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Memorial Brass to Anthony Fettiplace at Swinbrook Church, Oxfordshire - © Nash Ford Publishing Anthony Fettiplace (1460-1510)
Born: 1460, probably in the City of London
Esquire of the Body to King Henry VII
Died: 23 December 1510 at Swinbrook, Oxfordshire

Anthony was the second son of John Fettiplace, citizen and draper of London and Lord of the Manor of East Shefford (Berkshire), by his wife, Joan Fabian, widow of Alderman Robert Horne. His father died when he was a toddler. He would have been brought up in East Shefford and at Antwicks in Letcombe Regis by his mother and and step-father, John Estbury.

Anthony's family were essentially Lancastrians and one wonders whether he joined Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when he snatched the Crown to become King Henry VII. Very soon afterwards, he was appointed keeper, for life, of the parks of Berley and Cornbury (Oxfordshire), with the usual wages paid out of the lordship of Woodstock, and about the same time was granted the office of launderer of the Laund of Burford, in the Forest of Wychwood, with wages out of the Lordships of Langley, Burford and Shipton. He was also made Esquire of the Body to King Henry, receiving an annuity of 50 marks from the Exchequer for his services. 

In 1488 - along with his half-brother, John Horne, half-brother-in-law, Sir William Norreys and his friend, Sir William Stonor - Anthony was commissioned "to summons all Earls, Barons, Knights and other Nobles in the County of Oxfordshire, to examine how many archers each is bound to find for the King's army, and to take the numbers of those archers preparatory to the expedition for the relief of Brittany, and to make return of the premises to the King in person." Four years later, Anthony was appointed, with others, to met and ride with the French Ambassador upon peace being made with France. He was made Sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire in 1497 and, in 1500, was in attendance at the King's meeting with Phillip the Handsome, the Duke of Burgundy. Five years later, his offices had brought enough reward to allow him to purchase the manor of Swinbrook, near Burford in Oxfordshire. Around the same time, he married Mary, daughter of Sir John Fortescue of Ponsbourne Park in Hertfordshire and widow of John Stonor (d.1499) of Stonor Park (Oxfordshire), the son of his old friend. She was the sister of the Blessed Adrian Fortescue, who, after being for many years in great favour with King Henry VIII, was beheaded on Tower Hill for alleged conspiracy, but in reality for his refusal to acknowledge the supremacy of the King over the Church of England in place of that of the Pope. Maternally, Mary and Adrian were cousins to Anne Boleyn’s father, the Earl of Wiltshire & Ormond.

In 1509, Anthony was appointed Master of the Hunt in Ewelme Park, as held by Robert Harcourt, and Steward of the Oxfordshire Manors of Minster Lovell, Cogges, Burford, Shipton, Spellesbury and the hundred of Chadlington, and of the Berkshire Manors of Buckland, Hatford, Langley, Aston Tirrold and West Compton, forfeited by attainder of the claimant to the Throne, Edmund, Duke of Suffolk. He died the following year, leaving instructions that he was to be buried in the Church of "Swynbrok afore our Lady in the Chauncell," in which spot is still to be seen a brass bearing his engraved effigy and representing him as habited in armour and tabard of arms. He left two sons and two daughters and was succeeded in his estates by the eldest, Alexander.

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