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The Woodvilles by Susan Higginbotham
Gemini Sasson. The Agincourt Bride. Worth Dying For. The Boleyn Bride. Emily Purdy. Overnight, Elizabeth had become very popular with the people. This humble act demonstrated that she was a Queen who lived up to the ideals expected of a wife and Consort. The boy also received a humble christening. Instead of the traditional royal relatives, or stand-ins for foreign royals, his godparents were the Abbot Thomas Milling, the prior John Eastney and Lady Scrope.
Edward IV wasted no time investing his son as Prince of Wales and set up his household. Although he is commonly referred to as Prince Edward or Edward V, it should be noted that he was never officially crowned. After his father died, a crisis emerged between his maternal relatives and his uncle, including the nobles supporting him because of their resentment against the Wydevilles , as to who would be his Regent. After the summer of , months after Edward had been put in the Tower of London before he was joined by his younger brother Richard, he was never seen or heard from again.
Doctor Argentine on his last visit, said that while Richard looked more optimistic because he was younger, Edward did not and it was as if he knew that his days were numbered. Bona of Savoy. This was a huge slap in the face for Warwick who believed Edward would be malleable and listen to his every council but Edward was determ ined to be his own man.
As to when did he marry Elizabeth Woodville. This day was deeply rooted in pagan traditions and it was known as a day of misrule when gender and social roles would be juxtaposed. Then again, the recent contemporary account we have regarding this date comes from four years later. Elizabeth came from a large and former Lancastrian family.
With so many sisters, brothers and cousins to wed, Edward could strengthen dynastic ties with well known Lancastrian partisans. This was the moment at which his crown was secure enough to admit to a controversial decision, but also at which he could forestall a decision on a French marriage no longer.
They had cause to for alarm. Now here was Edward IV, married to a beautiful Lancastrian widow who brought no alliance and no dowry. What she did bring though was many useful allies. With a large family, he could marry them off to all the prominent families in England, and make them entirely dependent on him. It seemed like a good plan at first but time would reveal that it was nothing more than a disastrous miscalculation on his part which would nearly cost him his throne, and later give munitions to Richard, Duke of Gloucester when he took the crown from his nephew, Edward, Prince of Wales, and the destruction of his House.
He was wrapped in crimson cloth of gold furred with ermine. Margaret Beaufort was absent from the celebrations. And her daughter was pretty much the same and some have gone so far as to say that she became the image of the ideal wife and consort, that she was the basis by which Henry VIII judged all of his wives.
One of her surviving brothers did fight in a crusade.
He was also present for the christening, helping others carry the canopy over the baby. It was here where he could be kept warm and clean, that the prince was undressed completely. He was given to John Alcock [Bishop of Worcester] who immersed him in the basin of holy water just enough to touch his forehead and christened him. The hope of the Tudor rested entirely on his shoulders from the moment of his birth. Poems were made about him, extolling his lineage, remarking how he was the true embodiment of the union between Lancaster and York.
This was no coincidence as Henry wanted his crown heir to be born in the place where it was believed Camelot once stood. Henry was proud of his Welsh roots and he wanted to exalt them, by naming his crown heir, Arthur after the legendary king who unified all Britain. When he married Elizabeth of York that same year, their union was widely celebrated. A new emblem was a created.
His paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor claimed descent from Arthur and he had marched under the banner of a red dragon, the Pen Draig, or Pendragon, at Bosworth. He was a prince of both Lancaster and York. For her part, Elizabeth had been preparing for the birth since Easter with the help of her mother-in-law, the indomitable Margaret Beaufort [Countess of Richmond].
Besides her, Elizabeth had the company of her mother and other female relatives. Birth in this period was exclusively a female thing and although doctors were present, they were not normally involved in childbirth. They were just there to act as consultants. When her labor began on the 19 th , natural creams would be applied on her abdomen. They were encouraged to do breathing exercises for labor, much as they are today, but there was no pain relief beyond opiates and herbs. To hear talk of them is my delight loved may we be our prince to see and roses three.
Arthur was christened four days later at Winchester Cathedral. Less than a year later, Elizabeth would be crowned. While the proud parents would boast of more children, only three would survive them. Margaret, Mary and Henry Tudor would go on to become Queens and King, while their crown heir would die before his time. It was a day of mayhem and fun that has its roots in pagan religions and pre-Christian traditions. In all honesty though, there is no concrete evidence that the marriage took place that day.
Several chroniclers that place the marriage on this day are Antonio Cornazzano, an Italian writing four years after the event took place. He writes that Elizabeth threatened Edward with a dagger after he offered her to become his mistress. Other historians believe there was more to this match than simply love or lust.
He had been ruled by indecision and fear. Edward was his complete opposite. Handsome, impulsive, he was not willing to let others decide for him. Edward wanted an end to the bloodshed. But her affiliation with it, made her somewhat Lancastrian. And there was another reason. Elizabeth had a large family.
He could marry off her cousins, sisters, brothers and other family members to the most important noble houses in England, including former Lancastrians, tying them and enforcing their loyalty to him. Regardless of his reasons, they backfired on him in the end. The marriage was kept a secret until Edward was forced to admit to it at the Reading Council in September. The fact that the bride was not royal, noble her mother was a member of the House of St. As for the common man, they could care less who this woman was and where she came from. Six years later when she was pregnant with their first son she fled into sanctuary in Westminster taking along with her, her daughters.
She asked the mayor of London and others to submit to Warwick and the Lancaster Readeption to save themselves. Something they saw as a great contrast to her predecessor who had taken up arms against her enemies. After the Lancastrian forces were defeated the following year, the people were more welcoming to their Queen.
She had not brought a foreign alliance, riches, or anything else, but she had lived up to the medieval expectations of women of the day. This last one is less remarked in fiction but it should be, because the real Elizabeth was far from being the scheming witch she is shown in portrayals such as in the White Queen or romantic fiction. Queen Elizabeth was a very pious woman who belonged to some of the most famous religious fraternities at the time, her brothers were able soldiers and administrators. Her brother Anthony is perhaps the most famous, but her others brothers also served the Yorkist regime under her husband then under her son-in-law Henry VII in every capacity.
She was also ambitious. She spent the last days of her life leading an ascetic life.
Her last wishes to be buried with little pomp and a few valuables were carried out. E is for Edward whose fame the earth shall spread Because of his wisdom named prudence shall save all England by his manly deeds Wherefore we owe to do him reverence. M is for March, through every trial Drawn by discretion that worthy and wise is conceived in wedlock and coming of blood royal Joining unto virtue, excluding all vices.
She threatens to disown her son Edward in favor of George because she is mad he married a Lancastrian impoverished widow. A great review as always.
8 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Woodvilles
After watching the White Queen miniseries I would like to delve further into this family. Jacquetta deserves her own book too! Am currently in process on a novel of the life of Elizabeth of York. I would love anything about the Woodvilles. I am a descendant of Elizabeth Woodville heck of a thing to learn as a 62 year old American! Would love to have a copy! I would love to read this book. I would definitely like to read this book. Previously I have read various books on the war of the roses, or rather the cousins war, but found they concentrated mainly on the various kings who ruled and as such Elizabeth tends to get lumped in with either her second marriage or the story of her disappearing sons.
Obviously Elizabeth and her family have had bad press in the past, with many writers labelling them as a upstart family, crazy for both power and money and as a result Elizabeth being seen as a opportunistic and manipulating queen consort. But these views forget her mothers heritage and the difficult circumstances that Elizabeth had to contend with, namely the death of two husbands, the loss of her sons, which she may of felt responsible for to some degree. Also, essentially her promotion of her families interests at court and providing them with titles and positions is what every parent at the time would be keen to do and invest quite some time and effort into.
I am Scottish and love the Stewarts but also the Tudors. I just recently started reading about the Wars of the Roses and am fascinated by the Woodvilles. Looking forward to reading this. Reading about the War of the Roses from the Woodville perspective sounds interesting. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book. I love anything Tudor but I am especially fascinated by Elizabeth Woodville and her family.
What a fascinating family the Woodville were! I have read every book on the Yorks, Tudors etc. I can get my hands on. I would love a copy of this book. I love anything to do with Medieval History especially The Plantagenets. Sounds like there is much of interest to be discovered between the covers of this book!
I love this fascinating period of the Wars of the Roses.