Elizabeth TRUSSELL

(C. Oxford)

Born: 1496

Died: BEF Jul 1527

Buried: Castle Hedingham church, Essex, England

Father: Edward TRUSSELL of Elmesthorpe

Mother: Margaret DONNE

Married: John De VERE (15 E. Oxford) BET 29 Apr 1507 / 4 Jul 1509


1. Frances De VERE (C. Surrey)

2. John De VERE (16 E. Oxford)

3. Aubrey De VERE

4. Robert De VERE

5. Geoffrey De VERE

6. Elizabeth De VERE (B. Darcy of Chiche)

7. Anne De VERE (B. Sheffield of Butterwick)

Elizabeth Trussell, born in 1496, was an English noblewoman, sister and heir of John Trussell (d. 1499), and daughter of Edward Trussell of Elmesthorpe, Leicestershire (b. ABT 1478 d. 16 Jun 1499), only son of Sir William Trussell (d. BEF 24 Jue 1480) of Elmesthorpe, Knight of the Body for King Edward IV. The Trussells were a 'very ancient Warwickshire family'; Elizabeth's ancestor, Sir Warin Trussell, was of Billesley, Warwickshire. Elizabeth Trussell's mother was Margaret Donne, the daughter of Sir John Donne of Kidwelly (b. 1450 d. 1503), Carmarthenshire, and Elizabeth Hastings (c.1450 1508), daughter of Sir Leonard Hastings and Alice Camoys, and sister of William Hastings, 1st Baron HastingsSir John Donne's mother, Joan Sccudamore, was the granddaughter of the Welsh rebel, Owain Glyndŵr.

As a young child Elizabeth became the heir of her brother John, and because several of the manors she owned were held directly of the king, she became a ward of Henry VII. Elizabeth, born in 1496, was just three years old at the time.

George Grey, second earl of Kent, purchased the wardship and marriage of Elizabeth for the large sum of 3,000, intending to marry her to a son, Henry, by his second wife Catherine Herbert, who was not destined to inherit the earldom. When George died in Dec 1503, he still owed 1,800 of this sum. The new Earl of Kent, Richard, the 2nd Earl's eldest son and heir by his first marriage to Anne Woodville, inherited the substantial debt but not the lucrative wardship, seised Elizabeth by force from the custody of his stepmother and carried her off. On 29 May 1505 Richard surrendered the wardship of Elizabeth Trussell, still only nine. For this crime, the Earl of Kent was fined 1,666 by Henry VII. Thus Richard stood in debt to the crown for the huge sum of 3,466 in regard to Elizabeth alone.

Thus, the bidding process for Elizabeths lands and hand in marriage began again. John De Vere, thirteenth earl of Oxford, was looking for an heiress for his cousin, also named John.

In 1507, the Earl came to an arrangement with the King for the wardship of Elizabeth Trussell, with the specific intention that she should marry the Earls cousin, who was also by this date an esquire of the body to the King. Oxford agreed to pay a yearly rent of 387, less 20 for the maintenance of Elizabeth, at least the annual value of the estates, and to pay the King 666 on 1 Jun 1510, if Elizabeth was still alive. Elizabeth would be 14 in this year the earliest age she could legally inherit her estates if married. The payment was secured by obligations made by Oxford and four of his leading retainers, and was recorded both in the earliest of Henry VIIIs Chamber Books and in the notebook of Edmund Dudley, notorious agent and minister of the King.

She married John De Vere, a man about fourteen years older than her, and by him was mother of the John, 16th Earl, and younger sons: Aubrey, grandfather of the 19th Earl; Robert; Geoffrey, father of the famous generals Sir Francis De Vere, Governor of Brill (died s.p.s. 1609), and Horatio, Lord Vere of Tilbury (died s.p.m. 1635); and dau.s, Elizabeth, married Thomas Darcy, 1st Lord Darcy, of Chiche; Frances, married Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; and Anne, married Edmund Sheffield, 1st Lord Sheffield.

When the John, fourteenth earl of Oxford died childless, and Sir John de Vere became the fifteenth earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth Trussell his countess, providing her with wealth and status. However, she did not enjoy her new-found prosperity long. She died, probably before Jul 1527, aged only 31. Her husband did not remarry in the remaining thirteen years of his life perhaps itself a sign that their marriage had been a happy one and the elegant tomb of Elizabeth and John is still extant in Castle Hedingham church, Essex.


Ross, James: https://www.tudorchamberbooks.org/the-trussell-wardship/

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