William Brandon (died 1491)

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Arms of Brandon: Barry of ten argent and gules, a lion rampant or ducally crowned per pale of the first and second

Sir William Brandon (died 1491), of Wangford in Suffolk, was an English landowner, administrator, soldier, courtier and politician.[1] His grandson was Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, a courtier and close friend of King Henry VIII.


Born before 1430, he was probably the son of Robert Brandon, collector of customs at King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth,[2] in Norfolk, who served as a Member of Parliament for Bishop's Lynn in 1421.[3]


He became a retainer of the local magnates, the Dukes of Norfolk, rising to be a senior member of the council of John de Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk by 1476.[1] In 1454-55 he acted as escheator for Norfolk and Suffolk,[1] and in 1468 sat as a Member of Parliament for New Shoreham.[1]

In 1469 he was present at the Siege of Caister Castle,[1] and in 1471 as a member of the victorious Yorkist forces he was knighted by King Edward IV on the field at the Battle of Tewkesbury.[1] In 1471 he was one of ten knights who swore allegiance to the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward V.[1]

In 1475 he returned to military service in the invasion of France, which ended with the Treaty of Picquigny.[1] As a member of the Royal Household,[1] in 1479 he was appointed Knight Marshal of the Marshalsea Court,[1] an office for life which passed to his son Thomas in 1491.[4]

In July 1483 he was present at the coronation of King Richard III,[1] but despite marks of royal favour[5] his loyalty became suspect when two of his sons, William and Thomas, joined the rebellion of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham in October.[1] Some of his lands were seized by Thomas Hopton on the King's orders, but he secured a free pardon in March 1484.[1] By the end of that year, he was out of favour again and sought sanctuary in the City of Gloucester, where he remained until after Richard's defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485.[1] Later that year he petitioned Parliament for, and regained, his office of Knight Marshal.[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

Before January 1462 he married Elizabeth Wingfield (d. 28 April 1497[6]), a daughter of Sir Robert Wingfield by his wife Elizabeth Goushill, half-sister of John de Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.[1][7][8] Elizabeth, who survived William, had three sons and seven daughters by him:[9]


He held lands in Suffolk at Framlingham, Henham, and Wangford; in Cambridgeshire at Soham, and at Southwark,[1] where he had a residence on Borough High Street,[22][23][24] across the River Thames from the Tower of London, near Ely Palace and the main artery from London Bridge to Canterbury and Dover. His seat is memorialised by today's Suffolk Street, named after his grandson the Duke of Suffolk.

Death and burial[edit]

He left a will dated 9 April 1491 which was proved on 17 November 1491, requesting burial at Wangford.[1][25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Richardson, 2011a, p. 297
  2. ^ G. Andrew Moriarty (1949). "The Brandons". New England Historical and Genealogical Register. 103: 102–107.
  3. ^ J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe (1993). "BRANDON, Robert, of Bishop's Lynn, Norf". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Baker, John Hamilton (2003), The Oxford History of the Laws of England: 1483-1558, Oxford University Press, p. 147, ISBN 9780191029707
  5. ^ Grainger
  6. ^ Elizabeth Wingfield's will was proved on 8 May 1497 (Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, p. 682)
  7. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, p. 682
  8. ^ 'The Brandons' In: Gunn, Steven J.: Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, c. 1484–1545 Blackwell Publishing, Williston 1988, pp. 46/47
  9. ^ Richardson 2011a, pp. 297–302.
  10. ^ Richardson 2011b, pp. 359–60.
  11. ^ Cokayne 1912, pp. 357–8
  12. ^ Richardson 2011a, p. 298.
  13. ^ Richardson 2011b, p. 360.
  14. ^ Burke 1834, p. 205.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Gunn 1988, pp. 46–7.
  16. ^ Cokayne 1926, p. 510.
  17. ^ Prince, John, (1643–1723) The Worthies of Devon, 1810 edition, London, p.167, note
  18. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.144, pedigree of Carew
  19. ^ Starkey, David: Henry: Virtuous Prince Harper Perennial, London 2008, p. 102 and 173
  20. ^ "Margaret Brandon Manning (1462-1500) - Find A". Find a Grave.
  21. ^ Richardson 2011a, p. 302.
  22. ^ Borough of Southwark. The Marshalsea, in John Strype’s A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, University of Sheffield. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  23. ^ Rendle 1878, pp. 100–101.
  24. ^ 'Suffolk Place and the Mint', Survey of London: volume 25: St George's Fields (The parishes of St. George the Martyr Southwark and St. Mary Newington) (1955), pp. 22–25
  25. ^ PROB 11/9/49 Will of Sir William Brandon, 17 November 1491, retrieved 5 January 2018