Perdita woman: Constance Lucy


There is too little information in MS Rawl. E. 260 for a secure identification of Constance Lucy to be possible. It is likely, however, that she belonged to the Lucy family of Charlecote, Warwickshire. Following the marriage of Constance Kingsmill (see biography, Elizabeth Lucy) to Thomas Lucy in the early 1580s, several girls in the next two generations of the family were named Constance. Constance and Thomas themselves had a daughter, Constance, who died young, and was buried in February 1596. Their eldest son, Thomas, and his wife Alice Spencer, had a daughter, Constance, who was born in 1614, married Sir William Spencer of Erdington, Oxfordshire, c. 1635, and subsequently - at some date after May 1647 - Sir Edward Smith of Whitchurch in Buckinghamshire, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland. The second son of Constance and Thomas Lucy, Richard, married Elizabeth Urry and they too named a daughter Constance. This Constance Lucy was born in 1659, married Sir John Burgoyne of Sutton, Bedford, in July 1677, and died in April 1711. Constance and Thomas's sixth son, Francis, and his wife Elizabeth Molesworth (see biography, Elizabeth Lucy) also named a daughter Constance: she was born around the year 1629 and married Sir Philip Meadows in April 1661.

The name does not appear to have been used by the family after this period. If any of these women is the Constance Lucy of Bodleian MS Rawl. E. 260, then the Summary Catalogue's conjectural date of 1700 for the manuscript will need to be revised.

Bodleian Library: MS Rawl. E. 260
(Scribe, owner) Constance Lucy