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14 July 1551 – Young Henry and Charles Brandon die of sweating sickness

Posted By on July 14, 2016

Henry and Charles BrandonOn 14th July 1551, fifteen year-old Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and his fourteen year-old brother, Charles, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, died of sweating sickness at the home of the Bishop of Lincoln in Buckden, Huntingdonshire. They were the sons of the late Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and his fourth wife Catherine Willoughby, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby and Duchess of Suffolk.

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Picture: Miniatures of Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

7 thoughts on “14 July 1551 – Young Henry and Charles Brandon die of sweating sickness”

  1. Linda Fox says:

    So very sad …..
    One wonders what role they what talents t and gifts hey would have had .They came from a family of power … they both would have probably had high profile roles serving England

    1. Amy Peterson says:

      Very sad indeed, but I wouldn’t call their family one of power. Charles Brandon’s father was a standard bearer (and a knight I assume as he is Sir William Brandon) he died at Bosworth Field. Charles was then taken into the royal household and raised as a playmate of the Royal children. Without their relationship Brandon would not have been elevated to his position, it wasn’t inherited and wasn’t from a hereditary connection. Catherine was the daughter of a hereditary earl, but with the death of her sons came the end of that line, her titles passed on to the Bertie family. All of their power came from the crown, exampled by Catherine going into exile in the Marian persecutions (as did many others, but the point is that the family wasn’t the power, the crown was the power and they only had the power while in favor of the crown).

      1. Amy Peterson says:

        Sorry, Bertie was her second husband, which caused quite a scandal, the title didn’t pass into a different family.

  2. Banditqueen says:

    In our library here in Liverpool William Brown Street in the Picton rare book section on the wall are two rare prints of the boys Charles and Henry Brandon. I was as fascinated by the story of these two young men the first time I saw those prints, which I think are 18th century copies of the Holbein paintings, I am just as fascinated now. One of the boys looks forlorn and far away and the other lively and vital. The boys were very intelligent and had great potential and scholarship about them, were friends with King Edward, Henry took a lead role in the coronation, may even have been advanced for their age and their mother clearly cared for them deeply. The poor Duchess, to move her sons closer to home and then to get there nust as the second son died and to learn that her oldezt son had died. Catherine must have been devastated, the loss of her two children, the loss in such a terrible way, her heart must have broken. Poor kids, to die in such a terrible way, in their teens, at such a tender age. RIP Charles and Henry Brandon. YNWA

  3. Brenda Wall says:

    Do we know what the “sweating sickness” actually was?

    1. Claire says:

      Nobody knows what it was and why some people got it mildly and others died, it’s a real mystery. If you go to https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/14-july-1551-the-brandon-boys-die-of-sweating-sickness/ there’s a video “What was sweating sickness?” at the bottom of the article.

  4. Janine says:

    They don’t know. They believe it was a virus borne out of another one that dissapeared in the mid 1500’s. Boleyn had it but survived

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