Lady Margaret Bryan

From The Tudors Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan

born c.1468 - died c.1551/52
Character's backstory: Born Margaret Bourchier around 1468 in Beningbrough, Yorkshire, England. Her mother was Elizabeth Tilney) and her father was Sir Humphrey Bourchier. Humphrey Bourchier was heir to the title Baron Berners but died before his father, being killed during the Wars of the Roses at the Battle of Barnet.
She was Lady Governess to at least three of King Henry VIII's children: Princess Mary Tudor, Princess Elizabeth Tudor and Prince Edward Tudor. The position of Lady Governess in her day resembled less that of the popular modern idea of a governess, more that of a nanny.
Margaret Bryan became the Lady Governess for Princess Mary in February 1516. More well known primary evidence exists to connect her with with Princess Elizabeth and Prince Edward. From August 1536, there is a widely quoted letter from her to Thomas Cromwell , Henry VIII's chief minister, in which she complains of the economic difficulties of the household of "lady Elizabeth" since the change in her status (from legitimate to illegitimate) following the annulment of the King's marriage to her mother Anne Boleyn, and Anne's execution in May.

"Now, as my lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was in, and what degree she is at now I know not but by hearsay, I know not how to order her or myself, or her women or grooms. I beg you to be good lord to her and hers, and that she may have raiment, for she has neither gown nor kirtle nor petticoat, nor linen for smocks, nor kerchiefs, sleeves, rails, bodystychets, handkerchiefs, mufflers, nor "begens."

(The more obscure items in this list are identified by the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edn) as: rails = nightdresses; bodystychets = corsets; begens = nightcaps.)

She also reports that:
"My lady has great pain with her teeth, which come very slowly."
(Elizabeth was to have serious difficulties with her teeth on and off for much of her life.)

Margaret Bryan passed over responsibility for Elizabeth to Catherine Champernowne (Later known as Kat Ashley) in October of 1537 following the birth of Prince Edward, who became her new charge. A second letter to Cromwell, dated 11th March 1539, describes the Prince."My lord Prince is in good health and merry. Would to God the King and your Lordship had seen him last night. The minstrels played, and his Grace danced and played so wantonly that he could not stand still ..."
A late mention of Margaret Bryan in the archives is a note referring to the payment of a 20 pound annuity to "Lady Margaret Bryane, the King's servant" in 1545. She died in Leyton, now a suburb of London but at the time a village in Essex.


Position:Governess to Princess Mary Tudor, Princess Elizabeth Tudor, Prince Edward Tudor

Personality type:

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s):
Lady Margaret Bryan

Click EasyEdit to update this page!
(Don't see the EasyEdit button above? <a href="../#signin" target="_self">Sign in</a> or <a href="../accountnew" target="_self">Sign up</a>.)


Family members:
Mother: Elizabeth Tilney, Duchess of Norfolk and Countess of Surrey (c. 1447 - 4 April 1497)
Father: Sir Humphery Bourchier (c. 1440 - 14 April 1471)
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (c.1443 - 21 May 1524)
Paternal Great Grandmother: Anne of Woodstock Plantagenet, Countess of Buckingham (c.April 1383 - 16 Oct 1438)
Paternal Great-Great-Great Grandfather: Edward III Plantagenet, King of England (c.13 Nov 1312 - 21 Jun 1377)
Brother: John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (c.1467 -
16 Mar 1533)
Anne Bourchier, Baroness Dacre (c.1470 - 29 September 1530)
Half-Sister: Lady Elizabeth Howard, mother to Anne Boleyn (c.1450 - 1538)
Half-Brothers: Lord Edmund Howard,
father to Katherine Howard (c.1480 - 19 Mar 1539);
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (c.1473 - 25 August 1554)
Nieces:Anne Boleyn; Mary Boleyn ; Katherine Howard
Nephew:George Boleyn

1st: Sir John Sandes (Pre-Contracted and signed, never consumated -
11th November 1478)
2nd: Sir Thomas Bryan (c.1490)
3rd: David Souche (c.1519)

With 2nd husband, Sir Thomas Bryan
Son:Francis Bryan (1490 - 2 Feb 1550)
Daughter: Elizabeth Carew Bryan (1500 - ?)
Daughter:Margaret Bryan (?)





  • "She's good in every way your majesty and hardly cries at all; it's as if she already knows she's a Princess." Season 2, Episode 4.
  • Francis Bryan comments on how well looked after Prince Edward is looked after and protected "He must be the cleanest baby in England" then Lady Margaret Replies "He is the most precious baby in England" - Season 3


Lady Margaret Bryan
with Katherine Champernowne ( Later Kat Ashley)

Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan
Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan
Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane BrennanLady Bryan talking to her son Sir Francis Bryan Lady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan
Prince Edward Tudor as played by Eoin MurtaghLady Margaret Bryan as played by Jane Brennan