Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Agnes Wodhull

Female 1542 - 1576  (34 years)


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  • Name Agnes Wodhull  [1
    Born 18 Jan 1542  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Female 
    Alternate birth 19 Jan 1542  [3
    Died 20 Mar 1576  Hockliffe, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5
    Person ID I13395  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TSW
    Last Modified 31 Aug 2020 

    Father Anthony Wodhull,   b. Abt 1517, of Warkworth, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1542  (Age ~ 25 years) 
    Mother Anne Smith,   d. Bef 16 Dec 1569 
    Family ID F8407  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Richard Chetwode,   d. Between 6 Jan 1560 and 12 Jan 1560 
    Married Bef Jan 1556  [2, 3
    Children 
    +1. Richard Chetwode,   b. Abt 1560, of Warkworth, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 21 May 1635  (Age ~ 75 years)
    Last Modified 23 Aug 2020 
    Family ID F8404  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Our entry for her husband Richard Chetwode quotes from Richardson's Royal Ancestry: "About 1556 Charles Tyrell, Gent., brought suit to have Richard and Agnes' marriage annulled, after which Cardinal Pole declared their marriage invalid. In 1559 the Court of Audience rescinded the annulment."

      Charles Hansen's "The Barons of Wodhull" (citation details below) gives considerably more detail about this drama. Richard Chetwood had been Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Edward VI, and like most of the young king's allies, fell out of favor when the Catholic queen Mary took the crown. Charles Tyrell appears to have been hoping to use this circumstance in order to marry the wealthy Agnes Woodhull himself. But the most interesting wrinkle to the story is that when Mary died and was succeeded by her Protestant sister Elizabeth, Richard Chetwode had, pending with the Pope in Rome, an appeal against his marriage's annulment. Richard and Agnes's connections in high places had evidently survived the five years of Mary's reign, because the new queen Elizabeth's first law, the April 1559 Act of Supremacy, which re-established the Church of England and prohibited legal appeals to the Pope, included a specific exception for "Richard Chetwood, Esq. and Agnes his wife, by the name of Agnes Woodhall", stating that if the Pope should rule to affirm their marriage, that would be considered valid in English law, notwithstanding all other provisions of the Act. As Hansen puts it, "Thus, as history would have it, the first baron of Wodhull was listed in Domesday Book, which validated the results of the Norman Conquest, while the heiress of the last baron was named in the act of Parliament which affirmed the success of the Protestant Reformation in England."

      Notwithstanding the Act of Supremacy's carve-out for Richard and Agnes, in fact the Pope never did rule, and the validity of their marriage was re-affirmed in 1559 and 1560 by the Court of Audience in Canterbury, an entirely English church court.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4198] The Visitation of the County of Buckingham Made in 1634 by John Philipot, William Ryley, Richard St. George, and John Borough, together with pedigrees from the visitation made in 1566 by William Harvey, ed. W. Harry Rylands. London, 1909.

    2. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    3. [S4168] Charles M. Hansen, "The Barons of Wodhull, With Observations on the Ancestry of George Elkington, Emigrant to New Jersey." The Genealogist 7:4, 1987.

    4. [S317] The Bulkeley Genealogy by Donald Lines Jacobus. New Haven, Connecticut: 1933., year only.

    5. [S4297] Randle Holme, "The True Pedegree & Descent of the Autient & Right Worshipfull Familie of Chetwood of Chetwood, Okeley, & Warleston, Hoclyue, & Warkeworth." Compiled in 1650; published in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, Vol. 1, Second Series, 1886, p. 69., year only.