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Portrait of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk (c.1484-1545)

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk (c.1484-1545)

CHARLES BRANDON, 1ST DUKE OF SUFFOLK, was the son of William Brandon, standard-bearer of Henry VII, who was slain by Richard III in person on Bosworth Field. Charles Brandon was brought up at the court of Henry VII. He is described by Dugdale as "a person comely of stature, high of courage and conformity of disposition to King Henry VIII," with whom he became a great favourite. He held a succession of offices in the royal household, becoming Master of the Horse in 1513, and received many valuable grants of land.

On the 15th of May 1513 he was created Viscount Lisle, having entered into a marriage contract with his ward, Elizabeth Grey, Viscountess Lisle in her own right, who, however, refused to marry him when she came of age. He distinguished himself at the sieges of Terouenne and Tournai in the French campaign of 1513. One of the agents of Margaret of Savoy, governor of the Netherlands, writing from before Terouenne, reminds her that Lord Lisle is a second king and advises her to write him a kind letter. At this time Henry VIII was secretly urging Margaret to marry Brandon, whom he created Duke of Suffolk, though he was careful to disclaim (March 4, 1514) any complicity in the project to her father, the Emperor Maximilian I. The regent herself left a curious account 1 of the proceedings.

Brandon took part in the jousts which celebrated the marriage of Mary Tudor, Henry's sister, with Louis XII of France. He was accredited to negotiate various matters with Louis, and on his death was sent to congratulate the new king Francis I. An affection between Suffolk and the dowager Queen Mary had subsisted before her marriage, and Francis roundly charged him with an intention to marry her. Francis, perhaps in the hope of Queen Claude's death, had himself been one of her suitors in the first week of her widowhood, and Mary asserted that she had given him her confidence to avoid his importunities. Francis and Henry both professed a friendly attitude towards the marriage of the lovers, but Suffolk had many political enemies, and Mary feared that she might again be sacrificed to political considerations. The truth was that Henry was anxious to obtain from Francis the gold plate and jewels which had been given or promised to the Queen by Louis in addition to the reimbursement of the expenses of her marriage with the king; and he practically made his acquiescence in Suffolk's suit dependent on his obtaining them.

Princess Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, c1516, unknown artist.The pair cut short the difficulties by a private marriage, which Suffolk announced to Wolsey, who had been their fast friend, on the 5th of March. Suffolk was only saved from Henry's anger by Wolsey, and the pair eventually agreed to pay to Henry £24,000 in yearly installments of £1000, and the whole of Mary's dowry from Louis of £200,000, together with her plate and jewels. They were openly married at Greenwich on the 13th of May. The duke had been twice married already, to Margaret Mortimer and to Anne Browne, to whom he had been betrothed before his marriage with Margaret Mortimer. Anne Browne died in 1511, but Margaret Mortimer, from whom he had obtained a divorce on the ground of consanguinity, was still living. He secured in 1528 a bull from Pope Clement VII assuring the legitimacy of his marriage with Mary Tudor, and of the daughters of Anne Browne, one of whom, Anne, was sent to the court of Margaret of Savoy.

After his marriage with Mary, Suffolk lived for some years in retirement, but he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520, and in 1523 he was sent to Calais to command the English troops there. He invaded France in company with Count de Buren, who was at the head of the Flemish troops, and laid waste the north of France, but disbanded his troops at the approach of winter. Suffolk was entirely in favour of Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and in spite of his obligations to Wolsey he did not scruple to attack him when his fall was imminent. The cardinal, who was acquainted with Suffolk's private history, reminded him of his ingratitude: "If I, simple cardinal, had not been, you should have had at this present no head upon your shoulders wherein you should have had a tongue to make any such report in despite of us."

After Wolsey's disgrace Suffolk's influence increased daily. He was sent with the Duke of Norfolk to demand the Great Seal from Wolsey; the same noblemen conveyed the news of Anne Boleyn's marriage to Queen Catherine, and Suffolk acted as high steward at the new queen's coronation. He was one of the commissioners appointed by Henry to dismiss Catherine's household, a task which he found distasteful. He supported Henry's ecclesiastical policy, receiving a large share of the plunder after the suppression of the monasteries. In 1544 he was for the second time in command of an English army for the invasion of France. He died at Guildford on the 24th of August in the following year.

After the death of Mary Tudor on the 24th of June 1533 he had married in 1534 his ward Catherine (1520-1580), Baroness Willoughby de Eresby in her own right, then a girl of fifteen. His daughters by his marriage with Anne Browne were Anne, who married firstly Edward Grey, Lord Powys, and, after the dissolution of this union, Randal Harworth; and Mary (b.1510), who married Thomas Stanley, Lord Monteagle. By Mary Tudor he had Henry, Earl of Lincoln (1516-1634); Frances, who married Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset, and became the mother of Lady Jane Grey; and Eleanor, who married Henry Clifford, second Earl of Cumberland. By Katherine Willoughby he had two sons who showed great promise, Henry (1535-1551) and Charles (c.1537-1551), Dukes of Suffolk. They died of the sweating sickness within an hour of one another. Their tutor, Sir Thomas Wilson, compiled a memoir of them, Vita et obitus duorum fratrum Suffolcensium (1511).


1 Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. vol. i. 4850-4851.



      Excerpted from:

      Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed. Vol XXVI.
      Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. 26.




Books for further study:

Weir, Alison. Henry VIII: The King and His Court.
           New York: Ballantine, 2001.

Wilson, Derek. In the Lion's Court: Power, Ambition,
           and Sudden Death in the Reign of Henry VIII.
           New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.




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Edward II
Piers Gaveston
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
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Richard II
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Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
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John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
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Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
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John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
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Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
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Catherine of Valois
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Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Castillon, 1453



The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
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The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
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The Rout of Ludford, 1459
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The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
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The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
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Henry VI
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Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
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Sir William Stanley
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Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
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Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
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William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
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John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
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John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
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Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
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Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450


Tudor Period

King Henry VII
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Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
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King Ferdinand II of Aragon
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Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

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Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
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Mary Tudor, Queen of France
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The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
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The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
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Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
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John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
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William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
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John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
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Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
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Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
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George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
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William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
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Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
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John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
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Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
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Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
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Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
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Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
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The Isle of Dogs, 1597

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Fleet Prison
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The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster
"Sanctuary"


Images:

Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London




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