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August 24, 1545 – Charles Brandon Dies?

Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon (from Showtimes’ The Tudors) – chosen rather than a real portrait as a nod to our modern aesthetic…

Um, actually no – and I corrected this in a later post (which you can read here). But I left this up because Charles Brandon is a Tudor figure whose tombstone famously gets his death wrong: the stone states it happened two days later on August 24th  A similar typo plagued John Seymour, whose tombstone has him dying in 1536 rather than 1535.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, how did this happen, not once but twice? (Or maybe I’m just projecting). John Seymour was an easy one: all his children were dead when his grandson built the tomb, so there was no one to proofread properly. And it turns out this also explains Brandon’s typo as well: a new stone was laid above his tomb in Windsor Castle in 1787, again well after the lifetimes of those who actually knew him.

I find it a fascinating illustration of how truths can get distorted over time and change our understanding of history. For Charles Brandon, the difference of two days makes little difference. For John Seymour, the year is much more significant – since it means that he died shortly after hosting the court’s progress at Wolf Hall and did not live to see his daughter Jane become queen. It is the one glaring error (knock wood, anyway!) in my Jane the Quene – which portrays their relationship as somewhat strained to explain why he was not at any of the celebrations surrounding her wedding…

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Published inOn This Day

5 Comments

  1. Lovely article!

    Just a small note, Brandon died at Guildford, Surrey on the 22nd of August, not the 24th. It’s incorrectly labelled on his grave. xx

    • Thank you for letting me know! I had noticed that Samantha Wilcoxson posted an article the other day – I thought she was the one to have it wrong! It seemed too perfect to me that Charles died on the anniversary of Bosworth…though as I have learned through my time with the Tudors, truth is stranger than fiction!

      • It is a case of truth is stranger than fiction isn’t it!! He passed at 4 o’clock on the 22nd – I wonder if he thought of his father.

  2. martin t kelly martin t kelly

    Perhaps not all of History is bunk but the accepted history of Photography certainly is cos strike me blind but that depiction of the Hon Charles Brandson is a perfect pass for a coloured photograph and not something rendered in oils as one might reasonably expect.
    Thanks for this magnificent website.
    My grandmother would have said “There’s eatin’ and drinkin’ in it”

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