Tudor Captains: The Beestons and the Tyrells
In the 16th Century, five naval captains bore the names of the gentry families Beeston and Tyrell. This article discusses the contrasting family documentation on the serving naval officers of the two families. In the case of the Beestons, printed sources on the family connections of the three Captains in the 16th Century navy, namely Thomas, William and George Beeston, exist for only one of the three officers, George. Furthermore, family information on George, who was Captain of the Dreadnought in 1588, is scant. On the other hand, the family genealogy of the Tyrrells is richly documented. This is probably because the early members of the family included famous regicides, attracting attention to the family name. Thus County Visitation records provide a regular account of the family in Essex, and inform our knowledge of the two naval Captains, the brothers Sir William and Sir Henry Tyrrell. Also interesting is the close relationship of the family to a key official in the emerging naval bureaucracy.