Constance Packenham (c.1498 - 1570)

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Nicknames: "de/ Pakenham"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
Death: Died
Managed by: Bjørn P. Brox
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About Constance Packenham

Constance Pakenham

Note : Sir John Pakenham was her grandfather , Edmund was her father.

Constance Pakenham was the daughter of Sir Edmund Pakenham of Lordington, Sussex (1480-1528). Some sources give Sir John Pakenham as her father, but he was her grandfather. She married Sir Geoffrey Pole (1502-1558) before her father's death and they lived at Lordlington, which they inherited. Geoffrey was heavily in debt and did not get along with his neighbors in the West Sussex parish of Racton. In 1529, he and Constance's mother, together with Constance's brother-in-law, Edmund Marvyn, were accused of conspiring together in a land dispute. On May 1, 1531, the hedge Constance and Geoffrey had used to enclose part of a wood was pulled down on orders from the 11th earl of Arundel. By 1532, Pole was beginning to be embroiled in treason and on August 29, 1538, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. The primary charge was that he wrote letters to his brother, Reginald Cardinal Pole, an acknowledged traitor by then living abroad. These had not been vetted by the Crown, raising suspicions of a plot against the king. Constance was also examined and was with Geoffrey in the Tower for a time. When she realized how indiscreet her husband had been, she warned her brother-in-law, Lord Montagu, that he was in danger. The warning came too late. The entire Pole family was implicated in treason. Geoffrey Pole was tried on December 4, 1538 and condemned, as were his brother and others. After he'd twice tried to take his own life, he was pardoned on January 4, 1539. It was said that it was Constance's plea that her husband was so ill as to be as good as dead that won his release, but the more prevalent rumor was that he was pardoned because he'd provided evidence against the rest of his family. He was back in Sussex by April 1539, when Constance was involved in a lawsuit and he wrote to Thomas Cromwell to assist her, but in September 1540, he was again in prison, this time in the Fleet, on a charge of assault. Once again, he was pardoned, but he was banished from court. Once again, Constance's intercession was credited with getting him out of jail. According to some accounts, after his mother, the countess of Salisbury, was executed on May 27, 1541, Pole fled the country, leaving his wife and children behind, and remained in exile, insane with guilt, for the rest of his life. The History of Parliament contradicts this, stating that he and his wife were granted Grandisons Manor in Kent in May 1543. He did leave England in 1548, under King Edward VI, but he returned during the reign of Mary Tudor. Constance remained in England and, possibly because she shared a great-grandfather with John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, was treated with kindness. In December 1552, Geoffrey wrote to his wife that he pined for her after four years of separation. After his return to England, he faced death threats from his nephew, Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon, who blamed him for his father's death. Constance and Geoffrey had eleven children, including Katherine (d. September 1598+), Arthur (1531-1570), Edmund (1541-August 12, 1570), Anne, Thomas (d.1570), Geoffrey (1546-March 9, 1591), Henry, Elizabeth, Mary (d.1571), and Margaret. Arthur and Edmund, who had inherited their father's royal blood, were sent to the Tower for treason in 1562 and died there. Catherine made her will in 1570, asking to be buried beside her husband in the church of Stoughton, near Chichester in Sussex

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Constance Packenham's Timeline

1498
1498
Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
1524
1524
Age 26
1525
1525
Age 27
Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
1531
1531
Age 33
Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
1532
1532
Age 34
1541
1541
Age 43
Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
1546
1546
Age 48
Lordington, Sussex Co., England, GB
1570
1570
Age 72
????
????
Chichester, West Sussex, UK