Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of BuckinghamEdward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (February 3, 1477/8 - May 17, 1521) was an English nobleman.
He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. His father was attainted and executed for rebelling against King Richard III when Stafford was 5. When Henry VII ascended the throne, the attainder was reversed and the king gave wardship of the young duke to the king's mother Margaret Beaufort. As a young man Stafford was made a Knight of the Garter (1495), and had various ceremonial roles at the royal court. This continued in an even grander way with the accession of Henry VIII: Stafford was lord high constable, and lord high steward at Henry's coronation in 1509, where he also carried the king's crown.
The real power in Henry VIII's court was however not with the great nobles but with low-born men such as Cardinal Wolsey. Stafford, with his royal blood and numerous connections by descent or marriage with the rest of the aristocracy, became a leader of the disaffected nobles.
The ever-suspicious king personally examined various witnesses, and had Stafford arrested in 1521. The charges, such as that Stafford had listened to prophecies regarding when the king would die, are generally considered to be trumped-up. It was once maintained that Wolsey was behind the matter, but there is no hard evidence for this.
Stafford was tried before a panel of 17 peers, but with the king's mind already decided, convinction was certain, and he was executed on Tower Hill. He was attainted by act of Parliament on July 31, 1523.
Stafford married Alianore Percy, daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. They had four children:
- Henry, who later recovered some of the forfeited estates and was created Baron Stafford
- Elizabeth, who married Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
- Catherine, who married Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland
- Mary, who married George Neville, 3rd Baron of Bergavenny