William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy
William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy (c. 1478 – 8 November 1534), KG, of Barton Blount, Derbyshire, was an extremely influential English courtier, a respected humanistic scholar and patron of learning. He was one of the most influential and perhaps the wealthiest English noble courtier of his time. Mountjoy was known internationally as a humanist writer and scholar and patron of the arts.
William Blount was born circa 1478 in Barton Blount, Derbyshire, the eldest son of John Blount, 3rd Baron Mountjoy (c. 1450 – 1485) by his wife Lora Berkeley (d. 1501), daughter of Edward Berkeley (d. 1506) of Beverston Castle, Gloucestershire. After her husband's death in 1485, Lora Berkeley remarried firstly to Sir Thomas Montgomery (d. 1495), and secondly to Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond (d. 1515), grandfather of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, father of Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII.
In 1497 he commanded part of a force sent to fight and suppress the rebellion of Perkin Warbeck. Mountjoy was appointed and served as King Henry VIII's boyhood tutor. In 1509 he was appointed Master of the Mint. In 1513 he was appointed Governor of Tournai (1513–1519), and his letters to Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII describing his vigorous government of the town are preserved in the British Library.
In 1520 he was present with Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and in 1522 at the king's meeting with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Having served since 1512 as Chamberlain to Queen Catherine of Aragon, it fell to him in that office to announce to her the intention of Henry VIII to divorce her. He also signed the letter to the Pope conveying the king's threat to repudiate papal supremacy unless the divorce were granted. Mountjoy, who was one of the most influential and perhaps the wealthiest English noble courtier of his time. Sir William Blount, 4th Lord Mountjoy died on 8 November 1534 at Sutton-on-the-Hill, Derbyshire, England. Mountjoy was never disgraced, nor out of royal favor. His son Charles Blount, 5th Baron Mountjoy (1516–1544), was also a patron of learning.
Mountjoy married four times:
- Firstly, in about Easter 1497, to Elizabeth Saye (d. before 1506), daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Saye of Essenden, Hertfordshire, by whom he had a daughter:
- Secondly, before the end of July 1509, Mountjoy married Inez de Venegas, one of the Spanish attendants of Catherine of Aragon while she was Princess of Wales.
- Thirdly, before February 1515, Mountjoy married Alice Keble (d. 8 June 1521), daughter of Henry Keble, Lord Mayor of London in 1510 and widow of Sir William Browne (d. 1514), Lord Mayor of London in 1513. She died in 1521 and was buried at the Greyfriars, London. By Alice he had children as follows:
- Charles Blount, 5th Baron Mountjoy (28 June 1516 – 10 October 1544), eldest son and heir, like his father also a successful English courtier and patron of learning.
- Catherine Blount (c. 1518 – 25 February 1559), who married firstly Sir John Champernowne of Modbury, Devon, and secondly Sir Maurice Berkeley (d. 1581) of Bruton, Somerset.
- Fourthly, before 29 July 1523, Mountjoy married Dorothy Grey (daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset by his wife Cecily Bonville (the greatest heiress of her age)) and widow of Robert Willoughby, 2nd Baron Willoughby de Broke. Dorothy Grey was the sister of Thomas Grey (1477–1530), 2nd Marquis of Dorset, grandfather of Lady Jane Grey (1536/1537–1554) Queen of Nine Days. Dorothy, Lady Mountjoy left a will proved 17 Nov. 1553 (P.C.C. 20 Tasche). By Dorothy he had the following children, all second cousins to Lady Jane Grey:
- Carley 2004.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 941..
- The date of death of Inez de Venegas is unknown. However, as William had remarried by 1515 and was not divorced from Inez, it was pre February 1515.
- Brown 1888, p. 152.
- Emerson, Kathy Lynn. "Catherine Blount (c. 1518 – 25 February 1558/9)". A Who's Who of Tudor Women: B-Bl. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
An update and correct Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth-Century England (1984)
- Richardson 2011, pp. 336-337.
- Vivian 1895, p. 280: pedigree of Dennis of Holcombe Burnell
- Vivian 1895, p. 93: pedigree of Blewett
- Brown, James Roberts (1888). "Jno. and Wm. Browne, Sheriffs and Lord Mayors of London". Notes and Queries. 7th. London: John C. Francis. V: 151–3.
- Carley, James P. (2004). "Blount, William, fourth Baron Mountjoy (c.1478–1534)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2702.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Lee, Sidney (1886). Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 5. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 259–260. . In
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G. (ed.). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Volume I (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966373.
- Vivian, J.L., ed. (1895). The Visitations of the County of Devon, Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620. With additions by Lieutenant-Colonel J. L. Vivian. Exeter: Henry S. Eland.
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