Biography of Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden 1488-1544

1535 Execution of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More

1536 Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

1536 Arrest of Anne Boleyn

1536 Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

1536 Trial of Anne and George Boleyn

1536 Neville Triple Wedding

1536 Lincolnshire Rising

1538 Exeter Conspiracy

1540 Creation of Garter Knights

1541 Executions

Around 1488 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden was born to Geoffrey Audley (age 38) at Earls Colne [Map]. He was educated at Magdalene College aka Buckingham, Cambridge University and Middle Temple.

In 1504 [his father] Geoffrey Audley (age 54) died.

On 20 May 1532 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 44) was knighted.

On 26 Jan 1533 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 45) was appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. and Lord Chancellor as well.

Execution of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More

Before 22 Jun 1535 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 47) presided over the trial of Bishop John Fisher (age 65) and Thomas More (age 57) both of whom refused to take the Oath Of Supremacy. The judges including Anne Boleyn's father Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 58). Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 50) brought Richard Rich 1st Baron Rich (age 38) as a witness who testified that Thomas More (age 57) had denied that the King was the legitimate head of the Church. However, Richard Southwell (age 32) to the contrary.

The jury took, somewhat unsurprisingly, only fifteen minutes to conclude Thomas More (age 57) was guilty. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered; the King (age 43) commuted this to beheading.

Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 06 Feb 1536. This yeare also, the first Soundaie after Candlemas, being the sixt daie of Februarie, the Archbishopp of Canterberie, called Thomas Cranmer (age 46), preached at Paules Crosse [Map], my Lord Chauncelor (age 48)g being then present at his sermon, and their he approved, by scripture and by the decrees of the Popes lawes, that the Bishop of Rome, otherwise called Pope, was Antichrist, and also brought divers expositions of holie sainctes and doctors for the same; and how craftelie, and by what meanes, and how long, he had taken upon him the power of God and the aucthoritie above all princes christened, and how his aucthoritie and lawes was contrarie to scripture and the lawe of God, as he then honorably declared and approved to the cleere understanding of all the people.

Note g. Sir Thomas Audley, who had succeeded the learned Sir Thomas More as Chancellor in 1532.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 27 Feb 1536. The Soundaie of Quinquegesima, being the 27th daie of Februarie and Leepe yeare, a.d. 1536, preached at Paules Crosse [Map] the Bushoppe of Durhame, named Dr. Dunstall (age 62),c sometime Bishopp of London, and afore that, being Master of the Rolls; and their were present at his sermon the Archbishopp of Canterberie (age 46) with eight other bishopps, sitting at the crosse before the preacher; and the Lorde Chauncellor of Englande (age 48), the Duke of Norfolke (age 63), the Duke of Suffolke, with six Erles and divers other lordes, stoode behinde the preacher within the pulpitt, and also fower monkes of the Charterhouse of London were brought to the said sermon, which denied the King (age 44) to be supreame heade of the Church of Englande. And their the said preacher declared the profession of the Bishopp of Rome when he is elected Pope, according to the confirmation of eight universall general counsells, which were congregate for the faith of all Christendome; and everie Pope taketh an othe on the articles, promising to observe, keepe, and hould all that the said counsells confirmed, and to dampne all that they dampned; and how he, contrarie to his oth, hath usurped his power and aucthoritie over all Christendome; and also how uncharitably he had handled our Prince, King Henrie the Eight (age 44), in marying [him to] his brother's wife, contrarie to Godes lawes and also against his owne promise and decrees, which he opened by scriptures and by the cannons of the Appostles; and also how everie Kinge hath the highe power under God, and ought to be the supreame head over all spirituall prelates, which was a goodlie and gracious hearing to all the audience being their present at the same sermon. And in his prayers he said, after this manner, ye shall pray for the universall church of all Christendome, and especiall for the prosperous estate of our Soveraigne and Emperour King Henrie the Eight, being the onelie supreame head of this realme of Englande; and he declared also in his said sermon how that the Cardinalls of Rome bee but curattes and decons of the cittie and province of Bome, and how that everie curate of any parrish have as much power as they have, according to scripture, save onelie that the Pope of Rome hath made them so high aucthorities onelie for to ezhalt his name and power in Christen realmes for covetousnes, as by his owne decrees he evidentlie their approved.

Note c. Cuthbert Tunstall (age 62), translated from London 25th March, 1530.

Arrest of Anne Boleyn

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 02 May 1536. ... and the same daie, about five of the clocke at nighta, Anne Bolleine (age 35) was brought to the Towre of London by my Lord Chauncelor (age 48)b, the Duke of Norfolke (age 63), Mr. Secretarie (age 51),c and Sir William Kingston (age 60), Constable of the Tower; and when she came to the court gate,d entring in, she fell downe on her knees before the said lordes, beseeching God to helpe her as she was not giltie of her accusement,e and also desired the said lordes to beseech the Kinges grace to be good unto her, and so they left her their prisoner.f

Note a. "In the afternoon." — Stow.

Note b. Sir Thomas Audley.

Note c. Sir Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex.

Note d. "Towergate" in Stow.

Note e. On her arrest she was informed of the accusation of adultery.

Note f. Anne's prison-chamber was that in which she had slept the night before her coronation.

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 29. 02 May 1536. The King then wished the Queen to be examined, and he sent Secretary Cromwell, the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 46), the Duke of Norfolk (age 63), and the Chancellor (age 48), who were expressly ordered by the King to treat her with no respect or consideration. They desired the Archbishop to be spokesman, and he said these words to her, "Madam, there is no one in the realm, after my lord the King, who is so distressed at your bad conduct as I am, for all these gentlemen well know I owe my dignity to your good-will;" and Anne, before he could say any more, interrupted him with, "My lord Bishop, I know what is your errand; waste no more time; I have never wronged the King, but I know well that he is tired of me, as he was before of the good lady Katharine." Then the Bishop continued, "Say no such thing, Madam, for your evil courses have been clearly seen; and if you desire to read the confession which Mark has made, it will be shown to you." Anne, in a great rage, replied, "Go to! It has all been done as I say, because the King has fallen in love, as I know, with Jane Seymour (age 27), and does not know how to get rid of me. Well, let him do as he likes, he will get nothing more out of me; and any confession that has been made is false."

With that, as they saw they should extract nothing from her, they determined to leave; but before doing so the Duke of Norfolk said to her, "Madam, if it be true that the Duke1 your brother has shared your guilt, a great punishment indeed should be yours and his as well." To which she answered, "Duke, say no such thing; my brother is blameless; and if he has been in my chamber to speak with me, surely he might do so without suspicion, being my brother, and they cannot accuse him for that. I know that the King has had him arrested, so that there should be none left to take my part. You need not trouble to stop talking with me, for you will find out no more. "So they went away; and when they told the King how she had answered, he said, "She has a stout heart, but she shall pay for it;" ...

Note 1. The chronicler is in error in calling the Queen's brother Duke. He was, of course, Viscount Rochford.

Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. Item, the 12th daie of Maie, 1536, being Fridaie, their were arraygned at Westminster [Map]g Sir Frances Weston (age 25), knight, Henrie Norrisy (age 54) esquier, Brerton, and Markes (age 24), being all fower of the Kinges Privie Chamberh, and their condemned of high treason against the Kinge (age 44) for using fornication with Queene Anne (age 35), wife to the Kinge, and also for conspiracie of the Kinges death, and their judged to be hanged, drawen, and quartered, their members cutt of and brent [burned] before theim, their heades cutt of and quartered; my Lord Chauncelor (age 48) being the highest Commissioner he geving their judgment, with other lordes of the Kinges Counsell being presente at the same tyme.

Note g. They were tried by a Commission of Oyer and Terminer in Westminster Hall, after having been twice indicted. True bills were found by the two grand juries of the counties of Kent and Middlesex, the crimes they were charged with being said to be done in both counties.

Note h. Sir Francis Western and William Brereton, esq. of the King's Privy Chamber. Henry Norris, Groom of the Stole, and one Mark Smeton, a musician.

Letters 1536. 12 May. R. O. 848. Trial of Weston (age 25), Norris (age 54), and others.

Special commission of Oyer and Terminer for Middlesex to Sir Thomas Audeley, Chancellor, Thomas Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), John Earl of Oxford (age 65), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 38), Thomas Earl of Wiltshire (age 59), Rob. Earl of Sussex, William lord Sandys, Thomas Crumwell (age 51), chief secretary, Sir William Fitzwilliam (age 46), Sir William Paulet (age 53), Sir John Fitzjames, Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Richard Lister, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Ant. Fitzherbert, Sir Thomas Englefeld, and Sir William Shelley. Westm., 24 April 28 Henry VIII.

ii. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Middlesex for the return of the grand jury at Westminster on Wednesday, 10 May next. Dated 9 May 28 Henry VIII.—Grand jury panel annexed, 16 sworn.

iii. Indictment found in Middlesex against Anne Boleyn (age 35), &c. as in No. 876, with marginal note stating that it was sent before the Duke of Norfolk (age 63) as steward of England, hac vice, as regards all matters touching the Queen and Lord Rochford (age 33).

iv. The justices' precept to the constable of the Tower to bring up Sir Francis Weston (age 25), Henry Noreys (age 54), William Bryerton, and Mark Smeton (age 24), at Westminster, on Friday next after three weeks of Easter. Westm., 10 May 28 Henry VIII.—With reply of the Constable endorsed.

v. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Middlesex for the return of the petty jury for the trial of Henry Noreys (age 54), William Bryerton, and Sir Francis Weston [here follows an erasure which evidently contained the name of Mark Smeaton (age 24)]. Westm., 12 May 28 Henry VIII.—With panel annexed.

vi. Special commission of Oyer and Terminer for Kent, to Sir Thomas Audeley (age 48), Chancellor, Thomas Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), John Earl of Oxford (age 65), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 38), Rob. Earl of Sussex, Thomas Crumwell, chief secretary, Sir William Fitzwilliam (age 46), Sir William Paulet (age 53), Sir John Fitzjames, Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Richard Lyster, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Anth. Fitzherbert, Sir Thomas Englefeld, and Sir William Shelley. Westm., 24 April 28 Henry VIII.

vii. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Kent for the return of the grand jury at Deptford, on Thursday, 11 May. Endd. by Sir Edward Wotton, sheriff.—Panel of grand jury annexed.

viii. Indictment found in Kent, as in No. 876, with memorandum in margin, as in section iii.

ix. Record of the sessions holden Friday after three weeks of Easter 28 Henry VIII. before the above justices. Noreys, Bryerton, Weston, and Smeton (age 24) were brought up in the custody of the constable of the Tower, when Smeton (age 24) pleaded guilty of violation and carnal knowledge of the Queen, and put himself in the King's mercy. Noreys, Bryerton, and Weston pleaded Not guilty. The jury return a verdict of Guilty, and that they have no lands, goods, or chattels.

Judgment against all four as in cases of treason; execution to be at Tyburn.

The above file of documents is endorsed: "Sessiones Comitatuum Middlesexiæ et Kanciæ primo tentæ apud villam Westmonasterii in comitatu Midd. coram Thoma Audeley, milite, Cancellario Angliæ, et aliis, &c., et secundo tentæ apud Depford in comitatu Kanciæ coram Johanne Baldewyn, milite et aliis, anno regni Regis Henrici VIII. vicesimo octavo."

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. Item, on Munday,c the 15th of May, 1536, there was arreigned within the Tower of London [Map] Queene Anne (age 35),d for treason againste the Kinges owne person, and there was a great scaffold made in the Kinges Hall within the Tower of London [Map], and there were made benches and seates for the lordes, my Lord of Northfolke (age 63) sittinge under the clothe of estate, representinge there the Kinges person as Highe Steward of Englande and uncle to the Queene, he holdinge a longe white staffe in his hande, and the Earle of Surrey (age 20) his sonne and heire, sittinge at his feete before him holdinge the golden staffe for the Earle Marshall of Englande, which sayde office the saide duke had in his handes; the Lord Awdley Chauncellour of England (age 48), sittinge on his right hande, and the Duke of Suffolke on his left hande, with other marqueses, earles, and lordes, everie one after their degrees.

Note c. Stow's account seems to hare been taken from this, with considerable verbal differences and some omissions.

Note d. There was no precedent for the trial of a Queen for treason, so Henry determined that she should be arraigned before a commission of Lords, as had been practised in the case of the Duke of Buckingham.

Trial of Anne and George Boleyn

On 15 May 1536 Queen Anne Boleyn (age 35) tried at the King's Hall in the Tower of London [Map].

Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 63) was appointed Lord High Steward and presided. Henry Howard (age 20) attended. Henry Pole 1st Baron Montagu (age 44) was one of the judges. Elizabeth Browne Countess of Worcester (age 34) was the principal witness.

The jurors were:

Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 52).

Edward Clinton 1st Earl Lincoln (age 24).

Thomas Fiennes 9th Baron Dacre Gilsland (age 21).

George Hastings 1st Earl Huntingdon (age 49).

Thomas Manners 1st Earl of Rutland (age 44).

John Mordaunt 1st Baron Mordaunt (age 56).

Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 38).

Henry Parker 11th Baron Marshal 10th Baron Morley (age 55).

Edward Stanley 3rd Earl of Derby (age 27).

Thomas Stanley 2nd Baron Monteagle (age 28).

John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 65).

Thomas Wentworth 1st Baron Wentworth (age 35).

Henry Somerset 2nd Earl of Worcester (age 40).

Henry Percy 5th Earl of Northumberland.

Thomas Burgh 7th Baron Cobham 5th Baron Strabolgi 1st Baron Burgh (age 48).

Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 40).

William Fitzalan 18th Earl of Arundel (age 60).

Henry Fitzalan 19th Earl of Arundel (age 24).

Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 48).

Edward Powers Lord Powers.

William Sandys 1st Baron Sandys Vyne (age 66).

Thomas Ware.

Andrew Windsor 1st Baron Windsor (age 69).

George Brooke 9th Baron Cobham (age 39).

She was found guilty and sentenced to be beheaded. John Spelman (age 56) signed the death warrant.

After Anne's trial her brother George Boleyn Viscount Rochford (age 33) was also tried and found guilty.

1536 Neville Triple Wedding

On 02 Jul 1536 three weddings between the Neville, and Manners and Vere families, were celebrated at one mass at Holywell Priory [Map]:

Henry Neville 5th Earl of Westmoreland (age 11) and Anne Manners Countess of Westmoreland (age 9) were married. She the daughter of Thomas Manners 1st Earl of Rutland (age 44) and Eleanor Paston Countess Rutland (age 41). He the son of Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 38) and Katherine Stafford Countess of Westmoreland (age 37). They were half fourth cousins. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

Henry Manners 2nd Earl of Rutland (age 9) and Margaret Neville Countess Rutland were married. She the daughter of Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 38) and Katherine Stafford Countess of Westmoreland (age 37). He the son of Thomas Manners 1st Earl of Rutland (age 44) and Eleanor Paston Countess Rutland (age 41). They were half fourth cousins. He a great x 5 grandson of King Edward III of England.

John de Vere 16th Earl of Oxford (age 20) and Dorothy Neville Countess of Oxford were married. She the daughter of Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 38) and Katherine Stafford Countess of Westmoreland (age 37). He the son of John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 65) and Elizabeth Trussell Countess of Oxford.

Those present included Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 48), Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 52), [his future brother-in-law] Henry Grey 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 19), Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 40), John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 65) and Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 38).

Lincolnshire Rising

Around Oct 1536 the North rose against religious policies of Henry VIII (age 45). Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 48) condemned the traitors. John Neville 3rd Baron Latimer (age 42) was implicated. Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Henry Howard (age 20) and Edmund Knyvet (age 28) undertook the suppression of the rebels.

Before 1538 Henry Fitzalan 19th Earl of Arundel (age 25) and [his future sister-in-law] Katherine Grey (age 25) were married. She the daughter of Thomas Grey 2nd Marquess Dorset and Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset. He the son of William Fitzalan 18th Earl of Arundel (age 61) and Anne Percy Countess Arundel (age 52). They were second cousin once removed. He a great x 5 grandson of King Edward III of England. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

Before 1538 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 50) and Christina or Margaret Barnardiston (age 47) were married.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1538. 23 Jan 1538. This yeare, the 23th of Januarie, 1538, the [his wife] Ladye Awdley (age 48), [A. D. 1538.] wife to Sir Thomas Audeley (age 50), knight, and Lord Chauncellor of England, departed this life, being Weddensday, at 3 of the clocke in the morninge, that day beginninge the last quarter of the moone, the signe beinge in Scorpio the 14th degree.

On 23 Jan 1538 [his wife] Christina or Margaret Barnardiston (age 48) died.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1538. 22 Apr 1538. This yeare, the morrowe after Easter dale, being the twentie towe daie of Aprill, Sir Thomas Awdeley (age 50), knight, Lord Chauncelor of Englande, was married to my Ladie Elizabeth Graie,a sister to the Lord Marques of Dorsett (age 21) now living, and daughter to the old Lord Marques late deceased.

Note. Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 50) and were married. She by marriage Baroness Audley Walden in Essex. She the daughter of Thomas Grey 2nd Marquess Dorset and Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

Note a. Elizabeth Grey, eldest daughter of Thomas fifth Marquis of Dorset, and sister of Henry (age 21), who succeeded to the title in 1530.

Exeter Conspiracy

Before Aug 1538 the Exeter Conspiracy was an attempt to overthrow Henry VIII (age 47) and replace him with Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 42), grandson of Edward VI, Henry's first cousin. Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 50) presided. John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 67) sat in judgement. Thomas Fiennes 9th Baron Dacre Gilsland (age 23) was juror.

On 29 Nov 1538 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 50) was created 1st Baron Audley Walden in Essex.

Before 1540 Henry Willoughby (age 23) and [his sister-in-law] Anne Grey (age 19) were married. She the daughter of Thomas Grey 2nd Marquess Dorset and Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

In 1540 [his daughter] Margaret Audley Duchess Norfolk was born to Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 52) and [his wife] Elizabeth Grey Baroness Audley.

1540 Creation of Garter Knights

On 24 Apr 1540 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 52) was appointed 304th Knight of the Garter by King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 48).

In 1540 Anthony Browne (age 40) was appointed 305th Knight of the Garter by King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 48).

Hall's Chronicle 1541. [28 Jun 1541] In this season was arraigned and condemned three gentlemen, called Mantell, Roydon, and Frowdes, and were hanged at Saint Thomas of Wateringes [Map]. Likewise was Thomas Fiennes (age 26) Lord Dacres of the South, arraigned before the Lord Audley of Walden (age 53), then Chancellor of England, and that day High Steward of the same at Westminster, and there before the said Lord Chancellor and his Peers, he confessed the inditement, and so had judgement to be hanged.

1541 Executions

Letters and Papers 1541. On St. Peter's eve [28 Jun 1541] lord Leonard (age 62), uncle of the [his brother-in-law] Marquis of Osceter (age 24) (Dorset) and of the Chancellor's (age 53) [his wife] wife, was beheaded in front of the Tower [Map]. Hears he was accused of letting his nephew (age 16), the young Earl of Kildare, escape to France and thence to Liege.

On 01 May 1542 [his sister-in-law] Katherine Grey (age 30) died.

On 07 Nov 1542 [his former brother-in-law] Thomas Barnardiston (age 62) died.

On 30 Apr 1544 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 56) died. He was buried at Saffron Walden [Map]. Baron Audley Walden in Essex extinct.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 29 Oct 1554. The same day sir Thomas Audley, a famous captain, was buried in saint Mary Overy's [Map]. There attended his funeral the lord Gray, lord Fitzwalter, and divers other] captaynes and knyghtes and gentyllmen [to the number of] lx. be-syd odur.

In 1564 [his former wife] Elizabeth Grey Baroness Audley died.

In 1569 Unknown Painter. Posthumous portrait of Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden.

In 1597 Thomas Howard 1st Earl Suffolk (age 35) was created 1st Baron Howard de Walden by writ of summons. Catherine Knyvet Countess Suffolk (age 33) by marriage Baroness Howard de Walden. His [his daughter] mother's father was the first and last Baron Audley Walden in Essex.

Thomas Barnardiston and Anne Lucas were married.

John Grey and Mary Browne were married. He the son of Thomas Grey 2nd Marquess Dorset and Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset. They were third cousins. He a great x 5 grandson of King Edward III of England. She a great x 5 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

[his son] Thomas Audley of Berechurch and Catherine Southwell were married.

[his son] Thomas Audley of Berechurch was born to Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden and Elizabeth Grey Baroness Audley.

Royal Descendants of Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden 1488-1544

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom x 3

Queen Consort Camilla Shand x 1

Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 6

Ancestors of Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden 1488-1544

GrandFather: Ralph Audley

Father: Geoffrey Audley

Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden