À Warwick! À Warwick!

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Uncategorised

Found among my list of google searches:

“What does the battle cry ‘ À Warwick!’ mean?

It’s from French – à is ‘to’. So this is a cry rallying men around their leader.

It’s a good thing, really, they weren’t much into the double barrelled surname in mediaeval times. ‘À Fortescue-Patterson!’ might have lost them the battle before it began.


Another google search that came up: ‘Was Edward IV murdered?’

It’s highly unlikely, given the universal question ‘who benefits?’. Certainly no-one close enough to him to slip some arsenic into his food.


And, lastly: “Did George of Clarence murder his wife?”

There’s nothing to indicate Clarence murdered his wife. She died shortly after the birth of her last child (who didn’t long outlive her) and this would seem to be an odd time to poison someone. Quite apart from that, there’s every indication the Clarences’ marriage was a success. George accused one of Isobel’s women of poisoning her, dragged her to Warwick to be tried and had her hanged when she was found guilty. There’s no evidence Isobel was poisoned by anyone and the death of Ankarette Twynho was an appalling misuse of the law. That was the charge Clarence was originally arrested on. It soon changed to a charge of treason. Isobel’s death set in motion a set of events that led to her husband’s execution. Clarence wasn’t the most loyal brother in the universe, but I do rather feel for him, and for Isobel.

  1. Celia Parker says:

    Was Edward IV murdered? As you say, pretty unlikely. However, this didn’t stop Annette Carson, author of ‘The Maligned King’ suggesting at the start of that book that he was murdered by the Woodvilles (at least not Lady Margaret Beaufort). Now it might seem obvious to you or me that they were the last people likely to want to kill off Edward, but Carson is cleverer than us. She notes that Edward’s physicians didn’t know what he died of (hardly surprising at that date) and that a modern consultant having reviewed the evidence couldn’t say either.(My experience is they can’t always diagnose something when you’re sitting in front of them, half dead). So obviously Edward was poisoned, because Elizabeth was becoming old and unattractive and losing her influence and her family needed to get young Edward on the throne so that they could continue to be greedy and manipulative.
    I suppose it is, slightly, interesting that purveyors of the ‘Tudor myth’ never accused Richard of long-distance poisoning of his brother- which suggests that no-one at the time thought there was anything suspicious at all about the death,as opposed to unexpected.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Celia. I understand Carson is distancing herself from this idea these days. It didn’t originate with her, but I can’t remember where it did, now! I’ll try and find out when I get the time.

    • I suspect that Edward was simply manifesting the same genetic traits, aided and abetted by a hard-drinking, hard-eating lifestyle and the decision to quit leading an active knightly life after he won back the crown in his late twenties, that caused his grandson Henry VIII to pork out even more grotesquely than he did.

      Top it off with the fact that salt, a contributor to hypertension, was basically the only truly effective meat preservative around at the time, and a diagnosis of successive strokes, possibly connected with diabetes, is awfully likely for both men.

      • anevillfeast says:

        The cause of Edward IV’s death is an enduring mystery, for sure! I’m wondering where those genetic traits might have come from, though. There doesn’t seem to be much suggestion of it on either side of the family prior to Edward. I’ve heard Edward’s sister, Anne, described as being generously proportioned, but I haven’t found a source for that yet. Endlessly fascinating discussion, though, so long as ‘the Wydevilles had him murdered!’ is kept in its rightful place.

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