Richard Bertie (courtier)

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The couple, their daughter and wetnurse going into exile Catherine Willoughby exiled.jpg
The couple, their daughter and wetnurse going into exile

Richard Bertie (25 December 1516 9 April 1582) was an English landowner and religious evangelical. [1] He was the second husband of Catherine Willoughby, 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, Duchess Dowager of Suffolk and a woman whom Henry VIII was considering as his seventh wife shortly before his death; she also received a proposal from the King of Poland.[ citation needed ]


Richard Bertie was from an unusually humble stock for the connections he made. He was the son of Thomas Bertie (ca. 1480-bef. 5 June 1555), Captain of Hurst Castle and a master mason, and Aline Say. His paternal grandfather Robert Bertie (died 1501/2 [2] ) was also a stonemason at Bearsted, Kent, and was married to one Marion, by whom he had two more children, a daughter Joan Bertie and a son William Bertie, born after 1480. [3] Richard matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on 17 February 1533/1534 and succeeded his father in 1555.

Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg
Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk

He married Catherine Willoughby, the daughter and heiress of William, 11th Lord Willoughby, and widow of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The Berties had married for love around 1553, after Bertie had for several years served as her Master of the Horse and Gentleman Usher. The pair fled to the Continent during the reign of the Catholic Mary I and the Counter-Reformation. They ignored commands to return, and their estates were sequestered. They travelled first to Cleves and then Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. They returned in 1559 soon after the accession of the more Protestant Elizabeth I and had their lands restored to them. Their story is recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs .

Bertie was the father of Susan Bertie, Countess of Kent and Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, prominent Protestants during the reign of Elizabeth. Peregrine was named for their wandering life in exile.

Bertie was Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincolnshire from 1562 to 1567. In 1564 he attended the Queen in her visit to Cambridge University, and was granted an MA. [4] In 1570 he unsuccessfully claimed the Barony Willoughby de Eresby in right of his wife. [5]

He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Lindsey by 1564 and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire for 1564–65. [6]

He died at Bourne, Lincolnshire on 9 April 1582.

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Earl of Lindsey Title in the Peerage of England

Earl of Lindsey is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1626 for the 14th Baron Willoughby de Eresby. He was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1635 to 1636 and also established his claim in right of his mother to the hereditary office of Lord Great Chamberlain of England. Lord Lindsey fought on the Royalist side in the Civil War and was killed at the Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He also fought at Edgehill and surrendered to the Parliamentarians in order to attend his mortally wounded father. Lord Lindsey later fought at the First Battle of Newbury, Second Battle of Newbury, and at Naseby. His son from his second marriage, James, was created Earl of Abingdon in 1682. He was succeeded by his son from his first marriage to Martha Cockayne, the third Earl. He represented Boston in the House of Commons and served as Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire.

Baron Willoughby de Eresby Title in the Peerage of England

Baron Willoughby de Eresby is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1313 for Robert de Willoughby. Since 1983, the title has been held by Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.

Robert Bertie, 1st Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven

Robert Bertie, 1st Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven PC, styled17th Baron Willoughby de Eresby between 1666 and 1701, and known as 4th Earl of Lindsey between 1701 and 1706, and as 1st Marquess of Lindsey between 1706 and 1715, was a British statesman and nobleman.

Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven

Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, styled The Honourable Peregrine Bertie between 1686 and 1704, Lord Willoughby de Eresby between 1704 and 1715 and Marquess of Lindsey between 1715 and 1723, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1708 until 1715 when he was called to the House of Lords.

Katherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk

Katherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, suo jure12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, was an English noblewoman living at the courts of King Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. She was the fourth wife of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, who acted as her legal guardian during his third marriage to Henry VIII's sister Mary. Her second husband was Richard Bertie, a member of her household. Following Charles Brandon's death in 1545, it was rumoured that King Henry had considered marrying Katherine as his seventh wife, while he was still married to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who was Katherine's close friend.

Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven

General Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, styled Lord Willoughby de Eresby from 1715 to 1723 and Marquess of Lindsey from 1735 to 1742 was the son of Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven.

Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey

Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey KG was an English peer, soldier and courtier.

Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby

Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby was the son of Catherine Willoughby, 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, and Richard Bertie. Bertie was Lady Willoughby de Eresby's second husband, the first being Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Peregrine Bertie's half-brothers, Henry and Charles Brandon, died as teenagers four years before his birth. His sister Susan married the Earl of Kent and then the nephew of Bess of Hardwick. Owing to religious politics, the parents had to move outside England and the boy was born at Wesel on the River Rhine.

Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey

Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey, KG, PC was an English soldier, courtier, and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1626. He was created Baron Willoughby de Eresby by writ of acceleration in 1640 and inherited the peerage of Earl of Lindsey in 1642. He fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War.

Peter Robert Drummond-Burrell, 2nd Baron Gwydyr, 22nd Baron Willoughby de Eresby PC, was a British politician and nobleman.

Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey PC FRS, styled Lord Willoughby de Eresby from 1642 to 1666, was an English nobleman.

Sir Christopher Willoughby, de jure10th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, was heir to his second cousin, Joan Welles, 9th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, in her own right Lady Willoughby, as well as great-grandson and heir male to William Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby de Eresby. Christopher Willoughby was also heir to his elder brother, Robert Willoughby, who died unmarried and underage on 24 March 1467. He was unable to enjoy his inherited title as a result of the attainders of his cousin Joan Welles' father, Richard Welles, 7th Baron Welles, and brother, Robert Welles, 8th Baron Willoughby de Eresby.

Peter Burrell, 1st Baron Gwydyr PC featured in English politics at the end of the 18th century, but he was best known for his involvement in cricket, particularly his part in the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787.

Susan Bertie, Countess of Kent

Susan Bertie was the daughter of Catherine Duchess of Suffolk, née Willoughby, by her second husband, Richard Bertie. Susan was the noblewoman memorialized by Lanyer at the beginning of the Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611) as the "daughter of the Duchess of Suffolk." At sixteen years of age, she married Reginald Grey of Wrest, who was later restored as the fifth Earl of Kent. Widowed at age nineteen, Susan, now Dowager Countess of Kent, remarried to Sir John Wingfield in 1581 at age twenty-seven.

Sir John Wingfield was an English soldier.

Mary de Vere, whose married names were Bertie and Hart, was a noblewoman of the sixteenth century.

Sir Richard Hastings, Baron Welles, was the son of Sir Leonard Hastings and a younger brother of William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings. He was a favourite of Edward IV, who granted him the lands of the baronies of Willoughby and Welles after he had married the heiress, Joan Welles. He fought at Tewkesbury. He died in 1503, and was buried at the Greyfriars, London.

Anthony Wingfield (1550?–1615?), one of a number of figures from the same family of his period, was an English scholar and Member of Parliament, known as reader in Greek to Queen Elizabeth I.

Peregrine Bertie was a Tory Member of Parliament. Member of a junior branch of the Bertie family seated at his mother's estate of Low Leyton, Essex, he was returned for Westbury from 1753 to 1774 by the senior branch of the family, the Earls of Abingdon, where he was in continuous opposition to the successive Whig administrations.

Sir Peregrine Bertie KB was a Jacobean soldier and landowner from Lincolnshire. He represented that county in Parliament in 1614, attended to local land improvements, and took part in several wars on the continent. He and his elder brother Lord Willoughby were frequently at odds with Lord Norreys.


  1. "Bertie, Richard"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. Robert Bertie's last will is dated 4 October 1501; it was probated 17 February 1501/1502.
  3. John Harvey, English Mediavel Architects: a biographical dictionary down to 1550 (London, U.K.: Alan Sutton, 1984), p. 21
  4. "Bertie, Richard (BRTY564R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. Record for Richard Bertie on
  6. "BERTIE, Richard (1517-82), of Grimsthorpe and Stamford, Lincs". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 9 November 2012.