Anne Locke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Anne Locke (Lock, Lok) (1530 – after 1590) was an English poet, translator and Calvinist religious figure.


Anne Locke was the daughter of Stephen Vaughan, a merchant, royal envoy, and prominent early supporter of the Protestant Reformation. She married first Henry Locke (Lok), a younger son of the mercer William Lok. In 1553 John Knox lived for a period in the Lok household, and in 1557, during the reign of the Catholic Mary Tudor, Anne took two of her children (the younger of whom, a baby girl, died shortly after her arrival) and followed Knox to Geneva, where she translated John Calvin's sermons on Hezekiah from French into English. Henry Locke remained in London for the 18 months that Anne was in Geneva.

In 1560, after the accession of Elizabeth I, Anne and the young Henry Locke, who would become known as a poet, returned to England, and to her husband. Knox sent Anne reports from Scotland of his reforming endeavours, and she worked to find him support among London merchants. Henry Locke died in 1571, and in 1572 Anne married Edward Dering, who died in 1576. Her third husband was Richard Prowse of Exeter. In 1590 she published a translation of a work of Jean Taffin.[1][2][3][4]


Scholars now agree[5] that Anne Locke published the first sonnet sequence in English, A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner; it comprises 26 sonnets based on Psalm 51. It was added to a 1560 volume of translations of Calvin's sermons on Hezekiah that she dedicated to the Duchess of Suffolk.[6] Anne's sonnets show that she was influenced by both Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.[7]


  • Kel Morin-Parsons (editor) (1997), Anne Locke. A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner: Anne Locke's Sonnet Sequence with Locke's Epistle
  • Susan Felch (editor) (1999), The Collected Works of Anne Vaughan Lock

Family connections[edit]

Anne's family background was a dense web of relationships involving the Mercers' Company, the court, Marian exiles and notable religious figures. Her father, Stephen Vaughan, was a merchant and diplomatic agent for Henry VIII. His second wife, Anne's stepmother Margery, was the widow of Henry Brinklow, mercer and polemicist.[8] Through his connection to Thomas Cromwell, Stephen Vaughan found a position for Anne's mother, also called Margery, as silkwoman to Anne Boleyn.[9]

Henry Lok was a mercer and one of many children of the mercer William Lok, who married four times;[10] William Lok was also connected to Cromwell. Anne's sister-in-law, and one of Henry Lok's sisters, was Rose Lok (1526–1613), known as a Protestant autobiographical writer, married to Anthony Hickman.[11] Another of Henry Lok's sisters, Elizabeth Lok, married Richard Hill; both Rose and Elizabeth were Marian exiles. Elizabeth later married Bishop Nicholas Bullingham after his first wife died (1566).[12] Michael Lok was a backer of Martin Frobisher, and married Jane, daughter of Joan Wilkinson, an evangelical associate of Ann Boleyn and her chaplain William Latimer.[13][14]


  1. ^ Diana Maury Robin, Anne R. Larsen, Carole Levin, Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance: Italy, France, and England (2007), p. 219.
  2. ^ Patrick Collinson, Elizabethan Essays (1994), p. 123.
  3. ^ Francis J. Bremer, Tom Webster, Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia (2006), p. 74 and p. 161.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Link label[1]
  6. ^ It appears in Sermons of John Calvin, vpon the songe that Ezechias made after he had been sicke (1560).
  7. ^ Michael Spiller, Early Modern Sonnetteers: From Wyatt to Milton (2001), pp. 24-27.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Retha M. Warnicke, The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII (1991), p. 191.
  10. ^  "Lok, William". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  11. ^ Cathy Hartley, Susan Leckey, A Historical Dictionary of British Women (2003), p. 217.
  12. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, article on Bullingham.
  13. ^ Mary Prior, Women in English Society, 1500-1800 (1985), p. 98.
  14. ^ Maria Dowling, Humanism in the age of Henry VIII (1986), p. 241.

External links[edit]