Who's Who in Britain's Bloody Crown

A Guide to the Personalities in Channel 5’s Britain’s Bloody Crown

Chapter 4 : Edmund - Grey

Edmund, Earl of Rutland, 17 May 1443 – 30 May 1460 Edmund was the second son of Richard, Duke of York, and his Duchess, Cecily Neville. Brought up closely with his brother Edward, when the Yorkist Lords fled from Ludlow, Edmund went with his father to Ireland. He was with York at the Battle of Wakefield. Following the battle he was captured and deliberately killed, by Lord Clifford, in revenge for the death of Clifford’s father at St Albans. His head was placed next to York’s on Mickelgate Bar, overlooking the city of York. He was later interred at Fotheringhay Castle in an elaborate ceremony commemorating his father and himself.

Edward II, King of England, 21 April 1284 – 21 September 1327 Edward, a weak King, had faced a number of rebellions which he had overcome largely with the help and support of his wife, Isabella of France. When Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer, took arms against the King, he had no hope of success. He was deposed, imprisoned, and probably murdered. Isabella was the daughter of Philip IV of France, and after the death of all of her brothers without direct heirs, her son, Edward III of England, claimed the throne of France. This gave rise to the Hundred Years’ War.

Edward III, King of England, 13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377 Edward III, who became King at the age of 14 when his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella, and Roger Mortimer, took power himself three years later. He claimed the throne of France as the grandson of Philip IV. It was Edward’s proliferation of sons that led to the problem of multiple heirs to the throne and was a contributing factor in the Wars of the Roses.

Edward IV, King of England, 28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483 Edward was the oldest son of Richard, Duke of York, and his wife, Cecily Neville. Following the Yorkist surrender at Ludford Bridge in 1459, Edward fled with his uncle, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to Calais where they raised an army. In 1460 Edward landed in Kent, marched through England and captured Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton. Following his father’s death at Wakefield, Edward now Duke of York, fought a successful engagement at Mortimer’s Cross. He reached London, where he claimed the Crown, and then marched north to defeat the Lancastrians at the bloody Battle of Towton. Edward made sustained efforts to reconcile Lancastrians to his rule but infighting amongst the Yorkists broke out when his cousin, Warwick, angry that Edward did not always follow his advice, particularly in the matter of his marriage, raised rebellion, together with Edward’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence. Although the initial rebellion was overcome, in 1470 Warwick formed an alliance with Margaret of Anjou to reinstate Henry VI. Edward escaped to Burgundy, but returned the following year claiming he wished only to be reconfirmed in his title of Duke of York. He raised an army and finally defeated the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury, following which Henry VI was swiftly dispatched. Although less forgiving than he had been in the earlier part of his reign, Edward IV was a successful and popular king and the vast majority of Lancastrians accepted his rule, particularly as Henry VI’s, son, Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, had been killed at Tewkesbury. Edward died at the early age of 40, leaving a son who was a minor.

Edward V, King of England, 2 November 1470 – probably 1483 Edward V, son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, became King at the age of 12. He had spent most of his childhood at the castle of Ludlow in the Welsh Marches, as nominal head of the Council of the Marches, under the guardianship of his maternal uncle, Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers. On his father’s death, he set out for London, with a small bodyguard. Intercepted at Stony Stratford, Northampton, by his paternal uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Edward was obliged to witness the arrest of Earl Rivers and his own half-brother, Sir Richard Grey. Edward was taken to London and lodged in the Tower. In early June it was declared that his parents’ marriage was invalid and that he was therefore illegitimate. His uncle took the Crown as Richard III and Edward was last sighted together with his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, in the summer of 1483.

Edward, Earl of Warwick, 25 February 1475 – 28 November 1498 Edward was the son of George, Duke of Clarence, and the nephew of Edward IV and Richard III. Edward inherited the title of Earl of Warwick and a moiety of the Warwick lands on the death of his mother, Isabel Neville, when he was only a year old. Following his father’s execution for treason in 1478, Warwick was brought up with his cousins, the King’s younger son and daughters. When Richard III announced that all of the children of Edward IV were illegitimate, Warwick was passed over as the next heir on the basis of his father’s attainder. Warwick was sent to Middleham Castle where he probably remained until the accession of Henry VII when, aged only 10, he was sent to the Tower. Unfortunately for Warwick his name was used by both Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck (although the latter later claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York). Warwick remained in the Tower until, in 1499, he was accused of involvement in a plot to escape with Perkin Warbeck. It is likely that pressure from Ferdinand and Isabella to have this Yorkist claimant removed, encouraged Henry VII to proceed against him. The young man was tried and executed.

Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, 13 October 1453 – 4 May 1471 Edward was born to Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou after seven years of marriage. His birth occurred during Henry’s first period of mental illness, and it was not until the baby was nearly a year old that Henry returned to something like normal mental health. Edward’s birth created a problem for the Yorkist party which had been anticipating that on Henry’s death York would inherit. In 1460, Edward was disinherited when it was agreed that, whilst Henry VI would continue to reign for the rest of his life, York would take the throne thereafter. Margaret of Anjou never accepted this and, exiled in France, once Edward IV was King, brought Edward up to dream of revenge. In 1470, in a deal with the Earl of Warwick, Edward was married to Warwick’s younger daughter, Anne Neville. Edward, his mother, and a large Lancastrian force landed in England, in early 1471, and marched with great haste towards Wales to meet another Lancastrian force under Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke. Their army was caught at Tewkesbury by Edward IV and annihilated. It is not certain whether 17-year-old Edward was killed in battle or killed afterwards by the Yorkist victors.

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, December 1473 – 9 April 1484 Edward was the only child of Richard III and Anne Neville. He was invested as Prince of Wales at York Minster on 8 September 1483. He died the following April, to the great grief of his parents.

Elizabeth I, 9 September 1533 – 24 March 1603 Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her gender was a terrible disappointment to her parents, who had expected a son, but as Elizabeth grew up she proved to be exceptionally clever and charismatic. Elizabeth succeeded as Queen in 1558, and re-established Royal Supremacy over the English Church. Elizabeth’s reign of 45 years, although it was not all plain sailing, is seen as a golden era of exploration, relative (by extremely low sixteenth century standards) religious tolerance and the flowering of English literature.

Elizabeth of Lancaster, Duchess of Exeter, c. 21 February 1363 – 24 November 1426 Elizabeth was the older sister of Henry IV, the mother of Henry Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter and grandmother of Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, a Lancastrian commander.

Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk, 22 April 1444 – 1503/1504 Elizabeth was the second daughter of Richard, Duke of York and his Duchess, Cecily Neville. She was married aged about 14 to John de la Pole, son of the Duke of Suffolk, who was Henry VI’s closest adviser. Suffolk had been impeached for bad government and was later lynched. Elizabeth’s husband became a firm supporter of her father and later of her brothers, Edward IV and Richard III. Elizabeth had 11 children, of whom the eldest, John, Earl of Lincoln, was possibly named as his heir by Richard III. Following Henry VII’s accession, Elizabeth’s loyalties were probably torn as her husband supported Henry VII, whilst her oldest son, and later his brothers, claimed the throne.

Elizabeth of York, Queen of England, 11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503 Elizabeth was the firstborn child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. When she was four, she retreated with her mother into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey for the short period of Henry VI’s readeption. She was betrothed in her youth to the Dauphin of France and the breaking off of the match by the French infuriated her father. When Richard III took the throne, her mother and Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, entered into secret negotiations whereby Elizabeth would marry Lady Margaret’s son, Henry Tudor, and thus unite the claims of Lancaster and York. Henry said publicly that if his invasion were successful he would marry Elizabeth or if she were unavailable, one of her sisters. Henry VII gained the crown in August 1485 and he and Elizabeth were married in January 1486. They appear to have been happily married and had seven children. Elizabeth died in childbirth on her 37th birthday, much mourned by her husband and family.

Empson, Sir Richard, c. 1450 – 17 August 1510 Empson was a lawyer and Speaker of the House of Commons. He became notorious for the zeal with which he carried out some of Henry VII’s more unpopular money raising strategies. On Henry VII’s death he was arrested, imprisoned and executed a year later.

Fastolf, Sir John, 1380 – 5 November 1459 Fastolf was a commander in France under John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. He was the only English captain who survived the Battle of Patay, which followed the raising of the Siege of Orleans by Joan of Arc.

Ferdinand of Aragon, 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516 By the Treaty of Medina del Campo 1489, Henry VII agreed that his oldest son, Arthur, would marry the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and his wife, Isabella of Castile. This alliance gave Henry VII international recognition, and the Spanish sovereigns continued to support him when other European rulers were flirting with Perkin Warbeck.

Fiennes, James, 1st Baron Saye, c. 1395 – 4 July 1450 Saye served as Treasurer to Henry VI and was obliged to find money where it did not exist for the defence of France. He even resorted to pawning the Crown jewels. An unpopular figure, he was arrested in an attempt to placate Jack Cade’s rebels and sent to the Tower. Along with others, he was dragged out and lynched by the mob.

Fisher, John, Bishop of Rochester, 1469 – 1535 Fisher studied at Cambridge and was ordained in 1491. He became Chaplain and Confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII, and was also a Privy Councillor. On Henry VIII’s accession, he continued as a Privy Councillor, but was never as favoured by him as by Henry VII. When Henry VIII’s annulment suit began, Fisher was appointed as one of Queen Katherine’s legal counsel, and he defended the validity of the marriage to the uttermost, being one of only a handful who stood against the King. He refused to sign the Oath of Succession, conferring the Crown on the children of Anne Boleyn and was imprisoned, without the benefit of a priest. The Pope, hoping to alleviate his treatment, appointed him a Cardinal, an act which infuriated the King. Fisher was tried for treason, and convicted. He was condemned and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Fearing popular discontent at such a brutal end for a much respected man, Henry commuted the sentence to beheading.

Fitzgerald, Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, c. 1456 – 3 September 1513 Appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by Edward IV he remained in position under Henry VII. However Fitzgerald was a Yorkist heart and was present at the crowning of Lambert Simnel as Edward VI in Dublin Cathedral. Forgiven for his part in the Simnel affair, in 1494 he spent a brief period in the Tower when he was captured by Irish enemies and sent to London accused of treason. Henry VII reappointed him as Lord Deputy in which post he continued until his death in 1513.

FitzHugh, Henry, 3rd Baron FitzHugh, 1363 – 11 January 1425 A loyal servant of Henry V, and one of the executors of the King’s will, Lord FitzHugh was appointed to support Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, in the Duke’s care of the young Henry VI.

FitzHugh, Henry, 5th Baron Fitzhugh, 1429 – 8 June 1472 Lord FitzHugh was the brother-in-law of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. He took part in Warwick’s rebellion against Edward IV.

FitzAlan, William, 16th Earl of Arundel 23 November 1417 – 1487 Arundel was the brother-in-law of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and supported him fighting for both York and Lancaster. He was present at the ‘Loveday’ celebration intended to reconcile the warring parties in 1458. He was in Warwick’s army at the second Battle of St Albans on 26 February 1461. His son Thomas, was married to Margaret Woodville, sister of Queen Elizabeth Woodville. He remained as Warden of the Cinque Ports under Henry VII.

FitzWilliam, William, 1st Earl of Southampton c. 1490 – 1542 FitzWilliam spent much of his youth at Henry VII’s Court as a companion to the young Prince Henry. When the Prince succeeded as Henry VIII, FitzWilliam received several Court positions, including Admiral of the Fleet and, after the downfall of Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal. He maintained his support of Henry VIII, accepting the annulment of the King’s marriage and Church reforms. However, he was known to be inimical to Anne Boleyn, and was one of the jurors at her trial. Southampton was instrumental in arranging the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne of Cleves. He was appointed to lead an expedition to Scotland in 1542, but died shortly thereafter.

Fosbroke, Matilda Day nurse for the baby Henry VI.

Frammesley, John Leader of a riot, protesting against the Duke of Suffolk’s secret removal from London in 1450, following the Duke’s impeachment by Parliament.

Francis II, Duke of Brittany, 23 June 1438 – 9 September 1488 In September 1471 Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, and his nephew, Henry Tudor, landed in the territories of Duke Francis. He gave them refuge for ten years and used them skilfully to balance his relationships with England and with France. Francis lent Henry the money for the unsuccessful invasion of England in 1483.

François I, King of France, 12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547 François, King from 1515, was Henry VIII’s rival for personal glory, but spent the majority of his life in warfare with Emperor Charles V. This rivalry prevented France and Spain combining to force Henry VIII back into papal obedience.

François of Lorraine, d 24 February 1525 One of the French commanders at the Battle of Pavia at which Richard de la Pole was killed.

Frulovisi, Tito Livio. An Italian scholar employed by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, he wrote a memoir of Henry V entitled Vita Henrici Quinti.

Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, 24 January 1444 – 26 December 1476 A notoriously cruel and sadistic ruler, although a great patron of music, his ambassador at the court of Louis XI, di Bettini, kept the Duke informed of events in England. His flagrant abuse of power led to his assassination.

George of York, Duke of Bedford, March 1477 – March 1479 The third son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, he died young.

George, Duke of Clarence, 21 October 1449 – 18 February 1478 The third surviving son of Richard, Duke of York and his Duchess, Cecily Neville, George was created Duke of Clarence when his brother Edward IV took the throne in 1461. Despite the vast lands and wealth with which his brother endowed him, Clarence remained perennially unsatisfied and plotted, first to marry Isabel Neville, daughter of his cousin the Earl of Warwick, against the King’s wishes, and then to replace his brother as King. In June 1469 Edward IV marched to capture Clarence and Warwick who escaped to Calais where Clarence married Isabel. On their return, Edward’s army was defeated at the Battle of Edgcote and the King was captured by Warwick’s men. Warwick was unable to retain control of the country and was forced to free King Edward. Clarence was pardoned but following further insurrection, was obliged to flee to France. In negotiation between Warwick and Margaret of Anjou, it was agreed that should Edward of Lancaster and his new wife, Warwick’s other daughter, have no children, Clarence would be recognised as heir. Henry VI was reinstated by Warwick but Clarence soon realised that he had very little chance of becoming King, and when Edward IV returned with his own army from Burgundy, Clarence threw himself upon his brother’s mercy. He was, at least, on the surface, forgiven and reinstated. Clarence fought for his brother at Tewkesbury and, together with the Duke of Gloucester, is alleged to have killed his brother-in-law, Edward of Lancaster, after the battle. Clarence continued to make difficulties in his brother’s kingdom and eventually, having lost all patience, Edward brought him before Parliament, where he was tried and convicted of treason. His lands and goods were forfeit and he was executed in the Tower of London, allegedly drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.

Gough, Matthew, d. 6 July 1450 Leader of a military force, with Lord Scales, raised to defend London against Jack Cade’s rebels. Gough was killed during the fighting.

Gordon, Lady Katherine, c. 1474 – c. 1537 Katharine was the daughter of George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, and a distant cousin of King James IV. She was given as a bride to Perkin Warbeck as part of James’s efforts to cause trouble for his southern neighbour, Henry VII. She was well treated at the court of Henry VII, after Warbeck’s capture, and continue to live in England until her death.

Glyndwr, Owain, c. 1349 – c. 1415 Glyndwr, a descendant of the native princes of Wales, led a major rebellion against Henry IV, in which he was supported by the Percys and Mortimers.

Grafton, Richard, d. 1573 Grafton, the King’s Printer, published Hall’s Chronicles in 1550, the source of much of our knowledge of the period of the Wars of the Roses and the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII.

Grey, Edmund, 4th Baron Grey of Ruthin, 26 October 1416 – 22 May 1490 In his youth, Grey served in France and was a member of the Council of Henry VI. At the Battle of Northampton, he brought his men initially to the Lancastrian side, and was set on the right flank. During the battle he changed sides and took his men into the Yorkist ranks. This devastated the Lancastrians, and they were defeated, with Henry VI being captured. Grey was created Earl of Kent and his two sons were married to sisters of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Joan and Anne.

Grey, Edward, first Viscount Lisle, d. 14 October 1492 The son of 3rd Lord Grey of Ruthin, Edward Grey married Elizabeth Talbot, 3rd Baroness Lisle, and was created 1st Viscount Lisle on 28 June 1483. He was summoned by Richard III to join the King at Bosworth.

Grey, Sir John, of Groby, 1432 – 17 February 1461 The first husband of Elizabeth Woodville, he was killed at the second Battle of St Albans, fighting for Lancaster.

Grey, Sir Richard, 1457 – 25 June 1483 The second son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first marriage to Sir John Grey of Groby, Richard entered the service of his half-brother, Edward, Prince of Wales, in around 1474. When Edward became King in April 1483, he travelled with him towards London, but the party was intercepted at Stony Stratford by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Sir Richard was arrested, along with his uncle, Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers. He was executed without trial on 25 June 1483.

Grey, Sir Thomas, 1st Marquess of Dorset, c. 1455 – 20 September 1501 Grey was the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband Sir John Grey of Groby. He had a very good relationship with his stepfather, Edward IV. In October 1466, he was married to the King’s niece, Anne Holland, daughter of the Lancastrian Duke of Exeter. Anne died young, and Grey then married Cecily Bonville, Baroness Harington, the richest woman in England and niece of the Earl of Warwick. Grey was present at the Battle of Tewkesbury, fighting for Edward IV. Grey was given the title of Marquess of Dorset in 1475. When Edward V became King in April 1483, Grey hoped that he would retain a leading role in any Regency government. This plan was scotched by the usurpation of Richard III. Grey joined the Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion and when it failed, escaped to Brittany where he joined Henry Tudor. He decided to leave Henry in early 1485 and returned to England. He was captured and held in France and thus took no part in the Battle of Bosworth. When Henry became King and married Grey’s niece, Elizabeth of York, Grey was partially restored to favour, but was never truly trusted by Henry.

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