Tag Archives: Duke of Buckingham

On this day in 1501 – Henry Stafford was born

Henry Stafford was born on 18th September 1501 in Penshurst, Kent to Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Eleanor Percy.

On 16th February 1519 Stafford married Ursula Pole, daughter of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. The marriage had been arranged by Stafford’s father the Duke of Buckingham after it was suggested by Cardinal Wolsey. Ursula brought a dowry of 3,000 marks which would be increased by a thousand if her mother was able to gain back family land from King Henry VIII. Ursula’s mother, Margaret Pole, managed to secure them lands worth 700 marks and in return Edward Stafford kept lands worth £500 for Ursula’s jointure, in the event of her husband’s death.

Henry Stafford and his new wife lived in the household of his father as due to their young age they were required to have a guardian. In November 1520 the couple had their first child, named Henry, who died in infancy.

In 1521 Henry’s father was arrested and beheaded after being accused of treason, he was posthumously attainted by an Act of Parliament in 1523 which meant that his titles and lands were forfeited to the crown leaving Henry and his family with no support. Until the Attainder against his father, Henry had been known as the Earl of Stafford.

It is believed that Henry and Ursula had 14 children during the course of their marriage including Dorothy Stafford who served Queen Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes.

In 1547 Henry petitioned Parliament for the restoration in blood but did not ask for his father’s lands and titles to be returned to him. Instead in 1548 he was summoned to appear in front of Parliament and it was here that he was created 1st Baron Stafford by King Edward VI. It was the fourth time Baron Stafford had been created but because it had been viewed as a new creation he was the first in this line. Henry in February 1558 won the right for the title to have been recognised as a continuation from 1299, giving the title its history.

In 1531 Staffordshire elected him as a recorder for the borough and he was later appointed as Justice of Peace for Staffordshire and Shropshire in 1536. Henry was also the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire between 1558 and 1559 a role that included Clerk of the Peace.

In 1548 Henry published an English translation of the 1534 tract by Edward Foxe entitled ‘The True Dyfferens Between the Royall Power and the Ecclesiasticall Power’. During the reign of Queen Mary I he converted back to Catholicism and translated two tracts by Erasmus against Luther. His personal library included over 300 books many of which were in Latin.

Henry died on 30th April 1563 at Caus Castle in Shropshire. He was buried in Worthen Church on 6th May.

wothen churchWorthen Church the burial place of Henry Stafford

On this day in 1535 – George Neville died

George Neville was the son of the second Baron of Bergavenny also called George and his wife Margaret. Neville was born in 1471, although the exact date is unknown. He was brought up alongside his brothers, Edward, Thomas and Richard.

Neville was created a Knight of the Bath on 5th July 1483 but went on to be a keen supporter of King Henry VII, he even fought alongside the King at the Battle of Blackheath against the Cornish rebellion. Upon the death of his father on 20th September 1492 Neville inherited the title of Baron Bergavenny.

Neville married Joan FitzAlan, niece to Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward IV, it is believed that the marriage produced two daughters; Elizabeth Neville and Jane Neville, who went on to marry Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu and son of Lady Margaret Pole.

It is documented that Neville was at Calais with King Henry VII in May 1500 and the loyalty he showed the King continued through to his son when he was crowned the new King of England at the time Henry VIII’s coronation Neville was in the hereditary office of Chief Larderer.

On 20th August 1512 Neville was made a commissioner of array for Kent, Surrey and Sussex and on 28th January 1513 he was appointed warden of the Cinque Ports. Neville was nominated to be inducted into the Knight of the Garter on 23rd April 1513.

Neville married for a second time in 1513 to Margaret Brent this marriage would end up childless and only lasted a few years.

King Henry VIII sent Neville to France later in 1513 and between June and October was a general in the army. It was a role he would take in 1514 again and due to his loyalty and success in 1515 he was granted the keepership of Ashdown Forest.

On 23rd July 1518 Neville, Lord Cobham, the Bishop of Chichester and some Kentish gentlemen were sent to meet Cardinal Campeggio and escort him to Canterbury where he would act as the Pope’s representative during peace negotiations and the signing of the Treaty of London. It was also in this year that Neville became a member of the Privy Council.

In June 1519 Neville married for a third time to Lady Mary Stafford, daughter of Duke of Buckingham. They would go on to have three sons and five daughters. In May 1521 Neville would find himself imprisoned in the Tower of London until early 1522 under suspicion of conspiring with his new father-in-law. He was soon released and pardoned, cleared of all charges of treason on the 29th March 1522. However, Neville had lost all his offices and had to resort to selling his home, Birling, to the King.

After his release he attended King Henry VIII as he met Charles V in 1522 and was once again the captain of the army in France in 1523.

As King Henry VIII proceeded with his divorce from Katherine of Aragon on 13th July 1530 Neville’s signature appears on a letter that was sent to Pope Clement VII asking him to settle to divorce case as soon as possible. With Neville back in favour with the King he was able to buy his home back and return to Birling. With the King breaking from Rome and remarrying to Anne Boleyn, Neville once again took the office of Chief Larderer at Anne’s coronation.

Neville married for a fourth and final time to his former servant and mistress, Mark Brooke (also known as Cobham).

However, age was catching up with Neville and in May 1535 he was notably absent from the feast of the Knights of the Garter due to ill health. With his health failing Neville wrote to the King asking that his family was not heavily pressed for his inheritance as he had many daughters that needed providing for as they all became married.

Neville died on the morning of 13th June 1535 (some documents say it was the 14th) at his home. His body was buried at Birling but his heart was buried at Mereworth.

George NevilleGeorge Neville painted by Hans Holbein the younger

On this day in 1497 – Catherine Woodville died

Catherine Woodville was born in 1458 to Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Making Catherine the sister to Elizabeth Woodville and sister-in-law to King Edward IV. Many of Elizabeth’s family were elevated into high ranks and Catherine was no different she was married to Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.

The Duke of Buckingham resented his marriage to Catherine and considered her to be of inferior birth; however, this did not stop the couple having four children together.

In 1469 with King Edward VI captured by the Earl of Warwick and imprisoned at Warwick Castle the Woodville family were targeted and Catherine along with her mother, Jacquetta and her sister were accused of using sorcery. Catherine denied all charges and was acquitted early in 1470 by a committee.

After the death of Edward VI, Buckingham aligned himself with Richard, Duke of Gloucester and helped him gain the throne to become King Richard III. Buckingham though was unhappy with Richard’s reign and he became turncoat to help Henry Tudor’s cause. Buckingham led an unsuccessful rebellion in 1483 and was executed as a traitor, leaving Catherine to raise four children with little money due to Buckingham being subject to attainder.

With Buckingham’s death, Catherine was left a widow and after the victory of Henry Tudor at Bosworth in 1485 she was married to the new King’s uncle, Jasper Tudor on 7th November 1485. With her marriage to Jasper Tudor, Catherine’s life turned around, her wealth and lands restored to her with Buckingham’s attainder reversed. The newlyweds began the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.

Catherine began helping with preparations for her niece’s coronation and the morning after the coronation Catherine was sat to the left of the Queen, with Margaret Beaufort on the right. This showed just how highly regarded Catherine was in the new royal court.

Jasper Tudor died in 1495, after ten years of marriage and Catherine was then married to Richard Wingfield. The marriage was in secret and without the King’s permission. King Henry VII fined the couple £2,000 which would have been paid by Catherine’s son, Edward, the new Duke of Buckingham.

Catherine died on 18th May 1497 and it is unknown where she was buried.

Woodville_Tudor Cardiff Castle                               Catherine Woodville and Jasper Tudor stain glass window at Cardiff Castle