Elizabeth "Bess" Hardwick (b. c. 1527 - d. 13 Feb 1607/8 Hardwick, Derbyshire).
bur. Allhallows, Derby, Derbyshire (next to William Cavendish).
Bess was the daughter of a "impoverished gentlemen," John Harwick (c. 1495 - 29 Jan 1528). He died when Bess was just a year old. To improve her standing, she became a woman in waiting in the household of the Zouche family, where she met her first husband: Robert, son of Arthur Barley. The marriage was short since Robert died a year after marriage, which would eventually bring Bess a signifcant widow's dower.
She had eight children by her second husband, William Cavendish. Her third and childless marriage with William St. Loe, captain of the Yeomen's guard seems to have been arranged by Queen Elizabeth, but according to McDonald (2012), it was really Bess.
Her last marriage to George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury ended in separation due to the stress of housing Mary, Queen of Scots. But Talbot died in 1590, and she became the Dowager Countess of Shrewsbury.
m.3 (1559) Sir William St Loe (1518–1565), Capt. - Yeoman of the Guard
m.4 (1568) George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. No issue.
Elizabeth Goldring, ‘Talbot , Elizabeth [Bess of Hardwick], countess of Shrewsbury (1527?–1608)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 25 Sept 2017. This is a subscription site but access is free to readers of British libraries whose library subscribes.
Cavendish, M. (1872). The Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, pp. 195-196. London: John Russell Smith. Google Books.
Chalmers, A. (1813). The General Biographical Dictionary, 8, pp. 475. London. Google Books.
Dransfield, J.N. (1906). A History of the Parish of Penistone, pp. 525-526. Penistone: Don Press. Archive.org.
Goodhart, A. (2006, June 25). "Bess of Hardwick: Empire builder by Mary S. Lovell." NYT. Web. Book review.
McDonald, H. (2012). Bess of Hardwick: Second Most Powerful Woman of the Elizabethan Age and a Symbol of Modern Thought. Grand Valley Journal of History, 2(1).
Standish, J. (1904). Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 8, pp. 19-20. Cooke & Vowles. Archive.org.
↑ Lewis, M. (n.d.). "John Hardwicke, Esq. #37847, b. circa 1495, d. 29 Jan 1528," citing Paget and Richardson. ORTNCA. Web.
↑ 4.04.14.2 At "twelve years of age... (she) was betrothed to Mr. Robert Barlow, near Chesterfield - his mother was a Chaworth - he was fourteen years of age, and died next year... she was married three times again, and was buried in All Saints' Church, Derby, where her monument appears," (p. 19).
Bess m. (as his 3rd wife) Sir William Cavendish (d. 1557). "They were married at Bradgate, co. Leicester, at 2 a.m. .. Cavendish widowed Bess (age 37) and left "8 young children." ... Bess remarried to "Sir William St. Loe, of Tormarton, co. of Gloucester, Captain of the Guard to Queen Elizabeth. As Lady St. Loe, she was sent to the Tower for being confidante to the marriage of Lady Catharine Grey to Edward Seymour, and not disclosing it... In 1568 Lady St. Loe was married to George, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, who was then accounted the greatest subject of the realm. In 1569 the Queen of Scots was placed in their charge; after a time the Countess became jealous of the Queen, and she separated from her husband," (p. 20).
↑ 5.05.1 Alias: St Lowe, Saintlowe, Sentloe, etc.; "Sir William St Loe was the eldest son of Sir John St Loe and his wife Dame Margaret of Sutton Court, Chew Magna in Somerset; they also had land in Gloucestershire and the West Country where they owned property in Bristol and Bath," ("Sir William St Loe (b?-1566) 15th Captain of The Sovereign's Body Guard - 1558-1566." yeomenoftheguard.com. Web).William St Loe
↑ Bess married Robert Barley when she was age 14; m.2 Sir William Cavendish; m.3 "Sir William St. Lo, captain of the guard to Queen Elizabeth"; m.4 Earl of Shrewsbury. ... "She built Chatsworth, Hardwicke Hall, and Oldcotes, three of the finest mansions ever raised by one person in the same county, and these were transmitted to her son, Sir William Cavendish, who was afterwards create Earl of Devonshire. Tradition asserts that it was foretold to her that so long as she kept building so long would her life be spared, and that the moment she ceased would be the moment of her death. She therefore continued to build house after house. At length while erecting some almshouse at Derby a sever frost set in. Every means was resorted to enable the men to continue their work. The mortar was dissolved in hot water; and when that failed hot ale was employed. But the frost triumphed, the work ceased, and "Building Bess" died."
"Bess of Hardwick: Portrait of an Elizabethan Dynasty" by David N. Durant, Pg. 1, 2nd Paragraph states, "Bess was married at age about 15 to Robert Barley." skip down a couple sentences: "They were married in1543"
This would make Bess born ABOUT 1528.
Robert was about 12 yrs old., but died the year after they were married," before they were bedded together, they being very young". It was all about having healthy male heirs.
Some entries suggest that she was not of ful age when she married Robert Barlow, hence she could not have been born much before about 1519, I see the entry in odnb has a question over the 1627 date. So there is some doubt
Elizabeth Hardwick, born 1520 at Hardwick Hall, Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Hardwick Hall is in the Parish of St John the Baptist, Ault Hucknall. Elizabeth married George Talbot, 6th EARL of Shrewsbury. She was
The Hardwick origins are from the County of Derbyshire. The Hardwick Family moved into other counties, particularly, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire etc etc.
"The Reliquary" a journal of archaeology and natural history, produced by the Derbyshire Archeological Ass. carry articles about the Hardwicks and other land owners in Derbyshire. See also publication entitled "The Victoria County Histories". There are Volumes for each UK county.