Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2008-07 > 1216158269

From: Douglas Richardson <>
Subject: Mary Browne, widow of Lord John Grey, of Pirgo, Essex and her alleged 2nd marriage to Henry Capel
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 14:44:29 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Newsgroup ~

A new book, Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England, by
Michael Questier, published in 2006, states on page 93 that Mary
Browne, widow of Lord John Grey, of Pirgo (in Havering-atte-Bower) ,
Essex, married (2ndly) Sir Henry Capel, of Hadham, Hertfordshire. See
the following weblink for that information:

My research confirms that Mary Browne did in fact survive her husband,
Sir John Grey's death in 1564. I find she was living as late as 1573,
being then styled Mary Grey, widow, when she and her son, Henry Grey,
Esquire, conveyed the manor of Hoo Hall (in Rivenhall), Essex to John
Wood and James Morres [Reference: Ancient Deeds—Series B 3 (List &
Index Soc. 113) (1975): B.12716]. She is likewise styled "Lady Mary
Grey, late the wife of Sir John Grey" in another contemporary record
dated 12 Elizabeth [1569–1570] [Reference: PRO Document, DL 25/3359].

Elsewhere, Collins' Peerage of England, 2 (1756): 273, echoes Questier
in syaing that Henry Capel "married Mary, daughter of Anthony Browne,
Viscount Montagu; and after her decease, Catherine fourth daughter of
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland." Yet Clutterbuck's History of
Hertford 1:243-244 indicates that Henry Capel's wife, Catherine
Manners, died 9 March 1572. Collins attributes nine children to Henry
Capel's marriage to Catherine Manners. If Clutterbuck has his dates
correctly stated, it would simply not be possible chronologically for
Henry Capel to have married (1st) Mary Browne, widow of Lord John
Grey, of Pirgo, Essex.

Below is the weblink for Collins:,M1

While there may be a better explanation for the strange mix-up by
Questier, the most likely solution to this problem is found in
Collins' account of the Capel family in his work, Peerage of England,
2 (1756): 273. He indicates there that Arthur Capel, son of Sir Henry
Capel and Catherine Manners, married "Mary, daughter of John Grey,
Lord Grey of Pergo." Arthur Capel and his wife, Mary Grey,
reportedly had no less than nineteen children. If so, then it would
seem that Arthur Capel was married to a daughter of this same Sir John
Grey of Pirgo. Whatever the case, it is not possible for Arthur
Capel's father, Henry Capel, to have married this lady's mother,
unless of course it was after 1573.

Any comments would be appreciated. When replying, please cite your
sources and provide weblinks if you have them.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

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