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Shakespeare's Family By C. C. Stopes Characters: 38495

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"No Saint George was born in England:

He was but an Eastern saint;

And the Dragon never vexed him,

As the later legends paint.

"But our Saint was born in Berkshire,

And to Warwick linked his name;

'Twas Saint Guy who killed the Dragon-

Quenched the Giant Colbrand's fame."-C. C. S.

Few families in the country have a descent so nationally interesting as that of the Ardens. Great Norman families who "came in with the Conqueror" are numerous enough, but there are few that claim to be "merely English," and have such a record to show. The fables that have grown around the memory of the hero do not invalidate the pedigree. Rohand was Earl of Warwick in the days of King Alfred and King Edward the Elder, when the title was an official one, not necessarily hereditary, save of the King's will. Rohand was a great warrior, and was enriched with great possessions. He dwelt in the Royal Castle of Warwick,[368] said by Rous to have been founded by the British King Cymbeline, enlarged by his son Guiderius, and repaired by Ethelfleda, daughter of King Alfred, the Lady of Mercia. Rohand had one fair daughter and heir, Phillis, or Felicia, who demanded great proofs of valour in her suitors. She at last consented to marry the famous hero Guy, slayer of the Northern Dragon,[369] son of Siward, Baron of Wallingford, whom the Welsh claim as British by descent. Dugdale[370] says that in her right Guy became Earl of Warwick, though of course this was only possible through the King's favour. Some difficulties are brought forward by Mr. Pegge.[371] Some time after his marriage, says the legend, Guy went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and on his return, in the third year of King Athelstan, 926, he found the kingdom in great peril from an invasion of the Danes. They were, however, secure in their faith in their champion, Colbrand the Giant, willing to leave the issue to the result of a single contest between him and any of the King's knights. King Athelstan's chief warriors were either dead or abroad, and he mourned in his spirit. A vision revealed to him that he must welcome at the gate of Winchester an unknown pilgrim as the defender of the country. The King obeyed the vision in faith, unwittingly welcomed Guy, and laid on him the responsibility of becoming the national champion.


To face p. 162.

Footsore, half-starved, and far from young, the pilgrim required rest before he dared prudently attack the Danish opponent. At the end of three weeks, however, he triumphantly encountered the giant, and the Danes kept their promise and retired. The pilgrim, who refused to reveal his name or receive any reward, also departed. He found that his son and heir, Raynborn, had been stolen away, and that his faithful servant Heraud was abroad in search of him. Affected by the strange religious notions of the day, he returned to Warwick, not to gladden the heart of his sorrowing spouse, but to receive charity at her hands among other poor men for three days, and then to retire to a hermitage at a cliff near Warwick, since called Guy's Cliff. There he remained till his death in 929, in the seventieth year of his age.[372] He sent a herdsman with his wedding-ring to tell his wife of his death, bidding her come to him and bury him properly, and she should shortly afterwards follow him. She fulfilled his wishes, set her house in order, left her paternal inheritance to her son Raynborn, and within a fortnight was laid beside her ascetic hero.

Heraud succeeded in finding young Raynborn in Russia, to whom, on his return, the grateful King Athelstan gave his beautiful daughter Leonetta in marriage. He, too, seems to have been of a wandering disposition. He died abroad, and lies buried in an island near the city of Venice. He left a brave son, Wegeat, or Wigatus, at home to succeed him, who was noted for his liberality to the Church, in which virtue, however, his son and successor, Huve,[373] or Uva,[374] seems to have exceeded him.

Huve died about the beginning of the reign of King Edward the Martyr, and Wolgeat, his son, succeeded him. In early life[375] he enjoyed the special favour of King Ethelred, but was deprived, at least for a time, of his honours and possessions about 1006. It was probably during the disorganized state of the earldom, in consequence of his "evil courses," that the Danes ravaged it so frequently. Wigod, or Wigotus, his son, a potent man and a great warrior, succeeded to the earldom, and enjoyed it during the latter part of the reign of King Ethelred, and through the reigns of King Edmund and the Danish Kings. He married Ermenhild, the sister of the famous Leofric, Earl of Coventry and Leicester in the time of Edward the Confessor. His son, Ailwin, Earl of Warwick, was contemporary with King Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror. Turchil, son and heir[376] of Ailwin (Harleian MS., 853, says "grandson"), was Earl at the Conquest. His first wife was the Countess of Perche; his second, Leverunia, grand-daughter of Leofric. In the Conqueror's Survey he is called Vice-Comes rather than Comes, but this seems to have arisen from the royal interest in the castle, and the direct service he owed the King, though some authorities state that he was under Leofric, Earl of Mercia. He fought with William against Harold, and was ostensibly left in full possession of all his lands, rights and privileges. He is called Turchil of Warwick by the Normans, but Turchil of Eardene, or of the Woodland, by himself, being one of the first to adopt the Norman habit of local names. In Domesday Book, begun in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror, he is entered as in possession of forty-nine manors in Warwickshire, among which were Curdworth, Coughton, Rotley, Rodbourn, Compton (Winyate), Nuneaton. Warwick town and castle were recorded as belonging to the King. He had but a life-interest, however, his son, Siward, receiving none of them as his heir, but by favour of the King.

The title of Earl of Warwick was given by William the Conqueror to Henry de Novoborgo, or Newburgh, younger son of Roger de Bellomont, Earl of Mellent, and William Rufus added to the gift the whole of Turchil's lands, including even those given away by himself and his ancestors to the Church. It was a hard lesson to friendly Saxon noblemen. A gloss of justice, or at least of consideration, was shown in the marriage of Henry de Novoborgo to Margaret, one of the daughters of Turchil, and sister of Siward de Arderne.[377]

Turchil's sons were Siward de Ardena, Ralph of Hampton,[378] William, and Peter the Monk of Thorney, by his first wife, and Osbert by his second wife. Some of their lands were left to the Ardens by grace of the Novoborgos, who became their overlords. These lands were gradually diminished by devotion to the Church, by the increase of the family, and division of the properties, though this was somewhat balanced by wealthy marriages.

Siward by his wife Cecilia had a large family: Hugh de Rotley[379] (dapifer or sewer to his kinsman William de Newburgh), Henry de Arden, Joseph, Richard, Osbert, Galfridus, a monk of Coventry, Cecilia, Felicia. Osbert, his stepbrother, was the father of Osbert, Philip,[380] Peter de Arden, and Amicia, who became the wife of Peter de Bracebridge, and the ancestress of the Bracebridges of Kingsbury, seat of the Mercian Kings. Her brother Osbert had daughters only, Amabilia and Adeliza, who left no children.

The main line was carried on by Henry de Arden, son of Siward, who married Oliva, and whose eldest son and heir was Thomas de Arden, of Curdworth (9 John). He had also William de Arden of Rodburn, Herbert, and Letitia. Thomas de Arden married Eustachia, widow of Savaricius de Malaleone, and had a son of his own name, Sir Thomas de Arden of Rotley and Spratton, who took part with Simon de Montfort and the rebellious Barons, 48 Henry III. This cost him dear. In 9 Edward I. he handed over, either in sale, lease, or trust, his lands in Curdworth to Hugh de Vienna; to the Knights Templars the interest he had in Riton; in 15 Edward I., to Nicholas de Eton the manor of Rotley, and to Thomas Arden de Hanwell and Rose his wife, Pedimore, Curdworth, Norhull, Winworth, Echenours, and Overton, and made a covenant with William de Beauchamp and Maud, his wife, of all his fees throughout England.

It is not probable that Turchil, the last Saxon Earl of Warwick, bore anything that might be strictly called armorial bearings. When the heiress of the Novoborgos married into their family, the Beauchamps added to their own the Newburgh arms. But they used them in a peculiar way, as if they considered they were associated, not so much with the family as with the earldom. Only the eldest sons bore the Chevron chequy, the rest of the family bore the Beauchamp crosses crosslet. In some such way the Ardens also seem to have made a similar distinction, though in later times the meaning was occasionally forgotten, and the usage became confused.

Drummond suggests that the Ardens might also have borne these arms to suggest that they, too, had a claim to the earldom of Warwick. The arms Thomas bore were Chequy or and azure, a chevron gules, which his ancestors assumed to show they held their lands from the Earls of Warwick, whose Chevron was Ermine on the like field.[381]

The descendants of William of Rodburne,[382] the second son of Henry de Ardern, were more fortunate than their cousins. Thomas de Draiton was the elder, and William de Rodburne the younger. Thomas married Lucia (6 John), and had Thomas de Arden of Hanwell, Sir Robert de Arderne de Draiton, and Ralph.[383] Thomas,[384] who bore as arms Ermine a fesse chequy, or and azure, as now borne, married Rose, daughter of Ralph de Vernon, with whom he obtained the lordship of Hanwell. He was living in 1287, and had a son, Thomas, who presented to the church of Holdenby, 1334. This Thomas married Johanna de -- (?), and had an only daughter, Joan, who married Sir John Swynford. Ralph married Alicia de Bellocampo.

Sir Robert de Arderne de Draiton married Nichola,[385] widow of William de Boutvilein. His son, Sir Giles, had a son, also Sir Giles. This latter had an only daughter, Margaret, who married Ludovic Greville, and carried Draiton into the possession of that Warwickshire family.

Ralph, son of Ralph, the second son of Thomas of Hanwell, married Isabella, daughter of Anselm de Bromwich, and lived at Pedmore, Warwickshire, 16 Edward II. In 17 Edward II. he was certified to be one of the principal esquires in the county. His son, Sir John, was knighted 33 Edward III., and bore for his arms the same as his ancestor, Thomas of Hanwell: Ermine, a fesse chequy or and az. He had only one daughter and heir, Rose, who married Thomas Pakeson, afterwards an outlaw. To John succeeded in Curdworth his brother Henry, whose wife was Elena, the first to establish himself in Park Hall, which was confirmed to him by Sir John de Botecourt, 47 Edward III., releasing him of all service, save only of an annual red rose. He was devoted to Thomas de Beauchamp, then Earl of Warwick, who granted him several other manors, also on payment of a red rose. In 4 Richard II. his niece, Rose, released to him her interest in Pedmore, Curdworth, Winworth, Sutton, and Norhull, of her father's inheritance. Sir Henry bore the fesse chequy or and az., with three crescents for difference,[386] before his brother's death (see Roll, Edward III., and arms in Lapworth Church). He left his son, Sir Ralph, heir, who served under the Earl of Warwick at the siege of Calais.

Ralph settled on his mother, Elena, for life, the manors of Wapenham and Sulgrave, in Northamptonshire, with remainder to his brothers Geoffrey and William. He married Sibilla (2 Henry V.), and left by her two sons, Robert and Peter.[387] Robert was from the age of eight years a ward of Joan Beauchamp, Lady of Bergavenny. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Richard de Clodeshall; was in the King's service, was Sheriff of the County, and Knight of the Shire. He sided with the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses, was taken, attainted of high treason by James, Earl of Wiltshire, and other judges appointed to try such cases, and was condemned. He was executed on Saturday after the Feast of St. Laurence the Martyr, 30 Henry VI. The custody of his lands was granted to Thomas Littleton, Serjeant-at-Law, Thomas Greswold and John Gamell, Esquires.

Two years after his death his son Walter obtained the King's precept to his escheator to hand over the lands of his mother's inheritance to him, and shortly afterwards he secured his father's also. He married Eleanor, daughter of John Hampden of Hampden, in Buckinghamshire, and appears in the register of the Guild of Knowle, 1457, with his "wife Alianore." He had a large family, each of them in some special point interesting to the genealogist, and therefore worthy of some attention and of careful detail. It must not be forgotten that his father's attainder and the Wars of the Roses had temporarily crippled the resources of the family.

Walter Arden's will, July 31, 1502, is preserved at Somerset House,[388] an interesting will in many ways. His eldest son and heir was John, Esquire of the Body to Henry VII., who was to pay 20 marks for his funeral. "Item. I will that my sonne Thomas have during his lief x marc, which I have given him; and that my sonne Martyn have the manor of Nafford during his lief, accordyng as I thereof made him astate yf it canne be recorded, and yf not, thenne I will that the same Martyn and every of my other sonnes, Robert, Henry and William have eche of them 5 marc by yere during eche of their lives, and that my feoffees of my landes make eche of them a sufficient astate of londes & tenements to the yerely value of 5 marc during every of their lives." He left his wife, Eleanor, executrix, Edward Belknap and John Bracebridge, Squiers, and John Boteler of Solihull, overseers, "Richard Slystre, Vicar of Aston, John Charnell[389] & Thomas Ardern,[390] Squiers, witnesses."

Dugdale seems to have read the will, and is interested in the mortuary bequest, but, curiously enough, supposes Martin to be older than Thomas. Perhaps this error arose from the testator's desire to settle Natford upon Martin. This does not seem to have been so settled. Martin had his five marks, married an heiress, Margery East, settled at Euston, in Oxfordshire, and appears in the Visitations there, associated with the Easts and the Gibbons. Robert was the Arden made Yeoman of the King's Chamber, a presumption made definite by Leland's[391] remark that "Arden of the Court was younger brother to Sir John Arden, of Park Hall." On February 22,[392] 17 Henry VII., he received a Royal Patent as Keeper of the Park at Altcar, Lancashire; another, as Bailiff of Codmore,[393] Derby, and Keeper of the Royal Park there; a third gave him Yoxall for life,[394] apparently, however, for a payment of £42.

A Robert Arden, who had been Escheator to the Crown for Nottingham and Derby under Henry VII., received a new patent 2 Henry VIII.[395] On June 28, 7 Henry VIII., order to cancel five recognizances amounting to £200; one made by Robert Arderne, of Holme, co. Notts, may concern the same gentleman.[396]

Henry seems to have died young. William settled at Hawnes,[397] in Bedfordshire, bore as arms three cross-crosslets fitchée or, on a chief of the second, a martlet for difference. He seems to have died before his eldest brother. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Francklin of Thurley in County Bedford, and widow of George Thrale. His son Thomas married Anne, daughter of Richard Bowles of Wallington and widow of Thomas Gonnel. His daughter Joan married John Moore; his daughter Elizabeth married John Lee of Harlington.

Thomas certainly survived Sir John, Henry, and possibly also William. Sir John married Alice d. of Richard Bracebridge of Kingsbury, and died in 1526. His will was drawn up on June 4 of that year.[398] After various bequests to churches, he left some special heirlooms to his son and heir, Thomas, to his son John an annuity from Natford of five marks a year for life, with other land, and gifts to him, his wife, and their heirs. "Item. I will that my brothers Thomas, Martin & Robert have their fees during their lives." That is, it may be remembered, ten marks for Thomas, and five marks each for the other two. "Item. I will that Rauf Vale and Hugh Colyns[399] have their fees as they have had during their lives." Bequests of furniture were left to "my daughter Geys Braylys," "my daughter Katerine Muklowe,"[400] "my daughter Brown," "my daughter Margaret Kambur," "my sister Margaret Abell," "my sister Alice Buklond," "my son Thomas Bralis." To Joane Hewes, Agnes Abell, John Charnell, various remembrances, his son Thomas to be sole executor, Sir John Willoughby overseer; witnesses, Martin Ardern, Robert Ardern, Symon Broke, clerk; John Charnell, John Croke, Rauf Vale. The will was proved June 27, 1526.

Where was Thomas, son of Walter, meanwhile? I have only been able to find two of the name contemporary with the cadet of Park Hall. A Thomas Arden of Saint Martin's Outwich, London, citizen and clothworker, on November 29, 1549, drew up a short will,[401] leaving his wife, Agnes, his sole heir and executrix, proved January, 1549. I endeavoured to learn if by chance he had come from Warwickshire, but the apprentice-books of the company do not begin early enough. There was a commercial family of Ardens in London, of whom he more probably was a member. The possibility of his being a Warwickshire man I thought worthy of careful consideration, but have been able to bring no further facts forward.

There was also a Thomas Arden of Long Itchington mentioned in the Subsidy Lists, whose will is preserved at Lichfield.

The other Thomas Arden was settled at Wilmecote, in the parish of Aston Cantlow, on lands formerly owned by the Beauchamps. There is no record how he acquired them. Aston Cantlow[402] had been settled, with the castle and Honour of Bergavenny, upon Sir William de Beauchamp, second son to Thomas, Earl of Warwick. He died 12 Henry IV., and Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, his son and heir, inherited all his lands. Richard's daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married Sir Edward Neville, a younger son to Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, who was forthwith summoned to Parliament as Lord Bergavenny. Dugdale gives us the arms depicted on the roof of the chancel of Aston Cantlow Church, three varieties: "Gules, a fesse betwixt six cross-crosslets or" (Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick); "Argent 6 cross-crosslets fichée Sable, upon a chief Azure two mullets or" (Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon); "Argent, 3 cross-crosslets fichée Sable upon a chief Azure a mullet and a Rose Or." But Dugdale does not know the family this represents. Could it be a variety of the Ardens?

The Thomas Arden who resided here paid subsidy of 26s. 8d. on £10 land, being one of the largest landholders in the parish. He bought certain lands at Snitterfield on May 16, 16 Henry VII., associated with certain gentlemen whose names are suggestive, as I have shown on page 28. John Ma

yowe transferred his property to Robert Throgmorton, Armiger,[403] afterwards knight, Thomas Trussell[404] of Billesley, Roger Reynolds of Henley in Arden, William Wood of Woodhouse, Thomas Arden of Wilmecote, and Robert Arden, the son of this Thomas Arden. We know that Robert Throgmorton was an intimate friend of the Ardens of Park Hall, and his association with Thomas of Wilmecote strengthens the supposition that the latter was the son of Walter. We know that this Thomas was the father of Robert Arden, who was the father of Mary, Shakespeare's mother, and her six sisters. It does not seem unlikely he bore arms, and was the Esquire witness of Walter Arden's will, who has never been located elsewhere. If he bore arms, it is more than likely that, as a younger son, they were derived from the Beauchamps, and might even have been those found by Dugdale in the Aston Cantlow Church, where he was buried. It is probable that Robert bore the cross-crosslets with a difference, as did his contemporary, William Arden of Hawnes. We have at least Glover's[405] testimony that among the arms of Warwickshire and Bedfordshire are "Arden or Arderne gu, three cross-crosslets fitchée or; on a chief of the second a martlet of the first. Crest, a plume of feathers charged with a martlet or." When, therefore, John Shakespeare made application to impale the arms of his wife in his new coat, it might seem natural that the fesse chequy, arms of the head of the house, should be struck out, and those substituted more customary for a younger son, and probably borne by Thomas, his wife's grandfather, or by Robert Arden, his wife's father.

Thomas Arden, the son of Sir John, succeeded to Park Hall and the other family estates in 1526. He married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Andrew of Charnelton, by whom he had a large family: William, the eldest; Simon, the second; George, the third, slain at Boulogne; Thomas, a student of law; and Edward. His daughter Jocosa, or Joyce, married Richard Cade, of London (see visitation of Hertfordshire, 1634); Elizabeth married-Beaupré, Cicely married Henry Shirley, Mary married Francis Waferer.

William, the eldest son, died before his father. Simon, the second son of Thomas of Park Hall, was a wonderful man, of whom there will be more to say elsewhere. He was elected Sheriff of the County in 1569, and bore, while in Warwickshire at least, the arms three cross-crosslets[406] and a chief or, without a difference. Shortly after that time he purchased the property of Longcroft, in the Manor of Yoxall, Staffordshire, and his descendants bear the fesse chequy, and are noted in another county history.

The will of William Arden does not seem to have been noted by the family genealogists, probably because it was drawn up in London. The Calendar at Somerset House enters it as "William Arden,[407] of St. Brigyde, London, and Saltley,[408] Warwickshire," 7 July, 36 Henry VIII. Its details shed much light on the fortunes of the family, especially in relation to the other family wills. He had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward Conway, of Arrow, and left two sons and eight daughters. He desired to be buried in the "Parish Church of Saint Brigyde in Fleet Street, within the suburbs of London," and left "to my youngest sonne, Francis Arden, all my purchased land, which I purchased of my grandfather's youngest son, John Arden, and another part lying within the Lordship of Saltley.[409] Item, I bequeath to him the lease I have taken of my Lord Ferris for 31 years, which also lyeth within the Lordship of Budbrooke, so that he come to his full age, and during his nonage, the profits thereof to be taken up by mine overseers to the use of my daughters. If it happen the said Francis to dye without lawful issue, then I will my eldest sonne and heire, Edward Arden, when he cometh to his full age, to enjoy the said purchased land and lease to his heires. Item, I bequeath to the said Francis £6 13s. 4d., to be payd yearely during the term of his naturall life, by the hands of my eldest sonne, Edward Arden, when he cometh to his lands. Item, I give unto my eight daughters, Anne,[410] Ursuley, Brigid, Barbara, Joyce, Jane, Urseley, and Fraunces Arden the whole rent that my ferme beareth me," etc. "I bequeath to my brother, Edward Arden, my black Satin cote." "I bequeathe my long gowne eggyd with velvet to my father, Thomas Arden, in recompense of the money which he lent me, whom I make the Overseer of this my will, with my father-in-law, Edward Conway." Edward Arden, his son and heir, was to be sole executor. The witnesses were: Christopher Drey, Francis Waferer (his brother-in-law), and John Tayloure, Vicar of St. Brigyde, and it was proved April 14, 1546, by John, afterwards Sir John Conway, uncle of the heir.

William's father, Thomas, died in 5 Elizabeth, 1563. I have not traced his will. Edward, son of William, succeeded him. This Edward had been ward to Sir George Throckmorton, of Coughton (though his grandfather was alive), and he married Mary, third daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton. Brodesley,[411] Dudston, and Hybarnes were delivered to him 7 Elizabeth, and in 15 Elizabeth he was called upon to prove his title to Curdworth and to Berewood[412] Hall, which had been given by Hugh Arden to the Canons of Leicester (Henry II.), and after the Dissolution purchased by his grandfather, Thomas, and uncle, Simon, for £272 10s., with a yearly rent of 30s. 4d., and settled on William, 37 Henry VIII. Various purchases of land are recorded in Coke's "Entries."[413] He impaled the park of Minworth on the other side of the Tame, to add to that of his own Park Hall.[414]

Edward seems to have been highly respected in his time, and was Sheriff of the County in 1575.[415] But he had offended Leicester[416] by refusing to wear his livery (as many of the gentlemen of the county were proud to do) and by disapproving openly of his relations with the Countess of Essex before her husband's death. Leicester waited his time. Edward Arden's sons were Robert (who married Elizabeth, daughter of Reginald Corbet, Justice of the Royal Pleas, about 1577), Thomas, Francis. Of his daughters, Catherine married Sir Edward Devereux, of Castle Bromwich; Margaret, John Somerville, of Edreston; Muriel, William Charnells, of Snareston, Leicestershire; and Elizabeth, Simon Shugborough, of Napton, co. Warwick.

Edward Arden bore the family arms: Ermine, a fesse chequy or and azure. Crest: On a chapeau azure, turned up erm., a boar passant or. Motto: Quo me cunque vocat patriam.

He appointed Edmund Lingard to Curdworth Church, 1573.

Edward Arden was a temperate follower of the old faith; but his son-in-law, John Somerville, an excitable youth, seemed to chafe under the increasing oppression of the Catholic Church and its adherents.[417] The evil reports concerning the Queen and Leicester increased the friction. Shut out from travel or active exercise, as all Catholics then were by law, he studied and pondered, and his mind seemed to have given way in his sleepless attempts to reconcile faith and practice. He started off suddenly one morning before anyone was awake, attended only by one boy, who soon left him, terrified; and when he reached a little inn on the lonely road by Aynho on the Hill, he spoke frantically to all who chose to hear that he was going to London to kill the Queen.[418] Then followed arrest, examination before Justice D'Oyley, a march to London with twelve guards,[419] examination in the Gatehouse, imprisonment in the Tower. Thereafter went forth the mandate to arrest Edward Arden, his wife, Francis Arden, of Pedmore, his brother, Somerville's wife and sister, and the priest, Hugh Hall. Sir John Conway, his wife's grand-uncle, was also commanded up to London, and seems to have been confined for a time. Examinations, probably under torture, followed fast on each other. John Somerville, Edward Arden, his wife and brother, and the priest, Hugh Hall, were tried, found guilty, and condemned to the traitor's death. Hugh Hall is said to have turned Queen's evidence, but I have found no proof of it. Somerville and Arden were carried forth from the Tower on December 19, 1583, to Newgate, in preparation for their execution on the morrow; Somerville was found two hours afterwards strangled in his cell; Edward Arden suffered the full penalty of the law December 20, 1583.[420] Robert of Leicester had his revenge. Mrs. Arden and Francis[421] seem to have suffered a term of imprisonment, and then to have been released.

This first noble victim of the tyrannical Royal Commission was praised by all the writers of his time, and pitied by all Europe. Burleigh lived to be ashamed of his part in his death; and in his "Life" one can still read in the index "On the Case of Arden" an explanation which has been excised from the text.

It is more than probable that the active part that Sir Thomas Lucy took in his arrest told more on the fortunes and feelings of young Shakespeare than the fabulous deer-stealing story. The touching tragedy, to which Froude has given but little attention or study, is given in full detail in the State Papers. The traitor's lands, of course, fell to the Queen, and were granted to Edward Darcy.[422] But Robert Arden,[423] "who was a prudent person" (doubtless fortified by his brother-in-law's interest, and his own knowledge of the law), by virtue of an entail executed on his marriage got back by degrees most of his father's lands. He found, however, every tree in his parks had been cut down by Darcy, who seems to have been a difficult person to deal with, as may be gathered from Simon Arden's petition (p. 185); this Robert lived to a great age, dying on February 27, 1635. His son and heir, Sir Henry, who had been born April, 1580, had predeceased him in 1616.[424] He had married Dorothy, daughter of Basil Fielding, of Newnham, and had one son, Robert, and four daughters. Robert seems to have been a brilliant youth, but he died single at Oxford. In the Bodleian[425] are some verses deploring his loss. His four sisters were his coheirs: Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Pooley, of Boxsted, in Suffolk; Goditha,[426] wife of Herbert Price; Dorothy, wife of Hervey Bagot; Anne, wife of Sir Charles Adderley, of Lea.

In Worcestershire, near Stourbridge, there is a parish of Pedmore, and a hall of the name that seems at one time to have belonged to the Ardens, as well as the Pedmore Manor, near West Bromwich, Warwickshire. By the kindness of Mr. W. Wickham King, now resident there, I am told that "Mistress Joyce Arden" was buried there in 1557; Jane Ardern and Hugh Hall were married in 1560; Alice Ardeney and Thomas Carter married 1578; while John Arden, son of Mr. Robert and Mistress Elizabeth, was christened there in 1578. Frances Arden and Edward Wale married 1658; Arthur buried 1668, and Judith Arden, widow, 1682. The arms in the church are those of the Park Hall Ardens, and "Mr. Robert" was the heir of Edward (p. 41 and notes).

The Pakingtons of Worcester quarter Ermine on a fesse componé or, and az. an annulet for Arden.


[368] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 372; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; "Guy of Warwick," ed. Zupitza, Early English Text Society, etc.; Harl. MS., 1167, f. 57; "Dictionary of National Biography."


"Guy of Warwick, I understand,

Slew a dragon in Northumberland."

Romance of Sir Bevis of Hampton.

"In Warwick the truth ye shall see

In arras wrought full craftily."

Romance of Sir Guy.

"Gy de Warwic ad a noun

Qui occis le Dragoun."

Legend round the Mazer Bowl, at Harbledon Hospital, Canterbury.

[370] "Warwickshire," p. 374; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; Leland's "Itin.," iv. 63; Heylin's "History of St. George," p. 63.

[371] Nichols's "Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica," iv. 29.

[372] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 372-374; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; Cox and Jones' "Popular Romances of the Middle Ages," pp. 63, 64, 297-319; Ward's "Catalogue of Romances in British Museum," i. 470.

[373] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 373.

[374] Drummond's "Noble British Families," ii.

[375] Harleian MS., 853, ff. 113, 114.

[376] "Guthmund, Ailwin's second son, held Pakington under Turchil; his son was Sir Harald de Arden, Lord of Upton" (French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 432).

[377] According to Dugdale and Drummond; Harleian MS., 853, differs.

[378] Ralph and William are witnesses to a charter from Henry de Clinton to Kenilworth Priory, Henry I. ("Monasticon," vi. 3).

[379] Hugh de Arden and Adela; William de Arden and Agnes were witness to Henry's gifts ("Monasticon," v. 210-212).

[380] Philip, Osbert's second son, who took the name of Compton (Drummond; Dugdale's, 'Warwickshire,' 549).

[381] Novoborgo: or and az., er. Thomas Arden de Rotley: or and az., gu. A fesse betwixt 6 cross-crosslets or-Beauchamp. The Warwickshire Visitation gives the coat of Sir Herald de Arden as three cross-crosslets fitchée and a chief or. See Drummond, p. 5.

[382] Whalley's "Northampton," p. 464; Baker's "Northampton"; "Parliamentary Roll of Arms," 862. "Sire ... Ilm de Arderne ... de ermyne a une fesse chekere dor e de aszure" (Genealogist, New Series, xiii.). I do not know which William this refers to.

[383] He married Isabella, daughter of Sir Roger Mortimer of Chirk. She afterwards married John Fitzalan (Berry's "Essex Genealogies").

[384] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 927.

[385] "This lady seems to have married for a third time. Robert de Wyckham sued Thomas Wake and Nicholaa, his wife, and Giles de Arderne for the next presentation to the church of Swalclyve. Robert, father of plaintiff, had given the advowson to John de Arderne, and John had enfeoffed Robert de Wyckham and Elizabeth his wife. Nicholaa had been married to Robert de Arderne" (Genealogist, New Series, ix.).

[386] See Visitation, 1619.

[387] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 928; Harleian MS., 1992, f. 121, "The Ancient Family of Arderne." Ralph died 8 Henry V.

[388] 17 Blamyr.

[389] Walter Arden's son-in-law.

[390] The decision of the residence of this Thomas would solve a knotty question.

[391] Leland's "Itinerary," vi. 20. See also admin. of goods, granted to his sister Alice Buklond and his nephew John, son of Sir John.

[392] Patent 17 Henry VII., February 22, second part, mem. 30.

[393] Same series, September 9, mem. 35.

[394] Patents 23 Henry VIII., September 24, first part, mem. 12.

[395] Pat. Henry VIII., p. 1, m. 16.

[396] Letters and Papers, Henry VIII., Gairdner.

[397] Bedfordshire Visitation, 1566. (See Glover.) There was in Edward VI.'s reign a William Arderne, Clerk of the Market of Struton Oskellyswade, Bedford (Est. of Office, Edward VI. to Elizabeth). And in the accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber there are mentioned among the "Extraordinary Yeomen of the Guard, 1570," "William Arden and his son Robert Arden."

[398] Somerset House, 8 Porch.

[399] The name Collins appears in connection with the Ardens in Wiltshire also.

[400] See Visitation of Worcester, 1569: "Richard Muklowe of Hodon, Worcestershire, married Katherine, daughter of John Arden." The Gloucester Visitation records that Richard Cotton of Sedenton, married Agnes, daughter of Sir John Arden of Park Hall, sister of Thomas.

[401] Commissary Wills, Somerset House, 31a Clyffe.

[402] Dugdale's "Warwickshire."

[403] "Stratford-on-Avon Miscell. Papers," see p. 410, Genealogical Magazine, 1897. He was also trustee in a settlement made by Sir John Arden of Park Hall, in association with Sir Richard Empson and others. See Petition of Simon Arden, p. 184.

[404] It is curious that in a will of Sir William Trussel of Cublesdon, 1379, there is a bequest mentioned as having been made to him by his "cousin Sir Thomas d'Ardene" (Sir N. H. Nicolas, "Testamenta Vetusta," i. 107).

[405] Glover's "Heraldry," vol. ii., ed. 1780.

[406] Fuller's "Worthies."

[407] 7 Alen. Inquis. P.M. at Warwick, June 27, 37 Henry VIII., Edward, son and heir, aged twelve.

[408] See Close Roll, 32 Henry VI., m. 11. Saltley came into the family with Elizabeth Clodshalle (who married Robert Arden in the time of Henry VI.), and remained in it till the death of Robert Arden, 1643, when it fell to the share of his sister Anne.

[409] By some family arrangement, the old family seat of Pedmore seems to have been settled on him, as he was always styled Francis Arden of Pedmore.

[410] Anne married John Barnesley of Barnesley (see Visitation of Worcester, 1569); Bridget, Hugh Massey; Barbara, Richard Neville, son of the last Lord Latimer, and claimant of that title and the earldom of Westmorland; Joyce, John Ladbrooke. Was this Jane Arden the lady of this name who married into the Brownlow family about 1553? See Pedigree of Brownlow.

[411] "Originalia et Memoranda." Lord Treasurer's side of the Exchequer, Hilarii Recorda, 7 Elizabeth, Rot. 82.

[412] Ibid., Hilarii Recorda, 15 Elizabeth, Rot. 55.

[413] Coke's "Entries," f. 39b.

[414] In an account of the Grevilles, when the eldest son still resided at Drayton, it is noted: "Though a great part of the Lands of Sir Giles Arden came to Lewis Greville through his wife, yet there is one Arden at this time in Warwickshire that is a man of three hundred marks land by the yeare." Addit. MS., 5937, f. 88, British Museum.

[415] See "Liber Pacis," Eg. MS., 2345.

[416] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 884, 927.

[417] See Athen?um, Feb., 1896, p. 190, and my little volume on "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries" (Stratford-on-Avon Press), p. 48.

[418] State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, clxiii., 21 et seq.

[419] Accounts of Treasurer of the Chamber, 1583-84.

[420] Burke makes an extraordinary error in stating that Shakespeare's mother was a daughter of Sir Edward Arden, of Park Hall ("Hist. Landed Gentry," edition 1882, vol. i., p. 34). Now, Edward was never knighted, and must have been born about the same year as Mary, daughter of Robert Arden, who married John Shakespeare.

[421] The Accounts of the Wardens of the Tower mention Francis Arden's board, up to June 24, 1585, and he sued shortly after for Pedmore, on the death of Sir George Digby, to whom it had been granted (State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, ccii., 40).

[422] State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, clxxi. 35; also Patents, Elizabeth, 28, c. 10.

[423] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 927. I find also several pensions allowed by the Crown to a Robert Arden, early in James I. These may refer to Robert of Park Hall (Book of Patents, xi. 212).

[424] Inventory of his property is at Lichfield, where also is that of his wife, Lady Dorothy Arden, 1635-36, and will of his son, Robert Arden.

[425] Ashmolean MSS., 36, f. 125: "Robert Arden, Colonel and Sheriff of Warwickshire." An elegy upon his death in Oxford of small-pox, August 22, 1643: "Seeing these tapers and this solemn night," etc. Signed, "Peter Halstead."

[426] She was a Lady of the Privy Chamber to the Queen-mother, and survived her husband. See the burial of her daughter, Mrs. Henrietta Maria Stanhope, October 23, 1674.

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