Biography of Thomas Cheney 1485-1558

Paternal Family Tree: Cheney

1511 Birth and Death of Prince Henry

1520 Field of the Cloth of Gold

1528 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

1536 Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

1541 Executions

Thomas Cheney was appointed Privy Council.

Around 1485 Thomas Cheney was born to William Cheney (age 41) and Margaret aka Agnes Young.

On 08 May 1487 [his father] William Cheney (age 43) died.

Birth and Death of Prince Henry

In Feb 1511 Henry VIII (age 19) celebrated the birth of his son by holding a magnificent tournament at Westminster [Map]. The challengers included Henry VIII (age 19) who fought as Cuere Loyall, Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 15) as Bon Vouloir, Edward Neville (age 40) as Joyeulx Penser, Thomas Knyvet (age 26) as Valiant Desyr and Thomas Tyrrell.

On Day 1 of the tournament the Answerers included: William Parr 1st Baron Parr of Horton (age 28), Henry Grey 4th Earl Kent (age 16), Thomas Cheney (age 26), Richard Blount and Robert Morton.

On Day 2 of the tournament the Answerers included: Richard Tempest of Bracewell (age 31), Thomas Lucy, Henry Guildford (age 22), Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 27), Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 34), Richard Grey, Leonard Grey 1st Viscount Grane (age 32), Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 38), Edmund Howard (age 33) and Henry Stafford 1st Earl Wiltshire (age 32).

Before 1513 Thomas Cheney (age 28) and Frideswide Frowyk were married.

Around 1513 [his son] John Cheney was born to Thomas Cheney (age 28) and [his wife] Frideswide Frowyk at Shurland House, Kent.

In 1515 Thomas Cheney (age 30) was appointed High Sheriff of Kent.

Field of the Cloth of Gold

In Jun 1520 Henry VIII (age 28) hosted Field of the Cloth of Gold at Balinghem [Map].

Thomas Grey 2nd Marquess Dorset (age 42) carried the Sword of State.

Bishop John Stokesley (age 45) attended as Henry VIII's chaplain.

Edmund Braye 1st Baron Braye (age 36), Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Thomas Deheubarth (age 42), Anthony Poyntz (age 40), William Coffin (age 25), William "Great" Courtenay (age 43), Robert Radclyffe 1st Earl of Sussex (age 37), William Paston (age 41), William Denys (age 50), Richard Cecil (age 25), William Parr 1st Baron Parr of Horton (age 37), Ralph Neville 4th Earl of Westmoreland (age 22), John Mordaunt 1st Baron Mordaunt (age 40), Henry Guildford (age 31), Marmaduke Constable (age 40), William Compton (age 38), William Blount 4th Baron Mountjoy (age 42), Thomas Cheney (age 35), Henry Willoughby (age 69), John Rodney (age 59), John Marney 2nd Baron Marney (age 36), William Sidney (age 38), John de Vere 14th Earl of Oxford (age 20), John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 49), Edmund Walsingham (age 40), William Skeffington (age 55) and Thomas West 8th Baron De La Warr 5th Baron West (age 63) attended.

William Carey (age 20) jousted.

William Sandys 1st Baron Sandys Vyne (age 50) organised.

Jane Parker Viscountess Rochford (age 15) attended.

Thomas Brooke 8th Baron Cobham (age 50), Robert Willoughby 2nd Baron Willoughby 10th Baron Latimer (age 48), Anthony Wingfield (age 33), William Scott (age 61), Thomas Wriothesley (age 32), Bishop Thomas Ruthall (age 48), Margaret Dymoke aka Mistress Coffin (age 20) and Edward Chamberlayne (age 36) were present.

Hall's Chronicle 1522. 04 Jun 1522. Thursday, they that jousted the other day, appointed themselves to tourney, and as the King was arming him, there came to him one George Luffkin and showed him, that there was one come from his Ambassador in France, the King called for the messenger, and delivered his letters, which the King read, and said to Sir William Compton (age 40), tell the Emperor that I have news, if it pleases him to come hither. Sir William Compton (age 40) went and told this to the Emperor, which without delay came to the King, which showed him the letters from Sir Thomas Cheney (age 37) his Ambassador, wherein was contented the definitive answer made as well to Sir Thomas Cheney (age 37), as to Clarenseaux King of Arms of England, by the French Kinge, to the King’s requests for you shall understand, that the King of England by his Ambassador, had often times demanded, both his tribute and his lawful debt, and also restitution to be made to his subjects grieved, and farther also the league was broken, by making war on the Emperor, so that now by the league the King of England should be enemy, to him that first brake, and did take part with the other, yet he had so much compassion, on shedding of Christen blood, that he would not enter war, but shew himself a mediator and an entreator between them. And upon this Sir Thomas Cheney had often moved the French King, and also moved him to take peace with the Emperor for two years, so that some mediation of peace might be entreated, in the meane season, to all this the French King answered we have well considered your master’s desire, to the which we nothing agree, nor hold us content with his request. Sir said the Ambassador, the King my master shall be advertised of your answer by me, wherefore I beseech your grace of safe-conduct, to return into England. Then said the King, there is an officer of arms come hither out of England, let him come and he shall be heard, and have an answer, to which thing Sir Thomas Cheney answered not, but with reverence departed, and so on the twenty-first day of May, the said officer called Clarenceux King of Armes, came to the French King’s chamber at Lyon, which was accompanied with many noble men and gentlemen, and then Clarenceux put on his coat of arms, and desired license to speak, and liberty according to the law of arms, which was to him granted: then he declared that where the French King was bound by league tripartite, to keep peace with the Emperor, and with the King of England, and whosoever first brake, the other two to be enemies to him, to the which league the French King was sworn, which league he apparently had broken, by making war on the Emperor, by Sir Robert de la Marche, and by himself in person. Wherefore the King by that league must be his enemy, and take part against him.

Also, he declared, that the French King kept away the King’s rents, and debts, due to him. Also, that he detained the dower of the French Queen. Also, that contrary to his promise, he had sent the Duke of Albany into Scotland. Also, that contrary to justice he had imprisoned merchants, having his safe-conduct, where they should have gone in safety seeing there was no war proclaimed, between him and the King his master. All these articles with many more, the King my master is ready to prove. Nay said the French King, I began not the war, nor sent Robert La Marche to make war, but commanded him to the contrary, and or I made war in proper person, his war was open, and he had our town of Tournay strongly besieged, and as touching the Duke of Albany, it hath cost me forty thousand Francs, to keep him out of Scotland, but I could not let him to go into his own country. This the French King excused his untruth. Sir I am farther charged to tell you, said Clarenceux that the King my sovereign lord, holds you for his mortal enemy this day forth, and al your adherents. Well said the French King, I looked for this a great while agone, for sith the Cardinal was at Bridges, I looked for no other, but you have done your message: then the French King rose and departed, and Clarenceux was conveyed to his lodging, and shortly after, Sir Thomas Cheyney and he, by safe-conduct, departed and came to Boulogne, and there Monsieur Fayet captain there, them both stayed until the Ambassador of France, which had lain in England, were clearly delivered out of Calais. The whole circumstance of the demands and defiance, and the French King’s answer, was contained in the letter, which was brought to the King, which showed it to the Emperor (as you have hard) but while the King and the Emperor looked on the letter, a sodden noise rose amongst both their subjects, that it was a letter of defiance, sent to them both by the French King, which was nothing so. Thus, now was the war open of all parties, between England and France, and Spain. When the two princes had of this matter commoned their fill, the Emperor called for a horse, and the King himself was armed, and both the bends that should tourney, mounted on horseback, and the Emperor in rich apparel of tissue and richly trapped brought the King into the field, and took up his horse, that all men had great pleasure to behold him. The men of arms fell to tourney, and broke swords and were severed, and after came together again, and fought very valiantly, and when time was, the heralds cried the disarm, and as one as the King was unarmed the Emperor and he went to supper, and after supper, the King brought the Emperor into the hall where was a cupboard of twelve stages, all set with great mighty plate all of gold, at the upper end hung three clothes of estate, and the hall was full of great lights, set on gilt branches.

In 1526 Thomas Cheney (age 41) was appointed Justice of the Peace Kent.

Around 1528 [his wife] Frideswide Frowyk died.

1528 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Letters and Papers 1528. 26 Jun 1528. R. O. St. P. I. 301. 4422. Sir J. Russell (age 43) To Wolsey.

Sends letters received by the King, from my lord of Ossory, concerning the taking of the Vice-deputy and the misrule in Ireland. The King thinks none so meet for the government as my lord of Ossory, or Master Butler, his son, and wishes Wolsey to dispatch them as soon as possible. Wolsey knows the son's activity. The father is an honorable man, wise and hardy, but stricken in age, and not so able to follow the wars. The King is much troubled with this disease of sweat. Tonight there have fallen sick my lord and Lady Marques, Sir Thos. Cheyney (age 43), and Mrs. Croke. Norres and Wallop are recovered. Poynes (deceased) is dead. Today the King removes to Bishop's Hatfield, accompanied only by the Privy Chamber and Master Kyngeston. Last night he took Master Bryan into the Privy Chamber. Hartford, 26 June. Signed.

Around 1535 [his son-in-law] Thomas Kempe (age 21) and [his daughter] Katherine Cheney were married.

In 1536 Thomas Cheney (age 51) was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports.

Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

Letters 1536. 13 May 1536. R. O. 865. J. Husee to Lord Lisle (age 72).

Here is no good to be done, neither with the King nor with any of his Council, till matters now had in hand be fully achieved. Mr. Secretary had no leisure to despatch the letter for the Friar's delivery. It is useless suing to Mr. Treasurer till he have more leisure. It is believed this matter will be rid by the end of next week. Here are so many tales I cannot tell what to write. This day, some say, young Weston (age 25) shall scape, and some that none shall die but the Queen (age 35) and her brother (age 33); others, that Wyat (age 15) and Mr. Payge are as like to suffer as the others. The saying now is that those who shall suffer shall die when the Queen and her brother go to execution; but I think they shall all suffer. If any escape, it will be young Weston (age 25), for whom importunate suit is made. It is rumoured that Harry Webbe has been taken in the West country, and put in hold for the same cause. By Wednesday [May 17] all will be known. Sir Thomas Cheyne (age 51) is named Lord Warden, some say by Mr. Secretary's preferment. My Lord of Richmond (age 16) is Chamberlain of Chester and N. Wales, and Mr. Harry Knyvet, Constable of Beaumaris. If Mr. Secretary keep promise your Lordship shall have something. Today Mr. Russell was in very sad communication with Mr. Whethill. I fear I have taken a wrong pig by the ear, but I shall know by his preferring of your affairs ere long. Mr. Brian is chief gentleman of the privy chamber, and shall keep the table. There is plain saying that the King will assign the groom of the stole from time to time at his pleasure. I trust you will remember Mr. Secretary with wine and letters, and also Mr. Hennage. The King comes not to Dover at this time. There shall be both burgesses and knights of the shire for Calais. Give credence to Goodall, and keep secret what he tells you. London, 13 May. Hol., p. 1. Add.

In 1539 Thomas Cheney (age 54) was appointed 302nd Knight of the Garter by King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 47).

On 24 May 1539 Thomas Cheney (age 54) and Anne Broughton were married.

In 1540 Thomas Cheney (age 55) was appointed Privy Council.

On 31 May 1540 [his son] Henry Cheney 1st Baron Cheyne was born to Thomas Cheney (age 55) and [his wife] Anne Broughton.

1541 Executions

Letters and Papers 1541. 02 Jul 1541. 954. Chapuys (age 51) to the Queen of Hungary.

Almost immediately after Chapuys's return the King (age 50) gave the people of Dunkirk permission to buy here a quantity of wood for their own use for curing herrings, and he has frequently reminded Chapuys of the favor, saying he was surprised that the town had not sent a deputation to say how much wood they required. The deputation has arrived, and now, after being kept 13 days without an answer, they have been told that it is mere loss of time to solicit such things till the Queen has promised to release the harness, copper, and war ammunition purchased by the King some time ago at Antwerp.

On St. Peter's eve lord Leonard (deceased), uncle of the Marquis of Osceter (age 24) (Dorset) and of the Chancellor's (age 53) 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.

That afternoon two gentlemen were hung, one of whom had an income of over 12,000 ducats a year, and was the handsomest and best bred man in England [Note. Not clear as to who this is? If anyone has information on the identity of this person I'd be grateful if they would email Christopher Smith.], only 25 years old and married to a niece of the Duke of Norfolk (age 68). He was sentenced for having belonged to a set of eight rakish youths, one of whom had killed a poor old man in an unpremeditated fray. For the same cause lord Dacres (deceased) also, son1 of the Duke of Norfolk's (age 68) sister, and cousin of this Queen (age 18), 23 years old and possessing a property of about 5,000 ducats a year, was hung from the most ignominious gibbet, and for greater shame dragged through the streets to the place of execution, to the great pity of many people, and even of his very judges, who wept when they sentenced him, and in a body asked his pardon of the King. But the thing which astonished people most was, that, the same day lord Dacres was hung, another [his son] young man (age 28), son of the Treasurer of the Royal household (age 56), who was one of those present at the old man's death, was freely pardoned, though he had been already tried for some like misdemeanour.

At the same time in the North, Sir John Neville (deceased) and about 60 more, among whom at least 25 were ecclesiastics, were executed for the conspiracy of which Chapuys wrote some time ago. Has just heard of the arrival of a Polish gentleman with eight or ten servants. Will endeavour to discover who he is and what he comes for. London, 2 July 1541. Original at Vienna.

Note 1. Thomas Fiennes 9th Baron Dacre Gilsland (deceased), Lord Dacre, was the grandson of Anne Bourchier Baroness Dacre of Gilsland who was the maternal half-sister of Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 68); Anne and Thomas' mother was Elizabeth Tilney Countess of Surrey.

In or before 1549 [his daughter] Katherine Cheney died.

In 1551 Thomas Cheney (age 66) was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports.

In 1551 Thomas Cheney (age 66) was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Kent.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 16 May 1552. The xiiij, master treasurer Cheny (age 67), lord warden of the cinque ports; his guydon a red cross, and half a rose in a sun-beam black; spers and pensells and alle companys.

In 1553 [his daughter] Anne Cheney died.

Chronicle of Queen Jane and Two Years of Queen Mary 1553. 13 Jul 1553. By this tyme newes was brought that sir John Williams was also proclamyng quene Mary (age 37) in Oxfordeshire. From that tyme forwarde certayne of the counsayll, that is, the erle of Penbroke (age 52) and the lorde warden (age 68),b sought to go out of the Tower to consult in London, but could not as yet.

Note b. Thomas lord Cheney (age 68).

Before 16 Dec 1558 [his son] John Cheney (age 45) died.

Before 16 Dec 1558 [his son] John Cheney (age 45) and [his daughter-in-law] Margaret Neville (age 36) were married. He had been a ward of her father George Neville 5th and 3rd Baron Bergavenny. She a great x 4 granddaughter of King Edward III of England.

On 16 Dec 1558 Thomas Cheney (age 73) died.

Henry Machyn's Diary. Jan 1559. The (blank) day of January was bered in the ylle of Shepay [Map] my lord warden of the v porttes, and master tresorer to the quen('s) howsse, and knyght of the garter, with standard and a grett baner of armes, and v baner-rolles of armes, and iiij baners of emages, and a iii haroldes of armes, and a herse of v prynsepelles of wax, v dosen of penselles and a x dosen of skochyons of armes, and iiij whyt branchys and a dosen of torchys, and 1. pore men had gownes, and a c. and a d' [a half] in blake gownes and cottes.

Note. P. 184. Funeral of sir Thomas Cheney, K.G. Sir Thomas Cheney had been henchman to king Henry VII. He was honoured with the garter, made treasurer of the household to three successive sovereigns, and died warden of the cinque ports, Dec. 8, 1558. His liberality was great, his hospitality unbounded. He kept thirty horses in his stables, and two hundred and five servants in livery, for all of whom he more or less provided at his death. "Well," says Holinshed, "was that nobleman's son that happened to be preferred into his service." See his eulogy in Holinshed, vol. ii. p. 1171, and see Wiffen's Memoirs of the House of Russell, i. 396. "Sir Thomas Cheney knight, lord warden of the v. portes, knight of the garter and tresorer of the quenes howshold, dysceased at the Tower of London on thursday the xvth of December in A° . j°. Elizabeth, 1558, and after conveyed to his howsse called Sherland in the isle of Shepey, and there buryed on tewsday the 3. of January next foloinge." (MS. Harl. 897, f. 17b.) His epitaph is in Weever's Funerall Monuments, p. 284, and in Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 290. His second wife and widow Anne, daughter and heir of [sir John] Broughton, died at Toddington, co. Bedf. May 18, 1562, and was buried in the parish church there on the 27th. (Ibid.)

On 03 Jan 1559 Thomas Cheney was buried at St Katherine's Chapel, Swale Minster.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 16 May 1562. The xvj day of May died my [his former wife] lady Chenne, latt wyff of ser Thomas Cheyne, the warden of v porttes, and ded at Todyngton.

On 16 May 1562 [his former wife] Anne Broughton died.

Henry Machyn's Diary. After 25 May 1562. [The .. day of May was the funeral of [his former wife] lady Cheyne, late wife of ser Thomas Cheyne councillor to] kyng Edward the vj and unto quen Mary and queen Elesabett (age 28) tyll he ded, and she was beried at Toddington [Map] with mony mornars; master Garter (age 52) and master Norrey (age 64) [were] the haroldes, and (the) dene of Powlles (age 45) dyd pryc[h the sermon,] for ther was grett chere, and a grett dole [as ever] in that contrey sene-iij mylles from Donstabull.

Note. P. 282. Funeral of lady Cheney. See the note on sir Thomas Cheney in p. 369. There is an effigy of the lady at Toddington; see the Topographer, 1846, vol. i. p. 156.

[his daughter] Anne Cheney was born to Thomas Cheney and Frideswide Frowyk.

[his father] William Cheney and Isabella Boleyn were married.

[his daughter] Katherine Cheney was born to Thomas Cheney and Frideswide Frowyk.

[his father] William Cheney and [his mother] Margaret aka Agnes Young were married.

[his daughter] Frances Cheney was born to Thomas Cheney and Frideswide Frowyk.

Royal Descendants of Thomas Cheney 1485-1558

Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 2

Ancestors of Thomas Cheney 1485-1558

Great x 4 Grandfather: William Cheney

Great x 3 Grandfather: Robert Cheney

Great x 4 Grandmother: Margaret Shurland

Great x 2 Grandfather: Richard Cheney

Great x 1 Grandfather: William Cheney

GrandFather: John Cheney

Father: William Cheney

Thomas Cheney

Mother: Margaret aka Agnes Young