Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
NameSir Owen (Owain) TUDOR , 4062
FatherMaredudd AP TUDUR , 4064 (-1406)
ChildrenJasper , 4061 (1429-1495)
 Edmund , 4065 (1430-1456)
 Owen , 4069 (1432-1510)
Notes for Sir Owen (Owain) TUDOR

Sir Owen Meredith Tudor (Welsh: Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur was a Welsh soldier and courtier, descended from a daughter of the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffudd, "The Lord Rhys". However, Owen Tudor is particularly remembered for his role in founding England's Tudor dynasty - including his relationship with, and probable secret marriage to, Catherine of Valois, widow of King Henry V of England

It is believed that Owen's father Maredudd (Meredith) fled Wales, rather than face a trial for murder. Owain became the ward of his father's second cousin, Lord Rhys. At the age of seven, he was sent to the English court as page to the King's Steward. At that point, his name was anglicized to Owen Tudor. Tudor fought at Agincourt; and appears to have been promoted to squire. At any rate, after Agincourt he was granted "English rights" and permitted to use Welsh arms in England. (Henry IV had deprived Welshmen of many civil rights).

Owen entered the service of Queen Catherine of Valois as keeper of the Queen's wardrobe, (essentially her major-domo) after the death of her husband Henry V of England on 22 August 1422. The Queen initially lived with her infant son, King Henry VI, before moving to Wallingford Castle early in his reign and taking Tudor with her. Catherine left court when her son's regents, John of Bedford and Humphrey of Gloucester (brothers of Henry V) denied her permission to marry John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset and scion of a legitimized Plantagenet line.

Ironically, Somerset became Henry VII's other grandfather. No documentation survives of her marriage to Owen Tudor in 1429. Parliament passed a resolution in 1428 forbidding dowager queens to remarry without the king's permission, so the marriage of Catherine and Owen Tudor may not have been legally valid.

Still, they were communicants, and kept a chaplain. Henry VI in due time gave his two oldest Tudor half-brothers the rank of Earl though, as a signal recognition of their rank, they ranked above Marquesses and immediately below non-royal Dukes. Henry VI also issued an edict that the legitimization of his two Tudor half-brothers was unnecessary.

Henry VI knighted his stepfather Owen, made him Warden of Forestries, and appointed him a Deputy Lord Lieutenant. Prior to his creation as a Knight Bachelor, Owen, though excused from duty, was appointed an Esquire to the King's Person. Ironically, many years later, in order that he could command Henry VI's forces at Mortimer's Cross, Owen was made a Knight Banneret.

Owen Tudor became an early casualty of the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1487) between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. On 2 February 1461, as a man of advanced years, Owen led the Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross against Edward, Earl of March. They were defeated. Owen was subsequently executed, beheaded at Hereford along with other prisoners, and buried there. He is said to have expected a reprieve because of his relationship with the former royal family. Owen reportedly was not convinced of his approaching death until the collar was ripped off his doublet by the executioner. At this point he is alleged to have said that "the head which used to lie in Queen Catherine's lap would now lie in the executioner's basket".

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, Owen Tudor's Welsh grandson, became King Henry VII of England, founding the Tudor dynasty, when his supporters defeated those of Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485. While the Wars of the Roses effectively ended at Tewkesbury in 1471, Richard III's alleged murder of the Princes in the Tower, coupled with his invalidation by Act of Parliament, subsequently repealed, of the marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville caused the English people to rally behind the last reasonably legitimate adult male descendant of Edward III, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond.

Sir Owen's descendants include Charles I of England and Oliver Cromwell; King Juan Carlos of Spain and Elizabeth II, the current Queen regnant of the United Kingdom and of 15 other independent states.
Last Modified 8 Feb 2012Created 4 Mar 2023 using Reunion for Macintosh