The Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham Pay Homage to the Prince of Wales

Last night, when revising My Heart Split with Sorrow, I ran into the annoying scenario of having to rewrite a scene in order to account for one of my historical characters’ known whereabouts. Once I realized that I could do so without sacrificing a big chunk of necessary dialogue, I was a happy camper.

Anyway, here’s the record in British Library Additional Manuscripts 6113, folio 74de, as transcribed for me, that made me do my rewrite. It’s an account of a dinner hosted by Edward, Prince of Wales, on November 9, 1477, and the homage done to him afterward. Ironically, in light of what was to happen in 1483, the first man to pay his respects was Richard, Duke of Gloucester; the second was Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham.

1. M[emorandu]m that in the yere of our lorde / ml iiijc lxxvij /
2. on the ixth day of November / The Prince Feasced
3. the greate Parte of all the nobles Temporell /
4. beinge Presente at that generall counsell w[i]t[h]
5. all the Judgges and Barons of the Kinges eschequer
6. where after dynner / his Brother The Duke of
7. Yorke was Sette on the Beddes fote besyde the
8. clothe of Astate / And his uncle The Duke of
9. Gloucester on gorde / And on bothe his knees /
10. Pottynge his handes betwene the Princes handes
11. dyd hym homage for suche landes as he helde
12. of hym / And so kyssed hym / And that don The
13. Prince thanked his sayde uncle / that yt lyked hym
14. to do yt so humbly / And in lyke forme after
15. hym dyd the Duke of Buckingeh[a]m Also /
16. The Duke of Suffolke / The Marquis Dorsette
17. Therle Rivers / The lorde Lisle / Sir [blank] Bryan
18. chefe Judge of the comon Place / And the Officers
19. of Armes had the Rome made by gentlemen usshers
20. Clarencieux Kinge at Armes
21. Norrey Kinge at Armes
22. Chester Harrolde
23. Herforde Harrolde
24. Seales Poursev[a]unte beinge there presente

George, Duke of Clarence, of course, missed this dinner: he was a prisoner in the Tower and would be executed on February 18, 1478.

Incidentally, Paul Murray Kendall writes in Richard the Third that prior to 1483, Richard “had had small opportunity to know Buckingham well.” How well Buckingham and Gloucester actually knew each other is unknown, but opportunities certainly weren’t lacking: in addition to their being together on this occasion in 1477, the men also attended the young Duke of York’s wedding in January 1478, where they were given the job of leading the little bride into the wedding feast. In 1471, they were among the nobles who joined Edward IV’s triumphant entry into London following the Battle of Tewkesbury, and in 1474, Richard was one of the men who nominated Henry to the Order of the Garter, after which Richard and Harry seem to have attended at least one Garter feast together. They were each summoned to Edward IV’s last Parliament in 1483, where Henry was among the men appointed triers of petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

3 thoughts on “The Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham Pay Homage to the Prince of Wales”

  1. It’s very unlikely that they didn’t have opportunity to get to know each other well, although no one can say how well. Almost everyone at court would probably have been acquainted because it wasn’t THAT big. I just read a paper about how well-acquainted people at Edward IV’s court may have been and found it fairly convincing, so I’m sure they had opportunity even if they didn’t seize it.

    I’m not surprised by the homage – I don’t personally think Richard could have plotted his seizure of the throne at such a stage and would have assumed reliable succession. It is a little ironic from an outside perspective though!

  2. Possibly this is rnight. No, probably, this is (mostly) right. Richard probably “knew” Buckingham; if the court really was fairly small, everybody probably would have known each other well enough to carry on a decent conversation. However, knowing somebody in that sense, is a bit different from knowing somebody “well”. This is the “iffy” part of all of this, and there’s no way of knowing, in that sense, how “well” Richard knew Buckingham.

  3. Susan Higginbotham

    It would have been quite strange if they weren’t fairly well acquainted–aside from the two men’s recorded joint attendance at various court events, Buckingham’s paternal grandmother, Anne, was an older sister of Richard’s mother. Indeed, young Buckingham might well have been living with his grandparents when Cecily of York and three of her children, including Richard, were put in Anne’s custody in 1459–Buckingham’s father was dead by then.

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