House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War; when Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.
The second house of Lancaster was descended from John of Gaunt, who married the heiress of the first house. Edward III married all his sons to wealthy English heiresses rather than following his predecessors' practice of finding continental political marriages for royal princes. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, had no male heir so Edward married his son John to Henry's heiress daughter and John's third cousin Blanche of Lancaster; this gave John the vast wealth of the House of Lancaster. Their son Henry usurped the throne in 1399. There was an intermittent dynastic struggle between the descendants of Edward III. In these wars, the term Lancastrian became a reference to members of the family and their supporters; the family provided England with three kings: Henry IV, who ruled from 1399 to 1413, Henry V, Henry VI. The House became extinct in the male line upon the murder in the Tower of London of Henry VI, following the battlefield execution of his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, by supporters of the House of York in 1471.
Lancastrian cognatic descent—from John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster's daughter Phillipa—continued in the royal houses of Spain and Portugal while the Lancastrian political cause was maintained by Henry Tudor—a unknown scion of the Beauforts—eventually leading to the establishment of the House of Tudor. The Lancastrians left a legacy through the patronage of the arts—most notably in founding Eton College and King's College, Cambridge—but to historians' chagrin their propaganda, that of their Tudor successors, means that it is Shakespeare's fictionalized history plays rather than medievalist scholarly research that has the greater influence on modern perceptions of the dynasty. After the supporters of Henry III of England suppressed opposition from the English nobility in the Second Barons' War, Henry granted to his second son Edmund Crouchback the titles and possessions forfeited by attainder of the barons' leader, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, including the Earldom of Leicester, on 26 October 1265.
Grants included the first Earldom of Lancaster on 30 June 1267 and that of Earl Ferrers in 1301. Edmund was Count of Champagne and Brie from 1276 by right of his wife. Henry IV of England would use his descent from Edmund to legitimise his claim to the throne making the spurious claim that Edmund was the elder son of Henry but had been passed over as king because of his deformity. Edmund's second marriage to Blanche of Artois, the widow of the King of Navarre, placed him at the centre of the European aristocracy. Blanche's daughter Joan I of Navarre was queen regnant of Navarre and through her marriage to Philip IV of France was queen consort of France. Edmund's son Thomas became the most powerful nobleman in England, gaining the Earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury through marriage to the heiress of Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, his income was £11,000 per annum—double that of the next wealthiest earl. Thomas and his younger brother Henry served in the coronation of their cousin King Edward II of England on 25 February 1308.
After supporting Edward, Thomas became one of the Lords Ordainers, who demanded the banishment of Piers Gaveston and the governance of the realm by a baronial council. After Gaveston was captured, Thomas took the lead in his trial and execution at Warwick in 1312. Edward's authority was weakened by poor governance and defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn; this allowed Thomas to restrain Edward's power by republishing the Ordinances of 1311. Following this achievement Thomas took little part in the governance of the realm and instead retreated to Pontefract Castle; this allowed Edward to regroup and re-arm, leading to a fragile peace in August 1318 with the Treaty of Leake. In 1321 Edward's rule again collapsed into civil war. Thomas raised a northern army but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge in March 1322, he was sentenced to be hanged and quartered but because he was Edward's cousin he was given a quicker death by beheading. Henry joined the revolt of Edward's wife Isabella of France and Mortimer in 1326, pursuing and capturing Edward at Neath in South Wales.
Following Edward's deposition at the Parliament of Kenilworth in 1326 and reputed murder at Berkeley Castle, Thomas's conviction was posthumously reversed and Henry regained possession of the Earldoms of Lancaster, Derby and Lincoln, forfeit for Thomas's treason. His restored prestige led to him knighting the young King Edward III of England before his coronation. Mortimer lost support over the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton that form
House of York
The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century; the House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture; the reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, 1st Earl of Cambridge, KG was a younger son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, the fourth of their five sons who lived to adulthood.
He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard to Anne Mortimer that the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses made its claim on the throne. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the Lancasters, were descendants of Edmund's elder brother, John of Gaunt whose son Henry usurped the throne of Richard II in 1399. Edmund had two sons and Richard of Conisburgh. Edward succeeded to the dukedom in 1402, but was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, with no issue. Richard married Anne Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second surviving son of Edward III. Furthermore, Anne's son Richard became heir general to the earldom of March, after her only brother, Edmund, 5th Earl, died without issue in 1425, their father Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March had been named heir presumptive of Richard II before Henry IV's accession. Richard of Conisburgh was executed following his involvement in the Southampton Plot to depose Henry V of England in favour of the Earl of March.
The dukedom of York therefore passed to Richard Plantagenet. Through his mother, Richard Plantagenet inherited the lands of the earldom of March, as well as the Mortimer claim to the throne. Despite his elevated status, Richard Plantagenet was denied a position in government by the advisers of the weak Henry VI John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, the queen consort, Margaret of Anjou. Although he served as Protector of the Realm during Henry VI's period of incapacity in 1453–54, his reforms were reversed by Somerset's party once the king had recovered; the Wars of the Roses began the following year, with the First Battle of St Albans. Richard aimed only to purge his Lancastrian political opponents from positions of influence over the king, it was not until October 1460. In that year the Yorkists had captured the king at the battle of Northampton, but victory was short-lived. Richard and his second son Edmund were killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30 December. Richard's claim to the throne was inherited by his son Edward.
With the support of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, Edward showing great promise as a leader of men, defeated the Lancastrians in a succession of battles. While Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou were campaigning in the north, Warwick gained control of the capital and had Edward declared king in London in 1461. Edward strengthened his claim with a decisive victory at the Battle of Towton in the same year, in the course of which the Lancastrian army was wiped out; the early reign of Edward IV was marred by Lancastrian plotting and uprisings in favour of Henry VI. Warwick himself changed sides, supported Margaret of Anjou and the king's jealous brother George, Duke of Clarence, in restoring Henry in 1470–71. However, Edward regained his throne, the House of Lancaster was wiped out with the death of Henry VI himself, in the Tower of London in 1471. In 1478, the continued trouble caused by Clarence led to his execution in the Tower of London. On Edward's death in 1483, the crown passed to his twelve-year-old son Edward.
Edward IV's younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed Protector, escorted the young king, his brother Richard, to the Tower of London. The famous Princes in the Tower were never seen again; however it is unknown who might have killed them. Parliament declared, in the document Titulus Regius, that the two boys were illegitimate, on the grounds that Edward IV's marriage was invalid, as such Richard was heir to the throne, he was crowned Richard III in July 1483. Richard III had many enemies. Though the House of Lancaster had been extinguished, the Lancastrian sympathisers survived, who now rallied behind Henry Tudor, a descendant of the Beauforts, a legitimized branch of the House of Lancaster. Moreover, the family of Edward IV, the Edwardian loyalists, were opposed to him dividing his Yorkist power base. A coup attempt failed in late 1483, but in 1485 Richard met Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth Field. During the battle, some of Richard's important supporters switched sides or withheld their retainers from the field.
Richard himself was killed. He was the last of the Plantagenet kings, as well as the last English king. Henry Tudor declared himself king, took Elizabeth of York, eldest child of Edward IV, as his wife, symbolically uniting the surviving houses of York and Lancaster, acceded t
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
A tabard is a type of short coat, worn by men during the late Middle Ages and early modern period in Europe. Worn outdoors, the coat was either sleeveless or had short sleeves or shoulder pieces. In its more developed form it was open at the sides, it could be worn with or without a belt. Though most were ordinary garments workclothes, tabards might be emblazoned on the front and back with a coat of arms, in this form they survive as the distinctive garment of officers of arms. In modern British usage, the term has been revived for what is known in American English as a cobbler apron: a lightweight open-sided upper overgarment, of similar design to its medieval and heraldic counterpart, worn in particular by workers in the catering and healthcare industries as protective clothing, or outdoors by those requiring high-visibility clothing. Tabards may be worn by percussionists in marching bands in order to protect their uniforms from the straps and rigging used to support the instruments. A tabard was a humble outer garment of tunic form without sleeves, worn by peasants and foot-soldiers.
In this sense, the earliest citation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from c.1300. By the second half of the 15th century, now open at the sides and so belted, were being worn by knights in military contexts over their armour, were emblazoned with their arms; the Oxford English Dictionary first records this use of the word in English in 1450. Tabards were distinguished from surcoats by being open-sided, by being shorter. In its form, a tabard comprised four textile panels – two large panels hanging down the wearer's front and back, two smaller panels hanging over his arms as shoulder-pieces or open "sleeves" – each emblazoned with the same coat of arms. Tabards became an important means of battlefield identification with the development of plate armour as the use of shields declined, they are represented on tomb effigies and monumental brasses of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A expensive, but plain, garment described as a tabard is worn by Giovanni Arnolfini in the Arnolfini Portrait of 1434.
This may be made of silk and or velvet, is trimmed and lined with fur sable. At The Queen's College, the scholars on the foundation were called tabarders, from the tabard which they wore. A surviving garment similar to the medieval tabard is the monastic scapular; this is a wide strip of fabric worn front back of the body, with an opening for the head and no sleeves. It may have a hood, may be worn under or over a belt. By the end of the 16th century, the tabard was associated with officers of arms; the shift in emphasis was reported by John Stow in 1598, when he described a tabard as: a Jacquit, or sleevelesse coat, whole before, open on both sides, with a square collor, winged at the shoulders: a stately garment of olde time worne of Noble men and others, both at home and abroade in the Warres, but theyr Armes embrodered, or otherwise depicte uppon them, that every man by his Coate of Armes might bee knowne from others: but now these Tabardes are onely worne by the Heraults, bee called their coates of Armes in service.
In the case of Royal officers of arms, the tabard is emblazoned with the coat of arms of the sovereign. Private officers of arms, such as still exist in Scotland, make use of tabards emblazoned with the coat of arms of the person who employs them. In the United Kingdom the different ranks of officers of arms can be distinguished by the fabric from which their tabards are made; the tabard of a king of arms is made of velvet, the tabard of a herald of arms of satin, that of a pursuivant of arms of damask silk. The oldest surviving English herald's tabard is that of Sir William Dugdale as Garter King of Arms, it was at one time the custom for English pursuivants to wear their tabards "athwart", to say with the smaller panels at the front and back, the larger panels over the arms. The derisive Scots nickname of "Toom Tabard" for John Balliol may originate from either an alleged incident where his arms were stripped from his tabard in public, or a reference to the Balliol arms which are a plain shield with an orle known as an inescutcheon voided.
In the Diamond Jubilee year of the Queen of Canada, the Governor General unveiled a new tabard for the use of the Chief Herald of Canada. This new royal blue tabard, for Canadian use and of uniquely Canadian design, is a modern take on the traditional look; the tabard differs from others of more traditional design in that the Canadian royal arms appear on the sleeves, while the front and back of the tabard are covered with Native Canadian-inspired emblematic representations of the raven-polar bears of the Canadian Heraldic Authority's coat of arms. A tabard was the inn sign of the Tabard Inn in Southwark, established in 1307 and remembered as the starting point for Geoffrey Chaucer's pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury in The Canterbury Tales, dating from about the 1380s. In E. C. Bentley's short story "The genuine tabard", published in his collection Trent Intervenes in 1938, a wealthy American couple purchase an antique heraldic tabard, having been told that it was worn in 1783 by Sir Rowland Verey, Garter King of Arms, when proclaiming the Peace of Versailles from the steps of St James's Palace: the amateur detective Philip Trent is able to point out that it in fact bears the post-1837 royal arms.
Anthony, bastard of Burgundy
Antoine de Bourgogne, known to his contemporaries as the Bastard of Burgundy or Le grand bâtard, was the natural son of Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, one of his mistresses, Jeanne de Presle. He was comte de La Roche, de Grandpré, de Sainte-Menehould et de Guînes, seigneur de Crèvecoeur, Beveren et Tournehem, chevalier of the Golden Fleece. Born in 1421 at Lizy in Picardy, he was brought up in the Burgundian court with his younger half-brother, the Count of Charolais Charles the Bold, last of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, to whom he grew close. Together with his older illegitimate half-brother Corneille, bastard of Burgundy, he was the favourite amongst the many natural children of Philip the Good. In 1459, he married Marie de la Viesville, he fought for his father on several campaigns, from at least 1451 onwards, in 1464 left for a crusade against the Moors when he helped raise the siege of Ceuta. In 1456 he was awarded the prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece, held by only 29 others at that time.
He took part in the Battle of Montlhéry, when he is said to have saved the life of the Count of Charolais after he was separated from his men and wounded in the neck. In 1466, he was present with Charles at the siege of Dinant, in the same year he was invited by King Edward IV for a stay in England during which he jousted against Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, the queen's brother, in a famous contest which spread over two days. During this visit, which extended into the summer of 1467, Anthony's father, Philip the Good and Anthony had to hurry back across the channel. After the death of his father, Anthony participated in nearly every campaign led by the new duke, his half-brother Charles the Bold, starting with the Liège campaign of 1467, when he commanded the largest contingent of 1,353 men. In 1468, Charles appointed him first Chamberlain, head of 99 other chamberlains and thirteen chaplains, all of whom served the duke. In contrast to his rather ascetic younger half-brother Charles, it seems that Anthony inherited his father's sexual proclivities: at the chapter of the Golden Fleece held in 1468, he was castigated for his fornication and adultery, in spite of his "valour and prudence and several other good habits and virtues".
But Charles trusted Anthony implicitly, Anthony served his half-brother militarily and diplomatically with considerable success right up to the time of Charles' dramatic death at the Battle of Nancy in 1477. This loyalty was never called into question when in 1473 he was accused by Charles of accepting a monetary gift of 20,000 gold écus from Charles' sworn enemy, Louis XI of France, he enjoyed sporting success. Charles the Bold won the Brussels contest every year between 1466 and 1471. At the disastrous siege of Beauvais in 1472, Antoine lost his best jewels. In 1475, he was again sent as a diplomat to the King of England, the Duke of Brittany, the Kings of Sicily, Portugal and Naples, to Venice and the Pope, who received him with great honour. In the middle of these travels, he managed to find time to call in at the siege of Neuss, that year he participated in the conquest of the Duchy of Lorraine. In 1476–1477, he fought alongside Charles the Bold at the three great battles of Grandson and Nancy, was taken hostage at the end of the latter by René II, Duke of Lorraine, delivered to the King of France, anxious that Burgundy should never again rebel.
But Antoine had no interest in making trouble, he offered Louis his services to help stabilize the precarious political situation. He was instrumental in arranging the marriage of Duchess Mary, his niece and only child and successor of Charles the Bold, to Maximilian of Austria, he was a significant collector of illuminated manuscripts newly commissioned from the best Flemish illuminators and scribes. He had at least forty-five volumes, of which it is estimated that about thirty were contemporary illuminated volumes. Many volumes with his inscription of ownership survive in various libraries, notably an illustrated Froissart in four volumes. Like many other major patrons, Anthony has had an unknown illuminator he commissioned named for him – the "Master of Anthony of Burgundy" was first named in 1921, worked in Bruges in the 1460s and 1470s for many leading bibliophiles; the young King Charles VIII of France legitimized Anthony in 1485 and awarded him the Order of Saint Michael. He died at Tournehem near Calais in 1504.
Vaughan, Richard. Charles the Bold: The Last Valois Duke of Burgundy. Longman Group, London 1973. ISBN 0-582-50251-9 Vaughan, Richard. Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy. Boydell & Brewer, London 2004. ISBN 0-85115-917-6 Philippe de Commynes. Memoires 1464–1474. Josephe Calmette, 1964. Olivier de la Marche. Memoires d'Olivier de la Marche. Ed. H. Beaune & J. d'Arbaumont, Paris 1888
Elizabeth Woodville was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483. At the time of her birth, her family was mid-ranked in the English aristocracy. Elizabeth's first marriage was to a minor supporter of the House of Lancaster, Sir John Grey of Groby, her second marriage, to Edward IV, was a cause célèbre of the day, thanks to Elizabeth's great beauty and lack of great estates. Edward was the first king of England since the Norman Conquest to marry one of his subjects, Elizabeth was the first such consort to be crowned queen, her marriage enriched her siblings and children, but their advancement incurred the hostility of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick,'The Kingmaker', his various alliances with the most senior figures in the divided royal family. This hostility turned into open discord between King Edward and Warwick, leading to a battle of wills that resulted in Warwick switching allegiance to the Lancastrian cause, to the execution of Elizabeth's father Richard Woodville in 1469.
After the death of her husband in 1483 Elizabeth remained politically influential after her son proclaimed King Edward V of England, was deposed by her brother-in-law, Richard III. Edward and his younger brother Richard both disappeared soon afterwards and are presumed to have been murdered on Richard's orders. Elizabeth would subsequently play an important role in securing the accession of Henry VII in 1485. Henry married her daughter Elizabeth of York, ended the Wars of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty. Through her daughter, Elizabeth was the grandmother of the future Henry VIII. Elizabeth was forced to yield pre-eminence to Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, her influence on events in these years, her eventual departure from court into retirement, remains obscure. Elizabeth Woodville was born about 1437 in October, at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, she was the first-born child of a unequal marriage between Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, which scandalised the English court.
The Woodvilles, though an old and respectable family, were gentry rather than noble, a landed and wealthy family that had produced commissioners of the peace, MPs rather than peers of the realm. In about 1452, Elizabeth Woodville married Sir John Grey of Groby, the heir to the Barony Ferrers of Groby, he was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461. This would become a source of irony, since Elizabeth's future husband Edward IV was the Yorkist claimant to the throne. Elizabeth Woodville's two sons from this first marriage were Richard. Elizabeth Woodville was called "the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain" with "heavy-lidded eyes like those of a dragon." Edward IV had many mistresses, the best known of them being Jane Shore, he did not have a reputation for fidelity. His marriage to the widowed Elizabeth Woodville took place secretly and, though the date is not known, it is traditionally said to have taken place at her family home in Northamptonshire on 1 May 1464. Only the bride's mother and two ladies were in attendance.
Edward married her just over three years after he had assumed the English throne in the wake of his overwhelming victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, which resulted in the displacement of King Henry VI. Elizabeth Woodville was crowned queen on 26 the Sunday after Ascension Day. In the early years of his reign, Edward IV's governance of England was dependent upon a small circle of supporters, most notably his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. At around the time of Edward IV's secret marriage, Warwick was negotiating an alliance with France in an effort to thwart a similar arrangement being made by his sworn enemy Margaret of Anjou, wife of the deposed Henry VI; the plan was. When his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, both a commoner and from a family of Lancastrian supporters, became public, Warwick was both embarrassed and offended, his relationship with Edward IV never recovered; the match was badly received by the Privy Council, who according to Jean de Waurin told Edward with great frankness that "he must know that she was no wife for a prince such as himself".
With the arrival on the scene of the new queen came many relatives, some of whom married into the most notable families in England. Three of her sisters married the sons of the earls of Kent and Pembroke. Another sister, Catherine Woodville, married the queen's 11-year-old ward Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who joined Edward IV's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in opposition to the Woodvilles after the death of Edward IV. Elizabeth's 20-year-old brother John married Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk; the Duchess had been widowed three times and was in her sixties, which created a scandal at court. Elizabeth's son from her first marriage, Thomas Grey, married Cecily Bonville, 7th Baroness Harington; when Elizabeth Woodville's relatives her brother Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, began to challenge Warwick's pre-eminence in English political society, Warwick conspired with his son-in-law George, Duke of Clarence, the king's younger brother. One of his followers accused Elizabeth Woodville's mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, of practising witchcraft.
She was acquit