Thursday, 16 October 2014

Queen Elizabeth's two Blanches

Blanche Parry (1508-90) was the daughter of Harry Myles, Sheriff of Herefordshire, and his wife Alice Milborne (b.1475). The family were a Welsh speaking household, as Harry Myles was a Welshman, and Blanche is sometime recorded by her Welsh name; Blanche ap Harry.

Tomb of Blanche Parry (left) kneeling to Queen Elizabeth I
The children of Harry and Alice were;
+ Blanche
+ Symond - never married but had four illegitimate children; Myles, John, Elizabeth and Jane (who                         married Griffith Jones).
+ Myles m. Elinor Scudamore
               + Joan m. Watkyn Vaughan
                            + Rowland Vaughan (1559-1629)
               + Elizabeth m. Rowland Vaughan
+ Elizabeth m. Thomas Vaughan
+ Olive m. William Cecil (d.1598)
+ Sybell
+ John

Blanche Parry aided her relatives with positions at court; her great-nephew Rowland Vaughan (b.1559) spent time at the royal court in the 1590's. Blanche's sister Olive married a member of the Cecil family, a connection acknowledged by William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as he often referred to Blanche Parry as 'cousin'.

Alice Milborne was the eighth of thirteen daughters, and heiresses, to Simon Milborne (1435-1522) and his wife Jane Baskerville (b.1451) of Herefordshire. On both her paternal and maternal lines of descent, Alice Milborne was able to trace her family back to knights who had come over with William the Conqueror from Normandy.
Simon and Jane's children included;
+ Alice m. Harry Myles m2. Thomas Baskerville
+ Blanche m1. James Whitney m2. Sir William Herbert
                  + Robert                    + Charles
                  + James                     + Thomas m. Anne Lucy
                  + Watkin
                  + Elizabeth m. Mr Morgan
+ Anne (b.1465) m. William Rudhall
+ Catherine (b.1466) m. Thomas Barton
                                   + Griffin Barton
+ Joyce (b.1467) m. Thomas Hyett
                             + James Hyett
+ Sybil (1468-1537) m1. Richard Hackluyt m2. John Breynton
+ Margaret (1480-1522) m. John Bishop
                                         + Anthony Bishop
+ Juliana (b.1485)
+ Eleanor (1493-1530) m. John Moore
+ Agnes (b.1480) m. Thomas Walwyn
+ Joan (b.1484)
+ Jane (1498-1535) m. Richard Cornwall
+ Elizabeth (1470-1514) m1. Thomas Mornington m2. John Whittington
+ Henry (1482-1520)

As Simon's only son Henry had predeceased him two years earlier, his fortune was inherited equally between his thirteen daughters, and if they had died, their portion would pass to their oldest living child; as seen in the case of his daughters Catherine, Joyce and Margaret.

It was Simon's daughter Blanche Milborne, Lady Troy who brought her niece, and goddaughter, Blanche Parry to the royal court. Blanche Milborne was a close friend of Queen Anne Boleyn through Elizabeth Somerset, Countess of Worcester. In 1533 she recommended a Welshwoman, Mrs Pendred, as wet nurse for Queen Anne to employ for Princess Elizabeth, a decision which was later overruled by King Henry VIII. Therefore, it follows that Blanche would be involved in the Tudor princess' life. Due to her position as Mistress of the Household for all three children of King Henry VIII, her niece Blanche Parry knew Princess Elizabeth from the time she was a baby, and would continue to serve her loyally throughout her life until her own death in 1590. Blanche Herbert finished her term as Lady Mistress of the royal children's household in 1545, and from a letter written by Roger Tyrwhitt it can be surmised that Blanche Herbert had trained her niece Blanche Parry to be her successor, however the position was instead given to Kat Ashley. Despite her retirement, Blanche Herbert was paid a pension by Princess Elizabeth as late as 1552; she received 70 shillings twice a year, which was half the amount of her wage when she was employed.
Blanche Milborne's daughter Elizabeth Whitney married a Mr Morgan, and the couple were the parents of Anne Morgan. Anne Morgan married the queen's cousin Henry Carey; a prestigious marriage.

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