… as shown at Sudeley Castle.
There’s seldom so much smoke without at least a few flames to cause it, and it’s my belief that when Edward IV ‘married’ Elizabeth Woodville, he intended to do the same to her that he’d done to Eleanor. Only this time, in a manner of speaking, he bit off more than he could chew. Elizabeth and her family were more tenacious than he bargained for. Just my opinion, of course. I don’t doubt that there are those who will disagree.
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Actually, the plaque, far from being a ‘simple statement of fact’ makes several statements for which there is no evidence. For example, we do not know if there was a priest present – a priest was unnecessary for a valid marriage to be contracted between two unmarried people who made the promise and then slept together. Secondly, the identification of the alleged priest with Robert Stillington is also an assumption. We have no evidence that he was made Bishop of Bath and Wells because he was present at the marriage. The rest of it is a nice story – where is the evidence that Edward lost interest in her ‘after a year’?
For what it’s worth (not much),, I think if Edward did this sort of thing twice, he might well have done it 3 times, or even more. Thus there is no way of proving that Eleanor was the ‘rightful Queen.’ As she made no case for herself at the time, a fair conclusion is that she believed she was not queen, or didn’t want to be. Of course, there can be other explanations.
Since she left no descendants, it’s all pretty moot anyway.
I have thought about this but Edward surely couldn’t have contracted a marriage:
1) Whilst his father was alive
2) Whilst approaching and fighting Mortimer’s Cross
3) Whilst establishing himself in London
4) Whilst fighting Towton
The probable date for his Talbot marriage is 8 June, enabling both of them, a priest if required and God, to attend in her lands. I think this is as early as he could have married anyone.
I believe that there was a marriage between Edward and Eleanor. This is because of the behaviour of HT but I do not agree with this plaque as it clearly states as fact what is only plausible.
So how do Henry Tudor’s actions make you believe in the pre-contract?
A monarch that didn’t like earlier laws would normally get them repealed, as did Mary I with the legislation stating that her parents’ marriage was invalid and that she was illegitimate. Henry Tudor, however, tried to destroy all records — and it is a general legal principal that destroying evidence shows your belief that the evidence is valid and hurts your case. Also, Henry did it long before he married Elizabeth of York — or even had time to get to know her — so it is doubtful that he did it out of love for her. (This doesn’t mean that a love match didn’t develop later, just that the timing casts doubt on the theory that the love was a motive)
That is indeed a stong part of the case. The almost immediate imprisonment of Stillington and execution of Catesby also point to the bigamy being covered up.
It was in the very next reign that Eustace Chapuys pointed to Catherine of Aragon as having a better claim to the English throne than Henry VIII – had not the latter’s mother been legitimised. Catherine was, of course, a lineal Lancastrian in a way that her husbands could never be.
The fact that Henry imprisoned Bishop Stillington, but had to let him go, is telling. If Stillington was corrupt enough to lie for Richard, how could he stand up to pressure/bribery from Henry? Why not just keep him locked up, and say he had recanted? Obviously, there was a stalemate, where each party has ‘the drop’ on the other, and Stillington wasn’t the only person who knew about it.
BTW, Henry wasn’t even the leading legitimate Lancastrian heir. The Spanish and Portugese royal families came ahead of him. They had the disadvantage of being foreign, female, and not on the spot at the time, but that doesn’t change the genetics.
Sensible arguments –
Destruction of TR – this was carried out openly and discussed in Parliament. It is certain that most people knew of its contents anyway, since Richard had it read in many places. Richard also ordered placards in York destroyed without reading, does that make him guilty of whatever accusations they contained?
Stillington and Catesby – Henry was very sparing with his executions after Bosworth, Stillington had been involved in the earlier 1476 attempt to abduct Henry from Brittany and Catesby persuaded Landais to betray Henry in 1484. The list is missing the lesser known man who tried to trick Henry into landing in 1483 during the rebellion. So the tbing these people have in c
Pressed send to early. They have endangering Henry’s life.
Releasing Stillington – this also happened under Edward IV, surely it would not have happened if he had destructive information?
David does have a point. If TR had been read, at least by everybody who was literate, or was available to be read by them, what was the idea behind its being destroyed ‘unread?’ Maybe this meant ‘not read in public’ or ‘nor read in Parliament?’ Did an Act have to be read in Parliament before being rescinded? Thoughts, anyone?
A lot of legislation has been repealed over the years but none in this way.
The reason for not reading aloud the offending item was because of the proportion of literacy in the population. To spread news, proclamations or even propaganda it needed to be read out by someone who could read. Otherwise the illiterate masses would not ever get to hear about it. So Richard ordered placards in York to be destroyed unread – that is, not read out aloud – and had TR read out aloud in many places, including the garrison of Calais.
Whereas, in the following century, literacy had increased exponentially? After all, those “Tudor” monarchs regularly introduced and repealed legislation about religion and the succession yet none of the legislation concerned was destroyed unread.
The fact is that Titulus Regius 1484, based on the Three Estates’ petition, made Henry “Tudor”‘s bride illegitimate and was therefore extremely inconvenient – it had to be made to disappear.
Also, the paper record lasts forever, whereas the memories of those people who heard the Titulus Regius does not. Those people may also be frightened of what the Tudors could do to them if they spoke out; fear obviously cannot affect a paper record. Henry Tudor did not merely prohibit the reading of the bill; he ordered all copies of it to be destroyed. That he left a record of what he did doesn’t alter the inference that can be drawn from the fact that he ordered the destruction. Or, do you think Henry VII might have had a motive for wanting people to think the pre-contract story was true? Also, could you provide links to the story of Richard destroying placards? It would be interesting to know if the sources report what those placards actually said.
If I received a letter that said ‘burn before reading,’ my temptation would be to make a point of reading it, and I don’t I’m the only person whose mind works that way. And memories certainly last longer than a piece of paper that has been destroyed. Henry could, and did, bypass the law on many occasions, but he wasn’t stupid.
I am beginning to believe that ‘without reading’ meant ‘without reading in Parliament.’ Richard produced proof (either genuine or spurious) that the boys were illegitimate. Wouldn’t Henry have to produce proof of the contrary if the Act were to be officially read again? e.g. that they were not illegitimate. Which amounts to proving a negative, which is almost impossible. So he decided to omit that step.
Anyway, it gives one to wonder.
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