Monday, December 27, 2010

Question from Louise - Elizabeth Tilney

A question about Elizabeth Tileny lady-in -waiting to Lady Jane grey who is apparently my ancestress. I would love to know if Elizabeth is related to Philip Tilney or Agnes Tileny of Shelly and possibly a cousin of Anne Boleyn or Madge Shelton. Does anyone know?

4 comments:

Foose said...

Leanda de Lisle includes some genealogical information on Elizabeth Tilney in her book on the Grey sisters, The Sisters Who Would be Queen:

"Elizabeth Tilney was the niece of Agnes Tilney, Duchess of Norfolk, and her mother - also called Elizabeth - was related to Jane [Grey]'s mother through the Brandons." (in the Notes to Chapter IV)

"...the fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Tilney, younger sister of the favourite lady-in-waiting of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Katherine Howard" (from Chapter IV)

The mother mentioned was Elizabeth Jeffery, cited in some records as the second or third wife of Sir Philip Tilney, of "Shelley/Shelly Hall."

The sister mentioned was Katherine Tilney, who was hauled in to be questioned in the Tower by Wriothesley after Kathryn Howard's adultery was exposed. (Suzannah Dunn used her as the narrator of her latest book, The Confessions of Katherine Howard, although I don't think the fictional character exactly matches her historical counterpart in terms of family circumstances or connections.) Malin (Madeleine) Tilney, the Tilney girls' widowed sister-in-law, was also one of Kathryn Howard's attendants and was similarly interrogated.

Sir Philip Tilney, their father, is described as the son of Sir Hugh Tilney of Boston; the Duchess of Norfolk (Agnes) was his sister. They may have had a mother named Margaret but I have been unable to track down any definitive information. They were cousins of Elizabeth Tilney, Agnes' predecessor as Duchess and grandmother of Anne Boleyn. Some sources I have looked at, including the grave memorial of one Edmund Tilney, indicate that Hugh Tilney was the younger brother of Sir Frederick Tilney, Elizabeth Tilney's father (although she is constantly cited as his "sole heir") so they might have been first cousins.

I am not certain of the Tilney relationships. Sir Philip, Agnes' brother, is described in various sources as having died in 1532, 1533, or 1534; his daughter Elizabeth, described by de Lisle as 15 in 1548, must have been born at the very end of his life or posthumously. Agnes' and Philip's father is variously described in the sources as Hugh or Philip.

Madge Shelton was a cousin of Anne Boleyn's on her father's (non-Howard) side. The Shelton girls' mother Anne ("sometimes Amy" according to Paul G. Remley, who wrote an essay on Mary Shelton) was a sister of Sir Thomas Boleyn. At the time I don't think there was a blood connection between Elizabeth Tilney and the Sheltons. In subsequent centuries, their descendants may have intermarried.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this lengthy reply. I am wondering now if she was possibly the sister of Jane Parker (Rochford) and Margaret Parker as they had a sister Elizabeth also. Could this be another possibility?

Foose said...

I am not sure what you mean by your inquiry. Jane Parker, Lady Rochford, did have a sister Elizabeth but my search has uncovered absolutely no information about her. Julia Fox's book on Lady Rochford provides no background on Elizabeth Parker and I could not find other sources that traced her personal history. There was an Elizabeth Parker married to William Cavendish (later married to Bess of Hardwick) in the 1540s but it is not the same person ("the daughter of Thomas Parker of Postingford in Suffolk" according to Mary Lovell's Bess of Hardwick).

Another Parker sister did marry into the Sheltons, so there is a link between the two families there. But the Parkers do not appear to be related to Elizabeth Tilney except through the Boleyn connection.

Per Elizabeth Tilney, I found information in the record of the Visitation of Suffolk in 1561 that a person with her name, who appears to fit the circumstances of the Elizabeth Tilney who served as Jane Grey's attendant, married a Peter Clark. I haven't been able to find any other information about Clark, the marriage, or whether there were any children.

There is a book available on the UK Amazon, Bristow's Tilney Families, which appears to go into the Tilney genealogy and connections in detail. However, I can't guarantee you'll be able to find out what you know by reading it - it's just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Frederick Tilney and his wife Elizabeth Cheney had a daughter Elizabeth who married firstly Humphrey Bourchier, then Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Frederick's brother Hugh Tilney and his wife Margaret Tailboys had a son Philip Tilney and daughter Agnes. Agnes became the second wife of Thomas Howard after the death of her cousin Elizabeth.
Philip married firstly Margaret Brewse, secondly Jane Teye, and thirdly Elizabeth Jeffrey, who was a Brandon relative (her grandmother was Eleanor Brandon, aunt of Sir Charles, Duke of Suffolk). By Elizabeth he had three daughters: Katherine, maid to Katherine Howard and later the wife of John Baker, half brother of Archbishop Matthew Parker; Elizabeth who was maid to, and present at the execution of Jane Grey; and Anne. After Philip Tylney died in 1532, Elizabeth Jeffrey/Tilney married again and had three more children.