Elizabeth Bryan, Lady Carew (c.1495 - c.1546) MP

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Nicknames: "Elizabeth Bryan /Brien/", "Elizabeth /Bryan/de/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Beddington, Surrey, , England
Death: Died in England
Occupation: Mistress of King Henry VIII
Managed by: Jocelynn Oakes
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Bryan, Lady Carew

Elizabeth Bryan, also known as Elizabeth, Lady Carew was born 1499 in England and died in July 1546. Her will as ‘Ladye Dame Elsabeth Carewe’ was dated (May 21, 1546) and proved (July 17, 1546) shortly after her death. She was interred with her husband in the Church of St Botolph, Aldgate, in London.

She was an English Tudor courtier and possibly a mistress of Henry VIII. (link4)

Parents: daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Bryan of Assheruge, Buckinghamshire (died bef. 1517) and Margaret Bourchier (c. 1468 - c. 1551/52) who was Lady Governess to Henry VIII's children;

Married:

  1. Sir Nicolas Carew (c. 1496–3 March 1539). Sir Nicholas was executed for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy in 1540, leaving Elizabeth and the children destitute.

5 children of Elizabeth Bryan and Nicolas Carew include:

  1. Elizabeth Carew (c1518 – before 1546), eldest daughter and coheiress. She became Mistress Hall and died young.
  2. Mary Carew (c1520 – before 1561), second daughter and coheiress. Mary became the wife of Sir Arthur Darcy (c1505 – 1561) of Brimham, York, the Lieutenant of the Tower of London,; they had ten sons and five daughters.
  3. Sir Francis Carew of Beddington (1530 – 1611) Was restored to Nicholas' estates, though he preferred to stay out of politics. Unmarried. Adopted his nephew, Nicholas Throckmorton, who adopted his name.
  4. Anne Carew (about 1520 – 1581). third daughter and coheiress. She became the wife of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (died 1570), diplomat Nicholas Throckmorton and their daughter Elizabeth married Sir Walter Raleigh.
  5. Isabel Carew (c1535 – before 1580), fourth daughter and coheiress. Isabel became the first wife of Nicholas Saunders (c1525 – 1587), of Ewell, Surrey; they had three sons and four daughters.

Family Life

Lady Carew had been raised at court because her parents, Sir Thomas and Lady Margaret Bryan, both held offices in the royal household. Her brother, Sir Francis, was a member of the Privy Chamber and one of the king's closest friends. In the early, halcyon days of the reign, Elizabeth and her future husband were members of the king's inner social circle and performed regularly in the masques and dances that were among his favorite pastimes. Henry almost certainly arranged their marriage: he attended their wedding and endowed them with a gift of 50 marks' worth of land. In those years, the king showered Lady Carew with "beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels."

She was a second cousin of both Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, which increased her standing at court. Her only brother was Sir Francis Bryan, called "the Vicar of Hell" for his lack of principles. She is said to have been friends with Bessie Blount, Henry's mistress who produced an illegitimate son in 1519.

In 1514, there were rumors that Elizabeth Carew was the mistress of Henry VIII, although it may have been his brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk who was the object of her affection. The king made huge presents to her over the years, including royal jewels.[1](link4)

Notes

Elizabeth Bryan was the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Bryan of Assheruge, Buckinghamshire, and his wife Margaret Bourchier, the widow of john sandys, and the stepdaughter of Thomas Howard (1443 – 1524), second Duke of Norfolk. She was a descendant of King Edward III (1327 – 1377) and his wife Philippa of Hainault through their youngest son Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. Her father was vice-chamberlain to Catharine of Aragon and Elizabeth became the wife (1514) of Sir Nicholas Carew (c1488 – 1540) of Beddington, Surrey an important diplomat in the service of Henry VIII, though court gossip associated her name with that of the king’s brother-in-law, Charles Brandon. At the Christmas festivities held at the court at Greenwich that year, Lady Carew joined Elizabeth Blount, Lady Margaret Guildord and Lady Fellinger, the wife of an Imperial diplomat to play the four ladies from Savoy, opposite King Henry, Sir Nicholas, Brandon, and Fellinger. With her husband she attended Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon in France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520) for their meeting with Francois I and his wife Claude d’Orleans.

After her husband was appointed Master of the Horse to the king (1522) Lady Carew and her husband entertained the king and his entourage at their estate of Beddington. Carew was later executed (March 3, 1540), being amongst those who fell with Thomas Cromwell, and she survived him as the Dowager Lady Carew (1540 – 1546). At the time of her husband’s death she was evicted from the estate of Beddington and withdrew with her children to Wallington from where she addressed asurviving letters to Thomas Cromwell, beseeching his help for the sake of her children. (link3)(link4)

Links

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bryan
  2. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33235326
  3. http://abitofhistory.net/html/rhw/body_files/c_body.htm#careweb
  4. http://www.kateemersonhistoricals.com/TudorWomenBrooke-Bu.htm

footnotes

  • There is another Elizabeth Bryan (1516-1553), parentage unknown, born in Stourton, Warwickshire, who married Thomas Welles.
  • Elizabeth Bryan was a mistress of King Henry VIII sometime before 1528. She was given a diamond necklace, a mink coat and a husband, Nicholas Carew. When she gave birth to a son at the age of twelve, she was called "the young wife". Henry VIII gave her mother £500.
  • Elizabeth Carew, was the wife of Henry VIII's close friend Sir Nicholas Carew, who helped him organize Henry's liaisons with women, and whose house was used to keep Jane Seymour over the period of Anne Boleyn's execution. In 1514, Elizabeth Carew herself was rumoured to have been involved with Henry VIII, although it may be his brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, 1st duke of Suffolk who was the object of her affection. The King made huge presents to her over the years, including royal jewels.
  • Queen Jane was very fond of Elizabeth Carew and left her several pieces of jewelry when she died. This gift, described as "many beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels," seems to be the source of a totally unfounded story that Elizabeth Bryan, as a young teenager, was Henry VIII's mistress. She was a beauty, and she was not left in poverty after her husband was charged with treason and executed, but there is no evidence of any affair. In fact, after Sir Nicholas's death, she was evicted from the Carew seat at Beddington and had to take refuge at Wallington. She wrote to Lord Cromwell from there, asking him to intercede for her with the king. Her mother also wrote to Cromwell, saying that Elizabeth "has not been used to straight living and it would grieve me in my old days to lose her." Elizabeth was allowed to keep Wallington and a few manors in Sussex. (Link4)

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ELIZABETH BRYAN (c.1495-1546)

The daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan (c.1464-1517) and Margaret Bourcher (1468-1551/2), Elizabeth and her siblings grew up at court, where her mother was one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting and her father was vice chamberlain of the queen’s household. Elizabeth was married in December 1514 to Nicholas Carew (c.1496-March 3, 1539), a squire of the king’s body. Both before and after her marriage, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret (married to Sir Henry Guildford from 1512) participated in many masques at court. In February 1515, King Henry paid Thomas Jenyns, serjeant skinner, £78 17s. 4d. for "mynkes and martoins" for "Nich. Carewe and his wife." In 1516, Nicholas and his wife were granted lands in Surrey, including Beddington, valued at forty marks a year, in part payment of fifty marks a year "as a marriage portion." On March 27, 1518, "Mr. Carew and his wife returned to the King's Grace" while the court was at Abingdon, according to a letter written to Cardinal Wolsey. The implication is that they had been sent away for some infraction. All was apparently forgiven, as the king visited Beddington for a week in February 1519 and hunted in the adjoining park. In March 1520, the duke of Suffolk and his wife (Mary Tudor, former Queen of France) stayed there with the Carews, their visit extended because the duchess fell ill. Elizabeth's children by Carew were Isabel, Elizabeth, Mary, Francis (1530-May 16, 1611), and Anne (d. November 3, 1587). Elizabeth is credited with persuading her uncle, John Bourchier, 2nd baron Berners (1467-1533), to translate "The Castell of Love" from Spanish into English. The manor of Bletchingley, Surrey, was granted to Nicholas and Elizabeth Carew in 1522. In 1536, Jane Seymour stayed with them prior to her marriage to Henry VIII. Queen Jane was very fond of Elizabeth Carew and left her several pieces of jewelry when she died. This gift, described as "many beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels," seems to be the source of a totally unfounded story that Elizabeth Bryan, as a young teenager, was Henry VIII's mistress. She was a beauty, and she was not left in poverty after her husband was charged with treason and executed, but there is no evidence of any affair. In fact, after Sir Nicholas's death, she was evicted from the Carew seat at Beddington and had to take refuge at Wallington. She wrote to Lord Cromwell from there, asking him to intercede for her with the king. Her mother also wrote to Cromwell, saying that Elizabeth "has not been used to straight living and it would grieve me in my old days to lose her." Elizabeth was allowed to keep Wallington and a few manors in Sussex. She was buried in St. Botolph’s, Aldgate. Biography: included in Ronald Michell, The Carews of Beddington.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Elizabeth_Carew

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Elizabeth Bryan, Lady Carew's Timeline

1495
1495
Beddington, Surrey, , England
1519
1519
Age 24
Beddington, Surrey, England
1520
1520
Age 25
Beddington, Surrey, England
1525
1525
Age 30
1530
1530
Age 35
Beddington, Surrey, England
1530
Age 35
1546
July 17, 1546
Age 51
England
1936
June 13, 1936
Age 51
1937
May 5, 1937
Age 51
????
UK