(1st V. Lisle)

Born: BET 1461 / 1475, Calais, France

Acceded: 25 Apr 1523

Died: 3 Mar 1541/2, Tower of London, London, England

Buried: Tower of London, London, Middlesex, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter. The Complete Peerage vol.VIII,pp.48-49.

Father: EDWARD IV PLANTAGENET (King of England)

Mother: Elizabeth WAYTE / Elizabeth LUCY

Married 1: Elizabeth GREY (6° B. Lisle) 12 Nov 1511



2. Elizabeth PLANTAGENET


Married 2: Honor GRENVILLE (V. Lisle) (b. 1493 - d. Apr 1566) (dau. of Sir Thomas Grenville and Isabella Gilbert) (w. of Sir John Bassett) (See her Biography)

K.G., King’s Spear, Esquire of the Body, Sheriff of Hampshire, Vice-Admiral of England, Trier of Petitions in Parliament, Governor of Calais, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Privy Councillor, the writer of the 'Lisle Letters' available in 6 volumes.

Illegitimate son of Edward IV, bornat Calais BET 1461 and 1475 (presumed to be 'my lord the bastard' mentioned in an Exchequer account dated 1477, first occurs as an adult in 1501), had spent his youth living at his father's court. There seems to be confusion in surviving records between King Edward IV's mistresses, Dame Elizabeth Lucy,  his 'wanton wench', and Elizabeth Wayte. Probably the two women were separate and distinct individuals. King Edward IV is alleged to have had issue by Elizabeth Lucy prior to his marriage to Queen Elizabeth Woodville in 1464. That issue was King Edward IV's bastard daughter, Elizabeth Lumley, who married in or before 1477. Elizabeth Wayte's son, Arthur, on the other hand, doesn't occur in records as an adult until 1501 and didn't marry until 1511. This suggests a rather wide gap in ages between the two bastards, Elizabeth Lumley and Arthur Plantagenet. His godfather was Thomas Fitzalan, 16º E. Arundel. In 'Lisle Letters', Arthur Plantagenet was styled "cousin" by Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury.

Arthur completely overshadowed by a host of legitimate male relatives and only achieved prominence under the Tudors. When Henry VIII made him an esquire of the body in 1509, he was already almost fifty years old. He became a friend of Sir William Kingston, with whom in 1510 he had a licence to export 2,000 kerseys from Southampton and London free of duty. A hale fellow, good friend and sporting companion to Henry VIII, brave soldier in the French campaign of 1513, became a man strongly fixed in the world with the aid of his powerful connections.

He married first, in 1511, Elizabeth, suo jure Baroness Lisle, the daughter of Edward Grey, Viscount Lisle  (d. 17 Jul 1492), by his wife, Elizabeth Talbot, daughter of John Talbot, Viscount Lisle.  Elizabeth Grey was the widow of Edmund Dudley, Henry VII's advisor, and the mother of John Dudley, afterwards Duke of Northumberland in the reign of Edward VI.

In 1514 he was captain of the Vice-Admiral's ship "Trinity Sovereign". He attended the King at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520.

Arthur's peerage was a new title, created for him on 25 Apr 1523 by his nephew, Henry VIII. Lisle's lands were valued at £800 per annum. In 1528 he purchased the manors of Segenworth, Chark, Lee, Sutton, West Stratton, etc., Hampshire from his cousin, John Wayte of Titchfield, Esq.

Lord Lisle was a member of the group supporting Catalina De Aragon at Calais. In Nov 1527 he was on a commission to carry the Garter to Francois I of France with Sir Nicholas Carew, Dr. Taylor, Sir Anthony Browne, and Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Garter King of Arms.

Arthur married secondly, in 1529, Honor Grenville, widow of Sir John Basset of Umberleigh (d. 31 Jan 1528/9), and dau. of Thomas Grenville, Knight, (d. 1514) by his 1st wife, Isabel (d. ABT 1502), daughter of Otes Gilbert, Knight. They had no issue.

Lisle was named as deputy of Calais after the death of John Bouchier, Lord Berners on 16 Mar 1533. Lisle was sworn into office on 10 Jun. [L.P., VI, p. 283, no. 619 (Cal., P.R.O.?].

Evidence taken from the correspondence of Lord Lisle and of his wife, demonstrates how independently of Cromwell, Anne Boleyn's patronage network operated. While Lord Lisle often relied upon Cromwell for aid, Lady Lisle looked to Anne and her household for favors.

Despite an early show of friendship, Anne sometimes favored suitors whose interests ran directly counter to the Viscount's. In 1535, John Husee, his lordship's agent, reported that the Queen and the Duke of Norfolk had won for Lord Edmund Howard, the impoverished brother of the Duke then serving as comptroller of Calais, the King's part of some forfeited goods, which were worth about 200 marks. Husee also claimed that had Lisie only informed him earlier about the goods, Cromwell would have been able to obtain them for his lordship. At another time the Lord Deputy referred to competition from the Queen's brother, Lord Rochford, for some forfeited woolens at Calais.

In 1538, the Frithelstoke Priory demesne was granted by Henry VIII, to Arthur Plantagenet. At its suppression in the year 1534, the annual revenues were valued at £127. 2. 4 1/4.

He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on suspicion of treason 19 May 1540, charges of plotting to betray Calais to the French. Lisle's complicity in the schemes of his chaplain, Gregory Botolph, could not be proven and in Mar 1542, he was told he would be set free. Unfortunately, the shock of this news was too much for him. That same night, when the verdict came in acquitting him, he had a heart attack and died there 3 Mar 1541/2. 

The Lisle Letters were originally assembled as evidence in the trial for treason of Arthur Plantagenet, Lord Lisle. They reveal each development in the story that culminated in Lord Lisle's confinement in the Tower of London. The correspondence of Arthur Plantagenet, Lord Lisle, and his second wife, Honor Grenville, circa 3,000 papers, mostly out-letters of a private nature, date from the time when Lisle was resident in Calais (then English), acting as Henry VIII's Lord Deputy there. Lord and Lady Lisle corresponded with a wide range of family, family retainers and servants, and political and social acquaintances at court and in the counties. Their main correspondent was John Husee, Lisle's agent and secretary, based in London, whose letters are full of valuable political detail.


J. Burke, General & Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages ... Extinct, Dormant, and in Abeyance (1831), pp. 433,513-514.

G.F. Beltz, Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1841), pg. clxxii. H.S.P. 2 (1870): 74-75

J.L. Vivian, Visitations of the County of Devon (1895), pp. 46-47,569.

D.N.B. 15 (1909): 1285-1287

C.L. Scofield, Life and Reign of Edward the Fourth 2 (1923): 56,161. C.P. 8 (1932): 63-68 (sub Lisle).

M.S. Byrne, The Lisle Letters 2 (1981): 63; 1 (1981): 481, 4{1981): 140.

C. Given-Wilson & A. Curteis, Royal Bastards of Medieval England (1984), pp. 158,161-174.

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