Anne St Leger, Baroness de Ros

Anne St Leger
Born 14 January 1476
Died 21 April 1526 (1526-04-22) (aged 50)
Spouse(s) George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros
Children Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland
... and 10 others
Parent(s) Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter
Sir Thomas St. Leger
Relatives Edward IV of England (uncle)
Richard III of England (uncle)

Anne St Leger (later Baroness de Ros; 14 January 1476 – 21 April 1526) was a niece of two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III. Before she was 8, she had inherited a vast fortune and been disinherited of it. Married at 14, she had 11 children, and is a link in the maternal line that was used to identify the remains of Richard III.


Anne St Leger was born on 14 January 1476, during the reign of her maternal uncle, King Edward IV. Her mother, Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, died the same day of complications surrounding the birth. Her father was the Duchess of Exeter's second husband, Sir Thomas St Leger. Lady Anne Holland, her maternal half-sister fathered by Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, died before she was born. According to the 1467 grant, the Duchess of Exeter inherited the estate which her elder daughter had inherited from her father, the Duke of Exeter. The grant stipulated that most of the Exeter inheritance was to pass to the Duchess' heirs of the body, even if fathered by a subsequent husband. Anne inherited the enormous estate at birth, as it coincided with her mother's death.[1]

A much desirable bride since her birth, Anne was contracted to marry Lord Ferrers of Groby. He was the eldest son of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, who had been married to her older half-sister and whose mother was her aunt, King Edward IV's wife Elizabeth Woodville. Queen Elizabeth was determined to secure the Exeter inheritance for her descendants by her first marriage, and in 1483, St Leger was declared heiress to the entire estate of her father by an Act of Parliament. The arrangement, detrimental to the interests of the surviving descendants of the Holland family, resulted in a growing unpopularity of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth.[1] Anne was disinherited and her father executed by her other maternal uncle, King Richard III, immediately after his accession in 1483. Following the Battle of Bosworth Field, in which Richard III was killed, the match between St Leger and Ferrers was discarded.[2]

Marriage and descendants

Anne St Leger eventually married about 1490 or about 1495 George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros, who fought on behalf of Henry VII in Scotland and for Henry VII in France, by whom she had eleven children: five sons – Thomas, Oliver, Anthony, Richard and John Manners – and six daughters – Anne Capell, Eleanor Bourchier, Elizabeth Sandys, Catherine Constable, Cecily Manners and Margaret Heneage.[3]

George Manners became Baron de Ros in about 1512, making Anne Baroness de Ros. She was widowed the following year, and died in 1526, during the reign of her first cousin once removed, King Henry VIII. She is buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.[3][4]

DNA tests

The monastery church in Leicester near which Richard III's remains were hastily buried was dissolved and its precise location lost following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s. Human remains thought to belong to the king were found in Greyfriars, Leicester, in 2012. As his sororal niece, Lady de Ros shared his mitochondrial DNA; she is the only one whose matrilineal line of descent, necessary for mitochondrial DNA analysis, could be traced to the 21st century. Michael Ibsen was found to be Lady de Ros' 16th-generation matrilineal descendant through her daughter Catherine.[5] DNA analysis confirmed that an unusual mutated sequence in Ibsen's mtDNA matches the corresponding sequence belonging to the exhumed skeleton.

A second female line of descent was discovered which matches Ibsen and the skeletal sample, although the living relative has remained anonymous.[6] On 4 February 2013, this, along with other evidence, led to the announcement that the skeleton is that of Richard III.[7]


  1. 1 2 Ross, Charles Derek (1974). Edward IV. University of California Press. ISBN 0520027817.
  2. Jones, Michael K.; Underwood, Malcolm G. (1993). The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521447941.
  3. 1 2 Richardson, Douglas (2005). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0806317590.
  4. Cokayne, George Edward (1949). The Complete Peerage.
  5. "Family tree". University of Leicester. 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  6. "Richard III: How the vital DNA evidence came together". 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  7. "Richard III: Skeleton in Leicester car park confirmed as much-maligned monarch". Leicester Mercury. 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.

External links

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