DEAD: Elizabeth of York

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Elizabeth of York (aged 37)

Queen of England

Elizabeth of York (11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503) was the wife of Henry VII, and thus the first Tudor queen. She was the daughter of Edward IV and his wife Elizabeth Woodville, and niece of Richard III. She married Henry VII in 1485, following the latter’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which started the last phase of the Wars of the Roses. Together, Elizabeth and Henry had a total of four sons, three of whom died before their father, leaving their brother, Henry VIII, to succeed his father as king.

DEATH: In 1502 Elizabeth of York became pregnant once more and spent her confinement period in the Tower of London. On 2 February 1503, she gave birth to a daughter, Katherine, but the child died a few days afterwards. Succumbing to a post partum infection, Elizabeth of York died on 11 February, her 37th birthday. Her husband and children appear to have mourned her death deeply. According to one account, Henry Tudor “privily departed to a solitary place and would no man should resort unto him.” This is notable considering that, shortly after Elizabeth’s death, records show he became extremely ill himself and would not allow any except his mother Margaret Beaufort near him. For Henry Tudor to show his emotions, let alone any sign of infirmity, was highly unusual and alarming to members of his court.

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