As those of you who have read Philippa Gregory’s new novel know, Margaret Beaufort’s second husband, Henry Stafford, is a prominent character there. (He also has a speaking part in my own novel The Stolen Crown, as he is the uncle to its hero, Harry, Duke of Buckingham.) Here is an abstract of his will, found in Testamenta Vetusta, available on Google Books. A transcript of the complete will can be found in The Logge Register of PCC Wills, 1479 to 1486, edited by Lesley Boatwright, Moira Habberjam, and Peter Hammond. Note that “my son-in-law the Earl of Richmond” was Stafford’s stepson, the future Henry VII. In the complete version of the will, Henry Stafford refers to Margaret as his “beloved wife” no fewer than four times.
Henry Stafford died on October 4, 1471, two days after writing his will. He had made an earlier will before the Battle of Barnet, as Michael Jones and Malcolm Underwood note, specifying “my body to be buried wher it shall best ples god that I dye.” Stafford survived the battle with wounds and lived to write a new will, but his wounds likely led to his death a few months after Barnet.
Harry Stafford, Knight, son to the noble Prince Humphrey, late Duke of Bucks, October 2d, 1471. My body to be buried in the College of Plecye. To buy xii marks worth of livelode by year, to be amortized for the finding of an honest and fitting priest to sing for my soul in the said college for evermore Clxl. ; to my son-in-law the Earl of Richmond, a trappur, four new horse harness of velvet; to my brother John Earl of Wiltshire, my bay courser; to Reynold Bray, my Receiver General, my grizzled horse; I bequeath the rest of my goods to my beloved wife Margaret Countess of Richmond, whom I likewise constitute my executrix. Proved May 4th, 1482.
And now for a word from your blogger. As I mentioned a while back, my novel in progress deals with the Tudors, although I’m not at liberty to disclose the exact subject yet. As I become more wrapped up in my research for that novel, I’ll be blogging more about sixteenth-century topics than medieval topics, but I hope all of you will stay around for the ride! Don’t be scared off by the “T” word: there’s a whole array of fascinating people here besides Henry VIII and his wives, and I’ll be telling some of their stories in months to come.