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Anne Hungerford (Dormer)

Birthplace: Ascot, Berkshire, England
Death: 1603 (72-82)
Suffolk, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir William Dormer, KB, MP and Mary Margaret Sidney
Wife of Sir Walter Hungerford, Kt., MP
Partner of William Darrell, MP
Mother of Lucy St. John; Edmund Hungerford; Susan Reynell; Jane Carne; John Hungerford and 1 other
Sister of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria; Richard Dormer and Thomas Dormer
Half sister of Robert Dormer, 1st Baron Dormer; Jane Throckmorton; Margaret Constable; Mary Caryll Browne Uvedale Gerard (Dormer); Grissel Dormer and 3 others

Occupation: 2nd wife of Sir Walter Hungerford
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Anne Hungerford

ANNE DORMER (1525-1603)

"Anne Dormer was the daughter of William Dormer of Eythrope, Buckinghamshire (1503-May 17,1575) and Mary Sidney (d.1542).

Married Sir Walter Hungerford of Farleigh (c.1526-1596) May 1558

They had four children,

  • Lucy (b.1560),
  • Edmund (b.1562),
  • Susan (b.1564), and
  • Jane (b.1566)

In 1570, Hungerford sued Anne for divorce, claiming that she had committed adultery with William "Wild" Darrell of Littlecote (1540-1589) between 1560 and 1568 and had had a child by him.

Sir Walter also accused her of trying to poison him in 1564. Surviving letters from Anne to her "good Will" give some foundation to the charges but Anne was acquitted and awarded costs (£250) in the law suit. Hungerford refused to pay or to support his wife while they were separated (he did agree to take her back) and spent three years in Fleet Prison as a result.

In a letter written in 1570 to "Doll" (Dorothy) Essex, her sister Jane's lady in waiting, Anne complained that she had not seen her children in over a year. She also wrote to her sister at this time. In 1571, Anne received a license to travel to Louvain to visit her dying grandmother (Jane Newdigate, Lady Dormer, who died on July 7).

In August of that year Anne's sister (Jane Dormer, duchess of Feria), asked that the license be extended from six months to two years. Anne took over her grandmother's household in Louvain after Lady Dormer's death and remained there.

In 1573, she was granted a pension of 1,100 livres a year by the king of Spain and in 1583 he granted her a further pension of fifty escudos a month. Anne became friends with Margaret of Parma as well as with the other English exiles living in Flanders. After her only son died (the date of his death varies, depending on the source, from 1583 to 1587), Anne claimed that Hungerford was attempting to defraud their daughters of their portion.

In his 1595 will, Hungerford left two farms to Margery Bright, his mistress for some years and the mother of four children by him, the last born after Hungerford's death. Upon hearing a rumor that Anne was dead, Hungerford married Margery shortly before he died with the result that both Anne and Margery sued to establish the right to inherit as Hungerford's widow. There was never any question but that the victory would go to Anne. During that same period, Anne involved herself in politics in Flanders, urging her sister, the widowed duchess of Feria, to leave Spain and travel to Brussels. She wrote a number of letters on the subject and seems to have been convinced that the duchess's journey would alarm Queen Elizabeth and turn the tide in King Philip's favor in the ongoing war in the Netherlands. Anne's nephew, Don Lorenzo, 2nd duke of Feria, took steps to thwart this intrigue and Anne seems to have given up the plan around 1599. As far as is known, Anne never returned to England. She died in Louvain.

'Lady Anne Hungerford (née Dormer) (1525–1603) was an English courtier during the reign of Queen Mary I of England and poetess.

Anne was daughter of Sir William Dormer and Mary, daughter of Sir William Sidney ,and the sister of Jane Dormer a lady in waiting of Queen Mary and later wife of the Duke of Feria Both Anne and Jane were prominent recusants

Around 1558 Queen Mary gave her permission for Sir Walter Hungerford Knight of Farleigh to marry Anne (his second wife). They had four children, a son, Edmund (d. 1587), and three daughters. In 1570 Anne was charged with trying to poison Sir Walter in 1564, (something his mother had accused his father of doing to her) and with committing adultery between 1560 and 1568 with William Darrell of Littlecote.

Lady Anne was acquitted, and Sir Walter, refusing to pay the heavy costs, was committed to the Fleet Prison By October 1571, Lady Anne was living with the English Roman Catholics at Louvain , and in 1581, when at Namur , she begged Francis Walsingham to protect her children from her husband's endeavours to disinherit them.

Sir Walter left his property to his brother Sir Edward Hungerford , with remainder to his male heirs by a mistress, Margery Brighte, with whom he went through the ceremony of marriage in the last year of his life, although Lady Anne was still alive. After his death Lady Anne recovered "reasonable dower" from her brother-in-law, Sir Edward, and died at Louvain in 1603

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Anne Hungerford's Timeline

Ascot, Berkshire, England
Farleigh Hungerford, Somerset, England
Suffolk, England
Age 78
Suffolk, England