Arthur Plantagenet at a Garter Ceremony c. 1534. From The Black Book of the Garter, 1534
|Died||3 March 1542|
|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.
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, Dame 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. 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 Jane Seymour during her pregnancy developed a passion for quail, and since quails 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 at 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 (died 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 (later King Edward IV).The arms of Edward, 4th Duke of York (later King Edward IV), 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 to his arms as an unmarried man is 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 Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, styled Earl of Surrey from 1483 to 1485 and again from 1489 to 1514, was an English nobleman and politician. He was the eldest son of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by his first wife, Catharina de Moleyns. The Duke was the grandfather of both Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard and the great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I. He served four monarchs as a soldier and statesman. In 1513 he led the English to victory over the Scots at the decisive Battle of Flodden, for which he was richly rewarded by King Henry VIII, then away in France.
Baron Lisle was a title that was created five times in the Peerage of England during the Middle Ages and Tudor period. The earliest creation was for the family of Lisle of Rougemont, which bore arms: Or, a fess between two chevrons sable. The later creation of 1357 was for Lisle of Kingston Lisle, a younger branch of the Lisles of Rougemont. Robert de Lisle of Rougemont married Alice FitzGerold, the heiress of Kingston in the parish of Sparsholt, Berkshire. In 1269 Alice granted the manor of Kingston to her younger son Gerard I de Lisle, whose family adopted the arms of FitzGerold: Gules, a lion statant guardant argent crowned or. Gerard I's grandson was Gerard II de Lisle (1305–1360), created Baron Lisle in 1357.
Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, 12th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG, of Belvoir Castle, Rutland, was created Earl of Rutland by King Henry VIII in 1525.
King Edward III of England and his wife, Philippa of Hainault, had eight sons and five daughters. The Wars of the Roses were fought between the different factions of Edward III's descendants. The following list outlines the genealogy supporting male heirs ascendant to the throne during the conflict, and the roles of their cousins. However to mobilise arms and wealth, significant major protagonists were Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset and Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland and their families. A less powerful but determining role was played by Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Elizabeth Woodville and their families.
Robert Radcliffe, 10th Baron Fitzwalter, 1st Earl of Sussex, KG, KB, PC, also spelled Radclyffe, Ratcliffe, Ratcliff, etc., was a prominent courtier and soldier during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII who served as Chamberlain of the Exchequer and Lord Great Chamberlain.
Anne Bassett was an English lady of the court of the Tudor period, whose charms attracted the attention of King Henry VIII.
William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, feudal baron of Okehampton and feudal baron of Plympton, was a member of the leading noble family of Devon. His principal seat was Tiverton Castle, Devon with further residences at Okehampton Castle and Colcombe Castle, also in that county.
Sir John Basset, KB, 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 Westcountry 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. The survival of the Lisle Letters, a large collection of letters to Lisle and his wife Honor, makes their lives two of the best-documented of the period. Honor retained for life as her widow's dower several Basset estates including Umberleigh and Tehidy, and the Lisle Letters include a great deal of correspondence to Honor from her stewards concerning their detailed management. They also include much correspondence to her from her children by Sir John Basset.
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 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 United Kingdom.
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 an ancient Devonshire 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 Philip II of Spain.
Elizabeth Grey, 5th Baroness Lisle, 3rd Viscountess Lisle was an English noblewoman.
The Mistresses of Henry VIII allegedly included many notable women between 1509 and 1536. They have been the subject of biographies, novels and films.
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 had considerable influence.
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.
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 Lincolns 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 Thomas Cheney
| Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports |
Sir Thomas Seymour