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Edmund Dudley (right), along with Henry VII of England (center) and Sir Richard Empson (left).

Sir Edmund Dudley (c. 1462 – 17 August 1510), minister of Henry VII of England, was a grandson of John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley.

After studying at Oxford and at Gray's Inn, Dudley came under the notice of Henry VII, and is said to have been made a privy councillor at the early age of twenty-three. In 1492 he helped to negotiate the Peace of Etaples with France and soon became prominent in assisting the king to check the lawlessness of the barons. He and his colleague Sir Richard Empson were prominent councillors of the Council Learned in the Law, a special tribunal of Henry VII's reign, where they collected debts owed to the king, etc.

Dudley was speaker of the House of Commons in 1504.

In addition to collecting money for Henry, Dudley amassed a great amount of wealth for himself, and possessed large estates in Sussex, Dorset and Lincolnshire. When Henry VII died in April 1509, Dudley was imprisoned and charged with the crime of constructive treason. Dudley's nominal crime was that during the last illness of Henry VII he had ordered his friends to assemble in arms in case the king died, but the real reason for his charge was doubtless his unpopularity stemming from his position in the Council Learned. He was attainted[1] and after having made a futile attempt to escape from prison, Dudley was executed on the 17th or 18th of August 1510.

During his imprisonment Dudley sought to gain the favour of King Henry VIII by writing a treatise in support of absolute monarchy called The Tree of Commonwealth. However, this may never have reached Henry VIII as it was not published until 1859, when it was printed privately in Manchester.

Marriages and Issue

Edmund married Anne Windsor, sister of Andrews Windsor, 1st Baron Windsor, with whom he had one daughter:

He married, around 1495, Elizabeth Grey (c. 1480-1525), daughter of Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle, with whom he had five children:

Elizabeth Dudley, sister of Sir Edmund Dudley, married Thomas Ashburnham of Sussex, ancestor of the Ashburnham Baronets of Broomham.[2]

References

  1. ^ According to Hargrave's note in 1 State Trials no. 26, there was no act of attainder, but only an act to prevent the forfeiture of some property held by Empson and Dudley in trust.
  2. ^ The Visitations of the County of Sussex Made and Taken in the Years 1530, and 1633&1634, Thomas Benolte, John Philipot, The Harleian Society, London, 1905

External links

Preceded by
Sir Thomas Englefield
Speaker of the House of Commons
1503
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Englefield
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

EDMUND DUDLEY (c. 1462-1510), minister of Henry VII. of England, was a son of John Dudley of Atherington, Sussex, and a member of the great baronial family of Sutton or Dudley. After studying at Oxford and at Gray's Inn, Dudley came under the notice of Henry VII., and is said to have been made a privy councillor at the early age of twenty-three. In 1492 he helped to negotiate the treaty of Etaples with France, and soon became prominent in assisting the king to check the lawlessness of the barons, and at the same time to replenish his own exchequer. He and his colleague Sir Richard Empson are called fiscales judices by Polydore Vergil, and owing to their extortions they became very unpopular. Dudley, who was speaker of the House of Commons in 1504, in addition to aiding Henry, amassed a great amount of wealth for himself, and possessed large estates in Sussex, Dorset and Lincolnshire. When Henry VII. died in April 1509, he was thrown into prison by order of Henry VIII. and charged with the crime of constructive treason, being found guilty and attainted. After having made a futile attempt to escape from prison, he was executed on the 17th or 18th of August 15ro. Dudley's nominal crime was that during the last illness of Henry VII. he had ordered his friends to assemble in arms in case the king died, but the real reason for his death was doubtless the unpopularity caused by his avarice. During his imprisonment he sought to gain the favour of Henry VIII. by writing a treatise in support of absolute monarchy called The Tree of Commonwealth. This never reached the king's hands, and was not published until 1859, when it was printed privately in Manchester. Dudley's first wife was Anne, widow of Roger Corbet of Morton, Shropshire, by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married William, 6th Lord Stourton. By his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Grey, Viscount Lisle, he had three sons: John, afterwards duke of Northumberland; Andrew (d. 1559), who was made a knight and held various important posts during the reign of Edward VI.; and Jasper.

See Francis Bacon, History of Henry VII., edited by J. R. Lumby (Cambridge, 1881); and J. S. Brewer, The Reign of Henry edited by J. Gairdner (London, 1884).


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