Sunday, January 15, 2012

Question from Bron - Sir Edward Brampton

A mystery man: Sir Edward BRAMPTON (1440-1508)

I have just come across this gentleman and have started to research him. There may be others out there looking for a challenge also: we could work together.

Here are my first notes:

Sir Edward BRAMPTON (1440 1508)

The 1507 will of Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells, refers to the well-known Yorkist, Sir Edward Brampton, also known as Duarte Brandao.

"To Maister Edward Brampton an hope (hoop) of golde to be made for him, to my lady Brampton, my suster, a rynge of golde with a flatte diamonde, and
to eche of their children, i.e., Sir John B, Henry, George, Elizabeth, Mary, and Jane a hope of golde of the value of 20s. with this scripture to be made withinin everyche of the same hoopes, "ye shall pray for Sir Thomas Beamonde" these same rynges to be made and sent into Portingale (Portugal) unto them by some sure messynger as sone as myn executors can make provision after my deth."

We can therefore assume Brampton and his wife and their children were living in Portugal at the time. Thomas Beaumont seems to have died in October of 1507, and Sir Edward died in the following year.

Very briefly, it is said that Brandon was an illegitimate Portuguese Jew who came to England as a penniless young man, whereupon King Edward IV sponsored his conversion to Christianity and acted as godfather at his baptism. Soon afterwards, Brampton distinguished himself @ court and in war; became a confidante of kings (he was an associate of Edward IV, Richard III and of Margaret of Burgundy) and immensely wealthy and powerful, being appointed Captain of Guernsey, Orney, Sark, Orm and Gathoo. The pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, was a member of his household at one time.

In terms of research, because we are moving between several languages, Brampton is sometimes rendered as Brandam, and Beaumont as Bemonde. Brampton was perhaps a contrived surname conferred upon him when he converted to Christianity. It is also sometimes confused with Brandon, which is quite interesting, and I will discuss this in due course.

Sir Edward Brampton may have left descendants in both Portugal and England. His wife is believed to have remarried in Portugal after his death.

We note, regarding the will, that Brampton was married to a sister of Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells, and that the Bramptons had 6 surviving children in 1507:
Sir John

Portuguese records seem to provide some confirmation, but the chronology is slightly different.
João Brandão
Jorge Brandão
Henrique Brandão
Isabel Brandão married Pedro de Mendonça
Maria Brandão married Lizuarte Barreto
Joana Brandão married Manuel de Sousa Chichorro

Generally, English sources suggest Edward Brampton was born in 1440: Portuguese sources suggest 1430. Let’s look at it this way: he died in 1508. Therefore:

If he died aged 80, born 1428
If he died aged 70, born 1438
If he died aged 60, born 1448

We must be circumspect in our research: Brampton is an elusive character. Let us go, very carefully, step by step. I would like to cling initially to basic information found in primary documents.

Who was Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells between 1502–1507?

Thomas Beaumont was at Merton College in Oxford for 15 years as Master of Arts and Archdeacon of Bath. ‘On the 13th July 1499 he was collated to the Provostship of Welles.’ Merton College was self-governing and the endowments were directly vested in the Warden and Fellows. It had a reputation for research. Thomas Beaumont, Provost of Combe, presented one William Bowes to St Nicholas’ Parish Church in 1502. And that is pretty much it, for the moment.

The Archdeacon’s sister’s name is variously referred to as Margaret or Catherine.


Marilyn R said...

Hi Bron,
I came across Brampton very briefly when doing research on Anne Mowbray and the events after her death when Perkin Warbeck was claiming to be her husband. These are the first and last sentences from the article on him by Rosemary Horrox in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which I am able to access online and you have probably already seen. I don’t think it will add much to what you already have and, because of copyright, I can’t copy any more of it here, but if you haven’t seen it ask Lara for my email address and we’ll think of something. It mentions his various business interests and the connection with Perkin Warbeck.

Brampton, Sir Edward [Duarte Brandão] (c.1440–1508), soldier and merchant, was born in Lisbon c.1440, reputedly the illegitimate son of Rui Barba and the wife of a Jewish blacksmith.About 1468 he travelled to England and converted to Christianity. As was usual in such cases, the king of England stood godfather....

By 1487 Brampton had remarried; his wife is named variously as Catherine de Bahamonde and Margaret Boemond. His licence to settle in Portugal in 1487 refers to his children, but his only known child is Henrique Brandão (d. 1515). Edward Brampton died in Lisbon on 11 November 1508.

The only reference given for the article are:
I. Arthurson, The Perkin Warbeck conspiracy, 1491–1499 (1994) •
C. Roth, ‘Perkin Warbeck and his Jewish master’, Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 9 (1918–20), 143–62 •
C. Roth, ‘Sir Edward Brampton, alias Duarte Brandão: governor of Guernsey, 1482–5’, Report and Transactions [Société Guernesiaise], 16 (1955–9)

There are also many references to him in ‘Perkin’ by Ann Wroe.

Susan Higginbotham said...

The Roth article is here. There may be a version of it elsewhere online that's laid out better:

Anonymous said...

Thank you both very much for your comments. As is always the way, I have veered off course and am becoming more interested in Bishop John Alcock. (Just for the moment).

Alcock was warden @ the Domus and facilitated Brampton's conversion, etc. He was of course, also Edward V's tutor, among other things. What I didn't know was that he was also closely involved with Stillington.

Stillington seems to have had a close relationship with Alcock, and therefore it is possible that the former shared his knowledge regarding the pre-contact with him prior to the matter becoming public. It also appears that at times he was not a well man: ‘Illness prevented Stillington from attending the first session of the parliament of 1472, and thereafter, the Crowland continuator reports, he was less effective and ‘did nothing except through his pupil. On a later occasion, it was insinuated that Stillington was suffering some mental derangement.

Alcock was arrested when Edward V was apprehended, but almost immediately restored to favour. One wonders if he bought his way out with information. On the other hand, he may have stayed loyal, and intrigued with Brampton regarding the preservation of the Princes. Another interesting day!

Anonymous said...

Regarding Stillington and the alleged pre-contract with Eleanor Butler nee Talbot, I asked myself the following question: Why did none of her family make any comment in either 1464 or 1483 and 1484? Who were her closest living relatives? Surely someone in her family might have defended her good name. And yet, not a single person from the Talbot family to my knowledge has, from that time to this, defended her. What exactly were her family doing in January, 1484, when her name was pronounced in Parliament?

The only contemporary person I can find is her sister, Elizabeth Talbot (d. 1487), married Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle: ‘In 1475the abeyance terminated in favour of Thomas' aunt Elizabeth, wife of Sir Edward Grey. He was created Viscount Lisle on 28 June 1483, but the title became extinct on the death of his son John in 1504.’ Please note: ‘On 25 June 1483 an assembly of lords and commoners endorsed Richard’s claims to the throne on the basis of his heirs’ illegitimacy based on a pre-contract with Eleanor Butler nee Talbot. The following day Richard III officially began his reign.He was crowned on 6 July.’

Viscount Lisle is created on 28 June 1483? Co-incidence?

Anonymous said...

I have not read the whole blog but, in case nobody else has pointed this out already, surely "Orney" "Orm" and "Gathoo" are the islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey that today are called "Alderney", "Herm" and "Jethou".

Anonymous said...

RE Stillington and the alleged pre-contract with Eleanor Butler (nee Talbot), she is the aunt of Anne Mowbray, the wife of Richard of Shrewsbury, Edward IV's second son. It is possible to suggest that the marriage between Richard and Anne (very young - he was four and she was five) was a bribe to the powerful Talbot family to remain silent about the pre-contract.
The fact Eleanor Butler was named in 1484 as pre-contracted to Edward IV doesn't put her in a position where her good name needs defending. If the pre-contract existed, she is the 'sinned against' party - Edward committed bigamy by marrying Elizabeth Woodville, and Eleanor is blameless.
Please note also, Eleanor Butler's sister Elizabeth Talbot married John de Mowbray and died in 1506 or 1507, not 1487. The Elizabeth Talbot who died in 1487 was the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury. Eleanor and her sister Elizabeth were daughters of the 1st Earl.

Unknown said...

Under Richard iii Brampton became the first (converted) Jew to be knighted in 1484. He also was granted the governorship of Guernsey. There are three castles on Guernsey of which Val seems to have undergone improvements in the 15th century but there is no attribution to those improvements. A papal bull was issued in 1483 making Guernsey neutral territory. It had been hotly disputed during the 100 years wars. By the 16th century, though, Castle val was opposing castle Coronet, the latter being a property of the Crown. In 1481 Edward IV had created two bailiwicks on Guernsey. My questions are: was Brampton the one that carried out improvements to Val? Did he sequester one or both Princes there in 1484 (was this why he was knighted by R3?) and did castle val oppose the crown in the next century because it was loyal to the House of York and "Perking Warwick" due to its association with Brampton and his heirs?