Edmund Moody

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Captain Edmund Moody (also spelled Mody, Moodye, and Mondye) MP (1495–1552) was an English soldier and Member of Parliament for Dover who is known for having saved the life of Henry VIII. He was the progenitor of the English Moody family, a prominent English military dynasty.

Biography[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

Moody’s family, originally yeomen, had moved from Worcestershire to Malmesbury, where they leased property and pastureland from Malmesbury Abbey, by the end of the 15th century.[1] The family came to prominence amongst the gentry of Wiltshire subsequent to their acquisition, by royal grant,[2] of several of the Abbey's estates, including Garsdon Manor, subsequent to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[1] The Moody family acquired the Whitchurch and Cleverton manors, both near Malmesbury, and extensive acreage elsewhere, including in Suffolk, by 1544.[1]

Edmund's great-grandson, Sir Henry Moody, 1st Baronet,[2] had a record of the descent of the family that began with an ancestor five generations previous to Edmund (b.1495).[1]

Rescue of Henry VIII[edit]

During his twenties, Edmund Moody served as an infantryman in the retinue of Henry VIII. In 1525, Henry VIII, during a hawking excursion at Hitchin in Hertfordshire, attempted to leap over a clay marsh using a pole: the pole broke under Henry’s weight and Henry fell into the marsh, the clay of which closed over his head. Moody leapt into the marsh and pulled the king’s head up through the clay, thereby preventing Henry from drowning and saving his life.[3][4][5][6][7]

As a reward for this valiant action, Moody was rewarded with a pension of one groat per day and an award or grant described as 'The Reward of Valour'. Had Moody not leapt into the marsh to save the King, it is likely that the King would have perished: if Henry had so perished, he would have been succeeded by his daughter, Mary, who proceeded to adhere dogmatically to Roman Catholicism, in the eventuality of which a break with Rome and creation of a Protestant church of England would have been improbable.[3][4]

Captain and Bailiff of Dover Castle[edit]

Moody was appointed Captain of the newly constructed Black Bulwark at Dover in September 1534. In July 1537, Moody was granted the Baliffship of Dover, to which he succeeded in 1543, subsequent to the death of Thomas Vaughan. In 1543, he was made a freeman of Dover and bought property in the town’s Snargare and Werston wards. He was a member of the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports.[8]

Moody is mentioned in The Inventory of Henry VIII’s assets on his death, which is now held in the British Library as Harley Manuscript no. 1419, where he is stated to be the occupant of a bulwark of Dover Castle that was adjacent to Dover Cliff.[9]

Grant of Arms[edit]

On his retirement from the Royal Court, in 1540, he was granted a Coat of Arms, on 6 October, by Thomas Hawley, Clarenceux King of Arms. On the certificate of the grant of arms, which remains in the possession of the College of Arms, London, it is specified that Moody has received the arms, 'for miraculously saving his [Henry VIII's] life at Hitchin, County of Herts, when leaping over a ditch with a pole which brake; that if the said Edmund, a footman in the King's retinue, had not leapt into ye water and lifted up the King's head, he had drowned'. The Letters Patent describe Moody as a resident of Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk.[3][4][10][11][12]

Member of Parliament for Dover[edit]

In 1545, Moody became Member of Parliament (MP) for Dover. In 1546, he was granted another annuity of £20. In 1547, he attended the Coronation of Edward VI.[8]

Marriage and Death[edit]

Moody married a woman named Margery and had at least one son, named Christopher.[8]

Moody died on 28 May 1552. In his will, he requested that he be buried in St. Mary's, Dover, 'in a chancel where the alderman do sit' and stipulated that small bequest were to be left to the officers of Dover Castle. His ship, named the Christopher, passed, together with his goods and leases, to his wife. He was succeeded as Bailiff of Dover by his deputy Thomas Portway.[8]

At least two descendants of Edmund Moody emigrated to North America. John Moody (b. c. 1593, England; d. 1655, Hartford Connecticut) arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633. His descendants settled in Hadley, Massachusetts. William Moody (b. 16 January 1611, England; d. 23 October 1673 at Newbury, Massachusetts). His descendants settled in the state of Maine.[8][13]

Further reading[edit]

  • Weir, Alison (2002). Henry VIII: The King and his Court. Ballantine Books, New York. p. 247.
  • "MODY, Edmund (by 1507–52), of Dover, Kent. History of Parliament Online".
  • "MOODY, Sir Henry, 1st Bt. (c.1582-1629), of Garsdon, Wilts., History of Parliament Online".
  • Hall, Edward (1498–1547) (1542). King Henry VIII. London. p. 38.
  • Inventory of the assets of Henry VIII of England. British Library, Harley ms. No. 1419.
  • Manuscript of Davy, Suffolk Antiquary, in Davy's Manuscript Collections, Additional Mss.19142, fol. 194, British Museum, London. British Museum, London.
  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633, Vol. 2. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 1274.
  • Gibbons, John (1682). Prince-Protecting Providences; or, A collection of some historical passages: relating how several princes and personages (born for great actions) have had miraculous preservations : made publick upon occasion of the late memorable (and miraculous) deliverance of His Royal Highness, James Duke of York. London. p. 4.
  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633, Vol. 2. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 1274.
  • Hine, Reginald L. (1927). The History of Hitchin, Vols I and II. Unwin Brothers Ltd., Gresham Press, Great Britain. p. Vol. I, p.140; Vol. II, p.243.
  • James, G.P.R. Darnley (1836). "12". Field of the Cloth of Gold. Harper Brothers, New York. p. 14.
  • The Arms and Crest of Edmund Moodye; granted on October 6 1541. Thomas Hawley, College of Arms, London.
  • Reed-Lewis, William (1899). Some Genealogical Notes Regarding the Moodys of Co. Suffolk, and America. F. Hockliffe, Bedford.
  • "Penny Magazine, Hawking". Vol. III, 161. London. 4 October 1834. p. 392. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "MOODY, Sir Henry, 1st Bt. (c.1582-1629), of Garsdon, Wilts., History of Parliament Online".
  2. ^ a b Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H (1991). Crowley, D.A. (ed.). "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 14, pp89-95: Garsdon". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Weir, Alison (2002). Henry VIII: The King and his Court. Ballantine Books, New York. p. 247.
  4. ^ a b c Hall, Edward (1498–1547 (1542). King Henry VIII. London. p. 38.
  5. ^ Gibbons, John (1682). Prince-Protecting Providences; or, A collection of some historical passages: relating how several princes and personages (born for great actions) have had miraculous preservations : made publick upon occasion of the late memorable (and miraculous) deliverance of His Royal Highness, James Duke of York. London. p. 4.
  6. ^ Hine, Reginald L. (1927). The History of Hitchin, Vols I and II. Unwin Brothers Ltd., Gresham Press, Great Britain. p. Vol. I, p.140; Vol. II, p.243.
  7. ^ James, G.P.R. Darnley (1836). "12". Field of the Cloth of Gold. Harper Brothers, New York. p. 14.
  8. ^ a b c d e "MODY, Edmund (by 1507–52), of Dover, Kent. History of Parliament Online".
  9. ^ Inventory of the assets of Henry VIII of England. British Library, Harley ms. No. 1419.
  10. ^ Manuscript of Davy, Suffolk Antiquary, in Davy's Manuscript Collections, Additional Mss.19142, fol. 194, British Museum, London. British Museum, London.
  11. ^ Reed-Lewis, William (1899). Some Genealogical Notes Regarding the Moodys of Co. Suffolk, and America. F. Hockliffe, Bedford.
  12. ^ The Arms and Crest of Edmund Moodye; granted on October 6 1541. Thomas Hawley, College of Arms, London.
  13. ^ Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633, Vol. 2. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 1274.