Monday, February 04, 2008

The Death of George Duke of Clarence

Hi all,
Lets see now Oh--> I did my research on the Duke, and here are the results..

No better place to research the "Duke of Clarence" than the "Richard Society", Located in the UK. I take nothing as "gospel" truth, but I really think this is a very good history here on the Duke & his family ties..
( Malmsey wine-- typical Shakespeare :-) ) --> Compared to other types of death sentences of that time period. ? Could this been prefered ? But I believe Shakespeare's meaning was of -->alcoholism, ( I own his entire works. So I am well read on Shakespeare.) Not that he was dunked head first in, and held under !! But then again who really knows but the Duke ?? History has a way of having a selective memory on such things. Especially concerning these matters.
But none the less this appears to me to be just more rivalry in the search of wealth, and control.

Here is the "Richard Societys "411 on the subject, including their references.

So here we go..
PS; Apologies to all the rest of my blog readers, but you all know I am history fan, and researching fanatic!! So I just had to do it!! :-)
PS; One more note here, and I repeat...When the word "LORE "is used to introduce or describe a entry.
"Remember the word LORE is = To; legend , belief, and folklore".

George, Duke of Clarence, 1449-78
by Prof Michael Hicks

George, Duke of Clarence, was the middle brother: his elder brother was King Edward IV and his younger brother was King Richard III. The careers of George and Richard were entwined at many points. They grew up together, clashed in the most major political crisis of the 1470s, and George’s fate, in which Richard concurred, was an essential preliminary to the latter’s accession. As Thomas More observed, Richard could not have acceded if his elder brother had been still living.1
George is remembered in history as ‘False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence’ – Shakespeare’s description 2 – and because drowned in malmsey wine. Certainly he perjured himself several times and aspired to wear a crown to which he was not entitled. Yet there was much more to George than simply an ambitious and courageous perjurer. He was just as talented as his brothers, claimed the Crowland chronicler: just as effective an orator and as dangerous a demagogue, an idol of the multitude,3 as his father York or father-in-law the Kingmaker. What a pity that we have nothing concrete with which to substantiate these characteristics.
George Plantagenet was fourth son of Richard, Duke of York (1411-60), and Cecily Neville. York was the greatest nobleman of his age. York was lieutenant – that is, governor and commander-in-chief – in turn of both Henry VI’s kingdom of France and of Ireland, and three times lord protector of England. During the 1450s he led the cause of reform against King Henry’s favourites and in 1460 laid claim to the crown of England, setting his Clarence/ Mortimer claim against that of Lancaster, persuading parliament successfully to recognise him as heir presumptive on Henry VI’s death. That achievement transformed the prospects of all his surviving children: George and Richard, now of political significance, were despatched to the safety of the Low Countries. Until then neither boy was of much account.
Seven of York’s children reached maturity, four of them sons: George was the third of these; Richard was the fourth and the last to survive infancy. George was born at Dublin in 1449, during York’s residence in Ireland as lieutenant. Members of both the great Anglo-Irish houses of Butler and FitzGerald were his godparents. Nothing more is recorded of the upbringing of any of York’s younger children until 1459. The two eldest surviving sons were residing separately at Ludlow in the mid 1450s and the two elder daughters, Anne in 1445 and Elizabeth in 1458, were married to ducal husbands. By implication Margaret (born 1446), George (b. 1449), and Richard (b. 1452) remained with their mother, the Duchess Cecily. With her they were placed in the custody of their aunt Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, in 1459 until their father, Richard, Duke of York, established his claim to the crown in 1460. What Duke Richard had in mind for them is uncertain. His eldest sons Edward and Edmund were to be noblemen. Since neither George nor Richard was earmarked for an ecclesiastical career, so each was to remain a layman and to pursue a secular, genteel and knightly career.
The first stage of the Wars of the Roses ended in the triumph of the house of York. York himself was slain, but his eldest son became King Edward IV on 4 March 1461. Since Edmund had also perished, George as next surviving brother was now heir to the crown and Richard was third in line. Though still too young to be effective politically, they had symbolic significance, as assurances that the new dynasty had come to stay and as potential cements by marriage to diplomatic alliances. Of course George, as the older, was much the more important. Each was knighted, elevated to the Garter, and created duke. George took the title of Clarence that was a potent reminder of the hereditary title of the Yorkists to the crown. George was appointed to high office, as lieutenant of Ireland and high steward of England for the coronation, although too young actually to exercise them in person. Each boy was also granted great estates, theoretically. As neither was of age, their brother the king continued to draw the revenues and felt free to revise what had been allocated: the grants were earnests of the king’s intention to endow them in due course sufficiently to support their estates as royal dukes. In 1464 George was granted the whole county palatine of Chester, the normal patrimony of the heir presumptive, but only very briefly. During these years, the boys had their own establishment, their own residence in a tower at Greenwich palace, and their own staff: Master John Tapton was Clarence’s chancellor and Sir Robert Wingfield was supervisor of his livelihood. There apparently they resided continually, except when required for ceremonial and state occasions, such as the Leicester parliament of 1463 and the queen’s coronation in 1465.4 About that time, Duke Richard was removed to the household of the earl of Warwick, where he apparently remained until declared of age in 1468-9. George was declared of age on 10 July 1466.5 Although still only sixteen years old, like other royalty George’s majority was advanced, presumably to make him more politically useful.
Edward IV was obliged to endow his brothers to the tune of 2,000 marks a year (£1,366 13s. 4d.), the qualifying income of a duke, but clearly intended to be much more generous. In 1467 he committed himself to 5,600 marks a year (£3,368) for George, eventually (with reversions) £4,400.6 If not quite of the front rank, such munificence raised George above all contemporary nobles except Warwick, Buckingham, and Norfolk. George had estates in Northumberland, Yorkshire, Kent and the West Country when he did homage in July 1466, but it was to Tutbury in Staffordshire that he departed in November.7 Apparently he had already decided – or perhaps Edward had decided for him – that his estates in the North Midlands, by themselves together worth £1,350, were to be his principal residence and sphere of influence. Since Queen Margaret had based herself in the area late in the 1450s, Tutbury Castle may not have been altogether neglected, but we know that Clarence undertook great building works there,8 scarcely a recognisable vestige of which survives or is recorded. Presumably it was adapted to accommodate the enormous household of 399 anticipated in 1468 in his household ordinance.9 That proper regulation of his household was desirable is suggested by the Lichfield prostitute frequented by fourteen members of his household in 1466.10 Great lords sought order and accountability with conspicuous consumption and splendid display. If Clarence really applied his ordinance, which planned for annual expenditure on his household of £4,500 a year,11 then the court that he held at Tutbury was as impressive as any of which we know. Still in his teens, he rated himself most highly. At the very least he needed to marry a great heiress to raise his revenues up to his expenses. At this point, he parted company with his brother Edward IV.
We cannot really know that prompted Clarence to rebel. Evidently he wanted more than he had and what the king gave him. He had lost the county of Chester, most probably on Edward’s marriage, and had ceased to be heir to the throne with the birth of Princess Elizabeth in 1466. He was not alone if he believed that the male line should take priority, nor if he doubted the validity of Edward’s marriage and hence the legitimacy of his children.12 Moreover he wanted to marry the eldest daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, the greatest possible heiress, who may have brought with her promise of an immediate subsidy; Edward, however, objected and hoped to arrange a marriage diplomatically advantageous to himself. George married Isabel Neville nevertheless on 12 July 146913 and joined Warwick at once in rebellion against the king. Whatever his reasons, this was a breach of the allegiance due from him as a subject, let alone as the king’s brother. Warwick had many other grievances, some self-interested, others on policy and principle, and committed himself to reform. Many people at the time and historians for three centuries afterwards thought that he was justified.14 Edward’s favourites were destroyed at Edgecote, the king himself was confined, and a parliament was summoned, most probably to create a protectorate for Warwick, perhaps to restore Clarence as heir. When their regime collapsed, Warwick and Clarence were pardoned in December 1469, but excluded from power. Thwarted, yet not deflected from their objectives, and perhaps fearful that Edward was merely biding his time, Warwick and Clarence fomented the Lincolnshire Rebellion early in 1470, this time with a view to putting Clarence on the throne: King George I. The plot failed. They were driven into exile abroad and, from desperation, Warwick allied himself to Queen Margaret of Anjou to put King Henry VI on the throne. This alliance succeeded: Henry VI was king once more, Clarence his next heir but one, and Edward IV an exile. After their defeat, Clarence was comprehended in Warwick’s negotiations, his ambitions dropped. Whilst he secured restoration of his lands, or most of them, Clarence was now an anomaly, resented by returning Lancastrians whose advancement he obstructed, and certainly no better off than he was before.15 When his mother, sisters, and other close kin pressed him to revert to the Yorkist cause, he was persuaded,16 transferring with his forces to Edward IV. He was perjured; yet he sought to persuade Warwick to join him, unsuccessfully.17 Clarence fought at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury. Edward IV was king once more and his son, the future Edward V, was heir.
When Clarence returned to his allegiance, all was forgiven. His offences were wiped out and he was restored to his estates. His service at Barnet and then at Tewkesbury had been essential for Edward IV’s victory. King Edward owed him. Under such circumstances, he could not be deprived of his wife’s inheritance by the forfeiture of her father Warwick. He was allowed to take instant possession of everything except the northern estates in tail male, which were granted to Gloucester.18 Clarence also took custody of his sister-in-law Anne Neville, widow of Edward of Lancaster. Unfortunately the Warwick inheritance dispute sullied the relations of the three royal brothers.
Apart from the tail male estates, the Duchess Isabel and Anne Neville had been their parents’ heiresses. The Countess Anne however survived until 1492: until then, neither daughter had any rights to her Beauchamp and Despenser estates or her jointure and were entitled to share only the rump of Warwick’s Salisbury estates. However Warwick had died a traitor and his estates should have been forfeited. Actually Clarence received all to which his duchess was heiress from either parent: whilst her hereditary expectations were taken into account, his title was by royal grant. He did not intend Anne to inherit or remarry. She however married Gloucester, who laid claim to half the Beauchamp, Despenser and Salisbury lands, probably in addition to the Neville lands. Edward IV imposed as settlement the division of all four inheritances. All three brothers agreed not to attaint Warwick or his brother Montagu, but to dispossess the Countess Anne and Montagu’s son of their entitlements. Crowland found the settlement profoundly shocking.19 If this allowed Clarence to secure his duchess’ heritage ahead of time, he was nevertheless deprived of much that he had received in 1471 even though his brother’s marriage to Anne Neville was never valid. Clarence resisted implementation of this dubious settlement but was obliged to comply: in punishment, he was deprived of his Tutbury estates, so he benefited little on balance from his duchess’ inheritance. It is not surprising that he resented the way that had been treated.
Only six years passed between Clarence’s reconciliation with his brother in 1471 and his fall in 1477. He was appointed great chamberlain of England, councillor of the new Prince of Wales who had supplanted him as heir, attended the council, parliament, and state ceremonies, and took one of the largest retinues on Edward’s invasion of France in 1475. Whilst he had lands all over the country, his principal estates were in the North Midlands until 1473, in the West Midlands, and in the West Country: he is recorded occasionally commuting from Warwick via Tewkesbury to Tiverton in Devon. He is revealed by John Rous as lord of Warwick in the Beauchamp tradition.20 He fathered four children, two of whom outlived him. Following his duchess’ death in 1476, he appears to have believed her poisoned by her attendant Ankarette Twynho, who – in a shocking display of arbitrary power – he abducted from her home in Dorset to Warwick, where he was most powerful. She was put on trial, all stages being completed in one day, and executed.21 This is the most convincing proof of Clarence’s overwhelming power in his home country.
Several factors contributed to Clarence’s rupture with his king in 1477. Following his duchess’ death, he was in the market for a second consort. The opportunity arose with the death of Charles, Duke of Burgundy, whose duchess – his sister Margaret of York – favoured Clarence as consort to her step-daughter Mary, Clarence’s step-niece, ‘the greatest heiress of her time’. Clarence would have become an important sovereign prince. Such a match might have been thought in England’s national interest, but Edward IV thwarted it. Perhaps he feared what use Clarence would make of such promotion; perhaps he did not want his brother advanced; most probably he wanted to avoid foreign entanglements and expense, a breach with France or the loss of his French pension – a priority that restricted his diplomatic independence and ultimately failed. Clarence reportedly attended council less frequently and contributed little when there. In private he complained against Edward and Edward railed against Clarence, but their comments were relayed from each to other. Reportedly Clarence feared that the king sought his ruin as a candle consumes in burning.22 Sibling rivalries overcame the proper relations of the monarch and his greatest subject.
Clarence’s trusted retainer Thomas Burdet and two astrologers supposedly cast the king’s horoscope, which, under contemporary law, was treasonable. All were convicted and executed, Burdet declaring his innocence. Clarence had his protestation read out at the royal council. Whilst surely right to stand up for his retainer,23 it was this act, which cast doubt on royal justice, that prompted Edward to imprison him. Probably it was only later that the Twynho affair came into play. Clarence’s arrest did not presume the death penalty, nor did it constitute treason, nor was the duke (so far as we know) implicated in any other treasons. Yet he was to be charged, tried and executed for treason in a parliament specially summoned for this purpose in January 1478. The act of attainder mentions a number of offences, none of them actually treasonable, such as the Twynho affair, railing against the king, and his claim to be the Lancastrian heir. No doubt Edward’s decision was related to events in 1469-71, even though Clarence’s offences then had been pardoned and wiped clean. Crowland did not consider the charges worthy of mention in his elaborate account. The surviving act bears the king’s signature – may indeed have already borne it before presentation to parliament – and the king led the prosecution, to which Clarence was allowed no defence. Crowland, who appears to have been present, thought the trial and the verdict unjust. So too our other sources: ‘were hee fautye were hee faultlesse’; whether ‘the charge was fabricated or a real plot revealed’.24 Edward failed to convince contemporaries of his brother’s guilt. Edward’s destruction of his brother – fratricide – and a royal prince was deeply shocking.
All our principal sources look beyond the trial itself for the root causes – in the enmity of the queen, the plotting of Clarence’s enemies, and in misunderstanding of an alleged prophecy that Edward would be succeeded by someone whose name began with G – not George, but Gloucester. If so, Edward was not the prime mover but the instrument of others. Yet the trial was carefully prepared and planning began early. The parliament of 1478 was packed – a higher proportion of the Commons were servants of the crown or of key courtiers. The session was interlaced with the marriage celebration of the king’s second son, which enabled an appearance of royal unity to be presented. No divisions were permitted, as key kinsmen – his brothers-in-law Buckingham and Suffolk – were involved and rewarded. None however benefited more than Clarence’s brother Richard Duke of Gloucester.
Just as Clarence’s death was a precondition for Gloucester’s accession in 1483, so too his conviction – and hence his trial – was inconceivable if opposed by the king’s next brother. The narrative sources are ambiguous: both Mancini and More say that Richard concealed his real feelings, the first that he supported Clarence’s destruction whilst pretending otherwise, the second that he opposed it openly, but not so strongly as one that was minded to his wealth. The first may emanate from Richard himself as king.25 The record evidence confirms More’s account. Nobody benefited more from Clarence’s death than his brother Richard. He received nine specific benefits at Clarence’s expense. Whilst these are significant, it has been argued that grants after Clarence’s death need not imply either co-operation in or foreknowledge of Clarence’s destruction. Although the patents are dated to February, the warrants are dated somewhat earlier and several can be dated before the parliament even met.26 – Gloucester’s son Edward took Clarence’s earldom of Salisbury as early as July 1477.27 Responsibility for Clarence’s fate, justified or not, rests with King Edward, whether manipulated or not.
Clarence was executed in the Tower on February 1478. Absurd though it is, the story that he was drowned in malmsey wine is strictly contemporary and no alternative was offered.28 Any wider significance from such a curious end cannot be proven. The duke was buried beside his wife at Tewkesbury Abbey.

1. T. More, History of King Richard III, ed. R. Sylvester (New Haven, Conn., 1963), 9.
2. W. Shakespeare, History of King Richard III, ed. A. Hammond. Act I, scene IV (1981), ll.55.
3. The Crowland Chronicle Continuations 1459-86, ed. N. Pronay and J. Cox (Gloucester, 1986), 133, 147.
4. M.A. Hicks, False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence: George Duke of Clarence 1449-78 (Gloucester, 1980), 18-26.
5. National Archives, PSO 1/64/41.
6. Rolls of Parliament v. 572,578-9.
7. NA PSO1/64/41; Plumpton Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. J. Kirby (Camden 5th ser.
8 (1996)), 38. 8. The Rous Roll, ed. W.H. Courthope (1859), no.59.
9. Collection of Ordinances and Regulations of the Royal Household, Society of Antiquaries (1790), 89-105.
10. A. Goodman, The Wars of the Roses. The Soldier’s Experience (Gloucester, 2005), 150.
11. Rolls of Parliament, v. 572, 578-9.
12. As suggested in Michael Hicks, Edward V: The Prince in the Tower (Stroud, 2003), 52.
13. Collection of Ordinances, 98.
14. Michael Hicks, Edward IV (London, 2004), 118.
15. Hicks, Clarence, 96-100.
16. The Arrivall of Edward IV, ed. J. Bruce, Camden Society I (1838), 10-11.
17. Ibid.12.
18. Hicks, Clarence,112-16; M.A. Hicks, ‘Descent, Partition, and Extinction: The “Warwick Inheritance”’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research lII (1979), 118-25. These are the source of the next para.
19. Crowland, 133.
20. Rous Roll, no. 59.
21. Hicks, Clarence, 138.
22. Ibid. 169. Unfortunately our only rather untrustworthy source is the act of attainder itself, Rolls of Parliament, vi.193-5.
23. Hicks, Edward IV, 198.
24. Hicks, Clarence, ch.4; Crowland, 145; More, Richard III, 7; D. Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, ed. C.A.J. Armstrong (Oxford, 1969), 63.
25. More, Richard III, 7; Mancini, 63; Michael Hicks, Richard III (Stroud, 2000), 121.
26. Hicks, Clarence, 150-1.
27. Michael Hicks, Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III (Stroud, 2006).
28. Hicks, Clarence, 200-3.