The Lost Prince – the survival of Richard of York

I´m sure it happens to all reading people on rare occasions (or for the really lucky ones, more often) that we become Richard_of_Shrewsbury,_1__Duke_of_Yorktruly mesmerized by what we´re reading. It has happened to me now, and what has gotten me in this stage is this truly excellent book by historian David Baldwin (yes, the same David Baldwin I hardly mentioned at all in my last book review because I was slightly fed up with Elizabeth Woodville.

This book review is in perfect line with my earlier post  ”The Princes in the Tower – how it started”. As the title suggest, it revolves around the possible survival of the youngest of the princes, and I have to be really careful here to make sure I tell you enough to make you want to read it, and not so much you don´t feel there is any reason left for you to read it yourself.

I have to admit that I previously haven´t given much thought to the possibility that one or even both of the boys could have survived, more than a passing notion that maybe for example Perkin Warbeck was who he said he was. In all honesty, I didn´t even know that there existed such a variety of theories of which maybe I just know of a fragment now.

David Baldwin starts off by recounting a number of them, of which I find the one which may be the least credible the most “endearing”, that Richard lived out his life under the nose of the authorities as the son in-law of Thomas More. But for reasons better explained in the book than by me, this is highly improbable, and it isn´t the theory that David Baldwin choses to pursue. Instead it is the well-established rumour that the youngest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville lived to an old age as a bricklayer.

This I dare say, because this much you will learn just by googling the book.

What is fascinating is how – even though he starts out by stating that he himself is not sure whether it´s a book of fiction or non-fiction he has written – David Baldwin managed to tie together the different clues; “If that happened, then this most have been the case afterwards”

I can only imagine the satisfaction and the butterflies in the stomach he must have felt when he manages to prove his different assumptions and thesis.

Like I said at the beginning, I won´t reveal so much that I ruin anyone’s reading of this book, but I don´t any longer believe that two princes died in the Tower in the late summer of 1483. Edward may have died, young people did in those days when things that are curable or no longer existing harvested lives, but Richard survived to an impressive age. I do believe that.

The Lost Prince

Elizabeth of York

I have written about her quite recently, in relation to the anniversary of her wedding to Henry VII, but she is well worth mentioning again. Not least because it was today she was born, 11/2, 1466 as the oldest child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.

It was also today she died, the 11/2 1503, as the wife and queen of the first Tudor-regent, as the mother of the future Henry VIII and grandmother of Elizabeth I.

Contrary to what is sometimes said, that she loved her uncle Richard III and continued to do so for the rest of her life, there are credible sources stating that she and Henry VII had a happy marriage.

May she rest in peace.

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Wedding day – 529 years later

If we didn´t care about such things as time – which many of us history nerds don´t – then it would be time to celebrate a wedding anniversary today. The 529th

Today it´s 529 years since Henry Tudor – only 5 months earlier the victor at the battle of Bosworth Field and now king Henry VII married Elizabeth of York; the daughter of one king and the niece of another was now to become the wife and queen of a third king.

Elizabeth was to a very large extent the premise for Henry´s claim to the throne, and in any event she strengthened it as a princess of the House of York.

Henry´s own royal blood didn´t come from the fact that his paternal grandmother once had been a queen or in her own right had been a French princess, but from his mother Margaret Beaufort lineage from Edward III through his son John of Gaunt and his third marriage to his mistress Kathryn Swynford. Their children had been born out of wedlock, but were all declared legitimate after the marriage, and Henry was a descendant through their son John Beaufort. All though their children had not been excluded from inheriting the throne from the beginning, they were barred from doing so in 1406 by their half-brother who had been crowned Henry IV in 1399.

By the time Henry Tudor took the throne by conquest, all male descendants from John of Gaunt by his two previous wives were gone, which set the exclusion of the Beaufort line aside.

And here he was, Henry Tudor, anointed king and with a real princess as a consort. So how did the marriage turn out. It is often claimed that Henry VII was a cold and tight fisted person but there is in reality no evidence that supports that their marriage was unhappy. On the contrary, there are stories of how they together mourned the children they lost, and how Henry grieved when Elizabeth passed away.

Henry had however spent a substantial part of his life in exile, far away from the riches and the overflowing dinner tables his devoted mother no doubt thought was his right as she struggles to have his title as the Earl of Richmond restored to him (there is no actual evidence that she fought to have him declared king in the way that has been portrayed in certain novels). Point is that Henry spent a large part of his life in relative poverty, and no doubt that experience left its mark on him.

There would be seven children; Arthur, Margaret, Henry, Elizabeth, Mary, Edmund and Katherine.

Only three of them would reach what we today would consider adult age; at the time Arthur was considered an adult, if even a young adult.

Arthur died, not fully 15 years old, in Ludlow Castle, leaving the young widow Katherine of Aragon behind.

Margaret became queen of Scotland and paternal grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots.

 Henry, well, he became Henry VIII.

Elizabeth only reached the age of three.

 Mary became queen of France, widowed at a young age and returned to England where she married the man who had been sent to bring her home, Henry VIII`s best friend Charles Brandon, an act for which they were forced to pay a fine. Together they became maternal grandparents of lady Jane Grey, the nine days’ queen.

 Edmund, got to be only one. Eye witnesses told the story of how his death made his parents break down from grief.

Katherine only got eight days to make her mark on history, a mark which mostly depend on the fact that she brought her with her. Elizabeth died the day after her infant daugther, on 11 February 1503, on her 37th birthday.

Henry VII never remarried, even though it´s said that he for a while considered Katherine of Aragon for himself.

Sources

The Oxford history of Britain – Kenneth O. Morgan

 Winter King – Henry VII and The Dawn of Tudor England – Thomas Penn

 Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy – Alison Weir

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Battle of Wakefield

Unfortunately time has passed a little to fast for me to be able  write today

wakefield map

But yesterday, December 30, it was 554 years since the battle at Sandal Magna outside Wakefield in West Yorkshire. The battle was of course part of what has come to be known as the Wars of the Roses, and resulted in a devastating defeat for the Yorkist’s

The situation must be said to have been desperate from the very beginning, as the number of Yorkist forces varies between” a few hundred” and 9 000, and most likely the latter number is over-estimated. The Lancaster army consisted of around 18 000 men.

Richard of York

York, Richard Plantagenet, who 7 years earlier, in 1453, had been appointed Protector of England during the mental breakdown of Henry VI, had through his descent from Edward III on both his parents side a claim to the throne in the event Henry should die without an heir

After the battle York reaffirmed his loyalty to the king, but the peace was shaky, and in 1559 hostilities once again broke out, resulting in what was called the battle of Ludford in which York´s army practically fell apart, not least after his commander Andrew Trollope defected. This made York and his supporters the Earl of Salisbury and the latter’s son the Earl of Warwick (later known as Warwick the Kingmaker) abandon their men and fell abroad, York to Ireland and Salisbury, Warwick and York´s son Edward, Earl of March (future Edward IV) fled to Calais where Warwick was Constable.

When they all returned a year later, Richard of York after the rest, they soon took charge of London and the south of England, as well as took Henry as a captive at the Battle of Northampton July 10th. York tried to claim the throne, but this was not well received among the other nobles. Instead he managed to persuade the captive Henry VI to disinherit his own son and make York himself his heir.

With her husband a captive, Henry´s wife Margaret of Anjou was on the run with her 7-year old son, angered not least by the prospect of her son´s future crown ending up on the head of York or one of his sons. It was her forces the Yorkist troops would be meeting at the battle of Wakefield.

.On December 21 York reached Sandal Castle near Wakefield. He sent scouts to SandalCastleWallLancaster´s camp at Pontefract 14 kilometres to the east, but those were sent away. He also sent for assistance from his son Edward (the future Edward IV) who was on the border regions to Wales, but before any additional soldiers could arrive, York left his castle on December 30.

 

There are several theories as to why he made the decision to do so, one of which is that he only saw parts of Lancaster´s army closing up on the castle while the majority of them was hiding. Yet another theory is that a small group Lancastrians made their way to the castle under a false banner, making York think that it was the reinforcements that arrived. A third theory is that both armies had come to an agreement on which day the battle would take place; January 6, but that the Lancaster army broke the agreement.

Regardless of what the explanation was, York´s army didn´t stand a chance. Richard of York died in the battle while his son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, supposedly tried to flee over the Wakefield bridge where he was apprehended and murdered.

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Totally Lancaster´s army allegedly lost 200 men, while the death toll on the Yorkist side is believed to have been around 2 500 men.

The heads of York, Rutland and their ally, the Earl of Salisbury was placed over Micklebar Gate, the west entrance to the city of York, and their bodies buried at Pontefract. 16 years later, when Edward IV had ascended to the throne, York and Rutland were reburied in the family castle of Fotheringhay.

Sources:

The Wars of the Roses – Michael Hicks

From Wakefield to Towton – Philip Haigh

Den unge prins Henrik

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Kanske har du sett den, filmen från 30-talet där Charles Laughton i rollen som Henrik VIII sitter och gnager på vad som möjligen är kycklingben och slänger dem över axeln som någon som bara nästan är rumsren. Detta är tyvärr inte den enda film som framställt Henrik som någon knappt civiliserad, blodtörstig barbar. Men den bilden är falsk.

Inte heller är det sant, vilket tyvärr en del tror, att han avrättade alla sina fruar. Henrik VIII hade ”otur” i det äkta ståndet, så mycket är sant, och det kommer jag att återkomma till. Dock tog han inte livet av alla sina fruar, och när det gäller de två han faktiskt lät avrätta så var det inte det faktum att han tog livet av sin fru som upprörde hans samtid. Det kunde minsta bonde göra utan att behöva riskera något längre straff. Det uppseendeväckande var att det var drottningar, av gud givna sin position och vida överlägsna alla andra människor, som avrättades. Det handlade alltså mer om deras sociala, okränkbara, position än deras kön och relation till Henrik.                                         Så inte heller den bilden är korrekt. Men jag återkommer till det.                                          Jag tänker börja från början.

1000px-Coat_of_Arms_of_the_Tudor_Princes_of_Wales_(1489-1574)_svgHenrik föddes den 28 juni 1491 som tredje barn och andra son till Henrik VII och Elizabeth av York på Greenwich Palace, ursprungligen känt som Palace of Placentia. Henrik hade totalt sex syskon, varav bara tre överlevde småbarnsåren. Henrik var aldrig menad att bli monark, den positionen var reserverad för hans äldre bror Arthur som dock dog 15 år gammal när Henry själv bara var 10 år.

Redan från tidiga år behängdes Henry med en rad titlar, som befälhavare över slottet i Dover, löjtnant över Irland, befälhavare över gränsområdena mellan England och Skottland, samt utnämnd till hertig av York. Henry tillhörde också från tidiga år Strumpebandsorden och The order of the Bath.

Det finns inte så väldigt mycket av Henrys barndom dokumenterat, men troligt är att hans föräldrar hade tänkt sig en karriär inom kyrkan för honom. Han var väl skolad och talade både franska och latin flytande, en del italienska och med tiden med största sannolikhet också en hjälplig spanska med anledning av hans äktenskap med Katarina av Aragonien.

Det var också Henry som mötte Katarina av Aragonien för att följa henne till London henryjoos-smnär hon anlände till England för att vigas till hans äldre bror Arthur. Det sägs att redan som brådmogen nioåring blev han djupt förälskad i sin blivande svägerska, och i förlängningen sin blivande första hustru och första drottning.

När Arthur dog 1502 förändrades Henrys tillvaro i mångt och mycket. Plötsligt skulle den 11-årige pojken, som året innan också förlorat sin mamma, plötsligt skolas till en blivande monark.

 

*Tyvärr finns ingen målning av den riktigt unge prins Henrik

Richard Neville – Warwick the Kingmaker

Signature_of_Richard_Neville,_Earl_of_Warwick

The 16th Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville, was in no uncertain terms involved in the Wars of the Roses. Born on Richard_NevilleNovember 22nd 1428 he came to be one of the most powerful men of his period, and presumably far more wealthy than King Henry VI, in whose life he came to play an important role, something the latter – due to his illness – maybe wasn´t aware of at all times. Richard Neville was knighted in 1445, most likely at the coronation of Margaret of Anjou.

He came to be in the centre of power from the 1450´s and onwards, and was initially loyal to the reigning monarch, Henry VI. Due to a conflict with the Duke of Somerset, he however decided to pay allegiance to the Duke of Your, Richard Plantagenet, cousin to the King, father the three brothers Edward, George and Richard, as well as uncle by marriage to Warwick himself (who was thereby also cousin to the previously mentioned brothers).

When it became obvious that Henry VI wasn´t well, Richard of York was proclaimed protector with Warwick by his side. Henry, however, recovered and resumed power for a while, only to lose it again at the first battle of St Albans where he also was apprehended. This battle was, compared to what was to come, relatively bloodless, but is seen as the first outbursts of violence between the Houses of Lancaster and York, and thereby the start of the Wars of the Roses. The king was captured and the Duke of Somerset practically hacked to death. Under this second protectorate Warwick received the position as governor of Calais.

When the Duke of York died at the battle of Wakefield 1460, as did Warwick’s own father, the Duke of Salisbury, Warwick transferred his loyalty to Edward Plantagenet, the son of York and the man Warwick placed on the throne as Edward IV, the act that initiated his reputation as The Kingmaker.

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The foreign policy of Edward, an maybe most of all, his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville – which resulted in an extensive influence on English politics for her large family, both through marriages and appointments – created a vast rift in the relationship between Warwick and the King The marriage as such was also a disappointment to Warwick as he had negotiated with France to bring about a wedding between Edward and Bona, daughter of the Duke of Savoy and sister in-law to the French King Louis XI. While this didn´t entirely alienate the Earl, it was most definitely the beginning of the end.

In 1466 Warwick was sent to France for negotiations with the French concerning a Coat_of_Arms_of_Sir_Richard_Neville,_16th_Earl_of_Warwick,_KGmarriage proposal for the Kings sister Margaret while the door to Burgundy was also kept open. What might have been the final straw was when it, behind Warwick´s beck was decided that the “choice” had fallen on the Duke of Burgundy. The following year rumours started that Warwick was beginning to show Lancasterian leanings, and when called to answer the charge, he refused to return to the court in London, but sent a letter denying all accusations, something that was accepted by Edward.

But this in combination with the kings refusal to let Warwick´s daughter Isabel marry George of Clarence further fuelled the conflict, and Warwick, his wife and daughters and Clarence soon found themselves in Calais where Clarence and Isabel were wed.

George of ClarenceThey returned to England and joined the Robin of Redesdale Rebellion which had ensued in Yorkshire, orchestrated by Warwick himself while in France, and at the battle of Edgecote the Kings forces was defeated, the King taken under arrest and Elisabeth Woodville´s father, Earl Rivers, and brother executed. It turned out, however, that it was impossible to rule England without the King, and Warwick had no choice but to release Edward and reinstate him as king in 1469.

A kind of deadlock ensued between Warwick and the King, and after yet another plot Warwick and Clarence once again fled the country. Calais was closed to them at this point, and they ended up at the French court, where a most unlikely collaboration unfolded.

With the aid of King Louis XI an agreement was reached between Warwick and Margaret of Anjou, which aimed to regaining the throne for Henry VI as well as ensured the marriage between Margaret of Anjou´s son Edward of Westminster and Warwick´s youngest daughter Anne.

Margaret of Anjou and Warwick staged yet another rebellion in the north, and this

time it was Edward who had to flee abroad. Warwick and Clarence landed at Plymouth and Dartmouth while Margaret and her troops were meant to arrive later. Henry VI was reinstated as King, but due to his mental illness Warwick ruled as in fact King.

Margaret and her son had tarried in France and Warwick waited in vain for their troops, while the Yorkist´s re-grouped. He died in the battle of Barnet on April 14th, 1471 at the age of 42.

 

Sources:

Neville, Richard (1424 – 1471) Dictionary of National Biography

The Wars of the Roses – A.J. Pollard

Warwick the Kingmaker – Michael Hicks

Edward IV

500px-White_Rose_Badge_of_York.svgEdward Plantagenet, den förste engelske kungen av Huset York, var precis som Henry VI barnbarns barnbarn till Edward III och båda tillhörde därmed ätten Plantagenet.  Medan Henry VI, precis som Henry Tudor, härstammade från Edward III via John av Gaunt, så gick Edward IV:s linje via Edmund av York.

Han föddes i Rouen, Frankrike, den 28 april 1442 som ett av sex barn till Richard Plantagenet, hertig av York och kusin till Henry VI, och Cecily Neville. Flera av de medeltida kungarna var, för sin tid, förvånansvärt långa, 408px-Edward4och Edward IV anses vara den längsta som överhuvudtaget levt. Han beräknas ha varit 193 centimeter, och ”slår” därmed Henry VIII med 2.5 centimeter.

Uppbackad av sin kusin Richard Neville, Earl av Warwick besegrade han efter en serie strider Henry VI den 4 mars 1461, då Warwick å hans räkning intog London medan Henry VI och Margaret av Anjou hade slagit läger i norra England.

Warwick hade tänkt sig att det skulle bli han som fick styra England via Edward, och han var angelägen om att Edward gifte sig med en strategiskt betydelsefull europeisk prinsessa. Dessa planer gick om intet när Edward mötte Elisabeth Woodville, änka efter en adelsman trogen huset Lancaster, och med en omfattade familj.

De gifte sig, och Elisabeth såg till att skaffa inflytelserika poster och fördelaktiga äktenskap till samtliga sina 12 syskon. Detta minskade drastiskt Warwicks inflytande vilket naturligtvis inte föll i god jord hos hertigen.

Intressant är att som parentes notera att Elisabeth var dotter till Jacquetta av Luxemburg, den enda medlem av en kungafamilj som varit anklagad för häxeri.

Vidare kom Jacquetta också att bli mormorsmor till Henrik VIII och hans syskon genom 404744_255743_ORI_0Henry Tudors äktenskap med Elizabeth av York, dotter till Edward och Elisabeth Woodville.

Warwick hade naturligtvis inte för avsikt att bara sitta med armarna i kors och se sitt inflytande minska – Edward IV vände sig allt mer till Elisabeths bröder för råd – och bestämde sig för att vidta åtgärder för att återigen vinna inflytande över kungen. Detta skedde genom att han samlade en armé mot kungen, det i samverkan med Edwards allt annat än lojala bror George, hertigen av Clarence. De besegrade kungens armé (Edward själv var inte närvarande) i slaget vid Edgecote Moor, och Edward själv togs till fånga vid Olney. Warwick försökte därefter att regera i Edwards namn, men upptäckte till sin besvikelse att andra lorder inte delade hans missnöje med tingens tillstånd, utan helt enkelt föredrog Edward på tronen. En motrevolt var under uppseglig när Warwick insåg att det kloka var att försätta Edward på fri fot.

Edward var inte intresserad av att straffa vare sig sin bror, Hertigen av Clarence, eller sin kusin Warwick vid denna tidpunkt, vilket kan tyckas vara ett olyckligt beslut, för det tog inte många månader innan de åter igen konspirerade mot Edward. Denna gång besegrades de och tvingades fly till Frankrike, där de kom i kontakt med Margaret av Anjou som lovade dem franskt stöd vid en invasion av England mot att Henrik VI återigen installerades på tronen.

Så skedde också 1470. Henriks regim blev dock kort, och samtida vittnesmål antyder att Henrik själv vid denna tidpunkt var så mentalt sjuk att han inte riktigt var på det klara med vad som skedde omkring honom. Edward blev dock denna gång den som fick fly tillsammans med sin bror Richard, hertigen av Gloucester.

Backad av Charles av Bourgoigne återvände han dock snart med en minrde invasionstyrka, och i slaget vid Barnet 1471 dödades Warwick. Strax därpå följde slaget vid Tewkesbury, där Edwards styrkor gick emot alla tidigare rådande koder i krigsföring, och gick in i katedralen och mördade människor som hade sökt skydd där. Vid Tewkesbury dödades också Henrik VIs och Margaret av Anjou´s son, Edward av Westminster, prinsen av Wales.

Efter detta följde några år av relativt lugn, farm till 1478, då hertigen av Clarence återigen konspirerade mot sin bror. Mer om detta i texten om George själv.

Edward dog 9 april 1483 efter in tids sjukdom, och hade då utsett  Richard, Hertig av Gloucester som tillfällig regent i sin sons, den 12-årige kronprinsen Edward, ställe.

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Mer om det i en egen (kommande) mapp, inte helt oväntat namngiven ”Prinsarna i Towern”.

The Battle of Bosworth

Today must be said to be the absolute startingpoint of the Tudor era. The day wouldBattle_of_Bosworth_by_Philip_James_de_Loutherbourg start with Richard III on the throne, and by the time it was over, the king of England was Henry Tudor. It is today of course the anniverasary of the Battle of Bosworth, which can also be said to have been the last great battle of the Wars of the Roses.

The outcome of the battle is almost incomprehensible as when the present and the future king met close to Ambion Hill in Leicestreshire, Richard III was backed by approximately 10 000 and Henry Tudor around half of that.

King_Henry_VIIHenry Tudor had left his 14 year long perido as an exile by way of Harfleur and without any mishaps crossed the channel and arrived in England on the 1st of August and landed in Wales on the 7th. Being of Welsh descent Henry had expected more of a support, but he had been away for a long time and had also been not much more than a child when he left, and as a result his arrival was met to a large extent with indifference and silence.

Only a small number of his fellow Welshmen decided to join him on his march further into the country, the most prominent member of the following being Rhys ap Thomas who must be said to have been a leading person in the west of Wales. He had, as a reward for refusing to participate in a rebellion against Richard III, received the position as lieutenant over west Wales by the king, but was successfully courted by Henry Tudor and decided to join the slowly growing army.

The goal for Henry´s march was clearly London, but he didn´t immediately set course for the capital, but after crossing the border between Wales and England on the 15th or 16th of August, he rested at Shrewsbury and later continued eats to meet Gilbert Talbot – a knight who would later be a Knight of the Garter in 1495 and Lord Deputy of Calais in 1509 – as well as English allies and deserters from Richard´s army.

Richard had anticipated the arrival of Henry since mid-July, but when news of the King_Richard_IIIlanding reached him on August 11th , it still took him a couple of days before his loeds found out that the king was mobilising his forces and also was in need of them and their armies. The result was that the York army didn’t gather until August 16th, making Leicester their base.

Richard arrived on the 20th of August and joined Norfolk while Northumberland arrived the day after. After this the royal army moved west with the intention of cutting of Henry´s march on London. Richard III mad his camp on Ambion Hill* which he assumed would be of tactical value.

There were problems in the ranks of Richard´s army. One of his men, Thomas, Lord Stanley, was married to Henry Tudor´s mother Margaret Beaufort. Even though he had declined to participate in Buckingham´s rebellion, his wife´s envolvement had meant that he was under the eye of Richard who also eld his son Lord Strange as a hostage to assure himself of Lord Stanley´s loyalty. Loyalty would have been a tricky thing for Lord Stanley during these days; on one side the king to whom he had sworn obedience, on the other side not only his wife and her son, but also his own son. Stanley and his younger brother William brought 6 000 men to the battlefield in addition to Richard´s 10 000.

As the battle drew closer and the Stanley army was positioned on Dadlington Hill. Richard is said to have sent a message to Stanley to let him know that if he didn´t join Richard´s forces, his son would be beheaded. Stanley allegedly replied that he had other sons. Richard is said to have demanded an immediate execution but was advised to wait until after the battle, which was a stroke of luck for Lord Strange. When Henry Tudor in his turn sent for Lord Stanley, the answer he received was wavering, and when the two armies clashed, the Stanley´s remained in their positions and observed which way the battle was going. When it became obvious that Richard against all odds was losing, the Stanley´s finally joined the battle on the side of Henry Tudor. The Lord_Stanley_Brings_the_Crown_of_Richard_(wide)historians are all in agreement that Richard fought to the very last, and contrary to popular opinion, he didn´t shout “My kingdom for a horse”** (indicating that he was about to flee), but instead shouted “Traitor, traitor, traitor”.

Some people believe that it was the earlier mentioned Welshman Rhys ap Thomas who finally killed Richard III, but there really is no way to know this. Another popular legend is that Stanley found Richard´s crown in a thornbush where it had landed as the former king went down, and handed it to Henry Tudor as the new king who then became Henry VII.

Smaller battles and skirmishes would flame up for a little while longer, but in all, this battle put an end to the Wars of the Roses.

After his death Richard was brought to Leicester where he was put on display for two days to really bring it home to his supporters that he was dead. He was later buried in Greyfriar´s.

As the dissolution swept through the country, Greyfriar´s was destroyed in the 1530´s, and the grave of the last Plantagenet king seemingly lost to the word. In September 2012 the skeleton of a man with an obviously crooked spine was found under the tarmac during a dig in a parking lot where Greyfriar´s was believed to have been located. After many tests, including comparing DNA with now living descendants of Richard´s sister and, such as Michael Ibsen from Canada, it was in early 2013 established that the found remains did indeed belong to Richard III.

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Update after original posting: Richard was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral on March 28th 2015, and event which drew visitors from all over the World.

Coffin

*It is diffucult to, with 100 percents certainty establish wher the exact location for the battle would have been, as it didn´t leave any direct physical traces. In October 2009 the result of geological examinations in combination with archealogical excavations from 2003, suggested that the location of the battle may have been about 3 kilometres southwest of Ambion Hill.

**The quote about the horse is from the Shakespeare play Richard III, a work of art some people consider to be ”Tudor propaganda”, even if it´s never been quite established why Shakespeare would feel the need to create propaganda against Richard III after more than 100 years of Tudor rule.

Sources:

Bosworth – Chris Skidmore

Bosworth 1485; Last Charge of the Plantagenets – Christopher Gravett

Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses – Alfred Rowse

Images:

Wikipedia except coffin of Richard III: courtesy of Leicester Cathedral

Henry Tudor/Henry VII

Henry Tudor föddes i Pembroke Castle den 28 januari 1457, som ende son till Edmund Tudor och Margaret Beaufort.

Hans krav på tronen kom via Margaret via hennes status som barnbarnsbarn till John of Gaunt, men ansågs som svagt då det dels kom via en kvinna och dels på grund av osäkerheten kring legitimiteten i relationen mellan John of Gaunt och Kathrine Swynford.

Deras barn förklarades och legitima vid två tillfällen, först 1397 av Richard II och sedan återigen 1407 av Gaunts son Henry IV, med det tillägget att de, eller deras ättlingar, aldrig skulle kunna ställa några krav på att inta den engelska tronen.

Detta till trots var Henry Tudor 1483, som resultat av mordet på Henry VI samt hans son Edward of Westminsters död i slaget vid Tewkesbury, den ende överlevande av Huset Lancaster som hade krav på den engelska tronen.

Under Rosornas Krig* växlade tronen ett par gånger fram och tillbaka mellan Henry VI av Huset Lancaster och Edward IV av Huset York.

*Rosornas Krig, med presentation av nyckelpersonerna kommer också att komma på bloggen

När Edward återtog tronen 1471 flydde Henry Tudor till Brittany där han blev kvar i 14 år.

Ibland har sagts att de ekonomiska svårigheter han levde under de åren var en bidragande orsak till hans starka ekonomiska sinne under hans regeringsår.

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Huset Tudors början

Edmund TudorEdmund Tudor, även Edmund of Hadham och Edmwnd Tudur (den walsiska varianten av hans namn) föddes 1430 som son till Owen Tudor och Cathrine av Valois, änka efter Henrik V och tillika mor till Henrik VI, något som gjorde honom till Edmunds och hans bror Jaspers halvbror.

Det är omtvistat huruvida Owen Tudor och Cathrine av Valois var gifta och Edmund därmed legitim, en fundering som inte mist styrks av det faktum att han förklarades legitim av sin regerande halvbrors parlament 1453.

1436, när Edmund bara var sex år gammal, drog sig Cathrine av Valois tillbaka till Bermondsey Abbey där hon dog bara ett år senare, och Edmund och hans bror Jasper kom att uppfostras av Cathrine de la Pole, abbedissa av Barking där de kom att bli kvar till 1442. Därefter var de myndligar till olika präster, ett sätt på vilket de också fick sin utbildning. Därefter upptogs Edmund Tudor vid sin halvbror Henrik VI:s hov.

1449 adlades Edmund Tudor och introducerades till parlamentet som Earlen av Richmond 1452. Året efter blev han utsedd till förmyndare för den då 10 år gamla Margaret Beaufort, syssling till Henrik VI. Två år senare gifte sig Edmund Tudor med den 12 år gamla Margaret på Bletsoe Castle.

I november 1456 dog Edmund Tudor i fångenskap på Carmathen Castle i södra Wales som en krigsfånge i det pågående Rosornas Krig mellan huset Lancaster, vilket Edmund Tudor tillhörde, och  huset York.

Margaret Beaufort föddes 1443 som dotter till Hertigen av Somerset, John Beaufort och Margaret Beauchamp av Bletsoe. Hennes far var barnbarnsbarn till Edvard III genom hans tredje överlevande son, John of Gaunt, eller Johan av Gent, som han kommit att kallas på svenska. Det var genom denna blodslinje som hennes enda barn, sonen HenrikMargaret_Beaufort,_by_follower_of_Maynard_Waynwyk; Tudor senare skulle kunna komma att hävda en rätt till den engelska tronen.

Margaret Beaufort var bara ett år gammal när hennes far dog, sjuk och i onåd hos kung Henrik VI, som gav henne som myndling till Hertigen av Suffolk, William de la Pole. Medan hon var under 10 år, årtalen varierar, giftes hon bort med hertigens son, John de la Pole, ett äktenskap som kom att annulleras och som hon själv aldrig erkände, istället hävdade hon, bland annat i sitt testamente från 1490-talet att hennes äktenskap med Edmund Tudor var hennes första. När Edmund Tudor dog, 25 år gammal, var den 13-åriga Margaret Beaufort gravid i sjunde månaden med vem som kom att bli hennes enda barn, och den förste Tudor-kungen, Henrik (senare VII). Därmed får hon ses som upphovet till vad som jag väljer att kalla den mest spännande ätten den engelska konungaföljden har sett, Huset Tudor, och jag kommer att återkomma till henne i senare inlägg.

En ung kvinna kunde inte förbli ogift på 1400-talet och tre år efter Edmund Tudors död giftes hon återigen bort, denna gång med Henry Stafford, son till Humphrey Stafford, Hertigen av Buckingham. Henry Stafford gick bort 1471 och Margaret gifte sig en fjärde och sista gång 1772, denna gång med Thomas Stanley, Earl av Derby.

Margaret Beaufort dog den 29 juni 1509, bara dagar efter att hennes barnbarn Henrik VIII blivit regent.