Saturday, June 30, 2012

Good, Bad, and Unknown Arrivals

It was late-October when Richard III rode to Windsor Castle along with several of his Council to talk with Margaret of Anjou, the King had waited until Devon and Warwick reported from the Castilian court to know Henry IV’s response.  To Richard’s relief the King of Castile had responded favorably and negotiations had begun the next day with Henry’s representatives ensuring that Margaret’s monetary dowry would remain in her possession throughout the marriage as well as providing a number of estates she would be entitled to upon the Castilian monarch’s death.  Warwick also informed Richard that he had not given the amount Margaret was to receive to Henry’s representatives, a fact Richard was very satisfied to learn before he headed to see his former political rival.  Upon their arrival at Windsor, Richard and the Council members partook in a meal with Queen Margaret, Sir John Grey of Groby and his wife, Elizabeth.  Afterwards Richard informed Margaret that Henry IV of Castile had expressed interest in her to be his new Queen and had entered negotiations with his representatives and those of her uncle, Charles VII of France.  The King also told Margaret the amount she would receive in compensation of her lands in England if she agreed to the marriage contract being negotiated and added that Henry’s representatives had already stipulated that her “dowry” would remain in her possession throughout the marriage.  Margaret took the announcement well and acted graciously, though Richard sensed she was not pleased as he and the Council left for London.  Upon his return a letter from Portugal had arrived telling Richard that Worcester and Bishop Kempe would escort Infanta Joan and a Portuguese party to England within a fortnight.

In early November, Richard and the Council got a trickle of news from Ireland that James Butler, the attained Earl of Ormond & Wiltshire, was in western Ireland talking to clan chieftains and stirring up trouble outside The Pale.  Richard ordered William Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville, and Sir William Oldhall to meet with Thomas FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Kildare, and James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond, to determine what was going on.  It might have been around this time that Salisbury and Buckingham fully learned about what Richard planned for Ireland, however the timing would be determined by what Bonville and Oldhall were to find about Ormond’s activities.  Even as Ireland was creeping into his thoughts Richard’s first priority was the arrival of his future daughter-in-law, whose official welcome was being planned by Queen Cicely.  It was assumed that the ship carrying Infanta Joan was to land somewhere on the southern coast, though it would depend on the weather in the Channel as to where, though it did not matter as Cicely had already planned for Joan to be welcomed by mayors and city councils from Plymouth to Dover as well as informing them as to where Joan was to be escorted to where she was to for her formal welcoming by Richard and herself to England.  Before Joan’s arrival, Devon and Warwick sent a report from Valladolid including a preliminary agreement for Margaret to examine that the King sent to Windsor without looking at it.

On 23 November 1454, the ship carrying Infanta Joan, Kempe, and Worcester along with several Portuguese ladies-in-waiting and knights led by her cousin Afonso of Braganza, Marquis of Valenca, arrived in Southampton.  The mayor and the city council when informed of her arrival sent a courier to London then went to greet her to the city and escorted her to Southampton Castle to rest a few days.  The mayor and councilmen informed the Infanta of Queen Cicely’s instructions that when Joan was ready that she along with her party would be escorted by several knights to Winchester where she would be formally welcomed to court by the King, Queen, and her future husband the Prince of Wales.  Upon receiving word of Joan’s arrival in Southampton, preparations began immediately with Richard sending an advance party to Winchester Castle to prepare for it to host Court as well as house the royal party.  On 27 November, the Infanta took her leave of Southampton to great cheers from the citizens and journeyed to Winchester arriving late in the afternoon to a welcome party of the mayor, councilmen, and William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.  Wayneflete led the assembly to his residence at Wolvesey Castle where he was honored to host a banquet for Joan and hosted her stay until her formal welcome at nearby Winchester Castle.  After the public affairs were ended Bishop Waynflete meet privately with the Infanta along with Bishop Kempe, Worcester, and the Marquis of Valenca to show her a letter from Queen Cicely that revealed that a ceremony would take place a day or two after her formal introduction in which Prince Edward and Joan would be technically wed, but due to the youth of the Prince of Wales and Joan’s recent arrival they would not have a formal marriage ceremony until Edward was ready to take up his duties as Prince of Wales.  Waynflete further stated that during this time a household for Joan would be established as part of the Queen’s and that tutors had been arranged so that Joan could learn the language and customs of England to better prepare her for her role as Queen.  The same day that Joan left Southampton, the Court left London headed for Winchester by way of Guildford.  It was late in the day on 29 November when the royal party arrived at Winchester Castle and took up residence.

The next day, 30 November, Bishop Waynflete joined Bishop Kempe and the Earl of Worcester in escorting Joan and the Portuguese party to Winchester Castle.  In the Great Hall, Richard welcomed the returning Bishop Kempe and the Earl of Worcester back to court thanking them for their near nine-month service to the Crown in their successful mission.  Bishop Kempe and Worcester thanked Richard for his welcome and expressed their gratitude for entrusting them with such an important matter.  They then introduced the Marquis of Valenca sent by his cousin, Afonso V of Portugal, to head the Portuguese party accompanying Joan to England whom Richard gladly received.  The Marquis of Valenca, who was followed into the Great Hall by Joan and the party of Portuguese knights and ladies, communicated to Richard the personal greetings of Afonso V to the King, the Queen, and his future brother Prince Edward at this most joyous occasion and by his authority presented the Infanta Joan to the Court.  Richard warmly welcomed Joan to England as well as Cicely who greeted the Infanta as a daughter, the King then called for the Prince of Wales to come forward.  Edward presented himself to Joan, personally welcoming her to England and pledging to treat her with honor as a Prince and husband should to a lady of such noble birth.  Joan pledged to be a worthy wife and consort so as not to bring shame upon Edward.  The Infanta then thanked the King for his wisdom in giving the matter of her marriage to the Prince of Wales into the hands of Bishop Kempe and the Earl of Worcester and on behalf of her brother and herself beg the forgiveness of keeping them so long away from presence of the King as any and all delays in negotiation and their departure were not of their doing.  Edward thanked Bishop Kempe and Worcester by asking Richard if he could be allowed to reward them for their service to Joan and himself.  Richard approved his son’s gift and added a sum to the Bishop Kempe and made Worcester the Constable of the Tower of London.  Joan then thanked Cicely for her warm welcome and hoped she would be a worthy daughter to the Queen as well as to live up to her example as consort.  Cicely thanked Joan and expressed that Joan was free to bring those ladies-in-waiting she had brought on her journey into her household so as to ease her transition into her new home to which the Infanta thanked her.  Richard then asked Edward and Joan to join him and the Queen on the dias, after which he welcomed the Portuguese ladies-in-waiting and knights to Court before inviting them to join a banquet in honor of Joan.  The Marquis of Valenca accepted the invitation and Richard dismissed Court to the banquet hall.  The next day, 1 December, Bishop Kempe assisted by Bishop Waynflete presided over a small ceremony witnessed by Richard, Cicely, the Marquis of Valenca, a Portuguese noblewoman, and Worcester in which Edward and Joan were wed.  After the ceremony, Joan was styled as the Lady Joan, Prince of Portugal, until her more formal wedding to Edward upon his full installation as Prince of Wales.  A few days later, the entire Court along with the Portuguese party started back for London.

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