Arden family

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Arden of Park Hall.jpg

The Arden family is, according to an article by James Lees-Milne in the 18th edition of Burke's Peerage/Burke's Landed Gentry, volume 1, one of only three families in England that can trace its lineage in the male line back to Anglo-Saxon times (the other two being the Berkeley family and the Swinton family). The Arden family takes its name from the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire.


Alwin (Æthelwine), nephew of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, was Sheriff of Warwickshire at the time of the Norman Conquest.[1][2] He was succeeded by his son, Thorkell of Arden (variously spelt Thorkill, Turchil etc.), whose own son and principal heir, Siward de Arden, subsequently married Cecilia, granddaughter of Aldgyth, daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, and from this union the Ardens descend (Siward was Thorkell's son by his first wife, whose name is not recorded; his second wife, Leofrun, was another daughter of Ælfgar).[3] Subsequent generations of the family remained prominent in Warwickshire affairs and on many occasions held the shrievalty. From the time of Sir Henry de Arden in the 14th century the Ardens had their primary estate at Park Hall, Castle Bromwich.[4] The descent from Alwin is as follows:[5]

  • Alwin (d. c.1083)
  • Thorkell of Arden (d. c.1100)
  • Siward de Arden, m. Cecilia
  • Henry de Arden (d. aft. 1166)
  • William de Arden, m. Galiena
  • William de Arden, m. Avice
  • Sir Thomas de Arden, m. Riese
  • Ralph de Arden (d. aft. 1290)
  • Ralph de Arden, m. Isabel de Bromwich
  • Sir Henry de Arden (d. c.1400), m. Ellen
  • Sir Ralph Arden (d. 1420), m. Sybil
  • Robert Arden (executed 12 Aug 1452), m. Elizabeth Clodshall
  • Walter Arden (d. 5 Aug 1502), m. Eleanor Hampden
  • Sir John Arden (d. 1526), m. Alice Bracebridge
  • Thomas Arden (d. 1563), m. Mary Andrewes
  • William Arden (d. 1546), m. Elizabeth Conway
  • Edward Arden (executed 20 Dec 1583), m. Mary Throckmorton
  • Robert Arden (d. 27 Feb 1635), m. Elizabeth Corbet
  • Sir Henry Arden (d. 1616), m. Dorothy Feilding
  • Robert Arden (d. 1643)

Robert Arden was executed in 1452 for supporting the uprising of Richard, Duke of York. The same fate befell Edward Arden in 1583, who came under suspicion for being head of a family that had remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and was sentenced for allegedly plotting against Elizabeth I.[6] His father William was second cousin to Mary Arden, mother of William Shakespeare (Mary Arden was the daughter of Robert, son of Thomas, younger son of Walter in the above list).[7] Edward's great-grandson Robert died unmarried and without issue in 1643, bringing the Park Hall male line to an end (his sister Goditha married (Sir) Herbert Price, who took up residence).[8] The Arden family survives to this day in many branches descended from younger sons in earlier generations.

See also[edit]