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Susan Clarencieux

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Died  in or after 1564
Spouse(s)  Thomas Tonge
Name  Susan Clarencieux

Parent(s)  Richard White, Maud Tyrrell

Susan White, known as Susan Clarencius (before 1510 – in or after 1564), was a favourite lady in waiting and longtime friend of Queen Mary I of England.



Susan's family, the Whites of Hutton, were a cadet branch of the White family of South Warnborough, Hampshire. According to Loades, Susan was "probably the youngest" of the four children of Richard White of Hutton, Essex and Maud Tyrrell, the daughter of Sir William Tyrrell of Heron, Essex. She had two sisters, Mary, who first married a husband surnamed Whitehead and secondly a husband surnamed Spenser; and Joan, who married a husband surnamed Wilcocks; and a brother, Richard White, who married Margaret Strelley, the daughter of Nicholas Strelley of Strelley, Nottinghamshire, by whom he had a son, George White (d. 14 June 1584).


At some time before 1534 she married Thomas Tonge, who on 2 June 1534 became Clarenceux King of Arms. He died less than two years later, in March 1536, naming her his sole executor and leaving her the residue of his estate. Despite the brevity of his tenure as Clarenceux King of Arms, Susan was known as Susan Clarencius for the remainder of her life.

She joined Princess Mary's household as a maid in waiting when Mary was sent to the Welsh Marches as heiress presumptive. She lost her position when Mary's household was dissolved, after her refusal to acknowledge Anne Boleyn as her father's wife; however Susan was reinstated after Mary's household was reinstated, after she succumbed to pressure by her father's officials.

By June 1536, Mary considered her a trusted servant, and their close personal relationship lasted for the remainder of Mary's life. When Mary was considering marriage to Philip II of Spain in 1554, Clarenceux spoke in favour of the English candidate, Edward Courtenay, a distant relative of Mary's.

Susan survived her royal mistress. Following Queen Mary's death in 1558, she emigrated to Spain with another of Mary's former servants, Jane Dormer, the wife of Gomez Suarez de Figueroa of Cordova, 1st Duke of Feria, a friend of Philip of Spain's. As there is no further mention of her in the records after the spring of 1564, she probably died about that time while a member of Feria's household.

Little else is known of her life. She may have been married in the three years of Mary's time at Hatfield. It is believed she had two children, to whom Mary was possibly godmother.


Susan Clarencieux Wikipedia

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