Author Topic: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England  (Read 33775 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« on: August 24, 2005, 12:18:40 PM »
Elizabeth Woodville (or Wydville, or Wydeville) was one of the central characters in the drama of the latter-day Wars of the Roses. She was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, who had been married to John Plantangenet, Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V. She had a veritable army of brothers and sisters.

She was married to Sir John Grey, a Lancastrian knight, and had with him two sons, Thomas and Richard (there is some dispute over which of the boys is the elder - that's another story).

After Sir John's death, she was courted by the promiscuous King Edward IV. Finally, unable to convince her to go to bed with him any other way, Edward secretly married the beautiful Elizabeth.

She gave him 10 children:
Princess Elizabeth (famously, 'of York')
Princess Mary, died aged 16
Princess Cicely
Edward V
Princess Margaret
Prince Richard, Duke of York
Princess Anne
Prince George
Princess Katherine
Princess Briget

I would like to know your opinion of Elizabeth - was she a cold, calculating, manipulative shrew of a woman, or was she a victim of circumstances?

Tell me what you think!  :)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Elisabeth

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 12:44:27 PM »
What a truly excellent subject for a thread, Prince!  :) You have my congratulations. I think this topic will provoke a really superb and challenging discussion.

My own impression of Elizabeth Wydville is perhaps a contradiction in terms... she was indeed cold, calculating and manipulative... as well as a victim of circumstances! Shrewish I wouldn't say - because shrews generally lose their influence over their husbands, and Elizabeth kept hers until the end of Edward IV's life. But was she willing to sacrifice her children to higher dynastic interests? Yes, I think she was. Thus she could contemplate marrying her own daughter, Elizabeth of York, to the murderer of her sons, Edward V and the Duke of York, even while she schemed to marry that same daughter to Henry Tudor. Who knows, perhaps Elizabeth of York's projected marriage to Richard III was merely a delaying tactic on the part of her mother. Given Elizabeth Wydville's career in political maneuvering, nothing would surprise me!

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2005, 12:53:43 PM »
Thank you for contributing, Elisabeth (and thanks for the compliment  :-[).

I think Elizabeth was certainly ambitious, but she obviously cared for her children. Remember Thomas More's account of when Richard was taken away from her - 'she cried 'Kiss me, my sweet son, for God knweth if we shall ever kiss again'. And when he was gone, she rent the place with her shrieks and screamed and beat her breast and tore at her hair.'

I am quoting from memory alone, so please excuse a mistake or two.

I think that she is portrayed wonderfully by Reay Tanahill and Sharon Penman in the Seventh Son and the Sunne in Splendour. I love the line in the Seventh Son: Elizabeth did not frown, because it was aging.  ;D
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of Englandyn had be
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2005, 01:04:54 PM »
Ooohhh cool, I think EW is a fascinating creature. I think if Anne Boleyn had had a son,and survived Henry's wrath, she would have been just like her. EW-extremely clever, manipulative, cold, calculating and intelligent. She is undoubtedly a figure of great importance- and you really couldn't make her life up could you.
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Elisabeth

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 01:07:36 PM »
Your comparison of EW with Anne Boleyn is very apt, Kimberly. I think the two women did indeed have a lot in common. Beauty, brains and ambition, not necessarily in that order!  ;)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 02:22:48 PM »
She was certainly beautiful - here's the most famous portrait of her:



One can see how Edward was entranced!  :o
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2005, 02:25:24 PM »
Another piccie:



And one more:



She looks enceinte in that one, doesn't she?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2005, 02:33:29 PM »
She obviously kept Edward's fancy as well, seeing as how she had babies at regular intervals.He was such a man for the laydees though wasn't he.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2005, 02:36:21 PM »
He certainly was! Despite braving Warwick's wrath for marrying Elizabeth he didn't stay faithful - Elizabeth Shore and Elizabeth Lucy are two famous mistresses. He had lots of Lizzes in his life.  ;D

Shore was also mistress to Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset and, I think, Edward's friend Lord Hastings.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

ilyala

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2005, 09:00:35 AM »
what happened to prince george, their third son? did he die young?

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2005, 09:36:17 AM »
He did indeed. His dates were 1477-79, and he was Duke of Bedford. How interesting things might have been if he had survived . . . but that's another story.

Margaret also died young, as did Mary.

Elizabeth, of course, married Henry VII.
Cicely married firstly John Welles, Viscount Welles, and then Thomas Kymbe.
Anne married Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
Katherine married William Courtenay, Earl of Devon (she was also godmother to Mary I and her grandson Edward was mooted as a husband for both Elizabeth I and Mary).
Briget became a nun.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2005, 09:38:38 AM »
Yes Ilyala. Prince George- born 1477 died 1479. He is buried in St. Georges Chapel, Windsor.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2005, 09:50:00 AM »
Given the amount of children they had, it is strange that Edward and Elizabeth did not have many great-grandchildren.

Obviously, through Elizabeth, they are the ancestors of EIIR.

Cicely had two children by each of her husbands, but none of her children had any known issue.

Edward V had no children.

Richard had no issue.

Anne had several who died young.

Katherine had 3 children - Edward, Henry and Margaret. Edward died young. Henry, as we know, became Marquess of Exeter and married Gertrude Blount and produced Edward Courtenay. Margaret married Henry Somerset, Earl of Worchester and had two daughters, Anne and Lucy. Anne married Thomas Percy, Lord Northumberland and had issue. Lucy married John Neville, Lord Latimer, who was the son of one of Katherine Parr's husbands.

Briget of course had no children.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2005, 10:41:21 AM »
Didn,t one of Cicely's children choke to death on a fishbone?
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2005, 01:50:06 PM »
Quote
Didn,t one of Cicely's children choke to death on a fishbone?


That sounds interesting Kim. Where did you read it?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."