Elizabeth Woodville

About Elizabeth Woodville

Who is it?: British Queen (1464-1483)
Birth Year: 1437
Birth Place: Grafton Regis, United Kingdom, British
Tenure: 1 May 1464 – 3 October 1470 11 April 1471 – 9 April 1483
Coronation: 26 May 1465
Burial: St. George's Chapel, Windsor
Spouse: Sir John Grey (m. c. 1452; d. 1461) Edward IV, King of England (m. 1464; d. 1483)
Issue: Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset Richard Grey Elizabeth, Queen of England Mary of York Cecily, Viscountess Welles Edward V, King of England Margaret of York Richard, Duke of York Anne, Lady Howard George, Duke of Bedford Catherine, Countess of Devon Bridget of York
Father: Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
Mother: Jacquetta of Luxembourg
Religion: Roman Catholic

Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville was born on 1437 in Grafton Regis, United Kingdom, British, is British Queen (1464-1483). Elizabeth Woodville was wife of King Edward IV and remained Queen consort of England starting 1464 till the demise of the King in 1483. This great Lancastrian beauty was a widow with two children when she married Edward IV. The wedlock that became a cause célèbre of those times made Edward IV the second monarch of England who married one of his subjects. Elizabeth was the first such consort to emerge as queen. Her Lancastrian background sans any royal rank made her marriage with Edward IV unpopular among ruling Yorkist nobility. Moreover her propensity in gaining high offices and titles for her relatives and their subsequent advancements met with hostility, particularly from Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. This led to fallout between the King and Warwick, who switched side to the Lancastrians. Edward IV and Elizabeth’s son, Edward V, became the king for a brief period, but the ‘Titulus Regius’ issued in 1484 invalidated their marriage debarring their children to the throne. The crown was bestowed to Richard III, brother of Edward IV. Elizabeth later played an instrumental role in the accession of Lancastrian Henry VII to the throne which marked he end of Yorkist rule.
Elizabeth Woodville is a member of Historical Personalities

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Edward IV's love for his wife is celebrated in sonnet 75 of Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella. (written by 1586, first pub. 1591).


She appears in two of Shakespeare's plays: Henry VI Part 3 (written by 1592), in which she is a fairly minor character, and Richard III (written approx. 1592), where she has a central role. Shakespeare portrays Elizabeth as a proud and alluring woman in Henry VI Part 3. By Richard III, she is careworn from having to defend herself against detractors in the court, including her titular brother-in-law Richard. She is one of Richard's cleverest opponents, as she sees through him from the beginning, but she is also melodramatic and self-pitying. Although most modern editions of Henry VI Part 3 and Richard III call her "Queen Elizabeth" in the stage directions, the original Shakespearean Folio never actually refer to her by name, instead calling her first "Lady Grey" and later simply "Queen."


With the arrival on the scene of the new queen came many relatives, some of whom married into the most notable families in England. Three of her sisters married the sons of the earls of Kent, Essex and Pembroke. Another sister, Catherine Woodville, married the queen's 11-year-old ward Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who later joined Edward IV's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in opposition to the Woodvilles after the death of Edward IV. Elizabeth's 20-year-old brother John married Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk. The Duchess had been widowed three times and was probably in her sixties, which created a scandal at court. Elizabeth's son from her first marriage, Thomas Grey, married Cecily Bonville, 7th Baroness Harington.

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