George Tailboys, 2nd Baron Tailboys of Kyme

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George Tailboys
Tailboys of Kyme.png
Born c. 1523
Died 6 September 1540(1540-09-06) (aged c.17)
Title Baron Tailboys of Kyme
Spouse(s) Margaret Skipwith
Parents Gilbert Tailboys, 1st Baron Tailboys of Kyme
Elizabeth Blount

George Tailboys (c. 1523 - c. 6 September 1540'.[1]) was the eldest son of Elizabeth Blount and Gilbert Tailboys, 1st Baron Tailboys of Kyme. Through his mother he was the half brother of Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset the only illegitimate offspring that was acknowledged by Henry VIII, King of England.


George's birthday is unknown, as is the exact date or year of his parent's marriage. On 25 March 1539, George stated to have been sixteen years old. This would mean that he was born between April 1522 and March 1523.[2] He was named George, for his paternal grandfather Sir George Tailboys.[3]


George as the heir of his father, was the eldest surviving son. The evidence of Gilbert and Elizabeth’s children are obscure. However Gilbert and Elizabeth seemed to have had five or six children in total. In 1805 when the church of South Kyme was being rebuilt, the vaults were opened containing Gilbert’s tomb. Four lead coffins were found inside, below the monument erected by Elizabeth Blount. These contained a fully grown adult and three children. One of the coffins had been opened by the workmen and they found it to contain a child aged around five or six. The child was well preserved and looked as if it had only recently died. In one of the coffins, a body could contain Robert Tailboys, 3rd Baron Tailboys of Kyme although it is strange since he was a Baron Tailboys himself that there is no memorial to his memory. Also he had died in March 1542 and at the latest he would have been twelve perhaps thirteen and too big to be one of the children, and also unlikely to be buried with their father was George Tailboys who had been sixteen or seventeen when he died.[4] The siblings who did survive their father was George’s elder sister was Elizabeth, and he had one known younger brother Robert, who succeeded him following his short life. Robert himself would die in his early teens, leaving their barony to their elder sister Elizabeth who lived until the reign of Elizabeth I and became the wife of Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick. George’s mother remarried a few years after the death of her husband Gilbert. Her chose of husband was Edward Clinton or Fiennes, 1st Earl of Lincoln, 9th Baron Clinton, through him George gained three half sisters, Margaret, Catherine and Bridget.

Henry FitzRoy[edit]

His elder half brother Henry FitzRoy was around four years older than him, and Richmond would only have his maternal brothers, as he would die before the birth of his royal half brother Edward VI, King of England. George seemed to have built a relationship with his royal brother, suggesting that the two brothers were brought together, perhaps when their mother would visit Richmond at Sheriff Hutton Castle, George would go to. The brotherly relationship led to George receiving royal hand me down's of Richmond's fine clothing. In the 1531 inventory of Richmond's possessions, his clothing were given to his half brother George. On 3 August 1533 on the orders of the duke of Norfolk, Richmond's guardian, clothing such as a gown of purple taffeta, edged with purple velvet and with buttons of gold decorated with roses were passed along to George. On the same day he also received a gown of blue tinsel, lined with black satin and edged with black velvet. Other garments included a doublet of gold.[5] Richmond also thought of his maternal family in the last weeks of his life. In an inventory taken following his death, it was recorded that he had given his half brother George more clothing and it had been delivered personally by Richmond's personal attendant and friend George Cotton.[6] Richmond died in July 1536 when George was around thirteen.


On the 15 April 1530, George’s father Gilbert Tailbois died when he was about seven years of age. George’s wardship was a valuable commodity, and it was granted to William Fitzwilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton who would become Lord High Admiral after the death of Richmond. Southampton took his ward with him to Calais, George being there on the 13 December at the reception of Anne of Cleves. Southampton was a childless man and seems to have been fond of his ward and when George died in September 1540 he wrote to Henry in a letter dated 6 September: Thus having no other news to signify, but that your majesty hath lost a great treasure in my lord Tailbois, whom, if worldly goodness would have preserved, would to God, I had bestowed and spent all I have wonder your grace in this world to have him a life, for in my opinion a more toward and likely gentleman to have done your majesty service had ye not within your realm but the will of God must be fulfilled.[7]


In July 1536, when he was thirteen and the same year his brother Henry died, George took his seat in parliament for the first time as Lord Tailboys of Kyme.[8] His mother of course did not hold his wardship though it seems he sometimes remained in her care. In February 1537 when George was about fourteen, he and his mother received a joint grant of the office of bailiff of the manor of nearby Tattershall Castle. They were also appointed as keepers of the great park and chaser there and other areas with in the manorial estate. It was close to South Kyme, and the Tailboys sphere of influence. By the late 1530s George was granted more autonomy in his own affairs, with a report made to the king of his lordship of the strategically important, but dilapidated, Harbottle Castle, recommending that George should either be compelled to repair the castle or that the king should take it into his own hands and pay the young lord compensation.[9]


Since his wardship was in the hands of his guardian Southampton, it is doubtful that Elizabeth Blount played a role in arranging the match between her son and Margaret Skipwith. Furthermore, Elizabeth herself died at some point between February 1539 and January 1540 and probably never saw her second son marry. The bride was chosen to be Margaret Skipwith, a cousin of Southampton's, and the daughter of Sir William Skipwith, a Lincolnshire gentleman.[10] Writing to Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle in January 1538, John Husee reports court gossip regarding George's future bride. My lord of Wiltshire is again now in the court and very well entertained. The election lieth betwixt Mrs Mary Shelton and Mrs Mary Skipwith. I pray Jesu send such one as may be for his highness comfort and the wealth of the realm. Herein I doubt not but your lordship will keep his silence till the matter be surely known.[11] Muriel St Clare Byrne, in her commentary in relation to this letter suggested that Henry was casting an appreciative eye on both ladies, evidently to make one of them either his mistress or perhaps, his wife. However, by 17 April 1539, Sir Thomas Heneage an uncle of Margaret's, wrote to Cromwell informing him that the King had given his consent to the match between young George and Margaret. John Husee wrote again to his master on 26 April 1539, that It hath been shrewd me that Mrs Skipwith shall marry the Lord Tailbois. This is shall please your lordship to keep secret till you hear more. The reasons for secrecy, or even Lord Lisle’s interest in the match, is unclear, particularly as on 15 May 1539, Husee deemed it important enough to inform Lady Lisle that the lord Tailbois is married with no further comment.

Only being 16 and not yet into his majority, an Act of Parliament was passed, to put him in possession of his estates and enable him to settle a jointure on his wife.[12] As a minor George had no control of his property, something that was recited by a private Act of a dower on his wife at the humble suit, petition, and special instance of the said Earl [of Southampton], and also for the good and faithful service that the said Gilbert the late Lord Tailbois and his ancestors hath done unto his highness and his progenitors. It was an unusual act closely resembling the one his father once had following his marriage to George's mother, Henry's discarded mistress. The King and Southampton had no need to relinquish control of George's property for another five years. It is therefore probable that Margaret Skipwith had been Henry’s mistress, and George was like his father Gilbert.[13]


George sadly did not long survive his marriage, dying, like his royal half brother Henry, in his late teens, in September 1540. Their mother was most likely not alive at the time of his death, thus was spared the pain of losing two sons. It has been speculated that George may have died as a result of consumption. Given that he had been well enough to travel to Calais at the end of 1539, means it was not a long term illness.

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Gilbert Tailboys
Baron Tailboys of Kyme
Succeeded by
Robert Tailboys


  1. ^ The life and times of Sir Peter Carew, John Hooker, pg. 45
  2. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 141
  3. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 177
  4. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 177
  5. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 192
  6. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 270
  7. ^ The life and times of Sir Peter Carew, John Hooker, pg. 45
  8. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 276
  9. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2011) Pg. 276
  10. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2012) Pg. 276
  11. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2012) Pg. 277
  12. ^ The life and times of Sir Peter Carew, John Hooker, pg. 45
  13. ^ Bessie Blount, Elizabeth Norton (London, 2012) Pg. 279