Catherine WOODVILLE

(D. Buckingham / D. Bedford)

Born: BEF 1458

Died: 18 May 1497 / AFT 22 Jul 1525

Father: Richard WOODVILLE (1 E. Rivers)

Mother: Jacquetta Zu St. POL of Luxembourg (D. Bedford)

Married 1: Henry STAFFORD (2 D. Buckingham) 1466

Children:

1. Edward STAFFORD (3 D. Buckingham)

2. Elizabeth STAFFORD (C. Sussex)

3. Henry STAFFORD (3 E. Wiltshire)

4. Anne STAFFORD (C. Huntingdon)

5. Humphrey STAFFORD (d. young)

Married 2: Jasper TUDOR (D. Bedford) ABT 1483

Married 3: Richard WINGFIELD of Kimbolton Castle (Sir Knight) AFT 21 Dec 1495


Woodville_Tudor.jpg (513019 bytes)

Catherine Woodville and Jasper Tudor

Stained Glass at Cardiff Castle


Daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl of Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Her first husband was Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. His father, Humphrey, Earl Stafford, a Lancastrian, was killed at the first Battle of St Albans in 1455 when Henry was an infant, and his grandfather, the First Duke of Buckingham, another leading Lancastrian, was killed five years later, in 1460. The new Duke eventually became a ward of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, consort of Edward IV. He was recognized as Duke of Buckingham in 1465 and married Catherine Woodville sometime before the coronation of her sister, Elizabeth Woodville, in May 1465. Catherine's age at the time of her marriage to Henry Stafford is often misstated. Her brother Richard's 1492 postmortem inquisition names her as being '34 or more', placing her birthdate at about 1458. A contemporary description of Elizabeth Woodville's coronation, where Catherine and her husband Henry are described as being 'carried on squires' shoulders, and Elizabeth Woodville's household records for 1466-67, which indicate that Catherine was being raised in the Queen's household, also indicate that she was a child at the time of her first marriage.

Catherine was mother of five children by Henry. Their first son, Edward Stafford, later third Duke, was born in 1478. Later came Elizabeth, Henry, Anne and Humphrey. Henry was said by Dominic Mancini, an Italian who visited England from 1482 to 1483 and left behind an account of the events he witnessed, to have resented his marriage to a woman of inferior birth, but nothing is known about the couple's private relations. 

Buckingham played a major role in Richard III's rise and fall. He is also one of the primary suspects in the disappearance (and presumed murder) of the Princes in the Tower. When Henry Tudor tried to invade England to take the throne from Richard in Oct 1483, Buckingham raised an army in Wales and started marching east to support Henry. By a combination of luck and skill, Richard put down the rebellion: Henry's ships ran into a storm and had to go back to Brittany, and Buckingham's army was greatly troubled by the same storm and deserted when Richard's forces came against them. Buckingham tried to escape in disguise but was turned in for the bounty Richard had put on his head. Buckingham was executed for treason on 2 Nov 1483.

Following Richard III's defeat at Bosworth in 1485, Catherine married Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, who died in 1495. By 24 Feb 1496, Catherine married her third and last husband, Sir Richard Wingfield, who outlived her. Catherine died on 18 May 1497.

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