Author Topic: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?  (Read 119279 times)

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Offline FaithWhiteRose

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #120 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #121 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

Offline Eutropius

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #122 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.  

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #123 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

Offline Eutropius

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #124 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #125 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

Offline FaithWhiteRose

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #126 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #127 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

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #128 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/

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #129 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #130 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

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #131 on: April 23, 2013, 05:45:26 PM »
I agree with you entirely.

Offline Selencia

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #132 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.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #133 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. 

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romance between Elizabeth of York and Richard III?
« Reply #134 on: October 08, 2013, 02:55:22 AM »
I think a climate of rumour and suspicion was enough to explain that.

Ann