Richard III Research and Discussion Archive

Witness to EIV & ETB marriage

2018-06-13 18:50:23
Nance Crawford
(can't get through Yahoo's hoops, as usual.) Of course there was a priest to witness the pledge troth, which was a marriage. Stillington. Keeper of the Seal - where the king went, the Seal went. If EIV insisted Stillington vow silence? Done. Nance

Re: Witness to EIV & ETB marriage

2018-06-13 20:19:02
mariewalsh2003

Nance wrote:

Of course there was a priest to witness the pledge troth, which was a marriage. Stillington. Keeper of the Seal - where the king went, the Seal went. If EIV insisted Stillington vow silence? Done.


Marie:

Sorry, Nance, but a priest was categorically not needed to make a valid marriage at that period. It may seem strange but it's true. The church asked people to marry publicly in church, after banns, with a priest as witness, but it didn't hold marriages made in the old-fashioned way, without benefit of clergy, to be invalid. Because of the prohibition on priests participating in clandestine marriages, almost all such marriages were made without a priest.

Commines tells us that Stillington, and Stillington alone, witnessed the marriage, but because of the above that must be a little suspect, though of course it isn't impossible - it can be difficult to say no to the king. Also, at least two witnesses were normally roped in as, in the case of a dispute about whether the marriage had taken place, that was the minimum number required to give evidence to the bishop's court. The reason for this is that the judges would question the witnesses separately to make sure their stories agreed.

So Eleanor would have been wanting the marriage properly witnessed, while Edward would have been trying to make sure it would never be disclosed.

You're right that Stillington was keeper of the Privy Seal at this period. Whether he really went everywhere with the King I can't say. Later, when he was Lord Chancellor, the King was always having to take the Great Seal off him when he was away from court because Stillington wasn't well enough to travel. Handing over the Great Seal was a formal procedure, which was witnessed and recorded, so we know when it happened. There don't seem to be similar records relating to the Privy Seal so I'm afraid I can't really comment any further.

Re: Witness to EIV & ETB marriage

2018-06-14 16:00:07
Paul Trevor Bale
Thanks Nance for jumping in before I could. Stillington is the key to it all, hence Henry VII's going after him.I've always felt he was the one who told Richard, not being able to watch a bastard take the crown the best man in the kingdom deserved.Paul


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Le 13 juin 2018 à 19:49, 'Nance Crawford' Nance@... [] <> a écrit :

(can't get through Yahoo's hoops, as usual.) Of course there was a priest to witness the pledge troth, which was a marriage. Stillington. Keeper of the Seal - where the king went, the Seal went. If EIV insisted Stillington vow silence? Done. Nance