Born: ABT 1496
Died: Oct 1564, Callowdon, near Coventry
Buried: St. Michael’s Church, Coventry
Father: John SAVAGE (Sheriff of Worcestershire)
Mother: Anne BOSTOCK
Married: Thomas "The Hopefull" BERKELEY (6° B. Berkeley)
1. Elizabeth BERKELEY
2. Henry BERKELEY (7° B. Berkeley)
3. Muriel BERKELEY
Anne was the daughter of Sir John Savage of Clifton and Rocksavage, Cheshire, and Anne Bostock.
She was at court and apparently in the household of Anne Boleyn before she was Queen. Anne was one of only four or five people to witness Anne Boleyn’s marriage to Henry VIII on Jan 25, 1533 and was Anne Boleyn’s trainbearer. Others known to have been present were Thomas Heneage, Henry Norreys, and William Brereton. Brereton was the second husband of Anne Savage’s widowed sister-in-law, Elizabeth Somerset. Both Brereton and Norreys were later executed as Anne Boleyn’s lovers.
Anne Savage did not remain long at the new Queen’s court. In Apr 1533, she married Thomas, 6th Baron Berkeley. Anne was a Lady of a masculine spirit, over-powerful with her Husband, seldom at rest with herself, never wanting matter of suit or discontent to work upon. Of complexion she was of a comely brown, of a middle stature, and most tender-hearted to her children, whom she would scarcely allow out of her sight, so much so that, as they afterwards complained, it interfered with their education. They had a daughter, Elizabeth; and nine weeks after her husband’s death, Anne gave birth to his son and heir, Henry, named after Henry VIII, who was his Godfather.
Lady Berkeley was an avid letter writer. On 1 May 1535 Lady Berkeley wrote to Lord Cromwell, complain about the Court of Wards, which opposed the release of her jointure. A letter from John Barlow, dean of Westbury College, to Cromwell, also in 1535, complains about Lady Berkeley’s interference in his attempt to prosecute a number of men who were caught playing tennis 'in service time'. The incident occurred near where she was living in Yate, Gloucestershire and she actively rallied opposition to Barlow’s charges. Barlow had earlier had a run in with Lady Berkeley over some religious books found in her house.
She was also at odds with her brother-in-law, Maurice Berkeley, who might have inherited all had she not given birth to a posthumous son. At one point during the late 1530s, she served on a commission to look into disturbances in one of her parks. A dispute had long existed between the late lord and his brother Maurice about the manor of Mangotsfield, which Maurice asserted had been left or given to him by his father. Lord Berkeley always resisted this claim and kept possession of the manor, though Maurice was allowed to reside in the house. On his brother's death, however, Maurice thought proper to claim what he considered his rights, and endeavoured to take possession of the manor, in which he was assisted by Sir Nicholas Poyntz of Iron Acton, whose sister he had married. Many and great were the disputes that ensued; much rioting took place; deer-parks were driven and havocked, and three times the head of Mangotsfield Pool and Mill was broken down by Maurice and his companions. At length lady Berkeley obtained from the King a special commission to hear and determine these complaints, and was herself named upon it. She actually sat on the bench at Gloucester, and heard evidence before a jury, who found Maurice Berkeley, Nicholas Poyntz, and his brother Giles guilty of sundry riots and other misdemeanors, and fined them. (Poyntz was married to her late husband’s sister).
Early in Lady Berkeley’s widowhood, Edward Sutton wished to marry her. Cecily Wiloughby, Lady Dudley; Dorothy Grey, Lady Mountjoy, and Thomas Wriothesley all petitioned the King and Lord Cromwell on Sutton’s behalf but a widow could refuse to remarry and Anne did, writing that 'my stomach cannot lean there, neither as yet to any marriage'. She never did take a second husband.
She was a Catholic, and always remained so, and much attached to her religion, for which Queen Mary and the Clergy of that time much favoured her. Lady Berkeley is said to have served as a Justice of the Peace, but there is no hard evidence of this other than the memoir of a judge, writing in 1632 and recalling a story his mother told him about a "Lady Bartlet", who was a J.P. under Queen Mary.
She survived her husband many years, and resided at several places, but after her son came of age she settled at Callowdon, near Coventry, where she died in 1564, and was buried in St. Michael’s Church, Coventry.
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