Bridget CHAWORTH

Born: ABT 1542 / 1553, Wiverton, Nottinghamshire, England

Died: 18 Apr 1621

Father: John CHAWORTH (Sir Knight)

Mother: Mary PASTON

Married: William CARR of Sleaford (Sir) (b. 16 May 1542 – d. 1608) Wiverton, Nottinghamshire, England


Daughter of Sir John Chaworth of Wiverton Hall, Nottinghamshire, and Mary, daughter of Sir William Paston and Bridget Heydon. She was the granddaughter of George Chaworth (d. 1521), who inherited the manors of Wiverton and Edwalton, the latter manor having been held by the Chaworth family since early in the thirteenth century. The Chaworth family came from Sourches near Le Mans, Maine. Bridget Chaworth was descended from Hugh de Cadurcis, whose brother, Bourchard de Cadurcis, is said to have fought at the Battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror.

Her mother was the sister of Eleanor Paston, Countess of Rutland, and  by her grandmother she was a relative of Anne Boleyn. His cousin, Robert Barlow of Barlow, was the first husband of Elizabeth De Hardwicke, C. Shrewsbury. Bridget had an elder brother, George.

She entered the service of Elizabeth I as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber about 1578, and continued to serve the Queen for the remaining twenty-five years of her reign. About 1590 she married Sir William Carr of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, but remained in the Queen's service. In 1591 the Queen gave her a 'scarf of ash colour cypress with 2 edges of gold & silver', which Lady Bridget later bestowed on George Tenecre. She attended the Queen in her final illness; in a letter written on 15 Mar 1603, a week before the Queen's death, George Chaworth wrote to Lady Arabella Stuart that:

"I went to my cousin Carr. She was with the Queen, for she is sick, though courtiers say contrary."

After Queen Elizabeth's death, Lady Bridget continued to serve in the royal household as a gentlewoman to Queen Anne, wife of James I, for the remaining fourteen years of her own life.

She died 18 Apr 1621 at the age of seventy-nine, and was buried in the parish church at Ufford, Northamptonshire, where the inscription on her monument commemorates her service to Elizabeth I and Queen Anne, as well as her love for her sister, Catherine Chaworth, wife of George Quarles of Ufford:

"Dame Bridget, Lady Carr, widow, daughter of Sir John Chaworth of Wiverton, Nottingham, late wife to Sir William Carr of Old Sleaford in the county of Lincoln, who served the late Queen Elizabeth of most famous memory, being one of the gentlewomen of her Majesty’s Privy Chamber for the space of five and twenty years, and afterwards served the most renowned Queen Anne, wife to our most gracious sovereign, King James, for the space of 14 years, being the residue of her life, and died the 18th day of April being of the age of 79 years, the which said Lady Carr, out of her love to her dear sister Katherine, the wife of George Quarles of this town of Ufford, esquire, hath caused her body to be here interred 1612."

She had no issue. Sir William Carr was succeeded by his youngest brother, Edward Carr, 1st Baronet Carr.

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