Sir Thomas Tuddenham (10 May 1401 – 23 February 1462) was an influential Norfolk landowner, official and courtier. He served as Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Keeper of the Great Wardrobe. During the Wars of the Roses he allied himself with the Lancastrian side, and after the Yorkist victory in 1461 was charged with treason and beheaded on Tower Hill on 23 February 1462.
In 1449–50 Tuddenham funded a visit to Rome in the Holy Year by the theologian and historian John Capgrave, who subsequently wrote his The Solace of Pilgrimes; A Description of Rome for Tuddenham.
Suffolk fell from power in 1450, and according to Ross, "The primary theme of the Paston Letters in the early 1450's is the attempt to bring Suffolk's East Anglian affinity to justice, at least as John Paston and his circle viewed it, and in particular Sir Thomas Tuddenham and John Heydon" of Baconsthorpe. Tuddenham lost his offices of Justice of the Peace in Norfolk, Keeper of the Great Wardrobe, and Steward of the north parts of the Duchy of Lancaster, and on 1 August 1450 a general commission of oyer and terminer was issued to the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Oxford, Lord Scales, William Yelverton, and members of the Norfolk gentry. The commissioners convicted Tuddenham of more than 300 offences, and on 16 November 1450 fined him £1396; however in the following July, when power at court had been consolidated in the hands of the Duke of Somerset, Tuddenham was remitted all but £200 of the fine, and many of the charges against him were later dismissed. By 1457-8 some sort of rapprochement had been reached between Tuddenham and Oxford, and the Earl had granted Tuddenham an annuity of £10 per annum. Nevertheless, Tuddenham and Heydon's political influence "never again reached the same heights it had done in the 1440s", and it was not until March 1455 that both men were reinstated as Justices of the Peace in Norfolk.
During the Wars of the Roses in the 1450s Tuddenham and his associates aligned themselves with the Lancastrian forces of Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, and at the end of 1458 Tuddenham was appointed Treasurer of the Royal Household.
Depiction of Austin Friars, London, burial place of Sir Thomas Tuddenham, circa 1550 Edward IV came to the throne after the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461, and shortly thereafter an order for Tuddenham's arrest was issued, and his estates were confiscated. In February 1462 Tuddenham was allegedly involved in a plot to murder the King. He was arrested, and "at Edward IV's bidding" was tried and sentenced to death for high treason by John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester, together with the Earl of Oxford, the Earl's eldest son and heir, Aubrey de Vere, John Montgomery and William Tyrrell of Gipping, Suffolk. Sources differ as to the way in which the King discovered the alleged conspiracy; one account claims that Aubrey de Vere revealed the plot to the King, while another states that letters sent from the Earl to Margaret of Anjou were instead taken to the King by the Earl's messenger. No records survive of the trials of the various conspirators to shed light on the subject.
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