Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Tudors => Topic started by: Helen_Azar on July 21, 2007, 10:30:36 AM

Title: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 21, 2007, 10:30:36 AM
I am reading the novel "Elizabeth the Beloved" where the plot includes Elizabeth of York being in love with her uncle Richard... I know that there was at some point speculation of Richard marrying Elizabeth after his wife Anne died, but not sure how real it was... Is this notion of the romance between the niece and uncle purely the author's fantasy or was there really something to it? I don't know enough about those two to be able to say one way or another. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Yseult on July 21, 2007, 10:57:55 AM
I´m not an expert about Richard III, but, as far as I know, the life of this king is fullfilled with rumours. It was said that, after the death of his only legitimate son and heir, he planned to divorce Anne Neville and marry his niece Elizabeth of York. When Anne was dead, the rumours stated that Richard was trying to obtain the neccesary disspensation from the catholic church to marry Elizabeth. Supposedly, Elizabeth Woodville, sister-in-law of Richard and mother of Anne, was in the plot to make her elder daughter the new queen.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 21, 2007, 12:07:57 PM
I´m not an expert about Richard III, but, as far as I know, the life of this king is fullfilled with rumours. It was said that, after the death of his only legitimate son and heir, he planned to divorce Anne Neville and marry his niece Elizabeth of York. When Anne was dead, the rumours stated that Richard was trying to obtain the neccesary disspensation from the catholic church to marry Elizabeth. Supposedly, Elizabeth Woodville, sister-in-law of Richard and mother of Anne, was in the plot to make her elder daughter the new queen.

Yes, all these rumors were around, but in this novel, Elizabeth actually had feelings for her uncle since she was a child and he reciprocated. Richard III is portrayed very sympathetically in this book. For example, he is clearly not the one responsible for the murders of Elizabeth's brothers in the Tower, even though it is of course blamed on him (Henry Tudor is the actual culprit).

I guess my question is, what was the real relationship between the uncle and the niece, if there even was one, was it one of mutual sympathy and possibly even some sort of romantic feelings between them, or is all this hogwash in order to make a good book? In other words, is there any historical evidence at all that this may have been possible, or purely speculation/fantasy?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Terence on July 21, 2007, 11:45:12 PM
In recent years it has been discovered in records of the Portugese court that Richard was seeking a bride in the royal family there, and a husband for Elizabeth.  The Portugese royals were descended from a daughter of John of Gaunt.  Richard was killed at Bosworth before anything came of it.  I think Richard denied the rumor  of his interest in marrying Elizabeth during his lifetime, and the discovery of the Portugese negotiations seems to confirm it was just another piece of slander by his enemies.

They say history is written by the victors, and the Tudors sure did a swell job of it!  ;)

T
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Prince_Lieven on July 22, 2007, 09:12:20 AM
I agree with Terence. In Sharon Penman's 'the Sunne in Splendour' she depicts Elizabeth as having feelings for her uncle, but as far as I know it's all romantic invention - I don't think anything is known about their actual relationship, if any.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on July 22, 2007, 09:52:25 AM
Helen, I love that book, its Maureen Peters isn't it. She wrote some good historical novels- "Anne the Rose of Hever" and A really lovely one about Mary-Rose, hope you can get your hands on them.
I think there possibly was some kind of romance (as far as Elizabeth was concerned anyway).
There are 3 contemporary sources that report that Richard was considering a match;
The Clerkenwell Declaration
In Spring of 1485, Richard publically and vehemently denied allegations of poisoning (of Queen Anne), of remarriage and his selection of Princess Elizabeth as wife, allegations that were in general circulation.
The marriage is also discussed in the Crowland Chronicle.
Probably most fascinating of all is a letter reportedly written in Elizabeth's own hand. If the letter is genuine, (and it is no longer extant), then Elizabeth consented to the marriage enthusiastically. In February 1485, Elizabeth of York wrote to the Duke of Norfolk expressing the hope that Queen Anne's illness would soon prove fatal and she would then marry her uncle King Richard. She fulsomely describes Richard as "her only joy and maker in this world" and that she was "his in heart, and in thoughts, in (body) and in all". (source= Buck). So, evidently she fancied the man as well as the crown he could bring her.
Politically, the marriage would have been advantageous. Also, Elizabeth was nubile,healthy, attractive-resembling her Aunt, the Queen in height, build and colouring.She could be expected to provide heirs speedily. The number of impediments to the marriage is also impressive, not least that marriage between Uncle and Niece constituted a blood relationship that was normally regarded as incestuous and Elizabeth was also closely related to Anne and Richard through other lines as well.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on July 22, 2007, 11:52:25 AM
Hi,

I'm a little confused here......
Didn't Richard III usurp the throne from his nephew(s) because he declared them illegitimate?  And, didn't he also declare that his brother, Edward IV, was illegitimate also?
Then, why would he want to marry his illegitimate niece?

And furthermore, why would Elizabeth want to marry her brothers' jailer and usurper?  Was she so shallow?  And, what about the mother, Elizabeth Woodville;  would she want her daughter to marry her enemy?

What say you all to this?

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on July 22, 2007, 12:57:50 PM
I agree Larry. To marry Elizabeth, surely the "bastardy" issue would have to be reversed. Therefore Edward (V) would be rightful King and not Richard. I wonder that IF there was such a letter as detailed by Buck, wether Elizabeth's mother had a hand in the writing of it. Also, Richard PUBLICALLY denied all claims of this future marriage.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on July 22, 2007, 04:49:34 PM
Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for that very enlightening answer.  Yes, what to do about the 'bastardization' question - -

To have some of them legitimized and others not??
And, if Edward V and Richard York are now "on the right side of the blanket" then let's bring him back as King.  Ooops, sorry but I just killed them!!!

A bit of a sticky wicket all round, what!!!

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on July 23, 2007, 04:39:25 AM
I cannot see the Catholic Church condoning incest..although I haven't made a strong study of Papal Dispensations. This was her Father's Brother. I am not aware of Marriages except between Cousins...were there ever any like this In European History. I am aware of the Egyptian Royal Marriages I cannot even imagine what kind of genetic problems that caused. ::)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on July 23, 2007, 05:56:38 AM
Mari. its all about "prohibited degrees". Consanguinity (related by blood) and Affinity (relationships created by marriage), were expressed as degrees. Marriages/unions between partners within 4 degrees of kinship, wether consanguinal or affinal were banned because they were "incestuous". (It was originally extended to the 7th degree).
Putting it in context; a couple could not marry if they shared a Great,Great, Great,Great Grandparent. For the elite, ie Royals/aristocrats who frquently intermarried with their kin,a Papal Bull dispensed prohibitions. So you see, we are not talking sister marrying brother etc.
Another interesting note is the Age of Consent, supposedly that of puberty, was 12 for women and 14 for men. The Age of Majority was 14 for women and 21 for men.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Yseult on July 23, 2007, 12:55:16 PM
I cannot see the Catholic Church condoning incest..although I haven't made a strong study of Papal Dispensations. This was her Father's Brother. I am not aware of Marriages except between Cousins...were there ever any like this In European History. I am aware of the Egyptian Royal Marriages I cannot even imagine what kind of genetic problems that caused. ::)

You´re wrong.
The Catholic Church gave a lot of dispensations to european monarchs to marry their nieces. A few examples:

-Philip IV, king of Spain, did obtain the consent of the church for his marriage with Marianna of Austria. Marianna was a daughter of his own sister, Maria Ana of Spain, and she had been married to emperor Ferdinand III. Marianna, the niece and second wife of Philip IV, had been bethroted to Baltasar Carlos, a son of her husband. She was to be the daughter-in-law of uncle Philip...and she became the wife of the same uncle Philip. With the consent of the church ;)

-Margarita Teresa of Austria, infanta of Spain, married, with the consent of the church, emperor Leopold II. He was a brother of Marianna of Austria, the mother of Margarita. So, Marianna, married to her uncle Felipe, had a daughter and married the daughter to her own brother Leopold.

Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 23, 2007, 02:02:08 PM
Helen, I love that book, its Maureen Peters isn't it. She wrote some good historical novels- "Anne the Rose of Hever" and A really lovely one about Mary-Rose, hope you can get your hands on them.

I finished the book and liked it very much too... I like the way Peters writes. I just ordered "Anne the Rose of Hever" used from Amazon - they had it for 99 cents!, what was the title of the Mary Rose one?


There are 3 contemporary sources that report that Richard was considering a match;
The Clerkenwell Declaration
In Spring of 1485, Richard publically and vehemently denied allegations of poisoning (of Queen Anne), of remarriage and his selection of Princess Elizabeth as wife, allegations that were in general circulation.
The marriage is also discussed in the Crowland Chronicle.
Probably most fascinating of all is a letter reportedly written in Elizabeth's own hand. If the letter is genuine, (and it is no longer extant), then Elizabeth consented to the marriage enthusiastically. In February 1485, Elizabeth of York wrote to the Duke of Norfolk expressing the hope that Queen Anne's illness would soon prove fatal and she would then marry her uncle King Richard. She fulsomely describes Richard as "her only joy and maker in this world" and that she was "his in heart, and in thoughts, in (body) and in all". (source= Buck). So, evidently she fancied the man as well as the crown he could bring her.

Thanks for this info, this is exactly the type of information I was looking for.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on July 23, 2007, 02:40:30 PM
Helen, off the top of my head, these are the ones I remember from Maureen Peters;
Kathryn the Wanton Queen (Kate Howard).
Anne the Rose of Hever (Anne Boleyn).
Princess of Desire (Mary-Rose Tudor).
Mary the Infamous Queen (Mary Tudor)
The Woodville Wench.
All good reads. ;)  (But somewhat naff titles ;D).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 23, 2007, 03:03:35 PM
Thanks! I think I like Maureen Peters as much as Jean Plaidy  :). They are very similar in style, but Peters' books are hard to find in the library!
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on July 23, 2007, 04:36:28 PM
I would wonder if that letter is authentic as well. If so, it would tell us quite a bit about Elizabeth of York, who has always seemed a quiet personality to me. From what I know of Elizabeth Woodville, she might well have wanted the match, she was that type of woman. Her daughter seemed less  that way to me, just caring about status, or even having any real feelings for her uncle seems more unlikely. Richard III is much maligned in history, but  her brothers being declared illegetimate would you think have prevented him from even thinking of marrying her, because she would have been considered the same as her brothers. But, maybe not. Uncle- Niece marriages did happen,  the most well known examples being in the Spanish/ Austrian royal family, but it never happened in English history that I am aware of- thus it would have been unusual.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: dmitri on July 23, 2007, 07:05:24 PM
Yes I have never read anything about Richard III and Elizabeth of York.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 23, 2007, 07:13:53 PM
Probably most fascinating of all is a letter reportedly written in Elizabeth's own hand. If the letter is genuine, (and it is no longer extant), then Elizabeth consented to the marriage enthusiastically. In February 1485, Elizabeth of York wrote to the Duke of Norfolk expressing the hope that Queen Anne's illness would soon prove fatal and she would then marry her uncle King Richard. She fulsomely describes Richard as "her only joy and maker in this world" and that she was "his in heart, and in thoughts, in (body) and in all". (source= Buck). So, evidently she fancied the man as well as the crown he could bring her.

Well, for argument's sake, if Elizabeth's letter is authentic, then it would be likely that Elizabeth in fact liked (or loved) Richard enough to want to marry him. If the letter is fake, then the question is, why would anyone fake it (for what reason)? Who, when and why...   ???
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on July 24, 2007, 03:56:13 AM
Kimberly, I'am going to try to track down the Buck Source for the letter....

Amazing Elizabeth of York would feel this way all things considered.  :-\
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on July 24, 2007, 03:59:10 AM
Quote
you see, we are not talking sister marrying brother etc. posted by Kimberly

Yes, I just used the Egyptian Royal House as an example. I knew they were Uncle and Niece.
Quote

Yseult posted:
You´re wrong. The Catholic Church gave a lot of dispensations to european monarchs to marry their nieces. A few examples:

-Philip IV, king of Spain, did obtain the consent of the church for his marriage with Marianna of Austria. Marianna was a daughter of his own sister, Maria Ana of Spain, and she had been married to emperor Ferdinand III. Marianna, the niece and second wife of Philip IV, had been bethroted to Baltasar Carlos, a son of her husband. She was to be the daughter-in-law of uncle Philip...and she became the wife of the same uncle Philip. With the consent of the church Wink

-Margarita Teresa of Austria, infanta of Spain, married, with the consent of the church, emperor Leopold II. He was a brother of Marianna of Austria, the mother of Margarita. So, Marianna, married to her uncle Felipe, had a daughter and married the daughter to her own brother Leopold.

Yseult, that's why I asked if there any like this in European History?  Interesting...thanks!
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 24, 2007, 08:09:51 AM
Amazing Elizabeth of York would feel this way all things considered.  :-\

Well, not really if you consider some other theories, where Elizabeth didn't believe the alleged slanders against Richard, i.e. she did not believe he had anything to do with the murders of her brothers, etc... There is a different slant on this story, you know, where Richard III is actually a decent guy, and Henry Tudor is the sleazy one.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 24, 2007, 08:12:14 AM
I'm still wondering if anyone has any theories about the reasons why anyone would forge Elizabeth's letter, if we are to believe that it is fake.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on July 24, 2007, 05:31:03 PM
 I admit I am not a real expert on this period of English history, before the Tudors. But,  as there are so many theories, does anyone know if any book examined this letter, and what they had to say? If someone does, quote the book. I guess most accept the Tudor version of this period of English history, but that's not the whole story, that is accurate. Someone trying to support the non- Tudor version of history might well have tried to forge it, but maybe that's obvious, because it was to show Richard III as a good guy, in a good light, because if his niece had that opinion of him, how could he be the villain portrayed in the Tudor Version of history? I tend to think this might have been forged, it seems improbable, but it seems this possible romance was just one of the swirling rumors of this era.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on July 25, 2007, 05:17:55 PM
I found this on the Richard III site and it pretty much deals with the letter and the discussion of any marriage between Richard III and his niece stated as "unnatural copulation."



If this letter really existed (91), and if Buck has cited it fairly, it would be in vain to contend against such testimony, and Elizabeth's fame would be irredeemably affected, not on the ground of her relationship to Richard, but from his being the author of the misfortunes and disgrace of her family, if not the murders of her brothers; and because she had pledged herself but a few months before to marry the Earl of Richmond. The character of Buck as a faithless writer is well known; and even if his notorious inaccuracies and prejudices do not justify the suspicion that the letter itself was never written, it is not too much to suggest that the interpretation which he has given to it is at variance with the truth. As Buck has inserted copies of several documents of much less interest, it may be asked, why did he not give this most important letter at length? Nor is it less remarkable, that even if he were the first person who brought it to light, no other individual should have had sufficient curiosity to copy it. Buck's work appeared in the days of Dugdale, of Anthony Wood, and of several other eminent antiquaries, who have left imperishable monuments of their zeal in collecting historical materials, yet not a single transcript, much less the original of this extraordinary communication, is known to be extant. No other writer than Buck ever saw it, so that its existence rests upon his authority alone, and every one must form his own judgement as to the degree of confidence to which he is entitled (92). The Chroniclers, who impute to Richard the design of marrying his niece, agree in stating that she resolutely opposed his wishes. Grafton's words are, "But because all men, and the maiden herself most of all, detested and abhorred this unlawful and in manner unnatural copulation, he determined to prolong and defer the matter till he were in more quietness;" and this is the only explanation he gives, why, when Queen Anne died in March, 1485, Richard did not execute his design. The Croyland Chronicler, however, offers this additional reason, that twelve doctors in theology gave it as their opinion that the Pope could not legalize it by any dispensation. If this be true, it is not very evident from what source the Pontiff derives the power of authoriizing such an alliance at the present day, even if instances cannot be adduced of the practice at the period in question.

For the reasons which have been stated, it may be presumed tha Richard never contemplated a marriage with Elizabeth; that the letter noticed by Buck is grossly misquoted, even if any letter to that purport was ever written by her; and that the whole tale was invented with the view of blackening Richard's character, to gratify the monarch in whose reign all the contemporary writers who relate it flourished, an opinion which is supported by the fact that not one of them insinuates that Elizabeth consented to the alliance, but agree in stating her utter repugnance to the project
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on July 26, 2007, 07:34:44 AM
Sir George Buck was actually an apologist for Richard. He was a descendent of one of Richard's supporters.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 03, 2007, 10:18:24 AM
Helen, off the top of my head, these are the ones I remember from Maureen Peters;
Kathryn the Wanton Queen (Kate Howard).
Anne the Rose of Hever (Anne Boleyn).
Princess of Desire (Mary-Rose Tudor).
Mary the Infamous Queen (Mary Tudor)
The Woodville Wench.
All good reads. ;)  (But somewhat naff titles ;D).


I was able to get Kathryn the Wanton Queen at the library and read it last week. Wasn't bad, but didn't like it as much as the others by Peters... The others are impossible to get at the library, so I purchased Pss of Desire and Rose of Hever on Amazon. The rest seem kind of hard to find (they are more common in the UK not in the US  :()...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on August 08, 2007, 01:10:56 PM
I am reading the novel "Elizabeth the Beloved" where the plot includes Elizabeth of York being in love with her uncle Richard... I know that there was at some point speculation of Richard marrying Elizabeth after his wife Anne died, but not sure how real it was... Is this notion of the romance between the niece and uncle purely the author's fantasy or was there really something to it? I don't know enough about those two to be able to say one way or another. Any thoughts?

I think the author probably did this just to add some extra drama, which always spices a book up. I don't think Richard and Elizabeth carried on a both scandalous and incestuous affair because that is just beyond Elizabeth's personality, becausewhen Henry VII came she was submissive---not what the kind of temptress her mother was. If Elizabeth ever was in love with her uncle it might have been the kind of crush that one would feel on a celebrity, if you understand what I mean.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 08, 2007, 01:37:37 PM
I think the author probably did this just to add some extra drama, which always spices a book up. I don't think Richard and Elizabeth carried on a both scandalous and incestuous affair because that is just beyond Elizabeth's personality, becausewhen Henry VII came she was submissive---not what the kind of temptress her mother was. If Elizabeth ever was in love with her uncle it might have been the kind of crush that one would feel on a celebrity, if you understand what I mean.

Well, in the book, it was portrayed more or less like that. It wasn't "an affair" per say, they didn't have sex, or anything like that. They just loved each other, but it never went too far physically. Elizabeth wasn't portrayed as a temptress who seduced her uncle, sorry if I didn't make that clear in my post...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on August 08, 2007, 06:11:57 PM
It's alright!  :) But like I said, her 'love' for her uncle might have just been a girlish crush, or something like that. Maybe it was solid admiration that led to that.  ???
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on August 09, 2007, 11:15:15 AM
It is hard to say about whether solid admiration led to that, or it was just a youthful passing thing of really no consequence except that it involved one of the more controversial kings of English history, and also the Elizabeth of York, who as the queen of Henry VII and a new dynasty, but also a link to an old dynasty, was an important figure in English history. I don't think it was an objective thing, instead I would say, it was just passing youthful interest, if that much. I'm sure it isn't something that the Tudors would have wanted remembered, provided it was real, but it wasn't of much consequence. I guess I had the impression from the first post it was a full blown affair or something, so thanks for clarifying that.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 09, 2007, 11:17:40 AM
Yeah, sorry, I wrote "romance" but I didn't really mean it in the biblical sense  ;).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on August 09, 2007, 11:23:08 AM
Well, in dealing with a historical rumor, I guess the book wasn't so far off, although it developed it more into fact, which isn't as accurate, it seems so from what I have read here, anyway, as I have never read this book.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: dolgoruky18 on September 03, 2007, 03:53:16 AM
Regarding the Elizabeth of York letterallegedly seen by Sir George Buck:

Buck saw this letter when he viewed the contents of the Earl of Arundel's cabinet in the 17th century. He saw it once and only briefly, writing the details down from memory later on. Buck was highly regarded as an antiquarian in his own lifetime and has not been proved unsound in other matters. The letter has not been seen since, but that doesn't mean it no longer exists. That being said, it is possible that Buck misread it, assuming it to be from Elizabeth of York. I have sometimes wondered if it was actually written by her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, then being referred to as "Dame Elizabeth Grey".

Could she even have contemplated a marriage with Ricard III himself ? This was not such an impossibility even though he was her brother-in-law. Earlier in the century, Pope Martin V had been repeatedly told by his legal advisers that he could dispense within the Levitical degrees and permitted a number of highly questionable unions. Years later, Henry VIII was to marry his deceased brother's widow and live with her quite happily for twenty years until the lack of a living male heir made him look again at Leviticus and question the Pope's ability to dispense with this and other impediments.

What advantage such a marriage would have been to Richard III is, of course, open to question. One would have thought that Elizabeth's age was against her in the child-bearing stakes. However, this was not considered a difficulty when, early in the reign of Henry VII, she was considered as a possible bride for James III of Scotland. In addition, it should not be forgotten that her youngest child, Bridget, was only an infant when Edward IV died.

If Henry VII found out that she had put forward such a suggestion for her own future  -  when he saw this letter, for example  -  it might explain why he acted so strongly against her when he stripped her of all her properties and sent her to the Nunnery of Bermondsey. The reasons given at the time have always been suspect.

Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 05, 2007, 02:54:55 PM
Hmmm... Something to think about. But if the letter no longer exists, I guess there is no way to know...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 22, 2007, 05:37:19 PM
I just read another historical fiction (To the Tower Born : A Novel of the Lost Princes by Robin Maxwell http://www.amazon.com/Tower-Born-Novel-Lost-Princes/dp/B000FIHZD2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-4180705-0509520?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193092554&sr=1-1) where Elizabeth of York was in love with Richard III...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mikestone on February 01, 2008, 03:20:15 PM
One point that hasn't been mentioned yet. Toward the end of 1484, Elizabeth Woodville reportedly wrote to her son Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset, who was then in exile with Henry Tudor, urging him to return to England and seek Richard's pardon, of which she was evidently confident He attempted to do so, but was overtaken by Henry's agents and forcibly brought back.

While this doesn't prove anything definite about marriage plans, it shows that EW confidently anticipated some kind of reconciliation between Richard and the Woodville family. And while Queen Anne Neville was still alive at this time, rumours of possible divorce and remarriage had been in the air ever since Prince Edward died. So the Queen Dowager might have been preparing the ground for this.

The notion of Richard marrying EW herself is a fascinating one, but to my mind unlikely as I just don't see what would be in it for Richard. The Woodvilles weren't an especially  popular lot, and it would alienate a lot of his current supporters. In fact, it would have nearly all the drawbacks of a marriage to Elizabeth of York, without the compensating benefits.

Contrary to what some have said, I think the advantages of the latter match would be considerable. Given the life expectancy of the time (the most recent king to live past 50 had been Edward III over a century before) even if Richard had a son by a second wife, it was longish odds against his living to see the boy come of age. So on his death, all the problems of 1483 were liable to recur, this time at the expense of his own children. But if Elizabeth of York were the young king's mother (and Regent?), she would attract the loyalty both of Richard's supporters and of those who regarded Edward IV's family as the rightful heirs. Between them, they could probably make short work of Henry Tudor.

I don't see the Portuguese marriage project as disproof of the other one. Iirc that came later in the year, after any idea of marrying EoY had been repudiated. One point about it. Infante Dom Manuel, EoY's proposed husband, would later succeed to the throne as Manuel I, so had it gone ahead, Elizabeth of York would still have become a Queen, though not of England.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Norbert on February 06, 2008, 10:19:34 AM
PLEASE don't bring out that old chestnut of HVII murdering the princes. The tower was held by the king and the children who had been forcibly removed there from Westminster Abbey disappeared within months.  Why would a man who usurped the throne of his nephews spare them? Study Henry Tudor and you find a humane man who fined his overmighty subjects rather than kill them. He was a great king who filled an empty treasury and brought peace to a country that was divided by civil war.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on May 16, 2008, 10:29:08 AM
There are other threads if you wish to discuss this subject Norbert. but going back to a possible romance between Richard and Elizabeth of York;
In the British Museum, there is Richard's personal copy of "Tristan and Iseulte" which "bears an intriguing motto and signature of Elizabeth". The motto is-"sans removyr" (without changing).There is also a copy of a book by Boethius, which also carries notations by her in the margins and is also inscribed with combinations of Richard's motto-Loyalte me Lye, and Elizabeth's name...both in her handwriting.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Helen_Azar on May 16, 2008, 10:30:48 AM
In the British Museum, there is Richard's personal copy of "Tristan and Iseulte" which "bears an intriguing motto and signature of Elizabeth". The motto is-"sans removyr" (without changing).There is also a copy of a book by Boethius, which also carries notations by her in the margins and is also inscribed with combinations of Richard's motto-Loyalte me Lye, and Elizabeth's name...both in her handwriting.

Hmm... That's very interesting...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on January 10, 2009, 07:08:04 PM
you know the funny thing is that what this looks like is a theory that a riccardian would sustain in order to prove that richard was a loveable person. obviously a person who believes richard is a villain would not admit his own niece would love him - a person anti-richard would say that if there was ever talks of a marriage between richard and elizabeth, it was definitely forced and unwanted by elizabeth.

but then this theory still harms richard - because if you sustain a theory of him and elizabeth having a long-lasting connection (rather than some random idea that came up once richard realized he didn't have any heirs anymore) then you totally discard another long-lasting legend: that of the romantic and everlasting love between richard and anne neville (you know, that story, how his brother the duke of clarence hid her away because he had married her sister and didn't want to share their inheritance with his brother, blah blah, richard found her in some very poor circumstances and literally saved her and married her because he truly loved her and not for any other reason). you can't accept both theories at once.

if you ask me it's just a story that was concocted by someone with a rather sick mind - kinda like philippa gregory who decided that when henry 8th decided to charge anne boleyn with incest he must have been right and kinda like the directors of the most horrible movie ever, the other boleyn girl, who decided to show us that there are women who are capable of sleeping with their brothers and that anne was one of those women. there's people out there who hear random stories and come up with random explanations for them - there was a rumour of richard 3rd marrying his niece? hm, this could make a good soap opera episode :D
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 15, 2009, 12:08:33 PM
Has anyone else here read the British medieval historian Michael Hicks's latest effort, a biography of Richard III's queen entitled Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III? Hicks is one of the leading scholarly experts on Richard III and perhaps the major debunker of Ricardian revisionism. He argues that the letter from Elizabeth of York that Buck saw was genuine, in no small part because it ties in with the evidence supplied by the Crowland chronicler, who reported (at the time) that the rumors of Richard III's marriage to his niece Elizabeth were so rampant in early 1485 that King Richard actually had to make a public denial of them. According to Hicks, "Crowland...reveals, at first hand, that in spite of Richard's repeated denials, he himself believed that Richard did indeed intend to marry Elizabeth of York, and that he, Crowland, personally disbelieved that part of the king's denial" (196). Furthermore, Crowland testifies that Richard's most intimate councilors knew of his plan and also disapproved of it.

Another interesting point, which Hicks makes and which needs to be reiterated:

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, in marrying Anne Neville, was committing incest in the first degree because his brother the Duke of Clarence had already married Anne's sister, Isabel. Normally, under such circumstances, a member of a royal family would apply for a papal dispensation to do away with any familial impediments to such a politically advantageous marriage. Richard did indeed apply for a papal dispensation, but surprisingly, not one that covered this degree of relationship. Hicks asks, why was this? A brother(in-law) marriage to a sister(in-law) was regarded with a great deal of disapproval, even disgust, in fifteenth-century Western Europe. It was sinful and forbidden by God. Did Richard not seek a papal dispensation for this degree of relationship because he was already planning to divorce Anne at some point in the future, when she was no longer politically significant? Was he reluctant to wait for such a dispensation to come through, fearing that his political advantage in marrying her at the time would be lost? At any rate, the very fact that Richard and Anne never applied for, much less received, a papal dispensation for their close familial relationship meant that their marriage was never valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Richard could have legally divorced Anne at any time.

Which means that Richard's denunciation of his brother Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and his labeling of their children as "bastards," rings more than hollow, it rings all together false. It was Richard who had actually contracted an illegal marriage and produced illegitimate offspring (Prince Edward of Middleham). Now if that's not the pot calling the kettle black... Richard III really is the poster prince of moral hypocrisy. 
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on January 17, 2009, 03:43:17 AM
lol very true.

however, even if it weren't i still am not too impressed with richard's attitude towards his nephews. as far as i can see he imposed his opinion (that they were illegitimate) on the parliament - the might became the right as it usually was in those days. even if we choose to believe that he did that to fight the woodvilles (because he didn't want a woodville to the throne, rather because he wanted himself on the throne, self defense rather than pure greed) it still isn't right.

i am not at all convinced the two children were illegitimate - how funny that such rumours only appeared with richard.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 17, 2009, 05:11:26 PM
lol very true.

however, even if it weren't i still am not too impressed with richard's attitude towards his nephews. as far as i can see he imposed his opinion (that they were illegitimate) on the parliament - the might became the right as it usually was in those days. even if we choose to believe that he did that to fight the woodvilles (because he didn't want a woodville to the throne, rather because he wanted himself on the throne, self defense rather than pure greed) it still isn't right.

i am not at all convinced the two children were illegitimate - how funny that such rumours only appeared with richard.

Oh, Ilyala, don't mistake me. I'm not saying the children of Edward IV were illegitimate. Quite the opposite. I think Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was probably valid in every legal and religious sense of the term in the 15th century. The more I read about Richard III, the more I become convinced that his was a typically criminal or even amoral psychology - one that continually projected his own bad deeds on to the people around him. If he had made an invalid marriage - well then, in his mind that meant that his brother Edward had made an equally bad or even worse marriage, a bigamous one. After all, by making this charge Richard was able to satisfy his greatest political ambition, that of subjugating the Woodville faction and seizing the crown for himself. And he could even claim to be highly "moral" in doing so!

Hicks makes another interesting point, that quite possibly Anne Neville's strong political and personal ties to certain powerful lords in northern England (the legacy of her father, Warwick the Kingmaker) enabled Richard's usurpation of the throne in 1483. Furthermore, he speculates that Queen Anne's death in early 1485 might have been a decisive factor in turning many of these same noblemen against Richard - especially since there were rumors even at the time that Richard had poisoned Queen Anne in order to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on January 18, 2009, 03:24:52 AM
well, i know that there are many riccardians on this forum. most of them are civilized and i respect their opinions because they are expressed in a civilized manner, however, on other forums i have met riccardians that were dead set on the following ideas:

1. richard was the greatest man ever. anything else is a blasphemy.
2. his marriage to anne of neville was a complete lovematch - they'd known each other since they were children and they fought hard to be together. it was a beautiful and pure thing.
3. edward iv was a scandalous philanderer and since he married elizabeth woodville in a secret, the bigamy charge is 100% accurate. anything else is a blasphemy.
4. the princes were not killed by richard. the princes were actually hidden by richard who treated them very well. however, edward 5th was a frail boy and died. but the duke of york survived and was definitely perkin warbeck who should have become king of england when he had the chance - that would have been right, even if his father's marriage was illegal and the poor boy was nothing but a bastard.

i spent months arguing on this. while the first is an exaggeration, the last three are things that COULD have happened, and i was willing to admit that as long as they admitted that there was a slight possibility that it did not. what did happen when i presented that version of events was that they all jumped on me calling me names and telling me that i am influenced by the evil tudor propaganda and that this is actually the only logical course of action out of all the possibilities and that you gotta be a total idiot not to recognize that this is really what happened.

i gave in on one point and i did mention that i am not convinced that richard killed those poor boys because there truly is no evidence. i am actually more set on the duke of buckingham (me and arianwen had this conversation on this forum about three years ago) who seems to be a more likely suspect. at some point they said that i cannot accept just part of the theory - it's all or nothing. at which point i just left the forum because there was obviously no reason with this people.

that said, i do not associate such people with riccardians on this forum who are logical and reasonable people. i have a rather low opinion on richard 3rd, however i do admit that it's his tough luck that he was defeated at bosworth and that - had he not been defeated - we might read a different account on his personality in the history books. henry 7th is my favorite english king but that's because he was very efficient - i do know and am aware of the fact that his efficiency included ruthlessness and that he wasn't afraid to step on others to get where he wanted.

i'm just saying that - if we cut all the ideas about richard that have not been proven, and just stick with the facts that we do know for sure happened, it still is a negative picture:

fact 1 (surely happened): he dethroned his own nephew
fact 2 (surely happened): he sent his nephew to the tower
fact 3 (surely happened): he executed without trial some members of the woodville faction so that they could not oppose him
fact 4 (surely happened): brought an army to london and at the same time presented the frightened parliament with the bill saying that the two boys or illegitimate. whether they were or not, what he did pretty much shows that he didn't care - all he cared about was that the parliament said that they were, whether the parliament believed it or not. had he let the decision run its course i would have been more convinced of its accuracy.

while you could say that the woodville faction was evil and wanted to take over england and that edward 5th was half woodville and all, i think richard's actions (the ones that cannot be contested) show that he was at least as ruthless as henry 7th, if not more.

i suppose it's what you had to be in those days - on the other hand people coming now and claiming he was a saint have no ground to stand on.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 18, 2009, 09:51:02 AM
Ilyala, I've had my own run-ins with Ricardians (including the Arianwen you mention, of ill fame) and one thing I have noticed is that many of them are steadfastly determined to ignore sources that were written during or immediately after Richard III's short reign, 1483-85. Most notably they cast aspersions on the written account of a particular foreign diplomat who was in London when Richard seized the throne and placed his nephews in the Tower. This diplomat, as every amateur or professional expert on Richard III knows, was the Italian Dominic Mancini. Mancini's account of Richard III's seizure of power and the subsequent mysterious disappearance of the Princes in the Tower is the single most damning collection of evidence against Richard, because it was written immediately after these events by a foreigner who had no personal or professional interest whatsoever in the success or failure of Richard's reign. Moreover, Mancini, by virtue of his position in the retinue of a foreign envoy, and his command of the Latin language (the universal language of diplomacy at the time), no doubt had access to very privileged sources of information within England during the time he spent there.

Ilyala lists several basic facts which are damning to Richard. I would like to add to them yet another (on top of the one in my earlier post, the charge of incest between brother[in-law] and sister[in-law] levelled at Richard III and Anne Neville by the historian Michael Hicks). This particular incident, or series of incidents, throws a great deal of doubt on the romantic notion that the Duke of Gloucester married Anne Neville for love. The fact of the matter is that after their marriages to the Neville sisters, both Richard and his brother Clarence engaged in a vicious struggle between themselves to seize the immense estates that Anne and Isabel had inherited from their father, Warwick the Kingmaker. The ins and outs of the property settlement Edward IV eventually decided on are too intricate for me to explain here (or even to remember properly), suffice it to say, that both Richard and Clarence emerged from it immensely wealthy. Indeed, this is when Richard acquired most of the northern estates that would make him such a powerful force to reckon with after the death of Edward IV in 1483.

Another damning piece of evidence against the character of Richard (and that of his brother Clarence) is that many of the lands from the Warwick/Neville legacy should never have been bestowed on either duke, since they rightfully belonged to the mother of Anne and Isabel, the widow of the Kingmaker. These lands had always belonged legally to her, not to Warwick, and therefore Edward IV had no right to divide them amongst his brothers. When the widow Warwick demanded her lands back, Richard (apparently with the consent of his new wife, Anne) had his mother-in-law confined to a nunnery and kept as a prisoner there. What a nice guy, eh?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on January 19, 2009, 08:09:58 AM
i suppose it's a rather romantic idea - to try and salvage a poor man from a reputation built on the lies of the man that killed him (the very evil henry the 7th)...

i understand richard remained popular in the northern counties he administered which shows that - even if as you see, he took them illegally and unjustly, he ruled them well.  that's one redeeming quality i am willing to accept. however henry 7th was also a great administrator and if that's what you're gonna base your good opinion on, it should be bestowed on both of them.

i would say also - returning to the topic at hand (we did get off topic for a while) - that the fact that elizabeth of york and henry 7th reportedly got along quite well shows that if she did have a crush on her uncle, it wasn't strong enough for her to hate henry - who kinda killed him.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 19, 2009, 10:49:22 AM
Hey....I'm a Ricardian.....and I am really, really nice. :-)
The Richard III Society "aims to promote an interest in late fifteenth Century history and especially the life and times of one of England's most controversial and fascinating monarchs". The society does not aim to "whitewash" him at all  but to give him a fair hearing. Saying that, you get crazies and fanatics everywhere (yep, even here to whit the certain "lady" who you have mentioned!!).
I have Hick's book on my shelf and it really does give lots of information regarding the lives of upper class (if you like) women in those times, one of the reasons I enjoyed it.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 19, 2009, 11:25:03 AM
For anyone interested in the Dispensation dispute please click here.
http://www.richardiii.net/ (http://www.richardiii.net/)
Scroll down to Richard in the Media (left hand side). and click. Then click on "Books and Papers" and its discussion number 4.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 20, 2009, 03:18:32 PM
For anyone interested in the Dispensation dispute please click here.
http://www.richardiii.net/ (http://www.richardiii.net/)
Scroll down to Richard in the Media (left hand side). and click. Then click on "Books and Papers" and its discussion number 4.

Dear Kimberly, you're definitely one of the nicest people I've ever met... nevertheless, I have to say this: the particular article you cite does not address the issue I've brought up for discussion. No matter what this article claims, there is no longer any controversy surrounding the fact that Richard and Anne obtained a papal dispensation for a relationship in the third or fourth degree. That's been a well-established historical fact for some time. The issue I raised in this thread (because the eminent British historian Michael Hicks raises it in his recent biography of Anne Neville) is entirely different. I repeat: Richard and Anne were not only related in the third and fourth degree, they were also related in the FIRST DEGREE because of the previous marriage of Richard's brother the Duke of Clarence to Anne's sister Isabel, which made Richard and Anne brother and sister in medieval, Catholic eyes. As Hicks points out, it's more than curious that when he married Anne, Richard apparently never applied for a papal dispensation to cover the FIRST degree of affinity. At the very least this suggests that Richard wanted to retain a legal loophole, an easy way out of the marriage, should Anne eventually lose her political importance. Think that's far-fetched? Yet Edward IV's division of the Warwick lands between Richard and his brother Clarence clearly stated that in the event of Anne's death or even of a divorce between Richard and Anne, Richard would retain lifetime ownership of all the estates he had gained through marrying her! And this despite the fact that there were other Neville heirs then living who had much stronger legal claims to these estates than Richard!

No, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Richard was not a very nice man. There's no doubt that he was, as Ilyala says, an unusually able administrator. But then, think about it, so was Stalin. So were many of Stalin's henchmen. So for that matter was Hitler's chief architect and the managerial genius who kept the Nazi war machine going an entire extra year when by all rights it should have expired in 1944. I'm speaking of Albert Speer.

This is a hard fact to accept, I know. Plenty of evil, bad, or just plain amoral people succeed in our modern world. Because they're clever, talented, even sometimes geniuses in their field of expertise, as well as charismatic. Probably this very same type of political leader succeeded even more easily in the political snakepit that was fifteenth-century England. I've read many books about the Wars of the Roses - it seems to me that the only politicians who ever managed to seize power in this era were first and foremost utterly ruthless in the pursuit of their political goals. So I propose here that rather than looking upon Richard III as an aberration, we should see him as the absolute culmination, perhaps even the natural outcome, of the late medieval English political process.


Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 21, 2009, 10:28:55 AM
I don't think Elizabeth of York could love a man who kidnap her brothers, killed her uncle, and branded her a bastard. I would think she would rather work with her mother to bring down that man. Anyway such a union was incest to say the least. Such a notion was real fantasy.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on January 21, 2009, 10:50:04 AM
Hi,

Elisabeth -
Your description of Richard III ties in greatly with his portrayal by Basil Rathbone in the movie, "The Tower of London" (1939).  I first saw this movie years ago and that is what I have always thought of as Richard of Gloucester - Richard III...
I saw the movie again last year on TCM channel, and although it is over dramatic and what with Boris Karloff hamming it up, I think it is still accurate.  Good movie about a bad man!!

Eric -
I agree with you about poor Elizabeth.  How could she reconcile marrying a man she loathed after killing her brothers and nearly everyone around him???  She lucked out much better with Henry VII.

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 21, 2009, 11:39:06 AM
And lets not forget that he was born with a full set of teeth and covered in hair :-)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 21, 2009, 12:23:23 PM
Well...Given that he did not look that bad, or wasn't the one who killed his brothers. The swiftness of Richard III's action towards the family of her brother's family must be shocking. One day a Princess and another day a bastard. Richard III was guilty in kidnapping the two boys and the demoting of Queen Elizabeth Woodville to Dame Elizabeth Grey was no joke. The idea that a romance that could happen between those two is really shocking.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 21, 2009, 01:46:39 PM
The Woodvilles were a voracious and arrogant clan. Although there is no contemporary source, there is no evidence that Richard hated them. He was named Protector in Edward IV's will and to all intent, the Woodvilles were desperate to get the lad crowned before Richard's arrival in the capital, giving them power over the new King.
Elizabeth W wasn't lillywhite either, she has been implicated in the death of the Earl of Desmond in 1468 and I am sure the Woodvilles danced a merry jig on the death of Clarence.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 21, 2009, 02:32:49 PM
You really should read the new bio on Elizabeth Woodville. It was a good book and refuted most of the alligations about them. as the author traced most of them back to the Earl of Warrick, who was the sworn enemy of the Woodvilles. I tend to believe that their own sin was too move too high and comfortable for the established aristocracy (like the Nevilles).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 21, 2009, 02:51:36 PM
I have if you mean the book by Baldwin. There is no denying that the Woodvilles were a greedy lot... parvenues. His marriage to Elizabeth led to the breakdown between Edward and his Barons and almost lost him his throne. Indeed, henry VI was reinstated in the short term in 1470.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 21, 2009, 04:11:40 PM
A new book by a lady author. I can give you the name tomorrow. It went through the allegations point by point. It cleared the name of the Woodvilles, but everywhere the hand of the Nevills were everywhere. Richard and George were the son-in-laws of the Earl of Warrick. They even allow a rumour that Edward IV was not the son of Richard, Duke of York to florish. It was this point I know that George & Richard were not good brothers to the king. Richard was smarter and played for gains, while George was reckless...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 21, 2009, 04:15:39 PM
Look forward to hearing about this new book Eric.!
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Terence on January 22, 2009, 12:25:50 AM
Another interesting point, which Hicks makes and which needs to be reiterated:

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, in marrying Anne Neville, was committing incest in the first degree because his brother the Duke of Clarence had already married Anne's sister, Isabel. Normally, under such circumstances, a member of a royal family would apply for a papal dispensation to do away with any familial impediments to such a politically advantageous marriage. Richard did indeed apply for a papal dispensation, but surprisingly, not one that covered this degree of relationship. Hicks asks, why was this? A brother(in-law) marriage to a sister(in-law) was regarded with a great deal of disapproval, even disgust, in fifteenth-century Western Europe. It was sinful and forbidden by God. Did Richard not seek a papal dispensation for this degree of relationship because he was already planning to divorce Anne at some point in the future, when she was no longer politically significant? Was he reluctant to wait for such a dispensation to come through, fearing that his political advantage in marrying her at the time would be lost? At any rate, the very fact that Richard and Anne never applied for, much less received, a papal dispensation for their close familial relationship meant that their marriage was never valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Richard could have legally divorced Anne at any time.

Which means that Richard's denunciation of his brother Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and his labeling of their children as "bastards," rings more than hollow, it rings all together false. It was Richard who had actually contracted an illegal marriage and produced illegitimate offspring (Prince Edward of Middleham). Now if that's not the pot calling the kettle black... Richard III really is the poster prince of moral hypocrisy. 

This caught my attention, as I've always been interested in exactly what happened at that time...original sources are so few and theories are so many.

For years the accepted story was that Richard III and Anne never had any dispensation.  So the evil old Rich always intended to take her property...divorce her..murder her...etc. etc...

Lo and behold, recently in the Papal Archives a dispensation for their marriage was discovered, at the time Hicks was writing his book.  The dispensations required are complicated.  Did they need one for their being cousins, another for Richard being her first husband's cousin and another for her sister being married to her future husband's brother? The rules of the Catholic Church varied as to where and when they were applied.  Did Hicks get it exactly right when he revised his book?

There many instances of siblings marrying siblings at that time.  I think Hicks' inflammatory term of "incest" is not a neutral historian's verdict.  So Hicks w/ his predisposition conjectures Richard was all along planning to divorce/poison his wife.  All conjecture in Hick's mind, but not supported by any historic evidence.

If anyone has a good source on medieval consanguinity rules in England in the 1400's please email me.

Just some thoughts,
T
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 22, 2009, 08:08:20 AM
Kimberly,

The book is Elizabeth: England's Slandered Queen by Arlene Okerlund and edited by Alison Weir. The book clears the name of Elizabeth Woodville and her family. I think they were used by Edward IV to counter the power of the Nevills, who was getting too powerful for his peace of mind. The Woodvilles were loyal to him and never flinched or changed sides. Unlike George and to a lesser extend Richard. Their only gain was material in a few good marriages (not all of them married well). Anyway I found the possibility of aromance between Richard and Elizabeth of York incestous and impossible.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 22, 2009, 10:29:07 AM
Oh bless you Eric. I have heard and read varying reports on this book, not least that it is a bit one-sided but I haven't read it so I cannot say for myself. I have an excellent book on my shelf; "Elizabeth Woodville, Mother of the Princes in the Tower", by David Baldwin and I can only heartily recommend it, especially, the appendices which are brimmed full of information.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 22, 2009, 11:41:19 AM
I read both books. I think the okerlurd is better researched. You need to read in order to compare.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 22, 2009, 11:52:13 AM
Er, yeah, folks. Might I please note here that no one has yet cited any concrete historical evidence whatsoever that before his marriage to Anne Neville Richard applied for a papal dispensation in the first degree. Quite possibly because such a papal dispensation was never applied for and does not in fact exist?

I also frankly find the argument about Elizabeth of York, moral scruples, and romantic love more than a little naive and beside the point. Kindly remember that we are talking about English royalty and the highest ranks of the aristocracy in the FIFTEENTH CENTURY. Romantic love, or even the notion of love, was not a consideration in the contraction of royal marriages... Moreover, everybody who has studied Richard III's reign, even people like myself who don't admire him and regard him as the purest embodiment of his age in the worst possible sense, know full well that the Woodvilles were a power-hungry, greedy, even rapacious clan who only cared about their own selfish best interests. My question to you is, why do you think Elizabeth of York, daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, perhaps the most selfish and ambitious Woodville of them all, would be any different? Why wouldn't she want to marry her uncle, Richard III, if he was eager for the union and if it meant she could be queen consort of England (as opposed to some illegitimate offspring of Edward IV bundled off to a nunnery, there to spend the rest of her days)? For that matter, why wouldn't she want to marry Henry Tudor a year later for the very same reason? Good God, people, even leave aside for a moment the Woodville family psychology and just take human nature into account. Elizabeth of York was by all accounts a very comely young woman but not exactly blessed with the biggest brain. I would even venture to say that she quite enjoyed this all too brief period of being in great demand in the royal marriage sweepstakes of 1484-85.

I honestly don't think familal ties counted for s*** with these people when it all came down to the nitty-gritty of power and status. Even the most ardent admirers of Richard III must admit that his relations with his brother Clarence were self-interested, even distinctly unfriendly in the last years of Clarence's life. Moreover, Richard obviously prized his own political survival over the best interests of his brother Edward IV's children, when he bastardized and deposed Edward V.

In short, we can't think about these people in 21st-century terms. As difficult as it might be, we have to try to put ourselves in their late 15th-century shoes... The courtly world in which they lived was a veritable snakepit. All the historical evidence attests that only the strongest and the most morally unscrupulous survived (at least for a little while...). And this political situation held true well into the next century, one could even argue throughout the 16th century.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 22, 2009, 12:31:20 PM
Elisabeth, I absolutely AGREE with your comments regarding Elizabeth of York (and I always had a feeling that she was a bit of a ninny).
Your final paragraph is vitally important and something we always need to remind ourselves about (especially the young kids that come here).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 22, 2009, 08:30:25 PM
Kimberly, thank you so much for your kind words. They're very gracious indeed, coming from someone who doesn't agree with me at all about the political profile and personality of Richard III. Of course, I do hold to the notion that Richard III was, shall we say, more than a little naughty, even by the standards of his age. But as you yourself have demonstrated, we can certainly be civil in our disagreements and arguments about him and the nature of his reign.

Terence, nowhere does Michael Hicks argue that Richard III poisoned Queen Anne. As a matter of fact, Hicks points out more than once that the murder of Anne was "only" a rumor towards the end of Richard's reign. Which is to say, Anne was already dying of some unspecified disease (probably tuberculosis) at the very same time that Richard was publicly denying prevalent rumors that he was poisoning her and planning to marry Elizabeth of York when his wife kicked the bucket. But Richard's (historically well documented) public denial is precisely what's so damning to him. For one thing, unless a general hue and cry against Richard had been raised by his subjects, at least in London, no king would ever deign to address, much less defend himself against, such horrible rumors in public. Richard's very admission that such rumors existed indicates that the common people considered him capable of any crime, including the murder of his spouse and an incestuous marriage with his own niece. This conclusion, by Hicks and other modern historians, is borne out by the testimony of at least two contemporary 15th-century sources, Crowland and Mancini. According to them, Richard was held in such ill repute because the princes in the Tower had already disappeared by this time, and the English people regarded him as guilty of their murder.

Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on January 22, 2009, 08:33:56 PM
How much do we really know about Elizabeth of York? ( I admit I'm not an expert on this era of English history, and haven't read these books mentioned in this thread's last few pages) I thought she tended to the quiet type, more in the background, not power hungry, like her mother. I agree she would have needed to marry who she needed to marry just to survive. Nobody has ever solved the mystery of the death of the Princes in the Tower ( in my opinion)- some say Richard III did them in, some say Henry VII. Elizabeth of York's marriage to Henry VII wasn't a love match, it was for political reasons. So maybe she would have contemplated marrying Richard too for political reasons. I doubt Elizabeth ever knew what happened to her brothers.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 23, 2009, 03:12:57 AM
Well, Elisabeth, there is no need for handbags at ten paces is there, we are, after all, Laydees :-).
Poor Richard. I believe he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't regarding the public denial over Anne's death. If he had kept silent that would have been picked apart by historians (amateur and professional). It is so easy to pass judgement on a medieval man from the comfort of our armchairs.

Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 23, 2009, 08:19:03 AM
From what was written about Elizabeth of York (through the eyes of others during the reign of Henry VII and more intimately through Catherine of Aragon), there is no evidence of her being selfish at all. She was gentle and motherly to Catherine of Aragon after the death of Arthur. I don't think she was the type of "I would be queen at any cost" and certainly an incestous relationship with her uncle would not fit her interest at all. Also the timeline, Elizabeth Woodville was already plotting with Margaret Beaufort for a match between her and the younger Henry Tudor. I have no doubt that she would play along for the ride, but her heart would be very far from a romance with an uncle.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Paul on January 23, 2009, 06:00:19 PM
Are there any accessible bios about Elisabeth of York? I'd be very interested in reading more about her.

After reading Imperial Angel's last post, it occurs to me that I've only read about E of Y in biographies about other members of her family.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 24, 2009, 03:29:11 AM
I have had a quick "google" and there is a bio out there. Nancy Lenz Harvey; The biography of Elizabeth of York, published in 1973.
Alibris has used copies for upwards of £10 and Amazon UK also (£32 !!!).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2009, 02:07:58 PM
I've read that book, actually. If you read the review on Amazon ( US) it says it is kind of a generic book, not real great. I read it ten years ago now, so my memory is a bit hazy on it, but I don't recall it was great, although it was interesting to read.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 24, 2009, 02:15:23 PM
I think that is the only one  for Elizabeth of York
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 24, 2009, 02:30:27 PM
From what was written about Elizabeth of York (through the eyes of others during the reign of Henry VII and more intimately through Catherine of Aragon), there is no evidence of her being selfish at all. She was gentle and motherly to Catherine of Aragon after the death of Arthur. I don't think she was the type of "I would be queen at any cost" and certainly an incestous relationship with her uncle would not fit her interest at all. Also the timeline, Elizabeth Woodville was already plotting with Margaret Beaufort for a match between her and the younger Henry Tudor. I have no doubt that she would play along for the ride, but her heart would be very far from a romance with an uncle.

In case you haven't noticed, "gentle and motherly," sweet and tender in all her feelings, charitable and pious, a true Christian in all her thoughts and deeds, resolute in her faith, etc., etc., etc. (one could truly go on endlessly), constituted the standard, state-approved description of every English queen from the Middle Ages well though the early modern age.

I find it quite amusing that some of us here, who refuse to accept what they call "Tudor propaganda" about Richard III, are only all too willing to swallow - hook, line, and sinker - quite obvious Tudor propaganda about the first Tudor queen consort, Elizabeth of York.

The fact of the matter is, we know very little about Elizabeth of York, except that she was the most notable pawn in the high-stakes royal matrimonial game between Richard III and the future Henry VII in late 15th-century England.

I tend to agree with Kim, Elizabeth was probably something of a "ninny"... indeed, probably your archetypal dumb blonde. I don't mean this as an insult to blondes (I am blonde myself). But everyone here must recognize that there's a certain type of young, nubile female who's completely caught up in her own sexual attractiveness and appeal to the opposite sex. Face it, it's an elixir, it's power, it's mind-blowing, especially if you're still only in your teens and middle-aged men are acting like fawning idiots around you... The most stable and intelligent, the most pragmatic brain has lost its powers of reason with far less temptation. I suspect Elizabeth's was not the most intelligent brain. Indeed, I suspect she was, as the historic record (admittedly, it's patchy) attests, first completely under the sway of her mother, Elizabeth of York, and then under that of any other powerful personality who came into her orbit (Richard III, Henry Tudor later Henry VII).

I've heard that Henry VII treated Elizabeth rather shabbily. I can't remember where I read this. But it was definitely to the effect that he accorded her very little respect and while he seems to have loved her, in his own fashion, as the mother of his children, he wasn't exactly emotionally overcome by her death. Wasn't he at the very least contemplating asking the hand in marriage of Juana the Mad, the sister of his daughter-in-law Catherine of Aragon, mere months after Elizabeth's death?

As I said in a previous post, I don't think these particular rulers, these kings and princes, queens and princesses, who inhabited the highest ranks of power and status in their narrow little 15th-16th-century royal world, gave much time or thought to ordinary emotions or indeed to any deep emotional attachment to fellow human beings. They seem to me a very cold lot. I doubt we would like them much, if we were somehow to be forced into their company.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 24, 2009, 02:56:52 PM
^^^ yes, yes and yes. She was probably exquisitely good at embroidery too.
Whilst we are on the subject of dispelling some myths...you wouldn't want to stand downwind of them either. Even though the rich had the use of perfumes and oils to cover up their noxious body odours, both rich and poor alike had problems with body lice. The laundresses would rub the hems of gowns (where lice would congregate) with a substance (I think it was wormwood) an early de-louser.
Here is a quote from Erasmus you might find interesting!

“The doors are, in general, laid with white clay, and are covered with rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for twenty years, harbouring expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 24, 2009, 03:16:23 PM
^^^ yes, yes and yes. She was probably exquisitely good at embroidery too.
Whilst we are on the subject of dispelling some myths...you wouldn't want to stand downwind of them either. Even though the rich had the use of perfumes and oils to cover up their noxious body odours, both rich and poor alike had problems with body lice. The laundresses would rub the hems of gowns (where lice would congregate) with a substance (I think it was wormwood) an early de-louser.
Here is a quote from Erasmus you might find interesting!

“The doors are, in general, laid with white clay, and are covered with rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for twenty years, harbouring expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned.

What a brilliant quote, Kim! It reminds me of the passage in Kathryn Harrison's novel, Poison, in which Marie Louise de Bourbon, who was married to Carlos II of Spain in the seventeenth century, is dressed by her maids in crinolines festooned with tiny, suspended baskets of honey, put in place in order to attract the lice away from the princess's body.

I wish I could find this passage in the novel now... of course, it's possible I read it somewhere else. It's even possible that the novelist made it up. But it seems like such a realistic detail, doesn't it? Knowing as we do that an entire century later, the sky-high hairstyles of Marie Antoinette and her female contemporaries frequently paid host to all manner of vermin.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2009, 04:10:26 PM
Without any good sources on Elizabeth of York, it's just speculation to say what she was or was not- can someone quote contemparies of her on what she was like and her qualities? I'd trust them to some extent. I think Tudor era and before, the late 15th century, was an age when people in positions of power had to be cold to survive. If they weren't cold, they could wind up dead from being executed or assinated, etc or murdered. Given that choice, what would you choose? They likely were naturally cold, but  if they had lived in a different era, I'm sure they would have been different people. Henry VIII interestingly enough was cold in some cases, but most of his marriages were love matches, so he showed emotion. Mary I's marriage tp Philip of Spain was a bad marriage politically, but on her part, although not his, it was a love match. Catherine of Aragon and Mary demonstrated great mother- daughter love in the face of Catharine's divorce from Henry when both Catharine and Mary were treated so badly. Elizabeth I was attached to Liecester, although she could never marry him, and she wasn't a cold person, despite barely surving not beng executed earlier in her life. Of course, these were the later Tudors. The earlier Tudors etc were a colder lot.I think we too though might have been cold if it that was the only way we could survive.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on January 24, 2009, 05:54:15 PM
Hi,

I agree for the most part about most queens being milquetoasts and doing a lot of embroidery.

But, consider these queens:
Empress Matilda
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Provence
Isabella of France
and
Margaret of Anjou.

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 24, 2009, 07:03:09 PM
Not really...Both Henry VIII's sisters Mary & Margaret Tudor made love matches. I think they are more "hot" than cold. Elizabeth I did have her fling with Thomas Seymour ( he cut her dress to threads while stepmother Catherine Parr joined in the fun...for awhile) before her long term love affair with Robert Dudley. Also Henry VIII's aunt Katheine (Duchess of Buckingham) and Cecily did also made love matches...Elizabeth of York was well documented after her marriage to Henry VII. She was a good mopther and kind influence at court. Very different from her Uncle Gloucester...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on January 25, 2009, 04:19:08 AM
Description of Elizabeth of York click link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ulkLAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Elizabeth+of+York&ei=qDl8SY_vO4eyyQSNm7CTBw#PPR93,M1
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 25, 2009, 12:52:01 PM
I think this was the first account on Elizabeth of York.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: boswellbaxter on January 27, 2009, 01:21:00 PM
Hi! I'm new to the board and have been following this discussion with interest.

There are a couple of new books that have sections on Elizabeth of York--David Loades' Tudor Queens and Lisa Hilton's book on medieval English queens. I have the Hilton book on order and the Tudor Queens book on my wish list--it'll be interesting to see what they have to say about her.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 01:59:44 PM
True...but mostly based on secondary accounts. With a group book, you cannot wish for more than a glimpse of the person...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Mari on January 28, 2009, 12:53:44 AM
This is kind of a side line comment but its interesting to me that they were buried as was Elizabeth of York in lead lined Coffins! Upon opening some of these the bodies had remained in perfect preservation.! I am thinking here of Henri IV of France and others. I haven't really made a study of this but why lead I wonder?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 28, 2009, 09:25:47 AM
On burial beauties. I read that Katherine of Valois's coffin was opened by Samuel Peps and saw her corpse well presserved and kissed her...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on January 28, 2009, 01:07:20 PM
This is kind of a side line comment but its interesting to me that they were buried as was Elizabeth of York in lead lined Coffins! Upon opening some of these the bodies had remained in perfect preservation.! I am thinking here of Henri IV of France and others. I haven't really made a study of this but why lead I wonder?

Apparently, they used lead coffins or a wax impregnated lead shroud to preserve the body.It is not known wether this was for future viewing or wether this was so they "looked good" come the resurrection. (Of course, it was only the aristocrats who could afford this)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 28, 2009, 01:09:46 PM
Naturally...I never heard the process of the full burial treatment. The Katherine of Valois incident was a bit shocking...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on January 30, 2009, 04:57:26 AM
no-one knows what elizabeth was like, because there wasn't much written about her. honestly i think that's because she just stood in her place. i don't think she was stupid - probably not a genius either, but i don't think she was stupid. my overall impression of her was that she was kind and gentle - but that of course could be a tudor myth.

what we do know is that the very cheap henry 7th threw her a very lavish funeral. and that he did consider juana the mad but i think it was definitely for political reasons and does not show disregard for his wife (plenty of princes in love with their dead wives remarried). considering the fact that the entire dynasty rested on henry 8th (henry 7th had no brothers, arthur was dead) and that had henry 8th died before his father, there would have definitely been a civil war ensuing, i don't find henry 7ths interest in remarriage in any way scandalous. from a kingly point of view, that is - a king that needed to do his duty.

i think that as much as he could, henry loved elizabeth. but he was weary of her relatives and of the claim to the throne that came through her (no matter how hard he tried to establish himself as the king, rather than the queen's husband, henry 8th's main claim came through his mother). i believe elizabeth woodville was not treated very well - luckily for her she died early into her son in law's reign. but there's no record of henry 7th treating his wife badly and most historians agree that he went from bad to worse after she died.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 30, 2009, 09:57:29 AM
I don't think Elizabeth Woodville was treated very badly. It was much better than she could expect from Richard III. Elizabeth got her queenship back, and her daughters legitimized as Princesses. Her expences paid and a quite life after much turbluence.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on February 01, 2009, 06:06:12 AM
as far as i know she was forced to retire. while she was recognized as a former queen and her children were naturally back to being legitimate, she was forced to retire from court - as opposed to henry 7th's mother who pretty much took over. i don't think she liked that very much.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on February 01, 2009, 08:59:53 AM
Spot on Ilyala. She spent her last 5 years in involuntary retirement in the Abbey of Bermondsey. When she died, her coffin (wooden) was taken by river to Windsor where she was interred seemingly without ceremony.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 01, 2009, 06:01:10 PM
Not really. Who was to say she was not ill then. She was well taken care of. If Richard III continue to rule, I doubt she would be allowed to be buried with her husband. Think about that...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on February 02, 2009, 03:05:36 AM
What do you mean, "not really"? That is fact, although she was not held incommunicado.Henry granted her an annuity of 400 marks of which most would have gone to the Abbey for her upkeep. The 400 marks was considerably less than the 700 marks granted by Richard III and was not always paid promptly.
Elizabeth requested that she be buried with Edward at St Georges Chapel with little pomp,in her will. Requests for a modest funeral were a mark of humility and were,by and large, ignored by contemporaries who felt that the deceased should be buried in accordance with their rank in society.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 02, 2009, 09:29:01 AM
I think more about her position as Queen Dowager (she was even consider as a possible bride as the King of Scotland). Elizabeth's daughters were all reconized as royal princesses. The fact that Elizabeth herself asked for little pomp shown at her furneral shown great understanding to her son-in-law. The Tudor dynasty was just established and too much attention on a Yorkist Queen's furneral may not be a wise thing or used as a rally point for people against the king. THe fact was in all probability, Elizabeth Woodville was broken in spirit after the deaths of so many of her family (the last one her beloved brother Anthony Earl Rivers) than she would prefer to live a quiet life. She had the satisfaction of seeing her daughter established Queen and attended christening of her grandchildren.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on February 02, 2009, 12:42:28 PM
she wasn't so squeaky clean towards the end though. Rumours abounded that there was a lot to oust Tudor from the throne and have Elzabeth (junior) as reigning monarch.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 02, 2009, 02:17:22 PM
That had no historical base whatsoever. After being treated as "Dame Elizabeth Grey" by Richard III, she was grateful to have the title of Queen back and her daughters well settled and married. I would think the offer of her as the bride of the Scottish king was a test of Henry Tudor to see if his mother-in-law was still interested in politics, but she passed the test.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on February 02, 2009, 04:32:39 PM
As I said.... "rumours abounded"!!!
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 02, 2009, 05:02:24 PM
Yes unsubstainciated. At that stage, there are many who sought to challenge Henry Tudor, because of the shaky claim to the throne. Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy being one of them. It would be politically necessary for Henry VII to down play Elizabeth Woodville's influence and increase Margaret Beaufort's. There was no hard core evidence that she was forced to retire to a nunnary, but every reason to politically and health may have been a factor too. Both Eleanor of Aquitaine and Eleanor of Provence spent the last few years of their lives in a sanchury of their choosing.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Terence on February 02, 2009, 08:20:27 PM
Actually the evidence that her "retirement" to the nunnery was forced rather than voluntary is that she was stipped of her possesions.  Here's one take on the issue:
But in February 1487 she was stripped of her lands and sent to a nunnery, effectively banished from court on the trumped-up charge that she had been involved in the campaign of the false Yorkist claimant Lambert Simnel. In fact, she was the victim of Margaret Beaufort's jealousy.
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/M/monarchy/biogs/elizabeth_woodville.html

The most comon theory I've run across is that she WAS invovled in the Lambert Simnel uprising and for that Henry VII took her lands and locked her up.  It is known she was not present at her daughter's cornation and her daughter the Queen rarely visited her.  That suggests there was some kind of rupture in the relationship.

T
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 03, 2009, 09:50:45 AM
As I said the dynasty was still new and it was important to promote Margaret Beaufort (as the King's mother) than Elizabeth Woodville (the Dowager Queen and the Queen's mother). The lands she had were written off to her own daughter (Elizabeth of York). The same happened to Anne Beauchamp, Countess of Warrick, when Gloucester and Clarence divided their mother-in-law's fortune without consideration for her inheritance. She lived in proverty before allowed to live with Anne. Elizabeth Woodville fared better and have her household allowances paid for. She was not "locked up" but "retired from court". She would be a rallying point for any imposter for the princes, and so it is important to keep an eye on her. Again it would be impossible to promote Elizabeth Woodville as Queen of Scotland if Henry Tudor believed that she was "a troublemaker". I think she was under suspsion there was no doubt.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on February 08, 2009, 01:55:12 PM
exactly my point, eric. she was forced to retire and judging by what i know of her she wasn't really a nun kind of person so i'm sure she didn't enjoy it at all.

i wonder how her daughter, the queen felt about that. i've read nothing of that upsetting her relationship with her kingly husband. which might mean that:

a. elizabeth woodville HAD done something naughty (other involving simnel or something else) and elizabeth of york believed the punishment fit the crime
b. elizabeth of york was completely under henry's influence (fear, love, respect, all of the above) and not very close to her mother (how close were they, really?)
c. elizabeth of york did not want to compromise her position as queen so she kept her opinions to herself, even if she might have had sympathy for her mother.

...

Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: imperial angel on February 08, 2009, 03:40:11 PM
I think it was a combination of b and c- she didn't wish to comprimise her position, but I also feel she was under Henry's influence by that time and was more than happy to go along what he said. 15th- 16th century wives were expected to submit to their husband's will and do as he said, and Elizabeth knew that and knew her first loyalty was to her husband, not her mother, who indeed she may not have been close to.It would be very modern for Elizabeth of York to stand up for her mother, and very 15-16th century for her not have as many feelings about what happened to her mother as we might assume she would today.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 08, 2009, 03:41:02 PM
I think c, since she was Henry Tudor's queen, her loyalty must lie with her husband. I don't think Elizabeth Woodville was particularly naughty, but it would be a way to get out of Margaret Beaufort's jealousy and court intrigue. Also it seems it was Henry Tudor's policy to down play the Yorkist family in favour of his own family. Anyway Elizabeth Woodville was not really locked up. She was there for Margaret Tudor's birth and led the French delegation ( led by her nephew Francois of Luxenbourg) to see the Queen (her daughter). It seems in international matters, Elizabeth Woodville was allowed some leeway.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Terence on February 08, 2009, 04:42:24 PM
Anyway Elizabeth Woodville was not really locked up. She was there for Margaret Tudor's birth and led the French delegation ( led by her nephew Francois of Luxenbourg) to see the Queen (her daughter). It seems in international matters, Elizabeth Woodville was allowed some leeway.

That makes sense, considering her Luxembourg connections, Henry was more than happy to use her to his benefit.  The fact that she was allowed out on occassion doesn't mean her "retirement" to a nunnery was of her own volition.  No one said she was locked in there Eric.

What is telling is that she was NOT allowed to attend her own daughter's coronation.  I think we may be in agreement on this aspect, Margaret Tudor didn't want any other female to overshadow her.  IIRC, Henry watched the coronation from behind a screen, or hiding spot (Kings didn't attend the Queens coronation), but Margaret also watched it from a hidden spot (w/ Henry?).  Anyone else heard of this?

T
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 08, 2009, 05:34:03 PM
Well...Queens seldom attend the coronation of their daughters. (I don't think Queen Alexandra went to her daughter Queen Maud's coronation in Oslo). I think Elizabeth Woodville understood that as a Yorkist Queen, it would be embaressment for her to attend. Also you are right, as Dowager Queen, she would outrank Margaret Beaufort (King's mother). There is also no evidence that she asked to attend (a letter indicating her desire to go), it was also possible (without document to prove the contary) that she was not feeling well and glad not to be in court. The loss of her family (sons and brothers) might be an impatus for her to keep a low profile.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 09, 2009, 12:55:17 PM
My personal opinion is that Henry VII, while he sometimes felt physical attraction and even affection for Elizabeth of York, for the most part felt utter contempt for her, and that this attitude was communicated, however unconsciously, by his attitude and behavior towards her, to their children and in particular to their second son, the future Henry VIII. I mean, let's face it, if we look at the marital relationships of Henry VIII, it's quite clear that he had some kind of major, deep-seated psychological complex where women were concerned - worse, that at the most basic level he simply did not respect women as human beings. After all, the two women he loved the most passionately in his entire life died on the scaffold, at his orders. Not normal behavior, even or especially for a Renaissance king, and it made him the laughingstock of his peers in Europe, as well as a dreaded Bluebeard figure. Remember the beautiful Duchess Christina of Milan, who refused to wed the ardent English king, lest she met the fate of his second wife (or for that matter, his first)?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 09, 2009, 02:44:17 PM
I don't think Henry VII had contempt for his wife (he got accepted because he married her). However he was not a passionate man. He was wits first and heart second. The long years of training to achieve his goal to the throne has left its mark on him. However Henry VII is not a cruel man, but just very culculated and not too much fun to be with. Henry VIII repected his wives (Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr) but dispised those (Anne Boylen and Catherine Howard) he professed to love. It is easy to live with him than to love him (or by him). The only woman Henry VIII loved without reservation was his sister Mary Tudor (The Dowager Queen of France and Duchess of Suffork).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 09, 2009, 07:00:12 PM
I don't think Henry VII had contempt for his wife (he got accepted because he married her). However he was not a passionate man. He was wits first and heart second. The long years of training to achieve his goal to the throne has left its mark on him. However Henry VII is not a cruel man, but just very culculated and not too much fun to be with. Henry VIII repected his wives (Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr) but dispised those (Anne Boylen and Catherine Howard) he professed to love. It is easy to live with him than to love him (or by him). The only woman Henry VIII loved without reservation was his sister Mary Tudor (The Dowager Queen of France and Duchess of Suffork).

We couldn't disagree more, Eric. I think this notion that romantic or sexual love is somehow the equivalent of real love and respect is naive, to say the least. Henry VIII treated all his wives with a great degree of disrespect. Remember, he had numerous affairs while he was married to both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, he also refused Jane Seymour and his subsequent wives any sort of coronation. He subjected Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Katherine Howard to the worst sort of indignities, and the latter two to the ultimate punishment, beheading. (It really doesn't get more humiliating and sadistic than that.) Furthermore, he came close to sending his last wife Katherine Parr to the Tower for insubordination. No, I don't think he was a very kind man where the women in his life were concerned.

In fact, I believe it's more than possible that he viewed all his wives as ultimately expendable. Before he married them, they might have been objects of desire, but afterwards, they were brood mares only, and his sexual attentions turned elsewhere. Contrary to what you say, he was a very sexually and romantically passionate man. (Otherwise, as I believe more than one of his biographers has pointed out, he would not have broken with Rome in order to marry a commoner like Anne Boleyn. He was besotted with her, in lust with her. If that had not been the case, he would have married a French or German princess instead. Such a marriage would not have taken six years to bring about and moreover, would probably not have led to the English Reformation.) But his passions were easily spent (as they usually are with passionate people) and once spent, they speedily turned to other objects of lust (whether sexual, romantic, or political).

He was a greedy, horrible man, in every sense of the word. Talented, yes, intelligent and gifted, but still greedy and horrible and not someone you'd want to leave alone with your wife or daughters.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: ilyala on February 10, 2009, 06:35:08 AM
I think Henry 8 had an image of his mother very similar to what we have: a very quiet, meek woman, beautiful, understanding but generally insignificant. There for moral support but in no way her husband's equal. I also think that's what he sought for all his life. As a result, his most appreciated wives were Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour, who were exactly that. Yes, he treated Catherine badly but in his own messed up way he loved her. And I honestly believe that had she given him a male heir, Anne Boleyn wouldn't have stood a chance.

I don't think infidelity was considered by Henry as a lack of respect. Even nowadays when men cheat, one of the most used arguments is "It didn't mean anything", "It's just sex". Henry respected Catherine but she was getting old and she was probably not very adventurous sexually, so he craved for more in that respect. So he slept with women who were giving him that. As he was the king, no-one thought anything unusual of it. He didn't have time to cheat Jane Seymour (or at least I don't think he ever did) but he probably would have had she lived. It was just the way things were.

Does that come from his parents' relationship? I don't know. Henry 7th is not known for his many mistresses, and I dare say that he probably didn't have any. Not necessarily because of his huge love for Elizabeth but because I don't think he was that much of a sexual being as his son. He probably fulfilled all his sexual needs with his wife and did not crave fire and passion like his son. However, it is true that one of Henry 7th's goals was proving that the throne was his and not his wife's - which means that keeping her in a small insignificant role was crucial. I'd say that's what Henry 8th learned from his father - respect your wife, but in the end you're the boss, not her. He took it much further than his father, though. And I must say that Elizabeth of York was much different from Anne Boleyn, for example, much more willing to be "put in her place" so, that also changes things.

If you want, I'd say Elizabeth of York was a willing victim. And Catherine of Aragon - up until the point she got driven away - was also quite willing to be the quiet submissive wife. And Jane Seymour would have been that too. However, when Henry married Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard he wasn't exactly thinking with his brain. They didn't fit what he truly wanted in a wife. And so they went :)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 10, 2009, 09:45:46 AM
I agree timing is everything. Henry VII is more of a planner than one of love and romance (like his father-in-law, Edward IV). It was he who arranged the marriages of Athur to Catherine of Aragon and Margaret Tudor to James IV of Scotland. Elizabeth of York's mission was the give birth to more heirs to secure the throne (which she did until the end of her life). As for mother figure, he already have a strong figure in Margaret Beaufort. It was she who held greater power than his queen. The tshabby reatment of Elizabeth Woodville can be traced back to Margaret Beaufort, who became the most important female figure at court.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 16, 2011, 09:39:49 PM

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, in marrying Anne Neville, was committing incest in the first degree because his brother the Duke of Clarence had already married Anne's sister, Isabel. Normally, under such circumstances, a member of a royal family would apply for a papal dispensation to do away with any familial impediments to such a politically advantageous marriage. Richard did indeed apply for a papal dispensation, but surprisingly, not one that covered this degree of relationship. Hicks asks, why was this? A brother(in-law) marriage to a sister(in-law) was regarded with a great deal of disapproval, even disgust, in fifteenth-century Western Europe. It was sinful and forbidden by God. Did Richard not seek a papal dispensation for this degree of relationship because he was already planning to divorce Anne at some point in the future, when she was no longer politically significant? Was he reluctant to wait for such a dispensation to come through, fearing that his political advantage in marrying her at the time would be lost? At any rate, the very fact that Richard and Anne never applied for, much less received, a papal dispensation for their close familial relationship meant that their marriage was never valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Richard could have legally divorced Anne at any time.

Which means that Richard's denunciation of his brother Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and his labeling of their children as "bastards," rings more than hollow, it rings all together false. It was Richard who had actually contracted an illegal marriage and produced illegitimate offspring (Prince Edward of Middleham). Now if that's not the pot calling the kettle black... Richard III really is the poster prince of moral hypocrisy. 

What makes the relationship of two brothers marrying two sisters incestuous? They are not related by blood. I have no information about it being incestuous during the Middle Ages or not, except for what you have provided me. If you could elucidate on that point, I'd be grateful.

Also, the entire basis of Titulus Regius, the statute that absolved Edward IV's marriage and bastardized his heirs, was the allegation of Edward's previous marriage to a woman by the name of Eleanor Talbot. Marrying a woman whilst already being married to another in a culture that does not entertain polygamy provides far stronger grounds than any absence of a papal dispensation. And I am still in doubt over the brother-in-law, sister-in-law notion of incest. In that time period people freely married their cousins and vice versa, connections that are now designated as being incest simply because people say so.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 17, 2011, 03:35:05 AM
What makes the relationship of two brothers marrying two sisters incestuous? They are not related by blood. I have no information about it being incestuous during the Middle Ages or not, except for what you have provided me. If you could elucidate on that point, I'd be grateful.

There was a massive list of people that were forbidden to marry because they were related within the prohibited degrees. Indeed, marriage was forbidden between relations whom we would scarcely acknowledge today.( AFAIK even godparents marrying god-children)
Kinship was either where blood relatives shared a common ancestor or as the result of a marriage turning in laws into relatives.( hence 2 brothers marrying 2 sisters being incestuous)
It is all about degrees of kinship.e.g. A man couldnot marry the third cousin of a woman with whom he had sexual intercourse with...this was "incestuous".
( Michael Hicks.2006) explains it in depth in his book" Anne Neville England's forgotten Queen"
Cheers. Kim
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 17, 2011, 03:37:52 AM
The prohibited degrees were much broader in the Middle Ages than today, and covered a whole lot of relationships which would not be problematical today. For example, the Black Prince and Joan of Kent needed a dispensation on several grounds, one of which was that he was godfather to one of her children. However, dispensations could be obtained for many of these relationships, and for the rich and powerful getting a dispensation was not difficult. It was also possible to get a dispensation for a marriage which would be completely illegal today - uncle-niece marriage is the obvious example (Philip II's fourth wife, Anne of Austria, was his niece).

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 17, 2011, 05:57:24 PM
Thank you Kim and Ann for your detailed comments. I assume that these were the specific set of rules established by the Church (correct me if I am wrong!), but how were they regarded in practice? Would English society in the medieval period not accommodated a marriage of Anne and Richard's nature? Was it, by social and cultural terms, incestuous? Or was it more of a law that did not extend beyond the bounds of Church and state?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 18, 2011, 03:29:48 AM
I think the fact that Richard III felt it necessary to make a public denial of any intention to marry Elizabeth demonstrates that according to the mores of the time a marriage between uncle and niece was Going Too Far.

Interestingly, my mother's parents were first cousins, and although their marriage was entirely lawful under both English civil law and the rules of the Church of England, they felt it necessary to conceal the closeness of their relationship, even from their own children. By contrast, my father's parents, who were first cousins once removed (my grandfather was first cousin to my grandmother's mother), saw no need for secrecy.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on October 18, 2011, 06:31:07 PM
Hi,

My maternal grandparents:
My grandfather's brother married my grandmother's sister....
And, everyone turned out OK - at least we think so!!

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 18, 2011, 06:39:20 PM
I think the fact that Richard III felt it necessary to make a public denial of any intention to marry Elizabeth demonstrates that according to the mores of the time a marriage between uncle and niece was Going Too Far.


That is not strictly true--Richard also felt the need to deny the marriage to the lords of the North, who were wary of him being held sway by the Wydvilles' power.

Also, by Church standards, my family would have committed incest several times over. My own parents are first cousins once removed; my father's brother married my mother's sister; and in my extended family there are many marriages between first cousins and the offspring that has resulted from it.

There are other threads if you wish to discuss this subject Norbert. but going back to a possible romance between Richard and Elizabeth of York;
In the British Museum, there is Richard's personal copy of "Tristan and Iseulte" which "bears an intriguing motto and signature of Elizabeth". The motto is-"sans removyr" (without changing).There is also a copy of a book by Boethius, which also carries notations by her in the margins and is also inscribed with combinations of Richard's motto-Loyalte me Lye, and Elizabeth's name...both in her handwriting.

I find this so utterly fascinating. Is there anywhere else I can get information about it? :)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 19, 2011, 04:06:26 AM
'Also, by Church standards, my family would have committed incest several times over. My own parents are first cousins once removed; my father's brother married my mother's sister; and in my extended family there are many marriages between first cousins and the offspring that has resulted from it.'

All these marriages would have needed dispensations in the 15th century. Marriages between cousins of various degrees and those related by marriage were routine among the upper classes (because they were all related to one another anyway), but I think uncle-niece marriages were pretty unusual. The earliest I can think of was Philip II and Anne of Austria, which is a hundred years after Richard.

Incidentally, my maternal grandparents' marriage (between first cousins) produced four distinctly brainy offspring. My paternal grandparents' marriage (first cousins once removed) produced two normally intelligent offspring (no obvious difference from the three children of my grandmother's first marriage, in fact). My brother and myself are no slouches either.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 19, 2011, 04:30:55 AM
What advantage would Richard gain from marrying Elizabeth of York anyway?

For him to marry her, she would have to be treated as legitimate, which would raise the question of the legitimacy of her brothers. Given the closeness of the relationship, a dispensation might well be difficult to get, and, unlike the Habsburgs, English kings did not have particularly close relationships with the papacy. Obviously marrying Elizabeth would prevent her from marrying Tudor, but that problem could be dealt with quite easily by marrying her off to one of Richard's own followers.

Marrying a Portuguese lady makes better sense.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 19, 2011, 03:43:58 PM
He definitely had plans to marry Joanna of Portugal. Any foreign princess would have made sense, really, because she secured for him a heady political alliance.

EoY would have brought him the advantage of uniting Richard and the Woodvilles. Tudor could also not lay any claim to her that way, and neither could any other man who held designs on the throne. There was, after all, only one Yorkist heiress in all England (excluding her sisters, of course), and it was Elizabeth of York. Margaret of Warwick was certainly another, but the daughter of a former king holds more obvious power than the daughter of a prince or duke.

As for the law that declared her a bastard? Even if it were the law, do you think she was treated as a bastard by her contemporaries, that is, on a regular basis? She had been a princess her whole life. A law does not necessarily change the mindset of the people who saw her, received her, interacted with her. Titulus Regius was conceived for the purpose of putting aside Edward IV's sons and giving Richard way to the throne. The princes in the tower were likely dead, and if not that, dead in name and by practical terms anyway. His marriage with Elizabeth of York would have united the House of York and given him the heirs he so desperately needed after the death of his son, Edward, Prince of Wales.

The people seeing him wed the sister of Edward V and Richard, Duke of York could have also steered them away from the notion that Richard III was responsible for the young princes' deaths. Elizabeth of York would have been attracted to the option because, naturally, she would have been queen. She would have the opportunity to exit the sanctuary she had spent the recent years of her life in and be honored at court. It was her natural home, having been born and bred a princess.

A foreign alliance would have been likelier still, but Richard also had the challenge of uniting England. His own house of York was tragically, fatally divided, and to salvage that he may have considered marrying his greatest enemy's niece, the daughter of a Woodville. Of all the internal headaches he had, it would have been one less if he had only to deal with his traditional enemy, Lancaster, and not the fervently ambitious Woodville clan.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 20, 2011, 02:16:08 AM
I take your points, but I think their being uncle and niece was a major obstacle and the reason for the public denial. Had there ever been any dispensations for uncle-niece marriages at all previously?

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 22, 2011, 06:02:11 PM
I'm sorry to say that I don't know at all. The greater obstacle would have been not the matter of the dispensation itself, but the reaction of the English people to an uncle-niece relationship. I was speaking mostly of the political and strategic advantages such a marriage would have brought Richard.

I still believe that a dispensation would have been possible. I don't know how common one for an uncle-niece marriage would be the context of the time period, but it's certainly not an idea that can be dismissed either.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 23, 2011, 05:47:25 AM
The two major obstacles were the dispensation itself and the public reaction to an uncle-niece marriage.

As yet I've been unable to find any uncle-niece marriages prior to Philip II and Anne of Austria, but I will keep looking. I also need to see what public reaction there was to Philip's marriage.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eutropius on October 24, 2011, 06:47:37 PM
Here are the examples I could think of.  They mostly involve half-,rather than full relations, but the Catholic Church treated these relations the same as far as laws of consanguinity were concerned.

1. Infante John, youngest son of John I, King of Portugal married his half-niece, Isabella of Braganza in 1424.  Through their daughters, they were grandparents of Isabella I, Queen of Castile and Manuel I, King of Portugal.

2. Alfonso V, King of Portugal married his niece, Infanta Joanna of Castile (La Beltraneja) in 1475.  The marriage was later annulled due to consanguinity (but I think this was really more about politics... consanguinity was a frequent cause for annulment).  Joanna was earlier betrothed to her half-uncle, Alfonso, Prince of Asturias (brother of Queen Isabella I of Castile above).  

3. Ferdinand II, King of Naples married his half-aunt, Princess Joanna of Naples in 1496.  

4. Philip II nearly married his half-aunt (and first cousin), Infanta Maria of Portugal (1521-1577) during the 1550s.  
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 25, 2011, 03:37:09 AM
Eutropius

Many thanks for this. I shoulde have remembered Alfonso and Juana la Beltraneja. Bear in mind also that there was plenty of doubt as to whether la Beltraneja was actually the daughter of her official father, Enrique the Impotent.

So some examples of uncle-niece marriages before 1485, but all involving Spanish and Neapolitan royalties. Does that make a difference? I know that Spanish royalties were particular practitioners of cousin marriages - Philip II and his first wife, another Maria of Portugal, were double first cousins (the marriage produced Don Carlos). A little later Philip's sister married Maria's brother, to produce Sebastian of Portugal.

Frustratingly, a pal currently has my copy of Henry Kamen's biography of Philip II.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eutropius on October 25, 2011, 11:34:28 AM
I think you're right, that it may have made a difference that they were Iberian.  There are plenty of examples of first cousin marriage among the Aragonese, Castilian, and Portuguese royal families during the 14th and 15th centuries.  Iberia was still at the edge of christendom.  Perhaps the pope was probably more willing to bend rules where marriage alliances were concerned, when it meant peace and an alliance between two catholic countries.  There was also the whole papal schism.  The rival popes and "antipopes" were often on shaky ground and were more likely to let their supporters do whatever they want.  I think Portugal, Aragon, and Castile may have varied in which pope they supported.

In the case of Richard III and Elizabeth of York, perhaps arguments like prevention of civil war and greater obedience to Rome could have been persuasive enough to gain a papal dispensation...  But who can say.  I think there was also a cultural bias against these types of marriages in England.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 25, 2011, 12:10:46 PM
The royal family of Naples was closely linked with Aragon. Ferdinand II's grandfather, Ferdinand I, was an illegitimate son of Alfonso V of Aragon. His bride, Joanna, was a daughter of Ferdinand I's second marriage, to Joanna of Aragon, who was his first cousin.

I suspect that getting a dispensation (or annulment) was more a matter of the realities of politics than canon law. Let's not forget that Henry VIII failed to get an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1527 because Caqtherine's nephew, Charles V, was besieging the Pope in the Castel de' St Angelo!

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: FaithWhiteRose on October 26, 2011, 09:36:24 PM
I definitely agree with you there about dispensations being handed out for the purpose of politics rather than canon law. To these people and in this time period, that was what mattered the most. The Pope himself had an important political role to play, and it isn't wholly inaccurate to say that that was at the forefront of his mind as he led the Roman Catholic Church.

As for Elizabeth of York and Richard III, think the Pope would have been convinced but the English people would not.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 27, 2011, 03:47:19 AM
Here's what I know about Alfonso of Castile and Juana la Beltraneja. It's an odd situation and I would take the view that their betrothal was very much political and might well have been agreed to by the cortes on the basis that Juana was not Alfonso's niece anyway.

Enrique IV was the only son of King Juan II by his first marriage. He married twice but was apparently unable to consummate either marriage, being known to contemporaries as Enrique ‘the Impotent’. Attempts were made at artificial insemination via a specially-made brass tube, but it was generally assumed that the daughter born to Enrique’s second wife in 1462 was fathered by Don Beltran de la Cueva, who was rumoured to be the lover of both king and queen. The cortes refused to accede to Enrique’s request that they accept the infant Juana ‘la Beltraneja’ as his heir, and in 1463 he recognised his nine-year-old half-brother, Alfonso, as heir, on the proviso that he married la Beltraneja. In 1465 a noble faction led by the king’s chief minister, the Marques de Vilena, persuaded an assembly to declare Enrique deposed and installed Alfonso as king in his place. On Alfonso’s death in 1468 amid rumours of poison, the nobles put Isabella, Enrique's half-sister, and whole-blood sister to Alfonso, forward as a potential ruler. Under terms agreed with Enrique, Isabella was recognised as queen and married to Ferdinand, the heir to Aragon, who was the nearest male heir to Castile,  though the marriage treaty provided that he was to take second place in the government of Castile behind Isabella. Enrique retired into seclusion for the rest of his life, but the settlement was not universally accepted, since Alfonso V of Portugal championed the cause of la Beltraneja, and war continued until 1479, when la Beltraneja was consigned to a convent.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Suzanne on April 22, 2013, 12:10:31 PM
Amy Licence challenges the idea that "romance' motivated Elizabeth of York in her new biography of the first Tudor queen

http://www.royalhistorian.com/the-tudor-book-reviews-12-elizabeth-of-york-the-forgotten-tudor-queen-by-amy-licence/
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 23, 2013, 01:08:43 AM
I think that make sense. Elizabeth would hardly have fallen for an ambitious uncle who locked up her brothers, seized the throne and declared her own status illegitimate. Furthermore, Richard III also murdered her beloved Uncle Anthony, Lord Rivers. I agree that Elizabeth was a spy for her mother and be charming to her uncle and he did fell for her, enough to have to swear publicly that he will not entertain any thought to marry her. So no...I agree that there is no romance here.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 23, 2013, 07:17:47 AM
Personally, I find the story highly doubtful, for the following reasons:
a) There is no evidence that the Buck letter ever existed, apart from Buck's own claim. Otherwise, the only evidence is the public denial, which can be taken either way;
b) There were numerous reasons at the time for NOT seeking to marry Elizabeth of York. She was Richard's niece, which raised the practical problem of getting a dispensation as well as possible public opprobrium. Elizabeth and his sisters had been declared illegitimate by Titulus Regis, raising the thorny issue of what had happened to their brothers, if the Act were to be repealed or amended. There were good reasons to marry Elizabeth to somebody, but considerable disadvantages in Richard marrying her himself.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 23, 2013, 05:45:26 PM
I agree with you entirely.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Selencia on October 06, 2013, 04:20:28 PM
I don't think marrying a niece was ever done in England, they weren't Hapsburg's. I don't have much knowledge and I know marrying a cousin was prevalent, but I think marrying a niece/uncle was too far for the English.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 07, 2013, 06:52:54 PM
But the Northern Lords took it seriously and made Richard III to openly swear not to marry his illegitimate niece. The fact that they demand that makes me suspicious. 
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 08, 2013, 02:55:22 AM
I think a climate of rumour and suspicion was enough to explain that.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 08, 2013, 01:22:23 PM
Not really. There was a strong rumour that Richard wanted to marry his niece to frustrate the hopes of Henry Tudor, the same dress incident (with Queen Anne Neville & Elizabeth of York in the same dress) does convey a kind of succession. Elizabeth did appear to flirt with her uncle and that fits the strategy of Elizabeth Woodville (Dame Grey at that time) to make her daughter Queen at any cost. The Northern Nobles who were faithful to Warrick and his daughter Anne would have none of that (poison Anne & replace her with his niece) and forced him to make a public declaration. It was as close to an admission that Richard III was at least thinking about it.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 08, 2013, 02:31:13 PM
But bear in mind that the source for all this is the Croyland Chronicle, which is very anti-Richard.

To my mind the strongest argument against the whole idea is the simplest. Uncle-niece marriages did not happen in England, and getting a dispensation would have been difficult to say the least. Richard needed to marry again, and he needed to get Elizabeth married to prevent her from marrying Tudor. But marrying her himself was not the solution.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 08, 2013, 03:44:13 PM
I think the speed he disposed his nephew from King to bastard made people look more closely at his actions. While I do not think the traditional evil crooked monster now holds any water, the fact remains that he was very ambitious and willing to go through great lengths to achieve power.

I don't think the fact is as simple as that. The facts seemed to indicate that Richard at least toy with the idea so much that there was alarm that it might come into fruition. Most certainly the Northern Nobles seem to think so and there is no indication that his public swearing that he would not marry his bastard niece was a work of fiction. If that fact stands (also indicated by other independent sources). Then I think that might be a ploy of Richard III that backfired. Also no indication he wanted Elizabeth to marry anybody but himself (since Elizabeth's younger sister Cecily was already married).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 09, 2013, 03:33:04 AM
I take your point that the idea was considered as a potential solution to two problems; that Elizabeth needed to be married off, and that Richard himself needed to marry again and produce heirs. Elizabeth may also have flirted with him - after all, teenage girls will flirt with virtually any man, and there were only 12 years between them.

However, I doubt very much that the idea got any further than an idea. Richard would have been rapidly reminded that he would not get a dispensation, and that would have been that.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 09, 2013, 08:03:12 AM
We also need to bear in mind that Elizabeth was a bastard. Richard would surely have to legitimize her before he married her.
There were negotiations with Portugal regarding the marriage of Richard to Joanna of Portugal and the marriage of Elizabeth and a Portuguese prince.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2013, 10:17:35 AM
The problem was that Elizabeth was NOT a bastard. She was only declared that by her uncle to justify his upsurging the throne from her brother Edward. The people of England were not convinced of that and they missed Edward IV and his jolly court with the beautiful queen and many children. That was the reason the Tudors had such an easy job in demonizing Richard III, his actions weren't so different that Henry IV. But the victim here wasn't a disgraced king (Richard II) but a widow and her young children. Richard III would never be popular under such circumstances. If Elizabeth Woodville & her daughter did not took the situation lying down (plotting with Margaret Beaufort etc), who could blame them. The evidence on Eleanor Butler was flimsy to say the least...It was thus poetic justice that Richard III's name was dragged in the mud (when he did the same to his brother). 
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 09, 2013, 10:30:22 AM
Yes to both points.

For Richard to seek to marry Elizabeth himself was more trouble than it was worth. But it does seem strange that he did not rush to get her married to someone else, when he seems to have arranged Cecily's marriage to one of the Scropes. Maybe he wasn't taking the Tudor threat all that seriously at that stage - and, clearly, richard could not have known that he was going to be killed when he was. Necessarily, negotiating a marriage with Portugal was going to take longer than identifying one of his own followers who was free to marry and making the necessary arrangements (presumably, that is what happened wih Cecily!)

Elizabeth had been declared a bastard (not quite the same as being a bastard), so would need to have been unbastardised for Richard to marry her - more trouble than it was worth. I wonder whether the Portuguese would have raised difficulties over this.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 09, 2013, 11:08:59 AM
The problem was that Elizabeth was NOT a bastard. She was only declared that by her uncle to justify his upsurging the throne from her brother Edward. The people of England were not convinced of that and they missed Edward IV and his jolly court with the beautiful queen and many children. That was the reason the Tudors had such an easy job in demonizing Richard III, his actions weren't so different that Henry IV. But the victim here wasn't a disgraced king (Richard II) but a widow and her young children. Richard III would never be popular under such circumstances. If Elizabeth Woodville & her daughter did not took the situation lying down (plotting with Margaret Beaufort etc), who could blame them. The evidence on Eleanor Butler was flimsy to say the least...It was thus poetic justice that Richard III's name was dragged in the mud (when he did the same to his brother). 

The problem here with Edward's marriage is two fold.
1 There was a contract of marriage between himself and Eleanor Talbot....... A spoken vow of "I will marry you, now lets hop into bed".  Although there is now no proof of this, it is irrelevant BECAUSE;

2. The marriage between Edward and Elizabeth WAS ILLEGAL -  clandestine in that it was held in private, with few witnesses, there were no Banns called and the King's ministers were not involved.
   According to canon law, this clandestine marriage on its own was enough for it to have been no marriage and the children, according to the law of the church, to be illegitimate.
 If the Banns had been called then any impediment to their marriage could have been investigated and removed ( i.e. the Butler pre contract ).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2013, 12:48:06 PM
That is still problematic because:

1. By the time the situation was raised BOTH Edward IV & Eleanor Butler were DEAD. So they were not alive to defend themselves. It was only a bishop who heard something years ago and everything to gain by telling the Duke of Gloucester that. It is the same saying that George III married a Quackeress so his descendants (Queen Victoria included) was a usurper to the throne. Not to mention Richard III promised to his brother to support his nephew, which he broke the moment his brother died. That was a rumor and would have laughed out of court if presented today.

2. The marriage was deemed legal (sans the Eleanor Butler episode) by Warrick, Clarence and even Gloucester himself during Edward IV's life time. It wasn't challenged except it was accused to be done through witchcraft. Elizabeth of York was once even betrothed to Warrick's nephew George. Would he welcome a bastard into the family ? Sorry it was Richard III's naked aggression nothing else...
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Vecchiolarry on October 09, 2013, 01:00:14 PM
Hi,

Wasn't Elizabeth Woodville crowned Queen?
Does or doesn't that mean she is married to The King?  Wouldn't the Church have had something to say about whether she was legally married or not - banns posted or not?

I would wonder whether the Church would crown a woman as Queen, even if The King wanted it and was not actually 'married' to her...

Just asking...

Larry
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: CountessKate on October 09, 2013, 01:55:35 PM
Hi,

Wasn't Elizabeth Woodville crowned Queen?
Does or doesn't that mean she is married to The King?  Wouldn't the Church have had something to say about whether she was legally married or not - banns posted or not?

I would wonder whether the Church would crown a woman as Queen, even if The King wanted it and was not actually 'married' to her...

Just asking...

Larry

The church did not challenge marriages of its own volition unless there was an obviously case where canon law was being broken without a papal dispensation - e.g. an uncle-niece marriage - and would hardly have refused to crown Elizabeth Woodville given that no evidence had been presented at the time that the marriage was in some way dubious.  It was not an institution which went around trying to find ways of inconveniencing a ruler unless that ruler posed a threat to its power, possessions, or authority, none of which Edward IV did.  If Elizabeth Woodville had not borne a couple of male heirs, however, Edward IV might have brought up the subject of a marriage of doubtful legality himself, just as his grandson Henry VIII did when his wife proved unable to produce a male heir.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 09, 2013, 02:00:30 PM
R.H Helmholz is an authority on medieval canon law.
Can I direct you to:
"The sons of Edward IV. A Canonical Assessment to the Claim that they were Illegitimate".
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2013, 08:19:59 PM
Not so fast. When does bastardy bars one from the throne ? William the Conquer was a bastard and still succeeded. No. The Church is not trustworthy in these matters as the case of Joan of Arc had demonstrated. One day she was a witch and another a saint ? In the court of law today, it would be deemed a technicality. One must also remember there are so called "common law wife". If a woman lives with a man for so many years and accepted by the church and family at the time (not to mention crowned). She is the wife. Richard III miscalculated his ambitions when he took the throne. He never did convinced the people of England of his justification of taking the throne for himself.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 10, 2013, 03:12:02 AM
William I was king by conquest, and even 70 years later ideas had changed - when Henry I died in 1135 there seems to have been no question of his eldest bastard Robert of Gloucester succeeding him (and Gloucester himself never seems to have pressed a claim!).

There is a principle of British constitutional law that Parliament can legislate on anything. this was not fully developed in 1483, but Parliament could certainly make someone a bastard. Parliament could also declare a person to be legitimate.

As far as the 'common law marriage' argument is concerned, did medieval canon law accept such a thing? Serious question, as I'm not a specialist in it. In any case, Elizabeth was born ldess than a year after the secret marriage, so it could hardly be said that the idea of Edward and Elizabeth Woodville had been living together for many years at that point.

In my view, given Edward IV's track record, it is far from impossible that there was a pre-contract with Eleanor Butler. Not certain, but certainly possible. On that basis, Elizabeth would have been illegitimate, and not legitimised by a later lawful marriage between her parents, since a second marriage ceremony did't take place. Canon law did provide that the children of an unwittingly consanguineous marriage were legitimate if neither parent appreciated that they were related within the prohibited degrees - one example is Robert II of Scots and the issue of his first marriage. I don't know whether that also applied to previous pre-contracts, but Edward would certainly have known of any plight troth he had entered into, and Eleanor Butler was still alive in 1465.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 10, 2013, 01:09:53 PM
You touch upon a point that is worth looking at. That is parliament can declare a person a bastard or legitimate. 

Eleanor Butler was alive in 1465, but not in 1483 when she could have given testimony for her case. Most historians (except Richardians) believe that canon law would not have declared the issue of Edward IV illegitimate but deal with it like an adultery. Most certainly if Elizabeth Woodville's marriage with Edward IV was in any shaky grounds, it would have flushed out at the King's first banishment to the Netherlands. Instead a weak case against Jacquatta Lady Rivers on the grounds of witchcraft was used instead. If the Earl of Warrick did not used it, it must be it was a weak case. He also accepted the marriage as legal but challenged the way it was brought about.

Also a real marriage trumps a pre-contract. If we are to believe that Edward IV spoke of marriage to every woman he beds, then there will be much more. Elizabeth Woodville & her mother made sure that as far as the church is concerned it was air-tight. The real problem with Richard III is that the people did not buy that argument.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 10, 2013, 01:41:04 PM
" Most historians except Ricardians"........really Eric, where is your source for this statement !
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 10, 2013, 02:32:12 PM
Easy. Just read the wikipedia on Eleanor Talbot (Butler) you can see both sides. Richard III was a very curious character. He wasn't the monster as shown by Tudor propraganda nor was he the virtuous knight in shining armor of the Richardians. I think Michael Hicks's book on Richard III is the most balanced as he argued both sides.   
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 10, 2013, 03:17:18 PM
Aahhhh Wikipedia .......so nothing scholarly then :-)
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 10, 2013, 06:29:11 PM
That is a cheap shot. I don't see you offer anything back. I think the book Michael Hicks wrote is very scholarly. You can learn a few things from him yet...for example manners and courtesy.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 11, 2013, 02:15:02 AM
It is not a " cheap shot" at all , neither is it discourteous of me. I have already suggested Helmholz and as for Eleanor Talbot there is a book out there written by John Ashdown-Hill..
" Eleanor, the Secret Queen; the woman who put Richard III on the throne".
In the UK , Wikipedia is very much frowned on regarding academic studies and there are "students" who read this forum as FA tells us.
I have read several books written by Michael Hicks, in fact I am looking at his "Anne Neville" right now. While I do not agree with his casting of Richard as a "serial incestor" it is an absolutely excellent resource for the explanation on degrees of affinity and such like.
I make no apology for being a "Ricardian" but I do not see Richard as a "whiter than white knight in shining armour", rather, he was a typical medieval King who was just as bloody as the rest of them.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 11, 2013, 03:25:55 AM
Eric

You make a fair point that the validity of Edward's marriage was not brought into question in 1470-71.

However, Warwick was casting doubt on Edward's own title to the throne, not that of his issue.

I also agree with Kimberly about Wikipedia. It is useful for basic stuff like dates, but  otherwise it's reliability depends entirely on the anonymous authors of individual entries. Some are clearly serious scholars, but by no means all.

Incidentally, what is the source for Cecily's marriage to Scrope?

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2013, 12:03:03 PM
Ann,

Indeed. I am ready for a point to point discussion. Indeed Michael Hicks (I thought he was a Ricardian, but his book on Richard III was surprisingly fair) deemed Richard III claim as weak and most common people do not support an uncle taking over his nephew's throne. That Richard's popularity dropped once he took the throne (before that he was well respected for his loyalty to his brother and good administration skills in the North, where his power base was). The fact that the marriage was not called into question before made any claims from him selfserving since he was the beneficiary of it (the result him being king).

I agree with Michael Hicks that Richard III's name was already blackened before the Tudor propaganda took over. My belief was that Richard III planned this "take over" and executed it with great accuracy (surprising both Rivers & Hastings). However morally it did not fly with the common people who heard that he swore at his brother's death bed to take care of his family. Elizabeth Woodville was forced into a corner when her husband dies, brother executed and her title & marriage disputed. Richard made an error when he took the young Duke of York from his mother, it created sympathy for the widow & child torn away by a wicked uncle. Had she been allowed to be with Richard (they could be taken together), she would never thrown her lot with Margaret Beaufort and the whole Tudor propaganda would have fallen apart. Richard III's real sin was towards his own house (York) and gave Henry Tudor a cause to enter History. The whole sale fall out of nobles towards Henry Tudor was entirely his mismanagement of both his PR and those who should be close to him.

It was my belief that had Richard III content to be Lord Protector of Edward V, there would be no opening for Henry Tudor & Margaret Beaufort. It would give him time to built up his Southern power base (most of his enemies came from that region) and solidify his situation as "the good uncle" like John of Gaunt (uncle to Richard II) or Duke of Bedford (Uncle to Henry VI) before the strike. He may also marry the girls out of the country into alliances...Instead he thought he could pull it off. Big mistake.   
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: DNAgenie on October 11, 2013, 05:16:17 PM
Quote
Indeed Michael Hicks (I thought he was a Ricardian, but his book on Richard III was surprisingly fair) deemed Richard III claim as weak

That depends how you define a Ricardian.   It is a fallacy that a Ricardian must believe that Richard was a great man in all respects. The Ricardian Society makes a point of researching Richard III's period on a strictly factual basis. Michael Hicks has articles on their website, despite the fact that he thinks Richard's claim was weak, as stated above.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2013, 11:01:50 PM
Well...That is not really rational isn't it ? I love Ella and Missy, but I cannot say that they were "great women in all respects". Everyone has their flaws and Richard III surely had his share of it. I don't think you can have a dialogue with that kind of belief...like the cult of Chairman Mao.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 12, 2013, 06:59:43 AM
What is a Ricardian?

There are some Richard groupies who will not have a word said against Richard and regard him as  a romantic hero and his marriage to Anne Nevile as a great love story - there are quite a few historical novels which follow that line.

There are others who wish simply to find out how it really was, and I put myself in that category.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 12, 2013, 07:32:58 AM
Anne, absolutely with you on this and I am in the same camp as you. As with any "interest group" you will get the fanatics, amusingly, the Ricardian variety seem to be pictured among some as wild-haired, tweed wearing matrons with a faint whiff of mothballs and cat pee. I do think that the vast majority of "Ricardians" believe that Richard was a "flawed" human being....after all, who of us isn't?
The Richard III Society is very much a scholarly institution which promotes research into the life and times of the man himself and it is open to anyone to join ( and no, I am not a recruitment officer :-)  ).

That seems pretty rational to me Eric, after all, if we all thought that Richard was whiter than white or blacker than black, there would be very little if any, discussion at all.

( reason for edit...spelling error).
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 12, 2013, 07:51:21 AM
Eric

Incidentally, what is the source for Cecily's marriage to Scrope?

Ann


I cannot answer for Eric :-) but this has picqued my interest.
According to Baldwin ( Elizabeth Woodville, mother of the Princes in the Tower), Ralph Scrope of Upsall was first husband to Cecily who then went on to marry John, Viscount Welles and thirdly, Thomas Kyne of Friskey.
Alison Weir's  Britain's Royal families, ( my copy is quite old ) notes that Cecily had only 2 husbands, Welles and Kyne.
The Scrope family page shows that Ralph was married to a certain Eleanor Windsor and elsewhere it is suggested that Eleanor is in fact his 2nd wife having had the previous marriage to Cecily dissolved.
Cecily was buried in Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight which was lost following the Dissolution. However, there is record of a tomb found in a church ( St Alkmund) in Shropshire which was described as white marble and inscribed "one Lady Scroop, Daughter of K Edward. This church collapsed into ruin in 1711.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 12, 2013, 08:53:37 AM
Kimberly

Thanks for both your messages.

I too have a fairly old copy of the Weir book and went first to that as a convenient source.

I do belong to the Richard III Society but get impatient with some members who take the romantic view.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2013, 01:52:43 PM
I think Richard III was a very complicated human being. I like to know the real person and thus open to the possibility that he wasn't a nice person. But most Ricardians I met are of the Shining armour and romantic sort. I personally think he was a traitor to his House and his taking the throne set in motion the succession of the Tudors and fall of the House of York.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on October 12, 2013, 04:01:39 PM
Well Eric, sounds like you should meet Anne and me..:-), we are very "normal".
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2013, 04:20:37 PM
Good. Always like a good intelligent discussion on a complicated subject. Richard III was one of those. History can record his activities (both success and failures) but it cannot record his true motives and the reason behind his actions. That is where people have problems. Was he a good person gone bad, or blinded by ambition or just someone who want to do the right thing ? There is no true answer to that since he was long dead and no wittness to the inner dealings of his mind.
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Selencia on May 05, 2014, 11:54:28 PM
Ok hasn't anyone thought up the fact that this idea of love between Elizabeth and Richard makes them both look bad? Not only does it trump on history of Elizabeth's actual marriage being a good one but it makes Richard and Elizabeth willing participants in incest of one of the worst degrees. Why would any Richard defender  want to use such a thing to try and make him look better?
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kalafrana on May 06, 2014, 03:30:01 AM
I agree entirely that it makes them both look bad. As you can see from earlier posts, I find the whole idea of Richard wishing to marry Elizabeth unlikely. OK, she may have developed a crush on her uncle (warlike men in their early thirties can be very attractive to late-teenage girls!), but a marriage was never going to happen.

Ann
Title: Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
Post by: Kimberly on May 06, 2014, 08:36:00 AM
Ok hasn't anyone thought up the fact that this idea of love between Elizabeth and Richard makes them both look bad? Not only does it trump on history of Elizabeth's actual marriage being a good one but it makes Richard and Elizabeth willing participants in incest of one of the worst degrees. Why would any Richard defender  want to use such a thing to try and make him look better?

Ok.
This is based on the letter "found" by Buck and it is no longer extant but there is evidence to suggest that it had been tampered with not least by Buck's nephew. ( sorry, I cannot find the source for this at the moment in my massive pile of "stuff". :-) ).
The letter suggests that it was very much Elizabeth who was "chasing" Richard and not vice-versa, to wit - she asks Norfolk to intercede, i.e. put in a good word for her.

Elizabeth would bring no suitable dowry to the marriage and there would be no profitable foreign alliance.

The sheer absurdity of marriage plans with a niece declared illegitimate would make a travesty of Titulus Regis.

Denial by Richard of any marriage plans ( which is preserved verbatim in the records of the Mercers.)

At this time,Richard was planning a marriage with Joanna of Portugal ( note she was of Lancastrian "blood" ) with Elizabeth to wed Manuel of Portugal who was cousin to Joanna.