Our sister site The Tudor Society has just published the February edition of Tudor Life magazine, a Tudor history-focused magazine and the theme is royal mothers-in-law. It’s a 76-page edition and articles include:

  • FEATURE: Hever Castle, home of Elizabeth Boleyn
  • The Mothers-in-law of Tudor Monarchs by Gareth Russell
  • Margaret Beaufort Quiz by Catherine Brooks
  • Elizabeth Woodville: Conspiracy, Celebration, and contemplation by Lauren Browne
  • Margaret Beaufort: The mother-in-law from hell? by Claire Ridgway
  • February’s guest speaker is Natalie Grueninger
  • Royal Mothers-in-law during the Wars of the Roses by Conor Byrne
  • 16th Century Mothers-in-law: How much do you know? by Roland Hui
  • How to dress the mothers of a dynasty by Emma Elizabeth Taylor
  • The Mothers of the Tudor Dynasty by Debra Bayani
  • All about Owen Tudor by Susan Abernethy
  • The Looks and personality of Henry, Lord Darnley by Robert Stedall
  • Charlie on books: Review of “The Raven’s Widow” and “Houses of Power”
  • Witchcraft by Toni Mount
  • From the Spicery: On the Royal Progress by Rioghnach O’Geraghty
  • Tudor Society members’ Bulletin by Tim Ridgway
  • February’s on this day in Tudor history by Claire Ridgway

Lots of Tudor history to get stuck into!

You can read a sample at https://www.tudorsociety.com/february-2018-tudor-life-taster/ and also find out more about becoming a member – there are lots of different membership options.

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4 thoughts on “Tudor mothers-in-law – Tudor Life Magazine”
  1. I am currently reading ‘Yung and Damned and Fair’. I’ve only read 140 pages and I’ve already learned more about Catherine Howard than I ever knew. I recommend entering this in winning a copy. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. Margaret Beaufort is often shown as the mother in law from hell, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, Henry relied on her advice and guidance in the early years of his reign, but that doesn’t mean she dominated him or had a poor relationship with Elizabeth of York. No diubt, the young, slightly feisty Queen needed guidance and help as a young mother and Margaret introduced regulations regarding confinement during childbirth, designed to help mothers as she had a difficult labour when only thirteen but there is no evidence that Margaret interfered beyond being a concerned grandmother.

    The relationship between Elizabeth Wydeville and Margaret Beaufort was complicated. The two women were from opposite sides but had made a pact for Henry to marry Elizabeth in order to facilitate Henry’s rise to the crown. There is very little evidence one way or the other about their relationship once Henry was on the throne although there does seem to be a rift with her daughter for a short time. In 1487 Elizabeth Wydeville retired to Bermondsey Abbey under controversial circumstances, but lived here on £400 a year and in relative luxery. She was not forced to retire as some historians, including David Baldwin believed, but went in order to live a more religious retirement. Although she gave up her lands and estates this has been misinterpreted to mean she was deprived of them. However, she disposed of them to the care of her daughter as she no longer needed them in her new status. Elizabeth was not a prisoner and visited the court including the christening of her granddaughter, Princess Margaret and was with Elizabeth during various laying in and other events.

    Why is her retirement controversial? Elizabeth, according to some historians was suspected of supporting Lambert Simnel and John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, whose rising claimed to put him on the throne as either Edward, Earl of Warwick or Edward V, presumed dead. Her retirement was thus forced upon her to stop her from scheming. But why not just lock her up if this was so and she could still scheme from a religious house if she could receive visitors? Others have seen her as having too much influence over her daughter and Philippa Gregory took up this theme causing EW to cast spells to help with those plots until Elizabeth tells Henry to get rid of her mother or they will have no peace. This is also nonsense. Elizabeth of York was quite capable of making her own decisions and was growing closer to her husband as a wife and mother. Henry is also accused of being cruel in his sinister treatment of poor EW but there is also the possibility that EW wanted to retire. After all she had no role in the Tudor Court, she had no role as the mother of an heir or young King or as a Queen Mother as the role is a modern one. She was no longer a young woman and it is possible that her health was poor or she was simply tired after the ordeal of the last few years. After all her own plotting had sent her into Sanctuary during the Protectorate of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, after the death of her second husband, Edward iv. She wanted her son, Edward V crowned within days without the consent of the Council or the Lord Protector, but when she heard Richard was on his way, her son in tow, off she went, with all the silver, if you believe the conventional story and took her daughters and younger son with her into the Sanctuary at Westminster. This was actually the Bishops Palace and not an undercroft. Her brother and son from her first marriage were arrested and would later be executed as traitors in a perfectly legal move by Richard as High Constable of England because they were implicated, as was Elizabeth later on in a conspiracy against him. Not everyone accepted this and although most historians accept it, Susan Higginbotham does not. The evidence in the sources is ambitious.

    Elizabeth then went through the trauma of not knowing the fate of her two sons, after they were housed first in the Royal Palace of the Tower to prepare for the coronation of Edward V and then, after it was discovered that they were illegitimate, elsewhere in the complex. After Richard was offered the crown by the Three Estates of the Realm, he was crowned King Richard iii. Within a few weeks, even though they were still being seen by their doctor, rumours flew of their disappearance. By the end of the Summer those rumours turned to stories that her sons were dead, but nothing was ever proven and this is a mystery and bone of contention today. Elizabeth was in Sanctuary for another year and during this time plotted against Richard and formed an alliance with Margaret Beaufort. When things calmed down, for reasons which remain unclear, unless she really did know secretly her sons were alive, another theory put by David Baldwin, John Ashdown Hill and Matthew Lewis, Elizabeth struck a bargain with Richard iii, came out of Sanctuary and her daughters came to court. Elizabeth was given a generous income, but kept in comfortable house arrest, more or less. Now she had gone through a number of changes, seeing her daughter Elizabeth crowned and married to a stranger, become a grandmother, seen other daughters married or betrothed and been possibly implicated in another plot. Just why she would want to remove Henry when her eldest daughter was now Queen, however, seems bizarre. Her role as a mother and ex Queen had been fulfilled. Now surely it was simply time to retire in peace and grace and watch her daughter and son in law produce the next generation of Kings and Queens with pride.

  3. The most recent book that I have read about Margaret Beaufort is ‘The King’s Mother’ by Michael K. Jones and Malcolm G. Underwood. The impression I came away with is that she was a woman who was very intelligent quite affable and very kind to her daughter-in-law Elizabeth and loved life in general. Good descriptions of how she liked to have large Feasts with many people over because she just enjoyed all the company.

    1. The King’s Mother by Michael Jones is still the best book on Margaret Beaufort. She loved the finer things in life, the grand feasts of court and noble entertainment and hospitality. Yes, she was a woman who was affable and although, she was aware of the importance of her status and role, she was more than willing to share and encourage others in their place in Courtly life. Henry relied on her advice but Elizabeth most certainly had a good relationship with her.

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