DUDLEY, Sir Andrew (c.1507-59), of Westminster, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1507, 2nd s. of Edmund Dudley of Atherington, Suss. and London by Elizabeth, suo jure Baroness Lisle, da. of Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle; bro. of Sir John. unm. Kntd. 18 Sept. 1547; KG nom. 23 Apr., inst. 16 Dec. 1552 (degraded Nov. 1553).1

Offices Held

Officer of Exchequer by 1540; equerry of stable by 1544; capt. Swallow 1545, Broughty Crag 1547-8, Guisnes 1551-2; one of four principal gentlemen of privy chamber and keeper of palace of Westminster Oct. 1549-53; jt. keeper of royal household at Westminster Nov. 1549-53; jt. (with Arthur Stourton) keeper of jewels and robes at Westminster 5 Jan. 1551-3; ambassador to Emperor 1553; commr. relief, Mdx., Westminster 1550.2


The lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex and Wiltshire bequeathed to his second son by Edmund Dudley were forfeited on his attainder and there is no mention of the younger brother in the Act of 1512 restoring John Dudley in blood (3 Hen. VIII, c.19) nor any later indication that he ever enjoyed these lands. In March 1539 John Dudley alienated to Andrew Dudley the manor of Lichfield, Staffordshire, and two manors in Worcestershire; most of these lands the younger brother soon resold. Dudley’s career is obscure until 1540, in which year the 3rd Duke of Norfolk claimed that as treasurer he had never put into office any servants of his own save Andrew Dudley and one other. Four years later, as Andrew Dudley of the stable, he was with the King in France, and in the following year he commanded a ship under his brother, then lord admiral. In 1546 he was sent with a present of horses and dogs to the Regent in the Netherlands.3

In the following years Dudley saw much service against the Scots, both at sea and on land, and was knighted by the Protector Somerset at Roxburgh. While captain of Broughty Crag he received the submission of Dundee and reported that the richer townsmen ‘would be glad to become English’; they had agreed ‘to be faithful setters-forth of God’s word’ and needed bibles and good books of Tyndale’s and Frith’s translation. This perhaps purely expedient attempt to spread Protestant literature is the only indication of Dudley’s religious views.4

On the death of Sir John Wallop in July 1551 Dudley became captain of Guisnes. The council of Calais was instructed to see that there was no dissension between him and the deputy of Calais as there had been between their predecessors, but to no avail. Dudley and Sir William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham, the deputy, soon quarrelled over their respective jurisdictions. John Dudley, soon to be Duke of Northumberland, supported his brother and Willoughby was ‘sent for to come over’ that ‘order might be taken’. Eventually, to be fair to Willoughby and because Dudley was feeling the expense of his captaincy, both men were recalled in October 1552, a few days after Dudley had been awarded the place of the degraded Lord Paget in the order of the Garter.5

Thus when a mission to the Emperor was under consideration at the very end of 1552, Northumberland proposed the employment of his brother with (Sir) Henry Sidney, but it was (Sir) Richard Morison and Dudley who on 18 Jan. 1553 met the Emperor at Luxembourg. Negotiations were made difficult by the Emperor’s gout and fever and an ‘extreme cold and murr’ contracted by Dudley, and the imperial attitude to offers of mediation in the war with the French was evasive though cordial. Dudley was back in London a month later.6

During Edward VI’s reign Dudley had been building up his private fortune. In January 1550 the bishop of Exeter granted him lands in Devon and Cornwall, most of which he shortly sold to Richard Duke. In the following May he was given a small annuity in lieu of certain property which was usually conveyed with the keepership of the palace of Westminster. In September 1551 he was granted the borough of Witney and the manor of Adderbury, Oxfordshire, the lordship of Minster Lovell and the hundred of Chadlington in the same county.7

By the beginning of 1553 the King’s health was failing and writs for a Parliament had already gone out when Dudley started for Luxembourg. A royal letter to the sheriff of Oxfordshire in January recommended the return of Sir John Williams and Richard Fiennes. It was, perhaps, the worsening in the King’s condition which hastened Dudley’s return and caused him to seek election as senior knight for Oxfordshire, where the recent grants of lands had given him the necessary standing. When the King opened the Parliament on 1 Mar., Dudley as chief gentleman of the privy chamber assisted the lord chamberlain in the carrying of the train for which, as keeper of the robes, he had provided the material. In May he issued the apparel for the marriage of Jane Grey to his nephew, and on 8 June a warrant was issued to allow him to take silks and jewels for his own wedding. To complete Northumberland’s dynastic scheme it was intended that Dudley should marry Margaret Clifford, daughter of Henry, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, who also had a claim to the crown through her mother, but the plan was not carried through before the King’s death. There is some evidence that Dudley appropriated crown jewels to his own use and perhaps kept hold of them throughout his fall and imprisonment.8

As the King’s death approached, Dudley was one of the few believed to be in Northumberland’s confidence. Ever since his recall from Guisnes there had been rumours that he was to become lord admiral and on 20 May 1552 he was appointed to view the defences of Portsmouth. In May 1553 the imperial ambassador reported that he had been attached to the garrison of the Tower and on 15 June, three weeks before the King’s death, that he had gone to the north as lieutenant-general. On 22 July the ambassador thought that Dudley had left for France with presents of jewels to obtain support but had been recalled.9

It is not clear that any of these rumours were true, and Dudley was in London when Edward VI died on 6 July. He went with Northumberland in pursuit of Princess Mary in East Anglia, and was probably arrested with him at Cambridge on 20 July. Tried and condemned as a traitor in Westminster Hall on 19 Aug. he was imprisoned in the Tower and included in the Act of attainder for his family and others (1 Mary st. 2, c.16). At a meeting of the Privy Council on 18 Jan. 1555 he was released with 13 others under a recognizance of £200 to be of good behaviour. On 5 Apr. he was pardoned his treasons, on 23 Apr. he received an annuity of £100, and on 30 May he was granted those of his goods which had been ‘craftily concealed’ after his attainder and therefore not granted away.10

After his release Dudley seems to have lived at Westminster where he had a house in Tothill Street. In his will, made 21 July 1556 and proved 22 Nov. 1559, he asked to be buried at Westminster. His nephews and overseers, Sir Ambrose (later Earl of Warwick), Sir Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and Henry Dudley (who had died in 1557) were to share his goods, jewels and plate equally with his half-sisters Elizabeth, who was married to Sir Francis Jobson, and Bridget, who was married to one William Cawarden. These goods, 4,000 marks worth of which were still in the hands of the Earl of Cumberland, were subject to various payments, including 100 marks to Robert Nowell. The house in Tothill Street was to be shared by Ambrose Dudley, Sir Henry and Lady Sidney and Sir Francis and Lady Jobson. Sidney, Jobson and Nowell were appointed executors but renounced. On 27 Apr. 1562 Sir Robert Dudley was granted all the chattels of Sir Andrew Dudley which had been forfeited to the crown and not yet granted away.11

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Harding


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from elder and younger brothers’. DNB (Dudley, Edmund).
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xvi, xxi; APC, ii. 44, 147, 345; iii. 318; iv. 196, 310; CPR, 1548-9, pp. 245, 368; 1549-51, p. 299; 1550-3, p. 259; 1553, pp. 356, 361; Lit.Rems.Edw. VI, 220, 461.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i, xiv, xvi, xviii-xxi; B. L. Beer, Northumberland, 12.
  • 4. APC, ii. 44, 147, 451-2, 552; M. L. Bush, Govt. Pol. Somerset, 20, 25, 28-29, 35; Beer, 61, 64-65; Cal. Scot. Pprs. 1547-63, passim; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, 213, 220-1.
  • 5. Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 8; APC, iv. 98, 108, 111; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, 388, 461; CSP For. 1547-53, p. 358.
  • 6. CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 49; CSP For. 1547-53, pp. 234, 237, 239-40, 242-5; CSP Span. 1553, p. 10; APC, iv. 196; Beer, 139-40.
  • 7. CPR, 1549-51, pp. 7, 190; 1550-3, pp. 27, 143, 153-4; 1553, p. 194; NRA 14086, p. 1.
  • 8. Strype, Eccles. Memorials, ii(2), 66; C219/20/92, 93; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, pp. clxxvii-viii, cxc-cxcii; HMC Hatfield, i. 127-32; CSP Span. 1553, pp. 51, 185; APC, iv. 310; CPR, 1554-5, p. 98; Beer, 153.
  • 9. CSP Span. 1550-2, pp. 579, 592; 1553, pp. 37, 55, 113; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, 417.
  • 10. CPR, 1554-5, pp. 42-43, 71, 98 1558-60, p. 48; Machyn’s Diary, 37, 41; CSP Span. 1553, p. 185 APC, iv. 370; v. 45, 91.
  • 11. PCC 60 Chaynay, ptd. Collins, Sydney State Pprs, i. 30; CPR, 1560-3, p. 239