Catherine Woodville, Duchess of Buckingham

Catherine Woodville (also spelled Wydville, Wydeville, or Widvile[nb 1]) (c. 1458[1] – 18 May 1497[2]) was an English medieval noblewoman. She was the sister-in-law of King Edward IV of England and gave birth to several illustrious children. Catherine was the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. When her sister Elizabeth married King Edward IV, the King elevated and promoted many members of the Woodville family. Elizabeth Woodville's household records for 1466/67 indicate that Catherine was being raised in the queen's household.

Catherine Woodville
Duchess of Buckingham
Duchess of Bedford
Countess of Pembroke
Cardiff castle - Eingangshalle 1b Erkerfenster.jpg
Catherine with her second husband Jasper Tudor on stained glass windows in Cardiff Castle
Bornc. 1458
Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, Kingdom of England
Died18 May 1497 (aged 38–39)
Noble familyWoodville
Spouse(s)Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford
Sir Richard Wingfield
FatherRichard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
MotherJacquetta of Luxembourg

Sometime before the coronation of Elizabeth in May 1465, Catherine was married to Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham; both were still children. A contemporary description of Elizabeth Woodville's coronation relates that Catherine and her husband were carried on squires' shoulders due to their youth. According to Dominic Mancini, Buckingham resented his marriage to a woman of inferior birth. However, the couple had four children:

In 1483, Buckingham first allied himself to the Duke of Gloucester, helping him succeed to the throne as King Richard III, and then to Henry Tudor, leading an unsuccessful rebellion in his name. Buckingham was executed for treason on 2 November 1483.

After Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor at Bosworth in 1485, Catherine married the new king's uncle Jasper Tudor on 7 November 1485.[3]

After Jasper's death in 1495 - not later than 24 February 1496,[4] - Catherine married Sir Richard Wingfield, who outlived her.

Depiction in fictionEdit

Catherine is the main protagonist in Susan Higginbotham's 2010 historical novel The Stolen Crown. She is briefly mentioned in Philippa Gregory's historical novels The White Queen (2009), The Red Queen (2010), and The White Princess (2013).


  1. ^ Her brother Richard's 1492 postmortem inquisition names her as being “34 or more”, placing her birthdate at about 1458. See Calendar of Inquisitions Post-Mortem, Henry VII, vol. I, No. 681 (Richard, Earl of Ryvers).
  2. ^ Pugh, p. 241.
  3. ^ Richard Marius, Thomas More: A Biography, (Harvard University Press, 1984), 119.
  4. ^ Davies


  1. ^ Although spelling of the family name is usually modernised to "Woodville", it was spelled "Wydeville" in contemporary publications by Caxton and her tomb at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle is inscribed thus; "Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth Widvile".
  • Call, Michel L. (2005). The royal ancestry bible : a 3,400 pedigree chart compilation (plus index and appendix) containing royal ancestors of 300 colonial American families who are themselves ancestors of 70 million Americans (1st ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: M.L. Call. ISBN 1933194227. (chart 806)
  • Nicholls, C.S.; Le May, G H L, eds. (1993). "Henry Stafford, Second Duke of Buckingham". The Dictionary of national biography (Reprinted ed.). Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198652113.
  • Myers, A R (1967). "The household of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, 1466-7". Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 50 (1): 207–235. ISSN 0301-102X.
  • Pugh, T B (1963). The Marcher Lordships of South Wales 1415-1536. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0708301150.
  • Smith, George, ed. (1975) [1935]. The coronation of Elizabeth Wydeville, Queen Consort of Edward IV, on May 26th, 1465 : a contemporary account set forth from a XV century manuscript. Cliftonville (57 Clarence Ave., Cliftonville, Kent): Gloucester Reprints. ISBN 0904586006.CS1 maint: location (link)