John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley

John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley

John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley (1494-1553), commonly known as Lord Quondam, was the eldest son and heir of Sir Edward Sutton, 2nd Baron Dudley and his wife Lady Cicely (Willoughby) Sutton.

He was born about 1494, at Dudley Castle, Worcestershire.

He was betrothed to Lady Cicely Grey (a daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, by Cicely, his wife, "suo jure" Baroness Harrington and Bonville) by 30 October 1501, whom he subsequently married.

He was knighted 13 October 1513.

He succeeded his father as Baron Dudley in 1532 and immediately began to sell his patrimony. He was never summoned to Parliament.

He acquired the nickname, "Lord Quondam" ("Lord Has-been" or "Lord Formerly"), when he allowed his estate, including the castle of Dudley, to fall into the possession of his cousin, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. The Duke resided at Dudley Castle and added new and magnificent structures to the old fortress. After Northumberland's execution, Dudley Castle was forfeited to the crown, and in 1555 was restored to Lord Quondam's eldest son, Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley.

'Lord Quondam' had several brothers: Thomas, William, Arthur, Geoffery and George. Lord Dudley decided upon a city residence at Tothill Street in Westminster. He died in Middlesex and was buried 18 September 1553 in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, London; his wife was buried there on 28 April 1554.

Dugdale wrote, “It is reported by credible tradition of this John Lord Dudley, that being a weak man of understanding, whereby he had exposed himself to some wants, and so became entangled in the usurer’s bonds, John Dudley, then Viscount Lisle and Earl of Warwick (afterwards Duke of Northumberland), thirsting after Dudley Castle, the chief seat of the family, made those money merchants his instruments to work him out of it, which by some mortgage being at length effected, this poor lord became exposed to the charity of his friends for a subsistence, and spending the remainder of his life in visits amongst them, was commonly called the Lord Quondam.”

His children included Edward, Captain Henry (Knt.), George, Margaret, Thomas, Dorothy, Elizabeth, and Robert.

It is often stated that a grandson of Captain Henry Dudley was that Thomas Dudley who sailed on the Arbella in 1630 to become governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony several times. However suggestions of a connection to this family (Sutton) are not proven and may be an attempt to give the Massachusetts governor a more grand genealogy than he actually has.

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