Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville was the first child of Sir Richard Woodville (later the first Earl Rivers) and Jaquetta of Luxembourg. She was a maid of honour to Margaret of Anjou. Her first marriage was to Sir John Grey of Groby (died in battle 1461). She secretly married King Edward IV of England in April 1464, and was crowned Queen in May 1465. Two months earlier she had become patroness of the College "as true foundress by right of succession." She gave the College its first Statutes in 1475.

The portrait of her (shown here) is probably taken from life, and was extensively reproduced. The College has three copies. She is shown posed in the high fashion of the day, with strained back hair and a partial veil.

Queens' had thus been founded first by Margaret, a Lancastrian queen, then refounded by Elizabeth, a Yorkist queen, thus surviving the Wars of the Roses.

The connection with her is remembered in the name Woodville Room given to the MCR at Queens'.


The Arms of Elizabeth Woodville

Quarterly of six:

  1. Argent, a lion rampant double-queued gules crowned or (for Luxembourg);
  2. Quarterly,
    i and iv, Gules, an estoile argent;
    ii and iii, France Ancient (for Baux);
  3. Barry of ten argent and azure, a lion rampant gules (for Cyprus);
  4. Gules, three bends argent, on a chief per fess argent and or a rose gules (for Ursins);
  5. Gules, three pales vair, on a chief or a label of five points azure (for StPol);
  6. Argent, a fess and a canton conjoined gules (for Woodville).

The first five quarterings are taken from her mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, daughter of Peter, Count of StPol.


Links for Elizabeth Woodville

Links for King Edward IV of England