After watching several episodes of ‘The White Queen’, I have stopped at episode 8 feeling disgusted with the pace, inaccuracy, and portrayal of the historical figures who were indeed people who lived over 500 years ago.
However, I am trying to dispell the many inaccurate facts that have popped up. Hence the family tree on STARZ.com — you can find the page X
- Warwick, the Kingmaker: Born Richard Neville, he was the son of the Earl [grandson of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster via his daughter Lady Joan Beaufort] and Countess of Salisbury [Lady Alice Montacute, a Countess in her own right was a great-granddaughter of Lady Joan, Countess of Kent and Princess of Wales]. His grandfather, the Earl of Westmorland, had wardship over Richard, Duke of York [father of Edward IV]. Westmorland married the Duke of York to his daughter Lady Cecily; his daughter by his second wife Lady Joan Beaufort. Warwick grew up with Edward and his other brothers as his father was the brother of the Duchess of York. The Neville family was the most powerful noble family in England at the time. Richard’s marriage to the heiress Lady Anne Beauchamp was a powerful match. When Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, she brought her whole family to court. With all those family members, they were married off to most of the nobility at court — his family. The first marriage of a Woodville was Elizabeth’s brother, John, to the widowed aunt of Warwick, Lady Katherine who was a wealthy heiress 40 years his senior. This not only outraged Warwick, but most to all of the court! The marriages of the common Woodville family would continue — sweeping up whatever wealthy noble they could.
- Richard, Duke of Gloucester: Richard is NOT an ancestor to the American President George Washington! He is not an ancestor to anyone! He had one legitimate son who predeceased him. Richard was the youngest surviving son of eight. The last male standing of the Duke and Duchess of York. His mother, Lady Cecily, would outlive him.
- George, Duke of Clarence: was NOT the second son of the Duke and Duchess of York, but the third surviving son of eight sons. He had an elder brother who died with his father and uncle [father of Lord Warwick]. In the video on George, Philippa claims that there is no evidence that George and Isabel cared for each other; there was no love. On the contrary. See X
- Lady Anne Neville: later queen, is a pawn — enough, that is not a politically correct term — in those days women who were wealthy heiresses married to whomever their family chose. So the King’s mother, Lady Cecily, was a pawn as well? Hardly! The King’s mother was a very strong, influential, and pious woman. Lady Anne as Duchess of Gloucester would share the piety with her grandaunt/mother-in-law; the two would discuss religious works.
- The Countess of Warwick: born Lady Anne de Beauchamp, was the heiress to her father and eventually her brother, the Duke of Warwick. Her father, the 13th Earl of Warwick, was a grandson of Thomas, 11th Earl and Katherine Mortimer [listed on the tree]. The 13th Earl had been previously married and had three daughters by his first wife. Lady Warwick’s half-sister, Lady Eleanor, became Duchess of Somerset and through her daughter a grandmother of Humphrey Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham [see below]. Lady Warwick’s husband, Richard Neville, became Earl of Warwick through her. More info on that X. Lady Warwick was of royal descent and shared Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York as a common ancestor with King Edward, George of Clarence, and Richard III [they were 2nd cousins]. So her daughters were close cousins to their husbands [George of Clarence and Richard of Gloucester] by both father and mother. They both required a dispensation from Rome to marry; the show acts as if Lady Anne did not get one. On the contrary, Lady Anne and Lord Richard did; they were lawfully married.
- Edmund Stafford: son of Hugh, Lord Stafford and Lady Philippa Beauchamp married to Anne of Gloucester, a granddaughter of Edward III via his youngest son, Thomas of Woodstock. Stafford’s son became Duke of Buckingham and married to Lady Anne Neville, a sister of Lady Cecily, Duchess of York [mother of King Edward IV]. His eldest son, Humphrey married to the half-sister of Lady Warwick [above] but predeceased his father. The Dukedom went to his son. Lord Henry Stafford, husband of Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a cousin of King Edward IV and Lord Warwick.
- Lady Beauchamp: born Margaret Beauchamp, she was not a noblewoman by birth. Her title of “Lady Beauchamp” is incorrect in that she was never married to a Beauchamp [of Knight status or above]. From March 1461-1482 [her death] she was known as the Dowager Lady Welles being the widow of Lionel Welles, Lord Welles. Her son by Lord Welles was John Welles, 1st Viscount — she never had a son named Richard. The historical Viscount Welles was married to Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.
- Lady Margaret Beaufort: a distant cousin of King Henry VI via an illegitimate line, the Beauforts. Lady Margaret’s grandfather was a half-brother to King Henry IV. The two shared John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster as a great-grandfather thus making them 2nd cousins. Lady Margaret descended from the third marriage of John of Gaunt — the King descended from the Duke’s first marriage to Lady Blanche of Lancaster. Lady Margaret is buried in Westminster Abbey — but not next to Mary, Queen of Scots. The tombs are in the same vicinity, but Queen Mary was moved there under her son’s reign [about a hundred years after the death of Lady Margaret].
- King Henry VI: the King who had a mental breakdown. According to the tree, he was an ancestor of King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Uh, I think they mean Henry VII Tudor?
- Edward of Lancaster: portrayed in the tree as a bastard child of Margaret of Anjou and one of her loyalists. True? Doubtful. Why would she fight so hard for a bastard son?
- Jacquetta Rivers and Elizabeth Grey: born Jacquetta of Luxembourg, she was married to the Duke of Bedford, son of the Lancastrian King Henry IV. After his death she married without consent to the Duke’s squire, Richard Woodville. They were of course heavily fined and suffered consequences. Jacquetta’s daughter, Elizabeth, would marry the Lancastrian Sir Thomas Grey who would die in battle. As a widow of a traitor [the House of York defeated Lancaster by the time Elizabeth met Edward], she sought out to have her inheritance reinstated for her two sons. The two, and the rest of the Woodville family, come to court and everything was/is turned upside down when Edward marries Elizabeth and makes her queen. As Philippa Gregory clearly states, she loves Jacquetta and of course her daughter. The series is heavily pro-Woodville and makes anyone who goes against them seem evil or “the enemy“. There is a huge sense of bias through out this show. From insulting the King’s mother, cursing everyone who doesn’t like her or her family [and not even thinking about karma in the process], treating Edward’s family horribly, and whining when she doesn’t get her way — the portrayal of “fictional” Elizabeth is horrid and would make the real queen probably role in her grave. The other two women get demonized and Lady Anne is constantly being attacked by Elizabeth who verbally abuses and eventually curses her, her husband, and child. Honestly the two remind you of a 15th century version of “Mean Girls“. It has gotten so bad that they now have team Woodville vs team Neville! A complete insult to the actual historical figures. For more on that — see X.