About the People

Most of the people mentioned in Gib’s memoirs are easily found on the internet, but here are quick bios for those with whom he’s personally acquainted.  The list will get longer.  In order of appearance, starting from 1: I Begin a True Relation of My Life, they are:

Mary_Browne_WriothesleyThe Countess – Mary Browne (1552-1607).  Daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montague.  Married (1) Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton in early 1566; (2) Sir Thomas Heneage in 1594; (3) Sir William Hervey c. late 1598.

Strong-willed and impetuous; definitely not one to be pushed around.  Also loyal and loving to family and friends.  After the break-up of her first marriage (see Domestic Difficulties) she returned to her father’s house at Cowdray, near Midhurst in Sussex.  Two children, both from her first marriage, survived infancy: Mary and Henry (below). Henry seems to have inherited his mother’s temperament along with her looks.

Henry WriothesleyGib’s lord, the young Earl, or our Earl – Harry (Henry, Lord Wriothesley), later the 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624). Married (1598) Elizabeth Vernon; four of their six children survived childhood.  Scholar, soldier, patron of letters, courtier, and politician; supported exploration and colonisation (via the Virginia Company); also a member of the East India Company.

A close friend of, and strongly influenced by, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601).  Accompanied Essex on campaigns to the Azores and Ireland; a leader in the abortive uprising that cost Essex his head, and saw Southampton in the Tower until the accession of James VI (of Scotland) and I (of England) in 1603.  Not favoured by Queen Elizabeth, his career prospered at James’ court although there were tensions arising from his opposition to the exercise of the royal prerogative without parliament’s advice.

Gib’s young lady Moll – Lady Mary Wriothesley (c.1571-1607).  Married (1585) Thomas Arundell (later 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour); three children who survived to adulthood.  Her married life was not made easy by her husband’s absence while he attempted to make a career overseas, and her father-in-law’s hostility (deserved or not, who knows?) towards her.

The Earl, or the old Earl – Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton (1545-1581).  First husband of Mary Browne (the Countess) and father of Henry and Mary.  Staunchly Catholic, and frequently under suspicion.  In 1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I; this put her Catholic subjects in a difficult, some would say impossible, position regarding their allegiance.

The Earl sought advice on his duty from John Leslie, Bishop of Ross and the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots’ representative in London.  This ill-considered action led to his imprisonment in the Tower from late 1571 until early to mid 1573.  He was delighted when his son was born in October 1573, and for a few years things went well for him, both personally and professionally.  Then his health failed and his family life fell apart.

The second Earl's funeral effigy, from his tomb in St Peter's Church, Titchfield.
The second Earl’s effigy in St Peter’s Church, Titchfield.

Tommik – Thomas Dymock, one of the old Earl’s gentlemen.  I’m not sure that he belongs in this list, because although Gib was well-aware of his influence in the household, he never mentions seeing him.  That indicates Gib may not have known which of the gentlemen he was.  The Countess thought Thomas Dymock was the chief cause of the trouble between her and her husband, hated him accordingly, and said her husband had raised him “from nowt”.  He did extraordinarily well out of the old Earl’s will.  A faithful servant, grasping opportunist, or conspirator in the break-up of a marriage, who can say?  Anyway, Gib’s assassination attempt (in 11: I Visit the Stable) was unsuccessful.  Mr Dymock reappears as a key player in the escape of the Danvers brothers in 1594, when they were sought for the killing of Henry Long.

10 thoughts on “About the People

  1. roshendalal July 19, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Don’t you mean October 1573? In the sub-head The Earl, you have 1973.

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    • toutparmoi July 19, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much for that! I’m a real picky pedant, and I just hate typos slipping past me. I’ve corrected it, and am very grateful to you. Proof reading one’s own work is always hazardous, because we tend to read what we think we’ve written, not what’s actually there.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Claremary P. Sweeney July 22, 2015 / 7:46 am

    I agree. Another set of eyes is invaluable. Although I am an obsessive editor of my own work, I miss so many typos and inconsistencies. As long as they’re found out before the final galley, it’s a lesson well-learned. I am really taken with Gib and this page of background is quite helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toutparmoi August 18, 2015 / 11:58 am

      Thanks, Mitch, but I don’t think I can take the Challenge! I do feel like a Bad Neighbour, but I only have one blog, and I don’t think my other writing would fit. I’ve been toying with the idea of a second blog, but I’m so new to blogging that’s a way off. But thanks again. 🙂

      Like

  3. April Munday October 15, 2015 / 12:10 am

    I can see I’ve got some catching up to do. I don’t think it will take too many lunch breaks to read all of Gib’s writings so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. fiftywordsdaily January 3, 2016 / 6:26 am

    I bring news of a Sunshine Bloggers Award nomination. Methinks this may not be your cup of tea but behold my blog thingy for more information if thou is in any way interested. Feel free to ignore but methinks thou more certainly dost deserve it. (Not sure I’m very good at this malarkey). Anyway, all the very best, Nick

    Liked by 1 person

    • toutparmoi January 3, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      Thanks, Nick. Posting on a topic other than the cat memoirs wouldn’t fit with this blog, but I’m grateful you thought of me. And I’ll definitely check out the blogs of your other nominees. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

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