Sir Percival HART of Lullingstone

Born: 1496, Eynsford, Kent, England

Died: 21 May 1580, Lullingstone, Kent, England

Father: John HART

Mother: Elizabeth PEACHE

Married: Frideswide BRAY BEF 1531, Lullingstone, Kent, England


1. Henry HART (b. BEF 29 May 1531) (m. Cecily Bowes)

2. George HART (b. ABT 1533) (m. Elizabeth Bowes)

3. Catherine HART (b. ABT 1536) (m. Thomas Willoughby)

4. Jane HART (b. ABT 1542) (m. Eustace Clavell)

5. Anne HART (b. ABT 1544) (m.1 Augustine Dyke - m.2 Edward Hall)

6. Francis HART (b. ABT 1545) (m. Johanna Sybell)

Percival Hart was born in about 1496 in Kent to John Hart of the Middle Temple and Elizabeth Peache, sister and heiress of Sir John Peche. They married in 1495. There are records for siblings of PercivalElizabeth, who married as his last wife Thomas Brooke, third Baron CobhamAnne, married to James Stanley of Crosshall, Marshall of Ireland; and Cicely Hart who was born before 1507. He was the only surviving son.

Hart family was originally of Westmill, in Hertfordshire, where Stephen Hart resided in the reign of Edward III. His son, Hanekin Hart, left a son William, who removed from Westmill, to Abbotsbury, and thence to Papworth, in Cambridgeshire; his son and heir, William Hart, returned into Hertfordshire. His descendant, William Hart, died in the 9th year of Henry VII. leaving by Alice his wife, widow of Robert Sutton, of London, one son, John Hart, who was of the Middle Temple, and married Elizabeth Peache.

Percival eventually inherited Lullingstone Castle, Lullingstone, Kent via his mother Elizabeth, who was the heiress of Sir John Peche in 1542. Percival's father Sir John Hart died in 1507 leaving Elizabeth with 4 young children. Elizabeth married again to George Brooke, younger son of John, second Lord Cobham (d. 1512). This is a strange relationship, as her brother-in-law was also her son-in-law as he married Percival's sister Elizabeth Hart. Another family connection was made when George Brooke, fourth B. Cobham, married Anne Bray, dau. of Edmund Bray, first Baron Bray ABT 1517.

Sir Percival Hart married Frideswide Bray, dau. of Edmund Bray, first Baron Bray, before 1531. They had 12 children shown on the plaque on their tomb. He was also close to Henry VIII who stood godfather at his sons christening.

Percival was appointed among the Knights and 'squires" to receive Anne of Cleves with John Gage, John Dudley, Brian Tuke, Giles Capell, Richard Rich, John Mordaunt, George Darcy, Arthur Darcy, Henry Capell, John Newton, John Markham, Richard Manners and others. The list includes the Duchess of Suffolk, and the ladies Cobham, Hart, Hault, Fynche, and Hales.

Percival was Knight Harbinger and Chief Sewer for King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary I, and Queen Elizabeth I. The Knight Harbinger was responsible for allocating accommodation to visitors, and everyone travelling with the king when on progress.

Sir Percicval paid for the restoration of part of the Church of St Botolph, Lullingstone, Kent, England as there is an inscription in the North window of the North Chancel or Chapel the words which show he Re-edified it in 1614.

Sir Percival and Frideswide entertained Queen Elizabeth at his manor of Bark Hart near Orpington. The house name was bestowed on it by the Queen. Elizabeth was entertained by Sir Percival and Frideswide on 22 Jul 1573. On arrival the Queen was greeted by a nymph, impersonating the genius of the house, The scenes changed and were contrived to repesent a ship (called a Bark) which then depicted a sea conflict. The Queen enjoyed the entertainment so much, that on leaving, she christened the house Bark-Hart celebrating both the owner and the entertainment.

Percival wrote a will in 1578. The will is and very detailed. The will shows his wife Frideswide was still alive. Percival died on 21 May 1580 as he was buried on 22 May 1580 at St Botolph's, Lullingstone, Kent, England.

His memorial in Lullingstone Church quarters the arms of Hart and Peche. There is a black marble effigy to him in Lullingstone Chapel more information can be found on Page 96 in Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey Wikisource.

Percival and Frideswide's tomb in Lullingstone Church reads as follows

"Percivall Hart, goode knight, lieth here; y heir to Peche was, Who did his daies in service of four worthi princes pass ; Of whom the first him knighthode gave, but all him favoured muche. And though the change of reignes and sway of state sometime were suche, As serched all sorts, his name in question never came nor went. His yowth in wars abrode, his age at home in peace, he spent. Chief sewer and knight harbinger in court his places were, And those two rowmes, in those four reignes, with credit great he bare. In Lord Braie's blode he matched, wherethrough twelve children he obtaind; Which, as their states and ages cravde, he orderlie uptraind. Himself, his house and houshold train, his diet, and his port, With what to worship else might tend, he usde in such goode sorte As to his praise just proofs procur'd, wheras he had to deal, A friend to all, a foe to none, fast to his common weal. Here fourscore years and four, with men, he lyvd on earth to die; And dead, with saints in heaven now lives, and shall eternallie. Obiit vicesimo primo die Maii 1580".


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