Catherine Woodville, Duchess of Buckingham
|Catherine Woodville (or Wydeville)|
|Duchess of Buckingham
Duchess of Bedford
Countess of Pembroke
|Died||18 May 1497 (aged 38–39)|
|Spouse(s)||Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford
Sir Richard Wingfield
|Father||Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers|
|Mother||Jacquetta of Luxembourg|
Catherine Woodville (also spelled Wydville, Wydeville, or Widvile[nb 1]) (c. 1458 – 18 May 1497) was an English medieval noblewoman. She was the sister-in-law of King Edward IV of England and gave birth to several illustrious children. Catherine was the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. When her sister Elizabeth married King Edward IV, the King elevated and promoted many members of the Woodville family. Elizabeth Woodville's household records for 1466/67 indicate that Catherine was being raised in the queen's household.
Sometime before the coronation of Elizabeth in May 1465, Catherine was married to Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham; both were still children. A contemporary description of Elizabeth Woodville's coronation relates that Catherine and her husband were carried on squires' shoulders due to their youth. According to Dominic Mancini, Buckingham resented his marriage to a woman of inferior birth. However, the couple had four children:
- Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (3 February 1478 – 17 May 1521)
- Elizabeth Stafford, Countess of Sussex (ca. 1479 – 11 May 1532)
- Henry Stafford, 1st Earl of Wiltshire (c. 1479 – 6 April 1523)
- Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon (c. 1483–1544)
In 1483, Buckingham first allied himself to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, helping him succeed to the throne as Richard III, and then to Henry Tudor, leading an unsuccessful rebellion in his name. Buckingham was executed for treason on 2 November 1483.
Depiction in fiction
Catherine is the main protagonist in Susan Higginbotham's 2010 historical novel The Stolen Crown. She is briefly mentioned in Philippa Gregory's historical novels The White Queen (2009), The Red Queen (2010), and The White Princess (2013).
- Her brother Richard's 1492 postmortem inquisition names her as being “34 or more”, placing her birthdate at about 1458. See Calendar of Inquisitions Post-Mortem, Henry VII, vol. I, No. 681 (Richard, Earl of Ryvers).
- Pugh, p. 241.
- Richard Marius, Thomas More: A Biography, (Harvard University Press, 1984), 119.
This section lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (December 2017)
- Although spelling of the family name is usually modernised to "Woodville", it was spelled "Wydeville" in contemporary publications by Caxton and her tomb at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle is inscribed thus; "Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth Widvile".
- The Royal Ancestry Bible Royal ancestors of 300 American Families by Michel L. Call; ISBN 1-933194-22-7 (chart 806)
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Henry Stafford, Second Duke of Buckingham, by C. S. L. Davies.
- The Household of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, 1466–67, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 1967–68 by A. R. Myers.
- The Marcher Lordships of South Wales, 1415–1536, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1963. T. B. Pugh, ed. ISBN 0708301150
- The Coronation of Elizabeth Wydeville, Gloucester: Gloucester Reprints, 1975 (originally published 1935) by George Smith. ISBN 0904586006