Edward Arden, Esq.

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Edward Arden, Esq.

Birthplace: Warwick, Warwickshire, England
Death: December 20, 1583 (36-45)
Tyburn, Middlesex, England (Executed for treason)
Place of Burial: Head displayed on London Bridge, body was buried in the Moorfields, England
Immediate Family:

Son of William Arden and Elizabeth Conway
Husband of Mary Arden
Father of Catherine Devereux and Margaret Somerville
Brother of Barbara Neville

Managed by: Tyler Drown
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Edward Arden, Esq.

Edward Arden (taken from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)

An English Catholic, executed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, b. 1542 (?); d. 1583. He was the head of a family which had been prominent in Warwickshire for six centuries, having succeeded to the estates on the death of his grandfather, Thomas Arden, in 1563. In 1575 he was high sheriff of the county. His father, William Arden, was a second cousin of Mary Arden of Wilmcote, the mother of Shakespeare. In 1583, Arden was indicted in Warwick for plotting against the life of the Queen, as were also his wife, his son-in-law, John Somerville, and Father Hugh Hall, a chaplain whom he maintained in the disguise of a gardener at his home, Park Hall. Somerville, who was said to be weak-minded, was incensed over the wrongs of Mary, Queen of Scots, and openly uttered threats against Elizabeth. He was arrested and when put on the rack implicated the others in a conspiracy to assassinate the Queen. They were arrested and Arden was taken to London, where he was arraigned in the Guildhall, 16 December, 1583. He was convicted, chiefly on the evidence of Hall, and was executed at Smithfield, 30 December, 1583. Somerville, who was also condemned to die on the same day, was found strangled in his cell the day before Mrs. Arden and Hall were released. It is generally conceded that Arden was the innocent victim of a plot. He died protesting his innocence and declaring that his only crime was the profession of the Catholic religion. Dugdale, quoting from Camden's "Annals of Queen Elizabeth," attributes Arden's prosecution to the malice of Leicester, whose displeasure he had incurred by open criticism of the Earl's relations with the Countess of Essex before their marriage. He had further irritated Leicester by disdaining to wear his livery and by denouncing him as an upstart. It is supposed that Hall was suborned to involve Arden in the alleged plot.


HARRISON, in Dict. Nat. Biog., II, 74; GILLOW, Dict. Eng., Cath., I, 57.

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The Arden family is, according to an article by James Lees-Milne in the 18th edition of Burke's Peerage/Burke's Landed Gentry, volume 1, one of only three families in England that can trace its lineage in the male line back to Anglo-Saxon times (the other two being the Berkeley family and the Swinton family). The Arden family takes its name from the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire.

Alwin (Æthelwine), nephew of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, was Sheriff of Warwickshire at the time of the Norman Conquest.[1][2] He was succeeded by his son, Thorkell of Arden (variously spelt Thorkill, Turchil etc.), whose own son and principal heir, Siward de Arden, subsequently married Cecilia, granddaughter of Aldgyth, daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, and from this union the Ardens descend (Siward was Thorkell's son by his first wife, whose name is not recorded; his second wife, Leofrun, was another daughter of Ælfgar).[3] Subsequent generations of the family remained prominent in Warwickshire affairs and on many occasions held the shrievalty. From the time of Sir Henry de Arden in the 14th century the Ardens had their primary estate at Park Hall, Castle Bromwich.[4] The descent from Alwin is as follows:[5]

  • Alwin (d. c.1083)
  • Thorkell of Arden (d. c.1100)
  • Siward de Arden, m. Cecilia
  • Henry de Arden (d. aft. 1166)
  • William de Arden, m. Galiena
  • William de Arden, m. Avice
  • Sir Thomas de Arden, m. Riese
  • Ralph de Arden (d. aft. 1290)
  • Ralph de Arden, m. Isabel de Bromwich
  • Sir Henry de Arden (d. c.1400), m. Ellen
  • Sir Ralph Arden (d. 1420), m. Sybil
  • Robert Arden (executed 12 Aug 1452), m. Elizabeth Clodshall
  • Walter Arden (d. 5 Aug 1502), m. Eleanor Hampden
  • Sir John Arden (d. 1526), m. Alice Bracebridge
  • Thomas Arden (d. 1563), m. Mary Andrewes
  • William Arden (d. 1546), m. Elizabeth Conway
  • ' Edward Arden (executed 20 Dec 1583), m. Mary Throckmorton
  • Robert Arden (d. 27 Feb 1635), m. Elizabeth Corbet
  • Sir Henry Arden (d. 1616), m. Dorothy Feilding
  • Robert Arden (d. 1643)

Robert Arden was executed in 1452 for supporting the uprising of Richard, Duke of York. The same fate befell Edward Arden in 1583, who came under suspicion for being head of a family that had remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and was sentenced for allegedly plotting against Elizabeth I.[6] His father William was second cousin to Mary Arden, mother of William Shakespeare (Mary Arden was the daughter of Robert, son of Thomas, younger son of Walter in the above list).[7] Edward's great-grandson Robert died unmarried and without issue in 1643, bringing the Park Hall male line to an end (his sister Goditha married (Sir) Herbert Price, who took up residence).[8] The Arden family survives to this day in many branches descended from younger sons in earlier generations.

See also

  • Arden (name)
  • Arden, Warwickshire
  • List of monarchs of Mercia


  • 1.^ British History Online
  • 2.^ Domesday Packington
  • 3.^ Kingsbury History Society
  • 4.^ Stirnet (Arden 1)
  • 5.^ Siward de Arden
  • 6.^ Edward Arden
  • 7.^ Mary Arden
  • 8.^ Stirnet (Arden 2)
  • From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arden_family
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  • 'Edward Arden1
  • M, #146608
  • Last Edited=21 May 2008
  • ' Edward Arden married Mary Throckmorton, daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton and Muriel Berkeley.1
  • ' He lived at Park Hall, Warwickshire, England.1
  • Citations
  • 1.[S34] Peter Townend, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 105th edition (London, U.K.: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1970), page 2643. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage, 105th ed.
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p14661.htm#i146608
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  • 'Edward Arden1
  • M, #438026
  • Last Edited=18 Jul 2010
  • ' Edward Arden lived at Park Hall, Warwickshire, England.1
  • 'Child of Edward Arden
    • 1.Catherine Arden+2 d. 20 Nov 1627
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1876. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • 2.[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p43803.htm#i438026
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  • Born: ABT 1543
  • Notes: her daughter Margaret married John Somerville of Edstone (Edreston), Warwickshire (b. 1560 - d. 1583). In 1583, convinced that it was his duty as a Catholic to kill Queen Elizabeth, Somerville set out to do so, telling anyone who would listen of his plans. When arrested, he implicated Margaret, her parents, and the family priest, Hugh Hall, who lived with the Somervilles in the guise of their gardener. All five were sentenced to death but Hall and the women were pardoned. Margaret had two daughters by Somerville, Elizabeth (who married Thomas Warwick) and Alice.
  • Father: Robert THROCKMORTON of Coughton (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Elizabeth HUSSEY (B. Hungerford of Heystesbury)
  • 'Married: Edward ARDEN of Park Hall (b. 1542 - d. 1583)
  • Children:
    • 1. Margaret ARDEN (d. AFT 1583)
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/THROCKMORTON1.htm#Mary THROCKMORTON2
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Edward Arden, Esq.'s Timeline

Warwick, Warwickshire, England
Park Hall, Warwickshire, England
December 20, 1583
Age 41
Tyburn, Middlesex, England
Head displayed on London Bridge, body was buried in the Moorfields, England