Spotlight – John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

Name: John Dudley

Title/s: Duke of Northumberland / Viscount Lisle / Earl of Warwick

Birth / Death: c.1504 – 22 August 1553

Spouse: Jane Guildford c.1508-1555

Children: Henry Dudley 1526-1544 / Thomas Dudley 1526-1528 / John Dudley 2nd Earl of Warwick 1528-1553 / Ambrose Dudley 3rd Earl of Warwick 1528-1561 / Robert Dudley 1st Earl of Leicester 1532-1588 / Guildford Dudley 1534-1554 / Jane Dudley / Mary Sidney 1532-1586 / Catherine Hastings 1545-1620 / Charles Dudley 1537-1542 / Temperance Dudley d.1552

Parents: Edmund Dudley c.1462-1510 & Elizabeth Grey c.1482-1526

Siblings: Andrew Dudley 1507-1559 / Jerome Dudley d.1555 / Frances Plantagenet / Elizabeth Plantagenet / Bridget Plantagenet

Noble Connections: John Dudley was the father-in-law of Lady Jane Grey, the nine days queen. He was also the father of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and a favourite of Elizabeth I. His father was Edmund Dudley, the administrator and financial agent of Henry VII.

Events of their Lifetime: Nine day reign of Lady Jane Grey, deaths of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI, accessions of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I, births of Mary I, Elizabeth I and Edward VI, Henry VIII’s great matter and marriages to Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

Controversy: How responsible was John Dudley for the accession of Lady Jane Grey in 1553? And how responsible was John Dudley for the changes made to Edward VI’s will (Device for the Succession) before his death?

Works of Fiction:
John Banks, Innocent Usurper (1694)
Ella March Chase, The Nine Days Queen (2013)
Emily Purdy, The Fallen Queen (2013)
Anne Rinaldi, Nine Days a Queen (2005)
Alison Weir, Innocent Traitor (2006)
Portrayals on Screen:
John Wood, Lady Jane, 1986, directed by Trevor Nunn
Further Reading:
Stephen Alford, Kinship and Politics in the Reign of Edward VI (2002)
Weir, Alison, Children of England: the Heirs of King Henry VIII (1996)
Wilson, Derek, Sweet Robin: Biography of Robert Dudley (1981)
Wilson, Derek, The Uncrowned Kings of England: the Black History of the Dudleys’ and the Tudor Throne (2004)
Anna Whitelock, ‘Princess Mary’s Household and the Succession Crisis 1553’, Historical Journal, 50 (2007)


John Dudley Duke of Northumberland's Arms
John Dudley Duke of Northumberland’s Arms








John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland

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