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Katheryn of Berain

Katheryn of Berain

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Katheryn of Berain (born 1540 or 1541; died 27 August 1591), sometimes called Mam Cymru ("mother of Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

"), was a Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 noblewoman noted for her four marriages and her extensive network of descendants and relations.


Katheryn was the heiress to the Berain and Penymynydd estates in Denbighshire and Anglesey. She is sometimes referred to as Katheryn Tudor, her father being Tudor ap Robert Vychan and her mother Jane Velville. Her maternal grandfather Sir Roland de Velville
Roland de Velville
Sir Roland de Velville was thought to be an illegitimate son of King Henry VII of England by "a Breton lady".In 1509, he was appointed Constable of Beaumaris Castle in Wales, a position he held till his death. He was knighted in 1497...

 (1474 - 25 June 1535) was thought to be an illegitimate son of King Henry VII of England
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 by "a Breton
Breton people
The Bretons are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brythonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain in waves from the 3rd to 6th century into the Armorican peninsula, subsequently named Brittany after them.The...


Assuming Katheryn was a great-granddaughter of Henry VII, then King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 would be her half-great-granduncle. Her half first cousins twice removed would be King Edward VI, Queen Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

, and Queen Elizabeth I and her second cousins would include (among others) Mary, Queen of Scots, Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

 (Queen of England for nine days), James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray
James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray
James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray , a member of the House of Stewart as the illegitimate son of King James V, was Regent of Scotland for his nephew, the infant King James VI of Scotland, from 1567 until his assassination in 1570...

, Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney
Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney
Robert Stewart, Knt., 1st Earl of Orkney and Lord of Zetland was a recognized illegitimate son of James V, King of Scotland, and his mistress Eupheme Elphinstone....

, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stewart or Stuart, 1st Duke of Albany , styled Lord Darnley before 1565, was king consort of Scotland and murdered at Kirk o'Field...

, Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox
Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox
Charles Stuart, 5th Earl of Lennox was the second son of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox and of Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret Tudor....

, Lady Catherine Grey
Lady Catherine Grey
Lady Catherine Grey , Countess of Hertford, was the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. A granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary, she was a potential successor to her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, but incurred Elizabeth's wrath by her secret marriage to Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford...

, Lady Mary Grey and Lady Margaret Clifford
Lady Margaret Clifford
Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby was the only surviving daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland and Lady Eleanor Brandon....



Katheryn's first husband was John Salusbury (son of Sir John Salusbury, died 1578) of the prestigious Salusbury Family
Salusbury Family
The Salusbury family is an Anglo-Welsh family notable for their social prominence, wealth, literary contributions and philanthropy. The family started a bank, Salusbury and Co., which later shut down during the Great Depression.-Rise to prominence:...

 of Lleweni, Denbigh, by whom she had two sons:
  • Thomas Salusbury
    Thomas Salisbury
    Sir Thomas Salisbury was one of the conspirators executed for his involvement in the Babington Plot....

     (c.1564 - September 20, 1586). Executed as a traitor for his involvement in the Babington Plot
    Babington Plot
    The Babington Plot was a Catholic plot in 1586 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, a Protestant, and put Mary, Queen of Scots, a Catholic, on the English throne. It led to the execution of Mary. The long-term goal was an invasion by the Spanish forces of King Philip II and the Catholic league in...

  • John Salusbury (d. 1612), married Ursula Stanley, illegitimate daughter of Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby
    Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby
    Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby KG was a prominent English nobleman who served as Lord High Steward during the trial of Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel....

     and Jane Halsall. Their only surviving son was Sir Henry Salusbury , 1st Baronet, the first of the Salusbury Baronets
    Salusbury Baronets
    There have been two baronetcies created for the Salusbury family.The Baronetcy of Salusbury of Lleweni was created in 1619 for Sir Henry Salusbury in the Baronetage of England. The second Baronet sat in the English House of Commons representing Denbighshire in 1640...

     of Lleweni (1619). Henry was the father of Anne Salusbury, the wife of Arthur Stanhope
    Arthur Stanhope
    Arthur Stanhope was born in 1627 at Shelford, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, and died in 1677. He was the son of Philip Stanhope, 1st Earl of Chesterfield and Catherine Hastings, daughter of Francis Hastings, Lord Hastings.-Life:...

     and ancestor of all the earls of Chesterfield
    Earl of Chesterfield
    Earls of Chesterfield, in the County of Derby, was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1628 for Philip Stanhope, 1st Baron Stanhope. He had already been created Baron Stanhope, of Shelford in the County of Nottingham, in 1616, also in the Peerage of England. Stanhope's youngest son...

     from the fifth Earl
    Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield
    Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield KG, PC, FRS, FSA , known as Philip Stanhope until 1773, was a British politician and diplomat...

    • Shakespeare's 1601 poem The Phoenix and the Turtle
      The Phoenix and the Turtle
      The Phoenix and the Turtle is an allegorical poem about the death of ideal love by William Shakespeare. It is widely considered to be one of his most obscure works and has led to many conflicting interpretations. It has also been called "the first great published metaphysical poem". The title "The...

      was published in a collection, Love's Martyr (1601), dedicated to Katheryn's son, John Salusbury, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in June 1601.

Following his death, she married Sir Richard Clough
Richard Clough
Sir Richard Clough , known by his Welsh contemporaries as Rhisiart Clwch, was a merchant from Denbigh, north-east Wales, and an agent of Queen Elizabeth I of England....

, an extremely wealthy merchant, by whom she had two daughters:
  • Anne Clough (born 1568). Married Roger Salusbury, a brother of John Salusbury and paternal uncle to her older half-brothers. Their only son was John Salisbury.
  • Mary Clough (born 1569). Married William Wynn, A relative of Maurice Wynn.

The Cloughs lived for a time in Antwerp, where Katheryn's portrait was painted, probably by Adriaen van Cronenburgh, as the National Museum now suggests, or perhaps Lucas de Heere
Lucas de Heere
Lucas de Heere was a Flemish portrait painter, poet and writer.De Heere was a Protestant and became a refugee from the Dutch Revolt against Philip II of Spain, who tried to suppress Protestantism...

, a previous attribution.

Sir Richard died within three years of their marriage, and Katheryn then married Maurice Wynn
Maurice Wynn
Maurice Wynn or Morys Wynn ap John of Gwydir was a Welsh courtier and politician.He was the eldest son of John "Wynn" ap Maredudd from whom he inherited the Gwydir estate in 1559....

 of Gwydir, who is said to have proposed to her immediately after the funeral of her first husband, only to find that Sir Richard had got in before him. Katheryn had a further two children by Maurice Wynn:
  • Edward Wynn. Married Blanche Vaughan.
  • Jane Wynn. Married Simon Thelwall.

Her fourth and last husband was Edward Thelwall of Plas-y-Ward, who outlived her. Her many descendants included Hester Thrale
Hester Thrale
Hester Lynch Thrale was a British diarist, author, and patron of the arts. Her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century life.-Biography:Thrale was born at Bodvel Hall, Caernarvonshire, Wales...

 and the 18th century explorer John Salusbury.

In view of the fact that three of Katheryn's four husbands predeceased her, a legend later grew up that she had poisoned them.

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