The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Frances Radcliffe [Sydney], Countess of Sussex, daughter of Sir William Sydney and Anne Sydney [Packenham]
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© National Portrait Gallery

Frances, the wife of the famous Lord Sussex, whom Sir Walter Scott has described in absurdly complimentary terms in Kenilworth, was the youngest daughter of Sir William Sidney, by his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Hugh Pagenham, and widow of Thomas Fitzwilliam, brother of Lord Southampton. She was thus sister to Sir Henry Sidney, who succeeded her husband as Lord Deputy in Ireland, and of whom Lord Sussex ever after remained unduly jealous, notwithstanding all the efforts of his wife towards a reconciliation.

Married to Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, April 26, 1555, Frances was left a widow in June, 1583. In March, 1589, she died at Bermondsey, and was buried in St. Paul's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.

Throughout her married life and widowhood Lady Sussex had been noted for her boundless benevolence and her support of the new-born Anglican Church, of whose communion she was a staunch member. Lord Sussex having no children by her, she bequeathed nine-tenths of her property to charity. It is to the last will and testament of this munificent and noble lady that Cambridge University owes the institution of that celebrated college which bears her maiden name, coupled with the title of her husband.

By this will she bequeathed the sum of £5,000, as well as other additional property, for the foundation and endowment at Cambridge of a college to be christened the "Lady Frances Sidney-Sussex." Should this sum and the attendant property prove insufficient for the purpose of erecting such a College, it was to be expended instead in adorning, enriching, and enlarging Clare Hall, on condition that this institution should, out of grateful remembrance, be known in future as the "Clare and Lady Frances Sidney-Sussex College." The foundation of the new college took place in 1596, and it was formally opened on its completion, some three years later.


See also The Sidneys of Penshurst, Sidney Sussex College Web Site and
Date
Type
Information
Source
 
1531
Born
In the Parish of Penshurst, Kent
IGI - Family Search
 
26th Apr 1555
Married
Thomas Radcliffe at Hampton Court
The Sidneys of Penshurst
ODNB web site
 
9th Mar 1589
Died
In the Parish of Bermondsey, London
The Sidneys of Penshurst
ODNB web site
 
15th Apr 1589
Buried
At St Paul's Chapel in the Parish of Westminster, London
The Sidneys of Penshurst
ODNB web site

Ancestor's report
No descendent's report
Radcliff, Radcliffe individual records
Sidney, Sydney individual records
The ancestral pedigree of Frances Radcliffe [Sydney], Countess of Sussex
  
2nd marriage William Sydneym: c 1450Thomasine Barrington 
 b: c 1425  b: c 1400 daughter of John Barrington and widow of John Lunsford
  
   
 Lewis Nicholas 
 b: 1450 to 1454 b: 1450 to 1454
d: c 1512
 
      
Great-
Grandfather record
   
   
   
 Nicholas Sydneym: c 1485Anne Brandon 
 b: 1450 to 1454
d: c 1512
  b: c 1460 daughter of Sir William Brandon
  
      
 Thomasine William Thomas Robert Francis 
 b: c 1490 Penshurst, Kent b: 8th Mar 1501 Penshurst, Kent
d: 10th Feb 1554 Penshurst, Kent
bur: after 10th Feb 1554 St. John the Baptist, Penshurst, Kent
 b: c 1506 Penshurst, Kent b: c 1508 Penshurst, Kent b: c 1510 Penshurst, Kent 
            
Grandfather record
   
   
   
 Sir William Sydneym: 28th Jun 1524 Penshurst Place, Penshurst, KentAnne Packenham 
 b: 8th Mar 1501 Penshurst, Kent
d: 10th Feb 1554 Penshurst, Kent
bur: after 10th Feb 1554 St. John the Baptist, Penshurst, Kent
  b: c 1505 daughter of Hugh Packenham
d: 22nd Oct 1543
  
      
 Anne Lucy Mary Henry Frances 
 b: c 1525 Penshurst, Kent b: 28th Aug 1526 Penshurst, Kent
d: 11th Sep 1588 Penshurst, Kent
 b: c 1527 Penshurst, Kent b: 20th Jul 1529 Baynard's Castle, London
d: 5th May 1586 Ludlow Castle, Shropshire
bur: 21st Jun 1586 St. John the Baptist, Penshurst, Kent
 b: 1531 Penshurst, Kent
d: 9th Mar 1589 Bermondsey, London
bur: 15th Apr 1589 St Paul's Chapel, Westminster, London
 
             
Parental record
   
   
   
 Thomas Radcliffe
Lord Fitzwalter & Earl of Sussex
m: 26th Apr 1555 Hampton CourtFrances Sydney
Countess of Sussex
 
 b: 1526/27
d: 9th Jun 1583
 b: 1531 Penshurst, Kent
d: 9th Mar 1589 Bermondsey, London
bur: 15th Apr 1589 St Paul's Chapel, Westminster, London
Family record

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