Sir Francis Lovell, KG, 1st Viscount Lovell

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Francis Lovell, Viscount

Also Known As: "Sir Francis Lovell"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Leicester, Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Lovell, 8th Baron Lovell and Joan de Beaumont, Baroness Lovell
Husband of Anne Fitzhugh
Brother of Joan Lovell and Frideswide Norreys

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Francis Lovell, KG, 1st Viscount Lovell

Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell

Francis Lovell, 9th Baron Lovell, 6th Baron Holand, later 1st Viscount Lovell KG (1454 – after 1488) was an English nobleman who was an ally of King Richard III of England. He, Sir William Catesby, and Sir Richard Ratcliffe, were Richard's closest supporters, famously called "the Cat, the Rat and Lovell our dog" in an anti-Ricardian squib.

A Yorkist loyalist, Lovell continued the Yorkist resistance into the early years of Henry VII's reign, but his fate is unknown after he disappeared following the final defeat of the Yorkists at the Battle of Stoke (1487).

Francis was the son of John Lovell, 8th Baron Lovell and Joan Beaumont, daughter of John Beaumont, 1st Viscount Beaumont. When his father died, the nine-year-old Francis inherited the titles of Baron Lovell and Baron Holand. He became a ward of Edward IV of England, who gave him into the charge of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick,[1] where Edward's youngest brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester also spent some time. It was there that the two young men first formed their close association.[2]

In 1466, he married Anne FitzHugh, daughter of Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron FitzHugh. Fitz Hugh had married the Earl of Warwick's sister Alice Neville and supported Warwick's rebellion against Edward IV in 1470. As the pardon issued to Henry, Lord Fitzhugh includes Francis Lovell it can be assumed that Francis lived with his father-in-law at this time.[3] When Edward IV had re-established his rule in 1471, he granted the wardship of Francis Lovell, who was still underage, to his sister Elizabeth and her husband John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk.[4]

Upon the death of his paternal grandmother Alice Deincourt in 1474 he inherited a large estate, including the lands of the baronies of Deincourt, Grey of Rotherfield, and the feudal barony of Bedale. He was now one of the wealthiest barons in England not holding an earldom or dukedom.[2]

Lovell became a follower of his friend, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to whom he was also linked through their respective marriages: his wife, Anne (aka Agnes) FitzHugh was the first cousin of Richard's wife Anne Neville. Lovell served under Richard in the expedition to Scotland in 1480, and was knighted by Richard for it, the same year. After the death of Edward IV on 9 April 1483 he became one of his patron’s strongest supporters. He had been created a viscount on 4 January 1483, and while still Lord Protector Richard made him Chief Butler and constable of Wallingford Castle.[5]

Richard acceded to the throne on 26 June 1483; at his coronation on 6 July 1483, Francis Lovell bore the third sword of state.[6] Lovell was promoted to the office of Lord Chamberlain, replacing the late William Hastings,[7] and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1483.[8] Lovell helped in the suppression of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion (1483).

In July 1484, William Collingbourne, a Tudor agent, tacked up a lampooning poem to St. Paul's Cathedral, which mentions Lovell, whose family's heraldic symbol was a silver wolf.,[9][10] among the three aides to King Richard, whose emblem was a white boar:

  • * “ The Catte, the Ratte and Lovell our dogge rulyth all Englande under a hogge. ”

The poem was interpolated into Laurence Olivier's film Richard III, a screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's play.

In June 1485, Lovell was appointed to guard the south coast to prevent the landing of Henry Tudor.[11] However, Henry Tudor landed in Wales near Milford Haven avoiding the stronger defences of the English south coast. While no chronicle account of the battle mentions Lovell, it seems certain that he fought for Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field (22 August 1485). Two reports written in the immediate aftermath of the battle list him as among the fallen.[12] In fact, he escaped. After the battle, Lovell fled to sanctuary at Colchester and from there escaped the following year to organise a revolt in Yorkshire that attempted to seize Henry VII. After the failure of this plot, Lovell first joined fellow rebels at Furness Falls and later fled to Margaret of York in Flanders.[13]

As a chief leader of the Yorkist party, Lovell took a prominent part in Lambert Simnel’s enterprise. With John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, he accompanied the pretender to Ireland and fought for him at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487. He was seen escaping from the battle and seems to have eventually fled to Scotland, where on 19 June 1488 James IV issued a safe conduct to him.[11] There is no further information about Lovell's fate.

Francis Lovell's wife, Anne Fitzhugh, was granted an annuity of £20 in 1489.[14] She was still alive in 1495; the date of her death is not known.[15]

Francis Bacon relates that according to one report he lived long after in a cave or vault (History of Henry VII, p. 37, ed. Joseph Rawson Lumby).

More than 200 years later, in 1708, the skeleton of a man was found in a secret chamber in the family mansion at Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire and it was supposed that Lovell had hidden himself there and died of starvation.[16] While this story is very picturesque, it seems unlikely to be true. Francis Lovell had hardly spent any time at Minster Lovell and would not have a faithful servant there who would hide him for years. Additionally, the manor had been granted to Jasper Tudor, Henry Tudor's uncle,[17] and was therefore hardly an appropriate hiding place for Francis Lovell.

In the Nottinghamshire History a reference is made to the Transactions of the Thoroton Society and the Society's visit on the 30th June 1903 to All Hallows Church, Gedling, Nottinghamshire. It notes that there were only three pre-Reformation sepulchral slabs

  • The third slab, an alabaster one, lies at the south end of the altar-table. A few lines in black wax constitute the remains of an inscription and effigy of a knight of the 15th century. The late Mr. Lawson Lowe, of Chepstow, said in December, 1882, that when he visited the church in 1865, the date could be made out, and he thought the effigy might be that of a knight who fought at the battle of Stoke, near Newark, in 1487.

Gedling Church and Stoke Bardolph Castle, the ancestral home of Jane Bardolph who was Francis's mother, lie just a few miles away from the battlefield of Stoke. It is feasible that Francis attempted to escape across the river at the Fiskerton shallows but was either killed or died later of his wounds, his body being buried under the flagstones in the Gedling Church in order to prevent the certain fate of them being 'hung, drawn and quartered'.[18]

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Lovell,_1st_Viscount_Lovell

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  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 34
  • Lovell, Francis by William Arthur Jobson Archbold
  • LOVELL, FRANCIS, Viscount Lovell (1454–1487?), born in 1454, descended from the eldest brother of Philip Lovel [q. v.], was son of John, eighth baron Lovell of Tichmarsh, Northants (d. 1464), an adherent of Henry VI, by his wife Joane, daughter of John, first viscount Beaumont. One sister, Joane, married Sir Brian Stapleton, and another, Frideswide, Sir Edward Norris, having by him two sons: John, esquire of the body to Henry VIII, and Henry Norris [q. v.], the supposed paramour of Anne Boleyn. These ladies were coheiresses of their uncle, William, lord Beaumont, and between their children the barony fell into abeyance, until it was restored in favour of the descendants of the elder sister, Lady Stapleton, in 1840. Francis Lovell was knighted by the Duke of Gloucester, 22 Aug. 1480, while on an expedition against the Scots, and on 15 Nov. 1482 was summoned to parliament as thirteenth baron Lovell of Tichmarsh. After Edward's death he was a strong supporter of Richard's claims; he had been one of Richard's companions at Middleham Castle, and 4 Jan. 1483 was created Viscount Lovell. He also held the baronies of Deincourt, Grey of Rotherfield, and Holand. The Holand barony had come into his family by the marriage of John, ninth lord Lovell, to Maud, granddaughter and heiress to Robert, lord Holand, who died in 1373, and in 1483 Francis Lovell had certain estates confirmed to him as heir of the Holands. In 1483 he received many small appointments under the crown. On 17 May he became constable of Wallingford Castle, on 19 May chief butler of England, on 21 May keeper of Thorpe Wakefield Castle. He also became a privy councillor and K.G., and from June 1483 to 22 Aug. 1485 he was lord chamberlain of the household. At the coronation of Richard III, 7 July 1483, he bore the third sword. On 23 Oct. 1483 he was commissioned to levy men against the Duke of Buckingham. In February 1483–4 he assisted to found the guild of the Holy Cross at Abendon. He was one of Richard's most trusted friends, and was ‘Lovel that dog’ in the Lancastrian verse of the time which described Richard's administration. The allusion is probably to his crest. He had further grants before the end of the reign, and in May 1485 was sent to Southampton to fit out a fleet against Henry Tudor. He failed, however, to prevent him from sailing round to Milford in August. Lovell fought at Bosworth, and after the battle fled to sanctuary at St. John's, Colchester. Here he seems to have been intriguing, and perhaps contemplated submitting to Henry. Otherwise it is difficult to understand why he was nominated to bear the sceptre before the queen at her coronation.
  • Early in 1485–6, however, he escaped northwards, raised a dangerous revolt with the two Staffords in Worcestershire and Yorkshire, and nearly succeeded in capturing the king while he was at York [cf. art. Henry VII]. When the rising was put down Lovell fled to Lancashire, and passed some time in hiding with Sir Thomas Broughton. He then managed to reach Flanders. Early in May 1487, in company with John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln, and Martin Schwartz, he followed Lambert Simnel to Ireland, and in June crossed to Lancashire, taking part in the battles of Bramham Moor (10 June) and Stoke (16 June). He was reported to have been killed at Stoke, but was seen trying to swim the Trent on horseback, and seems to have escaped to his house at Minster Lovel, Oxfordshire, where he lived for some time in a vault, and probably died of starvation. In 1708, when a new chimney was built at Minster Lovell, a vault was discovered in which was the skeleton of a man (supposed to be the remains of Lord Lovell) who had died seated at a table whereon was a book, paper, and pen. All crumbled to dust when air was admitted. The uncertainty felt about the place and time of his death is shown by the ‘inquisitio post mortem’ (26 Henry VIII, No.110), in which the jurors found that he had escaped beyond sea and died abroad. He had been attainted in 1485, and most of his Northamptonshire estates were given to Henry's mother, the Countess of Richmond. Lovell married in boyhood, before 14 Feb. 1466–7, Anne, daughter of Henry, thirteenth lord FitzHugh, but does not seem to have left issue. On 15 Dec. 1489 Henry granted his widow an annuity of 20l.
  • [Oman's Warwick, p. 91 (where 1470 should read 1460); An English Chronicle, ed. Davies (Camden Soc.), p. 95; Three Fifteenth-Century Chron., ed. Gairdner (Camden Soc.), p. 73; Anderson's Hist. of the House of Yvery, i. 289–90; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Doyle's Official Baronage; Grants of Edward V, ed. Nichols (Camden Soc.), xxv. 15 et seq.; App. ii. 9th Rep. Dep.-Keeper of Public Records (Patent Rolls of Richard III); Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 118, &c.; Gairdner's Richard III, pp. 205, 237, 263, 308; Letters and Papers, Richard III and Henry VII, ed. Gairdner (Rolls Ser.), i. 234, ii. 371; first three books of Polydore Vergil's Hist. of England, ed. Ellis (Camden Soc.), p. 225; Continuator of Croyland in Gale's Rerum Anglicarum Script. Vet. i. 572; Rutland Papers, ed. Jerdan (Camden Soc.), p. 12; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. i. 230, 401, 443, 5th ser. x. 28, 72; Rolls of Parliament, vi. 254–6, 276, 502; Stubb's Lectures on Med. and Mod. Hist. 347; Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 5530 f. 98, 5758 f. 184, 6032 f. 40, 6113 f. 125, 6670 f. 397.]
  • From: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Lovell,_Francis_(DNB00)
  • https://archive.org/stream/dictionarynatio57stepgoog#page/n184/mode/1up to https://archive.org/stream/dictionarynatio57stepgoog#page/n185/mode/1up

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  • Francis Lovel, Viscount Lovel1
  • M, #24790
  • Last Edited=13 Apr 2012
  • Consanguinity Index=0.08%
  • Francis Lovel, Viscount Lovel was the son of John Lovel, 8th Lord Lovel (of Titchmarsh) and Joan Beaumont.1
  • He gained the title of Viscount Lovel.1 He succeeded to the title of 6th Lord Holand [E., 1314] on 9 January 1464/65.2 In 1485 he was attainted.1
  • Citations
  • [S6] 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 65. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 4288. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p2479.htm#i24790

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  • Francis LOVELL (1st V. Lovell)
  • Born: Sep 1464, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
  • Aceeded: 4 Jan 1483
  • Died: AFT 16 Jan 1485/6
  • Notes: Knight of the Garter.
  • Father: John LOVELL (8º B. Lovell of Titchmarsh)
  • Mother: Joan BEAUMONT
  • Married: Agnes FITZHUGH ABT Apr 1464
  • Francis Viscount Lovell, Lord Holland, Deincourt, Burnell and Grey of Rotherfield, born about 1455/6 (we only know that he was nine years old when his father died early in 1465), the only son of Sir John, 8th Baron Lovell of Titchmarsh, a warrior of great bravery and fame, through his parents and grandparents, he was heir to a vast inheritance. This included manors and fee farms as far apart as Upton Lovell in Wiltshire, Acton Burnell in Shropshire and Rotherfield and Bainton in Yorkshire. In addition, he was related to some of the great nobles, Lancastrian and Yorkist, of the age. He married Agnes, dau. of Henry FitzHugh, Baron FitzHugh.
  • Following his father's death he became a ward of Edward IV; who gave him into the charge of one of his chief supporters, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Also in Warwick's household was the King's nine year old brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
  • At the Earl's great castle of Middleham in Wensleydale, the boys received instruction in Latin, law, mathematics, music, religion, and the code of chivalric behaviour and etiquette. Each day they practised riding, hunting, and the use of arms. In the evening they were taught to sing, dance, and play musical instruments.
  • Francis became a close friend and loyal supporter of Richard, who knighted Francis in 1480 while he was on an expedition against the Scots. Two years later, he was created Viscount Lovell by Edward IV, due possibly to Richard's influence. When Gloucester became King Richard III in 1483, Francis bore the third sword at his coronation. Later that year Richard appointed Lovell to several offices, including that of Chief Butler of all England, Privy Councillor, and Lord Chancellor of the Kings Household. The latter appointment implied constant personal contact with the King. His creation of Knight of the Garter also occurred during this year. Lovell had now been elevated from a Lord of relatively minor importance to one of the most powerful men in England. Lovell helped in the suppression of Buckinghams rebellion.
  • He was commonly known as 'the King's Spaniel'. He was the Lovell of the ancient couplet:
    • "The cat, the rat and Lovell the dog,
    • rule all England under a hog".
  • The cat was Catesby, the rat Ratcliffe of Ordsall Hall, and the hog represented the King.
  • Francis Lowell was indeed looked upon by his tenants in Mottram as being of almost equal importance to the king. His word was law, his favour was courted and his anger feared.
  • He had command of the fleet which was to have stopped Henry Tudors landing in 1485, but failed. Sir Francis fought under Richard during the king's darkest hour, the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 Aug, where Richard was killed on the battlefield and the Crown taken by Henry VII. Francis had survived, but fled for his life and sought sanctuary at St. John's Abbey, Colchester, but deeming that no place of permanent security, he removed privately, to Sir John Broughton's house.
  • Lovell went on to instigate a potentially dangerous but ill-organised revolt in Yorkshire against Henry VII where he nearly succeeded in capturing the king in 1486. When the rising was put down he fled to Lancashire and spent some time in hiding before eventually escaping to Flanders, to ask for Margaret of Burgundy support.
  • In May 1487 he travelled to Ireland and then to England with John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and a force of German mercenaries in support of the Pretender Lambert Simnel. Lovell was a prominent figure at the 'court' held for a brief period by the would be king at the Peel of Fouldrey on Fouldrey Island, off the Lancashire coast.
  • On behalf of Simnel, Lovell fought in the Battle of Stoke, and the last seen of him was after the defeat of the rebel army, when he was observed to join in the fight, and to swim the Trent on horseback, scrambling to safety up the riverbank. Some say he was slain in this battle, but the popular version of his death ascribes to him a different ending.
  • With his enemies in pursuit, and afraid to even trust his friends, he made his way alone to his house at Minster Lovell, near Oxford, and entered it under cover of darkness. Then, not daring to trust even his most loyal servants, he quietly made his way to a secret underground chamber, and there incarcerated himself, hoping to remain hidden until he could find some means of escape from the country.
  • No one knows what actually happened but it is possible to surmise. It would appear that Francis was then unable to open the door by which he entered his hiding place, and, having told no one of his intention to make use of the chamber, he was left to die of starvation. In all probability, when he found out his predicament, he attempted to set some record of it down on paper, but, if so, his story was destined never to be read.
  • In 1708, several hundred years after his death, a party of workmen broke into an underground chamber at Minster Lovell and, to their great surprise, came across a skeleton. The skeleton, thought to be the frame of Francis Lovell, was found sitting at a table, the hand resting on a bundle of papers. Unfortunately, with the admission of air it soon crumbled into dust along with the sacred papers.
  • Officially, a court held just after his disappearance decided that he had escaped to the continent and had died at Flanders, but due to the lack of evidence we will probably never know what really happened.
  • After the Battle of Stoke, Lovell's lands were confiscated by the crown, and were later granted to Sir William Stanley, who had turned the fortunes of the day at Bosworth Field. With this change of ownership, Longdendale was passed out of the hands of the Lovells forever.
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/FrancisLovell(1VLovell).htm

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  • Agnes FITZHUGH
  • Born: ABT 1453, Ravensworth, Yorkshire, England
  • Died: BEF 1512
  • Father: Henry FITZHUGH (5° B. Fitzhugh of Ravensworth)
  • Mother: Alice NEVILLE (B. Fitzhugh of Ravensworth)
  • Married: Francis LOVELL (1º V. Lovell) ABT Apr 1464
  • Children:
    • 1. William LOVELL
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/FITZHUGH.htm#Agnes FITZHUGH1

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FRANCIS LOVELL, VISCOUNT LOVELL

(1454-1487?), born in 1454, descended from the eldest brother of Philip Lovel, was son of John, eighth Baron Lovell of Techmarsh, Northants (d. 1464), an adherent of Henry VI, by his wife Joan, daughter of John, first viscount Beaumont. One sister, Joane, married Sir Brian Stapleton, and another, Frideswide, Sir Edward Norris, having by him two sons: John, Esquire of the Body to Henry VIII, and Henry Norris, the supposed paramour of Anne Boleyn. These ladies were coheiresses of their uncle, William, Lord Beaumont, and between their children the barony fell into abeyance, until it was restored in favour of the descendants of the elder sister, Lady Stapleton, in 1840. 

Francis Lovell was knighted by the Duke of Gloucester, 22 Aug, 1480, while on an expedition against the Scots, and on 15 Nov. 1482 was summoned to parliament as thirteenth Baron Lovell of Tichmarsh. After Edward's death he was a strong supporter of Richard's claims; he had been one of Richard's companions at Middleham Castle, and 4 Jan. 1483 was created Viscount Lovell. He also held the baronies of Deincourt, Grey of Rotherfield, and Holand. The Holand barony had come into his family by the marriage of John, ninth Lord Lovell, to Maud, granddaughter and heiress to Robert, Lord Holand, who died in 1373, and in 1483 Francis Lovell had certain estates confirmed to him as heir of the Holands.

In 1483 he received many small appointments under the crown. On 17 May he became Constable of Wallingford Castle, on 19 May Chief Butler of England, on 21 May Keeper of Thorpe Wakefield Castle. He also became a Privy Councillor and K.G. [Knight of the Garter], and from June 1483 to 22 Aug. 1485 he was Lord Chamberlain of the Household. At the coronation of Richard III, 7 July 1483, he bore the third sword. On 23 Oct. 1483 he was commissioned to levy men against the Duke of Buckingham. In February 1483-4 he assisted to found the guild of the Holy Cross at Abendon.

He was one of Richard's most trusted friends, and was 'Lovel that dog' in the Lancastrian verse of the time which described Richard's administration. The allusion is probably to his crest. He had further grants before the end of the reign, and in May 1485 was sent to Southampton to fit out a fleet against Henry Tudor. He failed, however, to prevent him from sailing round to Milford in August. Lovell fought at Bosworth, and after the battle fled to sanctuary at St. John's, Colchester. Here he seems to have been intriguing, and perhaps contemplated submitting to Henry. Otherwise it is difficult to understand why he was nominated to bear the sceptre before the queen at her coronation.

Early in 1485-6, however, he escaped northwards, raised a dangerous revolt with the two Staffords in Worcestershire and Yorkshire, and nearly succeeded in capturing the king while he was at York. When the rising was put down Lovell fled to Lancashire, and passed some time in hiding with Sir Thomas Broughton. He then managed to reach Flanders. Early in May 1487, his company with John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and Martin Schwartz, he followed Lambert Simnel to Ireland, and in June crossed to Lancashire, taking part in the battles of Bramham Moor (10 June) and Stoke (16 June).

He was reported to have been killed at Stoke, but was seen trying to swim the Trent on horseback, and seems to have escaped to his house at Minster Lovel, Oxfordshire, where he lived for some time in a vault, and probably died of starvation. In 1709, when a new chimney was built at Minster Lovell, a vault was discovered in which was the skeleton of a man (supposed to be the remains of Lord Lovell) who had died seated at a table whereon was a book, paper, and pen. All crumbled to dust when air was admitted. The uncertainty felt about the place and time of his death is shown by the 'inquisition post mortem' (26 Henry VIII, No. 110), in which the jurors found that he had escaped beyond sea and died abroad. He had been attainted in 1485, and most of his Northamptonshire estates were given to Henry's mother, the Countess of Richmond.

Lovell married in boyhood, before 14 Feb. 1466-7, Anne, daughter of Henry, thirteenth Lord FitzHugh, but does not seem to have left issue'. On 15 Dec. 1489 Henry granted his widow an annuity of £20.

Source:

Archbold, W. A. J. "Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell." The Dictionary of National Biography. Vol XII. Sidney Lee, Ed. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909. 172-3.

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Sir Francis Lovell, KG, 1st Viscount Lovell's Timeline

1454
September 1454
Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
1466
February 14, 1466
Age 11
1485
1485
Age 30
????
Leicester, Leicester, England, United Kingdom