Where can I find the fake letter Buck wrote about Elizabeth Of York wanting to Marry Richard 3?

Sep 2014
1,234
Queens, NYC
I don't think anybody saw it after it was allegedly shown to Buck. Remember, the letter was on Howard property. The English Civil Wars of 1642-48 saw destruction of many documents in England; if there was such a letter it may well have been lost or destroyed.
 
Mar 2018
301
United States Of America
I don't think anybody saw it after it was allegedly shown to Buck. Remember, the letter was on Howard property. The English Civil Wars of 1642-48 saw destruction of many documents in England; if there was such a letter it may well have been lost or destroyed.
Okay. :)
 
Nov 2016
1,605
Germany
I'm trying to find the SO CALLED letter EOY wrote about wanting to marry Richard 3
Below I quote my posts in this thread:


(...). Anyway, a letter from 1485 by Elizabeth to Richard III is reported, including a kind of love confession by her to the king. In 1619 Sir George Buck in his bio on the king gave a quote from Elizabeth´s letter, addressed to the Duke of Norfolk:

First she thanked him (= Norfolk) for his many courtesies and friendly offices, and then she prayed him as before to be a mediator for her in the cause of the marriage to the king, who, as she writes, was her only joy and maker in this world, and that she was his in heart and in thoughts, in body, and in all. And then she intimated that the better half of February was past, and that she feared the queen would never died. And all these be her own words, written with her own hand, and this is the sum of her letter, whereof I have seen autograph or original draft under her own hand.

The authenticity of this is however questionable. In any case, her family had planned her marriage with Henry in case he would defeat the king, and arranged for a betrothal. There is the hypothesis that Henry had her in bed long before marriage in order to test her fertility. Her first son was born 8 months after marriage, what could be an indication of premarital sex with Henry, but could also mean a premature birth.

++++

Ok, if "willing" means "(very) positively inclined" the answer depends in the first place on the issue of Elizabeth´s relationship to Richard III, namely on the question whether she was amorous of her uncle, as some say. This hypothesis is based on rumors that came up in 1483, and on a reconstruction of a fragmentary letter which I´ve cited above. However, the original text is very thin:

“…st she thanked him for his many Curtesies and friendly
…as before…
in the cause of…
and then she prayed him to be a mediator for her to the K…
ge who (as she wrote) was her onely joy and maker in…
Worlde, and that she was his…harte, in thoughts, in…and in all, and then she intimated that the better halfe of Ffe…was paste, and that she feared the Queene would neu.…”


For example, the passage "in... and in all" has been reconstructed as "in body and in all", what has a very sexual meaning but is quite speculative, as is the whole context, since it is by no way clear whether Richard or somebody else is meant as object of Elizabeth´s love.

Moreover it is quite possible that Richard III had some months before his coronation in July 1483 ordered the killing of Elizabeth´s brothers Edward, the regular next king, and Richard, who were lodged in the London Tower and never seen again. Yet neither their mother Elizabeth Woodville nor the later king Henry ever blamed Richard (died in 1485) for killing the children. On the other hand, in the months before the coronation there were heavy bloody conflicts between Richard and the Woodville family. So it is hard to comprehend how young Elizabeth should have lost her heart to a sworn enemy of her family except in case that she was a victim of a heavy Stockholm syndrom, what seems very improbable. Elizabeth´s mother Elizabeth Woodville had from Westminster Abbey, where she had fled with her daughters from Richard, arranged a betrothal of her daughter with Henry who was then in Brittany in exile. Thus it seems much more probable that young Elizabeth´s heart beat for Henry than for her hostile uncle.

++++

(...) I simply take into account that her heart could have beaten (what is less strong than "fallen in love") for a man whom she knew only from hearsay, and who was surely described to her in glowing terms by her mother and others. Thus she could have had high expectations in the sense which I paraphrased by "her heart beat for him".

On the other hand, how could it be possible that she loved Richard under the conditions as they were (Richard´s bloody combat against Elizabeth´s family)? And, what is more, how could it be possible that she after her beloved´s defeat and death fell in love with the man (Henry) who defeated Richard and was responsible for his death? This would be very contradictory and would shed a bad light on her character.

So I think it much more probable (at least in the years 1483-1485) that her heart beat for a man she knew only from (very positive) hearsay, than for a man who combatted her family and, probably, killed her brothers.

+++++

This is a possible reconstruction of the letter, but you surely know that already.

“When in the midst and more days of February [1485] were gone, the Lady Elizabeth, being very desirous to be married and, growing not only impatient of delays, but also suspicious of the [success], wrote a letter to Sir John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, intimating first therein [he was the] one in whom she most [trusted], because she knew the King her father much loved him, and that he was a very faithful servant unto him and to [Richard], and very loving and serviceable to King Edward’s children. First, she thanked him for his many courtesies and friendly [offices, and] then she prayed him, as before, to be a mediator for her in the case of [the marriage] to the King, who, as she wrote, was her only joy and maker in [this] world, and that she was his in heart and thoughts, in [body] and in all. And then she intimated that the better half of Fe[bruary] was passed, and that she feared the Queen would nev[er die].”
 
Mar 2018
301
United States Of America
Below I quote my posts in this thread:


(...). Anyway, a letter from 1485 by Elizabeth to Richard III is reported, including a kind of love confession by her to the king. In 1619 Sir George Buck in his bio on the king gave a quote from Elizabeth´s letter, addressed to the Duke of Norfolk:

First she thanked him (= Norfolk) for his many courtesies and friendly offices, and then she prayed him as before to be a mediator for her in the cause of the marriage to the king, who, as she writes, was her only joy and maker in this world, and that she was his in heart and in thoughts, in body, and in all. And then she intimated that the better half of February was past, and that she feared the queen would never died. And all these be her own words, written with her own hand, and this is the sum of her letter, whereof I have seen autograph or original draft under her own hand.

The authenticity of this is however questionable. In any case, her family had planned her marriage with Henry in case he would defeat the king, and arranged for a betrothal. There is the hypothesis that Henry had her in bed long before marriage in order to test her fertility. Her first son was born 8 months after marriage, what could be an indication of premarital sex with Henry, but could also mean a premature birth.

++++

Ok, if "willing" means "(very) positively inclined" the answer depends in the first place on the issue of Elizabeth´s relationship to Richard III, namely on the question whether she was amorous of her uncle, as some say. This hypothesis is based on rumors that came up in 1483, and on a reconstruction of a fragmentary letter which I´ve cited above. However, the original text is very thin:

“…st she thanked him for his many Curtesies and friendly
…as before…
in the cause of…
and then she prayed him to be a mediator for her to the K…
ge who (as she wrote) was her onely joy and maker in…
Worlde, and that she was his…harte, in thoughts, in…and in all, and then she intimated that the better halfe of Ffe…was paste, and that she feared the Queene would neu.…”


For example, the passage "in... and in all" has been reconstructed as "in body and in all", what has a very sexual meaning but is quite speculative, as is the whole context, since it is by no way clear whether Richard or somebody else is meant as object of Elizabeth´s love.

Moreover it is quite possible that Richard III had some months before his coronation in July 1483 ordered the killing of Elizabeth´s brothers Edward, the regular next king, and Richard, who were lodged in the London Tower and never seen again. Yet neither their mother Elizabeth Woodville nor the later king Henry ever blamed Richard (died in 1485) for killing the children. On the other hand, in the months before the coronation there were heavy bloody conflicts between Richard and the Woodville family. So it is hard to comprehend how young Elizabeth should have lost her heart to a sworn enemy of her family except in case that she was a victim of a heavy Stockholm syndrom, what seems very improbable. Elizabeth´s mother Elizabeth Woodville had from Westminster Abbey, where she had fled with her daughters from Richard, arranged a betrothal of her daughter with Henry who was then in Brittany in exile. Thus it seems much more probable that young Elizabeth´s heart beat for Henry than for her hostile uncle.

++++

(...) I simply take into account that her heart could have beaten (what is less strong than "fallen in love") for a man whom she knew only from hearsay, and who was surely described to her in glowing terms by her mother and others. Thus she could have had high expectations in the sense which I paraphrased by "her heart beat for him".

On the other hand, how could it be possible that she loved Richard under the conditions as they were (Richard´s bloody combat against Elizabeth´s family)? And, what is more, how could it be possible that she after her beloved´s defeat and death fell in love with the man (Henry) who defeated Richard and was responsible for his death? This would be very contradictory and would shed a bad light on her character.

So I think it much more probable (at least in the years 1483-1485) that her heart beat for a man she knew only from (very positive) hearsay, than for a man who combatted her family and, probably, killed her brothers.

+++++

This is a possible reconstruction of the letter, but you surely know that already.

“When in the midst and more days of February [1485] were gone, the Lady Elizabeth, being very desirous to be married and, growing not only impatient of delays, but also suspicious of the [success], wrote a letter to Sir John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, intimating first therein [he was the] one in whom she most [trusted], because she knew the King her father much loved him, and that he was a very faithful servant unto him and to [Richard], and very loving and serviceable to King Edward’s children. First, she thanked him for his many courtesies and friendly [offices, and] then she prayed him, as before, to be a mediator for her in the case of [the marriage] to the King, who, as she wrote, was her only joy and maker in [this] world, and that she was his in heart and thoughts, in [body] and in all. And then she intimated that the better half of Fe[bruary] was passed, and that she feared the Queen would nev[er die].”
I understand it's a very fake letter. I just wanted to see what people who believe they loved each other read. :)
 
Sep 2014
1,234
Queens, NYC
I don't know if it was fake. Buc was an honest man, I see no indication he would make this up. However, I don't know how he could verify the letter's authenticity. Did he know EoY's handwriting?

It should be remembered that Buc was summarizing or paraphrasing the letter, we don't know how accurately.

It has been suggested that the marriage in discussion was the proposed marriage of Elizabeth to a Portugese noble. (Was that under discussion while Queen Anne lived?)
 
Nov 2016
1,605
Germany
I don't know if it was fake.
I just said that the authenticity is "questionable". Especially in the 19th century people like Edmund Lodge, Nicholas Harris Nicolas (no typo...), Caroline Halsted, Agnes Strickland, and James Gairdner (himself a Richard III biographer) had strong doubts about it. A direct motive for forgery cannot be imputed to Buck, but he was a clear partisan of Richard III. It is possible that he 1) refers to a letter that is not written by Elizabeth, 2) has misunderstood a genuine Elizabeth letter and misrepresents it, 3) has only heard about the content of the letter and misrepresents it, or 4) that the letter did not refer to Richard III, which you indicate.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2018
301
United States Of America
I don't know if it was fake. Buc was an honest man, I see no indication he would make this up. However, I don't know how he could verify the letter's authenticity. Did he know EoY's handwriting?

It should be remembered that Buc was summarizing or paraphrasing the letter, we don't know how accurately.

It has been suggested that the marriage in discussion was the proposed marriage of Elizabeth to a Portugese noble. (Was that under discussion while Queen Anne lived?)
Buck, wrote it as if Elizabeth wanted Anne dead.