The Duke of Suffolk
|Lord President of the Council|
|Succeeded by||The Lord St John|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Shrewsbury|
|Succeeded by||The Lord St John|
|Died||22 August 1545 (aged 60–61)|
Guildford,Surrey,Kingdom of England
|Resting place|| St. George's Chapel,Windsor Castle |
Mary Tudor, Queen of France
|Children|| Anne Brandon, Baroness Grey of Powys |
Mary Brandon, Baroness Monteagle
Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk
Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland
Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln
Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk
Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk
|Parent(s)|| Sir William Brandon |
|Residence||Westhorpe Hall, Suffolk|
|Occupation||Courtier, Military commander|
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, 1st Viscount Lisle, 1484 –22 August 1545) was an English military leader and courtier. Through his third wife, Mary Tudor, he was brother-in-law to King Henry VIII.PC (c.
Charles Brandon was the second but only surviving son March 1494), was daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Bruyn (died 1461).of Sir William Brandon, Henry Tudor's standard-bearer at the Battle of Bosworth Field, where Richard III was slain. His mother, Elizabeth Bruyn (d.
Charles Brandon was brought up at the court of Henry VII, and became Henry VIII's closest friend. 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." Brandon held a succession of offices in the royal household, becoming Master of the Horse in 1513, and received many valuable grants of land. On 15 May 1513, he was created Viscount Lisle, having entered into a marriage contract with his ward, Elizabeth Grey, suo jure Viscountess Lisle.The contract was ended and the title was forfeited as a result of Brandon's marriage to Mary Tudor in 1515.
He distinguished himself at the sieges of Thérouanne and Tournai in the French campaign of 1513. One of the agents of Margaret of Savoy, governor of the Netherlands, writing from before Thérouanne, reminded her that Lord Lisle was a "second king" and advised her to write him a kind letter. At this time, Henry VIII was secretly urging Margaret to marry Lisle, whom he created Duke of Suffolk on 4 March 1514, although he was careful to disclaim any complicity in the project to her father, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.When Brandon was made Duke of Suffolk, he became only the third duke in the kingdom.
After his marriage to Mary, Suffolk lived for some years in retirement, but he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. In 1523 he was sent to Calais to command the English troops there. He invaded France in company with Floris d'Egmont, Count of 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.
Brandon was appointed Earl Marshal of England in 1524, a position previously held by Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. However, in 1533 he relinquished the office to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, "whose auncesto[ur]s of longe tyme hadde the same until nowe of late."
After Wolsey's disgrace, Suffolk's influence increased. He was sent with Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, to demand the Great Seal from Wolsey; the same noblemen conveyed to Wolsey the news of Anne Boleyn's marriage to King Henry, after the divorce from 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 he found distasteful.
His family had a residence on the west side of Borough High Street, London, for at least half a century prior to his building of Suffolk Place at the site.
Charles supported Henry's ecclesiastical policy, receiving a large share of the lands after the dissolution 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, Surrey, on 24 August in the following year.At Henry VIII's expense he was buried at Windsor in St George's Chapel. Brandon was perhaps the only person in England who successfully retained Henry VIII's affection for most of a period of forty years.
Charles Brandon took part in the jousts which celebrated the marriage of Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII's sister, with King Louis XII of France. Later, on King Louis XII's death in 1515, he was accredited to negotiate various matters with the King; and was sent to congratulate the new King, Francis I of France, as well as to negotiate Princess Mary's return to England. Love between Charles and the young Dowager Queen Mary had existed before her marriage, and King Francis I roundly charged him with an intention to marry her. King Francis, perhaps in the hope of his wife Queen Claude's death, had himself been one of Mary's suitors in the first week of her widowhood, in which Mary had asserted that she had given him her confidence in order to avoid his overtures.
King Francis I and King Henry VIII both professed a friendly attitude towards the marriage of the lovers, but Charles had many political enemies, and Mary feared that she might again be sacrificed for political considerations. The King's Council, not wishing to see Charles Brandon gain further power at court, were opposed to the match. The truth was that King Henry was anxious to obtain from King Francis the gold plate and jewels which had been given or promised to his sister Mary by King Louis XII as well as the reimbursement of the expenses of her marriage with King Louis; and he practically made his acceptance in Charles's suit dependent on Charles obtaining them.However, when Charles was sent to bring Mary back to England, King Henry VIII made him promise that he would not propose to her. Once in France though, Charles was persuaded by Mary to abandon this pledge. The couple wed in secret at the Hotel de Clugny on 3 March 1515 in the presence of just 10 people, among whom was King Francis I. Charles announced their marriage to Thomas Wolsey who had been their fast friend.
Technically, this was treason as Charles Brandon had married a royal princess without King Henry's consent.Thus, King Henry VIII was outraged, and the privy council urged that Charles should be imprisoned or executed. He was only saved from King Henry's anger by Wolsey and from the affection that the King had for both his sister and for him. Hence, the couple got off easily and were charged only with a heavy fine of £24,000 to be paid to the King in yearly instalments of £1000, as well as the whole of Mary's dowry from King Louis XII of £200,000, together with her plate and jewels. Nonetheless, the fine was later reduced by the King. They were then openly married at Greenwich Hall on 13 May 1515 in the presence of King Henry VIII and his courtiers. The Duke of Suffolk had been already twice married, to Margaret Neville (the widow of John Mortimer) and to Anne Browne, to whom he had been betrothed before his marriage with Margaret Neville. Anne Browne died in 1511, but Margaret Neville, from whom he had obtained a declaration of nullity on the ground of consanguinity, was still living. He secured in 1528 a bull from Pope Clement VII that assured the legitimacy of his marriage with Mary Tudor.
Mary died on 25 June 1533, and in September of the same year, Charles married his ward, the 14-year-old Catherine Willoughby (1519–1580), suo jure Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. Catherine had been betrothed to his eldest surviving son, Henry, Earl of Lincoln, but the boy was too young to marry. Not desiring to risk losing Catherine's lands, Charles married her himself in the end.By Catherine Willoughby, he had his two youngest sons who showed great promise, Henry (1535–1551) and Charles (c. 1537–1551), who later became Dukes of Suffolk. However, they eventually died of the sweating sickness within an hour of each other.
In about 1536–1543, Charles gave his London residence Suffolk Place, rebuilt by him in fine Renaissance style in 1522, to King Henry VIII in exchange for Norwich Place on the Strand, London. He also leased Hoxne manor at this time.
Before 7 February 1507, Charles Brandon firstly married Margaret Neville (born 1466), widow of Sir John Mortimer (d. before 12 November 1504),and daughter of John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu (slain at the Battle of Barnet) by Isabel Ingaldesthorpe, daughter and heiress of Sir Edmund Ingaldsthorpe and his wife Joanna Tiptoft, by whom he had no issue. The marriage was declared void about 1507 by the Archdeaconry Court of London, and later by papal bull dated 12 May 1528. Margaret (née Neville) subsequently married Robert Downes, gentleman.
In early 1508, in a secret ceremony at Stepney, and later publicly at St Michael's, Cornhill, –c. 1487) of Kexby, North Yorkshire and Katherine Eure, daughter of Sir William Eure of Stokesley, Yorkshire. By Anne Browne, he had two daughters:Charles secondly married Anne Browne (the step-daughter of Margaret Neville's sister, Lucy Neville), daughter of Sir Anthony Browne (Standard Bearer of England in 1485), by his first wife, Eleanor Ughtred, the daughter of Sir Robert Ughtred (c. 1428
Charles was then contracted to marry Elizabeth Grey, 5th Baroness Lisle (1505–1519), and was thus created 1st Viscount Lisle of the third creation in 1513, but the contract was annulled, and he surrendered the title before 1519 or in 1523.
In May 1515, Charles thirdly married Mary Tudor, Queen Dowager of France (18 March 1496 –25 June 1533). After their marriage, Charles and Mary resided at Westhorpe Hall where they raised all their children. They had two sons who died young, and two daughters:
On 7 September 1533, Charles fourthly married Catherine Willoughby, 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby (22 March 1519 –19 September 1580), the daughter and heiress of William Willoughby, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, by his second wife, María de Salinas. He had two sons by her, both of whom died young of the sweating sickness:
After Charles Brandon's death in 1545, his widow Catherine married Richard Bertie.
Charles also had a number of illegitimate children:
Mary Tudor was an English princess who was briefly queen of France. She was the younger surviving daughter of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the third wife of Louis XII of France, who was more than 30 years older than her. Following his death, she married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Performed secretly in France, the marriage occurred without the consent of Mary's brother, Henry VIII. The marriage necessitated the intervention of Thomas Wolsey; Henry eventually pardoned the couple, after they paid a large fine.
Katherine Seymour, Countess of Hertford, was a younger sister of Lady Jane Grey.
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, styled Earl of Surrey from 1483 to 1485 and again from 1489 to 1514, was an English nobleman, soldier and statesman who served four monarchs. He was the eldest son of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by his first wife, Catharina de Moleyns. The Duke was the grandfather of both Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard and the great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1513 he led the English to victory over the Scots at the decisive Battle of Flodden, for which he was richly rewarded by King Henry VIII, then away in France.
Lady Mary Keyes was the youngest daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Frances Brandon, and through her mother had a claim on the crown of England.
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk, was an English noblewoman, the second child and eldest daughter of King Henry VIII's younger sister, Princess Mary, and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. She was the mother of Lady Jane Grey, de facto Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553, as well as Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Mary Grey.
Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln was the youngest child and second son born to Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Mary Tudor, Queen of France, who was a daughter of Henry VII, King of England. Thus Henry Brandon was nephew to King Henry VIII. His older sisters were Lady Frances Brandon and Lady Eleanor Brandon.
Eleanor Clifford, Countess of Cumberland was the third child and second daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Princess Mary Tudor, the Dowager Queen consort of France. She was a younger sister of Lady Frances Brandon and an elder sister of Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln. She was also a younger paternal half-sister of Lady Anne Brandon and Lady Mary Brandon from her father's second marriage. After her mother's death in 1533, her father remarried to Catherine Willoughby and Eleanor became an elder half-sister of Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk and Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk.
Katherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, suo jure12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, was an English noblewoman living at the courts of King Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. She was the fourth wife of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, who acted as her legal guardian during his third marriage to Henry VIII's sister Mary. Her second husband was Richard Bertie, a member of her household. Following Charles Brandon's death in 1545, it was rumoured that King Henry had considered marrying Katherine as his seventh wife, while he was still married to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who was Katherine's close friend.
Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, known as Lord Charles Brandon until shortly before his death, was the son of the 1st Duke of Suffolk and the suo jure 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.
William Willoughby, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (1482–1526), was an English baron and the largest landowner in Lincolnshire.
William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham was an English nobleman and soldier who in 1547 was made an hereditary peer of the House of Lords.
Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, styled Lord Henry Brandon before 1545, was an English nobleman, the son of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, by his fourth wife, Catherine Willoughby.
Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset was an English peer, courtier, soldier, and landowner.
Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey was an English heiress and lady-in-waiting to two queens. She became the first wife of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Sir Thomas Neville or Nevill was a younger son of George Neville, 4th Baron Bergavenny. He was a prominent lawyer and a trusted councillor of King Henry VIII, and was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1515.
Lady Anne Brandon, Baroness Grey of Powys was an English noblewoman, and the eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk by his second wife, Anne Browne. Anne's mother had died in 1511. In 1514, Anne's father secured a place for her at the court of Archduchess Margaret of Savoy. While Anne was abroad, her father married Mary Tudor, the widowed Queen consort of Louis XII of France and the youngest sister of Henry VIII.
Lady Mary Brandon was an English noblewoman, and the daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, by his second wife, Anne Browne. Mary was the wife of Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Monteagle, by whom she had six children.
Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset was the second wife of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, and the mother of his children, including Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, with whom she engaged in many quarrels during his minority over money and his allowance. Her lack of generosity to Henry shocked her peers as unmotherly, and inappropriate behaviour toward a high-ranking nobleman, relative of King Henry VIII of England. In 1534, she was compelled to answer to the charges that she was an "unnatural mother".
Sir William Brandon, of Wangford in Suffolk, was an English landowner, administrator, soldier, courtier and politician. His grandson was Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, a courtier and close friend of King Henry VIII.
Sir Edmund Knyvet was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Knyvet, a distinguished courtier and sea captain, and Muriel Howard, the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.