David Owen – another Tudor

david tudor.jpgDafydd ap Owen (in the Welsh style), David Owen or David Tudor was one of the men who accompanied Henry Tudor, Lancastrian claimant to the throne to Bosworth in August 1485.


King Henry VII having won the Battle of Bosworth and predated his reign to the day before the battle, did not after all have many relations so showed considerable favour to his illegitimate half-uncle by knighting him and arranging a marriage with the heiress Mary de Bohun of Midhurst. He was also one of the twelve knights who held the coronation canopy for Elizabeth of York. He acquired lands in Northamptonshire forfeited by the Yorkist William Catesby. He was the king’s carver between 1486 and 1529. Unsurprisingly he was one of Henry VII’s chief mourners in 1509.


David Owen made his own will in 1529. He ordered masses to be said for Henry VII, Edmund Tudor (Earl of Richmond) and Jasper Tudor (Duke of Bedford) as well as his parents and his wives. The baronet also gave orders as to what his tomb should look like and which wife should have her effigy next to his.  He had three sons with wife number one Jasper, Henry and Roger demonstrating that the Tudor difficulty of producing male heirs didn’t stem from Owen. He also had a daughter Anne who was married to Arthur Hopton. He left her a silver cup. However, it was wife number two he anticipated laying next to him for eternity in the church of the Priory of Esseborne. Anne Devereux was the sister of Lord Ferrers of Chartley. With her he’d produced two daughters . There may have been another wife but the sources are vague – if she was his wife,  Anne Blount was wife number two and Anne Devereux was number three.  There were other children including a further daughter, Barbara who is also mentioned in her father’s will– as is her illegitimate state.


The will went to probate in 1542 but by then saying masses for the dear departed was heavily frowned upon as Popish – so it is reasonable to assume he died before 1542 – startlingly he appears to have died seven years before the will was proved.

David’s grandson Owen – son of Anne Hopton turns up in the history books as the last custodian of Lady Katherine Grey at Cockfield Hall in Suffolk. He and his wife were responsible for keeping the increasingly ill Katherine confined and then organizing the quazi- princess’s funeral with a budget of £140 sent from London for the purpose. Owen, a Tudor cousin- albeit a distant one- when all was said and done to both Lady Katherine Grey and to Queen Elizabeth, went on to become Lieutenant of the Tower of London between 1570 and 1590 as well as being a member of parliament.

Double click on the effigy of David Owen to find out more about the church where he is buried – without an effigy of any of his wives by his side.


Breverton, Terry. (2014) Jasper Tudor Stroud: Amberley Publishing

de Lisle, Leanda. (2013) Tudor: the family story London: Chatto and Windus

Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (1826) Testamenta Vetusta: Being Illustrations from Wills, of Manners Customs, &c. as Well as of the Descents and Possessions of Many Distinguished Families. From the Reign of Henry the Second to the Accession of Queen Elizabeth Volume 2 London: Nichols and Son


6 thoughts on “David Owen – another Tudor

  1. David app Owen app meaning son of in the Welsh language was a traitor like all the traitors that left the field of Bosworth on 22 day of August 1485. Henry the bastard did not raise a finger in that one sided battle.Yes he forecast victory because his whore of a mother had married Lord Stanley whom had informed Richard that he would fight on the Kings side. Richard took one of Stanleys sons as hostage knowing the danger that was real. Stanley laughed and said kill him for I have another son. know that no one even today can place a sin against poor Richard who made many good changes in law in his short two years as King. If the nephews had to be silenced or return with armies to bring again Civil war into our midst did Richard do this? We have only a loose sheet of writing from the estranged Thomas Moore to place this doubt in our minds. Yet his nobles many of them bribed by promises of power left our true King to fight alone to the very death as the lion he was. Bastards all off them whos souls must be fed to the dogs of Hades as the traitors of my family. It took a Parr lady to settle the score in her own way as Henry the bastard thought he had ethnically cleansed all Nevil and Parr supporters of the House of York when his big fat son married one of the last real Parr ladies alive then. She made certain all Nevil and House of York families came back from France and Henry never caught on to her loyal work. One did and she escaped his clutches and converted Henry V111 into a loving husband by stealth and by whit. If Richard knew that both princes had been born out of wedlock as his brother King Edward had married in secret the Talbot girl long before he secretly married Woodvile. So why did he have to kill these boys? If he did then he thought deeply of danger. The boys with Richards son had played with their favourite uncle Richard at Middleham and at Sheriff Hutton many times before it all went wrong when Woodville murdered her husband and gave her family full power to run all Britain. Many ifs here but that is how I have come to see what really happened.

    • Kevin, I appreciate the lingering resentment at how Henry VII gained the throne, and the dynastic propaganda that ensued.

      But this was a long time ago, and one might equally argue that William I had no right to be Duke of Normandy, let alone King of England. For that matter, his relatives on the Breton side had much stronger legitimate claims to the English crown, and to Normandy, than he had.

      Indeed, the Plantagenet ancestors became Counts of Anjou only because, by their own admission, one of their forefathers had been exiled from Brittany for a grievous crime.

      Gong back further, the Franks betrayed the Romans by invading Gaul, deposing Syagrius and then attacking Rome’s last loyal allies in the West, the Britons of Armorica. This is also what enabled the Saxons to get a firm footing in Britain.

      The true kings and queens of England, if such there be, are the Breton sovereign house. Their status as the eldest legitimate ruling house in Europe is implicitly acknowledged by the English monarch, indeed most of the monarchs of Europe, wearing ermine in their coronation robes, and by the ermine band in the coronets of the aristocracy.

      I for one have grave misgivings about every de facto English monarch from John onwards.

    • Some interesting ideas here – are you sure you don’t approve of novels? While the approved histories definitely wouldn’t accept this I have the feeling that with the right prose style you could give Philippa Gregory a run for her money. And I guess one of the reasons for that is because you’re committed to the Plantagenet cause.

    • Hmm. I have to say that Margaret Beaufort being a whore is a first. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I can’t say that I would deem to truly know anything about anyone, much less from 600 years ago, and if indeed I were to speculate, it would happen after reading historical accounts written by others, and we all know how that can go. However, it is nice to see such interest and strong feelings, regardless of what I happen to think.

    • Not yet – my problem is that i’m not always logical in my approach. It depends what I’m teaching or reading at the time. I shall, however, add him to my list – I also want to look at Richard III’s illegitimate son.

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