Guest Article and Giveaway on Jasper Tudor by Debra Bayani

JasperI am honoured to be Day 3 of author Debra Bayani’s book tour for her new book Jasper Tudor, Godfather of the Tudor Dynasty. Here is an excerpt from her book…

Earl Jasper had recruited troops from Wales. With him were his father Owen; Sir Thomas Perot of Haverfordwest; Owen and Thomas, the two sons of Gruffydd ap Nicholas, and various other esquires from Gower and Carmarthen; Sir John and Sir William Scudamore and Sir John’s son Henry, with some 30 retainers; Lewis Powys of Powyland; Hopkyn Rheinallt Gwenedd of Harlech; Lewis ap Rhys of Carmarthen; the Herefordshire lawyer Thomas Fitzharry; and the Englishman John Throckmorton of Shrewsbury. Jasper’s march did not go entirely as planned, he had to wait for James Butler, the Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, to arrive from Ireland with his foreign contingents at Pembroke or Milford Haven. When they finally landed, the combined army of Welsh, Irish, Bretons and Frenchmen, marched from Pembroke either through Brecon towards Wigmore or to the Valley of Towy via Radnorshire. Having reached Presteigne, they followed the Valley of the Lugg in the direction of Leominster where the two forces met. Whichever route they took, unlike their enemy who had advanced to be on their own territory, Jasper, Wiltshire and their men had marched in the winter cold for more than 100 miles and through country totally strange to many of them. Without wasting any time, Edward had gathered an army of around 2,000 men, among them: the Dwnns, William Herbert, Roger Vaughan, Richard Croft, Walter Mytton, John Lingen and Reginald, Lord Grey of Wilton (Jasper’s brother-in-law, married to his sister Tacina) and men from Herefordshire.

On 2 February, at a place called Mortimer’s Cross, in the county of Herefordshire on the border of Wales and England and just 4 miles south from Edward’s Wigmore Castle, the Lancastrian army clashed with the supporters of the furious 18-year-old son of the slain Duke of York. The descriptions of the battle are contradictory but what is certain is is that on that morning the weather was very cold for, just before fighting began, a parthelion (sometimes referred to as ‘three suns’) occurred. Another certainty is that the Earl of Wilshire maintained his reputation for being a coward, as he had done previously at the first Battle of St Albans, by fleeing the field before the battle had actually started. Many of the remaining Lancastrians were driven into the river Lugg and were slaughtered or drowned. Jasper’s army did not stand a chance against Edward Earl of March, who was determined to avenge his father’s death. Within a short time the Lancastrians were completely overwhelmed by the Yorkists and Jasper and Sir Thomas Perrot, who shared command over the defeated army, were forced to flee. While both escaped successfully from the field, it is likely that Sir Thomas was wounded during the battle for, although he got away to Bristol afterwards, he died on 10 April that year. Unfortunately, Jasper’s father Owen was not able to do the same as his son. He may have refused to abandon the field even though defeated, or was simply unable to make good his escape. Captured by the Yorkists, he was led to the block in Hereford’s market place, either that same day or a few days later, by Roger Vaughan of Tretower, together with at least two of ‘his kinsmen and comrades’, Henry Scudamore (son of Sir John Scudamore) and John Throckmorton, and many other Welshmen. Owen, as the first person on whom the Earl of March could avenge the deaths of his brother Rutland and his father, was the first to die. It is said that Owen presumed he would be spared because of his relationship with the former royal family – being the widower of Queen Katherine of Valois made him King Henry VI’s stepfather. According to Gregory’s Chronicle, which very likely derives from an eyewitness account, the elderly Owen (he was in his early sixties) apparently remained unconvinced of his approaching death until his red velvet collar was ripped off his doublet by the executioner and ‘he fully meekly took his end’. Just before Owen was beheaded his final words were: ‘That hede shalle ly on the stocke that was wonte to ly on Quene Kateryns lappe’..
It is said that after the execution Owen’s head was taken by a woman who combed his hair and washed his face and surrounded it by a hundred candles: ‘hys hedde sette a-pone the hyghesyeste gryce of the market crosse, and a madde woman kembyd hys here and wysche a way the blode of hys face’. Jasper’s father was buried in Hereford’s Greyfriars church.

This extract from a contemporary verse gives an idea of the hopes the Welsh people had in the Tudors, who they believed had the Welsh interest at heart. Those Welsh hopes and faith now focused on Jasper and his nephew Henry Tudor.

Hope remains for our people
and life has become hopeful.
Having heard that Owen Tudor was killed
by arms, it caused death,
I look to Jasper and Harry,
his son and grandson.
Between me and Monmouth I don’t desire,
if this is my task, to say more [than this]:
may God from now on keep thes

Not only was Owen forced to leave behind his son Jasper and grandson Henry, he had also fathered another son from an unknown woman about two years earlier in 1459. This now fatherless toddler, half-brother to Jasper, was named David Owen. Born in Pembroke, probably in Pembroke Castle, David was very likely taken under Jasper’s wing after their father’s execution. With this in mind, it is also likely that Jasper’s nephew Henry Tudor and his young half-brother David spent their early years in each other’s company while living at Pembroke Castle until the autumn of 1461.

Jasper had to live with the fact that he himself had managed to withdraw from the battlefield but had not been able to save his father’s life. Probably encouraged by the fact that Queen Margaret, with her army of Scots, Welsh and Northern men, had successfully defeated Warwick by 17 February 1461 at the second battle of St. Albans, Jasper wrote, on 25 February, a letter from his headquarters at Tenby to his servants and kinsmen at Denbigh, Roger Puleston and John Eyton. Jasper and Roger Puleston shared a great-grandfather, Tudur ap Goronwy (c. 1300–67) (also called ap Grono), and were third cousins. Puleston had been a loyal servant to the Tudors for years; for instance, on 10 September 1456, Edmund had granted him £10 in recognition of good services. This was at the time when Edmund was controlling the rebellion in South Wales and Puleston seems to have aided him with weapons. Further, both John Eyton and Roger Puleston had helped Jasper in besieging Denbigh the year before. In this letter Jasper urged them to stay faithful and reminded them of the great dishonour March, Herbert and the Dwnn’s had done them. He expressed his trust in them and exhorted them to stay loyal to the Lancastrian cause. But most of all Jasper swore to avenge his father’s death:

To the right-trusty and well-beloved Roger à Puleston, and to John Eyton, and to either of them.
Right-trusty and well-beloved Cousins and frinds, we grete you well. And suppose that yee have well in yor remembrance the great dishonor and rebuke that we and yee now late have by traytors Marche, Harbert, and Dunns, with their affinityes, as well in letting us of our Journey to the Kinge, as in putting my father yor Kinsman to the death, and their trayterously demeaning, we purpose with the might of our Lord, and assistance of you and other our kinsmen & frinds, within short time to avenge. Trusting verily that yee will be well-willed and put your hands unto the same, and of your disposicon, with your good advice therein we pray you to ascertayne us in all hast possible, as our especiall trust is in you. Written at our towne of Tenbye the xxvth of ffeu’r.

In another letter, written in a similar context to Roger Puleston on 24 July, it appears that Denbigh Castle was still under the control of the Lancastrians:

To our Right trusty and well-beloved Roger Puleston, Esq., Keeper of the Castle of Denbigh
Right trusty and well-beloved – We greete you well, letting you witt that we have received yor letters by Hugh, and understand the matter comprised therein; and as touching the keeping of the Castle of Denbigh, we pray you that you will do your faithful dilligence for the safeguard of hit, as far as in you is, taking the revenue of the lordship there for the vittaling of the same, by the hands of Griffith Vychan, receyvor there – we have written unto him that he should make p’veyaunce therefore – and that yee will understand the goodwill and dispossicon of the people, and that countrey, towards my Lord Prynce [Edward, Prince of Wales, son of King Henry VI] and us, and to send us word as soone as you may, as our trust is in you. Written at my towne of Tenbye, the xxiiij of July.

From the summer of 1461 on, Jasper was about to begin a life of a constant adventurer, determined to survive and restore the Lancastrians to the throne as the most loyal supporter and champion of his half-brother King Henry VI and the house of Lancaster.

Book Details

Jasper Tudor, Godfather of the Tudor Dynasty is now available in colour and black & white editions on all the Amazon websites and Book Depository.
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Born in secrecy in 1431 as the son of the Welsh squire Owen Tudor and dowager Queen Katherine of Valois, Jasper Tudor was never supposed to live life at the political centre of England. But this all changed dramatically after the death of his mother, followed shortly by the arrest of his father, when he was no older than six. After spending most of their youth inside an abbey being raised by nuns and priests, Jasper and his older brother Edmund were suddenly called to court by their half-brother King Henry VI. Here, in 1452, they became the first ever Welshmen elevated to the English peerage. When this happened both brothers stepped into a completely new life of political involvement with its many attendant problems, problems that Edmund did not survive. After this, Jasper led a life that was completely dominated by his devotion to the Lancastrian cause and to his nephew, the only son of his death brother Edmund, Henry Tudor. In a time when most magnates defected to the other party as soon as their own faction became submerged, Jasper remained loyal to his kinsman’s cause and supported him wherever it took him, whether scaling triumphant peaks or – more often – through deep valleys. His hopes and faith in what was right led him through several kingdoms and, as a brave and fearless man, he led the life of an adventurer throughout that most difficult period of English history, the Wars of the Roses. Historians often claim that Jasper’s father Owen or his brother Edmund was the founder of the Tudor dynasty; certainly both men played a significant role in its origins and without them the Tudors would not have been. But Jasper’s story proves he was the key figure and godfather of the Tudor dynasty.

Debra BayaniDebra Bayani is a researcher and writer, living in the Netherlands with her husband and children. She previously studied Fashion History and History of Art. She has been interested in history as far as she can remember with real passion for the Middle Ages and the Wars of the Roses, and has spend many years researching this period. Currently she is working on a visitor’s guide to places connected to the Wars of the Roses. Debra’s debut non-fiction book, the first biography on the subject, ‘Jasper Tudor, Godfather of the Tudor Dynasty’, was published in 2014.

Her website can be found at: and she is the admin of the coordinating Facebook page The Wars of the Roses Catalogue and her author page on Facebook.


Debra is kindly offering one copy of her book to a lucky Anne Boleyn Files follower. All you have to do is comment below before midnight (GMT) on Sunday 7 September saying why you’d like to win a copy. One commenter will be picked at random to win the book. The giveaway is open to everyone internationally.

Here is the schedule of Debra’s book tour:

Monday 1 September: The Henry Tudor Society
Tuesday 2 September: On The Tudor Trail
Wednesday 3 September: Here!
Thursday 4 September: History Refreshed by Susan Higginbotham
Friday 5 September: The Wars of the Roses Catalogue

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63 thoughts on “Guest Article and Giveaway on Jasper Tudor by Debra Bayani”
  1. At last something definitive to get my teeth into about Jasper.
    Have waited a long time for this. Yay!

  2. Though I have my doubts that I would not win, I always enter competitions because what if and especially this one… what if.
    The reason why I would love to win this book is because I am a poor student and I can´t afford to spare a penny and also which is the main reason, I have been interested in the Wars of the Roses for over a year (which is no surprise becuase otherwise I would not be here).
    But as a roleplayer of Jasper Tudor (and Warwick) I have given some time to study their characters and their history to portray and write them as authentically as possible (in the terms of pure entertainement of course, roleplay and writing fanfictions is in no way to be considered a legitimate writing ). Anyway, yes. those are my reasons why I should win the copy, though I do not doubt there are others who also deserve the book more.

  3. Best Uncle Award of the Century! i really like Jasper Tudor and the unique bond between him and his dear nephew. A real paternal figure, and a real man of honor, loyal to his family. Finaly, a good book about him and i would loooooove to win a copy of it, because, let’s be honest: i am french and i am certain that this book will never be published in France. You don’t know my pain to be a lover of British historu in France 🙂

  4. I am sorry I did not mean to write “I would not win” 😀 , not was not meant to be here. i am not a native speaker. I am sorry. I will read my things more properly. so sorry. 😀

  5. I have been passionate about the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors ever since studying them at school but know so little about jasper Tudor compared to all the other Yorkists, Lancastrians and Tudors, so this book excites me a great deal. I’m about to go into hospital for an op so this book would make a lovely recovery companion!

  6. would love to read this book I was hooked on the movie and book the white queen,i need to know more about jasper tudor,

  7. Having read many books, both fictional and non-fictional on the War of the Roses (The Cousins War); I have always found Jasper Tudor to be a most formidable character. It only seems right that a book of this magnitude should be written on him. I have already pre-ordered my copy and look forward to it’s arrival.

  8. I would love to win this book so I could learn more about Jasper Tudor. Most of the attention about the early Tudors goes to either Owen Tudor, husband of Queen Katherine of Valois, or Edmund Tudor, father of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII).

  9. I’ve devoured many books on this historical period and find it truly fascinating. And Jasper’s personality and his impact on the events of the era seems quite extraordinary, so I’ve thought many times it’s worth knowing more about him. So, I’d be thrilled get a copy of this book and learn more about him!

  10. I have been obsessed with all of the Tudors since I was seven. However, most of my knowledge begins with Henry VII. Therefore, I would absolutely love this book on Jasper as I know only a little about him and his history intrigues me greatly.

  11. I would love to win a copy of this book as I am currently researching for a book of my own regarding unsolved mysteries from the York/ Tudor period, and am always interested in adding to my collection of source materials towards that goal.
    Full references will of course be given for any material I use.

  12. I NEED THIS BOOK! it would sit so well in my collection! if i dont win, i think i will buy it anyway or ask for it for my birthday later this month!
    We never hear about all the other people in royal lives at court…. its so nice to see a book that isnt focused on a king, queen or consort!

  13. Should be a fascinating read. Amazing it has taken so long for someone to write about the man who would have shaped the young Henry VII in his formative years.

  14. It would be a privilege to own and read this book. I’m fascinated with this time in history. It really would be a gift.

  15. I’d love to own and read this book. Only heard a little about Jasper Tudor, he is overshadowed by the likes of Margaret Beaufort etc. Should be a really good and insightful read.

  16. This looks like a fascinating book, just this extract alone makes me want to find out more. It is high time that someone wrote a serious evaluation of Jasper’s life and role in the events of his age, as his position has been long overlooked. Well done to Debra for her hard work and extensive research.

  17. I adored reading this, such interesting details of the time and intricate information of insight in the Tudor’s.

  18. This looks like an amazing book. I have always wanted to know more about Jasper Tudor. He was a very interesting man.

  19. Jasper is my favorite Tudor and I want to know more about him. All the books I’ve read on him are about his nephew or his sister in law, Margaret Beaufort. And I think he should be given credit for what he did.
    Henry would have never survived his ordeal if it wasn’t for Jasper, he sacrificed everything, his lands, money for him. How amazing is that! I can’t wait to read this book! I hope I win.

  20. Congratulations on what looks to be a fascinating read and a valuable contribution to the WofR and Tudor fields. I would love to win this!

  21. I’ve done a ton of research and reading about the reign of Elizabeth the 1st, but had never read anything about The War of the Roses. Then last year I watched The White Queen, which began a frenzy of reading and research. Since it seems like I’m learning back through the monarchies, I can’t wait to read this. I’m anxious to learn more about the relationship between Jasper and Margaret Beaufort.

  22. The story of Owen Tudor and Catherine has always been overlooked, as have their children. Henry Tudor would have been nothing without his uncle Jasper. I can’t wait to read this one!

  23. It is said that Jasper and Margaret Beaufort were in love – and I would be interested to read more on their relationship, and dedication to his nephew and Margaret’s son Henry.

  24. May I first introduce myself: My name is Elisa and I’m a student from Germany. I spend more time in school than I do at home but sometimes I have some freetime left and then I do what many young people don’t do anymore – I read. Currently there are so many books I want to read that I need 245€ to buy them all. So that’s why I would love to win a copy of the book. I really enjoy learning new things about history and I don’t know much about Jasper Tudor and that really annoys me, you know. I need some new books because I want to learn new things. But you won’t find a book like this at a german bookstore. When I’m in England the first thing I do is going to a bookstore and buy like 8 new books because in Germany it’s so very hard to find a good book about English history. Nah, it’s impossible. And this book about Jasper Tudor must be so intresting!

  25. So glad this is out now. Finally a book on someone I feel has been overlooked in most other books on the period.

  26. My name is courtnie and the Tudors came into my life when I went with my grandfather to his first Chemo appointment. Because of radiation, I wasn’t allowed to go in so I sat in the waiting room and on this table was a lot of books and a sign saying you could take one. I was going through them, reading the backs when I came across the other Boleyn Girl, the shiny cover called to me because of the picture. i fell in love and that was 10 years ago, today I read constantly about the Tudors and have decided to write about them.
    I could never afford all the tudor books and this book would be really nice to own to teach me things I didn’t know about before and share with the people who can’t afford to buy a book. The Tudors are really important to me, and with hospital bills flying into my mailbox demanding money I could never afford this book for a couple years. It would mean so much to be If I could win this book by some chance.
    The Tudors aren’t just something I love to read about, but that when I read about them, I know my grandfather is with me in spirit. He brought them to my life and I wish I could thank him for it.
    Thank you for conisdering me, and I know there are a lot of other good people who want to win this copy of this book. i ask and thank you for considering me, no matter which way it goes. God Bless Tudor Lovers everywhere and may God always keep the Tudors and my Grandfather in their heart. God Bless Claire, for bringing many different things to my attention, Debra for writing the book and all the readers from both the book, the Anne Boleyn Files, and The Tudor Lady <3

  27. I would love to win the book. I’ve been eagerly awaiting Debra’s book for a couple of years! Jasper is such a fascinating figure from history, and obviously had a huge influence on his nephew Henry’s life, and yet the focus is so rarely turned on him – he’s always the secondary character in someone else’s biography. And yet he was a crucial driver behind the rise of the Tudor dynasty. Without the actions undertaken by Jasper, the Tudor dynasty may very well never have come to the throne of England. I would love to find out what Debra has uncovered in her research of Jasper, and the chance to learn more about him. I’ve eagerly gobbled up all things Tudor since I sat down with my first book about them at the tender age of five years old, and it’s been a love affair ever since. The era, the culture, the characters of the family itself, they grabbed hold of me with a passion that has never let go. Winning this book would make my day – well, more than just a day!

  28. I would love to win this book because I am starting a Tudor book collection and this would be a welcome addition. I am always looking forward to learning new things.

  29. I would love to win a copy of the book. The Tudors fascinate me, and as I do genealogy, they are relations. I love to find a relative and then research them.

  30. I’ve been very interested in learning more about the English nobility and royalty during the War of the Roses, the Houses of Lancaster and York, and how the Tudors became a part of this history.

  31. I would LOVE to read this book! I have been fascinated with the story of Owen Tudor and Katherine de Valois ever since I read “Crown in Candlelight” years ago, but so far there has been little in the way of non-fiction books on them or their children. It sounds as if this book certainly fills the bill.

  32. Jasper Tudor was the key to the survival and success of Henry Tudor. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to read about this overshadowed Tudor. Few books are devoted solely to his life and achievements.

  33. i would love to win this i too am so interested in all the tudurs and ann bolyn .im not a reader but sense yall started making these book i am into reading again.sometimes i feel i have live there lifes.keeping fingers crossed.

  34. Read the story of Katherine of Valois and Owen Tudor many years ago. Have always been interested in the the early Tudor history. A book about Jasper would be a welcome addition to my history bookcase.

  35. Although the place I live in makes it impossible for me to win this book, I loved reading this article and it’s always great to learn more about any Tudor character.

  36. What I know of Jasper you could write on the back of a ‘penny black’, so to read this book would be an education for me. Crossing my fingers!

  37. Thank you for the chance you give us to win this book. I sometimes find it hard to get books from my library on the Tudors. I know almost nothing about Jasper Tudor, he is most of the times forgotten.
    This book would be a great new source to give my classes. I´m a High school teacher.

  38. Hi!, I´m from Argentina and I would love to win a copy of this book. Nowadays it is really difficult to find this kind of good books to read here. I´m a Pharmacist. but since I was a child my Mother encourage me to read, She is a History teacher, and we both love the Tudor period. Thanks for giving us the chance!

  39. Great article, I always find myself reading anything I can get my hands on when it comes to the Tudors. The intrigue and the passion that if you take the time to read about can teach us so much about history and the lives and loves of all the individuals. Great job Debra, I would love to read your book!

  40. Very fascinating, would enjoy reading more. Love the blog, always learning new things and looking forward to the next interesting post

  41. I’m so glad I stumbled across your site. It’s been intriguing reading more deeply into the Tudor reign. I’ve been deeply interested for years, and have a nightstand full of books to confirm it! Thanks for sharing with us.

  42. Extremely interesting piece. Wonderful to read a more in depth take on something which is usually given a few lines. Definatly learn something new! Thats why i love your blog!! 😉

  43. The Tudors are a fascinating combination of the best and the worst of all of their ancestors: Plantagenets; Yorks and Lancasters! What a dynasty!

  44. What little girl doesn’t dream of being or becoming a princess or queen? I enjoy reading about England and the royals because its much like fairy tales: a break from common everyday life.

  45. I would like to win this book, because I know the War of Roses from the Yorkist POV, so I would like to learn also the Lancaster and Tudor POV.

  46. While looking across the fields that stand on the cross roads where Mortimer Cross was fought a couple of months ago I very much had in mind the main players in that momentous battle. A Medieval whose who led the armies that day, with the young Earl of March, the son of York, Edward IV wanting revenge for his father and brothers death at Wakefield, Lord Audley, and Jasper Tudor and Owen Tudor. The sons of Richard of York saw a perfect palihelian…the sun formed the appearance of three suns, with a fourth at the axis forming a cross. They believed this represented the surviving sons Edward, George and Richard, so they would win. What they would have thought if they had lost is anyone’s guess. I began to think about how Jasper was caught between two armies, a press that meant he could not manoeuvre properly, despite being well set up and a proven commander. There was nothing more he could have done. Jasper was defeated but he was lucky, escaping the field with the surviving royal army. His father was not so lucky as the article reminds us he was taken to Hereford and beheaded.

    The love story between Katherine de Valois and Owen Tudor is one that is romantic and well known but cannot be recounted here. However Owens declared that love at the scaffold recalling happier times.

    Jasper Tudor is one of the most important people in the life of Henry Tudor, the future Henry Vll, and from the Wars of the Roses, and yet until now he has been seriously neglected by historians. He raised Henry Tudor and trained him, took his mother and the infant Henry into his household and protection after his brother Edmund died, and the two shared exile for 14 years until Henry’s lucky victory at Bosworth. Jasper Tudor was prominent in the infant Tudor Dynasty, only marrying after Henry became King, his bride the widowed Duchess of Buckingham. Jasper protected and stayed in close contact with Margaret Beaufort, Henry’s mother, promoting their cause faithfully. There is also much evidence that Jasper was important in the control of South Wales. It is excellent that he is now being paid attention to by historians. The first biography of Jasper Tudor is more than welcome. It is also good that another biography has come out at the same time. But why have the Tudor Dynasty Makers been ignored before?

    One special beauty about this portrait is in its personal approach, bringing us the real man, and because the book includes rare beautiful Welsh poetry in the tradition of the bards that celebrate Jasper and the family fortunes and heroic ups and downs. I for one love poems and write my own. They are often ignored by historians as sources and that is a great shame. They can give voice to the ordinary and clues lost by official accounts. For me this book brings Jasper Tudor and the hidden journey of a young Welshman to meet with destiny back to life.

  47. I’d like to win this book to learn more about a historical figure that started a dynasty, but whose life is largely unknown!! Thank you for the giveaway!

  48. I would love to win one. I never win anything and I need to add books to my tudor collection which is small.

  49. Don’t know a lot about Jasper, he sounds a very interesting man. A ‘key’ player in the start of the Tudor dynasty, so to read this book would be an education.

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