8. S2014 Wives and Widows in mid-15th century England


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Catherine of Valois, Paston women, marriages between social unequals

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  • Lower half of page: part of genealogical table, with the Valois kings John the Good (1350-1364), Charles V the Wise (1364-130), Charles VI (1380-1422), and below him, his daughter Catherine of France, rather than his son, Charles VII (1422-1461), who was crowned in Reims in 1429 following Joan of Arc's intervention. On the right are the English kings from Edward III (1327-1377), Edward, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Richard II (1377-1399), and Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IV (1399-1413), the only son of John of Gaunt, Henry V (1413-1422), and Henry VI in the lower centre (1422-1461). Origin: France, N. (Rouen) Attribution: Talbot Master Provenance John Talbot, 1st earl of Shrewsbury and 1st earl of Waterford (b. c.1387, d. 1453), commissioned by him in Rouen as a wedding gift for Margaret of Anjou for her marriage to Henry VI in 1445: his arms with the arms of his wife, Margaret Beauchamp, in pretence (ff. 2v, 4v, 5, 25, 70, 155, 207, 227, 405, 439), and a presentation scene of John Talbot giving the book to queen Margaret (f. 2v). Margaret [Margaret of Anjou] (b. 1430, d. 1482), queen of England, consort of Henry VI: addressed to her 'Princessetresexcellente / celivre cy vouspresente / De schrosbery le conte'; the royal arms of England and Anjou (ff. 2v, 3, 4v, 5, 25, 70, 155, 207, 227, 405, 439), daisies (marguerites) referring to her name (ff. 2v, 4v, etc). The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): perhaps to be identified with 'Le bon royAlexandre' in the list of books at Richmond Palace of 1535, no. 91; included in the catalogue of 1666, Royal Appendix 71, f. 12v.Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
  • Detail of a miniature of John Talbot, identified by his Talbot dog, presenting the book to queen Margaret, seated in a palace beside king Henry VI, and surrounded by the court. Origin: France, N. (Rouen) Attribution: Talbot Master
  • At the age of only 22 months (in Paris on 5 May 1403) and again at the age of five (in Compiègne on 29 June 1406), Jacqueline was betrothed to John, Duke of Touraine, fourth son of King Charles VI of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Both children were brought up in the Castle of Le Quesnoy, Jacqueline's birthplace. The boy had been given into tutelage of his father-in-law, since he was expected to succeed as ruler in Hainaut and not in any way in France itself.[2] On 22 April 1411 the Pope gave his dispensation for the union and on 6 August 1415, when Jacqueline was fourteen, she and John married in The Hague. On 15 December 1415 John's elder brother Louis, the Dauphin of France, died, and John became the new Dauphin and heir to the throne. But John died on 4 April 1417 Two months later, on 31 May, Jacqueline also lost her father. War with John III After her father's death, Jacqueline was acknowledged as sovereign in Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut. However, her uncle, John III, duke of Bavaria-Straubing and bishop of Liège, also claimed Holland and Zeeland as his rightful inheritance In 1418, her uncle and guardian, John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, arranged a marriage to her cousin, John IV, Duke of Brabant and Limbourg. However, John IV proved to be a weak political leader and he gave John III full custody over Holland and Zeeland for 12 years in 1420.[4] After this waste of her inheritance, Jacqueline and her allies decided to dissolve the marriage. They claimed it was never valid as they were too closely related and she secretly left for England at the invitation of Henry V.[5] She was an honoured guest at the court of England, and when the future Henry VI was born, Jacqueline was made one of his godparents.after the unexpected death of Henry V in 1422 that Jacqueline obtained a dubious divorce from John of Brabant valid in England that allowed a marriage to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.[7] However, as not all rules were observed, the marriage was arranged in haste and in secret in the town of Hadleigh, Essex, sometime before 7 March 1423. Jacqueline hoped that Humphrey would restore her to her counties but, being regent in England, he was occupied with affairs of state. Humphrey came to Hainaut, where he was acknowledged as the legitimate count, but had to leave before being able to do something about Holland and Zeeland, which denied his rights. He had to return to England, leaving Jacqueline behind in Hainaut. Philip the Good, the new duke of Burgundy, backed her (ex)husband John IV, and in 1425 she had to surrender to him and was imprisoned in Ghent. her uncle John III of Bavaria died on 6 January 1425, the victim of poisoning. John IV, Duke of Brabant, still claimed rights over Holland, Zeeland and Hainault and made Philip, Duke of Burgundy, regent of Holland and Zeeland, like he had done before with John III. Jacqueline escaped her imprisonment in Ghent disguised in men's clothes and fled to Schoonhoven and later to Gouda, where she stayed with the leaders of the Hook faction. Now it was her former husband, John of Brabant, who tried to dispute her inheritance. In this matter, Humphrey did intervene, albeit with limited force, with disastrous consequences for the English-Burgundian alliance that aided the English cause in France during the Hundred Years' War. Pope Martin V decreed that Jacqueline was still the wife of John IV, Duke of Brabant, and therefore her marriage to Humphrey of Gloucester was illegitimate.[8] However, John IV had died a year earlier. On 3 July 1428 Jacqueline had to agree to a peace treaty, Reconciliation of Delft (de Zoen van Delft), with the duke of Burgundy. By this treaty, Jacqueline kept her titles of Countess of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut, but the administration of her territories was placed in the hands of Philip, who was also appointed as her heir in case she died without children. She was not allowed to marry without the permission of her mother, Philip and the three counties. With the renunctiation of her titles, Jacqueline retired to her land in Zeeland. There, she and Francis, Lord of Borssele ("Frank van Borssele"), a local and powerful nobleman, became close. In the spring of 1434 they married and Philip granted Frank the title of Count of Oostervant.[11] This marriage, contrary to the other three, was one out of love, at least for Jacqueline.[12] It did not last long. In 1436 she became ill and after a few months of illness she died of tuberculosis[13] in Teylingen Castle on 8 October 1436. Since she had no children, Philip of Burgundy inherited Hainaut and Holland.
  • In about 1422 Eleanor became a lady-in-waiting to Jacqueline d'Hainault,three of her servants - Bolingbroke, Southwell and Home - had been accused of conspiring to harm the king.17 The original accusation may have been that Roger had cast Eleanor’s horoscope to see what the future held for her and if, or even when, she would be queen. This was not a remote possibility for, since Henry was childless, Gloucester was heir presumptive.
  • I to the Abbey went, and by favour did see the body of Queen Catherine of Valois, and had the upper part of the body in my hands, and I did kiss her mouth, reflecting upon it I did kiss a Queen: and this my birthday and I thirty-six years old and I did kiss a Queen. Samuel Pepys
  • Bedford's death left Jaquetta potentially an extremely wealthy widow, entitled to a third of her husband's considerable lands and annuities. She could not establish all her claims, and much was lost in France, but while the relevant entries on the patent rolls do not specify the total monetary value of her dower when she first received it, an estimate can be made from the regrant made by Edward IV on 24 February 1465, after her lands had been confiscated because of her Lancastrian sympathies, which shows that she was still entitled to £817 13s. 5d. annually from rents. Henry VI granted Jaquetta her dower on 6 February 1436, on condition that she did not remarry without his consent. Yet by 23 March 1437, just over a year later, she had married the young and handsome, but comparatively poor, Sir Richard Woodville or Wydeville (d. 1469), and had to pay £1000 for a pardon.
  • 8. S2014 Wives and Widows in mid-15th century England

    1. 1. Wives and Widows Catherine de Valois and Henry V
    2. 2. Wives and Widows • Catherine of France = Henry V • Jacqueline of Hainault = Humphrey of Gloucester • Jacquetta of Luxembourg = John of Bedford • Margaret of Anjou = Henry VI • The Paston Women
    3. 3. Genealogical Table of Henry VI
    4. 4. John Talbot presents Poems and Romances to Margaret of Anjou
    5. 5. Catherine Henry V Henry VI
    6. 6. Humphrey, duke of Gloucester Richard, duke of York Talbot Presentation
    7. 7. Jacqueline (1401-36) Countess of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland Married  John, Dauphin of France (1415-17)  John IV, Duke of Brabant (1418-22)  Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1423-28)  Frank van Borssele (1434- 6)
    8. 8. Lowlands
    9. 9. Humphrey and Eleanor Cobham (1400- 1452) 1422 Lady in waiting to Jacqueline 1425 Mistress 1428 Wife 1441 Trial 1442 Divorce and life imprisonment Jessica Freeman (2004) “Sorcery at court and manor: Margery Jourdemayne, the witch of Eye next Westminster,” Journal of Medieval History, 30:4, 343-357, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmedhist.2004.08.001
    10. 10. Margery Jourdemaine Witch of Eye next Westminster How she in waxe by counsel of the witch, An image made, crowned like a king, ...... which dayly they did pytch Against a fyre, that as the wax did melt, So should his lyfe consume away unfelt.
    11. 11. The Paston Women • Margaret Mautby [Margaret Paston (1421/2– 1484) – Wife of John (I) Paston • Margery Paston Calle (~1448 – before 1482) • Margery Brews Paston (? – 1495)
    12. 12. Paston Letters 1449 • pray you to get some crossbows and windlasses to bind them with, and crossbow bolts; • Defenses of Lord Molyns retainer • Requests for purchases in London
    13. 13. Margery Paston • Richard Calle, bailiff for the Pastons • Secret marriage – opposition
    14. 14. The Valentine Letter
    15. 15. Wives, Widows and Future Kings Effigy of Catherine of Valois Owen Tudor
    16. 16. Catherine of Valois (1401-37) 1420-22 Married to Henry V Henry VI 1425 Rumors of attachment to Edmund Beaufort 1426 Petition to Commons to allow King’s widows to marry at will 1427 Statute forbidding marriage of King’s widows
    17. 17. Catherine of Valois ~ 1428-29 Marriage to Owen Tudor (1400-1461) Edmund Tudor (~1430-56), Jasper Tudor (~1431-1495), Owen Tudor (?), daughter who may have become a nun and died young. 1432 Owen Tudor given rights of an Englishman
    18. 18. Jaquetta of Luxembourg (1416-1472) 1433 Marries John, duke of Bedford (1389-1435), brother of Henry V 1437 Marries Richard Woodville (d. 1469), a minor knight 14 children including Elizabeth, wife of Edward IV (witchcraft?)