Henry VIII,the Reign
1462 or 1471/1472 – 17 August 1510
Speaker of the House of Commons
President of the King's Council
Profile Edmund Dudley
Edmund Dudley, English administrator and accountant for King Henry VII, he was also Speaker of the House of Commons and President of the King's Council.
After the accession of Henry VIII, he was imprisoned by the new government in the Tower of London and executed the next year on a treason charge.
While waiting for his execution he wrote The Tree of Commonwealth. Edmund Dudley was also the grandfather of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, a favourite of Henry VII's granddaughter, Elizabeth I.
Edmund Dudley was the son of Sir John Dudley of Atherington, West Sussex and a grandson of John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley.
After Oxford, and at Gray's Inn, Dudley served Henry VII, and reputedly a privy councillor at the age of 23. In 1492.
He and Sir Richard Empson were councillors of the Council Learned in the Law, a tribunal of Henry VII's reign, which collected debts owed to the king, demanded bonds as surety, and employed further financial instruments against high-born and wealthy subjects.
Henry VII took an active interest in these procedures and personally supervised the accounts prepared by Epsom and Dudley.
Dudley was elected MP for Lewes, in 1491, and knight of the shire for Sussex, in 1495. In 1504, he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons.
Dudley accumulated a great amount of wealth for himself, with which he bought in estates in Sussex, Dorset, and Lincolnshire.
When Henry VII died in April 1509, Dudley was imprisoned, and charged with constructive treason.
During his imprisonment, Dudley sought to gain the favour of King Henry VIII by writing a treatise in support of absolute monarchy, called The Tree of Commonwealth. Several manuscript editions survive: the earliest was possibly commissioned by Dudley's son, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland; while the second oldest was made by John Stow in 1563 for Dudley's grandson, Robert Dudley.