Northumberland, John Dudley, duke of

Northumberland, John Dudley, duke of,

1502?–1553, English statesman. The son of Edmund Dudley, minister of Henry VII, John was restored to his inheritance in 1512 after his father's attainder and execution (1510). Rising by means of his military ability, he became Viscount Lisle, warden of the Scottish Marches (1542), and lord high admiral (1543). Named as one of the executors of Henry VIII's will, he helped Edward Seymour, later duke of SomersetSomerset, Edward Seymour, duke of,
1506?–1552, protector of England. He served on various military and diplomatic missions for Henry VIII and, after the marriage of his sister Jane to the king, was created Viscount Beauchamp (1536) and earl of Hertford (1537).
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, become protector of the young Edward VIEdward VI,
1537–53, king of England (1547–53), son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. Edward succeeded his father to the throne at the age of nine. Henry had made arrangements for a council of regents, but the council immediately appointed Edward's uncle, Edward
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, while he himself was created earl of Warwick and lord high chamberlain. Cooperative and politic, he dissembled his plans for power while distinguishing himself in the field; he took part (1547) in the victory over the Scots at Pinkie and suppressed (1549) the rebellion of Robert KettKett or Ket, Robert,
d. 1549, English rebel. He led an agrarian revolt in 1549 as a protest against the enclosure of common land for sheep grazing. With 16,000 men he blockaded Norwich, but was defeated and executed.
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. By never actually committing himself and by playing on both Catholic and Protestant sympathies, he finally formed a coalition against Somerset, deposing him in 1549 and having him executed in 1552. Of little religious conviction himself, he then posed as a firm Protestant to increase his power over Edward VI and ruthlessly advanced the Reformation for political ends. He made himself duke of Northumberland in 1551. In a desperate plan to perpetuate his power, he convinced the dying Edward that the latter's sister Mary should be excluded from the succession as a Catholic, and he browbeat the council into proclaiming Lady Jane GreyGrey, Lady Jane,
1537–54, queen of England for nine days. She was the daughter of Henry Grey, marquess of Dorset (later duke of Suffolk), and Frances Brandon, daughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary.
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, his daughter-in-law, as queen when the monarch died (1553). Unpopular with the people, he was deserted by his army and forced to surrender to Queen Mary I. He was condemned for high treason and was executed.


See biography by B. L. Beer (1974); J. D. Mackie, The Earlier Tudors (1952); W. K. Jordan, Edward VI: The Threshold of Power (1970).

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