The Tudor Society

October 17 – Frances Brooke, Lady Cobham

The Cobham Family PortraitOn this day in Tudor history, 17th October 1592, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Frances Brooke, Lady Cobham, wife of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham, died. She was buried at Cobham.

Lady Cobham is known for being featured in the famous Elizabethan family portrait, The Cobham Family (1567), which depicts Frances, her husband, their six children, and her sister. She served Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes and Lady of the Bedchamber.

Here are some facts about Frances Brooke, Lady Cobham:

  • Frances was the daughter of Sir John Newton of Hanham, Gloucestershire, and his first wife, Margaret Poyntz, who, in turn, was the daughter of Sir Anthony Poyntz.
  • In 1559, Frances was appointed as a chamberer in Elizabeth I's privy chamber.

  • In 1560, she married William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham.
  • By 1565, Frances was mistress of the robes.
  • By 1589, she was serving in the position of lady of the bedchamber.
  • In 1572, Frances temporarily lost her position due to her husband being implicated in the Ridolfi Plot, a conspiracy against the queen. However, she was restored to her position two years later.
  • Frances was good friends with Bess of Hardwick.
  • Her family home was Cobham Hall in Kent.
  • She had seven children with Baron Cobham: three daughters and four sons, including Henry, who became 11th Baron Cobham, and Elizabeth, who married Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, son of William Cecil, Baron Burghley.
  • Frances died on 17th October 1592.

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October 17 – Frances Brooke, Lady Cobham