Elizabeth Bowes (Aske) (1506 - 1568) MP

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Nicknames: "Elizabeth Ashe"
Birthplace: Aske, North Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Durham, County Durham, England
Managed by: William Graney
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Bowes (Aske)

Elizabeth Aske 1506-1568

Elizabeth (Aske) Bowes (1502?-1568) was an English follower of John Knox, her son-in-law.

Notes

There are significant differences between the details given in the Oxford DNB entry for Elizabeth Aske and the information in online genealogies. The genealogies more convincing. The DNB version appears in brackets. Elizabeth Aske was the daughter of Roger Aske of Aske Hall, Yorkshire (1483-1510)[d. before 1510] and Margery or Margaret Sedgwick, who married Aske in 1502 [Margery Wycliffe (d. before 1510)]. After her father’s death, Elizabeth's guardian was Ralph Bowes. Elizabeth married his son, Richard Bowes (1488-November 10, 1558) [b.c.1497] in 1521 and bore him fifteen children, including Ralph, George (1527-1580), Christopher, Francis, Margery (1533-December 1560) [Marjorie (b.c.1534)], Robert (1535-1597), Bridget, Anne, Jane, Elizabeth, and Muriel. Margery married reformer John Knox in July 1553. In June 1556, Elizabeth left her husband and accompanied her daughter into exile on the Continent, then to Scotland, where Margery died. There were some who accused Elizabeth of having more than a "spiritual" relationship with her son-in-law. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under "Bowes [née Aske], Elizabeth."

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She was the daughter of Roger Aske, of Aske, Yorkshire. Her father died when she was a child, and she and her sister Anne were coheiresses of their father and grandfather. Their wardship was sold in 1510 to Sir Ralph Bowes of Dalden, Streatlam, and South Cowton. In 1521 Elizabeth Aske was betrothed to Richard Bowes, youngest son of Sir Ralph, and the king granted to him special livery of half the lands of William Aske, which he was to receive on his marriage. Richard Bowes, like the rest of his family, was engaged in border business, but seems to have lived chiefly at Aske, where his wife bore him five sons and ten daughters, among them George Bowes and Robert Bowes.

In 1558 Richard Bowes died, and in 1559 Knox left Geneva for Scotland. He was soon followed by his wife, and Elizabeth after a short stay in England made her way to her son-in-law, who wrote for the queen's permission for her journey. In 1560 Marjory died, but her mother still stayed near Know, leaving her own family.

Elizabeth died in 1568, and immediately after her death Knox thought it desirable to give some account of this strange intimacy. In the Advertisement to his 'Answer to a Letter of a Jesuit named Tyrie' (1572) he published a letter to Mrs. Bowes:

'to declare to the world what was the cause of our great familiarity, which was neither flesh nor blood, but a troubled conscience on her part which never suffered her to rest but when she was in the company of the faithful. Her company to me was comfortable, but yet it was not without some cross; for besides trouble and fasherie of body sustained for her, my mind was seldom quiet for doing somewhat for the comfort of her troubled conscience.'

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Elizabeth Bowes's Timeline

1506
1506
Aske, North Yorkshire, England
1521
1521
Age 15
Aske, North Yorkshire, UK
1526
1526
Age 20
Aske, North Yorkshire, England
1527
1527
Age 21
Streatlam, Durham, England, United Kingdom
1529
1529
Age 23
Aske, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
1531
1531
Age 25
Streatlam, Durham, England, United Kingdom
1533
1533
Age 27
East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom
1533
Age 27
Streatlam, Durham, England, United Kingdom
1535
1535
Age 29
Of Aske, Jorkshire, England
1539
1539
Age 33
Streatlam, Durham, England, United Kingdom