Edmund Walsingham, MP (c.1480 - 1550) MP

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Birthplace: Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
Death: Died in Kent, United Kingdom
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About Edmund Walsingham, MP

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

Sir Edmund Walsingham (c. 1480 – 10 February 1550) was a soldier, Member of Parliament, and Lieutenant of the Tower of London during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Career

Walsingham entered the service of Thomas Howard, then Earl of Surrey, and was knighted by him on 13 September 1513, four days after the battle of Flodden Field. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Flodden

In 1520 he was in attendance on Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in Calais in June, and at the King's meeting with the Emperor Charles V at Gravelines in July.

In 1521 he was appointed a sewer in the royal household, was made free of the Mercers' Company, was on the jury which tried and convicted Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and succeeded Sir Richard Cholmley as Lieutenant of the Tower of London at a salary of £100 a year. He held the office until Henry VIII's death in 1547, residing in a house at the Tower, and taking personal charge of prisoners of state, among them Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, the Marquess of Exeter, Lord Montagu, the Duchess of Norfolk, Viscount Lisle, Anne Boleyn, John Fisher and Sir Thomas More. It was to Walsingham that More made his ironic jest on ascending the scaffold, "I pray you, Master Lieutenant, see me safe up, and for my coming down, let me shift for myself".

In the 1530s Walsingham acquired long-term leases of the manors of Tyting in Surrey and Stanground in Huntingdonshire, and in 1543 purchased the manors of Swanton Court, West Peckham and Yokes near Scadbury from Sir Robert Southwell. In 1539 the king granted him nine houses in London that had formerly belonged to dissolved abbeys.

In 1544 he became vice-chamberlain to Henry VIII's sixth wife, Katherine Parr. He was elected to Parliament as a Knight of the Shire for Surrey in 1545.

Walsingham died 9 February 1550, and was buried in "a table tomb, richly ornamented with roses, acorns and foliage gilt" in the Scadbury chapel in the church of St Nicholas at Chislehurst. His son and heir, Thomas Walsingham, erected a monument to his memory in 1581; the inscription begins:

A knight sometime of worthy fame

Lieth buried under this stony bower
Sir Edmund Walsingham was his name,
Lieutenant he was of London Tower.

His will, dated 8 February 1550, was proved 8 November of that year.

Family

Although the Walsingham pedigree is said to date to the thirteenth century, the family is first recorded in Kent in 1424, when Thomas Walsingham (died 7 March 1456) and his wife, Margaret, purchased the manor of Scadbury in Chislehurst, to which additional land was added in 1433. Their son, Thomas Walsingham (1436–1467), married Constance Dryland (died 14 November 1476), the daughter of James Dryland, of Davington, by whom he had a son, James Walsingham (1462 – 10 December 1540). After the death of Thomas Walsingham (1436–1467), his widow, Constance, married John Green, who in 1476 was Sheriff of Kent in right of his wife.

James Walsingham married Eleanor Writtle (born before 1465, died after 1540), the daughter of Walter Writtle of Bobbingworth, Essex, by whom, according to a monumental brass formerly in the church at Scadbury, he had four sons and seven daughters, including:

Edmund Walsingham.

William Walsingham (died 1534), who married Joyce Denny (1506/7–1560), the daughter of Sir Edmund Denny, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, and his second wife, Mary Troutbeck (died 1507), the daughter of Robert Troutbeck of Bridge Trafford, Cheshire, by whom he was the father of Sir Francis Walsingham, Principal Secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, and five daughters, Elizabeth (died 1596), Barbara, Christian, Eleanor and Mary (1527/8–1577). After William Walsingham's death, Joyce (née Denny) married Sir John Carey, a younger brother of Sir William Carey, by whom she had two sons, Sir Wymond Carey and Sir Edward Carey.

Elizabeth Walsingham, who married Thomas Ayloffe, second son of William Ayloffe (died 1517), a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, by his wife Audrey Shaa, widow of John Writtle and daughter of Sir John Shaa, a London goldsmith and Lord Mayor in 1501. Thomas Ayloffe’s elder brother, William Ayloffe (died 1569), married Anne Barnardiston, the daughter of Sir Thomas Banardiston (died 7 November 1542) of Ketton in Kedington, Suffolk, by whom he was the father of William Ayloffe (c.1535 – 17 November 1584).

Cecily Walsingham.

Margaret Walsingham.

Marriages and issue

Walsingham married firstly Katherine Gounter or Gunter (before 1495 – c. 1526), widow of Henry Morgan of Pencoed, Monmouthshire, and daughter of John Gounter of Chilworth, Surrey, by his wife Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of William Attworth or Utworth, by whom he had four sons and four daughters:

Sir Thomas Walsingham (c.1526 – 15 January 1584), who married Dorothy Guildford (died 1584), the daughter of Sir John Guildford (died 5 July 1565), by whom he was the father of Sir Thomas Walsingham, patron of Christopher Marlowe.

George Walsingham, who died young.

John Walsingham, who died young.

Walter Walsingham, who died young.

Mary Walsingham, who married Sir Thomas Barnardiston (died 1551), the son of Sir Thomas Barnardiston (died 7 November 1542) by Anne Lucas, the daughter of Sir Thomas Lucas (died 7 July 1531) of Little Saxham Hall, Suffolk, Solicitor-General to King Henry VII.

Alice Walsingham (died 21 May 1558), who married Sir Thomas Saunders (died 18 August 1565), third but eldest surviving son of Nicholas Saunders of Charlwood, Surrey, by Alice Hungate, the daughter of John Hungate, by whom she had three sons and two daughters.

Eleanor Walsingham, who is said to have married Richard Finch, third son of Sir William Finch, Sheriff of Kent, by his first wife, Elizabeth Cromer. Eleanor Walsingham is also said to have married, as his second wife, Edward Baynard (died 1575) of Lackham, Wiltshire, and to have been buried at Lacock, Wiltshire, on 20 August 1559.

Katherine Walsingham, who died young.

Walsingham married secondly, Anne (née Jerningham), daughter of Sir Edward Jerningham (died 6 January 1515) of Somerleyton, Suffolk, by Margaret Bedingfield (died 24 March 1504). At the time of her marriage to Sir Edmund Walsingham, Anne (née Jerningham) was the widow of three husbands:

Lord Edward Grey (died before 1517), eldest son and heir of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, and grandson of King Edward IV's wife, Elizabeth Woodville;

Henry Barley (died 12 November 1529) of Albury, Hertfordshire; and

Sir Robert Drury, Speaker of the House of Commons.

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Sir Edmund Walsingham: The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558

Family and Education

b. by 1480, 1st s. of James Walsingham of Scadbury by Eleanor, da. and event. coh. of Walter Writtle of Bobbingworth, Essex. m. (1) by 1510, Catherine, da. and h. of John Gunter of Chilworth, Surr. and Brecon, Brec., wid. of Henry Morgan of Pencoed, Mon., 4s. inc. Thomas† 4da.; (a) by 1543, Anne, da. of Edward Jerningham of Somerleyton, Suff., wid. of Lord Edward Grey (d. by 1517), ?of one Berkeley, of Henry Barley (d.12 Nov. 1529) of Albury, Herts., and of Sir Robert Drury I (d.2 Mar. 1535) of Hawstead, Suff., s.p. Kntd. 13 Sept. 1513; suc. fa. 10 Dec. 1540.1

Offices Held

J.p. Surr. 1514, Kent 1547; sewer in 1521; 1t. Tower 1521-43; commr. subsidy, Surr. 1523, 1524, ordnance in Tower 1533, 1536, musters, Surr. 1544, benevolence, Surr. Southwark 1544/45; other commissions Essex, Kent, Surr. and London 1525-d., vice-chamberlain, household of Queen Catherine Parr by 1544.2

Biography

Edmund Walsingham’s surname suggests that his forbears came from Norfolk, but the only known ones were a prosperous cordwainer of London followed by vintners who bought property in Chislehurst and elsewhere in Kent. His father was prominent in that county, which he helped to represent at the Field of Cloth of Gold; another of James Walsingham’s sons William, father of the illustrious Sir Francis, was a lawyer who also served in local administration. On his mother’s side, Edmund Walsingham was first cousin to Sir Robert Rochester.3

A witness to the will of John Gunter of Chilworth in 1510, and thus probably by then a married man, Walsingham was knighted on Flodden Field by the Earl of Surrey in whose retinue he travelled homewards. His next few years at court culminated in his attendance on the King at the Field of Cloth of Gold and at Gravelines in 1520, and early in 1521 he was appointed lieutenant of the Tower in succession to Sir Richard Cholmley. In the same year he was made free of the Mercers’ Company, probably in recognition of his new standing in the City; his naming as one of the feoffees of a mercer in 1529 suggests a continuing connexion with the Company.4

By Henry VIII’s reign the office of constable of the Tower had become a dignity and the lieutenant was the resident head of that institution. After 1539, when a new house was built for the lieutenant, the only exit from the Belfry, where many of the prisoners were kept, was through this house. Walsingham was responsible for their custody and was their channel of communication with the outside world. During his 22 years in office Walsingham had charge of a host of prisoners, many of them famous, the majority obscure, and perhaps inevitably he acquired a reputation for rigour. Bishop Fisher complained of the harsh treatment he received, and the Countess of Salisbury suffered horribly from cold during her winter there; even the Council in London remonstrated that unless the Duchess of Norfolk and others arraigned with her were given some liberty within the Tower they could not long survive. Yet Walsingham could point to such episodes as his leniency towards the condemned prisoner Alice Tankerfelde, to whom at one of his own daughters’ intercession he allowed freedom from irons and frequent visits from a trusted servant, only to have the servant engineer an attempted escape. To one reputed example of his lingering humanity, his braving of the King’s displeasure by his refusal to stretch Anne Askew further on the rack, he could lay no claim, for it was his successor Sir Anthony Knyvet who was the lieutenant concerned. But to an old friend like Sir Thomas More he could offer ‘such poor cheer as he had’, to Cromwell’s ‘gentle chaplain, Curtoyse by name’, he allowed the privilege of saying mass every day, and to John Frith he gave freedom from irons and scope for his ‘pleasant tongue’.5

For his own part Walsingham prospered materially. In addition to his salary of £100 he made a handsome profit out of prisoners. The state made generous allowances for the illustrious among them: Walsingham was allowed £14 10s. a month for the board of Viscount Lisle and £26 13s.4d. every two months for the diets of the Countess of Salisbury, the Marquess of Exeter and Lord Montagu, but these payments the lieutenant and his officers treated as perquisites and the offenders were expected to pay their own costs and upon release or execution to leave their goods behind. The resulting income fed Walsingham’s steady acquisition of landed property both in Kent and Surrey. In 1531 he had acquired the reversion or remainder of a lease of Gomshall Towerhill, Surrey, from the abbey of St. Mary Graces near the Tower at an annual rent of £19; in the following year he was granted by Newark priory a 40-year lease of the parish church of St. Martha together with its rectory at an annual rent of 26s.8d.; and in 1534 he negotiated a 40-year lease with the same priory of the parsonage and church of Ewell, the term to run from 1542 at £13 a year. These three leases were confirmed by the court of augmentations in 1539. Walsingham later took a 99-year lease of the manor of Tyting, Surrey, from the bishop of Exeter and another of the manor of Stanground in Huntingdonshire, previously belonging to the abbey of Thorney. In 1539 the King rewarded his services by granting him Gomshall Towerhill in fee simple as well as nine houses in London; Gomshall Towerhill he was to sell in 1549 for £600. Walsingham also increased his inheritance in Kent, notably by acquiring from (Sir) Robert Southwell the manors of Swanton Court, West Peckham and Yokes, all adjacent to the Scadbury estate.6

If Walsingham’s landed interest in Surrey qualified him for the knighthood of that shire in the Parliament of 1545, while his association at court with his fellow-knight Sir Anthony Browne and the marriage of one of his daughters to Thomas Saunders gave him powerful local support, he probably owed his election principally to the Queen, whose vice-chamberlain he became within a year of his departure from the Tower in 1543. He thus joined the sizeable group of her officers who sat in the last Parliament of the reign. He also rubbed shoulders in the House with men whom he had met in quite other circumstances: with Sir Nicholas Hare, who had once been his prisoner, and with such relatives and friends of other former prisoners as Sir Marmaduke Constable II, who had tried in vain to save his father, or Richard Heywood and William Roper, of the circle of Sir Thomas More. That Walsingham, unlike Browne, was not to be re-elected in 1547 is perhaps a reflection of Queen Catherine’s loss of influence, although his approaching death may have cast its shadow before.

Walsingham made his will on 7 Feb. 1550 and died three days later; the will was proved on 8 Nov. 1550. He asked to be buried in ‘the tomb within the chapel where myself have usually sitten’, that is, the Scadbury chapel which had probably been built by his grandfather Thomas. He left 12s. a year to the 24 poorest householders in Chislehurst, Footscray and St. Paul’s Cray, and 40s. for repairs to bridges and highways in Chislehurst. He had goods and rich estates to bequeath and his son Thomas was the main beneficiary, the remainder of the lands going to his nephew Francis. To a kinsman ‘William’, whose surname is left a blank but who is elsewhere referred to as William Thwaites, he left his leases of the manors of Stanground and Tyting, and he appointed his son-in-law Sir Thomas Saunders the youth’s guardian, providing an annuity of £7 and profits of lands in Wales for his education and upbringing. He left the bulk of his household goods at Yokes to his wife for her lifetime with remainder to his daughters, his ‘brother Ayloff’s’ children and his ‘kinsman’ William if his son should die without heirs; his wife was to keep the lease of her house in the Blackfriars and all her personal property there which she had brought to the marriage. He made bequests of money and goods to several of his servants, appointed his son Thomas his executor and named as overseers his wife and two of his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Saunders and Sir Thomas Barnardiston.7

  • Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
  • Author: S. R. Johnson

Notes

  1. Date of birth estimated from family history. LP Hen. VIII, xviii; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxiv), 20; Vis. Surr. (ibid. xliii), 11, 33; Vis. Suss. (ibid. liii), 59; Arch. Cant. xiii. 390, 401; E. A. Webb, G. W. Miller and J. Beckwith, Chislehurst, 119, 125; PCC 27 Alenger; DNB.
  2. LP Hen. VIII, i-iv, vi, x, xiii-xvi, xix, xx, add.; E371/303; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 79, 85; Manning and Bray, Surr. iii. 664.
  3. Chislehurst, 111-19; C. Read, Walsingham, i. 3 seq.
  4. O. M. Heath, Notes on Hist. of St. Martha’s, 30; LP Hen. VIII, i-iii; Chislehurst, 121; Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co. ed. Lyell and Watney, 537.
  5. H. Dixon, Her Majesty’s Tower, i. 48, 68; Chislehurst, 33; LP Hen. VIII, iv-viii, xi-xiv, xvi, xviii, xix; Roper, Life of More (EETS cxcvii), 77.
  6. LP Hen. VIII, v, viii, xiv-xvi, xviii, xx, xxi; Surr. Feet of Fines 1509-58 (Surr. Rec. Soc. xix), 91; C142/91/30; E315/100/279, 279v, 280; VCH Surr. iii. 105n, 116; VCH Hunts. 213; Guildford mus. Loseley 85/13/165-7; Manning and Bray, ii. 119; PCC 25 Coode; Hasted, Kent, v. 60, 85.
  7. PCC 25 Coode; C142/91/30.

-------------------- Sir Edmund Walsingham - Knight - of Scadbury Manor, Chislehurst, Kent, England,

Wikipedia:

(c. 1480 – 10 February 1550) was a soldier, Member of Parliament, and Lieutenant of the Tower of London during the reign of King Henry VIII. In 1539 the king granted him nine houses in London that had formerly belonged to dissolved abbeys.

In 1544 he became vice-chamberlain to Henry VIII's sixth wife, Katherine Parr.

He was elected to Parliament as a Knight of the Shire for Surrey in 1545.

Walsingham died 9 February 1550, and was buried in "a table tomb, richly ornamented with roses, acorns and foliage gilt"[21] in the Scadbury chapel in the church of St Nicholas at Chislehurst.

His son and heir, Thomas Walsingham, erected a monument to his memory in 1581; the inscription begins:

  • A knight sometime of worthy fame
  • Lieth buried under this stony bower
  • Sir Edmund Walsingham was his name,
  • Lieutenant he was of London Tower.

His will, dated 8 February 1550, was proved 8 November of that year

Buried at St Nicholas' church, Chislehurst,

view all 14

Sir Edmund Walsingham, MP's Timeline

1480
1480
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1501
1501
Age 21
Of, Chilworth, Surrey, England
1502
1502
Age 22
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1505
1505
Age 25
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1508
1508
Age 28
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1511
1511
Age 31
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1512
1512
Age 32
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1514
1514
Age 34
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1517
1517
Age 37
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England
1521
1521
Age 41
Of Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England