Elizabeth Darrell, Mistress

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Elizabeth Darrell, Mistress

Also Known As: "Wyatt", "Hungerford"
Birthplace: Ramsbury, Wiltshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Edward Darrell, MP, of Littlecote and Jane Croft
Wife of Edward Hungerford
Partner of Sir Thomas Wyatt, MP
Mother of Frances Leigh; Edward Wyatt and Henry Wyatt
Sister of Edmund Darell, MP; Jane Hungerford; John Darrell and Sir Edward Darrell, Kt.
Half sister of Elizabeth Darrell

Occupation: Mistress to Sir Thomas Wyatt
Managed by: Ann Farley
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Darrell, Mistress

Elizabeth Darrell was the long-term mistress and muse of Sir Thomas Wyatt. They had at least one child, Francis.[1] Wyatt was married to Elizabeth Brooke, Lady Wyatt who had committed adultery, resulting in their separation. She was later rumoured to have been involved with Henry VIII.



3 Children born to Elizabeth and her lover Sir Thomas Wyatt. Elizabeth Darrell (sometimes spelt Darrall) was the daughter of Sir Edward Darrell of Littlecote (Wilts) (b. 1466 - d. 9 Mar 1531), Chamberlain to Catalina of Aragon and among the mourners at her funeral, by his first wife, sometimes called Anne or Jane Croft. She was one of Catalina of Aragon 's gentlewomen. She asked to join the household of Queen Jane Seymour but is next found as servant of the Marchioness of Exeter. When Catalina died in 1536 she left Mrs Darrell with £200 for her marriage, though none was in prospect. When Gertrude and others were arrested on suspicion of treason, Elizabeth was forced to give evidence against the Marchioness. In her interrogation on 6 Nov, she confessed that she had heard that the King had sent Peter Mewtas into France to kill Cardinal Pole with a handgun.

After 1538 she became the mistress of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder. She bore 3 sons of Sir Thomas: Henry, who died in infancy, Francis, born in 1540, who took the name of Darrell, and Edward, whose date of birth has not been traced and who was executed among the rebels after the Wyatt's rebellion  of 1554. Elizabeth Darrell was openly living with Wyatt, as his mistress, at Allington Castle in Kent, in Jan of 1541, when Wyatt was arrested. Because she was pregnant at the time, she was allowed to remain in one of Wyatt’s confiscated houses. There was another attempt made at that time to force him to take back his wife, but following his release from the Tower, he returned to his mistress. Sir Thomas left Elizabeth properties in Dorset with the right of reversion to her son Francis. In 1543 properties were confirmed as being held, by Elizabeth. She also received the estate at Tarrant given to her in 1544 by Sir Thomas, the younger  Elizabeth apparently got along well with Wyatt’s legitimate son,, which is probably what gave rise to the identification of her as his mistress rather than his father’s. Elizabeth Darrell eventually married Robert Strowde in 1554. The parsonage at Stoke, Somerset was leased to Elizabeth in 1548 and around 1554, at about the same time Queen Mary seems to have paid Elizabeth a legacy left to her by Queen Catalina of Aragon . In 1560, he was living in the provost's house at Stoke.

Stanley Wyatt, in "Cheneys and Wyatts" Page 111, definitely states that she became the mistress of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the younger, by whom she had a son Francis, with a passing reference to "another little Wyatt" who may be Edward. According to A. R. Simons in "The Queen and the Rebel", Edward was the natural son of Sir Thomas, the younger, and he gives a full description of the boys attendance at the early meetings of the main conspirators, his torture in the Tower and his execution, probably at Maidstone, on the 17th, with Thomas Cobham

Elizabeth was a servant of the Marchioness of Dorset and then afterward, on an unknown date, she became Maid of Honour to Queen Catherine. Possibly out of loyalty to Catherine or due to her dislike of Anne Boleyn Elizabeth refused to take the Oath of Supremacy When Catherine of Aragon died in January 1536 she left Elizabeth a gift of £200 for her future marriage

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Elizabeth Darrell, Mistress's Timeline

Ramsbury, Wiltshire, England
Age 32
Kent, , England
Age 49
Age 61