Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe, Margaret Beaufort’s (pictured at the start of this paragraph) mother, was married in the first instance to Sir Oliver St John who died in 1437. From this union Margaret Beaufort had seven siblings; two brothers and five sisters.
The eldest of the five daughters was called Edith and she married Geoffrey Pole who owned land in Cheshire. Edith, about whom not much appears to be known, died in 1459. She had a daughter called Eleanor Pole who served as one of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies-in-waiting (double click on the link to open a new window with my post about Eleanor). And that might have been that apart from the fact that her son Sir Richard Pole, a loyal supporter of the Tudors married the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, the one who was allegedly drowned in a vat of Malmsey.
Just so we’re clear, Sir Richard Pole a Lancastrian of Welsh descent via his father Geoffrey was Henry VII’s cousin because Richard’s mother Edith was Henry VII’s aunt. Margaret Beaufort had fond memories of her all to short childhood growing up with her St John kin. She took an interest in her extended family and it is perhaps not surprising that they lurk in the background of Tudor history.
As family Sir Richard Pole was trusted by Henry VII. He was married off to Margaret Plantagent the niece of Edward IV and Richard III and whose brother the young Earl of Warwick was kept locked up in the Tower until he was executed –. Henry VII was satisfied with letting the blood of Margaret’s brother and marrying her to a minor member of his own family. Even Shakespeare, the Tudor spin doctor, said of this union; “His daughter (the Duke of Clarence’s) meanly have I match’d in marriage.” They went on to have five children and must have thought that they had weathered the Wars of the Roses storm.
It cannot, sadly, be said that Henry VIII trusted the Poles. The Poles were doubly his cousins – through their relationship to Margaret Beaufort and through the fact of their descent from George Duke of Clarence. Despite Sir Richard Pole’s loyal service to two generations of Tudors, his wife and sons were rounded up and executed on account of their Plantagenet blood and their Catholicism– an irony for the Pole children given their Lancastrian heritage and links to Margaret Beaufort.
Dear Julia I am surprised you quote Shakespeare as of my research and talks with many historians and classical actors in the past ,including some very notable names such as my cousin John Nevile and in that same company even leading actors in the Shakespeare Company who insist as i do now. Shakesshaft, known as Will Shakespeare rose to actor manager of two well known stage companies. One more important being the Kingsmen. This actor manger was in the know of a gentleman writer whom had just arrived back from duties to that Crown in Padua Italy. His name was The Earl of Oxford. In my honest opinion ,and please feel free to show me wrong,this gentleman who had served the English Throne well in Norway .France and Italy had heard legends and some common place.Such as two star crossed lovers who took their own young lives and the place was even famous when the Earl wrote the story down as a play. I can prove this beyond doubt. Romeo and Juliet is an old story in Padua Italy. So we must look at all the plays in a different a light. Oxford served 3 months in Norway as person in place of King. Not surprising he stayed mostly in Elsinore and heard of Prince Hamlet as often as I did. Two plays down to the Earl of Oxford. It seems gentlemen had no real reason to write stories then but shall we look at playrights. Juliet look closely as a boy up from county town in those days had little in education. No real proof that he passed tests to go to a proper school before leaving to act on the London Stage. When I had shifted all records which are scant I admit but not for the Earl himself. My belief is that Shakeshaft either stole the manuscripts or was given control of the Earls works. This later example seems harder to take in as a commoner in the house of an Earl is not possible by any stretch of the imagination.Which ever way this man managed to sign his name to the works he did it with or without the Earls permission.
Shakespeare requires a whole blog to himself so I shall leave him to his own devices. I enjoyed reading your views on who Shakespeare might have been and I certainly agree that he offers up some healthy, not to mention lively, discussion.