Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
NameElizabeth of YORK , 4280
FatherEdward PLANTAGANET IV KING OF ENGLAND , 4277 (1442-1483)
MotherElizabeth WOODVILLE , 4275 (1437-1492)
FatherEdmund TUDOR, 1ST EARL OF RICHMOND , 4065 (1430-1456)
ChildrenMargaret , 4282 (1489-1541)
 Arthur , 4281 (1486-1502)
 Henry VIIIth , 4283
 Elizabeth , 4284
 Mary , 4285
 Edmund , 4286
 Katherine , 4287
Notes for Elizabeth of YORK
Elizabeth of York (11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503) was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England.

Elizabeth of York is the only English queen to have been a daughter (of Edward IV), sister (of Edward V), niece (of Richard III), wife (of Henry VII), mother (of Henry VIII) and grandmother (on the paternal side of Mary I, Elizabeth I and Edward VI) of English monarchs.

Daughter of the king

She was born at Westminster, the eldest child of King Edward IV and his Queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, the former Lady Grey.

Her christening was celebrated at Westminster Abbey, her sponsors being her grandmothers Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford. Her third sponsor was her cousin, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.

She was named a Lady of the Garter in 1477, along with her mother and her paternal aunt Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk.
In 1469, she was briefly betrothed to George Neville, son of John Neville, Earl of Northumberland, who initially supported Edward IV against his brother Warwick's rebellion. The Earl of Northumberland switched sides, however, and the betrothal was called off. In 1475, Louis XI agreed to let her marry his son, Charles, the Dauphin of France, but Louis reneged on the promise in 1482.

[edit]Sister of the king

In 1483, Edward IV died and Elizabeth's younger brother, Edward V, became King. Her uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed regent and protector of his nephews.

Shortly after his brother's death, Richard began taking steps to isolate his nephews from their Woodville relations. He intercepted Edward V on his way from Ludlow (where he was living as Prince of Wales) to London to be crowned. Edward was placed in the royal residence of the Tower of London, ostensibly for his protection. Elizabeth Woodville fled with her younger son, Richard, and her daughters into sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. Gloucester requested Richard go to the Tower to keep his brother company and Elizabeth agreed.

Two months later, on 22 June 1483, Edward IV's marriage was declared invalid (Edward, it was claimed, had at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville already been betrothed to Lady Eleanor Butler); this made the children of the marriage bastards and ineligible for the succession. Parliament issued a bill, Titulus Regius ("The Title of the King"), in support of this position: it legally bastardised the children of Edward IV, and declared Richard the rightful king. Richard then ascended the throne as Richard III on 6 July 1483, and Edward V and his brother disappeared shortly afterwards. Soon rumours began to spread that they had been murdered.
[edit]Niece of the king

Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Woodville, made an alliance with Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Tudor, who was the closest to Royalty the Lancastrian party possessed. Although Henry was descended from King Edward III,[1] his claim to the throne was weak, due to the clause barring ascension to the throne by any heirs of the legitimized offspring of his great-great-grandparents, John of Gaunt (3rd son of King Edward III) and Katherine Swynford. Despite this, his mother and Elizabeth Woodville agreed Henry should move to claim the throne, and once he had taken it, he would marry Woodville's daughter, Elizabeth of York, uniting the two rival Houses. In December 1483, in the cathedral in Rennes, Henry swore an oath promising to marry her, and began planning an invasion.
Meanwhile, Richard III made plans to marry her to an unimportant naval officer, a son of Robert Stillington. However, he was captured by the French along the coast of Normandy and imprisoned in Paris, where he died "of hunger and poverty".

In 1484, Elizabeth and her family left Westminster Abbey and returned to Richard's court. It was rumoured that Richard III intended to marry her: his wife, Anne Neville, was dying and they had no surviving children. Richard denied this and the Crowland Chronicle claims he was forced to do so by enemies of the Woodvilles, who dreaded the family's return to royal favour. There is no conclusive evidence of Richard's intention to marry Elizabeth (which would have been subject to the Pope granting dispensations for such marriages), although Sir George Buck later stated to have uncovered a now lost letter from Elizabeth which indicated she was involved and willing. In fact, very soon after Queen Anne's death, Richard opened negotiations with John II of Portugal for a double marriage alliance, by which he would have married the king's sister, Joanna, and Elizabeth their cousin, the future Manuel I.

However, on 7 August 1485, Henry and his army landed in Wales and began marching land-inwards. On 22 August 1485, Henry and Richard fought the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard, despite having the larger army, was betrayed by some of his most powerful retainers and died in battle. Henry took the crown by right of conquest as Henry VII.

[edit]Wife of the king

Henry acknowledged the necessity of marrying Elizabeth to secure the stability of his rule and weaken the claims of other surviving members of the House of York, but he insisted on being king due to a tenuous claim of inheritance from John of Gaunt, ruling in his own right, and not by his marriage to the heir of the House of York, and had no intention of sharing power.[3] Consequently, he chose to be crowned on 30 October 1485, before his marriage.

Henry had the Titulus Regius repealed, thereby re-legitimising the children of Edward IV and acknowledged Edward V as his predecessor, since he did not want the legitimacy of his wife or er claim as heiress of Edward IV called into question. After a Papal dispensation was procured, Henry and Elizabeth married on 18 January 1486. Their first son, Arthur, was born on 20 September 1486. Henry had Elizabeth crowned queen consort on 25 November 1487.

The marriage proved successful and both partners appear to have cared for each other.[4] As queen, Elizabeth did not exercise much political influence, due to her strong-minded mother-in-law Lady Margaret Beaufort, but she was reported to be gentle and kind, and generous to her relations, servants and benefactors. Elizabeth enjoyed music and dancing, as well as dicing. She kept greyhounds, and she may have enjoyed hunting and archery.

On 14 November 1501, Elizabeth's eldest son, Arthur (aged 15), married Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, and the pair were sent to Ludlow Castle, traditional residence of the Prince of Wales. Five months later, Arthur died in April 1502. The news of Arthur's death caused Henry VII to break down in grief; Elizabeth comforted him, telling him that his mother (to whom she refers as My Lady) had no more children but him, and that God had left him yet a fair prince, two fair princesses and that they are both young enough [for more children].

Following Arthur's death, Elizabeth became pregnant once more. On 2 February 1503, she gave birth to a girl named Katherine, but the child died a few days afterwards. Succumbing to a post-partum infection, Elizabeth died on 11 February, her 37th birthday. Her husband appeared to sincerely mourn her death: according to one account, he "privily departed to a solitary place and would no man should resort unto him". Despite his reputation for thrift, he gave her a splendid funeral: she lay in state in the Tower and was buried in Westminster Abbey, in the Lady Chapel Henry had built. He later entertained thoughts of remarriage in order to renew the alliance with Spain - Joan, Dowager Queen of Naples (niece of Ferdinand II of Aragon), Joanna, Queen of Castile (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella), and Margaret, Dowager Duchess of Savoy (sister-in-law of Joanna of Castile) were all considered - but Henry died a widower in 1509. He was buried with Elizabeth; they can be found today, under their effigies in his chapel.


In the children's nursery rhyme, "Sing a Song of Sixpence" Elizabeth is reportedly the queen in the parlour, while her husband is the king counting his money.
Last Modified 8 Feb 2012Created 4 Mar 2023 using Reunion for Macintosh