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Tudor Minute January 18: Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for January 18.

Today in 1485 Henry VII married Elizabeth of York. Henry was the newly crowned King of England after defeating Elizabeth’s uncle, Richard III, at Bosworth field. Elizabeth was the daughter of Edward IV, and for many, she was seen as the legitimate heir to the throne. Bringing together both houses in marriage, it was hoped, would put a final end to the Wars of the Roses, and provide stability in England.

The marriage was the brainchild of Elizabeth of York and Lady Margaret Beaufort. Elizabeth of York was Edward IV’s widow, and after the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, Elizabeth wanted revenge on Richard III for usurping the throne of her son – and likely killing him to boot. She worked with Lady Margaret vowing to support Lady Margaret’s son, the Lancastrian heir Henry Tudor, in exchange for him promising to marry her oldest daughter, Elizabeth. And so, when Henry was still in exile, he promised to marry Elizabeth once he became King.

This marriage was the start of the Tudor dynasty, and it was successful in uniting York and Lancaster together.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Episode Link:
Elizabeth of York from Tudor Times