Category Archives: People of the court

On this day in 1581 – Barnaby Fitzpatrick died

Barnaby Fitzpatrick was born around 1535 in Ireland and was the eldest son of the 1st Baron Upper Ossory. He was sent at an early age to England as a pledge of his father’s loyalty, in England he was educated at the court of King Henry VIII alongside Prince Edward, who he became very close to. Fitzpatrick was amongst the chief mourners at the funeral of King Henry. On 15th August 1551 Fitzpatrick, alongside Sir Robert Dudley, were sworn in with four others to the new King Edward’s privy chamber.

King Edward VI sent Fitzpatrick to France in 1551 to further his education and advised him to ‘behave himself honestly, more following the company of gentlemen, than pressing into the company of the ladies there.’ Fitzpatrick responded to the King said ‘You make me think the care you take for me is more fatherly than friendly.’ Fitzpatrick was introduced to King Henri II of France by Lord Clinton the Lord Admiral. Henri made Fitzpatrick a Gentleman of the Chamber, which was a privileged position in which to observe French politics. Fitzpatrick left France on 9th December 1552 and was commended by Henri for his conduct whilst within the court.

Upon his return to England Fitzpatrick took an active role in the suppression of Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1553. Later in the year John Gough Nichols recorded in his Chronicle of Queen Jane that;

the Erle of Ormonde, Sir Courteney Knight, and Mr. Barnaby fell out in the night with a certain priest in the streate, whose parte a gentyliman coming by chance took, and so they fell by the eares; so that Barnabye was hurte. The morrowe they were ledd by the ii sheryves to the counter in the Pultry, where they remained … daies.”

Fitzpatrick was sent to Ireland shortly after with the Earl of Kildareand Brian O’Conor Faly. It was recorded that in 1558 Fitzpatrick was present at the Siege of Leith where he was knighted by the Duke of Norfolk despite Norfolk having no authority to authorise such appointments. In 1566 he was officially knighted by Sir Henry Sidney.

In 1573 as part of a feud with the Earl of Ormond his wife and daughter were kidnapped. Fitzpatrick appealed to Sir Henry Sidney to help secure their return but resorted to employing Piers Grace, an Irish felon, to rescue his daughter. His wife was eventually returned but Fitzpatrick retaliated by ruining Ormond’s lands.

The following year, in 1574, saw Ormond make fresh allegations against Fitzpatrick and his loyalty but it resulted in Fitzpatrick being summoned in front of the council in Dublin to answer his allegations instead he successfully acquitted himself at the council.

In 1576 Fitzpatrick succeeded his father to Baron Upper Ossory. He remained fairly quiet for a few years until 14th January 1581 when he and his wife were committed to Dublin Castle after Ormond declared that there was ‘not a naughtier or more dangerous man in Ireland than the baron of Upper Ossory. However, Sir Henry Wallop called him ‘as sound a man to her majesty as any of his nation’.

On 11th September 1581 Fitzpatrick was taken ill, at 2pm he died in Dublin in the house of surgeon, William Kelly. Sir Henry Sidney spoke of Fitzpatrick and said that he was ‘the most sufficient man in counsel and action for the war that ever I found of that country birth; great pity it was of his death’.

16th-century-map-of-Ireland16th Century map of Ireland

On this day in 1534 – Gerald FitzGerald 9th Earl of Kildare died

Gerald FitzGerald was born in 1487 in Maynooth, County Kildare; he was the son of Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare and his wife Alison FitzEustace.

FitzGerald’s father was the Lord Deputy of Ireland during the reign of King Edward IV and remained in the position after Henry Tudor won the Battle of Bosworth and took the throne, however, FitzGerald Snr disobeyed the Tudor King on several occasions most notably by supporting the pretender to the throne Lambert Simnel.

In 1502 the younger FitzGerald played a principle role in the funeral of Prince Arthur Tudor who had died at Ludlow Castle and was buried at Worcester Cathedral.

In 1503 FitzGerald had already married Elizabeth Zouche, cousin to King Henry VII and he was given permission to return to Ireland with his father. The following year, in 1504, he was appointed to Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, in August of that year FitzGerald commanded the reserve at the Battle of Knockdoe where his inexperience and impulsive nature caused them a loss. FitzGerald’s father died in 1513 and FitzGerald became the 9th Earl of Kildare and at the same time selected to be the Lord Justice of Ireland. FitzGerald’s brother in law King Henry VIII also promoted him to his late father’s position of Lord Deputy.

FitzGerald defended Ireland and he did such a great job in 1513, after having defeated O’More and killing O’Reilly, a rebel, King Henry VIII granted FitzGerald the custom of the ports in the County of Down. In 1515 FitzGerald invaded Imayle in the Wicklow Mountains and killed Shane O’Toole, whose head he sent to the Lord Mayor of Dublin. FitzGerald went on to march into Ely O’Carroll where he, along with the Earl of Ormond and the son of the Earl of Desmond, captured Lemyvannan castle.

In March 1517 FitzGerald called a parliament in Dublin from which he went and invaded Ulster, stormed Dundrum Castle then marched toward Tyrone before taking the Castle of Dungannon. In 1518 he was accused of maladministration in order to clear his name he appointed a deputy in his place and he set sail for England. Upon arrival he was removed from the government and in his place Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk was appointed as his replacement. FitzGerald remained in England and in 1520 he is recorded as being present with King Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

It was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold that FitzGerald met the King’s first cousin, Lady Elizabeth Grey, a few months later they married. His time in Ireland was far from over though in 1523 King Henry permitted him to return after rumours came out of the country that he was attempting to stir up trouble for the new Lord Deputy, following inquires the King decided that there was no evidence to convict FitzGerald. At the same time he founded the College of Maynooth.

Upon his arrival back in Ireland FitzGerald instantly set off on an expedition to Leix but they ran into difficulty and soon retreated to Dublin. FitzGerald and the Earl of Kildare and Ormond, the current Lord Deputy, argued and accused each other of treason therefore the only thing they could do was to appeal to the King to settle it. Henry VIII ordered the two that they should abstain from making war without his permission, that they should cease levying coigne and livery within the four shires of Meath, Urgell, Dublin and Kildare. The pair were also ordered that their kinsmen submitted to the law and finally that they were bound by a bond of 1,000 marks to keep the peace for one year.

The peace between the two men did not last for long, James Talbot one of the Earl of Ormond’s followers was murdered by the retainers of FitzGerald. Again an appeal was sent to the King who sent commissioners to Ireland. An inquiry was held at Christ Church, Dublin in June 1524, the inquiry found in favour of FitzGerald and an indenture was drawn up ordering the two to forgive each other and become friends.

Soon after the inquiry FitzGerald was reappointed as Lord Deputy and took the oath of the position at St Thomas Court with his nephew Con Bacagh O’Neill carrying the sword of state walking before him. He agreed that he would not grant any pardons without the consent of the council in England. He was also required that his men dressed in the English fashion and shaved their upper beards.

In 1525 FitzGerald and Ormond was once again fighting over the amount of £800 as before they were accusing each other. At the same time Ormond was required by royal mandate to assemble an army to march and arrest the Earl of Desmond before moving north to make peace with the O’Neills and O’Donnells.

In 1526 FitzGerald was summoned to England to face the charges that Ormond had accused him of. Ormond now held the title of Earl of Ossory and accused FitzGerald of secretly assisting the Desmonds and murdered many subjects in Ireland due to their association with the Ormond and Butler family. When FitzGerald arrived in London he was sent to the Tower of London and was kept in England for four years when he was eventually brought in front of a council where a violent altercation broke out between himself and Cardinal Wolsey. Holinshed reported that Wolsey obtained an order for FitzGerald’s execution but instead he was granted bail and in 1530 he was one of the peers who signed the letter to the Pope regarding the King’s divorce with Katherine of Aragon.

In 1530 after signing the letter to the Pope FitzGerald was once again permitted to return to Ireland with Skeffington, the new Lord Deputy. After a march again the O’Tooles and then against the O’Donnells FitzGerald and Ormond were once again writing to the King to accuse each other. With the Deputy supported by the Butlers, FitzGerald was able to clear himself and was appointed to succeed Skeffington as Lord Deputy under the Duke of Richmond who had been granted the office of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. FitzGerald landed back in Ireland to great acclaim however, it did not last and it was eventually realised that peace in Ireland could never be achieved if FitzGerald or Ormond held the office of the Lord Deputy.

FitzGerald received a gunshot wound during a battle with the O’Carrolls at Birr and as a result partially lost the use of his limbs and speech. In February 1534 FitzGerald was once again summoned to court at Drogheda where he nominated his son, Thomas, as Vice Deputy before he set off to England. Upon arriving in England he was again sent to the Tower of London, where on the 2nd September 1534 he died, with the official cause being from grief after hearing of his son’s rebellion. He is buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the grounds of the Tower of London.

Gerald_Fitzgerald,_9th_Earl_of_KildareGerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare

On this day in 1538 – Geoffrey Pole was arrested

On 29th August 1538 Geoffrey Pole was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Pole was the son of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and therefore had a claim to the throne.

Geoffrey Pole was present at Anne Boleyn’s coronation but his loyalty, along with the rest of the family, lay with Katherine of Aragon and her daughter, Princess Mary. Pole had a private meeting with the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys and Pole told Chapuys that if the Holy Roman Emperor was to invade England to avenge the wrongs that had been done to his aunt, Katherine, then the English people would support him.

The conversation, which was supposed to be private, reached King Henry VIII’s ears and Pole was instantly arrested. He would stay in the Tower of London for the next two months until in October when he was called for interrogation. Pole was questioned about conversations and letters that had been sent and received to his brother, Cardinal Pole, from his family. These letters were not approved by the King or Council and so suspicion fell on the Pole family.

Pole’s wife, Constance, was also questioned about Pole’s activity but she was not imprisoned and so attempted to contact Pole’s mother and brother, Lord Montagu to warn them that Geoffrey was facing the rack and that they could be implicated. By the time word reached his family Geoffrey had attempted suicide and had caused some injury to himself.

After further interrogation Pole broke and gave all the evidence the King would need against the Pole family. Henry had Lord Montagu and Henry Courtenay arrested and imprisoned in the Tower on 4th November 1538.

Geoffrey along with his brother and Henry Courtenay were tried, they entered a plea of guilty and was originally condemned to death until he was pardoned on 4th January 1539. Thomas Cromwell wrote that he had received the pardon because he was so ill he was already as good as dead.

A_Torture_RackA typical torture rack

On this day in 1559 – Sir Thomas Cawarden died

Thomas Cawarden was the son of William Cawarden, his birth is unrecorded but in 1528 he was noted as being an apprentice to Owen Hawkins, a mercer based in London. In 1542 Cawarden married, the only thing known about his wife is that her first name was Elizabeth, the couple had no known children.

In 1540 Cawarden was appointed Keeper of Bletchingley manor. In the same year as marrying Elizabeth, Cawarden was also elected as a Member of Parliament for Bletchingley a position he would hold again in 1547. Bletchingley was so small it did not even hold the status of town.

In 1544 Cawarden received a patent as Master of Revels and Tents, a position that was relatively minor until King Henry VIII when the role became important. Cawarden was the first to become head of an independent office and was also knighted in the same year at Boulogne. Soon after Cawarden was appointed the office and stores were moved to a dissolved Dominican monastery at Blackfriars. As part of his position he was responsible for overseeing royal festivities, progresses and military expeditions.

list of items to be moved to BlackfriarsAn itemised list detailed what was required to be moved to the new Master of the Revels office at Blackfriars

In 1547 Cawarden and his office provided hales, roundhouses and a kitchen tent for a military expedition to Scotland during the war of the Rough Wooing. Upon the return home Cawarden paid for the tents to be dried and put away after they were soaked during travel.

During the reign of Queen Mary I she ordered officers to collect arms and armour from Cawarden’s home in order to protect to city from Wyatt’s rebellion. Also during Mary’s reign Cawarden was implicated in a plot to replace Mary with Elizabeth. Evidence given implicated Cawarden and others in which he was allegedly require to intercept any treasure sent by Queen Mary to her husband in Spain. In May 1556 Cawarden was given a bond ordering him to remain in his home at Blackfriars, just two months later the order was rescinded.

His patent also allowed Cawarden to keep 40 armed and liveried servants at Bletchingley Castle, during his time in office Cawarden lived at Loseley Park near Guildford, which is where his official papers were preserved.

Many honours came to Cawarden in his life including in 1543 he was appointed as Keeper of the house and gardens of Nonsuch Palace until 1556, in 1547 Cawarden was appointed as High Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, in 1550 as Keeper of Hampton Court and in 1558 he was the joint Lieutenant of the Tower of London, sharing the position with Sir Edward Warner. Between 1547 and 1559 he was elected as knight of the shire for Surrey on four occasions.

In 1547 Cawarden obtained the former home of Anne of Cleves, Bletchingley a Tudor home that was gifted to the former Queen as part of her divorce settlement with King Henry VIII. In 1551 Cawarden began work on a banqueting house in Hyde Park, London with Lawrence Bradshaw who was a surveyor of works but by 1556 this was supplanted by his banqueting house at Nonsuch Park.

Cawarden died on 25th August 1559 at East Horsley, his body was taken to Bletchingley for burial.

Sir Thomas Cawarden tombSir Thomas Cawarden’s tomb

On this day in 1545 – Charles Brandon died

Charles Brandon was born in 1484 to Sir William Brandon and Elizabeth Bruyn. Brandon’s father, William was the standard bearer for King Henry VII and was killed at the Battle of Bosworth. As a result of his father’s death Charles was brought up at the court of the new King and at a young age became friends with Prince Henry.

Brandon married Margaret Neville, a widower some 20 years his senior but by 1507 the marriage was declared void firstly by the Archdeaconry Court of London and then later by a papal bull that was issued on 12th May 1528. The following year Brandon went on to marry Anne Browne, Margaret’s niece, in a secret ceremony at Stepney with a public ceremony taking place at St Michael’s, Cornhill. The couple went on to have two daughters; Anne and Mary. Unfortunately Brandon’s wife would die just three years later in 1511.

With King Henry VIII succeeding the throne, Brandon found himself in a position of power as he remained a close friend and confidante to the new King and as a result held a number of positions within the court. In 1513 Brandon was given the position of Master of the Horse and also many lands that were considered highly valuable. Brandon was also present at the sieges of Thérouanne and Tournai during the War of the League of Cambrai and at the time Henry was pushing Margaret of Savoy to marry Brandon to strengthen their union. Henry also created Brandon the Duke of Suffolk.

Henry’s plan to marry Margaret of Savoy and Brandon did not work as also in 1513 Brandon was contracted to marry Elizabeth Grey, 5th Baroness Lisle and on 15th May 1513 was granted the title of 1st Viscount Lisle as a result of his forthcoming, however, Brandon did not go through with the marriage as a result of marrying the King’s sister, Mary, after the death of her first husband – the King of France. Brandon was forced to give up the title of Viscount Lisle.

Brandon and Princess Mary, Henry’s sister, married in secret in France after Brandon was sent to escort the Dowager Queen home following the death of her husband King Louis XII. The new King, Francis, encouraged the marriage in an attempt to not return Mary’s plate and jewels to England. The pair married in private on 5th March 1515 before setting off from France to return to England. Upon their arrival back in London Brandon confided in Cardinal Wolsey regarding his new marriage to the King’s sister.

Without Cardinal Wolsey we do not know how King Henry would have reacted but Wolsey was able to calm the angered King and the couple were ordered to pay Henry £24,000 in yearly instalments of £1,000 as well as Mary’s dowry from Louis which totalled £200,000 alongside the gold plate and jewels that the old King of France had promised to Mary. The couple were married at Greenwich Hall on 13th May after the papal bull was secure to declare Brandon’s first marriage officially void.

Brandon and Mary retired to the countryside for some years to avoid the King’s anger, however, Brandon was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 and in 1523 he was sent to Calais to oversee the English troops stationed there. Brandon and Mary would have two sons and two daughters, with his daughter Frances giving birth to Lady Jane Grey.

Charles Brandon returned to Henry’s court and his influence with the King increase following the fall of Cardinal Wolsey. Brandon along with Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk was sent to demand the return of the Great Seal from Wolsey. Brandon was also instructed to convey to Katherine of Aragon news that Henry had married Anne Boleyn and that she was to now be referred to as Dowager Princess.

Mary died on 25th June 1533 and in the same year Brandon married his 14 year old ward, Catherine Willoughby. Catherine was originally betrothed to Brandon’s son Henry but Brandon believed he was too young to marry and so in order not to lose Catherine’s lands he married her himself . Catherine and Brandon would have two sons together, Henry and Charles; they died from the sweating sickness at a young age.

Brandon supported Henry’s plans during the dissolution of the monasteries and was in receipt of many lands and in 1544 Brandon once again led the English army as they prepared for an invasion of France.

Charles Brandon died on 22nd August 1545 aged 61 at Guildford, Surrey and was buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor with Henry VIII covering the costs of the funeral. Brandon had requested a quiet funeral but Henry wanted to honour his close friend, Brandon’s death hit Henry hard as he had lost his longest companion and he himself would die less than 18 months later.

Mary Tudor and Charles BrandonCharles Brandon and Mary Tudor

On this day in 1601 – William Lambarde died

William Lambarde was born on 18th October 1536 to John Lambarde and his wife. His father died when he was 15 years old and he temporarily became the ward of Edmund Hensley. Lambarde’s early life is unknown until he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1556 where he studied law.

During his time studying law he was encouraged by Laurence Nowell to publish a collection of Anglo-Saxon laws, entitled Archaionomia which was printed by John Day. The publication included a woodcut map showing the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, the first map of its kind to be published in England.

In 1570 Lambarde completed Perambulation of Kent which was the first English country history and it was eventually printed in 1576, it would go through several editions after proving to be very popular. With the success of Perambulation of Kent Lambarde considered writing a similar one for the whole of Britain but set it aside once he discovered that William Camden was already working on the same idea.

On 11th September 1570 Lambarde married Jane Multon, daughter of George Multon, on her 17th birthday but she died just three years later. Lambarde lived in the Manor of St. Clere in Ightham, Kent.

It is believed that Lambarde served as a Member of Parliament for Aldborough during the Parliament of 1563 – 1567, he was also at one time a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn as well as a Justice of the Peace for Kent.

Lambarde was in close communication with Lord Burghley and they wrote regularly. Burghley at one point requested that Lambarde collected some historical notes on Lincoln and Stamford and later in 1587 Lambarde thanked Burghley for unspecified favours which he appreciated after the death of his second wife.

In 1576 Lambarde founded an almshouse in East Greenwich, in 1597 Sir Thomas Egerton, the Lord Chancellor appointed Lambarde as Keeper of the Rolls and in 1601 Queen Elizabeth appointed him as Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London in 1601. As part of his role in early August 1601 he had a private meeting with the Queen who had asked him to draw up a detailed account of the documents that were under his care, they talked at length in her privy chamber in Greenwich and Lambarde was asked to explain various terms.

Lambarde died on 19th August 1601, just two weeks after his audience with the Queen. He died at Westcombe and was buried at Greenwich; he was later reinterred to the Lambarde Chapel in Sevenoaks Church.

by Unknown artist,painting,

On this day in 1510 – Edmund Dudley and Richard Empson were executed

Edmund Dudley was the financial agent and English administrator of King Henry VII whilst Richard Empson was educated as a lawyer and was later a minister for the King. Early in King Henry VII’s reign both Dudley and Empson became associated with each other whilst they were both part of the Council Learned in the Law. The Council was a special tribunal carried out the King’s unreasonable taxations as a result the pair became highly unpopular with the King’s subjects but at the same time the King took a strong interest in the two men and soon elevated them to knights of the shire.

At the same time as collecting taxes for the King the pair also became wealthy themselves. When King Henry VII died in April 1509 Dudley and Empson were arrested on 24th April 1509 and imprisoned by the new King, Henry VIII on the charge of constructive treason. The pair were accused of ordering their friends to gather in arms when it became known that the King was dying however, they were also unpopular with the rest of the court which resulted from their financial gains.

Dudley and Empson were taken to the Tower of London where Acts of Attainders were put forward to the Parliament the Act was passed against Empson however, the Act against Dudley was not confirmed and Dudley believed that he would be pardoned. During his imprisonment Dudley wrote a treatise in support of absolute monarchy called The Tree of Commonwealth a plan to gain favour with the new King, his writing never reached the King.

Dudley and Empson were taken to Tower Hill on the 17th August 1510 and executed.

The Duke of Rutland Collection

On this day in 1513 – William Parr was born

On 14th August 1513 William Parr was born to Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud. Thomas had two sisters Anne and Catherine, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII.

On 9th February 1527 Parr married Anne Bourchier daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex. The marriage was not an easy one and in 1541 Anne eloped with her lover John Lyngfield, the prior of St. James’s Church, Tanbridge and they had several children. As a result of this Parr was able to annul the marriage via an Act of Parliament and on 17th April 1543 and Anne’s children were declared illegitimate. As a result of the Act Parr obtained his wife’s lands and titles and as a result was created the Earl of Essex. Parr was able to achieve this due to his high position within King Edward’s court and the influence he held over many.

Parr went on to marry Elisabeth Brooke. Elisabeth had been married to Sir Thomas Wyatt, who had been implicated in Anne Boleyn’s downfall; they had a son with Wyatt who went on to be Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger. Elisabeth fell in love with Parr whilst still married to Wyatt and they lived in adultery and later married whilst Wyatt was still alive, therefore the marriage was bigamous The validity of the marriage was contested as during Henry’s reign a divorced man could not be allowed to remarry but this law was rescinded by King Edward and their marriage was legal. However, it was again overturned by Mary before once again being revoked by Elizabeth.

Parr had many titles bestowed upon him alongside the Earl of Essex in 1539 he was created Baron Parr of Kendal and in 1547 he was created the Marquess of Northampton.

After the death of King Henry VIII Parr being the King’s brother in law and therefore step-uncle to the new King, Edward VI, Parr was one of the most important men in the new Council. He served Edward loyally and when it was clear that the King was dying Parr along with his wife worked with John Dudley to place Lady Jane Grey as the successor to the throne. Upon Queen Mary’s ascension Parr was arrested on the charge of high treason and sentenced to death on 18th August 1553, however, he was instead released and eventually had his titles restored to him by Queen Elizabeth in 1559.

In 1565 his wife, Elisabeth, died aged 39 heavily in debt as she attempted to find a cure for her ailment which was believed to be cancer. Five years later Parr would marry Helena Snakenborg who was a lady in waiting from Sweden. This marriage would be short lived as Parr would die five months later at Warwick Priory. With no children his titles became extinct.

Queen Elizabeth paid for the funeral and burial of Parr and he was buried in St Mary’s Church, Warwick. His tomb is inscribed as followed;

William Parr, Marquis of Northampton; Died in Warwick 28 October 1571. [Buried] with the ceremonial due [of a] Knight of the Garter to the Order of Queen Elizabeth who bore the expense of the funeral, 2 December 1571.”

William ParrWilliam Parr, brother to Catherine Parr

On this day in 1514 – Princess Mary Tudor was married by proxy to King Louis XII

When King Henry VIII ascended the throne he worked on ensuring his alliances were secure for the future. The King arranged for his sister, Princess Mary, to marry his nephew in law the future Holy Roman Emperor, Charles. However, after a series of diplomatic delays and secret talks between Spain and France Henry called off the betrothal. It is believed that Mary was pleased with her brother’s decision as she did not wish to marry someone four years younger than herself.

With Henry’s decision Mary was once again available and marriage negotiations began once again. If Mary was unpleased with her brother’s first choice of someone four year younger then his next choice would be would really displease her! Henry had negotiated for his sister to marry the King of France, King Louis XII, who was 34 years older than Mary.

Mary upon learning the news that she was to be married to a King who had been described as ‘feeble and pocky’ wept and begged to marry Charles. Mary reluctantly agreed to marry the aged King but on the condition that when she was widowed she could choose her next husband and it would be a marriage based on love. Henry agreed to this in order to send his sister off to France quickly and peaceful but also because he knew who it was that she loved, his best friend, Charles Brandon.

On 13th August 1514 a proxy marriage took place at Greenwich Palace with the Duc de Longueville standing in for the aged King. The marriage was even declared consummated and therefore legal when Mary lay down on a bed with the Duc de Longueville and he touched her body with his naked leg. A wedding feast took place after the ceremony and Mary was gifted jewels and a trousseau that befitted a Queen of France.

Mary set sail for France on 2nd October after bad weather delayed the voyage. Four ships of the 14 that set sail landed in Boulogne and the party continued on towards Abbeville. It was recorded that she wore an outfit made from cloth of gold on crimson with tight sleeves and in the English fashion. She also wore a crimson hat that was worn at a slant over one eye. Mary would meet her new husband in an arranged accident just outside of Abbeville and they were officially married within the city.

Mary became the Queen of France. However, just 82 days later on 31st December 1514 King Louis XII abruptly died. It is believed that his marital activities put a strain on his weakened body. Mary was now a Queen dowager but was put into seclusion for 40 days until it was known whether or not she was carrying the future King of France. Mary was not pregnant and sent to the Hotel De Cluny to see out the mourning period. From here she wrote to her brother back in England begging to return to her home country and that he upheld his promise.

Mary was visited by the new King Francis who hoped to keep the English French alliance that was rapidly breaking down. With some careful words Mary was frightened about her future and confessed to the King her love for Charles Brandon. Upon hearing this he promised to do all that he could to help the Queen dowager. When Brandon arrived to escort Mary home Francis called him into a private meeting and declared that he would do all he could to help Brandon marry Mary. With that Mary and Charles Brandon married in February 1515 in a small chapel of the Palais De Cluny.

Mary TudorPrincess Mary Tudor

On this day in 1570 – Lady Ursula Pole died

Ursula Pole was born in 1504 and was the only daughter of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. Making Ursula the granddaughter of the Duke of Clarence and therefore had a claim to the English throne. Sir Richard Pole died when Ursula was only one year old. Ursula had four older brothers all of whom acquired positions within King Henry VIII’s court. Ursula grew up at the family home at Warblington Castle, Hampshire whilst her mother acted as Royal Governess to the Princess Mary.

Lady Ursula married Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford on 16th February 1518 when she was 15 years old and he was 18. The marriage was suggested by Cardinal Wolsey and arranged by Edward Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham. Ursula’s dowry was 3000 marks which would be increased by a further thousand if her mother was able to reclaim some of her family lands from King Henry VIII. Instead, the Countess of Salisbury gave the couple land in Somerset and Devon that was worth 700 marks. The Duke of Buckingham also ensured that lands worth £500 were set aside for Ursula in case she was widowed. The Duke also paid for the wedding with the exception of Ursula’s clothes which her mother paid for.

Due to the newlyweds ages the couple went to live within the household of the Duke of Buckingham, who acted as their guardians. Ursula was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in France, in 1520, she was four months pregnant and in November 1520 Ursula gave birth to the couple’s first child.

Just a year later in 1521 Ursula’s father in law was arrested on charges of treason and beheaded. After his death an Act of Attainder was passed and his titles and lands were forfeited to the King, leaving Ursula and her husband very little to live on. It was not until 1547 when King Edward VI created her husband, Henry, the 1st Baron Stafford meaning that Ursula was now a Baroness.

The couple had 14 children in total, seven sons and seven daughters. Their eldest daughter Dorothy would go on to serve Queen Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes. Ursula had seen many of her family members lose their lives at the hands of the royal executioner from her mother and brother to her son Thomas was executed for treason for leading an unsuccessful uprising against Queen Mary I in 1557.

Having lost her husband in 1563 Ursula died on 12th August 1570, aged 66 her final resting place is unknown.

Ursula PoleLady Ursula Pole