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My eighth great-grandfather was born in Glamorganshire, Wales in 1678. Rev. Henry Nicholls received a B.A.in 1703 and an M.A. in 1705 from Jesus College, Oxford, Wales. He was sent to Pennsylvania, 1702-1708, during the reign of King James II. In 1707 he married my eighth great-grandmother, Elizabeth Gatchell of Chester, Pennsylvania.
Henry Nichols was the first residential missionary to Pennsylvannia for the “Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts”, arriving in 1703. His churches were located in Chester, Concord, Radnor, and Montgomery. The Chester Church is described as of good brick fabric, one of the neatest on the continent, furnished with handsome furniture and rews. The members were regular and constant in divine worship, and they contributed 60 pounds a year toward their pastor’s support. The Radnor Church is still in excellent preservation, known as St. David’s Church and has been in use since 1708. Rev Nichols requested a transfer in 1708 and became rector at St. Michael’s Parish Church. Talbot Co., MD – a post he occupied until his death. For years, all records of his life were lost. The early church books had disappeared! Until June 1878 when workmen, employed to demolish the old church building, found his tomb under the Chancel in good preservation.
The following is a translation of the Latin inscription found on the slab over his tomb: “Here lies the remains of Henry Nicols, M. A., formerly a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, England, and a pastor of this church for 41 years – most unworthy. Born April 1st, 1678; died Feb. 12, 1748. Save his soul, O Christ for Thy own merits. Tread upon salt without savor.” (Henry has ordered these works to be inscribed before his death.) A number of his descendents still worship at St. Michael’s Church. They placed a tablet there to his memory where he ministered for so long. (From the Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1943, by Mary Clement, M. A., Principal of the Girls County School Board, Bridgend, Glamorganshire, Wales.)
Jacquetta of Luxembourg was born in 1415 in St Pol, Artois, France. Jacquetta Woodville was the daughter of Pierre of Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol (d. 1433), and Marguerite de Baux of Andria. Her uncle, Louis de Luxembourg, was bishop of Thérouanne and chancellor of France during the time that John, Duke of Bedford, was serving as Regent of France for the government of the youthful Henry VI. Another uncle, Jean de Luxembourg, is known for having held Joan of Arc in captivity before she was handed over to the English.
On 22 April 1433 at age 17, Jacquetta married John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford at Therouenne. The Duke was the third son of King Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun, and thus the grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, himself the third son of Edward III.
Jacquetta was a fourth cousin, twice removed of Sigismund of Luxembourg, the reigning Holy Roman Emperor, and King of Bohemia and Hungary.
The marriage was childless and the Duke died on 15 September 1435 at Rouen. In Philippa Gregory’s novel The White Queen Jacquetta is referred to as ‘Jaquetta Rivers’ but in fact and as was customary at the time, after her second marriage Jacquetta retained the title of her first husband and was always known as the Duchess of Bedford, this being a higher title to that of countess.
Sir Richard Woodville, son of Sir Richard Wydevill who had served as the late Duke’s chamberlain, was commissioned by Henry VI of England to bring the young widow to England. During the journey, the couple fell in love and married in secret (before 23 March 1437), without seeking the king’s permission. The marriage was long and very fruitful: Jacquetta and Richard had fourteen children, including the future Queen Consort Elizabeth Woodville. She lost her first-born son Lewis to a fever when he was 12 years old.
Sir Richard and Jacquetta Woodville were the parents of the following known children: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England, Lewis Woodville, Anne Woodville, Viscountess Bourchier, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, Mary Woodville, Countess of Pembroke, Jacquetta Woodville, Lady Strange, Sir John Woodville, Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers, Martha Woodville, Lady Bromley, Eleanor Woodville, Lady Grey, Lionel Woodville, Bishop of Salisbury, Margaret Woodville, Countess of Arundel, Sir Edward Woodville and Catherine Woodville, Duchess of Buckingham and Bedford.
Through her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, Jacquetta was the maternal grandmother of Elizabeth of York, Queen and wife of Henry VII. As such, she is an ancestress of all subsequent English and British monarchs, including Elizabeth II, and seven other present-day European monarchs.
Jacquetta died on 30 May 1472 in Grafton, Northamptonshire, England. She was 57 years old.
Jacquette deLuxembourg (1416 – 1472)
Margaret Woodville (1455 – 1491)
Daughter of Jacquette deLuxembourg
Thomas Audley (1503 – 1544)
Son of Margaret Woodville
Margaret Audley (1545 – 1564)
Daughter of Thomas Audley
Margaret Howard (1561 – 1591)
Daughter of Margaret Audley
Lady Ann Dorset (1552 – 1680)
Daughter of Margaret Howard
Robert Lewis (1574 – 1656)
Son of Lady Ann Dorset
Robert Lewis (1607 – 1644)
Son of Robert Lewis
Ann Lewis (1631 – 1686)
Daughter of Robert Lewis
Joshua Morse (1669 – 1753)
Son of Ann Lewis
Joseph Morse (1692 – 1756)
Son of Joshua Morse
Joseph Morse (1721 – 1776)
Son of Joseph Morse
Joseph Morse III (1756 – 1835)
Son of Joseph Morse
John Henry Morse (1775 – 1864)
Son of Joseph Morse III
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
Son of John Henry Morse
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
Son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
Son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
Son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
Son of Ernest Abner Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse
The Duke of Bedford, a younger brother of Henry V, was widowed from Anne of Burgundy in 1432. At Thérouanne on April 20, 1433, just five months after the death of his first wife, the forty-three-year-old John married the seventeen-year-old Jacquetta of Luxembourg. In honor of the occasion, Bedford presented the Church of Notre Dame in Thérouanne with a peal of bells. Not for the last time when Jacquetta was concerned, the match was a controversial one, the offended party being Philip, Duke of Burgundy, Bedford’s former brother-in-law. Not only had the Duke of Bedford (whose first marriage was childless) remarried in unseemly haste, he had married Jacquetta, one of his vassals, without Burgundy’s permission. Bedford was to remain estranged from Burgundy for the rest of Bedford’s short life.
Jacquetta first came to England in June 1433 in the company of her husband. George Smith notes that the citizens of Coventry presented her with fifty marks and a cup of silver and over-gilt. The Duke and Duchess of Bedford made a grand entry into London, a city where Jacquetta was to find favor in later life.
Bedford and Jacquetta returned to France in July 1434. Though Bedford was only in his forties, his health was failing, possibly from the stress of dealing with difficulties in both England and France. He died on September 14, 1435 at Rouen Castle. His marriage to young Jacquetta had been childless, though Bedford had sired two out-of-wedlock children earlier in life and Jacquetta’s second marriage would produce a dozen children who lived to adulthood.
By all accounts, Bedford had had great affection for his first wife, Anne of Burgundy. What he and the much younger Jacquetta felt about each other is unknown, but Bedford certainly tried to take good care of his young bride upon his death. He left Jacquetta a life interest in all of his lands in England, France, and Normandy, except for one estate that went to his bastard son, Richard. (Henry VI held the remainder interest.) Partly because of the requirements of English inheritance law, partly because of the claims of Bedford’s brother Humphrey, partly because of English losses in France and Normandy, Jacquetta received only some of what her husband had left to her.
On February 6, 1436, Jacquetta was granted dower in England, Jersey, Guernsey, and Calais. The grant was conditioned on Jacquetta’s not marrying without royal license—a condition that Jacquetta soon broke, and spectacularly so. She married one Richard Woodville, the son of her husband’s chamberlain. Richard had been knighted by Henry VI ten years earlier, having been in royal service in France since 1433. From Northampshire gentry, he was hardly Jacquetta’s social equal. The unsanctioned match infuriated Jacquetta’s Luxembourg relations, and Henry VI fined her 1,000 pounds. The couple paid the fine before March 23, 1437, apparently with funds gained from the grant of certain lands to Cardinal Beaufort.
Despite their controversial marriage, Jacquetta and her husband found favor in the court of Henry VI. When the king married Margaret of Anjou, Jacquetta and Richard Woodville were among those who escorted her to England. Jacquetta often received New Year’s presents from the queen, and in 1457 she and Woodville are named as being present with the queen at a Corpus Christi pageant. Jacquetta’s chief occupation during this time, however, was bearing children: twelve survived to adulthood, with Elizabeth, probably the eldest, being born around 1437 and Katherine, probably the youngest, being born around 1458.
In 1459, Richard Woodville, who had taken the side of Lancaster against the Duke of York, was captured at Sandwich and taken to Calais, where according to William Paston he was “rated” by the Earls of Salisbury, Warwick, and March for his low birth. According to Gregory’s Chronicle, Jacquetta was captured along with her husband; thus, she may have been a witness to this humiliating scene. If she was, she must have enjoyed the irony five years later when the Earl of March, who had become King Edward IV, made her and her low-born husband’s daughter Elizabeth his queen.
Jacquetta performed a service for the city of London in February 1461 when its aldermen, fearing devastation at the hands of Margaret of Anjou’s forces, sent a delegation to the queen, in the words of the Great Chronicle, to “entreat for grace for the City.” The delegation included “divers Clerks and Curates” and three women: the widowed Duchess of Buckingham, whose grandson would marry Jacquetta’s youngest daughter; Lady Scales, whose son-in-law was Jacquetta’s son Anthony; and Jacquetta herself. All had ties with Margaret of Anjou. The delegation returned with the news that no pillaging would take place but that the king and queen would punish evildoers, after which a second delegation, again including the three ladies, was sent to Barnet. Ultimately, it was Yorkist troops who entered the city, while Margaret withdrew to the north.
Edward IV became king soon after these events, on March 4, 1461. Jacquetta and her family, who had been supporters of the House of Lancaster, soon made their peace with the new reign. Jacquetta’s husband Richard Woodville eventually became one of the young king’s councilors. Sometime in 1464, however, a much stronger tie was forged: Jacquetta and Richard’s daughter Elizabeth married Edward IV.
The royal marriage is usually supposed to have taken place at Grafton on May 4, 1464, although there is some evidence that it could have taken place as late as September 1464, shortly before Edward IV announced it to his councilors. Whatever the date of the ceremony, Jacquetta is described by the chronicler Fabian in 1516 as having had a prominent role in the secret marriage. She is said to have been one of the witnesses to the marriage, after which Elizabeth over a four-day period “nightly to [Edward’s] bed was brought in so secret manner that almost none but her mother was of counsel.”
Following Edward IV’s announcement of his marriage, he arranged for a grand coronation for his bride, which took place on May 26, 1465. Jacquetta was prominent among the ladies who followed Elizabeth in the procession. At the banquet following the ceremony, she sat at the middle table on the left hand of the queen.
Also present for the festivities was Jacquetta’s youngest brother, Jacques de Luxembourg, representing Philip, Duke of Burgundy. The current Wikipedia entry on Elizabeth Woodville claims, without giving a source, that Jacquetta’s relations appeared for the coronation “carrying shields painted with the figure of Melusine, a ‘water-witch’ (actually a medieval version of the old pagan goddess) described variously as a mermaid or possibly as a female figure depicted as a snake from the waist down, but with the face clearly that of the young Queen. This immediately caused whispers of witchcraft to circulate throughout the Abbey, as it was indeed the intention of the Luxembourgers to suggest an accusation of witchcraft thereby.” This story probably comes from historical fiction, not history. Such an incident is not mentioned in any contemporary source that I have seen, nor is it discussed by Elizabeth Woodville’s modern biographers or by historians hostile to the Woodvilles like Paul Murray Kendall, who could certainly be counted upon to make the most of such an episode. Jacquetta’s relations would hardly gain from implying that either Jacquetta or Elizabeth was involved with witchcraft, especially as her older relations had seen the consequences of such allegations firsthand when Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
Elizabeth Woodville gave birth to her first royal child, Elizabeth, on February 11, 1466. Jacquetta was one of the baby’s godmothers, the other being the king’s mother, Cecily of York. Cecily had been none too happy about her son’s marriage; how the two new grandmothers got along on this occasion is sadly not recorded.
Following childbirth, it was customary for a medieval woman to seclude herself for a period, after which she would attend church for a ceremony of purification. A celebration often followed. At the banquet following Elizabeth Woodville’s “churching,” a Bohemian observer noted that Jacquetta knelt before her daughter, being bidden at times to rise. This has been taken as proof of Elizabeth Woodville’s insufferable haughtiness—even her own mother had to kneel before her!—but there is no indication that Jacquetta found this demeaning or that this highly formal occasion was typical of the daily interaction between mother and daughter. For all we know—and we don’t—Jacquetta might have insisted that her daughter observe all the formalities of what was her first churching as queen.
Perhaps the most damaging incident associated with Jacquetta is one which occurred in 1468: the arrest of Thomas Cook for treason. The original story has been distorted to suggest that the treason charges against Cook were concocted to allow Jacquetta to lay her hands on an expensive tapestry that Cook had refused to sell her, but reality, as usual, is more complicated. According to the Great Chronicle, Jacquetta did indeed dislike Cook for his refusal to sell her the arras, but Cook’s arrest was only one of many in a time when Edward IV genuinely feared that Lancastrian plots were afoot, and he was implicated by one John Hawkins, a Lancastrian agent. Cook’s house was searched and agents of Jacquetta’s husband Richard Woodville (who had been created Earl Rivers and made the treasurer of England) seized Cook’s goods, including the infamous tapestry. Ultimately, Cook was convicted by a jury of misprision. As Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs note, Fabian never says in the Great Chronicle that Jacquetta actually acquired the coveted arras; rather, he implies that it was used to set off Cook’s fine for misprision. Fabian also does not state that Cook was innocent of the charges on which he was convicted, only that Jacquetta and her husband (and the king) were displeased by the verdict. Whatever the fate of the arras, Cook was not ruined by the episode, but was still a wealthy man when he died ten years later. He was back in Edward IV’s good graces at the time, having been pardoned for his Lancastrian activities in 1472 and appointed to a royal commission in 1475.
The year after the Cook incident, 1469, was without doubt the worst in Jacquetta’s life. Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as the “Kingmaker” for his role in helping Edward IV to the throne, had become disaffected from the crown for a number of reasons, including the rise of the Woodvilles, Edward IV’s growing independence from him, and differences over foreign policy. Meanwhile, the honeymoon Edward IV had enjoyed with his subjects was ending, thanks to taxation, growing lawlessness, and the diehard Lancastrians still within and without England. Warwick joined forces with Edward IV’s younger brother George, Duke of Clarence, and the two men issued a manifesto blaming the Woodvilles and other royal favorites for the country’s ills. Jacquetta, her husband, and her sons Anthony and John were among those accused of “deceitful, covetous rule.” In the upheaval that followed, Edward IV was briefly taken prisoner by Warwick. Jacquetta’s husband, Earl Rivers, and one of her sons, John, were seized by Warwick’s troops and murdered. (According to Michael Hicks, who cites a King’s Bench record, Jacquetta later brought proceedings against 34 men in connection with her husband’s murder, but he does not report the outcome.)
Jacquetta had risked her reputation and her livelihood to marry Richard Woodville over thirty years before. Her agony at his violent death, coupled with that of one of her sons, can only be imagined. Her son Anthony’s life was in danger as well. It was then that Thomas Wake, a follower of Warwick’s, accused her of witchcraft.
Wake brought to Warwick Castle a lead image “made like a man of arms . . . broken in the middle and made fast with a wire,“ and alleged that Jacquetta had fashioned it to use for witchcraft and sorcery. He claimed that John Daunger, a parish clerk in Northampton, could attest that Jacquetta had made two other images, one for the king and one for the queen.
As an accused witch, Jacquetta faced imprisonment at best, burning at the stake at worst. With this accusation coming on top of the deaths of her husband and son, she must have been devastated, but Jacquetta was not a woman who was easily cowed. According to Cora Scofield, who cites the London Journal, the Duchess of Bedford appealed to the mayor and aldermen of London, who remembered the service Jacquetta had done for the city by interceding with Margaret of Anjou in 1461. They agreed to intercede on Jacquetta’s behalf with the king’s council, which at the time was essentially Warwick’s council, as Edward IV was still a prisoner in the North.
By October 1469, Edward IV was once again at liberty, Warwick having found that his own popularity was not so great as to allow him to govern through an imprisoned king. As a result, the witchcraft charges against Jacquetta fell apart. Neither Thomas Wake nor John Daunger, summoned before men appointed by Edward IV who could be counted upon to be friendly toward the king’s mother-in-law, produced any images, and Daunger, who stated that “he heard no witchcraft of the lady of Bedford,” refused to say that there were any images of the king and queen. As a result, Jacquetta was cleared by the king’s great council of the charges on January 19, 1470. For good measure, she obtained letters of exemplification from the king in February 1470, taking the opportunity to have it recorded as well that she was a believer “on God according to the truth of Holy Church.” (See the link below for the text of the document exonerating Jacquetta.)
Other than the accusations of her enemies, there is no reason to disbelieve Jacquetta. It should be noted that Jacquetta did own a copy of an “ancestral romance” entitled Mélusine, featuring a legendary figure who was associated both with the houses of Luxembourg and Lusignan, but as noted by Anne Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, the romance was a popular one at the time, and copies were found among the inventories of other high-born ladies.
Edward IV’s recovery of his throne was brief, and when he was forced to flee England in late September 1470 to avoid capture by Warwick, a heavily pregnant Elizabeth Woodville went into sanctuary, accompanied by her daughters and Jacquetta. With Henry VI restored to the throne, neither Warwick nor his followers attempted to revive the allegations of witchcraft against Jacquetta, although the government admittedly had more pressing concerns. Indeed, Warwick had been a member of the great council that recommended that letters of exemplification be made to Jacquetta.
His enemies vanquished at Barnet and Tewkesbury, Edward IV regained his throne in May 1471. With Warwick killed at Barnet, the king the proud father of a son born to his queen while in sanctuary, and Jacquetta’s son Anthony carrying on his father’s title, Jacquetta must have felt at peace, but she did not have long to enjoy it. She died on May 30, 1472. I have not found any mention of her will or her funeral, though the latter must surely have been conducted with all due ceremony.
In 1484, Richard III in Titulus Regius, the document spelling out to Parliament his claim to the throne, revived the old accusations of witchcraft against Jacquetta. He—or, more accurately, those presenting the petition, which certainly had to have had his wholehearted approval—stated that the marriage between Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville was invalid because, among other reasons, it was made “by sorcerie and wichecrafte, committed by the said Elizabeth and her moder, Jaquett Duchess of Bedford, as the common opinion of the people and the publique voice and fame is through all this land.” The drafters of the petition added that if the case required it, the allegations of witchcraft would be proved sufficiently “in tyme and place convenient.” No such proof was ever offered by Richard III or his government, and Elizabeth was hardly in a position to defy the king and attempt to clear her and her deceased mother’s names. Sadly, the unproven charges, elaborated upon in lurid detail by historical fiction writers and even by some nonfiction writers, continue to blacken both women’s reputations today.
Sir Richard Woodville, son of Sir Richard Wydevill who had served as the late Duke’s chamberlain, was commissioned by Henry VI of England to bring the
young widow to England. During the rough journey, the couple fell in love and married in secret (before March 23, 1436/1437), without seeking the king’s
permission. Enraged, Henry VI refused to see them but was mollified by the payment of a fine.
By the mid-1440s, the Woodvilles were in ascendancy. Queen Consort Margaret of Anjou influenced her husband Henry VI to create Richard Woodville 1st
Earl Rivers in 1448. Jacquetta was related to both the Queen and the King. Her sister, Isabelle de Saint Pol, married the brother of Queen Margaret, while
Jacquetta was herself the erstwhile widow of the uncle of Henry VI.
As royalty, she outranked all ladies at Court with the exception of the Queen herself. As a personal favourite and close relative of the Queen, she also enjoyed
special privileges and influence at court. Happily married to the love of her life, Jacquetta bore Richard sixteen children, among them Elizabeth Woodville who
was to become the wife of King Edward IV of England, and mother of Elizabeth of York (in her turn mother of King Henry VIII, thus making Jacquetta his
Jacquetta weathered two accusations of witchcraft during her second marriage, once by the mob that illegally beheaded her second husband and once when a little leaden figure of a man of arms “about the size of a thumb” bound up in wire was discovered among her personal effects. She was cleared of slanderous charges of witchcraft brought against her by Thomas Wake. Evidence consisted of a figure of knight made of leaden, broken on the middle and bound with wire, which he asserted she had fashioned. Brought forth John Daunger, parish clerk of Northhamptonshire to testify she had made 2 other such figures, one of King Ed IV and one of Elizabeth Woodville his queen. Clerk refused to testify any such thing and charges dismissed. Scandal was revived in 1483 when Richard III tried to show there had never been any valid marriage between Edward and Elizabeth, that it was result of love magic perpetrated Elizabeth and her mother. Her husband, Richard Wyddeville (Woodville) was excuted by beheading in 1469 for treason.
She was acquitted by her son-in-law, King Edward IV. However, these instances were recalled and cited after her death when Richard III ordered Parliament in 1483 to attaint her daughter, the widowed Queen Elizabeth Woodville, for witchcraft.
Wars of the Roses
The death of her son-in-law Sir John Grey (Elizabeth’s husband) in the Second Battle of St Albans (February 22, 1461) against King Edward IV brought out the
strong calculating and manipulative mind in Jacquetta. Following her mother’s directives, in 1464, Elizabeth (with her two minor sons) accosted Edward (out
on a hunt) at Whittlebury Forest near the family home and pleaded with the King to return the confiscated estates of her husband to her sons. Thoroughly
bewitched by her beauty, Edward offered to make her his mistress, but she held out for marriage. A desperate Edward married Elizabeth in secret, but the
marriage was not disclosed as it would mean difficulty for the House of York. Once it became common knowledge, however, the alliance displeased Richard
Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, the King’s most trusted ally, and his friends.
With Elizabeth as Queen of England, Jacquetta managed to find rich and influential spouses for all her children and helped her grandchildren achieve high
posts. She arranged for her 20-year-old son, John Woodville, to marry the widowed and very rich dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Catherine Neville. The bride
was at least forty years older than the groom at the time of the wedding. The marriage caused a furore and earned the Woodvilles considerable unpopularity.
Catherine Neville’s son, John de Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, especially, turned against the Queen and her family and vowed vengeance against the Yorkist
allies for the slur on his family honour.
Sadly, the Woodvilles’ luck soon ran out. The Lancastrian side (on which the Woodvilles found themselves) was the losing side in the War of the Roses. In
1466, Richard Woodville was captured by Warwick and executed subsequently in 1469. A broken hearted Jacquetta survived her beloved husband by six years
and died in 1472, at about 56 years of age.
Jacquetta was as influential in death as she was in life. She is credited with being the ancestress of most present day European monarchs.
You may wonder why I am making family history the theme of today’s self care post. Many of you know I am an avid fan of genealogy study. I have been involved since 2008 with ancestry.com. My parents were both dead when I began my quest. I am including this advice to you on self care because if your ancestors are still living you have an opportunity to excavate their memories before it is too late. The elders crave attention and are often neglected socially. Asking them questions about their youth and their ancestors is not only a great way to include them socially, but learn and grow in the process. Pictures, stories, and either video or audio interviews will become priceless tools for future generations. Once you know what your own family did in history, you have a much better sense of world events.
I was able to gather some photos and direct information form my uncle by marriage. His wife, my father’s sister, had left behind some old photos. His kids were adopted, so nobody really wanted the pictures. He gathered up some boxes and an overnight bag, and we hit the road in Kansas. I picked him and the photos up in Wichita at his apartment. We drove to Bartlesville, OK to spend the night at the Inn At Price Tower, in Frank Lloyd Wright’s only executed skyscraper. We rented a two story very swanky apartment with loads of copper furniture and accents. There is so much copper in the construction of the building, inside and out, that they cannot get wifi to work at all. We rode the tiny copper elevator up to the copper cocktail lounge for a drink. After dinner on the town we sat in our living room on the first floor of our suite to review the photos. He told stories about most of them, and I chose the ones I wanted to take. It was a fun time for both of us. After breakfast with a view we left the Tower before the tour of the gallery and building, which I am sure is excellent.
Uncle Paul and I were off next to Independence, KS, where my father was born. There was a library and courthouse in town with genealogical information. I found some good material, including my maternal great-grandmother’s entire probate file, which was at the courthouse. I chose the pages I wanted, and the clerk of the court made copies and mailed them to me for a small fee. I learned a lot from reading the entire file, but selected pages with important facts or handwriting of my great-grandmother. Uncle Paul and I visited Coffeyville, KS and the vicinity where my family had settled, right next to the Cherokee Nation. Since he had lived around there most of his life, my uncle had lots of stories to tell about the past. It was fascinating, even when it did not involve my direct ancestors. The Cherokee Strip, which is the name of this area on the border of Kansas and Oklahoma, was the wild wild west, and my ancestors were part of it.
After I dropped my uncle back in Wichita he was able to stay in his own apartment only a few months longer. His health deteriorated to the point that he needed constant care. His daughter is a nurse, lived nearby, and was able to handle his care with the best possible circumstances. She got a job as a supervisor at the facility where he lived. After he passed away she moved to Arkansas, where she was born and my grandparents both died. There was some kind of full circle there. I will always be happy I went on that adventure seeking my ancestors. You don’t need to take a road trip to interview somebody in your family. Pick up the phone and learn more about your heritage and history by asking your elders, before it is no longer possible. I wish I had done more of that.
The act of reaching out to your elders to learn about the history of your family can be healing as well as enlightening to all participants. I advise that you consider this because photos and stories will be lost forever if nobody collects them. Take care of family history to take care of yourself. You can do this on line with digital records, and if you are lucky you can also do it with living relatives. If you are super lucky you can go in person to the places your ancestors lived in the company of someone who knows a lot about the place.
My eleventh great-grandfather was born in England and died in Essex Massachusetts.
|Birth Place:||Rugby Borough, Warwickshire, England|
|Death Place:||Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States of America|
|Cemetery:||Old Burying Ground|
|Burial or Cremation Place:||Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States of America|
Isaac Perkins was baptized 20 December 1571 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England, the son of Thomas Perkins and Alice (possibly Kebble). Isaac married first Alice —. This Alice was buried in June of 1602 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England. Isaac married second Alice —. Isaac became a yeoman in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. On 15 June 1639, his widow Alice sold the lot in Ipswich.
Isaac and the first Alice’s children are:
1. Sarah Perkins, baptized 3 Feb 1596 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
2. Elizabeth Perkins, baptized 19 May 1600 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
3. Thomas Perkins, baptized 27 May 1601 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
Isaac and the second Alice’s children are:
4. Abraham Perkins, baptized in 1603 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England, married Mary (Wyeth?), one of first settlers of Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, miller, clerk of the market, constable, and tavern keeper.
5. Jacob Perkins, baptized 23 Mar 1605/6 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England, said to have settled in Holmes Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, Massachusetts.
6. Abigail Perkins, baptized 8 Nov 1607 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
7. Isaac Perkins, baptized 26 Jan 1611/2 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England, married Susanna —, one of first settlers of Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, constable.
8. Hannah Perkins, baptized 9 Oct 1614 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
9. Lydia Perkins, baptized 1 Jan 1617/8 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England.
10. Mary Perkins, baptized 16 Sep 1621 in Hillmorton, Warwick, England, may very likely have been the Mary who married Henry Green of Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire and died 26 Apr 1690.
1. Perkins in Hillmorton Parish Records (England), extracted by Jim Perkins.
2. Davis, Walter Goodwin, The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes, 1759–1820, of Topsfield, Massachusetts, Portland, ME: Anthoensen Press, 1959, p. 89.
3. Noyes, Sybil, Libby, Charles Thornton, and Davis, Walter Goodwin, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976, p. 541.
4. Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vol. 3, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990 (originally published Boston, 1860-1862).
5. Holmes, Frank R., Directory of Heads of New England Families, 1620-1700, New York, 1923, p. 354.
Baptisms20 Dec 1571 Isaac son of Thomas
3 Feb 1596 Sarah dau of Isaac
19 May 1600 Elizabeth dau of Isaac
27 Mar 1601 Thomas son of Isaac
Burial[28?] June 1602 Alice wife of Isaac
Baptisms[4 July ?] 1603 Abraham son of Isaac & Alice
23 Mar 1605/6 Jacob son of Isaac
8 Nov 1607 Abigail dau of Isaac
26 Jan 1611/12 Isaac son of Isaac
9 Oct 1614 Hannah dau of Isaac
1 Jan 1617/18 Lydia dau of Isaac
16 Sep 1621 Mary dau of Isaac
Source: Perkins in Hillmorton Parish Records (England), extracted by Jim Perkins.
In 1637 there was an Isaac Perkins in Ipswich where he owned “land lying above the street called Brook street, six acres.” He was dead before 15 Jun 1639, when his widow Alice Perkins sold the lot to Joseph Morse. It is tempting to believe that he was also of the Hillmorton stock. John Perkins did not have a brother Isaac, but he had an uncle Isaac only eleven years older than he, while other Isaacs were baptized in Hillmorton in 1597/8 and 1611/2.
If Isaac Perkins of Ipswich was a man of middle age, which we have no means of knowing, he and Alice may have been the parents of Abraham and Isaac Perkins who turned up in Hampton, not far down the coast, where Abraham took the Freeman’s Oath in 1640 and Isaac in 1642. These men are presumed to have been brothers. Abraham named a son Luke, not a common name, and John Perkins of Hillmorton and Ipswich had an uncle Luke, a brother Luke, and a grandson Luke.
Source: Davis, Walter Goodwin, The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes, 1759–1820, of Topsfield, Massachusetts, Portland, ME: Anthoensen Press, 1959, p. 89.
Perkins/Perkeings/Perkus/Parkins, Isaac, yeoman, Ipswich, propr. 1637. His widow Alice sold land and house 15 (4) 1639. [Ips. Rec.] Ch. Isaac (rem. to Hampton); Jacob (sold land recd. from his father 23 (2) 1674, after removing to Holmes Hole.)
Source: Holmes, Frank R., Directory of Heads of New England Families, 1620-1700, New York, 1923, p. 354.
Sarah Allerton was born in London in 1588, and died in Plymouth Colony in 1633. She arrived in the new world on the ship Anne with her third husband in 1632 after my 13th great-grandfather had sailed on the Mayflower then died shortly after arrival in the colony. Her brother Isaac was a signer of the Mayflower Compact as well, and assistant to Governor Bradford in America. Isaac later disgraced himself, moved to New Amsterdam, and became known as the first Yankee trader.
Sarah Allerton’s parents are not given but information is provided by unknown sources. Her parents would have been Edward Allerton, b. 1555 St. Dionis, Backchurch, London, England, died 1590 England, and Rose Davis, b. ca. 1559 in St. Peters, Corningshire, died June 1596 in England. Edward’s father was William Allerton, b. 1529. Sarah however certainly had at least two brothers. Isaac’s will also mentions a “brother Breuster”. The two siblings were:
1) Isaac Allerton, b. ca. 1586. He was one of the more famous of the Pilgrim Fathers. He was originally a tailor in London and was married in Leyden, the same day as his sister, 4 November 1611, to Mary Norris of Newbury, England, b. ca. 1588.
He came over on the Mayflower, with his wife and three children, and became First Assistant (1621 to ca. 1631) to Governor Bradford. Mary Norris died in childbirth, with a stillborn son, the first winter. She died 25 February 1620/1 on the Mayflower, while the first houses were still being built at Plymouth. In ca. 1626 he married Fear Brewster, b. 1606 at Scrooby, England , daughter of William and Mary Brewster, William being one of the most famous Pilgrims. Fear had arrived in Plymouth in July 1623, on the Anne, the same ship that brought Mary Priest and her two children.
Isaac was well known for his unscrupulous dealings with fellow Pilgrims and eventually left the colony in disgrace in the 1630’s when he lost the support of William Brewster. “A most enterprising man, he engaged in commercial pursuits at Marblehead and in Maine and later resided at New Amsterdam.” . He is often remembered as “the first Yankee trader”. Fear died in Plymouth before 12 December 1634. Isaac Allerton was probably married a third time to Joanna Swinnerton, before 1644, probably New Haven, CT. There were no known children from this marriage. He died insolvent between 1 and 12 February 1658/9 in New Haven, CT. Joanna was still living in 1684. Isaac’s children were (Sarah and Isaac were by his second wife):
Bartholomew, b. ca. 1612, in Leyden, Holland. Bartholomew returned to England. He first married Margaret _____ and then Sarah Fairfax, prob. in Rumbough, Suffolk, England. He died between 15 October 1658 and 19 February 1658/9, prob. at Bramfield, Suffolk, England. Four children are recorded.
Remember, b. ca. 1614 in Leyden. She m. Moses Maverick, before 6 May 1635 and died between 12 Sept. 1652 and 22 Oct. 1656. Moses lived in Lynn, Salem, and at Marblehead (all MA) in the time they were married. They had seven children, born at Lynn and Salem. Moses remarried in Boston to Eunice (Cole) Roberts by whom he had four children.
Mary, b. June 1616, m. Thomas Cushman, ca. 1636, in Plymouth, MA. Cushman came to Plymouth in 1621 on the Fortune. They had eight children. She died 28 November 1699, Plymouth, MA, the last survivor of those who came on the Mayflower. One of her grandchildren, Allerton Cushman, married in 1726 to Elizabeth Sampson, cousin of Benjamin Sprague.
Child, buried St. Peters, Leyden, 5 February 1620.
Stillborn son, b. 22 December 1620 on the Mayflower, Plymouth Harbor.
Sarah, b. ca. 1627 in Plymouth, died young before 1651.
Isaac Allerton, Jr., b. between 22 May 1627 and 1630, Plymouth, MA. He married first to Elizabeth _____, ca. 1652 (2 children) and then to Elizabeth Willoughby, a widow of Overzee and Colclough, ca. 1663, in Norfolk County, VA. Elizabeth was born in 1635 in England (12). They had three children, all born in Westmoreland Co, VA. Isaac became the first Plymouth student at Harvard (he graduated according to in 1650) and later went into business and made a fortune himself. He died Westmoreland Co., VA in 1702.
As is the case for Degory Priest, a General Society of Mayflower Descendents book is available on the first five generations of Isaac Allerton’s descendents. A somewhat earlier and shorter version, covering four generations, was published in 1996. Isaac Allerton has apparently a relatively small number of descendants compared to other Mayflower passengers, but is an ancestor to Presidents Zachary Taylor and Franklin D. Roosevelt (the latter also descended from Degory Priest through Sarah). The presidents are both thus our very remote (!) relatives: President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), through Isaac Allerton Jr., was a 5th cousin to Mary (Scott) Wisdom; President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), through Degory Priest, was an 8th cousin to Paul Graham.
2) Sarah Allerton, b. ca. 1588 at London . She was first married to John Vincent and then married to Degory Priest as noted above. Having received word of her husband’s death, she remarried on 13 November 1621 in Leyden, to Godbert Godbertson (name used in but also often called Cuthbert Cuthbertson). They arrived in July-August of 1623 on the Anne with their three children (two by Degory Priest). It is possible that there were two additional children with them by the first marriage of Godbertson (I think there is a reference to five children that arrived with them in and see also mention of three Cuthbertson below). Francis Sprague, another of my ancestors, was also a passenger. Godbert (ca. 1590-633), a Dutch Walloon, was a hat-maker in Leyden. He had been married previously in 1617 to Elizabeth Kendall. He became a “purchaser”, i.e., a shareholder in the Pilgrim Company when it was formed in 1626. He died seven years later, in Plymouth, of “infectious fever”. She died in Plymouth before 24 October 1633. On 11 November 1633 their son-in-law Phineas Pratt was appointed “to take possession of the personal property of Cuthbert Cuthbertson and his wife Sarah”.
My 13th great-grandfather was a hatter who sailed to America on the Mayflower, but did not survive the first winter. His wife and children came to Plymouth in 1623 to take over his allotment in the colony.
Degory Priest was one of the Pilgrim passengers on the Mayflower in 1620. His wife, Sarah Allerton, and children Mary and Sarah stayed behind in Holland in Leiden where some of the Pilgrims had moved to escape religious persecution in England. He died during that first desperate winter in Plymouth. His wife and children came to North America on the Anne in 1623. At least one of his grandchildren was an early resident of Nantucket Island. Alternate spellings of his name are “Gregory”, “Degorie”, or “Digorie” Priest. Sarah Allerton’s brother Isaac Allerton and his family were also passengers on the Mayflower.
Degory and Sarah have many notable descendants including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Maria Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Richard Gere, Dick Van Dyke, and Orson Scott Card.
Degory PRIEST (1579 – 1621)
Mary Priest (1613 – 1689)
daughter of Degory PRIEST
Daniel Pratt (1640 – 1680)
son of Mary Priest
Henry Pratt (1658 – 1745)
son of Daniel Pratt
Esther Pratt (1680 – 1740)
daughter of Henry Pratt
Deborah Baynard (1720 – 1791)
daughter of Esther Pratt
Mary Horney (1741 – 1775)
daughter of Deborah Baynard
Esther Harris (1764 – 1838)
daughter of Mary Horney
John H Wright (1803 – 1850)
son of Esther Harris
Mary Wright (1816 – 1873)
daughter of John H Wright
Emiline P Nicholls (1837 – )
daughter of Mary Wright
Harriet Peterson (1856 – 1933)
daughter of Emiline P Nicholls
Sarah Helena Byrne (1878 – 1962)
daughter of Harriet Peterson
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Olga Fern Scott
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse
Degory Priest deposed that he was 40 years old in a document signed in Leiden in April 1619; this would place his birth at about 1579 in England. On 4 November 1611, he was married to Sarah (Allerton) Vincent, the widow of John Vincent, and the sister of Mayflower passenger Isaac Allerton; Isaac Allerton was married to his wife Mary Norris on the same date.
It has been suggested that Degory Priest of the Mayflower may have been the Degorius Prust, baptized 11 August 1582 in Hartland, Devon, England, the son of Peter Prust. However, given that the baptism appears to be about 3 years too late, and the fact that none of the Leiden Separatists are known to have come from Devonshire, I doubt this baptism belongs to the Mayflower passenger. Degory Priest was one of the earliest to have arrived in Leiden, so it is more reasonable to suspect he is from the Nottinghamshire/Yorkshire region, the Sandwich/Canterbury region, the London/Middlesex region, or the Norfolk region: all of the early Separatists in Leiden appear to have come from one of these centers.
Degory and wife Sarah had two children, Mary and Sarah. Degory came alone on the Mayflower, planning to bring wife and children later after the colony was better established. His death the first winter ended those plans. His wife remarried to Godbert Godbertson in Leiden, and they had a son Samuel together. Godbert, his wife Sarah, their son Samuel, and his step-children Mary and Sarah Priest all came on the ship Anne to Plymouth in 1623.
Alexios I Komnenos, or Comnenus (Greek: Αλέξιος Α’ Κομνηνός) (1048 – August 15, 1118), Byzantine emperor (1081–1118), was the son of John Comnenus and Anna Dalassena and the nephew of Isaac I Comnenus (emperor 1057–1059). The military, financial and territorial recovery of the Byzantine Empire began in his reign.
Alexius’ father declined the throne on the abdication of Isaac, who was accordingly succeeded by four emperors of other families between 1059 and 1081. Under one of these emperors, Romanus IV Diogenes (1067–1071), he served with distinction against the Seljuk Turks. Under Michael VII Ducas Parapinaces (1071–1078) and Nicephorus III Botaneiates (1078–1081), he was also employed, along with his elder brother Isaac, against rebels in Asia Minor, Thrace and in Epirus.
Alexius’ mother wielded great influence during his reign, and he is described by his daughter, the historian Anna Comnena, as running next to the imperial chariot that she drove. In 1074, the rebel mercenaries in Asia Minor were successfully subdued, and, in 1078, he was appointed commander of the field army in the West by Nicephorus III. In this capacity, Alexius defeated the rebellions of two successive governors of Dyrrhachium, Nicephorus Bryennius (whose son or grandson later married Alexius’ daughter Anna) and Nicephorus Basilakes. Alexius was ordered to march against his brother-in-law Nicephorus Melissenus in Asia Minor but refused to fight his kinsman. This did not, however, lead to a demotion, as Alexius was needed to counter the expected Norman invasion led by Robert Guiscard near Dyrrhachium.
While the Byzantine troops were assembling for the expedition, Alexius was approached by the Ducas faction at court, who convinced him to join a conspiracy against Nicephorus III. Alexius was duly proclaimed emperor by his troops and marched on Constantinople. Bribing the western mercenaries guarding the city, the rebels entered Constantinople in triumph, meeting little resistance on April 1, 1081. Nicephorus III was forced to abdicate and retire to a monastery, and Patriarch Cosmas I crowned Alexius I emperor on April 4.
During this time, Alexius was rumored to be the lover of Empress Maria of Alania, the daughter of King Bagrat IV of Georgia, who had been successively married to Michael VII Ducas and his successor Nicephorus III Botaneiates, and was renowned for her beauty. Alexius arranged for Maria to stay on the palace grounds. It was also thought that Alexius may have been considering marrying the erstwhile empress. However, his mother consolidated the Ducas family connection by arranging the Emperor’s marriage to Irene Ducaena, granddaughter of the Caesar John Ducas, the uncle of Michael VII, who would not have supported Alexius otherwise. As a measure intended to keep the support of the Ducae, Alexius restored Constantine Ducas, the young son of Michael VII and Maria, as co-emperor and a little later betrothed him to his own first-born daughter Anna, who moved into the Mangana Palace with her fiancé and his mother.
However, this situation changed drastically when Alexius’ first son John II Comnenus was born in 1087: Anna’s engagement to Constantine was dissolved, and she was moved to the main Palace to live with her mother and grandmother. Alexius became estranged from Maria, who was stripped of her imperial title and retired to a monastery, and Constantine Ducas was deprived of his status as co-emperor. Nevertheless, he remained in good relations with the imperial family and succumbed to his weak constitution soon afterwards.
This coin was struck by Alexius during his war against Robert Guiscard.
Alexius’ long reign of nearly thirty-seven years was full of struggle. At the very outset, he had to meet the formidable attack of the Normans (led by Robert Guiscard and his son Bohemund), who took Dyrrhachium and Corfu, and laid siege to Larissa in Thessaly (see Battle of Dyrrhachium). Alexius suffered several defeats before being able to strike back with success. He enhanced this by bribing the German king Henry IV with 360,000 gold pieces to attack the Normans in Italy, which forced the Normans to concentrate on their defenses at home in 1083–1084. He also secured the alliance of Henry, Count of Monte Sant’Angelo, who controlled the Gargano Peninsula and dated his charters by Alexius’ reign. Henry’s allegiance was to be the last example of Byzantine political control on peninsular Italy. The Norman danger ended for the time being with Robert Guiscard’s death in 1085, and the Byzantines recovered most of their losses.
Alexius had next to deal with disturbances in Thrace, where the heretical sects of the Bogomils and the Paulicians revolted and made common cause with the Pechenegs from beyond the Danube. Paulician soldiers in imperial service likewise deserted during Alexius’ battles with the Normans. As soon as the Norman threat had passed, Alexius set out to punish the rebels and deserters, confiscating their lands. This led to a further revolt near Philippopolis, and the commander of the field army in the west, Gregory Pakourianos, was defeated and killed in the ensuing battle. In 1087 the Pechenegs raided into Thrace and Alexius crossed into Moesia to retaliate but failed to take Dorostolon (Silistra). During his retreat, the emperor was surrounded and worn down by the Pechenegs, who forced him to sign a truce and pay protection money. In 1090 the Pechenegs invaded Thrace again, while the brother-in-law of the Sultan of Rum launched a fleet and attempted to arrange a joing siege of Constantinople with the Pechenegs. Alexius overcame this crisis by entering into an alliance with a horde of 40,000 Cumans, with whose help he crushed the Pechenegs at Levounion in Thrace on April 29, 1091.
The Byzantine Empire at the accession of Alexius I Comnenus, c. 1081
This put an end to the Pecheneg threat, but in 1094 the Cumans began to raid the imperial territories in the Balkans. Led by a pretender claiming to be Constantine Diogenes, a long-dead son of the Emperor Romanos IV, the Cumans crossed the mountains and raided into eastern Thrace until their leader was eliminated at Adrianople. With the Balkans more or less pacified, Alexius could now turn his attention to Asia Minor, which had been almost completely overrun by the Seljuk Turks.
As early as 1090, Alexius had taken reconciliatory measures towards the Papacy, with the intention of seeking western support against the Seljuks. In 1095 his ambassadors appeared before Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza. The help which he wanted from the West was simply mercenary forces and not the immense hosts which arrived, to his consternation and embarrassment, after the pope preached the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont later that same year. Not quite ready to supply this number of people as they traversed his territories, the emperor saw his Balkan possessions subjected to further pillage at the hands of his own allies. Alexius dealt with the first disorganized group of crusaders, led by the preacher Peter the Hermit, by sending them on to Asia Minor, where they were massacred by the Turks in 1096.
The second and much more formidable host of crusaders gradually made its way to Constantinople, led in sections by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, Raymond IV of Toulouse and other important members of the western nobility. Alexius used the opportunity of meeting the crusader leaders separately as they arrived and extracting from them oaths of homage and the promise to turn over conquered lands to the Byzantine Empire. Transferring each contingent into Asia, Alexius promised to supply them with provisions in return for their oaths of homage. The crusade was a notable success for Byzantium, as Alexius now recovered for the Byzantine Empire a number of important cities and islands. The crusader siege of Nicaea forced the city to surrender to the emperor in 1097, and the subsequent crusader victory at Dorylaion allowed the Byzantine forces to recover much of western Asia Minor. Here Byzantine rule was reestablished in Chios, Rhodes, Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis, and Philadelphia in 1097–1099. This success is ascribed by his daughter Anna to his policy and diplomacy, but by the Latin historians of the crusade to his treachery and falseness. In 1099, a Byzantine fleet of 10 ships were sent to assist the Crusaders in capturing Laodicea and other coastal towns as far as Tripoli. The crusaders believed their oaths were made invalid when the Byzantine contingent under Tatikios failed to help them during the siege of Antioch; Bohemund, who had set himself up as Prince of Antioch, briefly went to war with Alexius in the Balkans, but was blockaded by the Byzantine forces and agreed to become Alexius’ vassal by the Treaty of Devol in 1108.
During the last twenty years of his life Alexius lost much of his popularity. The years were marked by persecution of the followers of the Paulician and Bogomil heresies—one of his last acts was to publicly burn on the stake Basil, a Bogomil leader, with whom he had engaged in a theological dispute. In spite of the success of the crusade, Alexius also had to repel numerous attempts on his territory by the Seljuks in 1110–1117.
Alexius was for many years under the strong influence of an eminence grise, his mother Anna Dalassena, a wise and immensely able politician whom, in a uniquely irregular fashion, he had crowned as Augusta instead of the rightful claimant to the title, his wife Irene Ducaena. Dalassena was the effective administrator of the Empire during Alexius’ long absences in military campaigns: she was constantly at odds with her daughter-in-law and had assumed total responsibility for the upbringing and education of her granddaughter Anna Comnena.
Alexius’ last years were also troubled by anxieties over the succession. Although he had crowned his son John II Comnenus co-emperor at the age of five in 1092, John’s mother Irene Doukaina wished to alter the succession in favor of her daughter Anna and Anna’s husband, Nicephorus Bryennius. Bryennios had been made kaisar (Caesar) and received the newly-created title of panhypersebastos (“honoured above all”), and remained loyal to both Alexius and John. Nevertheless, the intrigues of Irene and Anna disturbed even Alexius’ dying hours.
Alexius I had stabilized the Byzantine Empire and overcome a dangerous crisis, inaugurating a century of imperial prosperity and success. He had also profoundly altered the nature of the Byzantine government. By seeking close alliances with powerful noble families, Alexius put an end to the tradition of imperial exclusivity and coopted most of the nobility into his extended family and, through it, his government. This measure, which was intended to diminish opposition, was paralleled by the introduction of new courtly dignities, like that of panhypersebastos given to Nicephorus Bryennius, or that of sebastokrator given to the emperor’s brother Isaac Comnenus. Although this policy met with initial success, it gradually undermined the relative effectiveness of imperial bureaucracy by placing family connections over merit. Alexius’ policy of integration of the nobility bore the fruit of continuity: every Byzantine emperor who reigned after Alexius I Comnenus was related to him by either descent or marriage.
By his marriage with Irene Ducaena, Alexius I had the following children:
Anna Komnene, who married the Caesar Nicephorus Bryennius.
Maria Komnene, who married (1) Gregory Gabras and (2) Nicephorus Euphorbenos Katakalon.
John II Komnenos, who succeeded as emperor.
Andronikos Comnenus, sebastokratōr.
Isaac Comnenus, sebastokratōr.
Eudocia Komnene, who married Michael Iasites.
Theodora Komnene, who married (1) Constantine Kourtikes and (2) Constantine Angelos. By him she was the grandmother of Emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos.
John Komnenos (Greek: Ἰωάννης Κομνηνός; ca. 1015 – 12 July 1067) was a Byzantine aristocrat and military leader. The younger brother of Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, he served as Domestic of the Schools during Isaac’s brief reign (1057–59). When Isaac I abdicated, Constantine X Doukas became emperor and John withdrew from public life until his death in 1067. Through his son Alexios I Komnenos, who became emperor in 1081, he was the progenitor of the Komnenian dynasty that ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1081 until 1185, and the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 until 1461.
John Komnenos was born ca. 1015 as the younger son of the patrikios Manuel Erotikos Komnenos, a senior military commander in the late reign of Basil II (ruled 976–1025). He is first mentioned in 1057, the year his elder brother Isaac I Komnenos, at the head of a group of generals, rebelled against Michael VI and forced him off the throne. At the time of the revolt, John held the post of doux, but after his brother’s victory, he was raised to the rank of kouropalates and appointed as Domestic of the Schools of the West.
Nothing is known of John’s activities during his brother’s reign, although Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger, who married John’s granddaughter Anna Komnene, says that in his capacity as Domestic of the West he left his (unspecified) acts as an “immortal monument” to the people of the Balkan provinces.
Isaac’s reign was cut short by his clash with the powerful Patriarch of Constantinople,Michael Keroularios, who had been instrumental in securing Michael VI’s abdication, and the powerful civil aristocracy of the capital. Keroularios and his supporters led the opposition against Isaac’s stringent economizing policies, forcing him to resign on 22 November 1059, after which he withdrew to the Stoudios Monastery.
The crown then passed to Constantine X Doukas (r. 1059–67), although Bryennios asserts that it was first offered to John, who refused it, despite the pressure of his wife, Anna Dalassene, to accept. According to the historian Konstantinos Varzos, however, this version is suspect, and may well be a post-fact attempt at legitimizing the eventual usurpation of the throne by John’s son, Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
John is not mentioned in the sources during the reign of Constantine X, perhaps indicating, according to Konstantinos Varzos, that he was in imperial disfavour, despite Bryennios’ assertion that both he and his brother remained much honoured by the new emperor.The late 12th-century typikon of the Monastery of Christ Philanthropos, founded by Alexios I’s wife Irene Doukaina, is the only source to record that John Komnenos retired to a monastery, probably at the same time as his wife, Anna Dalassene. He died as a monk on 12 July 1067.
Family..John Komnenos married Anna Dalassene, the daughter of Alexios Charon, most likely in 1044. Anna, born ca. 1028, long outlived her husband and after his death ran the family as its undisputed matriarch. Anna became involved in conspiracies against the Doukas family, whom she never forgave for taking the throne in 1059. Later she also played a major role in the successful overthrow of Nikephoros III Botaneiates (r. 1078–81) and the rise of her son Alexios to the throne. After that, and for about fifteen years, she served as the virtual co-ruler of the empire along her son. She then retired to a monastery, where she died in 1100 or 1102.
With Anna, John had eight children, five boys and three girls:
IOANNES Komnenos, son of MANUEL Erotikos Komnenos & his wife — (-12 Jul 1067). Nikephoros Bryennios names “maiori natu Isaacio…iunior Ioannes” as the two sons of “Comneni Manuelis” . His parentage is confirmed by the Alexeiad which describes Emperor Isaakios Komnenos as brother-in-law of Anna Dalassena, an earlier passage naming him Ioannes . Patrikios. Skylitzes records that Emperor Isaakios created “Joannem fratrem et Catacalon Combustum curopalatas” and “fratrem suum magnum domesticum” after his accession, in 1057 . His brother abdicated in his favour 25 Dec 1059, but Ioannes refused the throne. He became a monk as IOANNES. The list of obituaries of Empress Eirene Doukas’s family records the death “12 Jul, monk John father of Emperor”.
m () ANNA Dalassena, daughter of ALEXIOS Kharon Prefect of Italy & his wife — Dalassena (-1 Nov/27 Apr 1100/01). Nikephoros Bryennios records the marriage of “Ioanni” and “filia Charonis Alexii…Anna”, recording that her mother was “genus a Dalassenis”. The Alexeiad names “Anna Dalassena, the mother of the Komneni” when recording that she arranged the marriage of “the grandson of Botaneiates and the daughter of Manuel her eldest son”. Despoina 1048/57. Regent of Byzantium 1081 and 1094-1095. She became a nun at Pantopopte convent which she founded. The list of obituaries of Empress Eirene Doukas’s family records the death “1 Nov, Anna, mother of the Emperor”.
Ioannes Komnenos & his wife had eight children:
Elizabeth Cheney (April 1422 – 25 September 1473) was an English aristocrat, who, by dint of her two marriages, was the great-grandmother of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard, three of the wives of King Henry VIII of England, thus making her great-great-grandmother to King Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her first husband was SirFrederick Tilney, and her second husband was Sir John Say, Speaker of the House of Commons. She produced a total of nine children from both marriages.
Born in Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire in April 1422, she was the eldest child of Laurence or Lawrence Cheney or Cheyne, Esq. (c. 1396 – 1461), High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Elizabeth Cokayn or Cokayne She had three younger sisters, Anne, wife of John Appleyard; Mary, wife of John Allington; Catherine, wife of Henry Barley, and one brother, Sir John Cheney who married Elizabeth Rempston, by whom he had issue. Sir John Cheney and his wife are ancestors of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. She had two half-brothers by her mother’s first marriage to Sir Philip Butler.
Her paternal grandparents were Sir William Cheney and Katherine Pabenham, and her maternal grandparents were Sir John Cockayne, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Ida de Grey, the daughter of Reginald Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Ruthyn and Eleanor Le Strange of Blackmere.
Anne Boleyn, granddaughter of Elizabeth Tilney, eldest daughter of Elizabeth Cheney
On an unknown date, Elizabeth Cheney married her first husband Sir Frederick Tilney, of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, and Boston, Lincolnshire. He was the son of Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe. They made their principal residence at Ashwellthorpe Manor. The couple had one daughter:
Elizabeth Tilney (before 1445 – 4 April 1497), married firstly in about 1466, Sir Humphrey Bourchier, by whom she had three children; and secondly on 30 April 1472, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who later became the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, by whom she had nine children. These children included Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard, mother of Anne Boleyn, and Lord Edmund Howard, father of Catherine Howard.
Sir Frederick Tilney died in 1445, leaving their young daughter Elizabeth as heiress to his estates. Shortly before 1 December 1446, Elizabeth Cheney married secondly Sir John Say, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, and a member of the household of King Henry VI. He was a member of the embassy, led by William de la Pole, which was sent to France in 1444 to negotiate with King Charles VII for the marriage between King Henry and Margaret of Anjou. Her father settled land worth fifty marks clear per annum upon the couple and their issue before Candlemas, 1453. They made their home at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.
Sir John Say and Elizabeth had three sons and four daughters:
Sir William Say (1452- 1529), of Baas (in Broxbourne), Bedwell (in Essendon), Bennington, Little Berkhampstead, and Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, Lawford, Essex, Market Overton, Rutland, etc., Burgess (M.P.) for Plympton, Knight of the Shire for Hertfordshire, Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 1478–9, Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire, 1482–3, Justice of the Peace for Hertfordshire, 1486–1506, and, in right of his 1st wife, of East Lydford, Radstock, Spaxton, Wellesleigh, and Wheathill, Somerset, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Wormingford Hall (in Wormingford), Essex, Great Munden, Hertfordshire, etc. He married (1st) before 18 November 1472 (date of letters of attorney) Genevieve Hill, daughter/heiress of John Hill, of Spaxton, Somerset. She was still alive in 1478. He married (2nd) shortly after 18 April 1480 Elizabeth Fray, widow of Sir Thomas Waldegrave, by whom he had two daughters, Mary Say and Elizabeth Say.
Mary, the eldest daughter married Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex and 6th Baron Bourchier, by whom she had one daughter, Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier.
Thomas Say, of Liston Hall, Essex.
Leonard Say, clerk, Rector of Spaxton, Somerset. See Testamenta Eboracensia, 4 (Surtees Soc. 53) (1869): 86–88 (will of Leonard Say, clerk).
Anne Say (died 1478/1494), married Henry Wentworth, K.B., of Nettlestead, Suffolk, Goxhill, Lincolnshire, Parlington and Pontefract, Yorkshire, and of London, Esquire of the Household, Knight of the Body, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, 1481–82, Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1489–90, 1492, Knight of the Shire for Yorkshire, 1491–92, by whom she had issue, including Margery Wentworth, mother of Jane Seymour.
Mary Say, married Sir Philip Calthorpe, Knt., by whom she had issue.
Margaret Say, married Thomas Sampson, Esq.
Katherine Say, married Thomas Bassingbourne.
Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey, was an English heiress and lady-in-waiting to two queens. She became the first wife of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. She served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, and later as Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen’s daughter, Elizabeth of York, consort of King Henry VII of England. She stood as joint godmother to Princess Margaret Tudor at her baptism.
She was the mother of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Through her daughter Elizabeth she was the maternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, and through another son, Edmund, the paternal grandmother of Catherine Howard, both queens consort of King Henry VIII. Elizabeth’s great-granddaughter was Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Elizabeth was commemorated as the “Countess of Surrey” in John Skelton’s poem, The Garlande of Laurell, following his visit to the Howard residence of Sheriff Hutton Castle.
Elizabeth Tilney was born at Ashwellthorpe Hall sometime before 1445, the only child of Sir Frederick Tilney, of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, and Boston, Lincolnshire, and Elizabeth Cheney (1422–1473) of Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire. Sir Frederick Tilney died before 1447, and before 1449 Elizabeth’s mother married as her second husband Sir John Say of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, by whom she had three sons, Sir William, Sir Thomas and Leonard, and four daughters, Anne (wife of Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk), Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Sampson), Katherine (wife of Thomas Bassingbourne), and Mary (wife of Sir Philip Calthorpe). A fifth daughter died as a young child. Henry VIII’s third queen consort, Jane Seymour, was the granddaughter of Henry Wentworth and Anne Say, and thus a second cousin to Henry VIII’s second and fifth queens consort, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Elizabeth’s paternal grandparents were Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe, and her maternal grandparents were Sir Laurence Cheney of Fen Ditton and Elizabeth Cockayne, widow of Sir Philip Butler. Elizabeth Cockayne was the daughter of Sir John Cockayne, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Ida de Grey. Ida was a daughter of Welsh Marcher Lord Reginald Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Ruthyn and Eleanor Le Strange of Blackmere. Through her mother, Ida was a direct descendant of Welsh Prince Gruffydd II ap Madog, Lord of Dinas Bran and his wife Emma de Audley.
Elizabeth was co-heiress to the manors of Fisherwick and Shelfield in Walsall, Staffordshire by right of her descent from Roger Hillary, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (d.1356).
Elizabeth married her first husband, Sir Humphrey Bourchier, the son and heir of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners, and his wife Margery, in about 1466. The marriage produced a son, John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners and two daughters. Following her marriage, Elizabeth went to court where she served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth Woodville, whose train she had carried at the latter’s coronation in May 1465 at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth accompanied the Queen and her children into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey when King Edward IV had been ousted from the throne, and was present at the birth of the future King Edward V. She remained with the Queen until Edward IV was restored to power.
Sir Humphrey was killed at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471 fighting on the Yorkist side. On 30 April 1472 Elizabeth married Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, a marriage arranged by the King. In 1475, Elizabeth inherited her father’s property of Ashwellthorpe Manor. Her second husband was a close friend and companion of Richard, Duke of Gloucester who was crowned king in 1483. Elizabeth was one of Queen Anne Neville’s attendants at Richard’s coronation, while her husband bore the Sword of State. On 22 August 1485 Thomas’s father John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk was killed at the Battle of Bosworth while fighting for Richard III; like his son, John was also one of King Richard’s dearest friends. Thomas Howard was wounded at Bosworth and imprisoned in the Tower for several years, and the dukedom of Norfolk was forfeited. Elizabeth was fortunate that Thomas’ attainder stipulated that she would not lose her own inheritance. On 3 October 1485, she wrote to John Paston, who was married to her cousin. The letter, which she had written from the Isle of Sheppey, mentioned how she had wished to send her children to Thorpe, pointing out that Paston had pledged to send her horses as a means of transporting them there. She continued to complain that Lord FitzWalter, an adherent of the new king Henry VII, had dismissed all of her servants; however, because of the stipulations in her husband’s attainder, FitzWalter was unable to appropriate her manor of Askwell. In December 1485 she was living in London, near St Katharine’s by the Tower, which placed her in the vicinity of her incarcerated husband. After Thomas was released from prison and his earldom and estates were restored to him, he entered the service of Henry VII. In November 1487, Thomas and Elizabeth attended the coronation of Henry’s consort Elizabeth of York, who appointed Elizabeth a Lady of the Bedchamber. Elizabeth was further honoured by being asked to stand as joint godmother to the Princess Margaret Tudor at her baptism in late 1489.
Her second marriage produced nine children, including Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard, mother of Queen Anne Boleyn, and Lord Edmund Howard, father of Queen Katherine Howard.
Elizabeth Tilney died on 4 April 1497 and was buried in the nun’s choir of the Convent of the Minoresses outside Aldgate. In her will, she left money to be distributed to the poor of Whitechapel and Hackney. By licence dated 8 November 1497 Thomas Howard married as his second wife her cousin, Agnes Tilney, by whom he had six more children.
Lady Elizabeth Tilney was governess to 1st Princess Mary Tudor and then later to Princess Elizabeth Tudor.
Elizabeth Tilney (1450 – 1497)
Lord Thomas Howard (1473 – 1554)
son of Elizabeth Tilney
Lady Katherine Howard Duchess Bridgewater (1495 – 1554)
daughter of Lord Thomas Howard
William ApRhys (1522 – 1588)
son of Lady Katherine Howard Duchess Bridgewater
Henry Rice (1555 – 1621)
son of William ApRhys
Edmund Rice (1594 – 1663)
son of Henry Rice
Edward Rice (1622 – 1712)
son of Edmund Rice
Lydia Rice (1649 – 1723)
daughter of Edward Rice
Lydia Woods (1672 – 1738)
daughter of Lydia Rice
Lydia Eager (1696 – 1735)
daughter of Lydia Woods
Mary Thomas (1729 – 1801)
daughter of Lydia Eager
Joseph Morse III (1756 – 1835)
son of Mary Thomas
John Henry Morse (1775 – 1864)
son of Joseph Morse III
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of John Henry Morse
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse