Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Brandon, Thomas
BRANDON, Sir THOMAS (d. 1509), diplomatist, was the son of William Brandon and Elizabeth Wynfyld, and uncle to the celebrated Charles Brandon [q.v.], duke of Suffolk. His family were staunch supporters of the Lancastrian cause. His brother, William, was slain at the battle of Bosworth gallantly defending the standard of Henry VII. A contemporary manuscript speaks of Sir Thomas as having 'greatly favoured and followed the party of Henry, earl of Richmond.' He married Anne, daughter of John Fiennes, Lord Dacre, and widow of the Marquis of Berkeley. She died in 1497 without issue. He was appointed to the embassy charged with concluding peace with France in 1492, and again in 1500 he formed one of the suite which accompanied Henry VII to Calais to meet the Archduke Philip of Austria. In 1503, together with Nicholas West, subsequently bishop of Ely, he was entrusted with the important mission of concluding a treaty with the Emperor Maximilian at Antwerp. The principal object of this treaty was to induce Maximilian to withdraw his support from Edmund de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, and banish him and the other English rebels from his dominions. Other points touched upon were the treatment of Milan and the question of Maximilian receiving the garter. Maximilian, according to his custom, behaved with much indecision, and, after solemnly ratifying the treaty, allowed the English ambassadors to leave, 'marvailing of this soden defection seyng divers matters as undetermyned.' On his return to England, Brandon was treated with much consideration by Henry VII, and we find him holding such offices as those of master of the king's horse, keeper of Freemantill Park, and marshal of the King's Bench. He was noted for his prowess as a knight and skill in military affairs. In the records of a tournament held in 1494 to celebrate the creation of the king's second son as knight of the Bath and Duke of York, Thomas Brandon is mentioned as having distinguished himself. For his prowess in arms he was made a knight of the Garter. In October 1507 he was sent to meet Sir Balthasar de Castiglione, ambassador to the Duke of Urbino, who came to England to receive the order of the Garter in his master's name. Brandon died in 1509.
[Add. MS. 6298; The Order of the Garter (Ashmole), 1672; Anstis's Order of the Garter, 1724; Rymer's Fœdera, xiii. 35; Gairdner's Letters and Papers illustrative of the reigns of Rich. III and Henry VII; Collins's Peerage of England, 1812; Brewer's Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII.]