Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk

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Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk

Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Eresby, Lincolnshire, England
Death: September 19, 1580 (57-65)
Lincolnshire, , England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Willoughby, 11th Lord Willoughby de Eresby and Maria de Salinas, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby
Wife of Charles Brandon and Richard Bertie, MP
Mother of Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk; Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk; Peregrine Bertie Brandon; Susan Bertie, Countess of Kent; Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby and 1 other
Sister of Henry Willoughby and Francis Willoughby

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About Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk

Suffolk lost no time in marrying his 14-year-old ward, Katherine, Baroness Willoughby d’Eresby, previously betrothed to his son. As Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine was an important court figure in the later years of Henry VIII’s reign – it was even rumoured that Henry might make her his seventh wife, when she was widowed in 1545. A close friend of Katherine Parr, she was known as a follower of the reforming party in religion, and also for her wit, saucily naming her spaniel ‘Gardiner’, after Bishop Gardiner, the leading conservative cleric.

In around 1553, Katherine married Richard Bertie, who was of vastly inferior rank – son of a master mason. Bertie was employed in Katherine’s household as gentleman usher, and master of the horse, a role which gave many opportunities for developing a relationship, as he would be present on every occasion when Katherine rode out, and probably helped her mount. The Berties’ religious views became more radically Protestant over time, and they left England during Mary I’s reign. They returned when Elizabeth I became queen, but the new monarch did not like Katherine, or her radical views, and the Duchess was not welcome at court – nor was her lowborn husband, recognised as Baron Willoughby d’Eresby, as was customary.

Catherine Willoughby

suo jure Baroness Willoughby de Eresby

Duchess of Suffolk

Spouse(s) Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk

Richard Bertie


Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk

Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk

Susan Bertie

Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby

Noble: Willoughby

family : de Salinas

Father: William Willoughby, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby

Mother: Maria de Salinas

Born: 22 March 1519/1520


Died: 19 September 1580 (aged 60/61)

Grimsthorpe, Lincolnshire


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Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk's Timeline

March 22, 1519
Eresby, Lincolnshire, England
September 18, 1535
Age 16
London, Middlesex, England
Age 17
Age 25
Wesel, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 34
October 12, 1555
Age 36
Wesel, Cleves, Germany
September 19, 1580
Age 61
Lincolnshire, , England