georges duke of clarence

me: I must understand the medieval History of England.

*some books and documentaries later*

me: …plenty of Kings indeed…

me: *a bit doubtful* So let’s systematize:

me: *quite doubtful and sweating* Just need to add the respective names and dates and it will be great…

I am haunted by the dead. I have seen my brothers, husband and sons fight for the crown of a divided kingdom. I have known no peace in my lifetime, I have only known heartbreak and mistrust. Now, my dearest granddaughter has been sacrificed to the welsh dragon that has plagued my family for so long. So forgive me, my Lord, if I do not rejoice in the union of my kin to the Lancastrians. I have fought for so long with the white rose at my breast, I am weary from years of loss and disappointment. 


18 February 1516 – The birth of a fair princess

In the early hours of 18th February 1516, at Greenwich Palace, “was borne a fayre prynces and christened with great solempnitie, and named Mary.” This little girl was the future Queen Mary I.

Mary was baptised on 20th February 1516 in the Church of the Observant Friars at Greenwich. The little princess was carried to the font by the Countess of Surrey and her godparents were Catherine Courtenay, Countess of Devon and daughter of Edward IV; Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence; the Duchess of Norfolk, and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

She was the only surviving child of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and the first queen to rule England in her own right. Mary was crowned on October 1553 and reigned until her death in 1558 at St. James Palace in London

Support Group for People Unfairly Maligned in Historical Fiction

Edward II: Greetings, everyone!  I’m Edward of Caernarfon, as you probably all know - do feel free to call me Ned - and I’m your moderator for this, the second meeting of all of us unfortunate historical folks maligned in fiction of the twenty-first century.  We’re here to share our pain, and to share the sillinesses perpetuated about us written hundreds of years after our deaths.  I’ll get us started.  As well as all the unfair and wildly untrue things about me I shared at our last meeting, there’s some new stuff.  According to one novelist, I react to things by ‘snivelling’ and am a coward who runs away from the battlefield of Bannockburn and is too afraid to fight, even though in reality I had to be dragged protesting from the field and fought 'like a lioness deprived of her cubs’ right in the thick of battle.

Piers Gaveston: Pretty damn sure I never saw you snivel, Ned.  I bet the terribly heterosexual manly hero Roger Mortimer doesn’t 'snivel’ in that novel, eh?

Edward II: Damn right, he doesn’t.  That same novel also accuses me of cowardice because I don’t beat up my wife, which was a real lolwut?? moment, I tell you.

Margaret Beaufort: May I have the floor, Ned?  I, apparently, am a religious maniac with a weirdly anachronistic Joan of Arc fetish - why? I mean, why?! - which I have to talk about every five minutes.  I mysteriously forget that I’m the countess of Richmond all the time.  But worst of all by far, I’m meant to have had Edward IV’s two sons murdered in the Tower of London so that my own son Henry Tudor could become king.  Because obviously I knew that Richard III’s son would conveniently die young a few months later and clear the path to the throne, and I could stroll in and out of the most fortified and well-guarded stronghold in the country and murder two princes without anyone noticing.  Yup.  Invisible Superwoman, that’s me.

Edward II: That’s awful, Margaret!  You mean people are willing to accuse you of the cold-blooded murder of children when there isn’t the tiniest shred of evidence whatsoever?

Margaret Beaufort: Indeed there are, plenty of them.  There are also people on modern social media who call me a 'snake’ and express a wish that I’d died in childbirth and my son with me.  I was thirteen at the time.  Yes, there really are people out there who wish a thirteen-year-old had suffered a painful death in childbirth.  It seems that they forget we were human beings with feelings too.

George, duke of Clarence: Hey, everyone!  Talking about blatant ways of making us appear really unlikeable and horrible, I’d like to protest at the way novelists in the twenty-first century portray me as this ridiculously one-dimensional alcoholic wife-beater.  That’s all there ever was to me, apparently.  Alcoholism.  And wife-beating.  I never even laid a finger on Isabel!

Henry VII: There’s this one novel where my mother Margaret Beaufort - who just hasn’t been maligned enough, apparently - tells me to rape my fiancée Elizabeth of York before we marry to make sure that she can become pregnant.  If she can’t, I’m to marry her sister Cecily instead.  Still trying to figure that one out - am I supposed to go through all the sisters until I find one who gets pregnant and then marry her?  Just so darn weird.

Elizabeth of York: Wait, let me see that one!  Oh yeah, I remember now, the novel where I spend half the time mooning over my lost uncle Richard III, who I was totally in love with, allegedly, and refer to constantly as 'my lover’.  My uncle.  There is not enough eeeewwwww in my vocabulary.

Henry VII: I’m depicted as this pathetic little mummy’s boy half the time.  And I’ve been trying to block the horror of it out of my mind, but there’s another novel that has me - get this, folks - drinking the blood of young men.  Like wuuuuuuh?

Elizabeth of York: I don’t know.

Edward II: You don’t know what?

Elizabeth of York: I don’t know what I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.  Say anything to me and I’ll reply that I don’t know.

Elizabeth Woodville: Hey, everyone, did you know I’m a witch?  Witch witch witch.  Who makes witchy things happen all the witching time.  Because I’m a witch.  A witchy witch who does lots of witchy things.  On every witchy page of the witchy novel about how I’m a witch.

Anne Neville: I’m getting pretty annoyed with the way I’m almost always depicted as terribly frail, to the point where I faint or collapse about every five minutes.  Yes, I died young, but that doesn’t mean I’d been a permanent invalid all my life, people!  Yeesh, it’d be great to have someone write me as though I had an actual backbone and some personality, instead of as this weak feeble fainting little…thing.

Edward of Lancaster: True, and it’d be nice if someone would acknowledge that you didn’t necessarily spend your entire marriage to me weeping and wailing over Richard of Gloucester.

Anne Neville: I did a little bit at first maybe, just a tiny little bit, but I soon got used to the idea of being queen of England one day.  That was pretty cool.  Something else modern novelists never seem to realise about me is that maybe I had a bit of ambition and quite fancied being a queen!

Edward of Lancaster: Yeah, we kind of got used to being married to each other and didn’t mind it at all, did we?  And you know, it’s so unfair when a throwaway bravado comment you make when you’re still practically a child is then used for the next half a millennium as though it represents the sum total of your personality and is constantly used to present you as a sadistic murderous psychopath.  Modern people, would you like it if someone took one of your sulky adolescent pronouncements as though it’s representative of your entire life and attitudes?

Henry VI: And when one remark by one visitor to England, simply reporting a rumour he had heard that I supposedly said that my son Edward was fathered by the Holy Ghost, is taken that my son absolutely must have been fathered by someone else other than me.  As though my wife Margaret of Anjou isn’t maligned enough!

Margaret of Anjou: Oh, you mean I actually have a name?  Like seriously?  I thought I was just called 'the bad queen’.  Voice dripping with sarcasm here.

Elizabeth of York: I don’t know.

Edward II: Afraid we’re running out of time and will have to wrap this up now, folks!  Hope you all feel somewhat better after getting this rubbish off your chests, and take care until the next meeting of the Support Group for People Maligned in Historical Fiction!  Goodnight!

- Kathryn Warner from her blog (excepts about the Wars of The Roses historical fiction)


  1. Anne of York (10 August 1439 – 14 January 1476), primarily wife of Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, and secondly, Sir Thomas St. Leger.
  2. Edward IV of England (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483).
  3. Edmund, Earl of Rutland (17 May 1443 – 30 December 1460).
  4. Elizabeth of York (22 April 1444 – possibly after January 1503), wife of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk.
  5. Margaret of York (3 May 1446 – 23 November 1503), married Charles I, Duke of Burgundy
  6. George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence (21 October 1449 – 18 February 1478), drowned in his favourite wine.
  7. Richard III of England (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485), killed in battle.

ELIZABETH OF YORK, DUCHESS OF SUFFOLK - (22 April 1444 –  after January 1503) Children of York

Elizabeth was the sixth child and third daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. Like her older brothers, Edward and Edmund, Elizabeth was born in Rouen, Normandy.

She was the younger sister of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, Edward IV of England and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, she was also the older sister of Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Richard III of England. Elizabeth’s older sister, Joan, died before Elizabeth was born, making her, Richard and Cecily’s second surviving daughter.

At the age of about thirteen/fourteen sometime before February 1458, Elizabeth was married to John de la Pole. John was the eldest son of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Alice Chaucer.

Her father-in-law had served as the principal power behind the throne for Henry VI of England from 1447 to 1450. His three years in this position saw the near-complete loss of the English possessions in northern France, towards the end of Hundred Years’ War. Suffolk could not avoid taking the fall for the failure. He had been imprisoned in the Tower of London and had been attained. Consequently, John had not succeeded to his titles when his father was executed on 2 May 1450.

Her older brother Edward IV of England restored his brother-in-law to the title of Duke of Suffolk in 1463. She remained the Duchess of Suffolk until his death in 1491/1492. They were settled in Wingfield Suffolk.

From the little that is known between the couple, it is thought that Elizabeth and John had a reasonably happy marriage, with Elizabeth giving birth to eleven children between the years 1462 to 1480. Elizabeth had seven sons and four daughters.

She survived her husband by almost a decade and is last mentioned alive in January 1503. She was mentioned being deceased by May 1504. Her death is placed in the sixteen months in between the two reports. Elizabeth was buried beside her husband, John, at St Andrew’s Church, Wingfield, Suffolk.


Queens consort of England - Anne Neville

Anne Neville was born at Warwick Castle, and probably lived there and in other castles held by her family while she was in childhood. She did attend various formal celebrations, including the feast celebrating the marriage of Margaret of York in 1468.

Anne’s father, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was called the Kingmaker for his shifting and influential roles in the Wars of the Roses.  He was a nephew of the Duke of York’s wife, Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV and Richard III. He came into considerable property and wealth when he married Anne Beauchamp. They had no sons, only two daughters, of whom Anne Neville was the younger, and Isabel the elder.  These daughters would inherit a fortune, and thus their marriages were especially important in the royal marriage game.

In 1460, Anne’s father and his uncle, Edward, Duke of York and Earl of March, defeated Henry VI at Northampton. In 1461, Edward was proclaimed King of England as Edward IV. Edward married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, surprising Warwick who had plans for a more advantageous marriage for him.

By 1469, Warwick had turned against Edward IV and the Yorkists, and joined the Lancastrian cause promoting the return of Henry VI. Henry’s queen, Margaret of Anjou, was heading the Lancastrian effort, from France. Warwick married his older daughter, Isabel, to George, Duke of Clarence, a brother of Edward IV, while the parties were in Calais, France.  Clarence switched from the York to the Lancaster party.

The next year, Warwick, apparently to convince Margaret of Anjou that he was trustworthy (because he had originally sided with Edward IV in unseating Henry VI), married his daughter Anne to Henry VI’s son and heir apparent, Edward of Westminster. The marriage was held in Bayeux in mid December of 1470. Warwick, Edward of Westminster accompanied Queen Margaret as she and her army invaded England, Edward IV fled to Burgundy. Anne’s marriage to Edward of Westminster convinced Clarence that Warwick had no intention to promote his kingship. Clarence switched sides and rejoined his Yorkist brothers.

On April 14, at the Battle of Barnet, the Yorkist party was victorious, and Anne’s father, Warwick, and a brother of Warwick, John Neville, were among those killed. Then on May 4, in the Battle of Tewkesbury, the Yorkists won another decisive victory over Margaret of Anjou’s forces, and Anne’s young husband, Edward of Westminster, was killed either during the battle or shortly after. With his heir dead, the Yorkists had Henry VI killed days later.  Edward IV, now victorious and restored, imprisoned Anne, widow of Edward of Westminster and no longer Princess of Wales.  Clarence took custody of Anne and her mother.

When siding with the Yorkists earlier, Warwick, in addition to marrying his older daughter, Isabel Neville, to George, Duke of Clarence, had been trying to marry his younger daughter Anne to Edward IV’s youngest brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Anne and Richard were first cousins once removed, as were George and Isabel, all descended from Ralph de Neville and Joan Beaufort. (Joan was the legitimized daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford.) Clarence tried to prevent the marriage of his wife’s sister to his brother. Edward IV also opposed the marriage of Anne and Richard. Because Warwick had no sons, his valuable lands and titles would go to his daughters’ husbands at his death. Clarence’s motivation likely was that he didn’t want to divide his wife’s inheritance with his brother. Clarence attempted to take Anne in as his ward, to control her inheritance. But under circumstances that are not fully known to history, Anne escaped Clarence’s control and she took sanctuary at a church in London, probably with Richard’s organization.

It took two acts of parliament to set aside the rights of Anne Beauchamp, mother of Anne and Isabel, and a cousin, George Neville, and to divide the estate between Anne Neville and Isabel Neville.

Anne, who had been widowed in May of 1471, married Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV, perhaps in March or July of 1472.  He then claimed Anne’s inheritance.  The date of their marriage is not certain, and there is no evidence of a papal dispensation for such close relatives to marry.  A son, Edward, was born in 1473 or 1476, and a second son, who did not live long, may have been born as well. Anne’s sister Isabel died in 1476, shortly after her birth of a short-lived fourth child. George, Duke of Clarence, was executed in 1478 for plotting against Edward IV; Isabel had died in 1476. Anne Neville took charge of raising the children of Isabel and Clarence.  Their daughter, Margaret Pole, was executed much later, in 1541, by Henry VIII.

Edward IV died in 1483. On his death, his minor son, Edward, became Edward V. But the young prince was never crowned. He was put into the charge of his uncle, Anne’s husband, Richard of Gloucester, as Protector. Prince Edward and, later, his younger brother were taken to the Tower of London, where they disappeared from history, presumed killed, though when is not known.

Stories have long circulated that Richard III was responsible for the deaths of his nephews, the “Princes in the Tower,” to remove rival claimants for the crown. Henry VII, Richard’s successor, also had motive and, if the princes survived Richard’s reign, would have had opportunity to have them killed. A few have pointed at Anne Neville herself as having the motivation to order the deaths.While the princes were still being held under Richard’s control. Richard had his brother’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville declared invalid and his brother’s children declared illegitimate on June 25, 1483, thereby inheriting the crown himself as the legitimate male heir. Anne was crowned as Queen and their son, Edward, made Prince of Wales. But Edward died on April 9, 1484; Richard adopted Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of hisbrother, as his heir, probably at Anne’s request. Anne may have been unable to bear another child, due to her ill health.

Anne, reportedly never very healthy, fell ill in early 1485, and died on March 16, 1485. Buried in Westminster Abbey, her grave was unmarked until 1960. Richard quickly named a different heir to the throne, his sister Elizabeth’s adult son, the Earl of Lincoln.

George and Isabelle Wedding Night

Isabelle’s ladies led her to her husband’s room to help her to undress and prepare for the consummation of the marriage. It was strange for her to be in that room so different from hers, and especially without her sister at her side. In those moments of concealed nervousness, she would have liked having her little Annie with her and not in the main hall like everyone else continuing the celebration. Her ladies had removed all her jewels, her shoes and her stockings when the Countess of Warwick came to check on the bride before her to join her husband.

“Fulfill fix bedding. I can take care of my daughter.” Lady Anne Beauchamp said to the ladies in  waiting with the voice as authoritative as usual.“ Come here Bella, let me help you.” Isabelle approached to her mother, like she to her daughter, and started undo the hairpins one by one until her curly hair fell completely on her long and slender back. When she finished with her hair, she began to unbutton the top of the dress and then the bottom, until she was only with the brace also unzipped and the thin inner skirt.

The Countess of Warwick reached for the nightgown that the bride would wear that night to show it to her and help her put it on. “Look Bella, it’s beautiful. Have you seen the precious embroidery at the neckline has? This is a special gown. After all, one does not have her wedding night every days.” She said to see if Isabelle showed some feeling and stopped being like a stone.

“Yes mom. Iti is beautiful. You have an exquisite taste. Help me putting it on me and taking off this corset. Even loosened it is tightening me.” Her mother was disappointed that her daughter did not talk with her at the time, but not surprised because she knew her better than Isabelle thought.

Already in her nightgown and ready to get into the marriage bed, the ladies opened the bed so that she could sit in the middle leaning against the pillows and on a huge very comfortable cushion.

“You can wait at the door. Give notice when my lord husband is reaching to the room "Anne Beauchamp was proud at that moment of the serenity and majesty with which her daughter gave the orders. Her mother liked to think that she had inherited it from her, at least in part. Hoping that her daughter finally spoke with her for the short time they had, she sat on the bed in front of her to listen.

"What am I supposed to do now? I have a slight idea of ​​what is going to happen tonight, but I do not know what I should do to … you know. To please him and don’t disappoint him as a wife.” Isabelle said approaching to her mother confessing her fears whispering.

“Honey, do not worry about that now. You will know what you have to do at the time without anyone to tell you, I assure you. Just try to be as relaxed as possible to facilitate the act and avoid you have more pain than necessary. As to please him, tonight you should not think about that. With the loss of virginity, there is no option to pleasure in women but he has a lot of experience and still he knows how to take pleasure in the bed with you. From tonight, you will decide what kind of intimacy you’ll want to have in your bedroom. ”

At that time, one of the ladies went to the Countess of Warwick and the Duchess of Clarence to inform them. “Lady Anne, Lady Isabelle, the Duke of Clarence is already reaching these rooms down the hall.” She turned to her with her companions in a row, and her mother kissed her on her forehead before putting herself at her side facing the door.

When the Duke came in, he did it with a smile on the face remarkable, and rose to see the entourage of ladies still lined up by the door looking down, as if they didn’t know they had to leave. The countess of Warwick looked at them thinking they must be the dumbest young girls in England. She would have liked to give them a shout for them to move but she did not think it was appropriate in the situation or in the presence of who she was.

“Ladies, unless you want to stay to contemplate what will happen tonight, all of you should leave the room before you see more than you probably should.”

The three ladies in waiting, awestruck thinking he was serious, almost ran out of the room as if they were a rampaging herd of sheep. George’s sense of humor, usually discreet, was well known to all who were close to him. Therefore, both his wife and his mother, understood the joke. Lady Anne Beauchamp followed the ladies to leave the quarters and leave the couple the intimacy necessary, giving a glance at his son in law in honor of the little conversation they had during the celebration, she went out closing the door gently.

Looking now at his wife, George approached to the bed where she was with a slight smile by the reaction of her ladies.

“Ah, finally! A smile! I was beginning to think you were afraid of me.” He said trying to relax her for she stop nailed her nail on her hand. If she do it more, at the end sjhe would end up getting hurt.

“It’s not fear, my lord husband. I just feel a little uncomfortable, especially with so many people in the great hall being aware of what happens tonight in this room.” Isabelle had always said more than she wanted to George. She knew how complicated he could become, but still when he was at her side she felt safe in the best way. As if he was her protector.

“My lord husband? I remember, a few hours ago I was just George. Now we’re married it does not change that, my dear Bella, at least when we are in private. Forget the others. Now we are alone. Nothing and no one else matters now.” He gently stroked her cheek with his rough hands, and proceeded to undress himself leaving his clothes on a chair near the bed. Having removed the suit and boots, he wanted to undo the knot of his shirt that this time was much more tangled because it was in a hurry. Isabelle, who had much more delicate hands than her husband or any other man, took the opportunity to get out of the bed and went to him for undo the big lump between the neck and chest.

“Let me help you.” She said, getting out of the bed from fe other side, as he stood facing her surprised because he did not expect that she would take the initiative. The moments when she was pulling the strings in different ways, she tried not to blush because whenever he was so close to him, she always felt a strong wave of heat and how her heart was beating a mile per minute, especially in that time, in which both had less clothing than usual. George took the opportunity to look into her eyes and admire once again the beauty of her face, her tousled curly hair, her thin, super-soft skin and skinny arms.

“It is done.”

“Thank you.” George took off his shirt while she was still nimbly in front of him. Her reaction was what he expected: she turned getting back into bed at the same side of from she came out. When he was removing his pants, she sat up to remove the cushion on which had been supporting all that time to have something to do and not to stare at the naked body of her husband no more. That would be very violent, perhaps because she was not able to look at his naked body without blushing, though she had imagined in her mind ever since she knew that eventually they would be husband and wife.

George finished undressing and got into the bed standing at his side with his wife, now completely lying, shivering slightly and breathing hard while both eyes looked at each other with complete devotion.

“Do not be scared. We’re married now, and I’ll take care of you. Always.” Said that, George began kissing his wife tenderly while he caressed her legs until the thighs. With nightgown climbed to the pelvis, George opened her legs with the same hand and stood over her. If her heart was beating a mile a minute before, she was now going out of the chest completely. Still, Isabelle tried to be as calm as possible so her mother said, and because deep down because she knew she could trust him. She gave a little sigh when her husband pulled his lips from hers and he began to stroke her from the belly to the neck, dragging her nightgown until she sat up slightly and he took it off.

With her totally naked chest, she surprised that she did not occur modesty. On the contrary, she wanted to have him closer to her. she felt that need him. She placed her hands almost under the pillow to grab easily when the pain so feared for her to arrive. He kissed her again, this time more intensely while massaging her breasts.

Then, George entered her in one swift movement without her wait for it. Isabelle instinctively only could take her lips from him, hiding her face in the pillow she was holding tightly with both hands. Her whole body was tensed because of that strange, sharp pain as she was feeling in her intimate area. Still she tried to relax again but it was difficult because of the natural instinct to close her legs slightly bent. On the contrary, he removed her right hand from the pillow and laced his fingers with hers while the whispered: “Hold on to me.”

Obeying the offer, Isabelle dropped the other hand that was holding the pillow and her husband grabbed her by the upper arm tightly as he continued moving inside her carefully but steadily.

Isabelle wanted with all her soul might to hide the signs of pain on her face and in her voice, like the tears that were falling down her cheeks. But no matter how she tried, it was useless. Yet they had trained her to be a good and dutiful wife, so even if she wanted to ask him to stop, she did not at any time. She just hoped he would not notice her tears at least.

During the last moments of intimacy between them, George’s movements became faster and deeper until finally ejaculated inside his wife and then stopped exhausted of pleasure. Yet he remained inside her as he withdrew tears spilled down her face and then kissed her on the lips tenderly caressed her curly hair. Isabelle was ashamed that he had seen mourn just then, but he saw it as normal and did not say anything about it.

Having released her hand, pulled off her,automatically, Isabelle gently pulled the sheet to cover her chest.

After yawned a few times, George looked at the expressionless face of his wife holding her hand for him to release the sheet and gave a simple kiss on her.

“Are you ok, wife?” Asked George. She looked at him and turned sideways in front of him smiling, not of pleasure, but yes somehow calm and happy too.

“I’m fine husband.” She answered without removing the smile off her face in no time and with his thumb stroking the hand that he still was holding.

“Come here.” George said, pointing to his wife how to put on with her head besides him and one of her hands resting on his chest and stuck to his body as he encircled her waist with his right arm above blankets. Isabelle spent her left leg over the right leg of George as a sign of comfort that he liked to see because it meant she was losing the shame with her husband. What he was not so clear was whether if he would be able to sleep comfortable in that way in which he had never done, because he had never paid much attention to the whores to which he frequented occasionally, nor the women who had courted after lying with them. Being cuddled, George pulled the sheets and blankets so that both were covered without getting cold.

“Close your eyes and rest, wife. I’ll be here watching over your dreams.” Said that, he kissed her on the head, put his arm behind his head to lean on and be more comfortable as he always did, and then closed their eyes. He awaiting the arrival of the new day, and she was grateful to have a husband who treated her with such kindness.