Damnit, lady! Write
Some letters! Journal! Something!
History buff’s moan.
Today on Mothers of Kings Week, we have Cecily Neville, Duchess of York and mother of Edward IV and Richard III.
Cecily was born in 1415, marrying Richard, Duke of York in 1429. They knew each other well, as the orphaned York had been a family ward since Cecily was a toddler. Their first kid, Anne, was born in 1439. Then came the short-lived Henry, followed by Edward.
But! Some say Eddy was really a hot Rouen archer’s son. Why? Because if Eddy was full-term, that meant he’d have been conceived when York was fighting stuff a few days’ away. So either he was a premie or a bastard. Why else would the kid have a low-key baptism when the next boy’s was fancy? QED.
The Yorks could and likely did travel to each other to ‘talk’. And the baptism is proof of jack. They buried a son not long ago and if Eddie WAS a premie, his chances were iffy. Also, if York thought the kid was not his son, why would he want everyone to think he’s a cuckold?
Regardless, they had seven surviving kids. Then DRAMA.
York and his faction bickered with Queen Margaret and HER faction, aggravated by Henry VI’s madness and York’s stronger claim to the throne. Cecily tried to mediate, but York eventually declared his kingship. She and her tiny ones were captured, York and son Edmund were killed, Eddy won the crown. Yay! He married Elizabeth Woodville. Boo!
Cecily was pissed, but reconciled herself to it. Her nephew, the Kingmaker, didn’t. He rebelled, and so did George, who used the archer story to say that HE should be king. Ed and Rick fled, Henry VI was king again, Cecily told George to stop being a dick, other sons came back and kicked ass, Henry VI ‘died of a broken heart’.
In the following years, George died (of being a dick), Eddy died (of parties), Rick died (of ‘metal poisoning’.) Then granddaughter Elizabeth became queen, tra la.What were Cecily’s thoughts on these decades of drama? We’ve no fucking idea. All we’ve got are suppositions, guesswork, and projection, goddamn.
(Fucking scarcity of medieval documentation of anything, mutter mutter.)
Cecily died in 1495.