Sunday, November 8, 2015

{47} Edward III Descent for Katherine (née Watts), Countess of Dunmore (1666-1711)

One of the ancestors of Susan Inge, the first wife of George Moore of Appleby Hall, was Katherine Watts, the wife of Charles Murray, 1st Earl of Dunmore. Her descent from Edward III does not appear in any of the peerage works.
Katherine (née Watts), Countess of Dunmore

The Watts family can be traced back to the mid-16th century and one Thomas Watts of Buntingford, a small market town in Hertfordshire. His son John Watts, born about 1550, was apprenticed to the leading London clothworker James Hawes, and married his master's daughter Margaret in about 1574, the year that Hawes served as Lord Mayor of London. His marriage brought Watts directly into the ranks of the merchant aristocracy of the City. As his bio in ODNB states, privateering became Watts's main business interest throughout the 1580s and 1590s, and the renown that he earned in it led the Spanish Ambassador to describe him in 1607 as, "the greatest Pirate that has ever been in this Kingdom." Watts, along with other Aldermen of London, was knighted by James I in 1603, and served a term as Lord Mayor of London in 1606-07, in which capacity he entertained the king lavishly in June 1607. He bought the manor of Mardocks in the parish of Ware, in his home county of Hertfordshire, and made it his country seat. He survived his wife Margaret, and at his death in September 1616, he left a large family of six sons and four daughters.

The most thorough account of the family of Sir John Watts remains that of genealogist George Edward Cokayne, Clarenceux King of Arms 1894-1911, best remembered today as the author of the original edition of Complete Peerage. Cokayne covered Sir John Watts in his 1891 article 'Lord Mayors and Sheriffs, temp. James I' for The London and Middlesex Notebook. In it, he states on p. 103 that Sir John Watts's third son was "Richard Watts, who inherited lands at Munden, Herts. He m. Agnes, da. of Richard Mackworth, of Betton, Salop, by Dorothy, da. of Laurence Cranage, of Cotton, co. Chester. He was bur. 15 May, 1635, at St Barth. the less."
Watts of Garnons Coat of Arms
(Argent, 2 bars, azure, in chief 3 pellets,
differenced with a star)

The "lands at Munden" was actually the manor of Garnons, or Henry-At-Danes, in the parish of Great Munden. Per VCH Hertford Vol. 3 (1912), Sir John Watts had purchased the manor from William Hamond "in about 1600 or later." Though the manor was held by Sir John at his death in 1616, the family clearly gave it, as a country seat, to the third son Richard Watts, a London merchant like his father and eldest brother, Sir John Watts II, who had inherited the chief seat of Mardocks in Ware.

Agnes Mackworth, the wife of Richard Watts of Garnons in Great Munden (d. 1635), appears in most of the genealogy works specializing in royal descents of New World immigrants, including Plantagenet Ancestry, in all of its editions. This is because her second husband, William Crowne (d. 1683), a herald (Rouge Dragon) at the College of Arms, and officer for the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil War, immigrated to Massachusetts in 1657. Though he returned to England after the Restoration in 1660, he only stayed a couple years, going back to Massachusetts in 1662 and remaining in New England until his death in Boston in 1682/3 (will dated 24 December 1682, proved 28 February 1683). Agnes never set foot in the New World. Though William Crowne was ordered by the General Court of Massachusetts in 1674 to return to his wife in England or pay a £20 fine, he must have chosen the fine. This is the last Agnes (Mackworth) (Watts) Crowne appears in record, and her date and place of death has not been uncovered. One of her three sons by her second husband was the playwright John Crowne (1641-1712), who has a ODNB bio. In the 2011 Edition of Plantagenet Ancestry, Agnes is on pp. 488-489, where it's stated that she "married (1st) before 1632 RICHARD WATTS, of Epping, Essex, younger son of John Watts, Knt., Clothworker, Mayor of London, 1606-7, by Margaret, daughter of James Hawes, Knt. They had one son, Humphrey." This isn't complete.

"Richard Watts and Annis Mackworth" were married by licence on 9 May 1626 at St Dunstan in the West, London (parish register accessed through

John Brandon, a genealogist and participant in the SocGenMed newsgroup, made a post in March 2008, pointing out the 1634 Watts pedigree in the Visitation of London, where the informant was Agnes's first husband Richard Watts himself. He and Agnes had the following four children "Richard Watts=eldest sonne, 2 George, 3 Humphry and Dorothy." Brandon also pointed out the baptisms at Epping, Essex, of the three sons, Richard Watts (on 3 June 1630), George Watts (on 1 October 1631), and Humphrey Watts (on 28 November 1632).

Per the ODNB bio of Charles Murray, 1st Earl of Dunmore: "On 6 December 1682 he [Dunmore] married in London (a love match) Catherine (d. 1710), daughter of Richard Watts of Great Munden, Hertfordshire, and granddaughter of the courtier Major-General Robert Worden." On 31 December 1663, "Richard Watts, of Gray's Inn, Esq., Bachelor, 33, & Katherine Werden, of St Bartholomew the Great, London, Spr, 20, dau. of Robert Werden, of the City of Chester, Esq., who consents" received license to marry at either St Martin in the Fields or St James Clerkenwell. Richard Watts's age of 33 in December 1663 matches perfectly to the baptism of Richard, son of Richard Watts and Agnes Mackworth, in June 1630. On 7 December 1647, Richard Watts, "son and heir of Richard W., of Gt. Munden, Herts, Esq." was admitted to Gray's Inn. This conclusively identifies the Richard Watts of Gray's Inn as the son of Richard Watts of Garnons in Great Munden (d. 1635) and his wife Agnes Mackworth.
Gray's Inn, London
"Katharine Wats", daughter of "Richard and Katharine Wats," was baptized 7 September 1666 at St Andrew Church, Hertford. "Richard Watts Esq. from M.[erchant?] Taylor at grays inn" was buried 14 December 1666 at St Andrew Holborn, London (parish register accessed through I haven't yet uncovered what became of his wife Katherine (née Werden) Watts. Their daughter Katherine Watts inherited the manor of Garnons, and brought it to the Murrays through her marriage. Her husband conveyed it in 1709 to Katherine's uncle Sir John Werden, so presumably Katherine's mother had died by then. Per VCH Hertford, there is no further record of the manor of Garnons after 1786. However, a deed of 1780 in the National Archives mentions a "messuage [in Great Munden] called Martyrs otherwise Watts Hall otherwise High Trees." Given that High Trees was once known as Watts Hall, it's very likely that it was High Trees Farm that was once the manor house of the Watts family in Great Munden.

Through her paternal grandmother Agnes Mackworth, Katherine (née Watts), Countess of Dunmore, has a 14-generation descent from Edward III, as so.

Edward III had a 2nd son
Lionel of Antwerp - see
Generation 1
1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
3) Lady Elizabeth Mortimer (1371-1417) m. 1) Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy (1364-1403), and had
4) Lady Elizabeth Percy (c.1395-1437) m. 1) John, 7th Lord Clifford (1388-1422, descended from Edward I), and had
5) Thomas, 8th Lord Clifford (1414-1455) m. Joan Dacre (c.1417-c.1452, descended from Edward I), and had
6) Maud Clifford (b. c.1436) m. 2) Sir Edmund Sutton, Heir of Dudley Castle (c.1430-1482), and had
7) Dorothy Dudley (c.1465-1517) m. Richard Wrottesley of Wrottesley Hall (1457-1521), and had
8) Walter Wrottesley of Wrottesley Hall (d. 1563) m. Isabel Harcourt, and had
Dorothy (née Dudley) Wrottesley
- see Generation 7
9) Eleanor Wrottesley (d. 1596) m. Richard Lee of Langley (d. 1591, descended from Edward I), and had
10) Dorothy Lee (b. c.1550) m. Thomas Mackworth of Betton Grange (c.1546-1587), and had
11) Richard Mackworth of Betton Grange (c.1572-1618) m. Dorothy Cranage (descended from Edward I), and had
12) Agnes Mackworth (b. c.1601)[*1] m. 1) Richard Watts of Garnons (d. 1635), and had
13) Richard Watts of Garnons & Gray's Inn (1630-1666) m. Katherine Werden (b. c.1643), and had
14) Katherine Watts (1666-1710/11) m. Charles Murray, 1st Earl of Dunmore (1661-1710, descended from Henry VII)

[*1] Agnes's sister Margaret Mackworth was baptized 21 July 1605 at St Julian Church, Stapleton, Shropshire, and married at age 26 on 3 October 1631 St Mary Church, Acton Burnell, Shropshire, William Jukes of Buttington Hall, in Montgomeryshire, Wales (baptized 1 November 1601 All Saints Church, Worthen, Shropshire, descended from Edward I). Agnes was married in 1626, five years before Margaret, so she was no doubt older than Margaret, and if she was about age 25 when married, then born about 1601. Her parents were married in 1600. Agnes's niece Margaret Jukes, daughter of William Jukes and Margaret Mackworth, married 2ndly, the herald and genealogist Francis Sandford (1630-1694).

Cheers,                      -------Brad        

1 comment:

  1. The first name of the father of Sir John Watts (c.1550-1616) was Thomas [not Robert] Watts of Buntingford. My thanks to Bob Foster for this correction.