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View Tree for John De GreeneJohn De Greene (b. Abt. 1448, d. date unknown)

John De Greene (son of John De Greene) was born Abt. 1448 in Gillingham, Dorset, England, and died date unknown.

 Includes NotesNotes for John De Greene:
John Greene, the Fugitivel. During the Wars of the Roses, 1455 to 1485, the Greenes were the faithful adherents of the House of York. The Yorkist king, Richard III, was one of the worst kings of England but the Greenes remained loyal to him because he represented the Yorkist House. In July 1485 Richard III plotted to have his two nephews murdered and sent this John Greene to the Earl of Warwick, ordering him to put the two princes to death. The good Earl, Sir Robert, refused to do the deed and sent John back to his king with the answer that he would not do so horrible a piece of work. Here the curtain falls on the too faithful messenger. Two years later Richard III was slain in battle, and Henry, the head of the House of Lancaster, came to the throne after marrying Elizabeth, heiress of the House of York, thus ending the Wars of the Roses. He held a grudge against the House of Greene as one of the supporters of the Yorkists, even imprisoning the old Sir Thomas Greene on the charge of plotting trea son. John Greene fled to the continent, where he became famous as the best swordsman in Europe. Homesick for England and family, he ventured back to an English city in which he was a stranger and passed as John Clarke, seeing his family occasionally. Becoming less cautious, as he was not discovered, he was drawn into a bout with the sword and his identity was discovered, from his previous fame in that direction. Again he fled and remained abroad until the death of the king. This story of flight and change of name is the original legend that the family once bore the name of Clarke.
In the way of such traditions, the yarn was accredited to a later John Greene who came to America, and to his son, Lieutenant John Greene of Coventry, the details changing to fit the needs and the times. The story was that John Greene of Quidnessett was really a Regicide Jodge by the name of John Clarke who fled from England in 1660 to escape the wrath of the returning Cavaliers, changing his mane to the common Rhode Island
name of Greene. This story could fit neither John Greene of Quidnessett, who was in the colonies ten years before Charles I was executed, nor his son, who was not more that four years old when the Stuart lost his head.
The story is similar to many other legends of the Middle Ages, attributing the most amazing deeds of the German heroes and the Crusaders to Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar! Shakespeare did the same thing in his historical plays, which were written for an ignorant palace who knew nothing of history and wanted only a good story.


Children of John De Greene are:
  1. +Robert De Greene, b. 1490, Of Bowridge Hall, Gillingham, Dorset, England, d. 1560.
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