Last week I was working on a distant line in my tree that centred around a notable figure, Rowland Taylor. Now Rowland himself is an interesting man. He was born in Northumberland in 1510, growing up under the reign of Henry VIII who separated from Rome forming the Church of England (only so he could divorce his wife and marry another).
Rowland went into the Ministry and became quite a popular pastor who tended the poor and believed in strong family foundations. But when Henry VIII’s successor, son Edward died young, the crown ended up in the hands of Queen Mary who quickly reverted the country back to Catholicism.
This was not good for Rowland…
Refusing to convert, Rowland was charged with heresy and sent to prison, later to be sentenced to death by fire at the stake.
He was steadfast till the end, never once considering exile or denouncing Christianity, which would have saved his life. On the day he was led to the stake, even the Sheriff’s wept at the sight of him saying goodbye to his wife and children. In the Commons where his stake was placed, he took off his boots and outer clothes, giving them away to those who needed them. The whole town came out to support him and hear his last words, but nothing could be done to save him as the Queen’s guards soon lit the fire. Fortunately a friend of his used a halberd to strike him on the head as the flames crept up, ensuring a pain free death.
But it is from his wife Margaret Tyndale, that we find my royal link, in fact her father John was offered the crown of Bohemia but turned it down. It all stems from her great-great Grandfather, Sir William Tyndale who married Lady Helena de Felbrigg. Helena’s mother was Princess Margaret Nosak of Silesia (Poland), my 19th Great Grandmother, who came to England with her cousin, Princess Anna (daughter of Holy Emperor Charles IV). Anna and Margaret’s grandfather was King John of Luxembourg & Bohemia. They had travelled to England as Anna was betrothed to King Richard II of England.
From here it just gets plain ridiculous with the amount of Kings, Queens, Prince & Princesses, Dukes, Duchesses, Counts, Countesses, Sirs and Lady’s. So I’ll just list a few.
– King Henry VI & VII of Luxembourg
– King Ottakar II of Bohemia
– King Wenceslas (Vlacav II) of Bohemia
– Queen Kunegunda of Slavonia
– King Rudolph of Germany
– Queen Gertrude of Hapsburg
– King Louis VI of France
And then a whole load of Dukes, Counts etc from the Savoy, Coucy, Burgundy, Flanders, Brabant, Geneva, Turin & Milan families.
The one downside to having royal blood is that the genealogy just keeps going and going and going. Quite a few lines from this side go back as far as the 10th Century so the data entry involved gets a bit tedious after awhile.
I also found out that I share mutual ancestors with Prince Charles (William & Harry), Prince Phillip, Princess Di, Winston Churchill, Baron von Richthofen (Red Baron), King George I, Queen Margarethe, and Otto van Bismarck.
Now I do realise that there’s probably millions of current day descendants of all these people, but still, you can’t help but feel a little bit special! At the very least it makes my family tree a lot more interesting!