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Petre, Dorothy

Female Abt 1534 - 1618

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  • Born  Abt 1534  Of Writtie, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Female 
    Buried  May 1618  Ilminster, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died  16 May 1618  Edge, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I04871  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  11 Sep 2012 

    Family  Wadham, Nicholas,   b. Abt 1532, Of Merrifield, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 20 Oct 1609, Ilminster, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  03 Sep 1555  St Botolph's, Aldergate, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F01191  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Dorothy Petre
    Dorothy Petre

  • Notes 
    • Will of Dorothy Wadham, Widow of Edge, Devon 09 June 1618 PROB 11/131

      These documents are held at Devon Record Office
      A very small group containing:-
      123M/F1-2, two deeds relating to the marriage of Dorothy daughter of Sir William Petre and Nicholas son of John Wadham of Merifeilde, Somerset esq., the one a feoffment from John to Nicholas and Dorothy of the manors of Hardington in Somerset and Haydon in Dorset (1555) and the other a post-nuptial settlement by Sir William Petre of a lease of the manor of Ilton, Somerset (1556).
      (Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham were the founders of Wadham College, Oxford.)

      A Who's Who of Tudor Women ....Dorothy Petre was the daughter of Sir William Petre (1505-1572) and Gertrude Tyrrell (d. May 28, 1541). She married Sir Nicholas Wadham of Merefield, Somerset (1532-October 20,1609) on September 3, 1555. Dorothyís only claim to fame lies in the fact that she had enough money (£19,200 from her husband and an additional £7270 of her own) to found Wadham College after her husbandís death. In fact, almost nothing of known of her life between her marriage and his death. The Letters of Dorothy Wadham is a slim volume, published in 1904, and has mostly to do with the college, which received its royal letter patent on December 20, 1610.

      Beneath Nicholas Wadham is the following inscription to his wife:
      Here lieth also ye body of Dorothie
      Wadham widow, late wife of
      Nicholas Wadham Esqz: foundresse
      of Wadham Colledge in Oxforde
      who died the 16 of May 1618.
      In the yeare of her age 84

      Marriage Licence Allegations Bishop of London
      Aug. 18 Nicholas Wadebam, Esq., & Dorothy Petre, of St Botolph, Aldersgate ; to marry there.

      Text: Wadham, Dor., wife of Nic. W. 16 May 1618 , aet. 84. (Neve's Mon. 21.) Book: T Collection: The Harleian Society. Obituary Prior To 1800 (As Far As Relates To England, Scotland, and Ireland), Compiled By Sir William Musgrave, 6th Bart., of Hayton Castle, Co. Cumberland, and Entitled By Him "A General Nomenclator and Obituary, With Referrence To The Books Where The Persons Are Mentioned, and Where Some Account of Their Character Is To Be Found." Volume 49.
      Will of Sir William Petre of Ingatestone, Essex 31 January 1573 PROB 11/55
      The Letters of Dorothy Wadham, 1609-1618
      edited with notes and appendices, by Robert Barlow Gardiner. Published 1904 by H. Frowde in London

      The Wadhams of Catherstone were cousins of another branch of the family based at Merrifield in Somerset with another estate in Branscombe, Devon who are famous today as founders of Wadham College in Oxford. There is a link with Charmouth as the Village had Sir William Petre as Lord of the Manor from 1564 until his death in 1572. It was his daughter, Dorothy who bought much of her fathers wealth into her marriage with Nicholas Wadham. His estates were worth three thousand pounds a year in the currency of the period, and out of this income he saved fourteen thousand pounds, which he determined to spend on charitable purposes, having no children, and his inherited property devolving on his nephews, Sir John Strangways and Sir William Wyndham , father of Wadham Wyndham .His plans for a College were at once taken up by his widow, Dorothy . She had enough money (£19,200 from her husband and an additional £7270 of her own) and were used in the building and endowing of the College which was opened in 1613.Dorothy Wadham died at Edge on 16 May 1618, and was buried with her husband in Ilminster church, where she is commemorated by a brass and monumental inscription. Her portrait, painted, like that of her husband, in 1595, hangs in the warden's lodgings at Wadham College. On the front of the College today can be seen statues of both Dorothy and Nicholas Wadham set high above the entrance.