Cecilia (1469–1507)

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Cecilia (1469–1507)

English princess. Name variations: Cecily Plantagenet. Born Cecilia on March 20, 1469; died on August 24, 1507, at Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, England; third daughter of Edward IV, king of England, and Elizabeth Woodville; betrothed to James IV, king of Scots, 1474; betrothed to Alexander Stewart, 1st duke of Albany, 1482; married John Welles, 1st viscount Welles, in December 1487; married Thomas Kymbe or Kyne, of the Isle of Wight, in 1502; children: (first marriage) two; (second marriage) two.

The daughter of Edward IV, king of England, and Elizabeth Woodville , Cecilia became a pawn in England's struggles with Scotland and the War of the Roses. To secure an alliance with Scotland in 1474, she was betrothed as a five-year-old to the future James IV, son of James III, king of Scots. In 1482, she was 13 years old when she was betrothed to James IV's brother, Alexander Stewart, 1st duke of Albany. Following the death of her father the king in 1483, Cecilia's 13-year-old brother Edward V became king, though his uncle, Richard, duke of Gloucester, had other plans. By force, he became the young king's protector and eventually usurped the throne as Richard III. Fearing for her children's lives, Elizabeth Woodville fled the palace and sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey—accompanied by her son Richard, duke of York, Cecilia, and her other daughters. But Richard III soon sent both of Cecilia's brothers to the Tower of London; the fate of young Richard and Edward is still unknown. In 1484, Cecilia surrendered to her uncle. In 1486, she was "taken into favor" by Richard's successor, Henry VII, and married John Welles, 1st viscount Welles, in December 1487.