Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jasper Tudor
Duke of Bedford
Earl of Pembroke
Arms of Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford.svg
Coat of Arms of Jasper Tudor
Born November 1431
Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Died 21 December 1495 (age 64)
Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
Buried Keynsham Abbey, Somerset
Noble family Tudor
Spouse Catherine Woodville
Issue
Father Owen Tudor
Mother Catherine of Valois

Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, Earl of Pembroke, KG (Welsh: Siasbar ab Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur ap Goronwy) (c. November 1431 – 21/26 December 1495) was the uncle of King Henry VII of England and the architect of his successful conquest of England and Wales in 1485.[1] He was from the noble Tudor family of Penmynydd in North Wales.

Jasper Tudor bore the King's arms, with the addition of a bordure azure with martlets or (that is, a blue border featuring golden martlets).[2]

Family and early life

Jasper was the second son of Owen Tudor and the former Queen Catherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V of England. He was the half-brother to Henry VI, who, on attaining his majority in 1452, named Jasper Earl of Pembroke. Through his father, Jasper was a direct descendant of Ednyfed Fychan, Llywelyn the Great's renowned Chancellor. This connection added greatly to his status in Wales.

Jasper was born at the Bishop of Ely's manor at Hatfield in Hertfordshire in 1431, his parents' second child. His older brother, Edmund, was born at Much Hadham Palace in 1430. His younger brother, Owen, was born in 1432 at Westminster Abbey, when the Dowager Queen was visiting her eldest son and her water broke prematurely, forcing her to seek the help of the Abbey's monks. According to Henry VII's personal historian Polydore Vergil, Owen was taken and raised by the monks to become a member of the order, living under the name Edward Bridgewater until his death in 1502. Vergil also mentions a daughter who became a nun, but little is known of her. Catherine's last child would be born in 1437, mere days before her own untimely death on 3 January.[3]

After Catherine's death, Owen Tudor was arrested and sent to Newgate prison. Jasper, Edmund, and possibly their sister were put into the care of Katherine de la Pole, a nun at Barking Abbey, in Essex, from July 1437 to March 1442.[4] She was the sister of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, a great favorite of Henry VI, and was able to provide Jasper and his siblings with food, clothing, and lodging. They were also permitted servants to wait upon them as the King's half-siblings.[5]

In 1442, their half-brother the King began to take an interest in their upbringing.[6] Sometime after March 1442, Jasper and his brother were brought to live at court. Henry arranged for the best priest to educate them intellectually and morally. The brothers also received military training; when they grew up they were given military positions.[7] Jasper was recognized as Henry VI’s uterine brother when he was created Earl of Pembroke.[8]

Adulthood

Owen Tudor was released from prison, most likely thanks to his stepson Henry VI, who after providing for his stepfather, also provided for his two half-brothers. It is not clear whether Henry VI had known of the existence of his half-brothers until his mother told him while she was dying in Bermondsey Abbey. It was after her death that Henry would begin to care for them and eventually raise them to the peerage by giving both brothers earldoms. Jasper became Earl of Pembroke on 23 November 1452.[9] In turn, Edmund and Jasper swore unwavering loyalty to Henry and fought and promoted him and his Lancastrian family’s interests persistently throughout their lives.

Owen and Catherine's marriage was not recognized by the authorities, in large part due to the secrecy under which it was accomplished, and so the legitimacy of Jasper and his two (or three) siblings was questionable. However, Jasper enjoyed all the privileges appropriate to his birth, including being invested as a Knight of the Garter. After 1485, he would describe himself as the “high and mighty Prince Jasper, brother and uncle of Kings, Duke of Bedford and Earl of Pembroke”.[10] During his time at court, Jasper constantly tried to work with the Duke of York and other nobles in order to try to stop the infighting between the two houses.[11] It was after the death of his elder brother, Edmund, that Jasper took over the responsibility of maintaining the Lancastrian ties within Wales. Along with this, he took into his care his sister-in-law and infant nephew.[12]

On the accession of the Yorkist King Edward IV in 1461, he was subject to an attainder for supporting his Lancastrian half-brother, the deposed King Henry, to whom Jasper was loyal. He strove to place his half-nephew Prince Edward of Lancaster on the throne and provided absolute loyalty to his royal half-brother and Margaret of Anjou, his half-brother's wife. Jasper would also help his other sister-in-law Lady Margaret Beaufort assist her son Henry Tudor to win the throne in 1485 as King Henry VII, father of King Henry VIII.

Wars of the Roses

Jasper Tudor was an adventurer whose military expertise, some of it gained in the early stages of the Wars of the Roses, was considerable. Nevertheless, the only major battle he had taken part in before the Battle of Bosworth was the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in February 1461, where he lost the battle to the future king, Edward IV of England. His father, Owen Tudor, was then captured and beheaded at Hereford, where his head was placed on the market cross.[13] Jasper occupied the castles of Carmarthen and Aberystwyth in 1456 until he lost them to William Herbert of Raglan.[14] Consequently, he remained in touch with his sister-in-law, Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, as she struggled to regain her son's inheritance, and he held Denbigh Castle for the House of Lancaster in 1460.

Jasper Tudor also brought up his nephew, Henry Tudor, whose father had died before his birth. After being welcomed by King Louis XI of France in 1462, Jasper stayed in France for 6 years before returning to North Wales in 1468. On his return, Jasper lost Pembroke Castle to William Herbert, when Herbert was given the title of Earl of Pembroke by King Edward IV.

Jasper Tudor briefly regained the earldom of Pembroke a couple of years later when his half-brother, King Henry VI, was restored to the throne, but following the return of King Edward IV from temporary exile in 1471, Jasper fled again to the continent. During his time on the continent, he travelled and attempted to gather support for the Lancastrian cause.[15] While escaping from Tenby with his nephew Henry, storms in the English Channel forced them to land at Le Conquet in Brittany, where they sought refuge with Francis II, Duke of Brittany. Duke Francis II housed Jasper, his nephew, and the core of their group of exiled Lancastrians at the Château de Suscinio in Sarzeau. And although King Edward IV placed diplomatic pressure on the Duke of Brittany, the uncle and nephew remained safe from the clutches of the Yorkist king, who died later in April 1483. For 11 years, the Château de Suscinio became an armed camp, alert against any attempt to kidnap Jasper and Henry and return them to England, where they were under attainder and would have been promptly executed as threats to the Yorkist rule.

In October 1483, the Tudors launched an invasion of England from Brittany. However, the invasion failed and Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry returned back to Brittany. In mid-1484, when the Duke of Brittany was incapacitated with illness, his treasurer, Pierre Landais, who took over the reins of government, reached an agreement with the new Yorkist king, Richard III of England, to send Jasper and his nephew back to England in exchange for a pledge of 3,000 English archers to defend Brittany against a threatened French attack. John Morton, a bishop of Flanders, learned of the scheme and warned the Tudors in time. Jasper and Henry then managed to escape separately, hours ahead of Landais' soldiers, across the nearby border into France.[16] They were received at the court of King Charles VIII of France who allowed them to stay and provided them with resources.[17] Shortly afterwards, when Duke Francis II had recovered, he offered the 400 remaining Lancastrians, still at and around the Château de Suscinio, safe-conduct into France and even paid for their expenses.

On Henry Tudor's subsequent accession to the throne as "King Henry VII of England" in 1485, Jasper Tudor had all previous attainders annulled,[18] and was thus restored to all his former titles, including Knight of the Garter, and was created Duke of Bedford. In 1488, he took possession of Cardiff Castle.

Marriage and children

Jasper was married on 7 November 1485 to Catherine Woodville (c. 1458–1509).[19]

Catherine was the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, and among others, sister to King Edward IV's queen Elizabeth Woodville, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers and Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers. She was also the widow of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.

Illegitimate issue

Jasper reportedly had at least one, but possibly two, illegitimate daughters by Myfanwy verch Dafydd (1436-1485):[20]

  • Joan Tudor, (b. Snowdon, Wales c. 1453, d. 1469), wife of William ap Yevan (son of Yevan Williams and Margaret Kemoys), and mother of twins Sir John Williams and Morgan Williams (born Llanishen, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1469). It is believed that Joan died young during the childbirth of her twin sons.[21] Sir John Williams was the father of John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame, who was the father of Isabel Williams, who married Sir Richard Wenman and is thereby ancestor of the Earls of Leicester (7th Creation). Morgan Williams married at Putney Church in 1499, Norwell, Nottinghamshire, to Catherine or Katherine Cromwell, born Putney, London, c. 1483, an older sister of Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex. They were fourth-generation ancestors to Oliver Cromwell, meaning Oliver Cromwell was a descendant of the Welsh Royal Family, via Joan Tudor's grandfather, Owen Tudor.
  • Helen Tudor (b. Wales c. 1459, d. bef. 1485), wife of a skinner, William Gardiner, of London (born c. 1450), having by him: Thomas Gardiner, Prior of Tynemouth and four daughters, Philippa, Margaret, Beatrice and Anne. After her husband's death she married William Sybson. Nineteenth century genealogists mistakenly conflated Thomas Gardiner with Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.[22]

Death and burial

Jasper Tudor died at Thornbury Castle on 21 December 1495, and was buried at Keynsham Abbey in Somerset, which Lady Agnes Cheyne, the incumbent of Chenies Manor House, bequeathed to him in 1494.

Ancestry

References

  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry: R. S. Thomas, "Tudor, Jasper was a duke of Bedford (c.1431–1495)", first published 2004
  2. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  3. ^ Weir, Alison., Lancaster and York, the war of the roses (london, 1995) pg. 81.
  4. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas. The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985), pg. 32.
  5. ^ Weir, Alison., Lancaster and York, the war of the roses (London, 1995) Pg. 88.
  6. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985), 32.
  7. ^ Weir, Alison, Lancaster and York, the war of the roses (London, 1995) Pg. 100.
  8. ^ Griffiths, Ralph A. and James Sherborwe, ed. Kings and Nobles in the Later Middle Ages. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986) 19.
  9. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985) , 33.
  10. ^ Griffiths, Ralph A. and James Sherburne, ed. Kings and Nobles in the Later Middle Ages. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986) 20.
  11. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985) , 43.
  12. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985), 46-47.
  13. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985), 1.
  14. ^ Loades, D.M. Politics and the Nation 1450-1660: Obedience, resistance and Public Order (Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1974), 60.
  15. ^ Griffith, Ralph A. and Roger Thomas . The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985) , 60-64.
  16. ^ Lander 1981, p. 324.
  17. ^ Kendall, p. 297.
  18. ^ "Rotuli Parliamentorum A.D. 1485 1 Henry VII". 
  19. ^ Richard Marius, Thomas More: A Biography, (Harvard University Press, 1984), 119.
  20. ^ Note that William Dugdale's Baronage of England page 242 only lists Helen as an illegitimate daughter and fails to mention Joan. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A36794.0001.001/1:14.21?rgn=div2;view=fulltext
  21. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=82421844
  22. ^ Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, Genealogical Publishing, 2011, p.370.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyR. S. Thomas, "Tudor, Jasper, duke of Bedford (c.1431–1495)"
  • Welsh Biography Online
Peerage of England
New creation Duke of Bedford
1485–1495
Extinct
Earl of Pembroke
1452–1461
(1470–1471)
1485–1495

|}

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jasper_Tudor,_Duke_of_Bedford&oldid=808066968"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Tudor,_Duke_of_Bedford
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA