Isabel Leigh

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Isabel Leigh (ca. 1496 – 16 Feb 1573) was a lady-in-waiting during the reign of her younger half-sister, Catherine Howard, fifth wife and Queen Consort to Henry VIII.

Early life[edit]

Isabel was the first child of Joyce Culpeper and Sir Ralph Leigh. She had two younger sisters and two younger brothers:

  • Margaret Leigh (born ca.1500); married a man surnamed Rice.
  • Joyce Leigh (born ca.1504); married John Stanney. May have had issue.
  • John Leigh (born ca.1502); married Elizabeth, surname unknown. Had issue.
  • Ralph Leigh (born ca.1498; died ca. 1561); married Margaret Ireland. Had issue.

Ralph died c. 1509-1510 and Isabel's mother remarried to Lord Edmund Howard c. 1513-1515. They had six children.[1]

Marriage and issue[edit]

She married Edward Baynton, of Bromham, Wiltshire, on 18 January 1531.[2] They would have three children.

  • Henry Baynton (b. c 1536). Married Anne Cavendish. Had issue.
  • Francis Baynton (b. 1537)
  • Anne Baynton (d. young)

After Edward's death in 1544, Isabel married James Stumpe of Malmesbury, Wiltshire.[1] James had been her step-daughter Bridget's husband, and Isabel and James married after Bridget died in 1545. James died in 1563.

Isabel married a Thomas Stafford about 1565.[3]

Wife of the Vice-Chamberlain and sister to the Queen[edit]

The leases of many manors such as Paddington, Temple Rockley, and Chisbury were given to Edward during his marriage to Isabel.[4] Some of the leases were given to Isabel after Edward's death, and they passed on to their son Henry.[4] On New Year's Day 1532, Isabel made a gift of a shirt to the King, following a gesture that had first been made by Edward's first wife Elizabeth.[4]

Isabel became one of Catherine Howard's Ladies of the Privy Chamber upon her marriage to Henry VIII.[4] Her husband Edward Baynton was Vice-Chamberlain of the Household to all of Henry VIII's later queens,[2] including Catherine Howard. When Queen Catherine was banished from court in 1541, Isabel was one of the four ladies-in-waiting she was allowed to take with her.[4] An account of the jewels that was taken following the Queen's arrest noted that she had given a "girdle of gold" to the Lady Baynton.[4]

For a short time, Isabel served as a guardian of Mary I of England and Elizabeth I with Edward.[4]

Later life and death[edit]

In 1550, Isabel obtained a lease for the dissolved monastery at Edington, Wiltshire with Edward Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of Loughborough.[4] An interest in the manor of Faulston near Salisbury was declined by Isabel, but after her death in February 1573 the interest was taken up by her son Henry.[4]