29 June – Margaret Beaufort, Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry Percy

29th June is a busy day for “on this day in Tudor history” events, and I thought I’d share with you some information on a few of them.

On this day in history, 29th June 1536, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, was stripped of his office of Lord Privy Seal, an office he had held since January 1530. His demotion came just over a month after the executions of his children, Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, and it was Thomas Cromwell, the king’s right-hand man, who was chosen as his replacement and who was formally appointed on 2nd July 1536. You can click here to read more.

On 29th June 1537, Henry Algernon Percy, the eldest son of Henry Algernon Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, and former sweetheart of Anne Boleyn, died at around the age of thirty-five. He was buried at Hackney Parish Church, and his will appointed the King as Supervisor and Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford, and Thomas Cromwell as executors. Click here to read more about him.

On this day in history, 29th June 1540, nineteen days after his arrest, a Bill of Attainder was passed against Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and King Henry VIII’s former right-hand man.You can click here to read more about this.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of sixty-six-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort on 29th June 1509, just four days after she enjoyed the coronation celebrations of her grandson King Henry VIII and his queen consort. Catherine of Aragon. Here is a video on this fascinating Tudor lady:

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27 thoughts on “29 June – Margaret Beaufort, Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry Percy”
  1. So Claire, nothing really ‘good’ happened on this day in Tudor history. Shame, it’s my birthday.

    1. Happy birthday! Well, how about this…
      1552 – Birth of Elizabeth Carew (née Spencer), Lady Hunsdon, literary patron, at Althorp, Northamptonshire. Elizabeth was the sixth child of Sir John Spencer of Wormleighton and Althorp, and his wife, Katherine. Elizabeth was married first to Sir George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon and grandson of Mary Boleyn, and then, after his death, to Ralph Eure, 3rd Baron Eure. Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene” was addressed to “the most vertuous, and beautifull Lady, the Lady Carew” and men such as Thomas Churchyard, Thomas Nashe, Abraham Fleming, Thomas Playfere, Henry Lok and John Dowland also dedicated works to her.

  2. Happy Birthday Globerose.

    Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, Lady Stanley, King’s Mum and Grandma, died having seen her only son Henry, crowned in 1485, her grandson Henry Viii, crowned with his wife, Katherine and her granddaughter, Margaret as Queen of Scotland. From a widow and vulnerable widow at thirteen, supporting the House of Lancaster, to see her son, an offshoot of that family, with a tender and precarious claim, finally sit on the throne. As my lady the King’s Mother, Margaret was integral to many of Henry’s decisions and style of ruling and he consulted her for advice. She tried to get the marriage of her granddaughter, Margaret moved back until she was a bit older and lay down the ordinances for royal births. She also reorganised the royal household. Now finally she saw her grandson crowned and then unfortunately passed on from food poisoning.

    Rest in peace, Matriarch of the Tudors, may perpetual light shine upon you. Amen. YNWA

  3. I read a book a while back called ‘The King’s Mother’ by Michael Jones and Malcolm Underwood. It really changed my opinion of Margaret Beaufort. Up until that time I always read the usual criticisms of her: overbearing, controlling etc. Having to grow up as quickly as she did she really tried bto make things better for her son and his family and I think she succeeded. She certainly made sure her granddaughters didn’t marry as young as she and suffer the same ill effects. She was tough and no nonsense but she also enjoyed people. Many good things about her but that’s not what made the headlines. I don’t know what Henry’s wife Elizabeth thought of her but I get the impression that she was more of a help than a hindrance.

    1. She has always seemed like the mother in law from hell eh Michael? I have always admired lady Margaret Beaufort she had a dreadful early life and yet she must have dreamed, when she held her helpless baby in her arms that one day he would rule England, her marriage to Edmund Tudor which left her a pregnant frightened girl and her subsequent widowhood which followed must have been very traumatic for her, it was not helped by the difficult birth she had to endure and she determined no other mother would suffer as much, her ambitions for her son were great yet she knew the link to the throne was very fine and only through the base born descent from John of Gaunt the great Duke of Lancaster, and his much loved mistress Katherine Swynford, theirs was a great love story and all through his three marriages he was true to Katherine, it is through his third marriage Katherine of Aragon descended, which gave her a claim to the throne more than her husband as her descent was through a legitimate line, the power struggle for the English throne that followed Edward 1V’s sudden demise made Margaret believe the throne was within her grasp, and she and Elizabeth Woodville the kings widow hatched a plot to wed her eldest daughter with Henry Tudor, her dream payed off and she saw her son ride through the London streets as the victor of Bosworth, and saw him marry Elizabeth and they had a joint coronation, she was the matriarch of a new dynasty – The Tudors, she witnessed the births and deaths of some of her grandchildren and laid down the new rules for the lying in of the queens that followed, remembering her own hideous experience that had no doubt damaged her internally, she outlived both her daughter in law and her beloved son and saw her grandson crowned as King Henry V111, she must have died contented and sixty six was a good age for a Tudor woman, Henry V111 was said to have sought her for advice and he surely he would have remembered his grandmother who perhaps was stern but kind as well, RIP Lady Margaret Beaufort certainly a most remarkable lady.

      1. Another thing I’m sure Margaret was thinking about was that her son literally spent half his life in France while she was in England. She was the 1 person he could trust implicitly to help him get his footing once he was back and on the throne. I don’t criticize her for anything she did.

        1. Margaret Beaufort was indeed a remarkable woman. I don’t believe that there is any evidence that she was the mother in law from hell, although she could be quite demanding. Elizabeth of York found her helpful and the evidence shows she replied on Margaret to help her learn how to rule, because she had lost some of her training due to being out of the succession for a time. She also didn’t agree with being in confinement although she did it as it was what was required. When Henry went to York without her as she was pregnant Elizabeth was not happy either because Margaret had advised that she remain behind. However, as Queen Elizabeth was supportive and she was also dutiful and did as she was required because she had a duty to her husband. Margaret actually took Elizabeth under her wing and it was her who moved her son to make certain that Elizabeth’s delayed coronation took place as soon as the trouble with pretender no one, the boy called Lambert Simnel was over. Margaret and Elizabeth actually got on well, although from time to time they clashed, probably as all wives and mothers in law do. Elizabeth of York was a very supportive and successful wife whose one vice was spending too much money on elaborate dresses, Margaret offered advice, she didn’t always taken it, but there is no evidence that she was overbearing or a nightmare.

          Young Henry spent fourteen years in Brittany and France at the end of the years in exile, officially as their guests but under close watch and he and his uncle Jasper Tudor were both in separate parts, partly under house arrest. Margaret married the Yorkist Lord Stanley partly to place herself at the Court of Edward iv so as she could negotiate for Henry’s return and some evidence suggests that she was near an agreement when Edward died. Shortly before this Margaret and Elizabeth Woodville had tentatively discussed Henry and Princess Elizabeth marrying but the real plotting went on when Richard was Lord Protector and then King, with Margaret and EW actively plotting a marriage contract and to support the first attempt for Henry to land as a side line to the so called Buckingham rebellion. EW and her daughters were in sanctuary but doctors could move around unhindered and the two women shared the same physician. Messages passed from one to the other and the Earl of Richmond took a vow to marry Elizabeth at Christmas 1483 in order to uphold his own claim. Margaret was implicated in the Buckingham plots and Parliament actually did condemn her with an Act of Attainder but Richard refused to sign it on account of her piety and her being a noble woman. Yet again Margaret had escaped but remained under house arrest near London. She was very much a strong lady and she found ways to get word to Henry. His victory and coronation was the fulfilment of her hopes and dreams and she became emotional. She took a direct interest in her grandchildren and now probably felt even more wonderful things were to come in her grandson, Henry Viii.

        2. Yes there is no evidence that Margaret and her daughter in law did not get on, and Elizaneth did seek her advice from time to time, being the older woman and she respected her wisdom and as the mother of the King, she was certainly proud of her title, the Kings Lady Mother, it must have been so sad when she lost her son yet she had her grandchildren to focus on and certainly the young Prince Henry later to become Henry V111, was in awe of her, i cannot say much about Edmund Tudor, even though he was responsible for giving us the Tudors, impregnating a young girl of only twelve because he selfishly wanted an heir, it was downright irresponsible and a complete disregard of her health and emotional welfare, it scarred her for life and he went against all the rules of the age, because although people married young, they were not considered old enough to sleep together til they were about fifteen, much less for the girl to become pregnant so society must have been shocked and amazed when poor little Margaret became pregnant before she was in her teens, Edmund was a man, he was just thinking about leaving an heir before he went off to battle, I have no time for him but I understand the need that all aristocratic men had for an heir, he knew he could get killed, so his young child bride who must have been scared out of her wits was impregnant just to keep his line going, as said I understand his need, but it was very very selfish of him.

        3. Hi Christine, it wasn’t just selfish, it was downright dangerous, even though she was legally able to consent at twelve, it was advised to wait until after fourteen at least before consummation of a union. O.K. the guy was 26 so not a dom but still an adult male who should have had more consideration. Maybe in a more peaceful and stable period Edmund would have waited but he felt undue pressure and as he was going to war, he had to get a quick heir. It must have been dreadful, even if he was tender because of the extreme youth of the bride. Her slight build and her status as a child who was barely developing, her inexperience and being more than half of his age, the wedding night must have been a nightmare. We can’t say Edmund forced Margaret, because we don’t know, but given her age, it must have been not far from that. Edmund of course died in Carmarthen Castle five months later, a prisoner of war, of the “plague” so in hindsight his impatience left us with history. However, from sources we know that the birth was difficult and both mother and son barely survived. Margaret was a widow with an unborn child and she was under the protection of her brother in law, Jasper and her son, Henry was born a few months later at Pembroke.

          Margaret knew she couldn’t just raise her son alone and the Tudor estates were constantly under threat and Margaret was not safe there. She made a decision to remarry and negotiations were opened with Henry Stafford, the brother of Humphrey Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham. Probably because of her ordeal and her difficult birth, as you say she may well have had internal injuries, she couldn’t or would not have further children. She was scared for life inside and her piety may also have it’s roots in her ordeal. Margaret was a devoted mother, but her House found themselves on the wrong side, because they supported their half uncle and cousin King Henry Vi. After one defeat Edward iv took Henry from his mother and gave him in custody to Lord Herbert of Raglan Castle were he was actually raised in great honour. He was treated according to his high status, as a family member, two entire floors of new apartments were built to house Henry. He was taught everything a young warrior would need and given a good education. Margaret was given leave to visit him and he spent some time in her care over the years. However, Henry at ten was taken into battle in 1469 and left on the battlefield when the Yorkist cause was lost to Warwick and King Edward had to flee. Lady Herbert’s husband was also killed but she somehow found Henry and was helped to escape. Margaret regained custody of her son during the Restoration of Henry Vi 1470 to 1471. He was presented to his step uncle who one mysterious source claimed poured holy oils over his hands and forehead, thus making Henry his heir. Now we know the King was nuts so this was possible, but he also had periods of clarity and he actually made George, Duke of Clarence, husband of Isabella Neville, daughter of the Kingmaker, his heir, should his own son die. However, the Restoration of Henry vi didn’t last long and although Warwick made his peace with Margaret of Anjou, the Lancastrian Queen, the other Ming, Edward iv came back, his brother changed sides, the army of Warwick was defeated at Barnet in 1471 and the Kingmaker was killed. Margaret also lost her husband who died of his wounds. This was a disaster for Margaret and her son, Henry.

          Margaret of Anjou was defeated on 4th May 1471_at Tewkesbury and her only son, Edward Prince of Wales killed aged sixteen, leaving a young widow, Anne Neville, future wife of Richard Duke of Gloucester, King Richard iii. Margaret Beaufort was forced to watch her son go into exile aged fourteen because Jasper Tudor had to wait at Chepstow his stronghold as the rain prevented him from joining Margaret and boosting her army. Jasper made for the coast at Tenby in Wales and escaped via tunnels to the sea and on to Brittany. Henry went with him. Mum Margaret, however, wasn’t daft and knew she had to do anything to negotiate for his return. That is why she came to Court and why she married a Yorkist magnet; Thomas, Lord Stanley, himself a widower with several adult sons. It was s marriage of convenience on both sides but it was beneficial and successful. May served Queen Elizabeth Woodville, just as she would attend Queen Anne Neville at her coronation. She wasn’t too proud to ingratiate herself with whoever was in power if it meant her son was safe and could come home. It was a hard lesson to learn but this was an uncertain period of history and the 1460s had been a decade of upheaval and changing fortunes. Now, however, fourteen years of relative peace followed under Edward vi, with the contenders dead or in exile, so Margaret did what any sensible noble woman would do, she made her peace with the ruling House of York. This didn’t stop her from plotting years later and the marriage put Lord Stanley in a difficult dilemma when his stepson landed on 7th August 1485 to attempt to claim the throne from King Richard iii, although he changed sides once he saw the opportunity during the Battle of Bosworth, three weeks later.

          Margaret, I think was a pragmatist. Her son, Henry learned to be one and that made him a survivor. He may well have felt he had some kind of divine destiny after everything he went through, but Henry Tudor also had two feet squarely on the ground. Margaret may have had fanciful dreams about him ruling one day, but she too pushed fate along. The House of York did the work for her. Edward had King Henry killed off in the Tower around about 21st May or soon afterwards and Prince Edward was killed on the battlefield or in the route afterwards, although one source has him being murdered by Clarence. George, Duke of Clarence wasn’t content with controlling the greatest female inheritance in the country, the Neville fortune, he wanted more. He saw rewards going ten a penny to younger brother, Richard and he had been denied a richer bride, the Duchess of Burgundy. He saw himself as the legitimate heir to the throne and his brother as illegitimate, alongside his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. He went on and on and then too far. Mad with grief over the loss of his wife, most probably from complications after child birth and the loss of another son, George suspected poisoning by a servant who was a witch. He demanded his brother take action. Edward refused. Do George took his own actions and the servants were tried and hung for murder. Edward now had no choice. Three times now he had rebelled against royal authority and three times been pardoned. Not even Richard stuck up for him this time as he had in the past. Edward was furious with this usurpation of his justice. Clarence also started on his brothers being illegitimate again and attacked his children as lawfully begotten. Edward put him on trial and he was condemned and attained. His blood was also attained. On 7th February 1478 George, Duke of Clarence was privately executed somewhere in the Tower of London, the method is unknown, but sources indicate it was by drowning in a large vat of wine from Burgundy. He wasn’t killed by Richard iii who wasn’t even there. The death of Edward iv came next in April 1483, followed by the two sons of him and EW being set aside by Richard on the same account of being illegitimate, because Edward was married before to Eleanor Talbot, daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury and was still her husband for years after his official marriage to EW. The law then made the entire family illegitimate. That actually pushed Henry Tudor up the succession list. Richard, Duke of Gloucester was the next heir and he and Anne had one child, a son Edward. Margaret naturally thought Henry should come back and claim the crown as the next male heir of Henry vi from the House of Lancaster, although in fact several others had better claims, but most were female. There were also other heirs on the side of York, although one family, that of Warwick were banned by treason and the other, the de la Poles were also from a female line, Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, sister to King Richard. The Duke of Buckingham also had a claim. For Margaret, however, her son was next and for malcontents he was also a convenient claimant. He was also a logical claimant through his link to Henry Vi and he was building up a portfolio and following. If anything happened to the sons of Edward iv and EW or the son of Richard and Anne, then as far as Margaret was concerned Henry was next in line. Hence the plots and scheming and alliance with Elizabeth Woodville and the arrangements for Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth of York. I believe Margaret was very protective of her son but then she had to be, she lost him on several occasions to custody with others or exile. Their reunion must have been very emotional after fourteen years apart. I really don’t blame her having high ambitions for him or taking his part or enjoying her role as the Kings Mother. After everything they had suffered they probably felt they deserved it. Fate helped them three more times, the ex Princes vanished, Prince Edward died of fever aged about nine or ten and Richard was killed at Bosworth on 22nd August 1485, in which Henry won the crown. I think I would believe my son was fated to be King in such circumstances as well.

  4. Happy birthday Globerose and you are right, certainly a gloomy day in Tudor history, I always feel sad for Henry Percy the Earl of Northumberland as he and his sweetheart Anne Boleyn were only young when they were cruelly separated, they both died young, he following her to the grave just thirteen months later their lives could have been so different, he hated his wife and she likewise and understandably they had no children, he could have been Anne’s only true love and she certainly was his, he was ailing at her trial and collapsed possibly through exhaustion maybe shock if he still had hidden feelings for her, certainly he was suffering from an illness which turned out be fatal as it killed him at the age of only thirty five, his Earldom was inherited by his nephew and his name passed into history merely by a once brief connection to England’s most notorious queen consort, Anne herself broken hearted and full of rage grew harder I believe and more brittle by the ill fated affair, we only have one illustration of Henry Percy a profile which shows him wearing the fashionable long beard of the time and a long noble nose, I do not know if this is a myth but Anne was said to have remarked that she would rather have been Harry’s countess than Henry’s Queen, certainly the Percy’s were one of England’s most noble houses, their most famous ancestor was Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, a legend in medieval England, Anne was considered not good enough for the young Percy whilst he served in Wolseys household, yet Henry V111 certainly thought she was good enough for him, we can safely say his life was ruined when he lost Anne and whilst she went onto to become queen and put all ‘England in a bruit’ as Sir Thomas Wyatt put it, he had a most miserable existence and argued continually with his wife, she even left him on one occasion as she declared he did treat her like a husband should a wife, at least now he is at peace and who knows, he might even be reunited with his old love?

  5. Hurray! Thank you so much for this completely wonderful reference! Come back all negative comment: I shall dine out on this connection and keep reminding my family until they know her name as well as mine. I am now delighted!

  6. I agree Margaret was a pragmatist and we can see with the life she led, she had had to grow up quickly, Henry V1 unlike his famous father was hopeless, he was of a gentle nature which is fine in the common man but not for a medieval ruler, he also suffered from some mental illness and was possibly retarded and I believe this was sadly inherited from his French ancestor Charles of Valois, he was said to have been murdured in the Tower possibly by Edward 1V or one of his brothers, or all three, it is not quite clear who done the deed but they were all suspect, the English throne was not secure during those years as both Yorkist and Lancastrian vied for control, the plotting and scheming went on and on and as Bq says, Clarence was mysteriously put to death some say he was drowned in a vat of malmsey, this could well be true as ever after his daughter Lady Margaret Pole, wore a little trinket at her waist in the shape of a vat, or barrel, sadly she too was to die just as violently in the reign of her cousin Henry V111, I cannot help thinking that had the young Edward V been allowed his coronation without Richard taking control, then England would have been at peace, as it was his disappearance with his brother in the Tower which spoke of murder, made the throne look easily available to any ambitious claimant who fancied his chances of wearing the crown, it made Henry Tudors claim look more stronger, hence Bosworth and then we had the infamous Tudor dynasty with our most notorious King, Henry V111 at its helm.

    1. A book I recommend is ‘Blood and Roses’ by Helen Castor’s. It is about what’s in the surviving Paston letters. One of the really interesting things is the majority of the difficulties the family was having was because of the reign of Henry VI and the instability that caused. Personally I would rather have lived in the time of Henry VIII than Henry VI.

      1. The Paston Letters are brilliant for historians to read and understand the time of the wars of the roses as we now know the period and how it affected the gentry. These were the families mostly caught up in the turmoil because they were obliged to provide military service. They provided it to an overlord and he provided service and command to the King. In this case the Pastons lived in East Anglia and were obligated to the Duke of Norfolk. However, the Mowbray Dukes changed sides several times as did the Pastons, their retainers. In 1469, for example, John Paston fought for King Henry at Edgecote against Norfolk and was killed. The Mowbray Duke was also killed. During the absence of the men from the homestead at Caistor Castle, one Duke of Norfolk tried to press a claim on the Castle and attacked Lady Margaret at home. When John Howard took over the estates and lands the Pastons in theory they were obligated to follow the House of York, whom he was allied to. He served Edward iv and Richard iii, who made him Duke of Norfolk and for whom he fought and died. The Pastons, fed up with the renewal of war, remained at home.

        I love the letters because you get Margaret writing of her concerns for her sons and husband and of the trouble at home and about her new girdle because she is pregnant. There is a lot of family love and sorrow in those letters. They really bring the everyday stuff from the time to life.

    2. Reading the descriptions of Henry VI I don’t get the feeling it was retardation (I know this term is no longer used). I have an older sister who is mildly retarded. It seems Henry VI may have been a bit autistic coupled with something else that would make him shut down for long periods. Is anyone aware of someone in modern times trying to diagnose him? I’ve never run across anything.

      1. You are right, he wasn’t retarded. Nor was he as meek and mild as he is sometimes portrayed. He had moments of absolute clarity and was as ruthless as anyone else. However, he had long periods of falling into being practically catatonic, which doesn’t appear to start until a number of years into his marriage with Margaret of Anjou. Autism surely would have shown itself much earlier, although it would not be known what it was, so that is often dismissed. The diagnosis appears to have been mysterious. He was weak when it came to making tough and rational decisions and overly pious. He stood by favourites even when they were a disaster. Henry built the College at Winchester and Kings College Cambridge, but they took up money which should have been used for war. He was unable to make positive and realistic decisions when called upon to punish bad governance. The head ramming between Richard, Duke of York, the Beaufort lot, that is Somerset and his brothers, plus Margaret of Anjou, probably didn’t help. It’s also more likely than not that Henry vi was incapable of fatherhood and that Somerset was the father of her son, but Henry recognised him as his and didn’t question it, but Margaret rightly fought tooth and nail for Edward and his succession when her husband recognised York as his heir apparent. When Henry sank into depression and became catatonic in 1452/3 making a miraculous recovery at Christmas Margaret presented him with his infant son. During this period York was made Lord Protector and his rule was actually good and his administration sound. Margaret had tried to get Parliament to accept a plan which made her Regent with York and Somerset sharing power, but poor Margaret was hated for being French. Somerset was arrested and placed in the Tower but everything was reversed by Henry and this happened at least twice. It all exploded into the first battles of the intermittent wars of the roses, which is an invention of a name. When York was humiliated and forced to renew his oath of allegiance before the alter at Saint Paul’s in London and was summoned to answer for his government and his grievances, he arrived with his army and it all lead to the events of 1460,_which ended in his being killed outside of Sandal Castle in Wakefield in Yorkshire. Margaret and Henry vi were forced to flee and he was actually sixteen weeks from being King. It was his son, Edward, Earl of March who took up the cause, winning two great victories in 1461 to clench the throne at Mortimers Cross and Towton. It all kicked off again from time to time, especially in 1469/70 with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and known as the Kingmaker changing sides and backing Margaret and releasing King Henry from the Tower. During this period most people observed that Henry was distracted and distant and out of it, not really knowing what was happening. After he was again in the Tower after Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471 he was much happier. His death ended the struggle for the next sixteen years until Henry Tudor pressed his claim. As Christine says he was most probably murdered, although the exact date and circumstances are often debated. The traditional date of his demise was 21st or 22nd May 1471 but dates range up to 29th May. His body was put on display and his skull was said to bleed still but we really don’t know if this is a misunderstanding or an eye witness account or a myth. King Edward alone has to bear the blame for any order as those who arrived to carry out the deed would carry his orders. Richard, Duke of Gloucester was eighteen and High Constable of England and any such orders would be carried by him. However, it’s highly unlikely that the York brothers killed him with their bare hands. That’s what henchmen are for. Richard was at the Tower on 21st and 22nd May, he wasn’t there afterwards. Edward was there on 21st before spending the night at Westminster. He and Clarence left London a few days after the triumphant entry on 21st. So in a short window, all three or one, most probably Richard or Edward himself, as Clarence was not trusting, the others having the authority, conveyed the order to cleanse the blood of Lancaster as the Arrival puts it and Henry was put out of his misery.

        But why now? Well he was the last of the direct line of Lancaster and his son was dead and wife a prisoner, although her life was spared and although he couldn’t be used against Edward again, especially with Warwick dead and his house left to two women, both in the control of the House of York, one married to Clarence, the other shortly to wed Richard: Edward persuaded by Elizabeth Woodville, allegedly, wasn’t prepared to take any more chances with his crown. In his absence his Queen had presented him with a son and heir, Edward, and his future could only be secured by the end of the House of Lancaster. It might sound like a horrible and ruthless thing to do as Henry himself was probably harmless under the circumstances, but he had been put back once and Edward was wise not to allow him to be a pawn again. Now EW was the Queen fighting for her son and to be brutally honest in the same insane circumstances, I would probably do the same thing. The wars had to end and Edward thought his children and grandchildren would rule for a long time. Maybe if he hadn’t killed himself with fine living at the age of 40 they would have done. Of course if he had handled his fruit cake brother, George better, doubts over his marriage would have remained under wraps and his far more sane brother would have stood by them as Edwards heirs. Edward was a strong King but he was also ruthless and it was probably not unexpected although it was a great shock to the people. A King was sacred and you didn’t harm them but of course you claimed anything to hide the truth of getting rid of them. Henry iv starved Richard ii to death in Pontefract Castle and said it was naturalistic causes. The official line was that Henry died of melancholy and displeasure of the soul. In other words he died of clinical depression and this is actually possible because he may have refused food and drink, thus giving up after losing everything. He was about 50 but if he had serious bouts of illness, then giving up the will to live may not be so far fetched. The eye witness report of blood and his skull may not be impossible either but we really don’t know.

        In the reign of Richard iii Henry was moved to a proper tomb and placed in the new Chapel of Saint George in Windsor and given an honourable funeral. A cult also grew up around him. He was seen as the man of peace and as a martyr and his Chantry Chapel was soon a place of pilgrimage. Henry had good qualities which made him a gentle and understanding husband but he wasn’t a warrior or a decisive King and his administration was a disaster. Just what his diagnosis was is unclear but he was the grandson of Charles the Mad of France, so whatever it was, it was probably inherited.

      2. I think one historian said he could have been schizophrenic, but no I have never come across any doctor trying to diagnose him it is very difficult trying to diagnose anyone who died so long ago, they can only go by the symptoms as recorded, another historian did say he was mentally deficient, he probably was autistic and could have had learning difficulties, I think it’s very sad that he ended up being murdered he was an anointed king, but such was the lure of the crown he was just one of several monarchs in English history who fell foul of an assassin or assassins.

  7. I mentioned autism because he did seem much higher functioning at times than he is usually given credit for. Schizophrenia is usully marked by bouts of manic highs and depressive lows. That doesn’t fit either. Is it possible that he is the only person to ever suffer from his particular malady? I agree he inherited whatever from his maternal grandfather as at times he thought he was made of glass but that’s not his grandson.

    1. Yes your right he did not seem to have mood swings, he could have had bi polar seeing how he thought sometimes he was made of glass but than bi polar sufferers have mood swings along with other erratic behavioural symptoms, it certainly is a mystery.

      1. A Nigal Bark in the United States wrote a paper on the mental illness of Henry Vi, which he put down to catatonic schizophrenia caused by a life event and he wrote it up in the National Journal of Biocentric Medicine, which I found with a search, but a few others have also done some work and the shock of losing France and a close advisor, that is the death of the Duke of Suffolk and recent rebellion had also sent him into withdrawal and the state of catatonic shock. This is a symptom of Schizophrenia although it was not understood as that and even today it is still misunderstood. Lauren Johnson in her new book has done some research as well but as you say, it’s impossible to diagnose someone from over 500 years ago. His symptoms are not specific enough but they certainly made it difficult for him to be an effective ruler. He couldn’t see that York was the best person to run the country and that even when Henry recovered for a time, making him the head of his government would have allowed the King to be pious and devoted to good works while those more suited to running the country administered on his behalf. Henry didn’t want war and he didn’t want to be heavily involved in the problems facing his realm either, but he couldn’t or would not make the hard decisions in order to change things. Henry is often blamed for causing the wars which followed, but York and Somerset were a pair of hot heads, overly mighty subjects and Henry could not control them. York swore his allegiance to the King, but at the end of the day, he knew he was the best man to rule and he made that perfectly clear. His ambition was boundless and Henry was unable to curb it.

        1. Thank you BQ for your research. That’s more than I knew before. Right or wrong that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a name attached to his malady

  8. I would be interested to know the source for the assertion that Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort conspired together to arrange the marriage of their children. They may have, but I have never seen any written proof on the question.

      1. The historians Edward Hall and Vergil also go into great detail and much is confirmed by Crowland Continuation Chronicles as well as the letters which Margaret herself sent to Henry in Brittany as well as money for troops and we have the chronicle above. Richard declared Margaret and her son as traitors in his proclamation against the combination of small rebellions in October 1483, which have incorrectly been called the Buckingham Rebellion. The same words and evidence was summarised in the Act of Attainder during the Parliament of January 1484. Margaret was actually ironically spared because of the “good service done to us by our good and loyal servant, Thomas Lord Stanley” . It is likely also that Margaret didn’t just dupe Buckingham who invited Henry to join his own cause, in order to push her son’s cause. It is also logical to assume that the plot was put into order well ahead of the rising in order for it to be organised and therefore the connection between Margaret and EW must have taken place that Summer. Margaret had actually opened proper negotiations with the government of Edward iv and a marriage with Henry and Elizabeth suggested, according to a source in the Papal Registry of 1484. Although in prison, many historians also believe, including his recent biography, that Bishop John Morton was involved in the plot and may well have influenced Buckingham in the first place.

        However much Margaret got herself embroiled I still believe she had the right motivation at heart, to see her son where she believed he belonged, on the throne. I doubt she supported Buckingham, but saw an opportunity for Henry to land, although he didn’t have anything like the support he gathered in 1485. He had a handful of men and even less ships. He didn’t even have the support of malcontents, as he was to gain afterwards. Nor was Stanley in the least bit interested in supporting anyone at the present time as he was too busy being rewarded. Margaret had tunnel vision when it came to Henry, as most mothers do, love for her son was everything for her and she clearly couldn’t see that the plan was doomed from the start and wasn’t as dangerous as Buckingham hoped it would be. As a mother, Margaret had a dream for her only son, but hers was the dream of the throne, which was at one point well out of reach. However, by 1483, and certainly by 1484, after Prince Edward, son of Richard iii and Queen Anne Neville died, her visions appeared closer than ever. She had an opportunity to make it happen, at least in the imagination and Margaret took it. Her original plan was to negotiate a marriage alliance and then Henry’s return, but that developed into a plot to fund a rebellion and cause a diversion which would allow Henry to land and challenge for the crown. After the first go failed, a more long term strategy was worked out, more support found, a Court in exile formed and military support raised from the prisoners in French jails, Breton and Flanders mercenaries, Welsh pikemen, a core but small group of malcontents and Knights, s few exiled nobles like Oxford, with real experience and once on Welsh soil those he could recruit on the march via family and other connections. Henry’s forces were added to by another small group of Knights and he was depending on half promises from Sir William Stanley and an even less reliable one from Lord Thomas Stanley.

        The majority of nobles and Knights remained loyal to Richard and it’s total nonsense that he lost support on a large scale. Those who joined Henry had personal reasons for doing so. They had been involved in the series of easily put down rebellions during the Autumn 1483, such as the Brandon brothers, pardoned but who still fled over to Henry on a promise of reward, gentlemen Richard had replaced either as rebels or because of corruption. Support came from others who may or may not have believed the two Princes had been killed and were disturbed by the unproven rumours, those whom Richard had made judgement against on the side of ordinary people seeking justice, rather. than siding with greedy retainers, those who didn’t profit under a man who had ended crown enforced loans and believed and practiced impartial justice. Why did Stanley turn against him? Try greed, revenge and because Richard ended many practices which threatened their power. Margaret of course was the linchpin of this group, as the mother of Henry, Earl of Richmond and it was her influence which built up a network of support and growing military aid, money and men and which encouraged his commitment to the Yorkist heiress. Lord Stanley was his step father, but the connection to Jasper Tudor also raised support because this gained a connection to a Welsh baron called Ryhs ap Thomas who helped Henry raise men on a long march through Wales. It took time but by the summer of 1485 Henry was ready to press his claim and he did so by landing as if he was already King. The propaganda war began long before the Commissions of Array by which Richard raised over 15,000 men, three times that of Henry and his odd collaboration but it was greed and treason which would be the decisive factor at Bosworth on 22nd August by the Stanley habit of sitting on the fence.

        1. I have a great deal of respect for Margaret as an astute manipulator and, as I have said before, a survivor. It does not make me think better of her as a person.

        2. Hi Dorothy, I agree with you, she and EW are both more similar than I think we get the impression from sources, which didn’t give women much credit to begin with. I think they both read the changing political landscape well and were astute and manipulated things very masterfully. I respect both of them as mothers and women and especially Margaret as a person, probably because she sought to give something back via her grandchildren whom she tried to make life better for, especially her granddaughters whom she attempted to prevent from marriage too soon. I think both women were foxy and had good strong heads on them and regardless of what sort of scheming they may or may not have been involved in, they had good sound reasons for their own survival and that of their House; they lived through one of the most violent and turbulent times in English and Welsh history and they both faced actual dangerous threats at times. Elizabeth had to give birth in the sanctuary at Westminster Abbey which is actually the Bishops Palace but probably not ideal and her husband was in exile. She then spent some eighteen months in sanctuary during Richard’s reign, which she used her time well, but it was very cramped with her children and sister there as well. Margaret lost custody of her only son when he was a small child and even found an army at her gates; she was implicated in conspiracy although she was treated with common sense, her property being given to her husband and she into his custody and care, her attainment was reversed later on, her son had been in exile for fourteen years; I can really see why she would take any opportunity to promote him or work for his return. Elizabeth was faced with a multitude of conflicting information and rumours about her own sons, without knowing for certain if they were alive or dead and with Richard on progress she couldn’t just ask him. One theory about her decision to come out was an assurance given in private about them being alive is proposed by historians David Baldwin, John Ashdown Hill and Matthew Lewis, but also others less conservative. We don’t know for certain what was going on but these women must have both at one time or another felt real anxiety and anguish over the fate of their children. I believe they found common ground in the hope of a union for their son and daughter and a future which gave them hope and security.

          We also have the Plumpton Correspondence which shows letters backwards and forwards from Bridgenorth and Brecon in Wales to Lathom House the seat of the Stanley family near Liverpool at Ormskirk on a daily basis and a letter dated 24th September 1483 from Buckingham the cousin and nephew by marriage of Margaret Beaufort, to Henry Tudor inviting his invasion to take the Kingdom and marry Elizabeth. The original aim of the rebellion appears to have been to free the ex King Edward V and his brother but this changed when rumours arose of their demise. Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham actually had a better claim to the crown than Henry Tudor, but Margaret may not necessarily have been looking to put him on the throne, especially as King Richard had a healthy son at this point, but to promote him as an heir to either Edward V or Richard. The entire motivation of Buckingham in this still actually baffles historians today, including Louise Gill whose book on the Rebellion covered it in great detail.

          For a collection of sources The Road to Bosworth by Anne Sutton and Peter Hammond is still available very cheaply on the Amazon marketplace and Keith Dockerty has brought a number together in one place and several websites link to them online. Archive.com has many as does the Richard iii Societies and Riii Society of New South Wales have free archives online resources.

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