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Tudor, Owen

Tudor, Owen (c.1400–61). A humble Welsh servant of Catherine of Valois, widow of Henry V, he secretly married her about 1428. Their first-born Edmund was the father of Henry VII. There is probably no truth in the rumour that the real father of Edmund Tudor was Edmund Beaufort, whose close friendship with Catherine was brought to a hasty end shortly before the marriage. Tudor's sons were promoted by their half-brother Henry VI. Owen Tudor was a victim of the Wars of the Roses, executed by Edward, earl of March (later Edward IV), at Hereford following the battle of Mortimer's Cross. On the scaffold he is reputed to have declared, ‘That head shall lie on the stock that was wont to lie on Queen Catherine's lap.’

Anthony James Pollard

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Tudor, Owen

Owen Tudor, d. 1461, founder of the Tudor dynasty. He belonged to an ancient Welsh family. He was a squire at the court of Henry V, and, probably in 1429, he married Henry's widow, Catherine of Valois, by whom he had five children. Twice imprisoned by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, during Henry VI's minority, he finally escaped to Wales, although Henry later made provision for him in England. Owen, a faithful Lancastrian in the Wars of the Roses (see Roses, Wars of the), was beheaded by the Yorkists after their victory at Mortimer's Cross.

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