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,… Continue reading Edward IV, Dame Eleanor and the Phantom Web of Impediments

The black widow that bit herself

Since John Ashdown-Hill’s iconic Eleanor was published eleven years ago, we have seen some desperate attempts to contradict his proven conclusion that Lady Eleanor Talbot contracted a valid marriage to Edward IV before his contract to Elizabeth Widville and many such attempts have rebounded on the denialist in question. Now a troll naming herself Latrodecta… Continue reading The black widow that bit herself

An enquiry

Today in 1461, Lady Eleanor Talbot married Edward IV, either on her Warwickshire lands or in Norfolk. As Ashdown-Hill has shown, she was older than Edward, a widow, from a Lancastrian background and the ceremony took place in secret during the spring, five factors that also apply to Edward’s bigamous marriage almost three years later.… Continue reading An enquiry

Give this Knight Errant a miss….!

If you support Richard III and believe history has “done him wrong”, for heaven’s sake do not read The Last Knight Errant: Sir Edward Woodville and the Age of Chivalry by Christopher Wilkins. I made the mistake, and it soon struck me that the author had learned by rote every single myth about Richard, and… Continue reading Give this Knight Errant a miss….!

Richard and “Incest”

In BBC History, Richard III Special Edition, Professor Hicks returns to his theory that Richard III’s marriage to Anne Neville was incestuous because of the prior marriage of his brother, George Clarence, to Isabel Neville. I have to confess to surprise that a historian of Professor Hicks’ fame and academic stature is still chasing this… Continue reading Richard and “Incest”

To avoid any confusion:

When Edward IV married Lady Eleanor Talbot in spring 1461, they were not more closely related than fourth cousins, through her mother, Margaret Beauchamp (see Eleanor, fig.11). Under the rules of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 (p.112), such distant blood relations were permitted to marry without a dispensation. It no longer amounted to consanguinity.… Continue reading To avoid any confusion:

Another reason for the myth of Owain Tudor

Catherine de Valois’ first husband was Henry V, who was clearly the grandson of John of Gaunt. Edmund Beaufort, later Duke of Somerset, is traditionally regarded as Gaunt’s grandson as well, although his father may have been a legitimate Swynford. Quite apart from the 1420s legislation banning royal stepmothers such as Catherine from remarrying without… Continue reading Another reason for the myth of Owain Tudor

Richard’s Affinity and Good Lordship as Duke of Gloucester 1468-1483

(This article originally appeared in the Ricardian Register, the journal of the Richard III Society American Branch, and has been reproduced here with its permission.) Allegation: Richard was an ambitious man, hungry for power and ultimately aiming for the Crown. He kept his intentions close to the vest, but in retrospect it’s apparent that he… Continue reading Richard’s Affinity and Good Lordship as Duke of Gloucester 1468-1483