Savage family

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Savage (French: le Sauvage, Latin: Silvaticus) is an Anglo-Norman surname which was used by several English and Anglo-Irish knightly or gentry families, several of whom were politically important in England or Ireland.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives specific articles for the following prominent branches:

Savage of Ulster[edit]

The Ulster Savage family of approximately 1333–1519. They were lords of Lecale, in county Down. They held the castle of Ardkeen, and were seneschals of the liberty of Ulster.[1]

The Savage family of Kent[edit]

Coat of arms of Arnold Savage (d.1375)

Prominent members include the following:[2]

The Savage family of Rocksavage in Clifton[edit]

Arms of Sir John Savage as a Knight of the Garter
The ruins of Rocksavage Primary seat of the Cheshire Savage family

This family were established in Cheshire when Sir John Savage (died 1386) married Margaret d'Anyers, heiress of Clifton.[3][4]

  • Sir John Savage "II" (c.1370–1450). A knight who fought at the Battle of Agincourt and received his knighthood from Henry V for his service there.
  • Sir Sir John Savage ("V") (1444–1492) KG and KB. Knight and military commander (Knight banneret) who commanded the left flank of Henry VII's army to victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field where he is said to have personally slain the Duke of Norfolk in single combat, and ultimately helped to put Henry on the throne of England. Sir John also took part in the Battle of Barnet, the Battle of Tewkesbury (both 1471), the invasion of Scotland in 1482 and the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487. Following his victory at Bosworth Henry VII sent Sir John to arrest Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother Thomas Stafford, who were key actors in the Stafford and Lovell rebellion, the first armed uprising against Henry's young reign. Sir John led 60 armed men to the abbey where the Staffords were hiding and had them forcibly removed. This event prompted a series of protests to Pope Innocent VIII over the breaking of the right of sanctuary which in turn resulted in a papal bull in August of the same year which agreed to some modifications affecting the privilege. He was killed at the Siege of Boulogne when he was intercepted whilst on reconnaissance and refused to surrender. Grandson of Lord Stanley and nephew of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. Left a legitimate son, also called Sir John Savage, who was the ancestor of the Earls Rivers, as well as an illegitimate son George Savage, who was the father of Edmund Bonner Bishop of London who was instrumental in the schism of Henry VIII from Rome before reconciling himself to Catholicism. He became notorious as "Bloody Bonner" for his role in the persecution of heretics under the Catholic government of Mary I of England, and ended his life as a prisoner under Queen Elizabeth.
  • Archbishop of York Thomas Savage (1449 – 3 September 1507 - Bishop and diplomat, younger brother of Sir John Savage. Chaplain to King Henry VII. Served as Bishop of Rochester and Bishop of London before becoming Archbishop of York in 1501. Also Served as English ambassador to Castile and Portugal in 1488, during which time he helped broker the marriage treaty between Arthur, Prince of Wales and Catherine of Aragon in 1489 and then to France in 1490, where he participated in the conference at Boulogne. While Archbishop he played a part in the marriage ceremony of Arthur, Prince of Wales, to Catherine of Aragon. Prince Arthur died young, and his brother Henry, who became Henry VIII, then married Princess Catherine. Archbishop Savage had earlier led the ceremony by which Henry was made Duke of York. Built the Savage Chapel at St Michael's Church, Macclesfield which served as the Savage family chapel.
Thomas Savage, 1st Viscount Savage
Tomb of Major General Thomas Savage, 3rd Earl Rivers in the Savage Chapel at St Michael's Church Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK

The Savages of Rocksavage married into several notable noble families such as the Stanleys and the Morleys. Before eventually ascending to the peerage themselves, first as Viscounts Savage and later as Earls Rivers.[4]

Possible family member[edit]


  1. ^ a b Simms, Katharine (2004). "Savage family (Per. 1333–1519), landowners and administrators". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24725. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b Fleming (2008). "Savage family (per. c. 1280–c. 1420), gentry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/54536. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b Thornton (2007). "Savage family (per. c. 1369–1528), gentry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52794. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b c Dymond D, Savage Fortune - An Aristocratic Family in the Early Seventeenth Century, introduction xvi

Also see[edit]

Refer to with caution!