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Elizabeth (Holland) Reppes (abt. 1510 - bef. 1548)

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Elizabeth (Bess) Reppes formerly Holland aka Repps
Born about in Lincolnshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married about 1547 (to about 1548) in Englandmap
Died before in Englandmap
Profile last modified 14 Apr 2019 | Created 8 Nov 2017
This page has been accessed 109 times.
The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.


Bess Holland was born about 1510, daughter of Thomas Holland of Swineshead in Lincolnshire. [1][2] Her father was private secretary to Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk and Bess had a position in the Duchesses household. In 1527 the Duke made her his mistress. Thomas' wife, Elizabeth Stafford, did not turn a blind eye as would have been expected, she raged long and loud. That the Duchess was a member of the household of the Queen, Catherine of Aragon, made matters worse for she was also outspoken on the matter of the King's divorce. Bess herself joined the household of Thomas' niece, Anne Boleyn. In 1531 the Duchess was banished from court and the Duke sent her from his household.[3]

No specific source so far found states that Bess remained in Anne's household when she became Queen in 1533 nor is she mentioned with regard to the trial and death of Anne in 1536.

Bess's relationship with Thomas lasted for almost 20 years. In 1546 she and Thomas, along with the Duchess were all living at Kenninghall where they were arrested in 1546 with regard to the treason of Henry Earl of Surrey, Thomas' son and heir. Bess's jewelry, house and estate were all seized. When questioned she gave evidence against the Duke and her possessions were restored. Thomas was condemned to death, only surviving because of the death of the King, but he was not released from the Tower. Almost immediately Bess married Henry Reppes, [4][5] a Norfolk JP, son of Henry Reppes of Mendham in Suffolk and his wife, Elizabeth Grimestone, became pregnant and died shortly after childbirth, along with her child. [6]

Research note

Bess's biography is constructed from the sources currently available but is not entirely believable. She was the Duke's mistress for almost 20 years and in that time had no children with the Duke who had fathered children with both his wives. She must have been approaching 40 years of age, since she had worked for the Duchess for some 8 years prior to he relationship with the Duke. She then married a man considerably younger than her and became pregnant at once. Why would Henry Reppes have married her?

There was a long line of Thomas Hollands associated with Swineshead. [7]


  1. Visitation of Norfolk Page 196: Repps
  2. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk ..., Volume 4
  3. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Howard [née Stafford, Elizabeth, duchess of Norfolk (1497–1558) Michael A. R. Graves
  4. Visitation of Norfolk Page 196: Repps
  5. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk ..., Volume 4
  6. Graves, Michael A.R. (2008). Howard, Thomas, third duke of Norfolk (1473–1554), magnate and soldier. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 12 March 2011
  7. Visitation of Lincolnshire Page 67 Holland

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Bess is 25 degrees from Danielle Liard, 18 degrees from Jack London and 8 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Estimated Birth Date | Swineshead, Lincolnshire