Elizabeth Woodville was born to Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire.
Elizabeth’s father was created Baron Rivers.
Elizabeth married Sir John Grey
A son, Thomas, was born to Elizabeth and John Grey.
1455 (22nd May)
The Wars of the Roses
between the Lancastrians and Yorkists began. Elizabeth’s husband was pro Lancastrian.
A son, Richard, was born to Elizabeth and John Grey.
1461 (17th February)
Sir John Grey was killed fighting on the Lancastrian side in the second battle of St Albans leaving Elizabeth a widow with two young children. Unable to support herself because her husband’s lands had been confiscated, Elizabeth moved back to her family home at Grafton.
Elizabeth waited at a spot where she knew the king would pass. She pleaded with him to return her lands. King Edward
was struck by Elizabeth’s beauty.
1464 (1st May)
Elizabeth married Edward IV at Elizabeth’s family home in Northamptonshire. The marriage was kept secret from the royal court.
Edward announced his marriage. Edward’s chief minister, Warwick
, was angry with Edward because he had promised the French that Edward would seal their alliance with a royal marriage between the two countries.
Elizabeth Woodville was crowned Queen of England and Wales.
1466 (11th February)
A daughter, Elizabeth
, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster. She was known as Elizabeth of York.
Elizabeth’s father, Baron Rivers, was created treasurer.
1467 (11th August)
A daughter, Mary, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Windsor Castle.
1469 (20th March)
A daughter, Cecily, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1469 (late July)
Warwick captured Edward IV, and executed Baron Rivers and his son. With Edward in captivity he married his daughter to George Duke of Clarence
. Warwick then attempted to rule in Edward’s name but he was not supported by the nobility.
Warwick moved Edward IV to Middleham Castle where he remained under house arrest.
1469 (10th September)
Failing to gain the support of the nobility and with the country descending into disorder Warwick was forced to release Edward.
Edward and Warwick tried to work together but when Edward went against Warwick’s advice and restored Henry Percy to Northumberland their relationship broke down.
1470 (2nd October)
In the face of mounting opposition from Warwick, Edward fled to Burgundy. Elizabeth and her children sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey.
1470 (2nd November)
A son, Edward,
was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Westminster Abbey.
King Edward’s titles and lands were confiscated by Parliament.
1471 (14th March)
Edward IV returned to England, landing at Ravenspur in Yorkshire at the head of a Burgundian Yorkist army. He was joined by the Earl of Northumberland and his brother George Duke of Clarence who defected from Warwick.
1471 (25th June)
Elizabeth’s son, Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
1471 (21st May)
Edward IV returned triumphant to London. It is believed that Henry was murdered in the Tower of London on the same day. Margaret was placed under house arrest.
Prince Edward, heir to the throne, was sent to live with his Woodville relatives at Ludlow Castle.
1472 (10th April)
A daughter, Margaret, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Windsor Castle.
1472 (11th December)
Elizabeth’s daughter, Margaret, died.
1473 (17th August)
A son, Richard
, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Dominican Friary, Shrewsbury.
1474 (28th May)
Elizabeth’s son, Richard, was created Duke of York.
1474 (18th July)
Elizabeth’s son by her first marriage, Thomas Grey, married Cecily Bonville.
1475 (2nd November)
A daughter, Anne, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
Elizabeth’s husband Edward IV began an affair with Jane Shore, the attractive daughter of a London goldsmith.
A son, George, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1478 (15th January)
Richard, aged four, was married to Anne de Mowbray, Countess of Norfolk, aged five.
Elizabeth’s son, George, died at Windsor Castle.
1479 (8th July)
Elizabeth’s son, Edward, was created Earl of March.
1479 (14th August)
A daughter, Katherine, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
1480 (20th November)
A daughter, Bridget, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
1482 (23rd May)
Elizabeth’s daughter, Mary, died at Greenwich Palace, Westminster.
1483 (9th Easter)
Edward became ill. He nominated his brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester
to be regent for his young son Edward in the event of his death.
1483 (9th April)
King Edward died at the Palace of Westminster. He was succeeded by his son, Edward.
1483 (24th April)
Elizabeth’s son, Edward, began the journey south to London escorted by his Woodville family. The Woodvilles were keen to get Edward to London and have him crowned so as not to lose power.
1483 (30th April)
Edward IV’s brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester, nominated Protector, met Edward V and his party as they were travelling south. Richard arrested Elizabeth’s father, Earl Rivers as well as Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan and sent them north where they were placed in captivity. Richard then took Edward into his custody and continued on to the Tower of London.
1483 (1st May)
Elizabeth took her son Richard, her five daughters and her brother Lionel and sought sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.
1483 (4th May)
Edward V and Richard Duke of Gloucester reached London. This day had originally been intended for the coronation ceremony. The coronation was re-scheduled for 22nd June.
1483 (19th May)
Elizabeth’s son, Edward V was housed in the Tower of London to await his coronation.
1483 (13th June)
William Hastings, a Woodville supporter, was summoned to a Council meeting in the Tower of London. He was charged with treason and executed without trial on the same day.
1483 (16th June)
Elizabeth was persuaded to pass her son Richard into the custody of Richard Duke of Gloucester possibly in order to maintain the safety of her other children. Prince Richard joined his brother in the Tower of London.
1483 (17th June)
Richard postponed the King’s coronation to October.
1483 (22nd June)
Ralph Shaw preached a sermon stating that Edward IV had been contracted to marry Eleanor Butler when he married Elizabeth Woodville and that the marriage was therefore invalid and his children all illegitimate.
1483 (25th June)
Parliament declared that as Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was invalid and the children of Richard of Gloucester’s older brother, George Duke of Clarence had been denied succession rights, then Richard was the rightful King. Elizabeth lost her royal status and became Dame Elizabeth Grey.
1483 (25th June)
Elizabeth’s father, Earl Rivers was found guilty of treason and executed the same day. Her son by her first husband, Richard Grey was executed at Pontefract Castle.
1483 (26th June)
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, took the throne as Richard III.
Elizabeth’s sons, Edward and Richard were last seen playing in the gardens of the Tower.
1483 (6th July)
Richard was crowned King Richard III. The princes Edward and Richard did not attend the coronation.
Elizabeth’s two sons, Edward and Richard disappeared. They were thought to have been murdered by their uncle.
Elizabeth made an alliance with Margaret Beaufort
mother of Henry Tudor
the last Lancastrian heir. She agreed to support Henry’s claim to the throne if he would marry her eldest daughter Elizabeth of York.
Henry Tudor publicly swore an oath in the cathedral in Rennes, that he would marry Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth of York once he had secured the English throne for himself.
An act of parliament stripped Elizabeth of the lands she had been given by Edward IV.
1484 (1st March)
Elizabeth and her daughters came out of sanctuary after Richard publicly swore an oath that Elizabeth and her daughters would not be harmed or imprisoned.
1485 (16th March)
Richard’s wife, Anne Neville died. It was rumoured that Richard might marry his niece, Elizabeth of York.
1485 (22nd August)
Battle of Bosworth Field
This decisive battle between the forces of Henry Tudor and Richard III, saw Richard killed and Henry proclaimed King Henry VII on the battlefield.
1486 (18th January)
Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth of York married Henry VII of England and Wales in Westminster Abbey.
1486 (20th September)
Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince Arthur
1487 (12th February)
Elizabeth entered Bermondsey Abbey as a nun.
1489 (28th November)
Elizabeth’s granddaughter, Princess Margaret
1491 (28th June)
Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince Henry was born.
1492 (8th June)
Elizabeth died at Bermondsey Abbey.
1492 (12th June)
Elizabeth was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.