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:
The 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 Harry (below). Harry seems to have inherited his mother’s temperament along with her looks.
Gib’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 rising 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?).
The Earl, or the old Earl – Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton (1545-1581). First husband of Mary Browne (the Countess) and father of Harry and Mary. Staunchly Catholic, and frequently under suspicion.
In 1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, putting 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/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.
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.