The account at right was written by Tudor citizen Richard Grafton. Its spelling has been modernized.
Elizabeth of York was born on 11 February 1465 to King Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville. After her father’s death and her uncle Richard’s usurpation, Elizabeth was the sole Yorkist heir to the English throne. Her two brothers, the infamous ‘Princes in the Tower‘, had disappeared; their murders are alternately blamed upon Richard and Elizabeth’s future husband, King Henry VII.
Her marriage to Henry was planned by his mother, the formidable Lady Margaret Beaufort, and her mother. Richard was defeated in battle at Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 and Henry was declared king of England. He postponed the marriage for several months, however; he did not wish his claim to the throne to be based upon Elizabeth’s status as heiress of Edward IV. They married on 18 January 1486 and their first child, a son called Arthur, was born nine months later. They eventually had eight children, four of whom survived infancy. She died in childbirth on her 38th birthday. Henry VII never married again.
Princess Margaret Tudor was the eldest daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, born on 29 November 1489. She was married to the Scottish king James IV on 8 August 1503, in an attempt to establish peace between the two kingdoms. It did not work; James was killed at Flodden Field in 1513, during the reign of Margaret’s younger brother, King Henry VIII. Margaret married twice more. Her great-grandson, King James VI of Scotland, became King James I of England in 1603, thus uniting the two countries. Margaret died on 18 October 1541.
….Queen Elizabeth, lying in the tower of London, was brought to bed on Candlemas day of a fair daughter who was there christened and named Catherine, and on 11 February, the most virtuous princess and gracious queen there died, and was with all funeral pomp carried through the City of London to Westminster, and there buried, whose daughter also lived but a little time after her mother.
….All this winter preparation was made for the conveyance of Lady Margaret, betrothed to the king of Scots, into Scotland. And when all things were ready and prepared the king moved on the last day of June from Richmond, in the company of this daughter, and came to Colyweston, where his mother the countess of Richmond then was. And at the end of certain days of recreation the king gave her his blessing with a fatherly exhortation, and committed her conveyance to the king her husband’s presence to the earl of Surrey: and Henry Algernon Percy, earl of Northumberland was appointed as Warden of the Marches, to deliver her at the border of both the Marches.
Thus this fair lady was conveyed with a great company of lords, ladies, knights, esquires and gentlemen until she came to Berwick and from there to a village called Lambton Kirk in Scotland where the king with the flower of Scotland was ready to receive her, to whom the earl of Northumberland according to his commission delivered her.
The Scots that day, I assure you, were not behind the English but far above, both in dress and rich jewels and weighty chains.
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "The Death of Elizabeth of York and the betrothal of Princess Margaret to the king of Scots, 1503" https://englishhistory.net/tudor/the-death-of-elizabeth-of-york/, February 28, 2015