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A possible explanation

Going by the searches here, many of you will have read the suggestion, in Baldwin’s “The Lost Prince”*, that “Anne Hopper” was a daughter of Richard III by an unknown mother from the Borders region, conceived during his marriage and provided for with a ring among other things. The problem with this argument is that his two known illegitimate children were both conceived before he married and acknowledged. Had this not been the case, the “sources” would surely have recorded and greatly exaggerated it. The Cairo brigade would be talking about it nonstop, in their persistent mistaken belief that repeating a conscious falsehood makes it true.

An alternative solution has been posted recently. We need to note that three of Richard’s nieces (Elizabeth and Cecilia of York and Margaret of Salisbury) were forcibly married to the descendants of Margaret Beauchamp (Henry “Tudor”, Baron Welles and Richard Pole) in order that there would be no descendants of Richard’s brothers and sisters except through the Beauchamp lines, although there were exceptions, generally not favoured in the following century. The last Plantagenet-descended Courtenay died in exile in 1556 and the Marquess of Dorset was among those executed in 1538/9.

We also know that James III’s eldest son and successor was betrothed to Anne de la Pole, another niece born in c.1476, but their engagement failed after the Gloucester-Albany invasion of Scotland in 1482. It is thought that she became a nun and died in 1495 but there is a possibility of confusion with other family members who did so. There is definite confusion enough about her brothers, one of whom may not have existed. Just as Cecilia, at Welles’ death, took a third husband and retired  from royal life to the Isle of Wight with her new family, could this Anne have become the wife of a Hopper, with descendants known in mid-Victorian times?

* Appendix Three, pp.177-180.

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8 thoughts on “A possible explanation

  1. mairemartello on said:

    But how did this rumor start? What was the basis of it – a ring?

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  2. Jasmine on said:

    It seems suddenly fashionable to give Richard several more bastard children, when a puzzling figure from history turns up – for years people have said that Richard of Eastwell was another of his bastards, for example.

    It’s a very easy way of putting these mysterious persons into a neat little box…..

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  3. Matt W. on said:

    Another fantastic article, Stephen. Once again you have taken a controversial issue and presented facts addressing the issue in a very reasonable and disapassionate manner.

    I’m always amazed that, contrary to the stereotype some like to harp about, it is the Ricardians that are the voice of reason on these matters and rather the others that emotionally cling to long outdated and disproven notions.

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  4. Did Elizabeth 1st boy toy Essex have Plantagenet blood ?,i read somewhere he was a Courtenay on one side of his bloodline .

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  5. He did indeed – descended from Richard’s paternal aunt Isabel of Eu and thus descended from two of Edward III’s sons but also a third (Thomas of Woodstock).

    Like

  6. Alan White on said:

    Should “Beauchamp” read as “Beaufort”?

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