First the fairytale; then decide which Richard it’s supposed to be about….
OK, ‘having a go’ at Richard, will earn a response. Well, why not? All’s fair in love and war. So the above is an imagined image of Richard III. That’s Richard as imagined by his myriad living supporters.
I’m sure the diatribe below has been posted for some time at http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/TALBOT.htm#Humphrey TALBOT (Sir Knight)1 The section dealing with Eleanor Talbot is just under halfway down the page. And talk about biased! It is copied below in its entirety.
Oh, and before you begin, be careful to sort out which Richard is being referred to, for fear you think Richard III should have resembled the Black Prince! Oh, the writer means Richard II. He of Bordeaux. But as it’s Richard this, Richard that, Richard whomever, it’s all very confusing. The Lionheart wasn’t shoe-horned in. Well, not that I spotted.
Wagging-finger comment is also made about a lack of documents in our Richard’s reign, as if there never were any. Why? Because he acted illegally, of course. Everything is “convenient” to him. Bound to be, of course. This is Richard the…Sec— No, First. Wrong again, Richard the Third! The arch villain himself? Our Dickon!
Right, here we have the real arch villain, Henry VII.
Oh, dear, would you purchase a second-hand courser from him? Let alone let him rule the land! Oh, I’m being very biased here, of course, but then this blog is Murrey & Blue, so hardly likely to glorify Henry! And my business today is to refute the description of events as it appears at Tudorplace.
So, after all Richard’s blatant skulduggery, chicanery and neglect of proof about anything at all, comment at Tudorplace is also made about Henry VII destroying all documents. What documents? There weren’t any according to the first part of their nonsense. Oh, except one copy of Titulus Regius that managed to survive. Survive what? Why, Henry VII’s purge of countless documents from Richard’s reign, of course. No comment is made about this expunging of priceless papers relating to the true history of the land. Nor is mention made about why Henry might have felt moved to such a criminal act. If everything Richard III did was illegal, or at best iffy, surely Henry would have shouted it aloud? But no. First a big bonfire, then a convenient silence. And being a Tudor silence, it was no doubt threatening as well.
Anyway, only read on if you think you can restrain your gut from busting.
Eleanor TALBOT (B. Sudeley)
Died: 30 Jun 1468
Notes: Most historians are today skeptical of the Eleanor Butler story, chiefly because it was Richard III‘s SECOND attempt to establish the illegitimacy of Edward IV or his descendants. The first attempt, incredibly enough, was a claim that Edward himself had been illegitimate. This story probably rested ultimately upon the fact that Edward had been born outside England, in Rouen. There could, then, have been some doubts as to the circumstances of his conception and birth, as there had been with Richard II who had been born in Bordeaux, and who had against whom there had also been charges that his real father had not been the Black Prince but a “certain lady-faced priest” who was a member of Richard‘s mother’s household. In Richard‘s case, his lack of close resemblance to the magnificent and warlike Black Prince made it easier for people to give some credit to these rumors. What defeated this first claim by Richard was, of course, that in order to establish Edward‘s illegitimate, Richard perforce had to claim or imply that his own mother, Cecily duchess of York, had committed adultery–and she was still alive in 1483. By some cosmic coincidence, moreover, Richard dined with Cecily in her London residence at Baynard’s Castle on the evening of the day Richard‘s partisans had first advanced the claim of Edward‘s illegitimacy. Many historians have expressed the wish they had been a fly on the wall in the dining room that night. Whatever happened, the story was withdrawn the next day and the Eleanor Butler claim was then substituted for it. It is odd that given the clandestine circumstances of Edward IV‘s real marriage, to Elizabeth Woodville, Richard never tried to establish that it was unlawful, except to claim that it was doubtful because Edward had not consulted his barons about it, as a King should do. The only attempt to undermine the Woodville marriage was made through the claim that Edward had previously agreed to marry Lady Eleanor Butler, a daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Nor has the text of such a marriage contract ever been discovered. When, in 1483, people began to ask if she couldn’t be questioned about the matter, Richard‘s partisans explained that she had taken the veil after Edward abandoned her, and had subsequently died–very convenient, one must say. It’s significant that no members of the Butler family were ever interrogated on the matter, nor did the Church ever issue any declaration that the Woodville marriage was invalid.
Cokayne says Eleanor was a sister of Sir John Talbot, (She was – he was her half-brother, and became the 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury. viscountessw) but the pro-Richard III camp has her as a daughter of an Earl of Shrewsbury. (She was! viscountessw). Exactly which Earl is not made clear, unfortunately. (Oh, yes it is – she was the daughter of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, by his second marriage! viscountessw)
The author of all this confusion clearly doesn’t know the 1st Earl from the 2nd. A grand mix-up is masquerading as fact. viscountessw)
In 1449 or 1450, Eleanor married Sir Thomas Butler (son of Ralph Butler, Lord Sudeley), who died some time before Mar 1461. In the political turmoil surrounding the change of monarchs then, the widowed Eleanor‘s father-in-law took back one of the two manors he had settled on her and her husband when they married, but he did not complete the required paperwork by obtaining a licence for the transfer of title, and the new King, Edward IV, seized both the properties.
The exact course of events is uncertain, but it seems that Eleanor went directly to King Edward to ask him to return her property. Edward (who, though barely out of his teens, already had a reputation for womanizing) was more interested in her than in her property. It is said that Edward made a legally binding contract to marry her. According to the French political analyst, Phillippe De Commines, the priest who later came forward and testified to having performed the ceremony was Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath and Wells. Edward married Elizabeth Woodville (who, amazingly, also went to Edward about the return of her property! What a coincidence. viscountessw) in 1464, and it was later suggested that one reason the marriage was not announced publicly was the danger that Eleanor would come forward with the news of her earlier marriage to the King. Stillington rose to be Chancellor of England, along with other lucrative posts.
Lady Eleanor Butler died in a convent, and was buried in the Church of the White Carmelites, Norwich, England. Some years later, the priest in question (Commynes is the only source who identifies him as Stillington) is said to have told King Edward‘s unstable and untrustworthy brother, George, Duke of Clarence, about the pre-contract. Clarence was already on the verge of rebellion against his elder brother; Edward now threw both his brother and Stillington into the Tower of London. Clarence was tried before Parliament (with Edward himself as his accuser) in Jan 1478, convicted of treason, and sentenced to be executed.
There has been speculation that the reason Clarence was killed privately in the Tower (whether he was really drowned in a “butt of Malmsey” wine or not) may have been that Edward wanted to ensure that he did not have an opportunity to disclose in public the secret that would make his brother’s children illegitimate and himself the next in line for the throne. Stillington‘s imprisonment was to be a warning. Only after Edward‘s death did he come forward publicly with that evidence, this time offering it to the future Richard III of England, to prevent Edward IV‘s son from being crowned as Edward V. Richard then took the throne.
No records survive of the meeting of the Parliamentary lords on 9 Jun 1483, where Stillington is said to have presented the evidence of the pre-contract, including documents and other witnesses. The Duke of Buckingham is supposed to have told Morton afterwards that he had believed that evidence when he saw it but had later changed his mind. When Henry VII came to the throne, he ordered all documents relating to the case to be destroyed, as well as the act of parliament by which Richard was enabled to claim the throne; so efficiently were his orders carried out that only one copy of Titulus Regius has ever been found.
After Richard‘s death, Tudor “historians” – including Sir Thomas More in his History of Richard III – named Elizabeth Lucy as the woman Stillington testified he had married to Edward. (Rubbish! viscountessw) Elizabeth Lucy (who may also have been called Elizabeth Wayte) was probably the mother of Edward IV‘s bastard son Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle. An autopsy has revealed that a corpse most likely (Not known for sure if the remains are hers. viscountessw) to be Eleanor Butler had borne no children. Thus his two daughters must have been from a different mother.
Father: John TALBOT (2° E. Shrewsbury) (Wrong – it was the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury! viscountessw)
Mother: Elizabeth BUTLER (C. Shrewsbury) (Wrong – it was Margaret Beauchamp! viscountessw)
Married: Thomas BUTLER (B. Sudeley)
Associated with: EDWARD IV PLANTAGENET (King of England)
- Dau. PLANTAGENET (Who this? viscountessw)
- Dau. PLANTAGENET (Who this? viscountessw)
Here endeth the Tudorplace version of events. I do not intend to respond to any challenging comments (should there be any) because there is no point. I hold my opinion and those in the opposite camp hold theirs. I’m not about to budge. They are equally entitled to their views, but a slanging match is NOT going to happen here.