Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Sad Birthday for York

King Edward V
National Portrait Gallery London
November 2nd is an important day in York history. On this day in 1470, Edward IV was granted his greatest wish. After the births of three daughters, Queen Elizabeth Woodville bore Edward a son. She was in sanctuary at the time, though she never seemed to doubt that her golden warrior husband would return to reclaim his kingdom and his family.

Her faith was well placed. Approximately six months later, Edward did return and for the first time met his heir, who had been christened Prince Edward in his absence. Over the next decade, Prince Edward was joined by two more brothers and four more sisters. One of these sisters, Anne, was born on Edward's fifth birthday. While this day was likely filled with rejoicing, neither of these siblings would enjoy a happy life.

Prince Edward was at Ludlow, training to become king someday that should have been far off when he received the news that his father had died. At only 12 years old, the prince became Edward V in April 1483. However, the name Edward Prince of Wales seems to be a cursed one, for his predecessor, referred to by the Yorks as Edward of Westminster had died in battle, fighting for the throne of his father, Henry VI, that would have eventually fallen to him. Edward V's successor as Prince of Wales, Edward of Middleham, also met an early and untimely end.

Anne of York
Lady Howard
Pages and pages have been written about the possible fate of Edward V and his brother Richard Duke of York. Their brother, George had died in 1479, but these remaining two brothers became known as the Princes in the Tower. Their disappearance in 1483 remains one of histories most astounding unsolved mysteries.

Their sister, Anne, survived her brothers and was married to a member of the ambitious Howard family during the reign of Henry VII. However, their union produced no children, and Anne died just three weeks after her 36th birthday. (Her sisters each died at a similar age, except for Catherine who died at age 48.)

A prince and a princess, each born with so much promise and sharing a birthday, met sad ends as their dynasty crumbled and the Tudors took their place.


  1. Interesting and sad post. Thanks for sharing

  2. happy new year...2017