Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley, had one child, a daughter, Anne.
ANNE SUTTON (c.1554 – 29 November 1605)
Anne Sutton (sometimes called Agnes) was only child of Edward Sutton, 4th baron Dudley (d. 9 July 1586) by his first wife, Katherine Brydges (c.1524 – April 1566). Her marriage contract is dated 3 June 1571 but the actual date of her marriage to Francis Throckmorton of Feckenham, Worcestershire and Throckmorton House at Paul’s Wharf, London (1554-x.July 10, 1584) is unknown. They had one son, John (d.1604+). Francis Throckmorton was involved with treasonous plots and was arrested at his London house on 5 November 1583. Anne is credited by some sources with taking a casket covered in green velvet from under his bed and spiriting it out of the house before it could be confiscated. Later testimony indicated that her maid, Elizabeth Cooke, gave it to another servant, John Throckmorton, with instructions to take it to a safe place. He took it to a tailor named Russems, who lodged in Cheapside. The following day it was passed on to another tailor, Haddocke, in St. Paul’s Churchyard, and from there went to one of the Spanish ambassador’s servants. John Bossy’s account credits a housemaid and a priest named John Meredith with the rescue of the casket. The casket contained letters recently received from Paris for Mary Queen of Scots. During Throckmorton’s imprisonment in the Tower of London, he managed to smuggle out at least one letter to his wife. She received it on Friday, 13 December 1583. It opened with the words “my good sweetheart.” On 18 December Anne and her sister were questioned about this letter, which they claimed was only a request for linen and bedding. Anne was allowed to visit her husband in the Tower. Bossy says she and his mother persuaded him to confess in June 1584. Her second husband was Thomas Wilmer (d.1628), a barrister, by whom she had Thomas, John, Mary, and Ursula. Anne Sutton – A Who's Who of Tudor Women
Anne Sutton was left her bracelets of gold «in remembrance of my poor goodwill towards» her in the will of her sister-in-law Mary Throckmorton.
Through her second marriage to Thomas Wilmer Anne Sutton had many descendants. Her eldest son with Thomas Wilmer, also called Thomas Wilmer, married his cousin Martha, the seventh illegitimate daughter of Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley (1567–1643), Anne Sutton's half-brother.
Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley still has living descendants today. As they seem to be interested in genealogy, let us hope that they find this site and find not only one, but two possible portraits of their ancestress.
On their page about Anne Sutton, they provide some interesting facts.
Firstly, they date the marriage of Katherine Brydges and Sir Edward Dudley (so he was called in his own time) to December 1555. This is slightly different than other sources, which date the marriage to early 1556. Both J. Stephan Edwards and Lee Porritt dates the Fitzwilliam Portrait to the middle of the 1550s, due to the flat crown of the French hood and the standing collar of the outer partlet (the black velvet piece across her shoulders, tied under the arms), which strongly indicate the mid-1550s, and the frill seen at the neck which by the mid-1550s had grown in size and had begun to surround the face.
So either date fits perfectly with the fashion of the lady in the portrait and Fitzwilliam Portrait being her wedding portrait.
«On the marriage in Dec 1555 of Sir Edward Sutton to Katherine, one of her favourite Maids of Honour, Queen Mary made a further royal grant by Letters Patent of the Manors of Sedgley, Himley and Swinford to the couple and the heirs of “their two bodies”.
Anne was the couple’s only child. Katherine Sutton, her mother, is recorded as being buried in St Edmunds on 28 Apr 1566. However, the 4th baron did produce a male heir by his second wife Jane Stanley, before she also died and was buried on 3 Dec 1569 in St Edmunds. Because of the wording of the Letters Patent we can presume that Anne was a valuable heiress in her own right, although her half brother was the main heir of the Dudley title.
In prenuptial articles of agreement dated 24 Apr 1567 (Dudley Archives DE/2/8) Sir Edward came to an agreement with Sir John Throckmorton to marry his only daughter to Sir John’s oldest son Francis Throckmorton within five years of her attaining the age of 12. Under this agreement Anne Sutton was sent off to Ripford Worcestershire to be brought up further by her intended mother in law Dame Margery, wife of Sir John Throckmorton. The manors of Sedgley. Himley and Swinford are listed as part of the dowry. Sir John Throckmorton’s brother was George Throckmorton married to Mary Bridges, Anne’s aunt. Sir John had been a witness to Queen Mary’s will and had been her principal legal counsel.» Anne Sutton | Morgan Web Site
The most logical thing would of course for any portrait(s) of Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley to have passed to her only child, Anne Sutton.
There is another possibility, however.
Anne Sutton's first husband was executed for treason. «It is not clear whether she forfeited her lands as a result of this execution and this is significant for her subsequent marriage to Thomas Wilmer by 1590. The pre-nuptial agreement of 1567 would appear to say that she ‘will inherit’ the Manors of Sedgley, Himley and Swinford in which case the issue may not have been resolved until 1586 (death of 4th Baron) or 1589 (marriage settlement with Thomas Wilmer)
In his will of 1586 the 4th Baron, Sir Edward Sutton, left the relatively modest sum of £200 to his daughter named as Anne Throckmorton. The will shows that the finances of the Dudley family were clearly in a parlous state. Anne remained the only child of the first marriage and only heir of “their two bodies” of the lands granted by Royal letters Patent by Queen Mary.» Anne Sutton | Morgan Web Site
These manors appear to have been part of the jointure of Cecily Grey, Lady Dudley.
Irregardless of Queen Mary I Tudor's wishes, the manors do not appear to have ended up with Anne Sutton or her heirs, however.
A book from 1817 mentions «Lord Viscount Dudley and Ward, who is lord of the manors of Sedgley, Himley [and] Swinford».
This must have been William Ward, 3rd Viscount Dudley and Ward (21 January 1750 – 25 April 1823).
He was the descendant of Anne Sutton's half-brother.
A quick perusal of the Wikipedia article for Anne Sutton's half-brother Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley sees that it describes him as «Lord Dudley, like his immediate ancestors, owned substantial estates around Dudley Castle including the manors of Dudley, Sedgley and Kingswinford.» The Wikipedia article also mentions Himley.
It is possible the portrait went the same way.
The Ward-Dudleys do not appear to have been lacking in money, so there was no reason for them in 1854 to dispose of a portrait for financial reasons (though they could of course have done so for other reasons).
There is, however, another intriguing possibility.
John Ward, 2nd Viscount Dudley and Ward (22 February 1725 – 10 October 1788) had no sons, so he was succeeded in the viscountcy by his half-brother William.
He did, however, have a natural daughter, Anna Maria Ward (1778–1837), by his Viscountess (when she was still Mrs. Mary Baker, whom he later married). Lord Dudley in his will made an ample provision for the girl. Anna Maria married Sir Horace St Paul, 1st Baronet, MP, on the 14th of May 1803.
This would have been a natural point for the portrait to have been separated from the estates, if that is indeed where it had been until then.
Two of Anna Maria Ward's daughters, Elizabeth Katherine and Frances Agnes St. Paul, appear to have been mentally disabled or have had some sort of psychological problems of a kind that left them open to exploitation. The two sisters were defrauded by their aunt and uncle. Of International Importance: The St. Paul & Butler Families of Ewart Park – Part Two | Northumberland Archives
The timeframe of this defraudment appears to fit with the sale of the Fitzwilliam Portrait in 1854.
If it were some kind of shady dealing, that would have explained why Francis Barchard (d.1856) who purchased the portrait in 1854 did not record where he got the portrait from or who he bought it from.
Not that these people appear to have needed an excuse for poor record keeping when it came to their portraits.