Thursday, November 10, 2011


Lady Kitson in 1573

Artist: George Gower Location: Tate Britain Gallery

Margaret Donington
Margaret Donington was born circa 1509. She was the daughter of John Donington and Elizabeth Pye. She married, firstly, Sir Thomas Kitson before 1540. She married, secondly, Sir Richard Long before 1546. She married by contract, thirdly, Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, son of Sir John Bourchier, 1st Earl of Bath and Cicely Daubeney, on 4 December 1548. She died on 20 December 1561 at Stoke Newington, Middlesex, England. She was buried on 12 January 1561/62 at Hengrave, Suffolk, England. Her will (dated 10 December 1561) was probated on 18 February 1561/62.

From before 1540, her married name became Kitson. From before 1546, her married name became Long. As a result of her marriage, Margaret Donington was styled as Countess of Bath on 11 December 1548. From 11 December 1548, her married name became Bourchier.
G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 17. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
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MARGARET DONNINGTON (1510-January 20,1562)

Margaret Donnington was the only daughter of John Donnington of Stoke Newington, Middlesex (died 1544) and Elizabeth Pye. She married three times, each time improving her lot. Her first husband was Sir Thomas Kytson (1485-September 11, 1540), a widower with one daughter (Elizabeth), who built Hengrave Hall in Suffolk between 1525 and 1538. King Henry VIII often visited them there. Kytson also had houses in Milk Street, London, Stoke Newington, Westley, and Risby, Suffolk, and Torbrian, Devonshire. Kytson and Margaret were the parents of Frances (c.1527-c.1586), Katherine (died before November 8, 1586), Dorothy (1531-May 2, 1577), Anne, and Thomas (October 9, 1540-January 28, 1603), the latter born posthumously. In 1541, Margaret took a second husband, Sir Richard Long of Shengay, Cambridgeshire (c.1494-September 29, 1546), a courtier. She had four children by him, Jane (c.1541-c.1562), Mary (b.c.1543), Henry (March 31,1543/4-April 15,1573), and Catherine (c.1546-c.1568). Henry was still a minor when Queen Elizabeth visited his inheritance, Filliot’s Hall, Essex, in 1561. Margaret’s third husband was John Bourchier, earl of Bath (1489-February 10,1561), as his third wife. They were married December 11,1548 and together they had two more daughters, Susanna and Bridget. Margaret married her eldest daughter, Frances Kytson, to her stepson, John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarine. Margaret’s monument in Hengrave Church is to herself and all three husbands. I have encountered a bit of a mystery in reading The English Noble Household 1450-1600 by Kate Mertes. She lists three manuscripts as the day books of Lady Margaret Long of Hengrave Hall, one for 1541-2, one for 1563-4, and one for 1571-2, the latter including what she calls the accounts of Thomas Kytson, Margaret's ward. The Lady Margaret Long of 1541-2 is obviously Margaret Donnington, but Thomas Kytson was her son, not her ward, but in 1563-4 and 1571-2, Margaret was already deceased. One fact Mertes gleans is probably still valid: that Margaret and her daughters employed about five maids during the period 1541-64. The Elizabeth Kytson who oversaw the later accounts, however, is not the daughter by a previous marriage that Mertes suggests, but rather Elizabeth Cornwallis, who married Thomas Kytson in 1561.

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