Woodville followed his father into service with the Duke of Bedford. In 1433 the Duke had married the 17-year-old Jacquetta of Luxembourg; she was the Duke's second wife and he was significantly older and in ill health. When the Duke died in 1435, Jacquetta was left a childless and wealthy widow.
Catherine was the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. When her sister Elizabeth married Edward IV of England, the King elevated and promoted many members of the Woodville family. Elizabeth Woodville's household records for 1466/67 indicate that Catherine was being raised in the queen's household.
After her first husband died, Jacquetta fell in love with Sir Richard, who was not very rich or important even though he was a knight. Jacquetta's friends and family felt that it was an unsuitable marriage and that he was not good enough for her. They had fourteen children altogether. When Elizabeth first met Edward, she was a widow.
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