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Buckingham, Edward Stafford, 3rd duke of

Buckingham, Edward Stafford, 3rd duke of (1478–1521). Stafford's great-great-grandfather was killed at Shrewsbury in 1403 fighting for Henry IV; his great-grandfather, the 1st duke, died fighting for the Lancastrians at Northampton in 1460. His father, a prominent supporter of Richard III, was seized and executed at Salisbury in 1483, when Stafford was 6. He was restored to his title by Henry VII and given the Garter when he was 21. In 1509, at the coronation of Henry VIII, he claimed the right to act as lord high chamberlain. He had royal blood, through Thomas, duke of Gloucester, younger son of Edward III, and his mother, Catherine Woodville, sister to Edward IV's queen. Under a suspicious king, this was a dangerous heritage. In addition, his connection by marriages with the Percies, de la Poles, and Howards made him one of the greatest magnates of the day. His life-style was lavish and his behaviour grand. In 1520, an anonymous letter to Wolsey accused the duke of treasonable words. He was summoned from Thornbury, placed in the Tower, and executed on 17 May 1521.

J. A. Cannon

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Stafford, Edward, 3d duke of Buckingham

Edward Stafford, 3d duke of Buckingham, 1478–1521, English nobleman; son of Henry Stafford, 2d duke of Buckingham. The attainder (1483) of his father was reversed on the accession (1485) of Henry VII, and after Henry VIII came to the throne (1509), he was made lord high constable, lord high steward, and a privy councilor. However, although Buckingham appeared to be high in the favor of Henry VIII, the king was both jealous and suspicious of him because of his wealth, his lands, and his descent; on the paternal side he was a descendant of Thomas of Woodstock, son of Edward III, and his mother was a sister of Edward IV's queen. He came to represent those nobles who resented the power of Cardinal Wolsey and their own exclusion from high offices. In 1521, Buckingham was arrested and tried on trumped-up charges that he had countenanced prophecies of his own succession to the throne and had expressed his intention to murder the king. He was executed.

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