Jane CHENEY

(C. Southampton)

Born: ABT 1505 / 1509, Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 15 Sep 1574

Buried: Titchfield, Hampshire, England

Father: William CHENEY of Chesham Bois

Mother: Emma WALWYN

Married: Thomas WRIOTHESLEY (1 E. Southampton) BEF 1533

Children:

1. William WRIOTHESLEY

2. Anthony WRIOTHESLEY

3. Henry WRIOTHESLEY (2 E. Southampton)

4. Elizabeth WRIOTHESLEY

5. Anne WRIOTHESLEY

6. Mary WRIOTHESLEY

7. Catherine WRIOTHESLEY

8. Mabel WRIOTHESLEY


Daughter and heiress of William Cheney of Chesham Bois, by his wife Emma Walwyn. She was taught to read and write and owned a copy of the 1532 edition of Chaucer, in which she later wrote "this ys Jane Southampton boke".

Before 1533, possibly as early as 1527, she married Thomas Wriothesley, who was created Earl of Southampton in 1547. Thomas and Jane had three sons and five daughters.

Jane at court was Senior Attending Lady to Catherine Parr and Attendant to Queen Mary on State Occassions. Southampton fell from power and was dismissed from office on 6 Mar 1547. Despite his disgrace, Southampton was one of the greatest noblemen in Hampshire, with an annual landed income of at least 1466 13s. 4d. in the late 1540s. He died on 30 Jul 1550, when his heir was still a minor. His widow's dower was 466 13s. 4d.

The wardship of Henry, second earl of Southampton, was granted to William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke, on 14 Dec 1550. Southampton remained with his mother and was privately educated and brought up a Catholic. 

As a widow, Jane inherited several manors, most in Hampshire, including Titchfield and Micheldever, and Southampton House in Holborn. In Jan 1551, the Privy Council ordered the arrest of her children's schoolmaster, suspicious of certain messages he'd been sending abroad.

In 1556 a dinner was held by Jane at Titchfield, present was Christopher Ashton, John Bedell, Thomas White, Richard Rythe, all of whom were engaged in a plot to overthrow Queen Mary, as was her cousin Henry Peckham. Somehow Jane managed to survive being surrounded by treasonous suspects.

The loss of Jane's first two sons in infancy, perhaps combined with her recusancy, appears to have made her overly protective of the third. When nineteen-year-old Henry was summoned to court in 1564, she refused to let him leave home. The Privy Council had to issue a special order to remove him from his mother’s house. Henry himself seems to have wished to make his own decisions. In Feb 1566, when he wed Mary Browne, he did so without his mother’s consent. He did not, of course, need her consent. Jane appears to have forgiven him.

In her will she left specific gifts of jewelry to each of her daughters, her daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter. She left her prayer book, in which she had collected inscriptions and verses written by friends, to her daughter Catherine. Jane's son left instructions in his will for the erection of a family monument that would include his mother's effigy. Work on the tomb began in 1582.

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