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Frances Brandon Question
November 8, 2013
1:56 am
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Gidzmo
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Frances Brandon (Jane Grey's mother) married twice.  First marriage to the Marquess of Dorset in 1533.  Her second marriage in 1555 is the one I had a question on.

As then third-in-line (after Queen Mary and Lady Elizabeth), I would have thought that Frances would have had to obtain Mary's permission to marry--and Mary would not have permitted one of Royal blood to marry her Master of the Horse.  Is there anything on Mary's reaction to the marriage (other than Alison Weir's recording that Mary kept the two surviving daughters at court, eventually sending them to live with the Duchess of Somerset)?

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

November 8, 2013
11:18 am
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sandringham

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Gidzmo said
Frances Brandon (Jane Grey's mother) married twice.  First marriage to the Marquess of Dorset in 1533.  Her second marriage in 1555 is the one I had a question on.
As then third-in-line (after Queen Mary and Lady Elizabeth), I would have thought that Frances would have had to obtain Mary's permission to marry--and Mary would not have permitted one of Royal blood to marry her Master of the Horse.  Is there anything on Mary's reaction to the marriage (other than Alison Weir's recording that Mary kept the two surviving daughters at court, eventually sending them to live with the Duchess of Somerset)?

 

Mary actually may have been delighted to have this particular royal marry a commoner, as it would make Frances less likely a person for nobles, who were unhappy with Mary, to rally around.  Indeed, William Camden, an early biographer of Elizabeth I,  described the marriage as, “to her dishonor, but yet for her security.”

I found Camden's quote on Susan Higganbotham's website.  She goes into some detail about both Frances Brandon and Adrian Stokes, who may have married as soon as two weeks after the execution of Henry Brandon.  In any event, Higganbotham  questions how soon Mary learned of the marriage. http://www.susanhigginbotham.c.....f-suffolk/

http://www.susanhigginbotham.c.....an-stokes/

November 8, 2013
6:18 pm
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Gidzmo
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Now that I've thought about it, I've quite forgotten one thing: Frances renounced her claim to the English throne in eldest daughter Jane's favor.  So, if both Mary and Elizabeth had no children, the next-to-inherit under Henry VIII's will should have been Lady Catherine. However, her children were apparently deemed illegitimate and unfit to inherit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....d_marriage

That would have left Lady Mary, Frances' other daughter.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....ry_Grey. 

After Mary, the next claimant would have been Margaret, the Countess of Derby.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....s_of_Derby

 

 

 

 

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

November 8, 2013
7:47 pm
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Prof H

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A while ago Susan pointed me to Dulcie Ashdown's Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne because I was intereted in the descendants of Eleanor Brandon, Frances' younger sister.

 

Ashdown makes the point that Frances Grey may have remarried below her status for her own security or equally because she was pregnant at the time, giving birth to a short-lived daughter in November 1554.  While it is just possible, this child was fathered by the Duke of Suffolk who was executed on February 27 of the same year, that scenario involves Frances having visited him in prison and having slept with him within days of his death (allowing for a full-term pregnancy).  Had the child been a boy and lived, Ashdown points out, he could technically have displaced Frances' two daughters as Mary's and Elizabeth's heir.  With the Spanish marriage in the offing, producing a legitimate Protestant male heir would have put Frances herself in grave danger.  Her hasty marriage to Stokes at the very least provided a plausible father for the child whose lower class status could easily pushed the child further down the list of possible heirs.  It is more likely Stokes himself was the father of this baby and a second born two years later who also did not survive long, especially since Frances and her first husband had produced five children in relatively rapid succession and then no more in the ten years before Dorset's death.

 

 

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

November 9, 2013
9:37 am
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sandringham

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Great comment, H!  I didn’t mention Frances’ pregnancy, because I just assumed that Stokes was the father and the baby (believed to be born November 20, 1554 & dying within a day) was slightly premature.  And, it turned out to be another daughter.  I didn’t think to consider, as you say, that the baby could have been (or might have been considered to be) Henry’s, given how very soon after Henry's execution -- 2 weeks! -- Frances married Stokes.  And, I never considered that, if the baby were a boy – which Frances couldn’t have known back in March -- and he had survived, he would have displaced her surviving daughters in the succession and would have placed the boy, and Frances, in much greater peril.

It’s possible to see what Frances stood to gain from this marriage.  I’m curious about Stokes’ motives: whether it was purely to gain financially and/or in status, or whether it was because he sensed that Frances ‘needed a protector’ – or all of these.  (But if it was to protect her, why keep the marriage a secret from Mary for a time, if in fact they did?)  Clearly, the marriage wasn’t a sham: they lived together and had another daughter, who also died...

Fascinating stuff! Terrific topic, Gidzmo!

 

November 9, 2013
9:45 am
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sandringham

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Prof H said
A while ago Susan pointed me to Dulcie Ashdown's Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne because I was intereted in the descendants of Eleanor Brandon, Frances' younger sister.

 

Were you working on an article, or a book to which you could direct us?  Or, would you share with us here, briefly at least, some of what you've learned about Eleanor's descendants?

November 10, 2013
2:29 am
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Gidzmo
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Prof H said
A while ago Susan pointed me to Dulcie Ashdown's Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne because I was intereted in the descendants of Eleanor Brandon, Frances' younger sister.

 

Ashdown makes the point that Frances Grey may have remarried below her status for her own security or equally because she was pregnant at the time, giving birth to a short-lived daughter in November 1554.  While it is just possible, this child was fathered by the Duke of Suffolk who was executed on February 27 of the same year, that scenario involves Frances having visited him in prison and having slept with him within days of his death (allowing for a full-term pregnancy).  Had the child been a boy and lived, Ashdown points out, he could technically have displaced Frances' two daughters as Mary's and Elizabeth's heir.  With the Spanish marriage in the offing, producing a legitimate Protestant male heir would have put Frances herself in grave danger.  Her hasty marriage to Stokes at the very least provided a plausible father for the child whose lower class status could easily pushed the child further down the list of possible heirs.  It is more likely Stokes himself was the father of this baby and a second born two years later who also did not survive long, especially since Frances and her first husband had produced five children in relatively rapid succession and then no more in the ten years before Dorset's death.

 

 

Edward Courtenay (Mary's paternal second cousin) was apparently seen as a potential husband for Mary after he and his mother were released from the Tower.   The nobles would probably had rather seen Mary marry her cousin than Philip of Spain.  However, once Wyatt's Rebellion happened, any chance Courtenay had of marrying either Mary or Elizabeth evaporated, and Courtenay was sent packing to the Continent.

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

December 3, 2017
1:16 am
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Gidzmo
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Gidzmo said

Prof H said
A while ago Susan pointed me to Dulcie Ashdown's Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne because I was intereted in the descendants of Eleanor Brandon, Frances' younger sister.

 

Ashdown makes the point that Frances Grey may have remarried below her status for her own security or equally because she was pregnant at the time, giving birth to a short-lived daughter in November 1554.  While it is just possible, this child was fathered by the Duke of Suffolk who was executed on February 27 of the same year, that scenario involves Frances having visited him in prison and having slept with him within days of his death (allowing for a full-term pregnancy).  Had the child been a boy and lived, Ashdown points out, he could technically have displaced Frances' two daughters as Mary's and Elizabeth's heir.  With the Spanish marriage in the offing, producing a legitimate Protestant male heir would have put Frances herself in grave danger.  Her hasty marriage to Stokes at the very least provided a plausible father for the child whose lower class status could easily pushed the child further down the list of possible heirs.  It is more likely Stokes himself was the father of this baby and a second born two years later who also did not survive long, especially since Frances and her first husband had produced five children in relatively rapid succession and then no more in the ten years before Dorset's death.

 

 

Edward Courtenay (Mary's paternal second cousin) was apparently seen as a potential husband for Mary after he and his mother were released from the Tower.   The nobles would probably had rather seen Mary marry her cousin than Philip of Spain.  However, once Wyatt's Rebellion happened, any chance Courtenay had of marrying either Mary or Elizabeth evaporated, and Courtenay was sent packing to the Continent.  

Would either of Lady Jane Grey's sisters have had any chance of holding the throne?

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

December 18, 2017
8:26 pm
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Prof H

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All my print sources are packed up in anticipation of moving.  I can't walk from one side of the garage to the other.

I do suggest you check out Dulcie Ashdown's Tudor Cousins.  Susan recommended it to me and t's extremely valuable.  

 

I do know that neither of Lady Jane Grey's sisters would have much chance at the throne.  Edward VI's Device for the Succession was intent on providing a Protestant succession, leaving the throne first to his cousinFrances Brandon and then to her daughter Jane and "their heirs malses". When he realized #1 it was unlikely he would live to see another children from Lady Frances and that it could well be another girl (only one of her four children had been male) and #2 Lady Jane would have t conceive and bear a child speedily for their to be any chance for it to succeed him (providing it was a boy which Tudors were not good at proceeding), he switched his will to name Lady Jane as his heir.  As much as people want to blame Northumerbland for the attempt to name the Greys as Edward's heirs, the original idea was Edward's.  In order to disinherited Mary, he had to do the same to Elizabeth.  In order to disinherited the Catholic Stuarts, he had to go down the line to the Protestant children of Mary Tudor Brandon.  Mary's daughter Eleanor died young, leaving an infant daughter Margaret (whose heirs are a wild bunch.  How about the prospect of a King Ferdinando I?). After Jane was executed, her sister Catherine was next in line, but she was a dunderhead who married Edward Seymour with only one witness (Seymour's sister who died within weeks), no "marriage lines, and a priest who could not be found.  Her second son was born in the Tower because the keeper felt sorry for the young couple and let them sleep together.  Lady Mary, the youngest daughter, married Sir Thomas Keys, the tallest man at the court, though Mary , if not a dwarf, was extremely short and may have suffered from scoliosis.  Neither Catherine nor Mary had the support they needed to put forth adequate claims to the throne, especially while Elizabeth was alive.  Catherine's sons were declared illegitimate as she and her husband could provide no legal documents to prove they were ever really married.

They really had no chance of succeeding Elizabeth, even if they had survived her, as there was no support for them.

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

December 19, 2017
5:31 pm
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Gidzmo
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So Elizabeth went with the line that her father disinherited--the Stuarts.  Henry, as I remember, had not included Margaret and her descendants (Scotland and England would not be unified till much later).

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

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