Isabella Harington (Markham) (1527 - 1579) MP

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Birthplace: Allerton, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Died in London, England
Occupation: Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber of Queen Elizabeth I of England
Managed by: Nancy Sawalich
Last Updated:

About Isabella Harington (Markham)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Markham

Isabella Markham, Lady Harington (28 March 1527 – 20 May 1579), was an English courtier, a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber of Queen Elizabeth I of England and a personal favourite of the queen. Isabella Markham was muse to the court official and poet John Harington, who wrote sonnets and poems addressed to her, before and after they married. Thomas Palfreyman dedicated his Divine Meditations to her in 1572.

-------------------- http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/rodgers1908/ollerton2.htm :

"Isabella, sister of the above Thomas Markham, was maid of honour to the Princess Elizabeth before she came to the throne, and a favourite. She was a lady of great beauty, and the subject of many amorous letters from Sir John Harrington. With the approval of the Princess, Sir John and " sweete Isabella Markham" were married, and shortly afterwards Elizabeth was committed to the Tower for not conforming to the Catholic faith. Lady Harrington and her husband were also severely punished, both being sent to the Tower; she on account of her heresy, and Sir John for forwarding a letter to the Princess. Through life they retained Elizabeth's favour and intimacy, who became godmother to their son, in whose welfare she also took a lively interest."

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from http://www.kateemersonhistoricals.com/TudorWomen4.htm

"ISABELLA MARKHAM (March 28, 1527-May 20, 1579)

Isabella Markham was the daughter of Sir John Markham of Coltham, Nottinghamshire (1500-1564) and his third wife, Anne Strelley. She married John Harington of Stepney (1525-July 1, 1582) as his second wife. She may have met him when he was imprisoned in the Tower from around February 1549 until early 1550, as her father was Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London at that time, but other records indicate that she was already in the service of Elizabeth Tudor. Upon Elizabeth’s arrest in March 1554, Isabella went to stay with a Mr. Topcliffe. Harington had been at Cheshunt with Elizabeth just before that, in January, and was arrested on February 8, 1554 on the basis of a compromising letter connecting him to the conspiracy of Sir Thomas Wyatt. He was held for eleven months and was finally released on January 18, 1555 on a bond of £100. Harington’s first wife, Ethelreda Malte, was one of Elizabeth's attendants for the duration of her incarceration. Isabella was the subject of Harington's poems, all of them written before his wife's death. Isabella returned to Elizabeth’s household in October 1554, when Elizabeth was set free, and remained part of that household after Elizabeth became queen. The date of Isabella’s marriage to Harington is unknown, but it was after April 1, 1559. Their son, John, was christened on August 4, 1560. Queen Elizabeth was his godmother. Their other children were Robert (d. December 6, 1601), Elizabeth (b.1559?), Francis (1564-January 22, 1639), and James (1565-1592). Isabella was a lady of the privy chamber from 1558 until her death and was rarely absent from court. She received the dedication of Thomas Palfreyman’s Divine Meditations in 1572. Biography: Most of the known facts about Isabella are included in Ruth Hughey’s John Harington of Stepney."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------- Isabella, sister of Thomas Markham, was maid of honour to the Princess Elizabeth before she came to the throne, and a favourite. She was a lady of great beauty, and the subject of many amorous letters from Sir John Harrington.

With the approval of the Princess, Sir John and " sweete Isabella Markham" were married, and shortly afterwards Elizabeth was committed to the Tower for not conforming to the Catholic faith. Lady Harrington and her husband were also severely punished, both being sent to the Tower; she on account of her heresy, and Sir John for forwarding a letter to the Princess.

Through life they retained Elizabeth's favour and intimacy, who became godmother to their son, in whose welfare she also took a lively interest.

Another account:

Isabella Markham was the daughter of Sir John Markham of Coltham, Nottinghamshire (1500-1564) and his third wife, Anne Strelley. She married John Harington of Stepney (1525-July 1, 1582) as his second wife. She may have met him when he was imprisoned in the Tower from around February 1549 until early 1550, as her father was Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London at that time, but other records indicate that she was already in the service of Elizabeth Tudor.

Upon Elizabeth’s arrest in March 1554, Isabella went to stay with a Mr. Topcliffe. Harington had been at Cheshunt with Elizabeth just before that, in January, and was arrested on February 8, 1554 on the basis of a compromising letter connecting him to the conspiracy of Sir Thomas Wyatt. He was held for eleven months and was finally released on January 18, 1555 on a bond of £100. Harington’s first wife, Ethelreda Malte, was one of Elizabeth's attendants for the duration of her incarceration.

Isabella was the subject of Harington's poems, all of them written before his wife's death.

Isabella returned to Elizabeth’s household in October 1554, when Elizabeth was set free, and remained part of that household after Elizabeth became queen.

The date of Isabella’s marriage to Harington is unknown, but it was after April 1, 1559. Their son, John, was christened on August 4, 1560. Queen Elizabeth was his godmother. Their other children were Robert (d. December 6, 1601), Elizabeth (b.1559?), Francis (1564-January 22, 1639), and James (1565-1592).

Isabella was a lady of the privy chamber from 1558 until her death and was rarely absent from court.

She received the dedication of Thomas Palfreyman’s Divine Meditations in 1572.

Biography: Most of the known facts about Isabella are included in Ruth Hughey’s John Harington of Stepney.

Isabella's marriage to Sir John seems to have been a love match. Here, a poem from John to Isabella:

ON ISABELLA MARKHAM. HARRINGTON.

WHENCE comes my love ? O heart, disclose ;

'Twas from cheeks that shame the rose ;

From lips that spoil the rubies praise ;

From eyes that mock the diamond blaze.

Whence comes my woe, as freely own ;

Ah me ! 'twas from a heart like stone.

The blushing cheek speaks modest mind,

The lips befitting words most kind ;

The eye does tempt to love's desire,

And seems to say, 'tis Cupid's fire ;

Yet all so fair but speak my moan,

Since nought doth say the heart of stone.

Why thus, my love, so kind bespeak

Sweet lip, sweet eye, sweet blushing cheek,

Yet not a heart to save my pain ?

O Venus ! take thy gifts again ;

Make not so fair to cause our moan,

perforce make a heart that's like our own. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Markham

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Isabella Harington's Timeline

1527
March 28, 1527
Allerton, Nottinghamshire, England
1551
1551
Age 23
England
1554
1554
Age 26
England
1559
1559
Age 31
Kelston, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
1561
August 4, 1561
Age 34
Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
1564
1564
Age 36
Kelston, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
1565
1565
Age 37
1579
May 20, 1579
Age 52
London, England
May 26, 1579
Age 52
London, Middlesex, England