The Tudor Society
  • 7 September – Charles Brandon marries Catherine Willoughby

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, just over two months after the death of his previous wife, Mary Tudor. Queen of France, forty-nine-year-old Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married his ward, fourteen-year-old Catherine Willoughby.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple, how they came to be married, what their marriage was like, and what happened to them, in today’s talk.

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  • 9 April – Catherine Willoughby’s second husband

    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.

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  • 22 March – Catherine Brandon (Catherine Willoughby), Duchess of Suffolk, a woman with spirit!

    Today is the anniversary of the traditional birthdate of Catherine Willoughby (married names: Brandon and Bertie), Duchess of Suffolk, the woman who married the king’s best friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, when she was just fourteen.

    Catherine is known for her patronage of the Reformed faith and Reformers, but in today’s video, I share some facts about this fascinating woman, including a story about her little dog.

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  • Katherine Willoughby and a dog named Gardiner

    Today is the anniversary of the traditional date given for the birth of Katherine Willoughby (married names Brandon and Bertie), Duchess of Suffolk, and leading patroness of Reform, on 22nd March 1519.

    She is someone who appeals to me because of her patronage of the reformed faith and also because of the story of her dog. Martyrologist John Foxe, in his Acts and Monuments, writes of how Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, called Katherine’s second husband, Richard Bertie, before him in Mary I’s reign to ask him about his religion. Here is what Foxe says about Gardiner’s words to Bertie:

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  • Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk’s memorial

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, who is also known by her married names of Brandon and Bertie.

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  • Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk by Sarah Bryson

    Born on the 22nd March 1519, Katherine Willoughby was the daughter of William, 11th Baron Willoughby, and his wife Maria De Salinis, one of Queen Katherine of Aragon’s ladies. When Katherine was just seven years old. her father died and with no male son surviving Katherine was his heir. In March 1528 Charles Brandon bought the wardship of Katherine from the King for a staggering £2,266 13s 4d with the intention of marrying Katherine to his son Henry. Katherine then came to live with the Brandons to be raised.

    Charles Brandon’s third wife, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, died between seven and eight o’clock in the morning on the 25th June 1533. Her funeral was held on the 20th July 1533 at Bury St Edmunds. Katherine attended the funeral and she and her mother brought forward palls of cloth of gold to the altar.

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