Anne SACKVILLE

(B. Dacre of the South)

Born: 1533, Dorsetshire, England

Died: 10 May 1595, England

Buried: Chelsea Old Church, Chelsea, England

Father: Richard "Fill Sack" SACKVILLE (Sir Knight)

Mother: Winifred BRYDGES (M. Winchester)

Married: Gregory FIENNES (4 B. Dacre of the South) 1565, Chevening, Kent, England

Children:

1. Elizabeth FIENNES


I want to thank Robin Kullick, of the Bristol Renassaince Faire, for the research she had done about Anne Sackville

Born in London somewhere in 1533, the elder of the two Sackville siblings, was raised in London, her father owning Salisbury Court (the former home of the bishops of Salisbury), given to him after the dissolution of the monasteries. Her father, Sir Richard "Fillsack" Sackville, was a Boleyn relation to the throne and under Elizabeth, was named Privy Councillor and Under Chancellor of the Exchequer, where he did much good in raising the treasury. He had also served under Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I. Anne's mother, Winifred Brydges, was daughter to the Mayor of London, Sir John Brydges. After Sir Richard death in 1566, she married Sir John Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, thus herself becoming the new Marchioness. From him, as a wedding present, she inherited all the Sir Thomas More properties in Chelsea. Comtemporary accounts state that she owned roughly one good half of the town, the Crown holding everything else. Upon Winifred's death, all these properties were deeded to her daughter, Anne.

Anne, herself, was probably raised in or around Court, given the familiar ties and her father's residence of Salisbury Court. This would most likely have given her a very cosmopolitan view and access to some of the best teachers in England. It is evident from her reported attitudes that Anne was very well educated, similar to the Cooke sisters, and as an adult was an avid advocate of education for both sexes, as she found many schools for boys and girls in Tothill Fields, Westminster, one of which is still running and celebrating it's 405th anniversary this year. This is Emanuel School, begun in 1594, but Anne died before it's completion. According to the school's own accounts, when Anne died, her cousin, the Queen, took up the charity and made certain that the school was built, just as Anne had wanted. The Dacre Behest and it's sister charity, the Emanuel Charity, have been Royal Charities since 1595. They are still in existence today.

Anne married Gregory Fiennes, 4th Baron Dacre of the South sometime before 1558. Fiennes was a weak character, dominated first by his mother and then by his wife. The historian William Camden refers to him as 'a little crack-brained'. He had no title or lands when she married him. When Elizabeth came to London upon her accession in Nov 1558, Gregory, Lord Dacre, was one of the noblemen appointed to attend upon the new Queen, and his wife was made a Lady of Honour. Elizabeth restored all lands, titles and honours to Gregory in the first session of Parliament in 1558. Strictly speaking he had at that period no right to the title, as the attainder of his father Thomas, Lord Dacre, was as yet not reversed, and therefore he and his sister were both attainted by his conviction. No doubt Gregory, or his young wife, took full advantage of the opportunity which their proximity to the Sovereign afforded them to make a good impression upon the Queen, and to induce her to look with a favouring eye upon his petition that the disabilities imposed upon him in virtue of the sentence passed upon his father should be removed. From the nature of things new rulers are apt to be desirous of ingratiating themselves with their subjects, and this was particularly the case with Elizabeth, who was ever desirous of popularity, and whose hold upon the throne was at that period none too secure. The claims to clemency which the Dacres put forward to their royal mistress were well received, and one of her earliest acts was to grant their petition. An ancient copy of the document by which the attainder was reversed runs as follows:

'In the Parliament held at Westmr 5 Jan anno Elizabeth &c. 1st (1559) before the Lords Spiritual & temporal &c. this 40th Statute was enacted.

There was exhibited to the Queen's Majesty in parliament the act of petition following-being the petition 'of Gregorie Fenes esqr. brother & heire unto Thomas Fenes esq. sonne & heire unto Sir Thomas Fenes Knight late Lord Dacres of the South'; recites attainder of last named Sir Thos Fenes, Lord Dacre in time of King Henry VIII; whereby petioner 'is a person in his blode lynage honor degree & dignitie corrupted' petioner prays he may be restored in blood &c. to all intents &z purposes as if the said Thomas Lord Dacre had 'neuer bene attainted.' To which petition, answer was made by the Queen & authority of Parliament- 'Soit fait come il est desire.'

Anne, as Lady Dacre, served Elizabeth faithfully all her life, alongside Winifred, as a Lady of the Bedchamber. Gregory was known to be "crack-brained", though Anne seemed to be utterly devoted to him and it appears that this was a rare love match. Anne, Lady Dacre, in the course of the disputes with her brother-in-law Samson Lennard, speaks of herself and her husband as being very young at the time of their marriage; and this must have been the case for, as we shall see, they were certainly married before the death of Queen Mary.

Gregory served in Parliament from 1562 - 1593. He was also an Ambassador and diplomat and was sent to the Court of Catherine de Medici between 1572 -1574. Gregory also appears to have been a closet Catholic as it has been reported that he helped smuggle Jesuits in and out of the country from his wife's house in Chelsea (called Beaufort House). It has not been mentioned if Anne knew or not. Considering the fact that they both died, free, of old age means that they were never caught.

Anne was godmother to Douglas Howards illegitimate son, Robert Dudley, in 1574.

Gregory died in Sep of 1594 and Anne followed him in May of 1595. In her will, she left money for the founding of Emmanuel College, Westminster. Anne and Gregory had only one child, a girl, Elizabeth, who died of an unknown disease sometime after 1565. The young Elizabeth is interred on the same tomb of her father in Chelsea Old Church, Chelsea, England. The inscription on Lord Dacre's tomb supports his wife's assertion that they married at an early age as, although it does not give the date of their marriage, it says 'Quos ardens copulavit amor juvenilibus annis'.

Gregory had a bastard daughter was named Mary. Apparently Anne wanted nothing to do with her since there is no mention of the daughter, whom lived to marry someone named Wheatley, since the tomb heraldry says nothing of her.

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