The White Queen: The REAL ending of Isabel and George

The death of Lady Isabel, episode 7.

The death of Lady Isabel, episode 7.

So in tonight’s episode — they decided to kill TWO major characters off. And if you don’t feel a tad bit sorry for either one — remember these were actual people. Although the series is LOOSELY based off of historical events and people — these people DID die during one of the most dangerous periods of time in England.

Episode 7

Episode 7

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On 22 December 1476 Isabel Neville, Duchess of Clarence died at Warwick at the age of twenty-five. Her body was removed for burial to Tewkesbury Abbey, the mausoleum of her Despenser ancestors. It was received there on 4 January 1477 by Abbot Strensham and other prelates. A service of nine lessons was conducted by suffragans of the Bishops of Worcester and Lincoln with the assistance of the dean and chaplains of Clarence’s chapel. Members of his houseshold stood vigil for a whole night. On the morrow the bishops and the abbot conducted three masses, one in honour of the Virgin Mary, a second for the Holy Trinity and a Requiem mass. At the latter a Franciscan friar, Dr Peter Webb, made an oration. The duchess’s body lay in state in the middle of the choir until 25 January 1477, when it was placed in a vault newly constructed behind the high altar, where probably Clarence himself was laid to rest. In the meantime masses were celebrated daily for the duchess’s soul.
MA Hicks, False Fleeting Perjur’d Clarence, p 114.

Clarence quite probably kept vigil with his household. He was from all accounts deeply grieved by his wife’s death. Their marriage was a happy one and it does seem that he was faithful to her. Her funeral itself points to a widower who wished his wife to be remembered and honoured in death. Their children, Margaret and Edward, were 3 and 1 respectively.

Barely a month after Isobel’s death, Margaret duchess of Burgundy, newly widowed, suggested Clarence (her favourite brother) as a husband for her stepdaughter Mary. Edward opposed the idea. Around the same time, an idea was put to Edward that Clarence marry the sister of James III. This, too, Edward declined. Despite Clarence’s no doubt real sense of grief at Isobel’s death, and there’s no way of knowing if he would have married either party had the decision been left up to him, Edward’s disapproval of both matches greatly upset him and relations between the brothers, already shaky, began to deteriorate further.

In May 1477, two men associated with Clarence were executed for treason at Tyburn. There is no evidence that Clarence was involved, or that Edward believed Clarence to be involved. However, after their deaths, he went with a Dr William Goddard to a session of council where Goddard read out a declaration of the men’s innocence. Also in May, Ankarette Twynho, one of Isabel’s servants, along with two others, was arrested, tried, convicted and executed on a charge of poisoning the duchess. The conduct of the trial, which included the kidnapping and forced removal of Twynho to Warwick, was highly irregular.  Edward arrested his brother, not on accusations of treason but for bringing the laws of England and the justice of the king into question. This was not a charge that carried the death penalty. Some time before November, however, Edward changed his mind and Clarence was charged with treason.

The Death of George, Duke of Clarence via "The White Queen"

The Death of George, Duke of Clarence via “The White Queen”

Clarence was tried in parliament on 16 January, condemned as a traitor and sentenced to death, which sentence was carried out in the Tower on 18 February. Edward honoured his brother’s wishes and allowed him to be buried with his duchess at Tewkesbury. Several contemporary and near contemporary sources speak of Edward’s almost immediate regret at Clarence’s death and his part in it. Cecily Nevill pleaded for her son’s life, and as a result of her appeal the sentence was commuted from the traditional traitor’s death. Though this has been called into doubt in recent times, it also seems that both Gloucester and Hastings made some attempt to see Clarence spared. This doesn’t quite tie in with the fact that, of everyone, Gloucester stood to gain most from Clarence’s death. He and Hastings were certainly not as closely involved in the process and proceedings as the earls Rivers and Dorset. However, neither of them, both influential with the king, spoke up quite loudly or clearly enough to save Clarence’s life. Both men, at the time, enjoyed friendly relations with the queen and her kin. The Wydevilles were four square behind both the changes to the charges against Clarence, his conviction and the carrying out of the sentence.

[Karen Clark. Nevill Feast, “Marriage and the Nevills – Isobel Nevill and George Duke of Clarence“, 15 June 2010]

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Nonsense about Ladies Isabel and Anne Neville

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay) and Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) in "The White Queen".

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay) and Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) in “The White Queen”.

“To anyone who has any interest in these two women: Please stop writing about Isobel and Anne Nevill as if they were weak women who had no control over their lives. Please stop using their early deaths as a sign that they were Doomed From the Start. Please read something about their father. (Both Hicks and Pollard have done a bang up job here.) Oh, and can we consign the overused, tired and meaningless word pawn to the dustbin of history? Let’s stop the nonsense. It’s starting to get depressing.”

To those of you watching “The White Queen”, please take some time to read this blog about THE REAL Ladies Isabel and Anne. You would be surprised that they are NOTHING like the show has portrayed them. They also didn’t constantly get b’ed out by the queen.

Nevill_girls

A Nevill Feast

I stumbled on this while I was on the hunt for information for an upcoming post.

I feel that it needs a response, something to balance the books a little. I know, it’s an uphill battle – the view that poor Isobel and Anne were mere pawns (oh, and Doomed) is so entrenched that it’s going to take a miracle to shift it by so much as a millimetre.

Just to set the tone, here are some of the words used to described Warwick and/or his actions:

”political conniving”; “charismatic”; “self-centered”; “arrogant”; “man of moderate military skill”; “merciless”; “exploit”; “had no need to hold [his daughters] in esteem”; “hankering for supremacy and clout”; the only loyalty he held was to himself”; “enmesh in his pursuit for power”; “ego”; “narcissism”; “heedless”; “used his youngest daughter”; “spider web of intrigue”; “hopeless machinations”; “fanaticism for prestige and importance”.

Phew!

Now for the…

View original post 1,712 more words

STARZ ‘The White Queen’: The Kingmaker’s Daughters

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Lady Anne (Faye Marsay); daughters of Lord and Lady Warwick.

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Lady Anne (Faye Marsay); daughters of Lord and Lady Warwick.

Lady to Queen

Lady Anne and Lady Isabella of Warwick

Lady Anne and Lady Isabel of Warwick [fan art by tudorquen6, episode 2]

“Daughter of Lord Warwick “The Kingmaker” (James Frain). Anne is a timid girl who becomes a pawn in her unruly father’s struggle for power. As little girls, Anne and her sister Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) pretend to be Queen and dream of the royal life along with the finery it will bring. But as Anne grows older, she begins to understand the reality and danger associated with actually wearing the crown. Those who possess it must always watch their back for those trying to take it. And those who want their hands on it will lie, cheat and kill to make it happen. Anne is not sure if constantly living in fear is the life she wants to lead.” — STARZ1yorks

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay)

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay)

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy.

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition. (Gregory)

Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury portrayed by James Frain

Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury portrayed by James Frain

“The master manipulator who helps King Edward IV attain the throne. As a close confidant of Edward, Lord Warwick uses his powers of persuasion and deception against all the right people to elevate his young protégé to his position atop all of England. When Elizabeth and Edward marry, the power-hungry Warwick loses his grip on the monarchy, leaving his plan to have a say in all things political lying in ruins. Incensed at losing Edward’s ear, Warwick vows to have him replaced in a series of twisted plots designed to bring him back into a position of power. If his daughters meet and marry the right suitors, Warwick could soon find himself back in the political mix.” — STARZ

Lady Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) with her daughters.

Lady Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) with her daughters, episode 4.

Lady Anne (later Queen) is portrayed by Faye Marsay and Lady Isabel (Duchess of Clarence) is portrayed by Eleanor Tomlinson.

Their mother, Lady Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick is portrayed by Juliet Aubrey.

Philippa Gregory's new covers to promote "The White Queen."

Philippa Gregory’s new covers to promote “The White Queen.”

Lady Anne’s titles were as followed:

  • Lady Anne of Warwick (1456-1470)
  • Princess of Wales (1470-1471) as wife to Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
  • Dowager Princess of Wales (1471-1472) as widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
  • Duchess of Gloucester (1472-1483) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
  • Queen consort of England (1483-1485) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became King Richard III in 1483.
Fan art by tudorqueen6

Fan art by tudorqueen6

Both Anne and Isabel were nieces of Lady Alice FitzHugh (born Neville) (paternal great-grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr). Parr’s grandmother, Elizabeth FitzHugh, was cousin to Lady Anne and Lady Isabel and served as a lady to Queen Anne. The two families, FitzHugh and Neville (Lord Warwick), were close due to the proximity of the two families; they lived near each other and FitzHugh was close to both the Earl of Salisbury and his son, the Earl of Warwick. Queen Anne personally appointed Elizabeth and her mother Lady Alice much like Woodville did with Parr’s maternal great-grandmother Lady Fogge. Both women were part of the coronation of King Richard and Queen Anne and received gifts from the King. However, Elizabeth’s husband (Parr’s grandfather), refused his part in the coronation and returned north where he died shortly after. I often wonder what their family thought when Edward married Woodville even though Lord William Parr rose highly under Edward IV.

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STARZ Official Trailer

The White Queen BBC one commercial – Directors cut from Jamie Childs on Vimeo.

See also —

Starz ‘The White Queen’: Elizabeth Woodville

Starz ‘The White Queen’: Lady Margaret Beaufort

Sources

Links