Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-10 > 1003779872

From: "Rosie Bevan" <>
Subject: Re: New Evidence for Parentage of Alice (Camoys) Hastings
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 08:44:32 +1300
References: <>, <00b201c15694$e84a0c40$04794fcb@cbevan> <>

Dear Douglas

Thank you for your message and for presenting the indentured contract to the

The contract does show a keenness for Elizabeth Wydville to ally her family
with the family of William Hastings. However, can we be sure that it was
their Plantagenet blood that was important to her? She was about to marry
the king. Surely if she had waited, she could have arranged far more
brilliant matches for her son, as is what eventually happened -Thomas was
eventually created Marquis of Dorset and married Anne da. of Henry Holland,
Duke of Exeter which made his issue awash with Plantagenet blood, and nephew
by marriage of Edward IV. Look what she did for her sisters. Margaret became
Countess of Arundel, Anne became Countess of Kent, Catherine, Duchess of
Buckingham etc.

Frankly, I am puzzled by the motivation behind this contract UNLESS it was
to guarantee unswerving support from William Hastings, as her husband's best
friend, by a tie of kinship. She knew the forthcoming marriage would be
unpopular and needed all the support she could get. In that case, the issue
of Plantagenet blood would have been a small part of the equation.

If this is the case, how sure are we that this implies Alice Camoys was
daughter of Elizabeth Mortimer? Is the marriage contract between Eliz
Wydville and William Hastings sufficient evidence for it? Frankly I would
like to see something a little more direct and secure.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Richardson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 5:01 PM
Subject: Re: New Evidence for Parentage of Alice (Camoys) Hastings

> Dear Rosie:
> Below is a transcript of the marriage contract for her son which
> Elizabeth Wydville, Lady Grey, signed between herself and William
> Hastings, Lord Hastings, just eighteen days before her own marriage to
> King Edward IV. The source for the marriage contract is Report of
> the Manuscripts of the late Reginald Rawdon Hastings, Esq., vol. 1,
> pg. 301, published in 1928, by the Historical Manuscripts Commission.
> 13 April 1464 - Indenture of covenants, made between dame Elizabeth
> Grey, widow of Sir John Grey knight, son and heir of Edward Grey, late
> Lord Ferrers, and William Lord Hastings, for the marriage of Thomas
> Grey, her son, or, in the case of his death, of Richard, his brother,
> with the eldest daughter to be born within the next five or six years
> to Lord Hastings; or failing such a daughter, with one of the
> daughters to be born within the same period to Ralph Hastings, his
> brother, or failing such a daughter, with one of the daughters of dame
> Anne Ferrers, his sister..."
> We see here that Lady Grey was willing to have her son Thomas Grey
> married to a daughter of Lord Hastings, or to a daughter of Lord
> Hastings' brother, Ralph, or sister, Anne Ferrers.
> I believe the reversionary clauses of this contract refute your claim
> that Lady Grey wanted to arrange a marriage between her son and her
> prospective husband's best friend. At the time of this contract, Lord
> Hastings evidently had no daughter available to marry Lady Grey's son.
> Failing Lord Hastings' having such a daughter within 5 or 6 years,
> Lady Grey was willing to marry her son to a daughter of Lord Hastings'
> brother or sister. Given the reversionary clauses, Lady Grey would
> surely have considered the Hastings' family breeding and social
> station when she agreed to such reversionary clauses. Given her own
> illustrious ancestry and that of her son's, it would have been foolish
> for her to contract to marry her eldest son into a family which did
> not have comparable ancestry in the veins.
> That that Hastings family had such ancestry is indicated among other
> things by a papal dispensation granted in 1427 for Lord Hastings'
> uncle, Richard Hastings, to marry Elizabeth Beaumont. In this
> period, when obtaining a dispensation, people tended to "marry up" to
> their highest common ancestry. Elizabeth is known be a descendant of
> King Henry III. As such, this is a clear indicator that the Hastings
> family had royal ancestry in their veins prior to the marriage of Lord
> Hastings' parents, Leonard and Alice (Camoys) Hastings. A likely
> guess is that the Hastings descent from King Henry III comes through
> their Sutton ancestry, which avenue to the best of my knowledge has
> never been explored.
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah
> E-mail:
> (Rosie Bevan) wrote in message
> > Dear Douglas
> >
> > In 1461, after the King, William Hastings as Chamberlain and most
> > advisor and favoured friend of Edward IV, was the most powerful man in
> > England. His company of indentured retainers including John Blount, Lord
> > Mountjoy and Henry Lord Grey of Codnor, was an effective means by which
> > placed followers as knights of the shire in Parliament and local offices
> > well as raising an army at short notice. He stood so high in Edward IV's
> > esteem "that divers eminent persons taking notice thereof accumulated
> > favors on him. Amongst which John Mowbray, then duke of Norfolk,
bestowed on
> > him the stewardship of his manors in Melton Mowbray, Segrave, and others
> > county Leicester with the fee of 10 pounds per annum during his
> > life."[Dugdale]
> >
> > He acquired many such offices of profit, was constable of several
> > steward of royal manors, honours and and lordships as well as chief
> > of the Duchy of Lancaster, master of the kings mints and so on. Anne
> > of Buckingham, John, Lord Lovell, Jacquet of Luxembourg, duchess of
> > were among those in court circles who gave him grants and annuities.
> >
> > He had reached this position by being a loyal and effective retainer of
> > Edward's father the Duke of York, after fighting for the Yorkist cause
> > Ludford in 1459 (for which the Lancastrians attainted him), and on the
> > of York's death with his successor Edward at Towton, where Edward had
> > knighted him on the battlefield. Shortly afterwards, the new king
> > him a baron and gave him Katherine Neville in marriage. This friendship
> > of a personal nature not just a political one.
> >
> > The point of all this is that in this situation, you do not need
> > ancestry for people to want to queue up to marry their children
> > to yours. The fact that Elizabeth Wydville wanted to arrange a marriage
> > between her son and a daughter of her prospective royal husband's
friend, is
> > a measure of the favour that William Hastings stood in the eyes of
> > IV, not the amount of royal blood in his veins. I doubt that Hastings
> > supposed Plantagenet ancestry would have figured in the match at all
> > child would have had plenty of that via his wife). In determining a good
> > marriage, breeding was only one factor in the equation - power, lands,
> > wealth, and political affinity and future security being the more
> > considerations.
> >
> > You said yourself, "If a blood tie doesn't explain the relationship,
> > you can seek out a tie by marriage". The obvious tie is that Clarence
> > Hastings were cousins by marriage. It was their most immediate and
> > relationship and one which Clarence would be keen to emphasise given the
> > cloud of disgrace he was under in 1471.
> >
> > As there seems to be some ambiguity surrounding the nature of their
> > I still feel that there isn't sufficient proof to designate Elizabeth
> > Mortimer as mother of Alice Camoys.
> >
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Rosie
> >
> >

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