Jasper Tudor

gigatos | January 17, 2022


Jasper Tudor, also known as Tudor of Hatfield (c. 1431-21.

In the eyes of the law, Jasper was considered illegitimate. But because Jasper”s mother, Catherine of Valois, was the widow of King Henry V of England, Jasper, like his older brother Edmund, was half-brother to King Henry VI.

Jasper was born in Hertfordshire around 1431. After his mother”s death in 1437, persecution began against Jasper”s father, Owen Tudor, by Humphrey of Gloucester, regent of England under the minor Henry VI. As a result, Owen was imprisoned in 1438, where he remained until 1439. His children, Edmund and Jasper, ended up in Barking Abbey, where Catherine de La Pol, sister of the Earl of Suffolk, took care of them. There they remained until March 1442. Thereafter, King Henry VI, whose retinue included them, began to oversee their upbringing.

In 1449 Jasper was knighted. In 1452, Edmund and Jasper were recognized by King Henry as members of the royal family. In the same year, on November 23, Jasper was granted the title Earl of Pembroke. On January 5, 1453, Jasper, with Edmund, who received the title of Earl of Richmond, presented investiture for his estates to the king in the Tower, and on January 20, the brothers were presented to parliament. This brought them into the English nobility. In addition to the title, Jasper received rich estates at Pembroke, Silgerran and Lanstephan in southwest Wales, which earned him a handsome income.

After King Henry fell seriously ill in the summer of 1453, Jasper became close to Richard, Duke of York, with whom he appears to have been on friendly terms. However, after Henry”s recovery in late 1454, Jasper refused to follow Richard, who had left London. On May 22, 1455, Jasper participated in the battle of St. Albans, in which Richard of York”s army attacked and massacred King Henry”s army. Henry was wounded in the attack. In the war that followed, later called the War of the Scarlet and White Rose, Jasper, despite his friendship with Richard, sided with his older brother at Henry VI”s side.

After Edmund Tudor”s death in 1456, he became Henry VI”s closest adviser, with whom he enjoyed unquestionable authority. Edmund”s widow Margaret Beaufort, who had moved to Pembroke Castle under the protection of her late husband”s brother, gave birth to a son, Henry, on 28 January 1457, who took on his father”s title as Earl of Richmond. His guardian became Jasper.

In 1457 King Henry VI appointed Jasper Justiciar of Wales. In doing so, he had to confront William Herbert, a supporter of York, whom Jasper captured there. By April 1457 Jasper was able to extend his influence into South and West Wales, where he became constable of the castles of Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Carreg Sennen, which had previously been subordinate to Richard of York. Jasper also managed to establish relations with the Welsh nobility. At the same time, Jasper became close to Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, with whom he had common interests. Their alliance was later cemented by the marriage of Margaret Beaufort to Henry Stafford, one of the Duke of Buckingham”s sons.

In 1459 Jasper became a Knight of the Order of the Garter. On October 12, he took part in the Battle of Ludford Bridge, in which the Yorkist army was defeated.

In 1460 Jasper managed to capture the strategically important castle of Denbigh, which was Richard of York”s stronghold in North Wales. Jasper managed to hold the castle even after Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeated the army of Henry VI in late June, with the king himself captured and the Duke of Buckingham, an ally of Jasper, killed.

On December 30, at the Battle of Wakefield, the Scottish army of Queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, defeated Richard of York, himself dead. In the meantime, Jasper managed to raise an army in Wales, which he moved to help Margaret. However, on 2 February 1461, Jasper”s army was defeated at the Battle of Mortimer”s Cross by Edward of York, Earl of March, heir to the late Duke Richard. Many warlords were captured and beheaded, including Jasper”s father, Owen Tudor. Jasper himself escaped captivity and fled to Wales.

On February 17, 1461, Margaret”s army defeated the Earl of Warwick at St. Albans. But as early as March 29, Edward defeated Margaret”s army at the Battle of Towton, and on March 4 he was proclaimed King of England as Edward IV. Surviving Lancaster supporters, including Jasper, were stripped of all possessions and offices. Jasper was also deprived of membership in the Order of the Garter.

William Herbert was appointed Justiciar of Wales, who moved into Wales in late August. He soon succeeded in capturing all of Jasper”s possessions, including Pembroke Castle, home to the minor Henry Richmond, who was from that time under the care of William Herbert and his wife, Anne Devere. Jasper fled to Scotland, where Lancaster supporters had settled.

Jasper spent the next nine years in exile, as one of the most active emissaries who fought to restore Lancaster to the English throne. In 1462 he was in Brittany, preparing to invade England during the rebellion that John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was to raise, but the plot was uncovered and its leaders executed. After news of the failure of the rebellion, Jasper hurried to France to meet King Louis XI, where Queen Margaret of Anjou arrived in April. From there he went to Edinburgh, where Henry VI was living at the time, from where he departed for Flanders in June. Jasper then returned to France, where negotiations were under way between Margaret and Louis IX. On June 24, a secret treaty was concluded between the Lancasters and Louis, in which Louis provided monetary aid to restore Henry VI to the English throne in exchange for Calais. In the fall, Jasper participated in an invasion of the Lancastrian army from Scotland, but it failed to reach its goal. Subsequent attempts by Margaret and Jasper to obtain more money from the king of France failed, and in the summer of 1463 Louis XI made peace with Edward IV. Jasper then returned to Scotland. He supported his half-brother Henry VI, but in 1465 he was captured by Edward IV and imprisoned in the Tower.

In 1468 Edward IV made an alliance with the dukes of Brittany and Burgundy, which caused concern to the king of France. Wanting to break this alliance, Louis XI gave Jasper money in June to invade Wales, but the amount was very small. But Jasper was able to increase his army in North Wales and captured Denbigh in late June. A worried Edward IV ordered William Herbert to capture the fortress of Harlech. William was able to raise a large army, which captured the fortress on August 14. Although Jasper managed to flee to Brittany, Edward IV rewarded William Herbert on September 8 by giving him possession of the earldom of Pembroke.

In the spring of 1469 there was a rupture between Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and Edward IV. On July 26, Richard defeated the king”s army, commanded by the new Earl of Pembroke, at the Battle of Edgecourt Moor, and had him executed. The rift among the former allies was taken advantage of by the Lancastrians. At this time, Jasper was living at the court of the king of France, who tried to prevent the Anglo-Burgundian alliance. The Earl of Warwick arrived there in May 1470. With French help, Richard Neville was able to raise an army, with which he landed at Devon. Along with him was Jasper, who, after disembarking, went to Wales, planning there to recruit an army to support the Earl of Warwick. There he also met his nephew, Henry, Earl of Richmond.

Edward IV, who was in Yorkshire at the time, learned of the advance of Warwick”s army and fled to Holland. Richard Neville entered London on October 6, where he freed from captivity Henry VI, who was again proclaimed king. Jasper was appointed viceroy in Wales on behalf of Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI. Also to Jasper were returned confiscated estates and titles, and some of the Welsh possessions of the executed Duke of Buckingham and of Lord Powys, whose heirs were still young, were also given to him. Jasper went to South Wales, wishing to re-subdue it to Lancaster. In addition, in the winter of 1470.

But on March 12, 1471, Edward IV landed in Yorkshire and moved toward London with a large army. On April 14, at the Battle of Barnet, he defeated the Earl of Warwick, who died in the process, after which Edward took London as well. Henry VI was again taken prisoner. Margaret of Anjou and her son Edward were on their way from France to England at this time. When she learned of what had happened after Weymouth landed, she raised an army, with which she moved to Wales to join Jasper”s army. In pursuit, Edward IV advanced, catching up with Margaret”s army and defeating it at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May. Among the dead was Henry VI”s only heir, Edward, Prince Edward of Wales, while Margaret of Anjou was taken prisoner. On May 6 another member of the House of Lancaster, the childless Edmund Beaufort, titular Duke of Somerset, captured at the Battle of Barnet, was executed. And on 21 May, under obscure circumstances, King Henry VI died in the Tower, and with him the Lancaster dynasty died.

Jasper, on his way to meet Marguerite, did not reach her in time. He learned what had happened near Chepstow. There he defeated one of York”s supporters, Roger Vaughan of Brecknockshire, and had him executed, then retreated to Pembroke, where he was surrounded by the army of the executed Vaughan”s son-in-law, Morgan Thomas, grandson of Griffith Nicholas, who had owned South-east Wales in the 1450s. With the help of Morgan”s brother, Thomas, however, Jasper managed to free himself from his encirclement. To deal with Lancaster supporters in Wales, Edward IV dispatched an army under William Herbert, new Earl of Pembroke. On learning of this, Jasper and his nephew Henry tried to flee to France, but a storm caused them to fall into Brittany. Henry”s mother, Margaret Beaufort, and her husband chose to negotiate with Edward IV.

The following years Jasper and Henry lived at the court of Francis II, Duke of Breton, becoming pawns in the diplomatic game of the kings of France and England. King Edward IV of England tried in every way to lure the Tudors to his court, which would strengthen his position. To do this, he tried to use Duke Francis II, offering him financial aid. King Louis XI of France, for his part, also wanted Jasper, who had quite a high standing in public affairs. All their efforts, however, came to nothing, since Duke Francis II was unwilling to part with the Tudors, but at the insistence of King Louis, he provided them with safety and security. They first lived in the castle of Jean de Quelenec, admiral of Brittany, then they were moved to Nantes. At the beginning of 1474, Jasper was transferred to the castle of Jocelyn (near Vannes) and Henry to the palace of Largoe, which belonged to Jean de Rieu, marshal of Brittany.

In the mid-1470s the health of Duke Francis II deteriorated greatly, leading to the outbreak of personal and political strife within Brittany. In 1475 England and France agreed to a seven-year truce. In addition, in the same year Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, grandson of the sister of King Henry IV of England, drowned on his way from France to England, after which another branch of the Lancastrian kingdom came to an end. As a result, Edward IV increased the pressure on the Duke of Brittany, seeking to force him to surrender the Tudors. In order to gain the Tudors” consent, Edward offered to marry Henry Tudor, whom he had recognized as his mother”s heir as early as 1472, to Princess Elizabeth of York. Eventually Duke Francis II, under pressure, agreed to ferry Jasper and Henry to England. In November 1476 they were transported under heavy guard to Vannes, from where Henry was sent to the port of St. Malo. But in the end Francis changed his mind, and Henry himself was able to take refuge at Saint-Malo. Henry and Jasper were then transferred to Château de Lermin. The King of France also increased pressure on the duke, but his efforts were also unsuccessful. Margaret Beaufort also tried to make her son return to England, but to no avail.

In 1482 Edward IV revised the terms of Henry”s succession to his mother, conditioning his return to England and his loyalty to the king. However, this, too, had no effect.

On April 9, 1483, King Edward IV died. He was to have been succeeded by his eldest son, Edward V, but documents were presented showing that the marriage between Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, the mother of Edward V, was illegal. On June 26, 1483, Richard of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV, was proclaimed king as Richard III. Edward”s death caused Francis II of Breton to loosen his grip on the Tudors, but it had little effect on their position.

Soon after Richard III”s coronation, however, nobles rebelled in England, giving the Tudors hope of a return. As early as May, Richard of Gloucester quarrelled with his brother”s widow, Elizabeth Woodville, and her many kin, after which her brother, Edward Woodville, fled to Brittany and sought refuge at the duke”s court. At the same time, the Woodvilles became close to Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor, and the marriage project between Henry and Elizabeth of York was recalled, while Henry himself from this point on was seen as a contender for the English throne. After a rebellion broke out in England by Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, Henry and Jasper Tudor, with the help of Duke Francis, raised an army and attempted to land in England. However, these plans were thwarted by a storm, and news soon came that Richard III had crushed the rebellion and the Duke of Buckingham had been executed. The Tudors then returned to Brittany. The surviving leaders of the rebellion also took refuge in Brittany. The English exiles also rallied around Henry. Eventually Henry decided to take a risk, to flee Brittany, where Duke Francis II was going to extradite the Tudors to Richard III, land in England and try to win the throne, something his uncle, Jasper Tudor, also supported him in.

In September 1484, Jasper went to Anjou, and Henry arrived there shortly thereafter. The new King of France, Charles VIII, son of Louis XI who had died in 1483, decided to support Henry in his struggle for the throne and gave him financial aid.

In August 1485, Henry Tudor”s army, which included Jasper, landed at Mill Bay in Wales, Jasper”s former domain. There the army was reinforced by the Welsh, who had traditionally supported the Tudors. From Wales they moved into England. On August 22 the battle of Bosworth was fought, in which King Richard III”s army was defeated and he himself was killed. Henry, under the name of Henry VII, was proclaimed king on the battlefield and, entering London some time later, by an act of parliament confirmed the throne to himself and his descendants.

In October 1485, Henry VII granted his uncle Jasper the title Duke of Bedford. Soon Jasper was also returned to Pembroke. And soon afterwards he married Catherine Woodville, widow of the Duke of Buckingham, executed by Richard III. Through this marriage he gained control of the Stafford lands. The following year Jasper also received Glamorgan. He was also appointed Justiciar of South Wales and Viceroy of Ireland.

In 1487 Jasper participated in the suppression of Lambert Simnel”s rebellion.

In 1492 Jasper was in France.

Jasper died in December 1495. He was buried at Keysham Abbey in Somerset. Jasper”s widow, Catherine, married a third time soon after her husband”s death – to Richard Wingfield of Kimbolton Castle.

Wife: Catherine Woodville (1458-1497), daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl of Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, widow of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. There were no children from this marriage.

Jasper Tudor also had two illegitimate daughters:

Jasper is one of the key characters in a number of Philippa Gregory”s novels: the War of the Cousins series (The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The White Princess).

In the adaptation of Philippa Gregory”s novels “The White Queen” and “The White Princess,” the role of Jasper Tudor was played by Tom McKay and Vincent Regan, respectively.


  1. Джаспер Тюдор
  2. Jasper Tudor
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