Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Ankarette Hawkeston

Female - 1477


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  • Name Ankarette Hawkeston  [1, 2
    Gender Female 
    Died 15 Apr 1477  Mytton, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I17657  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2018 

    Family William Twynyho,   b. of Kayford, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F10844  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Also known as Angharad. Also known as Hankeston; Hawkston (Visitation of Gloucester 1623, for both surname variants).

      She was judicially murdered by George, Duke of Clarence, the bad-boy brother of Edward IV and Richard III, shortly before Edward IV's patience ran out and George wound up having his fatal encounter with a butt of Malmsey.

      From the Wikipedia article on Sir William Denys (1470-1533) of Dyrham, Gloucestershire, courtier to Henry VIII:

      "Ankaret (nee Hawkeston) had been a servant of Isabel Neville, Duchess of Clarence (died 1476), daughter and co-heiress of Richard Nevill Earl of Warwick (died 1471), whose death in childbirth had been blamed, by her husband George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence (executed 1478), on a poisoning by Ankaret. Clarence was determined to have Ankaret executed, against the wishes of the Queen, who believed her to be an elderly and harmless widow blamed unjustly. Clarence rapidly gave orders for her arrest, which was performed at Keyford, Somerset, the family home, on 12 April 1477 by Richard Hyde and Roger Strugge and 80 'riotous persons,' whence she was taken to Bath, thence to Cirencester thence to Warwick, where she was tried before JPs at the guildhall and found guilty by a jury. She was hanged at Mytton, Warks., on 15 April 1477, which action is considered by modern historians as a notorious judicial murder. Clarence himself was executed in the Tower of London the following year, 18 Feb. 1478, and two days later on 20 Feb. 1478 Ankaret's grandson Roger Twynyho obtained the king's annulment of Ankaret's conviction."

      From the Wikipedia article on George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence:

      "Though most historians now believe [his wife] Isabel's death was a result of either consumption or childbed fever, Clarence was convinced she had been poisoned by one of her ladies-in-waiting, Ankarette Twynyho, whom, as a consequence, he had judicially murdered in April of 1477, by summarily arresting her and bullying a jury at Warwick into convicting her of murder by poisoning. She was hanged immediately after trial with John Thursby, a fellow defendant. Clarence's mental state, never stable, deteriorated from that point and led to his involvement in yet another rebellion against his brother Edward [Edward IV, king of England]."

      [Clarence is the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI part 3, and Richard III, who is executed by being drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. In Shakespeare's version Clarence is more hapless than wicked, a victim of the evil machinations of Richard III.]

      From the Wikipedia article on Lady Isabel Neville, Duchess of Clarence:

      "Isabel Neville died on 22 December 1476, two and a half months after the birth of Richard [of York]. It is now thought the cause was either consumption or childbed fever, yet at the time her husband accused one of her ladies-in-waiting of having murdered her, and committed in his turn a notorious judicial murder of the lady, called Ankarette Twynyho. Ankarette's grandson Roger Twynyho received from Edward IV a full retrospective pardon for Ankarette, and the petition he submitted to the king in 1478 describes fully the circumstances of the case, well illustrating the quasi-kingly high-handedness of Clarence which was ultimately not tolerated by the king [...]"

      From Exemplification, at the request of Roger Twynyho of Westminster, kinsman and heir of Ankarette late the wife of William Twynyho of Cayforde, co. Somerset, esquire, viz. son of John their son, of the following: a petition of the said Roger in the present Parliament. From: Cal Patent Rolls, 1476-1485, London, 1901, membranes 9 & 10, 20 Feb 1478 [quoted in The Execution of Ankarette Twynyho by Canon J. E. Jackson, 1890, Catalogue of the Printed books, pamphlets etc. in the Library of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society's Museum at Devizes]:

      "That whereas the said Ankarette on Saturday, 12 April, 17 Edward IV [i.e.1477], was in her manor at Cayford [i.e. Keyford, Somerset] and Richard Hyde late of Warwick, gentleman, and Roger Strugge late of Bekehampton, co. Somerset, towker, with divers riotous persons to the number of fourscore by the command of George, duke of Clarence, came to Cayforde about two of the clock after noon and entered her house and carried her off the same day to Bath and from thence on the Sunday following to Circeter [i.e. Cirencester], co. Gloucester, and from thence to Warwick, whither they brought her on the Monday following about eight of the clock in the afternoon, which town of Warwick is distant from Cayforde seventy miles, and then and there took from her all her jewels, money and goods and also in the said duke's behalf, as though he had used king's power, commanded Thomas Delalynde, esquire, and Edith his wife, daughter of the said Ankarette, and their servants to avoid from the town of Warwick and lodge them at Strattforde upon Aven that night, six miles from thence, and the said duke kept Ankarette in prison unto the hour of nine before noon on the morrow, to wit, the Tuesday after the closing of Pasche [i.e. Easter], and then caused her to be brought to the Guildhall at Warwick before divers of the justices of the peace in the county then sitting in sessions and caused her to be indicted by the name of Ankarette Twynneowe, late of Warwick, widow, late servant of the duke and Isabel his wife, of having at Warwick on 10 October, 16 Edward IV., given to the said Isabel a venomous drink of ale mixed with poison, of which the latter sickened until the Sunday before Christmas, on which day she died, and the justices arraigned the said Ankarette and a jury appeared and found her guilty and it was considered that she should be led from the bar there to the gaol of Warwick and from thence should be drawn through the town to the gallows of Myton and hanged till she were dead, and the sheriff was commanded to do execution and so he did, which indictment, trial and judgment were done and given within three hours of the said Tuesday, and the jurors for fear gave the verdict contrary to their conscience, in proof whereof divers of them came to the said Ankarette in remorse and asked her forgiveness, in consideration of the imaginations of the said duke and his great might, the unlawful taking of the said Ankarette through three several shires, the inordinate hasty process and judgement, her lamentable death and her good disposition, the king should ordain that the record, process, verdict and judgement should be void and of no effect, but that as the premises were done by the command of the said duke the said justices and sheriff and the under-sheriff and their ministers should not be vexed. The answer of the king was: Soit fait come il est desire ['Let it be done as the petitioner requests']".

  • Sources 
    1. [S2282] E. Margaret Thompson, "Richard de Cobyndon, John de Twynyho." Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset 5:309, 1897.

    2. [S206] The Visitation of the County of Gloucester, Taken in the Year 1623, by Henry Chitty and John Phillipot as Deputies to William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, With Pedigrees from the Heralds' Visitations of 1569 and 1582-3, and Sundry Miscellaneous Pedigrees ed. John MacLean and W. C. Heane. London: Harleian Society, 1885.

    3. [S160] Wikipedia.