1457: The Queen Can’t Read the Room


We’re picking up where we left off in 1456 as we work our ways through the first half of the Wars of the Roses.


Marguerite of Anjou orders a stock of arms and ammunition at Kenilworth Castle. She also removes the Earl of Shrewsbury as Treasurer and replaces him with her close friend, the Earl of Wiltshire.

On the 28th, Margaret Beaufort, Dowager Countess of Richmond gives birth to a son at Pembroke Castle. He is christened Henry after Henry VI.


Henry VI’s half-brother, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke takes his brother’s widow, Margaret Beaufort, to visit Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham at his home of Greenfield near Newport. Pembroke and Buckingham broker a marriage between Margaret and Buckingham’s younger son, Henry Stafford.

Meanwhile, Marguerite has orders out for her scouts to hunt down William Herbert, the man who imprisoned Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond the previous year and is held responsible for his death. He is found in South Wales and thrown into the Tower of London. Believing him to have acted on the orders of Richard, Duke of York, Marguerite and Pembroke want him executed, but Buckingham persuades them to hold off and instead send York to Dublin.

When Herbert stands trial at Hereford in front of Marguerite, Henry, Buckingham, Pembroke and Shrewsbury, he is found guilty.


Pembroke is appointed Constable of the castles of Aberystwyth, Cartmarthen and Carreg Cennen instead of York.


Herbert is granted a royal pardon on the condition that he offer his loyalty to the House of Lancaster. Pembroke is none too pleased.


For the last several months, York’s nephew, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, is making himself a popular hero to Londoners by combatting piracy on the Channel and sending meat to the city’s taverns.


Marguerite is working hard to reach peace with her uncle, Charles VII of France. She works with Pierre de Breze, a man close to her family, to mediate between the two. He is the Grand Seneschal of Anjou, Poitou and Normandy. He lands on the Kent coast with a French fleet and soon plunders the town of Sandwich, nearly destroying it. Reportedly, they took the insult further by playing tennis after the raid. They are eventually pushed out and many drown during the Channel crossing home. Marguerite attempts to blame Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter for the incident, but the majority of the English hold her responsible.


Looking to fill the bishopric of Durham, Henry attempts to make nomination, but Marguerite blocks it by appealing directly to the Pope to nominate her chancellor, Laurence Booth. Booth is elected on September 15th.

Court finally leaves Coventry for London as it was difficult for the government to function efficiently away from the capital.


A rumor spreads that Henry wrote a letter to his Anglo-Irish subjects, urging them to invade England and kill York in battle.

We’ll pick back up in a few days.

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