The following sentence makes me want to smack Edward IV! Again. I fear I’ve wanted to smack him a great deal recently. Still, perhaps in this instance meant that he’d realised the damage that could ensue from a stupid marriage. Certainly he didn’t want the ‘error’ repeated. Not that he ever revealed the true extent of his idiocy….and crime toward the succession.
But I can’t help wondering about Elizabeth Woodville‘s private thoughts, because this new dynastic marriage certainly pigeon-holed her as a right royal mistake!
Here is the article the article from which I’ve taken the extract that has prompted me today:-
“….Edward IV planned a prestigious European marriage for his heir, and in 1480 negotiated an alliance with Francis II, Duke of Brittany, by the terms of which Prince Edward was betrothed to the duke’s four-year-old heiress, Anne….”
Hmm, so no low, infinitely troublesome, secret ceremony for the future Edward V. Edward IV had the benefit of hindsight to show him the way, but not enough foresight to spot the future can of worms he’d opened with his marital chicanery.
Whenever I see the image above, I have to wonder if it’s supposed to evoke thoughts of gallant Robin Hood and Maid Marian. All it lacks is the dappled sunlight shimmering through the protective arms of the greenwood…. Oh well, Robin Hood and his love didn’t cause have as much trouble as Edward and Elizabeth!
I think Edward made a huge mistake when he started following his own counsel. It was a bid for independence from the Nevilles, but he simply was not clever enough and made a host of bad political decisions. Then in his second reign, he did a whole bunch of land-fiddling, which created a class of persons with a vested interest in overthrowing his settlement. If he’d lived to be 55 he might have got away with it, but he didn’t. His second reign was essentially a tyranny and it set a tone for the later, successive Tudor tyrannies.