Charles Brandon

Charles Brandon, the first Duke of Suffolk (shown here with his third wife, Mary Tudor), was born in 1484 and grew up in the court of Henry VII. He became friends with the king's son, Henry VIII, and the two remained close until Brandon's death in 1545.

Brandon served in Henry VIII's campaign against France in 1513 with distinction, and was granted the title of the Duke of Suffolk. In 1515 Brandon was sent to negotiate the return of Mary Tudor after the death of Mary's husband, King Louis XII of France. Brandon and Mary's feelings toward each other - warm to begin with - grew, and in 1515 were married in secret.

Henry was furious with them, for he had been hoping to secure the dowry promised by Louis on the day of his marriage to Mary. But Cardinal Thomas Wolsey interceded on the couple's behalf, and Henry agreed to honor the marriage only if the couple agreed to give Henry the whole of Mary's dowry, plus an extra £24,000 to be paid in yearly installments of £1,000.

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