Whilst researching a branch of my family I came across an interesting connection relating to my 11x great grandparents Thomas Burlingham (1563 – 1650) and Elizabeth Howard (1579 – 1620) both of Norfolk, England. Many researchers have incorrect dates for this couple which would make them about aged four when they started a family lol. (putting those silly mistakes to the side) the biggest issue with this couple is research that was made in the 1700’s, of which a line of descent made Elizabeth Howard the granddaughter of a Robert Howard of Syon House, London (1537 – 1598). It is claimed that this Robert Howard who married a Phillipa Buxton was the illegitimate son of Lord Thomas Howard (1511 – 1537) and Lady Margaret Douglas, Princess and Countess Lennox, who married in secret in 1536 against the wishes of King Henry VIII. This part of the story is correct, the marriage did indeed happen and as a result the couple were arrested, Lord Thomas was executed as a result of this in 1537. What isn’t proven and probably not even true is the child, that is claimed they had – Robert Howard of Syon House who would eventually move to Norfolk, England and settle in Brockdish Hall Manor.
This line of descent has been added to at least 50+ ancestry trees, and could easily make people think they have a descent from King Henry VII.
It is claimed on many trees that a baptism is recorded in church records even though they didn’t begin until 1538, and no tree has added the primary source. The topic regarding this birth has been widely written about online with arguments for and against. A Find a Grave page has even been created for him which records his details as the following;
|Birth:||Jan. 1, 1537
Greater London, England
Robert Howard was born on 1 Jan 1537 in Syon House, London, England and died in 1598 in Allsaints Parish, Norfolk, England. He was the son of Lord Thomas Howard (1511-1537) and Lady Margaret Douglas Princess & Countess Lennox (1515-1578).Robert married Phillipa Buxton (1539-1603) in Norfolk, England in 1574. She was the daughter of Thomas Buxton (1513-1551) and unknown mother.
The problem I have is no proof, out of all the trees on Ancestry recording this connection there is only about 5 trees which give an alternative line of descent, there are many that have left this area blank.
Below is a pedigree taken from Burke’s Family Records, which it would seem gets ignored for this family, it records the line of descent for the Howard’s of Brockdish Hall Manor, who acquired the property in 1457, long before a bogus Robert Howard of Syon House decided to move there.
The above pedigree, in my opinion is bare bones genealogy and shows a reliable source for the true ancestors of Robert Howard, who wasn’t of Syon House at all and was born, bred and died in Brockdish Manor.
The eldest member of this family so far known is Sir John Howard, Knt (1410 – after 1457) who was the first Howard to own this manor, I have not been able to add this cadet branch to the main Howard family (although I am working on it) any researchers stumbling on this post and may have information or a source for him please post a comment.
Below is a Coat of Arms for the Howard Family, which I digitally put together. If you use this image please credit the work to my blog. Thank you 🙂