(B. Mounteagle)Born: 2 Jun 1510
Died: ABT 1542
Father: Charles BRANDON (1° D. Suffolk)
Mother: Anne BROWNE
Married: Thomas STANLEY (2° B. Monteagle)
1. William STANLEY (3° B. Mounteagle)
2. Francis STANLEY
3. Elizabeth STANLEY
4. George STANLEY
5. Charles STANLEY
Sketch of "the lady Mounteagle"
by Hans Holbein the Younger
Before 1509, young Charles Brandon had undergone an embarrassing marital situation which revealed his ambition and callousness. In 1505, after Sep 25, he had become engaged to Anne Browne, a young woman of impressive lineage - her father was Anthony Browne, Governor of Calais, and her mother was Eleanor Oughtred, daughter of Sir Robert Oughtred. They both lived in the household of the Earl of Essex c.1506. Charles and Anne were betrothed 'per verba de praesenti', a binding contract under canon law. In such cases, there was no ceremony or witnesses; as one can imagine, this led to several unpleasant cases of men and (more rarely) women repudiating their betrothed - if they lacked proper respect for church law. Charles apparently did. He and Anne slept together, as evidenced by the birth of a daughter, Anne, in 1506, but he did not marry her. Instead, he married her aunt, a very wealthy widow named Margaret, the daughter of John Neville, Earl of Northumberland and the widow of John Mortimer. They were married before 7 Feb 1506 and the marriage was later dissolved in 1507. The marriage was never taken seriously due to its mercenary nature and, more importantly, legal action begun by Anne's angry family. Eventually, the Mortimer marriage was annulled due to the previous contract and Charles married Anne in a well-attended public ceremony about 1508.
They had another daughter, Mary, on 2 Jun 1510. She was goddaughter of Maria de Salinas, Baroness Willoughby, who had been one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting.
In 1511, Anne Browne died, and four years later, Charles Brandon, recently created Duke of Suffolk, married Mary Tudor, the widowed Queen of France. Mary and Anne would be brought up with their father, stepmother and three half-siblings, Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln, Frances Brandon, and Eleanor Brandon at Westhorpe Hall.
In 1528, Pope Clement VII issued a Papal Bull, which confirmed that Charles Brandon's divorce from Margaret Neville was valid, thus establishing the legitimacy of Mary and Anne.
In 1533, following the death of Mary Tudor on 25 June, Mary and her sister Anne, by then Baroness Grey of Powys, pushed themselves to the front of the funeral cortege at the Abbey of St. Edmundsbury, just as the coffin was being lowered into the crypt, much to the consternation of their half-siblings. On 7 Sep 1533, Charles Brandon married his 14-year-old ward, Catherine Willoughby, a peeress in her own right and daughter of Maria de Salinas, formerly betrothed to her half brother Henry, Earl of Lincoln.
In the 1530s, Mary was almost constantly at court.
Sometime before 1527, Mary married Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Mounteagle, son of Edward Stanley, 1st Baron Monteagle and Elizabeth Vaughan. Thomas Stanley was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, on 1 Jun 1533. Thomas Stanley had been brought up in Suffolks household as his ward, and the pair had been married whilst both were still minors. Mounteagle proved himself a thoroughly incompetent estate manager once he attained his majority of him, and Mary was evidently unable to influence him.
Mary appealed to her father Suffolk, who then involved Thomas Cromwell. Mary didnīt wrote to Cromwell herself, but she criticized her husband around the royal court; Mounteagle wrote to Cromwell in 1538 rather petulantly complaining that Mary's "ungoodlye conv [er] sacion" frequently made him look like "a weyke spirite and lakke of audacyte", but nothing seems to have come of the allegations.
Mary was a favorite lady in waiting to Jane Seymour, who made her a present of some jewellery. Her portrait was drawn by Flemish painter, Hans Holbein the Younger.
Mary Brandon died sometime between 1540 and 1544. Her husband died on 18 Aug 1560.
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