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  1. Elizabeth Woodville (also spelled Wydville, Wydeville, or Widvile; [nb 1] c. 1437 [1] – 8 June 1492) was Queen of England from her marriage to King Edward IV on 1 May 1464 until Edward was deposed on 3 October 1470, and again from Edward's resumption of the throne on 11 April 1471 until his death on 9 April 1483.

  2. Nov 14, 2022 · Elizabeth Woodville, (born 1437—died June 7/8, 1492, London), wife of King Edward IV of England. After Edward’s death popular dislike of her and her court facilitated the usurpation of power by Richard, duke of Gloucester (King Richard III). A woman of great beauty, she was already a widow with two sons when Edward IV married her in May 1464.

    • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
    • Early Life
    • Ancestry
    • Meeting and Marriage with Edward IV
    • Family Ambitions
    • Widowhood
    • Mother of A Queen
    • Princes in The Tower
    • Death and Legacy
    • in Fiction
    • Sources

    Elizabeth Woodville was probably born at Grafton in rural Northamptonshire, England, about 1437, the eldest of the 12 children of Richard Woodville and Jacquetta de Luxembourg. Elizabeth's mother Jacquetta was the daughter of a Count and a descendant of Simon de Montfort and his wife Eleanor, the daughter of England's King John. Jacquetta was the w...

    Eleanor of Aquitaine, mother of King John of England, was the 8th great grandmother of Elizabeth Woodville through her mother Jacquetta. Her husband Edward IV and son-in-law Henry VII were, of course, also descendants of Eleanor of Aquitaine. 1. Elizabeth Woodville > Jacquetta of Luxembourg > Margherita del Balzo > Sueva Orsini > Nicola Orsini > Ro...

    How Elizabeth met Edward is not known for certain, though an early legend has her petitioning him by waiting with her sons beneath an oak tree. Another story circulated that she was a sorceress who bewitched him, but she may have simply known him from court. Legend has her giving Edward, a known womanizer, an ultimatum that they had to be married o...

    Her extensive and, by all accounts, ambitious family was favored heavily after Edward took the throne. Her eldest son from her first marriage, Thomas Grey, was created Marquis Dorset in 1475. Elizabeth promoted the fortunes and advancement of her relatives, even at the cost of her popularity with the nobles. In one of the most scandalous incidents,...

    When Edward IV died suddenly on April 9, 1483, Elizabeth's fortunes abruptly changed. Her husband's brother Richard of Gloucester was appointed Lord Protector since Edward's eldest son Edward V was a minor. Richard moved quickly to seize power, claiming—apparently with the support of his mother Cecily Neville—that the children of Elizabeth and Edwa...

    After Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at Bosworth Fieldand was crowned Henry VII, he married Elizabeth of York—a marriage arranged with the support of Elizabeth Woodville and also of Henry's mother, Margaret Beaufort. The marriage took place in January 1486, uniting the factions at the end of the Wars of the Roses and making the claim to the thron...

    The fate of the two sons of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, the "Princes in the Tower," is not certain. That Richard imprisoned them in the Tower is known. That Elizabeth worked to arrange the marriage of her daughter to Henry Tudor may mean that she knew, or at least suspected, that the princes were already dead. Richard III is generally believ...

    In 1487, Elizabeth Woodville was suspected of plotting against Henry VII, her son-in-law, and her dowry was seized and she was sent to Bermondsey Abbey. She died there on June 8 or 9, 1492. She was buried in St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle near her husband. In 1503, James Tyrell was executed for the deaths of the two princes, sons of Edward I...

    Elizabeth Woodville's life has lent itself to many fictional depictions, though not often as the main character. She is, however, the main character in the British series, The White Queen. Elizabeth Woodville is Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare's Richard III. She and Richard are depicted as bitter enemies, and Margaretcurses Elizabeth with having her...

    Baldwin, David. "Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower." Gloucestershire: The History Press (2002). Print.
    Okerlund, Arlene N. "Elizabeth of York: Queenship and Power." New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2009). Print.
    • Jone Johnson Lewis
    • Women's History Writer
  3. Elizabeth Woodville was the eldest daughter of Richard, 1st Earl Rivers (executed 1469) and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford (her brothers Anthony and John were also executed). By her first husband Sir John Grey she had sons Thomas and Richard and was a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Margaret, wife of Henry VI.

  4. Elizabeth Woodville was named Dowager Queen. Oddly, instead of returning to court under Henry, Elizabeth lived out the final few years of her life at Bermondsey Abbey. Historians are divided as to why she retreated from public life. Perhaps she simply wanted to live a quiet, contemplative existence, as many women of means chose to do in those days.

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