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Wouldn’t greatly surprise

Some 20 years ago, Dr Michael Jones, a Medieval historian, uncovered a document in Rouen Cathedral that he claimed proved Edward IV was illegitimate and so not the rightful heir to the throne.

He unearthed records of the 100 Years’ War in France that show Richard, Duke of York, could not have sired Edward because he was 100 miles away from his wife, Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York, during the five weeks of her possible conception.

Given illegitimacy rates in general (that oft quoted 10% etc) then there’s almost bound to be a slip or two over a millennia, no?

14 thoughts on “Wouldn’t greatly surprise”

  1. Just how many breaks in the “family line” have there been since 1066? C3 is no more related to any of his predecessors on the throne before Victoria than I am.

  2. What of it anyway ? The Yorkist line ended at R3. H7 did not have much of a claim to the throne either, but he was the one who stepped up to the plate.

    Anyone with a claim that dates back 600 odd years ago has seen that ship sail too many times before to be taken seriously today.

  3. The royals are nothing more than council house* trash with a posh accent. A few of them have some money.

    *Not wishing to dis all council house tenants, having been one myself in a previous life……

  4. Seems a bit odd to use ‘100 miles’ as a mediaeval distance.
    Number of days surely. Or number of horses.

  5. Date of conception is difficult enough these days of modern medicine. Back then it was assumed that pregnancy started when periods stopped. So if pregnancy occurred just as a period ended it would be four to five weeks before it might be noticed.

    But some women have irregular periods so time between periods would be irregular and it is possible to be pregnant and still have one more period.

  6. The “oft quoted” 10% is certainly oft quoted by TW. Everyone else here knows it’s bollocks.

    “H7 did not have much of a claim to the throne either”. Strictly, he’d none at all. Except winning a battle, which proved to be enough. Bloody Welshmen, eh?

    Anyway it’s all bollocks. The monarch is appointed by Act of Parliament – that was part of the point of the Glorious Revolution. A new Act could appoint Toni Blair. Except he’s ruled himself out by ceasing to be Crypto Catholic. Though another Act could remove that impediment.

  7. Reading through the article, I can’t help but notice the entirely down-to-earth attitude the possible claimants have towards this issue.
    As opposed to the huffy Journalist looking for eyeballs…

    As for those 100 miles… One of the things the high nobles of the day did was move around, either for warfare, or to maintain their territory. Or to be less of a target…
    If the period is 5 weeks, there was nothing stopping either of the two hopping over for “conjugal visits”.
    Most likely him hopping over, given that he was more mobile, could do the distance in a day using relays, but more likely 2, and it being imperative for him to get that male heir.
    But nothing stopped them from her being brought in for a Visit. Escorted carriage can do it easy in 3 days.
    And soft targets like wives moving were pretty much not announced or well-documented. Peeps, either enemies or Ambitious Prospective Father-in-Laws (remember… no male heir yet…) might get Ideas. These were pretty brutal times..

    His court and domicile may have been in Toulouse at the time, but his wife was well within a travel distance he was used to, and the “fertile window” was very much common knowledge.
    And I assume he could count, or had people who were specifically tasked to inform him on the arrival of the time where he should be doing his Husbandly Duty based on the goings-on in his wives’ court.

    This kind of stuff is well-documented for plenty other nobles of the same stature throughout Europe of the time. So much so it can be assumed to be common practice.
    Doesn’t mean there can’t have been a cuckoo in the nest, but the “He was 100 miles away!” thing doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

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