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February 3, 1478 – Birth of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham

Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham; British (English) School, National Trust (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Talk about connected!

Edward Stafford was descended from Edward III, he was a nephew of Edward IV and Katherine Woodville, the stepson of Jasper Tudor (uncle to Henry VII), and one of the richest men in England. He was known for his ambition and his desire for power, and he held multiple high-ranking positions in the English court. In all, somewhat of a threat to the Tudor dynasty, especially with Henry VIII’s continued failure to sire a son…

It’s not really clear exactly what ended up happening. Buckingham had never been part of Henry VIII’s inner circle but he did participate in all the major court events. In 1518 he was rebuked by Henry VIII for failing in his charge to keep order in South Wales, particularly along the borderline Welsh Marshes, but within two years Henry had calmed down and allowed Buckingham to attend the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Shortly after that, though, he came under suspicion of potentially treasonous activities, specifically listening to prophesies of his own accession to the throne following the King’s death – which would presumably be at Buckingham’s hands. Although the evidence was on the light side (Sir Thomas More complained that the key evidence was hearsay, extracted from servants who were threatened to extract false confessions), Buckingham was tried and convicted jn April 1521 and executed in May (he was also posthumously attainted in July – which meant that his vast wealth reverted to the Crown).

But that is getting WAY ahead of ourselves. For today, let us celebrate with happy parents at the birth of their son…


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February 3, 1478 – Birth of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
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