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Frank Gardner's episode

Chat about the 12th series of the landmark TV programme, which features the likes of Paul Hollywood, Jerry Hall and Gareth Malone

Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby neilgrantham » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:48 pm

Is there anywhere one can see the tree (or at least the part shown on TV) of those people featured?

This was a fascinating episode. Not the first to have descended from William the Conqueror (I seem to recall Matthew Pinsent was too?)

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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby AndyR » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:26 pm

As usual an enjoyable program which suddenly took on whole new meaning half way though at the mention of Dorothy Burdett. I have been researching my wife side of the family and her 6th Great Grandmother is Ann Burdett sister of Dorothy so the program suddenly took on a whole new dimension and greater and greater significance.

Could not wait to tell the children this morning and if Frank was amazed it was nothing compared to our 2 boys when they watched the final 5 minutes.

Do you publish details of the family tree in the magazine or on the web site?

So thanks for what turned out to be a fantastic program.
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby coopernicola » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:07 pm

AndyR wrote:Do you publish details of the family tree in the magazine or on the web site? .

See above, Nicola
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby MysticDave » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:09 pm

The first half was not so interesting, but the later was. I have ancestors in Surrey, who seem to have been legal officials in late Plantagenet and Tudor times, so they backed H8 and acquired the residence of a Catholic family as a result. Not that it did them much good as they spent so much extending it that they lost the lot around 1700!
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby brunes08 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:45 am

Lesleyplant noticed Thomas Arundell in the programme. I spotted a connection to Humphry Davy. Perhaps an episode on Frank's Cornish ancestry might be interesting too!
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby Tabithabenef » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:59 pm

Amazing - this was h best episode yet & what I watch the series for

If WDYTYA producers are reading this thread - we need more of these & less of the ones we have had previously

really good show and full of interest - a very intelligent man & good evening's viewing - I think this needs a follow up made as well
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby michael77 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:55 pm

It was an amazing programme, very well done and Frank is such an interesting character with all he has gone through.

Tracing your roots back to William The Conqueror is astonishing but let's not get carried away.
If you consider we have 2 grandfathers and 4 great grandfathers, by the time you are talking about Great x 29 Grandfathers, there are over 500 million of them in anybody's family tree !
536,870,912 to be precise.

I imagine there are quite a few hundred thousand people in England today who can trace ancestry directly back to William The Conqueror at that rate if only they had the records available !
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:11 pm

"If only they had the records" - err, yes. That's the point.

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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby Millst » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:24 pm

An amazing episode. Sad about the beheading but that was inevitable in those times for anyone going to the Tower and probably more so for anyone really close to the crown. How incredible for Frank Gardner to actually know he is descended from William the Conqueror.

I'll have to watch this again to take in the detail.
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Re: Frank Gardner's episode

Postby royaldescent » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:07 am

I just watched last night the Frank Gardner episode, and thoroughly enjoyed it - as I do all of the WDYTA episodes, both the U.K. and U.S. series - until the final segment at the College of Arms. The early 19th-century pedigree he was shown there, which traces a descent from Edward I for his ancestor Sir Michael Stanhope (beheaded in 1552), is not valid!

I put the details in a post to my Royal Descent blog (which this forum is not allowing me to link to, thinking it's spam because I'm a new user). So here are the details, apologies for the length:

The 19th-century pedigree shows Sir Michael Stanhope's paternal grandmother Mary Jerningham, wife of Thomas Stanhope of Shelford, as the daughter of "Edward Jerningham of Somerleyton Co. Suffolk Esq. = Mary daughter of Richard Scrope," who in turn is shown to be descended from Edward I's daughter Joan of Acre.

This is impossible chronologically. Per his entries in both History of Parliament and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Sir Michael Stanhope was born by 1508. This is a good estimate, as Sir Michael's father Sir Edward Stanhope died in 1511. Mary Scrope was the second wife of Sir Edward Jerningham of Somerleyton, who died 6 January 1515. Sir Henry Jerningham, the son of Sir Edward and his second wife Mary Scrope, was born 1509/10, per his entry in History of Parliament, which estimated this birthdate for him using his age as returned in his father Sir Edward's inquisition post mortem. We don't have an exact date of marriage for Sir Edward Jerningham and his second wife Mary Scrope, but as Sir Edward's first wife Margaret died in March 1503/4, per the inscription on her brass in St Mary Church, Somerleyton, any other child of Mary Scrope and Sir Edward Jerningham could not have been born prior to that date. Mary Scrope was not an ancestor of Sir Michael Stanhope, and her descent from Edward I does not apply to him.

The error stems from whichever herald composed the 19th-century pedigree. Per the Stanhope pedigree from the The Visitations of the county of Nottingham in the years 1569 and 1614, the paternal grandmother of Sir Michael Stanhope was “Margaretta (Elizabeth, Harl. 1400) filia Jerningham.” The Jerningham pedigree from the 1561 Visitation of Suffolk shows no Stanhope/Jerningham marriage. It does show that Sir Edward Jerningham and his second wife Mary Scrope had a daughter named Mary, but assigns her no husband, which means she either died young, or, if still living in the year 1561, was a middle-aged spinster.

In the introduction to her transcription of the 1515 will of Sir Edward Jerningham, Nina Green assigns to him a sister Margaret (or Mary) Jerningham married to Thomas Stanhope, and cites editions of Burke’s Perrage and Collins’s Peerage as her sources. But this placement does not match to the 1561 Jerningham pedigree, which gives that couple no such daughter, nor does it work chronologically. The parents of Sir Edward Jerningham (d. 1515) were John Jerningham (d. 1503) and Isabel Clifton, and they were married in 1459. The father of Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Edward Stanhope (d. 1511), was born in 1469. A man born in 1469 could not be the grandson of a couple married ten years previous.

We may never know exactly how Sir Michael Stanhope descended from the Jerningham family, but we can be certain that he was not at all descended from the baronial Scrope familes, nor descended at all from Edward I. An error made by a herald working in the early 19th-century, long before the computer age and centralization of genealogical records, is understandable. Less so is that it was not caught by the heralds in today’s 21st-century College of Arms. These earlier pedigrees can, and should, be verified with known vital dates of birth, marriage and death. This can be done today with secondary sources - the modern biography entries mentioned above, for example - as well as now easily available primary sources such as inquisitions post mortem, wills, and other original documents in the National Archives. This is especially true for pedigrees such as this one which are going to be televised nationally to a wide audience.

The emotion Frank Gardner felt at the discovery of his descent from Edward I and William the Conqueror is not invalid, however, for he has many other, correct lines of descent from Edward I through his mother, including one through the Scropes and the Stanhopes:

Edward I had a daughter
1) Princess Joan ‘of Acre’ (1272-1307) m. 1) Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester (1243-1295), and had
2) Lady Margaret de Clare (1293-1342) m. 2) Hugh Audley, Earl of Gloucester (c.1291-1347), and had
3) Lady Margaret Audley (c.1321-1349) m. Ralph, 1st Earl of Stafford (1301-1372), and had
4) Hugh, 2nd Earl of Stafford (1341-1386) m. Lady Philippa Beauchamp (c.1340-bef.1385), and had
5) Lady Margaret Stafford (c.1365-1396) m. Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland (c.1364-1425), and had
6) Lady Margaret Neville (1396-1464) m. Richard, 3rd Lord Scrope of Bolton (1394-1420), and had
7) Henry, 4th Lord Scrope of Bolton (1418-1459) m. Elizabeth Scrope (d. 1504), and had
8) Richard Scrope of Bentley (d. 1485) m. Eleanor Washbourne (d. 1506), and had
9) Eleanor Scrope (c.1476-by 1509) m. Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg Hall (d. 1522, descended from Edward I), and had
10) Mary Wyndham (c.1508-1596) m. Erasmus Paston, Heir of Paston Hall (by 1508-1540, descended from Edward I), and had
11) Gertrude Paston (c.1539-1605) m. Sir William Reade of Osterley Park (c.1538-1621), and had
12) Anne Reade (c.1579-1616) m. Sir Michael Stanhope of Sudbourne Hall (c.1549-1621, son of the Sir Michael Stanhope who was beheaded in 1552), and had
13) Jane Stanhope (1601-bef.1645) m. Sir William Withypool of Christchurch (d. 1645, descended from Edward III), and had
14) Elizabeth Withypool (d. 1669) m. Leicester Devereux, 6th Viscount Hereford (1617-1676, descended from Edward III), and had
15) Hon. Frances Devereux (c.1659-1688) m. William, 4th Viscount Tracy (d. 1712, descended from Edward III), and had
16) Hon. Elizabeth Tracy (1680-1747) m. Robert Burdett, Heir of Bramcote (1680-1716, descended from Edward III), and had
17) Dorothy Burdett (1715-1794) m. Rev. John Rolleston, ancestors of Grace (née Rolleston) Gardner, mother of Frank Gardner

Frank Gardner is also descended from Lady Mary Carey “the Other Boleyn Girl”, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn, through his ancestor Robert Burdett (see Generation 16 above). There is a school of thought that one or both of Mary Boleyn’s two children with her husband Sir William Carey were in actuality her children by Henry VIII, which would make Frank Gardner a possible descendant of that monarch as well.

1) Lady Mary Boleyn (c.1499-1543) m. William Carey of Aldenham (c.1496-1528, descended from Edward III), and had
2) Katherine Carey (c.1523-1569) m. Sir Francis Knollys of Rotherfield Greys (c.1512-1596), and had
3) Henry Knollys of Ewelme (1541-1582) m. Margaret Cave (1549-1606), and had
4) Elizabeth Knollys m. Sir Henry Willoughby, 1st Baronet of Risley (1579-1649), and had
5) Anne Willoughby (1614-1688) m. 1) Sir Thomas Aston, 1st Baronet of Aston (1600-1646, descended from Edward III), and had
6) Magdalen Aston (d. 1694) m. Sir Robert Burdett, 3rd Baronet of Bramcote (1641-1716, descended from Edward I), and had
7) Robert Burdett, Heir of Bramcote (1680-1716) m. Hon. Elizabeth Tracy (1680-1747, descended from Edward III and Sir Michael Stanhope), and had
8) Dorothy Burdett (1715-1794) m. Rev. John Rolleston, ancestors of Grace (née Rolleston) Gardner, mother of Frank Gardner

I'm not sure how to contact the College of Arms to let them know their pedigree is erroneous, or whether it's even worth the effort to do so. But I did want the folks behind the WDYTYA series to know the facts, as the whole point of the final segment was for Mr. Gardner to discover he was descended from William the Conqueror, and unfortunately time and effort was put forth on a line that is invalid.

Thanks & Cheers,

Brad Verity
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