Lady Katherine Gordon – Wife to Perkin Warbeck

 

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St Michaels Mount.  ‘A Strong Place and Mighty’  wrote Warkworth in his Chronicle. Perkin left Katherine and their son here prior to his march to Exeter.  Note the causeway.  Thanks to John Starkey @ Flikr for this atmospheric photo.

It may seem prima facie that Katherine was a tragic figure, and perhaps she was for a while, but a further delve into her story and it becomes apparent that this lady was the epitome of a survivor.  

Born into Scottish aristocracy around  1474, depending on who her mother was,   she was  kinswoman to James IV.  Her father was George Gordon Second Earl Huntley, described as the ‘most powerful Lord in Scotland below the King himself’.  There is some confusion which has long plagued historians  as to the identity of her mother, who could have either been Annabella Stewart, a daughter of James I and his English wife Joan Beaufort,  or his third wife, Lady Elizabeth Hay, the sister of the Earl of Erroll (1).  However the consensus of opinion does seem to be that her mother was Elizabeth Hay.  This is of some importance which I shall come to later.  

Around the time of Perkin’s arrival in Scotland in November 1495  James paid the enormous sum of £108.17s.6d for fifteen and a quarter ells of crimson satin brocaded with gold and fifteen ells of velvet to be delivered ‘My Lady Huntly in Edinburgh‘ which would appear to have been for a gown suitable for her to meet the young man who was to become her husband,  Perkin Warbeck,  who as we we know was presenting himself as Richard Duke of York, son to the late Edward IV and one of the “Princes in the Tower’.   With her noble linage she was ‘the closest and noblest woman of marriageable age whom James could offer‘ (2). In a time when all ladies of nobility seem to have been routinely  described as beautiful it would seem there is this time a fair chance  that Katherine was exactly that.  No doubt Perkin, for I shall call him that although he may well have been Richard, was totally smitten and perhaps she for him.  Certainly there was no procrastinating for the couple  were  swiftly betrothed and married on the 13 January 1496 with a child being born in September.   The wedding sounds as if it were sumptuous with Perkin in an outfit made up from fourteen and a half yards of white damask which had cost £28,  his six servants also suitable attired in outfits of damask, his two trumpeters in gowns of tawny cloth and red hose (3). How splendid it all must have been and how promising.    What could possibly go wrong?

On 6 July 1497, perhaps having outstayed his welcome,  Perkin, Katherine and their small son left Scotland and sailed to Ireland on a ship purchased for them by James aptly named “The Cuckoo”!!?    James was not there that day to wish them bon voyage but he had presented Katherine with a goodbye gift of three and a half yards of tawny Rouen cloth for a sea-gown and two and a half yards of black Lille cloth for a cloak.  Oh and yes he also paid Perkin the July instalment of his pension early on 27 June (4).  James’ relief at the departure of Perkin is almost palpable even five centuries later.    After a short stay in Ireland and finding little support they clambered once more upon The Cuckoo and sailed to Cornwall accompanied by one other ship plus a ‘Breton pinnace’  and it is said about 200 men arriving at Whitesand Bay on the 7 September.  Cornwall was at that time in a state of high tension  after a rebellion,  later known as the First Cornish Rebellion,  in May 1497  triggered  by Henry Tudor’s high taxes had only recently been quelled on the 17th June.   Why Perkin should choose to have his wife and child accompany him on such a dangerous enterprise  as the invasion of England is rather baffling.   But of course perhaps this would merely indicate a scarcity of options open to him.    In the event Katherine, and it is thought their son, were left at St Michaels Mount, although they may have moved on to  St Buryan, while Perkin marched eastwards heading towards Exeter gathering followers along the way.    It was while he was a short ride away from the Devonshire Village of Coldridge it’s possible he  had a meeting with  John Evans who there is very good reason to believe was actually Edward V incognito.

We can only guess at the extreme fear and stress Katherine suffered  while she awaited news of  the outcome of her husband’s perilous venture.    It was not a long wait as it transpired.  After his arrival on the 17 September Perkin was defeated after a valiant but doomed attempt on the gates of Exeter, and was captured after surrendering at Beaulieu Abbey where he had taken sanctuary.   On the 5 October Perkin was taken to Henry at Taunton Castle where he confessed to being an imposter (5).   Well his choices being rather limited he would have wouldn’t he?   A John Bowes of Hythe would be awarded  £1 in rewarde for bringing Perkin’s standard to Henry (6).36763448822_53deb23c03_c

An interior shot of a room at St Michaels Mount.  Did Katherine look out of this very window while awaiting news from her husband?  Thank you Lee Sullivan @ Flikr for this photo.  

Henry Tudor sent men to St Michaels Mount –  or St Buryan  – to bring Katherine to him at Taunton. Henry’s Privy Purse accounts records a payment made to a Robert Southewell for ‘horses, sadells, and other necessarys bought for the conveying of my Lady Kateryn Huntleye, £7.13s.4d.’    There was also ‘To my lady Kateryn Huntleye, £2’ on December 1.  It is said he was much captivated by her beauty – ‘much marveled at her beauty and amiable countenance, and sent her to London to the Queen‘  – but whether that is a load of old flannel, as they say in South London, or the truth who knows.  It is known that Henry could be taken by the sight of a pretty face as his privy purse accounts bear out – September 5th 1493.  ‘To the young damoysell that daunceth £30‘ – really Henry!   However and moving on Henry sent Katherine to his wife Elizabeth of York  to be taken into her household.  What Elizabeth  and Katherine made of each other is lost to us.  But they must have surely had some interesting and perhaps awkward conversations, these two ladies who may or may not have been sister in laws.  Of course this was a clever ploy of Henry’s as no doubt his wife could be trusted to relay anything back to him of interest that Katherine uttered about her husband.  

Perkin was taken to  London where he and his wife were allowed to meet at times.   Their child has disappeared off the radar by this time, who knows where, and as  Henry instructed the couple were not to be  allowed to have a sexual relationship there were to be no more little Perkies to grow up and upset his heirs.  Could this indicate that Henry may have lived with a fear that Perkin was indeed Richard and not a base born pretender? Bernard Andrè a French Augustian friar and blind poet wrote a wordy description, much in the mode of Thomas More’s witterings on Richard III, describing the scene where with Henry present, Perkin and Katherine were brought together for the first time, Perkin ‘confessing’ to her of his duplicity.  

Then his wife with a modest and graceful look and singularly beautiful was brought into the kings presence in an untouched state with great blushing and breaking into tears.  Henry addressed her ‘most noble lady I grieve too  and it  pains me very much second only to the slaughter of so many of my subjects that you have been deceived by such a sorry fellow….. because it has pleased God that you should be reduced to this miserable condition by the perfidy  and wickedness of this lying scoundrel here’.  Katherine had sunk to the floor during Henry’s speech soaked through with a fountain of tears…  “.   Henry  then ordered her husband ‘to repeat to her that same thing he had said to the King..’  Perkin then repeated his ‘confession’ whereupon Katherine sobbed/screamed  ‘So after you seduced me as you wanted with all your false stories why did you carry me away from the hearths  of my ancestors from home and parents and friends and into enemy hands? Oh wretched me!  How many days of grieving,  how many worries will this give my most noble parents! Oh  that you would never come to our shores. Oh misery…  I see nothing before me now but death since my chastity is lost.  Alas for me.  Why don’t my parents send someone here to punish you?   Most wicked man.   Are these the sceptres you were promising me we would have.   Most accursed man,  is this the honour of a king to which you boasted that our glorious line would come?   And as for me hopeless and destitute.. what can I hope for?   Whom can I trust?   With what can I ease my pain I see no hope ahead…  Poor Perkin and no doubt at this stage he was rapidly losing the will to live in any case.  Addressing Henry Katherine said ‘I would say more but the force of pain and tears chokes off my words..’ and give thanks for that.  However as Wroe points out both she and Perkin would have fully been aware of how things would go if he were to fail and such a ‘confession’  would be forthcoming if things went pear shaped which indeed they did.  What a dreadful and bitter moment that must been as their hopes and dreams imploded around them.  Katherine was indeed up the Swanee without a paddle.  

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No contemporary portraits of Katherine have survived.   However we do have this pencil sketch of Perkin c1560 as well as what is thought could be his portrait from the Valencienne  tapestry.  Note the blemish above the eye apparent in both these images.

Katherine seems to have been treated  kindly by the Queen while Perkin was taken on Henry’s progresses until on the 9th June 1498 he made his escape.  Gunn suggests this may have been with the king’s ‘connivance’.  Was this escape plan shared by Katherine?  The finale to Perkin’s story drew to a rapid conclusion shortly after when he was discovered at the Charterhouse at Sheen, the Prior begging Henry to spare his life. His end was ignoble, which if he was a true son of Edward IV, albeit illegitimate,  is rather disturbing.  Shackled he was displayed in stocks set up high on a scaffold made up of wine barrels from whence he was sent to the Tower of London.  There he became, conveniently, entangled in a plot with the tragic Edward of Warwick, son of George Duke of Clarence and a true scion of the House of York.  This plot was used by Henry as an excuse to kill two birds with one stone and after a trial in the White Hall of Westminster on the 16th November Perkin were found guilty, quelle surprise, and executed.  Warwick, found guilty two days later was beheaded but Perkin, his face said to have been bashed in by  Spanish Ambassadors who saw him , was drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn where he suffered death by hanging on the 23 November 1499.  His body was taken to Austin Friars for burial but his grave already lost in the 16th century when Stow undertook his  Survey of London would have been completely obliterated when the  church was destroyed in an air raid in 1940. 

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Photo taken in 1947 of a service being held in the ruins of Austin Friars

What became of Katherine after her husband’s execution?  What were her thoughts?  Was she in turmoil?  Perhaps she was pragmatic.  In any case time is a great healer and after Henry’s death in 1509 Katherine went on to marry three more times –  

  1. James Strangeways – Usher of the King’s Chamber.   Upon her marriage to Strangeways in 1512 Katherine resigned  the grant of Fyfield Manor made to her in  1510 for life.  Freshly re-granted to both her and  James on condition that she did not go to Scotland or any other foreign country without licence (7)

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Fyfield Manor.  Home to Katherine and second husband James Strangeways.  Also lived here with her last husband Christopher Ashton.  

2. Sir Matthew Cradock  d.1531.   Chancellor of Glamorgan and Steward of Gower.  Married almost immediately on the death of Strangeways.   Cradock had a double monument  built for Katherine and himself  in St Mary’s Swansea although Katherine would finally be buried at Fyfield, Berkshire with her fourth and final husband Christopher Ashton.   She was noted on the Cradock tomb, which was destroyed during a bombing raid, as ‘Mi Ladi Katerin‘.   Referred to Cradock in her will as ‘dear and well beloved husband‘.

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The Cradock tomb, St Mary’s Church Swansea after an air raid.  

3. Christopher Ashton of Fyfield.   Another  Usher to the Chamber.  Lived at Fyfield Manor.   Survived Katherine who having died in 1537  had requested burial in the Parish Church of  St. Nicholas Fyfield  (7).

Did Katherine herself ever leave any signs that Perkin was indeed the Duke of York OR that she herself had believed him?  Wendy Moorhen makes a good point in her article in the Richard III Society publication The Ricardian : 

“If Katherine was not the daughter of Annabella Stewart and therefore not related to the family of Edward IV through the Beauforts then the interpretation  of her description as Margaret Kyme as ‘my cousin’ in her will is reduced to them being cousins by marriage.“ This could indeed mean that Lady Katherine believed, almost forty years after his execution, that her first husband was the person he claimed to be for so many years, Richard, Duke of York’ (9 )

Lisa Hopkins also writing in the Ricardian in a similar vein points out that in her will dated 1537 Katherine left a bequest  to Mistress Margaret Kyme/Keymes whom she terms ‘my cousin‘. This Margaret Kyme was the daughter of Cicely Plantagenet, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Wydeville who had disgraced herself by marrying a simple gentleman, Thomas Kyme,  after which she lived out her life in virtual exile on the Isle of Wight.  One of the possibilities this means is that if Perkin had indeed been Richard Duke of York, then Cicely would have been his sister and thus Margaret Kyme, Cicely’s daughter would thus indeed have been Katherine’s  first cousin by marriage (10).   If this was the case, and of course we can’t be sure,  it would be a clear indication that 38 years after her first husband’s death, Katherine had lived with the belief that her husband had truly been Richard of Shrewsbury Duke of York.  

 

  1. Lady Katherine Gordon, a Genealogical Puzzle Wendy E A Moorhen.  Article in the Ricardian December 1997 pp.191-213 
  2. Perkin, a Story of Deception p.264 Ann Wroe
  3. Ibid p.269
  4. Ibid p.313
  5. Warbeck, Perkin (Pierrechon de Werbecque; alias Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York).  S J Gunn Oxford DNB 4 October 2008
  6. Excerpta Historica:Or Illustrations of English History p.117.  Ed.Samuel Bentley 
  7. Parishes: Fyfield British History Online A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4
  8. Ibid.
  9. Lady Katherine Gordon, a Genealogical Puzzle Wendy E A Moorhen.  Article in the Ricardian December 1997 p.207
  10. Lisa Hopkins. ‘Research Notes and Queries, Lady Katherine Gordon and Margaret Kyme: A Clue to a Question of Identity The Ricardian. vol. I0, March I994, p. I9.  See also (1) above.p.208

If you have enjoyed this post you might also like :

A Portrait of Edward V and Possibly a Resting Place

Perkin Warbeck and the Assaults on the Gates of Exeter

Austin Friars – Last Resting Place of Perkin Warbeck

The Privy Purse Accounts of Henry VII 1491 to 1505

Elizabeth of York – Her Privy Purse Accounts

7 thoughts on “Lady Katherine Gordon – Wife to Perkin Warbeck

  1. Thank you for that, I believe Perkin WAS Richard of Shrewsbury and I like to believe he met his brother in Cornwall again 😊
    A well researched novel I can recommend is by Sandra Worth, it is full of facts about their story, it’s called The Pale Rose of England. In it ‘Perkin’ and Katherine’s son is sent by Tudor to Wales, near the Gower…. and strangely is where Katherine lived for some time after. There are allegedly descendants of this boy still living in the area to this day.
    There is a story in Scotland that James had ‘Perkin’s’ body taken from Austin Friars to Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling.

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  2. Sparkypus, oh you know that posts like this are the ultimate catnip for me! It just has everything, and like Blancsanglier, and I would like to think, most Ricardians, I understand that Warbeck was indeed Richard of Shrewsbury. When a woman says her instincts just scream “I know this” I recognize that there has been a prejudice against taking such instincts as legitimate, for they appear irrational.

    Well, perhaps it is the type of research that I do which leads me in a number of directions one would not expect but for the last couple of months I have been following The Behavior Panel, a collection of experts who write, train and work with law enforcement, social workers, the military, often with interrogation, sometimes with crime scenes, but mostly training others on how to best understand human nature and “read” their responses. The key experts, Greg Hartley and Scott Rouse, are practiced interrogators, Hartley a former Army veteran of the SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) and then trainer and interrogator – this program was intended to prepare US troops for the ultimate events of capture and even torture, and the role of the interrogator that would be used against them, the questioning, how their bodies and minds would respond, how long and how well they could maintain a LIE, a false premise, a covert action or behaviour.

    I have heard Hartley, and read two of his books with great interest, and this is why I am mentioning it here Sparkypus, Hartley, who often had to interrogate prisoners/detainees at Guantanamo bay (and elsewhere), “always chose a woman as an interrogation partner primarily for that reason” – because women “see so much more” – they have “another way of looking at the world” – his co-author, Scott Rouse added, “they’ll see stuff you won’t, they’ll watch, they collect alot more information that we do” (meaning the men). Rouse’s area is training law enforcement to deal with interrogation, be in social or criminal, both of which are fraught with “is anyone telling the truth?” sort of scenario and how to determine it.

    In prior podcasts that I have listened to with Hartley, and his panel, the sequence of telling a lie, living a lie, maintaining a lie, is so complex and involves every aspect of the person’s life requiring an enormous amount of mental and psychological energy that they have actually broken it down into “steps” involved for the Lie (ie. the Liar’s Loop, each piece can be the cliff you fall off of, fabricating the initial lie, then “deconflicting” the lie – ie. tying it back to your life, covering up loose ends, in other words your “lies of omission” get tougher, then “pitching” the lie, how prepared are you to tell the lie, now your body language can give you away, now you need details to support your lie, etc, at any point one detail can rip the whole fabrication apart, called the “death spiral” of a lie)

    Now, all of this makes me apply this to our Warbeck, and the very notion that he was trained from the age of 9 or 10 on what to say, how to speak, what would be asked, is by it’s very nature, if one follows the consequences of any lie, and Warbeck would not have survived even a quick examination by Brampton, who was not able, as far as we can tell, keep him on hand for years at a time. There appears to be large time frame holes in the fostering of Warbeck, which is understandable, H7 had spies, and literally anyone could have been his spy, everywhere, he paid enormous amounts of money for his spies and informers and we know this because he left the notations in his records. This then falls on the child, to maintain a lie, of identity, planted by whom (??) for long stretches without obvious support or goal, until it coalesced (and even that is a murky business) around Margaret of York do we know just what he was told before Margaret and then had to erase it or supplement it with what she allegedly told him afterwards?

    Margaret herself was not exactly in a position to gamble everything on a obvious fraud, regardless what H7 thought of her – Maximilian was never the caretaker of his wife’s legacy and lands in the way Margaret was, nor was he as adept, savvy and skillful (and far less intelligent!) and while he had nominal power it was greatly reduced as the Electors did not like him, young Margaret of Austria had already been sold off to LXI and military allies were FEW – Margaret was well informed of RdG’s situation all through 1483 and as soon as he was crowned they did reach out to him diplomatically, a good question would be where was Richard/Warbeck at this point, still in England, or already in Flanders?

    Warbeck, if we consider human nature to be somewhat a constant, would not have been able to maintain a total fraud, a lie, this massive, from such a young age, his ‘confession’ and that tripe from Bernard Andre is just that, tripe. If he thought a confession would allow his wife, and son, some measure of mercy then would he not have done that? And if you are right Sparkypus, that Evans was his brother Edward, and he knew this, how much more likely was it that a ‘confession’ also protected the secret life Edward had chosen? Warwick was never going to be spared, I have never seen even the slightest hint of his trial records, so I have no idea just what tripe H7 used to actually accuse and execute a prisoner, held for 14 years, without reason, would be, think of it this way – “qui male agit odit lucem” or he who does evil hates the light! – Camille Desmoulins, yes the French Jacobin, quoted that from the Gospel of St John, but it certainly applies to H7 doesn’t it!

    As for Katherine, over the course of a year, and if we believe two hardcore interrogators, especially Hartley, who firmly attest to the superiority of a woman’s ability to see more, grasp more, “collect alot more info that we do” well, I find it impossible that Warbeck’s wife was blinded as to who she married, who she tied herself to, when at any point she could have denounced him and quite literally have had H7’s court and his favors at her feet… love is blind, but stupid? for how long? Long enough to see your child torn from you, to be put in chains (who knew with H7?) for an obvious fraud? The spies that undid Warbeck’s intricate cells (there were multiple) in England, the Low Countries, and probably Ireland as well, in 1494-5, were not well repaid (ok, Clifford made out fine; William Stanley, the man who gave him Bosworth, was executed) as spying and informing was considered a grotty business, but had she, a well born lady, duped into the marriage, exposed the fraud, literally at any point, slipping away with armed retainers, what riches wouldn’t H7 have thrown at her feet?

    whatever they discussed at St Michael’s Mount remember two things, H7 came within an eyelash of losing the throne in that Cornwall Rebellion (there are good articles about this too), and should the worst happen, should Warbeck not unseat H7 then remember that H and EoY wanted that alliance with Isabella, plan 2 – provide a confession of fraud, go live in the Tower, the wife and son survive, H appears merciful and magnanimous – what they could not have known is the price Isabella would exact from H7 (or maybe that H7 would be more than willing to pay it?)

    I’ve read where along with Warwick’s murder H7 cleaned house, ridding himself of John of Gloucester as well, I wonder if it was at the same time as Warbeck?

    BTW, the book I went with by Hartley, he has MANY, if the Art of Body Talk, and several sections struck me as pertinent in regard to “would this apply to Richard?” I take this seriously, Hartley is a professional, (he did not partake of waterboarding nor condone it, annoying western music was more effective, “but a shortcut that a more talented interrogator wouldn’t need to employ”) and I found none of the lie scenario’s applied to physical characteristics Richard would have displayed, one, the pursed or thinned lips, is typical of anyone under stress and since we do not know when any of his portraits were done, or from what source, or by whose hand or in what level of capability they were originally made much less copied, the thin lips maybe nothing more than a natural characteristic – the most famous portrait of Richard at the NPG shows a great deal of anxiety on his face, then again, across his life find me a stretch when he wasn’t living with extreme stress and anxiety?

    sorry this went so long Sparkypus, I was thinking of Crowland when I was writing this, and why I think of him as a coward – remember that H7 demanded return of all copies of the Titulus Regius? On pain of imprisonment if caught with a copy? Guess where the ONE surviving copy was found, I believe by Sir George Buck wasn’t it? yup, in the Crowland Chronicle, now isn’t that odd?! Henry is tearing up the country left and right looking for copies and this Continuator has a copy, and doesn’t turn it over, doesn’t destroy it? would that have revealed who he was, well, not if he destroyed it first, then, who would know? SO INSIGNIFICANT was this guy that he could have a copy of the Titulus Regius and no one would know! no one found out why????? because no one read the darn thing? no one cared about what was in the Crowland archives? Isn’t this the Abbey connected to MB? amazing, right under their noses and no one found it, so, yes, either he had a highly inflated idea of his importance or simply a weasley coward or both!

    great post Sparkypus, Katherine certainly survived, but I wonder whose idea was it that she marry over and over again? were there any other children? And I would love to know more about their son, eh?

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    1. Brilliant Amma…you should be writing your own blog if you aren’t already. Agree with all you say. Women have a feel about things. I know in my bones that John Evans was Edward V. I even feel a degree of sadness. PWs story leave me feeling horrified. What an end to come to after the very indulged life he had as a child. Of course he would confess anything to save his family. The same with James Tyrell who confessed to something that had not even happened. Thats what they did to save their familes. And yes Crowland is just down the road from one of MBs properties..she who had her finger in so many pies.

      I hope it was Katherine’s choice to marry. And I hope they were marriages with affection and respect. Perhap’s their son survived but was taken to live and be brought up by another family. Never to know he had the blood of kings coursing through his veins.

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  3. Hi Sparkypus, heaven forbid a blog!!!! That takes dedication, organization, consistency, a disciplined mind and preferably an even temper! I have bits of all of those things but none in enough concentration to do what you do so well, and trust me, you do something I could not do! Coming from art school (and most artists do not really need the school part, they know what they are, know how to improve or develop on their own, what they need and most benefit by with a ‘school’ is interaction with other artists from other disciplines)

    They need “other eyes” to see what they can no longer see in their own work and hopefully see in ways their eyes never see anyway – so they hang out with ceramics artists or fabric artists if they are painters (such as I was), or they get fascinated with the people using blow torches fusing odd scraps of metal, God knows why they do this, something about sculpture 🙂 AND they drift over to Photography, silkscreen, etching, they dabble in pastels, watercolor (God’s nod to migraines and understanding the Book of Job) and this can all be in ONE day. One of the most frustrating dilemmas’ for any artist is that you lose the ability to actually see, and see it fresh, your own work, and usually within minutes of starting the days work! I am sure musicians and writers have the same issues. Our lazy brain immediately begins to find ‘shortcuts’ with everything – we don’t bother to reinvent the wheel if we can help it! So, what to do? how to stay fresh? this is why someone like Picasso drools over the ability of children to see, without “rules” – what he actually meant was the shortcuts adults require so they can manage to survive another day. I ask my students to tell me, in our first class, what the color of the rug was in the hallway that they just walked down getting to class – answer? they all think about it, some look totally confused, those that are confused are rightly so, they know the answer but do they CORRECT the professor? lol, yea, NO rug in the hallways, it is all tile, those that suggest the rug is gray or beige or whatever are falling back on what the brain is using as a shortcut, aren’t most bland, public building hallway rugs gray? beige? so I look out the door, which any of them could have done as well, and say, yea, a GREY tile rug …. IF your brain retained every bit of info that it took in and SAW it would explode in prob an hour, BAM, gone.

    Artists are no different, I think we are in worse shape, we know the prob we are in! So keeping a blog for me is IMPOSSIBLE! I love yours because you do all the heavy lifting and I just flit and out like a crazed firefly, flit flit flit, and leave, then come back in a couple days because you help me SEE things in another way, again.

    That is why – now that I am no longer in art school and around the etchers, ceramics dept, the nuts with blow torches – and now that we have been in lockdown here in NJ for almost a year I refuse to do the online classes with students, to me that is forcing them to pay to teach themselves – IF we do hybrid this coming summer (that is what they are telling me) then I may consider it as at least I would be face-to-face with them for part of the semester and I can work around the other part – that is why I started my own project just as we went into lockdown.

    I may not be able to do a blog (it is disciplined!) but I can follow a goal, and mine is a graphic novel on Richard, primarily Jan-August 1483, the pivotal months where I find the most interesting questions have been 1) hopelessly muddled (and unnecessarily screwedup!) 2) i want to come at the material from a diff direction, his spy network which EVERYONE alludes to but never discusses in depth- prob because by its very nature it was espionage and VERY undeveloped compared to France, the Low Countries, Spain, and ALL of the Italian city states (Milan kicked everyone’s butt, they had been using ciphers, codes, and poison successfully for what, a hundred years already?) LXI was well versed in such methods, a BIG reason he rarely bothered with armed conflict and armies, which were notoriously expensive, could only be used for short summer campaigns, and the outcome anything but assured! Assassination, diplomatic extortion and other means of connivance was far more to his liking but he was hardly alone! But Richard, like E4 did have spies, I remember reading in Louise Gill’s book on Buckingham’s Rebellion a continual reference to them and wondering,’why hasn’t anyone written about Yorkist spies?’ Some years ago Arthurson did come out with a hopelessly tangled article on espionage during the WoTR but seriously, that is about it! hah, I like research, and as you know ricardians (I think) do better research than anything the academics have done, consider your own work on Evans! as just one example ….

    So, as I prefer a visual format I decided on a graphic novel, but NOT manga, if you know what that style is, if you know Elizabeth Bradley from the Murrey&Blue blog, she often posts there as well, I have been using her as my ‘eyes’ for critical junctures – I’m still in tracing paper stages, but it is another reason why some of my research may appear odd when I post replies to you. I do not have the benefit of other art students to bounce ideas off of anymore, or even my students, normally I would bring a project like this into them and let them rip it up, find the holes, look at it from 25 different directions and then fix the issues. Having one pair of eyes is a stinker of a problem!

    and that is why I so often fall back on instinct, and seemingly unreasonable outlier avenues like the Interrogator podcasts I listen to from Greg Hartley and his co-author. BTW, I am using Tyrell in this Graphic Novel, alot, I don’t have a physical resource for what he looked like (I am finding this typical) but the more I flesh out the situation in jan through April 1483, and I mean thoroughly, I have even had to make my own map of London – there are NONE c. 1483-5 – but the more I learn about England and London and the Yorkist admin of E4 and R3 the more I believe Tyrell has gotten smeared as badly as Richard – this must be addressed! Hartley, whose business it was to deal in such things, did not condone torture as it was worthless, demeaning to both prisoner and interrogator and cost much precious time getting to the info actually needed – as per Tyrell, I am quite sure NOW that H7 used torture on Tyrell NOT to learn anything, as he knew Tyrell was innocent of any murder of the two boys, Henry prob also knew whatever connection Tyrell had with them he already had those names – the torture was pure spite and vengefulness, because he could, and because it would get out, would put a chill on anyone else thinking of going against him.

    I can never forget the section I read about Henry, in a history of London Bridge (which I need), where almost off-handedly, the author mentions that Henry took prisoners and had them tied to the Bridge at low tide so that they slowly drowned with the incoming tide – these prisoners, already physically abused, half dead and likely tortured, were then treated to H7’s treat of publicly drowning. H7 never published that ‘confession’ nor has anyone ever seen it, of course not, just an excuse to torture the man – Henry would have done the same to William Stanley too HAD he not been his step-father’s brother and the man who essentially handed TUDDOR (as R3 spelled his name) the crown.

    ok enough blathering away, see? NO discipline! lol

    Sparkypus, you are a very good resource, and I take your opinions and research seriously, you have single handedly changed my conclusion about Edward 5, I really had decided that he was still left somewhere in an iron coffin, on the grounds around Minster Hall (Lovell) in Oxfordshire, and had been there since summer 1483! Perhaps he was moved there by Tyrell and other agents of R3 that summer, but how and when he ended up becoming John Evans, that is a whole other mystery! One that Tyrell may not have had anything to do with – perhaps it was Dorset, I think of him in very negative terms myself, but he was NEVER trusted by H7, held in all sorts of bonds and forebearance (very expensive bonds too), and he was willing to return to England to settle with R3 as per QEW’s request, so that in itself is quite eye opening, Elizabeth Woodville knew far too much not to tell Dorset, even if she could not tell her daughter Elizabeth the queen – you have a very sober, careful manner, no hotfoot ideas from you Sparkypus, that makes me take you seriously, whereas I doubt my own ‘conclusions’ all the time and constantly crosscheck myself! lol

    as for Lady ‘Katerin’ – since H7 was so smitten with her (how many of his own biographers and adoring writers mention that he was such a lech !?) it is possible that Henry allowed her to marry acceptably court approved men, especially as I consider it to be marital arrest, Henry knew exactly where she was, and NOT off looking for her son by Warbeck, trying to ressurrect HIS right to the throne! – I like that Scottish legend that her son by Shrewsbury did live on, so much so much still to investigate!

    And while her 12-20 months or so with Warbeck/Shrewsbury were short in material time, I like to think they had a fine regard and love for each other, enough that he was willing to be horribly abused and executed to save her and their son; in comparison, IF Elizabeth of York did have any semblance of feeling for her family, her brothers, her uncle, her Yorkist legacy, then what a miserable, pathetic marriage she endured with that shriveled up louse! Of the two, I would far rather have been Warbeck’s Katerin than H7’s Elizabeth of York!

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