William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (c.1475 - 1511) MP

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Nicknames: "William /Courtenay/"
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Death: Died
Occupation: 1st Earl of Devon
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About William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon

William COURTENAY

(10th E. Devon)

Born: 1475

Died: 1511

Father: Edward COURTENAY (9° E. Devon)

Mother: Elizabeth COURTENAY

Married: Catherine PLANTAGENET (C. Devon) BEF Oct 1495

Children:

1. Edward COURTENAY

2. Henry COURTENAY (1° M. Exeter)

3. Margaret COURTENAY

Immediately after the Battle of Bosworth, Henry VII restored the estates to Edward, grandson of Sir Hugh Courtenay of Haccombe and Boconnoc, brother of the blind Earl, and who was therefore heir-at-law. He was created Earl of Devon by patent, "to him and the heirs male of his body", on the twenty-sixth of Oct, 1485.

This Earl married his cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Phillip Courtenay of Molland, and was the father of Sir William Courtenay, created a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Henry VII.

This Sir William Courtenay took to wife Catherine Plantagenet, daughter of King Edward IV, and youngest sister of Elizabeth, King Henry's Queen. It was a most unfortunate marriage; Henry VII soon became jealous of his brother-in-law, and shut him up in the Tower, "to keep him out of harm's way", and in the Tower he, and his son and grandson, practically resided, as prisoners.

For although the Princess Catherine was the youngest sister, yet, as the intermediate sisters had no children, the Courtenays came very near to the succession to the Crown. So in the Tower Sir William remained, through the reign of the first Tudor monarch. Henry VIII released his uncle from captivity, and intended to restore him to the earldom, which he had forfeited by his attainder. The letters patent were made out for this purpose on the tenth of May, 1511, but he was never "invested", and he died at Greenwich, of pleurisy, within a month of that date. By the express commands of the King, he was buried with the honours of an Earl, to which dignity his son Henry, the King's first cousin, succeeded, and the latter was further elevated to the Marquessate of Exeter, on the eighteenth of Jun, 1525. Fourteen years afterwards he was attainted, imprisoned in the Tower, and beheaded on the ninth of Jun, I539.

Princess Catherine, usually resided either at Colcombe Castle, in the Parish of Colyton, or else at Tiverton Castle, often in great povery. There are still traditions in Devonshire as to the "quiet, proud, gentle lady", who used to walk about Tiverton with her little daughter Margaret, who, folks say, was choked by a fishbone in 1512, and lies buried at Colyton.

This tradition is supported by an inscription on the tomb at Colyton, of much later date, which sets forth that the said "Margaret was the daughter of William Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and the Princess Katherine, and that she died at Colcombe, choked by a fishbone, A.D. 1512".

But Margaret Courtenay is mentioned in the will of her grandfather, which was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the eleventh of Jul, 1509, and this lady is also mentioned by her mother in a document dated 1511 (3rd Henry VIII), and signed "Kath. Devonshire", in which she states that Margaret, her daughter, is now above thirteen years of age, and that she proposes "to procure for her a fitting marriage".

This was found for her, in the person of Henry, Lord Herbert, eldest son of Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester; and she was living at Richmond, in attendance on the infant Princess Mary, on the second of Jul, 1520. She died before her husband, who married, secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Anthony Browne.

So we can only conclude that the inscription at Colyton is a mendacious inscription, and was invented to support the tradition about "little chokebone", as the "natives" call her, and which, like many other traditions about the Courtenays, can have had no foundation in fact.

Edward Courtenay, the only surviving son of the Marquess of Exeter, by his second wife, Gertrude Blount, daughter of the Lord Mountjoy, was only twelve years old at the time of his father's execution. The King kept him in the Tower, a close prisoner, during the remainder of his reign, and there he continued all through that of Edward VI.

William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1475 – 9 June 1511) was the son of Sir Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon and Elizabeth Courtenay. He married Catherine of York the sixth daughter of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville. William and Catherine had three children:

Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter (c. 1496 – 9 January 1539) married (1) Elizabeth Grey, Viscountess Lisle and (2) Gertrude Blount

Edward Courtenay (c. 1497 – 1502)

Lady Margaret Courtenay (c. 1499 – before 1526) married Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester.

[edit]References

Great Britain, and Richard Bligh. New Reports of Cases Heard in the House of Lords, On Appeals and Writs of Error. London: Saunders and Benning, 1829. googlebooks Retrieved January 26, 2008

thepeerage.com Accessed January 26, 2008

familysearch.org Accessed January 26, 2008

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William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1475 – 9 June 1511) was the son of Sir Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon and Elizabeth Courtenay. He married Catherine of York the sixth daughter of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville. William and Catherine had three children:

Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter (c. 1496 – 9 January 1539) married (1) Elizabeth Grey, Viscountess Lisle and (2) Gertrude Blount

Edward Courtenay (c. 1497 – 1502)

Lady Margaret Courtenay (c. 1499 – before 1526) married Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester.

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William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (3rd creation)'s Timeline

1475
1475
1495
October, 1495
Age 20
1496
1496
Age 21
1497
1497
Age 22
1499
1499
Age 24
Abt. 1499
1511
June 9, 1511
Age 36