Thursday, November 3, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Marguerite Anderson (Miller), daughter of Hannah Anderson (Anderson), daughter of Mary Margaret Edmiston (Anderson), daughter of Martha Jane Snow (Edmiston), daughter of Gardner Snow, son of James Snow, son of Zerrubbabel Snow, son of Abigail Brigham (Snow), daughter of Gershom Brigham, son of Mary Rice (Brigham), daughter of Henry Rice, son of Edmund Rice, son of Thomas Rice, son of William Rice, son of Katherine Howard (Rice), daughter of Agnes Tilney (Howard).]

Barbara Brennan as "Agnes Howard nee Tilney, Duchess of Norfolk" on The Tudors

Agnes Tilney 1477-1545
Agnes Howard (née Tilney) (c. 1477 – May 1545) was the second wife of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Two of King Henry VIII's Queens were her step-granddaughters, Anne Boleyn, and Katherine Howard. After her mother's death, Katherine Howard was in the Dowager Duchess's care during her youth, and as a result of the Duchess's lax guardianship, committed sexual indiscretions while in the Duchess's household which led to her execution as Queen. Agnes' brother, Sir Philip Tilney of Shelley (died 1533), was the paternal grandfather of Edmund Tilney (1535/6–1610), Master of the Revels to Queen Elizabethand King James. Edmund Tilney's mother, Malyn, was implicated in the scandal surrounding Queen Katherine's downfall.

Agnes Tilney (c. 1477 – May 1545) was the daughter of Hugh Tilney of Skirbeck and Boston, Lincolnshire by a daughter of Walter Tailboys.[1 ] Her brother, Sir Philip Tilney of Shelley (died 1533), was in the service of Thomas Howard, then Earl of Surrey, the husband of Agnes' cousin, Elizabeth Tilney. Surrey's first wife died on 4 April 1497, and he and Agnes were married four months later by dispensation dated 17 August 1497. Agnes brought Surrey little by way of dowry.

The marriage coincided with a change in Surrey's fortunes. As a supporter of Richard III, for whom he fought at Bosworth in 1485, Surrey was not in high favour during the early years of the reign of Henry VII. However in 1499 he was recalled to court, and in the following year he accompanied the King on a state visit to France. In 1501 he was sworn of the Privy Council, and on 16 June of that year was named Lord Treasurer. In the same year he was involved in successful diplomatic negotiations with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for a marriage between the Spanish Infanta, Catherine of Aragon, and Henry VII's eldest son Arthur, Prince of Wales. When Prince Arthur died on 2 April 1502, Surrey supervised the funeral. In 1503 he escorted the King's sister, Margaret Tudor, to Scotland for her wedding to King James IV.

On 21 April 1509 Henry VII died. Surrey was an executor of the late King's will, and served as Earl Marshal at the coronation of Henry VIII. When a Scottish army invaded after Henry VIII had departed for Calais on 30 June 1513, Surrey crushed the Scottish forces at Flodden on 9 September. The victory brought Surrey popular renown and royal rewards. On 1 February 1514 he was created Duke of Norfolk, and his son Thomas was made Earl of Surrey. Both were granted lands and annuities, and the Howard arms were augmented in honour of Flodden.

Norfolk's leading position among the nobility was reflected in the Duchess's role at court. She was godmother to Princess Mary, and attended the Princess during a visit to France in 1520.

By the spring of 1522 Norfolk was almost 80 years of age and in failing health. He retired to his ducal castle at Framlingham in Suffolk where he died on 21 May 1524. His funeral and burial on 22 June at Thetford Priory were said to have been 'spectacular and enormously expensive', befitting the richest and most powerful peer in England.

Dowager Duchess
The Dowager Duchess remained in favour after her husband's death. Ordinances issued at Eltham in 1526 indicate that she was accorded first place in the Queen's household after the King's sister Mary Tudor.

On 23 May 1533 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared Henry VIII's marriage to his first Queen, Catherine of Aragon, a nullity. On or about 25 January 1533 the King had already married the Dowager Duchess's step-granddaughter Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony. Anne was crowned Queen on 1 June 1533. The Dowager Duchess bore Anne's train in the coronation procession, and was godmother at the christening of Anne's daughter, Princess Elizabeth. Anne's two subsequent miscarriages caused the King misgivings about the marriage, but Anne's downfall ultimately came about as a result of her conflict with the King's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, over the distribution of the spoils from the dissolution of the monasteries. Anne was charged with adultery and high treason, and on 19 May 1536 was beheaded at Tower Green.

The King then took Jane Seymour as his third wife. Two years after her death, at Cromwell's instigation the King wed Anne of Cleves on 6 January 1540. However the King's physical revulsion for his new bride led to a speedy annulment of the marriage by Act of Parliament on 12 July 1540. By then the 15-year-old Katherine Howard, another of the Dowager Duchess's step-granddaughters, had already caught the King's eye. Henry and Katherine were married at a private ceremony at Oatlands on 28 July 1540. Despite the fact that Henry was much in love with her, referring to her as his "rose without a thorn", the marriage quickly came to a disastrous end. While the King and Queen were on progress during the fall of 1541, the religious reformer John Lassells and his sister Mary Hall brought to the attention of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen's sexual indiscretions with her music master, Henry Manox, and a Howard kinsman, Francis Dereham, while she had been a young girl living in the Dowager Duchess's household at Lambeth. On 1 November 1541 Cranmer revealed these matters in a letter to the King. The King immediately ordered that the Queen be confined to her apartments, and never saw her again. The Dowager Duchess, hearing reports of what had happened while Katherine had been under her lax guardianship, reasoned that 'If there be none offence sithence the marriage, she cannot die for that was done before'. Unfortunately for the Queen and the Dowager Duchess, further investigations by Cranmer and the Council revealed that with the connivance of one of her attendants, Lady Rochford, Katherine had allegedly had an affair with Thomas Culpeper, one of the King's favourite gentlemen of the privy chamber, after her marriage to the King.

Dereham, Manox and other members of the Dowager Duchess's household were arrested and interrogated by the Council. Norfolk was sent to search the Dowager Duchess's house at Lambeth and question members of the household, who revealed that the Duchess had attempted to destroy evidence by burning the papers of Dereham and his friend William Damport. The Duchess was sent to the Tower. Towards the end of November she was questioned by the Council, but could add little to what was already known by her interrogators. On 1 December Dereham and Culpeper were arraigned on charges of treason. Both were convicted at trial, and sentenced to death. Dereham and his friend William Damport were tortured in a attempt to wring confessions from them concerning Queen Katherine's alleged adultery, and on 10 December 1541 Dereham and Culpeper were executed at Tyburn. On the same day the Dowager Duchess was again questioned, and admitted to having promoted her niece as a prospective bride for the King while having knowledge of her prior misconduct, to having persuaded the Queen to take Dereham into her service, and to having burned Dereham's letters. By mid-December the Dowager Duchess's eldest son, William Howard, his wife, and the Duchess's daughter Anne Howard were committed to the Tower. About the same time another of the Duchess's daughters, Katherine Daubeney, Lady Bridgewater was also arrested. On 14 December 1541 the Duchess' stepson, the Duke of Norfolk, fearful for his own safety, denounced his stepmother and kin in a letter to the King. On 22 December William Howard and his wife and a number of servants who had been witnesses to the Queen's misconduct, including Malyn Tilney, the mother of Edmund Tilney, Queen Elizabeth's future Master of the Revels, were arraigned for misprision of treason 'for concealing the evil demeanour of the Queen, to the slander of the King and his succession'. All were sentenced to life imprisonment and loss of goods, although most were pardoned after Queen Katherine's execution. The Dowager Duchess, although included in the indictment, was not brought to trial as she was 'old and testy', and 'may die out of perversity to defraud the King's Highness of the confiscation of her goods', but like the others she was sentenced to imprisonment and forfeiture of lands and goods. On 6 February 1542 a bill of attainder against Queen Katherine and Lady Rochford received final reading, and on 13 February 1542 the Queen and Lady Rochford were beheaded onTower Green. The King was of the view that there was as much reason to convict the Dowager Duchess of treason as there had been to convict Dereham. However the Council urged leniency, and she was eventually released from the Tower on 5 May 1542. Her stepson, the Duke of Norfolk, escaped punishment, but was never fully trusted again by the King.

The Dowager Duchess died in May 1545, and was buried at Thetford Priory on the 31st of that month. On 31 October, as directed in her will, she was re-interred at Lambeth Church in Surrey.

The Dowager Duchess's brother, Sir Philip Tilney of Shelley (died 1533), was the paternal grandfather of Edmund Tilney (1535/6–1610), Master of the Revels to Queen Elizabeth and King James.

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Agnes Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Agnes Howard (née Tilney) (c. 1477 – 1545) was the second wife of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, the step-grandmother of Anne Boleyn, second wife and queen consort of Henry VIII, and step-grandmother of Catherine Howard, fifth wife and queen consort, of Henry VIII of England. Agnes was thus also step-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Agnes was born into the English gentry. Her father was Hugh Tilney of Lincolnshire. Her mother came from an important Lincolnshire family through her father, Walter Tailboys. Her brother, Philip, was in the service of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who was married to Agnes' cousin Elizabeth Tilney.

Elizabeth and her husband had arranged marriages of their children into the most important families in England, creating family ties that may have helped the family in times of need. However, Elizabeth died in 1497, leaving Surrey free to remarry. He and Agnes were married four months later. Such a marriage was unusual; Surrey had undertaken a marriage that brought very little dowry. However, it was successful and produced several children, including the future Lord High Admiral William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham.

The marriage also came at the time of Surrey's political fortune. In 1499, Henry VII summoned him to court, and then to accompany him to France in 1500. In 1501, he was sworn in to the Privy Council and named Lord Treasurer. In 1502, he entered diplomatic negotiations with Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile for a marriage between the Spanish infanta, Catherine of Aragon, with Henry's eldest son Arthur, Prince of Wales. These proved successful; Arthur and Catherine were married. However, the marriage came to an early end upon Arthur's death six months later, and Surrey played a prominent role in the funeral. In 1503, he escorted the King's daughter Margaret Tudor to Scotland, to be married to James IV, and forged good relations with the monarch, despite their earlier differences. In 1506, Surrey's mother, the dowager duchess of Norfolk, died, leaving him with large areas of land in East Anglia.[edit] Life as Duchess of Norfolk

In 1509, Henry VII died and was succeeded by his son, Henry VIII. Agnes' greatest fortune was the defeat of the Scots by her husband at Flodden Field in 1513. Henry had left for Calais, and was invaded by James IV. Surrey and his two eldest sons led an army of smaller size to the north, where James was killed on the field. Henry VIII rewarded Surrey by resurrecting the title of Duke of Norfolk in 1514; Surrey's father, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, had fought for Richard III during the Wars of the Roses and therefore had forfeited the right for his title to pass to the next generation when he died in 1485.

Agnes enjoyed the role of leading hostess in high society, and her place at court reflected her husband's success. She was godmother to Henry VIII's eldest daughter, Princess Mary, and was trusted enough for Wolsey to accept her recipes for medicines after he had succumbed to sweating sickness. She was soon first lady of the Queen's household after the King's sister, Mary.
In 1527, the King began to look for ways to get an annulment of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, on the grounds of her failure to produce a male heir. Although initially disapproving of the plan, Agnes, now three years widowed, found strength in the fact that the new queen was a family relative -- Anne Boleyn. Anne was the daughter of Agnes' stepdaughter, Elizabeth Boleyn [née Howard], Countess of Wiltshire, daughter of the second Duke of Norfolk by his first marriage. Agnes bore the train at Anne's coronation, and held Anne's infant daughter with the king—the future Queen Elizabeth I—at her baptism. Anne's own downfall, due to her own failure to produce a male heir, tarnished the reputation of the Howard family; Agnes' stepson, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, retired temporarily to his country estates.

Rise and fall of a queen
In 1540, Henry undertook a fourth marriage to a daughter of a German Protestant Duke, Anne of Cleves. Among the ladies in waiting appointed to attend the new queen was Catherine Howard, the daughter of one of Agnes' younger stepsons. Henry was already disappointed with the appearance of his new wife, calling her a "Flanders Mare", and had taken an early shine to Catherine. Henry soon began to seek an annulment from Anne on the grounds of non-consummation. However, Anne's lawyers had made it difficult to achieve this easily, and the annulment was only realised by Anne's willingness to accept an annulment and become the King's honorary sister, retiring to her estates at Hever Castle, the former Boleyn family home, and Richmond Palace. This left Henry free to marry, and after a short courtship, Catherine accepted Henry's proposal under the advice of Agnes and her stepson, the Duke of Norfolk. Henry affectionately referred to her as a "rose without a thorn".

The marriage was not entirely non-political on Norfolk's part. The Court, still mostly Catholic, wanted to put an end to the Protestant heresy that plagued Henry's court in the form of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. They had succeeded in bringing down Thomas Cromwell after he was blamed for Henry's disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves, but the Catholics wanted an end to all of the Protestant advisers. On the other hand, the Protestants Cranmer and Hertford were looking for ways to end such a dangerous marriage, as it was clear that Catherine would be influenced by Norfolk, the Dowager Duchess, and the other Catholics, such as Stephen Gardiner. Cranmer feared that Henry would have allowed himself to be politically influenced by Catherine, as it was clear that Henry was infatuated with her. The Catholics had scored the highest point tally so far in the war of Court religion.

Soon after Catherine's marriage, however, her past life came to the Dowager Duchess' attention. Agnes ran lavish households at Lambeth and Horsham, and although she never neglected her relations who lived with her, she was much preoccupied with the running of the household, and had little time to notice the sexual indiscretions that went on behind her back. One of the men who had sexual relations with Catherine was Francis Dereham. It is possible that Agnes herself had him promoted to the position of secretary, as a way to keep him quiet about the past. Agnes raided his coffers and destroyed any incriminating evidence. However, the sister of a former attendant on the Dowager Duchess, Mary Lascelles, brought the new queen's past to the attention of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Catherine was not helped by the fact that she had a lover while married to the King -- Thomas Culpepper, one of the King's most trusted servants. When this came to light, and the Queen confessed, her queenship was over. Henry ordered that she be sentenced to death by Act of Attainder, allowing his seal to be fixed in absentia, and she was executed in February 1542, at the Tower of London.

Later life
Another Howard marriage to the King had ended in disaster and scandal. Agnes herself was arrested and taken to the Tower of London, along with other Howard family members, as well as the Queen's household. The Tower of London was said to be full of prisoners, some even having to be lodged in the Royal apartments there. Eventually, the Dowager Duchess was released in 1543, but her stepson, the Duke, was never returned to favour. He was imprisoned in 1546, after his son, the Earl of Surrey, displayed the Royal crest on his coat-of-arms, hinting at royal ambitions. Surrey was executed, but Norfolk was saved by Henry's death before his death warrant could be signed.

Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, died in May 1545, and on the 31st was buried at Thetford Priory. In November, in accordance with her own wishes, her remains were re-interred at Lambeth.

Children by her husband, Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.
William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham
Lord Thomas Howard (1511-1537).
Elizabeth Howard (died 1536). Married Henry Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Sussex and was mother of Thomas Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex.
Catherine Howard (died 1554). Married Henry Daubney, 1st Earl of Bridgewater.
Dorothy Howard. Married Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby.
George Howard.
Agnes Howard.
Anne Howard. Married John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford.

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