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Elizabeth, Duchess Norfolk, Fitzalan

February 2, 2015 4 Comments

Lady Elizabeth Fitzalan, Duchess of Norfolk

Lady Elizabeth Fitzalan, Duchess of Norfolk

Elizabeth Fitzalan as well as her sister Joan are both my ancestors, on maternal and paternal sides of my family.  Elizabeth is my mother’s ancestor.  She had a remarkable life, outliving 4 husbands. She is probably buried in an alabaster tomb in the church in village of Hoveringham, England with my 17th great-grandfather who died in battle.  She married him without a license, which angered the king.

I am lucky that Bruce Morrison is her descendant also.  He has devoted time and study to give us many details about her life. Here is his research:

FOREWORD: The early 15th century alabaster tomb and effigies of Sir Robert Goushill and his wife Elizabeth Fitz-Alan Duchess of Norfolk are found at the parish church of the village of Hoveringham in Nottinghamshire, England. The tomb is located just to the right as you enter the church. The original medieval St. Michael church at Hoveringham was razed in 1865, and the present plain, small brick church  was erected in it’s place. The above copyright photographs were taken during a visit to Hoveringham in 1991 by Bruce Morrison of Lexington, Kentucky, a descendant of Robert Goushill and Elizabeth Fitz-Alan.  (I do not have Bruce’s photos)

THE TOMB & EFFIGIES: The effigies show effects of earlier vandalism and mutilation incurred during earlier centuries. The right arms of both effigies are broken and missing–they originally were holding hands. Some damage also occured when the monumemt was relocated when the present church was erected. The figures are of alabaster with Sir Robert Goushill shown wearing a camail and hawberk and plate armor on his arms and legs. His feet rest upon the figure of a dog, and his collar shows the badge of his Lancastrian loyalty. He wears a Bacinet on his head with a wreath which rests on a crowned Saracen’s head. The Saracen’s head was derived from the Goushill family crest. The Goushill of Hoveringham coat of arms was a barry of six or and gules with a canton ermine. The figure of Elizabeth Fitz-Alan is shown wearing a peeress gown with a coronet on her head emblematic of her rank as a duchess. The tomb was created after Sir Robert Goushill’s tragic death in 1403, probably by the design of his widow Elizabeth Fitz-Alan who lived to 1425. It is likely that she was also buried in the tomb, but no definitive proof or evidence exists. Robert Thoroton’s description of the tomb in the 17th century states that about the fair tomb were the arms of Leek, Longford, Babington, Chaworth impaling Caltofts, Remptons, and divers others. These are long lost as well as the tomb of Sir Nicholas Goushill, the son of Sir Thomas Goushill, who died in 1393. This stone was in the south isle of the original St. Michael Church. The lower base portion of the Goushill Fitz-Alan tomb is decorated by a series of shields on all sides which were probably the location of the large number of now lost coats of arms described in Thoroton’s History.

ROBERT GOUSHILL: Sir Robet Goushill was knighted by King Henry IV at the battle of Shrewsbury on July 21,1403. At the Battle of Shrewsbury the loyalist forces of Henry IV were opposed by the rebel army of Henry Percy (Hotspur). The army of King Henry IV won the day with the killing of Hotspur during the conflict. Casulties on both sides were high with estimates of 3000 killed or wounded on each side. Sir Robert Goushill was knighted the day of the battle for his gallantry, but was badly wounded in the side. Found lying wounded by his servant on the eve of the battle, Goushill asked that his armor be removed and a note sent to his wife Elizabeth in case of his death. The servant then stabbed and murdered Sir Robert Goushill and made off with his purse and ring. Another wounded man lying nearby recognized the servant, and he was later caught and hanged for the crime. The arms of Sir Robert Goushill would be placed in the Shrewsbury Battlefield Church by King Henry IV.

Robert Goushill was the son and heir of Sir Nicholas Goushill of Hoveringham. The date of his birth is unknown, but can be estimated to be circa 1360-1365. Likewise, the name of his mother also remains unknown. The Goushill family had held extensive lands in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire since the 13th century. Walter Goushill, an early ancestor in the direct line, gained a number of these considerable holdings for the Goushills through his marriage to Maud (Matilda) Hathersage, the co-heiress of Mathew Hathersage in Derbyshire. (The early pedigree of the Goushill family of Hoveringham can be found in the History of Nottinghamshire by Dr. Robert Thoroton). In the calendar of patent rolls of Richard II on March 12, 1386, the King orders the arrest of Sir Nicholas Goushill the elder and his son Robert Goushill to answer the suit brought by William Birkes accusing the Goushills of threatning him with the loss of life and limb that he dare go about his business. On July 16, 1385, Sir Nicholas Goushill received the King’s pardon. During 1387, Nicholas Goushill knight of Hoveringham and his son Robert Goushill are found in the chancery records to owe a debt of 22 pounds to Robert Wells of London. The next mention of Robert Goushill occurs in 1390 when he receives the King’s pardon for alleged outlawry and other felonies through the supplication of Thomas Mowbray. Thomas Mowbray was at that time Earl of Nottingham and later would become the Duke of Norfolk. This evidences that Robert Goushill was already a supporter of Thomas Mowbray of whom he would be an employee of for the next decade. Elizabeth Fitz-Alan, the future wife of Robert Goushill, had been the wife of Mowbray since 1384.

During the 1390’s, Robert Goushill would be in the retinue of Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, Marshal of England, and Duke of Norfolk, serving as Mowbray’s esquire and attorney. When Thomas Mowbray received his ducal elevation in 1397, he gave to his esquire Robert Goushill a 20 pound annuity for life from his manor at Willington. This grant was confirmed by Henry IV in November of 1399. In 1398, after the Duke of Norfolk was banished by Richard II, Robert Goushill was appointed one of the attorneys for Mowbray. At the coronation of King Edward IV on October 13, 1399, Robert Goushill would make a plea for the return of the banished Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshall, not knowing Mowbray had already died of the plague in Venice, Italy on September 22, 1399. In the mid 1390’s, Robert Goushill had married as a first wife Joan Bracebrugge, who was the widow of Sir Ralph Bracebrugge of Kingsbury, Warwickshire. Joan (maiden name unknown) had married Ralph Bracebrugge in 1380 and his death occured in August, 1395. The marriage of Robert Goushill and Joan Bracebrugge likely was in 1396, and Joan would die early in the year 1400. (IPM Henry IV, 1-6). In 1397 Richard II appointed Sir William Bagot and Robert Goushill to seize into his hands the goods and chattels of Thomas the late Earl of Warwick. (Goushill served as Warwickshire sheriff in 1396/97). After Richard II was deposed, the new King Henry IV made a grant on Feb. 23, 1400 to his kinswoman Elizabeth, the wife of the late Duke of Norfolk, of the remaining goods of the late Duke as well as clearing the debts that the Duke had owed to the deposed Richard II. Others to share in the remaining goods of the deceased Duke of Norfolk included Robert Goushill.

Robert Goushill would marry the widowed Elizabeth Fitz-Alan, Duchess of Norfolk, in the latter part of 1400 or early 1401 without license. On August 19, 1401, King Henry IV seized the lands of Elizabeth, late widow of Thomas Mowbray, for marrying Robert Goushill without license. On September 28, 1401, Henry IV would pardon Robert Goushill esquire and Elizabeth, late wife of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, for their trespass for inter-marrying without license and that they shall have restitution of all lands assigned to her in dower with the issues from the time of their marriage. Joan Goushill, the 1st daughter of Robert and Elizabeth, would be born in 1401, and a 2nd daughter Elizabeth Goushill would be born in 1402. Many present day descendants of these two daughters trace their ancestry to the Plantagenet Kings of England through Joan Goushill who married Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley, and Elizabeth Goushill who married Sir Robert Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk. (My own descent is through the Goushill-Wingfield marriage). A 3rd daughter named Joyce is now credited to Robert and Elizabeth. She was found in a 1407 lawsuit being named after older daughters Joan and Elizabeth. As she is not named in Robert Goushill’s Inq. Post Mortum of 1403, she would certainly seem to have been born after Robert Goushill’s death. No futher trace of Joyce Goushill has been found. After the tragic death of Sir Robert Goushill at the battle of Shrewsbury on July 21, 1403, his Inquisition Post Mortum was held August 6, 1403. His heirs are given as his daughters Joan and Elizabeth, aged two years and one year respectively. A final thought regarding the pedigree of the Goushill family of Hoveringham as given by Thoroton: the pedigree lists the Sir Nicholas Goushill dying in 1393 as the grandfather of Robert Goushill and Robert’s father as another Nicholas Goushill. This 2nd Nicholas Goushill listed in the pedigree was very likely confused with the Sir Nicholas Goushill of Barlborough, Derbyshire who was also at the battle of Shrewsbury. He was certainly a relative and contemporary of Robert Goushill and either brother or first cousin, but not his father. The first 1380’s records that mention Robert Goushill appear with Sir Nicholas Goushill the ELDER given as the father of Robert Goushill. I believe the evidence stongly suggests that the father of Robert Goushill was the Sir Nicholas Goushill who died in 1393 and was buried at St. Michael’s church Hoveringham.

ELIZABETH FITZ-ALAN: Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of Richard Fitz-Alan the 11th Earl of Arundel and his wife Elizabeth de Bohun. Both the Fitz-Alan and Bohun family lines were among the highest in the peerage of medieval England. Elizabeth Fitz-Alan had a double line of direct descent from the Plantagenet Kings of England. Through her mother’s Bohun line she was a direct descendant of King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, and through her Fitz-Alan ancestry a direct descendant of King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. She was also related by cousinship to both King Henry IV and to his first wife Mary Bohun. Elizabeth was born before 1372, (in 1415 she was given as aged 40 or more), and a best estimate would be closer to 1367. By December of 1378 she would be married to her first husband William de Montagu, son of the Earl of Salisbury. This marriage for Elizabeth would certainly have been in her childhood. William de Montagu was killed in a tilting match at Windsor in 1382. Elizabeth Fitz-Alan would marry as her 2nd husband Thomas Mowbray, the Earl of Nottingham and later the Duke of Norfolk, in July of 1384. This marriage would last for 15 years until Thomas Mowbray’s death in Venice on September 22, 1399. Elizabeth would have 2 sons and 2 daughters during her marriage with Thomas Mowbray. The sons were Thomas Mowbray 1385-1405 and John Mowbray 1390-1432, (both of these sons would assume the title Earl of Nottingham), the 2 daughters were Margaret who married Sir Robert Howard, and Isabel who married Henry Ferrers. In 1397 Thomas Mowbray was among those who accused and condemed Elizabeth’s father Richard Fitz-Alan, the Earl of Arundel. Richard Fitz-Alan was found guilty of treason and be-headed at Cheapside on September 21, 1397. One apocryphal rumor even had Thomas Mowbray as the actual executioner of his father-in-law Richard Fitz-Alan. The now twice widowed Duchess of Norfolk would next marry Sir Robert Goushill as previously discussed in length. After the death of Sir Robert Goushill at Shrewsbury in 1403, she would marry Sir Gerald Usflete of Yorkshire as her fourth husband before April 18, 1411. Sir Gerald Usflete was the steward of the Duchy of Lancaster in Lincolnshire. Elizabeth Fitz-Alan would become a co-heiress of her brother Thomas, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, in 1415. (Thomas had died sans progeny on October 13, 1415, and his sisters had become his heirs). Sir Gerald Usflete died by Feb. 1420/21, having written his will on September 13, 1420. No children were born to Elizabeth Fitz-Alan and Gerald Usflete.

Elizabeth Fitz-Alan would live on after the death of her fourth husband Gerald Usflete until her own death on July 8, 1425. It is believed that she returned to Hoveringham in her final years. Born in the reign of King Edward III, she would live through the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and into the reign of Henry VI. Through blood and marriage, Elizabeth Fitz-Alan would be closely touched by nearly all of the events in this period of turbulence, violence, and political turmoil in English history.

Bruce Morrison is a professor emeritus of the University of Kentucky and lives in Lexington, Ky. He and his wife Barbara have been engaged in genealogical research since 1985, and have published a number of genealogy and biographical web sites in recent years. The photographs of the Hoveringham tomb were taken in May of 1991 during one of several genealogy related trips to Europe between 1985 and 2008. It is hoped that this site will be of interest to all of the many Goushill-Fitz-Alan descendants.
•Bruce & Barbara Morrison
•3488 Elmendorf Way
•Lexington, Ky. USA 40517
•859-272-4192
•© 2008

Elizabeth Duchess Norfolk Fitzalan (1366 – 1425)
is my 17th great grandmother
Lady Joan De Goushill Baroness Stanley (1402 – 1459)
daughter of Elizabeth Duchess Norfolk Fitzalan
Countess Elizabeth Sefton Stanley (1429 – 1459)
daughter of Lady Joan De Goushill Baroness Stanley
Thomas Sir 8th Earl of Sefton Molyneux (1445 – 1483)
son of Countess Elizabeth Sefton Stanley
Lawrence Castellan of Liverpool Mollenaux (1490 – 1550)
son of Thomas Sir 8th Earl of Sefton Molyneux
John Mollenax (1542 – 1583)
son of Lawrence Castellan of Liverpool Mollenaux
Mary Mollenax (1559 – 1598)
daughter of John Mollenax
Gabriell Francis Holland (1596 – 1660)
son of Mary Mollenax
John Holland (1628 – 1710)
son of Gabriell Francis Holland
Mary Elizabeth Holland (1620 – 1681)
daughter of John Holland
Richard Dearden (1645 – 1747)
son of Mary Elizabeth Holland
George Dearden (1705 – 1749)
son of Richard Dearden
George Darden (1734 – 1807)
son of George Dearden
David Darden (1770 – 1820)
son of George Darden
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – 1837)
daughter of David Darden
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Minerva Truly Darden
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Joan Plantagenet

January 4, 2015 4 Comments

 

My 22nd great grandmother was born in Syria while her parents were on a crusade.

Joan Plantagenet (1272 – 1307)
is my 22nd great grandmother
Lady Margaret De Clare Baroness Audley (1292 – 1342)
daughter of Joan Plantagenet
Lady Alice De Audley Baroness Neville (1315 – 1373)
daughter of Lady Margaret De Clare Baroness Audley
Sir John ‘3rd Baron de Raby’ Neville, Admiral of the Kings Fleet (1341 – 1388)
son of Lady Alice De Audley Baroness Neville
Thomas De Neville (1362 – 1406)
son of Sir John ‘3rd Baron de Raby’ Neville, Admiral of the Kings Fleet
Maude de Neville (1392 – 1421)
daughter of Thomas De Neville
John Talbot (1413 – 1460)
son of Maude de Neville
Isabel Talbot (1444 – 1531)
daughter of John Talbot
Sir Richard Ashton (1460 – 1549)
son of Isabel Talbot
Sir Christopher Ashton (1493 – 1519)
son of Sir Richard Ashton
Lady Elizabeth Ashton (1524 – 1588)
daughter of Sir Christopher Ashton
Capt Roger Dudley (1535 – 1585)
son of Lady Elizabeth Ashton
Gov Thomas Dudley (1576 – 1653)
son of Capt Roger Dudley
Anne Dudley (1612 – 1672)
daughter of Gov Thomas Dudley
John Bradstreet (1652 – 1718)
son of Anne Dudley
Mercy Bradstreet (1689 – 1725)
daughter of John Bradstreet
Caleb Hazen (1720 – 1777)
son of Mercy Bradstreet
Mercy Hazen (1747 – 1819)
daughter of Caleb Hazen
Martha Mead (1784 – 1860)
daughter of Mercy Hazen
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of Martha Mead
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Joan of Acre (April 1272 – 23 April 1307) was an English princess, a daughter of King Edward I of England and Queen Eleanor of Castile. The name “Acre” derives from her birthplace in the Holy Land while her parents were on a crusade.

She was married twice; her first husband was Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester, one of the most powerful nobles in her father’s kingdom; her second husband was Ralph de Monthermer, a squire in her household whom she married in secret.

Joan is most notable for the claim that miracles have allegedly taken place at her grave, and for the multiple references to her in literature.

Birth and childhood

Joan (or Joanna, as she is sometimes called) of Acre was born in the spring of 1272 in Syria, while her parents, Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, were on crusade.  At the time of Joan’s birth, her grandfather, Henry III, was still alive and thus her father was not yet king of England. Her parents departed from Acre shortly after her birth, traveling to Sicily and Spain before leaving Joan with Eleanor’s mother, Joan, Countess of Ponthieu, in France.  Joan lived for several years in France where she spent her time being educated by a bishop and “being thoroughly spoiled by an indulgent grandmother.” Joan was free to play among the “vine clad hills and sunny vales” surrounding her grandmother’s home, although she required “judicious surveillance.”

As Joan was growing up with her grandmother, her father was back in England, already arranging marriages for his daughter. He hoped to gain both political power and more wealth with his daughter’s marriage, so he conducted the arrangement in a very “business like style”. He finally found a man suitable to marry Joan (aged 5 at the time), Hartman, son of King Rudoph I, of Germany. Edward then brought her home from France for the first time to meet him.  As she had spent her entire life away from Edward and Eleanor, when she returned she “stood in no awe of her parents” and had a fairly distanced relationship with them.

Unfortunately for King Edward, his daughter’s suitor died before he was able to meet or marry Joan. The news reported that Hartman had fallen through a patch of shallow ice while “amusing himself in skating” while a letter sent to the King himself stated that Hartman had set out on a boat to visit his father amidst a terrible fog and the boat had smashed into a rock, drowning him.

First marriage
Edward arranged a second marriage almost immediately after the death of Hartman.[12] Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who was almost thirty years older than Joan and newly divorced, was his first choice. The earl resigned his lands to Edward upon agreeing to get them back when he married Joan, as well as agreed on a dower of two thousand silver marks.[14] By the time all of these negotiations were finished, Joan was twelve years old. Gilbert de Clare became very enamored with Joan, and even though she had to marry him regardless of how she felt, he still tried to woo her. He bought her expensive gifts and clothing to try to win favor with her. The couple were married on 30 April 1290 at Westminster Abbey, and had four children together. They were:

Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford
Eleanor de Clare
Margaret de Clare
Elizabeth de Clare

Joan’s first husband, Gilbert de Clare died on 7 December 1295.[18]

Secret second marriage
Joan had been a widow for only a little over a year when she caught the eye of Ralph de Monthermer, a squire in Joan’s father’s household. Joan fell in love and convinced her father to have Monthermer knighted. It was unheard of in European royalty for a noble lady to even converse with a man who had not won or acquired importance in the household. However, in January 1297 Joan secretly married Ralph. Joan’s father was already planning another marriage for Joan to Amadeus V, Count of Savoy, to occur 16 March 1297. Joan was in a dangerous predicament, as she was already married, unbeknownst to her father.

Joan sent her four young children to their grandfather, in hopes that their sweetness would win Edward’s favor, but her plan did not work. The king soon discovered his daughter’s intentions, but not yet aware that she had already committed to them, he seized Joan’s lands and continued to arrange her marriage to Amadeus of Savoy. Soon after the seizure of her lands, Joan told her father of that she had married Ralph. The king was enraged and retaliated by immediately imprisoning Monthermer at Bristol Castle. The people of the land had differing opinions on the princess’ matter. It has been argued that the ones who were most upset were those who wanted Joan’s hand in marriage.

With regard to the matter, Joan famously said, “It is not considered ignominious, nor disgraceful for a great earl to take a poor and mean woman to wife; neither, on the other hand, is it worthy of blame, or too difficult a thing for a countess to promote to honor a gallant youth.” Joan’s statement in addition to a possibly obvious pregnancy seemed to soften Edward’s attitude towards the situation.  Joan’s first child by Monthermer was born in October 1297; by the summer of 1297, when the marriage was revealed to Edward I, Joan’s condition would certainly have been apparent, and would have convinced Edward that he had no choice but to recognize his daughter’s marriage. Edward I eventually relented for the sake of his daughter and released Monthermer from prison in August 1297.[17] Monthermer paid homage 2 August, and being granted the titles of Earl of Gloucester and Earl of Hertford, he rose to favour with the King during Joan’s lifetime.

Monthermer and Joan had four children:

Mary de Monthermer, born October 1297. In 1306 her grandfather King Edward I arranged for her to wed Duncan Macduff, 8th Earl of Fife. (Ancestor of Harry S Truman, 33rd President of the USA).
Joan de Monthermer, born 1299, became a nun at Amesbury.
Thomas de Monthermer, 2nd Baron Monthermer, born 1301.
Edward de Monthermer, born 1304 and died 1339.

Relationship with family
Joan of Acre was the seventh of Edward I and Eleanor’s fourteen children. Most of her older siblings died before the age of seven, and many of her younger siblings died before adulthood. Those who survived to adulthood were Joan, her younger brother, Edward of Caernarfon (later Edward II), and four of her sisters: Eleanor, Margaret, Mary, and Elizabeth.

Joan, like her siblings, was raised outside her parents’ household. She lived with her grandmother in Ponthieu for four years, and was then entrusted to the same caregivers who looked after her siblings.  Edward I did not have a close relationship with most of his children while they were growing up, yet “he seemed fonder of his daughters than his sons.”

However, Joan of Acre’s independent nature caused numerous conflicts with her father. Her father disapproved of her leaving court after her marriage to the Earl of Gloucester, and in turn “seized seven robes that had been made for her.”  He also strongly disapproved of her second marriage to Ralph de Monthermer, a squire in her household, even to the point of attempting to force her to marry someone else.   While Edward ultimately developed a cordial relationship with Monthermer, even giving him the title of Earl, there appears to have been a notable difference in the Edward’s treatment of Joan as compared to the treatment of the rest of her siblings. For instance, her father famously paid messengers substantially when they brought news of the birth of grandchildren, but did not do this upon birth of Joan’s daughter.

In terms of her siblings, Joan kept a fairly tight bond. She and Monthermer both maintained a close relationship with her brother, Edward II, which was maintained through letters. After Edward II became estranged from his parents and lost his royal seal, “Joan offered to lend him her seal” .

Death
Joan of Acre died on 23 April 1307, at the manor of Clare in Suffolk.   The cause of her death remains unclear, though one popular theory is that she died during childbirth, a common cause of death at the time. While Joan’s age in 1307 (about 35) and the chronology of her earlier pregnancies with Ralph de Monthermer suggest that this could well be the case, historians have not confirmed the cause of her death.

Less than four months after her death, Joan’s father, Edward I died. Joan’s widower, Ralph de Monthermer, lost the title of Earl of Gloucester soon after the deaths of his wife and father-in-law. The earldom of Gloucester was given to Joan’s son from her first marriage, Gilbert, who was its rightful holder. Monthermer continued to hold a nominal earldom in Scotland, which had been conferred on him by Edward I, until his death.

Joan’s burial place has been the cause of some interest and debate. She is interred in the Augustinian priory at Clare, which had been founded by her first husband’s ancestors and where many of them were also buried. Allegedly, in 1357, Joan’s daughter, Elizabeth De Burgh, claimed to have “inspected her mother’s body and found the corpse to be intact which in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church is an indication of sanctity. This claim was only recorded in a fifteenth-century chronicle, however, and its details are uncertain, especially the statement that her corpse was in such a state of preservation that “when her paps [breasts] were pressed with hands, they rose up again.” Some sources further claim that miracles took place at Joan’s tomb, but no cause for her beatification or canonization has ever been introduced.

Joan in fiction
Joan of Acre makes an appearance in Virginia Henley’s historical romance, entitled Infamous. In the book, Joan, known as Joanna, is described as a promiscuous young princess, vain, shallow and spoiled. In the novel she is only given one daughter, when she historically has eight children. There is no evidence that supports this picture of Joan.

In The Love Knot by Vanessa Alexander, Edward the II’s sister, Joan of Acre is an important heroine. The author portrays a completely different view of the princess than the one in Henley’s novel. The Love Knot tells the story of the love affair between Ralph de Monthermer and Joan of Acre through the discovery of a series of letters the two had written to each other.

Between historians and novelists, Joan has appeared in various texts as either an independent and spirited woman or a spoiled brat. In Lives of the Princesses of England by Mary Anne Everett Green, Joan is portrayed as a “giddy princess” and neglectful mother.  Many have agreed to this characterization; however, some authors think there is little evidence to support the assumption that Joan of Acre was a neglectful or uncaring mother.

Constance Plantagenet Despencer, 17th Great Grandmother

May 17, 2014 3 Comments

Constance of York Plantagenet had an affair with Edmund Holland after her husband was beheaded. Their daughter Eleanor is my ancestor.

Constance Plantagenet Despencer (1374 – 1416)
is my 17th great grandmother
Eleanor DeHoland (1405 – 1452)
daughter of Constance Plantagenet Despencer
Ann Touchet (1441 – 1503)
daughter of Eleanor DeHoland
Anna Dutton (1449 – 1520)
daughter of Ann Touchet
Lawrence Castellan of Liverpool Mollenaux (1490 – 1550)
son of Anna Dutton
John Mollenax (1542 – 1583)
son of Lawrence Castellan of Liverpool Mollenaux
Mary Mollenax (1559 – 1575)
daughter of John Mollenax
Francis Gabriell Holland (1596 – 1660)
son of Mary Mollenax
John Holland (1628 – 1710)
son of Francis Gabriell Holland
Mary Elizabeth Holland (1620 – 1681)
daughter of John Holland
Richard Dearden (1645 – 1747)
son of Mary Elizabeth Holland
George Dearden (1705 – 1749)
son of Richard Dearden
George Darden (1734 – 1807)
son of George Dearden
David Darden (1770 – 1820)
son of George Darden
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – 1837)
daughter of David Darden
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Minerva Truly Darden
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Constance of York (c. 1374 – 29 November 1416) was the only daughter of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York and his wife Isabella of Castile, daughter of Pedro of Castile and Maria de Padilla. On about 7 November 1379, Constance married Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester (22 September 1373 – 16 January 1400). He would be eventually be beheaded at Bristol.
She was involved in an affair with Edmund Holland, 4th Earl of Kent and had a daughter by him, Eleanor de Holland. Eleanor was later married to James Tuchet, 5th Baron Audley.
In 1405, during the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, Constance, who held Caerphilly Castle, arranged the escape of Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, from Windsor Castle, apparently intending to deliver the young earl, who had the best claim to the throne of any of Henry IV’s rivals, to his uncle Edmund who was married to Glyndwr’s daughter. The earl was recaptured before entering Wales.
When Constance died in 1416, she was buried at the High altar in Reading Abbey.

 

Elizabeth Wydeville Grey Plantagenet

December 29, 2013 14 Comments

Elizabeth Queen Consort

Elizabeth Queen Consort

Elizabeth Wydeville Grey Plantagenet (1437 – 1492)
is my 18th great grandmother
Thomas Grey (1451 – 1501)
son of Elizabeth Wydeville Grey Plantagenet
Thomas Marquess Dorset Knight Grey (1477 – 1530)
son of Thomas Grey
Elizabeth Grey (1505 – 1561)
daughter of Thomas Marquess Dorset Knight Grey
Margaret Audley (1545 – 1564)
daughter of Elizabeth Grey
Margaret Howard (1561 – 1591)
daughter of Margaret Audley
Lady Ann Dorset (1552 – 1680)
daughter of Margaret Howard
Robert Lewis (1574 – 1645)
son of Lady Ann Dorset
Robert Lewis (1607 – 1644)
son of Robert Lewis
Ann Lewis (1633 – 1686)
daughter of Robert Lewis
Joshua Morse (1669 – 1753)
son of Ann Lewis
Joseph Morse (1692 – 1759)
son of Joshua Morse
Joseph Morse (1721 – 1776)
son of Joseph Morse
Joseph Morse III (1752 – 1835)
son of Joseph Morse
John Henry Morse (1775 – 1864)
son of Joseph Morse III
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of John Henry Morse
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

QUEEN ELIZABETH WOODVILLE or WYDVILLE (1437-1492)
Jacquetta of Luxemburg, the fair young widow of the old warlike Duke of Bedford, took for her second spouse his favourite knight, the brave and handsome Sir Richard Woodville, when she came to England in 1435 to claim her dower.  The time of the birth of her eldest child Elizabeth, the issue of marriage kept secret for fear of parliament, probably occurred in 1436.  The matter burst out with great scandal the year after.  Sir Richard was arrested and imprisoned in 1437; but as the king’s mother had married in lower degree to Owen Tudor, the young king was glad to pardon the second lady in his realm, as an excuse for showing mercy to his dying queen-mother.  Jacquetta’s knight was therefore pardoned and sent home.  They settled very happily at Grafton Castle, where they became the parents of a large family of handsome sons and beautiful daughters, among whom Elizabeth was fairest of the fair.

The Duchess of Bedford kept the rank of the King’s aunt.  His royal mother had died miserably in 1437, as shown in her life.  Duchess Jacquetta, on occasions of ceremony, was the first lady in the land until the marriage of the king.  Her daughter Elizabeth, took high rank among the maids of honour of Margaret of Anjou, and was the belle of her court, as two letters extant from Richard Duke of York and his friend the Earl of Warwick prove, recommending a Welsh hero, one of their knights-marshal, sir Hugh Johns, as a husband, they dwell on his great love inspired by her beauty and sweet manners; the letters show familiar acquaintance with Elizabeth, but they were of no avail.  The court beauty had no fortune but her face, the Welsh champion none but his sword.  She made a better match the same year with the heir of lord Ferrers of Groby, John Gray, rich, valiant, and years younger than the rejected Sir Hugh.  Lord Ferrers was possessor of the ancient domain of Bradgate, which was afterwards to derive lustre as the birthplace of his descendant, lady Jane Grey.  Elizabeth was appointed one of the fourt ladies of the bedchamber to Margaret of Anjou.  John Gray held military command in the queen’s army.  His death left Elizabeth with two infant sons, in 1460.

Rancour so deep pursued the memory of John lord Gray, that his harmless infants, Thomas and Richard, were deprived of their inheritance of Bradgate.  Elizabeth herself remained mourning and destitute at Grafton the two first years of Edward IV’s reign.  Hearing that the young king was hunting in the neighbourhood of her mother’s dower castle at Grafton, Elizabeth waited for him beneath a noble tree known in the traditions of Northamptonshire, as “the queen’s oak,” hold a fatherless boy in either hand; and when Edward, who must have been well acquainted with her previously at the English court, paused to listen to her, she threw herself at his feet, and pleaded for the restoration of her children’s lands.  Her downcast looks and mournful beauty not only gained her suit, but the heart of the conqueror.  He was unwilling to make her his queen, but she left him to settle the question; knowing that he had betrayed others, her affections still clave to the memory of the husband of her youth.  Her indifference increased the love of the young king.  The struggle ended in his offering her marriage, which took place May 1, 1464.  The marriage gave great offence to the mother of Edward IV.  This lady, who, before the fall of her husband, Richard duke of York, at Wakefield, had assumed the state of a queen, had to give place to the daughter of a knight.  It was on Michaelmas day, 1464, that Edward IV finally declared to Elizabeth to be his wedded wife, at Reading palace.

The queen’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born at Westminster palace about five months afterwards.  The royal physicians, by means of their foolish studies of astrology, had assured king Edward that his expected child by his queen would prove a prince.  The king, who was deep in the same kind of lore, had persuaded himself that his expected infant would wear the crown of England.  One of these physicians, Dr.  Dominic, obtained leave to station himself in the queen’s withdrawing-room, leading to her bed-chamber, in order that he might be the first to carry the tidings of the heir to Edward IV.  Hearing the child cry, he called to one of the queen’s ladies, asking, “What her grace had?”  The ladies were not in the best humour, being unwilling to answer “only a girl.”  So one of them replied, “Whatsoever the queen’s grace hath here within, sure ’tis a fool that standeth there without.”  Poor Dr.  Dominic, being much confounded by this sharp answer, dared not enter the king’s presence.

Elizabeth was crowned May 16, 1465, with great solemnity, in Westminster abbey, the young duke of Clarence officiating as high-steward.  Elizabeth and Warwick were on friendly terms, as he stood godfather to her eldest daughter.  The baptism of this princess for a while conciliated her two grandmothers, Cicely duchess of York, and Jacquetta duchess of Bedford, who were likewise her sponsors.  The christening was performend with royal pomp, and the babe received her mother’s name of Elizabeth,—a proof that Edward was more inclined to pay a compliment to his wife than to his haughty mother.  As prime-minister, relative, and general of Edward IV, the earl of Warwick had, from 1460 to 1465, borne absolute sway in England; yet Edward at that time so far forgot gratitude and propriety as to offer some personal insult to Isabel, his eldest daughter, who had grown up a beauty.  Warwick had certainly been in hopes that, as soon as Isabel was old enough, he would have made her his queen, a speculation for ever disappointed by the exaltation of Elizabeth; so he gave his daughter Isabel in marriage to the duke of Clarence, and England was soon after in a state of insurrection.  As popular fury was especially directed against the queen’s family, the Woodvilles were advised to retire for a time.

The first outbreak of the muttering storm was a rebellion in 1468, in Yorkshire, under a freebooter called Robin of Redesdale, declared by some to have been a noble, outlawed for the cause of the Red rose.  The murder of the queen’s father and brother followed in 1469.  When the king advanced to suppress these outrages, he was seized by Warwick and his brother Montague, and kept at Warwick castle, where an experiment was tried to shake his affection to Elizabeth by the insinuation that her whole indluence over him proceeded from her mother’s skill in witchcraft.  The Yorkist king escaped speedily to Windsor, and was soon once more in his metropolis, which was perfectly devoted to him, and where, it appears, his queen had remained in security during these alarming events.  Again England was his own; for Warwick and Clarence, in alarm at his escape, betook themselves to their fleet, and fled.  Then the queen’s brother, Anthony Woodville, intercepted and captured the rebel ships, but not that in which Warwick and Clarence, with their families, were embarked, which escaped with difficulty to the coast of France.  The queen was placed by the king in safety in the Tower, before he marched to give battle to the insurgents.  She was the mother of three girls but had not borne heirs-male to the house of York.  Edward IV narrowly escaped being once more thrown into the power of Warwick, who had returned to England; but being warned by his faithful sergeant of minstrels.  Alexander Carlile, he fled half-dressed from his revolting troops in the dead of night, and embarked at Lynn with a few faithful friends.  Elizabeth was thus left alone, with her mother, to bide the storm.  She was resident at the Tower, where her party still held Henry VI prisoner.  While danger was yet at a distance, the queen’s resolutions were remarkably valiant; yet the very day that Warwick and Clarence entered London, she betook herself to her barge, and fled up the Thames to Westminster,—not to her own palace, but to a strong, gloomy building called the Sanctuary, which occupied a space at the end of St.  Margaret’s churchyard.  Here she registered herself, her mother, her three little daughters,—Elizabeth, Mary, and Cicely, with the faithful lady Scrope, her attendant, as sanctuary-women; and in this dismal place, November 1, 1470, the long-hoped-for heir of York was born.  The queen was most destitute; but Thomas Milling, abbot of Westminster, sent various conveniences from the abbey close by.  Mother Cobb, resident in the Sanctuary, charitably assisted the distressed queen, and acted as nurse to the little prince.  Nor did Elizabeth, in this fearful crisis, want friends; for master Serigo, her physician, attended herself and her son; while a faithful butcher, John Gould, prevented the whole Sanctuary party from being starved into surrender.  The little prince was baptized, soon after his birth, in the abbey, with no more ceremony than if he had been a poor man’s son.

Early in March the queen was cheered by the news that her husband had landed, and soon after, that his brother Clarence had forsaken Warwick.  The metropolis opened its gates to Edward IV, who hurried to the Sanctuary to embrace his wife and new-born son.  The very morning of this joyful meeting, Elizabeth, accompanied by her royal lord, left Westminster palace, but soon after retired to the Tower of London, while her husband gained the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.  The news of his success had scarcely reached her, before the Tower was threatened with storm by Falconbridge; but her valiant brother, Anthony Woodville being there, she, relying on his aid, stood the danger this time without running away.

After Edward IV had crushed rebellion by almost exterminating his opponents, he turned his attention to rewarding the friends to whom he owed his restoration, and bestowed princely gratuities on those humble friends who had aided “his Elizabeth,” as he calls her, in that fearful crisis.

When Edward IV fled in the preceding year from England, he landed with a few friends at Sluys, the most distressed company of creatures ever seen; for he pawned his military cloak, lined with marten fur, to pay the master of his ship, and was put on shore in his waistcoat.  The lord of Grauthuse received, fed, and clothed him, lending him besides money and ships, without which he would never have been restored to his country and queen.  Edward invited his benefactor to England.  Lord Hastings received him, and led him to the far side of the quadrangle of Windsor castle, to three chambers.  These apartments were very richly hung with cloth of gold arras; and when Grauthuse had spoken with the king in the royal suite, he presented him to the queen’s grace, they then ordered the lord chamberlain Hastings to conduct him to his chamber, where supper was ready for him.  After refreshment, the king had him brought immediately to the queen’s own withdrawing-room, where she and her ladies were playing with little balls like marbles, and some of her ladies were playing with ninepins.  Also king Edward danced with Elizabeth, his eldest daughter.  In the morning the king came into the quadrant, the prince also, borne by his chamberlain, called master Vaughan, bade the lord Grauthuse welcome.  The innocent little prince, afterwards the unfortunate Edward V, was then only eighteen months old.  Then the queen ordered a grand banquet in her own apartments, at which her mother, her eldest daughter, the duchess of Exeter, the king, and the lord of Grauthuse all sat with her at one table.

Elizabeth, in January, 1477, presided over the espousals of her second son, Richard duke of York, with Anne Mowbray, the infant heiress of the duchy of Norfolk.  St.  Stephen’s chapel, Westminster, where the ceremony was performed, was splendidly hung with arras of gold on this occasion.  The queen led the little bridegroom, who was not five, and her brother, Earl Rivers, led the baby bride, scarcely three years old.  They afterwards all partook of a rich banquet, laid out in the Painted-chamber.  Soon after this infant marriage, all England was startled by the strange circumstances attending the death of the duke of Clarence.  The queen had been cruelly injured by Clarence.  Her father and her brother had been put to death in his name; her brother Anthony, the pride of English chivalry, had narrowly escaped a similar fate: moreover, her mother had been accused of sorcery by his party.  She did not soothe her husband’s mind when Clarence gave him provocation.  In fact, on the first quarrel, his arrest, arraignment, and sentence followed.  He was condemned to death, and sent to the Tower.  In his dismal prison a butt of malmsey was introduced one night, where he could have access to it.  The duke was found dead, with his head hanging over the butt.  Gloucester was certainly absent from the scene of action, residing in the north.  On St.  George’s day succeeding this grotesque but horrible tragedy, the festival of the Garter was celebrated with more than usual pomp; the queen took a decided part in it, and wore the robes as chief lady of the order.  Her vanity was inflated excessively by the engagement which the king of France had made for his son with her eldest daughter.

In the last years of king Edward’s life he gave the queen’s place in his affections to the beautiful Jane Shore, a goldsmith’s wife in the city, whom he had seduced from her duty.  His death was hastened by the pain of mind he felt at the conduct of Louis XI, who broke the engagement he had made to marry the dauphin to the princess Elizabeth of York, but an intermittent fever was the cause.  When expiring, he made his favourites, lords Stanley and Hastings, vow reconciliation with the queen and her family.  He died with great professions of penitence, at the early age of forty-two, April 9, 1483.  Excepting the control of the marriages of his daughters, his will gave no authority to the queen.  She was left, in reality, more unprotected in her second than in her first widowhood.

The Duke of Gloucester had been very little at court since the restoration.  He was now absent in the north, and caused Edward V to be proclaimed at York, writing letters of condolence so full of kindness and submission, that Elizabeth thought she should have a most complying friend in him.  Astounding tidings were brought to the queen at midnight, May 3, that the duke of Gloucester had intercepted the young king with an armed force on his progress to London, had seized his person, and arrested her brother, Earl Rivers, and her son, lord Richard Gray.  In that moment of agony she, however, remembered, that while she could keep her second son in safety the life of the young king was secure.  With the duke of York and her daughters she left Westminster palace for the Sanctuary; and she, and all her children and company, were registered as Sanctuary persons.  Dorset, the queen’s eldest son, directly he heard of the arrest of his brother, weakly forsook his trust as constable of the Tower, and came into sanctuary to his mother.  The archbishop of York brought her a cheering message, sent him by lord Hastings in the night.  “Ah!” replied Elizabeth, “it is he that goeth about to destroy us.” — “Madam,” said the archbishop, “be of good comfort; if they crown any other king than your eldest son, whom they have with them, we will on the morrow crown his brother, whom you have with you here.  And here is the great seal, which in like wise as your noble husband gave it to me, so I deliver it to you for the use of your son.”  And therewith he handed to the queen the great seal, and departed from her in the dawning of the day.

With the exception of the two beautiful and womanly maidens, Elizabeth and Cicely, the royal family were young children.  The queen took with her into sanctuary Elizabeth, seventeen years old at this time, afterwards married to Henry VII.  Cicely was in her fifteenth year.  These princesses had been the companions of their mother in 1470, when she had formerly sought sanctuary.  Richard duke of York, born at Shrewsbury in 1472, was at this time eleven years old.  Katherine, born at Eltham about August 1479, then between three and four years old.  Bridget, born at Eltham 1480, Nov.  20th, then only in her third year; she was afterwards professed a nun at Dartford.

Gloucester’s chief object was to get possession of the duke of York, then safe with the queen.  As the archbishop of Canterbury was fearful lest force should be used, he went, with a deputation of temporal peers, to persuade Elizabeth to surrender her son, urging “that the young king required the company of his brother, being melancholy without a playfellow.”  To this Elizabeth replied, “Troweth the protector—ah! pray God he may prove a protector!—that the king doth lack a playfellow?  Can none be found to play with the king but only his brother, which hath no wish to play because of sickness? as though princes, so young as they be, could not play without their peers—or children could not play without their kindred, with whom (for the most part) they agree worse than with strangers!”  According to the natural weakness of her character, she nevertheless yielded to importunity, and taking young Richard by the hand, said, “I here deliver him, and his brother’s life with him, and of you I shall require them before God and man.  Farewell! mine own sweet son.  God send you good keeping! God knoweth when we shall kiss together again!”  And therewith she kissed and blessed him, then turned her back and went, leaving the poor innocent child weeping as fast as herself.  When the archbishop and the lords had received the young duke, they led him to his uncle, who received him in his arms with these words: “Now welcome, my lord, with all my very heart!”  He then took him honourably through the city to the young king, then at Ely house, and the same evening to the Tower out of which they were never seen alive, though preparations went on night and day in the abbey for the coronation of Edward V.

It is possible that Hasting’s death had some influence in the imprudent surrender of young York.  If Elizabeth had any secret joy in the illegal execution of her brother’s rival and enemy, very soon she had to lament a similar fate for that dear brother, and for her son, lord Richard Gray, who were beheaded by sir Richard Radcliffe, June 24th, when the northern army, commanded by that general, commenced its march to London.

When the massacre of every friend to the rights of his brother’s children was completed, and the approach of 9000 dreaded northern borderers intimidated the Londoners, the false protector entirely took off the mask.  Buckingham induced Edward IV’s confessor, Dr.  Shaw, who was brother to Gloucester’s partizan, the lord mayor, to preach a sermon against Edward V’s title, on pretence that Edward IV’s betrothment with lady Eleanor Butler had never been dissolved by the church.  Shaw likewise urged the immediate recognition of the duke of Gloucester as sovereign, putting aside the children of Clarence on pretence of his attainder by parliament.  Faint acclamations of “Long life Richard III” were raised by hired partizans, but the London citizens angrily and sullenly dispersed.  Ratcliffe’s forces approached Bishopsgate on the 26th, and Richard III was proclaimed king.  The unhappy queen Elizabeth Woodville and her daughters witnessed the proclamation of the usurper from the abbot’s house in the abbey.  Richard then made his state visit to the Tower and city.  Elizabeth and her daughters must perforce have been witnesses of his coronation, July 6, 1483.

Soon after, the usurper, his wife, and son, now called Edward prince of Wales, made a grand progress to Warwick castle.  The unfortunate sons of Elizabeth meantime were closely imprisoned under the care of sir Robert Brakenbury, one of Richard III’s northern commanders, who had been given the lieutenancy, under the notion that he would obey implicitly the usurper’s orders.  Accordingly, Richard sent one of this gentlemen of the bedchamber, John Greene, ordering him to kill Edward IV’s sons forthwith.  Brakenbury returned for answer “he would die first.” A midnight consultation took place between Richard III and his master of the horse, Sir James Tyrell, who left Warwick castle August 2, with commands to Brakenbury from king Richard that he was to surrender the keys of the Tower to sir James Tyrell for one night.  On his ride from Warwickshire the master of the horse was attended by two retainers, one his squire, Miles Forrest, a northern champion of immense strength, the other his horsebreaker, John Dighton, a big, broad, square knave.  Sir James had requested his own brother, Tom Tyrell, a brave gentleman, to aid him, but met with positive refusal, by which, if he lost the usurper’s favour, he gained from his country the appellation of “honest Tom Tyrell.”

The three murderers reached the Tower of London after dark, August 3.  Sir James Tyrell demanded the Tower keys; and in the very dead of the night when sleep weighs heaviest on young eyelids, one of the Tower wardens who waited on the hapless princes, Will Slaughter by name, guided the assassins through the secret passages, which still may be traced, from the lieutenant’s house to the portcullis gateway.  There is a little dismal bedchamber hidden in the space between that tower and the Wakefield tower, approached with winding stone stairs, and which has leads on the top and an ugly recess in the walls, reaching to the ground and even beneath it.  The leads communicated by a door to the Wakefield tower leaded roof, and thence to the water-stairs by a bricked-up doorway, still plainly to be seen.  No spot could be more convenient for secret murder.  Tradition has pertinaciously clung to it and called this fatal prison lodging the Bloody tower.

Sir James Tyrell did not enter the chamber where the poor victims were sleeping, but his strong ruffians crept silently in, and oppressing the princes with their great strength and weight, stifled them with the bed-clothes and pillows.  When the murders were completed Forrest and Dighton laid out the royal corpses on the bed, and invited sir James Tyrell to view their work.  Tyrell ordered them to thrust them down the hole in the leads, which they did, and threw heavy stones upon them.  Edward IV had lately strengthened that part of the Tower, little thinking the use to be made of it, as a poet born in his time makes him say—

“I made the Tower strong; I wist not why—Knew not for whom.”

      When Tyrell returned the keys to the lieutenant Brakenbury, the latter found his young prisoners had vanished.  The murderous trio rode back to Warwick castle to report their doings to the head assassing.  Richard III approved of everything his unscrupulous favorite and master of horse had done, excepting the disposal of his nephews’ corpses.  He insisted that they should be raised from that niche and buried in consecrated ground with burial service.  The averseness of sir Robert Brakenbury to have aught to do with the murders, threw great difficulty in the way of the usurper’s commands, prompted by the first twinge of conscience.  It is from the confession of sir James Tyrell, put to death twenty years after for conspiring with the de la Poles, that these particulars are gathered, but he could not say where the poor children were ultimately buried: all he heard was that Richard III’s orders had been issued to the priest of the Tower, who had in the dead of night taken the bodies whither no one knew, as the old man died two or three days after.
The secret was not guessed for two centuries; but when in 1674 King Charles II altered the White tower into a record office, under the flight of stairs leading up to the beautiful Norman chapel, was discovered a chest containing the bones of two children of the age of the murdered heirs of York.  The orders of the usurper being fulfilled to the letter, the ground was consecrated as pertaining to the sacred place above; and deeply secret the interment was.  Charles II had the poor remains of the heirs of York buried among their ancestors in Westminster abbey, where our young readers may remark the monument and inscription near Henry VII’s chapel.

We must now return to the life of their unfortunate mother, Elizabeth Woodville, who being in sanctuary, early heard when and where her sons were murdered, which, says sir Thomas More, struck to her heart like the sharp dart of death: she swooned, and fell to the ground, where she lay long insensible.  After she was revived and came to her memory again, with pitiful cries she filled the whole mansion.  Her breast she beat, her fair hair she tore, and calling by name her sweet babes, accounted herself mad when she delivered her younger son out of sanctuary, for his uncle to put him to death.  She kneeled down and cried to God to take vengeance; and when Richard unexpectedly lost his only son, for whose advancement he had steeped his soul in crime, Englishmen declared that the agonized mother’s prayer had been heard.  The wretched queen’s health sank under the anguish inflicted by these murders, which had been preceded by the illegal execution of her son, lord Richard Gray, and of her brother, at Pontefract.  She was visited in sanctuary by a priest-physician, Dr.  Lewis, who likewise attended Margaret Beaufort, mother to Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, then an exile in Bretagne.  The plan of uniting the princess Elizabeth with this last scion of the house of Lancaster, was first suggested to the desolate queen by Dr.  Lewis.  She eagerly embraced the proposition.  The duke of Buckingham, having been disgusted by Richard, his partner in crime, rose in arms; but after the utter failure of his insurrection, Elizabeth was reduced to despair, and finally was forced to leave sanctuary, and surrender herself and daughters into the hands of the usurper, in March.  She was then closely confined, with her daughters, in obscure apartments in the palace of Westminster.  From thence she wrote to her son Dorset at Paris to put an end immediately to the treaty of marriage between Richmond and the princess Elizabeth.  The friends who had projected the marriage were greatly incensed; but these steps were the evident result of the personal restraing the queen was then enduring.

The successful termination of the expedition undertaken by the earl of Richmond, to obtain his promised bride and the crown of England, at once avenged the widowed queen and her family on the usurper, and restored her to liberty after the battle of Bosworth.  Instead of the despotic control of Richard III’s swuire Nesfield, the queen, restored to royal rank, joyfully welcomed her eldest daughter, who was brought to her at Westminster from Sheriff-Hutton, remaining with her till the January following the battle of Bosworth, when she saw her united in marriage to Henry of Richmond, the acknowledged king of England.

One of Henry VII’s first acts was to invest the mother of his queen with the privileges befitting the widow of an English sovereign.  Unfortunately Elizabeth had not been dowered on the lands anciently appropriated to the queens of England, but on those of the duchy of Lancaster.  However, a month after the marriage of her daughter to Henry VII she received possession of some of the dower-palaces, among which Farnham, of 102l.  per annum, was by her son-in-law added to help her income.  The Parliamentary Act, whereby she was deprived of her dower in the preceding reign, was ordered by the judges to be burnt.  Much is said of her ill-treatment by Henry VII.  However, at the very time she is declared to be in disgrace for patronizing the impostor who personated the young earl of Warwick, she was chosen by the king, in preference to his own beloved mother, as sponsor to his dearly-prized heir, prince Arthur.  The last time the queen-dowager appeared in public was in a situation of the highest dignity.  At the close of the year 1489 she received the French ambassador in great state; the next year Henry VII presented her with an annuity of 400l. Soon after she retired to the royal apartments at Bermondsey abbey.

Elizabeth Woodville expired the Friday before Whitsuntide, 1492.  Her will shows that she died destitute of personal property; but no wonder, for the great possessions of the house of York were chiefly in the grasp of the old avaricious duchess Cicely of York, who survived her hated daughter-in-law several years.  Edward IV had endowed his proud mother as if she were a queen-dowager; while his wife was dowered on property to which he possessed no real title.  On Whit Sunday the queen dowager’s corpse was conveyed by water to Windsor, and thence privately, as she requested, through the little part, conducted unto the castle.  Her three daughters, the lady Anne, the lady Katharine, and the lady Bridget [the nun-princess] from Dartford, came by way of the Thames, with many ladies.  And her son lord Dorset, who kneeled at the head of the hearse, paid the cost of the funeral.
In St.  George’s chapel, north aisle, is the tomb of Edward IV.  On a flat stone at the foot of this monument are engraven, in old English characters, the words—

King Edward and his Queen, Elizabeth Widville.

Eleanor of Aquitane

October 16, 2013 3 Comments

Eleanor of Aquitane

Eleanor of Aquitane

My 25th great-grandmother was extremely powerful.  She married the king of France, and then the king of England.  She ruled for her son, Richard the Lionhearted, while he was off crusading.

Eleanor of Aquitane (1130 – 1204)
is my 25th great grandmother
Eleanor Spain Plantagenet (1162 – 1214)
daughter of Eleanor of Aquitane
Berenguela CASTILE LEON (1181 – 1244)
daughter of Eleanor Spain Plantagenet
Saint Ferdinand Castile amp Leon (1199 – 1252)
son of Berenguela CASTILE LEON
Alfonso X Wise Castile Leon amp Galicia (1221 – 1284)
son of Saint Ferdinand Castile amp Leon
Sancho Brave Castile Leon (1258 – 1295)
son of Alfonso X Wise Castile Leon amp Galicia
Beatrice Sanchez Infanta Castile (1293 – 1359)
daughter of Sancho Brave Castile Leon
Peter I Portugal Cruel Algarve (1320 – 1367)
son of Beatrice Sanchez Infanta Castile
John I DePinto (1358 – 1433)
son of Peter I Portugal Cruel Algarve
Beatrix DePinto (1403 – 1447)
daughter of John I DePinto
John Fettiplace (1427 – 1464)
son of Beatrix DePinto
Richard Fettiplace (1460 – 1511)
son of John Fettiplace
Anne Fettiplace (1496 – 1567)
daughter of Richard Fettiplace
Mary Purefoy (1533 – 1579)
daughter of Anne Fettiplace
Susanna Thorne (1559 – 1586)
daughter of Mary Purefoy
Gov Thomas Dudley (1576 – 1653)
son of Susanna Thorne
Anne Dudley (1612 – 1672)
daughter of Gov Thomas Dudley
John Bradstreet (1652 – 1718)
son of Anne Dudley
Mercy Bradstreet (1689 – 1725)
daughter of John Bradstreet
Caleb Hazen (1720 – 1777)
son of Mercy Bradstreet
Mercy Hazen (1747 – 1819)
daughter of Caleb Hazen
Martha Mead (1784 – 1860)
daughter of Mercy Hazen
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of Martha Mead
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Eleanor of Aquitaine

(in French: Aliénor d’Aquitaine, Éléonore de Guyenne) (1122 or 1124 – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France (1137-1152) and of England (1154-1189). Eleanor of Aquitaine is the only woman to have been queen of both France and England, with the exception of Margaret of Anjou whose status as Queen of France is disputed. She was the patroness of such literary figures as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-More, and Chrétien de Troyes.

Eleanor succeeded her father as suo jure Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers at the age of fifteen, and thus became the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after her accession she married Louis VII, son and junior co-ruler of her guardian, King Louis VI of France. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after the Crusade was over, Louis VII and Eleanor agreed to dissolve their marriage, because of Eleanor’s own desire for divorce and also because the only children they had were two daughters – Marie and Alix. The royal marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody of them awarded to Louis, while Eleanor’s lands were restored to her.

As soon as she arrived in Poitiers, Eleanor became engaged to Henry II, Duke of the Normans, her cousin within the third degree, who was nine years younger. On 18 May 1152, eight weeks after the annulment of her first marriage, Eleanor married the Duke of the Normans. On 25 October 1154 her husband ascended the throne of the Kingdom of England, making Eleanor Queen of the English. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become king, and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. She was imprisoned between 1173 and 1189 for supporting her son Henry’s revolt against her husband, King Henry II.

Eleanor was widowed on 6 July 1189. Her husband was succeeded by their son, Richard the Lionheart, who immediately moved to release his mother. Now queen dowager, Eleanor acted as a regent for her son while he went off on the Third Crusade. Eleanor survived her son Richard and lived well into the reign of her youngest son King John. By the time of her death she had outlived all of her children except for King John and Eleanor, Queen of Castile.

Stephen V Hungary, 21st Great Grandfather

February 10, 2013 2 Comments

Crown of Hungary

Crown of Hungary

Royal intrigue was running rampant as the Hungarians worked on keeping the Mongols out of Europe. My 21st great-grandfather was a child king of Hungary.  He married the daughter of a Cuman chieftain as had been agreed by the parents.  Marrying to secure empire is one of the oldest tricks in the book.  The Austrians employed it to great advantage, perhaps picking it up from the Hungarian/barbarian alliances that secured territory and made peace. They royally ran all over the place marrying very well.
King of Hungary Stephen V (1240 – 1277)
is my 21st great grandfather
Marie DeHungary (1257 – 1323)
Daughter of King of Hungary
Marguerite Sicily Naples (1273 – 1299)
Daughter of Marie
Jeanne DeVALOIS (1294 – 1342)
Daughter of Marguerite
Philippa deHainault (1311 – 1369)
Daughter of Jeanne
John of Gaunt – Duke of Lancaster – Plantagenet (1340 – 1399)
Son of Philippa
Joan DeBeaufort (1375 – 1440)
Daughter of John of Gaunt – Duke of
Duchess of York Lady Cecily DeNeville (1415 – 1495)
Daughter of Joan
Henry Holland (1485 – 1561)
Son of Duchess of York Lady Cecily
Henry Holland (1527 – 1561)
Son of Henry
John Holland (1556 – 1628)
Son of Henry
Francis Gabriell Holland (1596 – 1660)
Son of John
John Holland (1628 – 1710)
Son of Francis Gabriell
Elizabeth Holland (1652 – 1737)
Daughter of John
Richard Dearden (1645 – 1747)
Son of Elizabeth
George Dearden (1705 – 1749)
Son of Richard
George Darden (1734 – 1807)
Son of George
David Darden (1770 – 1820)
Son of George
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – )
Daughter of David
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
Daughter of Minerva Truly
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
Daughter of Sarah E
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
Son of Lucinda Jane
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
Daughter of George Harvey
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee

Stephen V (Hungarian: V. István, Croatian: Stjepan VI., Slovak: Štefan V) (before 18 October 1239, Buda, Hungary – 6 August 1272, Csepel Island, Hungary), was King of Hungary [1] from 1270[1] to 1272.

Early years
He was the elder son of King Béla IV of Hungary and his queen, Maria Laskarina, a daughter of the Emperor Theodore I Lascaris of Nicaea.
In the second year following his birth, on 11 April 1241, the Mongolian troops defeated his father’s army in the Battle of Mohi. After the disastrous battle, the royal family had to escape to Trau, a well-fortified city in Dalmatia. They could only return to Hungary after the unexpected withdrawal of the Mongol forces from Europe.
Junior King of Hungary
In 1246 Stephen was crowned as junior King and his father entrusted him with the government of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, but the three provinces were de facto governed by the Ban Stephen Gut-Keled. Stephen’s father, attempting to bind the powerful but pagan Cuman tribes more closely to the dynasty, arranged for Stephen’s marriage, as a youth (about 1253), to Elizabeth, the daughter of a Cuman chieftain Köten.
In 1257, Stephen demanded that his father divide the kingdom between themselves and recruited an army against the senior king. Finally, in 1258, King Béla IV was obliged to cede to him the government of Transylvania.
Duke of Styria
Stephen took part in his father’s military campaign against the Styrians, who had rebelled against the rule of the King of Hungary, in 1258. After the successful campaign, King Béla IV appointed him to Duke of Styria.
His government, however, was unpopular among his new subjects, who rebelled against him with the support of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Stephen and his father started an attack against Ottokar’s lands, but their troops were defeated on 12 July 1260 in the Battle of Kroissenbrunn. Following the battle, the two Kings of Hungary ceded the Duchy of Styria to the King of Bohemia in the Peace of Pressburg.
Struggles with his father
Shortly after the peace, Stephen took over the government of Transylvania again. In 1261, Stephen and his father conducted a joint military campaign against Bulgaria, but their relationship became more and more tense, because the senior king had been favouring his younger son, Duke Béla of Slavonia and his daughter, Anna, the mother-in-law of the King of Bohemia.
Finally, with the mediation of Archbishops Fülöp of Esztergom and Smaragd of Kalocsa, Stephen and his father signed an agreement in the summer of 1262 in Pozsony. Based on their agreement, Stephen took over the government of the parts of the kingdom East of the Danube. However, the two kings’ reconciliation was only temporary, because their partisans were continuously inciting them against each other. In 1264, Stephen seized his mother’s and sister’s estates in his domains, but his father sent troops against him. Stephen’s wife and son were captured by his father’s partisans, and he had to retreat to the castle of Feketehalom. However, he managed to repel the siege and to commence a counter-attack.
In March 1265, he gained a strategic victory over his father’s army in the Battle of Isaszeg. After his victory, he concluded a peace with King Béla IV. Based on the provisions of the peace, he received back the government of the Eastern parts of the kingdom. On 23 March 1266, father and son confirmed the peace in the Convent of the Blessed Virgin on the Nyulak szigete (‘Rabbits’ Island’). Shortly afterwards, Stephen V led his army to Bulgaria and forced Despot Jakob Svetoslav of Vidin to accept his overlordship.
In 1267, the “prelates and nobles” of the Kingdom of Hungary held a joint assembly in Esztergom, and their decisions were confirmed by both Stephen and his father.
To secure foreign support, he formed a double matrimonial alliance with the Angevins, chief partisans of the pope. The first of these was the marriage, in 1270, of his daughter Maria to the future King Charles II of Naples[2] The second alliance was the marriage of Stephen’s infant son, Ladislaus to Charles II’s sister Elisabeth.
King of Hungary
After his father’s death (3 May 1270), Stephen inherited the whole Kingdom of Hungary, although the deceased senior king had entrusted his daughter, Anna and his followers to King Ottokar II of Bohemia in his last will, and they had escaped to Prague before Stephen arrived to Esztergom.
Before his (second) coronation, Stephen granted the County of Esztergom to the Archbishop. In August 1270, Stephen had a meeting with his brother-in-law, Prince Bolesław V of Poland in Kraków where they concluded an alliance against the King of Bohemia. In September 1270 he visited the village Miholjanec, where was discovered an unknown ancient castle and a sword, this sword he got as a gift, in which he and his priests acknowledged the “Holy War Sword of the Scythians” and he saw that he was determined to master the world. He attended the place of the find, where he met a hermit who told him: “Scourge of God”. Stephen also had a meeting with Ottokar on 16th October on an island of the Danube near Pozsony where they concluded a truce for two years.
However, following smaller skirmishes on the border, the war broke out soon after and the King of Bohemia lead his armies against Hungary. Stephen was defeated in two smaller battles, but finally won a decisive victory on 21 May 1271 over the Czech and Austrian troops of Ottokar II of Bohemia. In the subsequent peace the King of Bohemia handed back the fortresses occupied during his campaign, while Stephen renounced his claim to the Hungarian royal treasury that his sister, Anna had taken to Prague after their father’s death.
In the summer of 1272, Stephen left for Dalmatia, where he wanted to meet King Charles I of Sicily, when he was informed that Joachim Gut-Keled had kidnapped his infant son, Ladislaus, and hid in Koprivnica. Stephen was planning to raise an army to rescue his infant son when he died suddenly.
Marriage and children
In about 1253, he married Elisabeth (1240 – after 1290), daughter of a chieftain of the Cuman tribes, they settled in Hungary and had the following children:
Elisabeth (1255 – 1313/1326), wife firstly of Záviš of Falkenštejn and secondly of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin of Serbia
Catherine (1255/1257 – after 1314), wife of King Stefan Dragutin of Serbia
Maria (c. 1257 – 25 March 1325), wife of King Charles II of Naples
Anna (c. 1260 – c. 1281), wife of the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos
King Ladislaus IV (August 1262 – 10 July 1290)
Andrew, Duke of Slavonia (1268 – 1278)
Ancestry [show]A ncestors of Stephen V of Hungary [ edit] Titles
King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria; Duke of Styria (1258–1260)

I have always loved paprika and the Danube.

Royal Coat of Arms

October 18, 2012

An armiger is a person who has the right to bear heraldry. In the United States there are no legal limits to bearing or designing your own coat of arms. In UK, Spain, Ireland, and Canada, places concerned with historical authenticity and royal ancestry, the use of the heraldry is regulated by law.  I am not sure what would become of you if you went out with heraldry that was bogus to you, but it is against the law.  The rest of us are free to create coats of arms for any occasion, on the fly.

When the Mayflower sailed to Plymouth the Pilgrims left the religious restrictions they had known in England.  They took extreme risks to pursue religious freedom.  They had their own costuming and strict code that bound them together in this adventure.  They originated near Sherwood Forrest, fled for Amsterdam, then Leiden, arriving in 1609.  The trip to America began there not only for the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, but for many branches of my family tree.  It appears that almost all of my ancestors were anxious to high tail it out of Europe in the early 1600s.  There is much research to be done, but it seems that they all took these risks sailing across the Atlantic because they had extreme convictions of various sorts. Some believed as traders and planters they would prosper and thrive.  That seemed to be enough for the Dutch ones.  The Brits and the French who sailed out of Leiden were all on big religious trips. As Thanksgiving approaches I am pretty obsessed with my Pilgrim ancestors and all their deets.  I truly enjoy living vicariously through the discovery of the actual history of my ancestors.

After about three years of working on my family tree  I have collected many coats of arms from my branches.  The tree grows ever wider as it goes backwards in time. Some have heraldry.   I was thinking about making a piece of art with some of them, and one that I make myself.  The real ones have symbols that were meaningful to the family.  Mine will have symbols that are enchanting for me.  The Queen of your Own Life book includes guidelines for creating one’s own coat of arms, as well as a coronation ceremony to claim sovereignty over body, mind, and spirit. I adore the positive and contemporary way Queen Cindy and Queen Kathy present alchemy, ceremony, and magic.  To eliminate the negative  is to create space for the essence, the distilled spirit, the powerful talisman.  I am pleased to live in a country where I can, as a queen wild and free, create and fly my own royal heraldry without fear of retribution by authorities.  I plan to make use of this inalienable right.  Have you thought about the symbols that you would use to express the essence of you?

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