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Helen Tudor

Birthplace: Snowdon, Carnarvonshire, Wales
Death: after 1501
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jasper Tudor and Myvanwy verch Dafydd
Wife of Sir William Gardiner and William Sybson
Mother of Philippa Gardiner; Beatrice Gardiner; Margaret Gardiner; Thomas Gardiner, Prior of Tynemouth and Anne (Gardiner) Browne

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Helen Tudor

Primary Sources

Chancery pleadings
Peter Watson, of London, draper, and William Sybson, husband of Ellen, late the wife of William Gardyner v the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs of London: an action by the children of William Gardyner, deceased, to recover the portion of his son Thomas, who has entered Westminster abbey. (C 1/252/12, dated 1501-1502, The National Archives, Kew)

Ellen, Elyn, or Helen Tudor (c.1459-after 1502).

She and her husband William Gardiner were not the parents of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester (d.1555), or Richard (1486-1546), William (1488-1549) or Alice (d.1588) Gardiner.

  • Helen Tudor1
  • F, #107543, b. before 1467
  • Last Edited=5 Mar 2009
  • Helen Tudor was born illegitimately before 1467.2 She married William Gardiner.1
  • She was the daughter of Sir Jasper Tudor, 1st and last Duke of Bedford and Mevanvy (?).1
  • Child of Helen Tudor and William Gardiner
    • 1.Stephen Gardiner2 b. 1483, d. 1555
  • Citations
  • 1.[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 130. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • 2.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 73. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • From:


  • Helen Tudor1
  • F, b. circa 1455
  • Father Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, Duke of Bedford2 b. c 1431, d. 21 Dec 1495
  • Helen Tudor was born illegitimate circa 1455; She is illegitimate. Her mother is unknown. Her husbands were half brothers.1 She married William Gardiner, Esq., son of Sir Thomas Gardiner, circa 1475.1 Helen Tudor married John Gardiner, son of Sir Thomas Gardiner, after 1506.3
  • Family 1 William Gardiner, Esq. b. c 1452, d. a 1506
  • Family 2 John Gardiner b. c 1470
  • Citations
  • 1.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 675.
  • 2.[S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. II, p. 73, notes.
  • 3.[S61] Unknown author, Family Group Sheets, SLC Archives.
  • From:


  • Helen TUDOR
  • Born: ABT 1459
  • Father: Jasper TUDOR (D. Bedford))
  • Mother: Mevanvy ?
  • Married: William (John) GARDINER (b. ABT 1446)
  • Children:
    • 1. Stephen GARDINER (b. 1483, Bury, Lancashire - d. 12 Nov 1555) (m. Margaret Grey)
    • 2. Alice GARDINER (m. Robert Perrot)



Ellen Tudor was the illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor, duke of Bedford (c.1431-December 21, 1495) and a woman possibly named Mevanvy. She married William Gardiner (c.1450-1485), a skinner, according to the Oxford DNB. Other sources call him a cloth merchant, still others a grocer, and some say he hired out as a mercenary and was one of the men who killed Richard III on the battlefield at Bosworth in 1485. These same sources say he was afterward knighted on the battlefield by Henry VII, Jasper Tudor’s nephew, and after that married Jasper’s illegitimate daughter. This makes a good story, but is largely untrue. Neither is it true that William and Ellen were the parents of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester (d.1555), or Richard (1486-1546), William (1488-1549) or Alice (d.1588) Gardiner. William and Ellen were married well before the Battle of Bosworth, which took place in the same year William died (the date of his will is September 25). Their only son was Thomas (c.1479-1536), Pryor of Tynemouth. They had four daughters: Philippa, Margaret, Beatrice, and Anne, all of whom were still living in January 1487/8. Before 1493, Ellen married another London skinner, William Sybson or Sibson (d.1501+).

Source: A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, visited Aug. 2, 2013.

From a vanity site

Treat the material below with caution.

Gardynyr, Wyllyam (1450 - 1495) - male

b. 1450 in Midlands, Oxfordshire, England

d. 1495 in The Bank, Surrey, England

See GARDINER, GENERATIONS AND RELATIONS by Thomas Richard Gardiner ,1991, Leonardtown, Maryland, Vol I, pg. 1:

"Wyllyam Gardynyr, was born about 1450 in Midlands, Oxfordshire, England; he died in 1495 in The Bank, Surrey, England. He married in1485, in London, England, Helen Tudor, daughter of Jasper Tudor, first cousin to Henry VII, as found on Betham's Genealogical Table DC X in Guildhall Library, London, England. This William Gardiner actually signed his name "Wyllym Gardynyr" which may indicate that he was of Welsh origin as were the Tudors, who spelled their name "Tudur " and "Tewdr" during that period.

"Why William Gardiner was allowed to marry into the Royal Family remains unclear, but historians have hinted that it was because of his aid to Henry VII, then Earl of Richmond, in defeating Richard III , in the Battle of Bosworth Field, near Leicester, on 22 August, 1485 . Jean Molinet, a Chronicler from Burgundy, covering this battle, described the scene in this manner (taken from the book, THE MAKING OF THE TUDOR DYNASTY, by Roger Thomas): "During the vigorous hand-to-hand fighting with the axe, sword and pike, both Richard III and Henry Tudor, each surrounded by a vanguard, watched from the sidelines, a safe distance apart. Richard, so confident of victory that he was wearing his crown, could observe from a higher level along the hill side, that his own personal vanguard was superior to Henry's and decided to end the battle quickly by slaying Henry Tudor.

Sir William Stanley was standing by with an uncommitted force of 3,000 men, ready to rout the loosing side. Richard III spurred his horse and in quick time, with his vanguard, engaged Henry in combat. As Richard went for Henry to deliver his mortal blow, one of Henry's men, a Welsh halberdier, intervened, knocking off Richard's crown, then giving one mighty swing, smashed Richard's helmut into his skull . Seeing that their leader was slain, his vanguard began to withdraw and immediatelySir William Stanley ordered his men after Richard' s fleeing troops, thus ending the battle in Henry's favor.

Richard's crown was recovered from a thornbush and later placed on the head of Henry Tudor who then proclaimed himself King of England. This act of slaying Henry's adversary in an otherwise losing situation was the most important single effort in the making of the Tudor dynasty, and thus allowed the marriage of William Gardiner, believed to be the Welsh halberdier, to Helen Tudor a few months later.

There has been some dispute as to how a person from the English Midlands could be described as a Welshman by the Burgundy writer, Jean Molinet, but the solution to the mystery is found in the book itself concerning the number of Sir William Stanley's warriors who, in their eagerness to give support to Henry, then Earl of Richmond, pressed ahead to join forces with Henry as his forces moved through Wales, on their way to engage Richard III's army. Jean Molined may have had no way of knowing from where the halberdier hailed. Although much information on him is lacking, this William Gardiner remains as the earliest member of our Gardiner line from whom I can trace our ancestry on a generational basis, with a great degree of certainty.

William Gardiner and his wife, Helen Tudor, resided on the south bank of the Thames River just across from the walled city of London, prior tothe establishment of any town, in an area that was then known simply as"The Bank". His magnificent home was located somewhere between the more recent towns of Bermondey and Southwalk in the county of Surrey. He also retained many of his holding in the Midlands near Oxon Ford, now known as Oxford.

Another member of Sir William Stanley's troops who was a long time acquaintance, if not close friend, of William Gardiner, was by name, Roland Warburton, who was noted for his arrival at Bosworth Field on 21 august, 1485, the eve of the Battle, with money to pay the three thousand men under Stanley's command. His arrival in the nick of time, no doubt,did much to lift the morale of the troops, making them more eager for action. It would be interesting to know how this man's family name came to be used in naming the Manor at Piscataway Creek and Potomac River which Luke Gardiner received in trade from Luke Barber for St. Richard's Manor on the Patuxent in 1662, almost two hundred years later. Luke Barber had named his Manor, on the northern side of Piscataway Creek in what is now Prince George's County, Maryland, "Barberton Manor." Several years after the trade, Luke Gardiner changed the name to Warburton Manor. Was it to commemorate the event at Bosworth Field, some two hundred years before? Intensive research on my part did not uncover a single document on which I could make such assumption, but somewhere one may exist."

The foregoing article is cited with additional authorities in BRITISH ROOTS OF MARYLAND FAMILIES, Robert A. Barnes, Gen. Pub. Co., Baltimore,1999, pp. 293-4.


Jasper reportedly had two illegitimate daughters:

Helen Tudor (by Mevanvy or Myvanwy ferch N (b. Wales c. 1459, d. bef. 1485), wife of a skinner William Gardiner, of London (born c. 1450), having by him: Thomas Gardiner, Prior of Tynemouth and four daughters, Philippa, Margaret, Beatrice and Anne. After her husband's death she married William Sybson. 19th century genealogists mistakenly conflated Thomas Gardiner with Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester.[17]


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Helen Tudor's Timeline

Snowdon, Carnarvonshire, Wales
Age 5
Age 5
Age 5
Age 11
Age 16
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 42