|Margaret Beaufort, the Countess|
Today I'm starting my series of posts one of my all time favourite Tudor characters, King Henry VII. No, not the one with six wives, That's Henry VIII! This was long before that and is the story of how one minor claimant from the House of Lancaster who lived most of his life as a penniless exile rose to becoming King of England. Let's begin with a little background info on Henry's family.
|Sketch of Henry VII|
They were married and the couple set off for Wales soon afterwards. The newlyweds liked each so much that Margaret soon became pregnant and both soon-to-be parents were no doubt, overjoyed. A Tudor heir with Lancasterian royal blood was going to be born and this child would certainly come to enjoy royal favour. Or, so they thought. When Margaret was about 6 months pregnant, Edmund went away to stop small uprisings by the Yorkist lord William Herbert. No big deal right? Edmund had spent most of his life suppressing uprisings like these no doubt he would soon return.
Well, not this time.
Edmund died after being taken prisoner by Herbert at his castle of Carmethan. What mostly likely happened is that William Herbert, being a now Yorkist wanted Edmund out of the way since Edmund and the duke of York were now on bad terms. So Edmund fell ill, which was probably a natural cause but was then neglected and left to die on Herbert's orders. (of course he could've been poisoned but that's a VERY unlikely scenario.)
When Margaret heard of Edmund's death (he wasn't yet thirty!) she was no doubt devastated. She was only 13 and Edmund had not only been her husband, but also her protector and now she was without him. Also, in few months she was going to have a baby! Luckily she went to her brother-in-law's castle of Pembroke. (Jasper had been created earl of Pembroke) where she gave birth to Edmund's child, a son who was named Henry in honour of the king. It had been a long labour for Margaret and doing so so young left her unable to have anymore children so Henry was very precious to her. And Jasper as well, for he too was devastated by the loss of his brother and had to take up Edmund's place as protector of Wales, as well as protector of Henry.
For the first year or so of his life Henry was pampered with attention from his mother and uncle at the castle of Pembroke. But, Margaret was then called to marry a much older than her, the second son of the Duke of Buckingham (Henry Stafford) and had to say a painful goodbye to her brother-in-law and young son. But she could probably visit occasionally and life seemed like it was going to be good for the new little earl of Richmond. But he was born during the midst of the dreadful Wars of the Roses and anything could happen in those times
And, everything, it seems did.