Posts Tagged ‘Henry Tudor’


Marriage of Margaret Beaufort and Henry Stafford

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Marriage of Margaret Beaufort and Henry Stafford

Margaret Beaufort

Marriage of Margaret Beaufort and Henry Stafford

On 3 January 1462, Margaret Beaufort married Henry Stafford, son of Humphrey, duke of Buckingham.

She had been married as a child to John de la Pole, though the marriage was soon dissolved.

She married in 1455 Edmund Tudor, but he died on 1 November 1456 from the plague.  She gave birth to Edmund’s son Henry on 28 January 1457, who would later defeat King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth and take the crown as Henry VII.

Margaret had no further children.  However, her marriage to Henry Stafford seems to have been happy.  He died on 4 October 1471.

In June 1472 she married Thomas Stanley, surviving him for five years until her own death on 29 June 1509, just two months after her son had died.


Michael K. Jones and Malcolm G. Underwood, ‘Beaufort, Margaret , countess of Richmond and Derby (1443–1509)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [last accessed online 2 Jan 2020]

Michael Jones, ‘Lady Margaret Beaufort’, History Today, Volume 35, Issue 8 (August 1985).  URL:  [last accessed 2 Jan. 2020]

Dorothea Preis


Tags: , ,


Death of Catherine of Valois

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Death of Catherine of Valois

Marriage of Henry V and Catherine of Valois

Death of Catherine of Valois

On 3 January 1437, Catherine of Valois, mother of Henry VI, and grandmother of Henry Tudor, died in London.  She was buried at Westminster Abbey.

More information on Catherine of Valois here.



Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

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: , , ,


Battle of Bosworth lost again

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Battle of Bosworth lost again

It doesn’t happen often that supporters of Richard III and those of Henry Tudor share the same view, but the latest battle of Bosworth, where Richard III lost his live and throne to Henry Tudor, achieved just that.

In the early evening (local time – thus in the middle of the night for us in Australia) of 25 September, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s planning committee had to decide whether to approve a planning application for a driverless vehicle testing track, which would intrude into part of Bosworth Battlefield.

The application had first been on the agenda a month ago, on 28 August, nearly exactly 533 years after the decisive battle. An automotive company, Horiba Mira, plans to build a “track [that] would include a 150 metre radius circle attached to a 350 metre long approach road”[i].  Part of the plan are also a two-storey control tower and communications masts.  The company has a technology park on adjacent land at Higham on the Hill.  At that meeting the decision was deferred for four weeks by 12 to 2.

The problem is that a part of this facility would be within the registered battlefield site.  According to Horiba Mira the test track only affects only 0.5% of the battlefield.  This may not sound like much, but as Mike Ingram[ii] points out, this is somewhat misleading.

There is the issue of this setting a precedent.  If building on this battlefield is okay, it would follow that building on any other is equally okay.  The same argument was made by others, among them Richard Mackinder, who had been closely involved with the research at Bosworth Battlefield.  He said “is this the thin end of the wedge for Bosworth and other battlefields?”[iii]

The measure of 0.5% is misleading.  The complete battlefield also includes outlying areas such as Sutton Cheney and Ambion Hill.  These are important to the story of the battle, but not the actual area, where the fighting took place.  However, the part which will be covered by the test track is potentially of much more importance.  As Ingram points out: “the site of the development could yet prove to be a key part of the actual battlefield, but it might not only be taken from public access, the development would also destroy any hope of further research as well.”   Indeed. cannonballs, a silver gilt boar badge probably worn by one of Richard III’s supporters and a leather bag were found nearby.[iv]

It is very disconcerting that Historic England – rather than opposing the plan – supported it.  And this although its own guidelines say “registered battlefields are designated heritage assets of the highest significance. They, and their setting, should be protected and enhanced, and the granting of permission for developments causing substantial harm should be wholly exceptional.”[v]

Unsurprisingly, those supporting the construction of the test track argued that it would create jobs.  This always seems to be the argument when debating any issue in the political sphere, when other – less measurable – interests speak against it, may it be historical significance like in this case, or for instance environmental concerns.

At the second meeting, only one person was allowed to speak against the development.  That person was only given three minutes to make his/her case.  From among various applicants, Richard Smith was selected.  He is the Education Officer of the Richard III Society as well as the chairperson of the Leicestershire Branch.  He did not just represent the Society though, but also other interested parties, from the Loyal Supporters of Richard III to the Battlefield Trust and even the Henry Tudor Society.  This shows once again that when it comes to the preservation of Bosworth Battlefield the supporters of Richard III and Henry Tudor are united.

Richard Smith stressed that the site was extremely important historically. He also disagreed with Historic England’s assertion that ‘less than substantial’ harm will be caused.  He reminded councillors that they are custodians of a rare asset and asked: “What will future generations think of the decision you make tonight if you are the officials who facilitate the vandalism of the site?”[vi]  We would like to thank Richard for fighting for preserving this important site.

One of the councillors asked the obvious question whether MIRA couldn’t buy a couple of fields on the other side of the A5 and build the track there.  Another councillor stated that 450 years of history where more important than short-term economic gain.

A petition against the proposed test track has got at the time of writing this post got 15,564 signatures, also from members of our branch here in NSW.   In addition, more than 450 letters of objection had been sent to the council, again some of the by members of the NSW Branch.

Unfortunately, in the end it all did not help and the council voted with 12 votes to 5 for the test track.  Horiba Mira plans to start building in December.

On a more positive note, the original plan included a new access road off Fenn Lane.  According to the company its main entrance off the A5 did not have the capacity to accommodate the volume of big trucks.  However, Leicestershire County Council objected to this plan because of potential damage to Fenn Lane and safety issues.


[i] Martin, D., ‘What happened when councillors met to debate £26m MIRA track plan at Bosworth Battlefield’, Leicester Mercury (29 Aug. 2018).  URL: [last accessed 31 Aug. 2018]

[ii] Mike Ingram, ‘Bosworth planners quote misleading percentages & unenforceable promises says battlefield author’, The Pipeline (31 Aug. 2018).  URL: [last accessed 1 Sept. 2018]

[iii] Quoted in Martin, D., ‘Live: Councillors decide whether to permit £26m testing track on Richard III’s Bosworth Battlefield’, Leicester Mercury (25 Sept. 2018).  URL: [last accessed 26 Sept. 2018]

[iv] Neil Johnston, ‘My kingdom for a car? Bosworth track approved’, The Times (26 Sept. 2018).  URL: [last accessed 27 Sept. 2018]

[v] Quoted in Ingram

[vi] Quoted in Martin, ‘Live: Councillors decide whether to permit £26m testing track on Richard III’s Bosworth Battlefield’

Tags: , , ,


30 OCTOBER 1485

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Coronation of Henry Tudor as Henry VII



Richard III: The New Evidence – on Youtube

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Greyfriars Dig, News, Research

film_reel smWe reported earlier that Channel 4 would be screening a third documentary on Richard III. It was broadcast in the UK in the evening of 17 August 2014, at the end of the Bosworth Anniversary weekend, leaving us, who do not live in the UK, impatient to get a chance to watch the programme, too. A friend of mine discovered that it has been uploaded to Youtube, where it is available to all of us.

The programme is based on the new scientific research into Richard’s diet, but the main attraction is a young man, Dominic Smee. He is a perfect body double of Richard, slightly built and having the same curvature of the spine. He was taught to fight, on foot and on horseback, like a medieval warrior and had a full set of armour made especially for him. Not only did Dominic show that someone suffering from scoliosis can be an accomplished fighter, but he could also tell us about his own experience. It was interesting to hear that he found riding on a medieval saddle easier than on a modern one and that the armour gave his body support.

By bringing us these facts, it is easier to visualise a long dead king as the real living breathing person he once was. A fascinating programme. What better way to spend a rainy day?!

Tags: , , , ,



   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

Barbara Gaskell Denvil. No surprise there for New South Wales Branch members and visitors to our website. Barbara’s imaginative and beautifully written books, Satin Cinnabar and Sumerford’s Autumn, and her well-researched features are much appreciated.

Her latest achievement is winning a copy of a young person’s novel The Disappearing Rose, by Canadian writer Renee Duke who, keen to promote her latest work, organised a competition on Lynne Murray’s blog to find out who people thought were responsible for the disappearance of the two Princes. Good idea – until she was alarmed to discover that Richard was winning!

An emergency email for help arrived in Julia’s inbox and, naturally, Julia sent a plea to all New South Wales members and friends to show that loyalty binds them and to save Richard from this undesirable fate!

And so they did. Renee reports that 34% of the votes and comments were from Australia which in a world-wide competition is pretty terrific – and Barbara’s comment was the winner. The overall results were:

First: Margaret Beaufort

Second: Henry VII and Richard III (tie)

Third: Henry, Duke of Buckingham and Elizabeth of York (another tie)

Fourth: Sir Thomas More

Fifth: two write-ins:  No one (’cos they survived) and Henry VIII (he time-travelled)

Barbara’s winning comment was different again. She says,“I basically explained – very briefly – why I thought the princes actually survived.”

And that seems much more logical than the suggestion of the sainted More; his tender age when the princes disappeared makes it unlikely that he could have organised the event!

So, what of the book The Disappearing Rose? It is for young people, especially those who love time travel, history, mystery and adventure.

“No one knows what happened to the little Princes of the Tower. That’s what Dane, Paige, and Jack are told when they start working on a medieval documentary for Dane and Paige’s filmmaker father. But then an ancient medallion transports them back to the fifteenth century and gives them a chance to discover the truth about the mysterious disappearance of young King Edward the Fifth and his brother Richard, Duke of York. But they’d better be careful. The princes are definitely in danger, and the person responsible for their disappearance just might decide that their new friends should disappear as well.”

Sounds like good reading for tweens, teens and those over 21 too. The good news is it is the first in The Time Rose series. It is an e-book and more information can be found on

Renee Duke, the author, grew up in England and says she has been interested in the princes ever since she read about them in a text book of the Uncle-Richard-did-it variety that still prevails. She’s hoping that the time travel approach will lure high tech fantasy obsessed children of today into considering other possible culprits.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,



   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

I just received the advance notice of Simon & Schuster’s June releases.  Almost top of the list is:

Sumerford’s Autumn, by Barbara Gaskell.

Described as:  “Four sons, and four very different personalities, children of the Sumerford Castle and estates, and their father the earl watches their varied interests with misgiving.”

Barbara is a valued member of our branch and we are very happy that her enjoyable books will finally be available in print format, making them accessible to a much wider audience than her self-published ebooks.

You can find Dorothea’s review here.

(Please note, the above was the cover design of the ebook,  The cover of the print book has not been published yet.)

Tags: , , , ,



   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Greyfriars Dig, News

For all who cannot get to Leicester to do the Richard III Trail in person, here is a short video that follows the trail.  Even if you have walked around Leicester, it offers inside views of the castle and Wygston Hall, both of which are infrequently open to visitors.

Please note, the video was recorded after the find of the remains, but before they were confirmed to be Richard’s.

Tags: , , , ,


Bosworth at Peace

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Ricardian Places

During our recent European holiday, we visited the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.  And I have to agree with what they say on their website, it “is a unique day out for all the family”:  My husband, who does not share my interest in medieval history, also enjoyed the experience.

We left Hertford, where we had been staying for our first week, in the morning and travelled via Rugby, for a look at the school which gave its name to the game.  On the way we noticed – and were very impressed by – a Tesco storage facility, which is powered by its own wind turbine to lessen CO2  emissions.   I somehow doubt whether our Woolworths or Coles are as considerate of our environment.

If I have one whinge, it is about the sign posting to the Battlefield Centre.  For such an important attraction, the signage left a lot to be wished for.

We arrived around lunch time and therefore our first stop was the Tithe Barn Restaurant, where we had the pleasure having our sandwiches under the watchful eye of Richard in full armour.

Refreshed we went to have a look at the exhibition.  Though I might have liked some more in depth information, I would say that to visitors without too much previous knowledge it gave quite a good and relatively unbiased overview of the lead-up to the battle.   Some of the events were told by a variety of people involved with the battle, like a mercenaries wife or Lord Stanley (a very shady character!).  My personal favourite was the innkeeper’s daughter from Leicester.  We also did the more touristy things like trying on medieval armour (not particularly flattering!) and minting our own commemorative penny.  The BFI Gallery offered an interesting insight into the methods used by archaeologists.

The Sundial

And then – in warm sunshine (which is worth a special mention after this British summer!) – we walked the battlefield trail.  We admired the new sundial in the form of a medieval billhook, with Richard’s crown dangling from the end.  Near the sundial and white rose bushes are rather uncomfortable looking thrones for Richard and Henry Tudor as well as posts for other people who fought in the battle, like for instance John Howard, duke of Norfolk.   We also sat for a while on the bench donated by the Richard III Society in memory of Paul Murray Kendall.

The walk is well illustrated by informative plaques and exhibits.  While the actual battle site is not part of the trail – it is private property – it is possible to look out over it.  It was difficult to imagine that in this peaceful rural setting, with sheep grazing on lush green grass, such a bloody and decisive battle was fought, where King Richard III and so many others lost their lives.

On our way back to the gift shop, we spotted a lady of Hawkwise Falconry with one of their hawks on her hand, reminding us of the role these birds played in medieval times.

Maybe it reflects my personal bias, but to judge from what was on offer at the gift shop, I got the distinct impression that the battle of the gifts was a decisive win for Richard.  Ricardian themed souvenirs outnumbered those with a Tudor connection.  Needless to say that I was in shopping heaven!

St James, Sutton Cheney

We then went for some quiet reflection to the Church of St James at Sutton Cheney.  The church building dates mainly from the 13th and 14th century, though it may replace an earlier one.  According to local tradition, Richard heard mass here before the battle.  The Richard III Society holds each year on or near 22 August a commemorative service at this church.  During this service wreaths are laid at the memorial plaque, one of which is donated by the Australasian branches.  At the time of my visit (July), last year’s wreath had wilted and had been taken away, but the card which had been attached to it, was still in place.

Richard III Memorial in St James, Sutton Cheney

(The card from the Australasian and Canadian branches is on the shelf on the right hand side)

The connection to Richard at this church is very strong:  not only the memorial plaque, but there is a great number of needlepoint kneelers, which have been stitched by Society members.  Among the designs is the white boar; another shows the entry in the York Records, when they heard of Richard’s death; there is the York rose, but his faithful henchmen are not forgotten either (the cat, the rat and Lovell our dog).

After a day full of travel and lots of new impressions, the church was a quiet and comforting spot.  I hope that it felt the same for Richard, when he came here amid the bustle of the last minute preparations for his final battle.

Further Information:

Phil Stone, ‘Shine out fair sun – and tell us the time at Bosworth’, Ricardian Bulletin (September 2011), pp.10-11

Pewfinder, ‘Sutton Cheney Church – St James’, Leicestershire & Rutland Churches (19 October 2011).  URL:  Date accessed:  7 Aug. 2012

All photographs are by the present author.

Tags: , ,