Margaret of Anjou was born on 23 March 1430 in Lorraine as the daughter of René of Anjou and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. At the age of 15, Margaret married Henry VI of England, who was eight years older than her. Henry’s mental condition was very unstable, and he had a complete breakdown around the time of the birth of their only child, Edward of Westminster. Rumours arose that he was not Edward’s father. Edward married Anne Neville in 1470.
She was caught up in the War of the Roses, and her son Edward was eventually defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. She was taken captive at the end of the battle. She was imprisoned in both the Tower of London and Wallingford Castle before being ransomed by Louis XI in 1475. She lived in France for the remaining years of her life, dying at the age of 52 in 1482.
Some of Margaret’s letters have been preserved and have been put together in this rather old book, ‘Letters of Queen Margaret of Anjou and Bishop Beckington and others’ from 1863. Since it is so old, the book is available on Archive.org. You can find it here and download it in many different formats.
By the Quene.
Right dere and right entierly welbeloved Cousine, we grete
you hertely well. And for asmoclie as it hath liked unto my
lord’s highnesse to graunte unto our wel [beloved] squier, Eobert
Edmunde, the some of iii^. iii^^. franks, as in my said lord’s lettres
patents it apperith more plainly; wherupon my lord writith, at this
tyme, unto oure cousyn yo>” husband, for the special recommendacion
of oure said squier in this behalf; we desire and hertly pray yow,
that, atte reverence of us, ye will, by yo” good and tendre mediacion,
shew herin such diligence to th’accomplissement of my lord’s entencion,
that oure said squier may rejoisse [enjoy] my said lord’s
graunt, and the I’ather by contemplacion of this oure prayer; as oure
full trust is in yow. Wherein ye shuU mowe desire [deserve] of us
right especial thanke, unto oure greet plesaunce, at this tyme.
Yeven, etc. at Windesore, etc.
To oure Cousine the Duchesse of Somerset.