The ‘pre-contract’ – Edward IV’s first marriage, to Eleanor Butler (nee Talbot) – the evidence

Over the weekend at the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, it was lovely to meet readers old and new and potential, to catch up with Ricardian friends, and exchange views with interested members of the public.

As usually happens at such events, the odd debate took place over whether Richard ‘did it’ (I’m sure you can guess what) and the validity of his claim to the throne. At that point it would have been invaluable to have been able direct my challenger to a resource that has just come to my attention – a page on the Revealing Richard III website specifically discussing Edward IV’s pre-contract with Eleanor Butler (nee Talbot) which meant that his sons with Elizabeth Woodville were illegitimate (a subject of course covered in The King’s Man).

P1040890

King Edward distributing largesse … before any word of his pre-contract came out…

Members of the Looking for Richard project team Philippa Langley and Dr David and Wendy Johnson, drawing also on work by the late Dr John Ashdown-Hill, have pulled together the early sources on the subject into a single page to demonstrate why the pre-contract was not the fiction many later claimed, from the Tudor period onwards. The page can be found here: http://revealingrichardiii.com/the-pre-contract.html

So, next time someone says to you, ‘But it was all just made up by Richard to seize the throne’, just point them in the direction of the Revealing Richard III website… I certainly will! I’m very grateful to Philippa, Wendy and David for bringing it to my attention.

Loyaulte me lie!

 

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About alexmarchantblog

A Ricardian since a teenager, and following stints as an archaeologist and in publishing, Alex now lives and works in King Richard’s own country, not far from his beloved York and Middleham
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