25th February 2022 – Cecily Bonville-Grey – Marchioness of Dorset; From Riches to Royalty by Sarah J Hodder
Cecily Bonville-Grey was one of the richest women of her time, inheriting the Harington and Bonville fortunes as a young child. In 1474, at the age of fifteen, she married Thomas Grey, the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville from her first marriage to Sir John Grey. When Thomas was created Marquis of Dorset a year later, Cecily became the Marchioness of Dorset alongside him. During her lifetime she was connected to many of the fifteenth and sixteenth century personalities that we read about today. Her stepfather was William, Lord Hastings, her mother-in-law Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. Her mother was a daughter of the great Neville family and her uncle was the Earl of Warwick, also known as the kingmaker having assisted his cousin, Edward IV, in his path to the throne. Her second husband was a son of the ancient Stafford family and Lady Jane Grey was a direct descendant of hers. During the Wars of the Roses and the emergence of the new Tudor dynasty, Cecily was witness to many of the events that unfolded and her own story is intertwined with many of these events. Yet she remains relatively unknown. This is Cecily’s story.