THE PASSING OF ELIZABETH OF YORK – A ROYAL COINCIDENCE

Reblogged from A Medieval Potpourri sparkypus.com

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A young Henry weeping on the empty bed of his dead mother Elizabeth of York.  His two sisters Margaret and Mary sit at the foot of the bed.  From the Vaux Passional, in the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth

As an enthusiastic amateur I do love all the minutiae of history particularly the coincidences which crop up now and again and which really pique my interest.     One I mentioned only recently was the burial of Sir James Tyrell in Austin Friars Church where also lay buried Perkin Warbeck the young man who claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, son of Edward IV and who if he were Richard would have spent time in Sir James’ home of Gipping Hall if the Tyrell family tradition be true. 

There is also Elizabeth Talbot Viscountess Lisle.   Elizabeth was married to Edward Grey Viscount Lisle.   Edward Grey was the brother of Sir John Grey,  first husband of Elizabeth Wydeville,  bigamous wife to Edward IV.   However the coincidence here is that Elizabeth Talbot was also the niece of Lady Eleanor Butler (Elizabeth Wydeville’s very own personal nemesis) who was true wife of Edward IV.  

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Possible portrait of Elizabeth Talbot, Viscountess Lisle c1468 Petrus Christus of Bruge Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

Next on my list is the the coincidence of the timing of the deaths of the heirs and wives of both Richard III and Henry VII .  Strange to think that these two kings, so utterly different would have been able to commiserate with each other on the pain of having major bereavements so close to each other there was  scarce time to come to terms with their loss before another befell them. Richard’s small son Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales  died some time around the 9th April 1484 – there is some confusion over the exact date – his wife Anne Neville passed away but eleven months later on March 16th 1485.  Henry’s heir Arthur,  Prince of Wales,  15 years old and recently wed was to pass away on the 2 April 1502 followed by his mother Elizabeth of York on the 11th February 1503 –  not the exact eleven months that was between Edward and Anne’s deaths but ten months and pretty close. Both kings are said to have taken the deaths of their wives badly and for Richard the death of his heir was catastrophic.  Henry at least had a spare, the young Henry Jnr – Oh Joy!

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Holbein’s sketch of Henry VIII as a child.   What a little tinker..bless.  A  medieval Chukkie only more cuddly…Yikes! 

Elizabeth fared better than Anne,  well tombwise,  having a tomb and monument that cost a small fortune whereas  the grave of  Anne,   who was buried in Westminster Abbey  ‘with honours no less than befitted the burial of a queen’ , is lost and unmarked other than a plaque put up  courtesy of the Richard III Society in 1960 in the area where she is known to rest that is ‘by the South dore that does ledyth Into Seynt Edwardys Chapell’(1).  The plaque reads:

ANNE NEVILL 

1456-1485 

QUEEN OF ENGLAND 

YOUNGER DAUGHTER OF RICHARD EARL OF WARWICK CALLED THE KINGMAKER WIFE TO THE LAST PLANTAGENET KING RICHARD III  

 ‘In person she was seemly, amiable and beauteous and according to the interpretation of her name Anne full gracious’ 

REQUIESCAT IN PACE.  

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The plaque given by The Richard III Society          

To continue reading click here

 

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