Who was Jane Wadham?

+6 votes
Jane Wadham was a reluctant nun at Romsey Abbey. At the dissolution in 1539 the Abbess and nuns were not granted pensions for some as yet unknown reason. Jane married, much to the King's displeasure, which makes her very interesting. We don't usually know what happened to these women. I have made the case for her parentage on the profile but there is conflict with Richardson. It has been suggested that I can add her as daughter of Sir Nicholas but the case for her being the daughter of  Margaret Seymour has not been made. The case for her being the daughter of Sir Nicholas is based on his supposed marriage to Margaret (Wikipedia and HOP) but according to Richardson Margaret was wife of a William Wadham. Need lots of wikitree minds to help decide what to do. At the moment the Wadhams are all over the place.
WikiTree profile: Jane Foster
in Genealogy Help by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)

2 Answers

+4 votes

Thank you for the comprehensive citations in your summary on the page. It makes it easy to follow.

One you may have missed is this one Wiltshire Archaeology and History Magazine 1949  which follows  one cited in the profile. 

He mentions that Oglander, who was writing in 1626 mentions that Sir Nicholas (who was Captain of the Isle of Wight from 1509-20) married a sister of Jane Seymour and that both were buried at Carisbrooke. That may have been somewhat garbled (ie Nicholas certainly not buried on the IOW and Margaret may not have been the sister of Jane Seymour )but Oglander also mentions that Sir Nicholas seemed to have fallen out of love with the Island and sold  land there after her death https://archive.org/stream/oglandermemoirs00oglagoog#page/n140/mode/2up

Oglander seems to be the earliest reference I could find.

The older County Historians also include a marriage between Nicholas and a Margaret Seymour . Collinson,1757-93, Somerset, says sister of Jane.   Albin, 1795 IOW  daughter of  sir John and sister of Jane) Hutchins,  Hist and Antiq Dorset Vol 2, page 216,  Wadham pedigree)  states that Nicholas married a sister of Sir John Seymour, he also gives no evidence but  mentions a record granted to Nicholas and Isabel (his 3rd wife)  the lands of her late husband.  This was dated 1518.which gives a ball park date for his previous wife's death.

I think the two memorials, if the arms on them have been interpreted correctly (we need an 'expert') add very strong support to his marriage to a Seymour since both apparently have the arms of Wadham impaling Seymour

1) The infant son buried at Ilton, Somerset https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NicholasWadham_1508Brass_IltonChurch_Somerset.JPG

2) The uninscribed tomb at Carisbrooke https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MargaretSeymourWadham_CarisbrookeChurch_IsleOfWight.PNG  (the VCH certainly seems to accept this to be the tomb of Margaret (footnotes cites Percy Stone Archi Antiq of Isle of Wight  and states she was the aunt of Jane Seymour) 

The Visitations of Somerset also has Nicholas marrying a sister of Sir John Seymer https://archive.org/stream/visitationsofcou00beno#page/84/mode/2up

So all this suggests that Nicholas was married to a Margaret Seymour (on balance, I think aunt )

But what about Sir William Wadham  apparently also married to Margaret Seymour; same  Margaret, different one ? The profile doesn't help by having no dates.

Who was Sir William?

It can't be https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wadham_(died_1452) who seems to have had two wives, well accounted for.

Unfortunately, the Richardson source used is not accessible (nearest library that has it according to World Cat is3,100 miles away in Boston)  I have to say this is a great problem for us in the UK so page number etc doesn't help much.  If it is considered to be an important secondary source, I wondered  why there seem to be no copies in the major copyright  libraries and then realised that it was self published...

What we need to know is which William Wadham ie his parentage and dates. Which Margaret, her parentage and dates  and what Richardson uses as evidence. This could be summarized on his profile without infringing copyright


by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (487k points)
edited by Helen Ford
As always, thank you

I missed this one, had you spotted it ? http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/foster-john-ii-15056-76

 It is as you say an interesting story. ( possible plot of a romantic novel?) 

One sentence struck me which maybe poses a problem "In 1551 his wife(ie Jane)  inherited a modest patrimony in the west country from her brother Nicholas"
Was this  dower lands inherited from their mother?  The infant Nicholas  was buried in 1608; it's a long time after his death...  though if she was sent to the convent by  ‘malevolent persons'  before she could inherit then this might be the first occasion she could establish a claim.  
That document  is in the Devon Archives
Royal licence to John and Jane Foster (sister and heiress of Nicholas Wadham) to succeed to part of his estates.
 Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust)
Reference:    2065M/Z1

see also 

https://archive.org/stream/cu31924028057226#page/n345/mode/2up (pages 251-258, also p 237 shows that Jane was a nun by 1523) This tells the story with some transcripts of the original records;  unfortunately only secondary evidence for her mother (this writer claims that Margaret was the sister of Jane Seymour)

We need more input from others!

I've been looking at some of the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII (abbreviated as LP Hen. VIII in Houses of Parliament profiles) but nothing so far that identifies Jane Wadham's mother.

Unfortunately the House of Parliament only list the volume numbers, so it's a matter of finding the index (not in every volume) and then trying to find the appropriate page.

+3 votes
Made Jane daughter of Sir Nicholas. Holding fire on Margaret Seymour until we hear what Richardson actually says. Royal Ancestry is cited so much on Wikitree that someone must have a copy. Please someone look it up.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
Is Jane ancestress of any American lines? If not, Richardson will have had no reason to look too closely at her and may well have stopped at Collins which gives Margaret's husband as a William Wadham (whose first name is likely simply an error given that there does not appear to be any such suitable William). Richardson's focus, of necessity, greatly limits his interest in lines that do not contain American immigrants and they are often only sketched in, sometimes incorrectly. I would not worry too much about a minor disparity in such a case given multiple sources showing the name as Nicholas (and even John) rather than William.

Ignore if you have already have, other sources showing Margaret as wife of Nicholas are

Thomas Jackson's work on Wadham College (has her as aunt of Jane and 2nd wife of Nicholas)

A View of Devonshire (p634) also has her as 2nd wife to Nicholas

Oglander's memoirs are online and can also be added.(p97)

Related questions

+14 votes
5 answers
297 views asked Apr 12, 2021 in Genealogy Help by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
+3 votes
2 answers
190 views asked Jun 11, 2022 in Genealogy Help by Kelly Blight G2G6 Mach 1 (12.6k points)
+3 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
1 answer
+8 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
2 answers
170 views asked Feb 19, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 7 (74.0k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright