Jenet Sarsfield’s six husbands

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Features, Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2009), Volume 17

Jenet Sarsfield’s six husbands 1Jenet Sarsfield was probably born in the late 1520s or early 1530s, the daughter of John Sarsfield of Sarfieldstown, Co. Meath. One of her brothers, William, later became an alderman of Dublin. Her first marriage was to Alderman Robert Schillingford, mayor of Dublin in 1534–5, with whom she had one daughter, Katherine, her only child to reach adulthood. When Robert died, Jenet married James Luttrell, who died in 1557. She was pregnant with James’s child when he made his will that year, but this child did not survive for long, if indeed it was brought to term at all. Jenet’s third husband was Robert Plunkett, baron of Dunsany, from whom she received her title ‘Lady’ and, following his death, ‘Lady Dowager’. Her marriage to Robert was short-lived, and when he died in 1559 Jenet made her fourth marriage that same year, this time to Sir Thomas Cusack of Lismullin, Co. Meath. Jenet’s fifth and penultimate husband, John Plunkett, died in 1582, leaving Jenet to marry John Bellew, her sixth and final husband, whom she predeceased.

List of husbands

l     Robert Schillingford, daughter Katherine

l     James Luttrell, d. 1557

l     Robert Plunkett, d. 1559

l     Thomas Cusack, m. 1559, d. 1571

l     John Plunkett, d. 1582

l     John Bellew, outlived Jenet

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