August 1 – The birth of John Ashley (Astley), loyal servant to Elizabeth I

On this day in Tudor history, 1st August 1596, courtier John Ashley (Astley died). He and his wife Kat Ashley were loyal servants and friends of Queen Elizabeth I.

Find out more about John Ashley in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…


On 1st August 1596, courtier John Ashley or Astley died, probably at Maidstone in Kent. He was buried there at All Saints’ Church.
Here are some facts about Ashley:

  • He was related to the Boleyns – his mother, Anne Wood’s sister was Lady Elizabeth Boleyn, an aunt of Anne Boleyn by marriage.
  • His first court appointment was serving the future Edward VI in 1543, and by 1547 he was serving in Elizabeth’s household.
  • In about 1545, he married Katherine Champernowne, better known as Kat Ashley, Elizabeth I’s former governess and Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber.
  • Ashley served Elizabeth I as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, Master of the Jewel House and Treasurer of the Queen’s Jewels and Plate.

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