(C. Bedford)

Born: ABT 1489, Bletsoe, Bedfordshire, England

Died: 14 Mar 1559

Buried: 21 Mar 1559, Chenies, Buckinghamshire, England

Father: Guy SAPCOTE (Sir)

Mother: Margaret WOLSTON

Married 1: John BROUGHTON of Toddington (Sir)


1. Catherine BROUGHTON (d. 23 Apr 1535) (m. William Howard, 1° B. Howard of Effingham)


3. Anne BROUGHTON (d. 1561) (m. Thomas Cheney)

Married 2: Richard JERNINGHAM




Married 3: John RUSSEL (1° E. Bedford) 1526


6. Francis RUSSELL (2° E. Bedford)

Anne was the daughter and heiress of Sir Guy Sapcote and Margaret Wolston. Her first husband was John Broughton (d. 24 Jan 1518), son of Sir Robert Broughton (d. 1506) by his wife Catherine De Vere, said to have been an illegitimate daughter of John De Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford. By whom he had three children, Catherine, John (d. Jun 1519), and Anne. Anne’s daughter, Catherine later married to William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tilney. Another daughter, named Anne became the wife of Sir Thomas Cheney of the Isle of Sheppey.

Anne married secondly to Sir Richard Jerningham, a diplomat and gentleman of the privy chamber for Henry VIII. However, Anne was widowed again by 1525.

As a twice widowed woman at court, Anne was involved in court politics, was intelligent, mature and wealthy. One would say she sounded much like Catherine Parr did after her second husband, John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, died in 1543. All of these characteristics made Anne a perfect match.

John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, was the son of James Russell and Alice Wyse. He married Anne in 1526. At the time of their marriage, Russell was a newly made man of the privy chamber to Henry VIII.

In 1528, Anne lost her only son by her first marriage, John. She was overcome with grief. As noted by Sir Thomas Heneage: “My lady Russell takes the death of her son so sore that Russell fears, if she should not obtain your favour [Cardinal Thomas Wolsey] for the wardship of the younger sister, it will be her utter undoing. Sadly, the power struggle between Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey would keep Lady Russell from obtaining the wardship of her daughter, which she so desperately hoped for. On 20 Nov 1529, she lost the wardship of her younger daughter by John Broughton to Agnes, Duchess of Norfolk, who purchased it from the Crown. Agnes married Catherine to one of her sons, William Howard, later Lord Howard of Effingham, in about 1531.

Anne helped her husband on many occasions. She is known to have appealed to Lord Cromwell about debts that had not been repaid to her husband. She sent gifts to the King and when John was sick, she sent a letter to Cromwell to send a doctor. In an effort to secure the wardship of Anne’s daughter, John also wrote in 1528, but failed to obtain it. He did however secure the wardship of other family members. He also secured the property rights as the Sapcote’s heiress. However, in 1535, Anne lost yet another child, Catherine, who had become Baroness as the wife to Baron Effingham.

In the 1530s and 1540s, Anne was one of Princess Mary’s attendants. She took over the upbringing of Magdalen Dacre, whose mother had died in 1552.

Sir John Russell survived the fall of Anne Boleyn. Russell continued to rise among his peers and was granted the title Earl of Bedford on 19 Jan 1550 by the boy King Edward VI. The couple had one son and heir, Francis, who eventually became the 2nd Earl of Bedford upon the death of his father.

Anne died in 1559. She and her husband were buried in the Bedford Chapel in Chenies, Buckinghamshire.

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