writes the Duke of Milan's ambassador to France on Edward IV's prospects of retaking England.
"It is a difficult matter to go out by the door and then try to enter by the windows. They think he will leave his skin there."
writes the Duke of Milan's ambassador to France on Edward IV's prospects of retaking England.
It was in the second week of March 1471 Richard Neville had received news that ships flying the Yorkist banner had been spotted off the coast of Norfolk, and on this day the 14th of March, Edward, William Hastings and Richard, Duke of Gloucester had arrived at Ravenspur on the east coast of England, the very port Henry IV had landed seventy years before to claim the English throne
Sadly, last evening Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council passed the application for planning permission to build a test track on Bosworth Field. I'm disappointed and angry. Those opposed were allowed one representative and three minutes to state their case. So much for democracy!
I'm saddened by this not only by the lack of regard for our countries heritage/history but the dangers, if it ever comes to fruition, of driverless cars on our roads.
This build is a blot on the landscape for more than one reason.
The next step, according to Matthew Lewis, author of the latest book on Richard III, would be to take it to a national level and ask the government to review the decision, a process he said that "allows the minister to take the decision out of the hands of the local council"
The town of Berwick stands on the banks of the River Tweed in Northumberland. Historically, its position proved useful as it is situated on the border between England and Scotland, and because of this, it has seen its share of both war and peace. Because of its situation, its governance has been the responsibility of both countries on numerous occasions.
In 1357 a treaty was signed here, the first of five Treaties of Berwick, this particular treaty, between King Edward III of England and David II of Scotland, brought to an end Scotland's second attempt at independence.
In 1461 during the Wars of the Roses, when Henry VI's wife Margaret of Anjou had fled to Scotland she negotiated a deal with the recently widowed Mary of Guelders over the town in return for help with her Lancastrian cause. When all the papers are signed Berwick upon Tweed became part of Scotland, and it was not until the August of 1482 that Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III retook the town and returned it to England.
A second treaty, signed in 1526, was issued in order to keep the peace between warring factions on the English/Scottish border.
A third, signed on this day in 1560 saw the completion of yet another Treaty of Berwick. This treaty was Elizabeth I's efforts to give some protection to those who practiced Protestantism in Scotland. The document was signed for and on behalf of the queen by Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk. The agreement was in respect of an alliance with Scottish nobles who were opposed to the regency of Mary of Guise, the widow of James V of Scotland, who had retained a French army for her protection. The treaty allowed English forces to enter Scotland and expel these French troops and it would be the first time in history that the English and Scottish fought together against a common foe rather than against each another.
There would be two more signing of treaties at Berwick, one in 1586 following an agreement between Elizabeth I and Mary of Guise's grandson King James VI and another in 1639 that ended the First Bishops War.
To the surprise of many, and disregarding the acknowledged rules of diplomacy King Edward IV had, in the May of 1464, made his own choice of a bride. The king's new wife was one Elizabeth Grey, the daughter of Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, a family of lowly stock from the County of Northampton.
There was, of course, a little more to the Woodvilles than the fact they were 'social climbers.' Richard Woodville had been in command of an army during the French wars. He had met Jacquetta, the young widow of the Duke of Bedford when he had accompanied her on the voyage home to England from Rouen. In 1433 Woodville married Jacquetta in secret. Their eldest child, the aforementioned Elizabeth, was born four years later.
Jacquetta was a member of Margaret of Anjou's court and Richard Woodville, as a loyal servant to Henry VI was eventually rewarded with a barony in 1448.
Edward, as we all know, fell instantly in lust when he came across Elizabeth. Richard Woodville's daughter was a strong-willed widow with two young sons and eight siblings to boot and Edward, as previously mentioned would undertake this marriage without the knowledge of one man who was so instrumental in bringing him to the throne - Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. This event was a turning point for Richard Neville and the first the nail in the coffin of Richard Woodville.
Richard Neville was angered by the fact that the Woodville men were placed in important administrative roles. Other events such as the king’s refusal to sanction the marriage of his daughter to George, Duke of Clarence and the influence of the Herbert family the Earls of Pembroke in the royal court just rubbed salt into his wounds. Richard Neville was about to jump from the Yorkist ship into Lancastrian waters.
Warwick’s rebellion would see off William Herbert and his brother Richard at Northampton on the 26th July in 1469 and on this day, just seventeen days later Richard Woodville and his son John would be beheaded as traitors.
To Richard Neville, revenge may have been sweet - but in the words of Martin Luther King Jr
"The old law of 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind."
Richard Neville, his brother Lord Fauconberg and Edward IV, plus the main force of the Yorkist army were making their way to do battle at Northampton, leaving a smaller force to continue the siege of the Tower of London.
Thomas, Lord Scales and Robert, Lord Hungerford had been bombarding the city, where it has been said, many of London’s residents were killed. Among others trapped in the Tower were Henry’s Treasurer Thomas Browne, the son of a wealthy city merchant who had made an advantageous marriage to the great great granddaughter of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Browne was also a wealthy landowner and a man of note in Kent.
A seventeen-day siege ensued ending with the death of Lord Scales, and the execution on charges of treason of Thomas Browne.
After the Battle of Northampton, Henry VI once again found himself a prisoner and on his way to London, this was followed by the Duke of York’s return to England. Arriving in England on the 9th September he headed for London to make his play for the crown.
Thomas Browne was my 16th Great Grandfather, you can read about his family here:
"I present unto you Queen Elizabeth, your undoubted Queen"
On this day the 26th of May 1465 occurred the Coronation of Elizabeth Woodville.
In the image above is an account of the coronation of Elizabeth Woodville as Queen of Edward IV and the following text is taken from David Baldwin's book Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower.
"Elizabeth was conducted with more celebrations to the Tower, where English queens traditionally spent their penultimate night before the coronations. Next morning, Elizabeth, escorted by the newly created knights of Bath was escorted in an open horse litter through the streets to Westminster. She was led into Westminster Hall the following morning by Bishops of Durham and Salisbury, “clothed in mantel of purple and a coronal upon her head” beneath a purple silk canopy carried by four barons of the Cinque Ports. She carried the scepter of St.Edward in her right hand and the scepter of the realm in her right. The dowager duchess of Buckingham bore Elizabeth’s train, following the queen were her mother and two of Edward’s sisters, Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk and lady Margaret. Cowering the path from Hall to Abbey was a carpet of ray cloth, upon which the queen walked barefoot, their way being cleared by George, duke of Clarence, Lord High Steward. Having passed into the monastery and through it’s north door, Elizabeth knelt at the high altar, then prostrated herself while the archbishop prayed. Rising, she was anointed and crowned, then led to the throne. After the royal procession left the abbey, the queen was led to her chamber, where she was dressed in purple surcoat and brought into the Hall to dine. Each time the queen took a bite, she herself removed her crown, putting it back when she was finished. To cap off the ceremonies, on 27 May, a tournament was held at Westminster. Lord Stanley won and was awarded a ruby ring from queen’s hands."
Elizabeth is seen here wearing her coronation robes as a member of the London Skinners' Company's Fraternity of Our Lady's Assumption which is dated to around 1472.
On this day in 1455, following their exclusion from court, Richard Duke of York, along with Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, assembled their forces in the north and marched south to confront the Lancastrian King Henry VI at St Albans.
The roller coaster ride continued and the tension mounted but eventually it all came to blows at St Albans, considered by some, to be the first battle of the civil war. In a battle that lasted just one hour, a number of notable Lancastrian nobles including, Henry Percy, Thomas Clifford, and Thomas Vaughan’s patron, Edmund Beaufort were killed. After the battle Henry VI was captured, York assured Henry of his loyalty and along with Warwick accompanied the king to London. Just under two months later, at the beginning of July the king opened Parliament and following that Henry, along with Margaret and their son were moved to Hertford Castle. That November saw the Duke of York appointed as Protector for a second time, and just like the first protectorate it was short, it ended in the last week of February 1456, but York remained an important member of the Royal Council. Three very trouble years ensued and the end of which the Duke of York, with Richard Neville as his enforcer, would make his play for the crown of England.
The above is taken from my website, you can read about this battle in context here:
Elizabeth of York, later Duchess of Suffolk was born on the 22nd April in 1444 at Rouen Normandy. She was the second daughter of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville and the sister of both Richard III and Edward IV.
Elizabeth was born in France at the time when Henry VI was playing yo-yo with her father's career - the time between Henry appointing the Duke of York as Lieutenant of France and the death of John Beaufort the Duke of Somerset in the May of 1444.
Elizabeth marriage to John de la Pole was thought to have been arranged by de la Poles mother Alice, it took place three years after the first Battle of St Albans at a time that is often considered the beginning of the Wars of the Roses.
At the time of John de la Pole becoming Duke of Suffolk his family was one of the least wealthy titled families in the country -, although if his marriage to Margaret Beaufort (John Beaufort's daughter) had not been annulled John's life may have been a different one altogether. The fifteen-hundred pounds that Elizabeth brought to the marriage was not a patch on what Margaret would have brought, made little difference to his finances.
Although this marriage allied de la Pole to the Yorkist party he is noted as having not shown any true support for either side. However, in 1461 he had made his decision, fighting for the Yorkist at the second Battle of St Albans and at Towton.
Elizabeth assumed the title of Duchess of Suffolk in the May of 1450 when John became Duke of Suffolk following the murder of his father William de la Pole. Elizabeth gave birth to eleven children, she would outlive eight of them. The three son who did survive their mother were Edmund, William and Richard, all would suffer due to the Yorkist blood that ran through their veins.
Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk died in 1503/4 and is buried at Wingfield Church in Suffolk, alongside her husband.
On the 10th of March 1513 occurred the death of John de Vere, the 13th Earl of Oxford.
Oxford was at Barnet with Richard Neville in 1471, he escaped to France, but was back in the country by 1473 seizing St Micheal's Mount in Cornwall. Following his surrender of the island, he fled once again to France but returned 'with a vengeance' as the saying goes after joining Henry Tudor's cause.
He was an important player in Henry's taking of the throne at Bosworth in 1485 and the defense of it a year later, he was at the head of the forces against the Cornish Rebellion at Blackheath in 1497.
Under Henry's reign Oxford was involved in the Warbeck and Tyrell affairs, and with country stable, he died in his seventies at Hedingham Castle, one of the few men to die of ill health and not on the Wars of the Roses battlefields.
Andrew Trollope, was not only a turncoat but a boastful show off to boot, he said before being knighted by Edward of Lancaster after the Second Battle of St Albans:
" My lord, I have not deserved it, for I slew but fifteen men. I stood still in one place and they came to me,
but they bode still with me"
The reason Trollope was standing still was because he had injured his foot by stepping back on a caltrop, a weapon a bit like the barb on barbed wire, during the battle.
Talk about blowing your own trumpet?