Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk

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Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby (1520-1580) by Lucas Horenbout, wearing a black headdress edged with gold and a black velvet dress trimmed with white fur.

 

Katherine inherited the title of Baroness Willoughby de Eresby and vast estates in Suffolk and Lincolnshire (including Grimsthorpe) at the age of eight. She married Henry VIII’s great friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, at the age of 14 (Brandon was 48) and became a central figure at Court, befriending many of Henry VIII’s wives. On Suffolk’s death she married her gentleman usher, Richard Bertie. Her evangelical conversion to Protestantism during the Reformation put her at great risk and she fled persecution during Mary I’s reign.

 

5.4cm high.

 

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