Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Inconvenient Princess

Edward IV,  Elizabeth Woodville and family visit Caxton's workshop
What really happened to Princess Bridget of York, the youngest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville? Author Nancy Bilyeau explores the question. To quote:
Rather suddenly, Elizabeth Woodville retired from public life to a suite of rooms in Bermondsey Abbey, a Benedictine order in the London borough of Southwark. Some believe her son-in-law forced the duplicitous queen dowager into monastic life because he thought she was plotting against him, though there is no evidence of it. Said one biographer, "Nineteen years as queen had cost her three sons, a father, and two brothers sacrificed to the court's bloody politics. Elizabeth Woodville now sought solace and peace in service to her God."
But what about Bridget? Did she go with her mother to the abbey--or find a place with her sister the queen or another sibling? No one knows. The next time Bridget appears in historical record is in 1490, when she, too, left the public arena for religious life. But the youngest child of Edward IV was sent to live not at Bermondsey but at Dartford Priory, a Dominican order in Kent. No one knows if this was because of her own piety, her mother’s wish to devote a child to God or the sad fact that Bridget had become an inconvenience to her family. (Read entire post.)

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