Richard III Research and Discussion Archive

Re Ralph Shaa: Cecily and the Princes

2019-06-25 17:03:58

It does seem to me that Michael Jones exaggerated the evidence for Cecily having supported Richard in taking the throne from her grandson Edward V. The fact that Richard moved into Baynards does, I agree, seem to indicate that she supported him as Protector but there is no evidence that she was actually in residence at the time.

1) The council meeting held at Baynards in early May was not attended by Cecily. Richard must have hosted it, but this was just before the Council recognised Richard as Protector, and so the meeting was actually chaired by Cardinal Bourchier, to whom Richard had entrusted the Great Seal and the government before leaving Northampton.

2) Cecily didn't attend Richard's coronation so far as we can make out. It was probably against protocol for her to participate openly, although she does seem to have done so at the coronation of Edward IV (perhaps she regarded that as her own proxy coronation).

3) At the end of November 1483 (i.e. after Buckingham's Rebellion) general pardons were issued to Cecily's Dean of the Chapel, Richard Lessy, and four other gentlemen of Berkhamsted, one of whom is remembered in Cecily's will.

4) The involvement of members of Cecily's household in the Perkin Warbeck business is not out of keeping with the idea that in 1483 she would have preferred Edward V to keep the throne, because PW was claiming to be Edward V's surviving brother.

She certainly didn't fall out with Richard, but I think her feelings must have been quite complicated.