Historical Timeline of Charles Brandon

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Timeline of

c 1484
It is quite uncertain when Charles Brandon was born, except that (unless he was a posthumous child) it must of course have been before the battle of Bosworth. It is not likely, however, to have been many years earlier.
22 August Father William, Henry VII's standard bearer is killed by Richard III at Bosworth field.
This William, who with his brother Thomas had come with Henry out of Brittany, does not appear to have been a knight, though called Sir William by Hall the chronicler, and thus some confusion has arisen between him and Charles' grandfather, Sir William Brandon, who survived him.
1491 28 June Future King Henry VIII is born, Charles's grandfather dies.
1493/94 7 MarchMother dies and the young boy is sent to court by his uncle Thomas.
Brother William is lastly named in documents and then vanishes, possibly dead.
1501 14 November Katherine of Aragon marries Prince Arthur. Charles is one of the servants who attends on Arthur on his wedding night, but when his court moves to Ludlow, Charles stays in London.
c 1503
Served Henry VII. as Squire of the Royal Body.
- 1509

Cavalry Captain to the Earl of Essex, Henry Bourchier.
Betrothed to Anne Browne, daughter of Anthony Browne, The relationship is consummated and she later becomes pregnant.
Marries Anne Browne's aunt, a wealthy widow, Margaret Neville nee Mortimer instead.
Anne Brandon, daughter of him and Anne Browne is born.

Anne Browne's family take legal action and the marriage to Margaret is annulled.
Marries Anne Browne.
1509 27 JanuarySir Thomas Brandon, Knight of the Garter, uncle to Charles, dies at Black Friars.

Listed as attender of Henry VII.'s Funeral as 'Squyer for the Bodie Ch. Brandon'.

Henry VIII marries Katherine of Aragon and both are crowned.

Esquire to the Body to Henry VIII.

22 NovemberAppointed Chamberlain of the Principality of North Wales.
1510 2 June Charles's wife Anne delivers another daughter, Mary Brandon.

28 FebruaryCreated Marshal of the King's Bench.
151113&14 FebruaryTakes part in a tourney on the birth of the Prince, the King's son.

23 November The office of Marshal of the Royal Household was granted to him and Sir John Carewe in survivorship.
Wife Anne dies.

Later this year, Charles becomes guardian to 8 year old Elizabeth Grey, heiress to Lord Lisle.

24 MarchAppointed Keeper of the Royal Manor and Park of Wanstead.

2 May Appointed Ranger of the New Forest and Knight of the Body.

3 DecemberReceived a grant of the wardship of Elizabeth, daughter and sole heiress of John Grey, viscount Lisle
Created Steward of all possessions in Warw., Glouc., Worc., and Oxford.

AprilCreated Steward of the lordships of Henley in Arderne and Tonworth, Warwick & Master of the hunt in the parks.

23 AprilNominated and elected for the Order of the Garter.

13 MayChief Captain of the enterprise by land in an intended expedition to Brittany.

15 May Announced his engagement to his ward and the king creates him Viscount Lisle.

This same year King Henry had to make a public apology to the Emperor, father of Margaret, Regent of the Netherlands for the circulating gossip that she would marry his friend Brandon.

Created Master of the Horse by the King.
- 1514

Accompanies Henry to France and the Netherlands.
1514 1 February Charles is created 1st Duke of Suffolk (one of only 3 dukes in the kingdom - the other two Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk & Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham)

4 March Henry VIII wrote to Margaret of Savoy's father, the emperor Maximilian, that a report had reached England that Suffolk was to marry his daughter, at which the king affected to be extremely displeased. Henry pretended that the rumour had been got up to create differences between them. In point of fact Henry was not only fully cognisant of Suffolk's aspirations, but had already pleaded his favourite's cause with Margaret personally at Tournay; and this notwithstanding the engagement he was still under to Lady Lisle. Some curious flirtation scenes had actually taken place between them at Lille, of which Margaret seems afterwards to have drawn up a report in her own hand

13 August Princess Mary, the King's sister marries Louis XII of France by proxy at Greenwich.

9 October King Louis XII marries Mary again outside Abbeville

OctoberSent over to France to witness the new queen's coronation at St. Denis, and to take part in the jousts to be held at Paris in honour of the event. This at least seemed to be the principal object of his mission, and as regards the tourney he certainly acquitted himself well, overthrowing his opponent, horse and man. But another object was to make some arrangements for a personal interview between the English and French kings in the following spring and also to convey a still more secret proposal for expelling Ferdinand of Arragon from Navarre both which projects were nipped in the bud by the death of Louis XII on 1 Jan. following.)

31 December King Louis of France dies suddenly and Mary is put into seclusion for 40 days in case she is pregnant. Brandon is sent to France as the king's ambassador.
1515 27 January Arrives in France. 7 days later he is met by Francis I, who tells him that Mary has confessed her love for him and intends to marry him

1 FebruaryGrant to him and his heirs, for the support of his title, of all the possessions forfeited by Edmund de la Pole Earl of Suffolk and John Earl of Lincoln, with reversion of the possessions now held by Queen Katharine and Margaret Countess of Suffolk for life

2 February Attends a formal audience of the new king, Francis I at Noyon, after which Francis sent for the duke to see him in private, and to his consternation said to him, 'My lord of Suffolk, there is a bruit in this my realm that you are come to marry with the queen, your master's sister.' Suffolk in vain attempted to deny the charge, for Francis had extracted the confession from Mary herself by what dishonourable overtures we need not inquire and Francis, to put him at his ease, promised to write to Henry in his favour. The truth was that Henry himself secretly favoured the project, and only wished for some such letter from Francis to make it more acceptable to the old nobility, who regarded Suffolk as an upstart. Wolsey, too, then at the commencement of his career as a statesman, was doing his best to smooth down all obstacles. But the precipitancy of the two lovers nearly forfeited all their advantages. Mary was by no means satisfied that, although Henry favoured her wishes to some extent, he might not be induced by his council to break faith with her and sacrifice her to political considerations again. Suffolk's discretion was not able to subdue his own ardour and hers as well,.
1515 February 31 year old Brandon marries 20 year old Mary, dowager queen of France secretly at Cluny Chapel.
15155 MarchWrote a letter to Thomas Wolsey about the marriage, begging him not to disclose it.

Wolsey sends a letter back, saying he "could not do otherwise than show Suffolk's letter to the King". The King would not believe it, but took the same grievously and displeasantly, not merely for Suffolk's presumption, but for breaking his promise made to the King at Eltham in Wolsey's presence, and would not believe he would have broken his promise had he been torn with wild horses. He is by Henry's words "In the greatest danger that ever man was in."

Begs the King's forgiveness for his offence in this marriage and intreats "for the passion of God" that it may not turn his heart against him: "but punish me rather with prison or otherwise as may be your pleasure."

Princess Mary writes to King Henry "Excusing her marriage with Suffolk and stating that she had constrained him to break his promise to the King." Begs he will remember that she had consented to his request, and for the peace of Christendom, to marry Lewis of France, "though he was very aged and sickly," on condition that if she survived him she should marry whom she liked.

13 May Mary and Brandon are wed again at Greenwich Palace with King Henry & Katherine of Aragon in attendance.

30 MayThanks Margaret of Savoy for the reception she has given to his daughter Anne

27 JuneMade Steward of the manors of Snytterfeld, Budbroke, Hampton. super-Montem, Haseley, and Hatton, Warw.,
151621 FebruaryAttends Christening of the Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon

11 March Mary Tudor gives birth to a boy on tuesday, between 10 and 11 o'clock at night, at Bath Place, who was, by Henry's will named after him, Henry Brandon.

13 MarchChristening of the son. The King and Wolsey were made godfathers and the Lady Katharine of Aragon godmother. The Bishop of Durham godfather at the bishoping.
15177 JulyAttends a joust and jousts with the King.

16 July Daughter Frances Brandon is born on a thursday between 2 and 3 in the morning. She was named Frances, being born on St. Francis's day.

17 JulyChristening of Frances Brandon.
1518AprilSpends Easter at court.
Lost the title of Viscount Lisle.
c 1519
Daughter Eleanor Brandon is born.
1520 June Accompanies the English delegation at the Field of Cloth of Gold at Balinghem, France.
Son Henry dies.
Travels to Calais to lead English troops stationed there during the renewed conflict with France. A second son is born and is named Henry after his dead brother.
Invaded France with Count De Buren. They wasted much of Northern France.
152518 JuneSon Henry is created Earl of Lincoln by King Henry VIII. He is only 2 years old.
On the arrival of Cardinal Campeggio in England in 1528, Suffolk's house in the suburbs (probably the house in Southwark) was assigned him as a temporary lodging. Suffolk undoubtedly was heartily devoted to the object for which Campeggio came, or was supposed to come the king's divorce from Katherine of Arragon
1528July to OctoberCampeggio adjourned the legatine court in England and probably when everyone was convinced even at that date that it would not sit again, Suffolk, according to the graphic account in Hall, 'gave a great clap on the table with his hand, and said: " By the mass, now I see that the old said saw is true, that there was never legate nor cardinal that did good in England!"'
Charles and Thomas Howard are sent to collect the Great Seal from Cardinal Wolsey
15291 DecemberSigned along with the other lords, the bill of articles drawn up against Wolsey in parliament, and a few months later he signed with the other lords a letter to the pope, to warn him of the dangers of delaying to accede to Henry VIII's wishes for a divorce.
1530 MayChapuys reported a rumour that Charles Brandon was banned from court after he rakes up a story of Thomas Wyatt and Anne Boleyn in an effort to convince the king that she was a woman with a past
1531SpringOpenly espouses a pro-Imperial policy and in the summer he tells the King that he is the 3rd person that Katherine of Aragon would obey. When Henry asks who the first two were and expected the reply to be "the Pope" and "the Emperor", the duke answered that God was first and her conscience was the second.
153225 OctoberOne of the noblemen who accompanied Henry VIII to Calais to the new meeting between him and Francis I. This was designed to show the world the entire cordiality of the two kings, who became in turn each other's guests at Calais and Boulogne.
15339 AprilThomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk were sent to Ampthill to tell Katherine of Aragon that Henry and Anne Boleyn were married. She was told that as she was now no longer queen she must use the title Princess dowager of Wales. She was allowed to keep her property but her servants and household expenses would now be her responsibility. She was also told that if she submitted to the King's will she would be generously provided for.
1533 1 June Anne Boleyn crowned queen of England, Brandon acted as High Steward for Anne's coronation
1533 25 June Death of wife Mary Tudor
1533 September Married Catherine WiIlloughby his teenage ward who was previously engaged to his son 10 year old son Henry.
15341 MarchSon Henry, Earl of Lincoln dies at the age of 11.
One of the commissioners appointed to take the oaths of the people in accordance with the new Act of Succession, binding them to accept the issue of Anne Boleyn as their future sovereigns. Later in the year he was appointed warden and chief justice of all the royal forests on the south side of the Trent
Another son Henry (1535-1551) is born.
Led troops against rebels in Pilgrimage of Grace. For some years after the rebellion he took no important part in public affairs
In the latter part of the year 1536, when he was sent against the rebels of Lincolnshire and afterwards of Yorkshire, whom, however, he did not subdue by force of arms, but rather by a message of pardon from the king, who promised at that time to hear their grievances, though he shamefully broke faith with them afterwards
Son Charles born (1537-1551) Thomas Cromwell was Godfather to both his sons.
1536- 1538
Took part in the suppression of the greater monasteries, and Suffolk got a large share of the abbey lands
Spectator of the great muster in London
Was one of the judges who tried the accomplices of Katherine Howard
154210 February He and others conveyed that unhappy queen by water from Sion House to the Tower of London prior to her execution
Later this year, appointed warden of the marches against Scotland
Command of English Army for invasion of France.
154420 June Made his will before crossing the sea. He was then great master or steward of the king's household, an office he had filled for some years previously.
154419 JulyCrossed, and sat down before Boulogne, on the east side of the town. After several skirmishes he obtained possession of a fortress called the Old Man, and afterwards of the lower town, called Basse Boulogne. The king afterwards came in person and encamped on the north side of the town, which, being terribly battered, after a time surrendered, and the Duke of Suffolk rode into it in triumph
1545EarlySat at Baynard's Castle in London on a commission for a 'benevolence' to meet the expenses of the king's wars in France and Scotland. On St. George's day he stood as second godfather to the infant Henry Wriothesley, afterwards Earl of Southampton, the father of Shakespeare's friend
1545 24 August Died suddenly at Guildford. In his will he had desired to be buried at Tattershall in Lincolnshire; but Henry VIII paid for Charles burial at St George Chapel, Windsor.
Completed up to 1518* atm.


  • <a class="external" href="http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Brandon,_Charles_%28DNB00%29" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06 Brandon, Charles by James Gairdner">Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06 Brandon, Charles by James Gairdner</a>
  • Administrative and legal History - Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic
  • Gunn, Steven J.: Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, C. 1484-1545 Blackwell Publishing, Williston 1988