Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alexander Zinzan, the man from ... Albania?

A month back, Malcolm collected his pieces on his distant ancestor, Sir Jacques Granado. Subsequently he rustled up another reference, from the Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council of England, volume VII: 32 Henry VIII, MDXL, to 33 Henry VIII MDXLII (page 71) and, in summary on line through the british-history.ac.uk site:
... at Windsor the 24th of October [1540] being present the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Comptroller of Household, the Master of the Horses, the Vice-chamberlain, Sir Ralf Sadler secretary.

Upon examination of a complaint put up to the Lord Privy Seal by James Joyner of Saint Albans against Alexander Zynzam & Jakes Granado esquiers desquyryes for breaking the peace & their answer against the said complaint, it was enjoined to Richard Rawnshaw sergeant at arms who was thought to be a great meddler in this matter that the said James Joyner of St Albans, that neither they nor their wives nor the son in law of the said Raynshaw should in any wise meddle or have to do with the body of one Katheryn Tattersall widow which is found by an inquest of office to be lunatic, and that also they should keep the peace against all the King’s servants being abiders there in the town of Saint Albans. It was also enjoined to the said Alexander Zinzam & Jakes Granado that they should in no wise give occasion to any of the said James Joyner nor their wives or to any other to break the peace.
Those esquiers desquyryes would be "squires of the stables". Moreover, it shows Zinzan in England fifteen years earlier than stated in the main reference below.

Men of property

Zinzan appears at Aldenham, south of St Albans, and convenient for Akeman Street (the modern A41) between London and the north-west. The deaths of two daughters are recorded in the parish records for 1573:
Septebr Jane & Jone Zynzam ye Childr' of Alexandr Zynzam gent ye 7 day.
Around this time, his son, Robert, is starting a career in the family horsey business: the Disbursement Books of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, include an entry of 40 shillings paid, 5th February 1585, to “young Robert Alexander”. This is footnoted as
the son of Alexander Zinzan, an Albanian Rider of the Stables in the 1550s and 1560s. He [i.e. Robert Alexander] was a member of the Stables staff by 1576 and by 1588-9 an Equerry and Rider (PRO, E101/107/33, Stables wage list 31 Elizabeth).
In 1596, Robert Zynzan or Alexander is leasing land in Christchurch, Hampshire:
site of manor, pasture and tithes in Ogbeare and Avonmead, pasture in Gramborough and tithes in Stratford, rent £7 10s. 8d.
The Alexander record

The most comprehensive account of Alexander Zinzan and his family appears in Charles Rodgers: Memorials of the Earl of Sterling and of the house of Alexander (available in various formats on line):

CHAPTER XXXIV.(pages 171-8)


ACCORDING to the learned author of the " History of Reading," Berkshire, the family of Zinzano, supposed to be of Italian origin, settled in England during the reign of Queen Mary (Coates' History of Reading, p. 445). The first reference to any member of the House in England occurs in 1555. Sir John Norres, knight, of Yattenden, Berkshire, died 21st October 1564. In the inquisition on his obit, made at Abingdon on the 25th January 1564-5, it was found that, by deeds executed on the 25th April and 20th August 1555, he had settled certain lands at Ashampsted and Hampsted-Norres, Berks, on his illegitimate daughter, Anne Norres, alias Graunt, and her issue. At the date of inquest, Anne was wife of Alexander Zinzan, gentleman, residing at Ashampsted.

Robert, son of Alexander Zinzan and Anne Norres, preferred as a surname his father's Christian name. In May 1585, a warrant was directed by Queen Elizabeth to the officers of Exchequer, authorising a grant of £50 to Robert Alexander, styled "one of the Quirries [equerries] of the stable, to defray his charges in conveying certain horses from the Queen to the King of Scotts, also for the charges of such as should accompany him " (Docquet Book of Exchequer).

In April 1594, a royal licence was granted to Robert Alexander and Richard Mompessons, equerries of her Majesty's stable, "that they, their executors, administrators, and assignes only, and none other, may bring into this realme of England annis seeds and sumacke, during the space of twentie yeares after the date of the same letters patent, paying to her Majestie the customes and subsedies due from the same " (Docquet Book).

Among the knights dubbed by James I. in the royal garden at Whitehall, on the 23d July 1603, was Sir Robert Alexander of St Albans (Nichols' Progresses of James I.). Sir Robert married the daughter of - - Westrode, Esq. of Hansacker Hall, Staffordshire, by whom he had four sons Sigismund, Henry, Alexander, and Andrew ; also three daughters.

Sir Robert Alexander or Zinzan seems to have died in 1607, for on the 24th December of that year, Henry Zinzan, alias Alexander, his second son, received the office of brigandery [see reference below] to his Majesty, in succession to his father, Sir Robert Zinzan or Alexander (Patent Roll, James I., v. 17).

On the 8th May 1607, a warrant, subscribed by the Master of the Horse, was directed to the treasurer and other officers of his Majesty's household, authorising them to pay to Alexander Zinzan, and two others, described as "ordinary ryders of his Majesty's stable, an encrease of 15 lb. by the yeare during their lives, over and above their former allowance of 20 lb. yearly. Also to pay unto Andrew Zinzan the younger, now entertayned as a ryder of the said stables, 15 lb. by the yeare for his wages during his life, and to such person as shall succeed as an ordynary ryder of the said stable."
John Pritchard was, on the 24th January 1626, appointed a rider of his Majesty's great horses, in place of Alexander Zinzan, deceased.

On the 28th April 1607, “Andrew Zinzan, alias Alexander, of the town of St Alban, and county of Hertford," is named in an indenture between himself and Henry Cutlar of Ayr, in the county of Suffolk. During the same reign, Andrew Zinzan, alias Alexander, received 66, 13s. 4d. per annum for riding the king's great horses.

Among the burials in St Lawrence's Register for 1625 is named that of "Mr Andrew Zinzan, alias Alexander." In July 1624, Richard Zinzan, alias Alexander, received an annuity of 66, 13s. 4d., and yearly livery, for riding the king's great horses in reversion after Andrew Zinzan, alias Alexander (Record of the Sign Manual, vol. xvi., No. 10).

Sir Sigismund and Henry Alexander or Zinzan, sons of Sir Robert Alexander, were associated as masters of sports at the accession of James I. In describing certain fetes in honour of the king's arrival at Grafton, the seat of her father, George, Earl of Cumberland, and which took place on the 27th June 1603, Lady Anne Clifford writes thus :

"From thence (Althorp) the Court removed, and were banquetted with great Royaltie, by my Father, at Grafton, wher the King and Queene wear entertayned wth Speeches and delicat presents, at wch tyme my Lord and the Alexanders did run and course at ye field, wher he hurt Henry Alexander verie dangerouslie."

In the Warrant Book of the Exchequer (vol. ii., p. 141), a Privy Seal warrant, dated 14th March 1608, authorises the treasurer to pay to Sir Sigismund Alexander, knight, and Henry Alexander, Esq., the sum of 100 in "frie guift." They afterwards received 100 annually " towards their charges for running at "tylte." In certain of the warrants, the "tylte" is described as having been run on the 24th of March.

On the 10th February 1611, Henry Alexander, described as "one of the gent, equerries of His Majesty's Stables, received a grant of all such goods, chattels, and debtes, which ought to come to His Highness by the means of the attainder of Richard Bancks, late of Westness, in the county of York, attainted of manslaughter" (Patent Roll). In 1614 Sir Sigismund and Henry Alexander received a royal gift of 1000. Henry Zinzan was appointed harness maker [see reference below] to the Ordnance, with a salary of 10 per annum. He long retained office in the royal household, for there is an indenture, dated 1st May 1638, between him and Joseph Zinzan or Alexander, one of his sons, in which he is described as "one of the equerries of the stable, son and heir of Robert Zinzan, alias Alexander, long since deceased " (Patent Roll, Charles I., xiv. 23, 26).

Sir Sigismund Alexander held a command in the Low Countries in 1617 (Coates 5 History of Reading). Among the undated State Papers of the reign of Charles I., there is a list of captains recommended for service in the Palatinate. Among the lieutenants is named Sir Sigismund Alexander; he afterwards appears as a petitioner for a company under the name of Sir Sigismund Zinzan, specially recommended "by the Prince and Queen of Bohemia." In a document containing a list of colonels and lieutenant-colonels connected with Ireland, he is named in a roll of captains.

Sir Sigismund Zinzan or Alexander married Margaret, daughter of Sir Philip Sterley, knight, of the county of Nottingham, by whom he had five sons and three daughters. Margaret, one of the daughters, married, first, Sir William Shelley, knight ; and secondly, Robert Thomas, Esq. On the 9th March 1640-1, along with her father, she presented to the House of Lords a petition, praying for relief against a sentence of the Judges Delegates, made upon an appeal from the Ecclesiastical Court, touching the validity of her marriage with Sir William Shelley (Manuscripts in the House of Lords, quoted in Appendix to Fourth Report of Royal Historical Commissioners).

Henry, son of Sigismund Zinzan or Alexander, married Jacoba, eldest of the three daughters, and co-heiress of Sir Peter Vanlore, Bart, of Tilehurst, Berkshire. Mary, Sir Peter's youngest daughter, had, as her first husband, Henry Alexander, third son of the first Earl of Stirling, who afterwards succeeded to the earldom. Among the Close Rolls is an indenture, executed on the llth January 1661, between Sir Robert Crooke, who married Susan, second daughter of Sir Peter Vanlore, and his two brothers-in-law, Henry Zinzan or Alexander, and Henry, Earl of Stirling. Henry Zinzan or Alexander died in November 1676, and Jacoba, his wife, in the following
year. Both were interred at Tilehurst, and are commemorated by a monument in the parish church.

By his wife, Jacoba Vanlore, Henry Zinzan or Alexander had three sons, Henry, Nicholas, and Peter ; also five daughters. Henry, the eldest son, was born 2d January 1633. An indenture, dated 28th August 1704, between Peter Zinzan or Alexander of Reading, Berks, and Nicholas Zinzan, alias Alexander, of London, describes the former as "brother and heir of Henry Alexander, alias Zinzan, late of Tylehurst, in the county of Berks, deceased." Nicholas Zinzan was a member of St John's College, Oxford, and took the degree of M.A., 16th March 1694. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Hough in Magdalen Chapel, 22d May 1692.

Peter Zinzan or Alexander, third son of Henry Zinzan, was vicar of St Lawrence, Reading. His grandson, Peter Zinzan, baptized 30th September 1705, was elected a demy of Magdalen College, Oxford, in July 1723, on the Berkshire foundation, and took the degree of M.A. in 1729. He resigned his demyship in 1731, but became probation-fellow in 1735. He afterwards held various offices in his college, of which he became vice-president in 1746.

In a letter addressed by the magistrates of Leith to the magistrates of Edinburgh, dated 17th October 1668, one Charles Zinzan is named as resident at Leith, and as having had his house attacked by sixteen French soldiers (Analecta Scotica, vol. ii., p. 164); he may have been a son of Henry Zinzan or Alexander. Charles Zinzan, who practised medicine at Reading, married, first, the widow of Charles Hopson, Esq. of Beenham, and secondly, Sarah, daughter of Matthews of Reading. He died Reading on the 9th November 1781, and his remains were deposited in St Mary's churchyard. He is the individual referred to in Dr Bacon's " Kyte" in The Oxford Sausage. Describing his manners, Mr Coates remarks : " Had he not retired from his
profession upon his first marriage, he would probably have been distinguished in it ; but wealth, as is frequently the case, checked the exertions of genius (Coates' History of Reading, and Private Sources).
Note: It isn't a great leap from making body-armour ("brigander") to harnesses for horses.

The Globe Theatre

What is missing there is that the Zinzans did not limit their entertainments to horse-back. Their names crop up in masques (though mainly in that professional equestrian context). Sir Sigismund, though, was the landlord of The Globe theatre between 1624 and 1627. Thomas Brend (abt 1516-1598) owned the site, which passed to his son, Nicholas (abt 1561-1601). Sigismund married Nicholas Brend's widow, the former
Margaret Strelley. In due course, the property passed on to Sir Matthew Bend, Nicholas's son.

The Visitation of Berkshire

Some of the genealogy provided by Rodgers derives from Ashmole's Visitation of Berkshire, 1664-1666, which includes two tables involving the Zinzan family:

and (page 117):

But still ... Albanian?

There is no contradiction when the Dudley book suggests Zinzan was "Albanian" while Rodgers makes the Italian connection. At that time, much of the Dalmatian coast was in the hands of the Venetian Republic.

At home with the Waltons

So far the Zinzams are rooted in Hertfordshire and Berkshire. From that second generation, Robert Alexander owns lands in Walton-on-Thames, provoking this in the parish history:
THE ZINZAN FAMILY (alias Alexander) - Royal Jousters
The parish register of June, 1660, records the baptism of Charles, son of Mr. Robert Zinzan and his wife, Anne. Another entry reveals that Mr. Robert Alexander was buried in October, 1675. This family owned land in Walton during the first half of the 17th century. We know that because a lay subsidy on lands in Walton-on-Thames was paid by Robert Alexander, Knight, in 1603. In his will, he is described as 'Sir Robert Zinzan, alias Alexander, Knight, of Walton-on- Thames'. Where in Walton he lived is not known.

The interesting thing about the Zinzans is their occupation, for they were professional jousters. Alan Young, in his book Tudor and Jacobean Tournaments, published by George Philip in 1987 includes the following:
All the surviving tilting lists of James' reign contain names of the two Zinzan brothers, Henry and Sir Sigismond (often also known by the surname 'Alexander), the names usually written towards the bottom of the lists in a manner suggesting the inferior social status of the two men. The father of Henry and Sigismond Zinzan, Sir Robert, seems to have been employed in the royal stables during Elizabeth's reign, and he participated in tournaments regularly between 1565 and 1591. His two sons followed in his footsteps and first appeared at tournaments, singly or together, in the final years of Elizabeth's reign between 1598 and 1602. Though it is possible that Sir Robert and his sons were paid for their services during Elizabeth's reign, there is no proof of it However, beginning at least as early as 1610, Henry and Sir Sigismond were paid £100 (£50 each) to equip themselves every time they participated ... it seems probable that the money reflects the fact that these two professionals had some role to play in organising the tilts and that they acted as practice partners for the royal family.
Back to square one

To that is appended the thought:
There was, of course, a large tilt yard at Hampton Court.
Which brings us back to the death of Jacques Granado.

Sphere: Related Content


Jeanie Roberts said...

Hello, I enjoyed your article on Sigismund Zinzan and his brother. I too am a blogger and am researching and writing about an Englishman by the name of Henry Meese, who was a London Merchant who owned land in Virginia. His parents are said to be Robert Meese and Mercy Brend, the step daughter of Sigismund. This is according to the Visitation of Oxford. I would like to put a link to your article in my post, with your permission. Also, I was wondering if you could speculate on how a London/West Moulsey girl (Mercy) would meet and marry a farmer in Over Norton, Oxfordshire? I am having trouble making any connection between these families and I cannot picture a scenario where they would come in contact. Thank you for your time. Jeanie

Malcolm Redfellow said...

I've put up a wordy, if inconsequential response at https://redfellow.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/back-to-zinzan/

sandra wheeler said...

Jeanie, please look at Wikipedia/Nicholas Brend. You will find out more and find links.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Thanks for the link. I was vaguely aware of the Brends through (a) my (real-life) genealogy and (b) a bit of acquired knowledge teaching all things Shakespearean.

What I didn’t fully recognise is why.

My original interest was Jacques Granado, “the Man from Brabant”, and his wife Mawdlen Kyldermans. Their daughter, Katharine Granado married Edward Chester.

The Chester family may be another link to Shakespeare, because Robert Chester (whom we can — like Grosart — assume to be a son of Edward Chester/Katharine Granado) publishes a strange poem, Love's Martyr; or, Rosalin's Complaint (1601). This gets complicated because a second edition (1611) includes also Shakespeare’s The Phoenix and Turtle. All this stuff is highly enigmatic and is interpreted as a (deep) satire on the “romance” of Elizabeth I and Essex — dangerous stuff. There are parallel suggestions (which — when I had to pursue such matters professionally — I found persuasive) that Midsummer Night’s Dream is not quite as simple a “fairy-story” as it is sold to the young’uns.

Anyway, back to the main event: Robert Chester marries Ann Capel (and the ramifications of their offspring are immense) and one of their daughters, Frances, marries John Piggott — which is where my mother’s surname stems from. At this point the descent is through a succession of Granado Piggotts, Cambridgeshire petty-squires and High Tories. The first Granado Piggott marries Margaret Smyth, daughter of the Smyth baronets of Upton (i.e. landowners of what became West Ham football ground) — but more important London magnates. I guess round about there I became so entangled with Smiths/Smyths and Jacobean spelling I never worked it all out. I see the Smiths of Essex get involved in this Zinzan (and therefore Brend) pedigree.

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