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The Children of Elizabeth Woodville

 


 

Elizabeth Woodville had twelve children, two with her first husband and ten with her second husband. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children by Sir John Grey

 

Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset. Thomas Grey was born around 1451 to 1455; the latter date is more probable, as it appears from a document regarding her jointure arrangements that Elizabeth Woodville married her first husband around January 1455. Thomas married Anne Holland, Edward IV's niece, in October 1466, but she was dead by 1474. By 6 June 1474, Thomas had taken a second wife, Cicely  Bonville, with whom he had seven sons and eight daughters. Thomas died on 30 August 1501 in London and was buried at the college of Astley. He was likely the only son of Elizabeth Woodville to die a natural death. Thomas left a will, abstracted in Testamenta Vetusta.

 

Sir Richard Grey. Richard's birth year is unknown, but as his father was killed at the second battle of St. Albans in February 1461, he could have not been born later than the end of 1461. He never married and was executed on the orders of the soon-to-be Richard III on 25 June 1483. Richard was buried at Pontefract, the site of his execution.

 

 

Children by Edward IV

 

Elizabeth, Queen Consort to Henry VII. Elizabeth was born at Westminster Palace on 11 February 1466. Her godparents at the font were her grandmothers, Cecily, Duchess of York, and Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Anne Stafford, Duchess of Buckingham, was her godmother at her confirmation. Elizabeth married Henry VII on 18 January 1486; four of the couple's children, Arthur, Margaret, Henry, and Mary, reached adulthood. On 11 February 1503, which, sadly, was her birthday, Elizabeth died of complications from childbirth. She was buried at Westminster Abbey; Henry VII, who greatly mourned her loss, spent 2800 on her funeral.

 

Mary. Mary was born at Windsor, shortly before her baptism there on 12 August 1467. She died on 20 or 23 May 1482 at Greenwich and was buried at Windsor on 27-28 May 1482. In 1481, she  had been proposed as a bride for Frederick I of Denmark.

 

Cecily. The third daughter of the king and queen was born at Westminster on 20 March 1469. Pursuant to his promise to arrange suitable marriages for his bastardized nieces, Richard III arranged Cecily's marriage to Thomas, Lord Scrope, but the marriage was dissolved in 1486 after Henry VII came to power. Cecily instead was married by 1 January 1488 to Henry's uncle, John Welles, Viscount Welles, who was Margaret Beaufort's half-brother. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth and Anne. In 1502, following Welles' death on 9 February 1499, Cecily married Thomas Kyme of Friskney without license. She had to enlist the help of the king's mother, to whom she was close, when Henry VII seized her lands in retaliation for her marriage. Cecily died at Hatfield on  24 August 1507 and was buried at "the friar's house," the identity of which is unrecorded.

 

Edward. The future Edward V was born in Westminster sanctuary on 2 November 1470. He became king upon his father's death on 9 April 1483, but he was never crowned, and his uncle Richard III took the throne on 26 June 1483 on the pretext that Edward and his siblings were illegitimate. Edward and his younger brother disappeared in 1483, and their fate remains a mystery.

 

Margaret. This short-lived child was born at Windsor on 10 April 1472 and died on 11 December 1472. The infant was buried at Westminster by St. Edward's shrine.

 

Richard. The Duke of York was born at Shrewsbury on 17 August 1473. Like his brother Edward, he disappeared in 1483. Richard was married on 15 January 1478 to Anne Mowbray, a year his senior. Young Anne died on 19 November 1481 and was buried at Westminster Abbey; Henry VII later moved her remains to the convent of the minoresses of St. Clair, where it was excavated in 1964. Anne was reburied in the Henry VII chapel of Westminster Abbey in 1965.

 

Anne. Born in 1475, Anne shared her birthday, 2 November, with her older brother Edward. Anne married Thomas Howard on 4 February 1495 at Westminster Abbey; he later became the third Duke of Norfolk. None of the couple's four children survived childhood. Anne died in 1511 or 1512.

 

George. The little-known third son of Edward and Elizabeth was likely born in 1477;. George was possibly named for his uncle George, Duke of Clarence before the latter's arrest in June 1477; alternatively, he might have been named for the saint.  George, who was named Lieutenant of Ireland on 6 July 1478, died in March 1479, possibly at Sheen and possibly of the plague. He was buried at Windsor on 22 March 1479.

 

Katherine. This child was probably born in early 1479 at Eltham. In 1495, she married William Courtenay, the Earl of Devon's heir, who was imprisoned for treason in 1502 but was released early in Henry VIII's reign. Courtenay was made Earl of Devon in May 1511, but died the next month of pleurisy. Katherine and William had two children, Henry, who succeeded his father as earl, and Margaret. Katherine took a vow of chastity and died on 15 November 1527. She was buried at Tiverton Castle.

 

Bridget. The last of Elizabeth's and Edward's children was born on 10 November 1480 at Eltham, where she was christened the next day. Her godmothers were her older sister Elizabeth and her grandmother, Cecily, Duchess of York; her godfather was William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester. Unusually, but not without precedent, Bridget became a nun at Dartford Priory. (Edward I's daughter Mary had also been a nun.) Bridget died in 1517 and was buried at Dartford.

 

 

 

 

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