William Catesby

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William Catesby

Birthdate:
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir William Catesby and Philippa Catesby
Husband of Margaret Catesby
Father of George Catesby
Brother of Elizabeth Wake

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
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Immediate Family

About William Catesby

William Catesby

Sir William Catesby (1450[1] – August 25, 1485) was one of Richard III of England's principal councillors. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Speaker of the House of Commons during Richard's reign.

The son of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire (died 1478) and Philippa, daughter and heiress of Sir William Bishopston, he was trained for the law in the Inner Temple.[2] As an aspiring lawyer Catesby initially progressed in the service of William, 1st Lord Hastings. He married Margaret, daughter of William La Zouche, 6th Baron Zouche of Harringworth; the couple had three sons. Upon the death of his father he inherited a large number of estates in the English Midlands and was land-agent for many others. He was a member of the Council that ruled during the reign of Edward V. After Richard was enthroned, Catesby was one of King Richard's closest advisors. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as Speaker of the English House of Commons during the Parliament of 1484, in which he sat as knight of the shire for Northamptonshire. He also received a substantial grant of land from the king, enough to make him richer than most knights.[3]

In July 1484, William Collingbourne, a Tudor agent, tacked up a lampooning poem to St. Paul's Cathedral, which mentions Catesby among the three aides to King Richard, whose emblem was a white boar:

  • " The Catte, the Ratte and Lovell our dogge rulyth all Englande under a hogge. "

(The dog here refers to a Lovell family heraldic symbol.)[4][5] The poem was interpolated into Laurence Olivier's film Richard III, a screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's play. Collingbourne was hanged, drawn and quartered for this and other alleged treasonable activities.[citation needed]

William Catesby was one of the two councillors (the other was Richard Ratcliffe) who are reputed to have told the king that marrying Elizabeth of York would cause rebellions in the north.[6] He fought alongside Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was captured. Alone of those of importance he was executed three days later at Leicester. The suggestion that he might have made a deal with the Stanleys before the battle comes from his will when he asked them "to pray for my soul as ye have not for my body, as I trusted in you."[7]

After his death his estates were largely confiscated by Henry VII. Catesby was succeeded by his eldest son, George, to whom the family seat of Ashby St Legers was later restored. Robert Catesby, leader of the Gunpowder Plot, was a descendant.[citation needed]

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Catesby

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  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09
  • Catesby, William by James Gairdner
  • CATESBY, WILLIAM (d. 1485), councillor of Richard III, was the son of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire, by Philippa, daughter and heiress of Sir William Bishopston. His father died in 1470, but nothing seems to be known of Catesby till after the death of Edward IV, twelve or thirteen years later. Certain it is that he possessed great influence with Richard III before he became king. More speaks of him as a man well versed in the law, who, by the favour of Lord Hastings, possessed great authority in the counties of Leicester and Northampton; and it seems to have been owing to his presence in the Protector's councils that Hastings, relying on his fidelity to him, was lulled into a state of false security. For Richard, we are told, endeavoured through Catesby to ascertain if Hastings would acquiesce in his intended usurpation of the crown, and Catesby went so far as to broach the subject to him; but Hastings answered with such ‘terrible words’ that Catesby not only saw it was hopeless, but feared a diminution of his own credit with Hastings for having spoken of it. He therefore, if More has not maligned him, stirred up the Protector to get rid of his patron. There is no doubt that he profited by his fall, for immediately after Richard's accession he obtained an office which Hastings had previously held, that of one of the chamberlains of the receipt of exchequer. On the same day (30 June 1483) Richard appointed him chancellor of the exchequer, and also chancellor of the earldom of March for life. Next year he was chosen speaker in Richard's only parliament. His influence with the usurper was pointed at in the satirical rhyme made by Colyngbourne, who suffered, though not, as commonly supposed, for that cause only, the extreme penalties of treason—
    • The cat, the rat, and Lovel our dog
    • Rule all England under a hog—
  • showing that of three leading councillors he was believed to be the first. His name appears on commissions for the counties of Warwick, Northampton, Leicester, Gloucester, and Berks, and on 15 Feb. 1485 he obtained a grant from the crown of the hundred of Guilsborough in tail male. That he must have been unpopular as the minister of a tyrant we may well believe; yet it is remarkable that Earl Rivers, one of the victims of Richard's tyranny, names Catesby among his executors in a will made just before his execution (Excerpta Historica, 248). On 22 Aug. 1485, when the usurper fell at Bosworth, Catesby was taken prisoner fighting on his side. Three days afterwards he was beheaded at Leicester. Just before his execution he made his will, dated 25 Aug. 1 Henry VII, leaving its fulfilment entirely to his wife, ‘to whom,’ as he says in the document, ‘I have ever been true of my body.’ Evidently this instrument of tyranny had some virtue in him, of a kind not too common among courtiers. He desired to be buried in the church of St. Leger in Ashby, and wished his wife to restore all the land he had wrongfully purchased, and to divide the rest of his property among their children. ‘I doubt not,’ he added, ‘the king will be good and gracious lord to them; for he is called a full gracious prince, and I never offended him by my good and free will, for God I take to my judge I have ever loved him.’ At the end are these remarkable passages: ‘My lords Stanley, Strange, and all that blood, help and pray for my soul, for ye have not for my body as I trusted in you. And if my issue rejoice (enjoy) my land, I pray you let Mr. John Elton have the best benefice. And (if) my Lord Lovel (another of Richard's adherents) come to grace, then that ye show to him that he pray for me. And, uncle John, remember my soul as ye have done my body, and better.’ Uncle John is Sir John Catesby, the justice [q. v.]
  • This William Catesby is often erroneously called Sir William, and spoken of as a knight. He was only an esquire of the royal body. The wife whom he left as his executrix was Margaret, a daughter of William Lord Zouche. His attainder was reversed by Henry VII in favour of his son George, and the family continued to flourish until the days of James I, when Robert Catesby [q. v.], fifth in descent from the subject of this notice, was attainted as the projector of the Gunpowder plot.
  • [Dugdale's Warwickshire, 788; Baker's Northamptonshire, i. 241, 245; Sir T. More's History of Richard III (in Cayley's More, ii. 199, 200); Fabyan's Chronicle (ed. 1811), 672; Rolls of Parliament, vi. 238, 276.]
  • From: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catesby,_William_(DNB00)
  • https://archive.org/stream/dictionarynatio50stepgoog#page/n299/mode/1up to https://archive.org/stream/dictionarynatio50stepgoog#page/n300/mode/1up

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  • WILLIAM CATESBY (d. 1485), councillor of Richard III, was the son of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire, by Philippa, daughter and heiress of Sir William Bishopston. His father died in 1470, but nothing seems to be known of Catesby till after the death of Edward IV, twelve or thirteen years later. Certain it is that he possessed great influence with Richard III before he became king.
  • More speaks of him as a man well versed in the law, who, by the favour of Lord Hastings, possessed great authority in the counties of Leicester and Northampton; and it seems to have been owing to his presence in the Protector's councils that Hastings, relying on his fidelity to him, was lulled into a state of false security. For Richard, we are told, endeavoured through Catesby to ascertain if Hastings would acquiesce in his intended usurpation of the crown, and Catesby went so far as to broach the subject to him; but Hastings answered with such 'terrible words' that Catesby not only saw it was hopeless, but feared a diminution of his own credit with Hastings for having spoken of it. He therefore, if More has not maligned him, stirred up the Protector to get rid of his patron. There is no doubt that he profited by his fall, for immediately after Richard's accession he obtained an office which Hastings had previously held, that of one of the chamberlains of the receipt of Exchequer. On the same day (30 June 1483) Richard appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer, and also Chancellor of the earldom of March for life. Next year he was chosen Speaker in Richard's only parliament.
  • His influence with the usurper was pointed at in the satirical rhyme made by Colyngbourne, who suffered, though not, as commonly supposed, for that cause only, the extreme penalties of treason—
    • The cat, the rat, and Lovel our dog
    • Rule all England under a hog—
  • showing that of three leading councillors he was believed to be the first. His name appears on commissions for the counties of Warwick, Northampton, Leicester, Gloucester, and Berks, and on 15 Feb. 1485 he obtained a grant from the crown of the hundred of Guilsborough in tail male. That he must have been unpopular as the minister of a tyrant we may well believe; yet it is remarkable that Earl Rivers, one of the victims of Richard's tyranny, names Catesby among his executors in a will made just before his execution.1
  • On 22 Aug. 1485, when the usurper fell at Bosworth, Catesby was taken prisoner fighting on his side. Three days afterwards he was beheaded at Leicester. Just before his execution be made his will, dated 25 Aug. 1 Henry VII, leaving its fulfilment entirely to his wife, 'to whom,' as he says in the document, 'I have ever been true of my body.' Evidently this instrument of tyranny had some virtue in him, of a kind not too common among courtiers. He desired to be buried in the church of St. Leger in Ashby, and wished his wife to restore all the land he had wrongfully purchased, and to divide the rest of his property among their children. 'I doubt not,' he added, 'the king will be good and gracious lord to them; for he is called a full gracious prince, and I never offended him by my good and free will, for God I take to my judge I have ever loved him.' At the end are these remarkable passages: 'My lords Stanley, Strange, and all that blood, help and pray for my soul, for ye have not for my body as I trusted in you. And if my issue rejoice (enjoy) my land, I pray you let Mr. John Elton have the best benefice. And (if) my Lord Lovel (another of Richard's adherents) come to grace, then that ye show to him that he pray for me. And, uncle John, remember my soul as ye have done my body, and better.' Uncle John is Sir John Catesby, the justice.
  • This William Catesby is often erroneously called Sir William, and spoken of as a knight. He was only an Esquire of the Royal Body. The wife whom he left as his executrix was Margaret, first daughter of William Lord Zouche. His attainder was reversed by Henry VII in favour of his son George, and the family continued to flourish until the days of James I, when Robert Catesby, fifth in descent from the subject of this notice, was attainted as the projector of the Gunpowder Plot.
  • 1. Excerpta Historica, p. 248.
  • From: http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/catesby.htm

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  • Sir William Catesby1,2,3,4
  • M, #90672, b. circa 1440, d. 25 August 1485
  • Father William Catesby1 b. c 1410, d. 1470
  • Mother Philippa Bishopston1 b. c 1411, d. 20 Dec 1446
  • Sir William Catesby was born circa 1440 at of Ashby St. Leger, Northamptonshire, England.1 He married Margaret Zouche, daughter of Sir William IV la Zouche, 5th Lord Zouche of Harringsworth, Lord St. Maur and Elizabeth St. John, circa 1470.1 Sir William Catesby died on 25 August 1485.1
  • Family Margaret Zouche b. c 1451, d. 8 Oct 1494
  • Children
    • Elizabeth Catesby+2,3,4 b. c 1471, d. b 14 Mar 1523
    • George Catesby, Esq.+1 b. c 1473, d. 20 May 1507
  • Citations
  • [S61] Unknown author, Family Group Sheets, Family History Archives, SLC.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 306.
  • [S6] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 166.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 162-163.
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p3018.htm#i90672

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  • Sir William Catesby1
  • M, #601363
  • Last Edited=26 Jan 2013
  • Sir William Catesby lived at Ashby St. Ledgers, Northamptonshire, England.1
  • Child of Sir William Catesby
    • Elizabeth Catesby+2
  • Citations
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 4024. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p60137.htm#i601363

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  • William CATESBY (Sir)
  • Born: ABT 1440
  • Died: 25 Aug 1485, Leicester, England
  • Buried: Ashby St. Leger, Northamptonshire, England
  • Notes: Attainted in 1485. Councillor to Richard III. He was captured after the battle of Bosworth and was beheaded three days later.
  • Father: William CATESBY (Sir)
  • Mother: Phillipa BISHOPSTON
  • Married: Margaret ZOUCHE
  • Children:
    • 1. George CATESBY
    • 2. John CATESBY (d. AFT 1502)
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/CATESBY.htm#William CATESBY (Sir)2

_________________

  • William Catesby
  • Birth: unknown
  • Death: Aug. 20, 1485
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • William Catesby (____ - 1470)
  • Spouse:
  • Margaret Zouche Catesby (____ - 1494)*
  • Sibling:
  • William Catesby (____ - 1485)
  • Elizabeth Catesby Wake*
  • Burial: Ashby St Ledgers Churchyard, Ashby St Ledgers, Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 121704899
  • From: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=121704899

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William Catesby's Timeline

1450
1450
1475
1475
Age 25
Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire, England
1485
August 25, 1485
Age 35
????