Thursday, May 29, 2008

Question from Tabitha - Henry VII's illegitimate son


read somewhere ??? that Henry VII had an illegitimate son, and that he brought the young man along with him when he became king. He was treated like a son but did not acknowledge him legally.

Is there anything that can validate this?



4 Comments:

Blogger Lara said...

Hey, this is one I've actually done some research on! The person you're referring to is Roland de Veleville. I've come across some books (often royal genealogies) that either list him as a possible royal bastard or just flat-out state that he was a son of Henry VII. And of course, there are some personal family histories out there of Roland's descendants who claim Henry VII was his father, but without any hard evidence, those claims have to be suspect.

Henry VII's main biographer of the 20th century - S.B. Chrimes, didn't think there was any good evidence for it. I found a much more detailed evaluation of de Veleville's connections to the Tudors in an 1991 article in Welsh History Review, and while the author thinks that his Tudor connections have been underestimated in the past, he didn't find any good evidence that Roland was actually Henry's son. The story seems to have first been recorded about 100 years after Roland's death (although presumably that would have meant that the story was around before that).

It's an interesting question, and while there isn't any good evidence one way or the other, I tend to think that he was not Henry's son.

May 29, 2008 5:17 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

This is very interesting, Lara! I had not read about this before. Roland got (only) 40 marks out of Henry VII, which some historians think indicate that he wasn't his son, but other observers, citing Henry's notorious cheapness, think it's obvious evidence of a blood relationship!

But seriously, Henry VII's parsimony seems to have grown upon him in later years, so perhaps there's nothing in it. Still, it's a fascinating speculation.

May 30, 2008 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

If you look at the Discussion page on Henry VII's Wikipedia article, it gives details of the evidence for Roland being Henry's son. It isn't in the main article because it's not generally accepted by historians. It does give detailed references though.

June 01, 2008 10:48 AM  
Anonymous hrlh said...

Roland de Velville was definitely Henry VII's son, it says so in my family history - otherwise i would not exist as the person i am today! And yes, i am also Welsh. The family tree itself goes back to Kathryn Of Berain, and back to Roland de Velville, wich then is connected to King Henry VII.
Of course we do not have hard evidence, as no one who was around then is still here today, but the family tree is a very large and strong one, showing many many people still connected to it.

October 05, 2008 4:37 PM  

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