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Martha Percy (Wright)

Birthplace: Plowland Manor, Welwick, Yorkshire, England
Death: March 04, 1620 (55-64)
Beverly, Yorkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert Wright, Esq. and Ursula Wright
Wife of Thomas Percy
Mother of Robert Percy; Martha Ursula Catesby; Unknown Percy; Elizabeth Percy and Elizabeth Minskip
Sister of William William Wright; Alice Readshaw; John "Jack" Wright; Ursula Ward; Christopher "Kit" Wright and 1 other
Half sister of William Wright, of Plowland and Ann Wright

Managed by: John DO NOT MERGE Wright, claime...
Last Updated:

About Martha Percy

biographical notes


Thomas Percy's personal life was just as questionable as his professional one. In 1591 he married Martha Wright, sister to two of the other conspirators, Kit and Jack Wright, of a staunchly recusant Yorkshire family. It was reported he was a very loose liver; that he had two wives, one in the south and another in the north. An honorable good lady said that she knew them both. His wife in the south was so poor that she was fain to teach school, and bring up gentle-women. There are some living that were her scholars. The story is held up by a letter from Sir William Waad, Lieutenant of the Tower, to Salisbury in regards to 500 pounds held by Mounteagle of Percy's wife. Waad had to enquire as to which of his wives. Father John Gerard, writing in 1897 reported that when Percy's name was published in connection with the Plot, the magistrates in London arrested one wife, while those in Warwickshire arrested the other.

It appears that Percy's pious Catholic wife Martha had a profound effect on her unruly husband, as Tesimond reported that at some point he converted to Catholicism himself. "He then changed his ways in remarkable fashion, giving much satisfaction to Catholics and considerable cause for wonder for those who had known him previously".

Note about parents:

While the parents of the Gunpowder Plot Wrights are officially not known, they were known to have been born and raised in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and tradition has it that they were born in Plowland Manor, which is in Welwick, outside of Hull. Given their birth dates, that means they would have to have been the offspring of one of the Wright owners of that manor. Some web trees make them children of Robert Wright, Esq, Sheriff of Yorkshire, and Ursula, his second wife. Robert remarried in around 1555, so presuming Ursula was about 20 at that time, the dates work out pretty well for this hypothesis.

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Martha Percy's Timeline

Plowland Manor, Welwick, Yorkshire, England
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
March 4, 1620
Age 60
Beverly, Yorkshire, England