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LANIER
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LANIER
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Martha
Lanier

(1747 - 1823)

Sampson
Lanier, Jr.

(1712 - 1752)

Sampson
Lanier, Sr.

(1682 - 1743)

John
Lanier, Jr.

(1655 - 1719)

John
Lanier, Sr.

(1631 - 1719)

Clement
Lanier

(1590 - 1661)

Nicholas
Laniere

(1542 - 1612)


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Nicholas Laniere - The Elder

 
 

Born: Abt. 1542, Rouen, FRANCE
Died:  Abt. 31 Jan 1611/12, County Kent, ENGLAND

 

Occupation: Musician in France & England

 
 
Nicholas Laniere was born about 1542 in Rouen, FRANCE. Some records seem to indicate that he was the son of John Lanier (1499 - 1572).
 
Nicholas served as a court musician to King Henri II of France, playing flute and coronet.  In 1559, King Henri II met a painful end as the result of a wound inflicted by a Scottish opponent during a tournament. A young Nicholas was approached by emissaries of the Earl of Hertford, who in June or July, 1561 was visiting Paris. He was looking to find a new flautist to replace a member of the English royal Musick who had recently died. It was also during this time that the Protestant persecutions in France began. The Lanier family fled as Huguenots to England.  Safe passage was arranged by Queen Catherine de' Medici
 
The Huguenots were French Protestants. The first Huguenots were often regarded as Lutherans; there is no doubt, however, that a strong evangelical movement existed in France during the early decades of the 16th century. In the beginning the new religion was respected, and the Huguenots were greatly favored by Francis I, because of their standing and abilities. Later, however, Francis I, for political reasons, turned against them, and they experienced alternately high favor and outrageous persecution. France was ninety percent Roman Catholic, and heresy was viewed by the man in the street, as treason against God. Clashes occurred repeatedly, and frequently erupted into open warfare on a grand scale.
 
Nicholas arrived in England in 1561 and found lodgings with a fellow French musician, Guillaume de Vache, at St. Olave Parish, Hart Street, London.  He received an official appointment and served in the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
 
The bright young Queen Elizabeth I, thrilled at the New Age she generated, drew artists, poets, scholars and musicians to England from all over Europe. Naturally they wished to be near the brilliant star Elizabeth. Here the Arts were glorified. Here was the epicenter of a cultural explosion. This was the time of William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson (an English playwright, poet and actor). Explorers such as Francis Drake were discovering new worlds; Walter Raleigh was forming expeditions colonize them. The Laniers were right in the midst of it all.
 
The name of Lanier's first wife is unknown.  He married her some time before 1565. Records and birth dates of the children seem to indicate the the following children were from that first marriage.
 
 
Children of Nicholas Lanier and UNKNOWN Wife
Name Date of Birth Date of Death Spouse
*John Lanier Before 1565 Bur. Dec 1616 Frances Galliardello
m. 17 Oct 1585
Anne Lanier Baptized 14 Jul 1565
London, England
Abt. 1569
London, England
 
*John & Frances had seven children - including the famed artist-musician, Nicholas the Younger
 
 
 
Nicholas' second marriage was to Lucretia/Lucreece Bassano and was arranged by Queen Elizabeth I, following the custom at court during that period of time. Lucretia was the daughter of Italian musician Anthony Bassano and Elena DeNazzi.  The Bassano family was originally from Bassano del Grappa, Veneto, ITALY, and came to England to serve Henry VIII. At that time, the fabulous Renaissance courts of the Medici were winding down and the artists and musicians of those courts were seeking work elsewhere. So one can imagine that our Lucreece was of a very cultured background. Assuredly, she was as instrumental as her husband, Nicholas Lanier, in passing her own enlightenment on to her children. Lucretia Bassano Lanier was born 24 Sep 1556 in London, Greater London, ENGLAND.
 
 
 
Nicholas and Lucretia's marriage produced at least nine children.
 
Children of Nicholas Lanier and Lucretia Bassano
Name Date of Birth Date of Death Spouse
Alphonse Lanier About 1572
ENGLAND
20 Jun 1613
ENGLAND
Emilia Bassano
m. 18 Oct 1592
Innocent Lanier About 1573
ENGLAND
1628
ENGLAND
(Unmarried)
Ellen Lanier About 1577
ENGLAND
Buried 03 Aug 1638
ENGLAND
Alphonse Ferrabosco
Jerome Lanier About 1579
ENGLAND
Buried 01 Dec 1659
ENGLAND
(1) Phrisdiswith Grafton
m. 20 Dec 1610
(2) Elizabeth Williford
m. 10 Jan 1627
Andrea Lanier About 1582
ENGLAND
Buried 02 Nov 1660
ENGLAND
Joyce Perry
m. Jun 1628
Katherine Lanier About 1583
ENGLAND
After 02 Sep 1660
ENGLAND
Daniel Farrand
Mary Lanier About 1588
ENGLAND
Buried 13 Oct 1676
ENGLAND
(Unmarried)
Clement Lanier About 1590
ENGLAND
06 Nov 1661
ENGLAND
Hannah Rebecca Collet
m. Mar 1627/28
Frances Lanier About 1591
ENGLAND
About 1660 Thomas Foxe
m. 04 Feb 1618
 
 
 
Three generations of this remarkable family served British royalty as court musicians, poets and artists.  Their six sons were all musicians to Kings and Queens; three of their four daughters married musicians.  At least eight of their grandchildren became members of the Royal Orchestra.
 
 
In 1604 Nicholas Lanier Sr. was named "Musician of the Flutes".  Nicholas Lanier moved to East Greenwich, County Kent, ENGLAND, where he was one of the musicians to the Court until his death in 1612. After his death, his son Andrea succeeded him "for life".
 
Nicholas was a very wealthy man, having extensive holdings in Blackheath, and the surrounding country, south of the Thames and about five miles east of the London Bridge. 
 
 
 
LANIER FAMILY HISTORY
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fairbanks/lanier/history.htm
 

The will of Nicholas Lanier, Gentleman, was dated 28 January 1611/12, and was proved July 1612.  It reads, "To Lucreece, my wife, all my lands, and goods; to sons John, Alphonse, Innocent, Jerome, Clement, 12 shillings; to Andrea 20 pounds if he does not have my place; my four daughters, three of whom are unmarried, I leave to the discretion of my wife, Lucreece, my sole executrix."

 

 
Nicholas Lanier had achieved it all - serving in the Court of King Henri II of France, as well as the Court of Queen Elizabeth I and King James of England.
 
 
Nicholas Lanier died 31 Jan 1611/12, County Kent, ENGLAND.
 
Lucretia died and was buried in East Greenwich, England, on 04 Jan 1633/34.
 
 
 
 
Children of Nicholas Lanier & Lucretia Bassano
 
 
John Laneir: Son of Nicholas Lanier, lifetime of service as court musician to Elizabeth I and James I. He was a flutist. Nicholas Lanier "the Younger" (son of John) was a great musician, composer and artist. He was Master of the King's Music for King Charles I. Other sons of John's, Mark Anthony Lanier and John Lanier, were also musicians.
 
Alphonse Lanier: Son of Nicholas Lanier, instrumentalist for Elizabeth I and James I. He was also a Captain in the Irish Service. On 18 Oct 1592 at St. Botolph Aldgate, Alphonso married Emilia Bassano Lanier, his first cousin once removed. Emilia was the illegitimate daughter of Baptisa Bassano, a Jewish Italian musician from Venice, and Margaret Johnson. Emilia was related to Robert Johnson, a musician who collaborated with Shakespeare on several occasions. Emilia's father's family, the Bassanos, were court musicians who had come to England from Venice at the end of Henry VIII's reign. For Alphonse Lanier and Emilia, this was not a happy marriage but it lasted for 21 years. Alphonse Lanier was extravagant. By 1597, he and Emilia were penniless. In the hope of gaining wealth from captured Spanish shipping he took service with the Earl of Essex to go to the Azores and to Ireland. Alphonse Lanier died in 1613. On her own after Alphonse's death, Emilia opened a school but this was not altogether a successful venture. Little else is known about Emilia Lanier's life between 1619 and 1635. Court documents state that, in this year, she brought a lawsuit against her husband's brother, Clement, for money owed to her from the profits of one of her late husband's financial patents. The court ruled in her favor, declaring that Clement pay her 20. Clement couldn't pay her immediately, so she brought the suit to court again in 1636 and in 1638. There are no records that verify whether Emilia was ever paid in full but it is known that, at the time of death, she was described as a "pensioner", someone who has a steady income or pension.  Emilie Bassano Lanier died and was buried 03 Apr 1645 at St. James Church, Clerkenwell. Their son, Henry Lanier, was a flutist, having been trained by his uncle Andrea.

Alphonse Lanier: Find-A-Grave

Emilia Bassano Lanier: Find-A-Grave

 
Innocent Lanier: Son of Nicholas Lanier, musician. He never married and was a Gentleman of the King's Chamber. The duties of the office involved waiting on the King when he ate in private, helping him to dress, guarding the bedchamber and water closet, and providing companionship.
 
Jerome Lanier: Son of Nicholas Lanier, musician on the sackbut (something like a trombone) and artist with great ability in sketching and painting, as well as in carving many beautiful objects from sardonyx, on of which was a very delicate and fine likeness of the Queen.. At least one of his children, William Lanier, was a musician.
 
Clement Lanier: Son of Nicholas Lanier, musician on the recorder. He was also a Gentleman of the King's Chamber.
 
Andrea Lanier: Son of Nicholas Lanier, flutist and teacher of musicians, succeeded his father as Master of Flutes for Life. His son Thomas Lanier was also a musician.
 
 
 
 
 
 
SOURCES
 

NICHOLAS LANIER
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Lanier,_the_Elder

 

LANIER FAMILY HISTORY
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fairbanks/lanier/history.htm

 
THE ANCESTRY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON
Sons of Liberty Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution
http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/washancestry.html
 
ROYAL DESCENT
The Lanier Family Connection the Washington Family
http://jimserver.net/genealogy/royal_desc.html
 
THE LANIER HOMEPAGE
http://www.mindspring.com/~wdlanier/sampson.html
 

Nicholas Lanier: Find-A-Grave

Lucretia Bassano Lanier: Find-A-Grave

 
 
If you have additional photos or information on the Lanier Family, please contact me.