Mary Thursby, Baroness Dacre

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Mary Thursby (Neville), Baroness Dacre

Also Known As: "Baroness of Dacre"
Birthplace: Abergavenny Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales
Death: Died in London, England
Place of Burial: Saintsepulchre's, London, Middlesex, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Neville, 5th and de jure 3rd Baron Bergavenny and Mary Stafford, Baroness Abergavenny
Wife of Thomas Fiennes III; NN Wooton and Francis Thursby
Mother of Gregory G. Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre; Thomas Fiennes; Lady Margaret Fiennes, 11th Baroness Dacre; Margaret Lennard and Joanna Metcalf
Sister of Catherine Saint Leger; Margaret Neville; John Neville; Dorothy Brooke, Baroness Cobham; Ursula St. Leger and 2 others
Half sister of Jane Pole and Elizabeth Daubeney

Occupation: Baroness Dacre
Managed by: David Bradbury Stewart
Last Updated:

About Mary Thursby, Baroness Dacre

Mary Fiennes, Baroness Dacre

Mary Fiennes, Baroness Dacre (1524–1576; née Mary Neville) was the daughter of George Nevill, 5th Baron Bergavenny by his third wife, Lady Mary Stafford, youngest daughter of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham.

She married Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre (c. 1515-1541), who was convicted of the murder of a gamekeeper and hanged as a common criminal at Tyburn in 1541. The family was stripped of its lands and titles by Henry VIII.

In the following years, Mary battled to have the properties restored on behalf of her children, and on her ascension in 1558 Elizabeth restored the title of Baron Dacre to Mary's second son Gregory, her eldest son Thomas having died of the plague at age 15.

By her first husband, Lady Dacre was the mother of:

  • Thomas Fiennes (1538–1553)
  • Gregory Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre (1539–1594)
  • Margaret Fiennes, 11th Baroness Dacre (1540–1611)

Lady Dacre married twice after her first husband's death and had several other children about whom little is known.

Lady Dacre is the sitter in two significant portraits by Hans Eworth.



  • Mary Neville1
  • F, #163736, b. circa 1521, d. circa 1576
  • Father Sir George Neville, Lord Abergavenny, Constable of Dover Castle, Warden of the Cinque Ports1 b. c 1469
  • Mother Mary Stafford1 b. c 1503
  • Mary Neville was born circa 1521 at of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, England.1 She married Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre, son of Sir Thomas Fiennes and Jane Sutton, in 1536 at England; She married (2) (Mr.) Wootton; (3) Francis Thursby.1 Mary Neville died circa 1576 at of Congham, Norfolk, England.1
  • Family Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre b. c 1516, d. 29 Jun 1541
  • Child
    • Gregory Fiennes, 10th Lord Dacre1 b. 25 Jun 1539, d. 25 Sep 1594
  • Citations
  • [S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. IV, p. 10-11.
  • From:


  • Lady Mary Neville1
  • F, #28725, b. after 1523, d. circa 1576
  • Last Edited=18 Jan 2011
  • Consanguinity Index=1.18%
  • Lady Mary Neville was born after 1523. She was the daughter of Sir George Neville, 3rd Lord Abergavenny and Lady Mary Stafford.1 She married, secondly, unknown Wootton.1 She married, thirdly, Sir Francis Thursby.1 She married, firstly, Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre, son of Sir Thomas Fiennes and Joan de Sutton, in 1536.1 She died circa 1576.1
  • Her married name became Wootton.1 Her married name became Thursby.1 From 1536, her married name became Fiennes.1
  • Children of Lady Mary Neville and Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
    • Gregory Fiennes, 10th Lord Dacre4 b. 25 Jun 1539, d. 25 Sep 1594
    • Margaret Fiennes, Baroness Dacre+4 b. 1541, d. 16 Mar 1611/12
  • Citations
  • [S8] BP1999 volume 1, page 17. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S8]
  • [S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
  • [S130] Wikipedia, online http;// Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1014. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • From:


  • Mary NEVILLE (B. Dacre of the South)
  • Born: 1524, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Died: 18 Dec 1565/1576, London, England
  • Buried: St Sepulchre's, London, Middlesex, England
  • Notes: See her Biography.
  • Father: George NEVILLE (3° B. Abergavenny)
  • Mother: Mary STAFFORD (B. Abergavenny)
  • Married 1: Thomas FIENNES (3º B. Dacre of the South) 1536, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Children:
    • 1. Thomas FIENNES
    • 2. Gregory FIENNES (4º B. Dacre of the South)
    • 3. Margaret FIENNES (5º B. Dacre of the South)
  • Married 2: John WOOTON of North Tuddenham BEF 1546
  • Married 3: Francis THURSBY of Congham
  • Children:
    • 4. Son THURSBY
    • 5. Son THURSBY
    • 6. Son THURSBY
    • 7. Dau. THURSBY
    • 8. Dau. THURSBY
    • 9. Dau. THURSBY
  • From: NEVILLE (B. Dacre of the South)


  • Mary Neville Fiennes
  • Birth: 1520
  • Death: Dec. 18, 1565
  • Baroness Dacre
  • She was the daughter of George Neville, Baron Bergavenny and his third wife Lady Mary Stafford. Granddaughter of Sir George Neville and Margaret Fenne, Sir Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and Eleanor Percy.
  • Mary was the wife of Sir Thomas Fiennes, son of Sir Thomas Fiennes and Joan de Sutton. They were married in 1536 and they had two children; Gregory, Lord Dacre and Margaret, the wife of Sampson Lennard.
  • Her second husband was an unknown Wooten, her third a Francis Thursby.
  • Mary was born after 1523 and died about 1576.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • George Neville (1469 - 1535)
  • Spouse:
  • Thomas Fiennes (1516 - 1541)
  • Children:
    • Gregory Fiennes (1539 - 1594)*
    • Margaret Fiennes Lennard (1540 - 1611)*
  • Sibling:
  • Ursula Neville St Leger (____ - 1575)*
  • Mary Neville Fiennes (1520 - 1565)
  • Burial: St Sepulchre without Newgate Churchyard, London, City of London, Greater London, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 7761986
  • From:


  • MARY NEVILLE (1523-1578+)
  • Mary Neville was the daughter of George Neville, 3rd baron Bergavenny(c.1469-June 13,1535) and Mary Stafford (c.1495-before 1530). In 1536 she married Thomas Fiennes, 3rd Baron Dacre of the South (1517- June 29, 1541) and had by him three children, Thomas (1537-August 1553), Gregory (June 1539-September 25, 1594), and Margaret (1541-March 10,1611/12). Both Lord and Lady Dacre were among those who welcomed Anne of Cleves to England, but on the eve of May Day 1541, Lord Dacre was “tempted by his own folly or that of his friends to join a party to kill deer” in Laughton Park, Sussex, which belonged to a neighbor, Sir Nicholas Pelham. Pelham’s gamekeeper, John Busbrig, objected. A fight broke out in which Busbrig was killed. Even though Dacre was not the one who delivered the fatal blow and was in fact in another part of the park at the time, he was held responsible, convicted of “manslaughter following deer stealing,” and hanged at Tyburn. His estates and title were forfeit, leaving Mary and her children destitute. It is possible this was a case of judicial murder, designed to allow the king to seize the estate. On July 2, 1541, Henry VIII ordered that “all her apparel of velvet, satin, pearls, stones or goldsmiths work” be returned to the widow, along with £50, but she was denied her dowry and her jointure lands. In 1542, an act of Parliament granted her the income from several manors. “Mary Fynes, widowe,” as she was now styled, remarried twice, first, before 1546, to John Wotton of North Tuddingham, Norfolk and then to Francis Thursby of Congham, Norfolk, by whom she had at least six children, three sons and three daughters, by 1559. Under Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, the Fiennes fortunes improved. Mary Neville’s second son, Gregory Fiennes, was restored as Lord Dacre in 1561. In 1578, her former brother-in-law, Henry Wotton (not to be confused with the author named Henry Wotton who was born in 1568) published a translation he had made from the French of a collection of Italian romance stories, which he dedicated to Lady Dacre. The title is "A Courtlie Controversie of Cupids Cantils containing five Tragicall Historyes by three Gentlemen and two Gentlewomen." If she died on December 18, 1565, the date given in some genealogies, this seems rather odd. Dedications are generally made to living persons able to reward the author for the honor. Portraits: Mary Neville commissioned two portraits by Hans Eworth, both as part of her campaign to restore her husband's title to her son. The first, c.1555, shows Lord Dacre in an inset marked 1540. The second, c.1559, shows Lady Dacre with her son, Gregory. For years this double portrait was misidentified as Frances Brandon, duchess of Suffolk, and her second husband, Adrian Stokes. J. Stephen Edwards suggests a third portrait of Mary Neville, c.1545 (the one formerly identified as Lady Jane Grey and shown in this Who’s Who under Jane Carlisle). For his reasoning, see
  • From:


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 18
  • Fiennes, Thomas by Edmund Venables
  • FIENNES or FIENES, THOMAS, ninth Lord Dacre (1517–1541), was son of Sir Thomas Fienes, by Joan Sutton, daughter of Edward and sister of John, lord Dudley. Sir Thomas died in the lifetime of his father, .... Dacre was ordered to be executed next day, 29 June, at 11 A.M., on Tower Hill. The execution was stayed by an order from the king, but carried out the same afternoon at Tyburn. Dacre was buried in St. Sepulchre's Church on Snow Hill. .... Lord Dacre, by his wife Mary, daughter of George Neville, lord Abergavenny, left two sons, Thomas, who died, aged 15, in 1553, and Gregory [q. v.], who was restored to his honours in 1558, and a daughter, Margaret, who married Sampson Lennard, esq., of Chevening, Kent, and on the death of her brother without issue inherited his entailed estates, and was declared Baroness Dacre in 1604.
  • [Hall's Chronicle, p. 841; Holinshed's Chronicles, iii. 821; Froude's Hist. of England, iv. 120–2; Camden's Elizabeth, sub anno 1594; Hayley MSS. Brit. Mus. i. 743.]
  • From:,_Thomas_(DNB00)


Lady Mary Neville was born before 1535. She was the daughter of Sir George Neville, 3rd Lord Abergavenny and Lady Mary Stafford. She married, secondly, unknown Wootton. She married, thirdly, Sir Francis Thursby. She married, firstly, Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre, son of Sir Thomas Fiennes and Joan de Sutton, in 1536. She died circa 1576.

    Her married name became Thursby. Her married name became Wootton. From 1536, her married name became Fiennes.


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Mary Thursby, Baroness Dacre's Timeline

Abergavenny Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales
Age 2
Broughton, England
Age 18
Of--, Hurstmonceux, Sussex, England
June 25, 1539
Age 19
Hurstmonceux, Sussex, England
January 1540
Age 20
Pontypool, Monmouthshire, England
Age 20
Age 56
London, England