Wednesday, 22 July 2009

How was Warwick related to the Woodvilles?

Does anyone know how Warwick was related to the Woodvilles/Wydevilles? Until a couple of days ago I'd have said he wasn't - simple. But then I noticed in Richard III A Medieval Kingship (ed. John Gillingham) the following useful analysis of Anne Neville's arms - which of course were the same as her sister's.

The following families are represented:

1. Sir Guy (This is Guy of Warwick, not Guy of Gisburn.)
2. Rohand (No idea)
3. Gwayr (No idea)
4. Newburgh (Ancestors of the Beauchamps, think.)
5. FitzPiers (Sound like a Norman family but can't say I've heard of them.)
6. Thony (Sometimes spelt TONY or TOENI. Quite famous earlier on I think. [edit] Stephen Lark tells me they were the Staffords, before the Staffords became the Staffords if you see what I mean.)
7. Beauchamp (Famous as earls of Warwick)
8. Colobrand's Head (Colobrand? Sounds like a drink.)
9. Fitzjohn
1o. Mauduit
11. Abitot
12. Waltheof (Definitely heard of him. Saxon hero married to Judith, right?)
13. Montagu (Salisbury bunch)
14. Monthermas. (Sounds like a festival of the church. Do they mean Monthemer? Or whatever the guy was called who got off with Joan of Acre.)
15. Neville (Well yes, we certainly know about them.)
16. Beauchamp (ancient) - bit repetitive, but I suppose it emphasises the Beauchamps.
17. Aeneas (The Greek guy? He had a coat of arms? Cooool!)
18. Balliol (As in Scotland. Probably via the Despensers if I recall aright.)
19. Eldol
20. FitzHamon (Definitely via the Despensers)
21. Consul (As above)
22. Clare (Yep, Despensers again, though probably by other routes too. Those Clares got about)
23. Burghersh. (Despenser lot again. Thomas D's mother, actually.)
24. WYDEVILLE - which is the posh way of spelling 'Woodville.' How did they get in among this lot?
25. Despenser (Obviously)
26. Weyland (Another Despenser input.)

So now we know what Anne did with her youth - embroidering that little lot onto all the cushion covers must have taken hours. You know dear a family tree program would have been much more useful...

But seriously, does anyone know how the Wydeville/Woodville family were related to Warwick? Because it looks as if they must have been.


Susan Higginbotham said...

If it's of any help, on the Rous Roll, the "Widville" coats of arms appear first in the illustration of the little Lady Ann, the daughter of Henry Beauchamp. Then they appear on the illustrations of both Warwick the Kingmaker and his countess. At least, the "Description of the Plates" in Rous identifies them as being the Widville arms.

I wonder if Rous goofed? On this illustration I found of Elizabeth Woodville's arms, it looks as the whatever-you-call-it is facing in the opposite direction than the ones pictured in Rous, which seems to be the source from which the illustration in Gillingham is taken.

trish wilson said...

I have found a connection. Elizabeth Wydeville's great-grandfather was William Beauchamp, one of the Beauchamps of Hache (Somerset/Dorset). Through the Beauchamp connection, the Wydevilles acquired some Beauchamp lands and might well have added Beauchamp arms to their own coat of arms.

Wydeville is the right spelling of the name. Woodville that's the spellling mistake of some guy called Shakespeare.

Alianore said...

I'd be interested to know how the Toenis were the Staffords before they were the Staffords, as it were. The last Toeni in the direct male line died in 1309 leaving his sister Alice as his heir - she married Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and was the mother of Earl Thomas.

I assume Monthermas must be Monthermer - Margaret de Monthermer, granddaughter and heir of Ralph de Monthermer and Joan of Acre, married into the Montacutes.

Brian said...

Thank you Trish - that makes sense, and proves a link. Excellent!

Don't know the detail of the Toenis, Alianore. I was aware of them as early medieval marcher lords though. Perhaps Stephen Lark will clarify.

Anne's amazingly complex coat of arms has fascinated me for a long time, it was good to find a full analysis even though some of the elements seem quite (or even very) obscure.

Satima Flavell said...

The de Toenis who became Staffords were, I think, a cadet branch. the Tudor Place website,
which is usually pretty reliable, tells me that Robert ( 1036) son of Roger de Toeni "the Spaniard" of Conches, became "Governor of Stafford Castle. Held 131 manors in Warwickshire and Lincolnshire. In his older age he became a monk at Eversham. Castellan of Stafford Castle and a Norman Magnate of some significance. He held as a under tenant of Roger de Montgomery."

They did not become earls of Stafford until 1350.

trish wilson said...

Aeneas wasn't a Greek - he was one of the Trojans fighting the Greeks.

As Vergil put it

'Timeo Danaos ut dona ferentes'

'I fear the Greeks even when bearing gifts'

Some centuries later Gaius Julius Caesar went on to claim Aeneas as one of his ancestors. The Julius was the Ancient Roman equivalent of a clan name such as McCleod.

SLM said...

Re Aeneas, I suspect that what was being emphasized was descent from the family line of the Caesars, in some way. The Julians claimed direct line of descent from Aeneas (as well as various gods) and I think there is one of those famous and largely invented genealogies dating back to ancient Rome and connecting British royalty with that line. Perhaps in the Bodleian?