Elizabeth Carew née Bryan (c. 1500 – 1546) was an English courtier and reputed mistress of King Henry VIII. A daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan and Margaret Bourchier, Elizabeth became the wife of Henry VIII's close friend Sir Nicholas Carew, an influential statesman who was eventually executed for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy. Her brother, Sir Francis, a member of the Privy Chamber and one of the king's closest friends, was responsible for sitting in the jury that convicted his sister's husband, who was sentenced to death, and thus reduced her to penury.
She was a first half-cousin of both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and a second half-cousin of Jane Seymour, which increased her standing at court. Her only brother was Sir Francis Bryan, called "the Vicar of Hell" for his lack of principles. She is said to have been friends with Bessie Blount, Henry's mistress who produced an illegitimate son in 1519. Her mother, Margaret Bourchier, was a half-sister of Anne Boleyn's mother, Elizabeth Howard, and also of Catherine Howard's father, Edmund Howard, sharing the same mother but different fathers. With Jane Seymour they both shared a great-grandmother; their grandmothers were half-sisters who shared the same mother but had different fathers.
In 1514, there were rumours that Elizabeth Bryan was the mistress of Henry VIII, although it may have been his brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk who was the object of her affection. The king made huge presents to her over the years, including royal jewels.
Elizabeth Bryan had been raised at court because of her parents who both held offices in the royal household. In the early, halcyon days of the reign, Elizabeth and her future husband were members of the king's inner social circle and performed regularly in the masques and dances that were among his favorite pastimes. Henry almost certainly arranged their marriage: he attended their wedding and endowed them with a gift of 50 marks' worth of land. In those years, the king showered Elizabeth Bryan with "beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels."
Her children with Nicholas Carew were:
Sir Nicholas was executed for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy in 1540, leaving Elizabeth and the children destitute.
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was a prominent English politician and nobleman of the Tudor era. He was an uncle of two of the wives of King Henry VIII, namely Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both of whom were beheaded, and played a major role in the machinations affecting these royal marriages. After falling from favour in 1546, he was stripped of his Dukedom and imprisoned in the Tower of London, avoiding execution when Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547.
Elizabeth Blount, commonly known during her lifetime as Bessie Blount, was a mistress of Henry VIII of England.
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon KG, was an English nobleman and courtier. He was the patron of Lord Chamberlain's Men, William Shakespeare's playing company. The son of Mary Boleyn, he was a cousin of Elizabeth I.
John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners was an English soldier, statesman and translator.
Elizabeth, Lady Raleigh was an English courtier, a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Her secret marriage to Sir Walter Raleigh precipitated a long period of royal disfavour for both her and her husband.
William Carey was a courtier and favourite of King Henry VIII of England. He served the king as a Gentleman of the Privy chamber, and Esquire of the Body to the King. His wife, Mary Boleyn, is known to history as a mistress of King Henry VIII and the sister of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn.
Margaret Bryan, Baroness Bryan was lady governess to the children of King Henry VIII of England, the future monarchs Mary I, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI, as well as the illegitimate Henry FitzRoy. The position of lady governess in her day resembled less that of the popular modern idea of a governess, more that of a nanny.
Sir Nicholas Carew KG, of Beddington in Surrey, was an English courtier and diplomat during the reign of King Henry VIII. He was executed for his alleged part in the Exeter Conspiracy.
Sir Francis Bryan was an English courtier and diplomat during the reign of Henry VIII. He was Chief Gentleman of the Privy chamber and Lord Justice of Ireland. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bryan always retained Henry's favour, achieving this by altering his opinions to conform to the king's. His rakish sexual life and his lack of principle at the time of his cousin Anne Boleyn's downfall led to his earning the nickname the Vicar of Hell.
Anne Bassett was an English lady-in-waiting of the Tudor period, reputed to have been the mistress of King Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas Bryan was an English courtier during the reign of Henry VIII.
Mary Boleyn, also known as Lady Mary, was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn, whose family enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII.
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.
Elizabeth Cheney was a member of the English gentry, 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. She was also the great-grandmother of Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley. Her first husband was Sir Frederick Tilney, and her second husband was Sir John Say, Speaker of the House of Commons. She produced a total of eight children from both marriages.
Anne Bourchier, Baroness Dacre was an English noblewoman, the wife of Sir Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre. Her stepfather was Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, which made Queen consort Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, her niece. Her son-in-law was Sir Henry Norris, who was executed for treason in 1536, as one of the alleged lovers of her niece, Queen Anne.
Mary Fiennes, Lady Norris (1495–1531) was an English courtier. She was the wife of Sir Henry Norris. Sir Henry was executed for treason as one of the alleged lovers of her cousin, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. Mary lived for six years at the French court as a Maid of Honour to queens consort Mary Tudor, wife of Louis XII; and Claude of France, wife of Francis I.
The Mistresses of Henry VIII included many notable women between 1509 and 1536. They have been the subject of biographies, novels and films.
Henry VIII of England had several children. The best known children are the three legitimate offspring who survived infancy and would succeed him as monarchs of England successively, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Sir Richard Page was an English courtier. He was a gentleman of the Privy Chamber at the court of Henry VIII of England, and Vice-Chamberlain in the household of Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy. Page was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1536 during the downfall of Anne Boleyn. He married Elizabeth Bourchier, the mother-in-law of the Protector Somerset
Francis Carew (1530?–1611), of Beddington, Surrey was an English politician.