Sir Dudley Digges, MP

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Dudley Digges, MP

Also Known As: "Duddley Digges", "Dudley Diggs"
Birthplace: Diggs Court, Barh, Kent, England
Death: Died in Chilham Castle, Kent, , England
Place of Burial: St. Mary Churchyard, Chilham, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Thomas Digges; Thomas Digges and Anne (Agnes) St Leger
Husband of Lady Mary Kempe
Father of Dudley Digges; Thomas Digges; John Digges; Anne Digges; Edward Digges, Colonial Governor of Virginia and 1 other
Brother of Leonard Digges; Ursula Digges; Margaret Digges; William Digges; Mary Digges and 1 other

Occupation: Member of Parliament, Ambassador to Russia and Special Ambassador to Holland, Sir, of Chilham Castle
Managed by: Ralph Edward Tarvin
Last Updated:

About Sir Dudley Digges, MP

Dudley Digges

Sir Dudley Digges (19 May c. 1583 – 18 March 1639) was an English diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1610 and 1629. He was also a "Virginia adventurer," an investor who ventured his capital in the Virginia Company of London.

Digges was the son of the mathematician Sir Thomas Digges of Digges Court, Barham, Kent and his wife Anne St Leger (died 1636), daughter of Warham St Leger.[1] He matriculated at University College, Oxford on 18 July 1600 aged 17 and was awarded BA on 1 July 1601. He was knighted by James I at Whitehall on 29 April 1607.[2]

In 1610 Digges was elected Member of Parliament for the newly enfranchised constituency of Tewkesbury.[3] He was a friend of Henry Hudson and in 1610 he was one of those who fitted out Hudson for his last voyage. As a result, Digges' name was given to Digges Islands, at the mouth of Hudson Bay in Canada, and to Cape Digges, at the easternmost extremity of these islands. In 1614 Digges was re-elected MP for Tewkesbury to the Addled Parliament.[4] He backed the explorations of William Baffin in 1615 and 1616, with several of the same group of "adventurers". In 1616 he completed his mansion of Chilham Castle, Kent.

Digges became a gentleman of the privy chamber in 1618.[2] He was named ambassador to Muscovy in 1618–19 and Special Ambassador to Holland in 1620. In 1621, he was re-elected MP for Tewkesbury. He was re-elected MP for Tewkesbury in 1624, 1625 and 1626.[3] In that parliament, he was active in the impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham during the crisis of 1626 that followed the aborted expedition to Cadiz,[5] when Digges and Archbishop Abbot co-operated to co-ordinate the attacks in the Houses of Lords and Commons. Digges was for a time imprisoned in the Fleet Prison by order of the King, but was released on apologizing to the King, an act that John Eliot was unwilling to perform. In 1628 Digges was elected MP for Kent and sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.

In 1631 Digges became a bencher of Gray's Inn and was master in chancery from 1631 to 1637.[2] In the same year, he was one of the commission appointed by the Privy Council "to consider how the plantation of Virginia now standeth, and to consider what commodity may be raised in those parts," and in 1634, he was appointed Commissioner for Virginia Tobacco. In 1638 he was appointed Master of the Rolls until his death in 1639.[2]

Digges left a fund in his will that provided, for some 200 years after his death, an annuity of £20 as prize money for races between the men and women of the parish of Chilham.

Digges married Mary Kempe, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Kempe of Olantigh, Kent. They had eight sons and three daughters. Digges's son Edward was among the "planters," who emigrated in the 1640s and became Governor of Virginia. Another son, Dudley (c. 1612–1643) published a treatise on the Illegality of Subjects taking up Arms against their Sovereigns (1643).

Digges published several political and economic works, The Worthiness of Warre and Warriors (1604), The Defence of Trade (1615), Rights and Privileges of the Subject (1642), and, posthumously, The Compleat Ambassador: or Two Treaties of the Intended Marriage of Qu. Elizabeth of Glorious Memory (1655), a notable study of the two French marriage embassies, of Anjou and of Alençon, which revealed in unprecedented fashion the official despatches and correspondence and is a landmark in English historiography.



  • Sir Dudley Digges, Ambassador to Russia, Burgess of Tewkesbury1,2,3,4,5,6
  • M, #21979, b. circa 1583, d. 18 March 1639
  • Father Thomas Digges, Esq., Muster-Master-General of the Armies in the Low Countries2,3,7 b. c 1551, d. 24 Aug 1595
  • Mother Anne St. Leger2,3,7 b. c 1555
  • Sir Dudley Digges, Ambassador to Russia, Burgess of Tewkesbury was born circa 1583 at Chilham Castle, Chilham, Kent, England; Age 17 in 1600.2,3,5 He married Mary Kempe, daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe and Dorothy Thompson, circa 1609 at of Chilham, Kent, England; They had 8 sons (Thomas, Esq; John; Dudley; Francis; Edward, Esq; Leonard; Herbert; & Richard) & 3 daughters (Anne, wife of Anthony Hammond, Esq., & of Sir George Juxon; Elizabeth, wife of Arnold Brayning; & Mary).2,8,3,4,5,6 Sir Dudley Digges, Ambassador to Russia, Burgess of Tewkesbury died on 18 March 1639.2,3,5 He was buried on 23 March 1639 at Chilham, Kent, England.3,5
  • Family Mary Kempe b. c 1593
  • Children
    • Anne Digges2 b. c 1610
    • John Digges b. c 1613
    • Dudley Digges b. c 1614, d. 1 Oct 1643
    • Thomas Digges b. c 1615, d. 1687
    • Elizabeth Digges2 b. 28 Oct 1617
    • Leonard Digges b. c 1619
    • Francis Digges b. 18 Jan 1621
    • Edward Digges, Esq., Governor of Virginia+2,3,5 b. 29 Mar 1621, d. 15 Mar 1676
    • Mary Digges b. c 1624, d. 1642
    • Herbert Digges b. 4 Jun 1628
    • Richard Digges b. 1 May 1631
  • Citations
  • [S6691] Unknown author, Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists, by David Faris, p. 87; The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, by Gary Boyd Roberts, p. 140.
  • [S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 273.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 82.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 277.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 105.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 280.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 104.
  • [S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 556.
  • From:


  • DIGGES, Sir Dudley (1583-1639), of Philip Lane, London and Chilham Castle, Kent
  • b. May 1583,1 1st s. of Thomas Digges† of London and Wingham, Kent and Anne, da. of Sir Warham St. Leger of Leeds Castle, Kent.2 educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1600, BA 1610;3 household of Abp. Whitgift by 1602;4 travelled abroad (France) 1604;5 G. Inn 1618 and 1631.6 m. aft.1607, Mary (d.1631), da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Kempe of Olantigh, Wye, Kent, 8s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da.7 suc. fa. 1595;8 kntd. 29 Apr. 1607.9 d. 18 Mar. 1639.10 sig. Dudly Digges.
  • Offices Held
    • Commr. sewers, Kent and Suss. 1609-d.,11 Kent 1620-5, 1631,12 Suss. 1630,13 piracy, Cinque ports 1616, 1625, 1629, 15 Mar. 1639-d.;14 j.p. Kent 1616-26, 1628-d.,15 capt. militia ft. by 1621,16 commr. subsidy 1621-2, 1624,17 dep. lt. by 1623-at least 1626, ?1628-at least 1636,18 commr. inquiry into profits of Wye Coll., Kent 1623;19 collector, Privy Seal loan, Kent 1626,20 commr. Forced Loan 1626-7,21 recusants’ lands 1627,22 oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1631-d.,23 London and Mdx. 1636.24
    • Cttee. Virg. Co. 1609,25 E.I. Co. 1611,26 N.W. Passage Co. 1612;27 member, Muscovy Co. 1620.28
    • Member, High Commission, Canterbury prov. 1613-at least 1633;29 gent. of Privy Chamber from 1618;30 commr. transportation of ordnance 1619,31 trade 1621-2, 1625,32 Irish inquiries 1622;33 PC [I] from 1622;34 commr. exacted fees 1622,35 better plantation of Virg. 1631;36 master in Chancery 1631-at least 1635;37 master of the Rolls 1636-d.38
    • Amb. Russia 1618; commr. (jt.) to treat with Utd. Provinces 1620-1.39
    • Bencher, G. Inn 1631-d.40
  • Biography
  • Digges’s ancestors had lived in Kent since the thirteenth century, producing a knight of the shire in 1437. His father, Thomas, who sat in Elizabeth’s fourth and fifth parliaments, was a distinguished astronomer and mathematician, and served under Leicester in the Netherlands as muster-master-general. Digges, Leicester’s godson, was patriotically pressed for service against the Armada at the age of five.41 Thomas died seven years later, leaving instructions for his infant son to be ‘brought up chiefly in knowledge and fear of God, and also in learning the mathematical sciences, military studies and foreign languages’. Digges’s wardship was purchased from the Crown by his mother, and his education was placed in the hands of George Abbot, then master of University College, Oxford, and later archbishop of Canterbury, who formed a life-long bond with his ‘towardly’ pupil. He also spent some time in the household of Archbishop Whitgift, who in 1602 provided him with an introduction to Sir Robert Cecil†.42
  • .... etc.
  • .... Later in 1631 he cemented his long association with the Abbot family by marrying his eldest son to a daughter of Sir Maurice. In July 1632 the archbishop himself bequeathed him a ring and his collection of antique coins. Digges succeeded to the mastership of the Rolls in 1636, but his efforts to revive the post’s patronage were unsuccessful.151 Digges died in March 1639 and was buried at Chilham, in the chapel that he had built himself nearly 20 years earlier. His epitaph, with unconscious irony, drew attention to his lack of ambition. He left £20 a year for an annual footrace at Chilham between two youths and two maidens. One of his sons became a royalist pamphleteer, and another served briefly as a governor of Virginia, but no later member of the family sat in Parliament.152
  • From:


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 15
  • Digges, Dudley (1583-1639) by James McMullen Rigg ?
  • DIGGES, Sir DUDLEY (1583–1639), diplomatist and judge, son of Thomas Digges [q. v.] of Digges Court, Barham, Kent, by Agnes, daughter of Sir Warham St. Leger, entered University College, Oxford, as a gentleman commoner in 1598, where he graduated B.A. in 1601. His tutor was Dr. George Abbot, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury [q. v.] After taking his degree he is said to have spent some years in foreign travel. In 1607 he was knighted at Whitehall. Digges early became a shareholder in the East India Company, and was much interested in the north-west passage project, being one of the founders of a company incorporated in 1612 for the purpose of trading by that route—then supposed to have been discovered—with the East. In 1614 he was one of the candidates for the governorship of the East India Company. He took part in the parliamentary debates of that latter year, giving so much offence to the king that he was imprisoned for a short time. From certain statements made by him in evidence on the trial of Weston for the murder of Sir John Overbury in 1615, it seems probable that for a time he was in the service of the Earl of Somerset. In 1618 the emperor of Russia, who was then engaged in a war with Poland, being desirous of negotiating a loan, James ordered the Muscovy and East India Companies to furnish the money, and despatched Digges to Russia to arrange the terms. He left England in April, taking with him 20,000l., and on reaching Russia sent his secretary, Finch, to Moscow with 10,000l. and letters from the king. The emperor would hear of no terms, but compelled Finch to hand over the money. Digges returned to England with the balance in October. An account of this journey, written by John Tradescant, who accompanied Digges in the capacity of naturalist, is preserved in manuscript in the Ashmolean Museum (MS. 824, xvi). In 1620 Digges was sent to Holland with Maurice Abbot, governor of the East India Company [q. v.], to negotiate a settlement of the disputes between the English and Dutch East India Companies. The negotiations fell through, owing, according to Digges, to the duplicity of the Dutch. He returned to England early in 1621, and was elected member of parliament for Tewkesbury. In the debates of this year he energetically attacked the abuse of monopolies and the pernicious system of farming the customs, and strongly asserted the sacred and inalienable character of the privileges of the commons. Accordingly he was placed, with Sir Thomas Crewe [q. v.] and other leaders of the popular party, on a commission of inquiry sent to Ireland in the spring of 1622. On his return in October he attended (so Chamberlain informs us) with much assiduity at court ‘in hope somewhat would fall to his lot,’ but was not rewarded. He again represented Tewkesbury in the parliaments of 1624, 1625, and 1626. In 1626 he addressed a long letter to the king counselling him with some frankness, as one who had served his father for twenty years, to act with moderation and firmness. The same year he opened the case against the Duke of Buckingham on his impeachment in a speech of elaborate eloquence. In this speech matter derogatory to the king's honour was discovered, and he was committed to the Fleet; but the commons exhibiting much indignation he was released after three days' confinement. He absolutely denied having used the words on which the charge was founded. He was again committed to the Fleet in January 1627 for certain ‘unfit language’ used by him at the council, but was released in the following month after making an apology. Archbishop Abbot, who lived on terms of great intimacy with him, says that he was at one time in the service of the Duke of Buckingham, but had quitted it on account of ‘some unworthy carriage’ on the part of that nobleman towards him. In the parliament of 1628 Digges sat for Kent. He was one of a deputation—Littleton, Selden, and Coke being his colleagues—to the House of Lords to confer with them on the best means of securing the liberty of the subject. Of this conference, in which Digges took an active part, the Petition of Right was the result. In the debate of June 1628 on the king's message forbidding the commons to meddle in matters of state, the speaker having interrupted Sir John Eliot, bidding him not to asperse the ministers of state, and Eliot having thereupon sat down, Digges exclaimed, ‘Unless we may speak of these things in parliament let us rise and be gone, or else sit still and do nothing,’ whereupon, after an interval of deep silence, the debate was resumed. In 1630 Digges received a grant of the reversion of the mastership of the rolls, expectant on the death of Sir Julius Cæsar [q. v.] In 1633 he was placed on the high commission. In 1636 Sir Julius Cæsar died, and Digges succeeded to his office. He died on 18 March 1638–9, and was buried at Chilham, near Canterbury. Through his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe of Ollantigh, near Wye, Kent, to whose memory he erected in 1620 an elaborate marble monument in Chilham church, he acquired the manor and castle of Chilham. He also held estates near Faversham, which he charged by his will with an annuity of 20l. to provide prizes for a foot-race, open to competitors of both sexes, to be run in the neighbourhood of Faversham every 19th of May. The annual competition was kept up till the end of the 18th century. Of four sons who survived him, the third, Dudley [q. v.], achieved some distinction as a political pamphleteer on the royalist side. His eldest son, Thomas, married a daughter of Sir Maurice Abbot and had one son, Maurice, who was created a baronet on 6 March 1665–6, but died without issue. Digges had also three daughters, of whom one, Anne, married William Hammond of St. Alban's Court, near Canterbury, and was the ancestress of James Hammond, the elegiac poet [q. v.] Anthony à Wood says of Digges that ‘his understanding few could equal, his virtues fewer would.’ He adds that his death was considered a ‘public calamity.’ This is certainly exaggerated eulogy. Whatever may have been Digges's virtues, political integrity can hardly have been among them, or he would not have accepted office under the crown at the very crisis of the struggle for freedom. His style of oratory is somewhat laboured and pedantic.
  • Digges published in 1604, in conjunction with his father, ‘Foure Paradoxes or Politique Discourses, two concerning militarie discipline, two of the worthiness of war and warriors.’ He contributed some lines to the collection of ‘Panegyricke Verses’ prefixed to ‘Coryat's Crudities’ (1611). He published a pamphlet in defence of the East India Company's monopoly, entitled ‘The Defence of East India Trade,’ in 1615, 4to. A tractate entitled ‘Right and Privileges of the Subject,’ published in 1642, 4to, is also ascribed to Digges. His speech on the impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham was published by order of the Long parliament in 1643, 4to. From copies found among his papers the correspondence of Elizabeth with Leicester, Burghley, Walsingham, and Sir Thomas Smith, relative to the negotiations for a treaty of alliance with France (1570–1581), was published in 1655 under the title of ‘The Compleat Ambassador,’ fol. A memorial to Elizabeth, concerning the defences of Dover, found among the papers in the ordnance office by Sir Henry Sheers, was published by him in 1700, and attributed to either Digges or Sir Walter Raleigh.
  • [W. Berry's County Genealogies (Kent), p. 143; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 208, 635; Fasti (Bliss), i. 290; Rushworth, i. 451; Nichols's Progresses (James I), ii. 126; Parl. Hist. i. 973, 1171, 1207, 1280, 1283–4, 1290, 1303, 1348, ii. 260, 402; Cobbett's State Trials, ii. 916, 919, 1321, 1370, 1375; Rymer's Fœdera (Sanderson), xvii. 257; Cal. State Papers (Col. 1513–1616), pp. 240, 302, (Col. 1574–1660) pp. 98, 130, (Col. East Indies, 1617–21) pp. 147, 394, 409–11, 413, 421, (Dom. 1619–23) pp. 365, 469, (Dom. 1625–6) pp. 243, 330, 331, (Dom. 1627–8) pp. 2, 64, (Dom. 1633–4) p. 326; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. iii. 392; Hardy's Cat. of Lord Chancellors, p. 70; Lists of Members of Parliament, Official Return of; Commons' Debates, 1625 (Camden Soc.), pp. 29, 33; Court and Times of James I, i. 153, 324, ii. 238, 298, 339, 351, 444, 452; Gent. Mag. lxx. pt. ii. p. 825; Hasted's Kent, iii. 130; Addit. MS. 30156; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Allibone's Dictionary of Bibliography; Foss's Lives of the Judges.]
  • From:,_Dudley_(1583-1639)_(DNB00)


  • Name Sir Dudley Digges, Knight [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]
  • Born Cal 1583 of, Chilham Castle, Kent, England [1, 2, 10, 17]
  • Died 18 Mar 1639 Chilham, Kent, England [9, 18]
  • Buried 23 Mar 1639 Chilham, Kent, England [15, 17]
  • Father Thomas Digges, b. Abt 1546, of, Barham, Kent, England d. 24 Aug 1595, St. Bennet's Grace Church, London, Middlesex, England (Age ~ 49 years)
  • Mother Anne St. Leger, b. Cal 1555, d. 1636 (Age ~ 81 years)
  • Family Mary Kempe, c. 14 Mar 1591, Wye, Kent, England d. 1638-1639 (Age ~ 47 years)
  • Children
    • 1. Thomas Digges, b. Cal 1610, d. 1687 (Age ~ 77 years)
    • 2. John Digges, b. of, Faversham, Kent, England
    • 3. Dudley Digges, b. Cal 1613, Chilham, Kent, England d. 1 Oct 1643, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England (Age ~ 30 years)
    • 4. Anne Digges
    • 5. Elizabeth Digges, c. 28 Oct 1617
    • 6. Mary Digges, d. May 1643
    • 7. Francis Digges, c. 18 Jan 1621
    • 8. Edward Digges, Governor of Virginia, c. 29 Mar 1621, Chilham, Kent, England d. 15 Mar 1676 (Age ~ 54 years)
    • 9. Leonard Digges, c. 11 Dec 1622
    • 10. Herbert Digges, c. 4 Jun 1628
    • 11. Richard Digges, c. 1 May 1631
    • 12. Margaret Digges
  • Sources
  • [S279] Biographical Directory of American Colonial and Revolutionary Governors, 1607-1789 (1980), Raimo, John W., (Westport, Connecticut: Meckler Books, 1980), FHL book 973 D34rj., p. 475.
  • [S317] Adventurers of purse and person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5 (1987), Dorman, John Frederick, compiled and edited by, (3 volumes. 3rd edition. [Virginia?] : Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5, c1987), FHL book 975.5 H2j 1987; see also 975.5 H2ap 1987., vol. 1 p. 821.
  • [S283] #877 Stemmata Chicheleana, Or, a Genealogical Account of Some of the Families Derived from Thomas Chichele of Higham-ferrers in the County of Northampton: All Whose Descendants Are Held to Be Entitled to Fellowships in All Souls College. . . (1765), Buckler, Benjamin, (Oxford [England]: Clarendon Press, [1765]), FHL book 929.242 C432b; FHL microfilm 496,554 item 1., Supp. 1 p. ii.
  • [S283] #877 Stemmata Chicheleana, Or, a Genealogical Account of Some of the Families Derived from Thomas Chichele of Higham-ferrers in the County of Northampton: All Whose Descendants Are Held to Be Entitled to Fellowships in All Souls College. . . (1765), Buckler, Benjamin, (Oxford [England]: Clarendon Press, [1765]), FHL book 929.242 C432b; FHL microfilm 496,554 item 1., p. 5.
  • [S145] #1846 The Visitation of Kent, Taken in the Years 1619-1621 by John Philipot, Rouge Dragon, Marshall and Deputy to William Camden, Clarenceux (1898), Hovenden, Robert, (Publications of the Harleian Society: Visitations, volume 42. London: [Harleian Society], 1898), FHL book 942 B4h volume 42; FHL microfilm 162,069 items 1-2., p. 65.
  • [S159] #1853 [1558-1603] The House of Commons 1558-1603 (1981), Hasler, P. W ., (The History of Parliament [Series]. 3 volumes. London: H.M.S.O., 1981 NOTE: Online source has no page numbers, but individuals are in alphabetical order.), FHL book 942 D3hp., vol. 2 p. 37.
  • [S46] #93 [Book version] The Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to 1900 (1885-1900, reprint 1993), Stephen, Leslie, (22 volumes. 1885-1900. Reprint, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1993), FHL book 920.042 D561n., vol. 5 p. 975.
  • [S443] #2168 Wiltshire visitation pedigrees, 1623 [made by Henry St. George and Sampson Lennard] : with additional pedigrees and arms collected by Thomas Lyte of Lyte's Cary, Co., Somerset, 1628, Smith-George, Henry, Sir, (London : [Harleian Society], 1954), 942 B4h vol. 105-106., vol. 105-106 p. 48.
  • [S333] #774 County Genealogies; Pedigrees of the Families in the County of Kent;: Collected from the Heraldic Visitations and Other Authentic Manuscripts in the British Museum, and from the Information of the Present Resident Families (1830), Berry, William, (London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1830), FHL microfilm 477,361 item 3., p. 143.
  • [S638] A general history of the Kemp and Kempe families of Great Britain and her colonies : with arms, pedigrees, portraits, illustrations of seats, foundations, chantries, monuments, documents, old jewels, curios, etc., Kemp, Frederick Hitchin, (New York, New York : Scribner's Sons, 1902 [Digitized]), 929.242 K32ke; microfilm 1559420 Item 21., p. 35.
  • [S270] #1021 The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (1797-1801), Hasted, Edward, (This edition originally printed by W. Bristow, Canterbury, 1797-1801 Republished 1972 by EP Publishing Limited in collaboration with Kent County Library), 942.23 H2h., vol. 7 p. 274.
  • [S499] Filmer family notes, Filmer, Bruce John, (London : B.J. Filmer, 1984-1997), 929.242 F487fb., 1992 pt. 1, 2 p. 68.
  • [S507] #2051 Memorials of the Family of Scott of Scot's-hall in the County of Kent, Scott, James Renat, (2 volumes. London: Scott, Clevelands, Walthamstow, 1876), FHL book Q 929.242 Sco84sk., p. 228.
  • [S46] #93 [Book version] The Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to 1900 (1885-1900, reprint 1993), Stephen, Leslie, (22 volumes. 1885-1900. Reprint, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1993), FHL book 920.042 D561n., vol. 17 p. 657.
  • [S20] Royal Ancestry: A study in colonial and medieval families, Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah), vol. 3 p. 105.
  • [S586] Historical Southern families, Boddie, John Bennett, (Redwood City, California : Pacific Coast Publishers, 1957-1980), 975 D2b., vol. 10 p. 164.
  • [S23] Magna Carta Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor. 2nd edition, 2011), vol. 2 p. 82.
  • [S317] Adventurers of purse and person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5 (1987), Dorman, John Frederick, compiled and edited by, (3 volumes. 3rd edition. [Virginia?] : Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5, c1987), FHL book 975.5 H2j 1987; see also 975.5 H2ap 1987., vol. 1 p. 822.
  • From:


  • Anne St. LEGER
  • Born: ABT 1555 / 1575, Ulcombe, Kent, England
  • Died: 1636, Chilham, Kent, England
  • Buried: 20 Jan 1636, St. Mary Church, Chilham, Kent, England
  • Father: Warham St. LEGER (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Ursula NEVILLE
  • Married: Thomas DIGGES (Sir Knight) (b. ABT 1540 - d. 24 Aug 1595) (son of Leonard Digges and Bridget Wilford) ABT 1580
  • Children:
    • 1. Dudley DIGGES (Sir Knight) (b. ABT 1583 - d. 1639) (m. Mary Kempe)
    • 2. Margaret DIGGES
    • 3. Leonard DIGGES (b. ABT 1588 - d. 1635)
    • 4. William DIGGES
    • 5. Mary DIGGES
    • 6. Ursula DIGGES
  • From: St. LEGER4


  • Margaret SANDYS
  • Born: ABT 1585
  • Notes: Her son, the younger Sir Thomas was a stockholder in the Virginia Company of London and in the Bermuda Company of London. He was a Member of the first Parliament of Charles I's reign, which included also his first cousins Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir Myles Sandys, and Henry Sandys, and his half-second cousin Sir Dudley Digges - the first four being grandsons, and the latter a great-grandson of Thomas Wilford of Cranbrook, Kent. Sir Thomas Wilford, 2nd, lost his life and fortune while supporting Charles against Parliament at the beginning of England's Civil War.
  • Father: Edwin SANDYS (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Margaret EVELEIGH
  • Married: Thomas WILFORD (Sir) (son of Sir Thomas Wilford, the only full brother of Cicely Wilford Sandys)
  • Children:
    • 1. Thomas WILFORD
  • From: SANDYS5


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 15
  • Digges, Dudley (1613-1643) by Francis Watt
  • DIGGES, DUDLEY (1613–1643), political writer, third son of Sir Dudley Digges [q. v.], was born at Chilham, Kent, in 1613. He entered University College, Oxford, in 1629, proceeded B.A. on 17 Jan. 1632, M.A. on 15 Oct. 1635. In 1633 he was elected fellow of All Souls. In September 1642 he is mentioned as one of a ‘delegacy’ appointed to provide means for defending Oxford against the parliament during the civil war (Wood, History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford, ed. Gutch, ii. 447). He died at Oxford on 1 Oct. 1643 of the malignant camp fever then raging there, and was buried in the outer chapel of All Souls. Digges was a devoted royalist, and all his important writings were in defence of Charles I. His works were:
    • 1. ‘Nova Corpora Regularia,’ 1634. This is a demonstration of certain mathematical discoveries made about 1574 by his grandfather, Thomas Digges.
    • 2. ‘An Answer to a Printed Book intituled Observations upon some of His Majestie's late Answers and Expresses,’ Oxford, 1642.
    • 3. ‘A Review of the Observations upon some of His Majestie's late Answers and Expresses,’ York, 1643.
    • 4. ‘The Unlawfulnesse of Subjects taking up arms against their Soveraigne in what case soever,’ 1643. This defence of the doctrine of passive obedience was widely popular among the royalists and went through several editions.
  • [Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. cols. 65, 66; Biographia Britannica, iii. 1717–18.]
  • From:,_Dudley_(1613-1643)_(DNB00)


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 15
  • Digges, Thomas by Thompson Cooper
  • DIGGES, THOMAS (d. 1595), mathematician, son of Leonard Digges (d. 1571) [q. v.], by his wife, Bridget, daughter of Thomas Wilford, esq., was born in Kent, probably at the residence of his father. He says he spent his youngest years, even from his cradle, in the study of the liberal sciences. .... etc.
  • He married Agnes, daughter of Sir William [Warham?] St. Leger, knight, and of Ursula his wife, daughter of George Neville, lord Abergavenny, and had issue, Sir Dudley Digges [q. v.], Leonard Digges the younger [q. v.], Margaret, and Ursula (who were alive at the date of his decease), besides William and Mary, who died young.
  • Tycho Brahe had a high opinion of Digges's mathematical talents (Halliwell, Letters illustrative of the Progress of Science in England, p. 33). John Davis, in his ‘Seaman's Secrets’ (1594), speaking of English mathematical ability, asks ‘What strangers may be compared with M. Thomas Digges, esquire, our countryman, the great master of archmastrie? and for theoretical speculations and most cunning calculation, M. Dee and M. Thomas Heriotts are hardly to be matched.’ Mr. Halliwell observes: ‘Thomas Digges ranks among the first English mathematicians of the sixteenth century. Although he made no great addition to science, yet his writings tended more to its cultivation than perhaps all those of other writers on the same subjects put together.’
  • His works are:
  • .... etc.
  • From:,_Thomas_(DNB00)


1600; received a BA 1601. He was knighted at Whitehall 29-Apr-1607. He was a member of the Virginia Company, for which he received land in Virginia 1622. He was also a Commissioner of the East India Company,and the Muscovy Company.

Christ Church College, Oxford - 1601; Ambassador to Russia - 1618; Master of Rolls- 1630; a member of the Virginia Company;

Sir Dudley Digges (1583-1639) graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1601. He was ambassador to Russia (1618) and Special Ambassador toHolland (1620). He authored "The Worthiness of Warre and Warriors" (1604), "Rights and Privileges of the Subject" (1642), and "The Compleat Ambassador" (1655). He sat in Parliment for Tewkesbury and later for Kent. Russia named Cape Digges for him. He was appointed Master of the Rolls in 1630 under King Charles I. He was a friend of Henry Hudson and, in 1610, helped finance that explorer's last voyage,where Cape Digges and Digges Island were named for him. In 1631 he was appointed Commissioner to consider how the plantation of Virginia "nowstandeth", and what commodities could be raised in those parts. He erected Chilham Castle, Chilham, Kent, England (completed in 1616). He was knighted by King James at Whitehall on April 29, 1607. He was appointed Commissioner for Virginia Tobacco in 1634. He died March 18,1639, and the wisest men reckoned his death among the public calamities of those times. His wife was Lady Mary, youngest daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Kempe of Olantigh, Kent; whose ancestors included Cardinal John Kempe, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1454, and Thomas Kempe, Bishop of London. Sir Dudley Digges and Lady Mary Kempe had eight sons and three daughters, of whom the fourth son was - Edward.


   The first thirteen generations family of DIGGES were recorded by the knight Sir Dudley Digges of Chilham Castle, Kent, England at the visitation of Kent in 1619. The record is repeated on his tomb in the Church of St. Mary, Chilham, England.

Occupation: Master of the Rolls Note: Master of the Rolls in the reign of King. Charles the First


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Sir Dudley Digges, MP's Timeline

May 19, 1583
Diggs Court, Barh, Kent, England
Age 26
Chilham, Kent, , England
Age 26
Ashford District, Kent, UK
Age 28
Chilham, Kent, , England
Age 28
Chilham, Kent, England
Age 33
Chilham Castle, Kent, , England
May 29, 1621
Age 38
Chillham Castle, Kent, England
May 1, 1631
Age 47
Chilham Castle, Kent, , England
March 18, 1638
Age 54
St. Mary Churchyard, Chilham, Kent, England
March 18, 1639
Age 55
Chilham Castle, Kent, , England