Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Sir Anthony St Leger

Sir Anthony St Leger

Male Abt 1496 - 1559  (~ 63 years)

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  • Name Anthony St Leger 
    Prefix Sir 
    Born Abt. 1496 
    Gender Male 
    History Sir Anthony St Leger, KG (or Sellenger; c. 1496 – 16 March 1559), of Ulcombe and Leeds Castle in Kent, was an English politician and Lord Deputy of Ireland during the Tudor period.
    Anthony St Leger was the eldest son of Ralph II St Leger of Ulcombe in Kent, by his wife Isabel (or Elizabeth) Haute. She was the daughter of Richard Haute (d. 8 April 1487) by his wife Elizabeth Tyrrell, widow of Sir Robert Darcy (c.1420 - 2 November 1469) of Maldon, Essex, and daughter of Sir Thomas Tyrrell (d. 28 March 1477) of Heron in the parish of East Horndon, Essex.[1][2]

    He was educated abroad and at the University of Cambridge.[3] He quickly gained the favour of King Henry VIII (1509–1547), and in 1537 was appointed president of a commission of enquiry into the condition of Ireland. In the course of this work, he obtained much useful knowledge of the country. In 1539, he was knighted and appointed Sheriff of Kent.

    Lord Deputy of Ireland[edit]
    On 7 July 1540, Sir Anthony was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland and tasked with the repression of disorder. He moved against the MacMorrough Kavanagh clan, who had long claimed the title of King of Leinster, permitting them to retain their lands only by accepting feudal tenure on the English model. By a similar policy, he exacted obedience from the O\'Mores, O\'Tooles and O\'Conors in Leix and Offaly. Having conciliated the O\'Briens in the west and the Earl of Desmond in the south, he obtained the passage of an act in the Irish Parliament in Dublin, which conferred the title of King of Ireland on King Henry VIII and his heirs. Conn O\'Neill, who had remained sullenly hostile, was forced to submit.

    St Leger\'s policy was generally one of moderation and conciliation, more so than Henry VIII wished. He recommended the head of the House of O\'Brien, when he gave token of a submissive disposition, for the title of Earl of Thomond. O\'Neill was created Earl of Tyrone. At St Leger\'s urging, the King in 1541 created six new Irish peerages. St Leger argued that the loyalty of the Anglo-Irish nobility could be better achieved \"by small gifts and honest persuasion than by rigor\", which seems to be an implicit criticism of the savage manner in which the Rebellion of Silken Thomas had been suppressed. St Leger\'s policy of conciliation seems to have been successful: in particular, the Plunkett family, who received the title of Baron Louth, became steadfast loyalists to the English Crown,[4] as did the Fitzpatrick family, who received the title of Baron Upper Ossory. Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron Upper Ossory grew up at Henry VIII\'s court, and he was a beloved childhood friend of Henry\'s son, Edward VI.[5]

    An administrative council was instituted in the province of Munster, and in 1544, a levy of Irish soldiers was raised for service in Henry VIII\'s wars. St Leger\'s personal influence was proved by an outbreak of disturbance when he visited England in 1544, and the prompt restoration of order upon his return some months later. St Leger retained his office under King Edward VI (1547–1553), and again effectively quelled attempts at rebellion by the O\'Conors and O\'Byrnes. From 1548 to 1550, Sir Anthony was in England and returned to Ireland charged with the duty of introducing the reformed liturgy into that island. His conciliatory methods led to his recall in the summer of 1551. After the accession of Queen Mary (1553–1558), he was again appointed Lord Deputy in October 1553, but a charge of keeping false accounts caused him to be recalled for the third time in 1556. He died while the accusation was still under investigation, by which time, in 1559, he had been elected Member of Parliament for Kent.[6]

    Knight of the Garter[edit]

    Garter stall plate of Sir Anthony St Leger, KG, St George\'s Chapel, Windsor Castle
    In 1544, he was nominated by King Henry VIII as a Knight of the Garter. His Garter stall plate survives, affixed to his former stall in St George\'s Chapel, Windsor Castle. It is inscribed above with the motto: SOMIENE DE MOY DIEN (apparently garbled French, possibly for souviens de mon dieu, \"I remember my God\"?) and at the base in semi-illiterate French (i.e. with basic errors in gender):

    Du noble et vailant chevalier mesier Antonye Sentleger Deputie pour la roy en son royalme d\'Ierlond et une de la estroiet chamber du roy NRE (n(ot)re?) souverain SHR frere et compaignon de la tres noble Ordre de la Jarretiere (\"Of the noble and valiant knight Sir Anthony St Ledger, deputy for the king in his kingdom of Ireland and one of the privy chamber of the king (our?) sovereign SHR? brother and companion of the most noble Order of the Garter\").

    The heraldry shows an escutcheon circumscribed by the Garter displaying the arms quarterly 1 & 4: Azure fretty argent (St Ledger); 2 & 3: Argent, three barnacles gules tied sable (Donet of Sileham, Rainham, Kent). Sir Anthony\'s great-grandfather Sir John St Leger (d.1442) of Ulcombe, married Margery Donet (or Donnet), daughter and heiress of James Donet (d.1409) of Sileham. His crest is shown as: A griffin statant (Crest of St Leger family, Viscount Doneraile: A griffin passant or (Debrett\'s Peerage, 1968, p. 365)) and his supporters: Two griffins wings elevated (supporters of St Leger family, Viscount Doneraile: Two griffins or wings elevated azure fretty argent (Debrett\'s Peerage, 1968, p. 365)).

    St Leger seems to have been a quarrelsome and unpopular man; certainly, he was on very bad terms with other leading figures in the Dublin administration, particularly John Alan, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and George Browne, Archbishop of Dublin. Following complaints by St Leger, Alan was removed from office and although he was later reinstated, the two men found it impossible to work together.[7] Archbishop Browne accused St. Leger of treasonable words, giving Alan as his source, but the charge came to nothing when Alan, surprisingly, refused to confirm the report.[8] When St Leger gave high military command to James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond, he was accused by allies of Alan\'s of deliberately doing this to endanger Ormond\'s life.[9] Ormond\'s mysterious death from poisoning in London in 1546, with 16 of his household, when he went to dinner in the Ely Palace was, at the least, extremely convenient for St Leger, although there is no direct evidence that he was responsible for it (mainly because there was no investigation, despite Ormond\'s wealth and social standing).


    Leeds Castle in Kent, granted to Sir Anthony St Leger in 1552
    As well as having inherited the paternal estate of Ulcombe, the St Leger family\'s seat from the 11th century, in 1552, he was granted possession of Leeds Castle in Kent, of which his grandfather Ralph I St Leger (d.1470) had been constable.

    Marriage and progeny[edit]
    St Leger married Agnes Warham, daughter of Sir Hugh Warham of Croydon, and niece of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. By Agnes, he had at least five sons and two daughters, including:

    William St Leger, who predeceased his father, albeit having left a son Sir Warham St Leger (d. 1600), whose own son was William St Leger (d. 1642), President of Munster.
    Warham St Leger.
    Anthony St Leger, Master of the Rolls in Ireland in 1593; some sources however describe him as a nephew rather than a son of Sir Anthony.[10]  [1
    Died 16 Mar, 1559 
    Person ID I1313  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2018 

    Father Ralph II St Leger, of Ulcombe in Kent,   d. Bef Oct 1519 
    Relationship putative 
    Mother Isabel Haute,   b. Abt. 1471,   d. yes 
    Relationship putative 
    Family ID F780  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Agnes Warham,   d. 24 Mar, 1559 
    +1. Warham St. Leger,   b. c. 1525,   d. 1597, Cork, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
    Last Modified 23 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F777  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Anthony St. Leger, Lord Deputy of Ireland
    Anthony St. Leger, Lord Deputy of Ireland
    Knights of the Garter
    Knights of the Garter
    Nominated by King Henry VIII in 1544. His stall plate survives in St George\'s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

  • Sources 
    1. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_St_Leger_(Lord_Deputy_of_Ireland).