Monday, December 31, 2012

The Life of Owen Tudor Part I

Owen Tudor
The earlier Tudors such as Edmund Tudor and Jasper Tudor, are often overshadowed by their descendants, Elizabeth I and Henry VIII. But they are also just as important! Today I'm discussing the one who starting it all, Owen Tudor, or as he was known in Welsh, Owain ap Maredudd (pronounced "Meredith") ap Tudor. If Owen hadn't met his wife, Katherine of Valois, there would be no Tudor dynasty and if anything, England would still be ruled by the house of York!

Let's start at the beginning, like many characters in Tudor history who started with humble beginnings, we only know of a birth year and for Owen, it was 1400 during the reign of the first Lancasterian king, Henry IV (who had usurped the throne from Richard II who was clearly not doing so good a job ruling...) Another Welshman, Owain Glendower, decided to rebel against Henry IV who wasn't so fond of the Welsh.  Now, Owen Tudor's father, Maredudd, might've been a part of this rebellion but even if he wasn't Owen Tudor somehow wound up as servant to one of the noblemen not too long after.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Misconceptions on Margaret of Anjou

Margaret of Anjou
You've probably read my posts on Margaret of Anjou, and recently she's gotten a little more popular (especially with Philippa Gregory's "The Cousin's War") and sadly, she is yet another figure that's been mangled by the media. What was Margaret of Anjou really like? Lots of people seem to have different opinions about her. For example:
  • Margaret was a ruthless queen bent on revenge  I don't know why but whenever someone thinks of Margaret of Anjou a picture of a violent warrior queen comes into there head. In a sense this is true but Margaret was actually a far cry from a second Empress Matilda, for the first couple of years (when things were more peaceful) she actually was much more of the calm, submissive consort someone would usually expect. Margaret never really fought during battles, (she wasn't even at Wakefield when that battle happened)
  • Edward of Lancaster was actually Margaret's illegitimate son    Okay, this was a rumour that was reported at the time because when Edward was born, Henry VI didn't recognize him as his son. The problem with that claim? Henry was suffering a mental breakdown at the time and didn't recognize anyone! Supporters of this claim also bring up the point that it took seven years before Margaret even got pregnant!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Katherine Howard as Queen of England

Katherine Howard

If you've every studying Tudor history, you've probably heard of Katherine Howard. Most people will only be able to tell you that she was the 5th wife of Henry VIII and got her head cut off. (why is that the only thing people remember about her??) But she actually spent some time as Queen of England and here, I'll tell you all about it!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Tudor Christmas Drawing :)

First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody!!!! (even though today is Christmas eve!) I made a special Tudor drawing for today, so without further ado... here it is!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Who Has The Better Claim, Lancaster or York?

This is a question I'm sure many of you are wondering since Lancaster and York fought for the crown during the Wars of the Roses. Most people will tell they both had a strong claim though, York's was slightly better. (Is it just me or does every historian seem to favour York?) For the longest time that's what i thought to since I wasn't too sure about their lineage before Edward III. Then just recently i was reading a book on the Battle of Towton and realized Lancasterian had the better claim!

Here's why:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Set of Little Known Tudor Facts

Here's yet, another set of some not-so-well known Tudor facts! (and yes! They're all true!)
  • Perkin Warbeck's wife, Katherine Gordon actually had a little bit of English royal blood in her. (through John of Gaunt's youngest illegitimate daughter Joan Beaufort)
  • Henry VIII gave all of his kids Yorkist names, there's record of a Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward as all children of the Yorkist king Edward IV. Yet, there was never a Mary, Elizabeth, or Edward Tudor until the time of the Tudor reign.
  • Margaret of Anjou's aunt married king Charles VII of France

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16th: Happy Birthday Catherine of Aragon!

Catherine of Aragon

Today in Tudor history Catherine of Aragon was born in 1485. She was the youngest child of Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain. (a newly untied Spain i might add!) and was brought up as a royal princess should be. Though in later life she very much resembled her headstrong mother. She was first married to Arthur Tudor and later was the first wife of Henry VIII. The one he also divorced to marry Anne Boleyn. Tomorrow I plan on writing about her later years but you can learn about her early life in my post "Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor."

Random Fact: Both Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are descants of John of Gaunt! (the third surviving son of the English king Edward III)

Friday, December 14, 2012

HIstories Forgotten Countesses: Anne Deverveaux

William Herbert and Anne Devereaux before King Edward IV
(Anne is in the lower right corner)

Now the last name Deverveaux might sound familiar since it's the same name that Lettice Knoylls first husband, (Walter Deverevaux) had. But, this Anne Deverveuax is way before then, a Yorkist, a certainly played a role in Tudor history. See, Anne married William Herbert the (illegal!!!) earl of Pembroke (a title he STOLE from Jasper Tudor!!) And this same William Herbert was made legal guardian of Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond in 1461 (ish). Actually he bought Henry's wardship from King Edward IV. His plan was to marry Henry to his eldest daughter, Maude and then become king. But for Anne, things were different.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Misconceptions on Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey is a pretty well-known Tudor character even though most history books didn't recognize her as queen, even though she was!!! However, the common belief of what Jane Grey was like is quite far from the truth. Here's some of the most common misconception people have on Jane Grey
    Jane Grey with her books
  • Jane was "The Nine Days Queen".  This is the most common nickname that Jane is referred to by and it actually NOT accurate. In fact, after reading Eric Ives' book on her, it's actually proven that she rule for THIRTEEN days, not nine.
  • Jane had abusive parents. Sure, Jane's parents weren't always the nicest but they weren't as mean as people think. They did both care very much for Jane and weren't the mean villains that people take them to be. Also, many historians say Frances Grey (Jane's mother) was like a second Henry VIII in looks and character, this can also be proven wrong.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Richard III: The Great Controversy (Part IV)

For part IV i will be talking about the actual reign of Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth. How exactly did Richard do as king? And what about his death at the battle of Bosworth? As always, sources are scarce and opinion is varied.

Another Portrait of Richard III

Here what traditionalists say: After the death of the princes in the Tower, and that whole thing about the Eleanor Butler precontract (see Part III) Richard III was legally, king of England and his wife Anne Neville, Queen. As far as ruling goes, he didn't get to for very long before he was killed. We do know he ordered Hastings beheaded for no better reason than he didn't trust him. He let Elizabeth of York return to court in hopes of marrying her after Anne Neville's death.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Richard III: The Great Controversy (Part III)

For the next part in my series i will examine one of the most debated topic in the history of Richard III, his usurpation of the throne. Was it rightful and justified or was it illegal? There so many different views, who's right? Hopefully after reading this you'll know :)

The Princes in
the Tower

Here's what traditionalists say: After Edward IV death, Edward V was made king and Richard III was named protector. A usual custom that took place whenever a royal king was in minority. the Wydevilles however, saw this as their chance to rule the kingdom. So they wanted to take control of the young king, but Richard III did too. And he won. So Elizabeth Wydeville went into sanctuary at Westminster with her 5 daughters and younger son, Richard, duke of York. Now that Richard III put Edward V in the Tower (where all monarchs stay before their coronation, right?) and the Wydevilles were in hiding, it seemed like he was secure. But, he wasn't. Elizabeth still had the younger prince and could at any time to substitute him for Edward V. Richard then went to Westminster and convinced Elizabeth to hand over the younger prince. Elizabeth never expected what would happened next and handed him over.

December 8th Mary Queen of Scots' 470th Birthday!

Mary, Queen of Scots

Another Tudor birthday today, and this time, it's Mary, Queen of Scots'. She is famous for being the first female ruler of Scotland. Ironically ruling at the same time as Elizabeth I! Elizabeth I was her cousin and Mary always wanted to take the English the throne from Elizabeth But, was beheaded before that could ever happened. But, her only son James VI/I was Elizabeth's heir so, in an indirect way she got what she wanted :)
You can learn about Mary in these posts:

"Stewart, or Stuart How to Correctly Spell Mary Queen of Scots' Last Name"
"The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots"
"Emily's Guide to the Darnley Murder" (series)
"The Rizzio Murder at Holyrood"

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7th Lord Darnley's 467th Birthday


Surprisingly enough we have yet another Tudor birthday today, this time it's Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He was famous for being King consort unto Mary, Queen of Scots. He too was a descendant of Henry VII and could've possiable been king of Scotland and England. However, he was never fit rule. And is probably most famous for
how he was murdered. You can find out more about him be reading these posts:

"Emily's Guide to the Darnley Murder" (series)
"Life of Charles Stuart" (2 parts)
"The abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots"
"A Lennox King of Scotland....?"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Richard III: The Great Controversy (Part II)

For the second part of my series, i will discuss what Richard III was doing during the reign of his brother, Edward IV. This was a crucial time in his life as this is when he become Duke of Gloucester and was constantly at court also, it's the back story for what happened to the princes in the Tower!

Richard III and Anne Neville

Here's what the traditionalists say: Once Edward IV become king, he wanted to reward his younger brothers who had fought bravely beside in the some of the battles of the Wars of the Roses. George became duke of Clarence and Richard, duke of Gloucester. Clarence had always been willing to change sides and Gloucester was always loyal to Edward. Edward himself, wasn't a great king and had many faults yet, for some reason Gloucester stayed loyal even though he hated Edward's wife, Elizabeth Wydeville. Elizabeth Wydeville her self was scheming and ambitious. Clarence too was ambitious for the crown so Richard III approved of his murder, even though the Wydevilles probably were most responsible. It was also at this time that Henry VI was murdered, which was an idea probably created by Edward and Richard, (though not necessarily carried out by either of them. Another event which happened at this time was that Richard met and married  his wife Anne Neville.

December 6th: Henry VI's 590th Birthday!

Henry VI

Yes, i know this isn't a part of my Richard III series but i had to post it anyway, 590 years ago today, King Henry VI was born at Windsor castle. He was the only child of Katherine of Valois and Henry V. (also he will be the subject of an upcoming series) He was king ever since he was 9 months old but, the problem was, he wasn't never mentally healthy. Historical researchers now believe he suffered from Schizophrenia. Nevertheless, he ruled until 1461 and was the uncle of the fist Tudor king, Henry VII

For more on Henry VI see my posts:
  1. "The Lancasterian Redemption"
  2. "Margaret of Anjou: Warrior Queen" (series)
  3. "Love Day, As Created by Henry VI"
  4. "Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou Cartoons" (more than one)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Richard III: The Great Controversy (Part I)

Richard III
So i apologize, i meant to post this on Saturday but, i got busy with cleaning and homework (high school will do that ya!) But anyway, here's the start of my brand new series i introduced you to not too long ago. I will begin with the early life of Richard III

Here's the Traditionalist view:
Richard III was born on October 2nd 1452. Being the youngest and 11th child (7th surviving) child of Richard, duke of York whom i call "Yorkie" to avoid confusion and his wife, Cecily Neville. Now this was during the Wars of the Roses in which Yorkie was fighting Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. So Richard III's childhood was spent under the care of his mother, Duchess Cecily. Cecily was pretty cool and nice but nothing too special and eventually his wardship was given over to Warwick "the Kingmaker" who raised him in his household.