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Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our 15th Great Uncle Edward and Henry VIII. Brotherhood and Betrayal

Edward Stafford, Anne's Brother, our 15th Great Uncle

Hello Family,
Today we discuss our 15th Great Uncle and brother of our 15th Great Grandmother Anne Stafford and his relationship with Henry VIII of England.

Edward was the 3rd Duke of Buckingham. Born on 3 February 1478 and executed by order of King Henry VIII on 17 May 1521. His father, our 16th Great Grandfather was executed for rebelling against King Richard III when Edward was 5 years old. When his cousin, King Henry VII (Henry VIII's father) became King he was accepted into the royal household and made a ward of the Queen, the Countess of Richmond and Derby (Henry VIII's mother). He later married and built Thornbury Castle pictured below.

Thornbury Castle Today

As a young man, our Great Uncle was made a Knight of the Garter (1495), and had various ceremonial roles at the Royal Court of Henry VII. He was given further honors following the crowning of King Henry VIII: Buckingham was Lord High Steward at the King's coronation in 1509, where he also carried the King's crown, and in 1514 he became Lord High Constable.

Henry VIII

Buckingham fell out dramatically with the King in 1510, when he discovered that the King was having an affair with the Anne, his sister, our 15th Great Grandmother. As we already know, Anne was taken to a convent sixty miles away. There are some suggestions that the affair continued until 1513. However, Edward returned to the King's graces, being present at the marriage of Henry's sister and served in Parliament.

Betrayal and Execution

The real power in King Henry VIII's court was not with the great nobles but with low-born men. Buckingham, with his royal blood and numerous connections by descent or marriage with the rest of the aristocracy became a leader of the disaffected nobles. During 1520, suspicions were raised about potentially treasonous actions and investigations began. Henry VIII personally examined witnesses against him and gathering enough evidence for a trial. Edward was finally brought to Court in April 1521 and arrested and placed in the Tower of London. Buckingham was tried before a panel of 17 peers, being accused of listening to the prophecies of the King's death and intending to kill the King; however, the King's mind appeared to be decided and conviction was certain. He was executed on at the Tower on 17 May 1521.