A Beautiful Bennet

Here we go! Her great grandmother is Ann Bennet, who is my great, great, great grandmother. Is she the source of the Beauty found in the Rosamond Women?



Richard Bennet, of Clapcot MP

Gender: Male
Birth: September 28, 1528
Clapcot, Wallingford, Berkshire, England
Death: 1574 (45)
West Berkshire, England
Immediate Family: Son of Thomas Bennet, Esq., of Clapcot and Ann Bennet
Husband of Elizabeth Bennett
Father of Elizabeth Ross; Ralph Bennett; Richard Bennett; Agnes Bennett; William Bennet, MP and 6 others
Brother of Elizabeth Bennett; Edmund Bennett; Margaret Bennett; Avelen Bennett; Sir Thomas Bennet, Lord Mayor of London and 2 others
Half brother of Ralph Freeman

He was the son of Sir John Bennet of Dawley, Middlesex, by Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Crofts of Little Saxham, Suffolk. He was the younger brother of John Bennet, 1st Baron Ossulston; his sister was Elizabeth Bennet who married Sir Robert Carr (or Kerr). He was baptized at Little Saxham, Suffolk, in 1618, and was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He gained some distinction as a scholar and a poet, and was originally destined for holy orders. In 1643, he was secretary to Lord Digby at Oxford, and was employed as a messenger between the queen and Ormonde in Ireland. [1]



‘The Beautiful Bennet!’ Daughter Of An Earl, Wife Of A Duke, Mother To A Duke, Wife To A Baronet!


A glance at the life of Lady Hanmer, Sir Thomas Hanmer’s first wife, will give an insight into the habits of a Lady of fashion a hundred and fifty years ago.

Isabella, Duchess of Grafton, was the only daughter and sole heiress of Henry Bennett, Earl of Arlington; one of the principal ministers of Charles II, by his wife Isabella de Nassau. Her mother was a granddaughter of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and thus a great-granddaughter of William the Silent.

Isabella was the most beautiful woman of her time; but it was in the Court of William, and not in that of Charles, that she reigned supreme ‘Lady of Hearts,’ and was celebrated by all the wits and poets of the day.  Her picture is among the ‘Beauties at Hampton Court.’ She bore to the end of her long life an irreproachable character.

The venerable Evelyn was very partial to her.  The following entries from Evelyn’s Diary throw considerable interest round her premature union with the Duke of Grafton; she was then five, and the Duke, nine years old: –

1672, Aug. 1 – I was at the marriage of Lord Arlington’s lovely daughter (a lovely child, if ever there was any) to the Duke of Grafton, the King’s natural son by the Duchess of Cleveland.  The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated; the King and all the Grandees of the Court present.’

‘The infant couple were married again in 1679, she being twelve years old, and her husband sixteen.’

‘I confess,’ says Evelyn, ‘I could give my Lady Arlington little joy, and so I plainly told her so; but she said the King would have it so, and there was no going back.  Thus this sweetest, hopefullest, most beautiful child, and most virtuous too, was sacrificed to a boy that has been rudely bred, without anything to encourage them but His Majesty’s pleasure.  I pray God the sweet child find it to her advantage, who, if my augury deceive me not, will in a few years be such a paragon, as were fit to make a wife to the greatest Prince in Europe.’

1683 – I went to compliment the Duchess of Grafton, now laying in of her first child, a son, which she called for, that I might see it.  She was become more beautiful, if it were possible, than before, and full of virtue and sweetness.  She discoursed with me of many particulars with great prudence and gravity beyond her years.’

This youthful and lovely mother was then just fifteen.  She lived to walk at the coronation of George II, as Countess of Arlington in her own right, and died in 1722.

Eight years after the death of the Duke of Grafton, who was shot at the siege of Cork, in 1690, Her Grace left a widow at the early age of twenty-two: and though rich, one of the most celebrated beauties of the Court, and of irreproachable character, she did not marry again until 1698, when she gave her hand to the graceful and accomplished, Sir Thomas Hanmer, Bart, then a handsome youth of twenty-two, eventually the celebrated Speaker of the House of Commons, but by him had no issue.  Her only son, by her first husband, Charles, second Duke of Grafton, K.G., inherited, in right of his mother, the Earldom of Arlington, and Viscounty of Thetford, dignities still enjoyed by the representative of the Ducal House of Fitzroy.

  1. Lady Isabella Bennet, 2nd Countess of Arlington.
  2. 1667/8 – 7.II.1722


  1. Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, Viscount Thetford.
  2. 1618 – 28 .VII.1685
  3. Mar 1665
  4. Elisabeth van Nassau.
  5. 28 Dec 1633 – 18.I.1718


  1. Sir John Bennet, of Dawley.
  2. XI.1658.
  3. 1615
  4. Dorothy Crofts.

1588 – 1659

  1. Lodewijk van Nassau, Heer van Beverweerd.
  2. 1602 – 28.II.1665
  3. 7.IV.1630
  4. Gravin Isabella van Horne.
  5. V.1664

Great Grandparents:

  1. Sir John Bennet.
  2. 1627.
  3. Anne Weeks
  1. Sir John Crofts, of Saxham, Suffolk.

1563 – 29.III.1628

  1. Mary Shirley.
  2. 13.III.1649
  1. Maurits, Prince of Orange, Graf von Nassau.

13.XI.1567 – 23.IV.1625

  1. Margaretha van Mechelen.
  2. 1581 – 17.V.1662
  1. Graaf Willem Adriaan van Horne, Heer van Kessel en Woestwezel.
  2. 15.VII.1625
  3. Elisabeth van der Meeren.

Great-Great Grandparents:

  1. Richard Bennet, of Clapcot.
  2. Elizabeth Tisdale.
  1. Christopher Weeks.


  1. Thomas Crofts.

12.VI.1540 – 13.IV.1612

  1. Susanna Polley.
  2. IX.1604
  1. Sir Thomas Shirley, of Wiston, Sussex.

9.V.1542 – 16.X.1612

  1. Anne Kempe d. Abt 1622/1623.
  1. Willem I ‘the Silent’, Prince of Orange, Graf von Nassau.

24.IV.1533 – 10.VII.1584

  1. 24.VIII.1561 Div.1571
  2. Prinzessin Anna von Sachsen.

23.XII.1544 – 18.XII.1577

  1. Cornelis van Mechelen.
  2. Bef 1592.


  1. Barbara van Nassau.
  2. Bef 1592.
  1. Jean de Hornes, Baron de Boxtel, Baucignies.
  2. 11.XI.1606
  3. 22.VI.1575
  4. Anna von Flodrop.
  5. 24.IX.1584
  1. Philips II van der Meeren, Heer van Seventhem en Sterrebeeck.
  2. Aft 1583.
  3. Wilhelmina van Beieren van Schagen.
  4. Aft 1583.

Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton

Sir Thomas Hanmer, 4th Bart.

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About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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