Monday, May 20, 2019

Death of Queen Elizabeth Woodville

Of plague. But why is it mentioned 19 years after the fact? Strange. From The Guardian:
A 500-year-old letter discovered in the National Archives has revealed that the “White Queen” Elizabeth Woodville, the grandmother of Henry VIII, may have died of the plague. Elizabeth, the wife of Edward IV, mother of Edward V and maternal grandmother of Henry VIII, died in 1492 after spending the last five years of her life in Bermondsey Abbey in London. No cause of death was recorded at the time, and there are no known contemporary accounts of her passing. However, while digging through transcripts and translations of Venetian documents relating to England, National Archives records specialist Euan Roger stumbled on a letter from the Venetian ambassador to London, written 19 years after her death. 
The letter, dated July 1511, sees the ambassador, Andrea Badoer, state that “the Queen-Widow, mother of King Edward, has died of plague, and the King is disturbed”. Roger said the ambassador could only be referring to Elizabeth Woodville, mother of the princes in the Tower and a woman renowned for her “lynx-eyed” beauty, which drew the attention of Edward IV. It is the only known reference to Elizabeth’s death being caused by plague, but Roger believes that if the queen did in fact die in this way, it provides an alternative explanation of why accounts of her funeral are so modest. (Read more.)

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