Author Topic: Henry VI's son - Bastard?  (Read 7554 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« on: November 14, 2005, 04:11:05 PM »
Hi all.  ;)

Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou were childless for 8 years, until their only child Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales. Edward was born during one of Henry's bouts of 'madness' and to this day speculation continues as to whether the King was in fact the boy's father. Many suspected that the tigerish Queen Margaret had taken a lover . . . what do you guys think?

EDIT - Title of thread changed by popular demand.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
"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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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 04:15:06 PM »
Didn't Henry acknowledge the child as the "Son of the Holy Spirit" hmmmm I think maybe Somerset could have been the daddy ;D ;D
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Elisabeth

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2005, 05:12:42 PM »
It's interesting to me just how often the charge of illegitimacy was made against English princes in the Middle Ages (e.g., John Duke of Lancaster, Edward Prince of Wales, Edward IV, Edward V). It reminds me of the frequency of the charge of incest against rulers in Roman times (Caligula, Claudius). It seems that this was just the smear of choice in those days, designed to destroy any credibility a ruler or future ruler might have. For that very reason I would tend to dismiss any such claims made against the son of Henry VI. Too politically convenient.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »

ilyala

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2005, 12:52:13 AM »
while i am not documented enough to speak on the subject i must say that, indeed, henry said of the boy to be fathered by the 'holy ghost'. at the time a lot of people interpreted that as a way to say that he's not the father. i don't know if that is the case or not. but it is indeed a little bit dubious.  :)

as for all the other princes that could have not been fathered by their official fathers... i don't know that many cases when that happened in english history. however, during the wars of the roses it was a pretty common accusation. look at edward 4th, and someone posted on this forum an idea that richard 3rd wasn't legitimate. and so on... i think that those were very insecure times and everyone wanted their shot at the throne and lots of accusations went flying around. while one can't just dismiss them altogether, i agree that that makes them a little unlikely.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by ilyala »

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2005, 01:12:55 AM »
Illegitimate not at all! He was recognised by Henry VI as being "born within the marriage" and had full inheritance rights. Illegitimacy is a legal definition and not a biological term! Thus Edward IV too was definitely legitimate, french archer or no.

As to the question of whether the Prince of Wales was Henry's biological son, I have the following thoughts:

It was not unusual for couples to fail to conceive for several years after marriage: this happens. Other examples: Marie Antoinette, Anne of Austria, Catherine de' Medicis. This naturally leads to a lot of talk, especially if the husband is a bit odd!

It was definitely lucky for Margaret to have a child at this point. I wonder though, if the child was not Henry's why she didn't have any more children, just to make sure. Having only one son was really putting all her eggs in one basket, as she found out to her cost at Tewkesbury.

So to me, the fact she only had the one, suggests that Henry may have finally managed to father a child. The alternative would be that her adulterous relationship ended with the birth of the prince (she was 25), and she was never tempted again.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2005, 07:46:40 AM »
Quote
Illegitimate not at all! He was recognised by Henry VI as being "born within the marriage" and had full inheritance rights. Illegitimacy is a legal definition and not a biological term! Thus Edward IV too was definitely legitimate, french archer or no.


I thought 'Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?' might be more polite than 'Henry VI's son - Bastard?' But if it is a matter of quibbling, I'll change the title.  ;)
"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."

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry VI's son - Illegitimate?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2005, 08:14:27 AM »
Might attract more interest!  :D

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2005, 11:31:06 AM »
Being "legitimate" indeed has nothing to do with whether one's parents are married to each other. It has to do with being acknowledged by one's father. People are under the mistaken notion that a decree of nullity automatically renders the children of the annulled marriage illegitmate, which is not the case. They are legitimate as long as they are acknowledged by their father. If Henry VI acknowledged the queen's son as his heir, while saying the child was "son of the Holy Ghost," I have no idea what the poor child's status was. IMO, Henry was not mentally capable of being a husband, father or king, even if at times he could go through the motions.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2005, 12:25:29 PM »
Margaret, in any case, was determined that Edward should have his 'rights'.
"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."

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2005, 12:47:30 PM »
Wouldn't any mother do the same?

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2005, 12:55:17 PM »
Oh yes, I agree with you. And now, if Henry VI wasn't the daddy, who was?  ::)
"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: Henry VI's son - Bastard?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2005, 03:53:27 PM »
the contemporary rumours placed the 'blame' on somerset... :)