My 17th great grandmother is the subject of many books and movies. One of the latest that I have seen is “The White Queen”. When she was born her father was only a knight, not of noble blood. It was expected that she would marry into a family with the means of a sheriff or someone in royal service. She was born about 1437, and the first born. Her father, Sir Richard Woodville followed his father in the field of service of the Duke of Bedford. This is how he met Jacquetta of Luxembourg which was the daughter of Peter of Luxembourg, Count of Saint Pol and Margaret de Baux, she had been married to Duke of Bedford in 1433, when she was 17 years old. The Duke was much older than Jacquette, his second wife, and he was very sick. When the Duke died he left Jacquette childless and VERY wealthy. She was required to seek permission from King Henry VI before she could remarry, but in March of 1437 it was revealed that she married in secret to Sir Richard Woodville, a man that was far below her station, since she was wealthy and the aunt of a king. She was fined 1000 sterling pounds.
Jacquette retained her rank as Duchess of Bedford, and her dower of 7,000 to 8,000 Sterling Pounds a year. Sir Richard was honored with military ranks, mainly because Jacquette had so much influence in the royal family. When Henry VI married Margret of Anjou, whose uncle was Jacquettas brother in law. The Woodvilles were the chosen family to escort the bride to England, which benefited them further at court. Sir Richard was raised to Baron of Rivers, and their children would grow up with privilege and wealth.
Elizabeth would marry Sir John Grey of Groby, the heir to the Barony Ferrers of Groby. In 1461 he was killed at the Battle of St. Albans. Ironically her first husband fought for the Lancastrian side, and her future husband was a Yorkist claim to the throne. She had two sons from her first marriage Thomas and Richard.
Elizabeth was called “the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain”
(To be continued next week)