Everard Digby (Tilton)

Everard DIGBY Esquire (1440-1510)  was  Alex’s 16th Great Grandfather; in the Miner line.

Since our Digby ancestors really were knights, their coat of arms belongs on each of their pages.

Everard DIGBY Esquire was born 1440 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. His parents were Everard “Greenleaf” DIGBY and Agnes CLARKE. He married  1463 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England to Jacquetta ELLIS  Everard died Feb 1510 in Tilton, Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.

St Andrew’s Stoke Dry Rutland  — Here lies Everard Digby, Lord of Tilton and Stoke Dry who died 21st January 1510. May God protect his soul

Jacquetta ELLIS was born 1445 in Combe Raleigh, Devon, England.  Her parents were Sir John ELLIS (1430 in Devon) and Eleanor RUSSELL (b: 1432). She died 1483 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.

St Andrew’s Stoke Dry Rutland  — 1497 Jaquetta daughter of Str John Ellis with her 14 children, she was the wife of Everard Digby 1510 who is buried at Tilton

Incised slab to Jaquetta Digby (d. 1496), in the south aisle St Andrew’s Stoke Dry, Rutlandshire

Children of  Everard and Jacquetta:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Sir John DIGBY 1464 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. Katherine GRIFFIN
Eye Kettleby (Ab Kettleby),
Leicestershire,  England
Sancha Willoughby
24 Oct 1517 in Eye Kettleby
May 1533
Eye Kettleby,
Leicestershire, England
2. Sir Simon Digby Knight 1466
Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.
Alice Walleys
Coleshill, Warwickshire, England
Coleshill, Warwickshire, England
3. Agnes Digby 1468
Coleshill, Warwickshire, England.
Sir John Villiers  K.B.
Brooksby, Leicestershire,  England.
4. Sir Everard Digby Knight 1470
Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.
Margery Heydon on 1509
Stoke Dry, Rutland, England
Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.
5. Rowland Digby 1472
Stoke Dry, Rutland
Agnes Shilton [Sheldon?]
6. Sir Thomas Digby Knight 1474
Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.
Olney, Bucks., England
7. Sir Libaeus Digby Knight  1476 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England  [__?__] Hunt
8. Benjamin Digby 1479 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.

Everard and his six brothers fought for Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth 22 August 1485.  This time, the Digbys were on the winning side.

Tomb of Everard Digby — Digby Chapel St Andrews Dry Stoke Rutland

The Battle of Bosworth Field  was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians. Their leader Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty by his victory and subsequent marriage to a Yorkist princess. His opponent Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it one of the defining moments of English history.

A stained-glass window in St. James Church, Sutton Cheney, commemorates the Battle of Bosworth Field and the leaders of the combatants, Richard III (left) and Henry VII (right).

Richard’s reign began in 1483 when he seized the throne from his twelve-year-old nephew Edward V. The boy and his younger brother soon disappeared, to the distress of many, and Richard’s support was further eroded by rumours of his involvement in the death of his wife. Across the English Channel Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard’s difficulties and laid claim to the throne. Henry’s first attempt to invade England in 1483 was frustrated by a storm, but his second arrived unopposed on 1 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard hurriedly mustered his troops and intercepted Henry’s army south of the town of Market Bosworth in LeicestershireLord Thomas Stanley and Sir William Stanley also brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support.

Richard divided his army, which outnumbered Henry’s, into three groups (or “battles”). One was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard’s vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford’s men, and some of Norfolk’s troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard decided to gamble everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight. Seeing the king’s knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened; Sir William led his men to Henry’s aid, surrounding and killing Richard. After the battle, Henry was crowned king on Crown Hill.

Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably; the Battle of Bosworth Field was popularised to represent his Tudor dynasty as the start of a new age. From the 15th to 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil, and as the climax of Shakespeare’s Richard III about Richard’s rise and fall, it provides a focal point for critics in later film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, and memorials have been erected at different locations. The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built, in 1974, on a site chosen based on a theory that has been challenged by several scholars and historians in the following years. In October 2009, a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, suggested a location two miles  southwest of Ambion Hill.


1. Sir John DIGBY (See his page)

2. Sir Simon Digby Knight (Wiki)

Sir Simon’s wife Alice Walleys was born 1472 in Haddon, Devon, England.

Everard Digby Esq Family Tree from The Visitation of the County of Nottingham

Simon was Constable of Coleshill, in Warwickshire in the 15th century.

Simon de Montford was executed in 1495 for contributing to the fund of Perkin Warbeck, who was plotting to oust King Henry VII from the throne. During de Montford’s imprisonment in the Tower of London, the King granted his lands at Coleshill to Simon Digby as he was Constable. Descendants of Simon Digby (Wingfield-Digby) still hold the titles.

The oldest Digby tomb in Colehsill church, in the north-east corner, is to Simon Digby, died 27 February 1519 (1520), and Alice his wife (date not completed). The tomb and effigies are of alabaster. The man’s head rests on his helm, which has lost its crest. He wears full plate and mail armour of the period and a collar of S.S., a sword on his left, and the remains of his dagger on his right. His hands are in prayer; the gauntlets lie by his right leg. His feet rest against a lion. The woman, on his left, has her head resting on cushions with tiny angels, now headless, holding the corner tassels. She wears a veiled pedimental headdress, a chain necklace, a tight corsage below a sideless gown which has a full skirt. About her waist is a girdle with tasselled pendant cords and a medallion from which is suspended a chain and pomander sachet. At her feet are two tiny dogs. The sides of the tomb are panelled with foiled diamonds in squares enclosing shields. At the angles are twisted shafts painted black. The capping is moulded and has a frieze on which is carved the inscription in Latin. The moulded plinth is enriched with flower or foliage paterae. The shields are painted with the arms of Digby and Walleys.

Simon’s great grandson, John Digby first Earl of Bristol was an English diplomat and a moderate royalist during the English Civil War. See his cousin Everard DIGBY’s page for details

Simon died in 1520 Coleshill, Warwickshire, England and is buried in a tomb, made in his lifetime, bearing superb effigies of himself and his wife, in the sanctuary of Coleshill Church. Alice Walleys was born 1472 in Haddon, Devon, England.

Simon Digby was succeeded by his son Reginald Digby, whose mother Alice in her will of 1496 left a messuage [At one time messuage had a more extensive meaning than that conveyed by the words house or site, but such distinction no longer survives.]) valued at £1 10s. 8d. [a house and land worth only a pound and change?, Maybe that was the annual rent] and certain rents to be distributed on the following conditions:

Coleshill Church in Warwickshire

Every day in the year immediately after the Sacring of the High Mass in the Church of Colshill, and at the end of the same Altar, where the said Mass should so happen to be sung, to a Child, viz. male or female, whose parents are Householders dwelling within the Parish, and under the age of ix (9) years, that can and will, before the said sacring kneel down at the said Altar’s end, and say five Pater nosters (Our Fathers), five Aves (Hail Marys) and a Creede, for the soul of Simon Digby her late husband, hers, her Childrens’ and all Christen souls, a peny of silver sterling; beginning first at the House next to the Church, and so in order passing on from House to House till all be gone through: and to the Dean of the said Church, for the time being, yearly for his labour and diligence in seeing the said Prayers so performed; and himself also saying at the said time a Pater noster, an Ave, and a Creed for the souls abovesaid, the yearly summe of vis. Viiid (8 pence). And that the remainder shall be to maintain a solemn Obit in the said Church, for the souls abovesaid, with the number of three Priests, whereof the Vicar of Colshill to be one, and the Deacon and the Clerke besides; the said Vicar, in case he be present, to have viiid (8 pence). and to xii (12) poor people, the same time kneeling about the Herse and saying our Ladies Psalter, xiid (12 pence). To the Bell-ringers vd (5 pence). For Waxe and Torches, burnt then likewise, xiid (12 pence).

At the Reformation the land and revenues given to maintain the charity were confiscated, but the townspeople acquired the income to maintain the Grammar School and also made a distribution to a child that should come to the church at 10 each morning and repeat the Lord’s Prayer before the clerk, who for hearing the child and ringing the bell had a yearly allowance.

3. Agnes Digby

Agnes’ husband Sir John Villiers K.B. was born 1462 in Brooksby, Leicestershire, England.  His parents were John Villiers and Elizabeth Sothill. He died 2 Dec 1506 in Brooksby, Leicestershire, England.

Sir John was sheriff of Leicestershire and Warwickshire during 6, 10 and 15 of Henry VII and afterwards knighted at the marriage of Prince Arthur, the king’s son.

4. Sir Everard Digby Knight

Sir Everard’s wife Margery Heydon was born 1493 in Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, England. Her parents were Sir John Heydon K.B and Katherine Willoughby.

Tilton-on-the-Hill, Leics: Military effigy on tomb chest with shields,

Everard and Margery’s son  Kenelm Digby (Wiki) (c1518–1590) was an English MP and High Sheriff.  He was born in Stoke Dry  in Rutland, the eldest son of Sir Everard Digby and Margery (née Heydon) Digby and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford and the Middle Temple. He should not be confused with Sir Kenelm Digby (1603–1665), also son of a Sir Everard Digby (executed for taking part in the Gunpowder Plot), of Buckinghamshire.

He was first elected to parliament as MP for Stamford in 1539. He was then appointed High Sheriff of Rutland in 1541.  He was returned as MP for Rutland (as senior knight of the shire) in successive parliamentary elections in 1545, 1547, 1553 (March) and 1553 (October), 1555, 1558, 1559, 1571, 1572 and 1584. He was also appointed High Sheriff of Rutland a further six times in 1549, 1553, 1561, 1567, 1575 and 1585. He was custos rotulorum for Rutland from c.1559 until his death.

He died in 1590 at the age of 70 plus and was buried in the church at Stoke Dry where his effigy lies. He had married Anna Cope, the daughter of Sir Anthony Cope; they had three sons and six daughters.

His great grandson Sir Everard Digby  was was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Although he was raised in a Protestant household, and married a Protestant, Digby and his wife were converted to Catholicism by the Jesuit priest John Gerard. In the autumn of 1605 he was part of a Catholic pilgrimage to the shrine of St Winefride’s Well in Holywell. About this time he met Robert Catesby, a religious fanatic who planned to blow up the House of Lords with gunpowder, killing James I. Catesby then planned to incite a popular revolt, during which a Catholic monarch would be restored to the English throne.  See his cousin Everard DIGBY’s page for details


Credit / copyright Jaquetta Ellis  https://flic.kr/p/9e134f &https://flic.kr/p/9ecpji (Flickr – JMC4 – Church Explorer





The visitations of the county of Nottingham in the years 1569 and 1614

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8 Responses to Everard Digby (Tilton)

  1. Pingback: Sir John Digby Knight | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Everard Digby | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Everard “Greenleaf” Digby | Miner Descent

  4. Pingback: Artistic Works and Representation | Miner Descent

  5. Pingback: Artistic Works and Representation 2 | Miner Descent

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  7. have you given me credit / copyright and provided a link re Jaquetta Ellis slab & Everard Digby closeup ?? https://flic.kr/p/9e134f & https://flic.kr/p/9ecpji (Flickr – JMC4 – Church Explorer

  8. David Judd says:

    Have just been advised by a researcher that my Judd family are mentioned in the Will of one Rowland Digby who died 1563 (Will Probate dated 1564), would you have any details of Rowland Digby or his Will, who his wife was etc. Many thanks. David Judd

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