Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Question from Tracey - Fate of the families of Norris, Weston and Brereton

Norris, Weston, Brereton...what happened to their families?

I haven't been able to find any information that goes past their executions. Weston's wife and mother offered a generous sum to Henry to allow Weston to live, but Henry declined their money. What happened to Weston's wife, for instance?

Did any of these three families continue at court? Were they relegated to the country, either purposely or by their own wish?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With regard to Weston in particular, the family seems not to have suffered unduly. A quick check of the ODNB reveals that Weston's father Richard continued to serve at court as "one of Henry's confidants and councillors." Richard was one of the party that greeted Anne of Cleves on her arrival in England in January 1540. In his will, he left his possessions to his wife, and upon her death to his grandson Henry, Francis's son. The executors of his will included the earl of Southampton and the Lord High Admiral, indicating that Richard Weston still had significant court connections.
Francis Weston's sisters Margaret and Katherine were both married, the first to Sir Walter Denys, member of another family with prominent court connections. The second married Sir John Rogers.

The ODNB also reveals that Henry Norris's son, also named Henry, was restored to many of his father's estates just three years after the elder's execution. The king granted young Henry additional estates in 1544, and he went on to serve Elizabeth with distinction. He was rewarded by her with elevation to the peerage as Baron Norris of Rycote in 1572. His grandson, Francis Norris, eventually became Earl of Berkshire.

Lastly, the ODNB indicates that the Brereton family faired less well after 1536. Henry, the elder son of William, died without issue, but the second, Thomas, survived as a minor Cheshire gentleman, while his son John became mayor of Chester in 1623.