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Henry Tudor….only Bess of York’s consort….?

Bess in Emerald Green

The link below constitutes one in the eye for Henry Tudor (guess which eye!) The demeaning whispers he always feared and hated…that he was Elizabeth of York’s consort, not she his, are still circulating all these centuries later.  Ha, suddenly this dull, wet, windy late-September morning isn’t so bad after all. It might be worth a visit to Westminster Abbey, just for the sweet sound of him revolving in his wife’s magnificent surroundings!



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12 thoughts on “Henry Tudor….only Bess of York’s consort….?

  1. Whilst she was illegitimate and he of legitimated stock (“excepta dignitate regalis”), both Harriss and Ashdown-Hill think that Henry was probably personally illegitimate because his parents are likely to have been undispensed first cousins – children of brothers who were Dukes of Somerset.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Possible, but this can’t be proven so it’s rather irrelevant. Rumors about false paternity/bastardy were spread for political reasons about a bunch of different people, including John of Gaunt, Richard of Conisburgh, Edward of Westminster and Edward IV, and I think I’ve read somewhere Henry Bolingbroke even tried at one point to claim that about Richard II, in his ongoing attempts to find some way he had a better claim (though the main attempt was the Edmund Crouchback story).

      Anyway, the idea of Henry as Elizabeth’s consort is fun, but divorced from reality. Someone may think that’s how it should have been, but the fact is that it was not. And Henry made sure no one got the wrong idea, by delaying her coronation by so long.

      As for the right numbering of the current Queen, technically she should be Elizabeth I, since, as someone pointed out a couple of days ago on Tumblr as one of their pet peeves, she is not Queen of England, there is no such title, she is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; technically, the Stuarts were the last monarchs of England (and Scotland). But calling her Elizabeth I would be really, really confusing.

      Speaking of numbering, maybe a better question would be, why is Edward Longshanks called Edward I? Edward the Confessor is considered to have been a king of England, not just Wessex. It did not turn into another country officially, or merge with another country after the Conquest, did it? So why count kings just since the Conquest?

      Liked by 1 person

      • The first point could be proven if Owen Tudor (in Hereford) had his Y-chromosome compared to that of Edmund “Tudor”, Henry VII, Prince Arthur, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Henry Fitzroy or one of those very short-lived 1490-1533 Princes. A double interment to test this is, of course, highly unlikely.
        There were three Edwards between English unification and the Plantagenet era: the Elder, the Martyr and the Confessor. I would love to pass a law ordering a renumbering of them all up to XI.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it could be proven these days, but probably won’t be, unless the Queen or one of her successors eventually change their mind about digging up people for checking their paternity, cause of death and all sorts of other things.

        It still wouldn’t change the fact that it was unprovable in the 15th century, unless, say, a there was a testimony by Catherine de Valois that Edmund Beaufort was the father of her son(s) rather than Owen Tudor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BTW when did the numbering of kings even start to be used in England?

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  2. If I recall correctly it was decided in 1952 that going forward the Monarchs of the UK would receive whichever regnal number was the highest of either England or Scotland, which is why the current Queen is “Elizabeth II” even though there was no “Elizabeth I” in Scotland. Under this system, the next “King James” will be “James VIII” following the Stuart James VI & I, and James VII & II. The current Duke of Cambridge will be “William V” as Williams III and IV fit both categories. Scotland has had no separate “George” or “Henry” so wee Prince George should someday be “George VII.” Conversely, England has had no Malcolms, Alexanders, Duncans, Roberts, Davids or Margarets so those would take the Scots numbers. Is that about as clear as mud?!?

    Also, the current system has the numbering beginning only with the Conquest – before that the English Kings were posthumously given their sobriquets to distinguish them. I’m not sure when the numbering began in Scotland.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. About time someone noticed.

    If the precontract story was false, then on the presumed deaths of Edward V and his brother Richard, Elizabeth is reigning queen.

    If the precontract story was true, then on Richard’s death John of Lincoln, by inheritance, is king (Edward of Warwick was barred by attaintder of Clarence’s line).

    It should be pointed out of course that Henry Tudor had his first Parliament declare him King in his own right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What about Anne St. Leger? Don’t children of the elder sister come before children of the younger sister?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes but not at that stage if female themselves. Within seventy years of Bosworth, there were no male options.


      • I’m not saying that anyone was going to argue she should be queen, only that inheritance rights weren’t so clear and I don’t know if it’s that simple as “John De La Pole was the heir by the rules of inheritance”. They never denied females the right to pass on the claim to their sons; what if, say, Lincoln does become kung, but she grows up and has a son, does he present a rival claim some 30 years later?

        Anyway, doesn’t the idea of women not being possible heirs if there are males in the family go against Elizabeth of York’s status as heir (provided that she is legitimate), the very reason Henry married her?


      • The Yorkist claim came through Edward IV’s grandmother and the “Tudor” claim through Henry VII’s mother. However, Henry IV’s propaganda was that Edmund Crouchback, his ancestor via his mother Blanche, was older than Edward I, so female line ancestry did not bar a claim unless the ancestress in question had brothers with rival descendants.
        In 1553, the claimants were: one Jane, two Maries, one Elizabeth and one Katherine (Hastings, nee Pole).


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