Friday, March 29, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part III)

Jasper Tudor and Katherine Wydeville

The year, 1453 was obviously significant in Wars of the Roses history, and the history of the British Isle as well. For the first time, Welshmen were made a part of English peerage. (That is, dukes, viscounts, earls, etc.) And it was done by King Henry VI to his two half-brothers, Edmund and Jasper Tudor, like an officially welcoming into the royal family. It would've happened earlier but the titles weren't yet vacation. Edmund was made earl of Richmond, and Jasper was made earl of Pembroke. Though he was probably a little disappointed because Margaret of Anjou currently held his lands and he couldn't get them right away.

Hmm... That provokes a question, what was Jasper's relationship with the Queen he so loyally served (Margaret of Anjou)?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Some More of My Tudor Drawings!! :)

Yes, I've been busy at the drawing table yet again :) This time i have three pictures for you to enjoy. the first one is of all 8 original members of the Tudor family. (which means Owen, Katherine, Jasper, Edmund, Margaret [Beaufort], Henry, Maredudd and Marged Tudor.) That one was one that i had been trying to do for awhile but I would always mess up some how and it never quite turned out right, that is until now. :) the next one was of Margaret Beaufort, which i was inspired to make based of an Anime picture i had seen that looked a lot like her and was in a similar pose. And last (but certainly not least) is my picture of Maud Herbert, this was too was inspired by another picture i had seen which and of course we have no idea what Maud really looked like but, of course that's how i envision her.

So without further unnecessary fan fare... Here are my three latest drawings!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part II)

Never in her life did Katherine of Valois envision her Tudor children becoming as wealthy and famous as they did. Because when she died in 1437, her husband had just been imprisoned and her children separated from her. Katherine was put in Bermondsey Abbey, never to see her husband or children again. There, she miscarried of a daughter, who might've been named Margaret if she was named at all. The miscarriage was brought about my the shock of losing her husband and children and probably caused complication which is what she died from. All she could think of was that her two sons, Edmund and Jasper would grow up comfortably in Katherine de la Pole's (the duke of Suffolk's sister's) abbey and live to Welsh commoners, if anything.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part I)

Today i decided to start a new series, but this time about one of my two all time favourite Tudor character Jasper Tudor! (the other being Henry VII) and if you ask me there sure is a HUGE like of much deserved attention for the Tudor earl of Pembroke. Why, if it wasn't for Jasper Tudor there would be no Tudor dynasty! Instead there would probably be Henry Tudor and Maud Herbert, Earl of Countess of Richmond under the house of York. So if you ask me, Jasper Tudor is more than deserving of a series on my blog and totally deserves his own biography (which i haven't heard of any coming anytime soon sadly...)

The saddest part? most Tudor fans don't even know who Jasper Tudor is, just that he's related to Henry VIII some how. *sigh*... So i guess that means i should start as soon as possible so... without further ado, let's journey into studying the life and character of Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Margaret of Anjou!

Queen Margaret of Anjou

538 years ago today in Tudor history we saw the birth of Margaret of Anjou, she was born in the same year as Edmund Tudor. She was also the youngest daughter of René of Anjou and his wife Isabelle. What's she famous for? Girl power that's what! She was wife to King Henry VI and when the Wars of the Roses broke out, it was Margaret who headed the Lancastrian cause. But sadly, many people have the wrong idea of Margaret of Anjou...

The common view is that Margaret was a warrior and blood thirsty. She gave away power and wealth to her supposed lovers, the dukes of Somerset and Suffolk. Her son Edward was not legitimate and all Margaret desired was power for herself and death for the duke of York. But how much of that is true? None of it. Thanks to the Yorkists (and Shakespeare) most people assume this is how Margaret was. But if that's not true, who is the real Margaret?

Try this description:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Emily's Tudor Talk's 1st Anniversary!!! :D

A drawing i made a while back of all my favourite Tudor characters
Top Row: Mary, Queen of Scots, Lord Darnely, Edmund Tudor, Margaret Beaufort, Jasper Tudor, Owen Tudor, Katherine of Valois, Henry VII, Richard II, Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I
Bottom Row: Mary I, Jane Grey, Edward VI, Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou, Arbella Stuart, Arthur Tudor, Mary "Rose Tudor, Edward IV (with two random girls) Elizabeth Wydeville, Robert Dudley and Amy Robsart

Oh joy! My blog officially turns a year old today :) And what a wonderful year it's been. I decided to start the blog so I talk to people about pretty much anything I can related the Tudor family to and lots of people have been there to listen! Thank you all who regular follow this blog or occasionally stop by or even if this is your first time hopefully in the next year my blog can only get more popular! (And of course more comments are always welcome)

What can you expect coming up before next March 22nd? Well,

  • A series of posts on the lives of Henry VI, Jasper Tudor, and maybe even Juana of Aragon
  • More posts of various members of the Wydeville family
  • More Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou cartoons!
  • And in-depth post or series on the Princes in the Tower (because next school year I'm writing my Junior research paper on them!)
  • A Histories Forgotten Countesses on Mary of Guelders 
  • Many more lists of random facts
  • A series on Richard, Duke of York (Yorkie as I like to call him)
  • The Book Reviews will be updated (and that one I will try to get done as soon as possible)
  • And of course, more humour, mistakes from books, anime, and if any kings are found under car parks I'll be sure to post about it :)

Now I think I'll take a break from the actually history today to tell you a little bit about why I personally like the Tudors so much.

My first taste of the Tudor world was when I was about 11 in 5th grade. My teacher put on a video for us entitled "History Happened Here" and one of the segments was on the Tower of London and Anne Boleyn. Of course the names and characters kinda went over my head but the story really interested me. But I thought nothing of it. Little did I know that that would become a passion of mine and I would have a blog dedicated to it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Elizabeth I: A Lancasterian Queen And a Traditional Tudor

Now this title might not make much sense but if you think about it, it kinda does. See, Elizabeth I is descended from both the houses of Lancaster and York. But which side did she resemble more? The answer is simple: Lancaster. If you really examine it and compare Elizabeth I with her Lancastrian ancestors, there's a very strong resemblance.

Here's just one example, Margaret of Anjou, THE Lancastrian Queen was the first female to effectively rule England on her own, Elizabeth was the first Queen in her own right and ruled entirely by herself. Also, Margaret is said to have personally supported her armies, and Queen Elizabeth is famous for her speech to her troops as Tilbury. (My memory's a little vague so it might have been some other place that started with a 'T', sorry.)

Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth I
Another example? Elizabeth I swore she would never marry, even that she was already married to the realm of England. That always reminds me of another Lancasterian ancestor of Elizabeth, Jasper Tudor, who didn't get married until he was 55, and he died about 10 years later. Elizabeth's legitimacy was also questioned by those who were her enemies, and this also true of both Edmund and Jasper Tudor. (But all 3 were born legitimately, don't worry!) and also, she was born at Hatfield, the same place that Jasper Tudor was born back in 1431

Elizabeth herself probably wouldn't like this but in some ways she was like Henry VI. How? Well Elizabeth has been described as very knowledgeable and found of studying (especially in her early years) which is also true of Henry VI. Who founded two colleges while being King.

But probably the BEST example of how Elizabeth was pure Lancastrian, is shown when you compare her with her grandfather, King Henry VII. It is he, not Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn that Elizabeth best resembles. Here's just a sample of reasons why:

  • Elizabeth I  had no desire to execute Mary, Queen of Scots just to keep her safely imprisoned. But when Mary was found to have committed treason, she had no choice. She after three days if refusal Elizabeth finally gave in and signed the warrant. While back in her grandfather's reign, Henry VII had kept the earl of Warwick a prisoner, safely kept in the Tower. Only after pressure from the monarchs of Spain and the fact that Warwick and Perkin Warbeck were committing treason, Warwick was executed. Both monarchs have been accused of making up the treason charges.
  • Elizabeth I grew up thinking she would never be Queen. She was a second daughter and legally declared illegitimate, how could she ever inherit the throne? She lived well enough at Hatfield under the care of her governess, Kat Ashley, who was very much like a mother to her and  forgotten about. Henry VII also never thought he would be king, when he was only 4 the House of York took power and he had to live with the Yorkist Herbert family and was forgotten about in Wales. 
  • Elizabeth I had her mother (Anne Boleyn) die before she was even 3, and Henry VII's father (Edmund Tudor) died before Henry was even born. (2 months before to be exact) Both were then taken in by others who took the place of the missing parent, Elizabeth was looked after by Kat Ashley, and Henry was looked after by his uncle Jasper Tudor.
  • But as far as personality goes there is still similarities. Elizabeth I was interrogated for treason during the reign of her sister, Mary I, and she was savvy enough to make out unharmed. (Though she did spend some time in the Tower thanks to Mary) and Henry VII acted the same under similar circumstances when he was in exile in Brittany. And in the later years of both of their reigns, they were seen less by the people and became more solitary.
  • Also both re-acted in a similar manners when they were both under the constant threat that someone wanted to get them off the throne. Like Mary, Queen of Scots and the Grey Sisters and the earl of Essex, oh! And Phillip II in Elizabeth's reign or Perkin Warbeck, Lincoln, and Margaret of Burgundy oh! And Lincoln's brother Edmund of Suffolk in Henry's reign.
And I could go on...and on...and on... And...well you get the picture.

Elizabeth I was in every way a Lancastrian, so it hardly seemed surprising that Elizabethan poets wrote praise of her the same way the Welsh did of Henry Tudor. (And Jasper and Edmund Tudor too) and Elizabeth is a traditional Tudor, one that resembles the original Tudor family of Owen, Katherine, Maredudd, Marged, Edmund, Jasper, and most of all, Henry VII.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Henry VII: The First Tudor King Part IX

Henry VII

Well, we're almost reaching the end of my series on Henry VII... but this certainly doesn't mean it'll be the end of posts about him. Rather on the contrary, Henry VII is one my top two all time favourite Tudor characters, (the other being Jasper Tudor) and with all history there's always something else to learn! (example: Who knew Richard III was buried under a car park?! :) ) So let's continue where I left off in hopes in finishing the series...

Everything changed for the Tudor dynasty upon the death of Prince Arthur. He was pure blood Lancaster, in other words, a mini Henry VII. Now the dynasty's hopes rested with Arthur's younger brother, Henry, who was far from Lancasterian and rather a mini Edward IV. (thanks to his mother being Edward's daughter Elizabeth. I've often wondered what would've happened had Henry VII married Maud Herbert and how different the children of his would've been...) But there was still hope for the Tudors, Queen Elizabeth was pregnant again.

Problem was, when Elizabeth gave birth in February 1503, she and her newborn daughter Katherine (who could've been named after Katherine of Aragon or Katherine of Valois) died. Now Henry VII had no queen and a primarily Yorkist heir. It seemed everything that he had worked so hard to build came crashing down in a matter of 2 years. Naturally it only seemed right to think of remarriage but Henry never really wanted to.

(ironically, all the Tudors before Henry VIII was famous for marrying only once. Owen only married Katherine of Valois, Edmund only married Margaret Beaufort, Jasper didn't even get married until he was 55 and that was only once also. And if you want to go even further back Owen's father Maredudd had only married once, to a Marged and also none of them ever had mistresses)

The first possible candidate was Katherine of Aragon, she was young and available but no one really wanted THAT marriage to go through. It's also about this time that we really see two of the king's most famous councilors rising to power, Edmund Dudley and Richard Empson. (Henry VIII had both men executed very early in his reign) And there seems to have been a change in king himself was well as the reign and government. It focused more the collection of taxes and King Henry was ill more often and seen less frequently around court. Prince Henry's household and apartments were moved at this time to ones that were connected to the Kings, to ensure the safety of the sole Tudor heir.

It continued on this way for the next several years. Princess Mary got betrothed to the future Charles V but as we see later, the two never married. Also, Catherine of Aragon's sister Juana and her husband Philip of Austria got shipwrecked in England. (which brought back the duke of Suffolk, Edmund de la Pole who had been hiding out with them. He was the younger brother of the earl of Lincoln and thus had Yorkist royal blood so he had to go in the Tower.) There was talk of Henry VII marrying Juana after her husband Philip's death and it appears that Henry had considered it more than the other brides (like Margaret of Savoy) but nothing was ever done past talking about it.

By 1508, no one ever really saw King Henry VII, and on April 21st 1509 he died of the same illness that had lately been plaguing him. Of course Margaret Beaufort was overcome with grief at her son's death (she her self didn't have much time left for she was to die two months later) but Prince Henry er... excuse me King Henry VIII didn't seem all that upset about his father's death. Probably because they were so different and the younger was totally Yorkist. Also, Henry VIII wanted nothing to do with his father's regime and wanted to rule in his own way. So Empson and Dudley were executed and other old councilors were replaced by younger friends of the new King.

But Henry VII's legacy lived on in his granddaugther, Elizabeth I who i believe because of everything I've read about her, was very much like her Tudor grandfather. (remember what i said the early Tudors only ever marrying once?) Elizabeth I had the same attitude towards Mary, Queen of Scots that Henry VII had towards the earl of Warwick. Also, both Elizabeth and Henry grew up thinking they would never rule. And just a side note, Elizabeth spent most of her childhood at Hatfield, the place where Jasper Tudor was born back in 1431!) And remember how Elizabeth lost her mother before she was even 3? Very similar to how Henry VII's father, Edmund, had died two months before Henry's birth.
(more comparisons will be available soon in an upcoming post!)

So Henry VII was not entirely forgotten about. And recently with the whole Ricardian movement he's been given a bad rep, which is totally undeserved if you ask me! Henry VII is the reason the UK is the way it is today. Without him England might still be under Yorkist rule and Scotland, it's own country. And there would be no "Great Matter" or break with Rome. So in my opinion, Henry VII is one of Britian's greatest kings and deserves way more attention then most historians give him. Also, he didn't murder the Princes in the Tower like many Ricardian fans like to say. So i guess that's why you could say i dedicated a 9 post long series to him, one of if not the most underappreicated English Monarch.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Siblings and Relatives of Margaret of Anjou

Did you ever know that Margaret of Anjou had a sister and a brother? It's true! And who were some of her other famous relatives? Well, both the questions will be answered and explained in today's post! When Margaret was in exile in France (when the Yorkists were ruling England) she stayed with her family and today I'll tell a little bit about who they were.

Rene of Anjou
Margaret's father was Rene of Anjou and her mother was named Isabelle. She was their youngest daugther and child. Rene was famous for having lots of titles but no real power. Some of his titles include: King of Anjou and Naples as well as other remote lands. But, he wasn't able to really claim any of those titles and was actually pretty in debt and bad with finances. Personality wise, Rene of Anjou took interest in art and poetry and stuff like that. As for his wife, Isabelle, we have no idea really. But she seems to have gotten along with Rene pretty well.

Yolande of Aragon
Another majour factor in influencing Margaret's life and future was her grandmother, the great Yolande of Aragon.
 Yolande was a strong-willed woman who wasn't gonna let anything stand in her way. She pretty was the living embodiment of "Girl Power!" and as mother-in-law to Charles VII, she was very influential and good at governing. These were all traits that were passed on to Yolande's granddaughter, Margaret. Margaret thus, would've been accustomed to females bearing lots of power which may have sparked her interesting in becoming regent in 1453.

Margaret's aunt, Marie, was married to Charles VII thus making her family kin to the royal French family. She certainly had met Charles VII and her aunt but, they didn't leave a lasting impression and her. (which i suppose gives us insight into Marie's personality.)

Margaret had two older siblings, a brother named John and a sister named Yolande. John was the eldest and probably raised separately from Margaret. And to be honest I don't know too much about him. Yolande on the other hand was raised with Margaret and two seemed to have been friends. Yolande i think wasn't as headstrong as Margaret and was probably the daintier of the two. She was betrothed to Count Ferri (a french nobleman) and they couple later married. They had children and were quite happy together.

So Margaret's family and espesically her grandmother played a majour role in influence her to become the Queen she would be. I just wish we had some more information on them.

Happy Birthday Mary Rose Tudor!

Mary "Rose" Tudor

What's the important event that happened today in Tudor history? Well, the title of today post says it all: The birth of Mary "Rose" Tudor. Mary was the youngest daughter (and last surviving child) of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. And based off all the portraits we have of her, Mary had very much the looks of the House of York. What of personality? I personally like to think that Mary was all Lancasterian though, she probably had a touch of York in her. It was after her that Henry VIII's famous ship The Mary Rose was named. Out of all of Henry VII's children, I'd have to say Mary Rose is my 2nd favourite (right after Arthur of course)

You can learn more about Mary "Rose" Tudor in my post "The First Mary Tudor"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Henry VII: The First Tudor King Part VIII

The next important thing that happened in the reign of King Henry VII was the end of the whole "Warbeck" conspiracy. Warbeck with his Scottish supporters had invaded England the royal forces caught him. Instead of going straight to the Tower, Warbeck was placed at the court, where he could be watched (and as a form of ridicule, much like what happened with Lambert Simnel) As for Warbeck's wife, Katherine Gordon, she was welcomed at court and treated nicely. (probably because Henry knew she had no involvement in the plots against him.)

But when Warbeck tried to escape from court he was most with all haste to the Tower and imprisoned there, near the earl of Warwick (who had been in the Tower all this time) lady Katherine stayed on at the court and was able to live comfortably. Warbeck was going to just stay locked up in the Tower (and Warwick too) but the King and Queen of Spain had different ideas. They wouldn't let Prince Arthur's intended bride, Catherine (or Catalina as she was probably known in Spain) come to England unless the succession was secure. And, with a rebel like Warbeck and someone with royal blood like Warwick in the Tower of London, the succession didn't seem all that secure.
Arthur Tudor
Catherine of Aragon
So in 1499, Warbeck and Warwick were both executed. The charges? Treason, which of course, was no doubt talking about while the two were in prison. Now Princess Catherine was going to make her way to England so the marriage between her and Arthur could take place. It seemed like England was finally at peace. Nothing could go wrong now, but.. it did.

Catherine did arrive in England, finally, in 1501. Henry went to see her almost as soon as she arrived on English shore and Arthur came with him. All accounts agree that Catherine was pretty enough and that she was well-liked. She was married to Arthur not long after that. The next step was for the happy couple to go to Wales (Ludlow Castle, strangely a castle associated more with York than Lancaster) and so they went to practice governing and step up a mini court.

Well that didn't last for long as both Catherine and Arthur fell ill with what was likely the ''sweating sickness''. Arthur, who had never really been strong physically died from it on April 2nd. Catherine survived and was immediately summoned to come back to court. For King Henry and Queen Elizabeth, the loss of Arthur was devastating. He had been trained to become King of England and now the only heir was their second son, Henry, Duke of York. Catherine was well cared for and given her own household.

But next year things seemed to be looking better, Queen Elizabeth was pregnant with another child. Everyone hoped it would be another son and the dynasty would be secure again. (They couldn't have been more wrong)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jane Ap Hywel, A Tudor Governess and a Tudor Mystrey

Now i pretty sure not alot of you have heard of the woman in the title, Jane ap Hywel, and to be honest I don't know that much about her either, but enough to warrant making a post. You might surprised when i tell you who Jane was. She was a Welsh girl, most likely a commoner who is always forgotten about but has a strong connection with the Tudors. Why? Because she was Henry VII's governess and most certainly in the household of Jasper Tudor.

Margaret of Anjou with some of her ladies.
Jane probably dressed like the ladies in the

Judging by her name (Jane ap Hywel) we can assume she was Welsh and since she was just a governess she must've been a commoner. and since she was hired by Jasper Tudor, she must've lived in Pembroke. We will never know who were parents were but they were probably your typical Welsh commoners, though since her first name is "Jane" there might have been a little English influence. I also don't know her birthdate but, it's safe to assume she was young when she was caring for the young earl of Richmond.

Since the Welsh people loved the Tudors and the Tudors loved the people of Wales, Jasper could've personally hired Jane or someone else in his household could've of. Whoever did must seen that Jane was very qualified for the position. And there are record that show Jane was most certainly at Pembroke up to 1461. What can we infer from this about Jane's personality? She was probably similar to Anne Deverevaux in that she was kind and caring and loved children. Henry Tudor remembered her fondly when the came the throne by rewarding her and her husband.

Wait... Jane got married?

Yup, to a Philip ap Hywel (hence her last name) also a Welshman. He could've been a servant in Jasper Tudor's household or he could've been someone Jane had met earlier. And of course given that Jane was a commoner this clearly was not a political marriage but one made out of love. But where was Jane when William Herbert took over custody of Henry Tudor? I don't have an answer. It's possible that she stayed on in the Herbert household, looking after Henry. But the more romantic mind might prefer to think she went into exile with Jasper. and one of these two must be the solution be if Henry remembered her past the age of 4 (when Herbert came to Pembroke) she must've been involved in his life somehow.

Given either scenario, Jane would've certainly been back in England during the Lancasterian Redemption when Henry VI and the Lancasterians were restored to the throne (which also meant that Jasper Tudor could come back to England and be Henry's guardian again)At this point Jane was probably no longer "governess' to the earl of Richmond but rather, a friend or servant for Jasper Tudor. It's not likely that Jane went to Brittany with the Tudors but rather stayed with her husband Phillip in Wales, away from Yorkist rule. (Thought the Yorkists probably didn't care that she was Tudor's governess)

But August 22nd 1485 was a most happy day for the Ap Hywels, Henry Tudor was now King Henry VII. And as i said earlier, we have records of Henry rewarding Jane and Phillip especially Jane because Jane was his former governess or nurse. Did Jane live past that? Well, we do know for a fact that when the future Henry VIII was born, Jane was called in be his nurse as well. Thus, making he alive and well in 1491. Was Jane ever at King Henry's court any time before that? probably not, she most likely kept living in Wales with her husband and kids if they had any.

Jane ap Hywel is a great mystery to me and so far I've only seen her existence mentioned in one book (The Making of the Tudor Dynasty by Roger S. Thomas and Ralph A. Griffiths who are like, experts on the subject of early Tudors so there's no doubt Jane existed)

 The character of Jane ap Hywel surely sparks the imagination. We have no idea what her character was like or where she was most of the time. and there's so many answered questions about her. What was her relationship with Henry Tudor? With Jasper Tudor? Did she ever meet Margaret Beaufort? What was her personality like? How old was she?  Did she ever had any kids? If only we had some more information...

(If you guys reading this know anything i would sure love to know what it is!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Henry VII: The First Tudor King Part VIII

Henry VII
The period after the Simnel rebellion and before any sign of Warbeck was actually a pretty peaceful one for the reign of Henry VII. the future Henry VIII was born (June 2th 1491) and another daughter, Elizabeth, died as a baby but that seemed to be the only misfortune that befell the Tudor dynasty in this period. But peace could not last forever and soon another, different king of pretender appeared on the scene. This was a commoner from Tournai named Perkin Warbeck (or some form of Pierre Warbecque) but what was most important about him is that he wasn't pretending to be well-known figure like Warwick but a much more mysterious one: The younger of the princes in the tower, Richard, duke of York.

With the murder of the Princes still fresh in everyone's minds, no one spoke of it or really had anything to speak of. No one really knew for sure that the Princes in the Tower (the sons of Edward IV that Richard III supposedly murdered, but he really did murder them much to the Richard III society's dismay) were dead yet but no one was also sure if they were alive. But whatever people thought of their fate, people were more than happy to support his cause as if he really was the Duke of York.

Perkin Warbeck
Margaret of Burgundy was one of Warbeck's majour supporters but keep in mind that Margaret would do anything if it would bother Henry Tudor. She despised Lancaster like Margaret of Anjou did York. Warbeck referred to her as his "Aunt" but obviously there were not related. This is also where Warbeck learned about the House of York and other knowledge Richard of York would've known. The Scottish also announced their support of Warbeck by letting him join King James IV's court.

In 1494 Henry decided to make his youngest son (also named Henry) Duke of York. This was done to show England and others who doubted that there was only one Duke of York and he was the son of Henry VII. It also showed how Lancaster had swallowed up York as Yorkists would probably never allow a Duke of York with a Lancasterian name like Henry. And the 3 year old Duke of York loved being the center of attention for once. (most of the attention was bestowed upon his elder brother, Arthur, since he was heir to the throne)

This didn't stop Warbeck however, he had lots of support in Scottish and King James even gave him a Scottish bride in his kinswoman, Katherine Gordon. Whether or not Katherine believed Warbeck was Richard of York, i don't know and neither do historians. But if any of you have seen BBC's "The Shadow of the Tower" miniseries, i think Katherine's reaction was very much like portrayed in that show. (and not to mention how accurate everything about that series is... if you haven't seen it... GO WATCH IT!)

Two important events happened that next year (1495) First, King Henry and Queen Elizabeth's last surviving child, Mary "Rose" was born which of course is happy event. A rather sad event occurred also, the death of Jasper Tudor. The cause of his death was an illness (though i don't know what) and his wife, Katherine Wydeville most likely missed him. (her feelings about Jasper aren't known so based of what we know of their characters we can just assume what their marriage was like, by all accounts we can assume it was a happy one.) But even with all that  was happening at the Tudor court the Warbeck crisis didn't disappear.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elizabeth Wydeville: Good or Evil?

Elizabeth Wydeville (by the way, we have no contemporary
record EVER of her last name being spelt W-O-O-D-V-I-L-L-E)
This is question I've been thinking about lately. Thanks to the success of Philippa Gregory's novel The White Queen, interest in Elizabeth Wydeville has really grown. But, her novel is very sympathetic to Elizabeth and tries to portray her in a good light. Which i guess isn't bad. I've read the novel and it's actually pretty okay. (me being as big a fan of all things Lancaster as i am i actually can say i found it interesting and made it all the way to the end) But sadly that's everyone seems to view Elizabeth now and from what I've gathered she wasn't all the great...

People seem to think now that Elizabeth Wydeville was like Anne Boleyn, (and i guess in a way she was) hated because she was common and that she was actually sweet and innocent. But sadly the comparison stops there. The Wydevilles were greedy for power. Not at first, no, at first they just fine with being a minor slightly lancasterian family. But when Edward IV (a notorious womaniser) wanted Elizabeth for his next mistress, Elizabeth blatantly refused but wanted her lands or inheritance (from her previous marriage) back and agreed instead to marry Edward, forgetting about her first (and by this point dead) husband's lands and decided to be queen instead.

That's the Elizabeth Wydeville i actually like, the one who had some Lancasterian sympathies and the one blatantly refused to become romantically involved with King Edward IV but then i always see a change in Elizabeth. Now that's she's Queen she wants all the perks. So she convinced Edward to give undeserved titles and wealth to Elizabeth's extensive family. (it was not Edward being generous, that wasn't in his nature) This of course upset the second most powerful man in England, the earl of Warwick. And I actually being to like Warwick here simply because he was turning on York! (which can only be good for Lancaster right!)

Elizabeth Wydeville was also not as good a queen consort as say... Katherine of Valois or Katherine Parr but rather she was (as i said before) greedy. Her main interests were her and her family and friends (whom she cared for deeply) and the other Yorkists couldn't have that. It was supposed to be a Yorkist dynasty, not a Wydeville dynasty. And Elizabeth was alienated Edward from his greatest supporters, even his own brother, Clarence!

So it's safe to say as Queen Elizabeth Wydeville was ambitious and greedy, she wanted total control and to rid Edward of all the faithful Yorkists who wanted to support the house of York. (i would say 'rightful' house of York but, my Lancasterians sympathies prevent me...)

But when she was Lady Grey, Elizabeth was pretty cool in my book. Not just cause she was on side of the Red Rose, but, because she was pretty harmless and not power-crazy. There's also no doubt that she cared for her daughters and sons but she wasn't that great of a woman, and she could be pretty mean. Was there every a "Good" Wydeville? Yes, but only one: Katherine Wydeville. Katherine was the only one who didn't crave power, she just wanted to be a good mother to her children (her husband was the Duke of Buckingham) and live a quiet, happy, life.

In short, Elizabeth Wydeville: bad. Katherine Wydeville: good.
And i'm not just saying that 'cuz I'm a Lancasterian. :) (seriously, I'm not I've done my research)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Henry VII: The First Tudor King Part VII

The first majour conflict that Henry VII faced happened early in his reign. The problem was that a commoner's son named Lambert Simnel was pretending to be the (clearly alive and well) earl of Warwick. (No not the Kingmaker, pretending to be him would've just been dumb. I'm talking about Edward, son of the Duke of Clarence brother to Edward IV) When Elizabeth Wydeville, the earl of Lincoln, and other Yorkist sympathisers joined the (really actually hopeless) rebellion  things got a little more serious.

The earl of Warwick was being kept safe in the Tower of London. He was lodged there in order to keep him safe,  away from all these conspiracies. Mainly because Warwick wasn't the smartest person around, also as Clarence's son, he had royal blood from Edward III twice over from his paternal grandfather. The duke of York. Lincoln probably knew where the real earl was when he joined the rebellion and its my assumption that he wanted to use this as a way of becoming King himself! Seemed to me that everyone wanted to do just as Henry Tudor did, the impossible: go from penniless exile to king because of one battle.

But of course even with all that Yorkist support the whole thing was doomed to failure. Henry VII was just to smart! The royal army met the rebel army near Stoke in 1487. I'm not sure whether Henry actually fought in the battle himself though as he never had before I highly doubt it. But the earl of Oxford was in charge of part of the King's army, Jasper Tudor commanded another, and some other great Lancasterians too. So after some hours the royal army was victorious. Simnel, and those who had trained him to be Warwick were captured and the battle was over. Simnel was then put to work in the royal kitchen, luckily spared the typical death for traitors: hanging.

As a result of the battle, the earl of Lincoln was killed, Elizabeth Wydeville was shut away in abbey, and Viscount Lovell's (one of Richard III's friends who also supported Simnel) fate is uncertain one source tells us that he was last seen trying to flee across some river so he probably drowned. Lancaster had won that day and now the Wars of the Roses were over for good. The Tudor dynasty seemed secure, Henry VII had a heir in his eldest son, Arthur and a daughter (Margaret) was born the next year.

Things seemed to sort of quiet down after that, though there were still those out there who were loyal to the White Rose but no one was openly declaring it. It was also about this time that Henry began negotiating for a marriage between Arthur and the princess Catherine (or Catalina) of Spain. This was very important because it meant that Spain recognised the Tudor government in England and Spain was a very powerful country (a good one to have as an ally). And judging by what happened next, Henry would need all the foreign allies he could get.

March 9th in Tudor History

447 years ago today was a day Mary, Queen of Scots would never forget because it was the night that her secretary  and friend David Rizzio was murdered by the Scottish nobles. It was the start of Mary's downfall land what set the events in motion for her to abdication her throne. For more information, check out my post "The Rizzio Murder at Holyrood" or any other post about Mary Queen of Scots

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Some Random and Little Known Tudor Facts! :)

It's been awhile since I've just posted random Tudor facts that most people didn't know or didn't think about. So in back with yet again, more :). And yes, all of these have been checked by me to be true.

  • If Owen Tudor hasn't anglicised his name Henry VII would've been called Harri ap Edmund ap Owain. And Arthur Tudor would've been Arthur ap Harri ap Edmund. And Elizabeth I would've been Elizabeth ferch Harri ap Harri. (Using the Welsh Naming system)
  • Both Richard, duke of York (not the Prince in the Tower) and Anne Boleyn's badges were of falcons.
  • Jasper Tudor was at the first Battle of St. Albans though we don't know for sure whether he actually took part in the fighting. 
  • Isabella of Castile (Catherine of Aragon's mother) was at one pointed betrothed to King Edward IV. But Edward broke it off and Isabella was pretty angry with him.
  • Henry VII actually used the Tudor rose as a propaganda symbol before his marriage to Elizabeth of York to show that he was the heir to both royal houses and under him, they would become one.
  • James Stewart, Mary Queen of Scots' half-brother was actually created earl of Mar for a little while before giving that up in exchange for the earldom of Moray.
  • Henry VII actually had a Welsh governess/nurse in his childhood named Jane ferch Hwyel, who was with him at 1461 and (I assume) onward. He rewarded her and her husband Philip upon his becoming King
  • It was actually William Stanley who brought the crown to Henry VII after Richard III's death and he was replaced with his brother, Thomas Stanley, in the records because of William's plot with Warbeck.
  • The Duke of Buckingham that Henry VIII had executed was actually the son of the previous duke and Katherine Wydeville. The same Katherine that was at one point married to Jasper Tudor.
  • James VI/I actually had no right to the crown because of an act passed that made it illegal for anyone born outside of England to be crowned monarch. James was born in Scotland. Thus, his English born cousin Arbella should've been Queen Elizabeth's heir.
  • There was never a Martha Wydeville, she got made up somewhere later.
  • Now this one I'm sure I've said before but I will say it again because it just so frustrates me... Never, ever, EVER, EVER!!!!!!!! in any written records of the time ANYWHERE!!! Is Elizabeth Wydeville's last names spelt W-O-O-D-V-I-L-L-E. spelling it that way is just WRONG w-r-o-n-g, WRONG! rather, it's recorded as being spelt Wydville, Wydeville, (my preferred spelling) and maybe even Widville once. But NEVER Woodville, ever. (Like Taylor Swift "We are Never Ever Getting back Together" kind of Never!)
  • Though usually associated with Southern Wales, the original Tudors came from the North Welsh town of Pemynedd.
  • Catherine of Aragon was a descendant of John of Gaunt from the only daughter by his second wife, Constance of Castile, which technically is kinda more legitimate royal blood than Henry VII's. (But Henry VIII because he had the York claim)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Leicester Dig Results Cartoon!

Remember back last month when the skeleton found under the Leicester car park was confirmed as Richard III? Yup, i do too, and I finally got the cartoon i made that day uploaded and edited in Photoshop and ready to be posted! (sorry if you were expecting it, my scanner was inaccessible for awhile) But this was a cartoon i did on February 4th in my English class (when i should've been reading the Iliad :) but i was just so excited!! :) How could i focus on some ancient Greek story eh?)

The basis of the cartoon is that all historians who've ever had anything to do with Richard III over the years gets together to have a party while waiting for the results. Naturally discuss and argument (not mention humour) occurs as Traditionalists mix with Ricardians. Some of the characters I used were
Caroline A. Halsted (a ditsy Victorian Ricardian)
Agnes Strickland (World's worst historian, also Victorian)
Betram Fields (his book will cause reasonable doubt for even the strongest traditionalists!)
Shakespeare (no explanation needed here!)
Philippa Gregory (famous for her pro-Yorkist "Cousin's War" series)
Charles Ross (very traditionalist)
and Alison Weir (modern day traditionalist, I mostly follow her theories)

So without further ado, here you go!
(you might need to zoom in a little to read it, sorry, just i had a lot to say in each word bubble i guess...)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Henry VII: The First Tudor King Part VI!

The Tudor Rose: Henry VII used this
before he became king as a sort of propaganda
portraying him as the heir to both York and Lancaster
As a huge fan of King Henry VII, nothing disappoints me more than when Henry VII's reigned is summed up in this sort of fashion "There were two pretenders, Simnel and Warbeck. Arthur died, then Henry himself died now, onto Henry VIII..." :( Sadly that's pretty much all the average person knows about Henry VII's reign if they know anything at all. What also upsets me (and probably you other Henry Tudor nerds out there like me!) is when Yorkist fans (especially Ricardians) try to paint Henry VII as the villain instead of Richard III. But Henry VII's reign is one of the most important in British history, In fact, today's Queen Elizabeth II wouldn't be queen if it wasn't for Henry becoming king of England!

For the remainder of the series i hope to present King Henry VII's reign to you (the reader) in a new light, one that's much closer to the truth than say... the Yorkist stereo-type. Let's begin in the most logical place to start, the beginning! :) The Battle of Bosworth was just the first step, it's one thing to be proclaimed king and another entirely to have people believe it. The Wydeville loyalists were probably alright with the results from Bosworth and now hoped to married him as soon as possible to Elizabeth of York and have Wydeville domination again. Well, if that's what they thought would happen, they're WRONG! In fact, Henry was in no hurry to marry Elizabeth.

The first thing Henry did upon his victory was reward those who had been loyal to him, and none was more richly rewarding than his uncle, Jasper Tudor. Jasper Tudor went from the penniless earl of Pembroke to not only Earl of Pembroke but also Duke of Bedford, Earl Marshal of England, amongst other noble titles and was married to the kindly (and wealthy) Katherine Wydeville. (whom i consider the only good Wydeville who wasn't power crazy or just plain annoying!) Some of the other people rewarded were John de Vere, earl of Oxford (a die-hard Lancasterian loyalist) John Morton, Richard Fox, (both Lancasterians) and Anne Dereveaux (who had looked after Henry when he was in the Herbert household) Henry's mother Margaret Beaufort was welcomed at court and given wardship of young Edward Stafford (the duke of Buckingham)

As for those who still kept their loyalties to the white rose, Henry had declared traitors by dating his reign to the day before Bosworth. But a lot were also pardoned. There were still three Yorkists that Henry could expect a threat from, and that was Elizabeth Wydeville, John De la Pole (earl of Lincoln) and Margaret of Burgundy. (though there was nothing he could do about the last one, she was in Burgundy). Elizabeth was welcomed at court but soon became a nuisance and Lincoln hesitatingly gave his loyalty to Lancaster, though he was still upset since Richard III had named him his heir and would be ready to support any Yorkist uprising when the time came. But the Yorkist left with the most royal blood was Edward, earl of Warwick (son of Richard III's brother George) and Henry had him placed in the Tower. Not because he feared Warwick's claim, rather he feared what others might do to or with Warwick because of his claim. The safest place for Warwick was the Tower.

What came next was Henry's coronation, which was without a doubt a glorious ceremony. And no doubt by this point Elizabeth of York was getting a little impatient for her marriage. But Henry VII was trying to show he claimed the throne thorough his royal blood and his right of conquest, not by being a Yorkist princess' husband. The start of King Henry VII's reign was the start for the end of the Wars of the Roses, the end of age and most certainly the start of a new dynasty (one that Henry hoped would last forever and i guess in way it kinda did...) But this certainly wasn't a time for peace, no. Rather, new uncertainty and different kinds of troubles would come ones that shape the Tudor dynasty forever.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Agnes Strickland's Comedic Genius! :D

Agnes Strickland
Ah, the Victorian age... Good times eh? Well, not for us Tudor fans sadly... During the Victorian era a great number of History wrote about the Tudor age and 99% of them were wrong, and I mean.. WRONG! And none was worse with getting things wrong than Agnes Strickland, the worlds worst historian! (If anything I would classify her books as comedic material!) I have a copy of her "Lives of the Queens of England" from 1881 (literally, printed in 1881, though 40 years after her original work was published) and I'm keeping track of all the mistakes I find.

A good way to describe Strickland's wrote is "Over-Romanticized with unwarranted conjecture" which pretty much just means "comedic gold". Here's some of that "Unwarranted conjecture" from "Lives of the Queens of England":

  • Anne Boleyn's mother died in 1513 and not much later her father remarried and Anne loved her stepmother. Her reasoning for this? None was stated.
  • Katherine Parr daughter became an adult and married into a wealthy family. Her reasoning for this? Well, since he didn't hear about her she must've lived!
  • Henry VI's mental collapse in 1453 was due to inflammation in the brain. Her reasoning? None was stated.
  • She claims that Anne Boleyn was made Marchioness of Pembroke, (instead of marquis) and that Jasper Tudor was Henry VIII's uncle (instead of great uncle) and that Marchioness of Pembroke is a royal title (which its not) all in the same sentence.
  • She refers to Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon (or Arragon as she spells it) was called the "secret matter" (instead of the "great matter")
  • She said that Henry VII was born three months before his father died on June 25th 1456. Her reasoning? Margaret Beaufort wrote it down somewhere in some book. (Which she did only its was January 28th, the correct date of his birth that she wrote)
  • She also claims that Edward IV arranged for Margaret Beaufort to marry Lord Stanley. Her reasoning? None was stated.
  • According to her Edmund Tudor only lived to be 20, which means he would've been born in 1437... Her reasoning? None was stated.
  • Another thing she claimed to be true was that Anne Boleyn visited the court of Margaret of Austria AFTER being in France. She also said that the entire theory of Mary Boleyn being king Henry VIII's mistress was sheer nonsense. (Well... She's one to talk! :) ) and yet again, no reasoning was stated.
  • She also says that at age 3, Henry VII was brought by Margaret Beaufort to meet King Henry VI and goes off on this long story about it.. Her reasoning for this? Again, none was stated.
  • Catherine of Aragon died of poisoning according to Ms. Strickland, and she doesn't give any proof to back it up but, she's just so darn certain it happened!
  • She also imagined this great romance between Henry VII and Maud Herbet, so great that Henry wanted to marry Maud's younger sister when he got back to England because Maud was already married. Apparently he wrote about somewhere but Agnes never says where.
  • Surprisingly though, she got Anne Boleyn's birth date right (1501) and not even some modern historians do...
  • And also in one of her footnotes Agnes rants on Shakespeare for inaccurately portraying Margaret of Anjou in love with the duke of Suffolk. (Well Shakespeare... If even Strickland can prove you wrong... :) (just f.y.i. Margaret wasn't in love with Suffolk.)
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I know copies of Strickland's books are hard to find, but if even just one comes your way, GET IT!!!! It's fun to find her littles errors :) though don't read it if you're not rock solid on the facts or you might get kinda confused... 

And as soon as I find her "Lives of the Queens of Scotland" I'll be doing another one of these! (She has 4 books in that series just dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots! It's like a gold mind of treasure waiting to be uncovered!)