On this day in Tudor history, 9th April 1582, Richard Bertie, member of Parliament, evangelical, and second husband of Catherine Willoughby (other married name Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk, died at Bourne in Lincolnshire. He was laid to rest in St James’s Church, Spilsby, with Catherine, who had died in 1580.
Bertie was Catherine’s gentleman usher and the two became close following the death of her sons from sweating sickness.
Find out more about the man Catherine Willoughby chose to marry for love in today’s talk from Claire Ridgway.
Frances (née Brandon) was the eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his third wife, Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and widow of Louis XII of France. It is worth examining Frances’s parents and their significance within Tudor society before moving onto her life. Her father was an extraordinary character: magnate, courtier, and soldier, he exemplified the ideal qualities associated with being a male sixteenth-century courtier. Having been a close confidant to Henry VIII throughout his childhood, Suffolk found military fame in 1512 as a result of his involvement with the Anglo-French war. This war led to a successful siege of the French town of Tournai, with the inhabitants essentially forced to surrender to the invasion of the English king. As a result, Henry passed the keys of the city to Suffolk as a result of his honour and bravery.