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HONYWOOD, MARY (1527–1620), daughter and coheiress of Robert Waters, esq., of Lenham, Kent, was born at that place in 1527. In 1543, being then in her sixteenth year, she married Robert Honywood, esq., of Charing, and afterwards of Marks Hall, Essex, by whom she had sixteen children. Mrs. Honywood was chiefly celebrated for her longevity, and for the unprecedentedly large number of lineal descendants whom she lived to see. By her sixteen children she had 114 grandchildren, 228 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren, 367 in all. Her grandson, Dr. Michael Honywood [q. v.], dean of Lincoln, was accustomed to tell of his having been present at a banquet given by her to her descendants, two hundred of whom sat down to table. She was also noted for her piety, but in her declining years fell into deep despondency. It is recorded that Foxe, the martyrologist, having visited her with the view of consoling her, she ‘dashed a Venice glass to the ground, saying, “Sir, I am as sure to be damned as this glass is to be broke,” when by God's wonderful providence the glass was taken up uninjured.’ She died at Marks Hall on 12 May 1620, aged 93. She was buried at Lenham on 20 May, and a monument was erected to her memory at Marks Hall. One portrait is at Marks Hall, ‘æt. suæ 70,’ and another in Lincoln Cathedral Library. An engraved portrait is in the ‘Topographer and Genealogist,’ ii. 185, 256.

[Fuller's Worthies; Botfield's Cath. Libraries; Flavel's Mystery of Providence; Hasted's Kent; Topographer and Genealogist, ii. 185, 256.]

E. V.