The Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England


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Portrait of Elizabeth Woodville as Queen of England c.1472

April 10th 1492

“In Dei nomine, Amen. The Xth day of April, the year of our Lord God M cccc LXXXXII. I Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of England, late wife to the most victorious Prince of blessed memory Edward the Fourth, being of whole mind, seeing the world so transitory and no creature certain when they shall depart from hence, having Almighty God fresh in mind, in whom is all mercy and grace, bequeath my soul into his hands, beseeching him, of the same mercy, to accept it graciously, and our blessed Lady Queen of comfort, and all the holy company of heaven, to be good means for me.

I’tm, I bequeath my body to be buried with the body of my Lord at Windsor, according to the will of my said Lord and mine, without pomp entering or costly expenses done thereabout.

I’tm, where I have no worldly goods to do the Queen’s Grace, my dearest daughter, a pleaser with, neither to reward any of my children, according to my heart and mind, I beseech Almighty God to bless her grace, with all her noble issue, and with as good heart and mind as is to me possible, I give her Grace my blessing, and all the forsaid my children.

I’tm, I will that such small stuff and goods that I have to be disposed truly in the contentac’on (settling) of my debts and for the health of my soul, as far as they will extend.

I’tm, if any of my blood will of my said stuff or goods to me pertaining, I will that they have the preferment before any other.

And of this my present testament I make and ordain mine Executors, that is to say, John Ingilby, Prior of the Charterhouse of Sheen, William Sutton and Thomas Brente, Doctors. And I beseech my said dearest daughter, the Queen’s grace, and my son Thomas, Marques Dorset, to put their good wills and help for the performance of this my testament. In witness whereof, to this my present testament I have set my seal, these witnesses, John, Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Savior of Bermondsey, and Benedictus Cun, Doctor of Physick. Given the day and year abovesaid.”

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