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Edward IV, Dame Eleanor and the Phantom Web of Impediments

Introduction

The precontract (i.e. prior marriage) between Edward IV and Eleanor Butler, née Talbot, has long been a subject of debate, but what has not previously been claimed is that Edward and Eleanor were so closely related as to have been unable to make a valid marriage without a special dispensation from the Pope.  Recently, however, a writer using the pen name of Latrodecta has claimed (https://ricardianloons.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/the-trial-that-should-have-happened-in-1483/#comment-454)  that they shared a relationship within the prohibited degrees, viz. “3rd degree consanguinity, 3rd degree affinity”.

Latrodecta has identified this impediment as arising from Edward’s mother Cecily Neville being the first cousin of Maude Neville of Furnivall, the first wife of Eleanor’s father, John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and the mother of Eleanor’s older half-siblings. The claim is apparently that – despite the relationship involving no blood tie between Edward and Eleanor – it counts as an impediment of both consanguinity and affinity because half-siblings are included in the prohibited degrees of kinship. The author further claims that “Corroboration can be found in the dispensation granted for the marriage of his son [i.e. Edward IV’s younger son] and her niece [i.e. Anne Mowbray] – the relationship between her sister [i.e. Elizabeth Talbot Duchess of Norfolk] and Edward would have been the same” (that is to say, the same as between Edward and Eleanor herself).

I shall return to these claims, but first it will be necessary to explain these two types of impediment, what they are and how they were calculated at the period under consideration.

Consanguinity and Affinity

Consanguinity and affinity are the chief types of relationship that, under canon law, can produce a diriment (nullifying) impediment to a marriage. Of these, consanguinity is the easiest to understand as it is a simple blood tie: where there is no common ancestor, there can be no impediment of consanguinity. Impediments of affinity arose in those days from sexual intercourse (now only from marriage).[1] The two sexual partners were deemed to have become, as it were, ‘one flesh’. Latrodecta should therefore not have been the least bit surprised to have ‘seen a case where the bridegroom had to obtain a dispensation because he’d already slept with his future mother-in-law’.

It is a common, indeed almost ubiquitous, misconception amongst ordinary historians that the relationship thus formed barred the couple’s respective blood relatives from marrying each other, but this is not so.[2] Prior to 1215, the impediment of affinity had, it is true, been slightly complicated by the rule that a person’s second partner contracted affinity not only with the consanguines of the spouse but also with his or her closest affines (i.e. their new step-kin); at no time, however, had any couple shared a relationship of affinity without one of them having had a prior sexual relationship to cause it; two virgins could never be each other’s affines. Hence, when St. Augustine asked of Pope Gregory: ‘Is it permissible for two brothers to marry two sisters, provided there be no blood ties between the families?’ the great pontiff had replied: ‘This is quite permissible.’[3] The rules had been further simplified by the Fourth Council of Lateran (1215 AD), which had abolished the impediment between certain blood relatives of a person’s two spouses.[4] The unifying principle of the remaining impediments is encapsulated in the maxim affinitas non parit affinitatem (‘affinity does not beget affinity’).[5]

By the 15th century, therefore, there were no longer any step relationships that created impediments other than those (such as stepfather and stepdaughter) that just happened to involve direct affinity. In fact, it was almost de rigueur at this period for a widow and widower to cement their own union with at least one marriage between the offspring of their former marriages.

In the late Middle Ages, both consanguinity and affinity created an impediment to marriage up to the level of third cousins (another rule brought in by the Fourth Lateran Council).[6] The method of calculation in use at the time – the so-called Germanic method – is extremely simple to use.

Edward and Eleanor: Consanguinity

To check for an impediment of consanguinity, one simply draws up two direct-ancestry trees, one for each party to the proposed marriage, with the prospective bride/ groom at one end, their parents (1st-degree consanguines) in the next row, after them their grandparents (2nd-degree consanguines), then their great-grandparents (3rd-degree consanguines), and lastly their great-great-great-grandparents (4th degree consanguines).[7] Then one stands back, looks for any names common to both trees and counts the generations from each partner up to the closest match in any given line. Most often, the common stock, as it is called, (stirps in Latin) will be a couple, but it can also be a single individual, as would occur if an ancestor had married twice and the bride was descended from one of those marriages and the groom from the other. This is what is meant, and all that is meant, by half-siblings counting in the same way as full siblings: the only relevant half-siblings are those who link the couple via their shared ancestor.

I have carried out this very exercise for Edward and Eleanor, highlighting any common ancestors in red. As can be seen, there are none.

Note that Maud Furnivall, identified in the above article as the route to the alleged 3rd-degree impediment, appears on neither Edward’s nor Eleanor’s table; this is because she was only a collateral relation of Edward and no blood relation of Eleanor at all.

Let us now turn to the assertion that the dispensation for Anne Mowbray and Richard of Shrewsbury corroborates this alleged 3rd-degree consanguinity. There are, I fear to say, two problems with this, one of them terminal. First (to be picky) the Anne Mowbray dispensation is for consanguinity in the 3rd and 4th degrees (i.e. one of them was 3 degrees removed from the common stock, and the other, 4 degrees),[8] whereas an even 3rd-degree consanguinity between Edward and the Talbot sisters would have resulted in an even 4th-degree consanguinity between little Richard and Anne. But rather more seriously, Latrodecta has overlooked the salient fact that all children have two parents. As the following consanguinity chart for Richard Duke of York and Anne Mowbray clearly shows, they were indeed related in the 3rd and 4th degrees but Anne’s relationship to Edward’s family lay on her father’s side and in no way involved her Talbot ancestry.

Edward and Eleanor: Affinity

Now let us turn to affinity. By sexual union, the consanguines of the one partner become the affines of the other. So, for instance, if Harry’s previous partner was Sally’s second cousin, then Harry and Sally would be related by affinity in the 3rd degrees. The check for affinity therefore works on the same principle as for consanguinity,[9] except that the bride/groom needs to compare her/his consanguinity tree with that of the prospective spouse’s previous partner(s). This exercise I have carried out for Edward and Eleanor by drawing up this chart showing Sir Thomas Butler’s ancestry. Unfortunately Thomas’s chart is not complete in all areas, and not 100% verified in others, because much of his ancestry is relatively humble and not recorded, but it is highly unlikely that any of these obscure Cheshire ancestors would feature on the table of Edward of March. In short, there was no affinity between them either.

Conclusion

There was no relationship preventing Edward Plantagenet and Eleanor Butler from marrying each other.  Readers do not need to take my word for this: there are plenty of sources available online that set out the different prohibitions and methods of calculating degrees of relationship in use by the Catholic Church at different periods. To be sure one has the correct understanding, all that is needed is to perform a few test calculations on couples whose ancestry and marriage dispensations are both known. Or some may wish to begin, as Edward IV’s councillors must have done in 1464, by checking for (non-existent) common ancestors on the trees of Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville and Sir John Grey.  


[1] The impediment of affinity arising from extramarital relationships was also to be gradually abolished.  The first step was taken in the 16th century by the Council of Trent, which limited its effect to the 2nd degree (first cousins), but it was not until 1917 that this impediment was wholly confined to the consanguines of previous spouses. 

[2] The most notable recent intrusion of this error into late-fifteenth-century English history is Michael Hicks’ claim that Clarence’s marriage to Isabel Neville prohibited Richard’s marriage to Isabel’s sister.

[3] Mary O’Regan, ‘Marriage Dispensations According to St Augustine’, Ricardian Bulletin, Autumn 2008, pp. 34-35.

[4] https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/lateran4.asp, canon 50.

[5] Thomas de Charmes, Theologica Universa ad Usum Sacræ Theologiæ Canditatorum, vol. 7 (1765), p. 357.

[6] https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/lateran4.asp, canon 50.

[7] A particularly clear explanation is given in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopaedia under ‘Consanguinity (in Canon Law)’: ‘Mode of Calculation’ (https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04264a.htm).

[8] ‘Dispensation . . .  notwithstanding that they are related in the third and fourth degrees of kindred’ (Calendar of Papal Register Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, ed. J. A. Twemlow, vol. 13 [London, 1955], p. 236).

[9] Again, The Catholic Encyclopaedia gives a useful summary under ‘Affinity (in Canon Law)’ (https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01178a.htm).

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29 thoughts on “Edward IV, Dame Eleanor and the Phantom Web of Impediments

  1. Elizabeth Bradley on said:

    Great article that neatly explains a series of complex issues in a way that is easy to comprehend! Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mry4441 on said:

    Excellent Article. I do hope Latrodecta reads it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sparkypus on said:

    Excellent post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryeflowre on said:

    Thanks, everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amma19542019 on said:

      fine work, thanks for putting this together so clearly, especially the charts. I readily admit the consanguinity and ecclesiastical aspects of E4’s marriages and Richard’s marriage to Anne has my head swimming. Question, am I wrong, but wasn’t John of Gaunt and HIS brother Edmund of Langley married to sisters, Constance and Isabella of Castile???? How did they manage that is Hicks’ is correct? Am I missing something? (Sorry for the question, but these dispensations -no dispensations, illegitimate issue then they get legitimized is numbing …)

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      • maryeflowre on said:

        Thanks, Amma.
        Yes indeed, John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley did marry two sisters.
        Also, think of Anne Beauchamp and her brother Henry – both married offspring of Richard Earl of Salisbury.
        I once asked Michael Hicks about the Neville-Beauchamp marriages, and he suggested that because it was a double wedding that got them round the rules! Gaunt and Edmund of Langley married their sisters one after the other, though, just like Clarence and Richard.
        Michael Hicks was, I think, panicked into publishing some explanation of the 1472 dispensation for 3rd & 4th degree affinity found by Peter D. Clarke, without having time to look into it properly, because his Anne Neville book was about to go to press. His conclusion was they could not have got a dispensation from the real impediments so Richard made something up (he didn’t specify what) in order to have something to show the priest. Hicks should have realised his mistake later, but had made too much of a thing of it to be able to back down, and may also have been given some incorrect advice, I don’t know.
        I actually suspect, from some of the things he has written, that Hicks was also using the wrong method of counting the degrees and so got in a hopeless muddle. The Roman method, in use in the early centuries and again in recent years, works by counting the steps between the two prospective spouses, up from one to the common stock and down the other arm to the other partner, which gives you a single rather large number for each impediment, whereas the Germanic method- the one in use in the 15th century – gives you two smaller numbers for each impediment. I suspect that this accounts for his contention that the impediments to Richard and Anne’s marriage were far too many and far too close to be able to be dispensed.
        The irony is that there was a genuine 3rd & 4th degree affinity between Richard and Anne in 1472, which Hicks completely missed, which had been caused by Anne’s recent marriage to Richard’s second cousin once removed, Edward of Lancaster. I can see only one reason why the 1472 dispensation would have dealt only with this recently acquired relationship, and that would be that Warwick had obtained a dispensation for their marriage in the 1460s so the consanguinities were already covered.
        Really, the rules were quite straightforward. People’s heads are only swimming – and I sympathise – through the sheer weight of convoluted disinformation that is out there. Unfortunately, historians encounter this too; they don’t get it wrong on purpose.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. white lily on said:

    Reblogged this on RICARDIAN LOONS and commented:

    A definitive refutation of the argument concerning potential impediments to marriage between Edward IV and Eleanor Talbot.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. amma19542019 on said:

    Dear Maryeflowre,

    Very tidy answer to my jumbled question, eyes still watering here, though. Hicks reply to you, concerning the Neville-Beauchamp sibling marriages, just sounds too pat, and the Gaunt/Langley brothers marrying the sisters from Castile is exactly like Richard and George … so pardon my blinking here! Then again, if a natural child – like the Beauforts, can later become legitimized as adults by the same ecclesiastical experts who are fastidiously counting degrees of consanguinity – well, what the heck do I know?! Btw, I believe the Grand Bastard, Antoine of Burgundy, was also, much later, well into his middle age (!), was legitimized by the French king, Charles VIII … as Mel Brooks has said, “it’s good to be king!”

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  7. maryeflowre on said:

    Hi Amma,

    Yes, Michael Hicks’ double marriage suggestion was ingenious but wouldn’t work because you never actually have a double marriage ceremony. Even in a ‘double marriage’ the two couples take their vows and are pronounced man and wife one after the other, usually the senior couple first.
    But in any case the rules are crystal clear – this did not constitute affinity. This is from the page of Thomas de Charmes’ compendium on canon law which I referenced in my article (roughly translated):
    “Note. The general rule is ‘affinity does not beget affinity; for instance, the consanguines of my brother’s wife are my brother’s affines, not mine or my father’s. Thus the father and son of one family may validly contract [marriage] with the mother and daughter of another family, because whilst the son is brought by the father into affinity with the wife, the affinity is not carried to the daughter of the father’s wife.
    Item, two brothers may validly contract [marriage] with two sisters.
    Item, the husband’s son from another marriage may esimilarly wed the wife’s daughter by another marriage.”

    What could be dispensed? Any impediment that the Catholic Church had made up, basically. The only impediments that couldn’t, and can’t, be dispensed are those in the Bible which are held by the church to be God’s last word on the subject.

    If I can make a plea, it would be to take the rules one at a time and not throw everything into the mix at once or you’ll probably only get confused. I deliberately confined my post to the calculation of consanguinity and affinity.
    Canon law in general was clearly set out; and it was also well known to popes, theologians and canonists which ones were of divine origin and immutable, and which could be dispensed for the right person in the right circumstances, and which ones could be waived for virtually anybody if they asked nicely and paid the fee.

    Legitimacy is a whole other subject, which we can discuss separately if you like. There are two aspects to the Beaufort legitimacy, canonical and common law, and the canonical side of it was not really like that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • amma19542019 on said:

      Dear Maryflowre,

      I am beginning to understand why so many clerics/theologians were also educated in law, or perhaps they began as legal students and then continued on in the Church? Either way it would help to have been well grounded in law considering these nuanced details.

      As to the Beauforts, lol, a family I readily admit is my bete noire, if I could wave a wand and make just one wish it would be to undo Gaunt’s bizarre action of legitimizing the four teen Beauforts. Imagine if indeed, they had remained simply his natural children, hardly left out in the cold, I think Joan was already married by 15 (Ralph Neville was the second husband), and Gaunt had a healthy male heir, Bolingbroke, who himself had FOUR healthy sons. Gaunt also had at least one daughter with his second wife Constance of Castile, while having children with the mistress, ahh yes, well, IF he had simply left the situation as it was, would there have been a “War of the Roses”? No Beauforts pressing their claim means … no Beauforts to press a legitimate claim. Would Margaret Beaufort have been worth promoting in a favorable marriage for H6, whether he had an heir or not?

      With the deaths of H6’s four uncles, all without legitimate issue, the Lancastrian claim must have included more than Henry himself, and his eventual son; I know Duke Charles of Burgundy (through his mother) had a actual claim (one of the reasons his mother wanted the marriage with Margaret of York), but once I get past that, who was there if the Beauforts had remained in the backwater?

      On one level I can understand R2 granting his uncle Gaunt’s self-serving/or baffling request to legitimize the Beaufort children (by 1396 I think?) as it must have annoyed the life out of Bolingbroke, and that would have been quite satisfactory to R2, but clearly Gaunt didn’t leave feel it sufficient – a king’s legal (common law as you say) edict didn’t insure, to Gaunt anyway – that the Beaufort children, now teens, would elicit the premier marriages, titles and positions at court he deemed that they should have without papal (canonical) approval.

      Would Gaunt have begun the process to get the papal approval before that of R2, or simultaneously? No matter how Gaunt handled it I can’t imagine he didn’t annoy someone! While I am playing the ‘what if’ game, had the Beauforts remained merely Gaunt’s natural children then Joan would very likely have never been Ralph Neville’s second wife, it also has implications for who would have been his second wife, if any (Margaret Stafford had died in 1396).

      Maryreflowre, I send the ball back, wobbling, into your court, mea culpa!

      Liked by 1 person

      • maryeflowre on said:

        Hi Amma,
        I’m afraid this is just a holding response as I won’t have a chance to look at the Beaufort question until next week.

        As regards the legal aspect – yes canon law was just what it says on the tin. It was a branch of law. To become an ordinary lawyer you needed common law, which in those days you studied at the Inns of Court. Universities taught Civil (ie Roman) law and Canon Law. The assumption in the early days was that most university students would go on to become priests, and the most highly qualified might end up with high flying careers in the church.
        Some students by this period, though, started studying law at university then transferred to the Inns to become lawyers in the secular judicial system. Others carried on with Civil and/ or Canon Law and mostly took Holy Orders. So there was a big fund of clerics who had studied canon law in depth – big enough, anyway, for the nobility and the papacy to have ready access to reliable advice.
        Will post again next week.

        Liked by 1 person

      • maryeflowre on said:

        Finally! Ready to roll.
        I agree that the legitimation of the Beauforts was rather eye-watering.
        Now, a man could marry his girlfriend and their children would be automatically legitimated in the eyes of the Church, but only provided the parents had not been married to anyone else at the time the children were produced.
        If a person had committed adultery, then they were also barred from marrying their ‘bit on the side’ once they were widowed.
        Now, what we have is the following:
        Roughly June to August 1372, John Beaufort was born (based on extant documents referring to his having recently turned 21). That means he was conceived during the first few months of Gaunt’s marriage to Constance of Castile, and either during the last few weeks of Sir Hugh Swynford’s life or the first few weeks of Katherine Swynford’s widowhood.
        The remaining Beaufort children followed during the period of Gaunt’s marriage to Constance.
        In March 1394, Constance died.

        Gaunt then married Katherine Swnyford. It would appear, from the wording of the later, extant, dispensation, that they had obtained a papal dispensation from the fact that Gaunt had had carnal relations with Katherine during the period of his previous marriage, and that this dispensation included the legitimation of the children, despite their having been conceived in that adultery.
        1 September 1396, another papal dispensation was granted, confirming the validity of the marriage and the legitimacy of the children dispite a previously undisclosed impediment of ‘compaternity’, a spiritual relationship caused by Gaunt having stood godfather to Katherine’s daughter by her previous husband. This is the dispensation that is extant.

        The papal dispensations that had accompanied the marriage had legitimized the Beauforts as far as the Church was concerned, but this would not have had any effect on their status under English Common Law. Common Law was very clear: born a bastard, always a bastard. The Beauforts were, therefore, still unable to inherit anything.

        So, on 4 February 1397, Richard II:
        “. . . yielding to the prayers of our said uncle” John of Gaunt, granted the Beaufort children, “who, so it is claimed, have suffered such defect of birth, that, notwithstanding this defect, which, together with its various consequences, we wish to be fully included in these presents, you may nevertheless receive all honours, dignities, preferments, estates, degrees, and public and private offices, both perpetual and temporal, and feudal and noble rights, by whatsoever name they are called, such as duchies, lordships, earldoms, baronies, or whatsoever other fiefs they be, whether they be dependent upon or held of us mediately or intermediately, which may be preferred, promoted, elected, taken up and allowed, and received, retained, performed and exercised prudently, freely and lawfully, as if you were born in wedlock, notwithstanding any statutes or customs of our kingdom of England decreed or observed to the contrary; and we dispense you [from this defect] by the tenor of these presents, by the plenitude of our royal power and with the assent of our parliament; and we restore you and each of you to legitimacy.”
        This was passed by Parliament and is quite unequivocal. The preamble refers to the recent legitimation by the Pope, and that is the basis on which legitimacy was being extended to them under Common Law.

        It was to a copy of this statute, issued under the Great Seal in 1407 for John Beaufort, that the words “excepta dignitate regali” were added. These words were never added to the parliament rolls, and Ian Mortimer says that at the time in question Henry IV was incapacitated so may never have approved this change. Nonetheless, he did later recover and did nothing about it.

        I agree that history would have been very different if John of Gaunt had simply kept Katherine as his mistress; or if the Pope had refused to grant a dispensation from the affect of their adultery; or if Richard II had been less generous with his bastard-born cousins; or even if the proviso regarding the inheritance of the crown had been properly passed by Henry’s IV’s parliament.

        Both Froissart and Richard III’s proclamations agaist HT claim that John Beaufort was conceived in double adultery – i.e. before Hugh Swynford’s death. If this is so (and there was no way of proving it), it would mean that the papal legitimation was flawed as it was based on the specific claim that all the chidren had been begotten whilst Gaunt was married to another but Katherine was single. But would this affect the parliamentary legitimation of the four Beauforts?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. amma19542019 on said:

    Dear Maryeflowre,

    Behind my curiosity concerning the legality of 1) the Beauforts / and 2) Richard’s marriage is something that has pestered me for ages – I have repeatedly come across references as to Richard’s unusually competent handwriting (it’s obvious), his apparent comfort reading/understanding Latin (he owned too many books in Latin where their English translations were readily available), and of course his well known piety (better attested later in his adulthood when he had the wherewithal to support it) … so, with such a background, and being the youngest son, unlikely to inherit large tracts of land, was he being groomed for secular law and a judicial career, or one that would have sent him through Holy Orders? (I’m assuming Edmund’s death changed that decision, if not in 1460 then soon after?)

    I can’t tell you how this has exercised my internal arguments, for one thing, IF he did have any grounding in law it would have come after Edmund, when he also seems to have absorbed enough legal expertise to handle matters of land and estate management (and everything else connected with it) – surely he wouldn’t have missed that constant medieval subject: consanguinity! I’m leaning towards he was targeted for studying law, and he would have made an excellent lawyer, or judge!

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  9. amma19542019 on said:

    Dear Elizabeth and Maryflowre,

    Happily I think the legitimacy of Richard and Anne’s marriage has been settled with Barnfield’s article. Thank you Elizabeth for that, and thanks to Maryeflowre for all her sifting through the arcana of civil and canon law!

    What can’t be so easily answered – and likely never will be – is why on earth Gaunt just had to have the Beaufort children legitimized, or WHY R2 would even consider it – other than to irritate the life out of his cousin Bolingbroke. It is with hindsight tho that I am looking at the sheer carnage that would have never occurred had just one little vanity play not been granted. Fie to Gaunt!

    TO Maryreflowre, my legal maven, I am trying to track down the result of a case of a cutler, John Hill, who appears to have been thrown into the Marshalsea, probably around 1480-3 (???) after an altercation with a brewer, John Whyte. I know it went as far as Chancery (Bundle 60, item 293, something like that), and it appears he, Hill, requested certiorari. What I don’t know (my source is Welch’s 1916 History of the Cutler’s Company) is what happened with his case. Where would it have gone after this point? I’ve skimmed through Common Pleas (1482-85) and I can’t find Hill or Whyte; would it have gone to the King’s Bench? Something as ‘minor’ as ‘debt and trespass’ seems too minor an offense to end up before the KB but I could very wrong! To make things worse this cutler disappears from the Cutler’s own records, no more apprentices (I can only find two asserted to be placed with him as it is), then nothing, and they had decent records, he himself had a fine Master, who was the Clerk of the Company (as of 1483) so he wasn’t, presumably, a wastrel. Any advice would be most appreciated!

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  10. maryeflowre on said:

    Hi Amma
    On the legitimation. I don’t know either. It did multiply the number of Gaunt’s legitimate sons at a stroke, but Bolingbroke had sones of his own by then so the line must have looked farily secure.
    What I think may have happened is that Gaunt needed the dispensation to marry Katherine, and that legitimation of existing offspring simply went with that. It had to be stated separately, but was a normal addition to a dispensation obtained after the birth of offspring. What made this different, of course, is the adultery in which the said issue had been conceived.
    But, anyway, the children having suddenly legitimate under canon law, I suspect it irked Gaunt – and Katherine – that they were still barred from all the practical benefits of legitimacy, and so maybe the desire to recitfy this by Act of Parliament was just part of the way the situation had developed. Anyone got a backwards-working crystal ball?

    Regarding your court case, I think you must have the reference wrong. The Chancery case will be in the C 1 series. The “bundle” number in the old refs is now the file number (the contents of the old bundles have all been bound, and confusingly there are several volumes per “file”). The entire series is fully catalogued on the National Archives website, so you should be able to to find this one if you take a look (their website was down when I just checked, but that shouldn’t last long). All the images from the C 1 files are available online on the Anglo-American Legal Tradition (AALT) website (which is where I presume you looked for the Common Pleas cases?).
    Just a warning that the thumbnail numbers are NOT the same as the item numbers; the red front cover of each volume will tell you the item numbers it contains. The number you cite above doesn’t look right as C 1/60 doesn’t go up as far as item 293.

    It is indeed possible that the case was heard in King’s Bench. KB heard civil cases as well as crown. Every so often you will find a list of names of people brought into court from the Marshalsea. (KB 27 series is where you need to look.)

    Very often, Chancery was the last stop, not the first, as it was a court of Equity and might therefore give a favourable verdict where the plantiff lacked the necessary documentary evidence or points of law to win the case in the normal way. Unfortunately, the surviving C 1 records don’t tell you the verdict. You get the original petition, and if you’re lucky the hearing date (but with no year) scribbled on the back. If it was contested you might get an “answer” from the defendant(s), and then possibly a “replication” from the plaintiff. But no verdict. A lot of cases were probably settled out of court.
    C 1/60 only goes up to 1480, so you may have been looking too early in Common Pleas.
    Let me know if you need more help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amma19542019 on said:

      Dear MaryeFlowre,

      Actually that may be alot of help, I went back to my notes, I’m using Charles Welch’s History of the Cutler’s Company (1916 edition, p. 203) and came across a John Hill, who had been apprenticed to the Company’s first clerk, no longer termed “beadle” – sometime in 1483 – and Hill was himself a freeman with his own apprentices by 1477, however, no date, of course ugh, “another litigant, John Hill, complained in Chancery against the Steward and Marshal of the Marshalsea for two malicious actions brought against him by John Whyte, brewer, for debt and trespass. He had been arrested, so his complaint ran, contrary to statute, “for both parties should be of the Kinges honourable houshold wher in trouth nether partie is nor atte eny tyme hath been of the seid houshold”

      Then Welch cites Early Chancery Proceedings, Bundle 60, no. 232 but doesn’t continue or mention Hill again! The Cutler’s records for apprentices (they ran into problems with the authorities, an Ordinance was issued about their suspect practices is in Welch, from June 1485, fascinating all on its own!) unfortunately was also a dead end for this Hill, after 1478 no mention of actively contracted with new apprentices and as I went through the cutlers who would be taking on their own apprentices, technically Hill’s, should have been there about 7-10 years later IF they had completed their training and remained in London, etc. Nothing.

      I am working on a graphic novel (roughly covering Richard April through August 1483) from a perspective I haven’t seen before and one that requires not only a decent map of London c. 1483 (making my own, you have no idea) but an indepth grounding of the Guilds, the cutlers in particular. I am likely going way overboard on research but I will know if I get something wrong even if no one else does! I obviously have historically real characters involved – no avoiding that – but I want the minor characters based on real people too and Hill struck me as perfect, right time frame, right location, right Guild, and then this … perhaps as you suggest he did simply settle out of court. I came across Whyte’s name in Common Pleas, where he was the Defendant, so he appears to have been acquainted with the courts lol – as to which brew house, yea, good luck. I have Harben, and Ekwall, and the Gazetteer for the 1520 map (very helpful initially) but I find references to existing taverns, brew houses, hostelries,etc in the most unlikely (to me) sources, in a LAMAS article, or some Hustings citation (they’ve very helpful actually) current with Richard’s London 1483, that do not show up in other sources so it is highly unlikely I will find which brew house this altercation happened in, c’est la vie.

      I can work around this Hill being in a scrap before 1480, fine, he isn’t needed until 1483, narratively speaking, but if I come across some reference to him being dead or rotting in the Marshalsea (still) by 1480 and I have this thing half drawn no one else will know BUT I will!

      am I making any sense at all???

      … many thanks in advance !

      Like

      • maryeflowre on said:

        Hi Amma,

        I don’t know if you’ve found them yet, but this is the link to the entry in TNA catalogue:
        http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7449518

        and this should link to the image of the front of document in AALT:
        http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no60/IMG_0486.htm
        (the back of it is the next image along).

        So Whyte had brought his case in the Marshalsea court:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshalsea_Court

        and Hill was trying to force a ruling by the Chancellor as to whether this was legal. I don’t know of any extant records for the Marshal’s Court, so you may never know the details of Whyte’s claim unless he tried pursuing the case afterwards in Common Pleas.

        Anyhow, you can use details from the document to help date the case. The Chancellor addressed is Thomas, Archbishop of York, so it’s between Thomas Rotherham’s appointment to the see of York in the summer of 1480 and May 1483. The date fset for the hearing, given on the back, is the coming octave of Michaelmas (mid October), so the petition was probably submitted in the summer, during or after the end of the Trinity term, and therefore not later than 1482.

        In TNA catalogue I also noticed this case brought by John Whyte, now stuck in the Tower of London (C 1/64/1116):
        http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no64/C1no64%20pt%204/IMG_1139.htm
        Possibly Richard’s reign as the Chancellor is Bishop of Lincoln. Hearing date set is octave of Holy Trinity.

        Are you okay reading these? It all looks fascinating but I’m afraid I have too much on at the moment to transcribe. Anyhow, good luck.

        Marie

        Liked by 1 person

      • amma19542019 on said:

        Dear Marie,

        Merci du fond du coeur! I made copies of the various docs and I will need to print them out to transcribe them, lol, saving grace is they are in English! My background is in art so the ridiculous, or to my eye, fascinating flourishes made by the scribes, and typical of their training, is not off-putting – I find them intriguing, much like a fingerprint, an individual signature and unique to each scribe. Probably more than they knew or would have wanted!

        As to Master Hill, my source for him, Charles Welch, was concerned with the entire history of the Cutler’s Company and as such made several errors, if I can call them that. I am VERY grateful that you can comprehend how their judicial system worked, I do have (digital) downloads of the Common Pleas Court on the Cloud (where else?) – any primary research I can so save I have been doing, never know when I may need it. Something to drift through a little later, I’m heading out right now (once a week I am at our Barnes & Noble Bookstore, we are under strict Covid requirements however, the governor here, NJ, only permits four employees in the store at any one time so I run the darn store on Saturdays, I am not exaggerating, as long as they don’t expect me to make the caramel frappes!)

        sorry for the disjointed quality of this note, just wanted to say thank you thank you and thank you! I will get back to you!

        Beth

        (I’m also plodding my way through Middle French so my brain is really scrambled lately, can I use that excuse???)

        Liked by 1 person

      • maryeflowre on said:

        Hi Beth,
        Pleasure. I’m sure there were even more references to John Whyte in the TNA catalogue.
        Impressed with le moyen francais. Very best of luck with the novel.

        Like

    • Elizabeth Bradley on said:

      A “backwards working crystal ball” LOL. What wouldn’t any Ricardian give to obtain one of those?!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. amma19542019 on said:

    Dear Marie,

    If I had Elizabeth Bradley’s backwards-working crystal ball it would make these transcriptions moot, wouldn’t it! well, since I started this project about 16 months ago I have found the oddest benefits in activities I surely did not expect, and so this may well be one. I ran the copies through some digital ‘cleaning’ (lightening and clarification), next I will try to get enlargements made of at least a few pages and see what I can make of them.

    But maybe you should have an explanation why I made you go through all that work?! An area of Richard’s life and career definitely under-served, as it is with E4, is the role of their espionage, which everyone mentions but not in depth, Ian Arthurson (1991) had at least made at least a passing effort before galloping on to his real interest, H7, who introduced what I would call the first police state in modern England – it already existed with LXI, who strangely enough fascinates me no end. Aside from Arthurson Louise Gill, bless her disgusted-by-Richard heart, also made numerous references to Richard’s spies, and their competent methods and structure. Indeed. So why don’t we have their names? We have MB’s spies, her confidential agents, her liaisons, her network from well before Bosworth.

    In the case of how to bring this forward I ruled out the academic route, my area is art history and academics are zealously snitty if you cross over onto their turf (any discipline is like this, even within a discipline, unfortunate), but my BFA is in fine art and while that is Painting/Graphic Design today that means, for any legitimate discussion something called the ‘graphic novel’ – or …. manga. I do NOT do manga. I will not do “bubbles” hovering over bodies and faces to show dialogue. My own personal style is closer to Holbein than anime. And I have a very stern audience in mind: Ricardians

    Hence the need for accuracy. I had thought of Edward Brampton, an opportunist, entrepreneur, quite a character in every sense, unfortunately his actual dates simply did not work with what I want raised in terms of what ricardians for ages have wanted brought into the conversation, the questions that need to be asked, posed, considered. The average reader, and I have beta readers lined up, but they know little to nothing about Richard, medieval London, WOTR, etc, they are readers for narrative clarity and visual coherence – it is the ricardian reader who I worry about, they know Richard, they will know if I say he was at Crosby Hall on a Tuesday May 18 and it was a Wednesday or that this John Hill died in 1480 and I have him as an assistant to the main ‘spy’ Messire all through the summer of 1483 then I cannot live with myself!

    It is possible that John Hill did not remain in London after this court case, however it was settled, many successful Guildsmen did return to their native home towns, taking their craft with them, likely his two known apprentices did that, which is why they don’t show up in the Cutlers’ Co. records, or, worse, they never completed their contract. It appears the Cutlers took on far too many apprentices than they could successfully train and establish in the trade – I made a chart of all the cutlers in their records, who their apprenticed with, when they were made freemen, when they began accepting their own apprentices. It was shocking how few were successful or perhaps willing to pay those fees to be freemen of the Company and liveried (I may have some of that scrambled; I have Sylvia Thrupp’s Merchant Class of Medieval London, a gem if there ever was one, completely altered my understanding of the July plot to “rescue” the two boys from the Tower).

    As to the medieval or Middle French, well, I have to have at least a passing familiarity with that – the main character, Richard’s agent, Messire, is an inspiration from a real spy that Warwick used, along with LXI, against E4, who thought, of course, that John Boon was HIS spy. No, Boon played a double or perhaps a triple game, he was probably spying for all three of them, and lived at least long enough to escape E4’s wrath. But my Messire will be in France some 3 years, spying for E4, which means my modern French is of NO use, that lead me to Francois Villon, easy right? HAH!

    And I thought middle English was a bit of a curious thing! I have found I rather like M.E., it’s charming, I have made my own map of London, c.1483 (I have to, no such thing exists), and I refuse to use Stow’s street names, Messire (that is a affectation, for LXI he survived as a assassin, “Corbeillart” – a play on a French term, corbillard, or hearse, I just messed with the spelling, one can find it used to great effect in Rimbaud) – next to Thrupp, Harben and Ekwall, the best resource I have found is one of those little surprises I mentioned at the beginning of this “explanation” letter – Bronislaw Geremek’s The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris – absolutely transcendent writing, to the subject, to the material, to the many examples, Geremek’s work literally reminded me that the world Richard lived in was so staggering brutal, so searingly unforgiving that I cannot possibly play games here, and while Villon is mentioned, and allowed me to read him (Barbara Sargent-Baur and David Georgi have very fine translations), both Richard and Villon were a case in point, when you fall, it is very fast and very, very hard.

    Sorry that I took so long to explain why I made you chase hares all over the TNA, ideally this ‘graphic novel’ would appear the way Richard would recognize a book, with large illuminated plates, like a devotional Book of Hours, or the latest trend, published books. I haven’t ruled any format out, yet, just too many pent up points I want to make, hence the dates, April through August 1483 (just to start) so perhaps illuminated manuscript just needs an updated ‘look’? The real problem is HOW to pull this off without those stupid bubbles for dialogue!

    If you have any ideas let me know!

    In the meantime I do take this seriously, my son thinks I am nuts, lol, but he doesn’t understand that Ricardians know their stuff, I cannot just throw in any curve on a whim, so yes, if I say there was a Greyhund Tavern by St Leonard’s in the East and co-owned by three prominent mercers during Richard’s reign then I KNOW this and if I never use the term “pimp” it is because it did not exist in Richard’s day! One has to respect fellow ricardians!

    Any time you want to reach me, feel free, I’m at bwilliam@rcbc.edu oh, btw, I did skim through the Common Pleas for E4, E5, R3, for 1483, London, didn’t expect to find anything on either John Hill or John Whyte, I think you mentioned going further back, to 1480-2, I might actually go back to 1478. That is when Hill began with his own apprentices.

    Again, Maryeflowre, many thanks, you are inspiring!

    Beth

    Liked by 1 person

  12. halfwit36 on said:

    Dear Amma:
    I am so looking forward to seeing/reading your graphic novel, and I applaud your efforts to make it as factual as possible.. But it will still be a novel, yes? not a history.
    My standard for novels is much lower. Unless the author has a character (e.g. the hero) doing something he could not have done because he was in prison or in another country, or dead, it will pass muster in a work of fiction. Especially if the author adopts the POV of the omnis – omnisc – know’it’all 3rd person narrator.

    Amma, don’t over-think or over-research this. Just sit down and WRITE it – while I am still able to read & comment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth Bradley on said:

      I too am eagerly awaiting this, Halfwit 36! But, knowing Amma (Beth), she won’t finish her graphic novel until she is absolutely positive that the research is impeccable. Until then, you and I will have to patiently wait with bated breath….

      Liked by 1 person

    • amma19542019 on said:

      Dear Halfwit, I overthink everything!

      fortunately I have Elizabeth to sound off ideas on – and if you have the time I will add you as well! I don’t read fiction (I know, I am very weird, I do read some mysteries, historical, I love Lord Peter, and Poirot, but Richard has literally swamped me for over a year, I started this particular project last spring! so I have done nothing but research – silly me, I thought E4’s spies would be well documented – HAHAHAHAHAH)

      Elizabeth B has her own project, and it sounds as though Maryeflowre does as well, (don’t all Ricardians end up with projects? hmm)

      I was overwriting this thing, as if it was a novel-novel, well, it isn’t – it is a visual novel, meaning I have to rely on an almost cinematic approach to how the viewer relates and understands and wants to follow the story, the people – in a funny way that has freed up alot of the writing I didn’t want to do – I can write dialogue, I think, I have a great app called Etymonline for checking words, I’m quite surprised how many did not exist in Richard’s day, but there are usually decent substitutes, pares down alot of modern slang and phrases that would sound jarring as well. Since two characters need at least passable middle French that was an ordeal, again, its not a novel-novel so I can get away with Messire using a signal to his son, when they’re trapped in an alley off Cattestrete, such as “ad ce mur!- it also makes for a great anecdote for Richard to later explain to their mutual friend, Joscelin. Sounds authentic (and it is) but not labored.

      Anyway, you always have that cut to the bone advice that is priceless, I write to Elizabeth that my mind is full of squirrels and hares chasing each other in mad abandon – and that is on a calm day – and she has been helping me with character prototypes for the many people we simply have no idea what they looked like – personally I do not care for any of the portraits of E4, George, even QEW, there are several of Margaret duchess of Burgundy that may work, they fall into the category of when they’re good they’re great, when they’re god awful they’re atrocious!

      Ok I’m running on caffeine right now, I have one last scene to do – the big one with Richard taking David to task – oh no wait, second to last big one, – I forgot I rewrote something – a character that shows up in the July plots – ok, you don’t want to know this now – suffice it to say the squirrels are winning here. Had to rewrite everything to fit into HOW they work within a panel and how I want the panels to form a sheet (page) – January is the set up month, Richard leaves London late in February from Parliament, as far as anyone in the story (and likely in real life) knows he won’t be back for years – except, well, early April David rides to Middleham and then the spy structure he set up, based on what LXI has, (and E4 SHOULD HAVE had this too! LXI just ran rings around Edward, laughing his butt off; inexplicable oversight on E4’s part!) is in full gear. THAT will be manic.

      well, I have to run, I’d love to send you the sketches, once they make it to the panel stage, I handle criticism better than most artists, lol, I look at it this way, all this is for Richard, I can’t let my prissy snooty self get all bent here 🙂

      not sure if you have my email, it’s at bwilliam@rcbc.edu and this could be the most fun I’ve had since I illustrated I Am the Walrus hahhaaa! ok in my squirrely mind it is similar, stay well Halfwit, until later off to get that scene done

      beth

      Like

  13. maryeflowre on said:

    Dear Beth, your novel sounds as thouugh it will be amazing and I look forward to seeing it. I think you are absolutely right to confine the action to a few months, as that will make the research do-able.
    A brutal world it certainly was. It would be nice to correspond some time – I just need a few clear days.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. amma19542019 on said:

    To the very patient Halfwit, MaryreFlowre and Elizabeth!

    Can you fear me crying UNCLE????? lol well, I have. Humbly.

    My son has been saying for MONTHS, “you don’t even read graphic novels!!!!” and with that look that says it all. No, I don’t read about ka-pow! Avengers and Alan Moore’s fiends (although, have you SEEN Alan Moore? he is SO going to be the prototype for John Morton!) and Hellboy and manga and heaven knows what else but I have set type by hand, bound books by hand, taken wood plates to the printer and received my blocks for the press and spent hundreds of hours rolling off sheets of paper to sew into a book (can we say Gutenberg dino here?) – I understand the basics.

    And yet and yet and yet. He was right. I have bristled for years at the cartoony features of characters plastered against gorgeous backdrops, (other than Little Nemo or Phiz! which fall into categories I can’t use for Richard). WHY do they do that??? Well, now I know.

    And the proper term is “clear line” or cartoony for the novice comic designer. I already knew it is highly unusual for the writer to be the artist to be the one inking, doing the lettering, book design etc, but then when they write these books the assumption is some people can write, some can draw, some can letter, and some know how best to assemble the whole mess into a finished product. To me “clear line” just means a stylized, abstraction of the character’s form and facial features about mid range on the scale – not Charlie Brown but not my Holbein either. My concession to Holbein is that, like that master, his probing line was similar to that of really fine caricature, regardless of political or social commentary.

    I came across an artist, in one of the books I’ve been inhaling this week, you may know her work, a Posy Simmonds? Fabulous sense of line! AND NO dialogue bubbles! My salvation! (Clever woman, she just hand writes the dialogue somewhere above the character, then a short line dashes down from her pen nib, likely a pen nib, somewhere in the vicinity of the character, perfect! Brilliant, I’m stealing it, probably with some modification but c’est la vie!)

    While Simmonds’ style is more caricature than I would use for Richard (she is I believe a social commentator?) what an eye for exquisite detail, an economy of lines that packs a massive display of personality in each Subject! If you are familiar with Dicken’s illustrator, PHIZ! (lol love that name) then you see the same awesome wealth of visual information possible just in a few scribbled lines or grand flourishes .

    After a week of tossing all my decisions out the window in pursuit of NO dialogue BUBBLES, I found that I am closer to the Japanese concept of graphic novels than I realized! There are good reasons for the ‘panels’ or frames, with the gutters between the images, I’ve used them in large silkscreen works and you’ve likely seen this device in religious works known as polyptychs (think of the Ghent Altarpiece) and they make sense here, as does a clear-line character drawn so that the Viewer immediately relates and recognizes them, and so, enters with them into that far more realistically described environment or world created for them. (So my maps and clothing and food research will be useful after all, hallelujah)!

    The transitions between these panels/frames/images is what has been – to me – rather boring when I look at Batman! Hellboy! whatever, as it is “action-to-action” yea yea yea. I will need that (Messire tends to make more enemies than friends), but it’s quite clever what IS possible, if you move past that ONE option. The Japanese favor, especially in their 300+ page novels, something called “aspect-to-aspect” frames, with little or no dialogue, no real sense of what is going on, just a sense of something implied. WELLLL, let me at that!!! It just screams opportunity! One can make cluster of fragments into a reverie – or one of foreboding – think how that can be used in the Tower meeting with Hastings! C’mon people! Add in that the panels should not be uniform in size, they can “bleed” to their edges, or pop out of their “borders” or overlap (I think that is pushing it myself) …

    Anyway… I threw out everything I have written the last 6 wks! Started an entirely different approach, panels/frames/images go down and IS there any dialogue? I am finding I need very little “dialogue” – the visuals will do 75% of the heavy lifting, with the right angle of view, sequencing, lighting, mix of close-ups with asymmetrical compositions (we, humans, love asymmetrical, imbalance, don’t let them tell you differently) I’m up till 3 am re-writing, like a crazed hare, but now I can “see” how it can work, heheh.

    I am also dispensing with those huge banners at the top of a “establishing shot” – in fact many of the “establishing shots” aren’t even going to be IN the beginning of a new scene, HAH! why should they be? I am a big believer in the old Greek ideal of peripeteia – I will set up a Viewer/reader then bam, pull the switch! Those dumb banners along the top of a scene, to tell you where you are and the date etc etc oh please, I can work that into the dialogue.

    Btw, August 1483 is an arbitrary “end” date right now, I need to get Messire and Richard through that spat of plots in London summer 1483, some of which Howard handled, obviously with intel he gets from the informers and spies, but there were at least three, other than the Hastings plot (which I have my own ideas about) – but to go all the way through to Buckingham’s October rebellion likely is TOO much in Part 1 – Part 2 will have more than enough with Richard’s York investiture, the meeting at Nottingham, October rebellion, his Parliament etc etc. Ideally I have enough material, characters, ideas to take me through “the last White Rose”

    To answer Halfwit, this IS a novel, I have the wrong credentials for a “history” and there are plenty of them already out there, both historical fiction and academic works – and what graphic novels that I have seen with Richard tend to follow the Shakespeare play or close enough (we don’t even have any in our database at B&N). What I haven’t seen – probably because the aspect of espionage for the Yorkists is so thinly documented (as in NOT documented, only referenced or inferred and then primarily for E4 who we know used spies, very haphazardly I would add, and never to the efficient degree or success that his “beloved cousin, LXI” did) this idea was just screaming out to me to DO, and do it visually. So, I am.

    As to Messire (David Scuyer) and the majority of his agents for his “wasteful enterprise” (I will use Richard’s own words wherever I can, and his handwriting, since we have examples and he is quite easy to mimic in a visual format) they are all fictional, based on not what I wish people were like to make the story work but what people were like, one can read about their real choices, decisions, realities, in something as simple as Thrupp’s book on the Merchant Class, which is not necessarily about the uber wealthy in London.

    It was an eye-opener, concerning the legal rights and economic situation of women, before marriage, as widows, as apprentices, the very concept of a “guild” wasn’t just a club of like minds, it was an entire structure that held a community of a craft together, there were benefits, and also penalties. The mayor and aldermen of London held a level of power that could and did unnerve many a king, and London’s citizens were held to moral levels of behavior I found shocking, any infraction that showed disrespect TO the Mayor was dealt with in public and quite severely – I’ll say it this way, compared to how other adulterers (ie. “harlot of her body”) were treated in the London of her day “Jane Shore” got off very, very easy, forget Thomas More’s nonsense, read Thrupp, or Ruth Karras!

    Lead characters, like Messire, however should not be so over the top that they are more intriguing than Richard – and trust me that would be easy to do when one can just invent any back story or persona for him – I didn’t want an Outlander Jamie or a Flashman or that Dunnett hero/anti-hero (Francis Lymond?) or a Heathcliff (love my Heathcliff but he sucks all the air out of every page he’s on, no? yes? ) And I do love my mystery heroes but they’re the Lord Peter Wimsey or Hercule Poirot types, not working here!

    This spy/agent has to be able to handle a knife fight, leap over crumbling stone walls, recruit unlikely informers, sniff out foreign spies in every quarter (and some are female: known as “bait” and he fails every time, a character flaw, yes); be an experienced poison-eater (he did survive LXI’s court so that was a prerequisite!), he survived Barnet and Tewkesbury at R’s side, was sent to Duke Charles’s burgeoning English contingent of disaffected soldiers unhappy with the Picquigny Treaty (sent by E4, who rightly smelled royal ambitions from his brother-in-law; all it got David was capture, you’ll see, it’s backstory), so no Jamie here, and no sour Heathcliff with a grudge either. He’s Richard’s man, pledged with an oath to the family that took him in as an orphan.

    So Messire is a flawed character, not an anit-hero, just flawed. Has his quirks, he vexes Richard no end, not the way George, for example, would vex him, but that David, or Scuyer (Richard alternates) continues to resist all counsel for his own betterment, and although knighted at Tewkesbury he appears to have little material ambition. He can hardly advance a man who drifts between service with E4, the duchess of Burgundy (several years in this case, 1478-80) and himself, his frequent complaint is that David is a “of a singular nature” and while he never doubts his loyalty, as David tells Lovell, happily, that he “expects to die in his Lordship’s service” there is just something about him that Richard can’t harness, an unbroken horse.

    Doesn’t help that David remains intimate with one of Richard’s prior mistresses, (well, the other two, I call this one “Joan” – mother of John – probably passed early 1470’s – and as to the mother of Katherine, I have my own ideas here, but also, by 1483, she too I suspect was also long gone) so only Joscelin remains and yes, that does cause some issues.

    Were David (and Joscelin) anyone else this open promiscuity would not be tolerated (in London, Joscelin won’t leave London, not for David, not for Richard) but she has a protector in E4 (like so many others, her son is thought to be Edward’s, he is currently 13 in 1483). Then again, living in Dowgate, where E4 arranged for her to live, she is among a large, mobile, population of “foreigns” and aliens, quite a mix of craftsmen from cutlers, skinners, tallow chandlers, essentially forgotten as she has vigorously avoided the court. Still, IF you are trying to move your man up, socially and politically Richard would prefer to have Scuyer marry someone he’s chosen for him from among his northern affinity (likely a Conyers, their numbers were legion), and put Joscelin aside. Ah well, Richard remains vexed.

    ( I know this is all in the weeds stuff here … but I have E4 providing Joscelin with a husband – I suspect John’s mother was a widow, possibly with extended family who could provide for her during her pregnancy and afterwards, John surely was not born at Pontefract, which was in John Neville’s hands at least through May 1471 and then likely tied up in the Neville inheritance squabbles. But she would have had some support system until Richard was able to move the child, and her, to Pontefract, probably late 1470’s. We do not hear anything about him until his legitimate heir died. Same with Katherine, who had to be 14 in 1484 to enter the properties her father had settled on her for the marriage to Herbert. )

    (Yea, I am sticking Richard with 3 bastards when he’s all of 18-19 but it was possible, just bad timing, he literally had nothing, which is why I have E4 providing both a husband and tenement for Joscelin in lieu of younger brother having nothing, had Joscelin a sister, mother, someone he could have shipped her off to he would have, in 1469-71 Richard is quite literally all over the map, lives in no one fixed location, his grants from E4 come and go, I find this period quite exciting, but too much to cover, all I can do is be aware of what he was doing and reference it as needed – and when it is needed, if at all).

    ok, this went way too long, apologies, one nice thing about a graphic novel is I can take big leaps – opening scenes, Jan 1483, introduce who is around Richard, and I truly think with his palatinate about to land in his lap he had no intention of being back in London for years – if E4 planned a summer campaign in Scotland, fine, he didn’t need to go to London for that, meet in Nottingham again, so, I need to wrap up everything Messire wants to do, about the enterprise, in these first scenes – of course, we know that doesn’t happen – but once I jump to April, it’s katy bar the door! I’m salivating at the plots ahead, that we know about, that we have conjectured, that we have wondered and thought, well, how would that actually have happened???

    hehehehe

    next up, the tracings, to ugh, “clean line” the drawings …. ok if it works, say a prayer!

    Beth/Amma

    Like

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