Birth of Margaret of York, seventh child and fourth daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. There is conflicting evidence for her birthplace to be either Fotheringhay Castle or Waltham Abbey. Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire was the chief seat of the House of York. Waltham Abbey in Essex lies on the route between London and Fotheringhay Castle, where Cecily of York probably often stayed on her journey between London and Fotheringhay Castle. It is known that Richard, Duke of York, was very active in the area around Waltham in 1446. Another possibility is Hunsdon, only 14 km north of Waltham, which belonged to Richard and might have been used by him and his family as a base, while he was attending the court in London. Margaret maintained a special interest in Hunsdon.
Bibliography: Christine Weightman, Margaret of York: The Diabolical Duchess. Amberley Publishing, Chalford, 2009. ISBN 978 1 84868 099 9
Tags: Family, Margaret of Burgundy
Birth of Cecily Neville (mother of Edward IV and Richard III) at Raby Castle, Durham
Tags: Cecily Neville, Family
Nikolas von Popplau, a Silesian knight, meets King Richard III in York and gives us an eye-witness report of what Richard actually looked like:
“King Richard is … three fingers taller than I, but a bit slimmer and not as thickset as I am, and much more lightly built; he has quite slender arms and thighs, and also a great heart.”
We now have a better idea of Richard’s figure and how tall he was, so Nikolas’s statement gives us also an idea of what he looked like.
Tags: Richard III
Possible date for Edward IVs secret marriage Elizabeth Woodville (born 1437), daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, the widow of a Lancastrian. It was later claimed that he was at that time already – also secretly – married to Eleanor Talbot, who was still alive at this time. Therefore the marriage to Elizabeth Woodville would be bigamous.
Tags: Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville
Birth of Edward of York in Rouen, Normandy (later Edward IV). Second son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. He was the eldest of the four sons who survived to adulthood.
Tags: Edward IV, Family
Baptism of William Shakespeare at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on Avon. He was the third child of John Shakespeare and his wife Mary Arden. His exact birthday is not known, probably either 21, 22 or 23 April. In the 18th century the story became wide-spread that he was born on 23 April, but there is no contemporary evidence supporting this assumption.
William became later the famous playwright, who to a certain extent is responsible for the bad reputation Richard III “enjoys” to this day. We must never forget that he wrote a play for the theatre that had to be riveting enough to get ‘bums on seats’, his intention was not to write a historian’s essay. By all accounts, Richard III is not the only one who suffered this fate – Macbeth was apparently also a perfectly good man.
More information: Peter Holland, ‘Shakespeare, William (1564–1616)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011.
Battle of Hedgeley Moor, Northumberland. The Yorkist forces were led by John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu (brother of Richard Neville ‘The Kingmaker’), the Lancastrians by the Duke of Somerset, supported by Sir Ralph Percy, Lords Roos and Hungerford, and Sir Ralph Grey. The Lancastrian force soon gave way and fled, except for Sir Ralph Percy, who died in the battle.
Tags: Battles, Northumberland
Wedding of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou
Tags: Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou
Birth of Queen Isabella I of Castile, the mother of Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife.
Isabella married on 19 October 1469 Ferdinand of Aragon. During Isabella’s reign the last Moorish kingdom in Spain, Granada, fell on 2 January 1492, ending centuries of peaceful religious co-existence between Muslims, Christians and Jews. In the same year, on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America.
Isabella died on 26 November 1504.