Anne of Brittany and the prince that disappeared

Anne of Brittany was born in 1477. Her dad was of course very happy to have a legitimate child, but the fact that she was a girl made things more difficult, because only legitimate sons could heir the throne. Four years later in 1480 he got his second daughter Isabelle of Brittany.

In 1480 when Anne was not even 4 years old she was promised to Edward V (2 November 1470 – c.1483) who was about 10 at the time and who was supposed to become the king of England after his dad Edward the IV of England.

Coat of Arms of Edward V. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, with a label of three points Argent.

Coat of Arms of Edward V. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, with a label of three points Argent.

Young Edward V with coronation attire. (he was never crowned though)

Young Edward V with coronation attire. (he was never crowned though)

Edward V with regalia (he was never crowned king though)

Edward V with regalia (he was never crowned king though)

Three years later in 1883 Edward the IV of England died of either pneumonia or typhoid, but he managed to appoint his younger brother Richard III as protector of his young son Edward V who would now have to succeed his dad while he was just 13 year old.  But instead of protecting him and his younger his uncle imprisoned him in the tower of London and the boys disappeared (presumable killed) not even a year after their fathers death!

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Edward V and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury were 12 and 9 when they were lodged in the tower of London.

Richard III also made sure to have the marriage of his brother with Elizabeth Woodville annulled so that all their 10 children were bastardized. After that he would be the legitimate heir to the throne, because illegitimate children couldn’t inherit from their fathers.

I thought it was quite shocking any uncle could do such a horrible to such young kids especially to family.

All this meant that Anne needed a new partner. At those times being married to the right partner and give him sons was the most important thing for noble women at that time.

Promising Anne of Brittany seemed smart at the time because Edward IV of England fought against the king of France Louis XI as well so it made sense to see the enemy of ones enemy as a friend. Edward V of England was also “only” 7 years older than Anne which to us sounds like a considerable age difference especially when many girls were married off at the age of 14 but at that times girls were married off to men that were considerably older if their land and title was appealing enough to the parents.

So who would Anne of Brittany end up with now? She had several other offers at least. Who her other suitors were I will write about later :).

little bonus 🙂 :

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