|Died||3 March 1542 (aged 66-81)|
|Spouse(s)|| Elizabeth Grey |
|Father||Edward IV of England|
Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, KG (died 3 March 1542) was an illegitimate son of the English king Edward IV, half-brother-in-law of Henry VII, and an uncle of Henry VIII, at whose court he was a prominent figure and by whom he was appointed Lord Deputy of Calais (1533–40).The survival of a large collection of his correspondence in the Lisle Letters makes his life one of the best documented of his era.
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Arthur Plantagenet was born between 1461 and 1475 in Calais, which was then an English possession in France. He died at the Tower of London, where he is buried. The identity of his mother is uncertain; the most likely candidate appears to be the "wanton wench" Elizabeth Wayte, although the historical record is spotty on this issue, and it is not entirely clear that Wayte is distinct from another of Edward's mistresses, Elizabeth Lucy. Another possible candidate is Elizabeth Shore.His godfather was William FitzAlan, 16th Earl of Arundel.
He spent his childhood at the court of his father Edward IV. How he passed his youth after his father's death in 1483 is not known. In 1501 he joined the household of his half-sister, the queen consort Elizabeth of York, and moved to the household of Henry VII after her death in 1503. After the accession of his nephew Henry VIII in 1509, he was formally designated an Esquire of the King's Bodyguard and was a close companion of Henry's (despite the age difference).
In 1514 he was appointed High Sheriff of Hampshire and made captain of the Vice-Admiral's ship Trinity Sovereign, rising to become Vice-Admiral of England. In 1519 he and his wife, Elizabeth Grey Baroness Lisle, took possession of the lands that had belonged to her father (her brother and niece having both died). In 1520, he attended his nephew, King Henry VIII, at the Field of Cloth of Gold.
On 25 April 1523, Arthur Plantagenet was created Viscount Lisle. In 1524, he was invested as Knight of the Garter. He was also selected Privy Councilor, Governor of Calais, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and named as Constable of Calais after the death of John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners on 16 March 1533.
The Lisle Letters suggest that as Constable of Calais he was honest and conscientious but not especially competent. Among the letters is one from Thomas Cromwell rebuking him for referring trivial matters back to the king and Council, criticising him for his inability to refuse a favour to anyone who asks for one, and hinting that Lady Lisle's dominant influence over him has made him something of a laughing stock.
Yet the Crown itself did not hesitate to employ him on routine errands: in 1537 queen consort Jane Seymour during her pregnancy developed a passion for quail, and since quail were abundant in the marshes around Calais, Lisle had to devote much time to supplying them to the Queen.
In 1540, several members of the Plantagenet household in Calais were arrested on suspicion of treason, on the charge of plotting to betray the town to the French. Suspicion unavoidably fell upon Arthur as well, and he was recalled to England and eventually arrested on 19 May 1540.
The actual conspirators were executed, but there was no evidence connecting Arthur with the plot. Nevertheless, he languished in the Tower of London for two years until the king decided to release him. However, upon receiving news that he was to be released he suffered a heart attack and died two days later. The 18th-century historian Francis Sanford commented "Henry VIII's Mercy was as fatal as his Judgments".
During his time in Calais, Arthur and his wife had to manage much of their affairs outside Calais by correspondence. Copies of 3,000 of these letters were seized as evidence after Arthur was arrested. They survive in the Public Record Office, and were published in abridged form as the Lisle Letters, becoming a valuable historical resource for a critical period in English history.
Arthur Plantagenet married twice, producing children by his first wife only.
His first marriage was on 12 November 1511 to Elizabeth Grey (died 1529), daughter of Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle (died 1492). She was the widow of Edmund Dudley, treasurer to King Henry VII, who had been executed in 1510 by Henry VIII. [ citation needed ] By Elizabeth he had three daughters:The next day the king granted Arthur some of the Dudley estates which had come to the crown due to Dudley's attainder.
Secondly, in 1529 as her second husband, he married Honor Grenville (1493–1566) the daughter of Sir Thomas Grenville (died 1513) of Stowe in the parish of Kilkhampton, Cornwall, by his wife Isabella Gilbert. She was the widow of Sir John Bassett (1462–1528) of Umberleigh, Devon. Arthur had no children by Honor, but he helped to bring up her children, including John Basset, who became the husband of his daughter Frances from his first marriage; Anne Bassett, an alleged mistress of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth Bassett, a royal maid-of-honour also known as Mary Bassett.
Before his first marriage, Arthur Plantagenet bore his paternal arms, with baton sinister azure for bastardy, of Edward, 4th Duke of York (later King Edward IV): Quarterly 1st: Arms of King Edward III; 2nd & 3rd: Or a cross gules (de Burgh), 4th: Barry or and azure, on a chief of the first two pallets between two base esquires of the second over all an inescutcheon argent (Mortimer). [ citation needed ] (on which basis the House of York claimed the throne), who married Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster (1332–1363). Their daughter Philippa de Burgh married Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, whose son Roger de Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, was the great-grandfather of Edward, 4th Duke of York.The arms of Edward, 4th Duke of York, emphasise his descent from Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338–1368), third son of King Edward III
After his first marriage, Arthur Plantagenet added an inescutcheon of pretenceof Grey, Viscounts Lisle, quarterly of six, 1st: Barry of six argent and azure in chief three torteaux (Grey, Viscount Lisle); 2nd: Barry of argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules (Valence, Earl of Pembroke); 3rd: Gules, seven mascles or conjoined 3, 3, 1 (Ferrers of Groby); 4th: Gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed or (Talbot); 5th: Gules, a fesse between six crosses crosslet or (Beauchamp); 6th: Gules, a lion statant guardant argent crowned or (Lisle); in chief a label of three points argent.
He bore as crest: On a cap of maintenance gules turned up ermine, and inscribed in front with the letter A, a genet guardant per pale sable and argent, standing between two broom-stalks proper.The broom plant ( Planta genista ) inspired the naming of the Plantagenet dynasty and the genet alluded to it.
Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby, was an English nobleman, courtier and the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville and her first husband Sir John Grey of Groby. Her second marriage to King Edward IV made her Queen of England, thus elevating Grey's status at court and in the realm as the stepson of the King. Through his mother's assiduous endeavours, he made two materially advantageous marriages to wealthy heiresses, the King's niece Anne Holland and Cecily Bonville, 7th Baroness Harington. By the latter, he had 14 children.
Baron Lisle was a title which was created five times in the Peerage of England during the Middle Ages and Tudor period, and once in the Peerage of Ireland in the 18th century.
Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, 12th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG, of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, was created Earl of Rutland by King Henry VIII in 1525.
Anne Basset was an English lady-in-waiting of the Tudor period, reputed to have been the mistress of King Henry VIII.
Sir John Basset, of Tehidy in Cornwall and of Umberleigh in Devon was Sheriff of Cornwall in 1497, 1517 and 1522 and Sheriff of Devon in 1524. Although himself an important figure in the West Country gentry, he is chiefly remembered for his connection with the life of his second wife and widow Honor Grenville, who moved into the highest society when she remarried to Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle KG, an illegitimate son of King Edward IV, and an important figure at the court of King Henry VIII, his nephew.
Katharine Basset was an English gentlewoman who served at the court of King Henry VIII, namely in the household of Queen Anne of Cleves, and was briefly jailed for speaking against him. Three of her letters to her mother Honor Grenville survive in the Lisle Papers.
Honor Grenville, Viscountess Lisle was a Cornish lady whose domestic life from 1533 to 1540 during the reign of King Henry VIII is exceptionally well-recorded, due to the survival of the Lisle Papers in the National Archives, the state archives of the UK.
The Lisle Papers are the correspondence received in Calais between 1533 and 1540 by Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (c.1480-1542), Lord Deputy of Calais, an illegitimate son of King Edward IV and an uncle of King Henry VIII, and by his wife, Honor Plantagenet, Viscountess Lisle, from several servants, courtiers, royal officials, friends, children and other relatives. They are an important source of information on domestic life in the Tudor age and of life at the court of Henry VIII.
James Basset (1526–1558) was a gentleman from the ancient Devonshire Basset family who became a servant of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, by whom he was nominated MP for Taunton in 1553, for Downton in 1554, both episcopal boroughs. He also served thrice as MP for Devon in 1554, 1555, and 1558. He was a strong adherent to the Catholic faith during the Reformation started by King Henry VIII. After the death of King Edward VI in 1553 and the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary I, he became a courtier to that queen as a gentleman of the Privy Chamber and received many favours from both herself and her consort King Philip II of Spain.
Elizabeth Grey, 6th Baroness Lisle was an English noblewoman during the reigns of Henry VII and VIII.
Sir John Chichester (1519/20-1569) of Raleigh in the parish of Pilton, near Barnstaple in North Devon, was a leading member of the Devonshire gentry, a naval captain, and ardent Protestant who served as Sheriff of Devon in 1550-1551, and as Knight of the Shire for Devon in 1547, April 1554, and 1563, and as Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1559, over which borough his lordship of the manor of Raleigh, Pilton had considerable influence.
Whitechapel is an ancient former manor within the parish of Bishops Nympton, in north Devon. It was the earliest known residence of the locally influential Bassett family until 1603. The core of the present manor house is late 16th or early 17th century, with later additions and alterations, and was classed as Grade I listed on 9 June 1952.
George Rolle of Stevenstone in the parish of St Giles in the Wood near Great Torrington in Devon, was the founder of the wealthy, influential and widespread Rolle family of Devon, which according to the Return of Owners of Land, 1873 in the person of Hon. Mark Rolle, the adoptive heir of John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle, had become by that year the largest landowner in Devon with about 55,000 acres. He was a Dorset-born London lawyer who in 1507 became Keeper of the Records of the Court of Common Pleas and was elected as a Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1542 and 1545. He became the steward of Dunkeswell Abbey in Devon, and following the Dissolution of the Monasteries he purchased much ex-monastic land in Devon. Not only was he the founder of his own great Devonshire landowning dynasty but he was also an ancestor of others almost as great, including the Acland baronets of Killerton, the Wrey Baronets of Tawstock and the Trefusis family of Trefusis in Cornwall now of Heanton Satchville, Huish, later Baron Clinton, heirs both of Rolle of Heanton Satchville, Petrockstowe and of Rolle of Stevenstone.
Sir Thomas Grenville II, K.B.,, lord of the manors of Stowe in Kilkhampton, Cornwall and Bideford, Devon, Sheriff of Cornwall in 1481 and 1486. During the Wars of the Roses, he was a Lancastrian supporter who had taken part in the conspiracy against Richard III, organised by the Duke of Buckingham. On the accession of King Henry VII (1485–1509) to the throne, Sir Thomas was appointed one of the Esquires of the Body to Henry VII. On 14 November 1501 upon the marriage of Prince Arthur to Katherine of Aragon, he was created a Knight of the Bath. He served on the Commission of the Peace for Devon from 1510 to his death in circa 1513.
John Husee was a London merchant, and the business agent in England of Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (d.1542), during Lisle's absence abroad whilst serving as Governor of Calais during the years 1533 to 1540. Lord Lisle's correspondence was seized by the state when he was arrested in May 1540 for treason and heresy, and as a result, 515 letters written by Husee between 1533 and 1540 to Lord and Lady Lisle survive, mainly now preserved amongst the State Papers held at the National Archives. They were transcribed into modern English and in 1981 published, together with all the other Lisle Papers, by Muriel St Clare Byrne in her six-volume work "The Lisle Letters".
Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle was an English nobleman who was created Viscount Lisle in 1483, in recognition of his wife's descent.
George Basset, of Tehidy in the parish of Illogan, near Redruth in Cornwall, was an English politician.
John Basset (1518–1541) was a young English gentleman from Devon, a member of the old Basset family, and heir to a substantial inheritance. His short life is well documented in the Lisle Papers. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn and at the age of 20, at the start of a promising career, entered the household of Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal, but died suddenly aged only 23, albeit having married and produced a son and heir, born posthumously. His stepfather and father-in-law was Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (d.1542), Lord Deputy of Calais 1533–1540, a bastard son of King Edward IV and thus uncle of King Henry VIII, whose arrest with that of his mother in 1540 at Calais for heresy and treason, was a major, potentially catastrophic, event in his life. He died a year after the arrests, from an unknown illness, but his siblings all went on to have successful careers, especially his younger brother James, mostly as royal courtiers, apparently unaffected by the crisis.
Sir Robert Basset (1573-1641), lord of the manor of Umberleigh and lord of the manor of Heanton Punchardon in Devon, England, was MP for Plymouth in 1593.
John Grey, 2nd Viscount Lisle was a British peer of the Tudor period. Upon his death the title Viscount Lisle became extinct, but the Barony of Lisle passed to his unborn daughter Elizabeth, his only child.