1st November – On this Day in History…

Thanks so much to Nasim for tweeting these dates this morning as my Tudor calendar was blank for today!

Edmund Tudor

On this day in history, 1st November…

1456 – Death of Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, from the plague at Carmarthen Castle. Edmund was the son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois (widow of Henry V, the husband of Margaret Beaufort and the father of Henry VII. 13 year old Margaret Beaufort was actually six months pregnant with Henry when Edmund died at around the age of 26. He was buried at the church of Greyfriars in Carmarthen, but was moved to St Davids Cathedral where his elaborate tomb can still be seen today in the middle of the high altar.

1530 – Henry VIII sent Sir Walter Walsh (some say William Walsh) with Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, to Cawood Castle to arrest Cardinal Thomas Wolsey for high treason. They arrived on 4th November  and took him into custody.

Notes and Sources

  • The wonderful Nasim on Twitter – see http://twitter.com/#!/NasimT
  • Edmund Tudor by R.S. Thomas in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Privy Chamber of Henry VIII by Michael Riordan in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Thomas Wolsey by Sybil M. Jack in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • The Life of Cardinal Wolsey by George Cavendish

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3 thoughts on “1st November – On this Day in History…”
  1. There isn’t much left of the orginal Cawood castle, a small gate house and banqueting hall, which now belongs to Landmark Trust, which let out the Gatehouse part as holiday lets, its small but very authentic, it would be a lovely treat to stay there don’t you think… Landmark Trust have some beautiful historical places to let from the small to the castle size. All the properties have been saved from ruin and now they earn their keep, so to speak, and have been preserved for future generations to enjoy, wonderful if you can afford it that is.

  2. So sad to think of 13 year old Margaret Beaufort facing childbirth without her husband…She must have been some woman!

  3. I wish we knew more about Edmund Tudor as a person to be fair. He is often condemned as a bad piece of work because he was too impatient to wait to consummate his marriage to 12 years old Margaret Beaufort, which yes is horrendous by our standards.

    It was entirely legal and proper for him to do so as the age of consent was 12 for girls and 14 for boys. However, most men where told to wait as it was considered dangerous for children that young to have sex or give birth. They simply where not mature enough. It was suggested they wait until between 15 and 18 or later and the average was not 13 as in the movies but in fact 18 or 19. So why did Edmund break the mould?

    He had married a rich heiress and was recognised recently as a legitimate half brother of the King, Henry Vi. Margaret was via her own line an heiress to the throne as the Beauforts where not barred from the Royal dignity, well not fully. Henry vi did have one son, but he was a baby and the country was in a civil war status. Edmund owned her wardship and title to her fortune and inheritance if he had a child by her. So they were married and bedded at the first legal opportunity in order to achieve the above. It was inconsiderate, dangerous for Margaret, traumatic, possibly rape, aimed at money and not the welfare of his child bride and outrageous even for his time. However, it tells us little about Edmund as a person in other respects and we have little to go on. Certainly worse people existed and he wasn’t brutal towards her and she didn’t think of him without favour. It leaves us with a very bad impression of a man who died a year later in jail, doing his duty and who was taken prisoner by a side he had supported. He was 27 when he died of the plague in Carmarthen Castle in 1456, abandoned even by his captors. His wife turned to his brother, Jasper for support and Margaret went on to make two prestigious and strategic marriages. She married at 14 Lord Henry Stafford, brother of the Duke of Buckingham who died of his wounds after Barnet in 1471 and then Lord Thomas Stanley who defected at Bosworth. Her son would go on to sit on the English throne after victory at Bosworth as King Henry Vii 1485 to 1509. She saw her grandson Henry Viii crowned, dying the next day of content old age or food poison from eating cygnets.

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