointed to his position as Royal tailor at just about the right time to potentially be Awdrey’s father.

He was probably quite close to the King, even counted as a friend, and would probably have had ample opportunity to discuss the arrangements in private.

The king would have know of John’s good nature – as shown in his will where he leaves money to several good causes and a foundling child – and may have taken advantage of this.

He was quite a rich man in his own right – certainly after being Royal tailor – and the grant of lands would not be too out of place, although the number of grants may have raised a few eyebrows.

All things considered he was the perfect candidate.

But there are also questions.

Why was there so much effort to deny that Awdrey was Henry’s daughter, or at least for John Malte to claim her as his?

There was no real need to add the statement about Awdrey’s illegitimacy or the name of her mother in either the will or the later grant of land?

The King had claimed at least one other bastard child – although this was a boy, the daughter of Elizabeth Blount – so what was so different about Awdrey?


Succession


Considering that both Mary and Elizabeth were, at one time or other, declared illegitimate, why would Awdrey not also be in line to the throne? Well probably because she was genuinely a bastard and not declared so legally for the convenience of others. And perhaps simply because she was the daughter of a servant and not from a noble family like the Boleyns.

The Harington and Stubbes family were both from Stepney so the marriage of Awdrey’s daughter, Hester to William Stubbes was likely to have been a simple arrangement between two local families. But the Stubbes family also had connections to Sir Francis Walsingham page, Queen Elizabeth’s principal secretary and spymaster, and maybe the marriage was arranged between William and Hester in order for Walsingham to maintain control of a potential heir to the throne, the grand-daughter of King Henry – especially as Elizabeth appeared unwilling to marry.

Walsingham became principal secretary in December 1573 and William and Hester married a year later, but of course this is probably just a coincidence. page


Notes


This document is a summary of my investigation into a small part of my family tree and is likely to change as more information becomes available. I am still awaiting documents from the National archives but for now the pedigree of William Stubbes of Watchfield continues to be a mystery – if anything I have too much information!

As the arms on the memorial to Robert Codrington were used by the Stubbes families of both London and Norfolk it is likely that there is a connection to the Norfolk family somewhere, but so far I have not found one despite rebuilding the Stubbes of Norfolk page family tree. At the moment it is looking more likely that William’s father [William of Congleton, I think] was from Cheshire although he also lived in Berkshire.

Most of the information in this document can be found in more detail in other posts.


speech50I have used the modern spelling of Harington – with one R – as much as possible, however many of the original documents or transcriptions I have referenced use Harrington.


Chris Sidney 2015