Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, Herefordshire – Edward on the way to the throne
The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross was fought on 2 February 1461 in Herefordshire, It was an important battle in the Wars of the Roses.
In the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross the Yorkists were led by 18-year-old Edward, Earl of March (later Edward IV). They intercepted a Lancastrian forces led by Owen Tudor and his son Jasper into England. The Lancastrians outnumbered the Yorkists considerably and were better mounted and armed. The Yorkists were encouraged by a parhelion, a meteorological phenomenon in which three suns appear. This is the origin of Edward’s badge ‘The Sun in Splendour’.
Unfortunately the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross is not very well documented. The fighting must have been ferocious in adverse weather conditions in the middle of winter.
After the battle Owen Tudor was captured and executed in Hereford, along with other prisoners of rank.
To find out more:
Mortimer’s Cross, Richard III Foundation.
Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, Battlefields Resource Centre.
Jennifer Young, ‘The Mortimer’s Cross Parhelion: How a Meteorological Phenomenon Changed English History’, Decoded Science (2 October 2011). URL: http://www.decodedscience.com/the-mortimers-cross-parhelion-how-a-meteorological-phenomenon-changed-english-history/3437 [accessed 26 January 2015]
Tags: Edward IV, Wars of the Roses, Yorkists
Henry VII (portrait at National Portrait Gallery, London)
Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
On 18 January 1486, Henry VII (Tudor) married Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. It seems Henry needed to be urged by Parliament to make good his promise to marry Elizabeth, before actually doing so. Plans for Elizabeth’s coronation were only made in September 1487 and she was finally crowned on 25 November 1487, more than a year after giving birth to their first son, Arthur.
Elizabeth died on 11 February 1503 at Richmond Palace. Henry died six years later, on 21 April 1509, also at Richmond Palace. They are buried next to each other in Westminster Abbey.
Reference: Rosemary Horrox, ‘Elizabeth (1466–1503)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. (online accessed: 27 January 2011)
Tags: Edward IV, Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Woodville, Henry Tudor
Marriage of Richard of Shrewsbury and Anne Mowbray, by James Northcote
Marriage of Richard of Shrewsbury and Anne Mowbray
On 15 January 1478, Edward IV’s younger son Richard of Shrewsbury was married to Anne Mowbray, the only child of John de Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk (died 17 January 1476) and Elizabeth Talbot (sister of Eleanor Talbot). The wedding took place in St. Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster. The bride was 5 years old, the groom 4. She died on 19 November 1481. Her heirs would normally have been her cousins William, Viscount Berkeley, and John, Lord Howard, but by an act of Parliament in January 1483 the rights were given to her husband Richard, with reversion to his descendants, and, failing that, to the descendants of his father Edward IV.
Tags: Edward IV, John Howard, Princes
Death of Anne of York, the seventh child and fifth daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. She shares her death date with her aunt Margaret, duchess of Burgundy, and – if Perkin Warbeck was indeed Richard of York – her brother.
Anne was born on 2 November 1475. At not quite four years of age, she was betrothed to Philip (“the Handsome”), the son of Mary of Burgundy (her aunt’s step-daughter) and Maximilian of Austria. However, the plan was abandoned in 1482. Richard III undertook to find a suitable marriage for her (and her sisters) and after Richard’s death she took part in ceremonies at Henry VII court, whose queen was her sister Elizabeth.
On 4 February 1495 she married Thomas Howard, who would eventually become the third duke of Norfolk. He was the grandson of John Howard, an important supporter of Richard III. John fell at the battle of Bosworth, fighting for Richard. His son, Thomas (the father of Anne’s Thomas), had also fought for Richard, had been attainted, but managed to be restored to his title. His son’s marriage to a sister-in-law of Henry Tudor was obviously a great achievement in his family’s rehabilitation. Anne and Thomas had no children.
Reference: ODNB on ‘Howard, Thomas, third duke of Norfolk (1473–1554)’
The above picture shows the daughters of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville in a window in Canterbury Cathedral. Anne is the third from left. (picture obtained through Wikimedia Commons)
Tags: Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, John Howard
Death of Katherine of York at Tiverton Castle, Devon. Katherine was the 9th child and 6th daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, born in 1479, probably at Eltham Palace. She was married in 1495 to Sir William Courtenay.
Though a staunch supporter of Henry VII, William was suspected of being involved in the conspiracy of the Yorkist claimant Edmund de la Pole. He was attainted and spent the rest of Henry VII’s reign in prison. He was released after the accession of Henry VIII in 1509 and was created earl of Devon on 10 May 1511. However, he had not long to enjoy his new status and died a month later on 9 June 1511.
The couple had three children, including Henry Courtenay who was executed by orders of Henry VIII in 1539
After her husband’s death, Katherine took a vow of chastity and enjoyed a life of luxury and hunting, but also religious devotion. On surviving documents she called herself ‘the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings’.
She was buried at St Peter’s Church, Tiverton.
Source: ODNB on ‘Katherine, countess of Devon (1479–1527)’ by Margaret R. Westcott.
(Picture of Katherine of York obtained through Wikimedia Commons)
Tags: Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, Henry Tudor, Henry VIII
Birth of Bridget of York, tenth child and seventh daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, at Eltham Palace, London. She became a nun at Dartford Priory. Died in 1517.
Tags: Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, Family
Richard is made justiciar of north Wales for life by his brother, Edward IV
Tags: Edward IV, Richard III
Richard, Duke of York (stained glass at St Laurence, Ludlow, © Worcestershire Branch, Richard III Society)
Act of Accord
After unsuccessfully claiming his right to the crown in parliament on 10 October 1460, Richard, duke of York, had to accept the Act of Accord on 25 October 1460, which stipulated that he would be the heir to the throne after King Henry VI’s death, instead of the king’s son, Edward of Lancaster.
His claim was that while on his father’s side he was descended from Edward III’s fourth son, on his mother’s side he was descended from Edward III’s son. The Lancastrian Kings including Henry VI, however, were descendents of the third son of Edward III.
While the Duke of York’s claim ultimately failed, it was the basis for his son Edward IV to succeed to the crown.
More on the Act of Accord here.
Tags: Edward IV, Henry VI, Parliament, Richard Duke of York
Ludford Bridge (© Mr M Evison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)
Battle of Ludford Bridge/Ludlow, Shropshire, won by the Lancastrians.
Warwick’s re-inforcements from the garrison of Calais under Andrew Trollope defected to the Lancastrians. The Yorkist leaders fled, York and Rutland to Ireland, and Edward, Earl of March (York’s eldest son), Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and his son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to Calais. After the battle Cecily, Duchess of York, and her three youngest children George, Margaret and Richard, were taken prisoner by the Lancastrians and placed into the care of Cecily’s older sister Anne, Duchess of Buckingham.
A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.
Tags: Battles, Edward IV, Family, Henry VI, Richard III
Truce of Hesdin between Edward IV of England and Louis XI of France. In it, Louis renounced all aid to the Lancastrians.
Diana E. S. Dunn, ‘Margaret (1430–1482)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. [accessed online 20 Jan. 2011]
Tags: Edward IV, France, Margaret of Anjou