Thomas Underhill (1545–1591) served as Keeper of the Wardrobe of Kenilworth Castle and had charge of its contents after the castle was given by Queen Elizabeth I to her favourite Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester in 1563.
The King's Wardrobe, together with the Chamber, made up the personal part of medieval English government known as the King's household. Originally the room where the king's clothes, armour, and treasure were stored, the term was expanded to describe both its contents and the department of clerks who ran it. Early in the reign of Henry III the Wardrobe emerged out of the fragmentation of the Curia Regis to become the chief administrative and accounting department of the Household. The Wardrobe received regular block grants from the Exchequer for much of its history; in addition, however, the wardrobe treasure of gold and jewels enabled the king to make secret and rapid payments to fund his diplomatic and military operations, and for a time, in the 13th-14th centuries, it eclipsed the Exchequer as the chief spending department of central government.
Kenilworth Castle is located in the town of the same name in Warwickshire, England. Constructed from Norman through to Tudor times, the castle has been described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as "the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship". Kenilworth has also played an important historical role. The castle was the subject of the six-month-long Siege of Kenilworth in 1266, thought to be the longest siege in Medieval English history, and formed a base for Lancastrian operations in the Wars of the Roses. Kenilworth was also the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne, the French insult to Henry V in 1414, and the Earl of Leicester's lavish reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, was an English statesman and the favourite of Elizabeth I from her accession until his death. He was a suitor for the Queen's hand for many years.
Thomas Underhill was born the son of Sir Hugh Underhill and one of Thomas Maynman's daughters in 1545 at Greenwich, London, England. Maynman served as Keeper of the Wardrobe at East Greenwich. Underhill would not only marry his daughter and have Thomas Underhill as a son, but he would go on to replace Maynman as Keeper of the Wardrobe in 1563.
Appointed by Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester, Thomas Underhill assumed responsibility as Keeper of the Wardrobe at Kenilworth Castle. Kenilworth was given by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. The fact that Thomas Underhill, son of a well-regarded member of her household was sent, shows the affection Queen Elizabeth I had both for Dudley and Underhill.
During his time at Kenilworth, Thomas Underhill would witness transformation of the castle by making the north entrance the main entrance to suit the tastes of Elizabeth, and adding the Leicester building, a large apartment, and a residential block overlooking the lake.
Elizabeth visited Dudley at Kenilworth Castle several times in 1566, 1568, and 1575. The last visit is especially remembered for Elizabeth brought an entourage of several hundred people who were entertained for 19 days at a reputed cost to Dudley of £1000 per day, an amount that almost bankrupted him.
Thomas Underhill and Magdalen Amyas married in 1570 and had one son, John Edward Underhill, who was born 1574 at Kenilworth.
John Edward Underhill (1574–1608) was the son of Thomas Underhill and grandson of Sir Hugh Underhill, two figures favored under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. He would later have to emigrate to Holland to escape persecution.
John Edward Underhill (1574–1608), grandson of Hugh Underhill and son of Thomas Underhill, despite being born in England would be among Puritan exiles who left for Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, where he died and was buried.
Bergen op Zoom is a municipality and a city located in the south of the Netherlands.
Captain John Underhill, great-grandson of Hugh Underhill, would emigrate from England to The Netherlands with his family, and then from The Netherlands to the Massachusetts Bay Colony where he became a leading figure in Colonial America.
John Underhill was an early English settler and soldier in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Province of New Hampshire, where he also served as governor; the New Haven Colony, New Netherland, and later the Province of New York, settling on Long Island. Hired to train militia in New England, he is most noted for leading colonial militia in the Pequot War (1636-1637) and Kieft's War which the colonists mounted against two different groups of Native Americans. He also published an account of the Pequot War.
The Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England (1628–1692) was an English settlement on the east coast of America in the 17th century around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were located in southern New England in Massachusetts, with initial settlements situated on two natural harbors and surrounding land, about 15.4 miles (24.8 km) apart—the areas around Salem and Boston.
Myron Charles Taylor, America's leading industrialist, and a key diplomatic figure at the hub of many of the most important geopolitical events before, during, and after World War II. Also eighth generation descended from Captain John Underhill.
Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer and author famous for her mysterious disappearance.
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was the daughter of the Scottish queen dowager Margaret Tudor and her second husband Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. In her youth she was high in the favour of her uncle, Henry VIII of England, but twice incurred the King's anger, first for her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who died in the Tower of London in 1537 because of his misalliance with her, and again in 1540 for an affair with Thomas Howard's nephew Sir Charles Howard, the brother of Henry's wife Catherine Howard. On 6 July 1544, she married Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, one of Scotland's leading noblemen. Her son Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, married Mary, Queen of Scots, and was the father of James VI and I.
Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester, second son of Sir Henry Sidney, was a statesman of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. He was also a patron of the arts and an interesting poet. His mother, Mary Sidney née Dudley, was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and a sister of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, an advisor and favourite of the Queen.
Sir Robert Dudley was an English explorer and cartographer. In 1594, he led an expedition to the West Indies, of which he wrote an account. The illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, he inherited the bulk of the Earl's estate in accordance with his father's will, including Kenilworth Castle. In 1603–1605, he tried unsuccessfully to establish his legitimacy in court. After that he left England forever, finding a new existence in the service of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. There, he worked as an engineer and shipbuilder, and designed and published Dell'Arcano del Mare (1645-1646), the first maritime atlas to cover the whole world. He was also a skilled navigator and mathematician. In Italy, he styled himself "Earl of Warwick and Leicester", as well as "Duke of Northumberland", a title recognized by the Emperor Ferdinand II.
Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick, KG was an English nobleman and general, and an elder brother of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Their father was John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who led the English government from 1550–1553 under Edward VI and unsuccessfully tried to establish Lady Jane Grey on the English throne after the King's death in July 1553. For his participation in this venture Ambrose Dudley was imprisoned in the Tower of London and condemned to death. Reprieved, his rehabilitation came after he fought for Philip II of Spain in the Battle of St. Quentin.
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester, was an English noblewoman and mother to the courtiers Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Lady Penelope Rich, although via her marriage to Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, she incurred the Queen's unrelenting displeasure.
Amy Dudley was the first wife of Lord Robert Dudley, favourite of Elizabeth I of England. She is primarily known for her death by falling down a flight of stairs, the circumstances of which have often been regarded as suspicious. Amy Robsart was the only child of a substantial Norfolk gentleman and at nearly 18 married Robert Dudley, a son of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland. In 1553 Robert Dudley was condemned to death and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where Amy Dudley was allowed to visit him. After his release the couple lived in straitened financial circumstances until, with the accession of Elizabeth I in late 1558, Dudley became Master of the Horse, an important court office. The Queen soon fell in love with him and there was talk that Amy Dudley, who did not follow her husband to court, was suffering from an illness, and that Elizabeth would perhaps marry her favourite should his wife die. The rumours grew more sinister when Elizabeth remained single against the common expectation that she would accept one of her many foreign suitors.
Douglas Sheffield, Baroness Sheffield, maiden name Douglas Howard, was an English noblewoman and the mother of the explorer and cartographer Sir Robert Dudley, illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. Seventeen years after Leicester's death she claimed in litigation that she had secretly been his wife, even though she had herself remarried while Leicester was still alive.
Kenilworth. A Romance is a historical romance novel by Sir Walter Scott, first published on 13 January 1821.
The Earl of Leicester's Men was a playing company or troupe of actors in English Renaissance theatre, active mainly in the 1570s and 1580s in the reign of Elizabeth I. In many respects, it was the major company in Elizabethan drama of its time, and established the pattern for the companies that would follow: it was the first to be awarded a royal patent, and the first to occupy one of the new public theatres on a permanent basis.
Thomas Randolph (1523–1590) was an English ambassador serving Elizabeth I of England. Most of his professional life he spent in Scotland at the courts of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her son James VI. While in Scotland, he was embroiled in marriage projects and several upheavals. In 1568-1569 he was sent on a special embassy to Russia, visiting the court of Ivan the Terrible.
Sir Thomas Heneage PC was an English politician and courtier at the court of Elizabeth I.
Sir Hugh Underhill (1518–1591) served as Keeper of the Wardrobe under Queen Elizabeth I and was highly regarded among members of the Royal Household.
John Underhill (c.1545–1592) was an English academic, involved in controversy, and later Bishop of Oxford.
Roger North, 2nd Baron North was an English peer and politician at the court of Elizabeth I.
Mary Sidney was a lady-in-waiting at the court of Elizabeth I, and the mother of Sir Philip Sidney and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. A daughter of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, she was marginally implicated in her father's attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the English throne and affected by his attainder.
Alice Dudley, Duchess of Dudley, also known as Duchess Dudley, was the second wife of the explorer Sir Robert Dudley. In 1605, after giving birth to seven daughters, she was abandoned by her husband, who went into exile in Tuscany, remarried, and eventually sold his English estates. In 1644, by way of reparation for her losses, King Charles I created Alice Dudley a duchess in her own right "for her natural life", the dukedom thus created not being heritable.