Thomas Daniel was a clever, charismatic rogue who lived throughout the reigns of Henry 6 and into the second reign of Edward 4. He demonstrated that he was a rogue with his manipulation of Henry 6 and his outrageous treatment of Henry Wodehouse, John Fastolf and many others. He was clearly clever as he was repeatedly entrusted with important tasks, despite his reputation for unreliability and dishonesty. He must have been charismatic as he was able to persuade the powerful men of his time (and even more readily their womenfolk) to help him with his schemes, even when it was against their own interests. His career perfectly reflected the times in which he lived - creating chaos in the reign of Henry 6, lying low during the first reign of Edward 4, and becoming a trusted servant of the crown in the second reign.

There exists a wealth of information about Thomas Daniel, despite his comparatively humble origin. We have collected this information and organised it into three sets of files original, derived and modern. From this collection of files we have extracted information into three files facts, probabilities and possibilities. In the notes provided below, we have clearly distinguished between facts, probabilities and possibilities. We have made sure that all statements that we claim as factual are confirmed by contemporary documents, that is to say documents created in the reigns of Henry 6 or Edward 4. Obviously these contemporary documents could contain inaccuracies or even lies (bias and spin are not modern inventions) but they are as near to being factual as is possible.

Throughout these notes, we have used the name Thomas Danyell, though in the original documents the surname was often spelt Danyel, Daniel, Daniell or even Danyers. As well as our Thomas Danyell, there were a number of different Thomas Danyells living in the reigns of Henry 6 and Edward 4, including Thomas Danyell of Walsoken, Thomas Danyell mason of the Tower, Thomas Danyell dyer of London, Thomas Danyell tailor of London, Thomas Danyell of Tabley Cheshire, and Thomas Danyell of Cherrytreehurst. Our Thomas Danyell appeared in contemporary documents under a number of different aliases, including Thomas Danyell of Frodsham, Thomas Danyell of Castle Rising, Thomas Danyell of Burton Pedwardine and Thomas Danyell lord of Rathwire. Fortunately, there are contemporary documents that show that the Thomas Danyells described by these aliases were one and the same person fact:1 - aliases.

Thomas Danyell in the period prior to 1451

No contemporary document gave the age or date of birth of Thomas Danyell. However our knowledge of other dates fact:2 - key dates allows us to say that he was probably born in the early 1420s which would make him about the same age as the king, Henry 6. We do not know when he joined the king's household (maybe as a child) but we do know that he was there from 1440 till 1451 in the roles of king's henchman, esquire, sergeant, usher of the chamber and remembrancer fact:3 - royal household. He benefited greatly from his position in the household of the malleable king, Henry 6. He was given contraband goods seised in the ports and elsewhere fact:4 - gifts of goods. He was granted the valuable guardianship of two minors, John Bruyn of Stapilford Cheshire and John Mellys fact:5 - gifts of guardianships. More significantly he was granted major properties in at least six counties, Frodsham in Cheshire in 1441 (John Troutbeck, the chancellor of Chester, seemed reluctant to execute this grant), Scotford in Lancashire in 1446, Troutbeck in Cumberland in 1446 (involving a complicated swap with Sybil Hawkeston), Rydon, Grymston, Wellhall and Congham in Norfolk in 1447, Castle Rising in Norfolk in 1448, Geddington in Northamptonshire in 1449 and Burton Pedwardine in Lincolnshire.fact:6 - gifts of property. Even more significantly, he was given roles of increasing responsibility, surveyor of the forests in Cheshire in 1444, chamberlain of Cheshire in succession to John Troutbeck in 1445, steward and master of game in the Warwickshire lordships owned by the heiress of Earl of Warwick, keeper of the manor and park of Cheylesmore in Warwickshire in 1446, remembrancer of the Exchequer in 1447, and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster beyond the Trent fact:7 - appointments. He was given a significant naval role as admiral and was involved in some way in Robert Wennington's significant naval victory against the French in 1449 fact:8 - naval role. There were a number of other roles given to people named Thomas Danyell in counties Suffolk, Norfolk, Buckingham, Northamptonshire and Oxford probability:1 - probable roles. It is probable that all of these were our Thomas Danyell, thus extending his probable influence to at least nine counties. In 1448, a Thomas Danyell, with others, was involved in managing the estate of the dowager Duchess of Norfolk probability:2 - duchess of Norfolk. Given his later relationships with this dowager Duchess and the Mowbray and Howard Dukes of Norfolk, it is probable that this was our Thomas Danyell.

Things became more complicated for Thomas Danyell from 1449 onwards and it looked for a while as if his career would be cut short. In 1448 the Pastons had referred to Thomas as a rival of the Duke of Suffolk in East Anglia fact:9 - Duke of Suffolk. In 1448 the Pastons suggested that Thomas Danyel was out of favour with the king fact:10 - out of favour, though they were obviously not sure of this, as they were sending him their regards and referring to him as their good lord. In 1449 a satirical verse was being circulated that was mainly concerned with the ineffectual and corrupt behaviour of the leading peers and bishops. However, this verse found room to complain of the bad influence on the king of various members of the royal household, including Thomas Danyell. It is interesting that the satirical verses (although critical of Thomas Danyell's influence on the king) referred to him as "fair and grene". Perhaps the term "fair" was a recognition of his charisma, even if his use of his charm was unpopular fact:11 - satirical verse. In 1450 Cade's rebellion threatened the government. Parliament blamed the royal government and household and in late 1450 demanded the indictment for treason of Thomas Danyell and other members of the household fact:12 - treason. He was indicted in October 1451 but pardoned fact:13 - pardoned a few weeks later.

Thomas Danyell in the period 1451 to 1461

We may know a lot about Thomas Danyell's activities in Norfolk, simply because of the Paston letters, and he may have been equally active elsewhere without leaving any records. However, in the early 1450s, Thomas Danyell does seem to have concentrated his attention on Norfolk. This focus on Norfolk might have been because there was a power-vacuum in East Anglia, caused by the death of the Duke of Suffolk and the weakness of the Duke of Norfolk. It might have been because of the increasingly close relationship being forged between Thomas and the Duke of Norfolk's family.

We noted, above, that Thomas Danyell may have been involved, from 1448, in managing the estates of the dowager Duchess of Norfolk. However by 1451, the Duke of Norfolk was disenchanted with Thomas. In December of 1451, the Pastons reported that the dowager Duchess of Norfolk was asking her son, the Duke of Norfolk, to take Thomas back into his favour fact:14 - favour of Duke. She must have been very successful indeed, because in 1452-4, documents written by William Worcestre state that Thomas Danyell was recently married at Framlingham and that his bride was a Howard cousin of the Duke fact:15 - marriage. This bride was almost certainly Margaret Howard daughter of Robert Howard and Margaret Mowbray probability:3 - the bride. Given the apparent influence of the women in the Duke of Norfolk's family, it is possible that Margaret Howard as well as her mother Margaret Mowbray were rare examples of aristocratic women who chose their husbands rather than having husbands chosen for them, but we will never know.

In the early 1450s, Thomas Danyell, with the help of his sister Elizabeth Tarbuck nee Danyell, executed his notorious fraud on Henry Wodehouse. Henry Wodehouse had apparently fallen in love with Elizabeth. Thomas Danyell agreed to the match and persuaded Henry Wodehouse to hand over the valuable Rydon manor in Norfolk to Thomas and his friend John Dowbiggin, so that Thomas could give it back to the happy couple when they were married. Once Thomas had control of Rydon, he told Henry Wodehouse that Elizabeth was now married to Richard Tarbuck fact:16 - fraud on Wodehouse, but refused to hand the manor back to Henry. The Archbishop of Canterbury was a witness in the case, as he had been involved (before becoming Archbishop) in the initial marriage arrangements fact:17 - Archbishop's involvement. The Earl of Oxford and John Bendyssh of Essex (a relation of the Pastons) became involved, because they stood surety for Thomas Danyell and were in danger of losing 100li each as a result fact:18 - bail breach. The Rydon estate was fought over during the early 1450s until eventually Lord Scales, on behalf of Henry Wodehouse, demolished the magnificent manor house at Rydon fact:19 - Rydon manor.

In parallel with his fraud on Henry Wodehouse, Thomas Danyell was also executing a fraud or act of banditry on Osbert Mountford, who was at the time serving with the English army in France. Thomas repeatedly tried to take over the manor of Braystone, belonging to Osbert Mountford. In this activity he was helped by a number of Norfolk citizens fact:20 - Braystone manor.

The early 1450s also saw less significant quarrels with John Fastolf. Firstly, Thomas or the crown owed Fastolf 100li for a voyage Thomas had made to Brittany. More seriously, Thomas claimed he was destined to be Fastolf's heir, a claim that Fastolf vehemently denied fact:21 - quarrels with Fastolf.

In the late 1450s, England was entering the active stage of the War of the Roses. In this period we only hear of Thomas Danyell thrice, when in 1454 he and others made a petition to parliament regarding the king's safety fact:22 - king's safety, when he was ordered in 1457 to join the Earl of Northumberland in Berwick, but preferred to tarry in London fact:23 - not in Berwick, and in 1458 when he was involved in a dispute with Thomas Howes fact:24 - Howes dispute.

Thomas Danyell in the period 1461 to 1471

Thomas Danyell, would, from self-interest, have been a Lancastrian during his early years. Surprisingly, he proved to be an ultra-loyalist to the Lancastrian cause during the early 1460s, when it was definitely not in his interest. With many others, he was attainted and lost his property in 1461, because he had been at the battle of Towton (he was not however amongst those attainted for murdering Richard Duke of York) fact:25 - at Towton. Many senior Lancastrians were soon pardoned, but not Thomas Danyell. In 1464 two leading Lancastrians, David ap Jeuan ap Eyneon and Reynold ap Gryffith ap Pletheu were attainted for sheltering Thomas Danyell in Hardlough Castle fact:26 - Harlech Castle (Harlech Castle in Merioneth had become a centre of Lancastrian resistance and held out against the Yorkists until 1468). In March 1464, Thomas Danyell was somewhere in Cheshire and was reported to have written three or four times to John Howard fact:27 - in Cheshire.

For eight years, after March 1464, there are no definite references to Thomas Danyell, except for the confiscations of his property fact:28 - confiscations. Amongst these confiscations was the transfer of Hereford Manor in Norfolk from Thomas Danyel to John Howard (John Howard was also looking after the property of another Lancastrian, the Earl of Oxford) fact:29 - transfer to Howard. We can find a possible (or even probable) appearance of Thomas Danyell in the household books of John Howard. Beginning in April 1464, there are repeated mentions of a Master Danyelle and occasional mentions of a Thomas Danyell in the household books of John Howard (note that the first mention of a Danyell in the household books occurs two years after the first entry in the books but only one month after Thomas Danyell was reported to be writing to John Howard). It is clear that this Danyell was a senior and trusted member of the household. He may be our Thomas Danyell possibility:1 - with Howard. However, this would have meant that John Howard was protecting a traitor whom the government had been anxious to catch a month earlier. On the other hand, Edward 4 was quite lenient towards some Lancastrians and John Howard was a well trusted Yorkist. Soon after the appearance, in 1464, of Master Danyell, in the household books, a number of other Danyells appeared. Some of these can be shown to be related to Thomas Danyell. One of them, Henry Danyell, headed the list of retainers in 1467 so might be the master Danyell mentioned above. Of course, Master Danyell might refer to different people at different times. We have no way of knowing.

We have no mention of Thomas Danyell's wife Margaret Howard after her marriage in 1452. In particular, she was never mentioned in the household books of her brother John Howard. We can only assume, with no certainty, that she died young. We can, with near certainty, say that Thomas Danyell and Margaret Howard had a son Edmund and that this son was, from 1464 onwards, treated as one of the family by John Howard and his second wife Margaret Chedworth probability:4 - Edmund Danyell.

Thomas Danyell in the period after 1471

Thomas Danyell probably reappears in 1472, again involved in the management of the estates of a dowager duchess of Norfolk probability:5 - dowager Duchess.

However the attainder of 1461 against Thomas Danyell was still in force so he needed to get it lifted. An attainder against Thomas Danyell son of William Danyell of Daresbury was lifted in 1472 fact:37 - another Thomas, but it seems that this was not our Thomas Danyell. The attainder was finally lifted as a result of an agreement between Thomas Danyell and the king's attorney William Husey. Thomas got his annulment and some estates in Ireland while William Husey got Burton Pedwardine in Lincolnshire and St Stephens Westminster got Gayton and Wellhall in Norfolk. Lord Hastings was engaged in the deal, but it is not clear how King Edward 4 was involved fact:38 - lifting attainder.

In 1475 or 1476 Thomas Danyel esquire became Sir Thomas Danyel fact:39 - knighthood. From 1475 until 1478 and possibly until 1481 Thomas Danyel (with the titles of Lord of Rathwire, constable of Wicklow Castle and constable of Dublin Castle and with various grants of land) was engaged (as a servant of the crown) with his son Edmund on an expedition to Ireland fact:40 - expedition to Ireland. In 1481, there was a hint, in an Irish Parliamentary document that Thomas Danyell may have been up to his old tricks. The Prior of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in Ireland seems to be complaining that he was being asked to pay fees that should be paid by Thomas Danyell fact:41 - fraud in Ireland.

By 1478, Thomas's health had presumably deteriated, as he then granted power of attorney to his son Edmund fact:42 - decline. He was dead by 1482 fact:43 - death. He was probably buried at Walpole in Norfolk probability:6 - burial. His son Edmund returned to the service of his uncle John Howard and was probably present at the battle of Bosworth fact:33 - nephew Danyell..

Friends, Enemies and Colleagues of Thomas Danyell

Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, had as his chamberlain, in about 1400, a John Danyell. In the early years of the reign of Henry 6, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick was largely responsible for the household of the young king. In the 1440s, Thomas Danyell was given responsibility for some of the estates of the Beauchamp heiress Anne. Hence, one could speculate that Thomas Danyell joined the royal household through the influence of the Earls of Warwick possibility:2 - Earls of Warwick.

In his time in the royal household, Thomas Danyell had a number of close colleagues with whom he shared various roles. These included John Troutbeck and Edmund Mountford. Other colleagues were John Trevilian, John Norreys, John Hampton, John Penycok, William Myners, William Myners, John Stanley, Thomas Est, John Slyfirst, William Jenkyns, Rauff Babthorp, Philipp Wentworth, William Tresham, Bartylmewe Halley, Pers Halley, Thomas Pulford, Thomas Staunton, John Staunton, Jenkyn Stanley, George Danyell, Nicholas Seintlo, Giles Thorndon, William Catesby, John Parke, John Martyn, John Hoghton, Richard George, James Davinport, Raulyn Say, Thomas Belgrave and William Husey fact:44 - colleagues.

Thomas Danyell had a curious relationship with the Troutbeck family. John Troutbeck, chancellor of Chester, seems to have opposed some of Thomas's schemes. Thomas obtained a grant of the manor of Troutbeck near Windermere. Thomas also got himself appointed as successor to John Troutbeck as chancellor in Chester. Was Thomas trying to annoy this John Troutbeck and get revenge on him? On the other hand, Thomas worked closely with another John Troutbeck in the royal household fact:45 - Troutbecks. How were the two John Troutbecks related? The younger John was most unlikely to be a son of the elder John probability:7 - Troutbecks.

Thomas Danyell had a very similar relationship with the Mountford family. Thomas carried on a battle with Osbert Mountford for a property in Norfolk. On the other hand, he worked closely with Edmund Mountford in the royal household fact:46 - Mountfords. How were the two Mountfords related?

From 1448 till 1477, Thomas Danyell was involved in some land transactions in London concerning the Bamme family of goldsmiths. Also involved were John Norreys and Edward Ellesmere fact:47 - London property. What was the purpose of this long-term transaction? This John Norreys may be the John Norreys of the royal household and/or the John Norreys who was the second husband of Margaret Chedworth (later wife of John Howard) probability:18 - John Norreys.

A Thomas Danyell was involved in managing the estate of the dowager Duchess of Norfolk with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Buckingham, the Bishop of Ely, the Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Chichester, the Earl of Shrewsbury, Robert Lord Willoughby, Sir Henry Inglose, Edmund Stapilton, Henry Bradfeld clerk, Edmund Mille, Edmund Fitz William, John Tymperley and Thomas Bataill probability:2 - the Duchess.

In 1450, parliament was calling for a number of people to be removed from the king's court and punished, namely Edmond Duke of Somerset, Alice Pole widow of William Pole the Duke of Suffolk, William Bothe the Bishop of Chester, Sir John Sutton the Baron of Dudley, Thomas Danyell late of London squire, John Trevilian late of London squire, Edward Grymston late of London squire, Thomas Kent the Clerk of the king's Council, John Say late of London squire, Reynold the Abbot of the Church of Saint in Peter in Gloucester, Thomas Pulford late of London squire, John Hampton squire, William Myners squire, John Blakeney squire, John Penycoke squire, John Gargrave squire, Stephen Slegge, Thomas Stacy, Thomas Hoo, Lord Hastings, Sir Edmond Hungerford, Sir Thomas Stanley, John of Stanley otherwise called Jenkyn of Stanley squire the Usher of the king's Chamber, Bartholomewe Halley, Rauf Babthorp squire, Sir Edmond Hampden, Master John Somerset, Master Gervays le Volore one of the king's Secretaries, John Newport otherwise called John Spycer squire late of the Isle of Wyght, and Sir Robert Wynfeld fact:48 - fellow traitors. A number of these were with Thomas Danyell in the royal household fact:44 - royal household.

In his conflict with Henry Wodehouse, Thomas Danyell had as collaborators John Dowbiggan, Thomas Denys, John Bendyssh and the Earl of Oxford fact:49 - collaborators, and as a probably innocent collaborator the future Archbishop of Canterbury fact:51 - innocent collaborator. He had as opponents Henry Wodehouse, John Wodehouse, FitzWilliam, Hoberd of Middleton, Henry Tudenham, William Narburgh, Thomas Trusbut, Thomas Kervile, Salesbury and William Owaynwere fact:50 - opponents. Lord Scales was initially friendly towards Thomas but eventually 'helped' Henry Wodehouse by destroying Rydon manor house.

In his conflict with Osbert Mountford, Thomas Danyell had as collaborators the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Scales, Richard Southwell, Roger Church, Robert Ledham, Charles Nowell, John Radcliff, Robert Dalling, Otywell Nowell, Henrey Bragge, Roger Bylaugh, Roger Wryte, Roger Baly, Nicholas Goldsmyth, Robert Taylor, Christofer Grenescheve, ? Dunmowe, Elis Dokworth, Christofer Baradle and Jon Cokkow fact:52 - collaborators, and as opponents Osbert Mountford, Heydon, Joham of Berney, his uncle Adam, his cousin Fyncheham, Edmund Piers, Philip Berney, Edmond Brome, John Wylton, John Coke, Kateryn Wylton, Thomas Baret, and Alredis son of Erll, and late in the day Lord Scales fact:53 opponents.

Thomas Danyell and his family had a close relationship with the family of the Earls of Oxford, which continued from the 1450s until well into the sixteenth century. It provided an interesting backdrop to the Jonathan-and-David like relationship that existed between John Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, and John Vere, the Earl of Oxford, ((half) first cousins once removed, but on opposite sides in the War of the Roses, yet protecting each other's property and family). fact:54 - Veres.

Thomas Danyell also had an interesting relationship with the Paston family, with the Paston's relation John Bendysh risking a large sum on Thomas's good faith, but with the Pastons never sure whether Thomas was friend or foe or neither fact:57 - Pastons.

John Dowbiggan was one of Thomas Danyell's closest associates. He collaborated in the fraud on Henry Wodehouse in the early 1450s and was with Thomas at Towton and in the few years after Towton fact:58 - Dowbiggan.

Thomas Danyell had some conflict with John Alington, speaker of Parliament, and with his family fact:59 - Alingtons.

After Towton, Thomas Danyell was indicted as a Lancastrian with a number of the people identified above, including in particular John Dowbiggan, Edmund Mountford, Edmund Hampden and John Penycok fact:60 - Lancastrians.

In the Household Books of John Howard some of the people identified above appear, in particular Richard Southwell, John Tymperley and John Bendysh.

On his expedition to Ireland the following were deputed to help him - John Suthworth, mayor of Chester, Thomas Gleg, Peter Danyel, Thomas Olyegh, Richard Lancastre, William Bold, William Bulcley, Sir William Stanley, Sir John Savage, Sir Thomas Mauley, Thomas Danyell, Roger Dutton, Peter Daucton, John Rutter, John Obryth, Gilbert Debenham, Thomas Stanley, James Stucle, Peter Leigh, John Stanley, Thomas Molneux, and the mayor of Hartylpole. fact:61 - Ireland.

Family of Thomas Danyell

There are a number of documents written in the Tudor and the early Stuart period that claim that Thomas Danyell was descended from the Danyells of Daresbury in Cheshire. There is very strong circumstantial evidence to support the claim, see fact:100 - Daresbury ancestry. Some of the sources give Thomas Danyell or William Danyell as Thomas's father. William Danyell of Daresbury c1369-1429 is a possible father or grandfather of Thomas possibility:7 - parentage. However, we do not have anything definite on the parentage of Thomas Danyell.

We have already established, as facts, that, in about 1451, Thomas Danyell married a Howard cousin of the Duke of Norfolk and that they had a son fact:15 - marriage. We can show with near certainty that his bride was Margaret Howard sister of John Howard future Duke of Norfolk, that their son was Edmund Danyell, that this Edmund married Grace Baynard and was ancestor of the Danyells of Melling and Acton probability:4 and 8 - family.

Margaret Howard was closely connected to the leading figures of the time. She was sister of John Howard future Duke of Norfolk, sister of Catherine wife of Edward Neville Lord Abergavenny, and first cousin of John Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, William Berkeley future Earl of Nottingham, Elizabeth wife of John Vere Earl of Oxford, Elizabeth Ferrers Baroness Groby, Thomas Stanley future Earl of Derby, and many others. Despite these close relations, Margaret Howard's parents were less wealthy than one would expect, and her brother John Howard was still an esquire. This probably explains why Margaret Howard was allowed to marry Thomas Danyell in 1452. Thomas Danyell might then have seemed as successful as John Howard or even more so.

Edmund and Grace Danyell had five sons (Edmund, John, Thomas, George and Edward) and three or four daughters. Thomas Danyell, third son of Edmund and Grace, worked for nearly forty years in the Treasury of England, under his cousins, the Dukes of Norfolk probability:9 - career in Treasury. This Thomas Danyell, unlike his grandfather and namesake, seems to have been a loyal and reliable character. He survived the reigns of Henry 8 and Edward 6 in a reasonably senior and exposed position, and he and his family (the Daniells of Acton) remained loyal to the Catholic faith (much to their financial detriment). It is possible that other sons or grandsons of Edmund and Grace also worked in Government departments possibility:8 - others in Government.

We know for certain that Thomas Danyell had a sister Elizabeth and that she married Richard Tarbuck of Lancashire. There are many documents that describe the family of Richard and Elizabeth. There were original documents that involve both the Tarbucks and the Danyells of Daresbury fact:69 - Tarbucks.

A Henry Danyell was a senior retainer of John Howard in 1464-5. In 1498, Edmund Danyell was supervisor of the will of Henry Danyell of Lynne and Appleton in Norfolk, and was described in the will as son and heir of Thomas Danyell. Edmund Danyell died at about the same time as Henry, so may not have fulfilled his role as supervisor. The will of Henry Danyell gave his children as Robert Danyell, James Danyell, Oliver Danyell, Henry Danyell, Johan Danyell, Alice Danyell and Elizabeth Danyell and his wife as Agnes sister of Henry Brawndie. It seems probable that Henry Danyell was related to our Thomas Danyell, perhaps a brother. From 1513 till 1533 a James Danyell was receiver for the Duke of Norfolk fact:70 - Danyells of Appleton.

In 1481, an Oliver Danyell lent a large sum of money to John Howard. The will of Oliver Danyell skinner of London mentions his godson Oliver Danyell son of Henry Danyell of Lynne. It also says that Oliver's parents were Piers and Margaret Danyell and implies that they came from Daresbury and Frodsham.

John Danyell of Felsted was for many years a very senior retainer of the Vere family, Earls of Oxford. In his will, in 1519, this John Danyell refers to John Danyell of Messing (son of Edmund and Grace Danyell) as his cousin and executor. He also refers to another cousin Kateryn Danyell. The will of John's widow Margery Danyell also refers to her well beloved cousin and executor John Danyell and also mentions Kateryn Danyell. In the will, Margery makes bequests to churches in Felsted in Essex, Pelham Furneaux in Hertfordshire, Brewood in Staffordshire, and Navenby in Lincolnshire. We know why she was interested in the first two of these, and we know of a religious connection between Felsted and Navenby, but Brewood remains a mystery. John and Margery Danyell had a daughter Mary who married John Newport. Their granddaughter Grace Newport married Henry Parker and was mother of Henry Parker Lord Morley fact:71 - Danyells of Felsted. The cousinly relationship between John Danyell of Messing and John Danyell of Felsted was probably through Edmund Danyell, the father of John Danyell of Messing, but it could have been through his mother Grace Baynard, as she too had Danyell connections fact:72 - Danyell of Yesleham.

John Danyell of Messing was the second son of Edmund and Grace Danyell. After the deaths of John and Margery Danyell of Felsted, John Danyell of Messing was involved in a lengthy legal conflict with John Newport and his various associates, presumably because of his role as executor of the two wills. He was also involved in a dispute with Henry, Earl of Essex, over property that he had inherited from his mother Grace. This John Danyell probably appears in a number of documents as receiver for the Countess of Oxford fact:73 and 74 - Danyells of Messing.

The will of John Danyell of Felsted mentions his two nephews William Knightley and Doctor [Matthew] Knightley. William Knightley's daughter Winifred married Sir Robert Coke and from this marriage descend the Coke's of Holkham, Earls of Leicester fact:75 - Knightley family.

The will of Henry Everard refers to his cousin Thomas Danyell and the Dictionary of National Biography identifies this Thomas with Thomas Danyell, third son of Edmund and Grace Danyell. We do not know whether the cousenly relationship between Thomas Danyell and Henry Everard was via Edmund Danyell or via Grace Danyell nee Baynard. We do know that Thomas and Henry were colleagues in the Treasury for many years fact:76 - Everard family.

It is interesting to note that the above has shown that Edmund Danyell, his two sons John Danyell and Thomas Danyell, their cousins John Danyell of Felsted and Henry Everard, and another possible cousin James Danyell all had financial roles, either in the Treasury or in the households of the Earl of Oxford or the Duke of Norfolk (the head of the Treasury).

The above has introduced near certain relations of Thomas Danyell of Castle Rising and his family. Now we introduce some people who might be related but might not. They each have something in common with Thomas and his family, eg location or role.

In 1446, a George Danyell was a sergeant in the royal household and he had various roles until 1471. He might have been a younger brother of Thomas Danyell fact:83 - George Danyell. A George Danyell appears in the household books of John Howard fact:84 - George Danyell. This may or may not be the same George Danyell. There were certainly other George Danyells contemporary with or later than this one (or two) - see above and below.

In the 1450s, there was a Ralph Danyell who had a role in the royal household fact:82 - Ralph Danyell. In 1471, a Thomas Danyell a yeoman in the royal household is referred to fact:85 - Thomas Danyell.

In 1483, a Thomas Danyell is referred to in the household books of John Howard fact:86 - Thomas Danyell. The household books also refer to other Danyells - Richard Danyell, William Danyell, Robert Danyell, Danyell of Barfolde, Danyell of Hadleigh, Danyell of Stoke, Danyell the mason fact:87 - Danyells, and Danyell a highly skilled archer fact:88 - the archer. The last two probably appear because of their roles as mason and archer. It is tempting to think the other Danyells are relations of our Thomas Danyell. However, Margaret Chedworth (second wife of John Howard) had a cousin, who was married to a Ralph Daniel (probably a member of the Walsoken family). Ralph's parents Thomas and Margaret Daniel were also related to Elizabeth Chedworth cousin of Margaret Chedworth. Hence some of the Danyells in the household books may be there because they were connections of Margaret Chedworth rather than of her husband John Howard probability:17 - the Chedworth connection.

In the 1470s a Peter Danyell was told to help Thomas Danyell on his expedition to Ireland fact:89 - Danyells. The visitation pedigrees also have a Peter Danyell of Daresbury as a possible brother of Thomas Danyell probability:12 - Stoke juxta Clare and probability:13 - Marlborough. They show this Peter as ancestor of the George and Hugh Danyell of Stoke juxta Clare fact:90 - Stoke juxta Clare and Geoffrey Danyell of Marlborough in Wiltshire fact:91 - Marlborough. Saul Frampton has suggested that the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets was Avis Danyell sister of the poet Samuel Danyell and that both were born in St Mary's Great Bedwyn near Marlborough. Hence we have one possible Danyell connection with Shakespeare. Coincidently, there is another more definite Danyell connection with Shakespeare. Thomas Danyell the grandson of our Thomas Danyell married Anne Lucy the aunt of Thomas Lucy, the well researched enemy of Shakespeare.

There are some interesting juxtapositioning of names in the records. Thomas Danyell esquire and Thomas Danyell dyer of London appear together in 1453 in one deed, John Earl of Oxford and Thomas Danyell dyer of London also appear together in another deed in 1453, William Danyell fishmonger of London, William Danyell knight, and John Danyell draper of London appear together in 1468 fact:92 - juxtapositions.

We suggested above that Thomas Danyell might have been interested in Troutbeck in Westmoreland because of his associations with the Troutbeck family, and interested in Frodsham because of his (unknown but possibly close) relationship with the Danyells of Daresbury. His interest in Burton Pedwardine fact:96, Clipston fact:97 and Geddington fact:98 might also have family motivations. There were certainly Danyells involved in Clipston and Geddington well before the time of Thomas Danyell.

A number of modern books and experts claim that Thomas Danyell and his wife Margaret Howard could not have had children. They base this claim on the fact that the Lordship of Rathwire was an hereditary grant, but was not passed on by Thomas to any son. This is clearly nonsense. Edmund is referred to in a number of places as Thomas's son without any hint of illegitimacy. Whether or not he was son of Margaret Howard is irrelevant to this argument, but he seems to have been treated as such by the Howard family. A number of older sources state that the Lordship of Rathwire was not a Barony of Parliament, but had some lesser status possibility:10 - lordship. However, despite its lesser status, it was hereditary. Yet, we know that Edward 4 re-granted it to its original owners shortly after Thomas Danyell's death. Perhaps, son Edmund Danyell was recompensed in some way; perhaps, he or his father had offended the king in some way; perhaps Edmund had an elder brother or half-brother; perhaps the king just made an arbitrary decision in favour of the previous owners - not uncommon. In any case, Edmund Danyell, if he held the lordship, would have lost it after the battle of Bosworth.

In studying our Thomas Danyell of Castle Rising, the Danyells of Walsoken are liable to create confusion. They certainly confused the authors of Blomesgrove's Norfolk. The Thomas Danyell gentleman of London and Norfolk was almost certainly a member of the Walsoken family (our Thomas Danyell was more often referred to as Thomas Danyell esquire) fact:99. An early member of the Walsoken family was a Lawrence Danyell. There was a second Lawrence Danyell, a younger son of the Danyell family of Tabley, who was a contemporary of the first Lawrence Danyell possibility:12. It is just possible that the Danyells of Daresbury, Tabley, Walsoken and Castle Rising were all related in some way.


If you can add any information about Thomas Danyell please contact:-

Graham Pratten
Newnham, Cambridge


My particular thanks go to Jane Jennings for introducing me to the this fascinating character, Thomas Danyell, and to Karen Sims for unravelling some of the complex links between the Danyell, Howard and Chedworth families. Thanks also go to John Dobson and Douglas Richardson for their help with the Tarbuck connection, to Nina Green shakespeare and Ian Rogers rogers for their very useful sites, to Anne Crawford for her invaluable edition of John Howard's household books and biography of John Howard, to the Richard III Society for the breadth of its fifteenth century research, and to the Cambridge University Library, the British Library and the Society of Genealogists for their great wealth of documents.