Rev. Richard Edwardes

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Richard Edwardes

Also Known As: "Richard E Edwards", "Rev. Richard Tudor"
Birthplace: North Petherton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas "William" Edwards; Agnes Blewett and Agnes Edwards
Husband of Helen (or Helene) Edwards; Margaret Edwards and Helen Edwards
Father of Richard Edwards; William Edwards; Marie Edwards; Gwen Edwardes; Elizabeth Edwards and 5 others
Brother of William Edwards; Christopher Edwardes and Henry Edwards

Occupation: Poet, Playright, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Richard Edwardes

Rev. Richard Edwardes (1523 - 1566) was an English poet and playwright; he was made a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and was master of the singing boys. He was known for his comedies and interludes, but was also rumoured to be an illegitimate son of Henry VIII

He was born October 1523 in North Petherton, Somerset, England and died October 31, 1567, in Edwards Hall, Glamorgan, Near Cardiff, South Wales.

Parents: Stepfather Thomas Edwardes and Agnes Blewitt.


  1. on April 22, 1560, in Parish of North Petherton, England to Margaret Babb
  2. abt. 1562, in England, to Helene Griffith. She was born Abt. 1534 in England and died aft. 1567 in England.

Children of Margaret Babb and Richard Edwards:

  1. Richard Edwards+(2), born and baptized November 09, 1561 in North Petherton, Somerset, England. Married firstly to married Ellenor6 Thomas July 22,1583 in Oswestry and 2nd to Ann Riffin or Griffin.

Children of Helene Griffith and Richard Edwards:

  1. Marie born about 1562,
  2. Gwyn born about 1563, died about 1603.
  3. Elizabeth born about 1564,
  4. John born March 15 1564/65 in North Petherton, Somerset, England; he was a merchant of London and married Ellenor Pursloe on October 23 1586 in St. Nicholas Church, London, England; he died December 16 1604 in St. Nicholas Parish, London, England.
  5. Richard Jr. born November 22 1566 in North Petherton, Somerset, England.


a body of priests and singers who serve the spiritual needs of their sovereign wherever they are called upon to do so.

Biographical notes

English composer and poet, Richard became Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal in 1561 and wrote two plays for them. His five surviving songs, of which the most famous is "In Going to my Naked Bed", show the influence of the Franco-Flemish style on English music before the arrival of the Italian madrigal. Three keyboard arrangements of 3 part-songs (only one assigned to him, but the other two assumed to be his from his authorship of the words) survive in MS.

Richard Edwards was educated at Oxford, receiving both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. He considered the law as a career, entering Lincoln's Inn Field, but never took up the practice. Instead he became master of the children at the Chapel Royal, where he created musical dramas that the children's choir could perform. The composition, 'Palamon and Arcite' was written for the Queen, and was performed at Oxford. The Queen was impressed with the piece, and intended to bestow a gift on Edwards, but he died soon after the performance.

Little more is known of Edwards' life. Edwards' importance as a playwright is that he instigated the basing of the English tragedy on the Latin classical model. His plays were classical in subject, but were set in a contemporary world. The only play of his that is still in existence is 'Damon and Pithias' (1571).



  1. [S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 947. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  2. [S8] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.

Works on line include

A question of parentage

The story says Henry VIII is known to have had 6 wives and several mistresses during his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. One mistress is said to been Agnes Blewitt. King Henry the VIII is said to have fathered a son with her, whom was born after her marriage to William Edwards. She and William named the son Richard Edwards. Agnes and William Edwards lived adjacent to the King's Hunting lodge in Somerset, England. The Edwards had other children with birth and baptism records stating William and Agnes as the parents, but there is no records for Richard.

Richard was afforded many favorable opportunities as a young man, including a post at Christ Church College in Oxford. Finally, he was included in the inner circle of the royal family, both during the lifetime and after the death of Henry VIII. This was the pattern of favoritism shown other known bastard children of Henry VIII. A book on the subject was written in 1992 by David Dean Edwards called 'Edward's Legacy'.

parentage discussions

Comments from Geni discussion include:

"it cant be much of a rumor because I have not been told i was wrong. I have sent my brothers Ydna results to the Society of Genealogists. Richard was henry sons dna shows Henry's line are a R1b1a2 as is my brothers fathers. If I was wrong they would have sent me a letter informing me my lines are incorrect."

And she further notes:

***I believe I've done enough research to be sure about Richards true lineage. It is believed that his mother Agnes, became pregnant for Richard during her time at court. Her other two children William & Henry are the only two on record as the sons of husband, William.

The Family Tree DNA - Edwards Y-DNA Surname Project as of May 2014 shows:

  • Edwards
  • Goronwy Ap Tudor, Born 1275, Died 1371. Wales
  • R1b1 DNA Unassigned
  • R-P312


▼ Disputed Lineages The paternity of Richard Edwardes is a matter of active dispute. The candidates being Thomas Edwardes and Henry VIII. Among the points of relevant discussion:

It is suggested by some researchers, including David Dean Edwards, author of "The Edwards Legacy" (1992), that Agnes Blewitt was mistress to King Henry VIII, and her son Richard was fathered by King Henry, not her husband, William Edwardes. Some indicators of his parentage, in this researchers opinion, are that Henry did provide a stipend for Richard, and provided financial wherewithal for him to attend Oxford. Agnes was honored with the addition of Tudor Roses to her personal crest, but no blood link to the Tudors has as yet been found in her line to justify that addition.

Experts agree there is no evidence Agnes was ever at Court. Edwards genealogists don't argue. Instead, they say Henry VIII had a hunting lodge at Huntworth in Somerset, near where Agnes lived. Agnes' son Richard Edwardes was born at North Petherton, two miles away. However, Henry VIII only visited the West Country once, in 1535, while Richard Edwardes, his supposed son was born there 10-12 years earlier, between 1523 and 1525. Further, the Victoria County History, a very comprehensive source for local history, makes no mention of a royal hunting lodge at North Petherton, at Huntworth, or anywhere else in the area.

Richard was born in 1523-24, and died in 1566. A composer and poet, he was Master of the Children of the Chapel Royale, and wrote two plays for them. His five surviving songs, of which the most famous is "In Going To My Naked Bed". His composition, "Palamon and Arcite" was written for the Queen (Elizabeth) and was performed at Oxford.

Another link to Henry would be Richard's career in the clergy of the Anglican Church, founded by Henry VIII as the national religion and justifying his (Henrys) break with the Roman Catholic Church over the Popes refusal of a divorce.


Rev. Richard Edwardes (1523 - 1566) was an English poet and playwright; he was made a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and was master of the singing boys. He was known for his comedies and interludes, but was also rumoured to be an illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

Richard Edward(e)s, was born Oct of 1523-25 in North Petherton, Somerset, England. His parents of record are William Thomas Edwardes of North Petherton and Agnes Blewett of Holcombe Rogus, Devon. 

Some researchers and Brit historians believe that Richard is an illegitimate son of Henry VIII (Tudor) and Agnes Blewitt, as Agnes was at court just prior to her pregnancy and Henry VIII provided a stipend for Richard's childhood support, and guaranteed and paid for his education at Oxford. Richard's mother, Agnes Blewitt, was allowed to add the Tudor roses to her personal crest. 

Though educated at Oxford to be a lawyer, Richard Edwardes never practiced law, and instead became a cleric in the Anglican Church. He was a poet and playwright of some renoun, writing such rousing plays as Palemon and Arcite for the entertainment of (his supposed half sister) Queen Elizabeth. His passing was noted by a contemporary of the time as being a writer of the same class as Shakespeare. 

Richard Edwards married Helene Griffith in about 1560. I have found as many as 6 children listed as being born to this marriage in the six years prior to his death in 1566. 

Some feel that any researcher listing Henry VIII as the paternal line for Richard Edwardes is "Royalty Hunting". But if the William Thomas Edwards line is traced through to its early sources in Wales, it descends on a direct line through generations of Welsh kings to Coel Hen, the last Dux Brittorium, or King of All Britian, ca between 150 and 400 A. D. 

From Geni User Angela Carnes

Richard Edwards is Henry VIII's son. DNA has been proven. I dont need to Royal hunt. Thomas Edwardes even said in his manuscripts Richard wasnt his. Agnes is of noble background and was not of lesser Aristocracy like Anne Boleyn Katherine Howard.

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Rev. Richard Edwardes's Timeline

October 1525
North Petherton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
May 11, 1540
Age 14
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
April 22, 1560
Age 34
North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, England

Margaret Babb
England Marriages, 1538–1973
Marriage: Apr 22 1560 - North Petherton, Somerset, England
Husband: Richard Edwardes

November 9, 1561
Age 36
North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Age 36
Somerset, England
Age 36
London, United Kingdom
Age 36
London, England
Age 37
North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Age 38
Somerset, England
March 15, 1565
Age 39
North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset, England