Elizabeth Cheney or Cheyne was born April 1422 in Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England to Lawrence Cheney (1396-1461) and Elizabeth Cockayne (1404-) and died 25 September 1473 England of unspecified causes.


Notes: Born in Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire in Apr 1422, she was the eldest child of Lawrence Cheney, Esq., High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, and Elizabeth Cokayne. She had three younger sisters and one brother. She also had two half-brothers by her mother's first marriage to Sir Phillip Butler. By dint of her two marriages, was the great-grandmother of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard, three of the wives of Henry VIII of England (1491-1547), thus making her great-great-grandmother to Edward VI of England (1537-1553) and Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603).

Her Brother, John Cheney (1423-1489), married Anne Parr (1476-1513), the aunt to Catherine Parr (1512-1548), 8th Queen-consort to King Henry VIII.

On 25 Sep 1473, aged 51, Elizabeth Cheney died. She was buried in the church at Broxbourne. Following her death, John Say remarried to Agnes Danvers. He died five years later on 12 Apr 1478. Sometime after 1478, Elizabeth's eldest son, Sir William Say, married his second wife, Elizabeth Fray, a daughter of his stepmother Agnes, by her first husband, Sir John Fray (b. 1419- d. 1461), Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Family of Elizabeth Cheney

Marriage to Frederick Tilney

On an unknown date, Elizabeth married her first husband Sir Frederick Tilney (c1425-1446), of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk. He was the son of Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe. They made their principal residence at Ashwellthorpe Manor. The couple had one daughter:

Married 1: Frederick TILNEY (Sir Knight) (d. 1447) Frederick Tilney (-1447) Children:

  1. Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (bef1445-1497) (C. Surrey) (d. 4 Apr 1497) (m.1 Sir Humphrey Bourchier (1440-1471) - m.2 Thomas Howard, 2° E. Norfolk) - Child : John Bourchier (1467-1533). Sir Humphrey Bourchier having been killed at the Battle of Barnet (War of the Roses) in 1471 fighting for the Yorkist side. Elizabeth Tilney (born before 1445 - died 4 April 1497), married firstly in about 1466, Sir Humphrey Bourchier, by whom she had three children; and secondly on 30 April 1472, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who later became the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, by whom she had nine children. These children included Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard, mother of Anne Boleyn, and Lord Edmund Howard, father of Catherine Howard.
    1. Elizabeth Howard (c1480-1538)
      1. Mary Boleyn (1503-1543) - 3rd Queen consort to Henry VIII
      2. Anne Boleyn (c1505-1536) - 4th Queen consort to Henry VIII
        1. Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) - Queen of England
    2. Edmund Howard (c1478-1539)
      1. Catherine Howard (c1521-1542) - 7th Queen consort to Henry VIII

Marriage to John Saye

Sir Frederick Tilney died in 1445, leaving their young daughter Elizabeth as heiress to his estates. Shortly before 1 December 1446, Elizabeth Cheney married secondly Sir John Say (bef1445-1478), of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, and a member of the household of King Henry VI of England (1421-1471). He was a member of the embassy, led by William de la Pole, which was sent to France in 1444 to negotiate with King Charles VII for the marriage between King Henry and Margaret of Anjou. Her father settled land worth fifty marks clear per annum upon the couple and their issue before Candlemas, 1453. They made their home at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Married 2: John SAYE of Sawbridgeworth (Sir Knight)

  1. Anne Say (1453-1494) - (b. 1453 - d. ABT 1478 / 1494) (m. Henry Wentworth, Sheriff of Yorkshire) Anne Say (died 1478/1494), married Henry Wentworth, K.B., of Nettlestead, Suffolk, Goxhill, Lincolnshire, Parlington and Pontefract, Yorkshire, and of London, Esquire of the Household, Knight of the Body, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, 1481–82, Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1489–90, 1492, Knight of the Shire for Yorkshire, 1491–92, by whom she had issue, including Margery Wentworth, mother of Jane Seymour.
    1. Margaret Wentworth (c1478-1550)
      1. Jane Seymour (c1509-1537) - 5th Queen Consort to Henry VIII
        1. Edward VI of England (1537-1553)
  2. Mary Saye (1464-1501) - m. Sir Phillip Calthorpe, knight, by whom she had issue.
  3. William Say (1452-1529) - of Baas (in Broxbourne), Bedwell (in Essendon), Bennington, Little Berkhampstead, and Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, Lawford, Essex, Market Overton, Rutland, etc., Burgess (M.P.) for Plympton, Knight of the Shire for Hertfordshire, Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 1478–9, Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire, 1482–3, Justice of the Peace for Hertfordshire, 1486–1506, and, in right of his 1st wife, of East Lydford, Radstock, Spaxton, Wellesleigh, and Wheathill, Somerset, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Wormingford Hall (in Wormingford), Essex, Great Munden, Hertfordshire, etc. He married (1st) before 18 November 1472 (date of letters of attorney) Genevieve Hill, daughter/heiress of John Hill, of Spaxton, Somerset. She was still alive in 1478. He married (2nd) shortly after 18 April 1480 Elizabeth Fray, widow of Sir Thomas Waldegrave, by whom he had two daughters, Mary Say and Elizabeth Say. Eldest daughter, Mary Say, who was a lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII's first Queen consort, Catherine of Aragon.
  4. Thomas SAY - of Liston Hall, Essex
  5. Leonard SAY (priest - [Master] Leonard Say, clerk, Rector of Spaxton, Somerset. See Testamenta Eboracensia, 4 (Surtees Soc. 53) (1869): 86–88 (will of Leonard Say, clerk).
  6. Elizabeth SAY (m. Thomas Sampson, esq.)
  7. Catherine SAY (m. Thomas Bassingbourne)
  8. Daughter Say (c1480-) (died young)


Offspring of Elizabeth Cheney or Cheyne and Frederick Tilney (c1425-1446)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (bef1445-1497) 1445 Ashwellthorpe Manor, Norfolk, England 4 April 1497 Humphrey Bourchier (1440-1471) Humphrey Bourchier (1440-1471) Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443-1524)

Offspring of Elizabeth Cheney or Cheyne and John Say (bef1445-1478)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Anne Say (1453-1494) 1453 England, United Kingdom 1478 England, United Kingdom Henry Wentworth (c1448-1501)
Mary Saye (1464-1501)
William Say (1452-1529)
Thomas Saye
Leonard Saye
Elizabeth Saye
Catherine Saye
Daughter Saye (c1480-)


#g1: Offspring of Lawrence Cheney (1396-1461) and Elizabeth Cockayne (1404-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Cheney (1422-1473) April 1422, Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England 25 September 1473, England Frederick Tilney (c1425-1446) + John Say (bef1445-1478)
Anne Cheney (1420-) , ,
Mary Cheney (1421-1473) , ,
John Cheney (1423-1489) 1423, Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England 14 July 1489, England Elizabeth Rempston (c1425)
Catherine Cheney (1426-) , ,



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