Thursday, November 26, 2015

Question from Michael - Descendants of Matthew Parker

Your website is full of rich information and has already helped me with my research, but I wonder if you can help me a little more

I'm tracing my family tree and have managed to reach back to the early 18th century. My uncle also traced the tree around 20 years ago, thanks to multiple changes of computer, he's lost all the information.

He does however remember that we're direct descendants of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury.

I've mapped out his family tree using resources available online, mostly Life and Acts of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury by John Strype, but noticed that only 2 generations later only 1 potential male heir remained, Richard Parker (b. 20/05/1577)

Richard was the youngest son of Sir John Parker (1548-1617) and Matthew's grandson. I know he received a BA from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1597 and an MA in 1600. I don't know if he ever married or had children.

The only other option is Joseph Parker, who is listed as Matthew's son here (, but doesn't appear in other records.

I wonder if you have any information about Matthew's descendants that could point me in the right direction? I'd be very grateful for any assistance you can give.

Thank you very much,
Michael Parker


Marilyn Roberts said...

I wonder if Lambeth Council Archives might be able to help you.

I have been researching Katherine Howard’s Lambeth connections for some time and found that because Queen Elizabeth I didn’t altogether know what to make of a married Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker’s wife purchased the house and some of the land where Katherine had once lived in the care of her step-grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, opposite Lambeth Palace. The site is now occupied by a Novotel hotel and premises of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. The Norfolks sold the house, various buildings and parcels of land in 1553 and the purchasers subsequently divided it into three lots.

When Margaret Parker died in 1570 the portion she owned passed to her younger son, Matthew, who died in 1575, leaving it to his brother John. John Parker divided it into three and sold the eastern section to a John Gryffyth and the middle section, on which a small part of the original house (perhaps the stables) stood, he sold to a Richard Adams. I don’t know whether he kept the third section for himself.

I went on a tour of Lambeth Palace and saw Matthew Parker’s memorial plaque in the chapel floor; the marble shows scorch marks from a direct hit in the Second World War. I wonder if their Archivist might be able to help you.

For an idea of what the site of Norfolk House looks like now see my notes and photographs ‘Katherine Howard – Trouble in Paradise’ at

Marilyn Roberts said...

Just wondering about some of the Parker dates I have here - but the gist is the same.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Parker(son of Matthew0- B-9-12-1556 died as an infant the same year.