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Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton















Henry Wriothesly 3rd Earl of Southampton lived with his family in Horatio Palavicino's house (The Manor) in Little Shelford between 1603 and 1615.


Here he found a retreat after his release from the Tower of London on the accession of James 1st. He has been imprisoned for his part in the Essex Rebellion against Queen Elizabeth and he was lucky to have escaped with his head.



He was a cultured man who was the patron of William Shakespeare. He was also a benefactor of St John's College, Cambridge, where he left his books and illuminated manuscripts. He presented the tenor bell to Little Shelford Church; it is inscribed "Ricardus Hitchfield ne fecit.Henry Wryeste, Earl of Southampton 1612."


His son, Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton, was born in Little Shelford in 1607. This is confirmed in the excerpts below from the book, The Life of Henry third Earl of Southampton, by Charlotte Carmichael Stopes.

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Elizabeth Wriothesley, 3rd Countess of Southampton. She was born Elizabeth Vernon, daughter of a Shropshire squire. She became a maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth, but was dismissed for her clandestine marriage to the young Earl, and spent some time in Fleet prison. Their second son, Thomas, was was born in Little Shelford in 1608, ultimately succeeded to the title, and he was a loyal supporter of King Charles the first in the Civil War. Thomas was among four noblemen who attended the burial of King Charles after the king's beheading.

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