Ethelred and other Stuff


I have just watched Danny Dyer a Right Royal Family and found it a wonderful surprise.

I decided to run a quick scan of my own findings regarding my mothers side of my family Bracebridge. It has always been a bit mysterious to me as my mom and great uncles always said they were from wealthy stock and always mentioned The Arden family and of course this was a family joke. But after watching Danny Dyer and having a dig about on genealogy sites I came up with this.  If anyone ever asks me my ethnicity. I always state Anglo Saxon and I have said this for years. What Larks Pip! What Larks!



I know we are all related to William Shakespeare within our gene pool.

That is his atoms that have been released on his passing have crashed about a bit and zoomed off to create other things but somewhere Sue found out that I as a Bracebridge descendant have come direct from Mary Arden and William Shakespeare.

I am as always doubtful of this but anyhow I am putting the link up here to the Bracebridge family because I find the tale interesting in many other ways.

The sculpture remained in place until 1869 when it was acquired by Charles Holte Bracebridge of Atherstone Hall who presented it to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1871. It now sits in a quiet corner of New Place Garden.

Selina Bracebridge (née Mills; 1800 – 1874) was a British artist, medical reformer, and travel writer. Selina Bracebridge studied art under the celebrated artist Samuel Prout, and travelled widely as part of her art education.

She married Charles Holte Bracebridge (1799-1872) in 1824, and lived in Athens for much of the 1830s. She became close friends with Florence Nightingale in 1846, and the Bracebridges travelled with her to Rome from 1847 to 1848, and around Europe, Greece, and Egypt between 1849 and 1850.

The Bracebridges acted as administrative assistants to Nightingale for nine months at the Barrack Hospital during the Crimean War in November 1854. When Nightingale fell dangerously ill at Balaclava they escorted her back to Scutari.

She and Nightingale remained close until her death in 1874, and Nightingale lamented her loss in a letter, saying ‘She was more than a mother to me’

The Bracebridge family that for centuries were the lords of Kingsbury Hall in Warwickshire, England.

Emanating from the village of Bracebridge in Lincolnshire around the 10th century, this does not seem all that surprising. People during this period did not have what we would recognize as standard surnames and one of the most common practices for this period was to use the village name as your surname.

Surnames really did not become significant or fixed until after the Reformation in the 16th century. So when we read about Ralf of Bracebridge in 975 we know that we are reading about an important family in the village of Bracebridge just to the south of Lincoln.

Then,in the year 1130, the prominent Sir Peter de Bracebridge (meaning from Bracebridge) married the equally prominent Lady Amecia de Arden, Great Granddaughter of the Lady Godiva, and they made their home in Kingsbury Hall, the great three storied manor of Kingsbury in Warwickshire. The Bracebridge family would go on to serve as the lords of Kingsbury Hall for over 450 years and as members of this great family moved to other locations they would change their surname to de Kingsbury.


Alfred `the Great’
Edmund (Eadmund) I
Edgar `the Peaceful’ King
Lady Godiva of Coventry
Ethelred II `the Unready’ King
Osbert de ARDEN
Amicia de ARDEN


The Kingsbury family’s earliest known member is Sir Ralf of Bracebridge, who was born in 975 in Bracebridge, Lincolnshire, England.
Kingsbury descendants in Warwickshire traced their ancestry to Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lady Godiva.

The children of Leofric and Godiva include Ælfgār and possibly, Hereward the Wake. The Earl of Mercia is said to be descended from the Saxon kings of Mercia. He inherited their ancient seat.


The Bracebridge family first appear in records of the town of Kingsbury, Warwickshire in circa 1115, when Sir Peter de Bracebridge and Amicia Arden were married there.
The first-known family member to bear the surname “Kingsbury” was Adam de Kingsbury,’ who was born about 1240 in Kingsbury, Warwickshire. His name meant only that he was from the locality of Kingsbury, before surnames were widely used.

According to family genealogist F. J. Kingsbury, writing in 1905 when standards had not been established, William Shakespeare was a descendant of the Kingsbury family. Leofric’s daughter married Turchil de Arden, one of William the Conqueror’s Norman knights. Their granddaughter married Peter de Bracebridge, in whose family the lordship remained until the time of Queen Elizabeth I. A daughter of this side of the family married Sir John Arden, of Arden, who was the grandfather of Mary Arden,

Screenshot 2019-02-05 14.02.20

Shakespeare’s mother. Kingsbury thinks Shakespeare referred to this in his lines:
‘When nightingales in Arden sit and sing
Among the daintie dew-empearlèd flowers..’
In his genealogical study on the Ardens and the Shakespeares, French also makes similar claims, tabulating the linkages between the Bracebridges, Kingsburys, Ardens and Shakespeares

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