The story of our family...for my sons

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sir William of Cromwell, Lord Mayor of London Capell

Sir William Capell is the son of John Capell. He married Margaret Arundell, daughter of Sir John Arundell and Katherine Chideocke. He died in 1515. Sir William Capell held the office of Alderman of London. He held the office of Lord Mayor of London from 1503 to 1504. He was fined £1,600 by Empson and Dudley, King Henry VII's ministers, and objected to a second trumped-up fine of £2,000. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London until 1509. He held the office of Lord Mayor of London from 1509 to 1510.

When William Capel died in 1515 he left the manor to his widow, Margaret. She resided there until her own death in 1522, at which time it was inherited by their son, Sir Gyles Capel (1486-1556). A good friend of Henry VIII, he was chosen to select the English Knights for jousting against the French at the Field of Cloth of Gold in June 1520.

The Field of Cloth of Gold (French: Le Camp du Drap d'Or) is the name given to a place in Balinghem, between Guînes and Ardres, in France, near Calais. It was the site of a meeting that took place from 7 June to 24 June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France. The meeting was arranged to increase the bond of friendship between the two kings following the Anglo-French treaty of 1514. The form "Field of Cloth of Gold" has been in general use in the English language since at least the 18th century. It would be the last meeting between an English or British monarch and a French one until Queen Victoria met with King Louis Philippe I, the last king to rule France, in 1843, excepting the meeting of James V of Scotland and Francis I of France merely sixteen years later.

In his will Sir Giles Capel directed, that his best helmet and his arming sword should be set over his "Funeralls" according to the device of the herald, and for nearly three hundred years the helmet hung on an iron bar over his altar shaped tomb in Rayne church. When the church was pulled down in 1840 all the Capel tombs were destroyed except the fine heraldic brass to Lady Katherine Capel, 1572.

The helmet was removed by the builder, William Parmenter of Bocking. It was found with another on a peg in his workshop by a Miss Courtauld, later Madame Arendrup.

She bought it and gave it to Baron de Cosson, the then greatest living authority on the history of arms and armour. It was exhibited in London and later acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of New York who sent a copy back to England.

Rayne Church: the tower was built by Sir William Capel, whose arms Appear in the brickwork near the foundation, on either side of the belfry door: the old church, supposed to have been built temp. Henry II. was once famous for an altar and chapel on the south aide, erected in honour of the Blessed Virgin: of the present structure the tower is by far the most ancient part: there are memorial windows, besides several mural monuments and a large brass, with arms to the Capel family: there were interred here Sir Giles Capel kt. ob.1556. a distinguished leader at the sieges of Terrouenne and Tourney, and the battle of Spars, all in 1513, and to his wife; Sir Edward Capel kt. oh. 1577 and his daughter Grace. ob. 1587; Sir Henry Capel kt. ob. 1588 and Katherine (Manners) his wife, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Rutland K.G. ; Henry Capel esq. 1615 and Thomas, son of Sir Arthur Capel, 1621: there is also a brass with arms and inscription to Lady Manners, ob. 1572.

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