Lucy CECIL

(M. Winchester)

Born: 7 Mar 1567/8

Buried: Oct 1614, Cecil Vault, Westminster Abbey, Middlesex, England

Father: Thomas CECIL (1 E. Exeter)

Mother: Dorothy NEVILLE (C. Exeter)

Married: William PAULET (4 M. Winchester) 28 Feb 1586/7, St. Martins-In-The-Fields

Children:

1. William PAULET (E. Wiltshire)

2. Thomas PAULET (d. BEF 1621)

3. John PAULET (5 M. Winchester)

4. Henry PAULET (d. 1672)

5. Charles PAULET

6. Elizabeth PAULET (C. Essex)

7. Edward PAULET


One of the eight daughters of Thomas Cecil, later earl of Exeter, and Dorothy Neville. She was at court in 1586, left to marry William Paulet, son of William Paulet, 3th Marquis of Winchester and Agnes Howard, and returned after her marriage.

Lucy asked her uncle Sir Robert Cecil to stand godfather to her baby boy. The few letters from her are all written in terms of affection. Later  Cecil came to the aid of her husband and herself, when the husband's mother, the dowager Marchioness, was suspected of an intention, in the course of the settlement of her estate, to give away a portion of her lands from her son. The very plain though discreetly worded caution on the occasion originated ostensibly from Queen Elizabeth herself, but clearly her Secretary was a very willing instrument in conveying it. He writes:

"Wherein her Majesty willed me to use these words, that seeing nature and birth have given him a title and honour, it would exceedingly blemish her own time of government to suffer a house to be overthrown. By that word her Majesty says you can guess her meaning. Whereunto she also adds that she expects that none of your men be acquainted with this letter, because servants and underlings always make their harvest when great persons fall to making of conveyances. Therefore her Majesty in this case only desires to be secure that you will no way be carried to do anything disgraceful or injurious, either to yourself or those that shall succeed you, for whom her Majesty says there be very many reasons why she should take extraordinary care, not only in regard of her own honour, to whom it is a dishonour to have great subjects left bare, but in regard to the gracious favour she bears to that house whereof the mother of those young plants that are your heirs is descended : in memory whereof she is pleased to send you this token from herself, with this addition, that howsoever things are current here, that you have some purpose to give away some great portions of your lands from your son and his, that she has too good an opinion of you to believe it, neither will, till she shall hear it from yourself..."

Richard Tichborne was possibly the very good friend and neighbour mentioned by Lucy in a letter to her uncle Sir Robert Cecil about a quarrel at the assizes in Apr 1601. Serjeant John Hele was accused of an offence against Tichborne, whom the Marchioness asked Cecil to favour for his many good offices. Tichbornes political career lies outside the Elizabethan period. His election while still a minor for Lyme Regis was due to the 3rd Marquess of Winchester, to whose mistress Jane Lambert he was related.

In the poems of Sir John Beaumont (printed posthumously by his son in 1629) there are some lines on the death of "the truly noble and excellent Lady the Lady Marquesse of Winchester". The Marchioness whom Beaumont celebrates however was not tho one celebrated by Jonson, Davenant and Milton, Jane Savage, wife of John Paulet, 5th Marquess of Winchester. This explanation is necessary as the two ladies have been confounded in biographies of Milton.

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