Margaret Beaufort has had links with the county of Lincolnshire since at least the middle of the 15th century, for instance she is known to have held the Manor of Bourne from about 1445. Following fall of the House of York, she was granted other Lincolnshire estates such as the manor of Tattershall, which, along with its castle, had been forfeited to the crown in 1471. She also received the manor of Stamford following the death of Cecily Neville in 1495. She must have had some affection for the fenlands because she spent much of her time, when she was married to her third husband, at their castle in the aforementioned manor of Bourne.
She is also known to have spent some time in the market town of Boston, her account books show an entry of a payment to a child who played a song for her during a visit - maybe she was entertained in the household of Fredrick and Margaret Tilney in their Skirbeck home. She may well have even attended a service at the recently built St Botolph's Church and been shown the newly carved choir stalls and misericords. The Tilney's were an important family in Boston at the time of Margaret's visit, later their great granddaughter would become Henry VIII's fifth wife.
Despite what many think of Henry VII's mother, she was a generous benefactor to churches and abbeys and often kind to those less fortunate that herself and this is why her emblems of the portcullis can be found dotted around the town.
She can also be seen immortalised, albeit quite recently, in a stained glass window in the at St Botolph's.
On this day in 1457 Henry of Richmond, later Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle the son of Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor.
In 1455, at the age of just twelve years old Henry's mother, a wealthy heiress had married Edmund Tudor, the son of a commoner who had climbed into the bed of a queen of England. Margaret was soon pregnant. Henry was born into a country that was divided by conflict and civil war. Margaret Beaufort was just a child herself and Henry's birth did irreparable damage, this could account for the fact that she never gave birth again, however she turned out to be an influential and dominant figure throughout Henry's life. Margaret was also aware of her son's vulnerability and because of this sent him into the care of his uncle, Jasper Tudor. Following the Battle of Tewkesbury in the May of 1471 Jasper and Henry fled to Brittany and then finally into France. Henry spent, in total, fourteen years of his life in exile.
His return to England in 1485 has been much written about, and most of you will know that he was aided at the Battle of Bosworth by Thomas Stanley his mother's husband, and his brother William. Henry of Richmond became king of England on the 22nd August in 1485.
I, of course, am a Ricardian and see Henry as a usurper, whose claim to the throne is a tenuous one to say the least, however, Richard and Henry's stories are real and to understand Henry, Richard and the Wars of the Roses it is always best to read widely with the aim to gain an understanding of both sides of story, therefore I add this paragraph taken from the Henry Tudor Society about Henry.
"He is a king often accused of being parsimonious, miserly, ruthless, severe and avaricious to the extreme, cold to his wife and cruel to friend and foe alike. The study of Henry’s life, from his beginnings through to the exile, and from his early reign to the tragic end, put forward a different man. It is this man, the real Henry, not the mythical Henry, that we aim to bring to the fore. A man who had an astounding tenacity to survive, to cling to his throne and to pass his crown to his son in a peaceful manner, something which eluded several monarchs before him."
Here a link to the Henry Tudor Society -
The names of Richard, Earl of Warwick and George, Duke of Clarence's were never officially mentioned as being part of the 1469/70 uprisings against Edward IV but it is plain to see that Warwick was the puppeteer. Letters, incriminating Warwick, were found in a chest that belonged to the man who lead the uprising in Lincolnshire in the March of 1470.
Robert Welles letter goes some way back up this fact as does his confession, Wells writes:
"I have welle understand my many meagges, as welle from my Lord of Warwicke, and they entended to make grete risinges, as forthorthy as ever I couth understand , to th’entent to make the duc of Clarence king…..Also, I say that had beene the said duc and erls provokings that we at this tyme would no durst have made eny commocion or sturing, but upon there comforts we did what we did”......Also, I say that I and my dadier had often times letters of credence from my said lordes.”
It is not hard to imagine what the state of the country was in during these years, anarchy would possibly be a good word to describe it. Following the aforementioned Lincolnshire revolt - the Battle of Empingham or Losecoate Field as it is commonly known, Warwick and Clarence fled the country. They were refused entry into Calais but eventually arrived in the court of Louis XI of France. While under the protection of the French king Warwick set about organising the restoration of Henry VI to the throne of England and the marriage his daughter Anne to Henry's son Edward. An invasion force was soon bound for England's shores and they landed in the West Country between the 9th and 13th of September 1470. Warwick found that his brother John, the Marquess of Montage, had abandoned the Yorkist cause and he also soon learned that the king had left England.
While most were troubled by the events of 1469 and 1470 the triumphant Richard Neville was in his element as he later placed the crown of England, once again, on the head of Henry VI. Released from the Tower of London, the poor man’s physical health was weak and his mental health clearly unstable. As these two men stood together it was obvious to everybody who was in charge. Real power was now in the gauntleted hand of Richard, Earl of Warwick, the King’s Lieutenant of the Realm.
It was in the July of 1484 that William Collingbourne, a Wiltshire landowner penned the infamous rhyme 'The Catte, the Ratte and Lovell our dogge rulyth all Englande under a hogge' with the aim of insulting the newly crowned Richard III.
Collingbourne had held a number of positions in local government in his home county of Wiltshire during the reign of Edward IV and had been in the pay of Cecily Neville but had been replaced. Although the reasons for writing the poem are unclear, its probable that its roots lay in resentment and plain old jealously!
However, by making his feelings very clear in his poem he did achieve the result he hoped for, I wonder though, did he think that he'd get away with offending a king? He didn't. Collingbourne was arrested, tried and sentenced within four months. He was executed at Tower Hill by hanging, drawing and quartering by the end of the year.
William Collingbourne didn't go to the scaffold because of his poetry alone, it was the choices he made in the summer of 1483 and his support of Henry Tudor's invasion and corresponding with him when he was in exile.
On this day in 1426, the birth of Anne Beauchamp, daughter of Richard Beauchamp and Isabel Despenser.
Following the death of her father in 1439, her brother Henry in 1446 and her niece in 1448, Anne became a very wealthy heiress.
In 1434, Anne was betrothed to Richard Neville, later the Earl of Warwick, their marriage would bring together the lands of his father, along with a major proportion of the Montague inheritance via his mother. The death of Richard at Barnet in 1471, Anne's parents estates, the Beauchamp and Despenser along with their fathers estates fell to their two daughters, Isabel and Anne, the wives of George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester respectively.
For many being an heiress was not a passport to happiness, Anne was ignored in her lifetime, she watched as her daughters fought over their inheritance each making their claim in respect of their husbands. Even in old age Anne was forced to give up much of her fortune for a few scraps Henry VII threw her way.
Anne died in 1492, who for what ever reason, didn't make herself heard in life, and in death she was destined to be a woman history has all but forgotten.
Anne can be seen here, the second figure on the left.
William was born in the February of 1337 at Hatfield in Yorkshire, he was the second son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, however the boy would only live for five months, he died on the 8th July and his body would be laid to rest in York Minster.
A golden statue or weeper of William can be seen on the tomb of his father Edward III in Westminster Abbey.
William's older brother Edward the Black Prince had predeceased his father, the death of both these men would leave the country in the hands of various family members notably Richard II - child monarch, John of Gaunt - an ambitious and lustful protector and Henry of Bolingbroke - a murderous would-be monarch.
The seeds of the Wars of the Roses were set!
On the 30th December in 1460 after the Battle of Wakefield, Edmund Earl of Rutland, son of Richard Duke of York was executed in an act of revenge.
The most common story told is that Edmund was captured, whilst escaping the battlefield, on a bridge in the town where the Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin stood, but the quality of his armour was noticed by Lancastrian John Clifford who asked him his name. At that point, it seems, Clifford was unaware who Rutland was and was possibly thinking along the lines of a ransom, but a priest going by the name of Aspell shouted: "spare him for he is the Prince's son." And thus Rutland's fate was sealed.
It was then that John Clifford saw an opportunity to avenge his father's death, his father Thomas Clifford died in the first battle of St Albans in 1455. For Clifford, the "sight of any of the House of York was fury to torment his soul."
It is John Leland, the 16th century antiquary, who first mentions that it was Clifford who murdered the seventeen-year-old Edmund, William of Worcester in his Annales Rerum Anglicarum writes "and in the flight after the battle, Lord Clifford killed Edmund Earl of Rutland, son of the Duke of York, on the bridge at Wakefield." but its Shakespeare who puts the following words into Clifford's mouth.
"Thy father slew mine; and so will I do thee and all thy kin."
The violence and family feuds did not end with the death of Edmund.
Interesting, the word feud in English and in Latin means the threat to take revenge and these acts of vengeance were often the result of a long standing feud, and you will get no bigger than the ill feeling between York and Lancaster.
Vengeance, in what ever time period, is one of the worst of human traits, but it is an intriguing one none the less.
There is a little more on the act of revenge in my blog which can be accessed here:
November 1499, saw the death of the grandson of the Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville. Edward Plantagenet, was the son of George, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV and Richard III who death is recorded as the 28th of this month.
Edwards life was abysmal, his mother died when he was just a year old and he was only three when his father was executed, his wardship was granted in 1480 to Thomas Grey, the son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband. It has been said that Edward suffered from some sort of mental illness, but I imagine it was more to do with anxiety and lack of care and/or the fact that he received little or no education. By the time he was twenty-four he had spent sixteen years in confinement, away from court, away from influences and activities of Yorkist sympathisers and he would have known little of what was going on in Henry's new kingdom. Bearing this in mind and the fact that he was heavily guarded it is hard to believe that he was in cahoots with Perkin Warbeck and knew of the plans to overthrow Henry VII, it is more than likely that Henry VII used this opportunity to rid himself of a man with better claim to the throne than his.
At some point Richard III may have considered Edward Plantagenet his heir and had him placed at Sheriff Hutton in North Yorkshire for his own protection, but it may be that he considered him a threat to his throne, but on Richards death in 1485 the new Lancastrian regime quickly had him removed and placed under heavy guard at the Tower of London. Despite being ten years old, Henry also considered him a threat and needed him watched to prevent Yorkists organising his escape and using him as a reason to rebel. Henry used Edward two years later when he paraded him in London after Lambert Simnel's challenge to his throne. In 1499 Warbeck entered the scene and it was he whose actions were the beginning of the end for Edward. It was alleged that Edward had plotted with and was involved in Warbeck's attempt to overthrow the king. Warbeck confessed to the plot, under torture, but I cannot say if Edward did. Either way, Edward went to his death Tower Hill a week after Warbeck execution.
On the 22nd November in 1392 Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, a favourite of Richard II, died near Louvain in Belgium. He had received the Earldom of Oxford when he was nine years old, was knighted along with the king, Richard's uncle Thomas of Woodstock and Henry of Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV.
Robert de Vere benefited greatly from his friendship with the king, he was given his own rooms in Richard's castles, granted estates, gifts and other nobles' inheritances. He was also given the title Marquess of Dublin, yet he never set foot in Ireland. However, he is mostly remembered for his opposition to the Lords Appellant, a group of nobles who sort to bring the king to task over his reliance on his favourites, at Radcote Bridge.
Robert de Veres forces were soon surrounded and after a short clash of weapons, de Vere was quick to realise the danger of his position and abandoned his men, leaving many of them to the mercy of their enemy and made his cowardly escape by crossing the river, supposedly in disguise, and headed to the Netherlands. A year later, in what has come to be known as the Merciless Parliament he was found guilty of treason and a death sentence was passed in his absence.
Robert de Vere spent the rest of his life in exile, thus avoiding the executioner's blade. His death left Richard II bereft. Three years later, on the anniversary of his death, the king had de Vere's embalmed body brought back to England for burial in the Priory at Earl's Colne, in Essex.
Killed on the 23rd September in 1459 at the Battle of Blore Heath, James Tuchet, Baron Audley who was hacked to death at the hand of Roger Kynaston, who, it has been said, sought out Audley on the battlefield.
The place where Audley met his end is marked by a stone cross.
In the 13th century, the Audley family appear in my maternal family history with another James Audley.
James Audley had as his mistress my ancestor Alice Mohun, by whom he had a son, he also he had five sons and a daughter with his wife before falling from a horse and breaking his neck.
Audley's four son's followed him to the grave in quick succession and by 1299 his estates and that of his maternal great grandmother Ela Longspree, Countess of Salisbury, passed to Nicholas, the ancestor of John Tuchet of Blore Heath fame. Part of the Audley estate passed to his youngest son Hugh Audley, who was born in 1267. The Audley bloodline continued through Hugh's son and heir, also Hugh, through to the Stafford family who would later become the Dukes of Buckingham - Henry Stafford the treacherous leader of the rebellion against Richard III. Also, the Audley bloodline runs through his daughter Alice who married Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville of Raby and this makes Hugh the 4x great grandfather of Richard Neville, famously known as the Kingmaker, the 3x great grandfather of Cecily Neville and the 4th great grandfather of Richard III, Edward IV and George, Duke of Clarence.
What a tangled web we (well the Audley's at least) weave!
In the first image, you can see a painting called Audley's Charge by Robert Sim and in the second what is traditionally thought to be the effigy of Hugh Audley (1267) although it now appears that the clothing worn by Audley and his wife is from a later date.
My Family Stories
- Bustaine of Braunton: Introduction
- Hunt of Barnstaple Introduction >
- Lakeman of Mevagissey >
- Meavy Introduction >
- Mitchell of Crantock: An Introduction >
- Mohun of Dunster: Introduction >
- Purches of Hampshire and Cornwall >
- Scoboryo of St Columb Major >
Thomas Vaughan: An Introduction
- Smith of Barkby Introduction >
- Taylor Introduction >
- Tosny of Normandy >
- Toon of Leicestershire: Introduction >
- Underwood of Coleorton Introduction
- Other Families
- History Blog
- Wars of the Roses Blog
- The Ancestors
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- Hendley of Coursehorne Kent
- Pigott Family of Whaddon Buckinghamshire