Today, 25 August, in 1485, execution by beheading of William Catesby in Leicester, at the age of about 35. He was the son of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers and Philippa Bishopston.
Catesby and one of Richard III closest friends and advisors. Catesby had been captured at the Battle of Bosworth or soon after.
Just before his execution Catesby made his last will, leaving its fulfilment entirely to his wife, 'to whom, I have ever been true of my body.' He wished his wife to restore all the land he had wrongfully purchased, and to divide the rest of his property among their children. 'I doubt not, the king will be good and gracious lord to them; for he is called a full gracious prince, and I never offended him by my good and free will, for God I take to my judge I have ever loved him.' And even more remarkable he wrote : 'My lords Stanley, Strange, and all that blood, help and pray for my soul, for ye have not for my body as I trusted in you. Perhaps suggesting he had surrendered to the Stanleys who had promised him protection but broke word and handed him to Henry for execution.
Catesby lands were confiscated but eventually in 1496 restored to his son George. Catesby was buried in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin and Leodigarius in Ashby-St-Ledgers.
I'm very excited and pleased to announce that, to commemorate the Battle of Bosworth, you can now order a limited-edition print of a unique Richard III painting exclusively done for The Wars of the Roses Catalogue by the amazing artist Dmitry Yakhovsky. There are only 50 prints available, so don't miss out and order one now on the website! To order it click HERE
Here you can see the process of painting:
Without encountering any obstacle at sea, Henry Tudor and his c. 4000 followers had sailed from the coast of Harfleur arriving safely at Mill Bay, along the rocky Pembrokeshire coastline after a 6-days journey on 7 August 1485.
Preparations had been going on for their arrival and amongst those waiting on the shore was Jasper’s half-brother and Henry’s uncle, the 26-year-old David Owen, illegitimate son of Owen Tudor who had spent the first years of his life with Henry at Pembroke Castle.
Henry’s mixed sense of relief and anxiety was obvious. He then ‘kissed the ground meekly, and reverently made the sign of the cross upon him’. Soon after their landing Henry also decided to knight eight of his foremost followers – his uncles David Owen and John, Lord Welles, Philibert de Chandée, James Blount, Edward Courtenay, John Cheyne, Edward Poynings and John Fort.
Their first task was to climb up the steep sea cliff, followed by the decision to go the village of Dale and its castle and set up camp in the village. According to Henry’s biographer Bernard André, Henry, perhaps especially mindful of his French troops, reprimanded his men not to do anything to others, ‘either by word or by deed, which you not wish to have done to yourselves’. Rules of war were crucial if authority was to be maintained and order kept.
Both Jasper and John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford inspected the French troops in order to determine what gear and weaponry they were short of. It was probably, the constable of Pembroke, Richard Williams, who hastened 200 miles over 4 days, to King Richard at Nottingham and told him the news about their landing. Good news also came, the people of Pembroke ‘were ready to serve Jaspar ther erle’.
|The Wars of the Roses Catalogue|