John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley

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John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley (1494 – 1553), commonly known as Lord Quondam, was an English nobleman.


He was born in about 1494, at Dudley Castle, Worcestershire, the eldest son and heir of Sir Edward Sutton, 2nd Baron Dudley and his wife Lady Cicely (Willoughby) Sutton. He was betrothed to Lady Cecily Grey (a daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, by Cecily, his wife, suo jure Baroness Harington and Baroness Bonville) by 30 October 1501, whom he subsequently married. He was knighted 13 October 1513. He succeeded his father Edward Sutton, 2nd Baron Dudley as Baron Dudley in 1532 and immediately began to sell his patrimony, including half of Powis Castle. 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 by Mary to Lord Quondam's eldest son, Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley.

Dugdale wrote: "It is reported by credible tradition of this John Lord Dudley, that being a man of weak 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." There is much evidence in the Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII to suggest that Warwick and Cromwell between them colluded to entangle Lord Dudley before the fact, and did not simply take advantage of him afterwards, as suggested by Dugdale's sources.[1]


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 on 18 September 1553 in St Margaret's, Westminster, London; his wife was buried there on 28 April 1554.[2] It is a perhaps not insignificant detail to add that his cousin and nemesis John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was executed on 22 August the same year, 1553.

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


  1. ^ Gairdner, James, ed. (1893). Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII. 13:2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ J. G. Nichols, ed., Diary of Henry Machyn, Camden Society, (1848), p. 398.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edward Sutton
Baron Dudley
Succeeded by
Edward Sutton