The motto 'Espoier me comforte' is associated with both the Strangways and Tilney families. Philip Tilney of Shelley, Suffolk (1540/1-1601/2) had only one son, Charles Tilney (1561-1586) who was hanged, drawn and quartered for High Treason as a Member of the Babington Conspiracy. No sisters or children feature in the printed pedigree.
The motto appeared on the Standard of Sir Giles Strangways of Melbury, Dorset (1486-1546). His great-grandson, John Strangways of Melbury Dorset (d.1593), married Dorothy (d.1592), daughter of Sir John Thynne of Longleat. They had three sons, two of whom died without issue, and three daughters: Dorothy, Grace and Anne, and it has been suggested that the present miniature depicts the youngest of the three daughters, Anne. There is no record of the dates of birth of the sisters and no other daughters of Sir Giles Strangways and his wife Dorothy are noted on the Strangways pedigree recorded at the 1623 Heralds' Visitation of Dorset (College of Arms Ms: IC22/136-137). Grace's eldest son John Chamberlayne was born in 1608 or 1609 when the present sitter would have been aged twenty. The date of Grace's marriage to Edmund Chamerlayne of Maugersbury is not known, neither is her age. Had she married at the age of eighteen it is possible that Grace is the daughter depicted in the miniature, however it is more probable that Anne is the sitter. Anne married George Norton of Abbots Leigh, Somerset.
We are grateful to Thomas Woodcock and Janet Grant for their assistance in the Tilney Strangways research.