Gene Surfing

Adventures in Family History

Stubbes of Norfolk

bullshot bulletIn an attempt to identify the pedigree of William Stubbes – see An heiress and of a Norfolk Family, – I have had to rebuild the family tree of the Stubbes family of Norfolk.

This is my interpretation of all the information I have been able to collect on this family, with the hope of finding a positive link between Anne, wife of Robert Codrington, and the Norfolk Stubbes family.

William Stubbes

Stubbs of NorfolkThe only place I can fit William Stubbes of Watchfield is as the grandson of either Edward or Robert the youngest sons of John of Scothowe (1455-1490), who I have not been able to attach anywhere else.

It is also possible that he is from the Cheshire Stubbes family, so may join the tree before Robert of Scothowe and the recorded pedigree, but this may invalidate the information that we have about his daughter, Anne, as being “of a Norfolk family”.

Most of this tree is taken from the visitation of Norfolk with the addition of the trees of John Stubbes (1543-1591) and Richard Stubbes (1546-1619) and other information from various sources along with a little bit guesswork and a pinch of fairy dust.


The spelling of the name varies between Stubby, Stubbey, Stubbs or Stubbe but for consistency I have used Stubbes throughout.

Please be aware of this and that actual records may differ in spelling, even for the same person.

Stubbes of Norfolk

Robert of Scothowe (1395-1460) = Margaret [?] [1]

  Ann = Nicholas Barley
  William (b.1425) = Margaret [unknown]
  [unknown] = [?] Dogget of Suffolk [2]
  [Harvey][?](d.1505) = Katherine, dau. Walter Rawlins [2]

  John of Scothowe (1455-1490) = Hawise Taylor (d.1505), dau. Roger

    William (sp) 1st Son
    Edmund (b.1481) 4th son [in holy orders 1505] [3]
    Edward (?1485) 5th son *

      Christopher (1510-1568) = Ann Gurney [4]

        Christopher = Joan Heywood(?1535) [5]

    Robert (b.1490 6th son *

    John of Scotowe (b.1485) 3rd son = Alice Claxton, dau. John [6]

      Andrew of Sedgeford (b.1515) = Alice, dau. John Richers of Bungay

        Richard (1546-1619) = 1.Elizabeth Gurney, dau. Anthony of Elingham [7]

          Dionysia = William Yelverton

        2.Anne Goding (widow of John L’Estrange)
          Alice = Hamon L’Estrange (1583-1654) [8]
          Roger (1616-1704)
          Hamon (1605-1660)
        Ann = Francis Guibon of Suffolk

      Edmund (?1520-1607) Probably a priest.
    Audrey = [?]
    Margaret = John Tanne

    Walter (1479-1527) 2nd son = Audrey, dau. John Piers, Northwold [9]

      Edmond (sp) Priest [10]
      Walter (d.1528) [11]
      Margaret = Edmund Topcliffe, of Lincs.
      John of Buxton (b.1526) = Elizabeth (Ela) Skipwith dau. William
        Walter = [?]
        Edward (b.1554) [12]
        Robert = [?]
        John (1541-1590) = Ann de Vere = Christopher Shernborne (d.1575) [13]

          Francis (1568-1659) step-son, of C. Shernborne

        Edmund (b.1554) = Mary Cornwallis
        Francis (b.1554) = Anne Coke, sister of Lord Coke

          Edmund (1595-1659), Rector of Huntingfield = Margaret Smith

            Robert, rector of Bishops Cleeve, Gloucestershire
        Alice = Thomas Cartwright
        Margaret = Bonaventure Sherbe
        Catherine = William Curson
        Audrey = Giles Fen


[1]  Robert and Katherine

This is shown strangely in the pedigree and it could be interpreted as Robert Stubbes being married to Katherine, daughter of Walter Rawlins.

Robert Stubbes 1If this is the case then Margaret – who was named in his will – may have been his second wife, but not the mother of John.

It could also mean that there is another son, missing from the tree, who married Katherine or that John had a second wife.

The simplest interpretation would be for a missing son [possibly Harvey, below], married to Katherine, which is how I have drawn the tree for now.

[2] Harvey Stubbes (d.1505)

In 1505, Harvey Stubbe and his wife were buried under a marble in the chancel [of Scothowe Church].

Possibly this is the missing child of Robert Stubbes who married [?] Dogget or he could be the missing son who married Katherine Rawlin – the latter probably makes sense of the pedigree in the visitation.

It is not clear if the unknown child who married a Dogget is a son or daughter [I would guess daughter].

The earliest recorded Dogget in Suffolk is not until 1523 so this is more likely to be Norfolk family as there are records of Doggets at about this time and earlier.

[3] Edmund (4th son, John of Scothowe)

If the reference to Dr. Barley is Nicholas Barley then this was Edmund’s uncle.

Edmund Stubbes 4th Son

In the collection of the Bodlean Library at Oxford is a copy of “Indulgentia 1497. For the benefit of the confraternity of S. Jacobus de Compostella.” inscribed:

Provenance: Edmund Stubbes (†1514); inscription on verso: ‘Ad Edmundum Stuubys pertinet iste codex’.

Date of acquisition unknown.

[4] Christopher Stubbes (d.1568)

One Christopher Stubbes was admitted to Lincolns Inn 1527, the son of Edward.

This fits with him being the son of Edward, 5th son of John of Scothowe – although there is no clear evidence of this.

But this is not the only marriage into the Gurney family.

Richard Stubbes (1546-1619)  married Elizabeth Gurney, probably an niece to Christopher’s wife Ann.

In his will 1568 Christopher is recorded as “Citizen of London and Founder” [taken to mean metal worker] of St Margaret’s, Lothbury, so the following probably refers to this him.

 The Commission sent to establish what had become of church property between the years 1547 and 1552 received reports of sales and other disposal by the church wardens. At All Hallows, London Wall, for instance, it is recorded: ‘Item sold to Xpofer Stubbes xxxlb weight of metell which was taken upon the grave stones and other molumentes at iijd the lb’. Two hundred and two pounds weight were taken from St Alphage, London Wall. Symonde Ponder received two hundred and three quarters twenty four pounds of latten and candlesticks from St Dunston in the West.

This shows the marriage of  a Christopher Stubbes into the Catholic Heywood family, and there is a link here to John Donne who also appears to work in the same industry as Christopher I

Elizabeth [iv.] – who married “Marvin”, [Vincent Murphyn] –  is later referred to as the sister of Christopher, so it may be that there are not two Elizabeth Heywoods from the same family but one of them was the sister of Christopher, which does make more sense .

Or maybe it was the same Elizabeth who married both “Marvin” and John Donne?

So it is more likely that Joan may have married the son of Christopher I as there is an age difference of about 25 years.

There does not seem to be a sister mentioned in the will of Christopher I , but this is not unusual if she had married.

[5] Christopher Stubbes II

Christopher, son of Christopher [4] was probably born about 1530 so would fit much better as the husband of Joan Heywood.

John Heywood married Joan, the daughter of Elizabeth More (sister of Sir Thomas More) and John Rastell.

1. Elizabeth More (1482-1538) m John Rastell, a London Printer.

i. William (1508-1565) who became chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench under Queen Mary.

On the accession of Elizabeth I he fled to the continent. He married Winifred Clement. No children

ii. Joan (d.1574) m John Heywood the epigrammatist/playwright who was a favourite at the
court of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary, but who fled under Elizabeth I.

i. Ellis (1530-1578) who became a Jesuit
ii. Jasper (1535-1598) who became a Jesuit. Died in Naples.
iii. Joan m Christopher Stubbes
iv. Elizabeth m …..Marvin
v. Elizabeth (yes there were two of them) John Donne, a London Ironmonger.

Donne spent a year at Thavies Inn from may 1591, and entered Lincoln’s Inn on 6 May 1591.

The Catholic families of More, Roper, Stubbes, Rastell, and Heywood had belonged to the society.’s%20of%20Buckinghamshire.pdf

This information helps link Christopher II,  possibly also a founder like his father, with the Catholic Heywood family, through marriage and the metal industry.

Christopher was then playing a dangerous game, being a practicing Catholic in the protestant world of Queen Elizabeth, and it didn’t go unnoticed.

These documents probably refer to Christopher II as his wife, Joan is mentioned, although the “Stubbes House” referred to may be that of Christopher I.

Domestic court papers

1561. VOL. XVI.

49. Further examination of John Coxe, alias Devon, before the Bishop of London, touching mass being celebrated at Sir Edw. Waldegrave’s, Sir Thomas Wharton’s, and in Stubbes’ house at Westminster. April 17 – April 19.

50. Earl of Oxford to the Council. Arrest of divers persons for unlawful practices in religion. Has searched Sir Thos. Wharton’s house at Newhall, who humbly submits himself to the Queen. Search made at Sir Edward Waldegrave’s house. Sends letters found there. Intercedes for Wharton.


50. I. An inventory of all such implements of superstition as were found in the chamber near Lady Wharton’s bed-chamber at Newhall, Essex. April 17.

50. II. Confession of Emme Barnes as to celebration of mass, by John Coxe in the house of one Stubbes at Westminster; also confession of Anne Pallady, as to Coxe’s resort to Lady Waldegrave.

50.III. Chr. Stubbes to his wife. Desires her to send him part of the money given to her by Lady Waldegrave.

April 19 (?) IV. Chr. Stubbes to Sir Wm. Cecill. Denies having received money of Lady Waldegrave. Had only requested his wife to send him part of what she had received.

This document shown other connections with catholic families.

Cecil [Lord Burghley] connected this conspiracy with John Prestall’s earlier conjuring for the Poles. Arthur Pole was arrested, and questioning revealed that Coxe had spent much time in the house of Christopher Stubbes within the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey. Stubbes’ sister [his wifes sister] had married one “Marveyn.” Vincent Murphyn was brother-in-law to John Prestall. Though Prestall escaped this time, Cecil used the interrogations to confirm the international Catholic conspiracy against Elizabeth, intended to replace her with Mary and restore Catholicism. He displayed all the Catholic “conjuring” priests in London pillories in June 1561, because he already had a larger aim in mind. Over the next sixteen months he carefully nurtured an even more dangerous version of this plot to fruition in October 1562

If this Christopher was related to William Stubbes of Watchfield, then they did not share the same religious beliefs.

William worked for the Queen’s spymaster and staunch protestant Sir Francis Walsingham and is unlikely to have been a practicing Catholic.

Perhaps you could argue that William was employed by Walsingham simply because he was related to Christopher?

Other information:

… in 1596 Christopher Stobbs married Elizabeth Grynwaye at the church of St Michael Bassishaw, London.

There is an article about Christopher, but I do not have access to it.


[6] Claxton

This is one of two known marriage between the Stubbes and Claxton families.

In 1574 John Stubbes married Elizabeth Claxton [Clackton] in St Clement Danes Church

This is he same year – and in the same church – that William Stubbes married Hester Harrington.

I don’t believe in coincidences – see  The Rules of Genealogy.

The Claxton family tree showing the connection will be added soon.

[7] Richard Stubbes

There are conflicting reports on the parentage of Richard of Sedgeford [also shown as Sedgefield] but it seems he can be added to the main tree as son of Andrew.

The wife of Andrew is shown here as Alice Richer, daughter of John Richer of Bungay and not Ethelreda Piers as mentioned elsewhere.

Richard Stubbes

This also fits with the pedigree from the visitations.

Richard was married twice, having one daughter from each marriage and living in a different estate each time.

The will of Richard Stubbes of Sedgeford is available at the National Archives, but I have not yet seen it.

Additional information from “The manors of Norfolk”

[8]  Alice Stubbes

Alice Stubbes married her half-brother Hamon L’Estrange,.

He was the son of Anne Goding, wife of Richard Stubbes [6],  from her first marriage to John L’Estrange.

[9] Audrey Piers

peyrse coaTranscribed in some places as Avery (from the will of her son, Walter) but in the Alumni Cantabrigienses this is shown as Audrey Piers, dau. John of Northwold.

She is shown in the pedigree as Etheldreda and not Audrey, which is the Latin version of the name.

Also spelt Peyrse the only remains of this family seems to be the arms of the Perse School in Cambridge.



[10] Edmund

Edmund was a priest in the Church of England.

He moved around a lot and never stayed anywhere for long so perhaps he was used to fill in when required.

This indicates that he may have been single and with no family was able to do this.


1550                Warsop, Nottinghamshire

1551                East Horsley, Croyden, Surrey

1554                Widmerpool, Nottinghamshire

1555-1556       Stanmer, Sussex

1560                Widmerpool, Nottinghamshire

1552 East Horsley

Eliote, priest. Previous incumbent: Hartlie corrected to Hattelie. East Horsley in the deanery of Croydon in the Archbishop’s immediate jurisdiction. Dean of Croydon to induct. Previous incumbent, Ralph Hatteley, was collated by Abp. Cranmer, 25 July 1539 (f.368). See also return to the Court of First Fruits(1) of the abortive institution of Edmund Stubbes, 10 Oct. 1551, Ralph Hatley, priest, having been previously instituted and in possession of the rectory, 28 Nov. 1551. f.420

(1) The Court of First Fruits and Tenths was established in 1540 to collect from clerical benefices certain moneys that had previously been sent to Rome.

I have added this Edmund as the “unattached” son of Walter and Audrey Piers.

The visitation identifies him as sp, which would fit with his holy orders.

[11] Walter Stubbes (d.1528)

Walter was the eldest son of  Walter and Audrey Piers [8]

On his death – at a young age – Walter left Buxton-Burgh manor to his brother John.

His mother is said to be Avery who was executrix of his will (this is actually Audrey) and his father, Walter, must therefore have died before 1528 – when Walter died – but after 1526 when John was born.

I would guess that Walter was probably less than 10 years old when he died.

Here ligth under, in this same Grave, The Bodi of yong Stubbe Waltere, Hose Sowle Criste Jesu mut have For with his holi Blode, he bougth it full dare.

Anno Domini M.ccccc. rrviii.

Note: It seems common at this time to use ccccc as 500 in roman numerals instead of d, which is not recognized by modern conversion programs. This should also say xxviii

Transcribed in some places as Avery (from the will of her son, Walter) but in the Alumni Cantabrigienses this is shown as Audrey Piers, dau. John of Northwold.

She is shown in the pedigree as Ethelreda and not Audrey, which is the latin version of the name.

[12] Edward of Buxton

An Edward Stubbes of Norfolk is shown at Lincoln’s Inn, 1574 having transferred from Furnival’s Inn.

If he was about 20 at the time then his birth would be about 1554.

[13] John Stubbes of Thelveton

John Stubbs (c. 1543–1591) was an English pamphleteer and political commentator during the Elizabethan era.

He was born in the County of Norfolk, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] After reading law at Lincoln’s Inn, he lived at Thelveton, in the County of Norfolk. He was a committed Puritan, and he opposed the negotiations for marriage between Queen Elizabeth and François, Duke of Anjou,[1] a French Roman Catholic, the brother of the King of France. He and his publisher were found guilty of “seditious writhin”, and sentenced to have their right hands cut off by means of a cleaver driven through the wrist by a mallet.

[1] This should be the Duke of Alençon, younger brother of Anjou. He was 17 and Elizabeth was 38.

John was also MP for Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

The will of John Stubbes does not name any children, but it does name his mother Ela [Elizabeth] confirming his parentage, his son-in-law (step-son) Francis, and his brother Edmund.

Several publications assign his step-son as his son, and also add a daughter, but this is incorrect.

This mistake is probably because Francis is described as son-in-law which now has a different meaning.

After he had his hand removed he signed his name scaeva, meaning left-handed.

By me, John Stubbe, Scaeva

The following refers to the publication of speeches made after John Stubbes and his printer lost their hands, as recorded by Camden [William Camden, the antiquarian, historian and friend of Sir Philip Sidney and Lord Burghley]

John Stubbes and William Page lost their right hands on Tuesday November 3, 1579, for libel against the Queen by writing and publishing “The Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf”.

Camden’s eye-witness account also printed by Harington and circulated in manuscript, recounts Stubbe’s speech on the scaffold: he asserted his loyalty and asked the crowd to pray that God would give him strength to endure the punishment. After his hand was chopped off (it took three blows) he managed to cry out ‘God save the queen’ before he fainted and was carried away.

What is intriguing here is the reference to “Harington” as the publisher of the speeches, as it shows yet another link between the Stubbes and Harington families

In this case it is Sir John Harington, of Kelston – son of John Harington of Stepney – who published the speeches in his work Nugae antiquae, although this may have been something originally written by his father.

“being a miscellaneous collection of original papers, in prose and verse; written during the reigns of Henry VIII. Edward VI. Queen Mary, Elizabeth, and King James”.

Incidentally, Sir Philip Sidney (son-in-law to Sir Francis Walsingham) also wrote to the Queen on the same subject and did not lose his hand.

Perhaps he was more eloquent and didn’t just say that she was too old?


The Walsingham Influence

Sir Francis Walsingham is suspected of organising the public campaign against the marriage of the Queen by encouraging Sir Philip Sidney (his son-in-law), John Stubbes and Edmund Spenser the poet, to publish various articles opposing the marriage to Francis the Duke of Alençon and Anjou.

Of the three, only John Stubbes seems to have suffered for his involvement.

His right hand was removed – having been commuted from a death sentence.

 John Stubbs’s controversial pamphlet against Elizabeth’s proposed marriage with Francis, duke of Anjou, The discoverie of a gaping gulf (1579), has conventionally been seen – with Edmund Spenser’s The shepheardes calendar and Philip Sidney’s letter to Elizabeth – as part of a propaganda campaign organized by Leicester and Walsingham to force Elizabeth to reject the marriage. Yet the evidence linking Stubbs with Leicester and Walsingham is thin. This article re-examines that evidence in the light of recent research on court factionalism, men-of-business, and concepts of counsel. It argues that A gaping gulf was an independent initiative taken by Stubbs which expressed very different attitudes to ‘counsel’ from Sidney’s letter. It suggests that participants in public debate need to be explored on their own terms, rather than as necessarily catspaws of councillors; that there was an emergent Elizabethan public sphere independent of the court which, in holding different attitudes to counsel than councillors, could bring them into conflict with Elizabeth.

bullshot bulletIf William Stubbes – who worked for Walsingham – is related to the Norfolk Stubbes family, then he may have been the contact between Walsingham and John Stubbes, the lawyer and pamphleteer.

 Chris Sidney 2014



One response to “Stubbes of Norfolk

  1. philip stubbe September 11, 2020 at 3:33 am

    hi my names philip stubbe. im 18 years old from Florida. couple of years ago i took a dna test and the results came back with 78% british and im sure some of my ancestors came from that area no one in shorter generations have came forward with any evidence that they had close relatives to family from that country. im so curious and all im asking for is help i want to know my family history. if anyone can help please email. Thanks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: