Even though on his father’s side, Edward V was a legitimate noble York, the English nobility had little enthusiasm for seeing Elizabeth Woodville’s child, Edward V, sitting on the throne of England.
It is reasonable to suppose that Richard of Gloucester, Edward IV’s youngest brother, shared the family’s antipathy for the pushy Woodville tribe. Richard of Gloucester, although a loyal supporter of his brother, Edward IV in all other things, was far from ecstatic over his new assignment to be Protector of the Prince, with responsibility for putting the crown on the head of his nephew, Edward of Westminster.
Common Englishmen strongly supported their very popular King Edward IV; therefore, it is unlikely that they openly opposed his son Edward V, because his mother Queen Elizabeth was a Woodville.
The Basis for Questioning Legitimacy of
Edward IV’s Children
Legitimacy of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville’s children had been raised in court gossip before his death on April 9, 1483. However, Edward IV’s great popularity rendered these previous mutterings of little importance. A challenge against the legitimacy of all children of Edward IV and his queen Elizabeth Woodville was raised in May after his death, and became the major basis for Parliament’s rejection of Edward V as England’s crowned king.
Edward IV was a notorious womanizer, and throughout his life, he had many mistresses. One of these was the widow Lady Eleanor (Talbot) Butler, who captured the king’s eye in 1461. It was rumored that he promised her marriage, if she would yield to his attentions. This affair was held to be of little importance throughout Edward’s twenty-two year reign. However, after his death, the climate of muted...
... middle of paper ...
...Proofs should not be multiplied beyond necessity.’
One of Henry Tudor’s first acts as King Henry VII in 1485, after usurping the throne from Richard III, demanded that Parliament restore legitimacy to all children of Edward IV. By this means, his Queen Consort Elizabeth of York (the oldest child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville) would not have a cloud of bastardy besmirch any children born to them. Legitimacy was of cardinal concern to Henry Tudor. More than enough bastardy existed in his genealogy. Henry’s father Edmund Tudor was born a bastard who had to be legitimized by Parliament before he was free to marry Henry’s mother, the Venerable Lady Margaret Beaufort. Moreover, her grandfather, John Beaufort was born a bastard of John of Gaunt and his mistress Katherine Swynford, before later being legitimized by Parliament and Pope Boniface IX in 1390.
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