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Francis Yate

Immediate Family:

Husband of Frances White

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Francis Yate

Explicitly identified by the Visitations of Hampshire as Francis (the Recusant) Yate, Esq..

Frances White would have been his first wife, who died in the summer of 1569, after which he married Jane Tichbourne.

As to the identity of Francis Yate's mother:

A Note on the Identity of 'Mrs. Yate'

The exact identity of the 'Mrs. Yate' who is recorded to have entertained Edmund Campion at Lyford Grange has caused much confusion over the years. In 1581, the Grange was certainly the residence of Mr. Francis Yate (NB. there is no 's' on the end). He is known to have been in prison for his Catholic beliefs during the famous visit. The most popular theory, apparently based on the work of John G Hunt (1976), identifies this man's famous relative as Frances Yate (formerly White), his mother.

In fact Hunt only states that this lady was married to Francis' father, not that she was his mother. She could have been a step-mother. It was Francis' mother or step-mother who had joined the Brigittine nuns living in the house, as one of their number. The assumption that she was the lady of the house is presumably due to the misconception that Francis and his wife were in prison together. Jane was certainly imprisoned in London at some point, but it is not known if this was before or after the events in question. There is no evidence to suggest that Francis died in prison as is sometimes stated.

The marriage of Frances White of South Warnborough (Hampshire) to Francis Yate of Lyford is recorded in the contemporary Heralds' Visitations of Hampshire. Hunt dismissed this as impossible and claimed that Francis must have been a mistake for his father Thomas. Whilst he was correct in noting that such mistakes in the visitations were quite common, he gives no reasoning behind this bizarre supposition. A wife of Thomas Yate, and presumably the Brigittine nun, is recorded in the local parish registers as Anne or Agnes. She died in the Summer of 1580. She and Thomas would have been married in the late 1550s or very early 1560s, as the records of the manor Hurstbourne Fauconer (Hampshire) show that Thomas' first wife (married about 1540) and Francis' mother was Elizabeth Fauconer who died in or before 1562. Frances White could not have been a later wife of Thomas than Anne/Agnes, as he had died in 1565. She could not have been an earlier wife than Elizabeth either, for she would have been too young. Frances and her eighteen siblings were mostly (if not totally) born between 1531 and 1566 (the birth dates of her eldest and youngest brothers, Henry and Richard). She could just about have been a middle wife, but she would still have been dead before Thomas died in 1565. In fact, there is no reason at all to suppose that the visitations were not correct. Frances White did indeed marry Francis Yate, not Thomas.

As we have already seen, Francis Yate's step-mother died in the year before Campion came calling. So, we are left with the more obvious assumption, that 'Mrs. Yate' was Francis Yate's wife: but which one? As well as Frances White, Francis Yate is recorded as having married Jane Tichborne of Tichborne (Hampshire). In fact, a brief look at the local parish register reveals that Frances was his first wife and died in the Summer of 1569. So Campion's hostess was clearly his second wife, Jane.

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Francis Yate's Timeline