(1st B. Marney)

Born: 1447, Layer Marney, Essex, England

Died: 24 May 1523, St Swithins, London, Middlesex, England

Buried: 24 May 1523, St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: John MARNEY (Sir Knight)

Mother: Agnes (Joan) THROCKMORTON

Married 1: Elizabeth (Isabel) WILFORD (dau. of Nicholas Wyfold, Aldermen of London, and Margaret Chedworth, D. Norfolk) (w. of John Norreys of Bray) ABT 1465, Essex, England / 1485?


1. Grace MARNEY

Married 2: Thomasine ARUNDELL ABT 1480, Lanherne, Cornwall, England


2. Catherine MARNEY

3. John MARNEY (2 B. Marney)

4. Thomas MARNEY (d. Young)

The Marney family came over from Normandy in the wake of William the Conqueror. The earliest record of the family at Layer Marney dates from 1166, when they were under the overlordship of the Bishop of London. Layer Marney Tower was built between 1515 and 1525 and is the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in the country.

Sir Henry Marney fought at the battles of Bosworth and Stoke, was knighted for his part in routing the pretender, Perkin Warbeck, and the Cornish rebels at Blackheath in 1497. A respected member of the Privy Council under both Henry VII and Henry VIII. Made a Knight of the Bath at Henry VIII's coronation; Lord Privy Seal, vice-Chamberlain of the Household, Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, and Captain of the Yeomen of the guard. KG 1510. Created Lord Marney 14th by Henry VIII.

In his will, dated 22 Dec 1523, he lists: Sir William Marney his grandfather; Dame Catherine, wife of his grandfather, Sir Robert Marney, his great-grandfather; Sir John Marney, his father; Dame Joan, wife of Sir John Marney; his wife Thomasine; his wife Elizabeth; Thomas Marney, his late son; his son-in-law Lord FitzWalter; his son-in-law Edmund Bedingfield; his son-in-law Thomas Bonham; John Bonham, son and heir to Thomas Bonham; William Bonham second son to said Thomas Bonham; William Lathum, husband of his daughter; Anne Bother daughter of Thomas Bonham; Sir John Marney, his son and executor.

The manor of Little-Brickhill was anciently in the Giffards, Earls of Buckingham, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Lovells, Audleys, and Staffords. Having been seized by the crown, in consequence of the attainder of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, it was granted to Lord Marney, and afterwards to William Carey esq. Mr. Carey's son, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, sold it to the Brocas family, from whom it passed by purchase to the Abdys, about the year 1636: Sir Anthony Abdy, about the year 1696, sold it to Sir Charles Duncombe, in whose family it continued many years.

He built himself a house which was, he thought, magnificent enough for a person of his position. At Layer Marney he had the ancient and beautiful church of St Mary the Virgin, next door to the famous historic house of Layer Marney Tower. The church was rebuilt by Henry, 1st Lord Marney and John, 2nd Lord Marney at the beginning of the 16th C, and left unfinished on the death of the 2nd and last Lord Marney. Their wills made provision for the church to be finished. The church, all in the Perpendicular style, is built of Tudor brick (reputed to have been made locally). It has a west tower and a mural of St. Christopher, dating from c.1520, which was uncovered in 1870. Also in the church are the tombs of Henry, 1st Lord Marney and John, 2nd Lord Marney. Sir Brian Tuke, chief secretary of Cardinal Wolsey. Sir Brian, High Sheriff of Essex in 1533, had purchased Layer Marney Hall and estate from the two daughters and co-heirs of John, second Lord Marney. It was his third son and heir George (d. 1573) who built the spectacular four-turreted gatehouse, but the main house was never begun so it became known as Layer Marney Tower.

Layer Marney from the air

Layer Marney

Church of St Mary the Virgin

In Apr 1525, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, pursued the guardship of Elizabeth Marney, dau. of Lord John, although he found necessary to write to his enemy, the Cardinal Wolsey, to gain the favor of the King in this case. This letter was writing while Marney was on his deathbed, hardly in good taste, but haste and determination were essential in obtaining choice wardship to exploit. Norfolk obtained the wardship of Elizabeth Marney at the end of May of 1526 and purchased the right of her marriage from the master of the King's wards in Apr 1529. Elizabeth was espoused to the Duke`s second son, Thomas, on 14 May 1533, at Norfolk House in Lambeth. Lord Thomas had thirteen years. The couple had four children, but Thomas, created Viscount Bindon at her cousin Elizabeth's coronation, remained an obscure figure. Thomas Howard got nothing else by the terms of his father will.

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