Mary Michelgrove

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Mary Michelgrove (Sidney)

Also Known As: "Anne"
Birthplace: Penhurst, Sussex, England
Death: Died in Penhurst, Sussex, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Sidney, MP and Cecily Sydney (Mitchell)
Wife of John Michelgrove, Esq.
Mother of Elizabeth Shelley
Sister of William Sidney, MP

Managed by: Ken Jon Schonberg
Last Updated:

About Mary Michelgrove

4. John Shelley, who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir to John Michelgrove, Esq. (by Mary his wife, daughter of Sir Wm. Sydney of Penshurst, Kent)


From Subject: Re: William Sidney (d.1449) of Kingsham, Sussex and Cranley, Surrey 2012

On Oct 25, 2012 (xxx) wrote:

Greetings all...

Does anyone have any information on the family and wives of William Sidney who was MP for Sussex in 1429 and 1433 and died in 1449. He was buried at Cranley, Surrey.

I am descended from his daughter Ann who married John Michelgrove (d. 1459) of Michelgrove in Clapham, Sussex. I think Ann Sidney was born mid to late 1430's and she later married an Apsley after her first husband died.

William apparenty had 3 wives or possibly only two according to some sources. His wives seem to be Cecily Michell, Elizabeth (or Isabel) St. John and finally Thomasine Lunsford nee Barrington. I think Elizabeth St. John is my Ann's mother as this seems to fit with the know chronology.

But who is Isabel or Elizabeth St. John? One source has her as a daughter of Lord St. John but I can find no evidence of this in Complete Peerage as the Last Lord St. John at the appropriate time was a Poynings.

Any help will be appreciated.

Brenden (Gold Coast, Qld)

There is much uncertainty about the origins of the Sidney/Sydney family, and particularly in regard to this William (d. 1449) and his son William (d. 1477), both of whom were MPs. in the biography of the younger William in Wedgwood's History of Parliament 1439-1509 (pp. 768-9), it says "whether his mother or wife were Cecily, Isabel, or Thomasine - a Mitchell or a St. John or a Barrington - and who was really the ancestor of the House of Penshurst remains in 15th century obscurity". A footnote to this account cites three conflicting pedigrees of the family.

Part of the problem is that during the Tudor era the family commissioned Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms, to construct a pedigree for them. According to a long note in CP 7:553, the resulting pedigree is clearly a forgery - although when it starts being accurate (if at all) is unclear. You can see a printed edition of the forged pedigree in the original series of Misc. Genealogica et Heraldica, 2:161ff, available for download here:

As to the daughter who married John Michelgrove, I've seen her variously named Anne or Mary, and also variously assigned as a daughter of either the elder or the younger William. I think a chronological case can probably be made for either William as her father. BTW the sidney daughter who married an Appsley appears to be a separate individual from the one who married Michelgrove.

There's probably no single reliable source for this family in this time period - despite what industrious googlers may find and assume to be correct. :-)


  • Googlebooks The Baronetage of England: Or The History of the English Baronets, and Such Baronets of Scotland, as are of English Families; with Genealogical Tables, and Engravings of Their Coats of Arms, Volume 1.  William Betham.  Burrell and Bransby, 1801 - Baronetage.  "Shelley of Michelgrove, Sussex.". Page 68-69
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Mary Michelgrove's Timeline

Penhurst, Sussex, England
Age 21
Clapham, Sussex, England, (Present UK)
March 29, 1460
Age 32
Clapham, Sussex , England
Age 50
Penhurst, Sussex, England
November 26, 1991
Age 50
February 21, 1992
Age 50