Lady Elizabeth Tilney Bourgchier Howard
Countess of Surrey, Lady-in-waiting to Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen's daughter, Elizabeth of York, joint godmother to Princess Margaret Tudor.
Daughter of Sir Frederick Tilney, of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, and Boston, Lincolnshire, and Elizabeth Cheney of Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire. Granddaughter of Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe, Lawrence Cheyne, Esq., High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Elizabeth Cokayne.
Wife of Sir Humphrey Bourgchier, son of sir John Bourgchier and Margery Berners. They were married by settlement dated 11 April 1451 and had one son and two daughters:
* Sir John Bourchier 1467-1533, 2nd Lord Berners
* Margaret c 1468-c 1551, wife of Sir Thomas Bryan & David Zoche
* Anne 1470-1530, wife of Sir Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, Baroness Dacre
Sir Humphrey was killed at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471, fighting on the Yorkist side.
Secondly, Elizabeth became the wife of Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, son of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by his first wife, Katherine, the daughter of William Moleyns. They were married 30 April 1472, as arranged by King Edward IV. Sir Thomas was the also son of Elizabeth's son's guardian after the death of his father. They had at least nine children including:
* Sir John Howard
* Sir Thomas 1473-1554, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
* Lord Edward 1476-1513, English Naval officer
* Lord Edmund c 1478-1539, father of Queen Katherine Howard
* Elizabeth c 1480-1538, wife of Sir Henry Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, mother of Anne Boleyn
* Muriel 1485-1511, wife of John Grey & Thomas Knyvet
* Katherine c 1497-1554, wife of Rhys ap Griffith and Henry Daubeney
Elizabeth was born at Ashwellthorpe Hall before 1445, an only child. Her father died before 1449, and her mother remarried to Sir John Say of Boxbbourne Speaker of the House of Commons, and had three sons and four more daughters. Elizabeth became a cousin to King Henry VIII's wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Elizabeth was also the co-heiress to the manors of Fisherwick and Sheffield in Walsall, Staffordshire by right of her ancestry to Sir Roger Hilary, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
During her marriage to Sir Humphrey, she became a lady in waiting, and carried the train of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation at Westminster Abbey in May of 1465, accompanied the Queen into sanctuary when the King was forced from the throne, and was present at the birth of future King Edward V.
When Sir Thomas was wounded at the Battle of Bosworth and imprisoned in the Tower, his dukedom of Norfolk was forfeited, but Elizabeth was able to keep her own rights. There are letters from Elizabeth to John Paston written from the Isle of Sheppey, with complaints of claims on her rights and trouble with an interring aides to King Henry VII. In December of 1485 she was living in London and closed to her still imprisoned husband.
Finally, in Nov 1487, her husband was released, his earldom and estates restored, and he entered the service of King Henry VII. Both Thomas and Elizabeth attended the coronation of Elizabeth of York, who requested Elizabeth as her Lady of the Chamber.
Elizabeth died 04 April 1497 and was buried in the nun's choir of the Convent of the Minoresses of Aldgate. Her will left instructions to distribute her money to the poor of Whitechapel and Hackney. Sir Thomas Howard would receive licence (dispensation dated 17 August 1497) to marry her cousin, Agnes Tilney, who had six or seven more children.
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