Sir John LUTTRELL, Knight

Born: 1519, Dunster Castle, Somerset, England

Died: 10 Jul 1551

Father: Andrew LUTTRELL (Sir Knight)

Mother: Margaret WYNDHAM

Married: Mary Ryce GRIFFITH (d. 1588) (dau. of Sir John Griffith) (m.2 James Godolphin of Cornwall)


1. Catherine LUTTRELL

2. Dorothy LUTTRELL


Eldest son of Sir Andrew Luttrel of Dunster Castle by his wife, Margaret Wyndham, grand-son of Sir Hugh Luttrell, K.B.

In the 36th Henry VIII was with the Earl of Hertford in Scotland, and present at the taking of Edinburgh and Leith. On 11 May 1544, John Luttrell was knighted at Leith by Hertford, immediately following the capture and burning of Edinburgh.

Two years afterwards he was under the same nobleman at Boulogne, and had the command of a hundred men. He led three hundred men in the vanguard of the English army at the battle of Pinkie.

He was trusted as a diplomatist no less than as a soldier, and, in Mar 1549, he was appointed one of the two English commissioners to treat with the Earls of Argyll, Athol and Errol and others, with a view to the expulsion of the French (who were allied  with the Scots against the English) from Scotland, and a marriage between Edward VI and Queen Mary. The negotiation, however, came to nothing

In the reign of Edward VI. he was likewise distinguished in arms, and was made a Knight-Banneret, for his conduct at the taking of Yester, in the first year of that monarch.

The last of Sir John Luttrell's exploits seems to have been a raid in which he burned several villages and took prisoner a certain Monsieur de Toge, as recorded in the journal of the young English King.

In the early part of 1550, the Scots, along with their French allies, defeated the English at Broughty Craig and captured Sir John Luttrell, whom they held for ransom.  The Council at Westminster ordered the payment of the ransom for Sir John. Although defeated, he was in no sense disgraced.

In Jun 1550, the Council at Westminster further resolved:

"That Sir John Luttrell, in consideration of the notable good service he hath doone unto the Kinges Majistie during all his warres, shall have landes to the value of 100 markes by the yere during his Highnes pleasure.

In addition, Sir John further extracted from the government no less than 3,200l. for 'the waiges of himself and his souldiours in the Northe'.

He married Mary, daughter of Sir John Griffith, K.B. by whom he had three daughters, heiresses to one third part of his estates, the other two thirds devolving, by two entails, and by the will of Sir John himself, upon his next brother, Thomas Luttrell, esq. M.P. for Minehead.

Sir John died in 1551, in the Reign of Queen Mary, at Woolwich, of a fever while preparing fod an expedition to Morocco. (Burke, John., A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 1. London: Henry Colburn, n.d., Call Number: R929.725 B95 v.1, Page 143.)

In Dec 1553 the Earl of Arundel purchased the wardship of the eldest daughter of Sir John Lutrell, Catherine Luttrell for 100 marks. In Mar 1557 he was awarded the custody of all three daughters with an annuity of 30 backdated to Luttrell's death, which perhaps suggest that they had joined the Earl's household then. The wardships may indicate a family connection or may have been suggested by the Countess of Arundel, who had known the girls' maternal grandmother Catherine Edgecombe from their service together in the household of Anne of Cleves. In any case, the wardships seem to indicate a sense of responsibility on Arundel's part, as there was little financial gain: two-thirds of Luttrell's estate was entailed in favour of his brother Thomas, only one-third remaining between the daughters.

Catherine Luttrell served in Queen Mary's privy chamber and presumably owed the position to her guardian, the Earl of Arundel, who was Lord Steward of the royal household by this time. The Earl married her to Thomas Copley in Jul 1558. The nuptial celebrations took place at Nonsuch Palace, which Arundel had recently purchased from the crown. The Queen probably attended the wedding as Copley, who had incurred her wrath in the first session of the 1558 parliament by expressing the fear that Princess Elizabeth would be excluded from the succession, wrote with some apprehension to the Master of the Revels requesting the loan of paraphernalia for the masque with which the guests were entertained. Later that year Copley attended Arundel at the peace conference at Cercamp.
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