Walter Strickland, III (1516 - 1569) MP

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Birthplace: Westmoreland, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Westmoreland, UK
Occupation: Esquire
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About Walter Strickland, III

Family and Education b. c.1516, s. and h. of Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh by his 2nd w. Katherine, da. and coh. of Ralph Neville of Thornton Bridge. m. (1) by Apr. 1537, Agnes; (2) 1561, Alice, da. of Nicholas Tempest of Stanley and Holmside, co. Dur., wid. of Christopher Place of Halnaby, Yorks., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1528.

Offices Held

J.p. Westmld. from c.1547, Yorks. (N. Riding) from c.1564; hereditary dep. steward, Kendal barony.

Biography Aged 14 at the date of his father’s inquisition post mortem in April 1530, and head of a family that had been resident at Sizergh, in the barony of Kendal, for several centuries, Strickland became a ward first of Wolsey, subsequently of Sir Arthur Darcy. On 8 Mar. 1535 he was contracted to marry Margaret, daughter of Sir Stephen Hamerton of Wigglesworth in Yorkshire, but the marriage is not known to have taken place. While still under age he became involved, though only slightly, in the northern rebellion of October 1536 and was pardoned. By an indenture dated 28 Apr. 1537 he was granted livery of his lands and in the following May he was named, though in the event he did not serve, as a juror for the trial of the leading rebels, some of them his kinsmen and neighbours. Soon afterwards, when several local gentlemen were appointed to assist Sir Thomas Wharton, the new deputy warden of the west march, in keeping the peace and administering justice, Strickland among others seems to have been overlooked. At Wharton’s request the Duke of Norfolk, then commanding in the north, wrote to Cromwell, 12 July 1537, asking for additional appointments to be made and describing Strickland as ‘a very toward young man, and a great friend of Wharton’s’, able to serve ‘with more men than any three in the book’. Strickland duly received his patent, apparently antedated to 28 June to accord with the others, and an annual payment of £10. He was with Wharton at Carlisle in 1542 preparing to meet the threatened Scotch invasion, and he commanded 200 Kendal archers at Solway Moss, where the Scots were routed. Describing the fight in a letter to the Earl of Hertford, Wharton referred to Strickland as his ‘nigh cousin’. In 1543, when the Westmorland gentlemen were again called out for border service, Strickland’s contingent of 200 horse, drawn from among his household servants and tenants, was far larger than any other gentleman could muster. More of his ‘exploits done upon the Scots’ were reported by Wharton in July 1544.

Subsequent references to Strickland are infrequent and of a different nature. His name follows that of the Earl of Cumberland in the commission of 1552-3 for the seizure of church goods in Westmorland and comes first in the commission for Carlisle; in both he is wrongly described as ‘Sir’. In June 1563 he was one of the commissioners who investigated the military preparedness of Carlisle, and in 1564 he was favourably reported on as a justice of Westmorland and the North Riding who was ‘of good religion’.1 In his later years he made many additions and improvements to Sizergh Hall and began the decoration which his widow and son completed. Becoming one of the knights of the shire in 1563, he was licensed to depart on 7 Dec. 1566, ‘diseased with the gout’.2 He died at Sizergh 8 Apr. 1569, leaving legacies to his two daughters and all his property to his wife and after her to his brother-in-law Thomas Tempest and cousin Thomas Strickland in trust for his son Thomas.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603 Authors: B.D. / E.L.C.M. Notes

This biography derives from H. Hornyold. Gen Mems. of Strickland of Sizergh (Kendal, 1928) and the authorities therein cited.

1. For other local commissions to which he was appointed see CPR, 1560-3, 1563-6, 1566-9. 2. CJ. i. 79.

Saturday, April 21, 2007 Castle Blog

Sizergh Castle

nr Kendal

Cumbria

Sizergh castle sits about two miles to the South of Kendal, and about a quarter of a mile West of the A591. It is one of a group of great houses\\\\castles in the area that started off as defensive structures and later became luxurious homes. Others in the area are Muncaster Castle and Levens Hall.

The area around Sizergh, has been continually occupied since the ninth or tenth centuries, with the first inhabitants being Scandinavian settlers. Sometime between 1170 and 1180, Sizergh was included as part of a larger swaith of lands, as a grant to Gervase Deincourt, by Henry II. A relative of Gervase's settled in the area, and no doubt took command of the day to day running of the huge estate. The main part of the Deincourt family settled in Blankney in Lincolnshire however. When Gervase's great grandson died, the estate was taken over by Elizabeth, his great granddaughter the sole heiress to the vast estate. She in turn, conveyed ownership of the estate to her husband, Sir William Strickland. The year was 1239, and from this date forward, Sizergh has been continually the primary residence of the Strickland family.

The oldest part of the castle, is the four storey tower. This portion of the castle was probably built in around 1340, after Sir Walter was granted licence in 1332 to enclose his lands for ever, and to create a park.

An interesting aside here, is that Sir Walter's sister, Joan Strickland was married to Robert de Wessington, an early ancestor of the Washington's of Warton in Lancashire. Descended from this family, was the first President of the United States, George Washington.

The early tower, is 18 and a half metres long, and nearly 11 metres wide. As you look at the entrance to the castle, as shown in the photo below, the tower (most likely a pele tower) is the building to the right of the door. The walls are, in some places, up to 2 and a half metres thick. The turret that can be seen at the back of the tower, is the stair turret, carrying a spiral staircase to the four storeys of the tower.

The tower is surrounded by later buildings dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, all of a non-defensive nature, and designed with comfort in mind.

The Strickland family have a long history of alliance with the Parr's of Kendal, and the chapel dedicated to the Strickland family in Kendal Parish church, is testament to their connection with the town. Indeed, Katherine Parr lived at the castle for a number of years prior to her marriage to Henry VIII. In 1530 she sent him a coat of Kendal cloth as a gift. Her residence at Sizergh Castle was a precautionary arrangement after the death of her mother, to oversee her inheritance then under the control of her brother. The Queen's room at the castle still displays the huge counterpane and toilet cover that Katherine embroidered. These quarters are situated in the older portion of the castle, then called the Deincourt Tower.

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Walter STRICKLAND of Sizergh, Esq.

Born: 5 Apr 1516, Sizergh, Westmoreland, England

Died: 8 Apr 1569

Father: Walter STRICKLAND of Sizergh (Sir)

Mother: Catherine NEVILLE

Contracted to: Margaret HAMERTON (dau. of Sir Stephen Hamerton) 8 Mar 1535

Married 1: Agnes HAMMERTON (dau. of Sir Stephen Hamerton and Elizabeth Bigod)

Children:

1. Ellen STRICKLAND

Married 2: Alice TEMPEST (d. 1595) (dau. of Nicholas Tempest of Stella) (w. of Christopher Place - m.3 Sir Thomas Boynton) ABT 1560/1

Children:

2. Thomas STRICKLAND of Sizergh and Thornton Briggs (Sir)

3. Robert STRICKLAND

4. Alice STRICKLAND

5. Ellen STRICKLAND

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Born on 5 Apr 1516 in Sizergh Castle, Westmorland, England, son of Sir Walter Strickland and Catherine, dau. of Ralph Neville of Thornton Bridge. Cardinal Wolsey had the wardship of young Walter in 1529 and 1530. After Wolsey's fall in 1530 Thomas Strickland, Walter's uncle, succeeded him as Walter's guardian.

His marital affairs are not entirely clear. On 8 Mar 1535, while under age, he was contracted to marry Margaret Hamerton, daughter of Sir Stephen Hamerton. Walter's marriage to Sir Stephen's daughter, seem to have been intended to take place about 29 Sep 1535, on which date Henry Clifford, Lord Clifford; Thomas Cheney, Knight; Francis Bigod, Knight; Oswald Wollesthorp or Wilstrop, Knight; and others 'levied a fine against William Knyvet, Esq., and Lady Katherine Strickland, his wife, concerning lands of her inheritance'. Walter's mother and his stepfather, deforciants in this proceeding, were probably amicable to this transaction and evidently intended to provide dower rights for Walter's bride. But there is no record of the marriage ever taking place, and it is said that Margaret took her own life a few days before the expected marriage. Both the Hamertons and Stricklands were extensive landowners; this marriage contract was in consonance with the custom of that era, by which considerations of wealth determined choice of spouse. Moreover, Walter was cousin to Stephen, both being descended from John Bethom, Knight, dead by 1407. Walter's mother was cousin to Stephen's wife, both being descended from Eleanor Fitzhugh, who died in 1457, having first married Phillip, Lord Darcy; secondly, Thomas Tunstal of Thurland Castle, Knight; and thirdly, Henry Bromflet, Lord Vescy.

During the Pilgrimage of Grace, the rebellion led by Robert Aske and Lord Darcy, who had drawn their cousin, Sir Francis Bigod, into their counsels. The latter, in turn, although not entirely convinced as to the timeliness of the rebellion, evidently swayed his brother-in-law, Sir Stephen Hamerton, whom, in turn wrote in Oct 1536, to his friend Walter. Young Strickland, after reading Hamerton's letter and one from Aske, received three days later, went to Pontefract, Yorkshire, where, in Dec, with others, he received the King's pardon for being implicated in the uprising. Hamerton, too, was so pardoned; however his slight part in the rebellion was pounced upon by his enemies, the Stanleys, as an excuse for Stephen's attainder and death by hanging on 25 May 1537. While it is not known when Margaret died, the will of Elizabeth Bigod, relict of Stephen Hamerton, Knight, dated 3 May 1538, names no children except Mary and Anne. From this fact, it seems clear that Margaret had died by 3 May 1538. Sir Stephen's only son, Henry, died testate on 3 Aug 1537 of heartbreak, for his father and uncle had very recently been executed with many of their kin, and their lands forfeited. Seemingly as an incident of the Crown's policy of placating the Northern gentry (so many of whom had been involved in the late rebellion) Walter Strickland was a member of the jury which in 1537 rendered a verdict of 'guilty' against Sir Francis Bigod. This jury was, nonetheless, excused from rendering any verdict in the trial of Agnes' father, Sir Stephen Hamerton.

He inherited Thornton Bridge, the unentailed manor of his maternal grandfather, Ralph Neville, as his mother's eldest son and heir. He was assistant to the Deputy Warden of West Marches in 1537. His muster roll book at Sizergh shows that when summoned for duty in defence of the border he rode out with a fully equipped company 290 strong, by far the largest number of anyone in the county.

In records of 1537, Walter is mentioned as having a wife, Agnes. Bellasis stated that this Agnes was named as Walter's wife in his 'special livery' which is perhaps that cited in 'Letters and Papers of Henry VIII' under date 16 Jun 1537. It is entirely possible that Agnes is the same as Anne, a younger daughter of Sir Stephen Hamerton and Elizabeth Bigod, and she may also be the mother of Ellen, since Ellen and John named their first child Anne. In her will Lady Elizabeth Bigod named supervisors, beside her daughters, Marmaduke Constable and Oswald Wilstrope, knights (her cousins) and 'Mr. Walter Strickland'. At that date, 3 May 1538, Walter had recently passed his twenty-second birthday, and was thus somewhat youthful for such an appointment. Moreover, Lady Elizabeth's daughter Margaret seems then to have been dead, for she is not named in the will. It would, then seem possible that Agnes (Anne), Elizabeth's daughter, was even then married to Walter, for only such an alliance appears to explain his appointment as a supervisor in company with Elizabeth's close relatives.

Whatever the name and identity of the mother, Walter recognized Ellen as his 'natural daughter' and made provision for her in his will. Ellen also apparently lived with her father in Sizergh Castle.

Until 1553 Agnes had influential friends and relatives who likely enough would have been able to dissuade a husband from setting her aside. For example, Agnes' sixth cousin, the powerful Lord Clifford, who died in 1542, had been a friend of the Hamertons.

Walter's father had been third cousin to Catherine Parr. Moreover, Walter's mother, Catherine, Lady Strickland, took as her second husband, in 1528 (between 9 Jan and 29 Sep) Henry Borough, Esq., when she was twenty-nine years old. He was second son of Edward, Lord Borough of Gainsborough, Lincs., who had several weeks before taken as his final wife, Catherine Parr, a girl fourteen years younger than Lady Strickland, her cousin. Thus, as a grown woman, Lady Strickland styled a girl fifteen years old (the future Queen Catherine) 'my good mother'. Therein probably arose no little merriment between the two. Even after Catherine became Queen, she will probably have remembered the Stricklands with affection. But Catherine Parr had also, as wife to John Neville, third Lord Latimer, been stepmother to young Margaret Neville, who in 1534 was betrothed to Ralph Bigod, first cousin to Agnes. The resulting acquaintances could well have caused the benevolent Catherine Parr to be of aid to Agnes. In this event Edward VI, known to have been greatly influenced by his stepmother, Catherine Parr, would appear to have been inclined to help Agnes.

Such protection to Agnes doubtless would have been continued by Mary Tudor, whose mother's situation had been similar to that of Agnes (each being an in-law wife whose position was imperiled by a husband's self interest). During Mary's reign it is significant that Walter is named in none of the Patent Rolls, although in the preceding and subsequent reigns he is named on several occasions; this may well indicate that Mary Tudor and her court did not favorably view Walter.

Only after the accession of Elizabeth, in Nov 1558, no friend to the memory of Catalina of Aragon, would the supposed tenure of Agnes as Walter's wife appear to have seriously weakened. He had, it would seem, long kept Agnes out of sight (evidently in the top room of the tower at Sizergh) and in this he could well have had influential help at Court.

Significantly, it was shortly afterwards (i.e., in the first month of 1561) that Walter proceeded to take his final wife. His only known marriage occurred about Jan 1560/1, when he took to wife Alice Tempest. A contract for the marriage of he and Alice Tempest was signed on 20 Jan 1560/61 in England. Alice was widow of Sir Christopher Place. But Walter Strickland must have married before he was forty-four years old, for in those days an heir was usually married on reaching his majority, and often earlier.

He died on 8 Apr 1569 in England at age 53. In his will, dated 23 Jan 1568, he gave 'my daughter Elyn' the then substantial sum of two hundred pounds provided she would not marry contrary to the wish of Alice, his wife. Walter's seeming oversight in not styling Ellen base is a cause for wonder, because, for legal reasons, it then seems to have been usual for testators to style their bastard issue as 'base', probably to preclude possible later suits relative to inheritances, for a great number of ancient wills, deeds and charters prohibited the passing of lands by inheritance to base born issue.

After Walter's death, Alice married Sir Thomas Boynton. It was during the time that Walter and Alice lived in the castle that all the Elizabethan part was built and paneling installed. Alice remained at Sizergh Castle after the death of Walter and her marriage to Sir Thomas Boynton to look after the young Strickland children. Being a lady of great taste, she was responsible for much of the paneling and other 16th Century ornamentation. After Sir Thomas Boynton's death, Alice moved to Yorkshire.

Alice died in 1588, having by will dated 18 Jan 1586 (proved 24 Mar 1595) bequeathed ten pounds to 'Ellenor Carltonn, base daughter to my husband, Mr. Strickland'. From this it would seem that Ellen (or Eleanor, the probable baptismal name) was daughter to Walter by a concubine.

The style 'Madam Hamerton's room still in use in 1770 at Sizergh must have had some origin. It appears, from a study of the Strickland family history, that the presence at Sizergh of no person except Agnes, born Hamerton, could have accounted for the designation 'Madam Hamerton's room'. 'Madam Hamerton' is just the condescending style that Alice Strickland and her son Thomas (Ellen's half-brother) naturally would have used to designate Agnes Hamerton, whom they must have considered a voidable wife, as apparently did Walter. Moreover, Alice (for her own protection and good name) will have contended that Agnes had been no wife at all.

However, prima facie evidence of Ellen's legitimacy seems to exist in the term 'my daughter Elyn' used to describe her by Walter's will. Moreover, the only wife Agnes whom he could have set aside with impunity evidently was she who had been his sister-in-law before he married her. Any other wife, Agnes, if set aside, would supposedly have had recourse to recorded legal remedy; but no record can be found regarding a suit on this score.

As we have seen, Walter was survived by two wives, Agnes and Alice, named in that order, and both living in 1585.

Sources:

Bellasis, Edward; Lancaster Herald: Transactions, Cumberland and Westinorland Antiquariaiz and Archaeological Society; The pedigree of Strickland; 1889 volume.

Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association: Yorkshire Fines; vol. 2p. 73, vol. 1.

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Sizergh Castle, Cumbria, England

Added on 22 Jul 2008

From a booklet published by The National Trust in 1985, titled "Sizergh Castle, Cumbria".

Introduction

Sizergh in common with many other names in Cumbria, originates from the Scandinavian occupation in the 9th or 10th centuries. Anciently spelt Sigaritherge, Siritherde, Sigrittserh and in other variations, the first element represents a personal name, Sigarith, being often met with as the feminine form of Sigred, Sigar or Siric. The second element erg denotes a summer pastor or dairy farm.

With a large gift of other lands Sizergh was granted by Henry 2nd about 1170 to 1180 to Gervase Deincourt, a cadet of the great baronial family of that name settled at Blankney in Lincolnshire. It is situated within the parish of Helsington, but as a separate independent manor. These possessions continued in the Deincourt family for several generations until Elizabeth, great granddaughter of Gervase, became on the death of her brother the sole heiress, and conveyed them all in marriage to her husband, Sir William Strickland. This occurred in 1239, and from that date Sizergh became continuously the main residence of the Strickland family.

In an earlier times they were known as "de Castlecarrock", and there is little doubt but that they were descended from the Norman Family of Vaux (or de Vallibus), and therefore allied to the family of Gilles, son of Bueth, the original native chieftain holder of Gilsland, near Carlisle. In 1179 Walter de Castlecarrock married, moved to the manor of Great Strickland in north Westmorland acquired through his wife, and assumed the name "de Strikeland". The name Stercaland was common to several parts of Westmorland, meaning the pasture land of young cattle. This Walter was later knighted and was great grandfather to the William Strickland mentioned above.

The Stricklands of Sizergh

The Sizergh muniments present a very full account of the Stricklands, and the following is a brief extract showing their history from the time of their marriage with the Deincourt heiress.

1258. The family were serving their country and Parliament in almost every generation from the first known return of 1258 until close of the 17th century; and still later the last in the male line was in this present century the first of his family to be elevated from the House of Commons in the Lords.

1306. Sir Water Strickland, sixth in descent from his de Castlecarrock progenitor, was made a Knight of the Bath for his services in Border warfare in 1306, on the occasion of the granting of knighthood to Edward, Prince of Wales - afterwards Edward 2nd. The following year he had a charter of free warren in all his lands in Westmoreland, and in 1332 he had licence to enclose his demesne lands at Sizergh forever and to make a park there. Though now disparked, Sizergh remained stocked with deer down to the 18th century. Sir Walter's only sister, Joan, had a grant from him of lands in Natland on her marriage to Robert de Wessington, the ancestor of the Washington's of Warton, in Lancashire, and from whom descended George Washington, the first President of the USA. This deed is amongst the early muniments at Sizergh.

1361. Like his father, Sir Thomas, for his zeal in the service of the Crown chiefly in Ireland and in France, had a further licence from the King in 1361 to impark his woods in Helsington, Levens and Hackthorpe containing 300 acres. In this generation came the first alliance with the owners of the Kendal Castle, when Katherine, only daughter of Sir Thomas, married John, the eldest son of Thomas de Ros of Kendal Castle. He died in his father's lifetime, and their daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir William del Parre, and eventually brought to that Family the marquis fee of the barony of Kendal, including the Castle.

1415. Following Sir Water, son of the last Sir Thomas, came another Sir Thomas who seems to have spent his whole life either attending to his Parliamentary duties or in his country's wars. At the battle of Agincourt he had the honour of bearing the banner of St George, the premier banner of England.

1448. During the Wars of the Roses the family were Yorkists, and on the accession of Edward IV Water Strickland, son of the last Sir Thomas, obtain a grant of general pardon, indemnifying him for any offences which he might have committed in his loyalty to that House. Earlier in 1448, he had entered into one of those curious and interesting indentures of military service with the Earl of Salisbury, whereby he engaged himself to serve the Earl, saving his legiance to the King, at home or overseas with a fully armed and accoutred body of men. His fee was to come out of the profits of the lordship of Penrith; and he undertook to surrender for reasonable reward any prisoner of standing, as also a third of any booty captured. It is believed that this document at Sizergh with the corresponding half of the bipartite indenture in the Public Record Office form the only known complete agreement surviving. With a few such undertakings in support of a powerful baron it is not surprising to find such a title as a "Warwick the kingmaker".

1464. Sir Thomas, in the next generation, renewed the alliance with the family of Parre by marrying Agnes, daughter of Sir Thomas Parre. The latter was grandfather of Katherine whose third and most important marriage to Henry VIII soon caused the Parres of Kendal to forsake their ancient heritage for the more exciting life of the Court.

1460 - 1569. There followed successively Sir Thomas, Knight of the Bath; Sir Water who married Katherine Neville, of Thornton Briggs, daughter of a cadet branch of the great baronial family living at Raby, and whose tomb is the earliest now known of the Stricklands in the Strickland Chapel in Kendal Church; and Walter whose muster roll book at Sizergh shows that when summoned for duty in defence of the border he rode out with a fully equipped company 290 strong, by far the largest number of anyone in the county. Pitch was in the lifetime of this will turn and of his widow Alice, nee Tempest, that all the Elizabethan part of the house was built, and the panelling installed.

1643. Next, following a Sir Thomas, Knight of the Bath, came Sir Robert, a zealous royalist who was implicated in the Yorkshire engagement. During his life and that of his son, Sir Thomas, the family fortunes were most grievously reduced through compositions and sequestrations for recusancy. This son, Sir Thomas, Knight banneret, was keeper of the privy purse to the Queen in the reign of Charles 2; and his second wife, Winifred Trentham, as a member of the household of Mary of Modena, consort of James 2, was present at the birth of the Prince of Wales in 1688. After the abdication in that year, refusing to desert the Royal Family, Sir Thomas and his wife accompanied them into a voluntary exile for the rest of their lives at the Court at St. Germain. Here Lady Strickland was governess to the young Prince, and a collection at Sizergh of Stuart personal relics and also a set of portraits of the Royal Family, given to her by the Queen, are a reminder of those difficult times.

1700 - 1950. Their son Water was allowed to return to England where he lived quietly at the much impoverished family home, and became the progenitor of two parallel lines, both of whom have left their mark on Sizergh. Thomas Peter was his eldest son, and his son Charles brought for a time renewed prosperity to the family by his marriage to a wealthy heiress from Lancashire, Cecilia Towneley. Through her mother she brought in the estates of Standish, near Wigan, and of Borwick near Carnforth; but both estates have now gone out of the family's possession. Cecilia lived in an age where change for the sake of change was an obsession, and it was during her lifetime that many alterations were made that one cannot but now deplore. In 1938 the last surviving male descendant of the above Thomas Peter Strickland died. He had, however, a younger brother, Jarrard, who was succeeded in this branch line by a second Jarrard. The latter, after his cousins death, married as her second husband Cecilia Towneley, and lived at Sizergh until his stepson came of age. From this Jarrard descended the late Sir Gerald Strickland, G.C.M.G. (afterwards first and last baron Strickland of Sizergh), who in 1896, finding the estate once more in financial difficulties and wishful to preserve it in the Strickland family, relieved his cousin of his liabilities in exchange for the latter's further interest in the estate. Sir Gerald, in a varied life as Colonial administrator, Dominion governor, Member of Parliament in England, Prime Minister in Malta, and finally a member of the House of Lords, married as his first wife Lady Edeline Sackville, daughter of the 7th Earl de la Warr. Having no surviving male issue, he settled the estate in 1931 subject to the existing liabilities upon his eldest daughter and her husband, Mr Henry and the Honourable Mrs Hornyold-Strickland. They, with their son Lieutenant-Commander T. Hornyold-Strickland, made a gift in 1950 of the estate, including the house and contents, and other rejoining lands, to the National Trust. Mrs T Hornyold-Strickland and one of her six children still live at Sizergh.

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Walter Strickland, of Sizergh, Esq. MP's Timeline

1516
April 5, 1516
Westmoreland, Lancashire, England
April 5, 1516
1530
1530
Age 13
Kendal, Cumbria, UK
1530
Age 13
1554
1554
Age 37
1554
Age 37
Sizergh, Hall, Westmoreland, England
1560
1560
Age 43
Westmoreland, Lancashire, England
1563
1563
Age 46
Kendal, Westmorland, , England
1569
April 8, 1569
Age 53
Westmoreland, UK
????