Reblogged from sparkypus.com A Medieval Potpourri
Anne Devereux, John Lydgate’s Troy Book and Siege of Thebes @British Library
Well that old wheel of fortune could certainly whizz around and no more so than in the lives of the noble women from the turbulent times we now know as the Wars of the Roses. An example of one of these ladies is Anne Herbert nee Devereux Countess of Pembroke. Ann was the daughter of Sir Walter Devereux and born about c1433. In 1449 Ann was married to William Herbert Earl of Pembroke c.1423-1469 and with whom she had at least 10 children including William jnr and Maud. William jnr would go on to marry Elizabeth Wydeville’s sister Mary and after her death, Richard III’s illegitimate daughter Katherine – I will get back to William jnr and Katherine later – while her father left instructions in his will that Maud was to marry, ‘Lord Henry of Richmond’ ie Henry “Tudor”. (1 ) As we know this marriage never came about, Henry marrying Elizabeth of York and Maud, Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland. William had received the custody and marriage of Henry Tudor on the 12 February 1461 when Henry was 4 years old and had been sent to be brought up in Ann’s household at Raglan Castle with the rest of the Herbert children. Anne must have been a kind and loving guardian as when Henry Tudor usurped the throne as a result of the tragic outcome at Bosworth one of his first actions was to send for Anne. But we gallop away here and should return to Ann’s earlier life. Both Anne and her husband, although from staunch Yorkist families (both Herbert, and his father served in France, his father in Richard Duke of York’s retinue) had once supported Henry VI but as the tricky situation between the king, who was mentally unstable, and York developed and grew ever more turbulent, Herbert his ‘loyalties strained’ threw in his lot with York – and to be perfectly honest who can blame him – but I digress. Herbert assured York in May 1454 that he was ‘noo monis mon but only youres’ (2) It must have been a worrying time for Ann as she sat in Raglan castle with her brood of children and of course young Henry, as well as other ladies of the nobility, as their menfolk thundered about the countryside, sometimes losing, sometimes winning and sometimes off into exile only to return, envigorated and ready for more.
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