Elizabeth Cheney, Lady Say

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Elizabeth Cheney

Also Known As: "Elizabeth de Cheney", "Elizabeth Cheyne", "Lady Tilney", "Lady Say"
Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Broxbourne St. Augustines, Hertfordshire, England, (Present UK)
Place of Burial: Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Lawrence Cheney, Escheator of Bedford & Buckingham and Elizabeth Cokayne
Wife of Sir Frederick Tylney and Sir John Say, Kt.
Mother of Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey; William Tilney; Alice Tilney; Hugh Tilney; Sir Fredrick Tilney, Jr. and 6 others
Sister of Anne Cheney; Lawrence Cheney, Jr.; Sir John Cheyne, Kt.; Catherine Cheney and Mary Ellen Cheney
Half sister of Edward Boteler and Philip Boteler, Esq.

Occupation: Elizabeth, Lady Tilney, Elizabeth, Lady Say
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Cheney, Lady Say

From the English language Wikipedia page on Elizabeth Cheney (1422-1473)


Elizabeth Cheney (1422 – 25 September 1473), later known as Elizabeth, Lady Tilney and Elizabeth, Lady Say, was an English aristocrat, who, by dint of her two marriages, was the great-grandmother of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard, three of the wives of King Henry VIII of England. Her first husband was Sir Frederick Tilney, and her second husband was Sir John Say, Speaker of the House of Commons. She produced a total of nine children from both marriages.


Born in Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, in 1422, she was the eldest child of Sir Laurence Cheney, Sheriff of Cambridge and Elizabeth Cockayne[1] She had three younger sisters, Anne, wife of John Appleyard; Mary, wife of John Allington; Catherine, wife of Henry Barley, and one brother, Sir John Cheney who married Elizabeth Rempston, by whom he had issue.[2] She also had two half-brothers by her mother's first marriage to Sir Philip Butler, a member of the noble Irish family, the Butlers of Ormond.

Her paternal grandparents were Sir William Cheney and Catherine Pabenham. Her maternal grandparents were Sir John Cockayne, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Ida de Grey, the daughter of Reginald Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Ruthyn and Eleanor Le Strange of Blackmere.[3]

Marriages and children

On an unknown date, Elizabeth married her first husband Sir Frederick Tilney, of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, and Boston, Lincolnshire. He was the son of Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe. They made their principal residence at Ashwellthorpe Manor.[4] Together Sir Frederick and Elizabeth had one daughter:

  • 1. Elizabeth Tilney (before 1445- 4 April 1497), married firstly in about 1466, Sir Humphrey Bourchier, by whom she had three children; and secondly on 30 April 1472, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who would later become the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, by whom she had nine children. These children included Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard, mother of Anne Boleyn, and Lord Edmund Howard, father of Catherine Howard.

Sir Frederick died in 1445, leaving their young daughter Elizabeth as heiress to his estates. Shortly before 1 December 1446, Elizabeth Cheney married secondly to Sir John Say of Broxbourne, Speaker of the House of Commons, and a member of the household of King Henry VI. He was a member of the embassy, led by William de la Pole, which was sent to France in 1444 to negotiate with King Charles VII for the marriage between King Henry and Margaret of Anjou.[5]

Her father settled land worth 50 marks clear per annum upon the couple and their issue before Candlemas 1453.[6] They made their home at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Together Sir John and Elizabeth had three sons and five daughters:

  • 1. Sir William Say (1452- 1529), Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset (1478-79), Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire (1482-83), married secondly Elizabeth Fray, widow of Sir Thomas Waldegrave, by whom he had two daughters, Mary Say and Elizabeth Say. [7] Mary, the eldest daughter married Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex and 6th Baron Bourchier, by whom she had one daughter, Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier
  • 2. Thomas Say
  • 3. Rev. Leonard Say, a Roman Catholic priest
  • 4. Anne Say (died 1478/1494), married Henry Wentworth, Sheriff of Yorkshire, by whom she had issue, including Margaret Wentworth, mother of Jane Seymour.
  • 5. Mary Say, married Sir Philip Calthorpe, by whom she had issue.
  • 6. Elizabeth Say, married Thomas Sampson
  • 7. Katherine Say, married Thomas Bassingbourne
  • 8. Unnamed daughter, died young


On 25 September 1473, aged 51, Elizabeth Cheney died. She was buried in the church at Broxbourne.

Following her death, John Say remarried to Agnes Danvers. He died five years later on 12 April 1478. Sometime after 1478, Elizabeth's eldest son, Sir William Say, married his second wife, Elizabeth Fray, a daughter of his stepmother Agnes, by her first husband, Sir John Fray (1419- 1461), Chief Baron of the Exchequer.[8]



John Smith Roskell, Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, Vol.2, Google Books, accessed 9 September 2009


  • 1. ^ The Peerage website
  • 2. ^ Tudorplace.com genealogy site/information
  • 3. ^ Ida Ashworth Taylor, Lady Jane Grey and Her Times, p. 8, Google Books, accessed 3 September 2009
  • 4. ^ The Peerage website
  • 5. ^ John Smith Roskell, Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, volume 2, p. 155, Google Books, accessed 9 September 2009
  • 6. ^ John Smith Roskell, Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, volume 2, p. 156, Google Books, accessed 9 September 2009
  • 7. ^ John Smith Roskell, Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, volume 2, pp. 170-71, Google Books, accessed 9 September 2009
  • 8. ^ John Smith Roswell, Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, volume 2, p. 170, Google Books, accessed 9 September 2009


From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on Elizabeth Cheney:


Elizabeth Cheney is the daughter of Sir Lawrence Cheney and Elizabeth Cokayn.

Child of Elizabeth Cheney and Sir John Say

  • 1. Anne Say+ d. b 22 Oct 1494

Child of Elizabeth Cheney and Sir Frederick Tylney

  • 1. Elizabeth Tylney+ b. 1447, d. 4 Apr 1497

Children: 1. Elizabeth TYLNEY, Countess of Surrey b: 1446 in Surrey, England

Ancestor of both Queen Jane Seymour and Queen Anne Boleyn.

view all 19

Elizabeth Cheney, Lady Say's Timeline

April 1420
Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England, (Present UK)
Age 25
Ashwellthorpe Manor, Norfolk, England
Age 31
Hertfordshire, England
Age 32
Nettlestead, Suffolk, England
Age 35
Age 37
Age 43
Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England
September 15, 1473
Age 53
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom