Who's Who in Britain's Bloody Crown

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

Chapter 5 : Hall - Isabelle

Hall, Edward, c. 1498 - 1547 Author of The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrate Famelies of Lancaster and Yorke, otherwise known as Hall’s Chronicle. The Chronicle is a major source of information about the Wars of the Roses and Henry VIII’s reign.

Halle, Jean de Leader of a band of marauding criminals, who terrorised Normandy during the anarchic period following the death of Henry V.

Harcourt, John A retainer of William, Lord Hastings, he joined Henry Tudor in exile in Brittany.

Harris, John In 1449 as Henry VI passed through the town of Stony Stratford, en route to a Parliament in Leicester, Harris caused a scene when he waved around an agricultural implement and cried out that the Duke of York would fight in a similar fashion with traitors at the Parliament. Harris was hanged, drawn and quartered.

Hastings, William, 1st Baron Hastings, c. 1431 – 13 June 1483 Hastings was a close friend of Edward IV. He fought at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, a Yorkist victory, and at Towton, which resulted in Edward IV’s capturing of the throne. He was nominated as Lord Chamberlain, and was also Master of the Mint. He and Edward were notorious for their womanising. Hastings married Lady Katherine Neville, sister of the Earl of Warwick, but remained loyal to Edward IV during the readeption of Henry VI, joining Edward in exile and then returning with him in 1471. Hasting’s stepdaughter, Cecily Bonville, was married to Edward IV’s stepson, Thomas, Marquess of Dorset, and Hastings and Dorset were locked in conflict over the heiress’s estates. On Edward IV’s death, Hastings initially supported Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s, plans to make himself Protector as Hastings did not wish Dorset to gain more political power. On 13 June 1483 at a Council meeting in the Tower of London, Richard leapt to his feet, accused Hastings of conspiring against him, had him bundled into the yard and summarily executed.

Henry IV (of Bolingbroke), King of England, 3 April 1367 – 20 March 1413 Henry was the oldest son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and first cousin to Richard II. He was exiled for ten years, following a quarrel with Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. On Gaunt’s death, Richard decided to confiscate the Duchy of Lancaster. Henry invaded, claiming he sought only to have his Duchy restored. However, before long, he had forced Richard II to abdicate. Henry’s reign was uneasy – there were numerous supporters of Richard’s designated heir, the Earl of March, and uprisings in Wales and the North. Nevertheless he held onto his throne and passed it to his son Henry V.

Henry V, King of England, 9 August 1387 – 31 August 1422 On succeeding to the throne in 1413, Henry immediately began planning his invasion and conquest of France. By 1422 he had the divided French realm at his mercy. At the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, it was agreed that Henry would marry Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, and that he would inherit the throne on Charles’s death. As it happened, Henry, although much younger than Charles, died first. His own son was only nine months old. Henry left detailed instructions as to how England would be governed and France controlled during the minority of the new King. Such was the force of his personality, and the loyalty of his brothers, that his orders were largely followed.

Henry VI, King of England, 6 December 1421 – 21 May 1471 Henry became King at the age of nine months. During his youth, his realm of England was governed reasonably successfully by a Regency Council. His French possessions were equally well-managed by his uncle, John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. Unfortunately, as the King entered his teens, it became apparent that he did not have the force of personality or firmness of character to make him a successful King. In fact he was so indecisive and malleable as to give rise to the suggestion that he was, in fact, mentally deficient and he had a long period of catatonic stupor during the period 1453 to 1454. Although he had been crowned King of France, the English government had neither the money, the manpower nor the talented leaders to maintain this claim. Eventually, amid much recrimination, Henry accepted Charles VII as King of France and agreed to marry his niece. This agreement, brokered by the Duke of Suffolk, was hugely unpopular. Henry was unable to control the quarrelling amongst the various factions at his court. In particular, his cousin, and next male heir, Richard, Duke of York, believed that Henry’s government, first under Suffolk, and then under the Duke of Somerset, was incompetent.

Eventually the rivalry between York and Somerset, supported by Henry’s wife, Margaret, broke out into civil war. Henry was never more than the nominal leader of the Lancastrians, who were held together by the vigorous personality of Margaret. Following the Battle of Northampton in 1460, Henry was captured by the Yorkists. He was reunited with his wife following the Battle of Wakefield, but once the Lancastrians were routed at Towton, he was forced into hiding until captured by the Yorkist in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry was briefly restored as King, a period known as the ‘readeption’, in 1470 – 71, but was then returned to the Tower as a prisoner following the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Barnet. His son and heir, Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, was killed at Tewkesbury, and Henry VI’s body was brought from the Tower a few days later, where, it was said he had died of ‘pure displeasure and melancholy’. There was little doubt in any minds that he had been dispatched on the orders of Edward IV and this is certainly Jones’ interpretation.

Henry VII, King of England, 28 January 1454 – 21 April 1509 Henry VII was the grandson of Catherine de Valois, Queen of England, by her second marriage to Owen Tudor. His mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, was a descendant of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. When Henry was about six years old he was given into the custody of Sir William Herbert, the Yorkist Earl of Pembroke. He was brought up to the age of 14 in Pembroke’s household but following the Battle of Edgecote was reunited with his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke. When Henry VI was deposed a second time, Henry went into exile in Brittany. In his absence his mother tried to arrange reconciliation with Edward IV. On Edward IV’s death, sufficient numbers of Yorkists were so disaffected by the usurpation of Richard III that they were willing to join Henry in exile and to support him in his bid for the throne. Surprisingly given that his claim to the throne was slim and he was little known in England, Henry raised sufficient forces to defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. He fought off two subsequent attempts to reinstate the House of York, at the Battle of Stoke in 1487 and in various skirmishes led by supporters of Perkin Warbeck. Henry married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, and made concerted efforts to reconcile the two parties. The first 16 years of his reign were largely successful, but after the death of his beloved wife and older son in 1503, he retreated into a depressed and avaricious tyranny.

Henry VIII, King of England, 1491 – 1547 Henry, an extremely accomplished and intelligent man, began his reign in traditional fashion, promoting war with France and expressing strong support for Papal authority. By the late 1520s however, a combination of dynastic fears (he had only one legitimate child, a daughter) and his passion for Anne Boleyn, led him to request Pope Clement VII to grant an annulment of his marriage. The political situation in Europe did not permit the Pope to accede to this request and Henry sought other alternatives. The advisors and friends of the first twenty years of his reign, Queen Katherine, Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, Nicholas Carew and Archbishop Warham, were overthrown in favour of a new group of advisers who could deliver the King’s desire.

Henry broke with Rome, took the title Supreme Head of the Church in England and pursued a policy of ruthless repression of all dissent. By 1539, the court had divided into factions, largely based on the religious divide. Henry married a total of six times, but still left a minor heir, a disputed succession, and a country that was almost bankrupt despite the huge injection of cash from the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Herbert, William, 1st Earl of Pembroke, c 1423 – 27 July 1469 The Herberts were rivals for influence in South Wales with Edmund and Jasper Tudor, half-brothers of Henry VI. Herbert was a client of the Duke of York, and, following the Battle of Towton, at which he fought for Edward of York, was granted a barony and the wardship of Jasper Tudor’s nephew, Henry. In 1468, Herbert captured Harlech Castle, which had been holding out for Lancaster since the beginning of the Wars. For this triumph he was created Earl of Pembroke and granted the estates of Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke. Herbert’s oldest son was married to Mary, sister of Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Herbert fought for Edward IV against Warwick’s men at the Battle of Edgecote in 1469. This was a victory for Warwick and the following day Herbert and other Yorkist Lords were executed.

Herbert, Sir Richard d. 27 July 1469 The brother of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, like his brother he fought for Edward IV at the Battle of Edgecote, was captured and executed the next day by the Earl of Warwick.

Holinshed, Raphael c. 1529 – 1580 Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland were a major source for Shakespeare’s interpretation of the Wars of the Roses.

Holland, Lady Anne, c 1455 – 1474 The daughter of Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter and his wife, Anne of York, sister of Edward IV, Anne was her father’s heiress. She was married, aged 14, to Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset, Edward IV’s oldest stepson. By a special remainder, Anne’s lands were inherited by the daughter of her mother’s second marriage, Anne St Leger.

Holland, John, Earl of Huntingdon, and 2nd Duke of Exeter, 18 March 1395 – 5 August 1447 The son of Elizabeth of Lancaster, and therefore first cousin to Henry V, he was promoted to the Dukedom of Exeter, which had been forfeited by his father in 1444.

Holland, Henry, 3rd Duke of Exeter, 27 June 1430 – September 1475 A minor on the death of his father, his wardship was granted to Richard, Duke of York, who was the father of his wife, Anne of York. Nevertheless, Exeter remained faithful to his second cousin, Henry VI. This attitude may possibly have been encouraged by the fact that during York’s Protectorate, Exeter had been imprisoned in Pontefract Castle for disobeying orders to refrain from involvement in the struggles between the Percys and the Nevilles. He was released by Somerset when York’s Protectorate ended. He commanded Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton, where he was roundly defeated. Exeter joined Queen Margaret in exile in Scotland, and later in France. He was attainted and his lands granted to his wife, Anne of York, before their marriage was annulled in 1472. On the readeption of Henry VI he regained some of his lands and led the Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet. Badly wounded he was presumed dead but recovered and was reconciled to Edward IV. He served in Edward IV’s campaign to France in 1475 but fell overboard from the ship on which he was returning to England, possibly helped on his way.

Howard, Sir John, 1st Duke of Norfolk, c. 1425 – 22 August 1485 Howard was a supporter of the House of York from the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, and had fought at the Battle of Towton, where he was knighted. He became one of Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s closest allies. When Richard became King, Howard was granted the Dukedom of Norfolk, previously held by Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York when the boy was married to Anne Mowbray, Countess of Norfolk. Howard was the first cousin of Anne’s grandfather, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Norfolk was one of Richard’s most valiant supporters at the Battle of Bosworth, where he was killed. He took no heed of the warning that was allegedly pinned to his tent, reading ‘Jock of Norfolk, be not too bold, for Dickon thy master, is bought and sold.

Howard, Thomas, 2nd Duke of Norfolk c. 1448 – 1524 As Earl of Surrey, Howard fought alongside his father, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, for Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Following the battle, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, but was soon restored to royal favour and appointed as Henry VII’s Lieutenant in the North. He served Henry VII valiantly, and transferred his loyalty to Henry VIII. It is owing to Surrey’s brilliant generalship, that the English army defeated the superior forces of James IV of Scotland at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. The dukedom of Norfolk was restored in recognition of his services. Howard’s granddaughters were Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, second and fifth wives of Henry VIII.

Howard, Catherine, Queen of England, c. 1521 – 13 February 1542 Catherine was the fifth wife of Henry VIII, until she was executed for alleged adultery. During 1541, her tailor had been ordered to make warm clothes for Lady Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury who was imprisoned in the Tower. Immediately before her execution, Lady Salisbury prayed for the souls of King Henry, Queen Catherine and Prince Edward.

Humphrey of Lancaster, Duke of Gloucester, 3 October 1390 – 23 February 1447 The younger brother of Henry V, Gloucester was one of the members of the Regency Council, set up to rule for his baby nephew, Henry VI. Gloucester’s interpretation of Henry V’s will was that he should personally be Lord Protector, however the other Lords, led by his older brother, John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, preferred the conciliar arrangement. He was granted the title of Protector, but only in the absence of Bedford. All ran smoothly enough until Gloucester fell out with his half uncle, Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, in 1425. Gloucester was a leader of the War Party which wanted to continue England’s military ventures in France, whilst Beaufort sought peace, presumably on the basis that England was financially unable to continue domination of a country far larger and wealthier than itself. Gloucester’s and Beaufort’s men came to blows in London in 1425. Calm was restored by the other Lords but resentment remained. Gloucester continued to strive for greater personal power but neither the King’s Council nor Parliament would grant it. On the death of the Duke of Bedford, in 1435, Gloucester became heir to the throne. However in 1441 he became embroiled in scandal when his second wife, Eleanor Cobham, was convicted of attempting to foretell the death of the King by sorcery. Following this disgrace it was difficult for Gloucester to retain his pre-eminence. In 1445, when peace with France was finally negotiated by the Duke of Suffolk, Gloucester remained implacably opposed. To silence him, Suffolk called a Parliament at Bury St Edmunds and Gloucester was summoned to appear at it. He was arrested but before he could be tried, he was found to be gravely ill. At the time it was believed that he had been poisoned although it is certainly possible that he suffered from a stroke, as he lay in a coma for several days before dying. Gloucester’s position as leader of the war party, fell upon Richard, Duke of York.

Hungerford, Sir Walter, 1st Baron Hungerford 22 June 1388 – 1449 Hungerford was appointed as a member of the Regency Council for Henry VI, at an annual salary of £100, and was also one of the men appointed together with Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, as a guardian of the person of the young King. When Owen Tudor, the widower of Catherine de Valois, was imprisoned for his temerity in marrying the Royal widow, he was guarded by Sir Walter, at Windsor Castle. Hungerford’s son and grandson remained loyal Lancastrians.

Hungerford, Sir Walter, d. 1516 Like his great-grandfather, grandfather and father, Sir Walter was a Lancastrian. Arrested when Richard III became aware that Henry Tudor had landed at Milford Haven, Hungerford escaped and fought for Henry at the Battle of Bosworth. He was a Privy Councillor to both Henry VII and Henry VIII.

Iden, Alexander, Sheriff of KentIden captured the rebel Jack Cade in 1450.

Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France, 1371 – 28 September 1435 Isabeau was the wife of Charles VI of France and the mother of Catherine de Valois. She had been a supporter of the Burgundians against the Armagnacs and she was instrumental in agreeing the Treaty of Troyes, whereby her son, Charles VII, would be disinherited in favour of her daughter’s husband, Henry V of England. She was present when her grandson, Henry VI of England, was crowned King of France.

Isabella of Castile, Queen of Castile, 22 April 1451 – 26 November 1504 Isabella was proposed as a wife for Edward IV in the 1460s, prior to his secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. Allegedly Isabella was much offended by Edward’s rejection of her. Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, recognised Henry VII as King of England in the Treaty of Medina del Campo, in which her daughter Katherine was betrothed to Henry VII’s son, Arthur. Apparently Isabella’s concerns about the safety of Henry’s throne were alleviated when he agreed to the execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick.

Isabella of France, Queen of England, 1295 – 22 August 1358 Wife of Edward II, Isabella had originally supported her husband, even in the face of his depressing attachment to his male favourites. Eventually, however, offended by the behaviour of the Despensers, she orchestrated the King’s overthrow, together with her lover, Roger Mortimer. Isabella was the daughter of Philip IV of France and it was through her that her son Edward III claimed the French throne.

Isabelle of Lorraine, Duchess of Lorraine and Anjou, Queen of Naples, 1400 – 28 February 1453 Isabelle took an active part in the government of her own Duchy, and also as Regent for her husband, René of Anjou. She led an army to rescue René from captivity by the Burgundians. Isabelle, her husband René, and her mother-in-law, Yolanda of Aragon, were all supporters of the Armagnac party in France.

Isabelle of Valois, Queen of England, 9 November 1389 – 13 September 1409 Following the death of his beloved wife, Anne of Bohemia, Richard II married the child, Isabelle of Valois, whose youth made it unlikely that the King would sire an heir for some time. Isabelle was deeply attached to her husband, and rejected the proposition made by Henry IV, after he deposed Richard, that she should marry his heir, later Henry V. Isabelle returned to France and died young in childbirth. In the event Henry V married her younger sister, Catherine.

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