Part Fourteen: Buckingham’s Rebellion

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The rebellion of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham in the autumn of 1483 is perplexing because it’s impossible to nail down a motivation for it. Arguably no one was better rewarded by Richard’s assumption of power and Buckingham positioned himself as an Earl of Warwick-type figure in the second and third quarters of 1483 – in other words, a kingmaker. His fall from grace was remarkably self-inflicted and a confusing wrinkle in the study of Richard III. So, let’s dig in, but first, if you missed Part Thirteen, you can catch up here and I recommend reading through this timeline of 1483 for some context if you haven’t already.

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Part Thirteen: William Hastings & Eleanor Butler

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Happy Saturday! For those following along in this series, today we’re going to delve into Richard’s claim to the throne, specifically focusing on William, Lord Hastings’s execution in June 1483 and the legitimacy of Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. If you missed Part Twelve, you can catch up here, and it might be useful to have read this timeline of 1483 as I’ll be referencing events from it.

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Part Twelve: Regent or Lord Protector?

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Oookay, our timelines are behind us and we can now delve into Richard III’s reign. If you missed the last two posts, I highly recommend taking a look (here and here), and it may be helpful to have the rundown on 1483 handy as you read through the below. Today we’re going to focus on the first wave of Richard’s assumption of power.

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Part Nine: Richard III as ‘Lord of the North’

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If you missed Part Eight covering George of Clarence’s death, you can catch up here.

In the weeks leading up to George’s execution, the House of York gathered in London for a happier matter – the marriage of the four-year-old Prince Richard, Duke of York and the five-year-old Anne Mowbray, daughter of the deceased John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. The event gathered nearly the entire family for one of the last times. The seven-year-old Prince of Wales joined his three elder sisters, Princesses Elizabeth, Mary, and Cecily. Edward IV’s mother, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York was given a place of honor, while the bride was escorted by the Earl of Lincoln (Edward IV’s nephew via his sister, Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk). Richard, too, was there, however it’s unclear if he was joined by his wife, Anne Neville.

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Margaret Beaufort & Her Four Husbands

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Margaret Beaufort is arguably the great winner of the Wars of the Roses. Certainly she is one of the few to have lived through the war in its entirety and, as such, became the matriarch of the House of the Tudor. Mother to Henry VII, she is an ancestor to every English/British monarch since Henry VIII (as well as Scotland’s James V and Mary Stuart). But though she existed in the same world as Marguerite of Anjou, Elizabeth Woodville and Anne Neville, she is rarely seen as exciting as them – she never wore a crown and by the time she held substantial power, she was a woman in 50s. Instead, she is usually depicted as the mother-in-law from hell, a meddler and a jarring mix of pious and power-hungry.

To some, she is even a contender as the true killer of the Princes of the Tower.

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In Elizabeth of York’s Shadow: Cecily of York, Lady Welles

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Cecily of York has always perplexed me. A daughter of one queen and sister to another, she was not only at the epicenter of “Wars of the Roses” drama, but unlike her younger sisters, Anne, Katherine and Bridget, she was old enough to know what was happening. She also came very close to playing a more high-profile role thanks to her betrothal to the future James IV of Scotland, and had her first marriage abruptly annulled when power changed hands in 1485. So, who exactly was this woman?

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Strange Bedfellows: Jasper Tudor & Katherine Woodville

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Of all the rather memorable personalities and (borderline) incestuous pairings during the Wars of the Roses, the one that I find the strangest is without a doubt Jasper Tudor and Katherine Woodville. They literally make zero sense to the point that I honestly sometimes forget about them. And yet! They existed.

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The Long & Short of Elizabeth Woodville

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We’ve talked about Elizabeth Woodville’s wedding date, her siblings and what the significance of her filling the role of Edward IV’s consort was before, but we’ve never just straight up covered her life from beginning to end. Elizabeth has seen a surge in popularity over the last decade, which doesn’t surprise me – it’s honestly more surprising that it took this long for her to get trendy. She had two husbands, 12 children and seemingly nine lives. She was a commoner who married a king, accused of witchcraft and sensationally beautiful. She lived through the reigns of five kings, was mother to another queen consort, attached to one of history’s biggest murder mysteries and may have ended her days under glorified house arrest. In short, there was a lot going on.

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