Leigh Goff

Writing Enchanting Ever-Afters ♥

History Behind Bewitching Hannah–Royal Witches, Wizards, & Alchemists

“Till so for ways of witchery,

And arts of darkness famed

In all the land, that he at last

‘The Wizard Earl’ was named.”

– From The Wizard Earl-A Legend of Kilkea Castle

In Bewitching Hannah, Hannah is a royal Fitzgerald descendant. Her frenemies, the Queen Js are named after their ancestor, Jane Grey, Queen of England. And Hannah’s love interest, William Calvert, is a Calvert-Arundel-Grey descendant. Their families are all intertwined in a royal legacy of magic, witchcraft, and alchemy, which I incorporated into the story. And since the Calverts and Arundels have a colonial history in Maryland, the story takes place in Annapolis.

The Greys

1400s: Henry de Grey, 4th Baron Grey of Codnor and a blood relation to Queen Jane Grey is said to have been extremely interested in alchemy, going so far as to garner the King’s permission to transmute mercury into silver or gold. In 1478, concerned with the power Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare held in Ireland, the King dismissed the earl as Lord Deputy and appointed Henry de Grey in his place.

Elizabeth Woodville, a well known witch whose first husband was John Grey of Groby, produced a son from that marriage–Thomas Grey, the 1st Marquess of Dorset. She then went on to marry King Edward IV and became the Queen consort of England (the White Queen). Their daughter, Elizabeth of York, became the Queen consort of England and the mother to King Henry VIII.

The Fitzgeralds

In 1530, Henry de Grey’s descendant, Lady Elizabeth Grey, the granddaughter of the witch Elizabeth Woodville, married the 9th Earl of Kildare, who was thought to be a warlock, and they produced a son, Gerald FitzGerald, the 11th Earl of Kildare, who was commonly known as the Wizard Earl for his fascination with alchemy, metallurgy, and ancient magic. He is said to have had magical powers, which allowed him to transform himself into a blackbird. The FitzGerald bloodline includes the magic from Áine, the Irish goddess of summer. She is associated with the Fitzgeralds through marriage to the 3rd Earl of Kildare. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Grey,_4th_(7th)_Baron_Grey_of_Codnor#cite_note-13)

Henry de Grey, 4th Baron Grey of Codnor (1400s) related to Sir John de Grey- Ancestor to the following:

Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset

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Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess   Eleanor Grey         Elizabeth Grey

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Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk    Sir Thomas Arundell  G. FitzGerald, Wizard Earl

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                                Queen Jane Grey              Sir Thomas Arundell

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Sir Matthew Arundell

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Sir Thomas Arundell

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Anne Arundell

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Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore

Author: Leigh Goff

My passion is writing young adult fiction, especially if it involves star-crossed young witches. My next book, BEWITCHING HANNAH, a YA Fantasy set in historic Annapolis, is now available.

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