Nazareth Paget

nazareth newtonNazareth Newton was the daughter of Sir John Newton and a cousin to Sir Robert Dudley.  Her first marriage was to Sir Thomas Southwell of Woodrising in Norfolk.  The family was noted for its catholicism but this didn’t prevent the widowed Nazareth from serving Elizabeth I.

The link to Robert Dudley is a reminder that much of the Tudor court were related to one another somewhere along the line.  Nazareth’s web of unexpected connections extends to another generation.  One of her daughters with Southwell was called Elizabeth.  She became the mistress of the Earl of Essex and gave birth to his illegitimate son Walter Devereux.

In 1570 Nazareth married Sir Thomas Paget, the Third Baron Paget.  His father was Sir William Paget – Henry VIII’s close adviser and it was perhaps because of the link with the Dudleys that Nazareth married Paget or perhaps they met at court.  In any event Nazareth’s second marriage was a disaster.  She was not permitted to keep any servants from her home in Woodrising and her new husband grew steadily more firm in his recusancy to the extent that he organised a sermon by the Jesuit Edmund Campion and was forced to take a course in the doctrine of the Church of England whilst under house arrest in Windsor.  It did no good.  Paget attempted to avoid Protestant Church services and his servants interrupted an easter service.  His career was ruined.  His home life was even worse.  In the end he wrote to Cecil explaining that he and his wife were parting because, in his words, of the ‘continual jars.’

David McKeen is less sympathetic to Nazareth as this quote shows:

Thomas Paget, son of the protector of Cobham’s youth, a cultivated nobleman in whose house William Byrd found employment and whose loss to England and “theCommonwealth of Learning” even that notable defender of the Elizabethan settlement William Camden deeply deplored, was informed against by his strident wife Nazareth Newton, whose perpetual demands had driven them to separate despite Burghley’s efforts
to reconcile them and Paget’s reluctance to leave the woman he so self-destructively loved. Paget felt that he had a reason to remain in England so long as there was hope of regaining his wife, but when she died in 1583 he too fled abroad.

From McKeen, David, A Memory of Honour; The Life of William Brooke,
Lord Cobham (Salzburg: Institut fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 1986), p. 380:

Thomas was stripped of his title and eventually gained a pension from Philip II of Spain.  The Duke of Parma consulted with him about the proposed Armada invasion of 1588.

Nazareth’s brother-in-law Charles was also a Catholic but his involvement with European intrigues was rather more complicated.

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