Thursday, February 16, 2012

Henry VIII's Other Niece

I never knew that Frances Brandon had a sister but apparently she did. According to Susan Higginbotham:
Of Henry VIII’s three nieces—Margaret, Countess of Lennox, Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, and Eleanor, Countess of Cumberland, the last was the shortest-lived and probably the least known. Eleanor was the younger daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his wife Mary, known as the French Queen because of her previous marriage to Louis XII.
Eleanor was born sometime between 1518 and 1521. S. J. Gunn has speculated that she might have been named for Eleanor, Queen of Portugal and later Queen of France, who was the Emperor Charles V’s older sister. Erin Sadlack has suggested that she might have been born in late 1520 or 1521, after Henry VIII met Charles V at Gravelines. According to Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, who wrote a history of her family in the seventeenth century, Eleanor was around twenty-seven or twenty-eight when she died in 1547. (Read entire post.)