As Malcolm was noting in that earlier post, he has a distant ancestor from Brabant. Or perhaps not.
When Malcolm received a genealogy from a distant connection, it included a reference to “Sir James Granado, a knight-equerry at the court of King Henry VIII”.
Any cogent and comprehensive explication of this is a long way off. What Malcolm thinks he knows so far amounts to the following:
The familysearch.org website throws up a match, taken from a preserved church register: on 8th October 1539 “Jamys Granado” married “Mawdlen Kyldermans” at Saint Dionis Backchurch, London:
Near the south west corner of Lime-street, behind the houses in Fenchurch street, stands St. Dionis Back-church, dedicated to St. Dennis, or Dionysius, an Athenian Areopagite, or judge, and now the patron of France. It receives the epithet of Back-church from its situation behind a row of houses, to distinguish it from St. Gabriel’s church, which formerly stood in the middle of Fenchurchstreet … The old edifice was burnt down in 1666.
If “Kyldermans” is a phonetic for “Keldermans”, our “Mawdlen” could come from a very remarkable Brabant family of architects. What that doesn’t explain is what she and her new husband were doing in London. The move to London and the use of the vernacular “Jamys” — rather than the Latinised “Jacobus” expected of a “high” clerk — might have religious connotations at this historical moment.
Lord Grey writes a dispatch from Boulogne, 27th April 1546, recounting a skirmish with the French, which had led to a number being taken prisoner: among the names is Jacques Granado.
Next year, Granado is at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, 10th September 1547, at the tail-end of the “Rough Wooing”, in the heat of the action and, in the spotlight, taking at least one prisoner:
The Scots continued their bravery on the hill ; the which we not being so well able to bear, made out a band of Light Horsemen and a troop of Demi-lances to back them. Our men gat up on the hill, and thereby, of even ground with the enemy, rode straight towards them, with good speed and order ; whom, at the first, the Scots did boldly countenance and abide ; but, after, when they perceived that our men would needs come on, they began to prick [ride away], and would fain have begone ere they had told their errand. But our men hasted so speedily after, that, even straight, they were at their elbows, and did so stoutly then bestir them, that, what in the onset at the first, and after in the chase, which lasted a three mile, well-nigh to as far as the furthest of their camp on the south side, they had killed of the Scots, within a three hours, above the number of thirteen hundred, and taken the Master of Home, Lord Home’s son and heir, two priests and six gentlemen (whereof one, I remember, by Sir Jacques Granado) : and all, upon the highest, and well nighest towards them, of the hill ; within the full sight of their whole camp.
After the Battle, the Duke of Somerset, in his camp at Roxburgh on the 28th of September, knighted Sir James Granado, Brabander.
In Royal service
Thomas Rymer produced a collection of documents from the Royal Patent Rolls which includes a key reference. This is also foot-noted for the on-line version of Machyn, edited by J.G.Nichols:
An annuity of 50l. was granted March 10, 1549-50, to sir Jaques Granado and Magdalen his wife, and to the longer liver: see the patent printed in Rymer, xv. 210.
The National Archives contain two references to Granado, both post-1547: one that he is liable for taxation in London, another that he is liable for taxation as a member of the Royal household.
In the autumn of 1551 (the letter of introduction is dated 26 October), sir Jaques Granado knight, one of the esquyres of the stable, was sent by Edward VI to
to his good brother the French king and the dolphin of Fraunce and the constable of Fraunce with certen geldinges, as tokens and presentes from his Majesty to every of them.
Sir William Pickering, writing a dispatch from Paris on 18th November, reported the safe delivery of the horses:
mr. Granado withoute faile hathe done his part righte welle to them bothe upon the waye and in their delyverye lykeivise.
The King then sent an autographed reply to Edward VI through:
le s’ de Grenadde, escuyer de vostre escuyrie, present porteur…
Escript a Fontainebleau le iiij jour de Decembre 1551.
Granado then took a return (and seemingly more generous) present back to England. As was customary, Granado received a personal royal gift, as Pickering details, writing a further dispatch from Melun on 8th December:
Mr. Granado hath taken his leave, and hathe in reward three cheyns, one of the king, the queue, and dolphin, in valewe by estimacion viij. [gold] crownes. The Kinges majesty shalle have sent him from hence vj. cortalles, iij. Spanishe horses, one torke [Turk], a barbery, one cowerser, and ij. lyttel mewles.
On 3 January 1552 Granado features in a tourney organised as part of the Christmas celebrations. A mock contest was enacted:
… there came in two apparelled like Almains (the Earl of Ormonde and Jacques Granado) and two came in like friars (Mr Drury and Thomas Cobham); but the Almains would not suffer the friars to pass until they had fought. After this followed two masques, one of men, the other of women. Then there was a banquet of 120 dishes.
That, incidentally, would be “Black Tom” Butler, the tenth Earl of Ormonde, and — more to the point — one of Edward VI’s closest buddies.
The secret agent?
There is a side-light on all this in a document from the Imperial Archives in Vienna, edited in a collection of State Papers for the Institute of Historical Research by Royall Tylor (1916), and here hosted by the magnificent British History on-line. And here we enter a murky world of Big Politics.
The Emperor Charles V’s man in London, Simon Renard de Bermont (portrait, right), was negotiating the proposed marriage of Queen Mary of England to Charles’s son, Philip II of Spain. The notion was that, were a son-and-heir to be born of such a marriage, he would inherit:
in England and the Low Countries, and if no heir is born, the Infante Don Carlos, son of the Prince, is to marry the Queen’s sister [i.e. the Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I] under the same conditions.
On 13th November 1553, Renard sends a complex report back to Vienna, relating an interview with Mary. The point at issue was messages from Cardinal Pole, then fidgetting in Dillingen. With Parliament about to rise, Mary was urgently seeking advice on the English matter … the cause of the Church’s authority (i.e. the restoration of the Catholic Church in England).
However, the Emperor Charles’s brother, and soon to be successor, was Ferdinand, the King of the Romans. Ferdinand had put his second son, the Archduke Ferdinand (aged 24) into play as a potential match for Queen Mary (aged 37). So Alonso de Games, Ferdinand’s man, was also in London on a parallel mission.
In that letter of 13th November 1553, Renard reports:
I gather that the King of the Romans has some suspicion of your Majesty, because he says that Licenciate Games, the King’s ambassador with you, failed to obtain audience or a reply to the letters the King sent you, for which reason he sent Alonso over here to carry out the King’s orders. I take it from what I have heard him say and from his communications with the Grenades that the King has decided to press his (son’s) suit, and believes that he stands a better chance of being accepted than does your Majesty.
Royall Tylor foot-notes that reference to Grenades as:
This may be Sir Jacques Granado, who was Esquire of the Stable to Edward VI and took a present of geldings to Henry II of France, from whom he received presents … This circumstance would have been enough to make him suspect in Renard’s eyes.
Henry Machyn’s diary, in an entry for 4th May 1557, gives a gory description of Granado’s death:
The fourth day of May did ride before the King and Queen in Her Grace’s privy garden Sir James Granado. And so the bridle bit did break and so the horse ran against the wall and so he broke his neck, for his horse threw him against the wall, and his brains ran out.
Machyn also notes Granado’s funeral:
The sixth day of May was buried in St. Dunstan in the East Sir James Granado, knight, with two white branches and twelve staff torches and four great tapers and a two dozen of escutcheons.
John Strype’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster (from the early 1700s) lists the monuments of the City worthies in the church of St. Dunstan’s in the East, including that of Sir James Granado, Knt.
Widow and daughter
This does not complete the immediately-available story of Jacques Granado. We hear more of his widow in the introduction by Alexander Grosart to Robert Chester’s Love’s martyr, or, Rosalins complaint:
Sir Robert Chester married as his second wife, Magdalen, widow of Sir James Granado, Knt., on the same day and at the same place, that his son Edward Chester, married Sir James Granado’s only daughter and heiress. i.e., father and son married respectively mother and daughter. This took place at Royston on 27th November 1564. The wife of Edward Chester survived her husband and was again married, viz., to Alexander Dyer, Esq.
Apart from a bit of additional family history, Grosart provides a roundabout link between the Chester family and Shakespeare. Love’s martyr has been interpreted (in the main by Grosart) as an allegory on the love between Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex. As for the Chester connection, this shows that Granado and his widow moved in quite elevated circles. Robert Chester had bought the monastic benefits of Royston Priory from Henry VIII for the sum of £1751 and five shillings, was knighted in 1552, and went to be Sheriff of Hertford and Essex under Elizabeth:
Edward Chester his Son and Heir; who about 16 Octob. 6 Eliz. married Katharine the Daughter and Heir of Sir James Granado, Kt. by whom he had Issue Robert Chester, which Robert Anno 41 Eliz. was constituted Sheriff for this County, and married Ann the Daughter of Henry Capell, Esq. by the Lady Katharine Manners his Wife, Daughter of Thomas [Manners, who had Plantagenet ancestry through his mother, Anne St Leger] first Earl of Rutland: He was in Commission of the Peace for this County, and entertain’d King James I. at his House in his Royal Progress from Scotland to London: Who on the 23d of July 1603 knighted him at Whitehall.
The persistence of the name
Granado’s daughter, Katharine, carried the Granado name into the Chester line. Two sons went into the church: Dr Robert Chester, Rector of Stevenage, and Dr Granado Chester, Rector of Broadwater, Sussex, between 1624-1645. In early 18th-century London there is a Granado Chester (or perhaps a father and son: two separate wills in the name of “Granado Chester of Hertfordshire” are proved in 1726 and again in 1757), a grocer, occupying a warehouse at Crosby Place, Bishopgate Street. There’s quite a bit of hatching, matching and dispatching on the familysearch genealogy site involving various “Granado Chesters”; however, St Helen Bishopgate has a curious baptismal record:
5 August 1708 Anne the natural daughter of Granado Chester by Anne wife of …. she cohabiting with the said Chester incontinent as being sold by her said husband to Chester to common fame.
The reference to Crosby Place leads to another speculation: Granado Chester’s warehouse occupied the ground floor, while another tenant was the East India Company. We then find a later Granado Chester is an officer with the EastIndia Company, and a veterinary surgeon with the 1st Light Cavalry at Fort St George on the India list in 1827. There is a John Granado Chester, practising as a solicitor in London, SE11, until the mid-20th century. “Granado Chester” persists to the present-day in a business family of businessmen in East Anglia.
Similarly, Frances Chester, the grand-daughter of Edward Chester and Katharine Granado, married John Pigott at Barkway, Hertfordshire, on 3rd February 1630. One of their surviving sons, Sir Granado Pigott was a south Cambridgeshire squire (the village of Abington Pigotts takes the family name). staunch Tory MP in Queen Anne’s time, and passed the name down the Pigott line.
Jacques Granado was not a “notable” personality, but he does leave marks on the records of history.
What this does not show is his origins. He is “of Brabant”, with a surname that could be Spanish. His wife, “Mawdlen”, seems to have a Dutch surname. They are wed in the “aliens” church in London.
After the marriage of Maria of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria in 1477 Brabant was ruled by Hapsburgs, and remained so until the outbreak of the Eighty Years’ War (the Dutch War of Independence) after the Beeldenstorm in 1566. Quite how Granado gets from there to soldiering for the English at the Second Siege of Boulogne in 1546 is unclear: however, these are the times of the wars of religion; and already the persecuted Anabaptists are making their way to London. Equally, the continental wars are affecting English trade: Antwerp was losing importance to London, and exports developed from raw wool to finished cloth — the power of the London Merchant Adventurers Company was burgeoning. It may be significant that Katharine Granado and her mother marry into the Hertfordshire merchant-gentry. Granado himself is buried in some state, with a monument in his parish church, and accompanied to his grave by armorial-bearers.
We can see from the records that Granado is in London in 1539 and a decade later he is on the royal pay-roll. We also can see that he got around quite a bit: Boulogne, the Scottish war, the French court. His marriage is in Fenchurch Street, but he later moves his home parish to St Dunstans in the East, only a few hundred yards distant, but convenient to the Tower of London. We might observe that later, when Francis Walsingham was running Elizabeth’s secret service, he too lived convenient for the “office”, at Seething Lane. Simon Renard not only feels that any comment passed by Granado is of valuable, and Renard’s suspicions about Granado should, then, be very well placed.
What we can be assured is that Granado was one of those 16th-century novi homines (“new men”) who rose through the social ranks on his merits. In Granado’s case the merit is partly military, and partly because of some expertise, which may be or may include his horsemanship and expert equine-management. Did he also arrive in England as a mercenary, an adept in one of the new military applications? Whatever his origins, he evidences courtly mannerisms, and is to be trusted in diplomatic exchanges.
And not a bad root to find, fully fifteen generations down to the base of the family tree.