Thursday, July 03, 2008

More Randomness

I've been pretty busy on the research front in the last few days, so this will be another random blog post. ('Fess up. You really like them.)

First, I was much amused to see, in the section of our local paper that's devoted to anniversaries and weddings, that a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary had a ceremony in which they "renewed their vowels."

Second, I've been going absolutely bonkers trying to figure out when Harry, Duke of Buckingham's mother (Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford, cousin to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond) died. Various Internet genealogical sites give a date of 1474, but none give a source, and many of the same sites get his father's death date wrong, so they're a bit suspect. The Patent Rolls and the Close Rolls, usually quite helpful, don't give a clue, nor do the searchable National Archives. You'd think that a duke's mother would be less obscure, but not in Harry's case.

Third, I'm enjoying my Harleian MSS. Richard III has a reputation as being straitlaced, but some of his clerks were evidently less so. Here's a ribald little ditty (translated by the editors from the Latin) that one of them scribbled on some parchment:

One cock satisfies three or five hens
But no woman is sated with three or five men.

3 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I wonder if the clerk spoke from experience. ;)

Alianore said...

I like your random posts!

It's odd that Buckingham's mother is so obscure.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Gabriele, I should have mentioned that the ditty comes only a short interval after the letter in which Richard discusses Thomas Lymon's intent to marry Jane Shore. Was that the inspiration?

Thanks, Alianore!

It is odd about Buckingham's mother. One nonprimary source (the VCH) describes her as an "imbecile," but its source seems to be a lawsuit where her second husband boarded her with his mother for a time. One just can't tell from the suit whether she was actually mentally ill or whether she was simply in poor physical health or pregnant.