8 April Buckingham was ordered to London from Thornbury, where he had spent the winter in ignorance of these proceedings. On his arrival he was committed to the Tower (16 April). He was tried before seventeen of his peers, presided over by the Duke of Norfolk, on 13 May. The charges against him were trivial and possibly not true. He was accused of having listened to prophecies of the king's death and of his own succession to the crown, and of having expressed an intention to kill Henry. The chief witnesses against him were Gilbert and Delacourt (his confessor), but the duke was not allowed to cross-examine them. Henry had made up his mind that Buckingham was to die, and the peers did not venture to dispute the decision. He was condemned, and executed on Tower Hill on 17 May, his body being buried in the church of the Austin Friars. An act of parliament confirming his attainder was passed 31 July 1523 (Statutes of the Realm, iii. 246–58).
Buckingham was certainly guilty of no crimes sufficient to justify his attainder, and his execution aroused popular sympathy; but his character does not merit much admiration. Weak and vacillating, he seems to have treated his dependents with harshness, and his vast enclosures were a constant subject of complaint. At the same time he was devoted to religion. On 2 Aug. 1514 he obtained license to found a college at Thornbury, Gloucestershire, where he had built himself a castle and imparked a thousand acres. He has also been claimed as a benefactor of Magdalene College, Cambridge, which, however, was called Buckingham College before his time. The college possesses an anonymous portrait of the duke (cf. Cat. Tudor Exhib. No. 105). Another anonymous portrait belongs to the Marquis of Bath, and a third to the Rev. Abbot Upcher. Two, attributed to Holbein, belong respectively to the Lord Donington and Sir Henry Bedingfeld (cf. Cat. First Loan Exhib. Nos. 44, 71; Cat. Tudor Exhib. Nos. 69, 136, 439).
Buckingham married, in 1500, Alianore, eldest daughter of Henry Percy, fourth earl of Northumberland (cf. Campbell, Materials for the Reign of Henry VII, ii. 554). By her he had an only son, Henry Stafford, first baron Stafford [q. v.], and three daughters: (1) Elizabeth, who married Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk [q. v.]; (2) Catherine, who married Ralph Neville, fourth earl of Westmorland [q. v.]; and (3) Mary, who married George Neville, third baron of Bergavenny [q. v.]
[The most important source is the Stafford collection of manuscripts, comprising eleven volumes, now in the possession of Lord Bagot; these are described in the Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. i. 325 et sqq. They contain a minute ‘Household Book’ kept by the third duke, extracts from which were printed by John Gage [Rokewode] in Archæologia, xxv. 315–41; they were also used by Stebbing Shaw in the preparation of his History of Staffordshire, 1798–1800. Buckingham's trial has been exhaustively treated by J. S. Brewer in his Introduction to vol. ii. pt. i. of the Calendar of Letters and Papers of Henry VIII and his Hist. of the Reign of Henry VIII, i. 375–404. See also Rolls of Parl. vol. vi.; Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 783, xiii. 238, 432, 637; Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VII, ed Gairdner; Campbell's Materials and Andreas's Historia (Rolls Ser.); Polydore Vergil, ed. 1555, pp. 659 et seq.; Hall's Chronicle; Bacon's Henry VII; Cavendish's Wolsey; Creighton's Wolsey (Twelve English Statesmen Ser.), pp. 70–2; Ellis's Orig. Letters, I. i. 176–9; Granger's Biogr. Hist.; Dodd's Church Hist.; Lloyd's State Worthies; Howell's State Trials; Lingard's Hist.; Dugdale's, Burke's Extinct, Doyle's, and G. E. C.'s Peerages; Simms's Bibl. Staffordiensis. The representation of Buckingham in the play of Henry VIII assigned to Shakespeare contains several historical errors.]
STAFFORD, Sir EDWARD (1552?–1605), diplomatist, born about 1552, was the eldest son of Sir William Stafford of Grafton and Chebsey, Staffordshire, by his second wife, Dorothy (1532–1604), daughter of Henry Stafford, first baron Stafford [q. v.] William Stafford (1554–1612) [q. v.] was his brother, and Thomas Stafford (1533?–1557) [q. v.] was his maternal uncle. The Staffords of Grafton were a branch of the same family as the dukes of Buckingham and barons Stafford (see pedigree in ‘Visitations of Staffordshire,’ Harl. MSS. 6128 ff. 89–91, and 1415 f. 109). Sir Edward's mother, who died on 22 Sept. 1604, and was buried in St. Margaret's, Westminster, was a friend and mistress of the robes to Queen Elizabeth, and it was probably through her influence that Stafford secured employment from the queen. In May 1578 he is said to have been sent to Catherine de' Medici to protest against Anjou's intention of accepting the sovereignty of the Netherlands (Froude, xi. 107). In the following year he was selected to carry on the negotiations for a marriage between Elizabeth and Anjou. In August he was at Boulogne, bringing letters from the duke to Elizabeth, and in December 1579, January 1579–80, June, July, and November 1580 he paid successive visits to France in the same connection (Cal. Hatfield MSS. vol. ii. passim; Cal. State Papers, Venetian, 1558–1580, Nos. 789, 791, 808, 809; Hume, Courtships of