The Romance of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York
Amy has kindly shared an extract from her book Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen (taken from the chapter 'A Royal Wedding. Elizabeth of York (11 February – 11 February ) was the wife of Henry VII and the first In , Louis XI agreed to the marriage of 9-year-old Elizabeth of York and his son Charles, the Dauphin of France. In , however, Louis XI. The marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York was not a love match. To accuse Richard III of defiling his own niece or Henry Tudor of raping his if she had been his mistress trust me history would have known.
Henry VII & Elizabeth of York: A Faithful Love – History in the (Re)Making
One of the most important issues to deal with was Titulus Regius, the act passed by Richard III that declared the marriage of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV as illegal and their children illegitimate. By now, the couple, who had probably never met before, were getting to know each other in the relative privacy of Coldharbour.
Henry was also busy acquiring the necessary Papal dispensations, for the couple were related by blood in the double fourth degree of consanguinity 3. Three dispensations would be issued in total. The first dispensation had been issued sometime before March ofwhen Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort had first arranged the marriage in rebellion against King Richard III.
Henry went about applying for a second dispensation after he took the throne, which arrived on the 16th of January The couple were married a mere two days after the dispensation arrived, which makes it obvious the dispensation was the main cause of delay. The third and final dispensation would not arrive until March 2nd, by which time the couple were wedded and bedded and Elizabeth pregnant. Henry was determined to make the marriage indisputable, and the third dispensation removed the impediment of a possible fourth degree of affinity, relation through marriage 4.
Henry would take no such chances. So is a five-month gap really such a long period of time?
Elizabeth of York and her Kings – Henry VII
Henry had rather a lot to do after he defeated King Richard III, he hardly had time to rest on his laurels. Peace had to be established, he had to be crowned and hold his first parliament, restore his wife to her rightful position and take the time to get to know her while they were waiting for the Papal dispensation to arrive.
Fictional representations of Margaret show an unhealthy and obsessive love for her son in which she rivals her daughter-in-law for his affections.
The most recent depiction of Margaret on television is maniacal, fanatical and outrageously sexist, for how better to denigrate a female than showing her as a hysterical woman constantly on the verge of tears, when not of course being devious and underhanded?
Henry VII & Elizabeth of York: A Faithful Love
Henry and Margaret certainly were close. Margaret would never give birth to another child and was parted from Henry for most of his young life. Their affection for each other when they were finally reunited is plain in the surviving records of gifts and letters. Henry honoured his mother, she was the greatest landowner in the kingdom only after the King and Queen, declaring her femme sole, which gave her complete control over her own wealth.
Cecily even revised her coat of arms to include the royal arms of England, hinting that her husband, Richard Duke of York, had been a rightful king and that she was effectively Queen Dowager. Both were afforded semi-regal status by their sons. Many observations have been made of Margaret Beaufort appearing in similar attire to her daughter-in-law the Queen, taking precedence just a step behind her.
Cecily is depicted in royal robes, placed immediately behind the queen. Margaret had been negotiating with Edward IV to bring Henry out of exile for years and was Edward was perhaps considering marrying Henry to one of his daughters to reign him in, he was after all the Lancastrian heir and still a threat. A draft of pardon undated from Edward IV to Henry Tudor is written on the back of the patent of creation of Edmund Tudor as Earl of Richmond on 23 November suggest he may have been considering granting him his former title again.
That Margaret was commanding and imperious cannot be denied, but then nor can her affection for both her son and daughter-in-law. To accuse Richard III of defiling his own niece or Henry Tudor of raping his betrothed needs to be considered only with the contempt it deserves. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond or not depending on which colour rose sat on the throne feared execution by the Yorkist king and so spent fourteen years in Brittany eluding him.
Although Edward IV made some attempts to have him returned and executed, he also at one point drafted a pardon for him and was prepared to invite him back to England. There, the Yorkist Edward would have reconciled with the Lancastrian Henry and the possibility of marriage between Elizabeth and Henry was considered as a means to unite the warring houses.
The possibility came to nothing, however, when Elizabeth was then betrothed to the Dauphin of France, a betrothal which was broken by the other party in If Edward planned to revisit the idea of marrying her to Henry Tudor he never got the chance, as within a year he was dead and Elizabeth was taken into sanctuary by her mother.
Portraits of the two are rare and unfortunately, there is no portrait of the two together Henry pledged himself to marry Elizabeth on Christmas day of and shortly afterwards made a failed attempt to invade England. Henry was crowned before his marriage and there was some delay before he actually honoured his promise to wed Elizabeth. During this time she was lodged with his mother, Margaret Beaufort, and so she would almost certainly have seen her betrothed frequently.
Elizabeth of York and her Kings – Henry VII – Nerdalicious
Also necessary was papal dispensation to account for the blood relations between the two and two days after the dispensation arrived Henry and Elizabeth were married at Westminster Abbey. There is some dispute over when Elizabeth fell pregnant.
Their first child, Arthur, was born on the 20th Septemberalmost eight months to the day of their wedding. Elizabeth might have been pregnant at the time of her wedding, or Arthur might have been premature as some of his siblings would later be. Either way, it showed that Elizabeth had fallen pregnant quickly, a promising omen for a Queen.
They were never very far from each other, the exception being when Henry put down a rebellion while Elizabeth was having Arthur.
- Elizabeth of York
Elsewhere there is an affectionate account of a disagreement between the two where Henry asked that he might have copies of letters from Catherine of Aragon and her parents, to which Elizabeth refused, claiming that one copy was for their son Arthur and she was quite happy keeping the other copy to herself. Perhaps it was because of the loving example set to them by their parents that the surviving Tudor children would take a relatively novel approach to marriage, with all three of them defying protocol to marry for love at various points.
They were the founders of a new soon-to-be powerful English dynasty, and they were immediately a success.
During the course of their marriage, Elizabeth would give birth to eight children - four of whom would live. Arthur, Margaret, Henry, and Mary would be those lucky four and would all make impressive marriages - though Arthur would not live long enough to take over the impressive dynasty that his parents had created.
There are virtually no details that I can easily find about the wedding ceremony between these two important figures, but from what I've read, the ceremony was happy and grand - as would be expected of a brand new monarch and his bride. There are many more details about these two after their wedding - with their children and their seemingly perfect marriage.
Of course, in this time period, no marriage was perfect, but this one seems to be a pretty good model for future Tudor marriages. It has been reported that Henry deeply loved his mother, whom he referred to as one of the kindest, most beautiful women he'd ever known.
All throughout his life, he would make mention of his beloved mother and sometimes be moved to tears over his sadness of her passing. Perhaps, in Henry's mind, his mother was the ideal bride, and that it why he was never content in his own marriages!