Sir George Beeston

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George Beeston, of Beeston

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Beeston, Cheshire, England
Death: Died in Bunbury, Cheshire, England
Place of Burial: Bunbury Church, Cheshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Beeston, Esq and Katherine Beeston
Husband of Margaret Beeston and Alice Beeston
Father of Dorothy Gregory; Anne Beeston; Hugh "Hukyn" Beeston, of Beeston; Jane Grantham; John Beeston and 1 other
Brother of Mary Beeston

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir George Beeston

The following is all from Source 3:

It may come somewhat a surprise to learn that a Bunbury, Cheshire man was one of the foremost English sailors who fought with Drake, Frobisher and Hawkins against the Spanish Armada. His name was George Beeston, lord of the manor of Beeston, a descendent of Henry de Hunbury who took the name Beeston from the place of his residence. For his part in the battle against the Armada George Beeston was knighted on board the Ark, at sea, by the Lord High Admiral, Lord Howard of Effingham together with Frobisher, Hawkins and others. The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 has been described as one of the most decisive battles in the world. It was a running battle lasting some nine days and marked the start of the downfall of Spain and the ascendancy of England as a great maritime power. Even though the Armada story is remarkable, even more remarkable is that Sir George Beeston's was reputed to be 89 years old at that time.

George Beeston was also a soldier and his active career is told largely on his memorial tomb situated on the north side of the sanctuary in Bunbury Church. A translation of the Latin epitaph is given by Rylands and Beazley in The Monuments of Bunbury Church, (1918), as follows:

"Here lies buried George Beeston, knight, a promoter of valour and truth; having been brought up from his youth in the arts of war [he was) chosen one of his company of pensioners by the invincible King Henry the Eighth, when he besieged Boulogne [1544]; he merited [the same] under Edward the Sixth in the battle against the Scots at Musselburgh [1547]. Afterwards under the same King, under Mary, and under Elizabeth, in the naval engagements as captain or vice-captain of the fleet, by whom, after that most mighty Spanish fleet of 1588, had been vanquished, he was honoured with the order of knighthood; and now, his years pressing heavily on him, when he had admirably approved his integrity to princes, and his bravery to his adversaries, acceptable to God, and dear to good men, and long expecting Christ, in the year 1601 and in the [refer below] of his age, he fell asleep in Him, so that he may rise again in Him with joy.

And together with him rests a most beloved wife, Alice, daughter of [Thomas] Davenport of Henbury, esquire, a matron most holy, chaste, and liberal to the poor, who, when she had lived in matrimony 66 years, and had borne to her husband three sons, John, Hugh, and Hugh, and as many daughters, Ann, Jane, and Dorothy, passed into the heavenly country in the year 1591 and in the [refer below] year of her age, with Christ for ever to live.

The dutifulness of their son Hugh Beeston, esquire, the younger, Receiver General of all the revenues of the Crown as well as in the county palatine of Chester as in the counties of North Wales, set up this monument to parents most excellent and beloved."

Under the semi-circular tomb arch and above Sir George Beeston's effigy in armour a further inscription, when translated, reads:

"Hugh Beeston, knight, son of George Beeston, knight, mindful of mortality, and in certain hope of rising again in Christ, placed this monument to his parents, himself, and George Beeston an only son, of the same knightly order, a youth, alas! snatched away by a too early death. Hugh, the father, died in the year of our salvation, 1627, but George, the son, 1611."

Sir George Beeston's tomb shows a representation of a Tudor ship that has many similarities to the Mary Rose of Henry VIII's reign, a vessel raised from the seabed within the last few years. A little is known about Sir George Beeston's ship, the Dreadnought, which was built in 1573. Her displacement was 400 tons, she carried 41 guns and her crew consisted of 130 mariners, 50 soldiers and 20 gunners.

Tantalizingly there are spaces on the epitaph for the ages of Sir George and Lady Alice which have been "filled-in" by eminent historians without quoting their information sources. There is some confusion, therefore, about Sir George Beeston's actual age when he was buried, at Bunbury, on 13 October 1601. Thomas Dingley, a visiting antiquary about 1684, attributed ages of 99 and 86 to Sir George and Lady Alice respectively on the dates of their burials. George Ormerod in The History of Cheshire states unequivocally, their ages as 102 and 86 respectively, and these ages have been quoted, almost without exception, ever since. Consequently, it must be concluded that George Ormerod, Cheshire's must eminent historian, did not examine Sir George Beeston's tomb.

A more recent author, however, J.C.Henderson, writing in 1981, on the History of Parliament, states that George Beeston was a pensioner between 1547 to at least 1589, Ranger of Delamere Forest in 1562, M.P. for Cheshire in 1589, and according to his father's inquisition post mortem he was 22 in 1542, thus implying Sir George was born c.1520. Clearly Henderson's dates are not incompatible with the career facts stated on the epitaph, but there is some difficulty reconciling Sir George's first marriage to Alice Davenport of Henbury. As stated unambiguously on their epitaph Sir George and Lady Alice Beeston had been married for 66 years in 1591.

Accordingly, if Henderson is to believed, it would mean that Sir George was married in 1525 when he was about 5 years old. If the age of Lady Alice, quoted by both Dingley and Ormerod, is correct, then Alice Davenport was 19 years old on her wedding day and would have resulted in a most unlikely "child plus adult marriage" - not impossible but improbable. If, however, both Dingley and Ormerod were altogether incorrect about their ages and a "child plus child" marriage took place then Henderson's contention gains some support by the birth of Sir George's second son, Hugh Beeston, reputedly born c.1545 when Lady Alice could have been in her twenties, rather than in her forties as implied by both Dingley and Ormerod. In the sixteenth century child marriages were not that uncommon and were performed for political and acquisitive reasons, and also because of short life-expectancies. Such an event took place in Bunbury on 25 June 1552, when John Dutton, aged 12 years or thereabouts, was child-married to Eleanor Calveley, daughter of Sir Hugh Calveley - "since which marriage, we two have for the much part cohabited together and used and taken each other as man and wife."

The mystery of Sir George Beeston's age must, therefore, remain a mystery.

As we learn from the larger monumental inscription Sir George had three sons and three daughters by his wife Alice. Lady Alice Beeston was the daughter of Thomas Davenport of Henbury, Esq., and married George Beeston in 1525. She died aged 86, and was buried in Bunbury on 9th April 1591. Lady Alice, therefore, enjoyed her title for about three years. Sir George married a second time to (Margaret?), daughter of George Ireland from the Hutte of co. Lancaster. [On the present-day Ford site, Halewood.] A third marriage was to Mary, daughter of James Chittwood (Chetwode) of Walcherton, the widow of ? Dorrington of Stafford.

Sir George Beeston did not reside at Beeston Castle which belonged to the Crown, but at the ancestral home of Beeston Hall. Little, if any, of the Beeston Hall known to Sir George now survives. It was moated, and was almost destroyed in the Civil War, being fired on by the soldiers of Prince Rupert. On 19 March 1645 the Prince dined with the lady of the house, and after dinner, told her he was sorry to make so bad a return to her hospitality and advised her to secure her valuables, as he had to order the house to be burned that night to prevent it being garrisoned by the enemy. (S3).

   * [S3]. John Elsworth, Churchwarden. Dated 23 May 2000. http://www.bunbury.org.uk/johnpapers/sirgeorgebeeston3.htm. 

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  • George Beeston
  • M, #73587, b. 12 September 1502
  • Father John Beeston b. c 1484, d. 26 Apr 1543
  • Mother Katherine Calveley b. c 1480
  • George Beeston was born on 12 September 1502 at of Beeston, Cheshire, England. He married Alice Davenport, daughter of Thomas Davenport and Elizabeth Fitton, circa 1535. George Beeston was buried on 13 September 1601 at Bunbury Church, Cheshire, England.
  • Family Alice Davenport b. c 1526
  • Child
    • Dorothy Beeston+ b. c 1544
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p2449.htm#i73587

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  • BEESTON, Sir George (c.1520-1601), of Beeston, Cheshire.
  • b. c.1520, 1st s. of John Beeston by Katherine, da. of Sir George Calverley of the Lea, Cheshire. m. (1) Alice (d.1591) da. of Thomas Davenport of Henbury, 2s. inc. Hugh 2da.; (2) a da. of George Ireland of the Hutt, Lancs., s.p.; (3) Mary, da. of James Chetwode, wid. of one Dorington, s.p. suc. fa. 1542. Kntd. 1588.1
  • Offices Held
    • Gent. pens. by 1547-at least 1589; ranger of Delamere forest, Cheshire 1562; j.p. Cheshire from c.1573, j.p.q. Chester by 1594.2
  • According to Ormerod, this Member’s memorial states that he was 102 when he died in 1601, causing biographers to comment on his fighting against the Armada at the age of 89. More prosaically, his father’s inquisition post mortem shows that he was 22 when he succeeded to the family estates in 1542. He was a considerable landowner in Cheshire, and held leases in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. The first mention of Beeston after he became head of the family is dated 1548, and is concerned with the siege of Boulogne and his distinguishing himself at the battle of Musselborough. His name is to be found on all the surviving lists of gentlemen pensioners from Mary’s reign, and he ‘went not with the Duke of Northumberland’ in August 1553. In Elizabeth’s reign he was a courtier, a note on a 1587 list of justices of the peace describing him as one who ‘lyeth at the court altogether’. Still, the records show him sometimes fighting at sea. In September 1562 he was one of the captains ordered to ‘keep the Narrow Seas’, and later he commanded the Dreadnought with distinction. About 1576 he was in charge of the shore defences at Gravesend.3
  • Like other Elizabethan gentlemen, Beeston seems to have exercised his combative instincts in local faction as well as in his country’s service. In 1574 he, his son Hugh, Lancelot Bostock and others were accused in the Star Chamber of assaulting a certain John Pryce. Giving evidence on Beeston’s behalf, his relative (Sir) George Calverley described him as ‘one of her Majesty’s gentlemen pensioners, of good desert and service to her highness, and of like worship and countenance in his county’.4
  • It was when he was an elderly man that Beeston reached the height of his career: in February 1588, at Queenborough, he commanded the four ‘great ships’ that were to sail with Charles Howard I, 2nd Lord Howard of Effingham, and after the Armada battle he was knighted by Howard on board the Ark Royal. In the following April he again held a command at sea.5
  • He died 13 Sept. 1601, and was buried at Bunbury, near Beeston. The heir, Hugh, was aged 56.6
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/beeston-sir-george-1520-1601

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  • Sir George Beeston1
  • M, #574682
  • Last Edited=28 Oct 2012
  • Child of Sir George Beeston
    • Jane Beeston+2
  • Citations
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 3576. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p57469.htm#i574682

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  • St Boniface's Church stands prominently in the village of Bunbury, Cheshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.[1] The church dates mainly from the 14th century. Its features include the Ridley chapel, the alabaster chest tomb of Sir Hugh Calveley and the tomb of Sir George Beeston. Richards considers it is architecturally one of the most important examples of its period in Cheshire.[2] Alec Clifton-Taylor includes it in his list of 'best' English parish churches.[3] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Malpas. Its benefice is combined with that of St Jude, Tilstone Fearnall.[4]
  • .... etc.

Monuments

  • Sir Hugh Calveley (d.1394)
  • Sir George Beeston (d.1601)
  • In the north wall of the sanctuary is the tomb of Sir George Beeston who was the commander of Dreadnought when it fought against the Spanish Armada. At this time he was aged 88, and he died at the age of 102.[10] The Latin inscription is as follows, translated into English:[11]
    • "Here lies buried George Beeston, knight, a promoter of valour and truth; having been brought up from his youth in the arts of war he was chosen one of his company of pensioners by the invincible King Henry the Eighth, when he besieged Boulogne [1544]; he merited [the same] under Edward the Sixth in the battle against the Scots at Musselburgh [1547]. Afterwards under the same King, under Mary, and under Elizabeth, in the naval engagements as captain or vice-captain of the fleet, by whom, after that most mighty Spanish fleet of 1588, had been vanquished, he was honoured with the order of knighthood; and now, his years pressing heavily on him, when he had admirably approved his integrity to princes, and his bravery to his adversaries, acceptable to God, and dear to good men, and long expecting Christ, in the year 1601 and in the ... of his age, he fell asleep in Him, so that he may rise again in Him with joy. And together with him rests a most beloved wife, Alice, daughter of [Thomas] Davenport of Henbury, esquire, a matron most holy, chaste, and liberal to the poor, who, when she had lived in matrimony 66 years, and had borne to her husband three sons, John, Hugh, and Hugh, and as many daughters, Ann, Jane, and Dorothy, passed into the heavenly country in the year 1591 and in the [refer below] year of her age, with Christ for ever to live. The dutifulness of their son Hugh Beeston, esquire, the younger, Receiver General of all the revenues of the Crown as well as in the county palatine of Chester as in the counties of North Wales, set up this monument to parents most excellent and beloved."
  • His daughter Dorothy (d.29 July 1601) became the wife of John Copleston Esq. (d.1606), of Eggesford, Devon, and their sole daughter Anne Copleston (1588-1616) married Edward Chichester, 1st Viscount Chichester (1568-1648) Governor of Carrickfergus and Lord High Admiral of Lough Neagh, in Ireland.[12] Under the semi-circular tomb arch and above Sir George Beeston's effigy in armour a further inscription, when translated, reads:
    • "Hugh Beeston, knight, son of George Beeston, knight, mindful of mortality, and in certain hope of rising again in Christ, placed this monument to his parents, himself, and George Beeston an only son, of the same knightly order, a youth, alas! snatched away by a too early death. Hugh, the father, died in the year of our salvation, 1627, but George, the son, 1611."
  • .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Boniface%27s_Church,_Bunbury

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  • Sir Hugh Beeston (ca. 1547 – February 1626) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1589 and 1614.
  • Beeston was the second son of Sir George Beeston of Beeston and his first wife. Sir George baptised both his two eldest sons Hugh which leads to confusion. Hugh Beeston was awarded BA at Oxford University in 1563 and entered Lincoln's Inn in 1565. This is taken to be the younger Hugh who was deputy comptroller for Cheshire and Flintshire in 1585 and in 1589. It is likely that he was also the Member of Parliament for several constituencies that were open to court influence. In 1589, he was elected Member of Parliament for Bodmin. He was J.P. for Cheshire from about 1592. In 1593 he was elected MP for West Looe in 1593.[1]
  • .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Beeston

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  • Edward Chichester, 1st Viscount Chichester (1568 – 8 July 1648) of Eggesford in Devon, was Governor of Carrickfergus and Lord High Admiral of Lough Neagh, in Ireland.
  • .... etc.
  • Edward Chichester married twice:
  • Firstly in 1605 to Anne Copleston (1588–1616), the sole daughter and heiress of John Copleston Esq., (died 1606) of Eggesford by his wife Dorothy Biston (died 29 July 1601).[4] They had the following .... etc.
  • On the wall to the right above the monument is a black stone tablet inscribed as a memorial to Anne Copleston's parents:
    • "Here lyeth buried ye bodies of John Copleston Esq., & Dorothie his wife daughter to Sr. George Biston of Biston Castel in Chelshere, knight. They had issue Anne their sole daught. & heire who is now maryed to Edwarde Chichester Esq., one of ye sonnes of Sr. John Chichester of Rawleigh, knight, in whose memory the said Edwarde Chichester their son in law hath erected this monument in ye yere 1614. She departed ye 29 of July in ye yere 1601 he departed ye 11 of ... in ye yere 1606, living together 30 yeres in much peace w.th God & lovinge societie e.ch w.th other".
  • Sir George Beeston (c. 1520 – 1601) of Beeston House near Bunbury, Crewe, Cheshire, acquired Beeston Castle from the Crown shortly before his death. He was a naval captain who commanded HMS Dreadnought against the Spanish Armada in 1588, and was knighted at sea on board the Ark Royal by Lord Howard of Effingham the Lord High Admiral. He served as MP for Cheshire in 1589. His wife, and Dorothy's mother, was Alice Davenport (died 1591), daughter of Thomas Davenport Esq., of Henbury. Sir George's effigy and elaborate monument exists against the north wall of the sanctuary in St Boniface's Church, Bunbury.[15]
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Chichester,_1st_Viscount_Chichester

____________________

  • BEESTON, Hugh (c.1547-1626), of Denbighshire and Beeston, Cheshire.
  • b. c.1547, prob. 2nd s. of Sir George Beeston of Beeston by his 1st w. educ. ?BA Oxf. 1563; L. Inn 1565. m. Margaret, da. of Roger Downes, wid. of Philip Worth of Titherington, 2s. d.v.p. 1da. Kntd. 1603; suc. bro. 1608.
  • Offices Held
    • Dep. comptroller, Cheshire, Flints. 1585, comptroller 1589; receiver gen. of the revenue in the Exchequer for Cheshire and N. Wales by Apr. 1595; j.p. Cheshire from c.1592, Denb. 1596.
  • Sir George Beeston’s two eldest sons, born within two years of each other, were both christened Hugh, and until 1603, when the younger was knighted, it is difficult to distinguish their careers. There is no evidence as to which brother was educated at Oxford and Lincoln’s Inn. On the whole it is more likely that Hugh the younger, who was certainly the receiver general, was also the Member of Parliament for so many constituencies open to court influence. As an Exchequer official he was in touch with Burghley, and became a close friend of Sir Robert Cecil—connexions which probably secured him the seats at Bodmin and West Looe, and almost certainly at Knaresborough: Cecil had become chancellor of the duchy barely a fortnight before the Knaresborough election. Again, it was presumably Cecil who asked his brother-in-law the 11th Lord Cobham, lord warden of the Cinque Ports, to nominate Beeston at Winchelsea. His elder brother joined him once, sitting for Stafford in 1604 until his death in 1608.
  • .... etc.
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/beeston-hugh-1547-1626

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  • BEESTON, Hugh (c.1545-1608), of Beeston, Cheshire and Stafford, Staffs.
  • b. c.1545, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir George Beeston† of Beeston and his 1st w. Alice, da. of Thomas Davenport of Henbury, Cheshire; bro. of Sir Hugh*. m. (1) Thomasine, da. of John Copleston of Eggesford, Devon, 2s. d.v.p.; (2) 7 May 1579, Margaret (bur. 21 Jan. 1595), da. of Thomas Ireland of The Hutt, Halewood, Lancs., wid. of John Aston of Aston, Cheshire, s.p.; (3) Margaret (bur. Apr. 1612), da. of James Chetwode of Worleston, Cheshire, wid. of Richard Dorington (d.1597), mercer, of Stafford, s.p.; 1 illegit. s. suc. fa. 1601, aged 56+.1 d. 3 May 1608.2
  • Offices Held
    • J.p. Cheshire c.1592-d.;3 commr. charitable uses, Staffs. 1599;4 bailiff (jt.), Stafford 1600-1, capital burgess 1605-d.5
  • The Beestons had been seated in the Cheshire village from which they took their name since at least the thirteenth century. Beeston’s father, a courtier, soldier and naval commander, was knighted on board the Ark Royal after the defeat of the Armada, and was returned for Cheshire in the following year. Beeston himself preferred a quieter life with his hawks, although it may have been he rather than his more ambitious brother who fought in Ireland, where their father was an undertaker.6 He settled in Stafford in the late 1590s after his third marriage to a widow .... etc.
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/beeston-hugh-1545-1608

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  • BEESTON, Sir Hugh (c.1547-1627), of Plas Cadwgan, Denb.; later of Beeston, Cheshire
  • b. c.1547, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir George Beeston† (d.1601) of Beeston and his 1st w. Alice, da. of Thomas Davenport of Henbury, Cheshire; bro. of Hugh*.1 educ. Oxf. BA 1563; L. Inn 1565.2 m. by 1583, Margaret (bur. 25 Mar. 1615), da. of Laurence Downes of Shrigley, Cheshire, wid. of Philip Worth of Tytherington, Cheshire, 2s. d.v.p. 1da. kntd. 7 May 1603; suc. bro. 1608. d. 24 Feb. 1627.3
  • Offices Held
    • Dep. comptroller of records and fines, Cheshire, Flints. and Caern. 1585-9, comptroller 1589-1625;4 j.p. Denb. 1592-at least 1612, Cheshire by 1604-at least 1608, 1617-at least 1624;5 recvr.-gen. Cheshire and N. Wales 1594-1603;6 commr. sewers, Cheshire, Denb., Flint, 1607,7 subsidy, Cheshire 1608, 1624, ?1626, aid 1609,8 inquiry into the lands of Sir John Davis, Mdx. 1610.9
    • Treas. Azores 1597;10 member, embassy to France 1598.11
    • As a younger son from a long-established Cheshire family, Beeston is easily confused with his elder brother and namesake, who was returned for Stafford in 1604. Nevertheless it is clear that it was this Member who formed a life-long friendship with Sir Michael Hicks* at Lincoln’s Inn. It was doubtless through Hicks that Beeston attracted the patronage of Sir Robert Cecil†, who wrote in 1611 that he had ‘long known and favoured’ Beeston.12
  • .... etc.
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/beeston-sir-hugh-1547-1627

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  • Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire for the year .. (1855)
  • http://www.archive.org/details/transactionsofhi70hist
  • https://archive.org/stream/transactionsofhi70hist#page/75/mode/1up
  • 1 Translation :
  • Here lies buried George Beeston, knight, a promoter of valour and truth ; having been brought up from his youth in the arts of war, [he was] chosen one of his company of pensioners by the invincible king Henry VIIl., when he besieged Boulogne; he merited [the same] under Edward VI., in the battle against the Scots at Musselburgh. Afterwards, under the same king, under Mary, and under Elizabeth, in the naval engagements, as captain or vice-captain of the fleet, by whom, after that most mighty Spanish fleet of 1588 had been vanquished, he was honoured with the order of knighthood ; and now, his years pressing heavily on him, when he had admirably approved his integrity to princes, and his bravery to his adversaries, acceptable to God, and dear to good men, and long expecting Christ, in the year 1601 and in the 99th of his age, he fell asleep in Him, so that he may rise again in Him with joy. And together with him rests a most beloved wife, Alice, daughter of [Thomas] Davenport of Henbury, esquire, a matron most holy, chaste, and liberal towards the poor, who, when she had lived in matrimony 66 years, and had borne to her husband three sons, John, Hugh, and Hugh, and as many daughters, Ann, Jane, and Dorothy, passed into the heavenly country in the year 1591, and in the 86th year of her age, with Christ for ever to live. The dutifulness of their son Hugh Beeston, esquire, the younger. Receiver General of all the revenues of the Crown as well in the county palatine of Chester as in the counties of North Wales, set up this monument to parents most excellent and beloved.
    • Whose memory [is preserved] in blessings.
    • Sacred to their Memory.

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view all 11

Sir George Beeston's Timeline

1501
September 12, 1501
Beeston, Cheshire, England
1522
1522
Age 20
Over Broughton, Nottinghamshire, , England
1525
1525
Age 23
Abt. 1521 Beeston, Cheshire, England
1526
1526
Age 24
Of, Beeston, Cheshire, England
1526
Age 24
Beeston, Cheshire, , England
1529
1529
Age 27
Of, Beeston, Cheshire, England
1540
1540
Age 38
Of, Beeston, Cheshire, England
1579
1579
Age 77
of, Hutt, Lancashire, England
1601
September 13, 1601
Age 100
Bunbury, Cheshire, England
September 13, 1601
Age 100
Bunbury Church, Cheshire, England