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Portrait of Queen Elizabeth of York

Queen Elizabeth of York (1466-1503)

QUEEN ELIZABETH OF YORK (1466-1503): Queen Consort of Henry VII
The events of Elizabeth of York's early life have already been detailed in the biography of her mother, queen Elizabeth Woodville. The Dauphin, Charles, heir of Louis XI, king of France, was betrothed to this princess royal of England, 1475. Although the match never took place, it secured to her a good education; she was taught to speak and write French well; likewise, Edward IV sent for a scrivener from the city, who taught the princess to write court hand as well as himself. Moreover, the king amplified the state of his daughter's establishment with a portion of the tribute Louis paid him for keeping the peace; and when the contract was ratified in 1480, Elizabeth was called madame la Dauphine, and served in great state. Her warlike sire fell ill in 1483, and Louis XI, trusting that Edward IV would be incapacitated from invading France, broke the treaty by wooing Mary of Burgundy for his son. Elizabeth's father and only protector dying the ensuing April, terrible reverses befel his family.

Elizabeth, Cicely, and Anne of York, daughters of King Edward IV

From Westminster palace Elizabeth, her sisters, and her brother Richard were hurried into sanctuary in the adjoining abbey by their mother. The events which follow have been narrated [cf. Elizabeth Woodville]. How much the subsequent murders afflicted Elizabeth may be gathered from the words of the blind poet-laureate of her court, Bernard Andreas. "The love," he says, "Elizabeth bore her brothers was unheard of, and almost incredible."

The betrothment, privately negotiated between Elizabeth of York and Henry of Richmond, by their mothers [Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort], was the first gleam of comfort that broke on the royal prisoners in sanctuary after the murder of the innocent princes in the Tower. The young princess promised to hold faith with her betrothed: in case of her death before her contract was fulfilled, her next sister Cicely, was to take her place.

Owing to the utter failure of Buckingham's insurrection, the situation of Elizabeth of York and her mother became quite irksome. Soldiers, commanded by John Nesfield, a suire of Richard III's guard, watched night and day round the abbey, and reduced them to great distress. Thus they struggled through the sad winter of 1483, but surrendered themselves in March. The princess was forced to own herself the illegitimate child of Edward IV; she had to accept a wretched annuity, and, as a favour, was permitted to contemplate the prospect of marrying one William Stillington.

She was separated from her unfortunate mother when they left sanctuary, and received at court by Richard III: his queen, [
Anne Neville], her near relative, was kind to her. Here she found her father's old friend, Lord Stanley, in an office of great authority at Westminster palace, as steward of the royal household, a place he held in the reign of Edward IV. This nobleman was step-father to Henry of Richmond, the betrothed husband of the princess Elizabeth; his wife was exiled then, in disgrace with the usurper, for having projected the union of her son with Elizabeth.

In fact, Margaret Beaufort had been her state governess, and she had lived with her and Stanley from her earliest years. Very soon the young princess began, when she found lord Stanley alone, to speak to him by the name of "father Stanley," and to entreat his help. Lord Stanley, scarcely then well from the battle-axe blow he had shared with the oak table in the Tower, at Richard III's terrible council of June 13, was alarmed and reluctant to stir against the usurper. The tears and swooning of Elizabeth at the end of her fruitless appeal to him caused him to explain that he feared if he stirred for her he should lose his life with her talking about it, and that as he could not write he was not able to summon his friends without leaving his court office, which would rouse the tyrant's suspicions.

Elizabeth assured him of her secrecy, and said she could write for him in as good a hand as the scrivener who taught her. Finally he came at ten that night, with his squire, Brereton, in disguise, to the apartments allotted her at Westminster palace. Elizabeth then wrote at his dictation to his brother, sir William Stanley, who had been her dear brother's lord-steward at Ludlow, his and and heir, Lord Strange, at Latham house, to sir James and sir Edward Stanley of Manchester, to the brave sir Gilbert Talbot, and sir John Savage, at Sheffield castle, telling them the time was ripe to stir and rise, and to come disguised as Kendal merchants from the north, to the old inn at Islington called the Eagle, where they would see an eagle's foot chalked on the shutter, and he would meet them and consult. Elizabeth having read the letters to lord Stanley, he took out his seal, carefully sealed them, and consigned them to his trusty squire, Brereton, who departed for Cheshire with them.

On Brereton's return the princess went with her "father Stanley" in disguise to the old suburb inn, and there they found the valiant scions of Stanley, Talbot and Savage, all ready to risk their lives for her if she would promise to complete her engagement with Henry, earl of Richmond, then an exile in Brittany. Elizabeth forthwith wrote a letter to her betrothed; trusty Brereton departed with it for Rennes. Henry was grandson to John of Gaunt by an illegitimate wedlock, grandson of queen Katharine of Valois, of the French blood royal, and, what was better worthy attention, the representative of the ancient line of British kings, a claim excessively popular just then in the English south-west counties as well as in Wales.

Although he was in love with another young lady, and had never seen the fair Elizabeth, a very favourable answer was returned by Henry, and Brereton delivered it safely. Fortune had changed once more with the fair heiress of York, her little cousin, Edward of Gloucester, died a few months after the murder of her loved brother, leaving the usurper childless. The queen, her aunt, struck with mortal grief, was evidently drooping to the tomb; and all her uncle's hateful partisans loudly declared that their royal master ought to wed his niece. Anne of Warwick did not believe that Elizabeth wished for this disposal of her hand, although she herself knew the report, and dreaded lest she should be murdered to leave her husband free. Yet she sent for her niece in early spring, 1484-5, and gave her the place of honour at her side at a grand festival. Before March was spent, the unfortunate queen of Richard had expired. The indignation of the English people kept Richard III from outraging humanity by forcing an early marriage with his niece. By way of punishment for her aversion he shut her up with Clarence's son, the young earl of Warwick, in the strongest and most gloomy castle in Yorkshire, Sheriff Hutton. No one in London knew where she was. However, the population of the adjacent counties thronged the gates of Sheriff Hutton, with the news of Richard III's fall, and the heiress of York was brought to Leicester the very evening of the victory. Elizabeth witnessed the entry of the triumphant army. She met the corpse of the tyrant on its way towards the Grey Friars he had founded, to be interred. She is said to have exclaimed, "Uncle, how like you now the slaughtering of my brethren dear?" She found herself surrounded by her friends of the house of Stanley, and in a day or two was conducted to her mother, and installed in the royal apartments of Westminster palace.

Henry, on the day of victory, September 3, had been crowned with Richard III's crown, found in a hawthorn bush on Bosworth field, and greeted by the acclamations of the whole army as Henry VII. He arrived in London a few days after, and renewed at the bishop of London's palace at St. Paul's, before the privy council, his vow to marry Elizabeth of York. But his coronation took place, October 30, without any allusion to the title he derived from her, and from that hour the discontents of the Yorkists began. Elizabeth suffered no little uneasiness, as well as the people. One thing was certain, rendering royal marriages and festivals nearly impossible; there was not one penny in the royal purse. Near Christmas the House of Commons, when granting Henry VII the usual royal supplies called tonnage and poundage, added a petition, "that he would please to take the princess Elizabeth to wife," and when this was read every member of the assembled houses of parliament rose and bowed to the king, who answered "that he was most willing so to do." From that day Elizabeth of York was treated as queen consort, but she never had the slightest recognition as queen regnant, either by her husband, his government, or even by the warmest partisans of the line of York.

Henry and Elizabeth were married January 18, 1485-6, at Westminster abbey, by their kinsman Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, "by whose hand," says a quaint chronicler, "was first tied together the sweet posy of the red and white roses." Elizabeth, very soon after the marriage, gave hopes of offspring that would unite the rival lines. She retired to the city of Winchester to pass the summer, holding her court there, surrounded by her sisters, her mother, and her mother-in-law, Margaret of Richmond, for whom she appears to have cherished the greatest esteem. Henry VII wished his wife to give birth to his heir in the castle, because tradition declared it was built by King Arthur, his ancestor. Prince Arthur Tudor was born there, September 20, 1486. The health of the queen, it appears, was always delicate, and she suffered much from ague that autumn. Her mother-in-law, lady Margaret, busied herself greatly at this time; for, besides regulating the etiquette of the royal lying-in chamber, she likewise arranged the pageantry of the young prince's baptism. Elizabeth of York had the satisfaction of seeing her mother distinguished by the honour of standing godmother for this precious heir. The king, according to ancient custom, sat by the queen's bed-side, ready to give with her their united blessing as the concluding ceremony of the royal baptism, which took place in Winchester cathedral.

The next year a rebellion broke out in behalf of the earl of Warwick, who was impersonated by a youth named Lambert Simnel. It was but a few months since the queen and young Warwick had been companions at Sheriff Hutton: the public had since lost sight of him, and this rebellion was evidently got up to make the king own what had become of him. He had been kept quietly in the Tower, from whence, to prove the imposition of Lambert Simnel, he was now brought in grand procession through the city to Shene, where he had lived in the life of Edward IV, with Elizabeth of York, and her young brothers and sisters. The queen received him with several noblemen, and conversed with him; but he was found to be very stupid, not knowing the difference between the commonest objects. Henry very magnanimously forgave Lambert Simnel, and with good-humoured ridicule promoted him to be turnspit in his kitchen at Westminster, and afterwards made him one of his falconers. This act of grace was in honour of Elizabeth's approaching coronation. She preceded the king to London, and on the 3rd of November, 1487, she sat in a window at St. Mary's hospital Bishopsgate-street, in order to have a view of his triumphant entry into the metropolis, in honour of the victory of Stoke over the rebels.

The queen then went with Henry to their palace at Greenwich. On the Friday preceding her coronation she went from London to Greenwich, royally attended on the broad-flowing Thames to the Tower, where, when she landed, the king received her. The Londoners were anxious to behold her in her royal apparel. She must have been well worth seeing: she had not completed her twenty-second year, her figure was tall, elegant, and majestic, her complexion brilliantly fair. The royal apparel consisted of a kirtle of white cloth of gold, damasked, and a mantle of the same, furred with ermine, finished with rich knobs of gold and tassels. On her fair yellow hair hanging at length down her back, she wore a crest of gems, and a rich crown. Thus attired, she quitted her chamber of state, her train borne by her sister Cicely, who was still fairer than herself. The king resolved that Elizabeth should possess the public attention solely that day: he therefore ensconced himself in a closely-latticed box, erected between the altar and the pulpit in Westminster abbey, where he remained with his mother, hidden during the whole ceremony. The queen's mother was not present, but her son Dorset, who had undergone imprisonment in the Tower on suspicion during the earl of Lincoln's revolt, was liberated, and permitted to assist at his sister's coronation. November, 1489, previously to the birth of her daughter Margaret, the queen performed the ceremony of taking her chamber at Westminster palace, which was partly a religious service. The royal infant was born November 29th. She was named Margaret, after the king's mother, and that noble lady, as godmother, presented the babe with a silver box full of gold pieces. At the christening festival, a play was performed before the king and queen in the white hall of Westminster palace. The queen's second son, Henry, afterwards Henry VIII, was born at Greenwich palace. June 28, 1491. He was remarkable for his great strength and robust health from his infancy. During the retirement of the queen to her chamber previously to the birth of her fourth child, the death of her mother Elizabeth Woodville, occurred: the royal infant proving a girl was named Elizabeth, in memory of its grandmother.

Towards the close of 1492 commenced the rebellion in behalf of Perkin Warbeck, who personated Richard duke of York, the queen's brother, second son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. The remaining years of the century were involved in great trouble to the king, the queen, and the whole country; the lord chamberlain, sir William Stanley (brother to the king's father-in-law), was executed, with little form of justice. The bodies of the queen's brothers were vainly sought for at the Tower, in order to disprove the claims of the impostor; and when the queen's tender love for her own family is remembered, a doubt cannot exist but that her mental sufferings were acute at this crisis. Elizabeth was in 1495 so deeply in debt, that her consort found it necessary, after she had pawned her plate for 500l., to lend her 2000l. to satisfy her creditors. Whoever examines the privy-purse expenses of this queen will find that her life was spent in acts of beneficence to the numerous claimants of her bounty. She loved her own sisters; they were destitute, but she could not bear that princesses of the royal line of York should be wholly dependent on the English noblemen (who had married them dowerless) for the food they ate and the raiment they wore: she allowed them all, while single, an annuity of 50l. per annum for their private expenses, and paid to their husbands annuities for their board of 120l. each, besides perpetual presents. In her own person she was economical: when she needed pocket-money, sums as low as 4s. 4d. at a time were sent from her accountant, Richard Decons, by one of her ladies, to put in her purse. Then her gowns were mended, turned, and new-bodied: they were newly-hemmed when beaten out at the bottom, for which her tailor was paid 2d. She wore shoes which only cost 12d., with latten or tin buckles; but the rewards she proffered to her poor affectionate subjects, who brought her trifling offerings of early peas, cherries, chickens, bunches of roses, and posies of other flowers, were very high in proportion to what she paid for her own shoes.

The royal children were reared at Shene. The queen lost her little daughter Elizabeth in September, 1495: this infant, if her epitaph may be trusted, was singularly lovely in person. There was no peace for England till after the execution of the adventurous boy who took upon himself the character of the queen's brother. For upwards of two years Henry VII spared the life of Perkin, but inspired with a spirit of restless daring, which showed as if he came "one way of the great Plantagenets," this youth nearly got possession of the Tower, and implicated the unfortunate earl of Warwick, his fellow-captive, in his schemes. Perkin, after undergoing many degradations, was hanged at Tyburn, November 16, and the less justifiable execution of the earl of Warwick followed. This last prince of the name of Plantagenet was beheaded on Tower hill, November 28, 1499.

A dreadful plague broke out in England after this event, when Henry VII, fearing lest the queen should be among its victims, took her out of the country, in May, to Calais for more than a month. She entertained the archduke Philip of Austria most royally while she remained at Calais. A marriage between her beautiful little daughter Mary, and Charles, afterwards the great emperor Charles V, was agreed upon at this time, and the marriage-treaty between Arthur prince of Wales and the youngest daughter of Spain, Katharine of Arragon, was concluded. The following January the queen presided at the betrothment of her eldest daughter Margaret with James IV of Scotland, performed in her palace and chapel of Shene, and publicly celebrated and announced at St. Paul's cathedral.

Henry and Elizabeth were at Greenwich palace when the news arrived of their heavy loss. The king's confessor was deputed by the privy council to break the sad news to him. Before his usual time the priest knocked at the king's chamber-door, and when admitted he requested all present to quit the room, saying in Latin, as he approached, "If we receive good from the hand of God, shall we not patiently sustain the ill he sends us?"—"He then showed his grace that his dear son Arthur was departed to God. When the king understood those sorrowful heavy tidings, he sent for the queen, saying, 'that he and his wife would take their painful sorrow together.' After she was come and saw the king her lord in his deep grief, she with pious words besought him that he would, after God, consider the weal of his own noble person, of his realm, and of her. 'And,' added the queen, 'remember that my lady, your mother, had never no more children but you only, yet God by his grace has ever preserved you, and brought you where you are now. Over and above, God has left you yet a fair prince and two fair princesses, and God is still where he was, and we are both young enough. As your grace's wisdom is renowned all over Christendom, you must now give proof of it by the manner of taking this misfortune.'" In August, 1502, Elizabeth made a progress towards the borders of Wales, to visit and offer at Arthur's tomb. Her accounts at this time show tender remembrances of her family; she clothed an old woman who had been nurse to her brother, Edward V, and rewarded a man who had shown hospitable attention to her uncle Earl Rivers, in his distress at Pontefract, just before his execution.

The queen's seventh confinement was expected in February, 1502-3. The accouchement was to take place at the royal apartments of the Tower of London, and all things were prepared there for her reception. After Christmas the queen was with her ladies rowed by her bargeman, Lewis Walter, and his watermen, in a great boat from Richmond to Hampton Court. She stayed there eight days. Hampton Court was a favourite reside of Elizabeth of York long before cardinal Wolsey had possession of it, for in the spring of this year there is a notation that she was residing there. She was, with her ladies, finally rowed by Lewis Walter and his crew from Richmond to the Tower, very late in January. Her finances were low, for she borrowed 10l. of one of the king's gentlemen-ushers, in order to pay the officers of the Mint their fees, which they craved as customary on account of a royal residence at the Tower.

On Candlemas day, February 2, the queen brought into the world a princess, who was named Katherine. The fatal symptoms which threatened Elizabeth's life afterwards must have been wholly unexpected, since the physician on whom the king depended for her restoration to health was absent at his dwelling-house beyond Gravesend. The king sent for this person, but it was in vain that Dr. Hallyswurth travelled through the night, with guides and torches, to the royal patient in the Tower: the fiat had gone forth, and the gentle, the pious Elizabeth expired February 11, 1502-3, the day she completed her thirty-seventh year. The king was overwhelmed with grief and consternation; he retired into the deepest seclusion, permitting no one to speak to him on any business whatsoever. When the news of Elizabeth's decease spread through the city the utmost sorrow was manifested among all ranks of her subjects. The bells of St. Paul's tolled dismally, and were answered by those of every church and religious house in the metropolis or its neighbourhood. Meantime the queen was embalmed at the Tower. The day after her demise being Sunday, her corpse was removed from the chamber where she died to the chapel within the Tower, under the steps of which then reposed, unknown to all, the bodies of her murdered brothers, Edward V and Richard duke of York.

On the twelfth day after the queen's death her corpse was put in a carriage covered with black velvet, with a cross of white cloth of gold. An image exactly representing her was placed in a chair above in her rich robes of state, her crown on her head, her hair about her shoulders, her sceptre in her right hand, her fingers well garnished with rings and precious stones, and at each end of the chair was a gentlewoman kneeling on the coffin, which was in this manner drawn by six horses, trapped with black velvet from the Tower to Westminster abbey, when the grave being hallowed by the bishop of London, the body was placed in it.

The Family of Henry VII

Henry VII survived his consort seven years: his character deteriorated after her loss. The active beneficence of the royal Elizabeth had formed a counteracting influence to his avaricious propensities, since it was after her death he became notorious for his rapacity and miserly habit of hoarding money. He died in the spring of 1509, like his ancestors worn down with premature old age, and was laid by the side of his queen in the magnificent chapel at Westminster Abbey which bears his name.

        Excerpted from:

        Strickland, Agnes. Lives of the Queens of England.
        London: Bell and Daldy, 1867. 173-181.

Other Local Resources:

Books for further study:

Harvey, Nancy Lenz. Elizabeth of York, the Mother of Henry VIII.
                New York: Macmillan, 1973.

Laynesmith, J. L. The Last Medieval Queens: English Queenship 1445-1503.
               Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Okerlund, Arlene Naylor. Elizabeth of York.
               New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Weir, Alison. Elizabeth of York.
               Ballantine Books, 2014.

Weir, Alison. The Princes in the Tower.
               Ballantine Books, 1995.

Elizabeth of York on the Web:

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This page was created on April 11, 2007. Last updated February 11, 2023.

Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Isabella of France, Queen of England
Piers Gaveston
Thomas of Brotherton, E. of Norfolk
Edmund of Woodstock, E. of Kent
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March
Hugh le Despenser the Younger
Bartholomew, Lord Burghersh, elder

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
The Siege of Calais, 1346-7
The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Agincourt, 1415
The Battle of Castillon, 1453

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450

Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
London in late 16th century
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's View of London, 1616
Larger Visscher's View in Sections
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

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