Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A 14th Great Grandmother, Anne, Duchess of Exeter, and Her Two Husbands. Williamson Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamson's
Tonight we read about a 14th Great Grandmother, Anne Plantagenet.  She was quite the woman and older sister to King Edward IV.

We begin with the Relationship Chart:

Anne Plantagenet (1439 - 1476)
is our 14th great grandmother
Daughter of Anne
Daughter of Anne
Son of Margaret
Son of Giles
Daughter of Sir John
Son of Grace
Son of Edmund
Daughter of Thomas
Son of Rebecca
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Mathew
Son of George Matthew
William Jonathan Williamson (1858-1934) married Effie Helen Victor (1867-1944)
to their children
Ima Della, Vinnie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie Elvery, Emmett, Walter, Charles, Maurice

Anne, Duchess of Exeter, was the oldest of the children of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. She was born on August 10, 1439, at Fotheringhay—the same castle in which her youngest surviving sibling, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, would be born in 1452. In 1446, when she was six, she was married to fifteen-year-old Henry Holland, who would shortly become the second Duke of Exeter. The Duke of York offered a large marriage portion—4,500 marks--probably because Henry VI was childless at the time, putting the young Henry Holland in line for the throne. Only 1,000 marks of the portion were paid. It was a poor investment in any case, for Exeter proved to be solidly Lancastrian. He also seems to have been exceptionally quarrelsome, falling out with his father-in-law and with all manner of people during the 1450’s and serving time in the Tower. Among those with whom he seems not to have gotten on well with was his own wife. The couple had one child, Anne Holland, but evidently lived most of their lives apart.

Exeter was attainted in 1461 and eventually joined Margaret of Anjou in exile abroad. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Exeter was granted the duke’s Holland inheritance for life. For a brief time beginning in 1464, she had the custody of the nine-year-old Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, a ward of the crown. Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville later that year. Probably around Easter 1465, he transferred Harry to the care of his queen, whose youngest sister Harry married.

The Duchess of Exeter’s young daughter, Anne, had been promised in marriage to George Neville, a nephew of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. George at the time had the potential to be a quite wealthy young man, as the Earl of Warwick had no sons and the Neville lands were entailed in the male line. Elizabeth Woodville, however, wanted the heiress Anne for her own eldest son, Thomas Grey. She paid the Duchess of Exeter 4,000 marks to break the contract with the Neville family. This was certainly sharp business practice on the queen’s part, but it was hardly unusual for the times: rich young heirs and heiresses were hot commodities. Certainly Elizabeth could not have made the arrangement without the approval of Edward IV, the Duchess of Exeter’s brother. The Duchess of Exeter was no less keen to look after her own interests than the queen: as part of the marriage arrangements, the Holland inheritance was settled on little Anne, with a remainder interest in the duchess herself and in the heirs of her own body.

During the Readeption of Henry VI in 1471, the Duke of Exeter moved back into his London house of Coldharbour, which had been granted to the Duchess of Exeter during his exile. Probably the Duchess of Exeter prudently took herself off to one of her other residences during this period.

The Duke of Exeter fought with the Earl of Warwick at Barnet in 1471. There he was badly injured and was left for dead on the battlefield until a servant discovered signs of life in him and took him to a surgeon. He was later smuggled into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey, but Edward IV removed him and imprisoned him in the Tower of London. While her husband was still a prisoner, in 1472, the Duchess of Exeter took the opportunity to have their marriage annulled. Presumably the Church did not recognize allegiance to the house of Lancaster as a basis for an annulment, but the actual grounds are not known.

The duchess soon remarried. Like her brother the king, she married a social inferior—in her case, Thomas St. Leger, a knight who had probably been her lover for some time. As Anne Crawford notes, Edward IV had been showing St. Leger a great deal of favor for many years, including a substantial grant of eight manors in the early 1460’s. He was no gigolo, however; he served Edward IV militarily and administratively for years.

In 1474, the duchess’s child by the Duke of Exeter died, triggering the duchess’s remainder interest in her lands. The following year, Edward IV set off on an expedition to France, which ended in a peace treaty instead of the anticipated military engagement. Anticlimactic for most people, the expedition was fatal to one—the Duke of Exeter. He had been released from the Tower and allowed to join the expedition, presumably so he could prove his loyalty to the king in battle, but on the return journey, he was drowned. Whether his death was accidental or murder is unknown, though rumors of the latter abounded.

The Duchess of Exeter, meanwhile, had a daughter by Thomas St. Leger in late 1475 or in January 1476. The little girl, named Anne like her mother and her deceased half-sister, soon became motherless, for the duchess died in January 1476, possibly in or soon after childbirth. She was buried in the Chapel of St. George at Windsor.

Following his wife’s death, St. Leger remained on good terms with his brother-in-law the king. He served as Edward IV’s controller of the mint and as master of the king’s harthounds. In 1481, he was granted a license to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains at the Chapel of St. George, in memory of his wife. He never remarried.

Thomas Grey, the Marquess of Dorset, who had married the Duchess of Exeter’s eldest daughter, Anne Holland, had remarried after the young girl’s death and now had a son of his own, who was contracted to young Anne St. Leger. The arrangement under which Anne was be deemed the heir to the Exeter estates was formalized in an Act of Parliament in January 1483. Richard Grey, Dorset’s younger brother, also benefited from the Act, in which part of the Exeter inheritance, worth about 500 marks, was set aside for him. The loser in this transaction was Ralph, Lord Neville, who was the heir of the Holland family, although since the Duke of Exeter had been attainted, the crown had some justification in treating his inheritance as it liked.

This arrangement fell apart when Richard III took the throne in July 1483. Thomas St. Leger attended the new king’s coronation and was given cloth of silver and velvet for the occasion, but he was soon afterward deprived of his positions of master of harthounds and controller of the mint. His daughter, meanwhile, was ordered to be handed over to the Duke of Buckingham. Perhaps, as Michael Hicks has suggested, Buckingham had the girl in mind as a bride for his own eldest son. This never came to pass either, of course, for both St. Leger and Buckingham ended up in rebellion against the new king.

St. Leger has been criticized for his lack of loyalty to Richard III, but Richard, having removed him from his offices, had given him no reason to remain loyal. Moreover, St. Leger had been unshakably faithful to Edward IV and, like many of the other rebels, was undoubtedly distressed at Edward V having disappeared from sight after having been deprived of his crown.

Unlike many of the rebels, who gave up the fight after Buckingham’s execution on November 2, St. Leger continued the fight in Exeter, but was ultimately captured. He was executed on November 13, 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf. St. Leger, described by the Crowland chronicler as a “most noble knight,” was buried with his wife Anne at Windsor. They are depicted here:

One last bit of business remained: the disinheritance of Anne St. Leger. In 1484, Richard III’s only Parliament overturned the acts under which Anne had been declared the heir to the Exeter estates. The beneficiary, however, was not the Exeter heir, Ralph Neville, but the crown itself.

Poorer but still well connected, Anne St. Leger ultimately married Sir George Manners, Lord Ros. Their eldest son, Thomas Manners, became the first Earl of Rutland. It is this earl’s countess who is credited with telling the supposedly sexually naive Anne of Cleves, “Madam, there must be more than this, or it will be long or we have a duke of York, which al this realm most desireth.”

Sunday's Photo Album

 The Wrapping Hides the Treasure Inside

 From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today is a first for me (and how often can you say that when you are past your peak and on the slippery downgrade to oblivion?).  I'm wearing my first pair of honest to goodness bifocals.  They have the demarcation line running through the lower half of each lens. By looking down I see through the reading glasses and by looking up and over the line, I can see into the distance. Both my grandmothers wore bifocals.  I use to tease them about that line running through their lenses. 
"Someday it will be your turn," they replied.  "Ya, well today isn't someday," I'd toss back with all the "gotcha" my youthful sarcastic nature could muster.

How Quickly it Passes.

Today is Someday.  Now it is my turn.  And to our younger readers I repeat what was said to me, "Someday it will be your turn."  That darn pesky Time has crept upon me like an unwanted guest and twinkle by twinkle,  stole away my semi perfect vision.

I've recently notice that Time has also been using my face as a canvas to study geriatric art.  Every week I notice another line where their wasn't one before and a sag accentuated with crow's feet.   It's comical the way we slowly disintegrate piece by piece until there is nothing left except Earth to Earth and Ashes to Ashes.

On a side note, I'm only now noticing how my head bobs up and down as I type this post.  The bifocal line keeps appearing right across the computer screen.   I know what you're thinking, a bobbing head is the next indicator of Death's hand upon your shoulder.  You may be right.  I'll think about it as I fall asleep in my rocker recliner. 
Pictures from Sunday's Album     

Gather around and let me show you a few pictures from the Sunday Albums.  We start with a few pictures from Lake Powell taken in the late 1980's

A Favorite Picture of my sister.
Kim DelGrosso at Lake Powell.

Joseph Mattson, Jacob Mattson and Brandon DelGrosso.

 Jacob and Kirk Mattson.  Kirk's tuned out.  
(By the way, the thing in his hand is called a cassette tape.  We used cassette tapes to hold our music and played them in things called Walkmans).

We move ahead several years to Kirk Mattson's Missionary Farewell.

Before leaving for church.  Candace, Angie, Camille and Gina Mattson.  
Gina wasn't please to have the photo taken.  Can you hear what she is thinking?
"OK, done yet?"  
Notice how far her sisters sit away from her on the loveseat?  I'm implying nothing,
Just making an observation  :) 

 Jacob, Kirk and Joseph Mattson 
Jake and Joe are smiling knowing Kirk would soon be leaving and they'd get the Nintendo all to themselves.

Sorry Aunt Bev.  
She hates to have her photo taken so I need to apologize for taking this 
(even though it was over twenty years ago).

 Forrest DelGrosso, Branson DelGrosso and Jake Mattson outside the church

 The gathering after.  Chaz Bodily enjoying a cookie.  The secret to keeping Chaz happy was copious amounts of sugar.
The Gathering After was held at the Mattson Home in American Fork

Can't shove it in fast enough to feed these growing boys.
Jake Mattson and Brandon DelGrosso

Kirk, with just a few of his admirers.

Finally from this Weekend's Sunday Album, Kim's Birthday

A few shots from Kim Williamson DelGrosso's birthday.  Don't know the exact year.

 Happy Birthday Kim

Candace Mattson, Chaz Bodily, Jake Mattson and Ashley DelGrosso. 
 Notice Chaz is without sugar?
Notice his attitude?

Uncle John at the Birthday Bash.  Angie Mattson is on the left waving her fork about 
while making a point about something.  Don't know what  :)

The Best of April's Photos

A short slide show of the best of this month's Sunday Photos.


September 13, 2014
Digitally enhanced photos from the story above......