Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Cecil - Contents

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
Portrait by unknown artist. He wears his robes of a Knight of the Garter.
This is a picture from the NPG used at Wikimedia Commons. NPG has said low-resolution images can be used.

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley,
born 18 Sept 1520.
See Wikipedia and thepeerage.
For 40 years (1558-1598) he was a chief advisor (Secretary of State and Lord Privy Seal and Lord High Treasurer) to Elizabeth I.
He has been described as the "chief architect of Elizabethan greatness".
He was educ St.John's College, Cambridge.
He mar 1stly to Mary Cheke and had issue:

  1. Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter,
    born 1542.
    Inherited Burghley House, Lincolnshire.
    Ancestor of Marquess of Exeter.

He mar 2ndly, 1546, to Mildred Cooke [born 1526, descendant of King John].
He was Secretary of State 1550-1553 and 1558-1572.
K.G. 1551.
Chancellor of University of Cambridge Feb 1560 (new style year).
He built London town house, Cecil House, The Strand (later called Burghley House and Exeter House) 1560.
He was cr Baron Burghley 1571.
He was Lord Privy Seal 1571-1572.
Lord High Treasurer from 1572 to death 1598.
He built country seat, Burghley House, Lincolnshire 1587.

Mildred died 4 Apr 1589, at their townhouse, Burghley House, The Strand, London, age 63 yrs.
She was bur with her dau Anne in Cecil tomb at Westminster Abbey.

Burghley was Lord Privy Seal from 1590 to death 1598.
He died 4 Aug 1598, age 77 yrs, at Burghley House, The Strand.
Most sources say he was buried at St. Martin's church, Stamford, Lincolnshire, where there is a monument.
Though [Brayley, vol.2, 1823] says he was buried in the Cecil tomb at Westminster Abbey.
See Portraits of 1st Baron Burghley.
He had issue by 2nd wife:

  1. Anne Cecil,
    born 5 Dec 1556.
    She mar Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and had issue.

  2. Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury,
    born 1563.
    He succeeded to his father's job as a chief advisor (Secretary of State and Lord Privy Seal) to Elizabeth I.
    He built Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.
    Ancestor of Marquess of Salisbury.

Tomb of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Stamford, Lincolnshire.
Picture credit Tudor Place.

Mildred Cooke

Mildred Cooke, c.1565.
See full size. From Tudor Place.

Effigy of Mildred Cooke (foreground).
Cecil tomb at Westminster Abbey.
Effigy of her daughter Anne Cecil in background.
Photo 2012. See full size and wider shot.

Death of Mildred in 1589 at Burghley House, Westminster, London.
On Cecil tomb at Westminster Abbey.


Birth of Anne Cecil in 1556, on Cecil tomb at Westminster Abbey.

Baptism of Robert Cecil, 6 June 1563, Westminster, London.
From here.

Portraits of 1st Baron Burghley

In popular culture

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, appears in many works of popular culture, including:

Ian McDiarmid as Lord Burghley in Elizabeth I (2005).
Set in 1579.


Sources yet to be consulted

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