If Henry VII’s reign was to usher in ‘smooth-faced peace, with smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days’, few could have predicted it in 1485. The Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 was the last armed confrontation between Lancastrians and Yorkists, those two factions that had fought for decades in The Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrians triumphed under the leadership of a 28-year-old exile named Henry Tudor. After winning the throne of England, he wed Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter of the dead Yorkist king Edward IV. Thus, the two warring houses were joined in marriage.
The union was both symbolic and necessary. Despite his victory at Bosworth, the exiled nobleman who took the name Henry VII needed the support of those sympathetic to the defeated Yorkist cause. He also needed the legitimacy of his wife’s claim to the throne. He had spent years in exile and campaigned tirelessly to win support for his claim to the English throne. It had not been an easy task. In fact, it was only when Richard duke of York usurped the throne from his young nephew Edward (son and heir of Edward IV) that Henry Tudor became a viable candidate for king.
Henry Tudor’s claim to the throne was never based on ancestry alone. He knew, none better, that such a claim would be flimsy at best. His royal blood came from women – his mother, Margaret Beaufort, was the granddaughter of John Beaufort (died 1410), the eldest of the bastard sons of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. Gaunt’s eldest legitimate son was the first Lancastrian king of England. The Beauforts were so named because Margaret’s grandfather had been born in Beaufort Castle in Champagne; his mother was Gaunt’s mistress and later became his third wife. After the marriage, their children were declared legitimate by an act of Parliament in 1397 (during Richard II’s reign). When their fellow kinsman Henry IV Bolingbroke came to the throne, he confirmed this act of legitimacy but added a stipulation that the Beauforts should never succeed to the English throne (1407). Certainly no act of government could alter the fact that the Beauforts had been born illegitimate; and Henry IV’s declaration regarding the succession is equally ambivalent – after all, what practical effect could it guarantee? The end result was that the Beauforts occupied an odd position in the English nobility and, taken together as a group, posed a unique threat to the security of the throne.
Margaret Beaufort’s father John succeeded to the earldom of Somerset in 1418 and, after a life of military embarrassment (including seventeen years in a French prison), he married Margaret Beauchamp, daughter of Sir John Beauchamp of Blestoe. A year after their marriage, John was created duke of Somerset. Margaret, his only child, was born on 31 May 1443; she never knew her father. John had led yet another disastrous military expedition to France and ended up dying in Dorset a few days before her first birthday. It was rumored that he committed suicide. Her mother, meanwhile, married again – this time to Lionel, Lord Welles, and survived another four decades. Margaret, however, was the sole heir to the dukedom of Somerset and its vast holdings.
Since she was a great heiress, she was betrothed while still a child to John de la Pole, the son and heir of Henry VI’s chief minister, the marquess of Suffolk. A conspiracy followed which alleged that Suffolk was planning to place Margaret and his son on the throne if Henry VI died childless; there is no proof but it indicates how important Margaret’s royal blood was, even tainted with her grandfather’s illegitimacy. Suffolk was murdered in May 1450 and in early 1453, the marriage between Margaret and John de la Pole was annulled. A child of ten, she was a pawn once more. Henry VI wanted to wed her to his half-brother Edmund Tudor so, at the age of twelve, she was married again. Her new husband was the earl of Richmond. His ancestry was even more colorful than her own.
Edmund Tudor was the eldest son of a princess of France and Queen of England and her Welsh attendant. Catherine of Valois was the youngest daughter of Charles VI of France and Queen Isabelle. At the age of eighteen, Catherine had wed that great warrior-king Henry V. He was fifteen years her senior and, even in life, recognized as one of England’s greatest kings. His triumph at Agincourt in 1415 inspired one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, Henry V, and led Charles VI to sue for peace. Charles promised that, upon his death, Henry would inherit the French throne; to show his good faith and secure Henry’s claim, he was wed to Catherine. She was, by all accounts, quite beautiful and vivacious. They were married in May 1420 and, in December, made a triumphal entry into Paris. From there, they sailed to Dover and Catherine was crowned at Westminster Abbey in February 1421. She joined Henry on his public progress through England for a few months but, in June 1421, a year after their marriage, Henry departed again for France. He left knowing his wife was pregnant and, on 6 December 1421, she gave birth to their son, the future Henry VI, at Windsor. Henry V would never see his son. Catherine traveled to France without the child to visit Henry but he then left to besiege Meaux and Catherine went to her parents north of Paris. During the siege, Henry contracted dysentery and died at the chateaux of Vincennes on 31 August 1422. The glorious king of England and heir to the French throne had fallen victim to the scourge of armies everywhere.
His great achievements were not forgotten but, immediately after his death, confusion swept through England. Henry V had died, leaving behind a twenty-year-old widow and an infant son. On 21 October 1422, her father suddenly died, after suffering years of intermittent insanity. The infant Henry VI was now king of both England and France. Catherine, quite naturally, remained at her son’s side, accompanying him to the various public and ceremonial appearances he made as a child. However, her presence was a novel problem in 15th century England – a Dowager Queen who was remaining in England until her son’s majority and would, in all likelihood, wish to marry again. She was, after all, still young and beautiful and contemporaries noted her energy and flirtatiousness. For the protector of the realm (Humphrey, duke of Gloucester) and the royal council, Catherine’s remarriage was a very real concern. Whomever she wed would become step-father to the king; understandably, they viewed such a man as a threat to their own positions of authority. Since they were unable to agree on whom would be allowed to court the queen, they passed a law in 1427 stating that no dowager queen could marry without the king’s permission; furthermore, permission could only be granted once the king reached the age of discretion. Since Henry VI was only six years old in 1427, the council felt that they had effectively delayed any remarriage for some years – at least until the king could no longer be influenced by a step-father. (In fairness to the council, there was no precedent for the problem Catherine of Valois presented; neither of the two queens of England who had outlived their spouses and married a second time – King John and Richard II’s wives – had remained in England. Also, no dowager queen since the twelfth century had married one of her husband’s subjects.)
The council was also careful to keep Catherine under watch. From 1427 until about 1430 she and her entourage lived in Henry VI’s household. In April 1430 she traveled with her son to Paris for his coronation as king of France. Her activities were thus restricted and watched. However, the council was not completely successful at isolating the eligible dowager queen and, around 1431, Catherine met a Welshman named Owen ap Maredudd ap Tudur. Their love affair and marriage resulted in four children, the eldest of whom was Henry VII’s father. So, once again, Henry Tudor inherited royal blood from a female.
The origin of Catherine and Owen’s romance is obscure. Later chroniclers attributed it to drunkenness (at a ball, Owen was so drunk that he stumbled and fell into the queen’s lap) or voyeurism (the queen saw Owen bathing in a stream and was attracted to him; she secretly traded places with her maid and arranged to meet him in disguise; Owen was too passionate and attempted to kiss her; she pulled away and received a scratch on her cheek; the next evening, as he was serving her dinner, he saw the wound and was ashamed of his behavior; she forgave him, they fell in love and married.) Whatever the case, they were attracted to one another, fell in love, and married. The legitimacy of the union was never questioned (not even by Richard III when Henry Tudor positioned himself as claimant). Certainly the council was unhappy with her choice for the Welsh were regarded by many as barbarians but, in her choice, she showed good sense. The 1427 statute had stipulated that any man who married the queen without the king’s permission would be subject to fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of lands. By marrying a man who was simply a member of her household (perhaps the manager of some lands), Catherine effectively protected Owen from retribution. (No one knows the true nature of Owen’s work in the queen’s household but he probably functioned as a steward.)
In 1432 Owen was made an English citizen and in March 1434 Catherine gifted him with some lands of his own in Flintshire. They lived together in the countryside, away from court intrigues, for some years. During this time, he began to follow the English use of surnames and became known, however inaccurately, as Owen Tudor. The couple had four children – three sons and a daughter, though the daughter died young. Their sons were named Edmund, Jasper, and Owen. The latter became a Benedictine monk while his two older brothers struggled to survive in an increasingly hostile England. On 3 January 1437 Catherine had died of an unspecified illness which had plagued her for some time. With her death, Owen lacked protection from the king’s council. They were now determined to finally prosecute him for breaking the 1427 law. Owen appeared before the council and acquitted himself of all charges but, after his release, was arrested. He managed to escape Newgate Prison but was recaptured and sent to Windsor Castle in July 1438.
Eventually Owen would be released and pardoned (1440) and taken into his step-son Henry VI’s household. In the years following Catherine’s death and Owen’s imprisonment, Edmund and Jasper Tudor were cared for by the abbess Katherine de la Pole, the earl of Suffolk’s sister. Around 1442, their half-brother Henry VI began to take an interest in their upbringing and they were brought to London. In 1452, it was decided that the two brothers, now teenagers, should be ennobled. Henry VI decided this out of both affection and politics. He knew he had to recognize his half-brothers in some public manner, making them an official part of the royal family; he also cared for them deeply. So on 23 November 1452, Edmund was created earl of Richmond and Jasper was created earl of Pembroke. They were now the premier earls of England and had precedence over all other laymen except dukes. They were also gifted with estates and rich gifts. On their behalf, the Commons petitioned Henry VI to recognize them as his ‘uterine’ brothers (born of the same mother); this he did, and more. Since no earl, especially the brother of the king, could be penniless, Henry continued to grant his brothers numerous lands and annuities. And, as mentioned before, he also arranged a rich marriage for Edmund to Margaret Beaufort.
The importance of their Welsh blood should not be underestimated. Both Edmund and Jasper strove to maintain the king’s authority in both south and west Wales and their Welsh ancestry (discussed in the Welsh Connection section) made them popular in much of Wales. Welsh support would later prove critical to Henry VII during the battle at Bosworth.
Henry’s youth was spent in the shadow of Henry VI’s disgrace. When Edward IV came to the throne, he was determined to avenge his late father, the duke of York. Henry VI was increasingly deranged, perhaps having inherited his French grandfather’s mental illness. As a result of his dementia, his queen Margaret of Anjou, increasingly dominated the Lancastrian party. She was determined to protect her son’s inheritance and, to that end, dedicated her life to a dangerous and complex problem. The Lancastrian and Yorkist forces met definitively at the Battle of Tewkesbury in summer 1471. Edward, Margaret and Henry’s son, was killed in battle and Henry VI was captured and taken to the Tower of London where he was killed.
The Lancastrian cause seemed dead. Edward IV was, unlike Henry, a capable and strong king. Soon after becoming king he married an unknown widow named Elizabeth Woodville. Understandably, she was anxious to promote the interests of her own family which created conflict with the old nobility. Edward and Elizabeth had many children, including two sons. (Their eldest daughter, also named Elizabeth, would become Henry Tudor’s wife. She was known as Elizabeth of York.) By all accounts, the marriage was happy despite the conflict between the Woodvilles and Edward’s noble Yorkist supporters. The succession was secure and with support from his brother, Richard duke of Gloucester, Edward’s rule was successful. However, Edward died in 1483 and Richard usurped the throne from his two young nephews. This changed the course of English history.
Had Richard not betrayed his nephews, there is every possibility the Yorkist dynasty would have survived. But Richard’s own future would have been quite difficult; he was despised by Elizabeth Woodville, and – as Edward IV’s only brother – he would become the focus of Woodville discontent. That would not have lasted for long and Edward V would have followed his mother’s wishes. The boy had, after all, been raised and tutored by his Woodville relations and hardly knew Richard.
(NOTE: The story of Richard III’s claiming of the throne is told in great detail at his site. Please read those pages to gain a better understanding of the events of 1483-1485. I have not included the information here since this page is about Henry VII.)
Ricahrd was an able administrator but faced quite a few obstacles during his brief reign. If Edward IV had died with no rightful heir, Richard’s ascension would have been viewed much differently. Then, he would have been the rightful king. And since he wed Anne Neville of Warwick, daughter of the ‘Kingmaker’, he would have had crucial support. But Richard’s only son and wife died with months of one another in 1484. He was grief-stricken and also struggling with the nobility, particularly the ambitious duke of Buckingham (a brash and arrogant man with his own share of Plantagenet blood.)
Meanwhile, over in France, Henry Tudor was positioning himself as heir to his murdered uncle Henry VI. With the support of exiled Lancastrians and the French monarchy, Henry planned to mount an invasion of England.
What had prepared Henry for this moment? At twenty-eight he was hardly an experienced soldier but he was used to a life of sudden change. In the 1450s his father Edmund and uncle Jasper were Henry VI’s closest relatives, part of a small group of influential advisors to the king. Other than these half-brothers, Henry VI was bereft of close blood relatives; his uncles, the dukes of Bedford, Clarence and Gloucester, had all died without legitimate heirs and this left both an emotional and dynastic void at the court. Also, Henry’s government was reviled as inefficient and corrupt. His two most prominent ministers were the dukes of Suffolk and Somerset and the English people reviled them. Henry had also raised taxes and spent heavily to assert his right to the French throne. Perhaps if he had been successful at it, the English people would not have grumbled about the taxes. But he wasn’t successful and, as the defeats multiplied, the people grew naturally resentful of the taxation and Henry’s attempts to enforce it. Also, many Englishmen (commoner and noble alike) were uncertain about the very survival of Henry’s dynasty. After eight years of marriage, he and Margaret of Anjou had no children. Increasingly, eyes turned to Henry’s cousin Richard, duke of York, for stability and reform. Henry, perhaps feeling as if Richard were being positioned to either dominate his government or usurp the throne, turned to his small group of advisors for guidance.
Since Edmund and Jasper were young, their role at court was peripheral. Their upbringing had also been quite different from most young noblemen. However, they were not fools and were careful to never alienate the powerful duke of York during Henry’s reign. In the summer of 1453, Henry VI suffered an intermittent bout of madness so severe that he recognized no one, never spoke and had to carried from place to place. Immediate steps had to be taken to ensure the survival of the royal government. The winter of 1453 and 1454 was occupied with the struggle between Queen Margaret and Richard to be declared regent. For whatever reason, the Tudor brothers sided with the duke of York. Finally, on 3 April 1454, Parliament decided to appoint Richard regent during the king’s illness.
There are records showing the brothers attended council meetings and parliamentary sessions; they were also involved in the extensive reform of the king’s household, of which they were members. At that time, their relationship with the duke of York was not regarded as incompatible with their attachment to Henry VI and his Lancastrian dynasty. At any rate, around Christmas 1454, Henry VI suddenly recovered and the duke of York was no longer in power. Instead, Henry VI restored his old favorites to their former positions, notably the hated Somerset (who was the uncle of Edmund Tudor’s wife.) The duke of York and his allies left London in apparent disgust. The Tudor brothers, and most of the court, realized that a breach had been opened in the nobility. Most were happy to see the king recover but they were not happy to see the capable York depart; further, the duke was hated by the queen after their struggle for the regency. If the two groups clashed, which side would the Tudors choose?
The ‘Battle’ of St Albans on 1 May 1455 revealed the extent of the problem. The king had left London to visit Leicester, accompanied by his half-brother Jasper and the duke of Somerset. They spent the evening at Watford and the next day rode on to St Albans; the duke of York and the earls of Warwick and Salisbury were waiting for them. There was a skirmish, several of the king’s servants (including Somerset) were killed, and the king himself suffered a wound on the neck. There was also violent fighting in the streets of the town. The Yorkist forces were successful in capturing the king and escorted him back to London. On 26 May, Parliament was summoned to meet at Westminster in six weeks. As peers of the realm, the Tudor brothers were required to attend. All the lords gathered there swore allegiance to Henry VI but measures were undertaken to fix the kingdom’s disastrous finances. To that end, every grant Henry had made during his reign was revoked – with the notable exceptions of Edmund and Jasper’s lands. This exemption shows that York and his allies wanted Tudor support. They were, after all, members of the royal family.
The second session of Parliament was in November 1455 and the brothers did not attend. They were in Wales, ostensibly to keep the king’s peace there. They had been sent on such a mission before (their only real task given by the king), perhaps because their father had been a Welshman. Eventually, the respect many Welsh felt for the Tudor brothers, particularly Jasper, would aid his nephew Henry Tudor; after all, Henry landed in Pembrokeshire in 1485.
Wales was always a problem for Henry VI for a major rebellion had ended just 40 years before and occasional fighting was not uncommon. Edmund Tudor, as the eldest brother, went there as a representative of the English king. While the duke of York was regent, Edmund led a raid to reassert the duke’s authority on his lands, centered on the castle Carmarthen. He fought – and won – the castle back from a Welsh rebel who had seized it. While the duke was regent, this success was acceptable; Edmund held the castle for Richard and his authority as regent. But after Richard left London in some disgrace, his English supporters in and near Wales were worried. What if Edmund Tudor attempted to return Carmarthen and its lands to Henry VI rather than the duke? Edmund was no longer a representative of the duke as regent; he was now a representative of the king. Determined to reassert Richard’s authority in West Wales, they led a raid on Carmarthen and imprisoned Edmund sometime in September 1456. Edmund was released soon after but had already developed a fatal illness. He died on 1 November 1456 at Carmarthen and was given a fine burial at the nearby Greyfriars Church. No one was ever accused of directly causing his death and it is possible that he always suffered from ill health; government records show he was absent from meetings far more than Jasper. Then again, Edmund was also a husband and on, 28 January 1457, a father; sadly, he died before his son was born. This son would be called Henry and would become the first Tudor king of England.
Kingdoms are but cares,
State is devoid of stay,
Riches are ready snares,
And hasten to decay.
Pleasure is a privy prick
Which vice doth still provoke;
Pomp, imprompt; and fame, a flame;
Power, a smoldering smoke,
Who meaneth to remove the rock
Out of the slimy mud,
Shall mire himself, and hardly ‘scape
The swelling of the flood.
– Henry VI, written while he was
a prisoner in the Tower of London
NOTE: This is a terribly convoluted tale. I have tried to whittle it down to the bare essentials while still conveying the most important information. For a more detailed description of all the battles and plots, find a good book – like ‘The Making of the Tudor Dynasty’ – and devote your weekend to reading it. If you’re wondering why all this stuff about Jasper Tudor is important… well, it consumed the early years of Henry Tudor’s life. Even if he wasn’t directly involved, they were his relatives and their success – or failure – had a direct impact on his life.
Also, the state of the monarchy pre-Henry VII: Edward IV, the first Yorkist king, was the only English king since Henry II to die solvent. Having repossessed the lands of the exiled Lancastrian nobility and seeking support from the middle-class, he was able to run England effectively and efficiently. Whatever his faults as a man (unfaithful and increasingly debauched), he was a good king.
Since Henry VII spent most of his formative years away from this court, he could claim no special understanding of English politics; indeed, if his early life taught him anything it was the tenuousness of a title. His uncle Jasper’s life was the ultimate lesson. On 3 February 1461 Edward, earl of March and son of the duke of York, triumphed over the Lancastrian forces at Mortimer’s Cross in Herefordshire. It was a terrible blow for Henry VI and Jasper, particularly since Jasper and the earl of Wiltshire had shared command over the defeated army. His father, Owen Tudor, was executed after the battle. Jasper had choice but to flee in disguise, seeking refuge at his lordship of Pembroke. While he tried to solicit Welsh allies, Margaret of Anjou and her son Prince Edward had gathered a large army of northerners. They reached St Albans in Hertfordshire on 17 February and soundly defeated the Yorkist forces led by the ill-prepared earl of Warwick. This victory enabled Margaret to free her husband, prisoner of the Yorkists since the previous summer (the skirmish at St Albans). Her plan was to march straight to London while Jasper Tudor led forces from South Wales. But Jasper was unable to raise enough troops in time and Margaret’s northern soldiers made the fatal mistake of pillaging the English countryside. The Londoners were understandably terrified of the advancing northerners and refused to allow Margaret’s men into London. They did, however, open their gates to the future Edward IV and the earl of Warwick. Henry VI and his family fled to Scotland and Jasper Tudor was left in Wales.
Jasper’s lands were seized and he was hunted mercilessly by Edward IV’s ally William Herbert. There is no record of his whereabouts but he did successfully elude capture, eventually escaping to Scotland. His nephew, four-year-old Henry, was left behind at Pembroke Castle, seat of Jasper’s power in Pembrokeshire. Since William Herbert was awarded Jasper’s lands by Edward IV, Henry was in his custody. Because the young earl of Richmond was a member of the Lancastrian royal family, Herbert paid 1000 pds for his wardship; furthermore, he was given control over the boy’s future marriage. Herbert was never cruel to the boy; in fact, he and his wife, Anne Devereux, had a large family of their own and Henry was part of it. Anne was particularly kind to the boy and, when he triumphed in 1485, Henry Tudor sent for her to come to London. At their home, he was known as the earl of Richmond though his inheritance had been given to Edward IV’s brother George, duke of Clarence. His education was good – two Oxford scholars named Scot and Haseley who were also remembered when he became king.
portrait of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII But Henry rarely saw his mother. A few months after his birth in 1457, she married a man named Henry Stafford. They lived in Lincolnshire and, later, Surrey, long distances from Pembrokeshire. Also, the fall of Pembroke Castle and Herbert’s purchase of her son’s wardship were obstacles. But Margaret’s husband made peace with the new king around 1461 and, while her son was not allowed to return to her guardianship, she was allowed to visit and write to him.
Of course, the exiled Lancastrian nobility (Henry’s family) were involved in countless plots to return to power. Captured spies exaggerated reports of their strength; one told Edward IV that the kings of France, Denmark, Portugal, and Aragon were planning a Lancastrian-led invasion. Certainly any monarch would be uneasy after such reports. Edward IV captured the earl of Oxford and his son, believed to be Lancastrian sympathizers, and executed them for treason. Though the plot was not as grand as the spy alleged, it had involved French support and Jasper Tudor made his way to the continent. Eventually, a convoluted agreement was made with Louis XI the French king. This second plan failed around Christmas 1462. In 1464, Louis XI decided to switch loyalties to Edward IV and urged the other Lancastrian ally, Francis II duke of Brittany, to do the same.
It is difficult not to admire the tenacity the Lancastrian exiles maintained during these years of planning and defeat. Jasper increasingly began to see Wales as the perfect place for invasion since it was always hostile to the English monarchy. The Welsh were understandably sympathetic to any cause which involved this high-ranking Welshman. To many, Jasper was a national hero – a Welshman who had succeeded at the English court and could be counted upon to support their rights. In the spring of 1468, they had cause to rejoice because Jasper was coming to Wales. Edward IV had just made a treaty with independent French nobles which angered Louis XI of France. Accordingly, he decided to once again lend his support to the Lancastrian struggle. But, once again, the support was not as much as necessary. Jasper arrived in Wales and, though he gathered 2000 men, he was eventually routed at Harlech Castle. Jasper once again escaped, some say by impersonating a peasant. Once again, he was in France, still exiled and still defeated. One can only imagine his frustration.
But Jasper’s invasion, however slight, did create a breach in the Yorkist party. Edward IV’s supporter, the earl of Warwick who had marched with him to London in 1461, was becoming dissatisfied with the king. Called the ‘kingmaker’ because of his ability, Warwick wanted more power than Edward was willing to give. In early 1469, the two former allies were not speaking and Warwick raised an army. He was victorious over William Herbert’s army at Edgecote. (Herbert was Henry VII’s guardian and Edward IV’s ally.) Warwick realized he could not claim the throne for himself; instead, he had to switch sides and support Henry VI. So, with Edward IV’s brother George duke of Clarence, unhappy with his brother as well, Warwick went to France. There, Louis XI attempted to reconcile Warwick with his former enemies.
Margaret of Anjou didn’t want Warwick for an ally. She didn’t trust him; he had, after all, had a major role in arresting and deposing her husband in 1461. But Margaret’s desire to reassert Lancastrian authority was great and she reluctantly agreed to his help. Another invasion was planned. Warwick and Jasper would go through Wales and Margaret and Prince Edward follow when it was safe. Henry Tudor was now thirteen years old, certainly old enough to understand the danger he was in after the Battle at Edgecote. Since his guardian had been killed by Warwick, he was under the sole protection of Anne Devereux. She took him and her Herbert children to her family’s home in Herefordshire. Henry’s mother tried to regain custody of her son after Herbert’s death; however, her attempts soon didn’t matter. For when Jasper and Warwick’s army arrived in England, Edward IV was not in London and was unable to reach London before the Lancastrian forces. Therefore, Edward fled to Holland on 2 October 1470. Meanwhile, a relative of Anne Devereux’s had taken Henry Tudor to Hereford and given him to Jasper when he arrived at the city. The reunion of uncle and nephew was undoubtedly emotional for Jasper, an exile from his country for years. Meanwhile, Warwick entered London and freed Henry VI from the Tower.
It was also a reunion for Henry and his mother. Within a few days, he and Jasper had joined Margaret and her husband. They entered London together and spent about six weeks there. On 12 November, Henry left his mother again to leave with Jasper. Henry VI’s restoration immeasurably increased Jasper Tudor’s wealth and prestige (he was rewarded with lands, monies, grants); but Henry Tudor was not made the earl of Richmond. His father’s title had been given to Edward IV’s brother George duke of Clarence and Clarence would not give it back. Since he was an ally of Warwick’s, there was nothing Jasper or Margaret could do for the boy. Jasper, having spent ten years in exile and with little money or prestige, kept his nephew with him and enjoyed his success. Alas, it did not last. Once again, Edward IV and the Lancastrians met on the battlefield – this time at a town called Tewkesbury.
On 12 March 1471, Edward returned from Europe and landed in Yorkshire. He marched south to London, reaching there on 11 April; on 14 April, he fought Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Edward won and promptly killed Warwick. He also regained custody of Henry VI. The situation was once again dire; Jasper Tudor promptly began to raise an army to fight Edward. Meanwhile, Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward arrived in England as planned so many months ago. She knew nothing of Warwick’s defeat and her husband’s capture. Upon hearing the news, she was devastated but unbowed. She gathered an army in the West Country and marched north toward Wales; she was planning to meet and join forces with Jasper. Edward IV was no fool and realized that he must make a quick, decisive strike. He was determined to meet Margaret’s army before she met up with Jasper. Edward and Margaret met south of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471. Margaret was soundly defeated and her son killed during or after the battle. Captured like her husband and with their only child killed, Margaret was taken to London. Jasper Tudor, unable to reach her in time, was an exile once again – and, this time, so was his nephew.
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