Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven

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Mervyn Tuchet

Also Known As: "Mervyn /Touchette/", "or Audley 2nd Earl of Castlehav"
Death: Died in London, Middlesex, England, (Present UK)
Cause of death: Beheaded for "unnatural acts" with a page, and for assisting in the rape of his wife.
Immediate Family:

Son of George Tuchet, 1st Earl of Castlehaven and Lucia Tuchet (Mervyn), Lady Audley
Husband of Elizabeth Tuchet (Barnham), Countess of Castlehaven and Lady Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven
Father of James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven; Lady Frances Butler; Mervyn Tuchet, 4th Earl of Castlehaven; Lucy Anketell and Rebecca Pride
Brother of Maria Thynne; Eleanor Tuchet; NN Tuchet; Ferdinando Tuchet, Sir, KB; Christian Mervyn (Tuchet) and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven

From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on Mervyn Tuchet:

Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven [1]

  • M, #47539,
  • b. circa 1593,
  • d. 14 May 1631
  • Last Edited=10 Dec 2010

Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven was born circa 1593.[1] He was the son of George Tuchet, 1st Earl of Castlehaven and Lucy Mervyn.[1]

He married, firstly, Elizabeth Barnham, daughter of Benedict Barnham and Dorothy Smith, before 1619.[1]

He married, secondly, Lady Anne Stanley, daughter of Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby and Alice Spencer, on 22 July 1624 at Harefield, London, England.[1]

He died on 14 May 1631 at Tower Hill, The City, London, England, beheaded.[1]

  • He was invested as a Knight on 30 March 1608.[1]
  • He succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, co. Cork [I., 1616] on 20 February 1616/17.[1] He succeeded to the title of 2nd Baron Audley of Orier, co. Armagh [I., 1616] on 20 February 1616/17.[1] He succeeded to the title of 12th Lord Audley, of Heleigh [E., 1313] on 20 February 1616/17, by writ.[1]
  • On 14 May 1631 he was found guilty of unnatural acts with his page, and with assisting another to rape his wife, and was attainted. His English title was forfeited.[1[

Children of Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven and Elizabeth Barnham

  • 1. Lady Frances Tuchet+[2]
  • 2. Mervyn Tuchet, 4th Earl of Castlehaven+[3] d. 2 Nov 1686
  • 3. George Tuchet [3]
  • 4. Lady Lucy Tuchet+[4]
  • 5. James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven [5] b. c 1617, d. 11 Oct 1684


  • 1. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 86. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 2. [S15] George Edward Cokayne, editor, The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume I, page 249. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Baronetage.
  • 3. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume III, page 88.
  • 4. [S47] Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, editor, Burke's Irish Family Records (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1976), O'Grady, page 913. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Irish Family Records.
  • 5. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume III, page 87.

From history timeline compiled by Ben M. Angel:

May 5 (April 25 Julian Calendar, Monday), 1631: At Westminster Hall, Irish Lord Audley, Melvin Truchet, second Earl of Castlehaven (age 38, imprisoned for six months on charges), is tried on two counts of “buggery” and one count of rape. Having selected 27 peers as jury and Lord Thomas, first Baron Coventry and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England (age 53), as Lord High Steward two weeks earlier, the trial involves Lord Audley having a sexual relationship with his footmen (Laurence Fitzpatrick and Giles Browning), and forcing his wife of seven years, Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven (age 51, at one time considered heir to Queen Elizabeth), to also have sex with his footmen against her will. The accused, who pleads not guilty, is denied council by the Lord Steward.

The difference between rape and “ravishment” is discussed, wherein if the woman was “not chaste, but a whore,” the charge could be dropped. The Lord Steward responds that if there was no consent, even a prostitute could implement charges of rape, and since the Lady was held against her will by Lord Audley (who, in an unhappy marriage, felt that since he were her husband, he could do so with impunity) and taken by his footmen (after which she attempted to kill herself over the shame of the incident), the case is clearly rape.

The accused claimed the witnesses (his footmen, his wife, and his son, James Tuchet, age 21) are in a conspiracy to obtain his lands. (“And he willed the Lords to consider that it might be their own cases, or the case of any gentleman or man of worth that kept a footman, or whose wife was weary of him, or whose son being attained to age had a mind to draw his servants into a conspiracy.”)

After being found guilty (26-1 on the case of rape, and 15-11 on the cases of “buggery”), Lord Audley says he has no more to say, but refers himself to “God’s and the King’s mercy.” Lord Coventry passes sentence: “To be hanged by the neck until thou be dead, and the Lord have mercy on thy soul.” Lord Audley asks to be banished instead, rather than executed, to “give him time of repentance.” This is denied.

May 24 (May 14 Julian Calendar, Saturday), 1631: Mervin Tuchet, Lord Audley, second Earl of Castlehaven, is accompanied by the recently elected Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral Dr. Thomas Winniffe and Dr. Wickham to Tower Hill. Approaching the scaffold for the crimes of raping his wife Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven, and committing “buggery” with his two footmen, Laurence Fitzpatrick and Giles Browning (both of whom will soon stand trial for the same crimes), he is said to seem cheerful. In his last speech, he denies the crimes he has been convicted of “upon my death, freely forgiving those that accused me, and have been the occasion of my death, even as freely as I myself do desire forgiveness at God’s hands.”

He finally shows fear as the executioner approaches him (somehow, the method of execution was changed from hanging to beheading), but bravely cooperates in his death; he is beheaded at age 38 in one blow, and is survived by three sons (James Tuchet, third Earl of Castlehaven – age 21, Mervin Tuchet, future fourth Earl of Castlehaven, and George Tuchet), three daughters (Lady Frances Tuchet – age 14, Lady Lucy Tuchet, and Lady Dorothy Tuchet), two stepsons (George Brydges, sixth Baron Chandos – age 11, and William Brydges, future seventh Baron Chandos – age 10), and two stepdaughters (Anne Brydges – age 19, and Elizabeth Brydges – age 12, who later marries her stepbrother James).

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Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven's Timeline