On 14th January 1515, in King Henry VIII’s reign, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, was sent to France to bring back the king’s sister, Mary Tudor, Queen of France.
Eighteen-year-old Mary had married fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII on 9th October 1514, but the marriage had been short-lived as Louis died on 1st January 1515.
Before marrying Louis, Mary had made her brother promise that if the French king died she could marry a man of her choosing. That man ended up being Suffolk, Henry VIII’s best friend, and the very man sent to fetch her.
3rd March 1515 is one of the dates given in the French contemporary sources for the secret marriage of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, but did the couple really marry on this date?
In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I examine the English and French sources, such as letters and chronicles, to see which date they support for the couple’s secret marriage.
On this day in history, Sunday 13th May 1515, Mary Tudor, dowager queen of France and sister of King Henry VIII, married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, at Greenwich Palace, following their secret marriage in France. They were married in the presence of the king, Queen Catherine and the court.
On 14th January 1515, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, was sent to France under orders from Henry VIII to bring back Henry’s sister, the newly widowed Mary Tudor. Brandon would see to Mary’s safe return, but she would not be a widow on her return but, instead, a newly married woman.