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Thomas Stafford – his execution clarified

Thomas Stafford – a new source

(by Stephen Lark)

 

When I composed a Bulletin article about Thomas Stafford in 2005, I knew a few things about him – his descent from George of Clarence and Henry of Buckingham whilst not being the senior descendant of either – but some things were not known. There was uncertainty as to where, and how, he was executed but I think this has been almost conclusively solved now.

Early in 2010, a Wikipedia page on Stafford was launched. A key source was Strype’s Ecclesiastica Memoria (volume 3, part 2) which Googlebooks have put online. The book, at first, appears to date from 1822 but John Strype or van Stryp (son of a Hugenot immigrant) lived from 1643-1737. It was actually first published in 1733, a mere 176 years after Stafford’s end, but the research must have been carried out over several years. It is surely infeasible for a nonagenarian to produce such a great work in the space of one year – and that makes it closer to the events it describes.

Pages 67-9 and 517-9 of Ecclesiastica Memoria (vol.3 part 2) list Stafford’s party, before stating that, on May 28th, “Thomas Stafford was beheaded on Tower Hill by nine of the clock, Mr. Wode being his ghostly father”. His accomplices Stowel, Procter and Bradford were drawn, hanged and quartered on the same day. It also reveals Stafford’s proclamation, describing himself as “Lord” Thomas – as if Edward VI had restored the Duchy of Buckingham to Thomas’ father instead of creating a new Barony for him – and that of Queen Mary.

Sources

Thomas Stafford – 16th Century Yorkist Rebel (Bulletin, summer 2005, by the author)

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=upwNAAAAQAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s (Ecclesiastica Memoria, op. cit.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Strype

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