BRYDGES, Edmund (by 1520-73), of Purton, Wilts. and Sudeley, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. by 1520, 1st s. of Sir John Brydges. m. c.1544, Dorothy, da. of Edmund, 1st Lord Bray, 6s. inc. Giles† and William† 2da.; 1s. 1da. illegit. Kntd. 27 Sept. 1547. suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Chandos of Sudeley 12 Apr. 1557. KG nom. 23 Apr., inst. 17 June 1572.1
Esquire of the body 1540; gent. pens. 1540-c.53; jt. (with fa.) constable, Sudeley castle 1542-57, sole 1557-d.; jt. (with fa.) steward, Winchcombe and hundreds of Greatstone, Holford and Kiftsgate, Glos. 1542-57, sole 1557-d.; j.p. Glos., Wilts. 1547-d.; commr. relief Glos. 1550, musters 1557-8, 1569-80; keeper, lordships of Cricklade, Highworth, Long Compton, Staple, Winterbourne Bassett and Wootton Bassett, Wilts. 1557-d., hundred of Slaughter, Glos. 1567-d.; ld. lt. Glos. 1559, 1569; v.-adm. Glos. 1561; forester, Bradon forest, Wilts. 1563; steward, manor of Hailes, Glos. 1563.2
It was through his father’s influence that Edmund Brydges was appointed esquire of the body for the reception of Anne of Cleves. On the occasion of his marriage, Henry VIII granted to him and his bride the manors of Minty and Purton in Wiltshire and the former town house of the abbots of St. Peter’s in Gloucester. He served in the army sent to France in 1544 and he may have done duty at Boulogne where his father was lieutenant and his uncle, the 13th Lord Grey, governor. Brydges accompanied Grey in the expedition against Scotland, took part in the battle of Pinkie and was knighted on the field by the Duke of Somerset. When Grey was appointed to Guisnes at the beginning of Mary’s reign, Brydges may have joined him, as did several of his kinsfolk, and in 1557 he was listed as the leader of a band of cavalry and infantry in the Netherlands. He probably remained there until after the fall of Calais since he was absent from the Lords for the opening sittings of the Parliament of 1558.3
A case in the Star Chamber during Edward VI’s reign, in which Brydges, with a number of relatives and servants, including John Tunks and William Rede I, was accused of poaching, attempted murder, and contempt of the council in the marches, suggests that Brydges was capable of presuming upon his father’s influence. It was doubtless that influence which procured Brydges’ return to the Parliament of 1545 for Wootton Bassett. Nothing is known of his activities in this Parliament. On the Crown Office list for Mary’s first Parliament he is noted as one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, Protestantism. Perhaps because of this dissidence, and of his father’s subsequent embarrassment, he was not to sit again, although he was instrumental in the return of others.4
Brydges is not among the gentlemen pensioners ‘as went not with the duke of Northumberland’, and his name is not among the pensioners at either Edward VI’s funeral or Mary’s coronation.5
Before the summoning of Mary’s last Parliament Brydges had succeeded to the barony of Chandos. He became an important government figure in the west country under Elizabeth and made appearances at court and in London; in January 1572 he was one of the peers at the trial of the 4th Duke of Norfolk for treason, and in May of the same year he witnessed the creation of the earls of Hertford and Lincoln. By the time of his death on 12 Mar. 1573 Chandos had substantially increased his patrimony. By his will, made on 1 Mar. 1572, he devised the bulk of his lands in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and elsewhere upon his eldest son Giles: excluded were the manors of Blunsdon, Haydon, Purton, Sevenhampton and Stratton, which had formed the jointure of his wife, and which were to pass after her death to his younger son William. He provided an annuity of £100 and a dowry of £2,000 for his daughter Eleanor and left the reversion of a lease to his illegitimate son Edmund and £40 to his illegitimate daughter Elizabeth Little. He named his wife, who afterwards married William Knollys†, as his sole executrix. William Lord Sandys his son-in-law, Charles Brydges his brother, John Tracy his nephew, and Thomas Throckmorton, were appointed overseers.