Edward V's name in a genealogical context?

Started by Remi Trygve Pedersen on Monday, August 22, 2011


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8/23/2011 at 12:18 PM

After a request to change the content of my first message in this discussion, since it could be interpreted in a way that was not intended, I will try to write a new message.

This is an invitation to discuss if the name "Edward V of England" is the best name to use as his main name here on Geni, or if it can be some other name that he used. I will not put forward any suggestions at this moment, since I would like this to be an open discussion, but I will write some questions.

He lived for 13 years and was only known as Edward V of Englanf for 2 1/2 month. So he must have used other names before he became a king. What were the names he used?

His father was not King of England when Edward was born Nov. 2nd 1470, nor was he Duke of York since that title was merge with the crown in 1461. So what would be Edwards full name at birth?

His father became king again April 11th 1471, did Edward change names and/or titles at this time?

Are there other events in Edwards life that could make his name and/or title change?

I hope many of you will engage in this discussion since I think it is interesting in the broader picture of which name to choose as a persons main name in our genealogy, the first, the last, the most commonly known, the one longest used or another name?

8/23/2011 at 12:56 PM

Since Edward IV was still legally a king, I think we're safe with "of England".

8/23/2011 at 2:30 PM

Would Henry VI also still legally be the king between 1461 and 1470? Isn't Henrys situation between 1461 and 1470 very similar to Edward IV situtaion 1470-1471?

8/23/2011 at 3:55 PM

As a non-partisan, neither a Lancastrian nor a Yorkist, yes. That would be the argument I'd want to make. Today, we have the luxury of sitting on the fence ;)

8/23/2011 at 4:12 PM

That didn't help me much, Justin. In the timeperiod 1461-1471, did England have 2 legally kings? I think a lot of people would disagree that England could have 2 kings at the same time. What is the commonly recognized interpretation by historians of who was the king of England during this timeperiod?

8/23/2011 at 8:17 PM

Yes, England had two kings 1461-1471, although only one of them held power at a time.

Both of Henry and Edward had been recognized by Parliament, both had been crowned, and more importantly for legal purposes at the time, both had been consecrated.

Both were deposed by force and attainted, but neither abdicated. In 1461 Henry fled to Scotland. Edward argued Henry had effectively abdicated by fleeing. When Henry was captured in 1465, there was apparently no reason to re-open the issue. In 1470 when Edward fled to Burgundy, Henry argued Edward had always been a usurper.

Between 1461 and 1471 both kings engaged in diplomatic correspondence with foreign powers who recognized each of them as the rightful king.

In other words, it was never clear between 1461 and 1471 which of them was legally (de jure) king. Both of them had a good claim, not just that he should be king but that he was legally the king. This is an important difference from other cases of pretenders to the throne.

History can only tell us who actually held power on what dates - which of them was de facto king.

So, why should we decide? Historians don't have to play politics.

When Edward V was born, his father was in exile in Burgundy and his mother was in sanctuary. The Yorkists would have said he was the heir to his father, the king, so he was perhaps Edward of England, a prince. The Lancastrians would have said he was the son of an attainted traitor. To them he was perhaps just Edward, of no name, title or dignity beyond what the King's Grace might choose to confer at some future date.

If we're looking for a birth name, why not take his mother's word for it? He was Edward of England, son of a king who happened to be temporarily in exile ... no matter what her enemies said ;)

This is one example of why I personally believe it's a mistake to always insist on using the birth name. Instead of Edward V, King of England, the name he is known to history, the "standard" forces use to try to find a birth name for him 450 years later, even while we also acknowledge that his name was probably ambiguous at the time.

Referencing a related discussion:

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