Thomas St. Leger

Thomas St. Leger

Male 1440 - 1483  (~ 43 years)

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  • Name Thomas St. Leger 
    Born ~ 1440  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 Nov 1483  Exeter, Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I45271  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 18 Nov 2017 

    Father John St. Leger,   b. ~ 1400, Ulcombe, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1441  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Mother Margery Donnet 
    Married 0___ 1429  Ulcombe, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Residence (Family) Ulcombe, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5
    Family ID F18477  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne of York,   b. 10 Aug 1439,   d. 14 Jan 1476  (Age 36 years) 
    Married ~ 1474  [1, 2, 3, 6
     1. Anne St. Leger, Baroness de Ros,   b. 14 Jan 1476,   d. 21 Apr 1526  (Age 50 years)
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F16503  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 8 Nov 1483 - Exeter, Devonshire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440 - executed 8 November 1483)
    Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440 - executed 8 November 1483)

  • Notes 
    • Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440 – executed 8 November 1483) was the second son of Sir John St Leger (d.1441) of Ulcombe, Kent, and his wife, Margery Donnet. He was also the second husband of Anne of York (10 August 1439 – 14 January 1476), daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (by his wife Cecily Neville) and thus she was an elder sister of Kings Edward IV (1461-1483) and Richard III (1483-1485). His younger brother, Sir James St Leger of Annery in Devon, married Anne Butler, daughter of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, and was therefore an uncle to Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire.

      Born c.1440
      Died 8 November 1483
      Exeter, Devonshire, England
      Spouse(s) Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter
      Children Anne St Leger
      Parent(s) Sir John St Leger of Ulcombe
      Margery Donnet


      Heraldic glass in the Rutland Chapel, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, erected in 1849 by Charles Manners, 6th Duke of Rutland. It shows far left the arms of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter (1439-1476) impaled by the arms of her 1st husband Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter. To the right of the last are her arms impaled by the arms of her 2nd husband Sir Thomas St. Leger (c.1440-1483), KG. The rightmost window shows top: the arms of Anne's daughter Anne St Leger impaled by the arms of her husband George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros (c.1470-1513). Below are the arms of his son Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland (c.1492-1543) impaling the arms of his 2nd wife Eleanor Paston
      Thomas was most likely the lover of Anne of York, before their marriage in c. 1474. She had been married at the age of eight to Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, in 1447. Anne and Exeter had had one daughter, named Anne, who had been born in c. 1455. The marriage was unhappy and Exeter and his wife mostly lived apart. Exeter was also a loyal Lancastrian while his wife was a Yorkist, and Exeter fought against Richard, 3rd Duke of York, at the Battle of Wakefield where Anne's father and her brother, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, died in battle. Anne and Exeter eventually separated. Thomas fought against Exeter at the Battle of Barnet, where Exeter was badly wounded and left for dead, but survived. Exeter was later imprisoned, and Anne divorced him in 1472. Exeter was also on Edward's expedition with Thomas St Leger to France in 1475. On the return voyage he fell overboard and drowned. Some say he was in fact thrown overboard at the King's command. St Leger's stepdaughter, Anne Holland, died some time around 1474, leaving her inherited Exeter estates behind.

      Anne of York died giving birth in 1476 to her and Thomas's only child, another girl named Anne. Following his wife’s death, St. Leger remained on good terms with his brother-in-law, Edward IV, and served as the King's Controller of the Mint. In 1481, he was granted a licence to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains at the Chapel of St. George in memory of his wife. He never remarried. In 1483, by Act of Parliament, Anne St. Leger was declared heiress to the entire Exeter estate, except for a portion which was given to the queen's son Richard Grey. This act, by which the lands of the Exeter dukedom fell into the hands of the last duke's stepdaughter and his daughter's brother-in-law, along with a number of similar acts, is thought to be a cause of difficulty in maintaining noble support for the reign of Edward IV.[3]

      Rebellion and death[edit]
      Thomas's brother-in-law, Edward IV, whom he had served faithfully, died suddenly on 9 April 1483, leaving behind a twelve-year-old son, Edward V, who was by marriage Thomas's nephew. However, Richard III ascended the throne in July 1483. Thomas St. Leger attended the new king’s coronation and was given cloth of silver and velvet for the occasion, but he was soon deprived of his positions of Master of Harthounds and Controller of the Mint. His daughter Anne was ordered to be handed over to Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. It has been suggested that Buckingham had the heiress in mind as a bride for his own eldest son Edward. This never came to pass, for both St. Leger and Buckingham ended up in rebellion against the new king. St Leger had been unshakably faithful to Edward IV and, like many of the other rebels of the rebellion of 1483, was undoubtedly distressed at Edward V having disappeared from sight after having been deprived of his crown.

      When the rebellion floundered, St. Leger continued the fight in Exeter, but was captured. He was executed on 13 November 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf. He had been executed with Sir John Rame. St. Leger, described by the Crowland Chronicler as a “most noble knight,” received a private burial. They are not buried in Rutland Chapel as most believe.[citation needed]

      His daughter Anne St Leger (14 January 1476 – 21 April 1526) eventually married George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros. Their son was Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, and their daughter, Lady Eleanor Manners (1505 – 16 September 1548) married John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, and had descendants. Lady Anne St. Leger and her husband George are both buried in the private Rutland Chapel in Windsor Castle.

      end of biography [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S9003] "Barbara Constable (1530-1561)" pedigree chart,.

    2. [S9005] "Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter (10 August 1439 - 14 January 1476)" biography,

    3. [S11800] "Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440 - executed 8 November 1483)", Biography,

    4. [S11802] "Sir John St Leger", Biography,, revisited or retrieved, recorded & uploaded t.

    5. [S11801] "John St Leger (died 1441)", Biography,, revisited or retrieved,.

    6. [S9004] "Richard of York" biography,,_3rd_Duke_of_York, updated February 3, 2016 by.