Friday, May 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Margaret Beaufort!

Lady Margaret Beaufort

Today in Tudor History back in the year 1444 was the birth of Margaret Beaufort. Although a Beaufort, she wasn't given much though and simply given her mother's name. (Kinda like Queen Victoria) But she became the mother of King Henry VII and a truly remarkable woman! She's one of my favourite characters from Tudor History and is definitely a subject worth studying if you're as into Tudor History as I am!

You can learn more about Margaret Beaufort in the following posts from my Blog:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Reign of Mary Queen of Scots Part I

Queen Mary of Scots herself!
Ah, Mary Queen of Scots... "The Daughter of Debate" If you've ever studied her you know what I'm talking about. I read in a book once that and I quote "Her life resembles more of a Soap Opera" and that author was right! I decided to skip over Mary's childhood in France because that's like a whole different world than her reign, that's where the juicy stuff begins :) This new series will examine everything that was happened and was somehow related to Mary and her reign. The common idea is that Mary, Queen of Scots is guilty of murdering her second husband, lord Darnley to marry her lover the earl of Bothwell. She's sort a tragic heroine and let me tell you: the real Mary is nothing like this.

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Conclusion)

A post series that was 16 posts long definitely deserves a conclusion post all it's own. As one of my favourite Tudor characters, I found it rather saddening that Jasper Tudor's story hardly has any publicity. The only book that goes in depth on him is "The Making of the Tudor Dynasty" by R.A. Griffiths and Roger S. Thomas. That was the book that really made Jasper one of my favourite characters and that's where a got a majority of the information I got for this series. Other than that, he gets about a whopping... 4-5 pages in each around 300-500 page book on the Wars of the Roses. So I decided to do something about it and write a rather extensive series of posts on my blog in order to inform the world about it!

And the world definitely needed some informing. Thanks to the success of Philippa Gregory's novel "The Red Queen" about Margaret Beaufort (which I actually enjoyed because I knew enough of the history to look past her couple inaccuracies) the world mainly thinks that Jasper Tudor was secretly in love with Margaret Beaufort. This is totally false! (for reasons why see "Misconceptions on Margaret Beaufort"

Other than that Jasper Tudor has hardly got any time in the media, why Shakespeare didn't even put him in his plays, instead he's only gets one mention in one line as "redoubted Pembroke" he isn't even called by name or is it stated that he's Henry VII's uncle.

Luckily BBC came to the rescue for us Tudor fans!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mistakes in Shakespeare's "Henry VI Part Two"

King Henry VI! :)
If you've been following my blog for a while than you probably know who Agnes Strickland is. If you haven't she's a Victorian historian known for her many...many...historical mistakes (she said Anne Boleyn had a stepmother after her mother died, and that Henry VI's mental breakdown in 1453 was due to inflammation in the brain just to name a few) So when I say someone could be even less accurate then her, that's really saying something. I was going to work on the conclusion post to my series on Jasper Tudor but something happened that made me decide to write about this instead.

So there I was, enjoyed my lunch like any normal day, and reading one of my numerous books on Tudor history. My selection today was the second part of Shakespeare's plays on Henry VI. And let's just say I got my fair share of laughs and just how many things were wrong. I mean, I knew "Richard III" was bad but this was even worse! Sure, the scene are written quite nicely and it's a good drama but for accuracy, I could get more reliable information from Wikipedia! :P One scene in particular really got me to change my mind and post this instead, Shakespeare has Richard III kill the Duke of Somerset at the first battle of St. Albans. Sorry to break it to ya there but first of all, Richard III wasn't even in St. Albans at the time of the battle. Second, he hadn't even reached his 3rd birthday yet!! And people out there somewhere and reading this stuff and taking it as history! :O Well sorry to break it to ya dudes... it's totally false!!

So, what else is horribly, horribly wrong?
Well... just to name a few...

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XVI)

After partaking in the Battle of Stoke we see a decline in Jasper Tudor's presence at court. Not immediately but what probably was happening is that he was getting old (by 1491 he was already 60, which was quite old by Tudor standards!) and spent more time back at Sudeley castle with his wife Katherine (who was reaching her 40's) It was quite a difference from living life as an exile or at Barking Abbey, Sudeley was a paradise compared to that! And he deserved it, like I've said before, he was the one person on either side of the Wars of the Roses to have played an active role and survived to see its completion. (It just occurred to me that Cecily Neville survived also but she mostly watched from the sidelines and kinda got lucky!) 

The Tudor Rose

We do know that Jasper continued to act as "Prince of Wales" for Prince Arthur, and he even played a part at Elizabeth of York's (his uh... Niece-in-law's) coronation. He was also there for the birth of the future Henry VIII in 1491, and we also know he must met up again with King Henry VII's former governess Jane ap Hwyel who would be the newborn prince's governess also. Given that Jasper must've known Jane since she was recorded to have been in his household caring for the young earl of Richmond, it's probably he suggested her for this new position. Or the choice could've been Henry VII's entirely. (For more on Jane ap Hwyel see my post about her, just type her name in the search box, you won't find info on her on any other website, just in the books)

Sadly, just when the Perkin Warbeck conspiracy arrives in England, Jasper Tudor's presence seems to disappear. Warbeck pretended to be the younger of the Princes in the Tower and caused much dismay to Henry VII. The year was 1495, With two princes and a princess the Tudor dynasty seemed secure at last. Then Warbeck emerges (if course rumours had been going around for a while but now things were getting more serious) 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Who's Named After Who in Tudor History

Ah, good ol Tudor History.... The time when everyone was named after everyone else... After awhile it just got confusing because everyone was either being named Henry or Elizabeth. Well, I thought you might find it interesting to learn just who was named after who. For example, Douglass Sheffield (Robert Dudley's second wife) was named after Margaret Douglas, a friend of Douglass's mother. And there's more where that came from!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XV)

Jasper Tudor and his wife, Katherine Wydeville

Let's see... Where did I leave off last time? Ah, right! I dedicated a whole post to Jasper Tudor's marriage to Katherine Wydeville. Now this may sound like I'm backtracking but, do you recall that famous picture of Edmund Tudor? The one taken from the portrait on his tomb in Carmethan?(If you don't just search 'Edmund Tudor' it'll come up) Well, surprise! That was commissioned by none other than Edmund's younger brother, Jasper! And it's around this time (after he'd married Katherine and become Duke of Bedford) that he ordered this likeness of his brother be made. 

Our only known likeness of
Edmund Tudor,
comissed by Jasper Tudor during the reign
of Henry VII
Of course the only one you can see today is a Victorian reproduction, which unlike other Victorian contributions to Tudor History, is actually very very close to the original! As for who actually drew it, I have no idea but at the very least, Jasper had a part in it. (After all, he would know best what Edmund looked it) I always like to imagine he drew it himself but that's probably not true. Then I always wondered if the portrait was based off what Jasper himself looked like, but that's just a thought. No matter what happened this Is always a sweet thought that, after all these years Jasper still hasn't forgotten about his brother.

So, what was life like for the new Duke and Duchess of Bedford? Well, it started off okay then it appeared the house of York was making a comeback in around 1487, when a pretender claiming to be the earl of Warwick (son of Edward IV's brother Clarence) appeared.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Misconceptions on Edward of Lancaster

Prince Edward
of Lancaster

Edward of Lancaster, if you'll recall is the only son and heir of King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou. Sadly he did not outlive the Wars of the Roses, he died at age 17 at the battle of Tewkesbury. But, just who was Prince Edward of Lancaster? As with other characters of the Wars of the Roses period, the real Edward of Lancaster has become hidden behind many misconceptions. But today, I'm going to address those misconceptions and tell you why they're wrong so maybe we can get a little closer to knowing who the real Edward of Lancaster is:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XIV)

As mentioned in the last post, Jasper Tudor become practically the richest peer in the realm upon the accession of his nephew as King Henry VII. And it's very rightful deserved, the Tudor dynasty would have never come to power if it wasn't for Jasper's efforts and unending loyalty to the House of Lancaster. Part of the rewards was marriage with a wealthy noblewoman. Now, Jasper had lived for 55 years as a bachelor and we don't have any evidence to support that he had anyone in mind. Plus, who to pick?

Jasper Tudor and Katherine Wydeville, as drawn by me :)

If Regent Mary of Geulders was stilling alive she would've been a perfect bride in my opinion or Anne of Beaujeu (regent for Charles XIII of France) Then again there were also plenty of English women who had become widowed due to the Wars of the Roses. One such woman was Katherine Wydeville. (remember her?) the widow of the Duke of Buckingham. Katherine had never really been a Yorkist she preferred to be a housewife and not a power-sucking leech like her sister Elizabeth. Katherine was young (well probably into her 30's) and had four children from her previous marriage, she also had one majour asset to the new Tudor dynasty; she was a Wydeville.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Woodville or Wydeville? Answering the Age Old Question!

Queen Elizabeth Wydeville
It saddens me that when I google "Elizabeth Wydeville" the very first thing that pops up is A Wiikipedia entry entitled "Elizabeth Woodville". If you've been following my blog for awhile now you'll know I'm very passionate about telling the world how to correctly spell the last name of Edward IV's queen. Though I feel kinda like a Ricardian because people still use the INCORRECT "Woodville" spelling, despite my efforts. I too used to think it was "Woodville" until I starting doing my research. Turns out the correct spelling is "Wydeville" or "Wydville" it's seen both ways. (I prefer Wydeville, I dunno why) 

May 19th: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Queen Anne Boleyn
Today in Tudor History was actually a pretty sad day... Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Was she guilty? Not in the slightest! I've always been an Anne Boleyn fan and since we don't know Anne's birthdate (just the year) I've always kinda used May 19th as an unofficial Anne Boleyn Recognition kinda Day :)

but, Who's responsible for Anne Boleyn's fall?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XIII)

The Tudor Rose, crown and all!
Oh geez... 13 parts already.. this is officially the longest post series I've ever done so far! And no wonder, Jasper Tudor is like my all-time favourite Tudor character, though he is rivaled for "#1" by Katherine of Valois, Margaret of Anjou, and Henry VII. So now back to the story i guess... Ok so, when we last left you, it was just about time for the battle of Bosworth. Much of the reason Henry VII won the battle (oops.. i guess that was a spoiler alert in case you didn't know) was because of Jasper Tudor. You see, Jasper was the one who trained Henry for the battle while they were still in Brittany.
Remember? Henry VII had never really experienced battle, the only battle he was ever at was Edgecote when he was about 12. And he just kinda was on the sidelines. Jasper on the other hand was quite the experienced solider, he had been at and probably watch the first Battle of St. Albans, then after that he lead his own army at Mortimer's Cross. Some sources even tell us he was Towton! So i guess one could say Henry learned from the best.. So when summertime rolled around Jasper and Henry finally arrived back in England, er... Wales actually, and that was their intent.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Agnes Keith: First Lady of Scotland

Lady Agnes Keith, Countess of Moray
Agnes Keith, if you may recall was the wife of James Stuart, earl of Moray (and half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots) Thus, making her a pretty important women in Scotland. But would it surprise you to learn that Agnes was once the most powerful and high ranking lady in the realm of Scotland? It's true! Her husband, Moray, was named Regent of Scotland thus making Agnes, Mrs. Regent. But this important woman is hardly known is history books. If she's mentioned at all she's referred to like this "James then married lady Agnes Keith, and was made earl of Moray. Now more about Moray..." Which upsets me quite alot. Agnes is a subject that always interested me and if you ask me, she's really interesting and remarkable from what I've already surmised.

Who is the real Agnes Keith? Today in this post I hope to bring to life Lady Agnes Keith and show she's more than just a name on a page.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some Rather Odd Search Keywords...

One of the fun parts about being a blogger is that you get to see what people searched in Google or Yahoo or whatever to find your blog. For example, if you simply type "Isabel Neville" into Google, my post on Isabel Neville is the first result after Wikipedia. :) Or a lot of people have searched "anne of cleves'' and my posts on Anne of Cleves have come up. But not everyone search result I've gotten is so straightforward. Lately I've been keeping track of the more rather...odd... terms used to find my blog

Here's the list so far:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XII)

Henry VII :)

After a little less than 14 years in exile Jasper Tudor and his nephew, Henry Tudor might finally be able to return to their homeland of England. Why? Because the Duke of Buckingham who was formally Richard III's #1 ally had turned against him because Richard III had murdered his own nephews, The "Princes in the Tower". Buckingham then plotted to seize the throne for himself, being ambitious as he was, but knowing pretty nobody else supported his claim. They did, however, support the claim of the last lancastrian with English royal blood, Henry Tudor. So Buckingham joined forces with people like Margaret Beaufort (who kept Jasper in on the negotiations) and no doubt this gave the Tudors a great hope.

For Jasper though, he probably knew not to expect too much. Previously he had returned to England during the breif Restoration of the house of Lancaster, only for events to take another drastic turn and forced him to go into exile for a 2nd time. (how much would that suck, right?) So it's probably during this time that Jasper warned his nephew that although it seemed promising, things could go terrible wrong.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Misconceptions on Katherine of Valois

Queen Katherine of Valois, herself
Katherine of Valois has become one of my favourite Tudor characters of all time, and if you're a Tudor fan and never heard of her I'm sorry but you like need to read about her. She's the mother of the Tudor dynasty, a queen of England, and altogether one of my personal favourite characters. But sadly she has no biography (I hope to one day to try and get one started...) And sadly like all Tudor characters the media and rumours recorded as fact are taken as the truth on Katherine. Who was the real Katherine of Valois? To find out I shall examine the validity of the common misconceptions on Katherine.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lady Rochford's Part in the Fall of Anne Boleyn

Lady Jane Rochford from
BBC's "The Six
Wives of Henry VIII"

If you'll recall, lady Jane Rochford was Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law. (Jane had married Anne's younger brother George) and the common assumption is that Jane Rochford is the one who gave testimony against Anne and George that helped bring about their downfall because Jane's marriage was a loveless one. I cannot tell you how many books I've read that repeated this old story... But what if i told you this wasn't the case? Yup! The evidence actually paints a picture of a different Lady Rochford. So, what exactly was Jane's role in the downfall of Anne Boleyn? Not what you'd think!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

And Now, a Little Diversion...

An Artist's interpetation of the Princes
in the Tower

And what i mean by the title is, an issue that spans more than the 15th century.(but is still related to the Tudors)  Last week in my English class, we were required to write a persuasive speech on a topic of our choice. (I'll give you 5 guesses as to what i picked! :D heh heh...) So as soon as i heard that my mind instantly said, "Princes in the Tower!!!" Because, how great would it be to inform the ignorant fellow 10th graders at my school about this majourly debated Tudor-related issue? But since telling them the ENTIRE story would take like.. a good week's worth of class time and more i narrowed it down to one question. "Should the suppossed bones of the Princes in the Tower be DNA tested to prove it's really them?"

and my answer is and always will be: HECK YES!!!!!

Here's why:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (Part XI)

The White Rose of York with the Red Rose of Lancaster!
Sorry about the long wait between posts guys, I've been crazy busy with school work! (In fact I believe my AP World History exam is next week!) But back to the important stuff, Jasper Tudor. This is official my longest post series! (well so far!) Okay, not back to the important... where did i leave off? Oh yes the exile years! Ah yes, during the later 1470's there as really nothing exciting in the life of Jasper Tudor. He was the last Lancasterian that hadn't been exiled or killed and was living by himself with a few Breton servants in the duchy of Brittany under protection of Francis II (no, not Mary Queen of Scots' first husband!)

It also this time that Edward IV really felt secure on the throne. Although, his brother Clarence was spreading rumours about Edward's supposed illegitimacy. (which could have some truth in it, see "Was Edward IV really of the House of York?") Why might Clarence do such a thing? Well, for starters Clarence always wanted to be king himself so he was probably just upset that he wasn't king and yet, the Wydevilles practically were. (hey, i'd be upset if some upstart family with numerous children stole all of England's wealth too!) What did this mean for the Tudors? It marked the beginning of the rift in the House of York: Wydevilles v.s. the die-hard Yorkists (like Richard III) And that meant either side of the rift could gain a little bit of power if they convinced Francis II to hand over the Tudors.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Connections Between the Wars of the Roses and the Later Tudor Period

The Tudor Rose!

Now that I've studied the Wars of the Roses more indepthly I'm able to realize little connections from the Wars of the Roses period to the later Tudor period, here's what I mean:

  • When Mary I was queen and accused her sister Elizabeth of treason, plans were made to marry her to Edward Courtaney. Edward Courtaney, if you may recall, was a descendant of Elizabeth of York's sister Katherine.
  • When Katherine Grey was married for the first time, it was to a member of the Herbert family who was made Earl of Pembroke. The earldom of Pembroke was at one point in the Herbert family possession during Edward IV's reign. Also, Mary Wydeville had married a member of the Herbert family so they had Wydeville blood.