Friday, 23 August 2013

The illegitimate Plantagenet granddaughters

King Edward IV of England had several illegitimate children, including Arthur Plantagenet (1461-1542), future Lord Lisle, by Lady Elizabeth Lucy/Wayte. His royal blood meant that he was the last Plantagenet male of direct male descent.

Arthur Plantagenet
Being the recognised son of King Edward, Arthur spent his childhood at the royal court until his father's death. In 1501 he returned to court in the household of his half-sister Queen Elizabeth, and then the household of her husband King Henry VII in 1503 when she died.
Arthur was then the uncle of the new king Henry VIII and the two shared a close relationship, and as a result he held several important positions; Arthur was made an Esquire of the King's Bodyguard in 1509, High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1514 and later Vice-Admiral of England. In 1520 Arthur attended his uncle at the Field of Cloth of Gold. In 1523 Arthur was made Viscount Lisle on account of his wife inheriting the title, as well being elected as a Privy Councillor, Governor of Calais and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
In 1540 several members of the Plantagenet household were arrested on suspicion of treason; Arthur was sent to the Tower despite no evidence against him and was held there for two years. Upon hearing the news of his release, Arthur suffered a heart attack and died two days later.

Arthur Plantagenet married as his first wife Elizabeth Grey (d.1529) on the 12th November 1511. She was the widow of Edmund Dudley. Arthur and Elizabeth had three daughters:

1) Frances Plantagenet b. 1513
    m.(1) John Bassett (her stepbrother), Sheriff of Cornwall (1518-41) 1538
Children of Frances and John;
         + Honor Bassett 1539
         + Arthur Bassett 1541-86 m. Eleanor Chichester
Frances was named in honour of her father's new position in France.
Frances and John's son Arthur had a son Robert (1573-1641) who used his Plantagenet ancestry to make his claim for the throne of England upon the death of Queen Elizabeth; for this action he was forced to pay a heavy fine which meant selling over thirty family properties.
In 1540 when many of the Lisle family were arrested, Frances and John Basset went to England.
    m. (2) Sir Thomas Monk (1515-83)
Thomas Monk was a Devonshire man descended from a family which had existed since the 12th century.
Children of Frances and Thomas;
         + Anthony Monk m. Mary Arscott
         + Francis Monk
         + John Monk m. Miss Bold
         + Mary Monk 1548 m. John Arscott
         + Catherine Monk m. Jerome Mee
         + Margaret Monk m. Hugh Ackland

2) Elizabeth Plantagenet b.1516 d.1569
    m. Francis Jobson (1509-73) 1536
Francis had been secretary to John Dudley and tutor to his children, and it was Dudley who had arranged the marriage between Jobson and his sister Elizabeth;
"I was married to my wife at the request of the duke, he promising that he would help me to a manor that my Lord Windsor had in Staffordshire; being disappointed of the said manor he borrowed a good part of my money". 
Jobson received several large land grants from the Dudley family. In 1553 he was elected as Member of Parliament for Colchester, however later in the year during the succession crisis, due to his Dudley connection he was comitted to the Tower between the 8th August and 22nd December. In 1564 he was chosen to become Lieutenant of the Tower.
Children of Elizabeth and Francis:
         + John Jobson  1548 m.Elizabeth Pexall
         + Edward Jobson m1. Mary Markaunt m2. Mary Bode
         + Thomas Jobson (d.1606) m. Mary Witham
         + Henry Jobson
         + Mary Jobson m. Tony Bald
         + Matthew Jobson
Elizabeth was named by her parents after her father's half sister, Elizabeth the Queen.
From 1533 Elizabeth went to live in the Dudley household of her half brother John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In 1534 there were negotiations for her to marry Thomas Lovell (d.1567) but these came to nothing. In 1569 Elizabeth was living with her husband in apartments in the Tower of London where he worked, when she fell so ill that her nephew Robert Dudley and the Queen herself sent a physician to Elizabeth who said that she would not live longer than four days more. Displeased with this diagnosis, Queen Elizabeth sent another physician, Burchard Kranich, to examine her; he could not cure her illness but treated her so that she lived 'nine or ten days beyond the physician's resolution, and she was in as good reason and memory to read or write or speak her mind in anything as ever she could do in her life...died, her book in her hands, and was reading.'

3) Bridget Plantagenet b. 1525
    m. Sir William Carden (1524-59)
William was a gentleman knight with lands in the county of Kent and stood as a Member of Parliament for Hythe in Kent in April 1554. William represented the town of Hythe at the Brotherhood of Cinque Ports several times from 1547. William and his brother Thomas were at one time put into Canterbury gaol under suspicion of the murder of their cousin, another William Carden, who was later found alive and the two were released.
The couple were married before October 1550 as in this month they leased a brewhouse together from Bridget's step-brother John Dudley. There were no known children of this marriage.
Bridget was named by her parents after her father's half-sister Bridget of York.
Despite her increasing age, Bridget was continuously referred to as 'Little Mistress Bridget'.
In July 1533 Bridget was placed in the care of Dame Elizabeth Shelley, the Abbess of St Mary's in Winchester, and stayed there to receive an education until at least 1538 as she was recorded as being one of the twenty six children present during the 1536 visitations as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. She was the first child listed as she was their most important pupil;
"Bridget Plantagenet, daughter unto the Lord Viscount Lisle".
However, in September of 1538 the Abbess wrote to Bridget's stepmother that;
"I allowed your daughter Mistress Bryggett to Sir Antony Windsor's to sport her for a week. And because she was out of apparel, that Master Windsor might see her, I was the better content to let her go; and since that time she came no more at Winchester, wherein I beseech your ladyship think no unkindness in me for my light sending of her; for if I had not esteemed her to have come again, she should not have comen there at that time".
It appears that Bridget was outwardly neglected by her family members as well as by delegated guardians, as in 1538 Bridget went to stay with Sir Anthony Windsor, where he took her into his own house to feed her and give her new clothes to wear.
In a letter dated November 28th 1538 from Arthur to his wife Honor, a postscript was added by Arthur which reads;
"No man would gladlier have his wife's company. I am sorry that ye will bring my danghter Bridget with you." 
A month later in December, she was returned to Calais with her step mother Lady Lisle. Instead of being placed into another household for her education and introduction into the nobility, Bridget was sent away to a convent and saw little of her parents and other family members during her childhood, it would seem that she was conveniently disposed of instead of being educated during these years. It is possible that the family hoped she would become a nun in the convent she was educated and so would be taken care of.
In 1540 when many member of the Lisle family and household were arrested, as there was 'no matter laid' against Bridget, she remained in Calais 'until we know the king's pleasure what shall be done for the keeping of her'; indicating she was still unmarried and of an age that required a guardian.
In March 1559 a licence relating to alienating land was granted to Bridget and her sister Elizabeth, in this document Bridget is described as a widow and therefore we can assume that William Carden has died by this time. In November 1560 there was another, similar document made dealing with the same properties, and in this Bridget's name does not appear and therefore she can be assumed to have already died.

After his wife Elizabeth's death, Arthur Plantagenet married a second time in 1529 to Honor Grenville (1493-1566). The couple had no children of their own, however Honor had children from her previous marriage to John Bassett (d.1528); John, Katherine, Anne, Phillipa, George, James and Mary Bassett. It is his step-children from this marriage that are more widely known and recognised, despite his biological children being of royal blood.


  1. Did Mary Basset imagrate to the US with her parents.If she did and married there in New HavenConneticut then she is a GGGGGGGwhatever grandmother of mine.

  2. Mary Basset born Dec-21-1617 Died 1698 -New York her father John Basset 1589-165 married to Margery Holland 1590-1654 Mary born Stamford- Lincolshire-England.My GGGG

  3. Is there a Lady Rawlinson ever mentioned - a direct descendant of Lord Lisle, Arthur Plantagenet - emerging from his offspring down the generations?

    My great grandmother said she was her great grandmother.

  4. I have discovered that I am a direct descendent of Arthur Plantagenet. His great-great granddaughter, Francis Arscott married George Chilcote, my 9 times great grandfather. That would make Arthur Plantagenet my 12 times great grandfather.

    1. Arthur is my 14 times great grandfather! My great grandfather was Thomas Chilcutt (spelled differently a few generations back) It's very exciting!

  5. Terry, I believe she was his great granddaughter. Daughter Francis P. Granddaughter Marie M then great granddaughter Francis A

  6. Francis Plantagenet is my 11th Great Grandmother. I am Cami Duke. My family is from Decatur County, GA.

  7. Frances Plantagenet is also my 11th Great Grandmother, through her marriage to Thomas Monke. I am Christine Verrall, in Queensland,Australia

  8. Frances & Thomas Monke are my 13th Great Grandparent's through the Westcott & Sweet families! Hello Cousins.

    1. Deb,
      How are you related to the Sweets?

    2. Deb,
      I have not yet read of the Monks or Westcott families in my genealogy. How are you related to the Sweets?

  9. How do I subscribe to this blog? I don't know how to do twitter.
    Marnie Sweet