Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon

The Freelance History Writer

The name of Edward Courtenay always comes up during the reign of Queen Mary I, mostly as a possible husband for Queen Mary herself or for her sister Elizabeth. Although he was born of royal blood, he spent his early years imprisoned in the Tower of London and when he was released, he was ill-equipped to navigate the politics of the era and the perils of court intrigue. I’ve always been curious about why he was not considered a proper prospect as a husband for the two Tudor princesses and also what happened to him.

Edward was born c. 1526, the son of Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exeter, nobleman and courtier and Gertrude Courtenay, daughter of William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy. He was a great grandson of King Edward IV whose daughter Katherine married his grandfather William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon. During his early years, he occasionally spent time…

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