I thought I would start a weekly or (perhaps) bi-weekly feature that would trace the ancestry of Anne Eure, the wife of Lancelot Mansfield, Esquire who lived roughly from 1530 to 1566. She is the paternal grandmother of three early New England immigrants: Elizabeth (Mansfield) Wilson; John Mansfield; and Anne (Mansfield) Keayne. I discussed the problem with the current state of medieval genealogy in an essay at Archives. Briefly, most modern scholarly books are set up to take an immigrant to his or her closest royal ancestor or closest Magna Carta signer. Peripheral branches are not done. Likewise, there are few places to find family genealogies written in a classic surname style for medievals families that do not have titles.
Anne Eure's identity was first brought to light in the article: “The Ancestry of the Royally-Descended Mansfields of the Massachusetts Bay” by Robert C. Anderson, John C. Brandon, and Paul C. Reed, New England Historical & Genealogical Register 155 (2001): 3-35. This works states definitively that there is a royal line behind Anne Eure (several depending on how you count them), but does not give the exact line. Those lines are given in works such Plantagenet Ancestry or Magna Carta Ancestry by Douglas Richardson. [The latest editions of these two works are due out this spring.] If you want just those direct lines, those works suffice. However, most people want a complete family tree.
1. Anne EURE, born say 1530 [based on her son's calculated age. He matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge University in 1568, so born say 1551], she died say 1566 and certainly before her husband remarried. She married Lancelot Mansfield, Esquire, whose parentage is unknown.
2. Sir Ralph EURE born 24 September 1508 at Mitton, York, died 6 March 1544/5 at the Battle of Ancrum Moor. He married before 1529:
3. Margery BOWES born say 1511, was living in 1567 when she was a legatee in the will of Elizabeth Hutton, widow. Sources: The same two Yorkshire Visitations sub Eure as well as sub Bowes, pp. 31-32. Also, the Visitation of the North (1912):124-27 and S.T. Bindoff, House of Commons 1509-1558 2 (1982):109-110 (biography of Sir Ralph Eure).
4. Sir William EURE, the 1st Lord Eure (created 24 Feb. 1543/4), born say 1483, died at Eresby, Lincolnshire on 15 March 1547/8. His will is printed at Test. Ebor. [Testamenta Eboracensia] part vi, pp. 185-87. His Inquisition Post Mortem (IPM) dated 18 May 1549. Sources: In addition to the Yorkshire Visitations, he is treated in the Complete Peerage 5 (1926):180-81.
5. Elizabeth WILLOUGHBY, born say 1483. She died prior to 1548 when she is not mentioned in her husband's will.
6. Sir Ralph BOWES, born say 1480, second son, died April 1516. He was a soldier at Flodden Field in 1513. He married about 1510. Sources: Visitations of Durham, 1575 (1820):2-3; Durham 1615 (1830):4; Yorkshire, cited above, and the Visitation of the North 1 (1912):82-83.
7. Elizabeth CLIFFORD, born say 1489, and young enough to remarry after her husband's death and have two more children by her second husband, William TONGE. Her maternity was questioned by Brad Verity in a posting at soc.genealogy.medieval dated 10 April 2006.
These first three generations appear in most standard works on royal ancestry.