Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Brandon, Henry

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BRANDON, HENRY (1535–1551) and CHARLES (1537?–1551), Dukes of Suffolk, were the sons of Charles, duke of Suffolk [q. v.], by his last wife, Katharine Willoughby. Henry was born on 18 Sept. 1535, and Charles, the younger, probably two years later. The date in the former case is fixed by the inquisitio post mortem held after the father's death (1545). Henry succeeded to the dukedom, and held it for nearly six years. Their mother seems to have been very careful of their education, and appointed Thomas Wilson, afterwards the celebrated Sir Thomas, secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth, their tutor. The elder, Henry, was then sent to be educated with Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward VI, by Sir John Cheke. In 1550 we find Henry named as a hostage on the peace with France (Rymer, xv. 214); but he does not seem to have been required to go thither. By this time he and his brother were pursuing their studies at St. John's College, Cambridge, from which place, after the sweating sickness broke out in July 1551, they were hastily removed to the bishop of Lincoln's palace at Buckden in Huntingdonshire; but there they both caught the infection and died in one day, 16 July. As the younger survived the elder for about half an hour, they were both considered to have been dukes of Suffolk; and their fate made a remarkable impression on the world at the time. They seem to have attained to a wonderful proficiency in learning, and a brief memoir of the two—a work now of extreme rarity—published the same year by their old tutor, Wilson, contains epistles, epitaphs, and other tributes to their praise from Walter Haddon and other learned men both of Cambridge and of Oxford. Of the elder it was said by Peter Martyr that he was the most promising youth of his day, except King Edward. Their portraits by Holbein were engraved by Bartolozzi.

[Vita et obitus duorum fratrum Suffolcensium, 1551; Machyn's Diary, 8, 318; Dugdale's Baronage; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabrigienses, i. 105, 541; Original Letters (Parker Soc.), ii. 496.]

J. G.