3 Annotations

First Reading

Alan Bedford  •  Link

From the 1911 Encyclopedia:

" (d. 1527), mistress of the English king Edward IV., is said to have been the daughter of Thomas Wainstead, a prosperous London mercer. She was well brought up, and married young to William Shore, a goldsmith. She attracted the notice of Edward IV., and soon after 1470, leaving her husband, she became the king's mistress. Edward called her the merriest of his concubines, and she exercised great influence; but, says More, " never abused it to any man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort and relief." After Edward's death she was mistress to Thomas Grey, marquess of Dorset, son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband. She also had relations with William Hastings, and may perhaps have been the intermediary between him and the Woodvilles. At all events she had political importance enough to incur the hostility of Richard of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III., who accused her of having practised sorcery against him in collusion with the queen and Hastings. Richard had her put to public penance, but the people pitied her for her loveliness and womanly patience; her husband was dead, and now in poverty and disgrace she became a prisoner in London. There Thomas Lynom, the king's solicitor, was smitten with her, and wished to make her his wife, but was apparently dissuaded. Jane Shore survived till 1527; in her last days she had to " beg a living of many that had begged if she had not been." More, who knew her in old age when she was " lean, withered and dried up," says that in youth she was " proper and fair, nothing in her body that you would have changed, but if you would have wished her somewhat higher." Her greatest charm was, however, her pleasant behaviour; for she was " merry in company, ready and quick of answer." She figured much in 16th-century literature, notably in the Mirrour for Magistrates, and in Thomas Heywood's Edward IV."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

SHORE, JANE (d. 1527) mistress of Edward IV; daughter of a Cheapside mercer and wife of Lombard Street goldsmith; exercised great influence over Edward IV by her beauty and wit; afterward mistress of Thomas Grey, first marquis of Dorset; accused by Richard III of sorcery, imprisoned and made to do penance, 1483; died in poverty; two portraits of her at Eton, which she is said to have saved from destruction.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Bill  •  Link

This lady was born of reputable parents in London, was well educated, and married to a substantial citizen; but unhappily, views of interest, more than the maid's inclinations, had been consulted in the match, and her mind, though framed for virtue, had proved unable to resist the allurements of Edward, who solicited her favours. But while seduced from her duty by this gay and amorous monarch, she still made herself respectable by her other virtues; and the ascendant which her charms and vivacity long maintained over him, was all employed in acts of beneficence and humanity. She was still forward to oppose calumny, to protect the oppressed, to relieve the indigent; and her good offices, the genuine dictates of her heart, never waited the solicitation of presents, or the hopes of reciprocal services. But she lived not only to feel the bitterness of shame imposed on her by this tyrant, but to experience, in old age and poverty, the ingratitude of those courtiers who had long solicited her friendship, and been protected by her credit. No one, among the great multitudes whom she had obliged, had the humanity to bring her consolation or relief: She languished out her life in solitude and indigence: And amidst a court, inured to the most atrocious crimes, the frailties of this woman justified all violations of friendship towards her, and all neglect of former obligations.
The History of England. David Hume. 1792.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.