Today in 1495 marked the death of Henry VII’s uncle, Jasper Tudor, and so seems an appropriate day for me to post the following extract, which is from The Country Gentry in the Fourteenth Century by N. Denholm-Young, published in 1969.
“…It is a crying fault among English historians that they pay only lip-service to the fact that the Tudors, who came from a farmhouse at Penmynydd in Anglesey, were a typically Welsh family, and it is time for their conquest of England in 1485 to be described with this in mind….”
Really? A typically Welsh family? Well, maybe they were (to a certain extent) prior to Owen Tudor apparently getting it together with Katherine of Valois (whether in holy matrimony or not), but after that Owen and his “descendants” most certainly were NOT a typical Welsh family. They moved in court circles, became earls, were Henry VI’s half-brothers and had French royal blood, and snapped up incredibly rich Beaufort heiresses who were underage. Let’s face it, they wouldn’t have been seen DEAD inspecting the farmland at Penmynydd!
As for Henry VII acknowledging and showing pride in his Welsh antecedents, he forgot all that rubbish as soon as they’d served their purpose and got him into England, with his foreign army, paid for by the French. And it was traitorous Englishmen (and his slippery mother Margaret Beaufort) who put him on the throne, not the Welsh. I’m sorry, but I regard myself as Welsh (and proud of it!) but I certainly don’t agree with the above extract.
Plus, of course, there may not be any Tudor blood at all in the so-called House of Tudor, because Katherine of Valois was widely suspected of using Owen Tudor to cover the fact that she was actually pregnant by Edmund Beaufort, Earl of Somerset. Beaufort wouldn’t/couldn’t marry her and so she turned to the convenient Owen Tudor instead. And there doesn’t appear to be any proof that she and Owen really did marry.
So it just might be that the Tudors who seized the throne of England were all Beauforts and doubly illegitimate! Why? Because the Beauforts were originally an illegitimate line anyway, offspring of John of Gaunt and his then mistress, Katherine de Roët, and they were supposedly denied any right at all to ascend the throne. So decided their very legitimate (if usurping) half-brother, Henry IV, first king of the House of Lancaster. So, the Tudors become less and less “typically Welsh”, right?
To read more about Penmynydd, where the Tudors did indeed originate, go to this article.
Mind you, the thought of Henry VII toiling in those Welsh acres, preferably on a very wet and windy day, cold too, manoeuvring a plough in amazingly straight lines, rather does appeal….!
And to please all Ricardians and Yorkists, here’s how Wales should have greeted Henry T in 1483!