7th December 1549. What’s in a Family?

Robert Kett’s Rebellion resulted in his hanging Today in 1549, from the walls of Norwich Castle. (1)

One side effect of the July outbreak was the death, in a Norwich Street, of Edmund 1st Baron Sheffield, also 2nd cousin of Henry VIII.

The Sheffields had risen via the Earls of Musgrave, to a new creation in 1703, that of John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, and for whom Buckingham House, (later to become Buckingham Palace), was built. He also inherited Normanby House.


However on the death of the 2nd Duke the line became extinct, when the Sheffield Baronetcy was created in 1755 for Charles Herbert Sheffield (1st bart) who was the illegitimate son of John the 1st Duke of Buckingham.

It was Charles who inherited Buckingham House which he sold to George III in 1762 for £21,000.

Buckingham House.

Buckingham House.

One thing we glean from the above is how the aristocracy survived down the centuries, though illegitimacy ensured downgrade to a baronetcy.

They were all in it together, a phrase of David Cameron, Prime Minister until resigning after the 2016 referendum.

Oh I nearly forgot, for his wife Samantha is the daughter of the 8th Sheffield Baronet, and brought up at Normanby. Her mother is Annabel who now runs OKA Furnishings, now married to Viscount William Astor, a current member of the Lords.(3)

This piece is  an exercise in genealogy of one family which gives our history so much interest, and is often brought to mind when Samantha’s mother contacts, by brochure, the Author apprising me of her current and exclusive range of furnishings.

(1) Kett led a rebellion against religious reforms and enclosures and taxation. Sheffield died 19.7.1549.

(2) Normanby remained the family house until 1963. Thereafter the home was Sutton Place, York.

(3) Samantha Cameron is descended from Nell Gwyn mistress of Charles II; David from mistress of William IV.


Though Buckingham Palace was later redesigned by Nash for George IV with the Marble Arch being removed as it was not wide enough for carriages, basic sanitation was ignored as by 1828 the project had overrun to £700,000 prompting Wellington to tell King: ’If you expect me to put my hand to any additional cost, I’ll be damned if I will’.


bbc.co.uk/politics. 14.2.2006. Jackie Storer.

wikipedia.org.Pic of Normanby and Buck House.

Roy Nash 1980. Buckingham Palace, Places and People. Macdonald: Futura. though Nash (p.18) gives price at £28,000 for sale.

Patricia Wright 1999. The Strange History of Buckingham Palace: Sutton Publishing.


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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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