GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2011-05 > 1306433628
From: "TJ Booth_aol" <>
Subject: Re: Alice Nevill
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 13:13:48 -0500
Thanks Brad for your comments as well as others in this thread. As you,
John Higgins, John Watson and others note, this exercise is demonstrating
the problems with Visitations. But it is also revealing about 16th century
practices, much of it related to the Neville family.
The indult certainly documents that Tunstall's mistress/wife was named
Alice Neville, so confirms that part of the pedigree. Making her a Conyers
widow seems a bit inconsistent with the indult, but as you point out they
were trying to hide things . .
I agree there is likely significance in the fact that the indult came
through York, although Archbishop George had earlier forfeited the
Archbishopric in 1472 when Edw IV regained the monarchy, and George was
perhaps imprisoned in France at the time.
One thing to ponder is the motivation associated with the indult. One
reason might be inheritance, since Cuthbert as well as all the other
illegitimate sons would be excluded. But at the time, Sir Richard (d.
1492? - verify Richard d.?) was the Tunstall heir so Thomas' children were
not expected to inherit the Tunstall lands, while Archbishop Neville's
properties had been forfeited to Edw IV in 1472.
Mr. Johnson's interpretation that the reason for the indult was the
couple had been 'acting as married' all along but just hadn't completed a
technicality of a church's blessing is interesting, but is inconsistent with
George Neville's 1563 statement that Cuthbert had been 'hidden' in the
kitchen of another Neville family. (Possible question to pursue - it was
George Neville's 1563 statement that Cuthbert was hidden - what family line
was George from?)
There is also the complication that if Alice were Sir John Conyer's
widow, she had several previous children of her own to raise who most likely
would be still living with her. Her son was only age 1 were Sir John Conyers
d. in 1469 so was not adult until 1489, and there was also a dau Margery.
Conyers' widow was d. by 1491 as she was not noted when Joan Fauconberge in
1491 (was there a Joan Fauconberge IPM to help here?).
Another question, was papal authority really needed for an indulgence at
the time? That is, didn't the York ministry possess authority? If it did,
then it might be needed because of a question of self interest (i.e. if it
was the archbishop's daughter mightn't a higher authority be required to
Do not recall if this was noted before, but Tong's 1530 visitation has an
entry for Cuthbert p.26
http://books.google.com/books?id=2KUwAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA26 as well as the
Tunstall pedigree p. 95 I recall being mentioned by John Higgins (which
identifies no wife for Sir Thomas). Significantly, Cuthbert was alive in
1530. The entry for Cuthbert and related footnotes are revealing, suggesting
the 'Conier's dau' story was of early origin and tied to the English
antiquary Leland [1503-1552 and thus a contemporary of Cuthbert] - given its
date, it likely deserves some sort of precedence over later statements.
Perhaps one of the heraldry scholars in this newsgroup can find significance
in the impalement, although I shudder to think if it instead adds yet
another family to the mix.
"CUTHBERT THUNSTALL, BYSSHOP OF DURESME. ARMS. Azure, a cross patonce or,
between four lions rampant argent. IMPALEMENT. Azure, three combs argent.
These be the armes of the Reuerend father in God CUTHBERT THUNSTALL,
BYSSHOP OF DURESME, President of the Counsaill from the Trente northwarde
 to our Souverain Lord Kyng Henri the viijth.
 The impalement of his personal coat has a difference of tincture, the
main line of Tunstal bearing the field sable. He used cocks as his
supporters or badges, as did others of his race. Leland says he was born at
Hackforth, in Richmondshire, and was "base sunne to Tunstal, as I hard, by
one of the Coniers' daughters." The badge of Conyers of Hornby was a dipped
trefoil, and it perhaps deserves attention that on the castle of Durham the
weather-moulding round his arms is decorated with single trefoil leaves on
stalks, but not on the running stalk common to Perpendicular work. He is
omitted in the pedigree of Tunstal, in this Visitation, which is another
strong support of the general truth of Leland's story. The coat given for
the see is that called the arms of St. Cuthbert, in distinction to those of
 In 1857, Mr. Davies of York very satisfactorily showed that the
establishment of this iron court preceded the Pilgrimage of Grace, which has
generally been considered to have been the reason of its foundation. His
paper was read before the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, and proved that
the court was connected with the residence at Sheriff Hutton of the King's
illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond. In the archives of the Corporation
of York the Bishop of Durham is named as chief of the King's Council in
these North parts on 12 July 1530, the year of Tonge's Visitation.
 Fo. 47, b.
However one cuts it, Alice Neville clearly possesses an Edw III ancestry.
If her parentage remains unclear, the larger question - at least for me - is
how one presents her in a family tree so that her descendants can recognize
that fact. In addition to 'no harm' or 'least harm' links I've suggested,
this may be a situation for two 'bridge' persons named 'Son of Sir Ralph
Neville' and 'Wife of Son of Sir Ralph' to be added to the pedigree to act
as surrogate parents of Alice. This sacrifices both of the attractive
Montagu and Fauconberge maternal ancestries, but permits recognition of the
Edward III ancestry. While outside genealogy's standards of proof, it does
reflect the apparent reality.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Verity" <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: Alice Nevill
On May 25, 10:59 am, "TJ Booth_aol" <> wrote:
> It would seem a bit early to drop Archbishop George as Alice's likely
> father. DNB's error was in not translating all of Bishop Robert's will
> failing to notice that Thomas Neville was called his nephew). Making niece
> Alice the wife of Tunstall is still a 'names the same' assignment. That
> since Bishop Robert can be excluded as Alice Tunstall's father, both
> and Dugdale (citing Surtees) now agree Alice's father was bishop and/or
> archbishop (and George was both).
We need to be careful here, as we're mixing up 19th-century editors
(Surtees and Clay) with 16th-17th century heralds (Flower & Dugdale).
>From what I understand, Dugdale in the mid-17th century, makes no
mention of Alice Neville's father in his original Visitation
pedigree. It was John W. Clay, who edited Dugdale's visitation
pedigrees in the late 19th-century, who suggests that Alice's father
was George Neville, Archbishop of York, and cites Robert Surtees as
Robert Surtees was another antiquarian, writing in the early 19th
century. It seems he is the earliest source that has come to light,
to assign Archbishop George as Alice's father. He needs to be checked
to see why he came to this conclusion. And his monumental multi-
volume work on the History of the County of Durham is not available on
Google Books, so someone is going to have to track it down at a major
research library and report back to a very grateful newsgroup
William Flower made two visitations in Yorkshire, in 1563/4, and in
1567. One version (from the Harleian Society) purporting to be his
Visitations, is actually just the 19th-century editor trying to make
heads & tails out of a copy of a copy of Flower's visitation notes,
and is useless. The Surtees Society volume (#133, published in 1921)
of Flower's visitations is the one that needs to be checked to see
exactly what the Tudor-era herald Flower had to say about Alice
> The biggest problem to the 'Sir William as father' view would seem to be
> indulgence, which as cited calls her "Alice Neowill, mulier" (question, is
> the google latin translation that mulier means 'the woman' correct?).
I believe 'mulier' was a term to indicate an older woman, not a
> Shouldn't she have been identified as 'Alice Conyers, widow' if she was
> indeed Sir John's widow - that was certainly the name of Conyer's widow at
> the time.
Probably, unless Thomas Tunstall and Alice were trying to hide the
fact that he was the blood uncle of her previous husband.
> Or at least for the Pope to have called her Conyers or a widow
> somewhere in the indult?
The Pope would simply go by what the petition in front of him said.
Remember the couple were asking for permission to keep their marriage
from being made public knowledge. They offered the excuse that it was
already public knowledge because they had been cohabiting for many
years and had three sons. If so, why should they care if banns were
publicly made? Were there folks in their community who could step
forward with impediments to it? Why, apparently by his own admission
(though we're getting it much later and secondhand) did Bishop
Cuthbert Tunstall say he was placed in the Holland kitchen household
until he was found out? Something's very strange about the whole
> Is there not some sort of misrepresentation if one
> requests an indulgence, but does not provide the correct name?
Yes, but again, someone who knew the truth would have to step forward
and challenge it. This is apparently what they were trying to prevent
by bypassing public banns.
> indulgence doesn't even say 'dau of William Neville' which would seem a
> better way to obscure her widowhood if that was intended.
As both Thomas Tunstall and Alice Neville were grown adults, no
further identification beyond the diocese where they were living was
necessary. It may be noteworthy that the diocese was York, especially
for the theory of Alice being the daughter of Archbishop George.
> The chronology is a bit awkward as well, since per Sir William Neville's
> his dau was b. abt 1437. This would make her age 43 when eldest legitimate
> son Thomas Tunstall was b. in 1580, and even older for sons Brian and
What is the earliest Tunstall pedigree that exists which enumerates
the children of Thomas Tunstall and Alice Neville? The 1530
Visitation of Yorkshire?
> (question - does someone have Sir William's 1460 IPM - if his dau
> was identified as Alice Conyers it would date her m. to betw Bishop
> 1457 will and the date of the IPM, otherwise the marriage is after the
> of the IPM).
CP probably has a transcription of it (in Latin) in the footnotes in
the Fauconberg articles.
> Another question is why the Fauconberge arms were not previously
> with the Tunstalls.
Very good point.
> Whether her father was Archbishop George or Sir William, in either case
> Alice still has Edw III ancestry,
> and her descendants ought not be denied
> that ancestry.
Unless Alice Neville Tunstall was a daughter of neither of those two
Neville men above.
> Which gets back to my willingness to use a 'No Harm' (or at
> least 'least harm') parent. Both Sir William's wife (Joan Fauconberge) and
> the Archbishop's mother (Alice Montagu) have impressive ancestries, but
> Joan's would seem the lesser since Alice Montagu is several times an Edw I
> descendant. Thus Sir William would seem the least harm choice.
What seems to be the case so far is this:
1) Thomas Tunstall received permission from the Pope in late 1475 to
privately contract a marriage with "Alice Neowill, mulier, of the
diocese of York", with whom he had cohabited "many years" and had
2) Bishop Robert Neville of Durham left a bequest in his 1457 for the
marriage portion of "Alice", sister of Thomas Neville, a scholar of
tender years, and his younger brother Ralph Neville. Alice is not
given a surname in the Bishop's will, so we can't be certain if she
was a full sister, half sister, married already with her marriage
portion still unpaid, or unmarried and building up her marriage
3) The young scholar Thomas Neville who was the brother of Alice in
the Bishop's will would not be the same Thomas Neville "militis" who
was named as an executor of it by the Bishop.
4) Thomas Tunstall could not have married a legitimate daughter of Sir
John Conyers of Hornby, as stated in the ODNB bio of Cuthbert
Tunstall, as such a daughter would be his blood niece, a daughter of
his half-sister Margery Darcy Conyers. He could marry a bastard
daughter, or daughter-in-law, of Sir John Conyers of Hornby, as there
would be no blood tie.
> Hopefully someone can find a Conyers record that might clarify just what
> happened to Sir John's widow.
Yes, that would be great, and a timeline of all the children of Sir
John Conyers and Alice Neville of Fauconberg, as well all the children
of Thomas Tunstall and Alice Neville.
I agree that chronology is the biggest issue in regards to Alice
Neville Conyers being the Alice Neville whom Thomas Tunstall asked to
marry privately in 1475. It would thus be helpful to try and
determine exactly how many children Tunstall is supposed to have had.
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|Re: Alice Nevill by "TJ Booth_aol" <>|