Sunday, 18 May 2014

Elizabeth's Josseline connections

Upon the birth of Princess Elizabeth in 1533, her mother Queen Anne Boleyn sent letters out to privy councilors, noblemen and family members announcing the birth of an heir to the English crown. Famously, these were the letters which had the suffix of 'ss' added to 'prince' due to the fact that Elizabeth was not the hoped for son which King Henry VIII longed for.  

By the Quene.
Right trustie and welbiloved, we grete you well. And where as it hath pleased the goodnes of Almightie God, of his infynite marcie and grace, to sende unto us, at this tyme, good spede, in the delyveraunce and bringing furthe of a Princes, to the great joye, rejoyce, and inward comforte of my Lorde, us, and all his good and loving subjectes of this his realme; for the whiche his inestymable benevolence, soo shewed unto us, we have noo litle cause to give high thankes, laude, and praising unto oure said Maker, like as we doo mooste lowly, humbly, and with all the inwarde desire of our harte. And inasmuche as we undoubtidly truste, that this oure good spede is to your great pleasure, comforte, and consolation, We, therefore, by thies our letters, advertise you thereof, desiring and hartely praying you to give, with us, unto Almightie God, high thankes, glorie, laude, and praising; and to praye for the good helth, prosperitie, and contynuall preservation of the said Princes accordingly. Yeven under our Signet, at my Lordis Manour of Grenewiche, the 7 day of September, in the 25th yere of my said Lordis reigne.

To oure right trustie and welbiloved,
the Lorde Cobham.

George Brooke, Lord Cobham was a blood relation of Anne Boleyn and her daughter Princess Elizabeth; George Brooke was the grandson of Anne's great-aunt, another Anne Boleyn.
George Brooke, Lord Cobham

This letter was sent to George Brooke, Lord Cobham on the 7th September 1533. A letter with the same content was sent to Thomas Josseline, Esquire on the 25th September 1533. The later date suggests that Thomas Josseline was not among the more important nobles or officials who were to be informed of the princess' birth right away, however he was significant enough to warrant a letter. Unknown to Queen Anne when she wrote this letter, the Josseline family was to become an important part of Elizabeth's life. Family connections were of the highest importance, and alliances were created through dynastic marriages with prominent families. It was her Boleyn family that would provide a stable family base for Elizabeth throughout her life.

Geoffrey Boleyn m. Anne Hoo;

1)William Boleyn m. Margaret Butler
    + Anne Boleyn m. John Shelton 
                                + Mary/Madge Shelton (mistress to King Henry VIII in 1535)
                                + John Shelton m. Margaret Parker (sister to Jane Boleyn nee Parker)
                                                                  + Alice Shelton m. 1549 Sir Richard Josseline (b.1529)                                                                                                 + Richard Josseline
    + Thomas Boleyn m. Elizabeth Howard
                                    + Anne Boleyn m. King Henry VIII
                                                                    + Princess Elizabeth
2)Anne Boleyn m. Henry Heydon
                                 + Dorothy Heydon m. Thomas Brooke
                                                                        + George Brooke m. Anne Braye
                                                                        + Elizabeth Brooke m. Thomas Wyatt (poet)

During Princess Elizabeth's early life, Queen Anne ensured that she was surrounded by Boleyn family members to provide protection and loyalty to her daughter. 

In 1533, the aunts of the queen, Anne Shelton (nee Boleyn) born 1475, and Alice Clere (nee Boleyn) were put in charge of Princess Elizabeth's household. The king's daughter Mary was also sent to live in this household, and Anne Shelton would taunt Mary with her bastard status and being replaced as Princess and heir to the throne by Elizabeth. Queen Anne would write to Anne Shelton criticizing Mary and ordering her to beat Mary. Anne Shelton and her husband John, who was controller of the princess' household, became very close to Elizabeth. During Queen Mary's reign, Elizabeth was in fear of her life and for her own protection she fled to the Norfolk home of Anne and John Shelton. 

Shelton Manor, Norfolk
Shelton Church
In 1549 Anne Boleyn's cousin Alice Shelton married Sir Richard Josseline. Despite the Protestantism of many members of his family, Richard was a Catholic, and perhaps as a result of this, he was not in public life unlike his relatives. On the 16-17th September 1578, Queen Elizabeth stayed at Hyde Hall as part of her progress, Alice and Richard had both passed away by this time, it was inhabited by Richard's second wife. 
The Josseline family were fierce supporters of the Protestant faith which Elizabeth reinstated in England. John Josseline became secretary to Archbishop Matthew Parker, previously chaplain to Anne Boleyn, and helped him to write his De Antiquitato Britannica (published 1572).
Correspondance from Matthew Parker circa 1575;

To Sir Thomas Josseline's brother, an antiquary in his house,
who wrote this history, Dc Antiquitato Britannica) ecclesicc, a
prebend worth 30/. per annum, and procured for him 300/. 
He expended upon repairing of his palace at Canterbury, his chief lodging, 
being burnt in Archbishop Cranmer's time,
and upon his other houses, chancels, &c., to about 2G00/.

The Josseline's were cousins to the Protestant Wentworth family. Peter Wentworth, a Puritan, was a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons where he was highly critical of Queen Elizabeth. This peaked in 1576 when he gave a speech at the opening of Parliament concerning the right of freedom of speech, concerning the question of the queen's marriage and succession. He was stopped by other MP's before the end of his speech and was sent to the Tower. 

John Josseline (d.1524) m1. Cecilia FitzHerbert  
                  m2. Phillipa Bradbury
              + Anne Josseline m. John Bagshott
              + Jane Josseline m. Nicholas Wentworth (d.1557)
                                         + Peter Wentworth m1. Letitia Lane  m2. Elizabeth Walsingham
                                         + Paul Wentworth m. Helen Agmondesham
                                         + Henry Wentworth
                                         + Francis Wentworth
                                         + Clara Wentworth m. Edward Boys
                                         + Joan Wentworth m. Geoffrey Gates
              + Thomas Josseline (b.1500) m. Dorothy Gates (1512-82)
                                                             + Thomas Josseline
                                                             + John Josseline m. Elizabeth Dore
                                                             + Henry Josseline m. Ann Torrell
                                                             + Edward Josseline m. Mary Lamb
                                                             + Jane Josseline m. Richard Kelton
                                                             + Richard Josseline m1. Alice Shelton 
                                                                                           m2. Anne Lucas (1541-1604)

Anthony Denny

Dorothy Gates had a brother Sir John Gates, who married Mary Denny. Dorothy was very close to her brother, his wife and her family; she often wrote letters to her brother asking him for favours at court. Historian Barbara J Harris asserts that Dorothy "managed her brother's affairs in Essex, while he acted as her advocate at court" as she was "more assertive and shrewder about business than her spouse". Harris suggests that Dorothy had a keen interest in acquiring land and wardships, which brought with them a lot of money.
Sir John's wife Mary Denny was the sister of Anthony Denny, who married Joan Champernowne - a cousin of Kat Ashley, Elizabeth's beloved governess. It was this couple, Anthony and Joan Denny, with whom Elizabeth stayed in 1548 at Cheshunt, from May until October, during Katherine Parr's pregnancy, delivery and death. Anthony Denny was good friends with Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Roger Asham, Elizabeth's tutor, as well as with Nicholas Wentworth.

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