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Alice Hales - Lee (Kempe)

Also Known As: "Alison Hales", "Alisone Hales"
Death: 1592
Place of Burial: Canterbury, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe, MP and Cecily Kempe, of Eastchurch
Wife of Sir James Hales and Sir Richard Lee, MP
Mother of Cheyney Hales, Esq.
Sister of Anne Shirley; Dorothy Chicheley and Margaret Cromer
Half sister of Sir Thomas Kempe; William Kempe; Reginald Kempe; Edward Kempe; Elyn Kempe and 2 others

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Alice Kempe

The 'Lady Hales’ to whom Robert Greene dedicated 'Menaphon' in 1589.


Sir James Hales

This striking memorial on the north wall of the nave relates to four members of the influential Hales family in Kent.

What to see:

Sir James Hales (grandfather of Sir James Hales mentioned below) drowned himself in the River Stour in 1555 in old age following imprisonment and torture in the Fleet prison - the painting backdrop to the central panel of the memorial provides an overview of the Stour at Thannington where this took place (writers have disputed whether the square towered church is St Mildred's or Thannington)

the grandson, another Sir James Hales, died at sea following the attack on Cadiz in 1589, a reprisal for the Spanish Armada attack the year before - he is shown here as an armed figure being lowered into the water (Image 2 - the only example of such a scene in English cathedrals)

Alice (Image 3) the wife of the grandson kneels at a priedieu or prayer desk in front of (unfortunately obscuring the painted overview of the Stour)

Cheyney Hales, son of the above, survived his father by only 7 years - he appears in the lowest panel of the memorial as a young Elizabethan gallant

Note that Alice and Cheyney face west (those at prayer in church memorials normally face east) but there is evidence that the entire memorial was once located in St Michael's chapel

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Alice Kempe's Timeline

St. Michael's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, England, United Kingdom