212 /
20 /

best of edward & elizabeth (the white queen by philippa gregory) [7/?]
112 /


Ah. *rubs hands together in glee* 
Before I go on an epic rant, I encourage everyone to read the comments from harritudur and stardust-pond on this post. 
As with most things surrounding the brief reign of Richard III, the facts are a bit hard to come by and what little we do know is open to widely disparate interpretations. 
There are, IMO, three ways to parse the facts here: the Ricardian way, the anti-Ricardian way, and a middle-of-the-road way that might be closer to the truth. As an aside, many of the people who assume a relationship between Elizabeth and Richard also believe Elizabeth Woodville encouraged the affair and possible marriage because of her own dynastic ambitions. If there’s a person more maligned than Richard here, it has to be poor Elizabeth Woodville (but this post is not about her, fwiw). 
The confession above deals with three pieces of “evidence” for an actual relationship between Richard and Elizabeth of York. 
Piece of Evidence #1:  Elizabeth of York wore the same kind of clothes as Queen Anne. 
The primary contemporary evidence for this comes from the account in the Crowland Chronicle [1] which noted, in relevant part: 

There may be many other things that are not written in this book and of which it is shameful to speak, but let it not go unsaid that during this Christmas festival, an excessive interest was displayed in singing and dancing and to vain changes of apparel presented to Queen Anne and the Lady Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of the late King, being of similar color and shape: a thing that caused the people to murmur and the nobles and prelates greatly to wonder at…

This was almost certainly written by a cleric in attendance at the Christmas festivities of 1484 (probably Bishop Russell). The fact that court festivities were lavish and a bit rowdy is nothing remarkable in itself, although perhaps offensive to a man of the cloth. The remarkable fact is the note about Anne and Elizabeth’s clothing.
The Ricardian view is that Anne and Elizabeth were close, and it was only natural that they would be dressed alike. The anti-Ricardian view is that Elizabeth and Anne being similarly dressed violated sumptuary laws that prohibited anyone outside the royal family from wearing cloth of gold, and therefore, it was downright scandalous for Elizabeth to be wearing clothes similar to Anne, or even swapping clothes with her. Alison Weir [2] goes so far as to suggest that this must have been on Richard’s orders because Anne, being both queen and a woman of noble birth, would have guessed the rumors this would arouse and would never have agreed to it. 
But here’s the weird part: the Chronicle notes that Anne and Elizabeth were of similar shape and color (i.e. they were both slender, fair-haired women) and that they were both presented with vain changes of apparel. It doesn’t actually say they were wearing the same outfit, and it does not indicate that they swapped clothes or that Elizabeth wore cloth of gold in violation of existing sumptuary laws. It’s entirely possible that Anne and Elizabeth were having a bit of frivolous fun, changing their clothes for each new event, dancing, etc. It was the fashion at the time for ladies of the court to be color-coordinated, so many women celebrating Christmas at court would have tried to match Anne’s dresses, including Elizabeth and her sisters.
Obviously, what the Chronicle is really complaining about is that everyone partied too hard. This amount of partying was remarkable only in the sense that Richard’s court was viewed as far more austere and moral than Edward IV’s court had ever been, so it was a departure from the standard Richard himself had set. 
Piece of Evidence #2: Elizabeth of York was given Richard’s copy of Tristan and Iseult (with the fly leaf showing both his “ex libris” (Iste liber constat Ricardo Duci Gloucestre) and Elizabeth’s pre-marriage motto and signature (sans removyr, Elyzabeth). 
Elizabeth actually owned two books that had once belonged to Richard: the aforementioned Tristan and Iseult and Boethius’s Consolatio Philosophiae. In the latter book, Elizabeth appears to have written Richard’s motto (Loyaulte me lie) above her own signature.
Again, the Ricardian view is that this was an innocent and appropriate exchange of literature between uncle and niece. He liked to read, she liked to read, and so he gave her a couple of his books. The anti-Ricardian view (which Weir expounds on in her recent biography of Elizabeth of York) is that books were valuable, Richard’s collection was his personal property, and to present books to Elizabeth was a meaningful gesture that implied he was a suitor for her hand. I suppose both of these views are perfectly reasonable, under the circumstances. 
But again, here’s the thing: Elizabeth almost certainly acquired these books before her marriage, because of the way she signs her name. But it doesn’t say when she acquired the books, and it could have been after Richard’s death, but before her January 1486 marriage to Henry VII. There is evidence to suggest that most of Richard’s personal property was acquired by a single person after Henry VII’s accession, i.e. his mother, Margaret Beaufort. Maybe she passed these books on to Elizabeth, especially as she may not have found these books to her taste. An unmarried Elizabeth may have scrawled Richard’s motto in Boethius as a way of preserving his connection to the book, not for romantic reasons, but because he was a close relative. (Incidentally, Margaret tore out the pages where Richard had written in his name in the books she acquired, so Elizabeth may have deliberately signed her name under Richard’s to make sure there would be no fly leaf destruction!)
Piece of Evidence #3: Richard had to make a public declaration that he had no intention to marry his niece.
Again, the Crowland Chronicle is the source of this contemporary fact, although it’s borne out by other reports from the time. It is generally accepted as true that “shortly after Easter” (March 30), Richard appeared in Clerkenwell and made a public declaration that he had no intention of marrying his niece and that he had not poisoned his wife and grieved for his wife in the way that any man would. 
The Ricardian view here is that Richard made the declaration because he found the rumors personally offensive. They were untrue and maligned Elizabeth’s reputation and his own grief over Anne’s death. The anti-Ricardian view is that Richard was forced into making a public declaration by Catesby and Ratcliffe because they’d come to the conclusion that Richard’s intention to marry his niece would not meet with public approval and would erode his northern support. Both of these views are perfectly reasonable, and in fact, they may both be simultaneously true, i.e. Richard was offended by the rumors he poisoned his wife AND he had actually considered marrying Elizabeth (a young woman from a notoriously fecund family) but was concerned about losing the Neville affinity. 
Again, there’s a third possibility. The declaration at Clerkenwell did happen, but Crowland’s contemporary reports of the rumors about Richard and Elizabeth are countered by evidence from the Portuguese court. Those records suggest that, as early as January 1485 (yes, while Anne was still alive), Richard was in active negotiation with Portugal for an alliance with Joanna of Aviz (for himself) and the Duke of Beja (for Elizabeth). In fact, shortly after Anne’s death, he dispatched an embassy to Portugal with Edward Brampton to finalize the alliance. The proposal appears to have stalled out while Richard prepared for the Tudor invasion, but it was an actual negotiation and not mere rumor. Indeed, some historians believe Richard made the declaration at the behest of Portugal, i.e. they needed some assurance that both he and Elizabeth were good marriage material and still available to them. 
When the OP says “where did the rumors come from,” I assume the OP is implying that the rumors indicate the existence of a real relationship. Here I have to disagree. Richard’s public denial of the rumors is not evidence of anything but the existence of the rumors, and the rumors could have come from anywhere. They could have been raised by Richard’s detractors as a way to demonstrate what a horrible monster he was. They could have been raised by Richard himself, since any plans for his own marriage to Elizabeth would neutralize Henry Tudor’s plans to marry her (and Richard was not above the pragmatic realpolitik of the day, which required judicious use of malicious gossip). Finally, they could have been raised by mainline Yorkists who wanted to see Edward IV’s daughter on the throne, and didn’t particularly care who she married. 
[1] Historians generally accept the Chronicle as both contemporary and largely unbiased, but some parts of the Chronicle were written in 1486, after the fact, and by one or more unknown monks (the Continuator) who may not have witnessed the events of Richard’s reign first-hand. There is also some evidence to suggest that the monks of Crowland were unhappy that Richard’s usurpation had denied them a significant amount of wealth they’d expected from disposition of Edward IV’s last will and testament. 
[2] This is a personal editorial comment, but seriously, why does Alison Weir’s word carry so much weight? She’s not a historian and her popular histories of the time are open to serious question. 

This is incredible!
11 /

On this day in history…
29 July 1565: Mary, Queen of Scots, marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

Mary’s marriage to Darnley began auspiciously, as their union threatened Elizabeth I’s reign. Both Mary and Darnley were descendants of Margaret Tudor, Henry VII’s eldest daughter, and thus they both could claim to be Elizabeth’s heirs. Additionally, any children they had would have a combined, stronger claim to the thrones of England and Scotland. Because both Mary and Darnley were Catholics, Elizabeth (who was Protestant) believed that they could rally English Catholics against her. The marriage was an utter disaster, however, for Darnley was not content to be merely a king consort. He wanted to be Mary’s co-ruler, and he soon became arrogant and unruly. Although Mary gave birth to a son, James, on 19 June 1566, the marriage continued to break down. On 10 February 1567, Darnley was assassinated, probably with either Mary’s knowledge or participation. Within a few months after Darnley’s murder, Mary’s political authority evaporated and she was forced to abdicate in favor of her son, James VI.
1864 /

Ah! dearest love, sweet home of all my fears,and hopes, and joys, and panting miseries,Tonight if I may guess, thy beauty wears a smile of such delight,As brilliant and as brightAs when with ravished, aching, nassal eyes,Lost in a soft amazeI gaze, I gaze
— John Keats 


gonna watch some HISTORICAL FICTION gonna become EMOTIONALLY INVESTED gonna learn TRUE FACTS gonna get PUMPED gonna go to the LIBRARY

(via edwardslovelyelizabeth)

108 /