Born: 1521

Died: 4 Oct 1565

Buried: St. Pauls Cathedral, London, Midlessex, England

Father: Roger CHALONER

Mother: Margaret MIDDLETON

Married 1: Joan COTTON (d. 1557) (dau. of William Cotton of Oxenhoath) (w. of Sir Thomas Leigh)

Married 2: Ethelreda FRODSHAM (d. 1605) (dau. of Edward Frodsham of Elton and Margaret Bunburg) (m.2 Edward Brocket)


1. Thomas CHALONER (Sir) (b. 1561 - d. 1615) (m.1 Elizabeth Fleetwood - m.2 Judith Blount)

A diplomat, scholar and poet who served under four Tudor monarchs, was the son of Roger Chaloner, mercer of London, a descendant of the Denbighshire Chaloners. He was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge. In 1540 he went, as secretary to Sir Henry Knyvett, to the court of Carlos V, whom he accompanied in his expedition against Algiers in 1541, and was wrecked on the Barbary coast. He escaped from drowning off the coast of Algeria, 1541. He is primarily remembered as the first English translator of Desiderus Erasmus's ' Praise of Folly, 1549, as well as for his own original compositions of epic poetry in Latin.

Chaloner was wooing Joan (d. 1557), daughter of William Cotton of Oxenhoath, Kent, and widow of Sir Thomas Leigh, by 1546 and making arrangements to marry her. They were married by Oct 1550. His wife died in Jan 1557 and was buried in Shoreditch church, Middlesex.

In 1547 he joined in the expedition to Scotland, and was knighted, after the battle of Musselburgh, by the Protector Somerset, in England's defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie, 1547. In 1549, Chaloner was involved in investigating Somerset after his downfall, and a witness against Dr. EdmundBonner, Bishop of London; in 1551 against Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester; in the spring of the latter year he was sent as a commissioner to Scotland, and again in Mar 1552.

Chaloner was a friend of many who had known Jane Grey personally, including Walter Haddon, John Cheke, and William Cecil. It is not known whether or how well Chaloner himself actually knew Jane, though he probably met her on more than one occasion. Chaloner was involved in the investigations into Thomas Seymour’s conduct in 1549 and may have met her briefly in the course of those duties. He was not a party to the events of 1553, as he was away on ambassadorial duties in France during the summer of that year. In 1553 he went with Sir Nicholas Wotton and Sir William Pickering on an embassy to France, but was recalled by Queen Mary on her accession. In spite of his Protestant views, Chaloner was still employed by the government, going to Scotland in 1555-1556, and providing carriages for troops in the war with France, 1557-1558.

He contributed to the unsuccessful marriage negotiations between Elizabeth I and Prince Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empire, 1558. In 1558 he went as Elizabeth's ambassador to the Emperor Ferdinand at Cambrai, from Jul 1559 to Feb 1559/60 he was ambassador to King Felipe II at Brussels, and in 1561 he went in the same capacity to Spain. His letters are full of complaints of his treatment there, but it was not till 1564, when in failing health, that he was allowed to return home.

Chaloner married Audrey or Ethelreda, daughter of Edward Frodsham of Elton, Cheshire, in Sep 1565. Sir Thomas Chaloner the younger was his stepson, rather than his natural son, as generally believed, having been born between 19 Nov 1563 and 17 Nov 1564, a period when the elder Sir Thomas Chaloner was still in Spain. He refers to the 'sonne of the saide Audrie', never to his son. He made his stepson his heir and this explains the changes to his will immediately before his death.

He died at his house in Clerkenwell, on 4 Oct 1565, at age 44. After his death, Ethelreda married Edward Brocket, son of Sir John Brocket of Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire.

He acquired during his years of service three estates, Guisborough in Yorkshire, Steeple Claydon in Buckinghamshire, and St Bees in Cumberland. As well as being a statesman, Chaloner was also a poet and his works include:

  • Howe the Lorde Mowbray was banyshed the Realme (published 1559)

  • De Rep. Anglorum instauranda libri decem (published 1579)

  • In laudem Henrici octavi . . . carmen Panegericum (published 1560)

  • A translation “The Praise of Folly” (Moriæ Encomium) by Erasmus (1549)

  • Deploratio acerbæ necis heroidis prœstantissimæ D[ominæ] Janæ Grayæ, or Elegy on the untimely death of the most Protestant divine Lady Jane Grey (published 1579)

Sir Thomas junior, married Elizabeth Fleetwood, whose family knew the Cromwells. Their son, Reverend Edward Chaloner, married Anne Ingoldsby, whose mother was Oliver Cromwell's cousin. Sir Thomas the younger was a soldier, statesman, scholar and natural historian who travelled to Italy in 1580, where he consorted with that country's learned men. While there hevisited the pope's alum-works, and noticed the surrounding vegetation's similarity tothat of some parts of his own estate at Guisborough in Yorkshire. On his return homein about 1600 he discovered alum there and opened the first alum-mines in. These became immensely profitable, wherefore Charles I claimed them for the Crown. The Chaloners understandably did not feel endeared to royalty after this treatment, which goes a long way to explaining their friendly terms.

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