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Mary Honywood (Attwater)

Nicknames: "Mary Honywood"
Birthplace: Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
Death: Died in Earls Colne, Kent, England
Place of Burial: St. Mary's Church, Lenham, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert W E Atwaters, Esq. and Katherine Atwater
Wife of Robert Honywood, Esq.
Mother of Robert Honywood; Katherine Honywood; Priscilla Honywood; Anthony Honywood; Thomas Honywood and 12 others
Sister of Thomas Atwater; Joyce Atwater; Elizabeth Atwater and John Atwater

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Honywood (Attwater)

MARY WATERS or ATWATER (1527-May 11, 1620)

Mary Waters was the daughter of Robert Waters of Lenham, Kent (c.1500-1565) and Katherine Bright of Royton. She married Robert Honywood or Honeywood of Charing, Kent in February 1543. They had sixteen children—Robert, Katherine, Priscilla, Anthony, Thomas, Mary, Anne, Grace, Arthur, Walter, Elizabeth, Susan, Bennett, Dorothy, Isaack, and Joyce. During the reign of Queen Mary, she visited prisons to give comfort to the heretics held there. She attended at least one execution by burning. From the age of forty, Mary supposedly suffered from consumption but since she lived to be ninety-three, this seems to have been an inaccurate diagnosis. In 1591, having believed herself to be possessed by a devil for more than a dozen years, she was exorcised by one William Hacket, later revealed to be a charlatan. In 1605 her son Robert bought Marks Hall, where Mary spent the rest of her life. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Honeywood [née Waters], Mary.” Portraits: 1597; 1605; line engraving.

Christie's Biographical Information

From Christie's website which listed information concerning her portrait (the one attached to this profile of her, which portrait was sold for £10,580 or $17,187 in 1997), the following biographical information is given:

"The sitter was the daughter and co-heiress of Robert Waters of Lenham, Kent, and married in 1543, aged 16, Robert Honywood of Charing, Kent, by whom she had sixteen children. She achieved quite a reputation both for her longevity and for the exceptional number of her descendants. She is reputed to have lived to see one hundred and fourteen grandchildren, two hundred and twenty-eight great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren. Her grandson Dr. Michael Honywood, Dean of Lincoln, recalled a banquet given by her for her descendants, two hundred of whom were present."

-------------------- Birth: 1527 Lenham Kent, England Death: May 16, 1620 Essex, England

She was married in February 1543, at the age of sixteen, to Robert Honywood of Postling in Kent.

She had sixteen children. Two died young. An account of the remaining fourteen is given in "Morant's History of Essex". She lived to see three hundred and sixty-seven of her descendents, nine of them being in the fourth generation.

Mrs. Honywood was on many accounts distinguished, but chiefly for her Christian character, for her attachment to the Protestant doctrines, and her fearless manifestation of sympathy with the Reformers. A sketch of her life can be found in the "History of the Croke Family" by Sir Alexander Croke.

Mrs. Honywood was buried at St. Mary's Church, near her husband, though a monument was erected to her memory at Mark's Hall in Essex by her eldest son, Robert Honywood.

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Mary Honywood's Timeline

Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
February 1543
Age 16
Shroftyde, Kent, England
February 1543
Age 16
Shroftyde, Kent, England
September 18, 1545
Age 18
Charing, Kent, , England
December 19, 1546
Age 19
Chartham, Kent, UK
Age 21
Charing, Kent, England
Age 23
Charing, Kent, England
Age 24
Petts, Co. Kent, England
Age 26
Charing, Kent, England
Age 28
Charing, Kent, England