Born in 1506 in Warwickshire, England, Robert Arden was a yeoman in the service of King Henry VII. The Arden family, prominent in Warwickshire since before the Norman Conquest, was said to be one of only three families in England that can trace its lineage in the male line back to Anglo-Saxon times. The Arden family takes its name from the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire.
Robert Arden married Mary Webb in 1526. They had seven daughters and one son. The oldest daughter, Mary, married John Shakespeare in 1557. She later gave birth, in 1562, to a son named William.
Upon his death, Robert Arden left his farm to his daughter Mary. Acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1968, the house and farm remain open as an historic museum.
Robert’s second daughter, Margaret, married Alexander Webb, son of Sir Henry Alexander Webb, in 1555. Sir Henry was made a knight in 1577 and was granted a coat of arms.
Thanks to a decree from King Henry VIII that first cousins could marry, the Arden and Webb family trees are quite complicated and cross each other multiple times.
The link between Eric Eastman and Robert Arden is as follows: Eric Eastman – Blanche Sovilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Job Hall Whitney – Clarissa Alger – Clarissa Hancock – Thomas Hancock – Thomas Hancock – Anna Webb – John Webb – John Webb – John Webb – Richard Webb – Alexander Webb – Margaret Arden – Robert Arden