Sir Thomas CHENEY, Knight
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

Born: ABT 1485, Shurland House, Eastchurch, Kent, England

Died: 15 Dec 1558, Minster, Kent, England

Buried: Trinity Church, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: William CHENEY (Esq.)

Mother: Agnes (Margaret) YOUNG

Married 1: Frideswide FROWICH ABT 1509, Shurland House, Eastchurch, Kent, England

Children:

1. Frances CHENEY

2. John CHENEY

3. Cecily (Catherine) CHENEY

Married 2: Anne BROUGHTON (d. 1561) (dau. of Sir John Broughton and Anne Sapcote, C. Bedford) 24 May 1539, Toddington, Bedfordshire, England

Children:

4. Anne CHENEY

5. Henry CHENEY (1° B. Cheney of Toddington)

Associated with: Ώ?

Children:

6. Frances CHENEY (b. ABT 1543)

7. Son CHENEY


Sir Thomas Cheney, (1482/87-1558), of the Blackfriars, London and Shurland, Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Born BET 1482/87, first son of William Cheney of Shurland (d. 8 May 1487) by his second wife, Agnes (Margaret) Young. Married first, by 1515, Frideswide (d. 1528/29), dau. and heiress of Sir Thomas Frowick of Finchley, Mdx., by whom he had one promising son, John, who was slain in France, and three daughters. Married second, disp. 24 May 1539, Anne, dau. of Sir John Broughton of Toddington, Beds.,  and Anne Sapcote, C. Bedford, by whom had one son and one daughter. Thomas had also one illegitimate daughter and one son. Kntd. by 10 Nov 1513, KG nom. 23 Apr; inst. 18 May 1539. Henchman, royal household temp. Henry VII; esquire of the body by 1509-15, knight 1515-26; constable, Queenborough castle, Kent 1512-d., Rochester castle 1525-d., Dover castle 1536-d. Saltwood castle 1540-d.; commr. subsidy, Kent 1512, 1514, 1515, 1523, 1524, tenths of spiritualities 1535, coastal defences 1539, loan 1542, benevolence 1544/45, array 1545, chantries 1546, goods of churches and fraternities 1550, relief, Kent, London, Canterbury, Household 1550, church goods, Kent 1553; sheriff, Kent 1515-16; j.p. 1526-d.; gent. privy chamber 1526-39, 1d. Warden of the Cinque Ports 17 May 1536-d.; ?high steward, lands of abpric. of Canterbury by 1536-16 Nov. 1540, treasurer, the Household 9 Mar 1539-d.; PC 1539-d.; 1d. Lt. Kent 1551-3; bailiff, Sandwich 16 Jun 1553-d., Dover 24 Oct 1557-d.; numerous minor offices.

Sir Thomas Cheney was an astute soldier, diplomat and royal servant whose urge to please those in authority so curbed the proud and overbearing manner of his youth that in his old age he was dismissed as ‘a timid man, much addicted to worldly possessions’. Cheney served all five Tudor monarchs, he possessed the ability to survive: while there were fluctuations in his career, Cheney managed to retain his position amid all the vicissitudes of the mid Tudor period.

Cheney's father was the eldest of nine sons. His property in Kent passed to his son and heir Francis, Thomas's elder half-brother, but was temporarily occupied by an uncle, John Cheney, Lord Cheney of Shurland. It was probably he who encouraged in his nephew that proficiency in the French tongue for which Thomas Cheney was later famed.

Francis Cheney married when he was only 15 and succeeded his father as governor off Queensborough Castle. He left his property to Sir Thomas when he died early in life (20 Jan 1512) without having children. Sir Thomas adapted successfully to the favor of four Sovereign: Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary I, and Queen Elzabeth I. Sir Thomas became on of King Henry VIII's henchmen soon after his ascension to the throne. He was knighted and made Governor of Queensborough Castle following the death of his brother Francis. Sir Thomas prominence in the Court of Henry VIII was most likely due in part to the king's interest in his uncle Sir John Cheney who enjoyed favor with Henry VIII's father Henry Tudor.

Sir John Cheney has a still more prominent place in the history of his country. He not only sat for the county but was also Speaker of the House of Commons.

A staunch Lancastrian, he was made a Knight-Banneret by Henry VII for his gallant conduct at the Battle of Bosworth Field and two years after had the further honour of being made Knight of the Garter and created Baron Cheney of Shurland.

After Lord Cheney had died childless in 1499 and his brother and heir Robert in 1503, Francis wrongfully took possession of their lands in Berkshire and Kent which should by an earlier settlement have passed to John, the son of a younger brother Roger. When Francis himself died childless in Jan 1512 Thomas succeeded to his father's estates but failed to obtain possession of the other lands, which in 1515 were finally awarded to his cousin John. He had by then married the daughter of a judge who brought with her a modest inheritance in Berkshire and Middlesex. Under him the star of the House of Cheney rose to its zenith and culminated in a visit of Royalty to Shurland House.

Sir Thomas inherited several properties from his father and from his uncle Sir John, including Shurland, Eastchurch Manor, Nutts Manor, Cheyne Court (Lvychurch) and Bifron Manor, all in Kent. In 1509 Henry VIII gave Sir Thomas the manor of Warden.

As a youth Thomas Cheney is said to have been among Henry VII’s henchmen; he was a squire of the body at the King’s funeral and as the step son of Isabella, daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn he would become a distant relative of Henry VIII. It is unlikely that Cheney was the man of this name who in 1511-12 became a bachelor of civil law at Cambridge, for he had been in the royal household since before the end of Henry VII's reign and he was in regular attendance at court in the years that followed. Succeeding his brother as constable of Queenborough castle in 1512, he was knighted in that or the following year: he is first mentioned as a knight on 10 Nov 1513 (not on 12 Jun 1511 as in the Dictionary of National Biography, where he is confused with a Lincolnshire namesake who died in Jan 1514) but for some time after that he is called knight or esquire indifferently. He served as a captain in the naval expedition to Brest under Sir Edward Howard and in 1514 was sent on the first of several diplomatic missions, one of goodwill to Pope Leo X. In 1515 he was Sheriff of Kent and an Esquire to the King. He was made Treasurer of the Royal household in 1520, an appointment which he retained for the Sovereigns who followed Henry VIII. He was in Italy again in 1519 and at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and the meeting with Carlos V in 1520.

Beginning his public life as a favourite of the then all-powerful Wolsey, he was, in 1520, admitted as one of the six gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, Cheney was by then a favoured royal servant, supported at court on one occasion by his cousin Sir William Sandys. In 1522 he was sent to France to join Sir William Fitzwilliam in an embassy to Francois I which had the expected result of a declaration of war between the two countries on the day after his return. In the course of that war he first served in the campaign in Brittany under the Duke of Suffolk and in 1525 was assistant to Fitzwilliam in the army of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Between Mar and May 1526 he was again on an embassy in France, this time with John Taylor and Thomas Wyatt, in an attempt to persuade Francois I to break the Treaty of Pavia which he had just concluded with Carlos V: when the mission succeeded Taylor gave Cheney high praise and described his popularity with the French court. By contrast, a quarrel early in 1528 between Cheney and Sir John Russell about the wardship of Russell's step-daughters (one of whom he later married), earned him the displeasure of both the King and Wolsey. In the King's view he was ‘proud and full of opprobrious words, and endeavoured to dishonour those who were most glad to serve him’, and he was forbidden to enter the royal presence until he had confessed his fault and made peace with Russell. Anne Boleyn, who was distantly related to Cheney, (an aunt of hers, Isabella, had married William Cheney, Sir Thomas father) interceded for him.

In 1532 Henry VIII showed that he had forgiven Cheney by making him a New Year's gift and by spending two days with Anne Boleyn at his new house at Shurland. BEF the royal visit and possibly in anticipation of the honour, Shurland House was expanded out of materials of which he had despoiled the noble old castle of Chilham, until it became a worthy place for the reception of and resting place for the greatest of the Tudor monarchs in one of his progresses. Then, apparently, a wing on either side spread out from the central gateway which, with its flanking towers and their new stairs, claims a somewhat earlier date. Then came the banqueting hall on the east of the main court, the dormitories on either side, one court after another, till the whole range spread over several acres, comprising no less than nine quadrangles, enclosed within high stone walls with a Chapel in the far south east corner, the whole forming a worthy mansion for a man who was styled Strenus Miles. It was a whim which her then infatuated adorer could not but gratify, and a loyal subject, the recipient of so many favours, could not but accept at whatever cost. A Royal progress, however, in those days involved an expenditure - which could hardly fail to draw deeply on the resources of even a wealthy noble and if Sir Thomas, if all the more proud, was all the poorer for the distinguished presence of Royalty, even for two days. It was doubtless a gorgeous spectacle which the Lord of Shurland Castle provided for the King in that truly baronial abode; but it was a shortlived glory that then floated over Shurland House.

Cromwell also held him in regard, and when Sir Henry Guildford died in May of the same year he nominated Cheney (in preference to a kinsman of Cheney's, Sir Edward Neville) to replace Guildford in the House of Commons, with what result is unknown. Cromwell also tried to heal the continuing enmity between Cheney and Russell and in 1535 he put pressure on a reluctant William Lelegrave to sell Cheney the house in the Blackfriars where Cheney had formerly lodged. Above all, it was said to have been at Cromwell's suggestion that in 1536 Cheney was made Warden of the Cinque Ports, in return for his surrender to the minister of the stewardship of Writtle, Essex, which he had held since the death of William Carey, the first husband of Mary Boleyn. Cheney's patent as warden was dated 17 May 1536, the day on which his predecessor, Anne Boleyn's brother George, Viscount Rochford, was executed: it is clear that his earlier patronage by Anne did not compromise him. If he had sat in the later sessions of the Parliament of 1529 he was presumably returned to its successor of Jun 1536, in compliance with the King's wish for the re-election of the previous Members, and was thus involved in the legislation which completed the destruction of the Boleyns. Once he was lord warden, Cheney became the most powerful man in Kent. His authority in the Cinque Ports was virtually unquestionable, notably in the matter of parliamentary elections, but its weight was also felt throughout the county. Cheney's religious conservatism was a source of contention. In 1537 there was a sharp exchange of letters between him and Cranmer, who wrote that ‘people in Kent dare not read God's word for fear of your threats at sizes and sessions’, and in 1540 his own son John accused him of treason, albeit unsuccessfully, before the Privy Council for having images in his chapel. Cheney seems to have been high steward of the Archbishop's lands from 1535 to 1540, at a fee of £40 a year, but relations between the two remained bad and in 1546 they were in dispute over a matter of wreck.

In 1537 Cheney received a New Year's gift from Cromwell and was present at the christening of Prince Edward. As early as Jan 1539 John Hussee thought that he would be the new treasurer of the Household, although the appointment was not made official until early Mar. Cheney was busy in Kent that spring, preparing defences against the threat of a French invasion, and he used the opportunity to procure his own and Gregory Cromwell's election as knights of the shire to the Parliament which opened on 28 Apr 1539. He must have missed its first week or more, for on 3 May he was writing to Cromwell from Shurland about two vessels which he had arrested in the Thames, but he had made his appearance by 12 May when he and others took two bills up to the Lords, those making fish stealing a felony, and ordering the precedence of peers; two days later he dealt similarly with two bills, for bowstaves and for the Marquess of Exeter's attainder, and on the last day of the first session with seven more, including those for the dissolution of the greater monasteries, for the abolition of gavelkind (this was one in which he had a personal interest, his name appearing in the preamble) and for the renewal of the Act concerning vagabonds. Nothing has come to light about his role in the second session of this Parliament, but during the third he led a delegation from the Commons which on 6 Jul 1540 joined the temporal Lords in asking the King to allow the legality of his marriage to Anne of Cleves to be determined by Convocation, a formal request preparatory to the issue on the same day of a commission for that purpose. Several months earlier Cheney had been entrusted with her reception at Dover, but he was now named to the commission which told her of the King's decision to part with her. On the dissolution of this Parliament Cheney was sent a letter about the collection of the subsidy which he had just helped to grant.

Following dissolution of the monastries, Sir Thomas aquires Tams Farm. In 1539, Minster Abbey with all its buildings, farms, windmill and appurtances were sold to Sir Thomas Cheney of Shurland for the sum of £198. The last Prioress of Minster Abbey was Dame Alice Crane who received £14 per annum as a pension. The palace of the Abbess stood where the present vicarage now stands. King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, under whose patronage Minster prospered and grew yet, with all his fame and high offices, desired to be laid to rest in the small chapel at Minster. Since Sir Thomas Cheney, along with Thomas Cromwell and several other knights was the gentleman who took all the inventories of the dissolved monasteries, the deal looks very suspicious.

Sir Thomas also acquired Faversham Abbey, Davington and Fordwich, the historical Castle and lands at Chilham, besides many other Kentish manors, holding withal the ancestral estate of Patricksboume Cheney. In that year, the tithe for the whole parish was £120 per year. The King Henry VIII intending to benefit the village and future vicars, required that Sir Thomas Cheney should pay £40 per annum to the vicar, this was then one third of the total.

Cheney is usually regarded as a religious conservative. He probably owed his appointment as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports to Cromwell, and apears to have enjoyed his favour until 1537; thereafter relations may have cooled, but not necessarly as a consequence of Cheney's religious position. In any case, Cheney's command of the royal archers who arrested Cromwell and made an inventory of his goods in 1540 hardly suggests a warm relationship between the two. Cheney's relations with another leading figure in the English Reformation were also ambiguous. In 1537 Cranmer entered into an acrimonious cosrespondence with an unnamed Kentish potentate, whom he accused of disrupting the progress of religious change in the county: the recipient of Cranmer's vitriol could have been Cheney, but there are other candidates. Cranmer's assurance to Cecil of his good will towards Cheney over a decade later strongly suggests a history of strife between the two. This presumed hostility may have stemmed from religious differences alone, but there were more mundane bones of contention between them. In Nov 1546 the council required Cheney to submit to their arbitration his dispute with Cranmer over their respective rights to the goods from a Spanish vessel wrecked the previous year. Cheney and Cranmer were also rivals for influence within the Cinque ports. Cheney's acrimonious dispute with Cardinal Pole in 1558 over a number of issues, induding fowling on the Archbishop's liberty, rather suggests that quarrels between the county's potentates need not always have had theological causes.

Cheney enjoyed a greater prominence at court during the short-lived conservative reaction of the early 1540s: he had been treasurer of the household since Mar 1530, and he is recorded as being present at over half of the council meetings between 1540 and 1543, as compared to less than a third during the remainder of his career. In Jul 1540 he led the delegation from the commons that requested the King to put the question of his marriage to Anne of Cleves to convocation. He also received a flurry of grants of former monastic properties in 1540 and 1541. Between 1540 and 1542 Cheney attended Council meetings frequently. He sat for Kent again in the Parliament of 1542, and as a Councillor and leading official he doubtless acted as a spokesman for the government and again carried bills to the Upper House, although this time the Lords Journal does not mention him. It may have been due to his influence at court at this time that his son John was pardoned in Jun 1541 for the murder of a gamekeeper during Lord Dacre's poaching expedition. John Cheney's unsubstantiated accusation in Nov 1541 that his father was a closet papist suggests that there were rumours abroad about Sir Thomas's religious predilections. So also do the unspecified, and equally unsuccessful, accusations made against him by Richard Cavendish, comptroller of king's works at Dover in Jan 1543, a minstrel in Jul 1545, and by his own lieutenant of Dover Castle, John Monynges, in Sep l552.

On 8 Jan 1543 Richard Cavendish, comptroller at Dover, was pardoned before the Privy Council for allegations that he had made against Cheney: they are unspecified but cannot have been damaging as Cheney was soon afterwards chosen to lead a small force to serve with the imperial army fighting the French. The choice did not please the Imperial Ambassador, and it was probably on his representation that Sir John Wallop was appointed instead. In the following year Cheney served under the Duke of Norfolk, who reported that he ‘showeth himself here right worthy to be much made of, for his great pains and diligent service’: his son John, who accompanied him, was killed in a foray at Montreuil. Cheney himself was back in England in 1545 suffering from ague, and on 1 Jul a minstrel was punished by the Privy Council for slandering him. He returned to the campaign in France later in the year but was in London in time for the last Parliament of the reign, where on 14 and 22 Dec he appeared in the Lords in connexion with the subsidies to be granted to the King. After the conclusion of a treaty between France and England on 7 Jun 1546 Cheney was sent on an embassy to France to stand proxy for Henry VIII at the christening of a daughter of the Dauphin. He served on the commission appointed to try the Earl of Surrey on charges of treason in Jan 1547 just before the death of Henry VIII, who left him £200 in his will and made him an assistant executor. According to Paget he had been included in the first, but not the second, list of those whom the King had intended to create barons.

With Edward VI on the throne Cheney was reappointed to all his offices and it was he who made the arrangements for the coronation. On 28 Aug 1547 the Council asked for his support to obtain the election of the Speaker-designate, Sir John Baker, as one of the knights for Kent in the Parliament summoned for Nov. On the following 28 Sep the Council wrote again to him to stop him from imposing its will on the shire, understanding that he and the sheriff, Sir Henry Crispe, ‘did abuse towards those of the shire their request into a commandment’. In the upshot Baker sat for Huntingdonshire and Cheney was re-elected for Kent. In Jun 1548 he signed the Council's order for the imprisonment of Gardiner and six months later he joined in the proceedings against Lord Seymour of Sudeley. During the second session of the Parliament he was appointed to the committee to hear the matter against Sir Nicholas Hare, the bill for purveyance was committed to him after its first reading, and on 27 Feb 1549 he took seven bills up to the Lords. In the following session he signed six Acts, including the general pardon and that for the fine and ransom of the Duke of Somerset, and on three occasions he was the bearer of bills to the Upper House. He was frequently present in Council until the fall of Somerset, which he and Sir Phillip Hoby were sent to justify to the Emperor. On 17 Mar 1550 he received a licence to eat flesh and milk foods in Lent and on 12 Apr he was given permission to retain ten men. Cheney seems to have played a less prominent part in national affairs than under Henry VIII, staying mainly in Kent and concerning himself with his duties there. He did, however, attend the Parliament summoned on the Duke of Northumberland's initiative in the spring of 1553, when he took his customary place for Kent. It was he who on 2 Mar nominated James Dyer as Speaker and who the following day informed the House of the time for his presentation to the King: he also resumed the task of taking bills up to the Lords, doing so on 28 and 30 Mar.

In the light of his religious sympathies it is surprising to find that Cheney gave at least grudging support to the attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne. The Imperial Ambassador reported on 15 Jun 1553 that Cheney and others had been summoned to court to discuss the succession and on 4 Jul that he and others ‘demurred and made many difficulties before consenting’ to the plan; he had sign the device of the King; all the same, Cheney was one of those who five days later wrote to Mary from the Tower declaring that Jane was rightful Queen. On 19 Jul he signed a letter from Jane's Council to Lord Rich but later that day, when Mary was proclaimed Queen, Cheney declared for her. On 6 Aug Mary made him a member of her Privy Council and three weeks later she sent him on a goodwill embassy to the Emperor. On his return Cheney took his place once again as a knight of the shire in Parliament, where on 5 Oct he nominated John Pollard as Speaker. He took the bill for tonnage and poundage up to the Lords and before the end of the first session he carried up three other bills. A bill for the planting of woods was committed to him on 20 Oct after its second reading; it was killed by the prorogation of the following day, but when given a first reading in the second session it was again committed to him. During this Parliament two of Cheney's servants received writs of privilege against attachment.

When in Jan 1554 Sir Thomas Wyatt raised Kent against the Queen, Cheney was rumoured to be sympathetic to the rebels. On 1 Feb he wrote to the Council protesting his loyalty but claiming that the people around him were so bent upon their ‘devilish enterprise’ that he could not trust ten of his own men: he complained that he had received no answer to earlier letters, but suspected that they had been intercepted by the rebels. On the following day he arranged with a neighbouring magnate to be at Rochester on the 4th, but on the 7th he was still at Shurland assuring the Council of his goodwill. He probably meant it but there is no proof that he did anything towards suppressing the rebellion: the claim in the Historie of Wyatts rebellion that he joined the Queen's supporters at Rochester on 5 Feb is hard to reconcile with his letter two days later, as is the further statement that he ‘went in post’ to the Queen for instructions. His dilatoriness had not pleased the Council but after the rebellion he was to benefit from the distribution of forfeited property. Sir Thomas Wyatt was beheaded on Apr 11th 1554 and his estates in Sheppey with those of William Cromer of Borstal Hall were given to Sir Thomas Cheney. Sir Thomas Cheney had a license to export 500 bales of wool from his Sheppey estates. In the following spring he was re-elected to Parliament, although on this occasion the Journal is silent as to his activity in the House. No such veil shrouds his part in the second Parliament of that year. On 12 Nov he attended the Queen and her consort Felipe of Spain to Westminster abbey for the mass which heralded its opening, and later in the day he helped the Speaker-elect, Clement Heigham, to the chair. On 12 Nov he and Sir William Petre took to the Lords the bill repealing the attainder of Cardinal Pole, returning with a message from the King and Queen that they would give it their assent next day. On 27 Nov he carried to the Lords another important bill, for the signing of letters patent, and two days later several lesser bills. During this Parliament an attempt was made to reduce the size of the Council and in the process to exclude Cheney, but he shared in the successful opposition to both efforts.

As a leading political figure Cheney was given a pension of 1,000 crowns by King Felipe. His remaining years saw little slackening in his activity, although he ceased to attend the Council with his former regularity. Advancing years or ill-health may explain his absence from the Parliament of 1555, his first for at least 16 years: the knights chosen, Sir John Baker and Sir Robert Southwell, were friends with whom he had sat on previous occasions. While this Parliament was in session Cheney attended the Council only once, but after its dissolution he was there regularly when those whose behaviour in and out of the Commons had given offence were being examined. Three years later he was elected for the last time. BEF this Parliament began Calais fell to the French and Cheney was ordered to raise a force to save Guisnes and to prepare Kent against the invasion which was expected to follow. Failing to save Guisnes he focussed his efforts on the defence of the shire and it is unlikely that he was able to attend the first session. He begged to resign the wardenship but was kept in office and in frequent correspondence with the Council throughout the spring and summer. A quarrel with his wife added to his vexations, but in Jul the pair were reconciled and the Queen commended him for taking Anne back. He was still preoccupied with defence when the second session opened, but on 11 Nov the Council asked him to come to court at his own convenience as his presence was ‘thought very requisite at the Parliament’. With this request Cheney may not have complied, for two weeks later, after Elizabeth's accession, the Council wrote to him about freedom of navigation in the Channel. He did, however, travel up soon afterwards to swear allegiance to the new Queen. The visit proved fatal for it exposed him to the epidemic then abroad in London and on 16 Dec 1558 he died at the Tower.

Through his second wife Anne Broughton, he was brother-in-law to John Russell, first Earl of Bedford. Anne gave him a second son, Henry, who was a great disappointment to his father and by no means worthy of his forebears. His attempt to obtain a satisfactory heir suggests that he may simply have been following the example set by his close associate Henry VIII. Sir Thomas Cheney also had an illegitimate daughter, Frances Cheney who appears to have been born when he was 57 years old.

 
Cheney had been a sick man on 6 Dec 1558 when he made his will. He provided for his second wife, his only surviving legitimate son, his three daughters married respectively to Nicholas Crispe, Sir John Perrot and Thomas Kempe, and an illegitimate son and daughter. After leaving bequests to the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke, his mother-in-law the dowager Countess of Bedford, and Baron Howard of Effingham, he remembered among others his ‘brother-in-law’ Henry Crispe, his cousin John Cheney, John Fowler, Sir George Howard, Thomas Keyes, William Oxenden and his servants Richard Daper and Henry Tennant. He joined with his wife as executors Robert Catlyn, Henry and Nicholas Crispe and Roger Manwood. The will was witnessed by, among others, Sir Thomas Cawarden, and it was proved on 25 Apr 1559. On New Year's Day Cheney had been buried, in compliance with his wishes, beside his first wife in the chapel of St. John at Minster in the Isle of Sheppey, but in 1581 his son destroyed this chapel and the body was re-interred in the church.

The death of Sir Thomas Cheney in 1559 caused great changes to Minster. In his will he expresses a wish for "a tomb to be made nygh to the pace where my late wyef Frydeswyth do lye in my chapel at Minster". His tomb is in the church where it was placed when the chapel was demolished. There lies the great man who, during his lifetime, acquired vast possessions and much wealth.

There is a memorial to Sir Thomas Cheney at the church in Davington (Kent), with his arms surrounded by the Garter, and with his motto, "Le meus que je puis".

It was this Sir Thomas Cheney whose costly monument lies in the Abbey Church.

It seemed not to matter who was on the throne, whether Henry or Edward, Mary or Elizabeth, he adapted himself to each and retained his offices in the Council and the Household under all.

Sources:

R. E. Brock, ‘The courtier in early Tudor soc.’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1964)

Elton, Tudor Revolution in Gov.

Elton, Tudor Constitution

Holinshed, Chron. iii. 1066-7; Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii)

D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies

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