Tag Archives: Henry Stafford

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 1570 – Lady Ursula Pole died

Ursula Pole was born in 1504 and was the only daughter of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. Making Ursula the granddaughter of the Duke of Clarence and therefore had a claim to the English throne. Sir Richard Pole died when Ursula was only one year old. Ursula had four older brothers all of whom acquired positions within King Henry VIII’s court. Ursula grew up at the family home at Warblington Castle, Hampshire whilst her mother acted as Royal Governess to the Princess Mary.

Lady Ursula married Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford on 16th February 1518 when she was 15 years old and he was 18. The marriage was suggested by Cardinal Wolsey and arranged by Edward Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham. Ursula’s dowry was 3000 marks which would be increased by a further thousand if her mother was able to reclaim some of her family lands from King Henry VIII. Instead, the Countess of Salisbury gave the couple land in Somerset and Devon that was worth 700 marks. The Duke of Buckingham also ensured that lands worth £500 were set aside for Ursula in case she was widowed. The Duke also paid for the wedding with the exception of Ursula’s clothes which her mother paid for.

Due to the newlyweds ages the couple went to live within the household of the Duke of Buckingham, who acted as their guardians. Ursula was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in France, in 1520, she was four months pregnant and in November 1520 Ursula gave birth to the couple’s first child.

Just a year later in 1521 Ursula’s father in law was arrested on charges of treason and beheaded. After his death an Act of Attainder was passed and his titles and lands were forfeited to the King, leaving Ursula and her husband very little to live on. It was not until 1547 when King Edward VI created her husband, Henry, the 1st Baron Stafford meaning that Ursula was now a Baroness.

The couple had 14 children in total, seven sons and seven daughters. Their eldest daughter Dorothy would go on to serve Queen Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes. Ursula had seen many of her family members lose their lives at the hands of the royal executioner from her mother and brother to her son Thomas was executed for treason for leading an unsuccessful uprising against Queen Mary I in 1557.

Having lost her husband in 1563 Ursula died on 12th August 1570, aged 66 her final resting place is unknown.

Ursula PoleLady Ursula Pole

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