Lecture: Daughters of Devon – The Dartington Bride

Lecture: Daughters of Devon – The Dartington Bride

Author and speaker Rosemary Griggs has been researching Devon’s sixteenth-century history for years. She has discovered a cast of fascinating characters and an intriguing network of families whose influence stretched far beyond the West Country. She loves telling the stories of the forgotten women of history — the women beyond the royal court; wives, sisters, daughters and mothers who played their part during those tumultuous Tudor years: the Daughters of Devon. She has a particular interest in the Champernowne family of Modbury and Dartington.

Her novel A Woman of Noble Wit tells the story of Katherine Champernowne, Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother, and features many of the county’s well-loved places. The Dartington Bride, to be published spring 2024, is the extraordinary tale of Lady Gabrielle Roberda Montgomery who travelled from France to Elizabethan England to marry into the prominent and well-connected Champernowne family.

Dressed in her signature Elizabethan costume, Rosemary will introduce Lady Gabrielle Roberda Montgomery. Known as Roberda, she traveled to Devon to marry Gawen Champernowne, whose father, Sir Arthur, was the first of their family to live at Dartington Hall. The younger brother of Katherine Champernowne, he became Vice-Admiral of the Fleet of the West and supported the Huguenots during the French Wars of Religion. Drawing from her extensive research, which involved trips to France and behind-the-scenes access at Dartington Hall, Rosemary will provide insights into Roberda’s family and the first refugees who sought sanctuary in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First.

Rosemary creates and wears sixteenth-century clothing, a passion which complements her love for bringing the past to life through a unique blend of theatre, history and re-enactment. Her appearances and talks for museums and community groups all over the West Country draw on her extensive research into sixteenth-century Devon, Tudor life and Tudor dress, particularly Elizabethan.

Out of costume, Rosemary leads heritage tours of the gardens at Dartington Hall, a fourteenth-century manor house, now a visitor destination and charity supporting learning in arts, ecology and social justice.